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Archive for February, 2013

The Hottest Show on Earth

By Linda Tancs

Now in its 25th year, the National Fiery Foods & Barbecue Show is taking place this weekend in Albuquerque, New Mexico at Sandia Resort & Casino.  The most visited show on the subject of spicy foods and barbecue, you’ll likely never see a bigger array of the country’s spicy sauces, marinades, salsas amd mustards.  And you can be sure that palates will burn particularly bright during this anniversary year.

A Russian Wonder

By Linda Tancs

Of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World, only the pyramids of Giza still stand.  If you can’t manage a trip to Egypt, then the next best thing might be Russia’s wonder:  a 55-ton pyramid outside Moscow.  Built of fiberglass, the 144-feet-high structure is the largest pyramid across Russia.  Regardless whether you believe in the power of pyramids, it’s a site to behold in perhaps one of the unlikeliest of places.

World’s Largest Hotel Comparison Site

By Linda Tancs

Trivago bills itself as the world’s largest hotel comparison site.  With more than 18 million monthly users, the site allows you to compare prices at dozens of booking engines for over 600,000 hotels worldwide.  Add to that millions of hotel reviews and photos and you have a comprehensive search engine to find the perfect respite.

The Battle for Kentucky

By Linda Tancs

Prior to becoming President of the United States, James A. Garfield was a colonel during the Civil War who led the Union soldiers in battle against the Confederates in eastern Kentucky.  Middle Creek National Battlefield in Prestonsburg commemorates the battle for Kentucky, the Union’s ninth most populous state.  The interpretive experience at this historic site includes Confederate and Union loop trails with signage and a four-mile auto tour stopping at Graveyard Point, former site of Garfield Place,
May House and the former site of the May House Grist Mill.

The Bunny Trail

By Linda Tancs

Easter is fast approaching.  That means the usual Easter egg hunts, decorated eggs and Easter Bunny photos with the kids.  Want something a little different?  How about a train ride aboard a 1916-vintage steam locomotive through the scenic Chehalis Valley in Washington State? Just a 90-minute drive from either Portland, Oregon, or Seattle, the nine-mile journey along former Milwaukee Road track winds through pastoral settings featuring several wooden trestles and historic farms.  One of the few remaining steam-powered passenger railroads in Washington, the Chehalis-Centralia Railroad offers Easter train rides for kids of all ages, along with other seasonal special events.  And, of course, the ride ends with a search for eggs hidden by the Easter Bunny and Chicken Little in the fields.

Off the Cliff in Spain

By Linda Tancs

For a spectacular cliffside vista, head to Ronda, Spain.  Located in the Spanish province of Málaga, the city is perched atop El Tajo canyon, offering incomparable views–particularly from Puente Nuevo bridge.  The tallest of three bridges in the city, Puente Nuevo stands 390 feet above the canyon floor.  This mountainous environment boasts a number of caves, like La Pileta and its cave paintings.  Popular depictions there include “the pregnant mare” and “the fish.”

A Roar in China

By Linda Tancs

There’s a roar in China about four hours northeast of Xi’an that can be heard for miles.  That’s where you’ll find Hukou Falls , the second largest waterfall in China.  The Yellow River roars at a junction where it meets the Hukou Mountain and the range on both sides chokes the river’s width, creating a surge as it plunges over a cliff.

Jémez History

By Linda Tancs

Some of the most impressive ruins in the Southwest are outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico.  At the Jémez State Monument Heritage Area, a large pueblo in the narrow San  Diego Canyon built by the ancestors of the present-day Jémez enchants visitors.  The seven-acre site includes the ruins of San José de los Jémez, a large stone church built by missionaries in the 17th century, featuring an unusual octagonal bell tower and frescoes unearthed in the 1920s.  Sunday admission is free for all New Mexico residents; senior citizens also enter free on Wednesdays.

Chains of Love in Moscow

By Linda Tancs

Moscow, it seems, has a lock on love.  Though hardly known as a city of romance, authorities there have taken the tradition of attaching padlocks to public fixtures as a gesture of love one step further.  They’ve institutionalized the practice by placing a series of metallic love trees along Luzhkov bridge, adorned with colorful locks.  Now, who’ll have the key to your heart?

King of the Five Continents

By Linda Tancs

One of the largest carvivals in the world, Nice’s carnival promises fun and frolic for 20 days along the French Riviera.  Celebrating universality, this year’s theme is “King of the Five Continents.”   The day and night carnival parades along Place Massena feature 18 colorful floats and papier mâché accompanied by street theatre and music groups from all over the world.  Couple that with the traditional flower parade along Promenade des Anglais and you have an unforgettable event where the Tournament of Roses meets Mardi Gras.  This year’s festival takes place from 15 February to 6 March.

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