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Archive for April, 2013

Jammin’ in the French Quarter

By Linda Tancs

New Orleans’ French Quarter Festival is celebrating its 30th year now through 14 April with over 800 local musicians, free special events, activities for the kids and a fireworks display along the Mississippi on Saturday night.  Did I mention food?  Perhaps it needs no introduction.  This is New Orleans, after all–home of the poboys, jambalaya and gumbo, to name but a few of its delicacies.  Sample them all at the more than 65 restaurants participating in the festival.

Garden of the Gods

By Linda Tancs

The Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado is a registered National Natural Landmark.  The natural landmark program recognizes outstanding examples of biological and geological resources across the country.   Home of the Bighorn sheep, the Garden of the Gods is renowned for its blazing red sandstone rock formations piercing the sky.   Rock climbers get great views of snow-capped Pikes Peak.  For the less daring, take a free 30-minute, naturalist-led walk daily at 10 a.m. or 2 p.m.

The Call of the Wild

By Linda Tancs

Just a 40-minute drive from Lake Placid, New York, Tupper Lake is one of those old, quaint lumber milling towns.   Today you’ll find a different calling echoing from the virgin pines and hardwoods of this Adirondack tourist destination–the call of the wild.  The Wild Center, a 31-acre site of trails and overlooks, gives visitors ample opportunity to interact with the natural world.  The area boasts moose, river otters, peregrine falcons and native trout.  A new exhibit, Planet Adirondack, features a floating interactive Earth, highlighting the effects of human engineering on the planet.

A Weighty Decision

By Linda Tancs

Samoa Air recently announced a world’s first:  pay by weight.  That’s right–the compact carrier is basing each passenger’s ticket price on the individual’s weight combined with the heft of the baggage being checked.  So the airline’s tagline, “The sky’s the limit,” seems oddly appropriate.  But given the debate that has ensued, this will no doubt prove to be a weighty decision, indeed.

Highland Ghillies

By Linda Tancs

Derry (also known as Londonderry) is Northern Ireland’s second largest city and the first city in the UK to be designated a City of Culture in 2013.  That means a yearlong slate of festivities is underway, including this weekend’s Highland Dance Festival.  A hub for Scottish dance, Derry’s event is expected to draw the best of highland dancers from the UK and Europe.  Get your ghillies on.

Civil War Richmond

By Linda Tancs

It’s been over 150 years since the start of the Civil War.  And the pulse of Civil War history can be found in Richmond, Virginia, onetime capital of the Confederate States of America.  In downtown Richmond’s historic Court End neighborhood you’ll find the White House of the Confederacy, home to Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his family for most of the war.  A National Historic Landmark, the neoclassical mansion has been restored to its wartime appearance and includes half of the family’s furnishings.  Guided tours are offered daily.

The Grassalkovich Era

By Linda Tancs

The palace of Gödöllő is a baroque masterpiece just 20 miles northeast of Budapest, Hungary.  Commissioned by Count Antal Grassalkovich I in the early 1700s, its ornate Grand Hall, tapestried rooms, red marble bath, conservatory and theatre represent the life and times of the area’s nobility.  The palace remained in the possession of the Grassalkovich family until the death of the last male heir in the 1800s.  Later purchased for the Crown, it was the favorite palace of Elisabeth, Queen of Hungary.  The palace and its grounds are easily accessible by car, bus, train or suburban rail (HÉV).

Bigfoot Sightings

By Linda Tancs

If someone were to tell you of a Bigfoot sighting near the K&O railroad line and the Ninnescah River (southern Kansas) between Pratt and Murdock would you believe it?  It would be easy to brush it off as an April Fools’ Day hoax, wouldn’t it?  If seeing is believing, then maybe you should sign up for an expedition with the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization.  Open to non members, the four-day jaunts cover many areas of the country where Bigfoot has allegedly appeared, like Florida, Kentucky, West Virginia, California, Arizona, New Mexico and even British Columbia, Canada.

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