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The First Trip After COVID

I once interviewed an Iraq war vet who confided that when you are in a war zone your brain focuses entirely on one thing -- surviving. It's afterward that the impact of the emotional toll hits you.

For well over a year the COVID-19 pandemic has forced us into a survival situation as we were constantly informed about infection spikes, death ...Read more

Drive-Ins Offer More Than Movies

By Victor Block

From time to time, residents of the little town of Farmington, Maine, gather to attend events that range from a craft fair and flea market to a band concert and a Catholic Mass. At a site in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the attractions include an arcade, car museum and swap shop. Rather than being seated in an elegant ...Read more

Scotland's Eccentric Isle of Eigg

By Sharon Whitley Larsen

"If you're going to get sick, be sure it's on a Wednesday," my Isle of Eigg tour guide-driver Brian Greene said. "That's the day the doctor arrives by ferry from Skye."

Greene was filling in for Charlie Galli, this Scottish island's usual taxi driver (and only source of public transportation), who was stuck on ...Read more

Good Times and Quiet Moments in Kent County, Delaware

By Victor Block

The sounds of slot machines vie for attention with excited cries of winners at gambling tables nearby. Meanwhile, silence reigns at farms where horses rather than tractors pull plows. Welcome to Kent County, Delaware.

Dover, the state capital, retains the charm that William Penn envisioned when he laid it out in 1683. ...Read more

Soak Up the Island of Hawaii

By Victor Block

Some vacationers soak up sun on beaches with white or black sand. Not far away, divers suit up for a deep dive to get close-up and personal with a variety of denizens of the deep. Other people check out a surreal moonscape of hardened pitch-black lava, then hike through a lush tropical rainforest.

If this sounds like a ...Read more

Take the Winding Highway to Hana

By Fyllis Hockman

Just as the queasiness in my stomach from the continuous onslaught of curves and cutbacks along the narrow uphill road began to subside, we rounded yet another 180-degree bend. The first waterfall with whipped-cream waters dripping down deep-creviced cleavages appeared by the roadside, its beauty washing away all my ...Read more

Travel Insurance in the COVID-19 Era

By Candyce H. Stapen

After more than a year of the pandemic lockdown, we've planned a June trip to Anguilla, a Caribbean island known for its gorgeous beaches and great food. We've booked a house at Long Bay Villas to celebrate all the missed birthdays and milestones for our multigenerational family.

We're happy, hopeful and also ...Read more

Explore the Beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains

By Bonnie and Bob Neely

When we moved to Greenville, South Carolina, we had no idea how popular the area had become since Bonnie was a child growing up here. Now Upstate South Carolina is one of the top destinations in the United States for visiting and for living, with tremendous growth in both.

The Upstate area, along with the ...Read more

Enjoy the Simple Life in Patrick County, Virginia

By Victor Block

One place that my wife, Fyllis, and I visited promised a "luxury boutique" that has won accolades as among the best resorts in the country. The other invited us to "experience the simple life."

These very different settings stretch along the Virginia-North Carolina border. Together, Patrick County, Virginia, and the ...Read more

Adventure Awaits at Unusual Primland

By Fyllis Hockman

"You want me to go where?" my mind shouted as I barreled down a 90-degree angle that led into a wall of mud- and gravel-encased woods. I was driving -- or more accurately surviving -- an ATV excursion at Primland in Meadows of Dan, Virginia.

On the hour's ride, when I was willing to unclutch the steering wheel long ...Read more

Family Fun at Majestic Mammoth Mountain

By Margot Black

For a spectacular family nature escape, look no farther than Mammoth Lakes in California. This picturesque vacation destination offers travelers a stimulating scenic atmosphere where they can learn more about myriad outdoor activities. Our family had the pleasure of partaking in a glorious skiing, snowmobiling and tubing ...Read more

Secluded Smith Island Is Living at Its Best

By Victor Block

Talk about hometown pride! When I asked a grizzled waterman who lives on Smith Island, Maryland, if he'd like to accompany me to one of the community's other nearby villages, he replied "Nope, I've already been there."

While the twinkle in his eyes suggested he wasn't completely serious, the fact is that residents of ...Read more

Relive the Past at Museums, Diners, Drive-ins and More

By Victor Block

Louis Kaplan is channeling his childhood. As a youngster he collected baseball cards, which he stored in boxes and treasured as souvenirs of America's favorite pastime. Decades later he's reliving that time while visiting the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York.

Opportunities to recapture ...Read more

Gardens Around the Country Celebrate Spring

By Victor Block

Spring has sprung, and summer will soon arrive. If you're a flower gardener -- and the National Gardening Association estimates that members of more than a third of American households are -- you already may have begun to till soil and plant seeds. If you enjoy gardens more by watching than working, however, now is the ...Read more

Find Fish, Kitsch and Wildlife in the Florida Keys

By Victor Block

One afternoon while visiting the Florida Keys I photographed my wife, Fyllis, swimming with stingrays and other denizens of the sea in a huge tank of water, then shoving live fish through an opening in a Plexiglas wall to feed hungry sharks on the other side. Driving back to our temporary home away from home, we passed ...Read more

Funk, Frivolity and Florida History in Key West

By Fyllis Hockman

Key West, Florida, is more than a place. It is a spirit, a funky energy that enters your soul and takes residence in your worldview as well as your inner vision. A state of mind more than a city; a way of life more than a place to live. It's a lifestyle, not a destination. All expressed in the absurdist poetry that is ...Read more

Heavenly Lake Tahoe Is Pure Heaven for Families

By Margot Black

Our family recently had the pleasure of enjoying a late-winter wonderland at Heavenly Ski Resort, and it was undoubtedly one of the most picturesque places I have ever seen. Situated in South Lake Tahoe, it is the largest resort in the region and offers an absolutely phenomenal playground for family-friendly skiing and ...Read more

Mother Nature's Hidden Gems

By Victor Block

Sure, it's great to ooh and aah at the grandeur of the Grand Canyon, be overwhelmed by the blistered desert floor and extinct volcanic craters in Death Valley, and hear the thunderous roar of Niagara Falls. But Mother Nature also has created countless other treasures throughout the country that while less well-known are ...Read more

Aquarium Encounters Offers Play With Sea Creatures

By Fyllis Hockman

Decked out in snorkel equipment and wetsuit -- getting into and out of which was admittedly the most challenging aspect of the whole experience -- I entered the 200,000-gallon coral reef tank. It was filled with large and small residents -- more than 50 species of fish, sharks and eels -- into whose life I was about to ...Read more

Find More Than Lodging in Some Unusual Hotels

By Victor Block

Tom and Betty Taylor settle down to spend the night in a Pullman train car. They snuggle between crisp sheets covering a comfortable bed. When they awaken next morning and peer out the window, the scene that greets them is exactly what they saw before turning off the light.

The train car in which the Taylors slept didn't...Read more

 

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