Home & Leisure



Travel to the Islands -- In New York City

By Victor Block

Mention New York City and "islands" in the same breath, and it's likely that Liberty and Ellis will come to mind. Liberty Island is home to the world-famous statue which, since 1886, has welcomed people to the United States. Once here, many of them were processed through the immigrant station on Ellis Island.

The ...Read more

Head to Kentucky Horse Park for Equine Fun

By Bonnie and Bill Neely

Before COVID-19 stopped many events and much of travel worldwide we were fortunate to be at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Throughout the year paddocks, pastures and show rings here are lush with Kentucky bluegrass and always busy. We enjoyed especially the introduction to the different horse breeds,...Read more

Vacation in Style on Ambergris Cay, Turks and Caicos

By Candyce H. Stapen

When asked to describe my fantasy island vacation, my response always includes space. Not the moon and the stars kind, but the sort that comes with deserted beaches, acres of scrub brush, an abundance of birds and critters that chirp and rustle in the leaves, plus great food, service and lodging. After all, a ...Read more

Explore Your Special Interest on a Themed Cruise

By Victor Block

Several people watch a master baker demonstrate making pastries; participate in a chocolate, cheese and wine tasting; and enjoy a food-and-wine pairing gourmet dinner. Golfers play at some of the most famous courses around the world before attending a tournament that brings together the top professionals. Music fans of ...Read more

Testing the Waters on a Celebrity Millennium Cruise

By Sharon Whitley Larsen

"You can be our guinea pigs!" veteran cruise friends exclaimed to my husband, Carl, and me when we told them we had recently booked an eight-night cruise on the Celebrity Millennium. The cruise would take us from our San Diego hometown up the coast to San Francisco (docked overnight), then on to other stops in ...Read more

The Rady Shell is San Diego's New Landmark

It's a perfect evening in San Diego, the setting sun casting a golden glow over the city's skyline. Along the waterfront a passing parade of visitors is admiring the mighty presence of the aircraft carrier Midway and the sleek hull and towering masts of the clipper ship Star of India.

At the same time, a mile or so to the south, a crowd of ...Read more

Cowgirl for a Day at Arizona Cowboy College

By Fyllis Hockman

Heels down. Toes out. Squeeze with calves, not knees. Lighten up on the reins. Sink your butt into the saddle.

So began my first riding lesson at the Arizona Cowboy College in Scottsdale. After that came instructions in grooming, shoeing, advanced riding techniques and roping. And this was just a one-day primer to what...Read more

Where Did States Get Their Nicknames?

By Victor Block

In the mid-1800s so much precious metal covered the ground in Nevada that prospectors could shovel it up. A century later an avian disaster struck bird life along the Louisiana coastline. Today visitors can relive those chapters of the past in Nevada, Louisiana and elsewhere while learning how they and other states got ...Read more

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Is Ready for Its Close-up

They're all here: ET pointing the way home; Dorothy's iconic ruby slippers; Charles Foster Kane's childhood sled, Rosebud; R2D2; the ravenous shark from "Jaws" -- and so much more.

It took 92 years to get this long-wished-for project completed. But on Sept. 20 the $484 million Academy Museum of Motion Pictures opened its doors to the public, ...Read more

See Weird and Wonderful Sights at Chiricahua National Monument

By Bonnie and Bill Neely

Whenever we've driven west, we have always tried to go through the small town of Willcox, Arizona, where for years we found the best coffee and cinnamon rolls anywhere. That shop has closed, but we still go to Willcox for coffee and hot cinnamon rolls, hamburgers and other good food served all day at the ...Read more

Old West Meets Modern Chic in Scottsdale, Arizona

By Victor Block

Bejeweled women dressed in the latest fashions stroll into Gucci, Neiman Marcus and Tiffany, intent on adding to their wardrobes and adornments. My wife, Fyllis, is learning to rope cattle and clean horses' hooves. The first impression we had during our visit to Scottsdale, Arizona, was the diversity of attractions -- ...Read more

Discover the Flora and Fauna of Joshua Tree National Park

By Bonnie and Bill Neely

Ordinarily we would have driven through the desert landscape as fast as possible to leave the dryness, extreme heat, sand, cacti and rattlesnakes behind us. But our son, Tom, who loves the desert, wanted to introduce us to Joshua Tree National Park, one of his favorite places to hike. We had seen pictures, but we...Read more

History Is on the Menu at 'Hemings & Hercules' Dinners

The first thing you need to know about the "Hemings & Hercules" dinner at Post and Beam in Los Angeles is that it is an eight-course tour de force of open-air, wood-fire, cast-iron cookery dedicated to two of America's first celebrity chefs -- James Hemings and Hercules Posey. The second thing you need to know is that both men were African ...Read more

Organize Your Travel Photos This Simple Way

By Victor Block

Experts predict that in 2021 people around the world will take about 1.4 trillion photographs, many of them while traveling. That estimate, by the digital imaging consulting firm Keypoint Intelligence, includes me -- and probably you.

The big question is: What will you do with those photos -- and the ones you've taken ...Read more

Find Towering Peaks and Western History in the Rocky Mountains

Head north 7.4 miles from the Grand Lake entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park and you come to a rather innocuous-looking parking lot and campground. In fact, you've discovered one of the park's most fascinating locations -- the Holzwarth Historic Site, or as it was more quaintly known in the 1920s, the Never Summer Dude Ranch -- where for $2...Read more

Spend the Winter -- or the Summer -- in Grand County, Colorado

In February 1928 an astounding feat of railroad engineering was completed when the first locomotive passed through the 6.2-mile-long Moffat Tunnel, connecting the eastern and western sides of the Continental Divide in Colorado's Rocky Mountains and shortening the distance between Denver and the Pacific Coast by 176 miles. Later the construction ...Read more

A 75th Birthday Hike With Smokey Bear

People are funny about birthdays. Some like to ignore them completely, others crave a big celebration, while others (whether they like it or not) have them sprung on them by surprise.

For many years a critical part of my birthday observance has required hiking in nature. It has offered a chance to observe, take stock and push myself -- sort of ...Read more

Stones of All Kinds Make Visits Sparkle

By Victor Block

Vacationing in Arkansas, Nancy Meyers and Kathy Smith stop at a museum to admire a 5-foot-tall quartz crystal called "the Holy Grail." Bill and Betty Price and their two young daughters sift through a pile of dirt in western Maine looking for gemstones. During a visit to Kentucky to celebrate his wife Evelyn's 40th ...Read more

Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains have equally beguiling valleys

By Candyce H. Stapen

Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains dazzle in fall. The hillsides billow with ribbons of red, yellow and rust-colored leaves, and roads lead past fields edged by fiery crimson and bright orange thickets of trees. To explore Nelson County, Virginia, we based ourselves at the Wintergreen Resort, a ski resort that sprawls ...Read more

The Past Lives at Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia

By Victor Block

William Byrd III was a man of great stature in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. He served in the House of Burgesses and on the Governor's Council. However, due to his lavish lifestyle and gambling addiction he could not live within his income. He lost his wealth and died in 1777 by an apparent suicide.

Christiana ...Read more



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