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Milagro Means Miracle: Sea Shepherd's Latest Fight
Article and photos by Kathleen Walls

“The tragedy is that there is so much more incentive - money - to destroy the ecology than there is to preserve it,” Paul Watson states. Watson is the founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. The Sea Shepherd fights to protect our environment on the high seas. Read more

Plan an Explosive Visit to Valencia, Spain    
By Jim DeLillo  

Bombaderos, firemen dressed in black turnout, stand by just waiting with tanker trucks full of water, and portable pumps. I inhale the acrid smoke with gusto, awakening the latent pyromaniac within. My heart races as I turn left and head down Calle De Trafalgar. An elaborate archway of carnival lights, designed like the onion tops of a Russian Orthodox Church, frames the narrow entrance to Falla Parotet. The ninot at the end is smaller than most, but it has not been set afire. I push my way assertively through the crowd. Read more.


 

Glasgow, Scotland, Experience the Spirit
Renee S. Gordon

There's an old Scottish proverb , “Twelve highlanders and a bagpipe make a rebellion.” While this is not totally true it is a huge indication of the character of the Scottish people. Their independence has shaped their character and pride in their shared culture, history and institutions, is visible everywhere and it is all laced with an ability to embrace life and laugh at it all. Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland, is the ideal place to experience real Scotland in all its manifestations. Read more.

Vietnam 40
Renée S. Gordon 

Until recently everything I knew about Vietnam I learned from the movies. Just as the times changed and the storytellers varied, so too did my perspective on our participation. Hindsight may not be 20-20 but it does provide a greater sense of clarity and a broader view of events and their aftermath. Read more

Niagara’s Other Side: Canada’s Niagara
Article and photos by Kathleen Walls

When we talk of going to Niagara Falls we tend to think New York. Don’t forget, our nearest northern neighbor shares that magnificent natural wonder. Canada knows how to surround Niagara Falls with glamour and glitz also. Read more

Christmas and More at The Biltmore Estate
By Warren Resen

Photos courtesy of RomanticAsheville.com  

Christmas in North Carolina at Asheville’s Biltmore House is a singular experience.
 
Read more

 

Jamaican Soul
Renée S. Gordon

For a brief orientation on what is most wonderful about Jamaica and its people one need look no further than the Jamaica National Flag. It was designed by a committee of the Jamaica House of Representatives and first flew on August 6, 1962, Jamaican Independence Day. The three colors and four triangles used in the design are representative of the nations’ past and future. Two green triangles on the top and bottom stand for the hope of the people and the country’s agricultural bounty. The gold swaths that separate the triangles embodies the wealth of natural resources and the sunlight that bathes the island in a gilded aura and the two black triangles symbolize the people and their legacy of strength and creativity. Read more

 

Eastern Europe’s Capital Cities Estonia and Latvia
Renée S. Gordon

The Baltic Sea is located in Europe and touches the coasts of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden and Russia but the countries most recognized as Baltic countries are Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The Baltic Sea is nearly 150,000-sq. miles in size and 1,000-miles long and for thousands of years people have entered the region to settle, invade, conquer and trade because of its location. Through it all each of the Baltic countries has managed to maintain a separate and unique culture and this, along with modern infrastructure, first class dining and accommodations, and huge swaths of pristine forests and beaches, has jettisoned the Baltics to the top of the list of must-see tourist destinations. Read more

Québec City, Canada
Renée S. Gordon

 In 1985 the Historic District of Old Québec received the first North American UNESCO World Heritage Site designation as an urban ensemble. The selection was based on its significance to the history of mankind and the importance of the city’s heritage to humanity. A visit to Québec City introduces you to, not only its history, heritage and architecture, but also to its unique European vibe with world class dining, accommodations, entertainment and shopping. Read more

Magical Manchester
by Renee S. Gordon

Manchester’s main shopping district was the scene of an IRA bombing on June 15, 1996.  There were no deaths but more than 200 were injured. Almost immediately Manchester spent more than $1-billion on rebuilding Exchange Square and it is now one of the trendiest shopping areas in the country. Visitors can make purchases in designer boutiques, specialty stores and the largest Marks and Spencer in the world as well as dine in two medieval pubs that were relocated brick by brick. The pubs, Old Wellington and Sinclair’s Oyster Bar, are the oldest structures in the city This district is a shopper’s paradise. Read more

The Biltmore Estate, Ashville, NC
Article by Warren Resen 
Photos by Jeannie O'Conner

When George Washington Vanderbilt began planning and building his home, which today is still the largest private residence ever built in America, he was a 28 year old bachelor. It took 6 years to complete this 175,000 sq. ft. French Renaissance chateau with 250 rooms, 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, 66 servant’s bedrooms, 65 fireplaces and many more features under roof. When it officially opened 120 years ago on Christmas Eve 1895, Mr. Vanderbilt was 35 years old. Read more.

Wilderness Adventure
Article and photos by Kathleen Walls

There is a unique birthday celebration this year. It includes  a link to our natural past and a promise for our future. Instead of the usual cake and candles, it involves, Cracker cattle, cow hunters, lots of swamp filled with cypress knees and trees, saw palmetto and alligators.  It all began in February of 1914 with  a lumberman from  named Edward Vose Babcock.  He saw an opportunity to make money harvesting the cypress and yellow pine that were plentiful near Ponta Gorda, Florida and bought 156,000 acres and began logging the cypress and pine. You can step back in time for 90 minutes  for an in-your-face glimpse the natural world of southwest Florida on the Babcock Wilderness Tour.  Read More

India
by Warren Resen

India, as portrayed in slick travel magazines is a microcosm of a much larger, much more diverse culture. Yes, there are five-star hotels, restaurants, and world-class resorts there but is it really necessary to travel half way around the world for something you probably have at home?  Read more

Ecuador,  in “The Land of Eternal Spring.”
by Renée S. Gordon  

South America was conjoined with Africa as part of the supercontinent Pangaea until approximately 225 million years ago. When the continents drifted apart South America remained the continent with the largest latitudinal expanse, a land mass that goes from the Sub-Antarctic region to the Tropical Zone and the Andes Mountain Range that extends 4,350-miles. This astonishing continent has been divided into 12 countries but there is none more filled with history, culture, biodiversity and outdoor adventure than Ecuador. Read more

Alternate Route
By Kathleen Walls

Let's face it. No matter how much you enjoy driving, there comes a time when you wish you could relax and "Leave the Driving to us". No, I'm not suggesting you take a Greyhound. But sometimes it's fun to see a new city without having to worry about parking and traffic. That's why trolleys have caught on in a big way.  Read More

Tree Art
by Kathleen Walls

Had you ever stopped to consider a beautifully decorate Christmas Tree as a work of art? Orlando Museum of Art has and each year they offer some of the most beautiful trees in their annual Festival of Trees. This year's theme is  "All That Glitters" Read More

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