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TravelLady Magazine

Heritage Travel

A Spirited Reenactment: Fort Pulaski’s Christmas Party

Fort Pulaski was the key to Savannah during the Civil War. General Robert E. Lee had been stationed there earlier and proclaimed the fort unbreachable. Unfortunately for the city, he was wrong. In April 1862, twenty- five-year-old Colonel Charles Olmstead… (more)

Visiting Gracie Mansion, the home of New York’s mayor

Have you been to New York’s Gracie Mansion? (You can go. See below.) Mayor Bill DeBlasio had a holiday party to show off his official home to New Yorkers. The mayor wasn’t there, but he sent some docents who did… (more)

Discover port from Portugal’s Douro Valley

The oldest demarcated wine region in the world is not in France. It is in Portugal, in the Douro region near Porto, famous for port wine, and a necessary stop on any traveler’s tour of the country. Though the vineyards… (more)

Bordeaux: the wine city from medieval to modern

Bordeaux has been transformed in the last few decades by Alain Juppé, mayor since 1995, who ordered the cars to underground car parks, cleaned the grime off the stone buildings, and turned the city into a gorgeous place for pedestrians… (more)

Rediscovering Southern Europe: Lisbon’s art, culture, food, and wine

I hadn’t been to Lisbon for decades, not since just after the Revolution of the Carnations in 1974 when the military overthrew the dictator, Antonio Salazar. Happy people in the streets stuck those flowers in the muzzles of solders’ rifles… (more)

Rosemary’s Angels, an unusual tour through the center of Paris

How many angels fit on the head of a pin? I don’t know. How many angels are on the buildings and monuments of Paris? That’s a better question, and this past summer I started to find out. Rosemary Flannery is… (more)

Paris: Edouard 7 Hotel where former Prince of Wales was a bon vivant

Want to stay at a former residence of a Prince of Wales who would become British King Edward VII? Edward, the son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, was a bon vivant as prince and a lover of Paris.… (more)

A Little Freud with my Coffee, Please

 I love coffee, coffee and more coffee. Add some decadent desserts, history and old world elegance and I’m in my element. Vienna did not disappoint as I went in search of those storied coffeehouses that dot almost every street… (more)

Puerto Vallarta is a Traveler’s Paradise

Puerto Vallarta had never been high on my list of places to visit, but after attending a travel writers’ conference there earlier this month, it has moved to the top of the list of places I want to visit again…next… (more)

InterContinental Hotel in Chongqing, China offers history, chocolate, and more

After a wonderful Yangtze River cruise on the Century Legend John and I looked forward to a couple days of doing nothing at the luxurious InterContinental in Chongqing. It was a time for organizing and resting up for the next… (more)

A Paris Left Bank tour through history

Ah, the Left Bank of Paris. The charming narrow streets, centuries-old buildings and outdoor cafés take me into a fantasy past. It’s what gave the film “Midnight in Paris” its charm. This summer, for the first time, that visit was… (more)

Topography of Terror tour traces Nazi ghosts

You might expect a country to cover up the evidence of its terrible misdeeds. The U.S., for example, does not have a monument to the Vietnamese it killed and it will unlikely have a museum showing the crimes of Abu… (more)

Cruising the Mekong River

Like many Americans when I hear the word “Mekong” I get an image that comes from movies dealing with the Vietnam War. For me those images are banished forever. After my 8-day cruise on the Mekong Explorer I now know… (more)

Visit Panama Indian tribe that maintains the culture of past centuries

Maybe it’s anthropology lite, but a visit to a Panamanian Indian village is a fascinating experience. And it provides a model of how “natives” can monetize their own life styles for tourism instead of being exploited by outsiders. One… (more)

New works from emeging choregraphers highlight Dallas Black Dance Black History Month series

As the countdown begins for the final days until the retirement ofFounder/Artistic Director Ann Williams, Dallas Black Dance Theatre (DBDT) has scheduled a series of performances worthy of the celebration. Thanks to a generous grant from the National Endowment for… (more)

A Window into the Immigrant Experience of Manhattan’s Lower East Side

  The tiny, cramped apartment had one bedroom to sleep a family of six and often more, no heat, no water, and only the feeble light coming through the one window at the front of the building. Yet it was… (more)

Brownville, Nebraska: An International Book Town

Brownville, Nebraska is an amazing little town south of Omaha on the Missouri River with a population of 142 with four bookstores and seven museums. It has been designated an “International Book Town.” I think of it as “the little… (more)

Gospel of John, Photographed: Gritty and Spiritual Armchair Travel to Israel

During the 2008 recession, photographer David Kevin Weaver drew strength from the Gospel of John. This gospel begins with John the Baptist predicting Jesus’ arrival, then goes on to detail Jesus’ public ministry and his very public death and resurrection.… (more)

Enhance Your Philly Experience

  Did you know that famed Chicago mobster Al Capone served his first prison term in Philadelphia? Or that more than 3600 murals grace the walls of city buildings due to a program developed in 1984 to help wipe out… (more)

True Tales, Ruby Revue & 60’s Costumes at Dallas Video Festival Opening Night

Almost everyone over 50 years old can remember where they were the moment when Kennedy was shot. I was in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois and an exchange student from England, Judy Eriera was staying with my family. How many… (more)

Medieval-modern Alsace, an aesthetic and culinary feast, and the pièce de résistance is Strasbourg

An ancient center of modern Europe—how’s that for contradictions? I’ve always thought of Strasbourg as a political town, the headquarters of the European Parliament. But on my first visit there, I was stunned and delighted to find it charming, quaint,… (more)

Wascana Centre; Regina’s Emerald Jewel

“The people who once said that `Regina is a town that should not have been’ should see it now!”  My colleague, a long time resident of the area, made this remark when I asked her to describe the attributes… (more)

Paris Museum of French Jews’ political & cultural life from Middle Ages to 20th century

A gorgeous 17th-century mansion in the Marais district of Paris is a museum of French Jewish political and cultural life through many epochs, from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance to the 20th century. The grand home was built… (more)

Fargo Air Museum: Where Aviators are honored and Exhibits Fly

Airplanes aren’t just on display at the Fargo Air Museum; many of them are routinely flown over this North Dakota city. Located at the edge of Hector International Airport, the brightly lit hanger, that the museum is housed in, is… (more)

Marseille: glorious ancient port, fishing center, world-class hotel and historic memories

The Vallon des Auffes is a small fishing port on the on the south-eastern corniche of Marseille. The name comes from the artisans who worked with auffe (a word in the Occitan language) to make ropes, baskets and other wickerwork.… (more)

Gladewater: Antique Capital of East Texas

It’s a sunny Saturday afternoon and the city’s antique district is buzzing with browsers, shoppers and the curious. This is Gladewater, the “Antique Capital of East Texas.” Stores along Pacific, Main and other downtown streets feature vintage jewelry, Depression glass,… (more)

Dijon: Taste its medieval heritage, savor its Burgundy wine

Dijon was the home town of the Dukes of Burgundy from the 11th to the 15th centuries. Now it’s the capital of one of France’s best wine regions, famous for appellations such as Montrachet and Pouilly-Fuissé. But Burgundy is also… (more)

All of medieval Avignon is a stage

When I went to Avignon for the theater festival in July, I discovered that the entire city is a stage. The population swells with patrons and performers of the more than 1000 shows that are put on, and when they… (more)

Memorial Honors Special Operations Forces K9 Heroes

The first memorial to Special Operations Forces (SOF) K9 soldiers killed in action was unveiled at the Airborne & Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville, SC, recently. The museum is part of the U.S. Army Museum System and tells the story… (more)

A summer in Nice brings together jazz, art and Woody Allen

The big Nice Jazz Festival has been drawing crowds to this gorgeous Riviera city since 1948. And on the day I visited, Woody Allen was in town. Was he was there to play his clarinet on one of the Festival’s… (more)

Remembering the Battle of Vicksburg

Two men dressed as Confederate soldiers and a woman wearing a long gown chat in front of the Old Court House Museum as a small boy looks on. “We’re here to show locals that there’s a Confederate presence in town;… (more)

The Place Vendôme in Paris; an Intriguing Past and Present

A curious silence covers the Place Vendôme, offering the feeling that this 17th-century architectural gem has defeated the noise and traffic of modern Paris. Yes, cars and pedestrians move through the cobble-stones, but they seem hardly noticed by the statue… (more)

See the links between religious cultures inToledo’s medieval past

To see medieval Spain, visit Toledo. It was the political capital until the 16th century, the center of Spanish history before Madrid. One can still see the city gates set in stone walls. But it is also a religious city,… (more)

Find the spirit of 19th century literature and early 20th century art in Paris hotels

Hotels are no longer just places to sleep and shower. They are now environments for experience. The most modern attempt to evoke the literary, artistic or historical pasts. Consider, for literature, the left bank Bel Ami and, for art, the… (more)

Madrid’s excitement is its mix of history and modernism

The excitement and drama of Madrid is that you can feel that you are in both the past and the present. History — centuries past and the last one — is told in the art and architecture of Spain’s stunning… (more)

Magical Pisa charms the most jaded travelers

Pisa is magical even to a blasé traveler. The shining, sparking white marble exteriors (they must be scrubbed to flash so white) are like jewels on the green lawns. It’s not just the Leaning Tower that entrances, but a cathedral,… (more)

Enchanting Istria: sea, boats, cafés and antiquities – even Roman ruins

We were sitting at Sidro, a sidewalk café in the Rovinj harbor sipping wine and looking at the people strolling on the wide esplanade lined with pastel-colored houses. In one direction we gazed at a jumble of sailing and… (more)

Summer Stockholm: Great Weather, Beautiful River Sights and Fascinating Royal History

The rich five hundred-year history of the Swedish Royal Family blends with egalitarian politics to create an enchanting country. Elegance is combined with an absence of royal snobbishness. For example, visitors are welcomed into the inner courtyard of the Stockholm… (more)

Visiting political and cultural Berlin, with a side-trip to Weimar

Cruising down the Spree on a wonderful summer afternoon, one is struck by the dramatic views of Berlin, both the imposing buildings from one or two centuries past – the Reichstag, the aptly named Berliner Dom (the cathedral), the Neues… (more)

Pick Your Grapes, Wine, and Destination…France

With any given vacation destination, unless you’ve been there before…once, twice, or even thrice, it is difficult to know where to go to eat, sleep, and explore.  If you have dreamed of traveling to France but have never… (more)

Bologna: preservation of an historic city for the people

I was standing in the Piazza Giuseppi Verdi, the site of the Bologna opera house, luxuriating in the mellifluous sounds of a classic soprano broadcast by loudspeakers into the square. A fellow pulled up in his motorcycle, switched off the… (more)

Barcelona is a living museum for historic buildings, great architecture & art

Barcelona is an amazing city of great art and architecture created by world-class artists who lived there. From the historic Gothic Quarter to the fabulous Sagrada Familia church by Antoni Gaudí, we were overwhelmed by its beauty, intelligence and charm.… (more)

Medieval Luxembourg? And there are castles to prove it!

Half a dozen medieval castles dot the countryside of Luxembourg, a country so small that you can traverse it the long way, north to south, in just a few hours. Tucked between France, Belgium and Germany, this microstate is famous… (more)

Enjoying the fantasy of Paris

Hotel Plaza Elysees. Do you want to be a neighbor of the President of France? Or better yet, stay near the hotel featured in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris”? Not that Paris magic needs to be more magical, but you… (more)

Reliving the French Revolution in Marseille

Did you ever wonder why the French National Anthem is called La Marseillaise? It is named after Marseille, France’s second largest city. In 1792, the National Guard of Marseille adopted the anthem as its military marching song, and when the… (more)

In Venice there’s elegance at the Bauer and boutique 18th-century Il Palazzo

We were having breakfast on the “Bar Canale” terrace of the Bauer Hotel. Across the Grand Canal was the 17th century Church of Santa Maria della Salute. I could imagine the lazy mornings of the Venice nobles who once owned… (more)

Modern luxury, past centuries’ charm and stunning antiquity on Italy’s Amalfi Peninsula

One day I walked out on the stone entrance terrace of Capo La Gala, a boutique hotel on the Amalfi Peninsula overlooking the Bay of Naples. I noticed a couple of policeman standing there, chatting. They were, I discovered, guards… (more)

A Day in Key West

It’s a balmy 75 degrees. The sun is shining and everywhere tourists are fanning out from Duval Street to explore Key West after disembarking from their cruise ship. You can choose to travel to Key West by driving 155 miles… (more)

Tour Italy by Sea (Kayak, that is…)

Who doesn’t dream of visiting Italy? By land? By sea!  It probably doen’t matter, so long as one can return, time and time again.  And with each return visit comes a chance to view this sublime country in… (more)

Art Imitates Life on Alcatraz

Everyone’s heard of Alcatraz.  Likewise, most people who have been to San Francisco have, at the very least, seen Alcatraz Island from Fisherman’s Wharf.  Perhaps you had hoped to tour the prison island–turned museum some day… (more)

Bardstown Civil War Museum Echoes America’s Darkest Hour

Tucked away in a quiet neighborhood — away from My Old Kentucky Home, the bourbon distilleries and downtown shopping district — is the impressive Civil War Museum of the Western Theater; the cornerstone of Bardstown, Kentucky’s Museum Row. Ranked one… (more)

Railroad Hero’s 150th Birthday Observed in Year Long Celebration

In Jackson, Tennessee — a city of 65,000 situated halfway between Nashville and Memphis — the memory of a railroad hero is kept alive at the Casey Jones Home & Railroad Museum. This year, Jonathan Luther “Casey” Jones would have… (more)

Semana Santa Festivals: Easter Week in Spain

In Spain, Easter week is celebrated with fervor. Day and night, the streets are filled with the beat of drums, masses of flowers, and the consummate art of religious sculpture, all combining to produce an emotionally charged atmosphere. Everybody, everywhere,… (more)

The 24th Hokitika Wildfoods Festival

New Zealand, a country synonymous with award-winning wines and renowned lamb, has also developed a discerning palate for wild grown, authentic “bush food”.  Experience this cuisine at the Hokitika Wildfoods Festival, an iconic gourmet extravaganza showcasing novel “bush tucker”… (more)

Indian Food and Cultural Celebration – HAPPY HOLI

  Holi: The Festival of colors. An annual celebration of life with colors.An all day event featuring Live performances, DJs, Indian Percussion specials(DHOL), Indian Street food, Dancers, Hookahs, Holi Bonfire and lots of booths with little treasures. Sunday, March 24,… (more)

Valentine Sweets for your Sweetheart

You Be Sweet Serves Up Recipes with Heart. In the South, a peach cobbler isn’t just a dessert. It’s comfort, it’s celebration, it’s love—all flakey and warm and nestled beneath a scoop of melting vanilla ice cream. Whether you serve… (more)

Tour Floribbean Cuisine in Miami

  Meet at a central point location in South Beach and embark on a delicious culinary adventure through the authentic flavors of the diverse cultures which elevate the soul of Miami in this exclusive culinary walking tour of South Beach.… (more)

Walking in the Gardens of Yesteryear

One of Philadelphia’s greatest historic locations is surrounded by an urban landscape miles from the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. In the distance are the city’s steel and glass skyscrapers, but you can easily feel as if you are in… (more)

Lima, LLamas, and Love = Machu Picchu

Llama stands for unconditional love, but you’ll be sitting down for at least part of your grand seven-day adventure. Machu Picchu Tour by Train begins and ends in Lima. This, however, is not your ordinary Peruvian trek up… (more)

The Call of Maui’s Wild Side

It’s about a sunrise over a volcano, popcorn octopus, and a rain forest. After being away for years, this is a second visit to Maui to explore its natural splendors. It’s 2:45 a.m. We’re on our way to the Haleakala… (more)

B.C. Beckons

British Columbia’s diversity is a magnet for travel lovers and adventurers.  A captivating collection of fresh opportunities await from the coast to the Rockies. Vancouver Island: Victoria’s Beloved Oak Bay Beach Hotel Debuts Its Second Act: The grand… (more)

The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza Series commemorates 50th Anniversary of JFK Assassination

 Almost everyone remembers where they were the day Kennedy was shot. It is one of the kinds of questions someone asks when their is a lull in the conversation at a dinner party. Everyone has a story to tell.… (more)

In Search of the Hot Springs in Aix en Provence

Long, long ago, before early humans migrated north from Africa, hot springs bubbled up through rocky cracks in a parched land, forming pools where moss and ferns flourished.  Millennia later, our forebears from the south walked around the great… (more)

Durham’s Historic Triangle Recalls Life Before, During and After the Civil War

Three North Carolina Historic Sites located in Durham help tell of the time before, during and after the Civil War in this city just west of Raleigh. Historic Stagville Stagville is but a memory of one of the South’s largest… (more)

Un-chocolate things to do in Hershey, PA

Gardens like Hershey Gardens are wonderful places to visit. They appeal to people for all sorts of reasons. I enjoy the overall view of gardens appreciating the mix of flowers, trees and lawns, while John usually seeks out trees, especially… (more)

Columbia, South Carolina’s Historic Homes Help Tell the City’s Story

The Historic Columbia Foundation serves as custodian for six homes in Columbia, South Carolina — each with its own story to tell; each helping reflect the city’s history. Columbia – 1700s  State Senator John Lewis Gervais introduced a bill… (more)

Annapolis is an Easy City to Love

Annapolis is an easy city to love. It has a lot going for it. It is small as cities go, located on the Chesapeake Bay, close to Washington and Baltimore, and steeped in history. There were a lot of things… (more)

Visiting the home of Hank Aaron in Mobile

On a recent trip to Mobile, Alabama John and I visited the Hank Aaron Childhood Home. It was built by his father, Herbert, in 1942 and is located next to the Hank Aaron Stadium. We were lucky Mike Callahan, the… (more)

Feeling Maui: Eighty Minutes at a Time

Manual application of oils or lotions to the skin to stimulate circulation and promote well-being are rudimentary basics of a spa treatment.  Enhancement with indigenous products and techniques, rooted in a region’s culture, people, and unique geography adds a… (more)

Spoil yourself (and your family) at the Midwest’s only AAA Five-Diamond hotel

If a Hammam Ritual isn’t on your bucket list, you need to amend that, as quickly albeit gently as possible. Hammam, meaning “spreader of warmth,” is a mindful intention that will reveal itself as soon as you slip into a… (more)

Tour Highlights Sisters’ Care of Civil War Wounded

There’s no doubt the Civil War was one of the defining periods in America’s history, tearing apart families and shaping the views of a nation like no other. Both sides suffered terribly, but none other than the soldiers who braved… (more)

Bermuda marks its 400th Anniversary as a British Colony this year

The cruise ship eased through the narrow Town Cut channel and into its St. George’s berth just after noon. I had arrived in Bermuda after two days at sea and I was excited to explore this gem in the North… (more)

Taking a Journey in a Rapid City Museum

You begin your visit at the Journey Museum in Rapid City, South Dakota, appropriately in the Star Room — an area representing the time between the forming of the universe and the forming of the rock record in the Black… (more)

Follow the Red Brick Road to Freedom with Boston’s Freedom Trail

Boston, nicknamed beantown because of the infamous baked bean and maple syrup recipe originally passed down from the pilgrims, is one of the oldest and most historical cities in the US. Where else can you see the oldest continuous restaurant… (more)

My Normandy Invasion

As the room darkened, I could hear the low-pitched but deafening drone of the bombers on my left, along with the constant stuttering of machine gun fire. On my right, all I could see was an ocean of amphibious landing… (more)

Bucket List Adventure: Taste your way along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail

Tradition, limestone and a little bit of magic. These are the key ingredients needed for good Kentucky bourbon and Kentucky, being the place where 97 percent of the world’s bourbon is made, has lots of good Kentucky bourbon. They’ve been… (more)

Moline, Illinois: Home of John Deere

Around the world farmers plow, seed, till and harvest using John Deere farm equipment. From tractors to cultivators, the roots of this multi-billion dollar industry began when a farmer from Vermont moved to Illinois and found the soil a challenge… (more)

Bucket list adventure: Steamboatin’ the Mark Twain way

Walking across the gangplank of the American Queen, with her bright red paddlewheel poised aft and her fluted smokestacks rising nobly above the bow, is like slipping back in time to that “new and marvelous world” of steamboats, bustling… (more)

Rich Civil War History and a Thriving Downtown Beckons Tourists to Frederick

With its blend of chic downtown stores, Federal period architecture, a vibrant art scene and plenty of restaurants to choose from, it’s easy to overlook Frederick’s connection to the Civil War. But if you look closely, you’ll find it’s everywhere… (more)

Geysers and Caves of New Zealand’s North Island

Travellers flock to Rotorua – with good reason – it’s the hub to one of the most active geothermal areas in the world. The “hard-boiled-egg” smell around town is a reminder of the hydrogen sulphide (H²S) associated with geothermal activity,… (more)

Cruises to Haida Gwaii Showcase Canada’s Galapagos

My destination was a chain of islands known as Haida Gwaii, or Queen Charlotte Islands, aboard a 92-foot schooner. I was excited. Dubbed the Canadian Galapagos, I would spend more than a week among the ancient, timelessness located at the… (more)

LeClaire, Iowa — American Pickers, “Buffalo Bill” and the Mighty Mississippi

LeClaire, Iowa, is the perfect stop-off for a quick meal, a little shopping and great views of the Mississippi. This quiet little river town, just north of Interstate-80, also features the William Cody Museum celebrating local history and LeClaire’s hometown… (more)

Taking a Bath in English History

Surrounded by the Somerset countryside, Bath is a city with many histories and many attractions to help tell its story — the Roman Baths, the Abbey and the Georgian architecture. The Roman Baths For nearly 400 years England was occupied… (more)

Chamberlain, South Dakota, Provides Welcome Respite along I-90

If you’ve driven along Interstate-90 in South Dakota, you know there are few attractions between Mitchell and Wall — a 220 mile stretch of farmland and rolling hills. But one community you don’t want to pass by is Chamberlain, a… (more)

The Black Hills of South Dakota — A Family-Friendly and Budget-Friendly Destination

The tunnel is a large yawning gap in the side of the mountain. Guide David Gausman leads his band of explorers — ages two to 91 — into the unknown, equipped only with trust in Gausman, hard hats and the… (more)