Daytime Christmas scenery at the Opryland (Photo credit: MCArnott)

Spending Christmas at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee

Streams of lights fall like incandescent snowflakes, characters of children’s books and cartoons hang from small-scale hot-air balloons and parachutes. Only Santa can bring more excitement at the Opryland Hotel! You might not deck your halls Read More

Cherries ripe for the pickin' at Seaquist Orchards in Door County

Getting in Cherry Condition in Door County, Wisconsin

"Cherry condition" per urbandictionary.com: When something is in near perfect condition. "Cherry condition" according to Door County, Wisconsin: When someone has exceedingly reaped the healthful and gustatory benefits of Montmorency tart Read More

Santa Monica Pier for a Distance

Dodging Rollerbladers on the Venice Beach Boardwalk—Los Angeles, California

Crazy people, right out there in public, or better put, making up the “public”—that is what the Venice Beach Boardwalk is famous for. My first memory of Venice Beach is Val Kilmer embodying Jim Morrison as he sings “Moonlight Drive” in the opening Read More

The first recorded slave ship docked in Portsmouth Harbor in 1645 (© Stillman Rogers)

Walking the Black Heritage Trail in Portsmouth, New Hampshire

We northerners tend to think of slavery as an institution peculiar to southern history, not to our own. But in fact, it was not at all uncommon for New Englanders to hold slaves. After all, New England ports -- including Portsmouth -- were the Read More

American Wing Courtyard of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Seeing New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art Efficiently and Economically

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a both a wonder and a monster. I’ve lived in New York most of my life and its size intimidates me. Moreover, as New York’s most popular indoor attraction, with more than 6 million visitors annually, the museum poses Read More

Taliesin, home of Frank Lloyd Wright. ©Melanie Radzicki McManus

Touring Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin in Wisconsin

When you live in Frank Lloyd Wright’s former backyard, you hear lots of stories. The famous architect was a skinflint who never paid his taxes. He was a scoundrel who bullied people and thought he was all that. He had expensive tastes and carelessly Read More

No Safety Rails on the Reservation

Sky-walking over the Grand Canyon

Not many bridges are in the shape of a horseshoe, which brings to mind the fact that most bridge engineers have not dealt with the problems of building one. And, most bridges aren’t see-through; they are usually constructed of metal, or, at the Read More

An Old Time Fourth of July Parade in Old Sturbridge Village

Celebrating Independence Day at Old Sturbridge Village, Massachusetts

The picnic basket listed heavily to one side as the two little girls of different ages tried to carry it between them. They set it down frequently on the gravel path that leads to the grassy common in the center of Old Sturbridge Village. I could Read More

Cover Photo

Traversing the Mississippi on Mud Island in Memphis, Tennessee

Something childlike takes over me when I go to Mud Island. I must go to the far north end of the Mississippi River and walk the length of it, from Illinois to Louisiana: Roughly one mile. For me, and I think most who visit it, the big attraction Read More

Viewing Atlantis (NASA/Kennedy Space Center)

On a Mission with Space Shuttle Atlantis

Every morning, I wake up looking at a Space Shuttle, a career space worker by my side. The model reminds John of his 33 years with the program. Where we dine with his parents, photographs of launches and astronauts grace the walls. When the sheriff's Read More

Monticello

Walking in Thomas Jefferson’s Footsteps at Monticello

The piercing ring of metal striking metal mingles with the sizzling fumes of a roaring forge. On Mulberry Row, a worker pounds smelted ore into nails – a mainstay of life at Monticello, circa 1790. Nearby, two men shape softened wood into strips for Read More

Driving Through the Chandelier Tree

Driving Through a Redwood in Northern California

It seemed mythical when I was a child: There were actually trees in California that people could drive a car through. I couldn’t help but envision a busy freeway running through the forest, occasionally sending commuters tunneling through the trunks Read More

Tour group on the Gettysburg Battlefield

Touring the Gettysburg Battlefield with a Gettysburg Guide

It was raining, of course. It had rained for a week and shown no signs of stopping, but this was our one chance to see Gettysburg while John and I were in this part of Pennsylvania. Our National Park Service tour bus pulled into the parking area for Read More

The Willis Tower, Chicago's tallest building, looms over its neighbors.

On Top of Chicago: Taking in Breathtaking View from Willis Tower Skydeck

My stomach attempts a back flip, a visceral reaction to stepping onto a clear glass floor with 1,353 feet of nothingness between me and the street below. Another step and I begin to get my bearings, feeling brave enough to peer down between my Read More

Graceland was built four years after Elvis was born. He bought it when he was 22. (photo credit: Katherine Rodeghier c 2013)

Touring Graceland, Home of Elvis Presley in Memphis, Tennessee

My first impression, taking the circular driveway to the home of Elvis Presley, is how small it is. For someone larger than life, I expected something grander for the King of Rock ’n’ Roll. But if you go by square footage (17,552), the home is Read More

Baseball Fans Wait for the Game to Start Under a Typical Arizona Sky (Photo credit: Chris Eirschele, c 2013)

Watching Hometown Baseball at Spring Training in Scottsdale, Arizona

A bright blue sky and mild temperatures: Spring weather in Scottsdale, Arizona, is a far cry from the March snows of Wisconsin, which I once called home. And it's perfect weather for spring training baseball. I donned long jeans, my husband wore Read More

Street cars on the F Line were rescued from the dust bins of the world. This one from Milan.

Sightseeing San Francisco on the F-Line Trolley

I agree with the world. To visit the city by the Golden Gate and not jump aboard a cable car for at least one cling-clanging, hill-climbing ride is tantamount to visiting the Louvre and skipping the Mona Lisa on purpose. But once that's been done, Read More

Tourists aboard Staten Island Ferry

Seeing New York City from the Staten Island Ferry

The greatest New York City sightseeing trip you could imagine is absolutely free: the Staten Island ferry. The views of the city’s skyline and East River bridges, the Statue of Liberty, and blazing sunsets are as enchanting as any on a paid cruise or Read More

The Tiffany mosaics, Marquette Building

Walking and Talking Architecture in Chicago

It was a cold and snowy day in the Windy City but the walking tours offered by the Chicago Architecture Foundation take off promptly - rain or shine - from the CAF headqurters on South Michicgan Avenue. A variety of tours are scheduled throughout the Read More

Looking into the grand Canyon

Day Hiking the Grand Canyon in Northern Arizona

The trail doesn't seem especially steep going down, but the faces of people hauling themselves back up tell a different story. Truth is: While the grade might not seem rigorous when you're descending, it is constant. Constant equals relentless on the Read More

Sailing on Penobscto Bay

Sailing Maine’s Penobscot Bay on a Timberwind Music Cruise

I am sitting on Warren Island in Maine's Penobscot Bay, watching a mountain of lobsters redden on an open fire. Bob Tassi -- ship captain, Grammy-award winning recording engineer, and musician -- is playing songs written by his grandfather on the Read More

Cresson Covered Bridge in Swanzey, NH (Stillman Rogers Photo)

A Fall Foliage Tour of Covered Bridges in Southwestern New Hampshire

Suspended in a cloud of red, orange and yellow foliage, a covered bridge -- the most cherished of New England icons – becomes a metaphor for everything autumn.  A covered bridge tour ranks right up there with apple picking and pumpkin carving as a Read More