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

Old Orchard Beach Maine (Photo copyright Stillman Rogers)

Riding the Carousel at Maine’s Old Orchard Beach

Has the merry-go-round at Old Orchard Beach shrunk? I’m sure the horses used to be bigger, so tall that my father had to boost me up to mount them. Apart from the size of the carousel, it’s just like I remember, though – maybe cleaner and not quite Read More

Roosevelt Cottage, Roosevelt Campobello International Park (Photo copyright Stillman Rogers)

Having Tea with Eleanor Roosevelt on Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada

"A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong it is until it's in hot water." We all laughed, but Eleanor Roosevelt’s favorite saying gives us a clue to what kind of person she was – never afraid of controversy or of standing up for her 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

Ethel M's Botanical Cactus Garden

Eating Chocolates in Ethel M’s Botanical Cactus Garden in Henderson, Nevada

Chocolate might go with almost anything: Wine, fruit, ice cream, coffee -- but cactus? Yet here I am, standing among the cacti eating gourmet chocolates at the botanical garden at the Ethel M Chocolate Factory in Henderson, Nevada. An old hollowed 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

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

Sterling Hill Ore under ultraviolet lamps

Finding Fluorescence at the Sterling Hill Mining Museum, New Jersey

A constant drip of water accompanies us as we follow our tour guide into the depths of an old zinc mine in Ogdensburg, New Jersey. It is pouring outside, so the occasional drips on us as we walk down the mine tunnels aren't a big deal. It's a little Read More

Seneca Rocks WV

Squeezing Through Stones in Seneca Rocks, West Virginia

Sitting on the deck of the Front Porch Restaurant, chowing down on a slice of pizza, I had a grandstand view of the rock climbers scrambling up above me. Distinctly tilted and sparkling in the summer sun, the 900 foot tall wall of quartzite has 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

Atlantis view from Royal Tower

Indulging Watery Fantasies at Atlantis in the Bahamas

My taxi driver dropped me at the wrong spot, so I ended up tugging my luggage through a mammoth casino with all the blinking glitz of Vegas. Massive sea-suggestive Dale Chihuly glass sculptures and the ka-ching of slots greeted my arrival, then a Read More

Bronc riding and other rodeo events are the centerpiece of Cheyenne Frontier Days. (photo credit: Katherine Rodeghier c 2013)

Roping in Cowboy Culture at Frontier Days in Cheyenne, Wyoming

The aroma wafts toward my nose from a block away. The familiar sweet smell mixed with a yeasty scent makes my mouth water, and by the time I walk to Depot Square my mind is on only one thing: pancakes. But the crowd gathered in front of the Read More

Garden Eels and King Angelfish

Finding Water at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum Aquarium in Tucson

We wanted to time our walk to see plants and wildlife early in the morning at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum. Instead, we got lost and were late. When we arrived in town the hazy cloudless sky had already stoked up the mid-day temperature; the hot 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

Inside Aspen Music Festival's Benedict Tent. Photo: Alex Irvin

Hearing Great Classical Music Free in Aspen, Colorado

There’s nothing more glorious than sitting on the grass on beautiful evenings at summer classical music festivals, listening to Brahms or Stravinsky. But from Tanglewood to Hollywood, from Wolf Trap to Ravinia, only one top festival offers lawn Read More

The working grist mill at Dollywood was built by hand to resemble mills in the 19th century. (photo credit: Katherine Rodeghier c 2013)

Immersing in Smoky Mountain Culture at Dollywood Theme Park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

I admit it, I was wrong. I thought Dollywood, the theme park in the Tennessee foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, would be a cheesy tribute to the buxom, big-haired blond country singer and movie star. I imagined over-the-top caricatures and Read More

Big Thunder Mountain Railway (photo by John Keatley)

Riding Rollercoasters at Disney’s Magic Kingdom

Slipping into the skinny seat of the shuttlecraft at Space Mountain, I kept hearing the voice echoing throughout the noisy room. "Shuttle preparing for launch. Shuttle preparing for launch." In 1975, the year Space Mountain opened, my sisters and I - Read More

Detail of a frog symbol on a pole at the Vancouver Airport (Credit: MCArnott)

Learning about Totem Poles in Vancouver, British Columbia

Bulging eyes at the top gaze at the horizon, a grinning mouth bares teeth at the base of the pole. A bear? A wolf? The various symbols engraved in the wood still hold mystery, and a few misconceptions, about Canadian aboriginal culture. Fortunately, Read More

Beautiful tufa towers of Mono Lake. Photo by Yvette Cardozo.

Wandering The Tufa Towers Of Mono Lake

Years ago, I stopped at California’s Mono Lake on a bike trip. I was hot, tired and ready for the day to end. I briefly looked at the lake’s famous tufa mounds, felt the greasy, salt-laden water and left. I’ve always wanted to go back. And 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

High Line from above by Iwan Baan

Walking New York City’s High Line

The High Line, one of New York City’s most unlikely tourist attractions, has been an overnight sensation that was almost 30 years in the making. Its life began in the 1930s, when a railroad spur serving Manhattan’s West Side industrial district Read More

Abaco Beach Resort

Being a Kid Bahamian-Style at Abaco Beach Resort

After a crafts session on the beach, the kids headed for the docks to go fishing. It may sound like an ordinary kids program on an ordinary day at a sunny beach resort, but what makes the difference at Abaco Beach Resort at Boat Harbour in the Read More