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

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

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

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

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

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

Ponce de Leon landing in Florida vignette at the Fountain of Youth Park

Drinking from the Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine, Florida

“Have you had a drink of the water?” the young man with the closely cropped beard and “Winston” name tag asked. “Do I look younger?” I shot back. “I suppose you’re going to tell me you’re 100 years old.” I’d done this before. I’d drank from the 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

Azaleas in bloom at Maclay Gardens

Chasing Camellias at Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park, Tallahassee

Three camellias. The blossoms sat in a silver dish in the parlor near the door of the Maclay House. I'd seen them there on several different visits to the manor home, always freshly picked, always a trio. I asked the docent why. "It was Mrs. Read More

First view of the slopes

A Flatlander Skiing Wintergreen, Virginia

When I posted a picture from the top of the slopes on Facebook, my jaded West Coast friends responded with ridicule and words like “bunny hill” and a definition of “slope.” In Your Bucket Because... It's good for learning -- or re-learning -- Read More

Photo by Bruce N. Meyer

Exploring Jesse James Country in Northwest Missouri

The summer sun beat down on the brown and parched grass as we made our way across the Mount Olivet Cemetery in Kearney Missouri, a small community of 5,400 about 40 minutes northeast of Kansas City. We were in the oldest part of the cemetery where Read More

Americqn Alligators Hunt with Eyes Ears and Nose

Communing With Wildlife at St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoological Park, Florida

When a close friend asked me to join her in a visit to her favorite zoological park in Florida, I jumped at the chance. I was curious to discover why my well-coiffed girlfriend of 50 years was so enamored with the mostly dark scaly skinned Read More

Camellia Garden, Dorothy B. Oven Park

Seeking Spring Blooms at Dorothy B. Oven Park in Tallahassee

Walking beneath ancient live oaks downhill from the manor home, I spotted the bright blossoms from quite a distance. "I bet those are flame azaleas!" One of the showiest of native azaleas in the Southeast, Florida flame azalea stands out in spring Read More

Goodwood

Touring Goodwood Museum and Gardens in Tallahassee, Florida

Amid the relaxed grandeur of a Southern plantation, it was the daffodils that caught our attention. In such a formal space, atop one of Tallahassee's highest hills, an estate dating back to the 1830s, you'd expect to greet daffodils in neat formal 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

The local shrimp fleet backdrops Pass Christian's parade.

Doing Mardi Gras on the Mississippi Coast

"Be aggressive,” she schooled me. “People will run you over to get those beads.” My friend Amy was preparing me for my first foray into Mardi Gras in Mississippi. Yes, that’s right: Not New Orleans. Not Mobile, where the first Mardi Gras was held, Read More