Travel and Adventure from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Wed, 14 Apr 2021 06:19:39 -0700 Travel and Adventure from Creators Syndicate a6f730b2a1d05a593b37704989dd36c4 Enjoy the Simple Life in Patrick County, Virginia for 04/11/2021 Sun, 11 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>By Victor Block</p> <p>One place that my wife, Fyllis, and I visited promised a "luxury boutique" that has won accolades as among the best resorts in the country. The other invited us to "experience the simple life."</p> <p>These very different settings stretch along the Virginia-North Carolina border. Together, Patrick County, Virginia, and the Primland resort offer an inviting getaway with eclectic appeal. Primland combines touches of elegance with a friendly, casual atmosphere and opportunities to enjoy activities not found at many resorts.<p>Updated: Mon Apr 12, 2021</p> 9ccd859dd921d885371709abc3dd2845 Adventure Awaits at Unusual Primland for 04/10/2021 Sat, 10 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>By Fyllis Hockman</p> <p>"You want me to go where?" my mind shouted as I barreled down a 90-degree angle that led into a wall of mud- and gravel-encased woods. I was driving &#8212; or more accurately surviving &#8212; an ATV excursion at Primland in Meadows of Dan, Virginia. </p> <p>On the hour's ride, when I was willing to unclutch the steering wheel long enough to wave at an occasional wild turkey, pheasant or deer (alas, none of the black bears that occasionally turn up) or look out over the magnificent countryside, I was reminded once again to take it easy on the turns. The adventure is not for the faint of heart or heavy of foot as we bounced over rocks, dipped into ruts, careened around hairpin turns and stormed through muddy ravines, but the adrenaline surge was thrilling. I had to keep reminding myself to relax my body, and I was sure none of my internal organs was where it started out before the ride. OK, so yes, it was a tad nerve-wracking &#8212; but oh so much fun!<p>Updated: Mon Apr 12, 2021</p> 1eb61461691d09e6580d6af153b70f22 Family Fun at Majestic Mammoth Mountain for 04/04/2021 Sun, 04 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>By Margot Black</p> <p>For a spectacular family nature escape, look no farther than Mammoth Lakes in California. This picturesque vacation destination offers travelers a stimulating scenic atmosphere where they can learn more about myriad outdoor activities. Our family had the pleasure of partaking in a glorious skiing, snowmobiling and tubing getaway in Mammoth during springtime that delivered all the adventure we could ever have asked for. <p>Updated: Sun Apr 04, 2021</p> 357659f0b7791e61e79194cfa6b23ca2 Secluded Smith Island Is Living at Its Best for 04/03/2021 Sat, 03 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>By Victor Block</p> <p>Talk about hometown pride! When I asked a grizzled waterman who lives on Smith Island, Maryland, if he'd like to accompany me to one of the community's other nearby villages, he replied "Nope, I've already been there."</p> <p>While the twinkle in his eyes suggested he wasn't completely serious, the fact is that residents of Smith Island in the Chesapeake Bay good-naturedly tout the superiority of their tiny town over the other two. <span class="column--highlighted-text">Along with being loyal to the little village where they live, Smith Islanders are hardy, independent and welcoming to visitors.</span><p>Updated: Mon Apr 12, 2021</p> 0eab251824a83f1bb70546bcf79670aa Relive the Past at Museums, Diners, Drive-ins and More for 03/28/2021 Sun, 28 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>By Victor Block</p> <p>Louis Kaplan is channeling his childhood. As a youngster he collected baseball cards, which he stored in boxes and treasured as souvenirs of America's favorite pastime. Decades later he's reliving that time while visiting the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. <p>Updated: Sun Mar 28, 2021</p> daa401c8db302858085295f9f5bf7652 Gardens Around the Country Celebrate Spring for 03/27/2021 Sat, 27 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>By Victor Block</p> <p>Spring has sprung, and summer will soon arrive. If you're a flower gardener &#8212; and the National Gardening Association estimates that members of more than a third of American households are &#8212; you already may have begun to till soil and plant seeds. If you enjoy gardens more by watching than working, however, now is the time to plan a trip to take in some of Mother Nature's bountiful beauty.<p>Updated: Sat Mar 27, 2021</p> 95d0a871fb89424a043349d5c86d82e0 Find Fish, Kitsch and Wildlife in the Florida Keys for 03/21/2021 Sun, 21 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>By Victor Block</p> <p>One afternoon while visiting the Florida Keys I photographed my wife, Fyllis, swimming with stingrays and other denizens of the sea in a huge tank of water, then shoving live fish through an opening in a Plexiglas wall to feed hungry sharks on the other side. Driving back to our temporary home away from home, we passed houses fronted by mailboxes shaped like dolphins, manatees and seahorses. <p>Updated: Sun Mar 21, 2021</p> 5e023ef11fed902d7f660018147483d0 Funk, Frivolity and Florida History in Key West for 03/20/2021 Sat, 20 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>By Fyllis Hockman </p> <p>Key West, Florida, is more than a place. It is a spirit, a funky energy that enters your soul and takes residence in your worldview as well as your inner vision. A state of mind more than a city; a way of life more than a place to live. It's a lifestyle, not a destination. All expressed in the absurdist poetry that is Key West, a language not spoken anywhere else in the country. <p>Updated: Sat Mar 20, 2021</p> 4fea9b6235466e770dc1bffbc06f0d47 Heavenly Lake Tahoe Is Pure Heaven for Families for 03/14/2021 Sun, 14 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>By Margot Black</p> <p>Our family recently had the pleasure of enjoying a late-winter wonderland at Heavenly Ski Resort, and it was undoubtedly one of the most picturesque places I have ever seen. Situated in South Lake Tahoe, it is the largest resort in the region and offers an absolutely phenomenal playground for family-friendly skiing and snowboarding. This magnetic destination is perfect for a bucket-list family ski adventure. <p>Updated: Sun Mar 14, 2021</p> 7263e0e34a368d8a0699714b7dff852b Mother Nature's Hidden Gems for 03/13/2021 Sat, 13 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>By Victor Block</p> <p>Sure, it's great to ooh and aah at the grandeur of the Grand Canyon, be overwhelmed by the blistered desert floor and extinct volcanic craters in Death Valley, and hear the thunderous roar of Niagara Falls. But Mother Nature also has created countless other treasures throughout the country that while less well-known are no less magnificent and wondrous in their ways. <p>Updated: Sat Mar 13, 2021</p> f077fc3352e1880e17ace3a73a320ef2 Aquarium Encounters Offers Play With Sea Creatures for 03/07/2021 Sun, 07 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>By Fyllis Hockman</p> <p>Decked out in snorkel equipment and wetsuit &#8212; getting into and out of which was admittedly the most challenging aspect of the whole experience &#8212; I entered the 200,000-gallon coral reef tank. It was filled with large and small residents &#8212; more than 50 species of fish, sharks and eels &#8212; into whose life I was about to intrude at the Aquarium Encounters complex in Marathon, Florida.<p>Updated: Sun Mar 07, 2021</p> 94ba1082bf0e6dae098392ed3dc0e58e Find More Than Lodging in Some Unusual Hotels for 03/06/2021 Sat, 06 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>By Victor Block</p> <p>Tom and Betty Taylor settle down to spend the night in a Pullman train car. They snuggle between crisp sheets covering a comfortable bed. When they awaken next morning and peer out the window, the scene that greets them is exactly what they saw before turning off the light.<p>Updated: Sat Mar 06, 2021</p> 3447d63e39e88d97fd836a030eb6b6e3 Fine Wine Is the Pride of Texas for 02/28/2021 Sun, 28 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>By Athena Lucero</p> <p>"I love tannat! I've never tasted wine from this grape before," I excitedly commented to Jennifer McInnis, general manager at Bending Branch Winery in historic Comfort, Texas. But I wasn't at the bar with a tasting flight before me. I was at home and taking part in a Zoom webinar about off-the-radar winemaking in the Lone Star State that's turning heads and winning international awards. Webinar participants received a bottle of wine from a member of Texas Fine Wine (our host) and shared our impressions of the fabulous vintages. </p> <p>COVID times have corralled travelers temporarily, but wine consumption has not waned, with virtual wine tastings as popular as curbside pickup. During the program I learned from wine educator Denise Clarke that Texas is the country's fifth-largest wine- producing state after California, Washington, New York and Oregon and the fifth largest in number of wineries with more than 400. Clarke is also director at Texas Fine Wine, a private group comprised of Texas' five most esteemed wineries - Bending Branch Winery, Brennan Vineyards, Pedernales Cellars, Duchman Family Winery and Spicewood Vineyards, who were also at the webinar. Hearing it "straight from the horse's mouth" was almost as good as being in Texas. <p>Updated: Mon Mar 01, 2021</p> 8289dd9e0ab5c6bdf40b8676c6ca8568 Learn to Love Where You Live for 02/27/2021 Sat, 27 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>By Victor Block</p> <p>If the current "don't travel far from home" regimen has you down in the dumps, take heart. A world of wonder awaits, and it may be no farther away than where you live or close by. <p>Updated: Sat Feb 27, 2021</p> a50849e365dffc8dd27ea5c258b1398e What to Know When You Share a Vacation Rental for 02/21/2021 Sun, 21 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>By Candyce H. Stapen </p> <p>It looked so good on paper &#8212; a week in a Caribbean villa with my two sisters, their children and mine. By sharing, we cut costs, gained more space than a hotel room and added such luxuries as a private pool. The rental house in Jamaica, our first villa rental, gave us time to reconnect instead of merely catching up between the turkey and apple pie at family gatherings. From the grade-schooler to the 20-somethings, the cousins bonded.</p> <p>Over Scrabble on the veranda we laughed at anecdotes about Grandma Ray, who rationed french fries for svelte Aunt Ellie every Sunday because Ray told Ellie her bottom would grow too big. My nephew spoke about the difficulties and triumphs of teaching middle school, and my niece shared her joy at starting work at a New York City magazine. My son helped his cousins hone their golf strokes and taught his aunts tennis serves. My daughter perfected her backstroke, learning tips from her big cousins who spent summers as lifeguards. <p>Updated: Mon Feb 22, 2021</p> 33b54c7bc78c6cbb0397af19849d1d40 U.S. Train Stations Have Surprises in Store for 02/20/2021 Sat, 20 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>By Victor Block</p> <p>Betty Condon and Tom Butler are checking out a beautifully furnished room that was created for the use of U.S. presidents. Roger Price and Paul Beatty are enjoying a spirited game of tennis. Brothers Charles and Ted Brawner are sharing and comparing tastes at a state-of-the-art brew pub.<p>Updated: Sat Feb 20, 2021</p> dfea1f306580791c730fce249f0ab8a4 Finding Jim Morrison in Paris for 02/14/2021 Sun, 14 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>By Glenda Winders</p> <p>When most people arrive in Paris the first places they want to go are the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, but my rocker husband had other priorities. We went to those places, too, of course, but what he wanted to do first was visit Jim Morrison's grave. We had arrived on an evening Eurostar from London, so we went to our hotel that night and set off by Metro the next morning. <p>Updated: Sun Feb 14, 2021</p> c01d029e46876f7727b73a3f7dfaaf52 Civil Rights Sites Honor Struggles for Freedom for 02/13/2021 Sat, 13 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>By Victor Block</p> <p>As the Civil War drew to a close, soldiers of the 55th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiments occupied a plantation on James Island, South Carolina, which earlier had been held by Confederate forces. They were among the approximately 185,000 U.S. Colored Troops, as they were called, who fought with the North.<p>Updated: Sat Feb 13, 2021</p> 0dfd4d5238c8a629805026f7f69233c5 Planet Word: Where Words Rule the World for 02/07/2021 Sun, 07 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>By Fyllis Hockman</p> <p>I'm a travel writer. Words are what I do. My stories may not always sing, but I usually can put one word in front of another succinctly enough to craft a well-written article. But when I heard about the newly opened Planet Word in Washington, D.C., I was so excited, I had no words. But I knew I couldn't get there fast enough to see all the magical ways in which words &#8212; the entire focus of the museum "where language comes to life" &#8212; can be employed in their myriad maneuverings to explain, entertain and elucidate. <p>Updated: Sun Feb 07, 2021</p> 1dfb153e9f71a5fb4775907d5a906d59 Beware of Travel Ads That Seem Too Good to Be True for 02/06/2021 Sat, 06 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>By Victor Block</p> <p>The advertisement for a Caribbean hotel touts "ocean view," and there is &#8212; for guests who climb to a rooftop terrace and peer far into the distance. A restaurant website is replete with rave reviews that give no hint they were written by people who were paid for their positive ratings. The photograph shows people enjoying a nearly deserted beach that, in reality, is usually is packed with other sunbathers.<p>Updated: Sat Feb 06, 2021</p>