Repositioning cruises offer real bargains

By: Ann Cochran

Antonio Gaudi’s unique and ornate cathedral La Sagrada Familia soars over Barcelona, one of the ports of call on the Koningsdam’s repositioning cruise. Construction began in 1892 and is still underway.Photo by MapicsEach fall and spring, a quiet migration takes place as cruise lines move their ships from one geographical area to another. But these ships do not sail empty. They... READ MORE

Lots of new airlines, not much innovation

By: Ed Perkins

Between now and next summer, you’ll see a lot of unfamiliar airplanes at U.S. airports. At least for now, they’ll all be European or Asian, but a few possible home-grown efforts have sprouted.The upside is a combination of more competition on existing routes and more new nonstop routes. The downside is no real innovation in the seating — the main cabins will be familiar... READ MORE

Bucolic Walden Pond and Concord, Mass.

By: William J. Kole

Henry David Thoreau went to the woods because, as he famously put it, “I wished to live deliberately.”Two centuries after the Walden author’s birth, people are still deliberately following in Thoreau’s footsteps to discover Walden Pond, the little lake he immortalized.Whether you’re visiting Boston or the Berkshires, the pond and the bucolic Massachusetts town ... READ MORE

Where and how to enjoy fall foliage’s peak

By: Ed Perkins

It’s time to plan and reserve fall foliage trip accommodations and tours. And not just to New England — you can find good fall foliage viewing throughout much of the U.S. and Canada. Peak viewing dates move gradually from North to South between mid-September and mid-November. And you can view foliage displays in your car, on a bus tour, or on a train.Where to go. Start by... READ MORE

Exploring Beijing and its many attractions

By: Harriet Edleson

Beijing’s ultra-modern cityscape, including the angular headquarters for China Central Television at the back left of the photo, contrasts with the more than 900 traditional, pagoda-like buildings of the Forbidden City, which dates back to the 14th century. Beijing, with a population of more than 21 million, is China’s second-largest city.Photo by ESB ProfessionalIf you’ve ... READ MORE

Chicago helped give us national anthem

By: Don Babwin

Before every baseball game the crowd is asked to stand and “gentlemen” are reminded to remove their caps for the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Fans who can recite the words as easily as the alphabet will sing or listen to the story of a flag that continued to wave throughout one of the most famous battles in American history.What they may not know is that... READ MORE