Off the beaten path: our trip to Myanmar

By: Victor Block

I was 3,000 feet high, floating in a hot air balloon with 11 other passengers, including my wife Fyllis, and — thank goodness — a pilot. Since this was my first balloon flight, my attention during the ascent was focused on the gigantic orb overhead that was keeping us aloft, into which our aviator was directing occasional bursts of flame. Flame! Once I was convinced that we would... READ MORE

What to know about flying with your pet

By: Pat Mertz Esswein

In late March, a dog died after being stowed in its carrier in an overhead bin on a United flight. Soon after, United announced that it would suspend reservations for cargo transport of pets while it reviewed its program, a process it completed at the end of April. Airlines publish guidelines and rules on their websites for traveling with or transporting pets. The rules differ for... READ MORE

Books that explore the great outdoors

By: Dinah Rokach

As the travel season approaches, it’s wise to consider your choices carefully before embarking. Here are some books to make the planning easier. Even an armchair traveler will be mesmerized by the many scenic destinations described in these books. Let your imagination soar, whether on a flight of fancy or a real life adventure. Your Guide to the National Parks: The Complete Guide to ... READ MORE

Mississippi’s resilient Gulf Coast beckons

By: Glenda C. Booth

Exploring Mississippi’s 26-mile Gulf Coast is a sojourn to small, laid-back towns, sugar-white beaches, artsy enclaves, “aromatic” fishing villages, and even a whiff of William Faulkner’s fictional Yoknapatawpha County. Life moves at a slow southern pace, and friendly locals greet out-of-towners with a hearty, “Hi ya’ll!” Mississippi Gulf people are proudly resilient.... READ MORE

Batteau festival celebrates the James River

By: Catherine Brown

Boaters piloting 15 to 20 shallow, flat-bottomed boats (called batteaux) will launch on the James River in Lynchburg in mid-June, slowly paddling 120 miles until they arrive at Maiden’s Landing west of Richmond a week later. For the past 33 years, members of the Virginia Canals and Navigations Society have been navigating the James River on such batteaux. For the society’s yearly... READ MORE

Tips for those considering their first cruise

By: Joe Kafka

Honeymooners Zach and Alyssa Bynum of Louisville, Ky., had never been on an ocean cruise until last summer, when they sailed aboard Celebrity Equinox. They were immediately enamored with the shiny ship and impressed by the overall experience. They said they likely will cruise again. “We enjoyed the atmosphere and experience, including the excursions and onboard activities,” said... READ MORE