Reasons to go to — or revisit — China

By: Victor Block

Throughout the city of Qufu (pronounced Chew-foo), China, numerous statues and posters depicting Confucius gaze out at the scene. If those portrayals were to come to life, they might frown at what is taking place in the birthplace of the venerated philosopher and teacher.Brought up in poverty some 2,500 years ago, Kong Fuzi — the Chinese name which from “Confucius” evolved ... READ MORE

Alabama’s Civil War and civil rights sites

By: Glenda C. Booth

Montgomery, Alabama, claims to be the birthplace of both the Civil War and the civil rights movement — events 100 years apart, but not unrelated.Morgan Berney, with the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Convention and Visitor Bureau, told me: "You should come here to learn the history of the important things that happened here." So I set out to do just that.And it's... READ MORE

Plant bulbs now for your spring garden

By: Ruth Kling

It has been difficult to get excited about the advent of fall weather this year due to a wet September and October. Yet gardening is all about hoping for the best.This sense of hope is well represented by the spring bulb. Spring bulbs are nature’s little bundles of delayed gratification. In each bulb is a harbinger of spring; a snow drop or crocus, a daffodil or tulip. All this will... READ MORE

Nearby W. Va., healing for body and soul

By: Glenda C. Booth

A little chunk of West Virginia dangles like an overturned bowl on the northeastern tip of the state, dipping into Maryland and Virginia. It’s known as West Virginia’s eastern panhandle and is the most visited part of the state.If you’re traveling there from here, the area is a welcoming introduction to the Mountain State. You won’t see sharp peaks, mountain... READ MORE

Good time to visit post-revolution Tunisia

By: Jenny Barchfield

Long known for its sea, sand and sun, Tunisia has a new claim to fame — as the birthplace of the Arab Spring.Popular demonstrations toppled the tiny North African nation’s longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January, inspiring the wave of pro-democracy protests that has swept the Arab world, from Morocco to Bahrain.While the uprising that ended Ben Ali’s... READ MORE

Vermeer and porcelain in quaint Dutch city

By: Emily Fredrix

You don’t have to be in Delft long to see what inspired Johannes Vermeer.Meandering up and down countless bridges that stretch over canals, and past storefronts and slender houses, the quaint Dutch life sets in.It’s this life — with its scenes of domesticity, milkmaids, and yes, that girl with the pearl earring — that the famed Dutch master so cherished during his... READ MORE