Vermeer and porcelain in quaint Dutch city

By Emily Fredrix
Posted on September 16, 2011

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 lifetime... READ MORE

Be adventuresome in Dominican Republic

By Victor Block
Posted on September 01, 2011

“You expect me to climb up that?” I inquired of Carlos, who was guiding my wife Fyllis and me on our morning outing in the Dominican Republic. “And then to slide back down?” I added with growing trepidation in my voice.We were about to scale the first of what’s billed as “27 waterfalls,” a series of cascades and pools created by a rushing river... READ MORE

SEALs, sun and squadrons in Va. Beach

By Glenda C. Booth
Posted on August 01, 2011

Trying to spot a SEAL is all the rage in Virginia Beach, the Old Dominion’s largest resort town. It is home to the now-famous counterterrorism super-secret Navy team that raided Osama bin Laden’s Pakistani compound on May 1 and carried his corpse out to sea. Locals brag about their SEAL-spotting skills.Virginia Beach, a 14-mile stretch of sand with a heavy military backdrop, is... READ MORE

More than beaches on N.C.’s Outer Banks

By Victor Block
Posted on August 01, 2011

I stood frozen with fear, unable to run. The terrifying pirate drew closer, his curved sword swinging wildly.Just as he was about to separate my head and body, I snapped back to reality, left my all-too-real daydream about Blackbeard behind and moved on to the next exhibit in the museum.The story of Blackbeard the Pirate is one display that makes the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in... READ MORE

Cut your losses when a trip gets canceled

By By Ed Perkins
Posted on July 15, 2011

For obvious reasons, many Americans who had booked travel to Egypt or Japan earlier this year had to change their plans, and others who hadn’t yet booked have made alternative arrangements.But what about trips to other areas at other times? Nobody can predict where the next revolution might break out — and certainly not when and where the next earthquake, tsunami, fire or... READ MORE

How does your garden grow? Some tips

By Ruth Kling
Posted on July 01, 2011

To my mind, a garden is a space — no matter how small —that lets one enjoy some greenery and a bit of the natural world. Whether you maintain a large garden by yourself, nurture a few pots on a balcony, or pay someone else to take care of your yard, here are some basic tools that will help you create and keep your own green space. There are three main areas to know about... READ MORE

A smorgasbord of to-dos in Pennsylvania

By Victor Block
Posted on July 01, 2011

My recent visit to the Hershey-Harrisburg area of Pennsylvania revealed a destination of pleasant surprises.If you think of Hershey primarily as a mecca of chocolate, that’s only part of the story. The nearby Amish community offers a fascinating opportunity to experience a different culture. And Harrisburg is home to a world-class Civil War museum equal to anything the South has... READ MORE

Cards for travelers to keep in their wallet

By Ed Perkins
Posted on June 17, 2011

Although you see lots of “don’t leave home without them” lists of things you need on a trip, only a few are truly essential. When you’re outfitting your wallet or purse for your upcoming trip, you need to carry no more than six cards.ATM card for cash. Don’t run the risk of carrying a lot of cash or the hassle of getting and signing endless travelers’... READ MORE

Mystical Morocco an exotic tourist mecca

By Gwen Gibson
Posted on June 01, 2011

From the High Atlas Mountains to the lonesome shifting sands of the Western Sahara, Morocco offers the visitor a labyrinth of stories, dreams, contrasts, mysteries and myths.But when I talk about my recent trip to this exotic country, friends often ask the same three basic questions. One: Why did you go to North Africa when there was so much turmoil there? Two: How was the food? Three:... READ MORE

Dick Van Dyke’s lucky life and funny times

By Frazier Moore
Posted on June 01, 2011

Dick Van Dyke looks back and marvels.The way he sizes up his 85-and-counting years is summarized by the title of his new memoir, My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business: dumb luck.Luckily, he had a lot of talent, too.Van Dyke writes proudly of his roles in one of television’s most beloved sitcoms (“The Dick Van Dyke Show”) as well as a classic film musical (Mary... READ MORE