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What time do you typically get up? What do you do the first hour of the morning?
I typically get up at 6:30 a.m., feed my dog, check personal and business e-mail, respond when appropriate, check my calendar for the day, and grab a cup of coffee. I can usually make that last an hour, which means I then have to rush the rest of my morning to get to the office.
Fifty years ago, the viewing of the Miraflores Locks of the Panama Canal launched our tour of the capitals of South America, including Brasilia under construction.
In February, I joined a Lindblad Expeditions cruise on the 62-passenger National Geographic Sea Lion to transit the canal and follow the Pacific coasts of Panama and Costa Rica.
At Colon, we board the Sea Lion and it enters Gatun Locks at night, surrounded by dazzling lights under a full moon. The locks raise the ship 85 feet to the immense, artificial Gatun Lake.
Based on 30 years of cross-country vacations and inspired by some of the best road-trip books ever written, we've developed some Road Rules that never let us down:
– Don't travel on interstate highways if you can help it.
– Eat locally grown food and drink locally brewed beer.
– Stay in historic hotels and quirky B&Bs.
– Always try at least one new thing along the way.
– Get as far away as you possibly can from other people for at least part of each day.
– Keep a journal.
Single-digit temperatures and an impending snowstorm were reason enough to leave central Illinois in January, so we flew off to humid subtropical summer in Porto Alegre, capital of the state of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil.
Porto Alegre, founded in 1772, welcomed Italians, Germans, Portuguese, Poles, Japanese, Jews, Spaniards, Arabs and African immigrants in the 19th century. The population is 1.4 million in the city and 3.7 million in the metropolitan area.
When our son Jonathan left in August for a yearlong study/internship program in Germany, we knew that we'd visit him. Although May might have been a nicer time of year to travel, Jonathan's semester break came in December, so off we went to spend Christmas and New Year's in Europe.
Jonathan and our eldest son Stephen are both musicians and Tim and I love both music and theater, so we planned the trip for the four of us around a variety of performances. In fact, even before booking our plane tickets, we purchased tickets online to a performance of Beethoven's 9th Symphony for our last night in Europe – New Year's Eve in Vienna.
Tunisia, a relatively small country with just about 10.5 million people in North Africa, has quite a geographical and climatic diversity as well as a rich history, and can cater to tourists with various interests.
My wife, Keiko, and I visited Tunisia for our spring vacation last March.
BLOOMINGTON – The U.S. Cellular Coliseum is preparing to celebrate a major milestone – the admission of its millionth fan through the doors of the venue, expected to occur during events scheduled next weekend.
Patrons attending World Championship ICE Racing at 7:30 p.m. Saturday or Brad Paisley's American Saturday Night Tour with special guests Miranda Lambert and Justin Moore at 7:30 p.m. Sunday have a chance to be the millionth fan and to win prizes courtesy of U.S. Cellular and CIAM.
Back in the day, we thought nothing of cramming ourselves into a barely functional VW bus (or sticking out our thumbs) for a quick trip to California or Colorado and back.
The road trip is the great American mythic adventure, typified by the Beat Generation of Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. When my wife, Lee, and I decided to pay a Christmas visit to our son's home in the hidden-away ski town of Telluride, Colo., a road trip seemed the way to go, taking along the dog, Honey aka Poochie, a golden retriever mix.
Wherever puppeteer Ginger Lozar travels, she puts on a puppet show. Even in foreign countries.
Wearing a portable stage that's easy to pack, the Champaign woman has entertained kids and adults in China, Mexico, Argentina, Thailand and now, India.
CHAMPAIGN – Anyone taking a trip to Japan, Spain, France or Germany this year should check out the Mango Languages database at Champaign Public Library. In simple steps, this program teaches language needed to travel in a foreign country – how to greet one another, ask for directions, and even where the nearest public restroom is.
Mango Languages is a language learning database accessed through the library's Web site (www.champaign.org) under the "Find Answers and Facts" category on the home page. Champaign Public Library cardholders can access this database at home for free by entering their 10-digit library number. Language lessons are delivered right to a home computer. Non-cardholders can still use this database but on a computer at the library. The program is free, but personal headphones are required.