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Why does international travel matter? We have such a wealth of great places to see here in the United States. Our country enjoys a diversity of cultures, histories and natural landscapes that is rivaled by few other places on earth. The old domestic tourism mantra “See America First” encourages us to spend our free time…

 

Change is in the air

Posted by Brian Jewell in Travel Thoughts on May 21, 2013

 
 

Change is in the air this spring. It’s not just the flipping of calendar pages that lets us know that life is changing. Examine the group travel landscape around you, and you might notice that it looks remarkably different from the industry you remember of 10 or even five years ago. The passing of the…

 

Two days on the Breakaway

Posted by Brian Jewell in Cruising on May 11, 2013

 
 

I remember my first cruise well. It was a seven-day spin on a classic ship that was certainly stately but also somewhat stuffy. I left with a respect for the heritage of cruising, but also wondering if this form of travel was best suited for me. This weekend’s experience on the Norwgian Breakaway has allayed…

 
 
 

“I hate it when I ask for no pickles, and they give me pickles anyway.” Lately, I’ve been fascinated by the concept of first-world problems; there are plenty of little annoyances and aggravations in life that get under our skin. But when you stop and think about them in the context of the wider human…

 

Five Favorites: Events

Posted by Brian Jewell in Travel Thoughts on December 13, 2012

 
 

Courtesy CMA If I had to choose, here are my five favorite events that I would recommend to anyone. Fiesta San Antonio During Fiesta, several large parades take place in locations throughout the city. There are flower parades, pet parades, the Fiesta Flambeau and more. My favorite memory of Fiesta is attending the Texas Cavaliers…

 
 
 

Forbidden fruit has always had a particular appeal to me. Tell me not to do something, and I have an irresistible urge to do just that thing. Ask me to close my eyes for a moment, and you’re practically begging me to peek. Prohibit me from going somewhere, and that place takes first priority on…

 
 

The four hardest-working days of my year are coming up this month. But they don’t take place here at the office; in fact, they have nothing at all to do with my job. I spend four hot, sweaty days each June on a farm in Wilmore, Kentucky, for the Ichthus Music Festival. This contemporary Christian…

 

River Walks and Runs

Posted by Brian Jewell in The Southwest on June 01, 2012

 
 

The San Antonio River Walk is saving me from obesity. I’ve been eating my way across the city for four days now, enjoying the best of San Antonio’s food during the annual Culinaria celebration. The events have included elaborate lunch and dinner affairs, a Mexican tasting event and a fancy soiree that featured some of…

 

Ceviche and the CIA

Posted by Brian Jewell in The Southwest on May 31, 2012

 
 

Today I donned an apron, toque and rubber gloves for an intense training session at the CIA. The mission: South American ceviche. I’m not at Langley, but in San Antonio, at the ‘other’ CIA — the Culinary Institute of America. The organization is recognized as one of the foremust culinary schools in the United States….

 

A Border Brunch

Posted by Brian Jewell in The Southwest on May 30, 2012

 
 

Sometimes a good meal can take you places. Today, brunch transported me from Texas into the colonial heart of Mexico. I’m in San Antonio for a few days doing research for an upcoming magazine article. It just so happens that my trip coincides with Culinaria, a four-day foodie event that highlights some of the best…