“One of my favorite hotels sits in the middle of a desert. After seeing nothing but mountains of sand as far as the eye could see, the green oasis surrounding Evason Ma’in Hot Springs in Jordan felt like a mirage. “The hotel lies beneath dramatically cascading hot spring waterfalls, giving the hotel grounds seclusion and…

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Cruise logistics to Rome

Posted by Bob Hoelscher in Italy on February 05, 2014

 
 

Since Rome does not lie directly on the coast, some time will be consumed by getting from the ship to Rome’s primary sightseeing and back. Since it is literally impossible to see Rome in just one day, the typical cruise traveler will choose is a shore excursion that is more of an introduction to the…

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Impressions of Rome

Posted by Bob Hoelscher in Italy on February 05, 2014

 
 

My favorite aspects Rome Prior to my recent trans-Atlantic cruise aboard Holland America Line’s Noordam, I decided to spend three nights in Rome to get a real “feel” for the “Eternal City” and take in as many of the city’s numerous sights as possible. Although I had spent a full week here back in the…

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Unlikely inspiration

Posted by Brian Jewell in Travel Thoughts on January 29, 2014

 
 

I’ve toured hundreds — maybe thousands — of places during my 10-year career in travel journalism. But a short visit to Memphis this spring led to a tour experience like no other I had ever had: a visit to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I spent two days in Memphis to attend a tourism conference…

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“This was all your idea,” said my mother for the second time to double check I had heard her. It was indeed my suggestion we take the time-honored mule ride down the Grand Canyon this past spring. Although my mom was never a big fan of heights, I felt convinced the miraculous scenery of the…

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Less than an hour’s drive from Charlotte, N.C., King Mountain National Military Park tells the story of an early Revolutionary War battle, and the first that I visited. The South Carolina battle site occurred after American patriots were on the run after several losses in 1780. After hearing of these losses, a force of rugged…

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Cowpens National Battlefields

Posted by Bob Hoelscher in The South on November 22, 2013

 
 

Battle of Cowpens Monument Cowpens Battlefield is named for the land used by Colonial settlers here to pasture their cattle. The park offers visitors a 1.25-mile Battlefield Trail walking tour, a 3-mile Loop Road for motorized vehicles, and a 2-mile Cowpens Nature Trail.  Also on site is the log Robert Scruggs House, which dates from…

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Ninety Six National Historic Site

Posted by Bob Hoelscher in The South on November 22, 2013

 
 

Having spent last winter and early spring based in Greenville, South Carolina, I took advantage of the opportunity to re-visit all of the state’s National Park Service units, including the sites of three important Revolutionary War battles. One of my favorite off-the-beaten path parks is Ninety Six National Historic Site. The beautiful site features a…

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  Although many people consider mid-November to be too early to usher in the Christmas season, it was impossible to be bah-humbug after my wife, Marcheta, and I attended a media weekend Nov. 15-17 in conjunction with the opening of Christmas at the Galt House Hotel in downtown Louisville, Ky. Brightly colored larger-than-life luminaries created…

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A source of hope and peace

Posted by Brian Jewell in Travel Thoughts on November 20, 2013

 
 

  In my 10 years of working in the world of travel journalism, I’ve been incredibly blessed to see some of the most amazing places on earth. And I’m happy to report that many of those places are right here in the United States. One of my great joys in traveling this country from coast…