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Author: jan-ross

Indianapolis, Indiana: A Luxury Getaway to the Crossroads of America

My husband and I have passed by Indianapolis numerous times over the years as we traveled north from Lexington, Kentucky to ski resorts in Michigan or getaways to Chicago. We often remarked how we were passing a city that looked very intriguing, was only three hours away from our home, and that we should make time to visit the city affectionately known as the Crossroad of American because it is the hub for several major interstate highways which crisscross the state. We finally made plans to visit on our way back home from a trip to Wisconsin in the...

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Kringle Capitol of the World: Racine, Wisconsin

A Kringle is a Scandinavian pastry, a sort of Nordic pretzel, which can be filled with a variety of sweet options. From strawberry cheesecake to apple to pecan, this pastry is available in just about every flavor. Hand rolled from Danish pastry dough which has rested overnight, the sheets of flaky dough are layered, then shaped into an oval, filled with fruit or nuts, and then baked and iced. A typical Kringle is a large, flat oval measuring approximately 14 inches by 10 inches and weighs about 1.5 pounds. Wisconsin has historically been a center of Danish-American culture, so...

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A Scenic Trip on the Verde Canyon Railroad

I have traveled First Class on a plane exactly once, but it was the experience of a lifetime. Who knew airline seats could be so big and cushy? And that First Class passengers get much better food than the peons in the back? Aaah…that was the life and I have been hoping to be upgraded to First Class ever since. In the meantime, my husband and I recently found that First Class on a train trip is pretty fabulous as well. Heading to Arizona to explore the state in order to write several articles, I found information about a...

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Pampered at the Henderson Park Inn

The Gulf Coast of Florida, with its gorgeous, sugar-white sand and warm, Gulf of Mexico water, which can vary in color from the darkest aquamarine to the palest peridot, will not only provide you with amazingly beautiful photos, but is also a wonderful vacation destination. The area runs all along the Gulf coast, through several southern states, is truly lovely and offers a wide array of lodging options, entertainment choices and great local dining. One of my favorite places is Destin, Florida. Because I have visited Destin several times, I am familiar with many of the various accommodations, from...

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Cruising Southern France with Viking River Cruises

I read the email aloud to my husband with growing dismay. Staying in Avignon, France, on our own as a prelude to boarding the Viking Delling with Viking River Cruises and cruising the Rhone River for their Portraits of Southern France cruise, we learned that we would not be cruising anywhere anytime soon. River cruising in Europe is one of the most wonderful ways to see the individual countries but, sometimes, when the snow in the Alps is especially deep and melts into the Rhone River in the spring, it means the river is too high for cruising. Because...

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Gourmet Dining at the Harbor Fish Market and Grille

I tried escargot for the first time on a river cruise in Europe and, although it was with some trepidation that I took my first bite, I loved it. Similar to a mushroom, it had been drenched in butter and garlic so it was quite tasty. The second time I had escargot was just recently at the Harbor Fish Market and Grille on the charming peninsula of Door County, Wisconsin. This time the escargot were tucked neatly away under a delicious and flaky crust but again were delicious. You may think a small restaurant in Wisconsin is an unlikely...

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Culinary and Wine Tasting Getaway to the Gervasi Vineyard

If you like to taste a variety of local wines, take a cooking class, enjoy a fabulous culinary experience, or just relax in a charming Italian villa, you should plan a getaway to the lovely Gervasi Vineyards in Canton, Ohio. The vineyard is the best kept secret in the area, hidden away in a quiet neighborhood, but you will soon spot the elaborate entrance. A large 55-acre estate which includes 5 acres of vineyards producing a variety of grapes, two restaurants, an outdoor pavilion for weddings and other events, a cozy shop, an event center, and 24 guest suites...

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Going Green in the Emerald City

Lush, dark green coastal rainforest surround the urban wonderland that is Seattle, and this is the main reason it has been dubbed “The Emerald City”. However, this beautiful city is green for another reason, and that is the healthy, organic experience you can find there. From a hotel with a bright green grass roof to the well-known Pike Place Market where you can select flowers, local produce, locally caught seafood, and other lovely choices, Seattle has a lot to offer environmentally conscious visitors. Located on an isthmus with Puget Sound on one side and Lake Washington on the other,...

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A Luxury Weekend in Newport, Rhode Island

When my husband and I recently spent a summer weekend in the charming town of Newport, Rhode Island, our first view of this lovely and historic locale came through a dense, wet fog. As we drove over the bridge onto the island where Newport is located, we could catch glimpses of the harbor, the cobblestone streets, the little shops and the sprawling mansions. Technically, Newport is located on Aquidneck Island and is one of the most famous New England resort areas. In fact, it’s been a favorite resort area for a long time, beginning during the “Gilded Age” in...

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Savannah, Georgia: The Hostess City of the South

Savannah, Georgia is called the “Hostess City of the South” for its hospitality, and that hospitality is one of the first things you will notice about this lovely city perched on Georgia’s Atlantic coast. Drawling Southern voices welcome you, and provide your first clue that Savannah is a place where the pace of life slows down, living is easy, and a tall glass of sweet iced tea is always the drink of choice. The city’s beauty, bedecked as it is by the ubiquitous Spanish moss, and arranged in a series of  lovely park-like squares, is probably the next thing...

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Charming St. Simons Island, Georgia

I am constantly amazed at how many lovely islands are tucked away along the southern coast of the United States. Unique, beautiful places, many of which are still undiscovered and unspoiled by tourism. The Golden Isles, strewn along the quiet waters of the Georgia coast like the jewels in a priceless necklace comprise several enchanting barrier islands, including Jekyll Island, Sea Island, Little St. Simons Island, St. Simons Island and the mainland city of Brunswick. The largest of the Golden Isles is St. Simons, where visitors return year round to enjoy the warm and temperate climate, miles of beautiful...

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Cannon Beach, Oregon: Exploring the Northwest Coast

We thought we knew all about Oregon before my husband and I visited for the first time. Oregon is Pacific rainforest, we believed. It’s lush and green and it rains a lot. And there is some sort of coastline. With rocky beaches. And then we made a trip to Oregon and learned that it is absolutely nothing like what we thought. Oregon does indeed have lush, green rainforests and an astonishingly beautiful coastline, but it also has mountains and a high desert that is gold and brown and nothing like the rest of the state. Oregon first surprised us,...

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