Author: Lillian Africano

The American Queen: Ruling America’s Rivers

Riverboats have been part of American history since the 19th century, when they carried both cargo and passengers along the country’s great rivers: the Mississippi, Ohio, Missouri, Colorado, Columbia and Sacramento. As depicted in the 1951 movie Showboat, they even brought entertainment and gambling to towns along the Mississippi. As with every “Golden Age”, that of the riverboats came to an end, thanks to competition from the railroads, commercial barges, the rise of the automobile – and finally, WWI and the Great Depression. Reviving that great tradition: The American Queen. She was born in 1995, the biggest river steamboat...

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Gone with the Wind: Happy 75th Anniversary

Seventy-five years ago, over a million people traveled to Atlanta, Georgia, in anticipation of the gala premiere (on December 15, 1939) of Gone with the Wind. Three days of celebration included a costume ball, receptions, a parade of limousines carrying stars from the film – and thousands of confederate flags. Gone with the Wind went on to become one of the biggest blockbusters of all times. While some movies have casual fans who watch a film once, then move on to the next new thing, GWTW still has legions of fans who are loyal for a lifetime and are...

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The Rocky Mountaineer: A Train to the Sublime

Sometimes a train trip is more than transportation from Point A to Point B. My journey from Banff to Vancouver on the Rocky Mountaineer’s westbound route was be a sublime 594-mile traverse – all in daylight – across Canada’s majestic Rocky Mountains. Prior to the train adventure, I stayed, as many passengers do, at the baronial Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, known as “The Castle in the Rockies.” The hotel was built in a spectacular Rocky Mountain setting between the spring of 1887 and the spring of 1888 by the Canadian Pacific Railway. Over the years, it has been expanded,...

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The Glory That is Greece: From Athens to Mykonos to Santorini

I actually won something wonderful! While years’ of contests and drawings had previously yielded only junky little things, this time the prize was something that was high on my bucket list! A trip for two to Athens and the islands of Mykonos and Santorini. The package, provided by Trafalgar Tours, was called the Greek Island Hopper and included several days in Athens, three days in Mykonos and three days in Santorini. Perfect. Best of all it included transfers, baggage handling and all the annoying details that detract from the pleasures of travel. After the usual red-eye flights, my daughter...

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New Zealand: Wellington and Beyond

  While I can’t prove this statistically, I’ve read that a trip to New Zealand is high on many bucket lists. And so it should be. First you have its capital city, Wellington, which Lonely Planet called the coolest little capital in the world. And so it is. Located on the southernmost part of New Zealand’s North Island, Wellington is a cultural hub with impressive museums, a lively music scene and, according to some estimates, more cafes and bars and restaurants per capita than New York City, the place where I lived most of my adult life. Yet during...

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