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Soak Up the Ryokan Vibes at Ten Thousand Waves

It’s a bit embarrassing to wake up and find yourself drooling like a baby, especially when there’s someone else to witness this cringe-worthy moment. I laughed self-consciously, hoping to deflect the situation humorously. Thankfully, my massage therapist kindly helped me save face by explaining that this was a clear sign I had reached total relaxation during my deep stone treatment. I told her she was a wizard with hot rocks.   It was the prospect of a deep stone massage that drew me to Ten Thousand Waves. That and soaking in one of the tubs at this unique spa-centric...

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Nature Takes Center Stage at These Southern Africa Wonders

I am both repelled and fascinated by crocodiles. Their fearsome reputation precedes them and the fact that they outlived the dinosaurs has given their species legendary respect. No one wants to mess with a croc, but many people will seize the opportunity to view one up close, particularly within its natural habitat. Prior to my trip to Botswana, I had only seen these primordial creatures in enclosed nature centers, where I felt removed from them. So, when the boat I was riding in started inching closer to the banks of the Chobe River, where a croc was sun bathing,...

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Fall in love with Cape Town

There’s nowhere quite like Cape Town, the jewel of South Africa. This fascinating city is a meld of cultures, history and landscape, crowned by the magnificent Table Mountain. Often regarded as synonymous with the “Mother City,” (Cape Town’s affectionate moniker), this landmark is the single most welcoming icon to its people, as well as to travelers from around the globe. Named a New Seven Wonders of Nature, the mountain is one of the oldest on earth, six times older than the Himalayas and five times older than the Rockies. It forms part of the Table Mountain National Park, which...

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Island Time, Ohio style

Most people, even residents of the Midwest, are incredulous when they hear there are islands in Ohio, I was born and raised in Chicago and I’m embarrassed to admit I knew nothing of their existence. I had to look at a map for proof, but it wasn’t until I actually visited the area that my doubts were dispelled. Known as the Lake Erie Islands, these bodies of land are clustered together in the lake’s western basin, north of Ohio’s mainland. Easily accessible from the metropolitan centers of Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo, they’re regarded as the Jersey Shores of the...

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Seriously, Go To Cleveland!

Music has always evoked strong memories in me. When I hear a familiar song from my past, I am suddenly transported back to a distinct time in my life, and the experience is vivid and visceral. This is especially true when it comes to the rock music of my youth and early adulthood. So, you can imagine all the emotions that began flooding over me as I stepped through the doors of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. A visit to the “Rock Hall,” as it’s commonly called by locals, is a pilgrimage for many...

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