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Chicago’s Biggest Book Fair Is Back July 23-26

Jul 9, 2015
The Newberry Book Fair on July 23-26, Chicago’s biggest annual used book binge, has something for every reader.

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Backyard Vacations

Despite high gas prices, families will hit the road this summer


This summer, with every electronic accoutrement and despite high gas prices — the current national average price for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline is $3.95, $1.04 more than last year — most of us will still hit the road, according to AAA, though nearly four in 10 of us will adjust our travel plans as a result, suggests a new survey from TripAdvisor more
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San Francisco — a museum-goer’s paradise


Whether your kids are science geeks, future engineers or artists, or you just want them to have a unique experience, San Francisco’s two-dozen museums deliver. The California Museum of Sciences — one of the city’s top tourist draws since its move to Golden Gate Park — is the only place in the world to combine a natural history museum, aquarium and planetarium in one building. It’s the greenest museum in the world. more
Backyard Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Travel Topics, Weekly Column | 2 Comments


A backyard vacation at a unique resort in Northwest Connecticut


Talk about a unique family getaway -- yes, while this is primarily for adults and couples there are family weekends with a litany of kids’ activities -- pony rides nearby, a bonfire with s’mores, croquet on the lawn, biking and hikes, fishing in the pond... you can even sleep in a helicopter! more
Backyard Vacations, Destinations, Lodging, Travel Topics | 1 Comment


Tripping through California with grown children leading the way


Reg and Dan set the itinerary and the pace, while we picked up the tab. It’s nice for a change not to be in charge and to be able to let grown children lead the way, catching up with them about their lives when we’re not distracted by extended family gathered for a big event or holiday. It’s also nice to be able to just focus on one child at a time too more
Backyard Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Getting There, Lodging, Travel Topics, Volunteer & Service, Weekly Column | 1 Comment


IT’S ABOUT TIME TO GO FISHING AGAIN – A trip to a great resort in Canada


Last summer, after many years away from the sport, son Matt and I decided it was time to go fishing again. We recruited our cousin-in-law Mike Sitzman and his dad John, who live in Golden, CO to join us. After some basic internet research we decided upon a spot in Canada’s Ontario Province – Garden Island Lodge more
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Communing with penguins in Patagonia and California


If you can’t get to Patagonia, head to the Monterey Bay Aquarium (www.montereybayaquarium.org) in California where you can meet and greet Magellanic Penguins who were rescued and brought here. Climate change is forcing these creatures to swim farther to find food so they must swim an extra 25 miles or so from their nest for fish. So sad! more
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Putting the lessons we learned about sustainable seafood to the test


After this trip to San Francisco, I don’t think I’ll ever buy or order fish the same way again. On our last morning, we eat breakfast at the Mandarin Oriental. Is the smoked salmon from wild or farmed fish, my daughter asks the waiter. “I’ve never been asked that before,” he admits and goes to find out. Wild salmon, he reports. Reggie nods approvingly. more
Backyard Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Parks & Outdoors, Travel Diary, Travel Topics, Volunteer & Service | comments


Letting the grown-up kids lead the way on vacation


I can’t remember the last time I rode in back. I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t leading the way. But in this case, this weekend, I’m following—following the passions of my 25 year old daughter Reggie Yemma and her boyfriend Dan Foldes, who live in San Francisco. All I did was book the hotel more
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A visit to the Marine Mammal Center, where they rescue creatures large and small


This is a wonderful place to visit. (Full disclosure—my daughter Reggie is working as an AmeriCorps volunteer here this year). There’s no charge and the work they do is amazing. The windswept day we visited, there were 25 patients (yes this is a full hospital with vets who do detailed blood work, x-rays, ultra sounds and keep copious records that have made this Center respected for the research it has done) more
Backyard Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Parks & Outdoors, Travel Diary, Travel Topics, Volunteer & Service | 1 Comment


San Francisco and environs — a foodie’s paradise


I don’t think there is anything you might want to try that you can’t find in San Francisco. Last night, we sample a restaurant on the Embarcadero, about a block from the restored Ferry Building home to the bustling farmers market selling and explaining their local goods more
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