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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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Beach Vacations

Spring Break is coming — start making your plans for family fun


There's still snow on the ground in many areas of the country but spring break is just around the corner. Should you head for the beaches, mountains, vineyards, ballparks? The choices and deals are endless. more
Backyard Vacations, Beach Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Travel Topics, Weekly Column | comments


Kayaking through the mangroves on Great Exuma in the Bahamas


We kayak through Mangroves where the path is so narrow we must go single file. The Mangroves, Rolle tell us, “always” have been there. We stop at a small windswept beach called Mariah Cay. There are some 365 Cays that make up Great Exuma and if you want to feel like a Castaway, Rolle says, a boat captain can drop you off with chairs and lunch and pick you up several hours later. more
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On a kids-free winter escape to the Bahamas


This is a most decidedly upscale Sandals—we even have butler service! It is kind of unnerving to have someone—especially a nice young man named Logesh Ambikapathy who is from India—to cater to my every wish. Lemon for my water? Coming right up. He even stops by the pool to see if we need anything. A pizza would be nice, we suggest. He brings it piping hot 15 minutes later. more
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Learning to Scuba Dive at a tiny Caribbean resort


elax and breathe! That could be the mantra for de-stressing everyday life. But here on tiny Grand Turk Island where many believe Columbus first made landfall in the New World, the words are PADI dive instructor Hilary Sutton’s instructions to my 19-year-old daughter, Melanie, as she prepares to do her first of four open-water dives more
Beach Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Last Minute Deals, Travel Topics, Weekly Column | 3 Comments


Disney’s newest and biggest cruiseship is christened


Yes, vacation dreams can come true. At least Mickey Mouse thinks so as he promises dreams of adventure, friendship, romance and fun at the rollicking Christening of Disney’s new Dream. more
Beach Vacations, Cruises & All-Inclusive, Disney, Families & Groups, Travel Diary, Travel Topics | comments


Divers come from around the world to Grand Turk Island


The Bohio Resort managers Ginny and Tom Allan hug us goodbye. That doesn’t happen at your typical resort hotel. We leave with Conch shells in our bags and lots of dive sites we still want to see. We’ll have to come back. more
Beach Vacations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Parks & Outdoors, Travel Diary, Travel Topics | 3 Comments


Different ways to learn to dive – cold and warm


For our second dive of the day, we head to the Library, so named because it is directly in front of Grand Turk’s tiny library. We dive along the famous Grand Turk Wall that drops 100 feet. It is marvelous-- all varieties of fish and coral. By the end of the dive, holding the dive master’s hand, Emily is hooked and comes up out of the water smiling more
Backyard Vacations, Beach Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Parks & Outdoors, Travel Topics | comments


Fresh conch salad on the beach anyone?


The area east of where we staying at Bohio is apparently full of conch—our novice free divers get 10 in 20 minutes. We head to Gibb’s Cay, a tiny island where Trevor will prepare Conch Salad or Conch Ceviche while he hands out shrimp for us to feed the half dozen stingrays who swim around the beach waiting for their treat. more
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Learning how to scuba dive on Grand Turk Island


My daughter Mel, 19, and I have come to Grand Turk Island so that she can complete the four-day PADI course (www.padi.com) and become a certified diver, as am I. Truth be told, this was supposed to be a family trip over New Years—Mel’s older brother and dad also are divers—but a blizzard in New York derailed our plans. Rather than forgo the opportunity altogether, she and I opted to make it a shorter, girls trip more
Beach Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Parks & Outdoors, Travel Diary, Travel Topics | comments


Puerto Rico – a family friendly Caribbean destination where you don’t need a passport


You’re missing a lot if you ignore easy-to-reach Puerto Rico in favor of more exotic islands. And you’re still in the United States here — Puerto Rico, of course, is a U.S. territory — yet you have the opportunity to explore a rich culture that dates back more than five centuries. more
Beach Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Travel Topics, Weekly Column | comments





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