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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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Cruises & All-Inclusive

Exploring in and around the historic Adriatic city of Dubrovnik


Everyone says Dubrovnik is the “jewel of the Adriatic” and it’s easy to see why--it’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site with its cathedral, monastery–including the oldest drug store in Europe, operating continuously since 1317 and the second oldest synagogue in Europe dating back to 1652. Today, there are few Jews left in the Old Town and no Rabbi, we learn. more
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Unexpected sights and eats in Korcula Croatia


I thought a friend who is a local guide was going to meet us—miscommunication that often happens when you are traveling. Instead, we joined a local walking tour learning that this tiny town—just 3,500 people live here—“You can walk around naked and no one will even notice or see you because everyone is home,” promises our guide Katija Tedeschi. more
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Where would you take the kids on vacation if money is no object


Travelocity and TakingtheKids collaborated on a new poll asking families just that — where they’d take their kids on their “dream trip,” if money was no object. According to the results from the 1,500 people polled, it’s clear that no matter how bad the economy, when it comes to our vacation wish list, we dream big. more
Backyard Vacations, Beach Vacations, Cruises & All-Inclusive, Destinations, Disney, Families & Groups, Lodging, Parks & Outdoors, Weekly Column | 1 Comment


Following the chef ashore to the local market in Rovinj Croatia


It’s the most unique shore excursion I’ve ever seen and it doesn’t cost a penny. We’ve just arrived at our first Croatian port, Rovinj, aboard the 315-passenger Wind Surf—one of Windstar’s distinctive sailing yachts and the largest in the three-ship fleet. The Ship’s executive Chef Ronald Waasdorp has invited guests to follow him to the local open-air market and 28 of us have taken him up on his offer. more
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Learning about wildlife and photography in the Arctic Ocean


A polar bear sighting (we’ll see 16 before the week is out), a whale (two enormous blue whales swam and played right by the ship), sea birds (imagine thousands nesting on high cliffs) or walrus (60 of the huge creatures weighing a ton or more lolling right in front of us on a beach) are all reason enough jump out of bed, bolt from lunch, forgo a shower or get off the ship’s treadmill. It’s why the 145 guests have paid thousands of dollars and traveled thousands of miles to cruise through ice. more
Cruises & All-Inclusive, Destinations, Families & Groups, Parks & Outdoors, Travel Topics, Volunteer & Service, Weekly Column | comments


Kayaking at the Top of the World — last day aboard the Explorer


We are in bright yellow inflatable kayaks steering with foot pedals (I feel kind of like I’m on bumper cars cruising around the fjord, the ship in the distance, crew watching us from zodiacs. As safety is always a concern here, we are given signalers to wear around our neck—should we tip over. But the kayaks are steady and the water so calm. It is only 32 degrees but with the sun shining, it feels much warmer. more
Cruises & All-Inclusive, Families & Groups, Parks & Outdoors, Travel Diary, Travel Topics, Volunteer & Service | 1 Comment


The Arctic Desert holds many surprises — including Walruses


This is called Arctic Desert, the man with the rifle—naturalist and geologist Jason Kelley tells us. While hiking in the land of the polar bears, our guides always carry rifles. We stop to look at huge whale bones that date back to the 18th Century and tiny fossils of crinoids stems (they look like flowers) that are 180 million years old. Then we see the Walrus. more
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A chat with Richard Louv on the benefits of being outdoors


Louv’s work has stimulated an international conversation about the relationship between nature and children. His new book has just been named to Oprah’s summer reading list He as the chairman and co-founder of the Children and Nature Network, and hopes to inspire the many parents and grandparents on board to realize how important it is to get kids engaged with nature on trips like this as well as at home. more
Cruises & All-Inclusive, Destinations, Families & Groups, Parks & Outdoors, Travel Diary, Travel Topics, Volunteer & Service | 9 Comments


Spotting all kinds of wildlife in the waters and ice around Svalbard


It’s drizzly and cold but no one on the deck is moving—not when a bear and her cub can be seen on the ice in the distance --and much closer through the scope, binoculars or the long camera lens they’ve got. We’re the guests here so we speak in whispers so as not to disturb the bears. more
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Searching for polar bears in the water and ice


We're 950 miles from the North Pole. While some of the crew and naturalists scan the horizon—all we see is blue sky and floating ice of all different sizes and shapes—the captain explains that as much as 30 feet of the ice bergs are below water... This ship, of course, is built especially to handle ice. “Potentially any floe can have bears,” he says. more
Cruises & All-Inclusive, Destinations, Families & Groups, Parks & Outdoors, Travel Diary, Travel Topics | 8 Comments





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