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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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Families & Groups

Kids will love the sights and sounds and stories of Venice


Right up until the 1960s, wealthy families had their own gondolas. The flamboyant Peggy Guggenheim used to tool around town on hers. She, of course, is revered here for her spectacular art collection housed in the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, where she lived overlooking the Grand Canal and which now houses one of Europe’s premier museums dedicated to modern art.... more
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On to the Amalfi Coast past the ghostly volcano on Stromboli


We are standing on the deck of the Wind Surf at 10 p.m. our eyes glued to a spectral cone rising from the sea ahead of us with occasional pulses of red and pink shimmering off the top. It is the island of Stromboli off the Coast of Italy. As we get closer we can clearly see the lava erupt—bright orange in the black sky. more
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Crab Cakes and more on a day at sea on the Wind Surf


I would assume the 240-plus adults on board the Wind Surf being attended by 187 crew would agree on this spectacularly sunny sea day. They are reading on deck, playing scrabble and cards, indulging in a leisurely lunch (everything from gyros to Greek beef salad, cold cuts, chilled cranberry soup, Asian fish curry… the list goes on and on. This is our only day at sea and I wish we had another it is so wonderful! more
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Interacting with rescued marine mammals at Atlantis in the Bahamas


The facility serves as the best marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation center in the Bahamas—the sea lions here were also rescued. Corbett shows us the lab which she proudly says is one of the most medically advanced in the Bahamas — for creatures or people, she jokes -- complete with ultra sounds equipment, digital x-rays, anesthesia machines and more. Experts here have the ability via the internet to consult with experts around the world. more
Beach Vacations, Cruises & All-Inclusive, Destinations, Eileen's Blog, Families & Groups, Parks & Outdoors | 1 Comment


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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Scavenger hunt in the Doges Palace? Why not?


You wouldn’t think Venice’s Doge’s Palace—arguably the top site in this city along with the Basilica San Marco—filled with centuries-old art would be a good place for a scavenger hunt but it is. We’re joined by guide Luisella Romeo who says with kids, it is important to “pick and choose what you see. “You can tell them all the dates and the history,” she adds, “But they won’t remember any of it without the stories.” more
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From Venice to Croatia, Sicily and Rome in 10 days


I’m still trying to wrap my head around the idea of city where there are no roads, where people keep their cars in large lots outside and get around either on foot or by public boats—kind of like subways on the water. “Everyone walks and you meet people you know everywhere you go,” Rodigheiro says. In the old days, wealthy families had their own gondolas. more
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