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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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Travel Diary

Read Eileen’s travel diary and keep up with her travels. You might just pick up some ideas for your next family vacation!

Riding bikes in the Alps: our Italy adventure moves to Lake Garda


Eileen bike riding in the Alps with Austin Adventures
Yes the Alps. We’re out for our Sunday ride in Italy with my friend Ron van Dijk who directs European Operations for Austin Adventures and has been leading bike trips in Europe for more than 30 years more
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Salamanders, giants, horses — a Renaissance pleasure palace in Italy


In the Chamber of the Giants
How many salamanders can you find? There are dozens carved into fireplaces hidden in paintings in the Palazzo Te in Mantova in northern Italy, a gem of a Renaissance City as yet undiscovered by American tourists. more
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Now this is a real pasta machine: in the charming village of Grazie


Pasta machine at work in Grazie Italy
Day Six - at charming small restaurant La Locanda de le Grazie in the village of Grazie just a few miles outside the amazingly preserved undiscovered Renaissance city of Mantova (Mantua in English). more
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Mantova Italy – a hidden gem of history, art, music and literature


Guido Luisa and Baldesar Castiglioni at Palazzo Castigilioni
We stay in Mantova, between Milan and Venice and near Verona, an off-the-tourist-track town that has an amazing history in art, music and literature. Shakespeare wrote that Romeo bought his poison here. more
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Aging cheese, lots of cheese, at a special artisan shop in Italy


Walter Carbo explains the cheese aging process
Welcome to Luigi Guffanti 1876 in the northern Italian town of Arona that has been buying cheese from the same production sites since 1876, then refining them in special “caves,” sometimes for years before they are sold around the world. They are artisans and specialists who oversee more than more than 200 kinds of cheese here. more
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A special dinner at the Grand Hotel Tremezzo on Lake Como


Grand Hotel Tremezzo on Lake Como
It’s nice when a hotel can make the experience special for the youngest guests as well as their parents and those who may be here to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or an engagement. more
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Exploring the beautiful villas along the shore of Lake Como, Italy


Outside Stefano Sioli's villa in Cernobbio
Could this place be any more beautiful? The three-story villa is directly on the lake shore located in Laglio between Cernobbio and Tremezzo on Lake Como, with private dock and lake access. more
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George Clooney’s temporary neighbors discover the virtures of a Lake Como villa


Our group getting a tour of Villa Mahonia on Lake Como
I think George Clooney is lucky to have a villa in the tiny village of Laglio—just 700 people on Lake Como in northern Italy. I can say that from personal experience because I am the Clooneys’ neighbor—well, their temporary neighbor at a lakefront villa more
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After the wedding, time to explore the Charlottesville VA area


Saturday farmers market in Charlottesville
Correspondent Melissa Miller had time to spend touring the Charlottesville VA area after a spectacular wedding this month. Here is her report. more
Backyard Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Parks & Outdoors, Travel Diary, Volunteer & Service | , , , , , , , , | comments


A family visit to New Bedford MA, once America’s whaling capital


Whaling boat in New Bedford
The New Bedford Whaling Museum is the largest museum in the country devoted to the story of whaling and the history and seafaring traditions of Massachusetts' south coast region. more
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