Category Archives: Architectural Marvels

Ghosts Along the Danube in Budapest, Hungary

When we travel the world we come face to face with history, some grand, and some that we would wish away if we could. This article is about the great stain on European history referred to as the Holocaust. There are many recorded stories about Holocaust horrors, and you may not be familiar with this …

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In Search of the Blarney Stone

“The Blarney Stone,” is also known as “The Stone of Eloquence,” and it is both a legend and fact. If you have wondered about the location of this fabled icon, the answer is to be found atop the 12-foot thick walls of the bleak and eerie ruins of the magnificent Blarney Castle near Cork, Ireland. …

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Cruise to the Incomparable City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain

A cruise to Spain on Holland America’s Nieuw Amsterdam showed us there are many contemporary reasons to consider the ancient city of Valencia as a top-notch vacation destination. Since the time of El Cid – over the last thousand years or so – Valencia has seen Christian and Muslim conquerors come and go. Its history also includes being the …

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Honoring Heroes at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Memorial Day

There are many historical destinations in the United States, but to Americans, few have the emotional relevance of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Located in our National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, the Tomb is dedicated to lost and missing American soldiers from all wars. The Tomb was established with the interment of an unknown …

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The Legendary Walled City of Dubrovnik: Pearl of the Adriatic

Established in the 7th century A.D., the ancient and scenic port city of Dubrovnik lies in the southernmost part of the Republic of Croatia, – almost directly across the Adriatic Sea from the “spur” in the boot of Italy. It is a beautiful city of colorful red-topped tile roofs and cobblestone streets, all of which looks …

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Celebrate Veterans Day at the Thayer Hotel at West Point

No other hotel in the United States can boast the patriotic pedigree of the Thayer Hotel at West Point. We paid a visit to the award-winning Thayer Hotel during the holiday season, and felt it especially appropriate to write about this unique hotel on Veterans Day, when we honor the members of the military that have gallantly served …

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Returning to Historic Catalina Island and the Echoes of Big Bands Past

Long before Tony Bennett left his heart in San Francisco, throngs of everyday Americans in the difficult 1930s and 1940s were keeping a stiff upper lip to the world’s problems and singing “…I left my love in Avalon…” to the Big Band sounds of Miller, Herman, Goodman, James and Dorsey. The song “Avalon” was first …

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The Ahwahnee: An Iconic American Hotel Name May Become a Memory

The Ahwahnee Hotel photos by Judy Bayliff Because of a legal dispute over trademarks, some of the best-known places in Yosemite National Park may soon change their names. If something is not done, the historic and revered Ahwahnee Hotel will become the Majestic Yosemite Hotel. This is not simply a name change, it is another gross humiliation for the people of …

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Exploring Maritime Quebec and Its Bounty of Lighthouses

The Province of Québec, Canada has so much to offer the global tourist that we found the best way to present the many vacation options was to separate them into several categories; this story zeroes in on just one of Québec’s major attractions – lighthouses. On the trail of the lighthouses North America’s most spectacular lighthouse trek …

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A Visit to the Historic Heceta Lighthouse on the Rugged Oregon Coast

We had heard so many fascinating stories about lighthouses along the scenic Oregon coast that we decided to make a road trip from San Francisco to visit one. Here’s what we did. Breaking up a long drive Ours was to be a considerable drive of 552 miles, estimated to take approximately 9-hours, so we decided …

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