Take a few tips for planning Rome getaway

Looking for a quick getaway before summer? Rome is one of my favorite spring escapes. All of the wonderful sights, flowers and trees are just beginning to bud as if the ancient town is awakening from a winter slumber.


Tahiti Calls: Lost in time on Tikehau

There's nothing quite so blue - vibrantly, rivetingly, blindingly blue - as the blue of the lagoon on Tikehau, an hour's flight from Tahiti, in French Polynesia. Unless you're suspended above it, looking down.


Chattanooga: Fun metropolis known for outdoor activities, natural beauty

With nicer weather finally reaching the frozen tundra that is the Northern United States, many people are looking forward to a change of pace and scenery. While it has been warmer recently, it's not quite "spring" north of most of the Mason-Dixon. This year, why not head to the "Scenic City" of Chattanooga? This fun and funky metropolis located in Southeastern Tennessee is known as such for it's bevvy of outdoor activities and natural beauty.


Scalloping in Gulf County, Fla.

Have you ever gone scalloping? Personally, I had not, until a recent trip to Gulf County, Fla. I wasn't even sure what the act of "scalloping" was. Yes, getting scallops, surely, but how? And what did that entail? It turns out, it's both fairly simple, and not as easy as you would expect.

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Reykjavik by design

Spark Design Space is a bright, minimalist storefront with wide windows overlooking a quaint street. In the back corner there's a wood dollhouse that stands about three feet high and on the top floor, there's an arrangement of minuscule play food. It's a feast for a creature the size of a triple-A battery.


Pittsburgh museums for kids

Patrik is too cute, and she knows it as she preens around a circle of chairs with people waiting to pet her. She finds ways to go between their legs to get to the other side. Her handler moves her back into the circle before he explains that Patrik was several years old before the National Aviary realized through DNA testing that the ill-named African penguin is a girl. Her name already was known to the Pittsburgh community, having been in the newspaper and made public appearances. Her name stuck, as well as the diva personality.


Florida's night light

By day, the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse, on a Coast Guard base where Florida's Loxahatchee River flows toward the Atlantic, is an elegant burnt-orange baton that rises 108 feet above the town of Jupiter, in Palm Beach County, on the easternmost point of the Sunshine State.


Easy Escapes | Enjoy the gems of West Virginia’s Greenbrier Valley

The section of southeastern West Virginia known as Greenbrier Valley has the strong and lovely Allegheny Mountains and Greenbrier River to thank for its wholesome genes. The gifts of nature are abundant here and call to all who love the outdoors. With the same breath, this area, occupied since before the Revolutionary War, has nurtured a lifestyle and culture that fits perfectly into the landscape around it.


N.C., Jacksonville zoos worthy spring break destinations

Anyone planning family spring break road trips has two humongous zoos — one north and one south — that merit a stop for at least a half-day on their way to a destination. Heading to Walt Disney World or other points in Orlando, Fla.? Swing by the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, right off Interstate 95 and full of large big-cat displays, especally tigers, up close, through glass. Heading north into or through central North Carolina? The N.C. Zoological Park, near Asheboro, south of Greensboro and off I-73/74, is an expanse that will take your breath away for a whole day.

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