by Yvonne Michie Horn, Santa Rosa, CA

“Did you put a little something in the box?” Lord Bigby asked.

He’d met us on the lawn in front of Minterne Manor, where first the Churchill family and then the Bigby family have lived for 350 years. Below lay Minterne Gardens, abundant in century-old rhododendrons and azaleas, ancient cedars, waterfalls and ponds.

Like others wrestling with the upkeep of grand houses and gardens, Lord Bigby counts on “a little something in the box...


by Diane Powell Ferguson, Scottsdale, AZ

I kept telling my husband, “You’ll love Bolivia,” and practicing Quechua on the dog. My other half remained skeptical while the dog became increasingly enthusiastic, since intonations of “Waliq alqu” (“Good dog”) were accompanied by continuous predeparture treats. We wanted to experience Bolivian history and wildlife but particularly emulate the “safari feel” we enjoy in Africa — without traveling quite as far.

Customizing a trip...


by Russ Ellis, ITN

In October ’02, I was a guest on a 4-night tour of Vienna jointly hosted by Austrian Airlines and the Vienna Tourist Board.

Our whirlwind tour included visits to the Austrian Gallery Belvedere, housed in the Belvedere Palace; the MuseumsQuartier Wien, the world’s ninth-largest arts complex; the Albertina, once a Habsburg residence and now home to a comprehensive collection of over a million drawings and prints, and the Kunsthistorische Museum.



by Fred and Ann Abeles, Frederick, MD

Reading about someone’s adventures always makes us want to follow in their footsteps. In this case, we were inspired to follow in Thomas Stevens’ bicycle tracks after reading his recently republished “Around the World on a Bicycle” (2001, Stackpole Books; available through Amazon.com).

In 1884, Thomas Stevens left San Francisco on a Columbia high-wheeler with the goal of traveling around the world. His diary gives a fascinating picture of...


by Thomas McKenna, Montpelier, VT

Easter Island, or Rapa Nui as it is known to locals, is the most remote inhabited place on Earth. Located about 2,200 miles from the coast of South America, its nearest neighbors are on Pitcairn Island about 1,300 miles to the west. Some travelers might consider the remote location reason enough to visit, but the main attraction is the large, mysterious human figures carved from stone centuries ago.

Where the first islanders came from, why...


by Betty and Dick Wood, Seattle, WA

If you have ever thought of visiting Beirut or wanted to see the archaeological ruins of Baalbek, Tyre or Byblos, I would say this is the time to go. The price is right, there are almost no tourists and the local people are very friendly — everyone greets you with “Welcome” and can’t seem to do enough to help you enjoy this most delightful, beautiful country.

Repairing the damage

After many years of civil war (the fighting stopped...


by Carol O'Hara, Orangevale, CA

Only a few short years ago, any traveler who used a wheelchair would weigh the advantages of cruising against the disadvantages of each ship. Older liners often were difficult for those in chairs to navigate because of their construction. They had a lack of accessible staterooms plus narrow halls and raised lips between sections of the ship.

Not so, today. The newer ships are a dream come true for less-able souls who love to travel. Wheelchair-...


by Vern Lewis, Atlanta, GA

An extended trip to Southern Africa: that’s what my sister Patt and I took in January and February ’03. The highlight would be a 16-day rail tour that departed from Johannesburg and took us to a total of six countries.

We began with a week in Cape Town. Because of the extreme distance, we chose to fly first class on South African Airways — $9,250 each, round trip from Atlanta to Cape Town.

We stayed at the Protea Hotel President (4 Alexander...