Because there are no city-sized theme parks in Southern Connecticut, you must find your thrills there in real life. I had just come from helping to herd a crew of second-graders through the Visitor Center at the PEZ factory in the town of Orange — a fragrant, colorful diversion for the nation’s devoted army of “Pez Heads” and for civilians like us, who just like popping dispenser heads and downing twelve-packs of chewy PEZ bricks. I was now rolling in an
The last time I talked to Charlie Vallier, he was hoping for a snowstorm. The longtime snowmobile collector knows it’s good for his hobby and the economy where he lives, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Vallier is chairman of the nonprofit Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum in Naubinway. No Lake Michigan shoreline community is farther north. It’s at the edge of Sault Ste. Marie State Forest, on U.S. 2 between Escanaba (100 miles west) and Saint Ignace (40 miles east).
Tallahassee is a city that reveres its history, keeps property in families and doesn’t throw anything away. The result is that visitors can explore the histories of both the city and the state in homes and museums that re-create life as it was decades, centuries and millennia ago. My husband and I began our exploration at the Museum of Florida History, where the skeleton of a mastodon discovered in nearby Wakulla Springs greeted us. From there we headed off through a
Quilts cocoon us during winter’s harshest nights, but warmth is only one way to define their value. Homespun quilts cloak us with deep memories of people who matter. Maybe snippets of fabric come from your dad’s well-worn shirts. Maybe your favorite aunt handstitched for a gazillion hours. Maybe the design is the creative work of a beloved friend. Quilting is popular: At least 80 guilds in Wisconsin are listed at quiltguilds.com. Nationwide, it’s a $3.76 billion industry.
According to advocacy group Project: Time Off, more than half of American workers leave unused vacation days on their company’s boardroom table. Meanwhile, the research shows that by planning ahead, more families will actually take much-needed vacations and thus reap a multitude of personal and professional benefits. Here are five ideas to consider: 1. Make planning a priority. Whether you begin by tossing up a tent in the backyard or strategizing to experience a safari in
You’ve seen the German gingerbread hearts hanging from ribbons, frosted with the words “Ich liebe dich” (I love you) and “Frohe Weihnachten” (Merry Christmas). Nuremberg’s bakers wish you hadn’t. “We don’t make them here,” says Ingrid Neef, a sixth-generation Nuremberg baker, with polite but palpable disdain. “Those hearts look pretty, but they’re hard,” she said. “You can’t eat them. We make real
The reason we wanted to visit Tallahassee was to learn about the city’s past, and that turned out to be a lot of fun, thanks to its many historic homes and museums. But we were in Florida, after all, and after spending a lot of time inside, my husband and I wanted to get outdoors. It turns out that’s where we had some of our most memorable experiences. Our boat ride at Wakulla Springs State Park, just a half-hour drive from the city, was a highlight. The park
Smart cookies. Patrick and Patricia Niles, owners of Downtown Dough in Cedarburg, have a good recipe for separating what they do from other kitchen boutiques, especially during this time of year. The retailers began business in West Bend almost 20 years ago, selling cookie dough for school fundraisers and other purposes. Now they get international attention, but not because of their array of baked breads and biscuits, petite and plump cinnamon rolls, ready-to-bake cutouts and filled
On the homepage of Cuba Travel Services, a company that makes travel arrangements to Cuba, a banner proclaims: “YES, American travel to Cuba is still legal!” In the five months since President Donald Trump appeared in Miami and said he was reversing all of President Barack Obama’s Cuba policies — although he actually didn’t — a devastating hurricane raked Cuba’s north coast, and the U.S. State Department issued a warning against traveling to Cuba. Some
Two blocks west of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, a red door with understated signage is our introduction to international espionage. Plus lunch. What we step into is an office, whose lone occupant warily sizes us up and begins a peppering of questions. Why are we here? Do we know the password? Are we willing to perform a clearance test? When the screening is complete, a hidden door opens and underground trek begins. What we find is a mix of seductive, clandestine and space-