Stepping quietly through the dimly lit 12th-century cathedral in the small Spanish town of Santo Domingo de la Calzada, I looked up to the ornate mausoleum in the rear and caught sight of something you don't usually - well, never - see in a church: two white chickens pecking around in a Plexiglas hen house.

When considering a mermaid's career, one doesn't tend to ponder the occupational hazards.

At first I thought it was too early to look ahead at the new attractions coming to U.S. theme parks in 2015, but then I realized a number of big rides have already been announced and many more are already in the planning stages.

Tour guides not only should be knowledgeable but also able to convey information in a fun and engaging way. This skill comes more easily for some than others, but PA Brew Tours guide Tom Labanc has an ace up his sleeve - decades of experience as a high school social studies teacher in Pittsburgh.

We stood on the edge of the precipice, stunned momentarily by a sign we had not anticipated when we arrived for our long-planned plunge into the Gorges du Verdon, the French version of the Grand Canyon near Provence.

On a recent five-week journey to that incomparable sub-continent, India, I stayed at fourteen different accommodations.

The following editorial appeared in the Miami Herald on Monday, July 14:

"Where are you headed today?" the front desk manager asks as I check out of my hotel in London.

More than five years after one of the worst economic downturns in U.S. history, a lot of us have decided it's safe to take a vacation again.

NEW YORK - Perhaps you've heard the complaints about the National September 11 Memorial & Museum: Some think it's too expensive (admission is $24); others decry the inclusion of a gift store.

Our quest was emblazoned on the T-shirts we were given before we left for Alaska: "8 men, 4 highways, 5 days, 865 miles." On motorcycles.

Tour Pearl S. Buck's home in Bucks County, Pa., and you'll feel as if you've discovered a treasure as prized as an oyster's pearl.

If you are looking for a quiet spot to spend time as a family, where time seems to slow down but there is still plenty to do when you are feeling active, take a gander at Beaufort. This sleepy town is so picturesque that Hollywood has used it as the backdrop for such films as "The Prince of Tides" and "Forest Gump," and while there are many lovely cafes, bakeries, chocolateries, coffee shops and restaurants in the district, you won't find a Starbucks or a McDonald's in town.

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