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Big Bend beckons

  • Written by Deborah Stone

I had no control over my burro. The spirited creature obviously had a mind of his own as he took off at a fast clip, then veered over and attempted to squeeze between two of his friends. At one point my stirrups hooked onto those of another rider’s and we were locked leg to leg. Laughing uncontrollably, we bounced down the road like two Siamese twins linked together, eventually arriving at our destination – the tiny village of Boquillas, Mexico. Easing off my animal in a most ungraceful way, I decided that burro riding did not rank among my favorite means of transportation.

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Reboot your mind, body, spirit at Sunrise Springs

  • Written by Deborah Stone

I confess I’ve never been a fan of chickens. They always seem like nervous and high strung birds, and their pecking and quick movements are unsettling to me. I would have never imagined that these creatures could be used in the realm of animal-assisted therapy. Dogs, yes. Horses, sure. But, chickens? They couldn’t possibly bring a sense of calm and comfort to people. Then I was introduced to Blanco and his gang and something special happened.

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Enchanting Prague and beyond

  • Written by Deborah Stone

No Czech city has been written and talked about as much as Prague, the country’s picturesque capital. It’s a magical place where history comes alive and the mysteries of the past are revealed through the town’s uniquely preserved historical center. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Prague boasts Romanesque chapels, Gothic cathedrals and Baroque palaces and gardens, making it a showcase of architectural masterpieces dating back centuries ago. Nicknamed “the city of a hundred spires” for its numerous towers, this European capital is regarded as a medieval jewel.

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Stroll, sip and savor the delights of storied Carmel-by-the-Sea

  • Written by Deborah Stone

To say that Carmel-by-the-Sea is dog-friendly is an understatement. The famed California central coast town, rated the #1 Dog Friendly Town in America, welcomes man’s best friend with open arms. Pet owners and their canines can dine together al fresco on many of the local restaurants’ patios, and numerous stores have water bowls outside their doors, making it convenient to satisfy Fido’s thirst as you stroll the streets. Snacks are also readily on hand as shopkeepers happily dispense doggy treats to well behaved canines. At Carmel Beach, you and your pup have more than enough space to roam, sans leash. Come nighttime, canine-friendly accommodations abound among the forty plus boutique inns, B&Bs and distinctive hotels. At the Cypress Inn, for example, which is partly owned by ardent animal lover/actress Doris Day, pet owners can bring their furry pals into their hotel rooms, enjoy happy or “yappy” hour, doggy turn-downs and even high tea together in the lobby. It’s a veritable who’s who of breeds, sizes and personalities, and surprisingly everyone gets along – four-legged creatures as well as two!

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Educational family fun is a guarantee in D.C.

  • Written by Deborah Stone

Washington D.C. is a vacation destination magnet for families. It’s a vibrant place, where history comes alive, and children can get an up close and personal view of the workings of our nation’s capital. Visiting D.C., however, should ideally be reserved for a time when kids are old enough to appreciate and understand the sights and experiences this city offers. They need to have patience to stand in lines and listen to tour guides, along with the stamina to walk the necessary distances that the city demands of its visitors. It’s also advantageous for children to have studied or to currently be learning something about U.S. history and government in order for such a trip to have maximum benefit. That being said, kids of all ages can have an enriching experience in D.C., approaching it from whatever perspectives they possess.

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