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Savor Northern Ireland one bite at a time

  • Written by Deborah Stone

To be honest, I didn’t have high hopes for good food during my stay in Northern Ireland. My expectations were low based on a trip I had made to the Republic of Ireland many years ago. I recalled eating lots of potatoes, breads and bland stews, along with the proverbial Guinness to wash it all down. And though 2016 has been designated The Year of Food and Drink for Northern Ireland, I was frankly still leery about the culinary scene. Imagine my surprise then to discover a country that has become a great destination for foodies; a place that crafts, grows, breeds, catches, cooks and enjoys the finest, freshest food available. “Local” has become the buzz word with themes from ‘plot to plate’ and ‘grown here not flown here’ celebrated. The excitement is palpable among everyone from producers and artisans to chefs and consumers.

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Wild, untamed Baja is an earthly paradise

  • Written by Deborah Stone

I’ve seen many Oscar-worthy productions in my life, but perhaps the most memorable was performed by a pod of gray whales at Lopez Mateos in the Sea of Cortez. Our panga, or small boat, was surrounded by these magnificent creatures as they spy-hopped, spouted, rolled over and displayed their distinctive flutes to an audience of star struck onlookers. The dramatic show reached its climax when several of the moms proudly brought their seven week-old calves to the side of our craft and we reached out to touch them. It was pure magic and I like to believe that both whales and humans shared in the joy of this incredibly special moment together.

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Escape to Latigo for a Nordic winter wonderland

  • Written by Deborah Stone

Colorado is known for its mountains, among a number of other notable standouts. People come from all over the globe to photograph these impressive behemoths, scale their rugged peaks, hike, bike and horseback on their countless scenic trails and simply relish the opportunity to rejuvenate mind, body and soul by breathing in their intoxicating air. Located amid this awe-inducing landscape are numerous dude ranches where city slickers who have never been astride a horse join expert equestrians looking to challenge their skills in the rugged terrain. The ranches are a magnet for all kinds of folks, especially families seeking a fun and memorable, all-ages, outdoor adventure vacation.

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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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