Family travel five:
In time, we’ll be on the road again, in search of compelling outdoor playgrounds in which to explore and enjoy nature’s finest. Here are five destinations to consider:———1. Flagstaff, Ariz.Just 80 miles from the Grand Canyon and close to seven other parks and monuments, this college town offers a long list of options for family travelers. At 7,000 feet, you’ll enjoy hiking and biking amid Ponderosa Pines, comfortable in the cool mountain air. Tap into the history that combines the nostalgia of Route 66, the historic “Mother Road” that bisects the town, as well as the rich legacy of the Old Wes...
Disney World's annual-pass payment changes: What you need to know
ORLANDO, Fla. — Annual passholders to Walt Disney World have new options after the company followed the lead of Universal Orlando in deferring payments.That announcement was overshadowed by news of furloughs at the massive theme-park resort, the nation’s largest single-site employer. But the company’s website reassures passholders they won’t have to continue paying for passes they can’t use.Walt Disney World closed on March 16 and will remain empty of guests until at least April 30.For all, pass benefits remain active. For example, those interested in buying tickets to a future event such as “...
The weekly geography quiz
GEOQUIZ: What is the capital of Bangladesh?Answer: Dhaka. With a metro population of about 21 million, it’s among the most densely populated cities in the world.———©2020 Chicago Tribune
Twins, 91, riding out quarantine together with daily pep rallies
SAN DIEGO — For two weeks now, Jackie Voskamp and Joyce Kriesmer have barely left the apartment they share at the Vi at La Jolla Village senior complex. The 91-year-old identical twins are in a high-risk age group for COVID-19, so they have been in self-imposed lockdown.The sisters have stopped taking their daily 1-mile outdoor walks and doing stair-climbing exercises. They’ve also given up shopping, bridge games, visits with their family and meals outside their apartment. Fortunately, the lifelong best friends have each other’s company in isolation and they relish the Vi’s recently launched 1...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Costa Rican lodge is sanctuary that will remind us why we travel in first place
Of all my travel stories that have been published this past decade, this one is both the most difficult to write and the most significant. Difficult because all travel has been halted and somehow writing about places that no one can get to seems redundant. Significant, because when the world rights itself and people spread their wings again, sanctuaries such as Playa Cativo Lodge on Golfo Dulce, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica, will be there to remind us why we travel in the first place.In early March, I boarded a canopied motor boat at Puerto Jimenez and sped across the placid gulf for 30 minutes t...
Tribune News Service
U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick wrestles the Tiger King
PHILADELPHIA — U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick has been a foe of Joe Exotic for years.Fitzpatrick, a Republican who represents Bucks County, Pa., is a lead co-sponsor of the Big Cat Public Safety Act, which would ban the private ownership of lions, leopards, tigers and related species. It would also ban circuses and zoos from allowing direct contact with cubs, such as petting or feeding. There are currently more tigers in captivity in the United States than in the wild.Fitzpatrick said he first became aware of tiger trading and cub breeding as an FBI agent more than a decade ago.“I did a lot of in...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
'Our vacation was stolen': VRBO guests fume over refunds on trips dashed by coronavirus
CHICAGO — When Erin Haughton planned her family’s spring break getaway to Mexico earlier this year, she booked a place to stay with VRBO, a popular vacation home rental site she’d used in the past.The Frankfort, Ill., woman is supposed to be on that trip in Playa del Carmen right now, enjoying a sunny week with her husband and three kids.Like other would-be travelers, the coronavirus pandemic means she’s stuck at home. And like other VRBO customers, she’s fighting a bitter battle to get her money back.“I feel like our vacation was stolen from us,” Haughton said. “The governor has ordered us to...
What's essential? Confusion clouds workers, employers
Are construction workers essential? It depends.The standards for what constitutes essential work under COVID-19 pandemic rules vary state to state, city to city, and, in some cases, hour to hour. Some orders change because of industry pressure; some change as the pandemic worsens; and some governors clarify earlier orders when confusion ensues.The result has been a confounding patchwork of rules that have left some workers befuddled and industry organizations scrambling for guidance. Governors and local officials face the difficult task of trying to balance public safety with the huge hit to t...
Viking plans to launch Mississippi River cruising in 2022
Viking plans to launch an all-inclusive, 386-passenger river ship on the Mississippi River in August 2022. The first vessel, Viking Mississippi, will sail voyages on the Lower and Upper Mississippi, between New Orleans and St. Paul, Minn.Currently under construction in Louisiana, the ship will have 193 all-outside staterooms, a clean Scandinavian design, an infinity pool and several restaurants.Cruise fares will include one complimentary shore excursion in each port of call, all onboard meals, port charges and government taxes, beer and wine with lunch and dinner service, lectures, alternative...
LEGOLAND New York Resort opening pushed back to 2021
The highly anticipated opening of LEGOLAND New York Resort in Hudson Valley has been postponed until 2021 due to the ongoing global impact of coronavirus, Merlin Entertainments announced this week.The theme park, which will be located approximately 60 miles north of New York City, was previously scheduled to open on July 4, 2020."Nothing is more important to us than the health, safety and security of our team, the partners we work with, and the communities we serve," said LEGOLAND New York Resort Divisional Director Stephanie Johnson in a statement accompanying the announcement. "We are in an ...