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Roseau, Dominica from the Morne Bruce Viewpoint.

Disappointed in Dominica

We’d heard a lot about the vast natural beauty of Dominica and were really looking forward to visiting this Caribbean island. We’d heard great things about Titou Gorge, snorkeling on the Champagne Reef and Trafalgar Falls. But, as we discovered on our Dominica tour, the island has a long way to go. We were definitely disappointed in Dominica.

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The Goethe-Schiller statue in front of Germany's National Theater celebrates the age of Classical Weimar.

A Tale of Two Weimars

Weimar, Germany is a town with an identity crisis. On one hand, it is a town deeply rooted in the Romantic Classical period. On the other hand, it is progressive, modern and gave birth to the Bauhaus movement. The dual traditions – Classical Weimar and the Weimar Bauhaus – are both recognized as separate UNESCO World Heritage Sites. I’ve visited the city several times over the last 20 years, and each time is a truly profound experience.

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Sauer-Beckmann living history farm at LBJ State Park

It’s a Rancher’s Life at LBJ State Park

In the 1960s, Lyndon B. Johnson spent nearly one-quarter of his presidency at the Texas White House in Stonewall, Texas. Now, the house and the surrounding area have been turned into national and state parks — a combination of a working farm and group of historical sites.

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Seeing the Lincoln Memorial while visiting all 50 states.

The Quest: Visiting All 50 States

Have you ever had a really big goal? For many years, mine was visiting all 50 States by the time I graduated from high school. Here’s the story.

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This intersection in Rothenburg ob der Tauber is one of the most photographed spots in all of Germany. Extreme poverty for hundreds of years has preserved the town's medieval character.

Fairy Tales and Legends in Rothenburg

The hamlet of Rothenburg ob der Tauber is one of Germany’s most visited small towns. It is also one of its best preserved: hundreds of years of poverty and neglect left the town in mint shape. In the summer, over 2 million visitors pack its tiny streets. But in the dead of winter, I had the town nearly to myself and was able to explore the many things to do in Rothenburg virtually alone.

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Living room of the Llano cabin at the Cotton Gin Village

Rustic Comfort at the Cotton Gin Village

At the Cotton Gin Village in Fredericksburg, Texas, the combination of rustic details, modern amenities, and food worth writing home about makes for a perfect getaway.

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The Veste Coburg in Central Germany.

In The Footsteps of Cranach in Germany

On a recent trip to Central Germany, I encountered a man who played an important historical role, but has been relegated to a mere footnote: the painter known as Lucas Cranach the Elder. During the Protestant Reformation 500 years ago, he had a ring-side seat for one of Europe’s most transformative periods. I didn’t go looking for Lucas Cranach, but I’m glad I discovered him.

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Snorkeling at Buck Island St. Croix with Big Beards.

Finding Nemo at Buck Island in St. Croix

Buck Island is a national treasure and a great way to spend a day snorkeling while in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The island is the nesting home for green sea turtles and endangered Leatherback turtles. But the real treasure at Buck Island is the 4,500 acre underwater reef lying just off shore. It is one of only two underwater national monuments in the United States.

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The Buchenwald Concentration Camp above Weimar, Germany.

The Bleakness of Buchenwald

The place called Buchenwald was not just a location. It was a journey into the darkness of the human soul. For me, the Buchenwald Concentration Camp is where the Holocaust becomes most real. Buchenwald was not the first concentration camp built by the Nazi’s. Buchenwald was not the biggest camp in Germany’s World War II machine. But in many ways, Buchenwald is the most symbolic and most important.

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