Travel

Tue
15
Jul

Fly, fish and float at Lake of the Ozarks


photos by Pamela O’Meara

At the Lake of the Ozarks, a great blue heron flies near the bluffs on the shore near the blooming redbud trees.

Jack Uxa of Jack’s Guide Service beams as he holds up two largemouth bass he caught in Lake of the Ozarks.

This colorful salad of chicken, tomatoes, corn and black beans was featured at H. Toad’s Bar and Grill at Camden on the Lake Resort.

In the early 1900s, a wealthy Kansas City businessman chose a hilltop near Lake of the Oaarks to build a sprawling retreat resembling a European castle. Years later the castle caught fire and only the stone ruins remain in what is now Ha Ha Tonka State Park.

The green leaves against the turquoise water are found at the scenic spring in Ha Ha Tonka State Park.

Like over 2,400 people before them, Susan and Steve Pollack renewed their wedding vows in the spectacular Bridal Cave near the Lake of the Ozarks.

For years, friends have been talking about their boating, fishing and wine tasting trips to the beautiful resort area of the Lake of the Ozarks in central Missouri, and I wanted to go, too.

Thu
19
Jun

LBJ signs ‘bill of the century’


The Texas White House is where President Lyndon Johnson met with members of Congress and world leaders in the 15 months total he spent at his family home outside Fredericksburg, Texas. (Pamela O’Meara/Review)

LBJ’s Texas White House office was a comfortable place to work while he was away from Washington, D.C. There was a desk as well for his press secretary, Bill Moyers. (Pamela O’Meara/Review)

LBJ’s bedroom has a massage table for his back problems, which is also the place he had a massive heart attack and died in 1973. Because he used to have visitors in the master bedroom, Lady Bird got tired of pulling the covers up over her head, so they built separate rooms. Their clothing still fills the closets. (Pamela O’Meara/Review)

Fifty years ago on July 2, President Lyndon Baines Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act which was sometimes called the “bill of the century” and a continuation of President John Kennedy’s initiative

Tue
03
Jun

End of an era at Crazy Horse Memorial


This model of the finished Chief Crazy Horse sculpture shows visitors what Korczak Ziolkowski envisioned when he began his decades-long project in the Black Hills of South Dakota. (Pamela O’Meara/Review)

Up close, the head of Chief Crazy Horse is amazingly large and confounds visitors. (Pamela O’Meara/Review)

Ruth Ziolkowski chatted with guests at the visitors center at the Chief Crazy Horse Memorial and talked about carrying out her husband Korczak’s vision. (Pamela O’Meara/Review)

As I read the obituary of Ruth Ziolkowski last week, I recalled meeting her four years ago at the Crazy Horse Memorial on top of Thunderhead Mountain in the Black Hills outside Rapid City, South Da

Fri
25
Apr

From global events to local treasures, history has a home in Kansas City


The Kansas City National World War I Museum is housed in the Liberty Memorial.

Grenades and “fighting knives” attest to the bitter fighting of World War I, where soldiers in tunnels or trenches might be blown up, gassed, buried alive or encounter the enemy with barely room to draw a blade in defense.

Dave Hawley sits beside a stanchion from the “Arabia” -- a ship he discovered buried beneath a cornfield.  

This is what the ill-fated “Arabia” would have looked like under full steam as she carried passengers and supplies toward the frontier. 

Keys and all sorts of tools were found in the once-buried Arabia steamship.

Shoes of various kinds appear to have been bound for general stors farther west. As well as personal goods, the “Arabia” was loaded to the decks with “dry goods” to stock stores for the coming season of families traveling to the frontier.

Stockings, someone’s cloak and hat and bolts of material were preserved by nearly 150 years below ground. The reason there were no human fatalities; the “Arabia” sunk while most were on land eating supper, and the rest were able to scramble to shore.

President Harry Truman’s home is in Independence, Mo., just outside Kansas City. The unassuming Midwesterner, who famously “lost” to Thomas Dewey in every poll except the actual Presidential election, returned to his Missouri roots as soon as he could. 

When co-workers asked me why I was going to Kansas City -- as if it were merely flyover country -- I said there is much to see and I’d tell them after my trip. While some seemed skeptical, one piped up that the World War l museum was the best military museum he’d ever seen.

Tue
18
Feb

Abe Lincoln’s roots are in rural Kentucky


A bronze statue of Lincoln sits in the middle of downtown Hodgenville, Ky., and is older than the national Lincoln momument in Washington D.C.

Bronze statue shows Lincoln as a boy sitting on a log reading. A model depicts what the exterior of the Lincoln family cabin looked like at Knob Creek. A bronze statue of baby Abraham Lincoln in his mother’s arms along with his father and sister is in the visitors center at the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park. (photos by Pamela O’Meara/Review)

The first Lincoln Memorial sits in the rolling green hills of rural Kentucky in the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park.

In the Lincoln Museum in downtown Hodgenville, Ky., the upper floor displays artwork and paintings of the Lincoln era, including this quilt.

This nearly life-size diorama of the Lincoln-Douglas debates is in the Lincoln Museum in downtown Hodgenville.

A diorama of Lincoln being sworn in for his second presidential term in 1865 is in the Lincoln Museum.

Illinois isn’t the only state claiming 16th president as favorite son
Growing up in the Chicago area, I attended Lincoln Junior High, went on my high school’s traditional trip to tour Abraham Lincoln’s home in Springfield, Ill., and every day saw Illinois license plates reading “Land of Lincoln.”
 So I was surprised to learn on a recent trip to Louisville that America’s 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, was born in Kentucky and that state also claims him as a favorite son.

Thu
30
Jan

In the Shadows of the Blue Ridge Parkway


A bluegrass quartet performs in the parlor of the Homeplace_Restaurant. (photos by Pamela O’Meara/Review)

The Mabry Mill, south of Roanoke, started life as a blacksmith’s shop in 1905; later, water from the river powered gristmill and sawmill operations. Now, the mill draws tourists and photographers year-round, and in peak seasons the National Park Service hosts crafting and food-preservation demonstrations.

Not only does Center in the Square house historical and cultural exhibits, it offers a state-of-the-art science museum with collections from all over the world -- and beyond. We were fortunate enough to visit during the government shutdown, when Roanoke’s Butterfly House was caring for the Smithsonian’s collection, including this swallowtail.

As the largest Virginia city along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Roanoke is the gateway to the sights along the way as well has being a good destination on its own merits.
Whatever direction you go from Roanoke, you can find beautiful mountain views, woods, wineries, outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, and camping, historic sites, and in Roanoke, interesting museums and good food.

Mon
28
Oct

Horses, bourbon and historic neighborhoods featured in Louisville


The historic Belle of Louisville still takes visitors from downtown Louisville up the Ohio River. (photos by Pamela O’Meara/Review)

Mint juleps are served at the Brown Hotel.

This 30-foot-tall gold statue of Michelangelo’s David stands in front of the 21C Museum Hotel in downtown Louisville.

Elizabeth Kizito sells her popular cookies as well as a variety of African gifts.

Samples of handmade chocolate truffle bourbon balls were served at Art Edibles.

Glasses of bourbon mixed with champagne are lined up on the bar at the Seelbach Hotel.

This model of the famous Secretariat, 1973 Triple Crown champion, sits in the Kentucky Derby Museum.

Every May when I listen to the familiar strains of “My Old Kentucky Home” as the horses line up for the world-famous Kentucky Derby and see the women in the stands wearing wide-brimmed hats, I’m intrigued.
So soon after the Derby, I went to Louisville, home of the famous Churchill Downs, a National Historic Landmark where 1,200 horses are stabled, for a tour and a few races, which were fun even without the huge crowds. Visitors can eat, drink a traditional mint julep, make bets, cheer from the stands, walk around the well-groomed grounds for a close-up view of the sleek thoroughbreds and diminutive jockeys, and visit the Kentucky Derby Museum. Additional races are held in the late spring/early summer and in the fall.

Thu
08
Aug

Should you rent a vacation home or stay in a hotel?

re you planning a trip in the coming months? If so, you’re among the 59 percent of Americans who expect to go on a summer vacation, according to an American Express survey.
But your time away won’t come cheap: The survey found people expect to spend just less than $1,200 per person for their holidays.
One of the highest costs you’ll pay will likely be for your hotel room. There are other options available, according to the Minnesota Society of CPAs, but be aware of the pitfalls associated with some of them.

Mon
08
Jul

Galena: ‘A town frozen in time’


Chestnut Mountain Resort outside Galena overlooks the Mississippi River. (photos by Pamela O’Meara/Review)

Red brick buildings from the 1880s line Main Street in Galena, Ill.

Eagle Ridge Resort in the Galena area serves a colorful luncheon.

Statues in the Rock Island Arsenal Park copy figures in French painter Georges Seurat’s famous “Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.”

Council Hill Station, an old railroad stop popular in the 1880s, has re-opened the general store for visitors.

At Rocky Waters Vineyards and Winery, owner Jared Spahn pours a sample of wine.

President Ulysses S. Grant’s office is one room on the tour of his home in Galena.

John Deere farm equipment on is on display at the world headquarters in Moline.

Tugboats push river barges through Lock and Dam No. 15 on the Mississippi River at Davenport, Iowa.

Statues in the Rock Island Arsenal Park copy figures in French painter Georges Seurat’s famous “Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.”

White-columned antebellum mansions, President Ulysses S. Grant’s home, a historic hotel, unique shops and history lessons as well as plenty of outdoor activities along the river are popular in Galena, Ill.
The old red brick buildings that line both sides of Main Street are frozen in the mid-1800s in this former riverboat city and steamboat capital of the Upper Midwest.
Back then, great numbers of steamboats came up the Mississippi River and its tributary, the Galena River, with a variety of goods and returned with lead from the mines.
Wealthy steamboat captains built mansions on the hills overlooking the river. Many are now B&Bs. Visitors can take trolley or walking tours past many of these historic homes and churches.

Mon
08
Jul

Explore your options for travel insurance

The summer travel season is in full swing and countless Minnesotans will be traveling across the country and around the world in the next few months.  
Some consumers will be debating about whether to purchase travel insurance for their summer vacations. The Minnesota Department of Commerce wants consumers to know that travel insurance is not required to travel; however, it may benefit some consumers but not all.

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