From floating high in a hot air balloon to renewing wedding vows deep in a cave, 2014 was a year of travel ups and downs

From floating in a hot-air balloon high above the cactus-spiked desert north of Phoenix, Arizona, to renewing our wedding vows 50 feet underground in Bridal Cave at Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, my 2014 travel year had its ups and downs. Literally. But, thankfully, even the “down” was an up in a year of travel … Continue Reading →

Ski free in Gaylord this weekend or visit the Toledo Zoo's 'Lights Before Christmas' event

Need a break from holiday shopping, cleaning, errands and parties? Spend some relaxing time with your family — and perhaps create some new holiday traditions — at these December activities: Head north of Detroit to Gaylord this weekend and take advantage of free skiing at Treetops, the four-season resort that remains  open for business after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this month. You can … Continue Reading →

Boyne Highlands near Petoskey offers fall colors by zip-line, horseback and chairlift

Boyne Highlands near Petoskey offers several innovative and exciting ways to get out and view Michigan’s fall color show. Adventure-seekers may soar through a canopy of trees on Michigan’s longest zip-line experience, saddle up for a 90-minute trail ride by horseback or simply catch a chairlift for panoramic views that stretch on clear days all … Continue Reading →

Baltimore celebrates 'Star-Spangled Spectacular' 200th anniversary of America's national anthem

It’s been a star-spangled summer in Baltimore leading up the the 200th anniversary celebration of the writing of America’s national anthem. Tall ships, naval vessels and the U.S. Navy Blue Angels are expected to arrive in the city’s beautiful Inner Harbor for a week of special events, Sept. 10-16. The celebration features a red, white … Continue Reading →

Treat yourself to second annual 'Taste of Traverse City' on Labor Day weekend

Foodies seeking something to do on Labor Day weekend will find plenty to tickle their taste-buds at the second annual “Taste of Traverse City,” a three-day culinary festival that gets underway Friday in northern Michigan. This year, the event is centered at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Acme, with forays to downtown Traverse City … Continue Reading →

Local Roots celebrates flavors of summer

Days have passed since the Local Roots barbecue at Greenfield Village, but I can’t get over the tasty portobello bacon skewers served as appetizers that Friday evening. What’s truly amazing is that the skewers held no real bacon, only portobellos. Jesse Eisenhuth, director of food service and catering at The Henry Ford, described the hors d’ouevre as “faux bacon.” In his … Continue Reading →

Beyond the Ann Arbor Art Fair, catch two dazzling free shows while you're in town

If previous years are any indication, you’ll need a break from the blistering heat and dense crowds somewhere between the fused-glass jewelry, abstract paintings and giant fruit sculptures at the Ann Arbor Art Fair, which starts Wednesday and runs through Saturday. I suggest making your way to an ancient treasure trove of art that’s free … Continue Reading →