Lynn O'Rourke Hayes

Lynn O'Rourke Hayes

 ftts  baseball-1

Going Yard, The Ultimate Guide for Major League Baseball Road Trips, provides the information you’ve been searching for about the ballparks you love and the cities that host them. When it comes to little known facts about these famous fields, author Stan Fridstein has uncovered a treasure trove. Here are a few of his gems:

Bet you didn’t know:

  1. 1. Miller Park, home of the Milwaukee Brewers, is the only ballpark that sells more sausages than hot dogs.
  2. 2. Every seat at Kauffman Stadium, in Kansas City, is blue except for a single red seat behind home plate. It was placed there to honor Buck O’ Neill, star first baseman of the Kansas City Monarchs in former Negro League. Buck viewed Royals’ games from that very location for years.
  3. 3. When you visit Target Field, new home of the Minnesota Twins, be sure to have a drink at the Town Ball Tavern, whose wood floor behind the bar is the actual surface from the Minneapolis Armory, former home of the Minneapolis Lakers before they moved to Los Angeles. family travel baseball road trips
  4. 4. If you notice anything missing when you visit the Rogers Centre in Toronto, you’re not alone. This is the only stadium without bleachers.
  5. 5. Check out the bullpens at Wrigley Field (home of the Cubs) and PNC Park (home of the Pirates). They are the only stadiums where pitchers warm up on the field of play.
  6. 6. Don’t miss the Rose Garden outside Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. It marks the exact spot where Pete Rose’s record breaking 4192nd hit landed in the old Riverfront Stadium.
  7. 7. Babe Ruth’s adopted father owned a tavern in what is now center field at Camden Yards, home of the Baltimore Orioles.
  8. 8. The sole red seat in the right field bleachers at Fenway Park (home of the Boston Red Sox) marks the spot of the longest home run ever hit there. The 502 foot blast was crushed by Ted Williams off Detroit Tigers’ pitcher Fred Hutchinson in 1946.
  9. 9. Speaking of Fenway Park, if you take a close look at the right field scoreboard you’ll see the following letters spelled out in Morse code: TAYJRY. They are the initials of Thomas A. Yawkey and Jean R. Yawkey, the longtime Red Sox owners.
  10. 10. Every time a San Diego Padres’ player hits a home run, a fog horn is sounded. It’s an actual recording from the USS Ronald Reagan, an aircraft carrier that sits in the Port of San Diego.
  11. 11. Between building Wrigley Field in 1914 and Coors Field (Denver) in 1995, Dodger Stadium was the only National League ballpark built exclusively for baseball.
  12. 12. Talk about a rivalry: Above right center field in AT+T Park (home of the San Francisco Giants) is an actual cable car with a panel stating “No Dodger Fans Allowed.”
  13. 13. When you’re visiting Turner Field, home of the Atlanta Braves, be sure to walk across the street to the parking lot where you’ll find the original section of Fulton County Stadium’s left field wall over which Hank Aaron hit his epic 715th home run, surpassing Babe Ruth’s record.
  14. 14. As you look around Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies, you’ll notice that every seat is green except for a single row of purple seats in the upper deck of the ballpark. The reason: These seats are exactly one mile high!

Going Yard helps those completely consumed or only mildly interested in our national sport to optimize their travel experience. Visit every stadium and deal with issues like budgeting, logistics, securing tickets, tours, key facts and sites in each stadium and things to do in each and every city when not at the game. This is your go-to guide for baseball road trips.

You can find Going Yard here.

When it comes to family travel, you might be wondering where to stay that will keep your teens and toddlers smiling?

From manicures to “mocktails”, the options for teens have multiplied significantly in the last decade. Many resorts now offer uber-hip, teen-only spaces, providing a contemporary hang out for dancing, games and music.

Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas led the way with their swanky 14,000 square-foot club Crush.

San Diego’s Hotel Del Coronado’s features the popular, teen-only Vibz.

Headed to Tucson?

Your teens will be all smiles when you check into the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort . They’ll be quick to check out the new Blur lounge where Play Station and “PopTails” are underway.

Contact: ww.atlantis.com/kids/kidactivities/crush.aspx;

Gather the extended family and share a travel experience.

Here are five ideas that will appeal to multiple generations:

1.       The Family Cruise. 

Choosing to sail as an extended family is a great way to see the world together without decimating the family budget. Whether your idea of a good time is relaxing poolside or tackling the high suspension rope course, there are options for every energy level on board the modern cruise ship. Access water parks and kids’ camps by day. Then check out teen clubs, plus family and adult entertainment by night. Spa lovers can schedule treatments, and often casino gaming is available for adults. Gather for dinner where dining options are designed to satisfy the picky and the piggy eater in your gang. Design your time together to suit your family’s unique interests. Consider using a travel agent to help wade through deals, itineraries and cabin configurations. 

Contact: 1-800-764-7419; www.RoyalCaribbean.com; www.CruiseCompete.com

2.       College Bound. 

 Include multiple generations in the college search. If grandparents are grads, consider a visit to the town where they earned their degree. Encouraging senior family members to revisit this important time in their youth will be meaningful for all. Include elders when visiting your own college town and encourage grandparents to share memories of delivering their teen to the dorm decades ago. Make plans to take the University tour, and then explore the surrounding area. By planning this time as a multi-generational experience, a bit of family history may emerge that has long since been forgotten.  

Contact: www.CollegeBoard.org

3.       Eco 3G Getaway.  

Leave the wired world behind and gather your family deep in the rainforest on the banks of the Moho River in the southernmost region of Belize. Choose the solar-powered eco-lodge’s all inclusive package and enjoy birding, horseback riding, biking, kayaking and nature walks on 100 private acres. Tour nearby Mayan villages and linger to learn how chocolate is made at a cacao farm. Explore caves and waterfalls. Environmentally inquisitive family members will want to visit the organic garden and discover the local sustainability practices that include a reforestation project. Family-friendly cabanas are gathered around a central boardwalk. 

Contact: 866-480-4534; www.cottontreelodge.com

4.       Bike the Danube.  

The active, extended family will enjoy a bike trip along the Danube River that enables speedy riders to scope out the best bakery in the town ahead while others linger along the scenic pathway. The route showcases medieval towns, castles, vineyards, cathedrals and magnificent scenery. With the cities of Passau, Germany and Vienna, Austria as bookends, the trip offers a storybook itinerary. Following an ancient towpath, there is little traffic and riders have the option to bike for as long as they wish. Once tired, they can hop on a train or boat and wait for the remaining bikers at the inn where the group will spend the night. Children’s bikes available.

Contact: 1-877-462-2423; www.BikeToursDirect.com.

5.       Explore Colorado Springs. 

Visit a high mountain zoo, the Garden of the Gods Park or tour the US Air Force Academy together. In the weeks ahead, this sunny Colorado city and the surrounding Pikes Peak region make it easy for your whole family to explore the area with their “Tank Full of Summer Savings” promotion. Travel industry partners, including tour guides, lodging establishments, restaurants and attractions, have extended discounts and offers designed to take the pain out of the higher gas prices at the pump.Contact: 800-888-4748; www.visitcos.com/fuel

Multigenerational travel is more important than ever.

Families are living geographically farther from each other than at any time in history.

A multigenerational trip is often the only option for today’s modern and mobile family to gather in one place. 

The hyper-fast pace of life in the 21st century means evenings and weekends are no longer untouchable family time, creating a greater need for the escape that only travel can provide. 

Baby boomers are trading in their briefcases for a roller bag.

Boomers now have the time, health and disposable income to make travel with their families a top priority.

Do you have your trip planned?

It's a great time to plan a road trip. Here are five beautiful drives that will make the whole family smile: 

Going to the Sun Road - Glacier National Park

Hop aboard the historic red touring cars or go on your own. This engineering marvel spans 50 miles through Glacier National Park’s wild interior, winding around mountainsides and treating visitors to some of the best sights in northwest Montana. www.nps.gov/glac; 406-888-7800 

San Juan Skyway - Colorado

Sometimes called the million dollar highway, this extraordinarily spectacular drive through southwestern Colorado will stun the visual senses. Appreciate jagged peaks, pastoral valleys, waterfalls and colorful canyons as you wind your way along this stunning loop.

Contact: 1- 800-463-8726; www.Durango.org. 

Pacific Coast Highway.

For majestic coastal scenery and seaside breezes, pile in the car for a trip up ( or down )our western shore. Begin in ultra hip Santa Monica, California and wind your way past the Hearst Castle. Push north to Carmel and then on to San Francisco. If you have time continue on to the dramatic Redwood forests.

Contact: 1- 877- 225-4367 www.VisitCalifornia.com

Monument Valley, AZ

You’ve seen the skyline in the movies and on television commercials. Your entire family will marvel at the 250 million year old red rock formations, the magical light and the native American history that is part of the iconic landscape.

Contact: 435-727-5870 http://www.azcentral.com/travel/arizona/northern/travel_monuvalleyindex.html;. 

Skyline Drive - Virginia

Meandering along the crest of the mountains through the woods and past spectacular vistas, Virginia’s Skyline Drive begins in Front Royal and twists and turns southwest through Shenandoah National Park. Hike in the shade of oak trees along the Appalachian Trail, discover the stories from Shenandoah’s past, or explore the wilderness at your leisure.

Contact: 540-999-3500; www.nps.gov/shen.

So you want to write a travel book?

Or the story of your life? Or a spine tingling thriller?

Go here for tips on how to make it happen!

Visit an eco lodge where adventure is encouraged, eco-friendly practices are in place and community support is essential.

Here are six to consider:

Patagonia Wildlife Safari -

Visit southern Chile to experience a thrilling combo of wildlife and scenery in one of the most isolated regions of South America. Check out an expansive penguin colony near the town of Punta Arenas before exploring the jaw-dropping beauty of Torres del Paine National Park.

Wear yourself out exploring the park, then return to your EcoCamp. You’ll chill in large igloo-shaped tents built to minimize environmental impact while providing a comfortable setting. You’ll be cozy as you plan for your next adventure via candlelight, snug beneath feather comforters.

Contact: www.adventure-life.com/tours/patagonia-wildlife-safari-1355

Rosalie Forest Eco Lodge. Dominica, West Indies.

Explore the volcanic island on foot or on the back of a local donkey. Hike to secluded waterfalls, spend the day surfing or go turtle or whale watching. Later return to your tree house, cabin or cottage, tucked into the rainforest and surrounded by organic gardens. Learn how British owner Jem Winston, uses wind power to provide light and how his reliance on community resources enriches both locals and guests.

Contact:  www.rosalieforest.com

Playa Viva. Juluchuca, MX.

Stay in this family friendly, all inclusive, coastal lodge near Ixtapa, where the owners operate an onsite Turtle Sanctuary. Last year, guests helped save and release more than 100,000 baby turtles. The solar powered lodge was constructed with the help of local craftspeople, using indigenous materials. Your family is invited to join the chef for a visit to the nearby farmer’s market. Later, learn how to craft local specialties. Contact: www.PlayaViva.com.

Rosalie eco lodge family travelNature Inn at Bald Eagle. Howard, PA.

Through their every day practices, which include geothermal heating and cooling, solar hot water heat generation, rainwater harvesting, native habitat restoration and the use of rain gardens, guests can look forward to an eco-friendly retreat. The entire family will enjoy the beauty and wealth of activity and wildlife in the area. Look forward to hundreds of miles of trails, paths and trout streams in the Pennsylvania Wilds. You’ll also find a large elk refuge, local artisans and pristine natural beauty. Contact: (814)625-2879; http://natureinnatbaldeagle.com/; www.pawilds.com

The Borneo Rainforest Lodge.

Stay in one of 31 individual chalets, amidst a pristine rainforest that is part of the Danum Valley Conservation Area. From eco-savvy quarters, families can plan for outings that include scouting 300 species of birds, 120 species of mammals and 200 species of plants per hectare. Animals roam freely so be prepared to spot orangutans, pygmy elephants and Bornean hornbills. View the pristine environment from a 1,000 foot long, multi-tiered canopy walk, suspended 85 feet above the ground. Contact: www.tourismmalaysiany.com/

ft shakti himalaya

U Shakti 360¢ª Leti . Himalayas, India.

Unplug and soak in the stunning views from your cabin in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas. A strong commitment to the local community includes employment of local guides, chefs and porters as well a determination to use traditional building techniques. The company has introduced solar heating and lighting, water reuse programs and created a foundation to foster local renewable energy, education and cultural projects in the community. Hike to your heart’s content and learn about the culture of this spectacular mountainous region.

Contact: 1 (866 )401-3705; www.shaktihimalaya.com.

Being on holiday doesn’t have to be about geography. It is as much about adventure, exploration or even relaxation as it is about flight schedules, hotel rooms or miles traveled. 

So if a far-flung destination is not in the cards just now, consider putting your creative juices to work to manifest a never-to-be-forgotten memory for you and your family. And, don’t forget to take pictures. Clear the calendar and consider these five ways to savor some family time without depleting your savings:

1.Go for it.

Plan to participate in a half marathon, hike the canyon or camp in the backcountry. This is the year to research, plan and execute that idea you’ve been talking about but never had time to organize. Declare it a family affair and make the preparations part of the fun.

2. Trade houses.

Find a friend or family member in a nearby neighborhood who is willing to join in the fun. Think about it: new toys in closet, bikes in the garage, playsets in the back yard and cereal in the cupboard. (Agree up front on what is included in the deal.) Trade information about local walking paths, parks, restaurants and movie theatres. Then enjoy the new view.

 3. Make it a weekend – Part of the holiday mindset includes saying no to checking work email, or sending text messages, snap chats or posting on Instagram. If not for a week, agree to make family the focus for one whole weekend. Visit a new restaurant, go to a ballgame, take a long bike ride or play board games at home. If duty calls, let folks know your family is on vacation.

4. Focus on Free – Museums, festivals, lectures, parks, concerts and libraries are all sources of family fun where the admission is often gratis. Check local web sites and create your no-cost itinerary for the length of your “vacation”.

5. Book last minute and local – Check travel web sites for last minute deals in your home town or in a nearby city. Without air and significant gas charges, taking advantage of these down-to-the-wire deals can be worth the minimum expense. You’ll enjoy the travel treat knowing you’ve kept expenses in check. Contact: www.lastminute.com; www.travelzoo.com; www.hotwire.com.

 

52 Books For Travelers of All Ages

Find a book here for the explorer or armchair traveler on your list!

 

1. Travels with Charley in Search of America: (Centennial Edition) - John Steinbeck

2. In a Sunburned Country - Bill Bryson 

3. Travels - Michael Crichton 

4. Tao of Travel - Paul Theroux 

5. Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel - Rolf Potts 

6. Gulliver’s Travels - Jonathan Swift

7. The Travels of Marco Polo (The Broadway Travellers) - L.F. Benedetto 

8. Backpacking Wyoming: From Towering Granite Peaks to Steaming Geyser Basins - Lorain Douglas

9. Halfway to Each Other: How a Year in Italy Brought Our Family Home - Susan Pohlman

10. The Road to Oxiana - Robert Byron

11. Facing the Congo - Jeffrey Taylor

12. The Size of the World - Jeff Greenwald

13. Road Fever by Tim Cahill

14. All the Wrong Places by James Fenton

15.Kite Strings of the Southern Cross

16. Nomad’s Hotel: Travels in Time and Space by Ceese Nooteboom

17. Johnny Ginger’s Last Ride by Tom Fremantle

18. The Snow Leapard by Peter Matthiessen

19. Tiger for Breakfast by Michel Peissel

20. The Ascent of Rum Doodle by W.E. Bowman

21. Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

22. The Climb by Anatoli Boukreev

23. Annapurna by Maurice Herzog

24. Hiking the Continental Divide Trail by Jennifer Hanson

25. Imagine: A Vagabond Story by Greg Lingel

26. Empty Nest to Life Vest by Christie Gorsline

27. Big Earth: 101 Amazing Adventures by Russ Malkin

28. Next Stop Grand Central by Maira Kalman

29. 1,000 Places to See Before You Die: 2nd Edition by Patricia Schultz

30. Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

31. The River of Doubt by Candice Millard

32. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

33. This is Rome (Paris, London, New York) by Miroslav Sasek

34. Turn Right at Machu Picchu by Mark Adams

35. Touching the Void by Joe Simpson

36. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (Just Kidding)

36. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

37. Hiking Through History by Kirk Ward Robinson

38. Life is a Trip by Judie Fein

39. Raining Cats and Rats by Donna Gottardi

40. Oh, the Thinks You Can Think by Dr. Suess

41. Sahara Unveiled: A Journey Across the Desert by William Langewiesche

42. Come Hell on High Water by Gregory Jaymes

43. The Hidden Europe by Francis Tapon

44. On the Road by Jack Kerouac

45. Coasting by Jonathan Raban

46. Venice by Jan Morris

47. In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin

48. A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush by Eric Newby

49. The Journals of Captain Cook by James R. Cook and Phillip Edwards

50. The Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto Che Guevara, Cintio Vitier, and Aleida Guevara

51. The Lost Girls by Jennifer Baggett, Holly C. Corbett, and Amanda Pressner

52. Seven Years In Tibet by Henry Heinrich Harrer

Gather your family to wish upon a star.

Here are five extraordinary places to view the night sky:

African Skies.

Check into Little Kulala, a desert eco-retreat within southern Africa’s Kulala Wilderness Reserve. Hop aboard a Land Rover to scope out springbok, ostrich and oryx or float above the dramatic landscape in a hot air balloon.   Visit the world's tallest dunes amid Namibia’s famed “sand sea”. Then fall asleep on your rooftop Sky Bed and enjoy a late night show where shooting stars and the Milky Way serve as headliners. Contact: www.wilderness-safaris.com/safaris/index.jsp; www.TravelBeyond.com.

Winter Star Party. West Summerland Key, FL.  

Every February, during the new moon week, amateur astronomers gather in the Florida Keys for six days to learn from guest speakers, observe an unobstructed clear night sky and share information with other star enthusiasts. Hosted by the Southern Cross Astronomical Society (SCAS), Inc., the Stellar Star Party also includes a Kids Kamp.  Contact: 1-800-FLA-KEYS; www.fla-keys.com ;www.scas.org.

Arizona Nights.

In 2001, the City of Flagstaff, in Northern Arizona, was designated the world's first "International Dark-Sky City" by the International Dark-Sky Association. Expect stellar stargazing as well as the chance to tour the Lowell Observatory. You’ll see the telescope where planet Pluto was discovered in the 1930's and look through the century-old Clark telescope. Further south, check into the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale where you’ll find high powered telescopes in your room and constellation charts on your pillow at turndown. Opt in for complimentary Friday evening stargazing with a local astronomer or a Celestial Picnic accompanied by a pro.

Contact: www.lowell.edu; www.FlagstaffArizona.com; www.fourseasons.com/scottsdale/

Red Rock Country.

By night, the dark skies of Utah provide ample opportunity for magnificent stargazing. Join astronomer Alex Ludwig atop a mesa to learn about star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies. He will explain how Native Americans teach their children about the constellations, lancing the quiet night with stories that will entrance young and old. By day, a slew of parks, canyons and rivers provide outdoor adventure opportunities.

Contact: 435-210-0066; www.moab-astronomy.com; www.discovermoab.com/

Northern Lights From Norway.

Because of an increase in solar flares, NASA is predicting Northern Lights activity will be stronger this winter than any time in the last 50 years. Therefore cruising Norway’s coast high above the Arctic Circle could provide family travelers with the opportunity to experience the aurora borealis in a rare and extraordinary way. In addition to visiting ports that provide a glimpse into winter life in Norway, passengers will also be privy to lectures regarding the Northern lights as well as local culture and history.

Contact: www.VisitNorway.com; www.hurtigruten.com.

Photo: Copyright Lynn O'Rourke Hayes - Little Kulala, Namibia 

Ethical Traveler: 13 Tips for the Accidental Ambassador

Introducing your children to other cultures is a wonderful gift.

Here are tips provided by the folks at Ethical Traveler that will help your entire family leave only footprints...and a positive impression.

1. Be aware of where your money is going.

Patronize locally owned inns, restaurants, and shops. Try to keep your cash within the local economy, so the people you are visiting benefit directly from your stay.

2. Avoid giving gifts directly to children.

Give instead to their parents or teachers. When giving gifts– everything from pens to pharmaceuticals – first ask what’s needed, and who can best distribute these items in the community.

3. Learn basic greetings.

Learn to say “please,” “thank you,” and as many numbers as you can. It’s astonishing how far a little language goes toward creating a feeling of goodwill.


4. Remember the economic realities of your new currency.

A few rupees one way or another is not going to ruin you. Don’t get upset if a visitor who earns 100 times a local salary is expected to pay a few cents more for a ferry ride or an egg.


5.  Bargain fairly and respectfully.

The final transaction should leave both buyer and seller satisfied and pleased. Haggling is part of many cultures, but it’s not a bargain if either person feels exploited or ripped-off.


6.  Learn and respect the traditions and taboos of your host country.

Never, for example, pat a Thai child on the head, enter a traditional Brahmin’s kitchen, or open an umbrella in a Nepali home!


7. Curb your anger, and cultivate your sense of humor.

Travel can present obstacles and frustrations, but anger is never a good solution. It’s perversely satisfying, but won’t win respect or defuse a bad situation. A light touch, and a sense of humor, are infinitely more useful.


8. Arrive with a sense of your host country’s social and environmental concerns. Our site will direct you to good profiles of many popular travel destinations. It’s also very useful to read the political background section in your guidebook, and the local English-language papers.


9.Learn to listen.

People in other nations often feel underestimated or patronized by travelers from the developed world. This fosters anger and resentment. Be aware that good listening skills and respect help shape the world’s view of your country.


10. Practice conservation.

Never be wasteful of local resources – especially food and water. Your efforts at conservation will be noted and respected by your hosts, and will set a good example for your fellow travelers.


11. “Can you please help me?”

This is the most useful phrase travelers can learn. Rarely will another human being refuse a direct request for help. Being of service, and inviting others to express their kindness, is what the phrase “global community” is all about.


12. Leave your preconceptions about the world at home.

The inhabitants of planet Earth will continually amaze you with their generosity, hospitality, and wisdom. Be open to their friendship, and aware of our common humanity, delights, and hardships.


13. Remember Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.’s best line.

“Strange travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.” Go with the flow, and give free reign to your sense of adventure!

Find travel inspiration here. 

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