USATourist News MagazineAugust 2004
In this issue:
Let’s start with a reminder of one of the events in the USA during August. The Republican National Convention will take over Manhattan from August 30th through September 2nd making it a difficult time to tour New York City. Friends of mine who live in the area are already planning to stay away from the convention site fearing crowds, congestion, and slow-downs due to security.
But, both before and after the convention, this may be the best time to visit New York in years.
If you visit, you’ll get an inside view of the Statue through a glass ceiling, a tour guided by a park ranger and see an enhanced lighting and new video system. You can walk out onto the Statue’s observation deck to see the panoramic views of New York City and the Harbor, and witness the Statue up close from her promenades on Ft. Wood.
Located on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty was a gift from the people of France to the people of the United States. The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886. The Statue was restored in time her centennial on July 4, 1986.
If you take advantage of The New York Pass you’ll get free admission to the Statue of Liberty as well as the Empire State Building, American Museum of Natural History, The Guggenheim, The Museum of Modern Art, Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, Brooklyn Museum of Art, NBC Studio Tour, Circleline Sightseeing, Radio City Music Hall Stage Door Tour, The United Nations Tour, Madison Square Garden All Access Tour and many more attractions.
Otherwise tickets to tour the Statue of Liberty can be purchased at the Ferry ticket offices or via telephone at 1-866-782-8834.
Lately it seems like so many tours, particularly those seductive soft adventure ones are targeted toward family travel. And, while they can be a great family getaway some of us want a kids-free zone when we travel. Not that we don’t love the little darlings --- ours and other people’s --- but there are times when we’d prefer an adults only vacation.
Unfortunately, for many of us, adults only has often meant a trip into nightlife, casino, and shopping like a visit to Las Vegas. Vegas is wonderful, but it isn’t everyone’s dream destination. Serenity seekers and outdoorsy folk have another sort of trek in mind.
Rejoice! Now there’s Lagarita Creek Ranch.
Lagarita Creek Ranch is one of Colorado’s most authentic dude ranches yet it doesn’t stint on the luxury features. In an awe-inspiring scenic site this isolated piece of paradise offers candlelight dining, cabins carefully decorated in a blend of Native American and Cowboy culture, riding, roping, golf, fishing and an array of other activities. They even offer ballooning!
Lagarita offers adults only and senior’s weeks complete with day trips to Mesa Verde or Taos. They pick you up in Denver, Albuquerque, (or another convenient location to be arranged), and all you have to do is enjoy your vacation.
Travelers with children can also sample the delights of this Rocky Mountain Haven --- they do offer weeks for folks with children that include separate activities for all ages from tots to teens.
A visit to Lagarita Creek Ranch is the perfect all-inclusive way to experience the wonders of the American West without exhausting your energy planning and booking all the separate components of a trip. Let them take care of the details. You just have fun.
Shopping in the USA. Many stores are offering deep discounts on summer clothing and many other merchants have “Back-to-School” sales so it is prime time for clothing shoppers. Iowa, Washington, DC, Texas and Pennsylvania all offer special dates during August where some items, mostly clothing and shoes priced beneath $100 are not subject to sales tax – although Pennsylvania appears to skip the clothing and offer temporary tax-free shopping for electronics. Florida offers a weeklong tax-holiday but it ended August first.
Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon have no sales tax at all. Louisiana offers tax-free schemes for international visitors.
August is also a great month for eating ice cream. When in Rome, do as the Romans do and dig into the luscious gelato. But, here in the USA you might want to try soft ice cream, this type of frozen treat is less substantial --- you can’t chew it for love or money, and best licked quickly on a hot day. You’ll find soft ice cream in most sea shore locations usually advertised as “dip cones” meaning that the soft ice cream is encased in a candy shell of your choosing, flavors can range from predictable chocolate to black raspberry. All over the USA you can find soft ice cream at the Dairy Queen chain of ice cream parlor/fast food restaurants. If you are concerned about calories, a ½ cup serving of Dairy Queen’s DQ Soft Serve vanilla has 140 calories and 4.5 grams of fat.
August is also a super time to visit the San Diego Zoo especially if you love gardens. In addition to animals, the zoo is home to 6,500 plant species, including more than 200 species of palms, 100 species of aloe, and an estimated 700 species of orchids. On their website you’ll find a fascinating feature that tells you what blooms on a month-to-month basis along with pictures of the plants in bloom. Because of the fantastic climate, they’ve always got something blooming.
Willie Nelson is on the road again! Even though the country star isn’t playing guitar again since his recent surgery on his hand, he’s performing with Bob Dylan in a lot of locations during August. He’ll hit Cooperstown, New York where you’ll also find the baseball hall of fame as well as making stops in Charleston, South Carolina, Richmond, Virginia, and Sevierville, Tennessee. Sevierville is a great place to stay if you are planning a visit to Dollywood and The Great Smoky Mountains.
I’ve always wondered about that statement, for whatever reason many of us in the USA refer to things that we think are characteristic of our country as being “as American as apple pie.” I don’t know why that is, particularly when some of the best apple pie I’ve had was in the UK. But I do know that people who have spent time in Florida often acquire a taste for a real American treat --- key lime pie. Almost every restaurant in the state serves up a version of this dessert. And, frequent travelers often long for it between visits to Walt Disney World.
So, in the interest of keeping your holiday memories fresh, here’s a recipe for key lime pie that you can make between visits.
Key limes, also called Mexican limes are much smaller than the more common limes. Key Limes have a yellow green color and are rounder than the common lime. You can use either in this recipe but if you can possibly find key limes the taste will be closer to what you had on holiday. Key lime pie is an authentic American dish --- it was created in the Florida Keys before refrigeration was common which may explain the use of canned milk instead of fresh milk.
Start with a pre-packaged graham cracker crust or use your favorite recipe to make one.
Beat the egg yolks until they are thick and turn to a light yellow. Don’t over mix. An electric mixer works best for this. Add the sweetened condensed milk then mix in half of the lime juice (if you are using an electric mixer set it on low speed when you mix in the lime juice.) Add the other half of the juice and the zest and mix until blended. Pour the mixture into the pie shell and bake at 350F for 12 minutes to set the yolks. Chill and garnish with whipped cream if desired.
That’s all it takes for a taste of Florida in your own kitchen.
Lake Powell, Arizona is a great place for an unspoiled getaway. And if you are ready to roam now, you can take advantage of an absolutely amazing special from Lake Powell Resorts and Marinas. From August the 15th until October 31st they are running a fall special. If you’ve ever fancied a houseboat holiday, this might be your best bargain ever.
If you rent a 59' Discovery or Discovery XL Series Houseboat this fall you’ll receive ONE FREE HOUSEBOAT DAY with a five night or more rental plus $200 FREE GAS! The Discovery Houseboats offer everything you need for a family or two taking a trip together. The houseboat easily sleeps 12 and has 2 bathrooms with 1 shower. The fully quipped kitchen has a full size side-by-side refrigerator/freezer, microwave, blender, toaster, and coffee maker.
And Lake Powell Resorts and Marinas have come up with some brand new services to make your vacation even easier. They offer Porter Luggage Handling, an almost essential service for a group planning on a several day stay. Find the Houseboat Attendant in the parking lot or dock area and a porter will be contacted to assist you. They also offer the services of a captain to take your houseboat to and from the breakwater during the beginning and end of your trip. Check with the Houseboat Agent at the Boat Rentals office or with the Houseboat Attendant at the dock to make arrangements.
I really appreciate getting emails full of questions, comments, and advice at MsTravel@USATourist.com
While I try to answer every email I sometimes get a bit behind when I am on the road myself, and recently I seem to have lost a bit of email. One thing I have been doing in recent months, when I get several emails all asking about the same destination, puzzling custom, or issue, I try to address whatever it is in the next newsletter. I figure if ten people ask about something maybe a hundred are curious.
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