Debbie Stone

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Discover quintessential Switzerland in the realm of the mighty Matterhorn

Ah, the Matterhorn! One of the most distinctive of all Alpine peaks and a symbol of Switzerland, this mountain exerts a powerful draw on people’s imaginations. Its unique shape is recognizable all over the world. This is partly due to the fact that the Matterhorn’s image has been used on numerous products over the years, including chocolate, cheese and muesli packaging, beer cans, men’s swimwear, shaving foam and even on packs of cigarettes.
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Cuyahoga Valley National Park: Worlds away, yet so close

Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a different kind of national park. It was created back in 1974 as part of the Federal Parks to People program, which called for national parks in metropolitan centers. Nestled between the cities of Cleveland and Akron, this 33,000-acre park makes an easy day excursion from either one of these urban cores. And with its open spaces, verdant forests, unique rock formations, waterfalls, farms, quaint villages and historic sites, you’ll immediately feel worlds away from civilization.
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Experience the sights, sounds and flavors of Nashville

If you’re a first timer to Nashville, you’re in for a treat. Expect to have ample opportunities to hear quality music, both in hallowed halls, as well as in the numerous bars and honky-tonks. After all, this is Music City! But you might be surprised to discover that museums also take centerstage in Nashville. You can delve into the lives of well-known musicians and producers, learn about Civil War and Tennessee State history, explore science and technology, and appreciate multi genres of art. And to top it off, the town’s a foodie mecca, so along with your comfy walking shoes, bring an appetite.
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Embrace the dunes at Indiana Dunes National Park

A recent visit to Chicago for a wedding spurred on a side trip to nearby Indiana Dunes National Park, one of the remaining national parks on my list. The Dunes is actually two parks in one place. Indiana Dunes State Park, which was created in 1926, is surrounded by the National Park, which received its status almost a century later, in 2019. The latter spans across fifteen miles of the southern shore of Lake Michigan, between Gary and Michigan City, Indiana, and comprises 15,000 acres.
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Follow in the sandal steps of the Romans as you walk Hadrian’s Wall Path

I’ve grown fond of long walks that take you from one inn to another, with picturesque scenery to admire along the way and only a daypack to carry. Several years ago, I did a portion of the Wales Coastal Path, organized by Celtic Trails, and the experience was so memorable I opted to do another one of the UK’s famed trails with the same company.
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Monet's house and garden is a feast for the senses

It wasn’t enough for me to stare in awe and drink in the beauty of Claude Monet’s ravishing paintings of water lilies in Paris’ wonderful Musee de l’Orangerie - which by the way, is a must visit attraction for art lovers in the City of Lights. I needed to make the trip to Giverny, where the renowned Impressionist had lived and worked, and created over 250 paintings of said water lilies in his garden.
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Handmade traditions prevail on Murano and Burano

A trip to Venice is often on many travelers’ bucket lists. With its picturesque canals, narrow streets and numerous historic sights, this renowned destination is a magnet for tourists, who flock there en masse. Some keep to the main areas, never venturing off the beaten path during their stay. Others wander into the more quiet and less frequented spots, delighted to find quaint and peaceful scenes to enjoy sans the crowds. And then there are those who opt to explore the islands nearby, like Murano and Burano. Murano is well known for its exquisite blown glass; whereas handcrafted lacemaking is Burano’s claim to fame. That and its colorful houses, which make it a photographer’s dream.
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Tour a city of the dead beneath a city of the living in the Paris Catacombs

I’m typically not drawn to ghoulish or gruesome attractions, even on Halloween. But morbid curiosity got the best of me during a recent trip to Paris. It was there, in the magnificent French capital, that I learned of the Catacombs and immediately knew I had to explore this “Empire of the Dead.”
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Taste your way through the ‘City of Canals’ on a street food tour

Food tours are one of the best ways to get to know a city. I like to take them not only to learn about the regional cuisine, but to get to know the area from a local’s perspective. It’s a meld of food, history, culture and geography. Plus, an extra bonus is the exercise you’re getting while walking.
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Expect to get wet when you visit world famous Rhine Falls!

Waterfalls are a magnet for me, especially powerhouses like Rhine Falls in Switzerland. As Europe’s largest waterfall, it’s on many visitors’ must-see list when they’re traveling through this picturesque country.

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