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Posts Tagged ‘Jim Twardowski’

Photo: JoeyBLS Photography via Flickr.com

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be blind? The exhibit Dialog in the Dark takes participants on a one-hour journey through the streets of New York City in a completely dark environment.

Led by guides who are blind or visually impaired, participants’ senses are heightened as they haltingly navigate across busy, simulated streets, to a subway station, and into Times Square.

Open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Dialog in the Dark is located at the South Street Seaport next to BODIES the Exhibition. Adult tickets are $23.50 and can be purchased at the exhibit box office, on Ticketmaster.com, or by calling 1-888-926-3437.

More than 15 million people worldwide have experienced BODIES the Exhibition, currently open to the public in New York City, Atlanta, and Las Vegas. BODIES the Exhibition features real human bodies, preserved using mortuary science, standing in an array of athletic poses. Unlike idealized models, the more than 200 respectfully displayed specimens provide a far more accurate understanding of anatomy.

Open seven days a week in NYC, adult tickets are sold on Ticketmaster.com for $28.50.

Where to Stay

Seven New York City hotels are offering buy one get one free admission to Dialog in the Dark.  The hotels participating in this promotion include:

  • Hilton Times Square
  • Hilton New York Fashion District
  • DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Times Square
  • DoubleTree by Hilton Metropolitan Hotel
  • Hampton Inn Manhattan Times Square North
  • Hilton Garden Inn New York/West 35th Street
  • Hilton Garden Inn Times Square

The NY Super Sale Package includes a reduced rate accommodation, buy one/get one free admission to Dialog in the Dark, and a $5 off coupon to Madame Tussauds from now through December 31, 2012.  Use code NX or NX1 at the Hilton online, or mention it when calling 1-800-HILTONS.

Jim Twardowski, BSN, RN, CMSRN, is a travel writer based in Louisiana. His work has been featured in AAA Home & AwayGlobal Traveler, and QUEST magazines.

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Photo: Jim Twardowski

Each year, as soon as spring has sprung, I head to the local garden center. This year, I find a flower bed filled with bright red impatiens, a manicured front lawn, and a backyard filled with blooming azaleas, gardenias, agapanthas, and hydrangeas.

When I travel, I enjoy spending time in lushly landscaped gardens. Walking amongst the blooming plants provides inspiration for my own yard.

You, too, can find public gardens by visiting the American Public Gardens Association website. Featuring information on public gardens in all 50 states, track down and learn about gardens ranging from sculpture and topiary to aviary and Japanese. Use the “Garden Search” tool to locate one in your state, and here is a sample of what you might find:

Pennsylvania

The Brandywine Conservancy preserves art and the environment in Pennsylvania. American art is exhibited in the Brandywine River Museum — a 19th-century grist mill. Surrounded by wildflower and native plant gardens, providing a variety of blooms from early spring until the first frost, the museum houses a collection of works by Andrew, Jamie and N.C. Wyeth, as well as American illustrations, still life, and landscape paintings.

Idaho

Hundreds of gardens are located on college and university campuses across the country, but the 63-acre University of Idaho Arboretum and Botanical Garden sits in a valley with the rolling Palouse hills as a backdrop. Geographically arranged, visitors will see Asian, European, Eastern, and Western North American plant groupings.

Georgia

The American Camellia Society is based at Massee Lane Gardens and hosts the Festival of Camellia’s every February. The 100-acre botanical garden is located in the middle of Georgia, and a nine-acre section contains over 1,000 varieties of camellias.

National Public Gardens Day is on May 11 and Better Homes and Gardens is providing free admission to participating gardens. Simply visit the BHG website and download the voucher.

Even if you don’t have a green thumb, visiting a public garden is a relaxing way to enjoy nature. And, you might just gain a greater appreciation for your own backyard!

Jim Twardowski, BSN, RN, CMSRN, is a travel writer based in Louisiana. His work has been featured in AAA Home & Away, Global Traveler, and QUEST magazines.

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Photo: Michelle Meiklejohn

What began as a group of friends playing music and eating potluck suppers on Friday nights, soon evolved into the Tucson Kitchen Musician’s Association. Now with more than 300 members, the nonprofit organization sponsors the annual Tucson Folk Festival. Celebrating its 27th year in 2012, the festival will be held May 5 and 6.

About the Festival

Drawing more than 10,000 viewers annually, the free festival attracts people from all walks of life with the promise of live acoustic music performed on five stages. Other activities include a song writing contest, and workshops ranging in topics from native flute making to Hootenanny.

Headlining the festival on Saturday, May 5, is BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet, a band that has received 11 Grammy nominations during its 30+ year career. In 2009, the band won a Grammy for Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album for “Live at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.”

Where to Stay

In celebration of Arizona’s Centennial, the Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa is offering guests a two-night stay at the best available rate, and a third night for $19.12, in recognition of the year Arizona became a state.

Guests can also receive 25% off the following resort amenities:

  • All resort and food beverage outlets including: AZUL, Janos, and J BAR
  • Red Door Spa products, an Ultimate Facial, and any 80-minute body treatment
  • Green fees for golfers
  • Regular priced items at La Paloma Country Club and Racquets
  • The Essentials Gift Shop and the Sunsations Shop

Reservations can be made online or by calling 866.716.8137. For the above discounts, use promotion code ANW (valid through Dec. 31, 2012).

Other Tucson Tourism 

Receive two-for-one admissions and discounts at popular attractions when you purchase a Tucson Attractions Passport for $18. The Passport can be bought online, and is good for 45 attractions including the Biosphere 2, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Fox Tucson Theatre, International Wildlife Museum, Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Titan Missile Museum, Tucson Museum of Art, and more.

Jim Twardowski, RN, is a travel writer based in New Orleans.

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Photo: hin255

In Hot Springs, Arkansas, a city known as the official Birthplace of Spring Baseball, a one-of-a-kind attraction was recently opened to the public.

Starting March 29, the historical “baseball trail” will allow visitors to tour a series of 26 historical landmarks, taking tourists on a journey to where America’s baseball legends played and trained during the sport’s golden era.

According to an article on the Hot Springs website, Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs, says that more than 45 percent of Major League Baseball Hall of Famers in Cooperstown, N.Y., either played baseball or were associated with baseball training in Hot Springs National Park. 134 out of the current 295 Hall of Fame members can now be associated with training, playing, visiting, or simply being in Hot Springs, Arrison says.

According to Arrison, five baseball historians worked to document Hot Springs as the birthplace of what eventually became known as the sport’s spring training. As the historians dug deep into newspapers, archives, and other sources across America, they uncovered increasing information about the popularity of spring baseball in the area. Now more than 300 players, managers, owners, journalists, and other famous names can be associated with the sport in Hot Springs.

On the trail, tourists can stand in the spot where Babe Ruth hit a home run that traveled 573 feet and landed in a pit on a nearby alligator farm; and flip a coin at the site of The Eastman Hotel, where Ruth did the same in 1921 to determine his salary with the Yankees for the following year.

Brochures are available to visitors who can independently tour the plaques along the trail, and smartphone users can access audio narration through a free mobile app.

For more information, visit the Hot Springs website. Fans of the national pastime might also like to read “Shining Diamonds in the April issue of Healthcare Traveler.

Jim Twardowski, RN, is a travel writer based in New Orleans.

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Photo: Jim Twardowski

During March, healthcare professionals visiting or living in San Antonio, Texas, should see an original play: “I’ll Remember for You (Yo Me Acuerdo Por Tí).”

The bilingual show is the story of a Mexican-American woman’s life as a caregiver to her mother who has Alzheimer’s.

The poignant story reveals the daughter’s experiences dealing with her mother’s dementia and memory loss. Lisa Suarez, who wrote the play, performs the role of her 85-year-old mother.

Despite the heart-breaking subject, the play is filled with humorous moments and the audience spends most of the 90 minute performance laughing. Told with compassion, respect, and love, “I’ll Remember for You” is a compelling look into one caregiver’s life.

The play is showing at the six-acre Blue Star Arts Complex, an innovative adaptation of historic warehouses on the southern edge of downtown. The arts-centered, multi-use development is home to four on-site galleries, performance spaces, retail shops, and eateries, as well as artists workspaces and apartments.

Before the curtain rises:

  • Visit the Blue Star Contemporary Art Center‘s current traveling exhibit, “Passage to the Future.” Curated by The Japan Foundation, the exhibit features work created at the beginning of the 21st century by eleven different artists.
  • Take a stroll and watch the sunset on the San Antonio River, which borders the complex.
  • Have dinner at the Blue Star Brewery, where the eclectic menu ranges from burgers and brisket tacos, to tortilla soup and homemade double chocolate cake.

General admission tickets to the show are $15. For more information about the nonprofit theater, visit their website or call (210) 227-5867. For more general information about San Antonio, visit the official San Antonio tourism website, which also includes maps and moneysaving coupons.

Jim Twardowski, RN, is a travel writer based in New Orleans.

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America’s railroad, Amtrak, is celebrating its 40th anniversary. A special Exhibit Train is traveling across the country showcasing the company’s history over the decades and displaying memorabilia such as period uniforms, past menus and dinnerware, and vintage advertising.

In March the exhibit stops in Virginia, North Carolina, and Delaware. The free exhibit is open to the public from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. All three locations feature kid’s activities based on Chuggington Depot — an animated Disney Junior television show.

Photo: Sura Nualpradid

March Stops

  • March 3 & 4: Staples Mill Road Station, Richmond, Va.
  • March 10 & 11: Amtrak Station, Raleigh, N.C.
  • March 17 & 18: North Carolina Transportation Museum, Spencer, N.C.
  • March 31 & April 1: Amtrak Station, Wilmington, Del.

The Exhibit Train will visit 35 cities across the nation in 2012. For a complete list of locations and dates, visit amtrak40th.com.

Commemorative 40th anniversary merchandise will be available for purchase onboard the train including “Amtrak: An American Story,” a book that chronicles the history of the railroad with archival photographs, a historical timeline, and personal narratives for each decade; and “Amtrak: The First 40 Years,” a documentary DVD with hard-to-find photographs and video footage, as well as interviews with past and present leaders.

Amtrak is the nation’s intercity passenger rail provider and its only high-speed rail operator. Trains connect 46 states, the District of Columbia, and three Canadian provinces. More than 300 daily trains travel at speeds up to 150 mph. Last year, a record-breaking 30 million passengers chose to travel on Amtrak. For more information on schedules or fares, visit www.Amtrak.com or call 800-USA-RAIL.

Jim Twardowski, RN, is a travel writer based in New Orleans.

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