Chicago hostel: clean, safe, prime location

To Cristina Causone of Italy, $34.50 is a lot to pay for a place to sleep. Even if it is clean, safe and in the heart of Chicago.

She is 24 and says she has been a tourist in the United States five times. 

To retiree Shirley Hart of Arizona, the lodging price is more agreeable.(…)

Pressures, challenge of historic preservation

Money, space, sentiment and progress all have a role – from bit player to star – in our quest to preserve, hide or discard the past. It is easy to appreciate and favor the architectural beauty of a well-preserved building that has historical value, unless you must reach into your own pocketbook to maintain it.(…)

A traveler’s tales of turbulence, anxiety

One of my more unusual travel challenges this month will be to figure out how to safely transport a case of Berghoff and Capital Brewery beer – two of Wisconsin’s finest labels – to Japan. Should I lug it around O’Hare as a carry-on? Invest in bubble wrap, say a prayer and send it as(…)

Reader mail: Stay, go in light of SARS, war?

I love reader mail, regardless of whether adventures occur close to home or halfway around the world. Among your comments and observations: — Will you stay home or travel? That question was asked shortly before the United States began war with Iraq, and before the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) resulted in U.S.(…)

Oklahoma memorial: Bomb site turns sacred

“Beacons of hope” have replaced sirens and searchlights; soil covered by death and destruction has become sacred. That’s how Polly Nichols describes the transformation of 3.3 acres in downtown Oklahoma City. She is one of the more than 700 people injured in the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. The(…)

Kiwi, Quebec culture: U.S. could learn from it

It was about 8 a.m. in Auckland, New Zealand, as we shuffled into the Hyatt Regency downtown, sleepy and jet-lagged after a 12-hour flight from Los Angeles.

        We hoped to check into our room early but were ready to settle for just having a place to stash the luggage. The registration clerk offered his apologies.

        “I see(…)

Adventure Andy: remote ecotourism trips

If you truly want to escape the world’s turmoil, Andy Kammer can help by sending you far away. What’s the logic in that? The DeForest (Dane County) native’s specialty is eco-tourism in remote locations: kayaking in Costa Rica, snorkeling in Panama, studying Mayan architecture in Belize, tracking lions in Zimbabwe, South Africa. From stays inside(…)

Stay or go? Japan plans remain in place

One of my toughest deadlines lately had nothing to do with writing. Less than two days into the war with Iraq, 12 women in Wisconsin each had to decide how much we wanted to participate in a sister-state cultural exchange to Chiba, Japan. The 10-day trip will happen in May. Until last week, we could(…)

Expect shorter trips, last-minute decisions

WISCONSIN DELLS – I hear that you want to stay closer to home, and that’s understandable, but a lot of people hope you don’t barricade yourself until war talk ends. Their livelihood, and the state’s economic health, depends on your decision to leave home once in a while. About 1,000 tourism industry leaders were here(…)

Funjet just one part of Mark Travel Corp.

Here is an incredible journey that had a humble and noble beginning, more than 70 years ago in Kenosha. That’s when Edmund La Macchia began to reunite families, arranging their transport by steamship from Italy to America. Now La Macchia Enterprises, based north of Milwaukee in Bayside, is a several billion dollar entity that is(…)