Philadelphia: Are you my mummy?

We don’t know if the exhibit will feature wrap music, but Mummies of the World are now on display at Philly’s Franklin Institute.

Maybe more appropriate for Halloween, the 45 ghoulish figures range from a child who died in ancient Peru six thousand years ago to a wealthy German alcoholic who is still perfectly pickled after nearly 400 years. 

For those interested in such creepy statistics, exhibit explainations for how the bodies were preserved include natural conditions, as well as early skills at embalming. Included are demonstrations of state-of-the-art digital research and scanning methods of detecting mummy ages and causes of death. 

Since people like to travel with their pets, some of the mummies are accompanied by preserved dogs, cats and monkeys. For more information about the exhibit and the Franklin Institute, go to www.fi.edu

London: Buckingham Palace guard passes in review PDF Print E-mail

London palace guard

Catalina Island CA: The Casino PDF Print E-mail

Catalina casino

Originally called the Sugarloaf Casino, the Art Deco building on Catalina’s beach side town of Avalon went up in 1929. Originally owned by the Wrigley (chewing gum) family, despite the name, the Casino has never been an actual gambling hall.

It was first an early talkies movie house, vaudeville theater, concert venue and, on the second level, a dance hall. In the 1930s and 1940s, live radio broadcasts were beamed throughout America from the Casino. They featured music from Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, Woody Herman, Harry James and other famed bands of the era.

Today, the Casino continues to show first-run movies on its first level, while on the insulated floor above, concerts and dances offer a variety of entertainment. Many social, music and art events are scheduled at the Casino throughout the year.

As the old song goes, Catalina Island is 26 miles across the seas from Long Beach CA, a 15-minute flight or 60-minute ferry ride. The island was a famous destination for John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, Charlie Chaplin and other movie stars of the 1930s through the 1950s, who often sailed their yachts from the California coast to Avalon. In 1981, actress Natalie Wood lost her life when she fell from a yacht into the harbor.

The average Catalina daytime weather temperature is 60 degrees in winter months, and 75 degrees in summer. For more information, go to www.catalinachamber.com/island/specialevents

Mexico: Is it OK to celebrate our retirement there? PDF Print E-mail

Cabo San Lucas

Q: My spouse is retiring in the next few months and wants to celebrate in Mexico. Our roots are Mexican, but our families have lived in the U.S. for three generations. With all the recent bad news of killings and drug cartels, I’m not sure a Mexican vacation is a good idea. What do you think we should do?  B.C., San Francisco CA

A: A good idea would be to take a trial run first to get a taste of Mexico. Check with the internet or local travel agency about a Baja cruise from San Francisco or Los Angeles. It will visit Pacific coast ports, usually including Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco. You can go ashore to check out the towns, do some shopping and experience local dining.

If you’re satisfied about the safety and other factors, make your next vacation a week’s stay in Mexico City and other inland destinations. Another good idea is to check your families’ histories and make contact with relatives in those areas of Mexico for potential visits with them.

TSA Cares for air travelers who need help PDF Print E-mail


The Transportation Security Administration now has a toll-free help line to get travelers through security checkpoints. For more information, call the TSA Cares toll free number at 1-855-787-2227 between 9 am and 9 pm New York time Mondays through Fridays.

Before going to the airport, travelers with physical disabilities or serious medical condition and family members going with them can now call TSA Cares to talk with representatives. TSA advises that calls be made at least three days before flights, so that if help at the airport is needed, it can be scheduled.

Questions about check-in screening and special facilities in the airport and aboard flights will be answered. Also available on the TSA Cares phone line are qualified medical expects to answer questions relating to specific disabilities.

Memphis TN: Elvis Graceland Events in 2012 PDF Print E-mail

Elvis 35 yrs

This year, Graceland, the late Elvis Presley’s Memphis mansion, marks his 77th birthday and the anniversary of his death by staging new exhibits, tours and other events.

A multi-media presentation, "Elvis…Though His Daughter's Eyes," is hosted by Lisa Marie Presley. As part of the Graceland VIP tour, it features vintage home movies and her childhood memories.


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