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HAMILTON PARISH, Bermuda - This has to be one of the most pleasant hazards to navigation in the world. Spanish seamen warned one another of Bermuda's reef-filled waters after Spanish captain Juan de Bermudez discovered the island group in about 1505.
From western Louisiana down to the Texas coastal bend, beaches are wider and browner than Florida's. The gulf can look brownish-green due to rivers emptying into it, but it gets bluer the farther south you go. Here's my assessment of some popular beach towns:
AUSTWELL, Texas - The Aransas National Wildlife Refuge is the winter home of the whooping crane, a bird on the verge of extinction. I drove 20 miles off the main road to get there. I climbed a tall observation tower. In the distance, at least four football fields away, were, or at least seemed to be, two white dots in the waving reeds.
Fourteen new cruise ships enter the business this year. Cruise lines are thinking twice about port calls in Mazatlan, Mexico. And a new port is due to open in Jamaica soon.
SAN FRANCISCO - Smack in the middle of San Francisco's Chinatown, Portsmouth Square is a kaleidoscope of sounds, smells and colors. The cadence of Chinese dialects fills the air and splashes of red and gold glow from shop windows to banners strung across the narrow streets. The rich smell of roast duck curls out of hole-in-the-wall eating places, blending with the faint smell of incense burning on modest shrines.
Here is an app some folks might find handy when planning a trip to a major city in Europe, Asia and the U.S.
In skate skiing, a speedier form of cross-country skiing, diagonal strides are used to move along the trail. The sport is gaining popularity among those who enjoy more vigorous cold-weather activity. Here are five places to give it a whirl.
CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico - While the rest of Mexico is in turmoil, the good times keep on rollin' at Cabo San Lucas.
HONOLULU - While planning a weeklong family trip to Hawaii as an escape from winter, I kept getting suggestions from friends, websites and even my kids for all kinds of "must-see" activities.
Your mom, and the government, say it's the most important meal of the day. But for travelers, breakfast is often an afterthought, something to be microwaved at the chain motel morning buffet or scarfed from a doughnut or bagel shop.