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Rundown for the week of December 5, 1998

Key Lime Pie
For some travelers, the key to a successful vacation is discovering and devouring at least one memorable meal. Certain destinations have unforgettable cuisine written all over them: Tuscany, the Loire Valley, San Francisco. And there are certain local specialty foods that shouldn't be missed when traveling the world. For instance, what would a visit to Maine be without a lobster supper? Reporter Kitty Felde just returned from a culinary quest where she set out to find perfection in just such a local delicacy.

Q & A I -- Gifts from the Road
Rudy talks to listeners about the best, worst, tackiest, and most unique gifts from your travels.

Interview: Mary Bosrok
Commerce is booming between the United States and Latin America. But doing business with our compatriots to the south in countries like Brazil, Argentina and Mexico requires defining something more than the bottom line. Accepting that etiquette and protocol differ is key to acceptance and success. For example, did you know that refusing to have a cup of coffee with a Latin American colleague is an offense that will not be taken lightly. I learned that when I read Mary Bosrock's Put Your best Foot Forward Guide to South America.

There is a place in South America where you won't have to worry about status, how to make a deal, or whether you're wearing the right shoes. It's an area so remote that it's an ideal breeding ground for wildlife, far from the pressures of the human world. Argentina's beloved Poet Jorge Luis Borges once said, "There is nothing in Patagonia." And granted, it's not your typical tourist destination. But the very obscurity of Patagonia, covering the southern third of South America, is what inspired Rachel Anne Goodman, to make the arduous journey and discover that there is indeed something in Patagonia.

Deal of the Week
Between now and next April, you can fly Southwest for $99 or less each way anywhere they go. You have to buy a round-trip ticket at least seven days in advance and stay over one night. But those are modest restrictions for such a dealespecially because they don't make you stay over a Saturday night. You'll have to make at least one-stop on longer trips, but at these prices, who cares? As you might expect, some flights are blacked out around Christmas and New Years. And you better jump on this fast. Even though you can travel until April 2nd, you have to buy your ticket by December 16th. Make your move now, and you'll be flying on the cheap for the next four months!

Q & A II -- General Questions
Rudy takes listeners' general questions about travel. He mentions:

Visiting Washington, D.C.

  • Bed and Breakfast Accommodations, Ltd. Has a website with photos and information about B&Bs in the city. They can also be reached at 202-328-3510
  • The Adams Inn, located on a quiet side street in the Adams-Morgan district, is near the Metro and affordable. Doubles start at $55, with a European-style shared bath. For a little more, you can have a private bath. Price includes breakfast.
  • The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum's Garber Preservation, Restoration and Storage Facility in Suitland, Maryland offers free tours. Call 202-357-1400.

Winter Trip to Phoenix

  • Between Phoenix and Tucson lies the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. You can hike the back country and see the seldom-seen organ pipe cactus.
  • The San Javier del Bac Mission is a great idea for Christmas. It dates to 1797 and is a beautiful display of New Spanish Baroque architecture.
  • North of Phoenix, near Flagstaff, lies the quaint village of Sedona. It's the core of Red Rock Country, where you'll be overwhelmed by sandstone castles and jutting red rock pillars.
  • For more information, call the Phoenix and Valley of the Sun Convention and Visitors Bureau at 602-254-6500.

Seating Charts on Planes

  • For seating schematics of each airplane, you can call the airline and ask for their "system timetable." All the major airlines have pamphlets with seat charts for each plane and tell which type of plane you'll be flying on.

Norman Corwin: Early Flight
Later this month America will commemorate that famous first flight -- back in 1903 -- by the Wright brothers. It was to be decades before regular commercial airline flights, and even then, only the most prominent citizens had the wherewithal to sample this exotic new form of travel. One of those "prominent citizens" was dramatist Norman Corwin, often called "the bard of radio's golden age"...in the 1940s, Corwin was as well-known as the president...a man by the name of Franklin Roosevelt. One evening, he told us a story about flying "in the old days."

Next Week on The Savvy Traveler
Next week, more "firsts"...when we hit the Open Road and hear how young Mormon missionaries, actually called elders, get ready to travel for the very first time, for a very long time.

Clip: "I'm Elder Peter Campbell and I'm going to Brazil...I'm Elder James Badger and I'm going to the Cambodia Phnom Phen mission...I'm Sister Birasten, I'm going to Russian mission"

We'll learn how they prepare for the journey. And we'll take a little journey ourselves when we explore an island on Lake Superior. You won't find much of a nightlife there, but the allure is something altogether quite different.

"I don't know how to explain it. It's just magical. I have to be by water. No matter what is wrong you feel top notch when you get out."

The quiet paradise of Madeline Island, and your stories about the most surprising place you've spent the holidays. All that and more, so please come along for the ride in next week's edition of The Savvy Traveler.

For tapes of the show
If you want your very own copy of The Savvy Traveler, order an audio cassette. It's easy. Just call 303-823-8000. The price is $15. As Rudy says, it's a steal.

The Savvy Traveler Newsletter
The Savvy Traveler newsletter is now available. For more information, call toll-free, 888-SAV-TRAV (888-728-8728), extension 3, or e-mail mail@savvytraveler.org.

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