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Rundown for the week of December 19, 1998

Cowboy Christmas
Lot's of folks like to take in a show during the holidays... The Nutcracker or maybe the Rockettes in Santa hats kicking it up at Radio City Music Hall. But if you travel to Anson, Texas this weekend, you could actually be part of the dance; steppin' out for the annual Cowboy's Christmas Ball. It's open to anyone with an interest in down home western gatherings. The Open Road's Hal Cannon checks his cowboy hat at the door and takes us inside.

Q & A I: Good Samaritans
Rudy talks to listeners about the kindness of strangers on the road.

Dave Barry Interview
Pulitzer prize-winning columnist Dave Barry is now a proud member of the Big 5-0 club. One more year and I'll be a member too. To prepare for the occasion, I'm reading Dave's latest book--aptly titled Dave Barry Turns 50--hoping that if I ponder his insights about the milestone ahead, everything will go smoothly. Miami is the place Dave calls home. And since he's had a quite a few years to figure out where to live, we asked Dave to tell us why, of all places, he's chose that part of the country.

Holiday Gift Ideas
We put out a call last week asking you to suggest travel gifts. As we sifted through all of your recommendations, we realized that they fell more or less into four categories; "Comfort," "Convenience," "Cool" and "Just Plain Weird, yet Potentially Useful."

Deal of the Week: Give the Gift of Travel
The Belgian airline Sabena will fly two of you to Brussels for the weekend and a couple of nights at the Hilton for only $750. It's good from New York, Newark, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati and Atlanta. Sabena is calling this a Valentine's package, but, in fact, it's good any weekend between January 21st and mid-March. What's more, it includes breakfast, and all tax and departure fees. Move fast--only 50 seats on each flight are available at this bargain basement price.

Maybe Ireland is more to your liking. Aer Lingus is holding a two-for-one sale: A pair of round trip tickets between New York, Newark, Chicago or Boston and the Emerald Isle costs only $488. In Ireland, the airline offers accommodations as low as $70 per night and an Avis car for $21 a day. You have until the end of January to book, but you can travel all the way through March tenth.

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

Montreaux Jazz Festival (July 2-17, 1999)

  • Call Swiss Air and ask for package tours to Montreaux and nearby Lausanne and Geneva. 800-688-7947.
  • For specific information on Montreaux, including tickets and program information, call the Swiss Tourism office after the first of the year. 212-757-5944.

Grouse Hunting in Scotland

  • Prices vary from 2100 (about $3675) for two days of shooting grouse over dogs in Glenlivet, near Aberdeen, to 23,320 (about $40,810) for a group of 8 shooting for two days on the 14,000 acre Corrybrough Estate near Inverness. Call Major Ramsey at Hendry, Ramsey & Wilcox at +44 1592 721140. Or visit their Web site at http://www.ndirect.co.uk/~hrwscothunt.
  • Call Mr. Mal Kempson in Scotland for a less expensive hunt. Rates start at 270 (about $475). Accommodations and meals are just 36 above that (about $63). Headquarters are in Glen Ross, about 20 minutes north of Edinburgh. Phone: +44 1592 721140.

Online Travel Deals

Finland
Well, here's a place that could use a dose of Dave Barry humor around this time of the year: Finland. For much of that country's winter the sun struggles to lift its weary head above the horizon, and in certain parts, it doesn't manage at all for nearly two months! It's not surprising then that one in six Finns suffers from Winter Blues -- and it can be tough on the tourist too. So what do the locals do to cheer themselves up? The Savvy Traveler's Martin Stott headed off to Helsinki to find out.

Next Week on The Savvy Traveler...
...you'll be able to sit back and relax as we take you on a luxury train trip though the American Southwest. And a really special treat when author Pico Iyer drops in to talk about the places that have inspired him to write.

"I think the most elevating, moving and purifying place I've ever been was Tibet and going there I really did feel as if I was leaving the world and the self that I knew and stepping onto some kind of balcony of long horizons, it was very transporting"

The moving stories of Pico Iyer and your calls about the most unusual holiday customs you've experienced along the way.

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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