Monday, April 22, 2019

CINCINNATI SINGS…AND SWINGS

BY JANET STEINBERG


Founded in 1788, Cincinnati, Ohio is considered by many historians to be the “first American City” as it was the first major city to develop after America secured its independence. Located on the Ohio River where Ohio meets Northern Kentucky, the city was dubbed “The Queen City” by proud citizens in 1820.  The celebrated poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow reinforced her royal moniker when he referred to the city as “Queen of the West” in his poem “Catawba Wine”. 

Once a quiet conservative river town, Cincinnati has retained its classical roots.  However, in the last decade, it has undergone a contemporary renaissance…it is now a classy city that sings and swings. 



THE QUEEN CITY SINGS

Monday, April 1, 2019

GO TO A GOLF RESORT, EVEN IF…..


GO TO A GOLF RESORT, EVEN IF…..
                                                                                     By Janet Steinberg


Even if you hate the game… even if you’ve never played the game…even if you’ve always laughed at people whacking a little white ball over hill and vale…you should not pass up the chance to accompany a golf devotee on a getaway to a golf resort.
Even if you will never step foot on the green, (if you even know what a green is), you’re going to love it.  So while your golfing companion swings away in drizzling rain or oppressive heat, you can be chilling out in in style at any one of the following resorts:

KOHLER, WISCONSIN…THE AMERICAN CLUB: The American dream...The American way…The American Club. 

As long as there is an America, there will always be an American dream.  Since the birth of our nation, immigrants have been coming to the United States in search of that dream.   There was a time, some 100-plus years ago, when hundreds of those immigrants headed to Wisconsin where they could find work at the Kohler Company, manufacturers of state-of-the-art plumbing fixtures and faucets.  These young immigrants lived in squalor in nearby Sheboygan. 

Walter Kohler, third son of the Austrian immigrant founder of Kohler Co had his own American dream. He wanted his workers to maintain the work ethic and social graces that they had brought with them from 'the old country'.  His visionary concept for a quality standard of living found concrete expression in the building of The American Club, dedicated June 1918.
 
THE WORLD-CLASS AMERICAN CLUB

The Tudor-style American Club is a world-class 5-star resort listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Located 55 miles from Milwaukee, it might well be the best-kept secret in the Midwest. The golfer in the group will revel at four Pete Dye-designed championship golf courses at Whistling Straits (The Straits and the Irish) and at Blackwolf Run (The River and The Meadow Valleys).
 
SHEEP HAVE THEIR OWN THREESOME ON WHISTLING STRAITS' IRISH COURSE

For the non-golfer, The American Club offers a plethora of recreational and dining options …from cross-country skiing…to spa-ing…to shopping…to factory touring.  At the Kohler Design Center you will be amazed, and amused, by Kohler’s own “great wall of china”, a floor-to-ceiling display of hundreds of plumbing fixtures in all shapes, sizes and colors.


KOHLER’S GREAT WALL OF CHINA

WEST BADEN SPRINGS, INDIANA…WEST BADEN SPRINGS HOTEL: 

Forget the West Baden Springs Hotel of yore. More than a century, and half a billion dollars later, this 1902 hotel has been meticulously and elegantly restored as the upscale half of The French Lick Resort. When the hotel first opened, journalists proclaimed it the Eighth Wonder of the World.  Saved from the brink of extinction, the West Baden Springs Hotel is no less a wonder today.  West Baden’s extraordinary 1902 design included a breathtaking 6-story domed atrium and architectural elements that were modeled after the great spas of Europe. 


DOMED ATRIUM FROM A BALCONY GUEST ROOM

Over a century later this National Historic Landmark is the reigning grande dame of the Midwest.  The original massive Rookwood Pottery fireplace dominates the circular court and white wicker rocking chairs circle the hotel’s wrap-around veranda.  


ORIGINAL ROOKWOOD POTTERY FIREPLACE

Relaxing in a rocker, overlooking the manicured grounds, one might become disturbed by a small symbol that is part of the design of the hunter green railing that surrounds the veranda.  At the time the hotel was built, the symbol was associated with wholesomeness, well-being, good fortune, and renewal.  It was a symbol appropriate to use in 1917 within the context of a health resort.  However, World War II drastically changed the way in which that symbol was viewed by the world.  
That symbol is the swastika!
Brass placards, intermittently placed around the railing, explain the swastika design with the following words: “The West Baden Springs Hotel veranda railing was constructed in 1902, long before the swastika symbol was used in WWII.  Many cultures throughout the past 3000 years utilized the swastika symbol to represent life, sun, power, strength, and good luck.”
So just relax and rock away on the porch while your companion works his way around the 8102-yard Pete Dye course carved into a hillside that offers a variety of elevation changes and course terrain.  Its narrow fairways and ever-changing bunkers are a challenge for even the best of players. 
A bronze sculpture of Pete Dye stands in front of The Mansion Clubhouse.  The plaque on an adjacent rock states Pete Dye’s feeling about the kind of golf course he built:  “The ardent golfer,” stated Dye, “would play Mount Everest if somebody would put a flagstick on top…golf is not a fair game so why build a fair golf course”.


PETE DYE PROCLAIMS “GOLF IS NOT A FAIR GAME SO WHY BUILD A FAIR GOLF COURSE"

PINEHURST, NORTH CAROLINA…PINEHURST RESORT:  

Well into her second century, the Grande Dame of North Carolina has undergone many facelifts.   Yet she is still as lovely and charming as she was in her flaming youth.  As in any successful transformation, her changes have been skillfully executed without altering the overall appearance of the patient. 
Born on January 1, 1901 to wealthy Bostonian James Walker Tufts, she was originally named Carolina.  At the beginning of 1974, her name was changed to Pinehurst in honor of the village in which she was born.  The opulent Carolina Hotel opened January 1, 1901 with ten guests.  By March, it was catering to 350 elite guests from the East, the South, and the Midwest.  Today, the majestic Carolina Hotel with its signature copper cupola and sweeping verandas has been dubbed the “Queen of the South”.


THIS  GRANDE DAME IS "THE QUEEN OF THE SOUTH"

Encircling North Carolina’s largest frame hotel is an open porch lined with a raft of white wicker rocking chairs.  Lazy white ceiling fans stir the clear Carolina air.  Serene silence is disturbed only by the tinkle of an ice cube in a frosty mint julep.  
Your golfing companion can spend an entire week challenging Pinehurst’s unique golf courses.  Its eight courses make it the largest golf resort in America.  Pinehurst’s #2, along with #8 and #4, are consistently ranked among the world's best courses.  Sam Snead said, “I have always rated Pinehurst #2 as my #1 course.”


PINEHURST’S “PUTTER BOY” WAS SCULPTED AS A SUNDIAL IN 1912

While golf may be Pinehurst’s claim to fame, your sybaritic self can indulge in tennis, bicycling, boating, bowling, croquet, fishing, and spa-ing.   A day spent at the Spa at Pinehurst is a day of renewing your soul and your spirit. The Pinehurst Signature Massage is pure tranquility.  The Carolina Peach Nourisher, a full body exfoliation with a peach and pecan scrub, is followed by an application of peach-scented shea and mango butter that will leave you feeling, and smelling, like a peach noodle. 
Dining at Pinehurst is another memorable activity.  After dinner, nothing could be finer than a stroll in the quiet, genteel village where grand old homes and tree-shaded lanes reflect an old New England where time seems to have stood still.  For more than a century, this wonder-filled resort, has taken its guests back to an era when elegance defined grand hotels… to a time when life wasn’t lived, it was played.   
Some things never change.  Aren’t you glad they don’t? 

MACKINAC ISLAND, MICHIGAN THE GRAND HOTEL: 

Mackinac (pronounced Mac-ki-naw) is no ordinary island.  An abundance of horse-drawn carriages await visitors to this island where motorized vehicles are not permitted.  From the moment you step off the Mackinac Island ferry, you’ll know that you had not only stepped back in time, but you also will have lost all sense of time.   A horse-drawn carriage, driven by a liveried coachman, will convey you to the Grand Hotel. 

AN ELEGANT, LIVERIED HORSE-DRAWN “TAXI"

As you wind your way up the bluffs, the stunning Victorian architecture of the Grand Hotel takes you back to another century.  And what a grand hotel it is!  This circa 1887 island jewel, set on a bluff above the historic Straits of Mackinaw, might well be the most enchanting destination in Michigan.


THE HISTORIC GRAND HOTEL

The majestic 660-foot covered porch of this stately grande dame, bedecked with 43 white Grecian columns, 180 geranium-filled flower boxes and 88 rocking chairs, is pristine reminder of the elegance and glory of a bygone era.

  
660-FOOT PORCH, WINDING AROUND THE HOTEL, CLAIMS TO BE THE WORLD’S LARGEST PORCH

Once inside the Grand Hotel you will be immersed in the fantasy world of renowned designer Carleton Varney, one of America’s most renowned interior designers, dubbed “The Chagall of the Decorating World” because of his love of color.  When a guest puts his key in the door, Varney wants the guest to say “WOW!”  And “WOW!” it is.   
While you are being wow-ed by Varney’s unique hotel, your golfing companion will be wow-ed by the hotel’s 18-hole Jewel Golf Course, one of the most unique golf courses in the country.  The Jewel is comprised of two separate 9-hole courses, The Grand (across from the hotel with views of the Straits of Mackinac) and The Woods (in the interior of Mackinac Island with views of the Mackinac Bridge and the Upper Peninsula).  The two courses are a mile and a half apart, making The Jewel the only course in the country with a scenic, 15-minute horse-drawn carriage ride between nines. Best golf cart ever!

JANET STEINBERG is an award-winning Travel Writer, and International Travel Consultant with THE TRAVEL AUTHORITY in CINCINNATI, OHIO.  She is the winner of 47 national Travel Writing Awards. TEXT AND PHOTOS BY JANET STEINBERG


Monday, March 11, 2019

DUBLIN: TREASURE IRELAND


DUBLIN: TREASURE IRELAND

By Janet Steinberg

“In Dublin’s fair city, where the girls are so pretty
I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone…..” 
Just as the tragic ballad laments, there she stood greeting me at the top of Grafton Street.  

In all her buxom bronze splendor, the 18th-century fish-monger is still drawing a crowd to her wheel-barrow laden with cockles and mussels.  Immortalized in 1988 by sculptor Jean Rynhart, Molly Malone has been affectionately, yet irreverently, dubbed by irrepressible Dubliners as “The Tart with the Cart”.

SWEET MOLLY MALONE 

Monday, February 25, 2019

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE: A“NASH-IONAL” TREASURE

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE: A“NASH-IONAL” TREASURE                                                                            By Janet Steinberg 

Music City, U.S.A....that's where it’s. 

Nashville's heart beats to music.  Folk music that crossed the Smokies with early settlers…toe-tapping fiddle and banjo music…mournful hill ballads.  The music of America…tunes that grew into down home "hillbilly" music that filled the barns and the countryside. 

With the advent of The Grand Ole Opry and television, that music grew into a gentle, more sophisticated, country-western sound.  Known as "The Nashville Sound", this music is loved throughout the world and earned Nashville its name: Music City, U.S.A.    

Nashville, the progressive vital city with a colorful past and an exciting future, has something for everyone.  From stately historical mansions and cultural landmarks to stark skyscrapers; from a mega-million dollar music industry to rolling hills and rambling horse farms; from Capitol Hill to 17 college campuses; from greens 'n hawg jawls to knishes , latkes , and filet mignon; from the Nashville Symphony and Ballet to the Grand Ole  Opry.

FROM STARK SKYSCRAPERS TO HONKY-TONK HEAVEN IN DOWNTOWN NASHVILLE
           

Monday, February 4, 2019

ROMANCE IS IN THE AIR

ROMANCE IS IN THE AIR
By Janet Steinberg 
     “The meeting of two personalities
                            Is like the contact of two chemical substances:
                            If there is any reaction, both are transformed.”
Carl Gustav Jung-1933

    Cupid is coming.  Champagne, roses and chocolate-covered strawberries!  As Valentine’s Day approaches, love is in the air. The poetess Elizabeth Barrett Browning asked: “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” Ask yourself: “How do I count the places where I can celebrate love?” 


RECIPE FOR ROMANCE: JUST ADD ROSES AND CHOCOLATES