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DONNE TRAVELS

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Travel: The Pfister Hotel, Victorian Opulence in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee's Pfister Hotel is a magical place. A gorgeous, gilded lobby features a grand “Great Gatsby” era staircase. Breathtakingly beautiful, the lobby’s domed ceiling mural greats guests with celestial cherubs, ornate golden accents and intricately designed wood floors. “Salve,” or welcome, is proclaimed. Here is where hallmarks of Victorian opulence abound. Furniture is encased in warm textures and colors. For the mid-winter visitor The Pfister emanates an old world, big fireplace kind of warmth.

Family on Bikes: Room at the Inn?

So I found myself in an ages old story. Tired, hungry, with minimal resources and in need of a place for the night so that my children's adult memories would include bits of childhood. For us, it was a Christmas miracle. We found our selves as the very warmly welcomed guest of the Ramada Inn, Del Rio. Tommy, manager of the Ramada Del Rio, continued on with the tradition of southern hospitality we've come to expect in these here parts by opening his door to us and welcoming us to his hotel. We couldn't have asked for more. A warm room, comfortable bed, hot shower and Christmas Dinner buffet were all welcome gifts

Family on Bikes: Paper houses for you and me.

I probably shouldn’t have been surprised to see houses made of paper… but I’ll admit I was. Somehow I never considered the possibility of using readily available discarded paper to build a shelter – but maybe I should have. After all – it only makes sense. Stan Nelson of Marathon, Texas, opened my eyes to this new approach to building homes. According to Stan, innovative people around the US are experimenting with using recycled paper to build houses. These people have developed a material called papercrete – a mixture of paper and cement – and they are creating low-cost and energy efficient homes with paper which would otherwise end up in a landfill.

A Chicago video Christmas from Donne Tempo

To avoid some of that cold, Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier offers a full day of holiday themed diversions. Ice skating, big bouncing slides, colorful trees and a carousel. Lots of friendly characters walking around with a smile and “How do you do ”Helping children and parents to stop and enjoy the wonder of Christmas.

FAMILY ON BIKES: El Paso, Texas. Gateway to Mexico

El Paso is not on the top of most "must visit" destinations, but it should be on the list. El Paso offers a small city destination for those looking for a vacation filled with exploration - from mountains to the desert, city central to open stall Mercado. El Paso has boomed into a sprawling city, growing to a population of over 600,000 residents. T And with that human tide has come lots of history, art, and fun things to do. Museums, historical stopping points and great nature spots to enjoy are plentiful.

Travel: Thanksgiving Dinner - Visit Virginia vacation spots Wintergreen Resort or Lansdowne Resort and let the Chefs do the cooking.

Make this Thanksgiving a holiday for mom by visiting one of Virginia's leading resorts -- Wintergreen or Lansdowne -- for your holiday feast. At these quality destination properties, whether you visit for the weekend or just plan on visiting for the day, the meal preparations are easy as their chefs create sumptuous buffets and dinner menus sure to please everyone in the family. And, while the chefs are busy cooking, you can spend your time in the properties spas, relaxing by the pool or just enjoying coffee and family in these ultra-relaxing environs.

Travel: Buckhead beckons business and leisure travelers. Unexpected harmony at The Grand Hyatt, Atlanta, Georgia

The apex of any hotel stay is always a bit of harmony. A hotel property becomes home for those nights that you are there. It is your personal space, your retreat. The goal is to find that place where from the front door to the crisp of the bed linens, it all makes one want to sigh in pleasure. This time nirvana was found on Peachtree Street at The Grand Hyatt, Buckhead, Atlanta, Georgia.

FAMILY ON BIKES: Road Angels - The Good Samaritans

I’m convinced there’s an angel part of us all. Residing in some hidden recess within each of us is an angel waiting to come out. The angel sits quietly, waiting. Waiting until the time is right and opportunity is staring us in the face. And then the angel comes out. When I think back on our past few weeks on the road, what comes to mind are all the angels who have come to our aid in one way or another. Ordinary people one and all, and yet their angel side came out once they saw us.

Travel: Princess Beware - Tinker Bell's Pixie Hollow is a Triple Threat

Before Peter Pan and the Lost Boys there were the fairies of Pixie Hollow. Diminutive beings that are completely responsible for the change of the season at the Mainland, they live industrious lives painting the dots on lady bugs and setting morning dew on spiderwebs. Now travelers can visit Pixie Hollow Disney World, Orlando, Florida and Disneyland Resorts, Anaheim, CA to meet the fairies they fall in love with via film and the internet.