Seville is one of Spain’s most colorful and engaging cities, so it seemed a natural place to introduce a 15-year-old to Spain. Getting there was easy — a trans-Atlantic flight direct to Madrid, where we stayed overnight to see a few main attractions, then a three-hour train ride to Seville. Here’s what we learned.
Choose a small traditional inn in the heart of the old town. While new modern hotels may have swimming pools, most are pretty small affairs and the buildings lack the sense of place that makes you feel part of the city. The small Hosteria del Laurel was a perfect choice, with family-sized rooms, and its own restaurant that spilled into the little traffic-free square outside. Passageways and streets too narrow for cars led through “our” historic Santa Cruz neighborhood to most of the main sights.
Mary had her own thoughts on the monumental tomb of Christopher Columbus held aloft by four giant figures, and about the source of the gold that encrusts the towering main altar. But she had to admit it was magical at night, when we followed a candle-lit religious procession through the streets and into a side door. Unplanned experiences like this one are often the highlight of a trip, and Mary loved the spontaneity of seizing the moment. Be ready to change plans when something catches your eye.
While visiting the Museum of Flamenco Dance we reserved seats for an evening performance in the intimate theater, where we sat within a few feet of the dancers’ swirling skirts. In the museum, we learned more about Andalucía’s traditional music and dance through videos and recordings, and looked at some of the flamboyant costumes. Mary left with a set of castanets for herself and one for her sister, good souvenirs of Seville.
This was something else we hadn’t planned on, thinking Mary would be put off by the notion, but she surprised us. A poster hung outside our hotel, and she noticed the date. “That’s tomorrow — can we go?” Later that day we toured Seville’s famous bull ring and bought tickets. She loved the pageantry of the bullfight, and a framed poster from that day’s corrida hangs in her bedroom.
We were all wowed by the fantastic neo-Moorish rooms and courtyards, but Mary loved the gardens even more. She almost drained her phone battery taking pictures, and a close-up of one pink rose is still the cover shot on her Facebook page.
Everyone goes here on Sunday to picnic, ride family-sized pedal carts or cruise under the trees in a horse-drawn carriage. Rent a boat to row around the pools of Palza d’Espana and admire the colorful tile pictures that decorate its walls.
Stroll around in the evening to hear groups of guitarists or singers performing on the streets and in sidewalk cafes. These free concerts are often quite good. It’s not unusual to find flamenco dancers advertising evening performances with a free sample.
They are a wonderful way to sample different local foods, and if you don’t like something you haven’t invested a lot of money. April evenings were warm enough to sit outdoors in cafes and tapas bars. It’s Spain’s signature food experience and a trip wouldn’t be complete without it. There are plenty of non-alcoholic drinks for young people.
Part of a family who just loves a good scare or ghost story? This fall, wherever your travels might take you, chances are you’ll be near an Omni hotel or resort with a history of haunted sightings and other scary happenings. So, why not learn a bit about where you’re staying to make the experience all the more eerie …
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
Overshadowed by nearby Portland and overlooked by tourists bound for the popular coastal towns of Camden and Boothbay Harbor, Brunswick is not on the radar of most family travelers in Maine. But couples looking for a cozy getaway will find fine dining, antiques, art and quiet streets for strolling, many lined by distinguished homes and well-kept gardens.
Not quite ready to say goodbye to summer? If the weather is forcing you to head indoors, you can still take advantage of a few opportunities to splash around in the waves, without even being that far from the beach — thanks to the world’s largest indoor beachfront waterpark, which opened this summer in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.
Halloween is right around the corner, which means its time to start making plans for spooky and scary stops for having fun with the family this fall. New York’s Cayuga County is always a fun visit for family travelers, but if you plan on being in the area this October, you will definitely want to explore its haunted history with some choice spots along New York’s Haunted History Trail. This curated list of haunted and spooky stops throughout New York features incredible locations showcasing the perfect combination of the state’s beautiful charm and fascinating history.