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Side Trips

Briefs: Fabric of America

By Compiled by JANET K. KEELER
Published July 31, 2005

The art of quilting will be celebrated Aug. 24-27 at the 2005 Quilt Exposition at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville. Jeanna Juleson of Lifetime's American Quilter will co-host a show-and-tell on Aug. 25 and Eleanor Burns of PBS' Quilt in a Day will host special lectures and events throughout the exposition. For more information, call 270 898-7903 or go to the American Quilter's Society Web site, www.americanquilter.com

DO THE TURTLE WALK

Join a free guided sunrise beach patrol in search of turtle tracks hosted by the Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota. The walks are Sundays through Sept. 25. Kids are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult. The hotel provides a free shuttle for guests, and all others should meet at the North Lido Lifeguard Stand on Lido Key at 7 a.m. No reservations are required. When a turtle crawl is discovered, it is reported to Mote Marine Laboratory's Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program. For more information, call (941) 309-2090.

TRAVEL FOR TROOPS

Seven U.S. airlines allow frequent fliers to donate their miles so that troops injured in Iraq or Afghanistan can be visited by family members.

Pam Lea-Maida, of the Fisher House Foundation, which manages Operation Hero Miles in coordination with the military and the airlines, says the program uses 2.5-million to 3-million frequent-flier miles a week to obtain tickets that reunite the injured and their families. She said the program is in particular need of America West miles.

Other participating airlines are American, Northwest, Delta, Alaska, Continental and Air Tran. Each airline has its own procedures for donating, and some airlines require a minimum number of miles. Check with your airline, or go to www.fisherhouse.org

WITNESS THIS MAZE

Pennsylvania's Lancaster County is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Witness, the Harrison Ford flick that was filmed in Amish country 20 years ago. Cherry-Crest Farm in Ronks joins the fun with its 10th annual Amazing Maize Maze. The farm's "Get Lost in Witness," a 5-acre corn field of twists and turns, is the country's longest-running maze. The 175-acre working poultry and cattle farm also offers 15 acres of other "agri-tainment" attractions, among them a giant hay chute slide, a singing chickens show and crafting. The maze can be negotiated through Oct. 31. Call 717 687-6843 or go to www.corn-maze-pa.com/

TRIP ADVISOR

Where do you turn for advice when you're booking a hotel sight unseen?

One source for opinions on the good, the bad and the potentially ugly is www.tripadvisor.com Search for a destination or hotel name and you'll find real travelers posting everything from horror stories about bedbugs and thefts, to glowing recommendations about wonderful service and breathtaking views.

In addition to those who write reviews, about 12-million people a month visit TripAdvisor to read what others are saying, according to comScore Media Metrix, a research firm.

TRAVEL GADGETS

WHAT: Clip-on mini-clocks.

FOR: Travelers divided between two time zones.

HOW MUCH: $18 to $20 for a pair.

DO THEY WORK? For Floridians visiting, say, Chicago or Los Angeles, it doesn't take much brain power to do the time-zone arithmetic. But travelers crossing an ocean - or the International Dateline - have a bigger problem. The wearable Tempo Time Tags, however, let you know at a glance the times at two separate locations - and they don't require a 10-page manual to set.

The matching timepieces are about the size of a Chiclet (you might need bifocals to read the time) and clip onto shirt cuffs, bag straps or pockets, with one facing left, the other right. Unfortunately, the clocks don't specify a.m. or p.m., so you'll have to create a system: How about Florida on your collar, Tokyo on your sleeve?

Tempo Time Tags are available through the Vessel company at www.vessel-store.com

- Compiled by JANET K. KEELER from staff reports and the Associated Press, Washington Post and Boston Globe. Reach Keeler at 727 893-8586 or krieta@sptimes.com

[Last modified July 29, 2005, 09:22:04]

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