"I was privileged to visit the nine unique islands of the Azores in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, which is like returning to a primeval paradise where man and nature come together as one. The lakes, the flowers, the mountains, the vineyards, the climates created a distinct environment. I traveled with Al and Ginny Dutra, a couple in their 70s whose tour company specializes in Portugal and the Azores."
Tours are about $3,000 per person plus airfare (prices for 2007 still being set).
Con Ginny-Al Tours, 101 1st St., No. 417, Los Altos, CA 94022; (800) 842-4955, www.azorestours.org.
EDNA M. TOBIAS
Vermont: Family-friendly lodge
"WE just returned from three weeks in Vermont. The 20-room Nordic Lodge is primo, central to everything in southern Vermont and set in the woods just outside of Wilmington. Heated pool, hiking trails, shuffleboard, horseshoes, etc. It is family owned and the food, ambience, cleanliness and friendliness are outstanding."