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Great Lakes

The Grande Mariner, Blount's 88-passenger ship that sails Lake Michigan and beyond. Photo from Blount Small Ship Adventures.

The Grande Mariner, Blount’s 88-passenger ship that sails Lake Michigan and beyond. Photo from Blount Small Ship Adventures.

Fifth in a Series

On our recent “Magical Lake Michigan” cruise aboard Blount Small Ship Adventures‘ 88-passenger ship Grande Mariner, we started in Illinois (Chicago), sailed to Michigan, made three stops (Holland, Beaver Island and Mackinac Island), and now were headed to Wisconsin.

The world’s fifth largest lake, Lake Michigan borders parts of four U.S. states — Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana — and only Indiana is not included on the itinerary.

Lake Michigan is the only one of the five Great Lakes not to share its waters with the province of Ontario, Canada. That made it ideal for some of the American passengers who didn’t own passports. (Though as an aside I would encourage  everyone to get one; for example, to take… Continue reading

The Mackinac Bridge connects Michigan's Upper Peninsula with the rest of the state. Photo by Dennis Cox/WorldViews.

The Mackinac Bridge connects Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with the rest of the state. Photo by Dennis Cox/WorldViews.

First in a Series

Having been born in Michigan, reared in Indiana, and then returned to Michigan to attend college before moving to the West and East Coasts, I often wince a bit when I hear friends in the latter refer to the Midwestern U.S. as “flyover country.”

I’ve even been guilty of a bit of snobbery myself when I’ve noted that most of our friends in California and New York originally came from the Midwest — “but had the good sense to get out.”

I’m now officially retracting that statement, which was based on my childhood memories of bitterly cold winters, hot, humid summers, and what I perceived as a lack of cutting-edge cuisine and culture.

After spending last week cruising Lake Michigan with Blount Small Ship Adventures in the company of… Continue reading

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According to government and private surveys:

  • Leading-edge baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1955) and seniors account for four out of every five dollars spent on luxury travel today.
  • Roughly half the consumer spending money in the U.S.--more than $2 trillion--is in the hands of leading-edge baby boomers and seniors.
  • Baby boomers (born 1946-1964) travel more than any other age group.
  • When asked what they would most like to spend their money on, baby boomers answered “travel” more than any other category, including improving their health or finances.

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