Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

TravelLog

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

TravelLog

Article excerpt

TOP 10

HOT, HOT SPOTS

The top summer vacation home hot spots, from VacationHomes.com and Vamoose.com.

1. Orlando

2. Naples

3. Disney World Resort

4. Kissimmee

5. Hilton Head, S.C.

6. Las Vegas

7. Playa del Carmen, Mexico

8. Santa Barbara, Calif.

9. South Lake Tahoe, Calif.

10. Marco Island

Chicago Tribune

GEOQUIZ

The tiny Republic of San Marino is completely surrounded by which country? (Answer below)

GADGET

THE XUBAZ DOESN'T FIT

After years of traveling with an efficient but unstylish photographer's vest, I really wanted the scarf-like Xubaz to work. Described as "functional neckwear," Xubaz (pronounced SHOE-bahz, according to the Web site) are whisper weight, micro-fiber rectangles with pockets for all the stuff we carry around with us, from passport and tickets to money, credit cards and cameras. They can be attached to trouser or blouse for additional security, come in two sizes and several colors, looked and sounded nifty.

Reality was another matter. I never could get the larger one to lie flat and when loaded for a day of touring, it looked dorkier than the vest and felt akin to a life preserver. You might love one if your pens, lip balm, maps and camera are wafer thin, but mine aren't. See for yourself at www.xubaz.com where they cost from $34.50 to $39.50.

Judy Wells/The Times-Union

KEY WEST

HEMINGWAY DAYS

Key West's annual Hemingway Days celebration is scheduled for Tuesday, July 17, through Sunday, July 22.

The festival's main literary event is the announcement of the winners of the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition, scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday, July 20. Details at www.shortstorycompetition.com.

Lorian Hemingway, author of Walk on Water, is Ernest Hemingway's granddaughter and head of the panel that decides the winner of the contest, which receives 750 to 1,000 entries each year. She is also working on a book called Key West: The Pirate Heart.

The awards presentations and readings are held at Casa Antigua, Ernest Hemingway's first Key West address. He lived on the island for a decade.

Lorian Hemingway is scheduled to be one of several writers presenting their work at "Voices, Places, Inspirations," 8-10 p.m., Wednesday, July 18, at Wyland's 623 Duval St. gallery, free. Also taking part will be Tom Corcoran, who writes the Key West-based Alex Rutledge mystery series; storyteller Captain Finbar Gittelman of the Schooner Wolf, and Brian Gordon Sinclair, who performs one-man shows about Ernest Hemingway's life. Sinclair will also perform his Hemingway's Havana, at 7 p.m. July 17, at Tropic Cinema, 416 Eaton St., $10; details at www.kwahs.com.

Other highlights include the "Papa" Hemingway Look-Alike contest at Sloppy Joe's Bar, Hemingway's favorite watering hole, and the Drambuie Key West Marlin Tournament. …

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