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Lysa Allman-Badwin

Stories by Lysa

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Ebony Escapes! to Santa Monica

The beaches. An iconic pier. Miles of picturesque bike paths. Beautiful toned Southern California bodies.

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Taking a ‘JUCY’ road trip!

Summer is well on its way, and if you haven’t already planned a road trip escape, I have something for you to consider: gettin’ JUCY!

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Remembering the Great War

Resorts and Travel

It’s hard to fathom—and in some ways it’s very disturbing—that in this generation, where Americans have been deep in the throes of numerous global military conflicts, we have also reached the 100th anniversary of World War I. Also known as the “Great War,” it raged from 1914 to 1918, with the participation of reportedly over 100 countries, including those in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and, of course, America.

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Philly: More than meets the eye

It’s hard to capture the true essence of a city in one article, and even with this, the last of a three-part series on Philadelphia, there’s so much more to tell about the city’s fascinating early history, sites and attractions, Afrocentric points of interests, accommodations, culinary adventures and more.

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Exploring the ‘City of Brotherly Love’

In the first part of our exploration of Philadelphia, we were just getting the lay of the land, including the 55-acre, 20-city block Independence National Historical Park, the Liberty Bell Center, the National Constitution Center and several other sites in and around the downtown area. But all of that is just the tip of the iceberg of what Philly has to offer. Unique attractions and historically significant African-American sites are a big part of the story.

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Ebony Escapes! to the best of the Caribbean

Believe it or not, the school year is fast coming to a close, and I don’t know about you, but after about 10 months of homework, science projects, soccer tournaments and everything in between, we’re all ready for a break. I really don’t care where—I just need to get outta here!

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NYC: Beyond the ‘Apple’ of your eye

New York City is on a literary roll as of late. As one of the most fascinating cities in the world, it has been the subject of countless articles, movies and documentaries, plays and more. Discovering New York City is like pulling back the layers of an onion—the deeper you go, the more richness and flavor you find.

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Rest and rejuvenation in Quebec

I really don’t like the saying, “All good things must come to an end,” because that means it’s time to wrap up this feature series in the beautiful province of Quebec, Canada—but not before I extol the virtues of two more amazing places that just must be on your Canadian travel bucket list.

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Respites for the mind, body and soul in Quebec

Our next spa stop was Spa Natur’Eau, an oasis that far exceeds your wildest expectations.

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For rest and rejuvenation in the beauty of Canada

Ebony Escapes!

I was thrilled to be invited to participate in a spa-themed travel writing trip to enjoy four spas in as many days.

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Ebony Escapes! Along Route 66

Ebony Escapes

Celebrating its 88th birthday this year is one of our country’s most significant icons and an invaluable slice of Americana—Route 66. For many a traveler, Route 66 is on their bucket list of adventures, but before you set out on your own particular Route 66 adventure, you have to go back to the beginning.

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I’ll see you in court!

Reminiscing over a bygone era can take place in a variety of forms—music, art, the written word, photography—and the latter is the medium that Chris Flook, a telecommunications instructor at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., chose for a summer driving trip in which he photographed all 92 county courthouses and adjoining squares as part of his project, “Indiana Courthouse Squares.”

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Oakland: An untold story

Oakland has changed dramatically in the 14 years since I left, offering so much more for denizens and visitors alike.

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Many compelling stories, one vibrant city—this is Oakland

Peeling back the multifarious layers of Oakland, California a fusion of distinctive neighborhoods and one of the most diverse cities in the country.

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Ebony Escapes!to Oakland, the other city by the bay

It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve been here, if ever—the views from the airplane window are always captivating.

Best buys for your travel buck

If you’re like me, you want a lot more simplicity in your life. So I am constantly on the lookout for great ideas, products and gadgets that can help me pare down, reduce stress and travel smarter and lighter.

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Traveling into March

Ebony Escapes!

Spring is just around the corner—yahoo! That means more pleasant temps and longer days that allow us to get out and delve into a wealth of fascinating and exciting events of interest to communities of color and others happening all across the country.

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Pampering—mind, body and soul

Thanks for joining us as we continue our pampering—mind, body and soul—at the Heartland Spa and Fitness Resort, located just 90 miles south of Chicago.

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Ebony Escapes! A resort spa experience like no other

The Heartland Spa and Fitness Resort totally had me

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Hannibal is much more than Mark Twain

In the first part of this travel series, we had just delved into this quaint, small town of just under 18,000 people. However, Hannibal’s breadth is not confined to its size or the number of its denizens. A closer look reveals rich depth and complexities that combine to make it one of Missouri’s most popular tourist attractions

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Ebony Escapes! to Hannibal, Mo.

I knew that Mark Twain and the “Unsinkable Molly Brown” of Titanic fame were part of the rich history in Hannibal. But as I learned, there is a great deal more to this quaint Missouri town than meets the eye.

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Ebony Escapes! into February

Well, here we are, already into the second month of the year! As daunting as it may seem that time is flying by so fast, it’s equally as exciting to see the wealth of ongoing and current events taking place that are sure to delight and inspire.

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Twenty-four hours in Montreal

A one-part article is not nearly long enough to capture the essence of the Canadian jewel that is Montreal.

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Ten best budget destinations for 2014

“With amazing food, glorious public spaces and unparalleled museums, theme parks and beaches, the only thing ‘budget’ about these world-class vacation spots is the price tag!”

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Ebony Escapes! Year in review

This is particularly fun for me with travel—looking back on all the fascinating places I visited and experiences I shared during the past year, in addition to planning out more, sure-to-be amazing adventures to share with you all.

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Essential elements: Great travel finds for the person on the go

Travel isn’t all about where you are going and how you get there, but also what you take with you.

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Dogs, forks, New York and cruises—great travel reads to delight and inspire

Although the weather has finally turned cold, and you may not be out and about as much, you can still do a little traveling, albeit from a comfy chair with a hot drink and a great book.

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Good eats, drinks and outdoor adventures in Fredericksburg

Fredericksburg, Texas has quite a reputation for wonderful accommodations, fantastic culinary adventures, great beer and wine exploration, and exciting recreational spots.

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Ebony Escapes! to Fredericksburg, Texas

first impressions of Fredericksburg, Texas

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Ebony Escapes! to do ‘The Bucket List’

Places this travel writer wants to jet off to.

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Let the food frenzy begin!

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, thus signaling the beginning of the food frenzy that lasts until New Year’s Day. And while every year your goal might be to not overdo it, a true foodie doesn’t even have those thoughts in their realm of consciousness.

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Ebony Escapes! into November

From Afrocentric films to significant art exhibitions, circus performances and food, November is a great month to celebrate

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Deep history, great cuisine and of course Lincoln

Last time around, we had just started exploring African-American history past and present in Springfield, as it is inextricably tied to the issue of slavery in Lincoln’s day and how the city has developed since then. In addition to visiting the Springfield and Central Illinois African-American History Museum and the various sites tied to the 1908 Race Riot as shown on the city’s self-guided, eight-marker tour, I was fortunate to be able to spend some time with Douglas King, a founder and board member of the museum.

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Lincoln is still a commanding force in Springfield

Somehow, just about everything in Springfield, Ill., dovetails back to Abraham Lincoln

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Ebony Escapes to Springfield, Ill.

In the very beginning of our summer road trip to explore the “Land of Lincoln,” we embarked upon Highway 72 in Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, traveled west approximately 50 miles to Decatur, then another 39 miles into Springfield

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A beautiful little slice of Illinois

We began the first part of this adventure to explore the “Land of Lincoln” in Decatur, Ill., located along Highway 72 in the central part of the state, approximately 46 miles from Bloomington to the north and 39 miles from Springfield to the west. Our next stop is just 50 miles to the east to visit Champaign.

Ebony Escapes! to the ‘Land of Lincoln’

Before I passed through the city of Decatur, Ill., during my summer road trip to explore the “Land of Lincoln,” I didn’t know much about it other than it being located along Highway 72 in the central part of the state, approximately 46 miles from Bloomington to the north, 39 miles from Springfield to the west and 50 miles from Urbana-Champaign to the east.

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Ebony Escapes! into October

Wow! The year sure is flying by, and here is the beginning of the fall season already. But even though the cooler weather is beginning to make an appearance, and Halloween and the holidays will soon be upon us, it will not diminish the number of fantastic Afrocentric events, attractions and so forth coming our way to bring us to the end of this year and usher us into the next. Enjoy!

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The best, the greatest, the seediest and the confidential

I know the way the world is leaning evermore toward increased technology use, including the popularity of e-readers. But for me, you’ll never be able to emulate, or replace, the feel of sitting down and curling up with a good book.

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Lots to see and do in Sioux Falls

So we’ve delved into Sioux Falls’ early history and learned about the many African-Americans who greatly influenced the socioeconomic, political, business and artistic landscape here. Now, we’ve got one last look at the culinary scene, plus a wealth of great outdoor attractions.

Black history in and around Sioux Falls, S.D.

Last time around, we had just begun our exploration of Sioux Falls, S.D., named after the Sioux Native American Tribe, who were the first inhabitants of the area, and the Big Sioux River that runs through it. With a population close to 160,000 people, it is the largest city in the state.

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Ebony Escapes! to Sioux Falls, S.D.

There are several cities that position themselves as the “Heart of America,” and Sioux Falls, S.D., is one of them.

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Ebony Escapes! into September

I’m in complete denial that it is September! How can the year go by so fast? Well, whether I like it or not, time does move on, but that doesn’t mean that I have to miss out on all of the fantastic events, exhibits, travel, festivals and more happening all around the country and beyond.

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Fun, functional, healthy and stylish gear for the traveler on the go

One of the pleasures—and hazards—of frequent travel is all of the fantastic meals along the way. Although, foodie that I am, I enjoy every bit of it and try to eat as healthy as possible, I (willingly) succumb to a lot more calories and a lot less fruit and veggies on the road. So in addition to drinking a lot of water and taking my vitamins, I take a few Flax Paks along.

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Ebony Escapes! to find America’s best food trucks

When I first got acquainted with what are today called food trucks, it was the early 1980s, when only a small handful of these rickety, off-white with rust “accents” buckets of bolts used to rumble up to certain office buildings mid-morning, filling the air with the heavy aromas of bacon grease, grill smoke and motor oil.

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Ebony Escapes! through the amazing National Park System

I have to say that I was very disappointed when Oprah and her gal pal Gail visited Yosemite National Park in Northern California a few years back, and she said she couldn’t see why any Black people would spend their money to go and sleep outside on the ground. Their visit was at the personal request of African-American park ranger Shelton Johnson, a historian at Yosemite who has also worked in other national parks.

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Ebony Escapes! into August

Here we are, right smack in the middle of the summer, and the events, festivals and more just keep heating up! Following are a few to help you along your summer groove. Enjoy!

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Lots to Love in Madison

This has been a great sojourn in and around Madison, Wis., where there’s lots to love.

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Madison delights and surprises

I hope you are enjoying this travel series on Madison, Wis. So far, we’ve delved into the city’s early history, explored African-American influences around the area and state, sailed around one of the city’s two stunning lakes, explored the comfortable suburb of Middleton, Wix., and enjoyed some amazing meals at two regional favorites.