Thursday, January 30, 2014

Planning your vacation? Talk to these pros who are coming to Charlotte

Articles and ads for vacations are fine for tickling your fancy, but nothing beats the opportunity to get face-to-face with the people who can make it happen.

That's why this time of year brings travel shows -- your opportunity to get answers, suggestions and tips from those in the know.

Coming up fast:

Jan. 31: Meet Arthur and Pauline Frommer (above), the creators of  Frommer's Travel Guides, at 7 p.m. at Park Road Books, 4139 Park Road. They'll  discuss their new line of Easy Guides and offer some top travel destinations for 2014. 

Feb. 1: Mann Travels’ annual travel and cruise show will be 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Charlotte Convention Center, 501 S. College St. Mann specialists from nine area locations will be there to help consumers sort out vacation deals. There will be reps from the major cruise lines, resorts and tourism boards; interactive exhibits; Hawaiian dancers and entertainment from Radio Disney. Seminars will be offered in four theaters. Admission: free. Details:

Feb. 6-9: The Mid-Atlantic Boat Show returns to Charlotte for its 42nd year. Exhibitors at the Charlotte Convention Center, 501 S. College St., will be displaying a variety of pleasure boats, as well as equipment for water skiing and fishing, swimwear, docks and lifts and real estate. Hours: noon-9 p.m. Feb. 6-9 (Thursday and Friday) 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Feb. 8 and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Feb. 9. Admission: $9; $8 for military and for 60 and older; $5 for ages 6-12. Details:

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Raise a glass to poet Robert Burns -- and enjoy the haggis -- Jan. 24

Ready for another round of “Auld Lange Syne”? The lyrics were by Robert Burns, the national poet of Scotland, whose Jan. 25, 1759, birthday is celebrated worldwide by those who love poetry and Caledonia.

That includes Hiddenite, northwest of Statesville, where The Hiddenite Center on Jan. 24 (a Friday) will hold "Burns Night: A Scottish Feaste  in Honor of Poet Robert Burns.”

Traditional music will be provided by the duo Celtic Elk. A family-style Scottish feast will include soup, steak pie, peas and carots and a traditional dessert called Tipsy Laird. Wassail (punch) will be served and so will haggis – a traditional pudding of spiced sheep innards mixed with oatmeal and cooked in sausage casing.

Cost for the entire 7 p.m. event : $15. Reservations: 828-632-6966.