FLORIDA'S Hanging BITS OF CHAD ARE MUSEUM-WORTHY
A new Montana State University exhibit on voting includes Florida's infamous chad from the 2000 presidential election, historic ballot boxes and a signed speech by President John F. Kennedy.
The American Computer Museum in Bozeman, with help from MSU's Humanities Institute, organized the "Technology and Democracy" display on the history of voting technologies.
The exhibit contains a voting machine and ballot box used in Lee County during the highly contested 2000 general election. Photos show election officials using magnifying glasses to examine punch card ballots and determine if their chad were hanging, swinging or dimpled in favor of George W. Bush or Al Gore.
'Idol' cruises canceled
Five Caribbean cruises with an "American Idol" theme, scheduled for Nov. 19 to Dec. 21 aboard Royal Caribbean International's newest ship, the Independence of the Seas, have been canceled because of unresolved contract issues. The cruises were to feature live performances and amateur competitions.
Lonely Planet guides grow up
Lonely Planet has long been synonymous with adventurous, no-frills young travelers, but the guidebook company's City Guides are now targeting travelers 30 to 60.
The guidebooks offer more emphasis on shopping, entertainment and moderate to high-end restaurants and hotels than previous editions, with fewer listings for college hangouts, hostels and taco joints.
The first batch of City Guides will cover: Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Havana; Hong Kong; London; Rome; San Francisco; Seattle; Shanghai, China; Sydney, Australia; and Venice, Italy. In April, look for: Chicago; Dublin, Ireland; Istanbul, Turkey; St. Petersburg, Russia; and Vancouver, Canada. They cost $18 to $19.
Gateway Arch tram repaired
The tram that was out of service for eight months in the famed Gateway Arch in St. Louis is working again.
A snapped cable had shut down the tram in the south leg of the Arch July 21, leaving only one route up to the 630-foot-tall monument on the banks of the Mississippi River.
Trams from each leg of the Arch carry visitors back and forth. The north leg of the tram was not affected.
In a typical year, about 1-million visitors make the trek to the top. For more information, go to www.nps.gov/jeff.
Boston to New York bus service
Greyhound Lines is partnering with Springfield-based Peter Pan Bus Lines to launch the "Boltbus" between New York and Boston. The coaches will offer wireless Internet, plenty of leg room and one-way fares as low as $1 beginning in April.
Bus companies say dissatisfaction with air travel delays and traffic congestion have an increasing number of travelers turning to old-fashioned bus service as an alternative.
Greyhound plans to keep fares low by selling most of its tickets online at www.boltbus.com.
Riding the wild Rogue River
With names such as Wildcat and Slim Pickins, the rapids of Oregon's wild Rogue River add plenty of excitement to three-night and four-night excursions operated by James Henry River Journeys. Guests run the river in oar boats, paddle boats or inflatable kayaks, depending on how much exertion and adventure they'd like.
Departures run from June 1 to Sept. 23, with many pegged to special interests such as wine, music or photography. Children as young as 7 are welcome; no camping or rafting experience is required. Rates from $795 cover meals, leadership and use of water equipment.
For information, call toll-free 1-800-786-1830 or go to www.riverjourneys.com.
A Naples getaway for two
The newly opened Hotel at Naples Bay Resort is introducing to Florida vacationers with two packages, both valid April 1-Sept. 30.
The "Couples Getaway" offers two nights' lodging, daily breakfast, parking and a couples "therapeutic energy massage" for $700 for two, plus tax and gratuities. The "Spa Getaway" includes two nights' lodging, parking and the couples massage, as well as two other spa treatments and the use of a reserved pool cabana, for $1,000 for a duo, with tax and gratuities additional.
In addition to hotel lodging, the resort offers villa and cottage accommodations. Call toll-free 1-866-605-1199 or go to www.naplesbay