Here, There, and Everywhere


You can take Amtrak from downtown Boston to mid-coast Maine, thanks to new service that launched this week. The Amtrak Downeaster travels between Boston and Portland five times a day, stopping at eight communities en route; two of these trips now extend to Freeport and Brunswick, marking the first time these towns have been accessible by train since 1959. Leave North Station at 9:05 a.m. or 5 p.m. on weekdays and arrive in Freeport at 12:15 p.m. and 8:05 p.m. and Brunswick 15 minutes later. Southbound service departs Brunswick at 7:05 a.m. and 5:50 p.m., arriving in Boston at 10:30 a.m. and 9:15 p.m. Weekend and holiday schedules vary. Fares $24 to $29 each way.  800-872-7245,

Head to Club Royale on Tremont Street Wednesday for the Boston Ski & Sports Club’s (BSSC) annual Blizzard, an event that celebrates the start of ski season. Find out what’s new at New England ski areas, win lift-ticket giveaways from Wachusett Mountain Ski Resort, Sugarbush Resort, and Crotched Mountain Resort, toss your name into a raffle for a five-night ski vacation to Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, and then dance the night away. Don’t miss the après-ski appetizers and snow bar. The first 500 attendees receive goody bags with free lift tickets and swag. Tickets $10 for BSSC members, $15 for nonmembers, $20 at the door.  617-789-4070, 

Sandro Vannini

Visit Seattle's Pacific Science Center by January 6 and see Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs, an exhibit featuring more than 100 objects from King Tut's tomb, including this golden funerary mask belonging to King Psusennes I.



Visit Seattle’s Pacific Science Center by Jan. 6 and see “Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs,” a National Geographic exhibit with art and artifacts that will not be on display in North America again. The captivating exhibit features more than 100 objects from King Tut’s tomb — discovered 90 years ago today — and other ancient Egyptian sites. See the largest image of Tut ever found, a 10-foot-tall statue of the pharaoh, and the young king’s golden sandals. Tickets are for timed entry; advance purchase is advised. Prices range from $15.50 for children ages 3-5 on weekdays to $32.50 for over 16 on weekends.  800-664-8775,  


Only 233 of New York’s 13,000 taxis can accommodate wheelchair travelers. That’s why the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission has launched Accessible Dispatch, a service that provides wheelchair-accessible taxis to passengers. The service is operated by Connecticut-based Metro Taxi, which tracks those 233 taxis by GPS and then dispatches the one closest to your location. Request a lift anytime day or night, 365 days a year, by phone, text, Internet, or by using a new iTunes app, WOW Taxi. No extra charge for the lift or service, and no need to make advance reservations. Trips must originate in Manhattan and end anywhere in the city’s five boroughs, Westchester and Nassau counties, or the three regional airports. All taxis are rear- or side-entry minivans.


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Burn off rich dishes in the Dolomite Mountains of northern Italy on new culinary ski and snowboard adventures from Italiaoutdoors. The trips, March 10-16 and 17-23, are led by the company’s owners: Vernon McClure, a ski and snowboard instructor and mountain guide, and Kathy Bechtel, a cooking instructor, chef, and ski instructor. The small-group tour, with 12 people max, gives winter enthusiasts of all ability levels a chance to ski and snowboard in the Dolomites, experience the culture of the autonomous province of Sudtirol, and savor regional cuisine and wines. Price: $3,995 per person, based on double occupancy, includes accommodations, ground transportation, guided ski tours, meals, daily wine tastings, and museum visits; flights and rental equipment are additional. 978-270-5774, 


If you have ever missed a shot because you couldn’t get your camera leveled on your tripod in time, you will appreciate Vanguard’s new BBH-200 ballhead. Its clever Rapid Level System lets you quickly adjust and level your camera without having to fiddle with knobs and dials, or consult bubble levels. Just loosen the ballhead with the twist of a dial, slide a glove-friendly switch to the right, and then swing the ballhead into its upright position until it clicks into place. The BBH-200, which weighs 18.7 ounces and supports up to 44 pounds, also comes with a 360-degree dial for shooting panoramas, two bubble levels, and an Arca-style quick-release plate. The BBH-200 sells for $199 (get a $25 rebate through Dec. 31).  800-875-3322,



Hammacher Schlemmer

Lingo's 30 Language Text to Text Translator translates your questions into one of 30 languages and speaks the answer so you can hear the correct pronunciation.

Lingo’s 30 Language Text to Text Translator doesn’t just provide a few pat phrases to help you find your hotel, order a meal, and ask directions to the train station. It lets you input
a question and then it translates it into one of 30 languages and speaks the translation so you can hear the correct pronunciation. The device has more than 1.8 million words and 210,000 common travel phrases stored in its memory that it can articulate in languages from Arabic, Czech, French, Swedish, and Ukrainian to Hindi. It also offers translations for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. The smartphone-size device converts eight currencies, provides local and world time, and has a backlighted LCD screen, a calculator, a calendar, Sudoku, and an address-phone book. It sells for $249.99 at Hammacher Schlemmer.  800-321-1484,


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