About: Jim Becker


Articles by: Jim Becker


Seniors Enjoy Time In Worcester

Unknown-1Worcester is the historic county seat of Worcester County, Massachusetts. Senior travelers will find Worcester in central Massachusetts, about an hour drive southwest from Boston.

Worcester has transformed itself into a progressive and vibrant city with an active diverse culture, multi-billion dollar public/private investment, a robust healthcare and biotechnology industry and nationally recognized colleges and universities.


Worcester, a continually up and coming city, is a five-time recipient of the All-American City Award. One is hard pressed to find another city of comparable size with a greater concentration of world-class colleges and universities.

Seniors Enjoy City Of Higher Education

Worcester, with its population of 181,045, is home to 9 colleges and universities (a half-dozen more in neighboring communities), including the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, College of the Holy Cross, Clark University, MCPHS University and Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. Worcester is also home to one Fortune 1000 corporate headquarters.


 Senior sports enthusiasts, Worcester’s central location gives residents and visitors easy access to numerous professional sporting teams. Worcester provides a good assortment of arts and cultural offerings.

Known as the “Heart of the Commonwealth”, a heart is the official symbol of the city. However, the heart symbol may also have its provenance in lore that Valentine’s Day cards were invented in the city.

 Seniors Enjoy The Student Cultural Contribution


TripAdvisor suggests that seniors visit the Worcester Art Museum and Hanover Theater for the Performing Arts. Elm Park is a favorite site for a stroll as is Newton Hill and Green Hill.

Over 30,000 students contribute to the cultural vibrancy of the city, which features world-renowned museums and concert halls, theaters, galleries, as well as a wealth of performing groups, ethnic festivals, and artists of every discipline. For you gourmands, dine at one of the city’s many and varied restaurants.

Music and theater flourish at Mechanics Hall and The Hanover Theatre for Performing Arts. The Worcester Art Museum, Worcester Historical Museum and EcoTarium regularly schedule special exhibitions.


Bancroft Tower, a 56-foot-high (17 m) natural stone and granite tower, looks like a miniature feudal castle in Salisbury Park. It’s hard to miss and is listed on the National Register of Historical Places. The Salisbury Mansion and Store is an historic house museum built in 1772 by Stephen Salisbury.

Senior visitors, Welcome to Worcester, The Creative City named after Worcester, England.  -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel, United States


Seniors Head For Dalton

logo-1Senior travelers find their way to Dalton, the county seat of Whitfield County and the principal city of the Dalton, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area with a population of around 34,000 with the total metropolitan area having a population of 142,227.


Dalton was originally inhabited by Woodland and Cherokee Indians. It was settled by Europeans after 1838. The city was named after Mary Dalton, mother of founder Edward White Dalton.

 In the fall, senior visitors can take in the annual Arts Festival, Battle of Tunnel Hill Civil War Reenactment and Prater’s Mill Country Fair. Civil War and Cherokee attractions are also a short drive away. The Cherokee sites of New Echota and the Chief Vann House are some of the best preserved Indian sites in the area.

Seniors Find Themselves In The Carpet Capital Of The World


Dalton, known as “The Carpet Capital of the World”, is nestled in the scenic foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and is home to many of the world’s best known floor covering manufacturers.

In the Ridge and Valley section of the state, Dalton spreads across the valley to rugged Rocky Face Ridge. 1847 was a pivotal year for the citizens of Cross Plains. In honor of founder Edward Dalton White the city changed the name to Dalton. Its location near the railroad would greatly affect the destiny of this north Georgia town.


Dalton State College is the local college and other higher educational facilities are offered by Lee University, Kennesaw State University and Chattanooga State Technical Community College.

 Senior Train Buffs Like The Depot


TripAdvisor suggests that senior visitors check out Prater’s Mill and the Dalton Freight Depot. Built as the Southern Freight Depot in 1911, this depot was restored by the city in 2009 and today houses the Dalton Visitor’s Center and Gift Shop. The Freight Depot is a train fan’s delight with a covered platform, and a live audio feed from train radios.

Dalton has a vibrant arts & culture scene, many historic houses, landmarks and a rich Civil War history. It is home to the Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center, which showcases the Georgia Athletic Coaches’ Hall of Fame and holds events all year long.

Dalton’s location makes it ideal for enjoyable day hikes or long wilderness excursions on picturesque trails and nearby mountains. If you’re into mountain biking, Dalton has a mountain bike park with seven skill levels. They also feature two 18-hole public golf courses with miles of lush rolling hills.  Seniors, set your GPS for Dalton, Georgia and  enjoy the city and the beautiful surrounding countryside. -jeb


Seniors Check Out Historic Abingdon, Virginia


Abingdon, with its brick sidewalks is a designated Virginia Historic Landmark. Senior travelers will find this historic town of around 9,000, 133 miles southwest of Roanoke.

Senior visitors can enjoy Abingdon’s festivals, concerts and special events. One of the best known is the Virginia Highlands Festival, which takes place each summer. The Abingdon Music Experience hosts performances and jams throughout the year.

In addition, The historic Barter Theatre is just one of the many reasons why Garden and Gun Magazine named Abingdon a Best Performing Arts Town. Barter Theatre alumni include Gregory Peck, Ernest Borgnine and Patricia Neal.


 Seniors Hike The Virginia Creeper Trail

Also in downtown Abingdon is the luxurious four-star Martha Washington Inn & Spa with 63 rooms and suites each of which feature their own unique character and personality.

 The Virginia Creeper Trail begins in Abingdon, offering seniors outstanding biking, hiking and horseback riding. The Virginia Creeper Trail was just inducted into the Rail-to-Trail Hall of Fame. This former railroad bed begins in Abingdon, and winds its way over 34 miles.

Located at the Virginia Creeper Trailhead on Green Springs Road, Abingdon’s Old Mollie Steam Engine is the same type of engine that pulled the Virginia Creeper Railroad for many years.


Historically, the settlement was known as Black’s Fort and in 1776 (remember that year?) the community of Black’s Fort was made the county seat of the newly formed Washington county. And two years later was incorporated as Abingdon.

Seniors Enjoy Historic Abingdon

The town is quite historic with the Abingdon Historic District and a number of buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. When you stroll down Main Street Abingdon, you think about the Civil War soldiers involved in nearby battles who were treated by nurses on the grounds of what is now the elegant Martha Washington Hotel.


Abingdon, Virginia is a unique town lying in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia — rich in history, culture, outdoor recreation and old-fashioned hospitality.

The William King Museum of Art (WKMA) is the region’s premier visual arts facility. Visit the Abingdon Muster Grounds and you’ll be able to imagine citizen militia gathering to fight the British for American independence. At Fairview, a living history museum,  seniors can experience the story of the Hagy family, from their migration to America and Washington County, Virginia. In addition, there is the Abingdon Vineyard and Winery.


The Tavern Restaurant is in Abingdon’s oldest building from 1779. If that does not do it, grab a locally made craft beer and see more art plus live music at Wolf Hills Brewing Co. located in Abingdon’s Old Ice House.

I’d want my dinner at Bonefire Smokehouse, located inside the historic 1914 Withers Hardware building that includes a choice of barbecue smoked on-site and a choice of southern side-dishes.

So there it is…enjoy historic Abingdon  -jeb


Seniors Stop In Tiny Corfu

home_logoI am continually investigating interesting small towns that appear on various products that we buy in local grocery stores. In this case it was our daughter who purchased a package of cheese curds from Corfu, New York. This senior learned that Corfu is located approximately 40 miles due east of Buffalo.

I discovered that the curds were made at Wicked River Creamery in Corfu. They were delicious and we polished them off pretty quickly in our house. It is a bit like…”Bet you can’t eat just one.”

I discovered that the population in Corfu is around 800 inhabitants. The village was named after a Greek island, in the Mediterranean Sea.


Seniors Find Flowers, Flowers And More Flowers

One of the most important industries in Corfu for many years has been the cultivation of flowers for both wholesale and retail markets. This was all started way back in 1883, by Mrs. Charles (Irene) Tyrell, who in 1898 owned four greenhouses.

 While we enjoyed our tasty curds, TripAdvisor suggests that seniors consider  checking out Kutter’s Cheese Factory in Corfu. Kutter’s Cheese is a traditional cheese factory outlet store located in Corfu.  Like cheese and cheese curds like me? Head for Corfu and enjoy some tasty cheese.

The name “Corfu” was adopted when a post office was established. The Village of Corfu was incorporated in 1868, setting the community off from the Towns of Pembroke and Darien. Historically, the early community was known as Longs Corners.

Seniors Watch Cliff Jumpers


Murder Creek, a tributary of the Tonawanda Creek, flows through Corfu. Nearby Indian Falls is a popular place for cliff jumpers so bring along your movie camera and shoot a few of these adventurous youths.

Specifically, the village of Corfu is at the intersection of Routes NY-33 and NY-77 and north of the Darien Lake Theme Park Resort and Darien Lakes State Park. TripAdvisor wants senior visitors to know about Kozy Kabin a gift shop in Corfu that features country wares and gifts, primitive and Adirondack decor. It is a cool looking older building.

Seniors, enjoy your drive through the state of New York and plan a stop in Corfu. Enjoy the village and the scenic nature of upstate New York between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. Plus you have Niagara Falls not all that far away to the northwest of Corfu. -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel, United States


Senior Check Out Old Bridge Township

oldbridgeOld Bridge…this is a new one for yours truly. Very little “old” about the Township today with a population of nearly 70,000. Senior visitors find  Old Bridge Township to be a bedroom suburb of New York City located across the Raritan Bay from Staten Island about 25 miles from Manhattan and 30 miles south of Newark.

What is now Old Bridge Township was originally incorporated as Madison Township by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 2, 1869, from portions of South Amboy Township (now City of South Amboy).

The locals enjoy the safety, comfort and peace of mind associated with small-town living, but they don’t have to sacrifice opportunities for work or recreation. Seniors, upon your arrival in Old Bridge you will discover quiet, friendly neighborhoods, hospitals, parks, shopping, and restaurants.


 Seniors And Locals Enjoy Old Bridge Waterfront Park

I’d surely want to pay a visit to the Thomas Warne Madison Township Historical Society Museum. The museum was so named because of it’s location on a portion of Thomas Warne’s 1000 acre parcel of land. Thomas Warne was one of the Twenty-Four original proprietors of “East Jersey” (the Raritan Bay Area).

Old Bridge Waterfront Park holds an annual family fair event at the park reminiscent of “Salt Water Day,” a festival dating back to the 1800′s, during which local residents celebrated the many benefits the area’s shoreline provided to the community’s economy and social activities.

sponsorshipBeginning in the early stages of the 19th century steamboats transported the region’s produce, flour, oysters and other items to New York City and other locations. In 1850 mills were constructed that produced a variety of paper products and gunpowder. In 1975 it was renamed the Township of Old Bridge.

Seniors Learn About Fine Clay, Pottery And Bricks

The clay soil in the area surrounding Old Bridge was used for pottery and bricks long before the first European settlers arrived. Fine clay had surrounded Cheesequake Creek when the Lenni Lenape Native Americans lived there. The early discoveries of clay along the banks opened the clay industry to Middlesex County as well as the state of New Jersey. By the 1800s clay was a major industry.


Old Bridge Township Raceway Park is an American auto racing facility and is a major draw for senior auto racing fans. TripAdvisor wants senior visitors to know about Heirloom Kitchen and the Bacchus Bar at Vintage Wines. Cooking classes are highly popular at Heirloom Kitchen.

Pay a visit to the various nearby campuses at Middlesex County College, Rutgers-New Brunswick and University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

There is something for everyone! By the way, Old Bridge is home to Olympian Laurie Hernandez. I discovered the Township watching Laurie on TV. -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel, United States


Seniors Stop In Lakewood

Lakewood OH- Photo © Bob Perkoski, www.Perkoski.com

Senior travelers will find Lakewood, Washington, (America’s Promise) 31 miles south of Seattle. Lakewood was established in 1998. The landscape includes prairie, wooded areas, numerous lakes and creeks for senior visitors to enjoy. Puget Sound is nearby. McCord Air Force Base and Fort Lewis are in the vicinity. Fort Lewis is one of the major employers in the county.

Lakewood, population 60,000, was officially incorporated on February 28, 1996. Lakewood is the second-largest city in Pierce County and Lakewood and Pierce County were named among the 100 Best Places for Young People by American Promise. Seniors, if its a good place for young people, I bet we’d enjoy it too.


Lakewood, Washington’s economy is highly dependent upon on the military bases in the area. It also boasts one of the few true International Districts in the South Sound along South Tacoma Way and Pacific Highway, with Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese, Latino and other influences.

Seniors Enjoy Lakewold Gardens

Points of interest that senior visitors can enjoy include Fort Steilacoom and Lakewold Gardens, a 10-acre non-profit estate garden in an area known as the Lakes District and is open to visitors year-round. Plus you can take in the Lakewood Towne Centre and Lakewood Playhouse.

fun-on-the-water-at-americanThe Steilacoom and Nisqually Indians were the original inhabitants. The Hudson Bay Company was established by the British in 1833 for fur trading. Settlers arrived and established farms on the prairie.

Fort Steilacoom was constructed to reduce Indian uprisings. Several mills were built during the 1850′s. In the late 1800′s the prairie began to fill with homes and roads.

American Lake is popular for picnics, boating, swimming and is utilized by sea planes. Fort Steilacoom Park features walking and bicycle trails and is situated along Waughop Lake. The Northwest Trek Wildlife Park provides opportunities to see elk, bison, big horn sheep and moose.

Seniors Enjoy Mount Rainier National Park


The nearby scenic Mount Rainier National Park features an impressive volcano, numerous glaciers, waterfalls and lakes and scenic hiking trails for seniors to enjoy. The Lakewood Game Refuge includes walking and bicycle riding trails.

There are numerous golf courses in the area including Fort Steilacoom Golf Course, Meadow Park Golf Course, Oakbrook Golf & Country Club and Tacoma County & Golf Club, so toss the irons in the trunk and play a round or two at these great courses.

TripAdvisor has several more things to do while you are in town. There are numerous colleges and universities nearby. So set your GPS for Lakewood and enjoy all the amenities that the city has to offer. -jeb


Seniors Make A Stop In Westbrook

Unknown Senior travelers can find Westbrook as a suburb of Portland with a population of 18,00. Originally known as Saccarappa after Saccarappa Falls on the Presumpscot River, its name was eventually changed to Westbrook after Colonel Thomas Westbrook, an early settler and mill operator. In 1891, Westbrook was incorporated as a city.

 Senior visitors especially enjoy Westbrook’s River Walk, an attractive bike and pedestrian path that follows the bank of the Presumpscot River into Westbrook’s Riverbank Park and historic downtown. 

TripAdvisor has over a dozen attractions not to be missed on your visit to Westbrook. Cinimagic and Smiling Hill Farm rate high on their listing.


 Seniors Learn About “Wessie”

The Presumpscot River flows through the center of the city, with two prominent falls, the aforementioned Saccarappa Falls and Congin Falls. The smaller Stroudwater River flows through the southwestern part of the city. The city also contains part of Highland Lake.

You may have read about this in the paper or saw it on TV: a roughly 10-foot-long snake skin was found along a river in Westbrook earlier this month as well as a slew of sightings that has locals both perplexed and on edge.

After a DNA scan, the skin came from an huge anaconda. Police have been searching for the reported 10-foot snake since June. The snake has been dubbed “Wessie.”


Westbrook is home to about a dozen notable neighborhoods such as Birdland, Cumberland Mills, Frenchtown and The Hamlet. Seniors can also check out the Acorn Productions Acting Academy and the Westbrook Historical Society. The revitalization of Westbrook’s downtown has given rise to a new and upcoming art scene.

Seniors Can Enjoy Concerts, Markets and Great Maine Food


IDEXX Laboratories, Inc., a multi-national corporation, is headquartered in Westbrook. Westbrook is home to Sappi Ltd.’s Westbrook Paper Mill, formerly the S. D. Warren Paper Mill, once the city’s largest employer, employing over 3,000 people.

Senior visitors can enjoy Summer Concerts In The Park, Halloween on Main Street, the Westbrook Winter West Festival and the ever popular 1,000 seat Performing Arts Centre that hosts major musical and theatrical events.

The Maine Market is a new weekly event where folks are invited to shop for classic items from gifted Maine Artists, enjoy some local Maine food, listen to music and view a variety of entertainment.

Tough Mudder

And then there’s the Tough Mudder, the Westbrook Together Days and The Brook 5K where participants walk or run a 5k distance that starts at Riverbank Park and runs along the Presumpscot River.

Well, that about does it for our travel blog for today.  Certainly lots of great activities and opportunities in Westbrook all year long. When you are in Maine, include this exciting city and join in on the local fun. -jeb


Seniors Enjoy Ridgeland


Senior travelers will find Ridgeland nestled just north of Jackson, the state’s capital city. Ridgeland, with a population just over 20,000, offers individuals and families a vibrant economy and a rich cultural tapestry that is part of Mississippi’s largest metropolitan area.

Known for its outdoor recreation areas and community events, Ridgeland attracts an abundance of visitors on a regular basis. Ridgeland borders the 33,000-acre Ross Barnett Reservoir, an excellent fishing, sailing, and watersports destination. Ridgeland’s multiuse Bike Trail provides over 13 miles of surface for walking, jogging, bicycling and enjoyable strolling.

If you are feeling your “Wheaties…” the Hangout Indoor Rock Climbing Gym awaits your muscle testing. I know that my wife and I would enjoy just driving around Ridgeland admiring the many beautiful homes.


Senior Women Find ‘Repeat Street’

Senior women, don’t miss Repeat Street, Mississippi’s premier consignment shop in Ridgeland. With an eclectic mix of both furnishings and fashion, you never know what you’ll find when you walk through the door. Repeat Street has been voted Mississippi’s Best Consignment Store for the past five years.

Ridgeland was originally known as Turner Brashear’s Stand. In the early 20th century, Ridgeland was home to a hotel, sawmill, and a canning company. The main business section of Ridgeland was along Jackson Street, where the Illinois Central Railroad was located.


Pack a picnic and head for The Old Trace Park that offers a host of recreational facilities. Another notable attraction not to be missed in nearby Jackson is the Old Capitol Museum.

Seniors Drive The Natchez Trace Parkway

Ridgeland hosts the Red Hot Red Hat Weekend, and Renaissance Fine Arts Festival where seniors can enjoy a sampling of Ridgeland’s elevated art forms, from visual to cultural and culinary to musical. The higher education institutes near Ridgeland include Jackson State University, Mississippi College, Hinds Community College, and Holmes Community College.

 Senior travelers, plan to drive along The Natchez Trace Parkway, (simply called the Trace), a National Parkway that commemorates the historic Old Natchez Trace and preserves sections of the original trail.


This designated All-American Road’s central feature is a two-lane road that extends 444 miles from Natchez, Mississippi, to Nashville, Tennessee. Commercial traffic is prohibited along the entire route, and the speed limit is 50 mph, except north of Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee where the speed limit is reduced to 40 mph.

Ridgeland, founded at the turn of the 19th century, has all the charm of a small southern town with the multitude of amenities of a much larger city. Seniors, note the Upcoming Events and plan a stop in Ridgeland. -jeb


Seniors Enjoy Oldest Town In Maine

a21f629d3006d19728db7bebb2b16962This time seniors will visit Kittery, Maine, home to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard on Seavey’s Island. Kittery includes Badger’s Island, the seaside district of Kittery Point, and part of the Isles of Shoals.

With a population that runs right at 10,000 inhabitants, Kittery is 53 miles north of Boston. The town is a tourist destination known for its many outlet stores.

The name Kittery goes back to the early 1600s. This “oldest town in Maine” was settled is 1623 and incorporated in 1647. Like almost all towns along the Piscataqua, Kittery was named after the birthplace of Alexander Shapleigh. Many English settlers named towns in honor of their homeland, however Kittery, Maine was named for a manor house of Kittery Court at Kingswear in Devon, England.

Lobster shacks, Badger's Island, Kittery, Maine, ME, USA

 Seniors Enjoy Colourful, Historical Town

Kittery, Maine is a colorful town with a fascinating history. The town grew piece by piece around the natural harbor of the Piscataqua River estuary. The Whaleback Lighthouse in Kittery is always a favorite stop for senior visitors.

 A visit to the Kittery Historical and Naval Museum is a must for seniors interested in the area’s rich history and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Command Museum for those who enjoy shipping.


Senior visitors can take in Maine Gate Factory Store Shopping Center, Church of Christ and the Fort McClary State Park. Additional sites of interest include Fort Forster Historical Site, the Fort McClary State Historic Site and the Kittery Outlets.

TripAdvisor’s suggests a visit to Kittery Trading Post and Fort McClary State Park. My wife and I would enjoy a visit to the Kittery Premium Outlets mall that is only minutes away from the quaint harbor town of Portsmouth, NH.

 Seniors…Lobster, Clam And Sake


I’d want to put Warren’s Lobster House, Robert’s Maine Grill, Bob’s Clam Hut and the Farm Bar and Grill on my list of places to dine. Enjoy sake? Check out the Blue Current Brewery that brews handcrafted American Sake, “rice wine”.

Vaughan Woods State Park and Fort McClary State Park are both popular parks for a good stroll enjoying the New England air. The University of New Hampshire, Northern Essex Community College, the University of New England-University Campus and Merrimack College are valued nearby educational institutions.


Visitors discover that naval vessels have been built along the Piscataqua River since the Revolution, starting with John Paul Jones’ sloop The Ranger which launched from Badger’s Island in 1777.

Kittery is home to Robert William Traip Academy, a formerly private, preparatory school which became public and town-run in 1967.

Seniors can spend some quality time in this interesting and historical town.  Hope to see you there, perhaps in one of those fine restaurants dining on Maine lobster or crab.  -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel, United States


Seniors Discover Seed Spitting

a0919f40e51d1311fdc30a980cad6585The big draw to Pardeeville, Wisconsin is the 49th Annual Fall Festival featuring watermelons. Seniors, drop by and enjoy both the Watermelon Speed-Eating and Watermelon Seed Spitting contest.

The women’s record for eating is 4.48s and men’s 6.37s. Now the spitting part last year went to Mike Walton who spit a seed 29.7 inches. Katie Kaz beat him with a 32.6 inch fling. Pretty impressive, right? Just try it yourself sometime. Hint: Use a large seed. Hear what a judge says about the seed spitting contest.  Looks like a lot of fun to me.

Be sure to take a look at the various events that include the largest watermelon, watermelon carving and a host of other fun things to do.


Seniors Smile At Strange Town Names

If you think Pardeeville is a strange name, just poke around Wisconsin and you will see others Anyway, let’s visit Pardeeville (The City of Lakes) and see what else might attract seniors.

The community was named after John S. Pardee, American diplomat who died in Nicaragua. Pardeeville is a village in Columbia County with a population that runs around 2,200.


Senior travelers will find Pardeeville 35 miles north of Madison on highway 22. The scenic Fox River begins as a small stream northeast of Pardeeville and is dammed in Pardeeville to create both Spring Lake and Park Lake.

 Seniors Enjoy Lakes

Pardeeville hosts a Triathlon that brings in athletes of all ages. This spectator-friendly 1/4 mile swim, 15 mile bike ride and 5K run course weaves through the town after a good loop around the park.

 Senior campers might enjoy Indian Trails Campground. There are several hiking trails around Pardeeville, ingest some ideal Wisconsin air and enjoy the scenic routes.


Notable people who hail from Pardeeville include Mark Bortz, former all-pro guard for the Chicago Bears, Claude Elliott, Major League Baseball pitcher and Debbie McCormick, Olympic athlete, world champion curler.

The Angie Cox Memorial Library is an historic building that folks of all ages enjoy. Senior boaters will find seasonal boat slips available on Park Lake and they are state of the art floating piers. Park Lake is a great spot for watching awesome sunsets almost every evening. Enjoy your visit. -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel, United States

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