Jennifer Richardson

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Jennifer Richardson is the author of Americashire: A Field Guide to a Marriage, the 2013 Indie Reader Discovery Award winner for travel writing.

Jennifer Richardson

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Between Disney and Universal alone, there are no fewer than eight theme parks to visit in the Orlando area. It’s enough to fill not just one but several holidays to Florida. And that would be a shame, because, as any native Floridian—including this one—will tell you, there’s much more to the Sunshine State than roller coasters and water slides. No trip to Florida would be complete without an experience of both the state’s unique natural landscapes and the inventive people and places that gave the state its reputation for quirkiness that still thrives today.

While London lays claim to hosting the most Olympic Games of any city, its record pales in comparison to Chipping Campden. This quaint Gloucestershire town has been holding its own “Cotswold Olimpicks” each year since 1612, when the events included singlestick, wrestling, jumping in sacks, and shin-kicking. Farther south in Tetbury, competitors race uphill carrying woolsacks on their backs in the town’s most famous annual event, while, to the west in Gloucester, they race downhill in an attempt to catch a wheel of cheese.

One of my enduring memories of Paris is eating lunch at a sidewalk café on the Rue Cler, next to a table at which the most radiant French family was dining. Their party included several small children, all wearing outfits that appeared to cost substantially more than the contents of my entire wardrobe; they all sat politely, using utensils to do adept things like remove slices of buffalo mozzarella from a deconstructed caprese salad served in a jam jar.

With its gentle landscapes, picturesque villages and antique store-laden market towns, the Cotswolds are an ideal romantic weekend getaway. The adult palate is well catered to, from character pubs and fine dining establishments to luxury spas. But don’t be fooled: hidden in these rolling hills are plenty of activities that will keep both parents and children delighted.

 

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