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Updated 01/30/05

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                                  skateboarding dog, Manly Beach, Australia
Welcome to the online home of travel columnist Donald D. Groff, who has dispensed advice  and stories since 1988 in such publications as the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Newark Star-Ledger, The Kansas City Star, Newsday, Salon, Condé Nast Traveler, Consumer Reports Travel Letter, The Boston Globe, and Endless Vacation magazine.

Just back from . . . 
All photos ©Donald D. Groff except as otherwise credited

Orchid, Atlanta Botanical Garden
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By mid-April, spring is already an old friend in Atlanta. Dogwood blossoms succeed cherry blossoms. At the Atlanta Botanical Garden, tulips explode outdoors while orchids thrive in the conservatory, whose front door is watched by poison-dart frogs. The Dogwood Festival in Piedmont Park draws hundreds of artists and crafters offering nearly irresistible work. Frisbee dogs leap in  competition, the scent of cooking sausage and kettle corn wafts over the walkway.  This year for the first time a vendor offered fried candy bars -- choice of Snickers or Milky Way. Insert stick, dip in batter, fry in corndog oil. "Awesome," reported one customer. The vendor said the technique was introduced "up north" a year ago. ¶ Half an hour east near Lithonia, the annual blooming of red  diamorpha was in progress at Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve, where several miles of hiking trails cross the monadnocks -- isolated hills standing above the surrounding area. The tiny plant's blooms contrast delightfully with the largely barren rock surfaces.  ¶ At the Sweet Auburn Curb Market, piles of fresh vegetables, meats and seafood lend a fresh, healthy scent to the sprawling space. 

   flower-pool-w.jpg (51997 bytes)  tiny-flowers-w.jpg (53283 bytes) veggies-w.jpg (48442 bytes) Sweet Auburn Curb Market

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Dogwood Festival (left and right); tulips at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

Other destinations: 
Maine, Georgia kangaroos; California; Flight 93 memorial; Nicaragua; London


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          Last updated: 01/30/2005