As you climb the 20-some steps leading to the main entrance you almost expect to hear school bells and the sound of children on the playground. Today the historic Ivywild Elementary School, constructed in 1916, is a repurposed building with new life bustling through the halls.
Botswana, a landlocked country in southern Africa, has a landscape defined by the Kalahari Desert and the Okavango Delta, which becomes a lush animal habitat through the seasonal floods. The most accessible and frequently visited of Botswana’s big game country, the Chobe National Park is a great place to see the elephants in the dry season (May through October).
Start early in the morning and rent a bike for the 16 kilometer ride (about 9 miles) to Pailón del Diablo, or Devil’s Cauldron, waterfall. Your mostly-downhill ride will wind along the canyon and you’ll be able to spot several other dramatic waterfalls along the way — there are over 60 of them in the area surrounding Baños! The real excitement is the Pailón, though: with its twisting stone staircase and plunging force of water, this monster waterfall is Instagram gold. When you’re done taking pictures, pay $2 to toss your bike in the back of a truck and return to Baños in time for lunch.
With seven hours before our flight, tequila tasting just seemed like a good use of our time — right? We had spent eight sun-filled days visiting Puerto Vallarta on our annual trip to Mexico, but had not purchased tequila before heading back home. Several residents told us that Mama Lucia Tequila was a local distillery that would be worth our time. So we asked our taxi driver to take us to Mezcales to visit Mama Lucia. He hesitated and quizzically repeated our destination (understandable, as it was 8 a.m.), which we confirmed.
East of Arles, beyond Aix en Provence, count your good fortune stumbling into Saint Maximin la Sainte Baume, a small town 45 minutes north of Marseilles which holds a wealth of surprises — from the Basilica of Mary Magdalene to The Grotto high in the Great Massif where she, the iconic Mary, lived the last 30 years of her life. At the end of the day, relax in the surrounding environs of the Provencal culture and entertain thoughts of the gastronomique encounter you have in store at 7 o’clock that evening.