Compiled by Jane Engle

A shrine to a slain leader

Montgomery, Ala.

The home where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. changed from a city pastor to national civil rights leader has been restored to its 1950s appearance and opened to visitors.

King lived in the white wood-frame parsonage of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church from 1954 to 1960, rising to national prominence when he launched a bus boycott to protest segregation. The Nobel Peace Prize winner was assassinated in 1968.

Celery-colored walls, chenille bedspreads and a portable record player are period touches at the Dexter Parsonage Museum.

Admission $3 adults, $2 children under 12. Open Monday to Saturday; hours vary. (334) 261-3270.


Take fewer bags to Latin America

Going to Mexico, Latin America or the Caribbean over the holidays? You'll be limited to two checked items and one carry-on if you're flying on American Airlines or American Eagle to many destinations there, including Guadalajara, Mexico. Some flights will refuse to accept boxes too. Most limits apply Dec. 10 to Jan. 9, but some began earlier this month. For details, contact the airline, (800) 433-7300.


Kosher cruises to Caribbean

All-kosher luxury cruises are being offered, starting next month, by Chosen Voyage. The new Pittsburgh-based company claims to be the first devoted to chartering entire ships for such trips.

The kitchen of Windstar Cruises' 308-passenger Wind Surf will be koshered, with sterilized silverware and new china added, before the seven-night Caribbean cruises that leave Fort Lauderdale on Monday, Dec. 7 and Jan. 18 and 25. Kosher dishes will be adapted from Windstar's regular menu, designed by chef Joachim Splichal of the Patina Group in Los Angeles.

Brochure rates begin at $1,999 per person, double occupancy. (866) 462-4673,


Finding hotel room hardly a holiday

No room at the inn? It might not be literally true this holiday season, but last-minute lodging seekers may have a tougher time than usual.

Occupancy rates at U.S. hotels over Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's will hit their highest levels in three years, according to forecasts by Pricewaterhouse Coopers, an industry research specialist. It's all part of a travel rebound that began earlier this year, aided by Christmas and New Year's falling on Thursdays, experts say.


U.S. issues warning on Turkey

The State Department warned Americans against nonessential travel to Turkey after fatal bombings earlier this month at two synagogues, the British Consulate General and a London-based bank in Istanbul. On Nov. 21, it also reissued its long-standing worldwide caution, citing "increasing indications" that the Al Qaeda terrorist group "is preparing to strike U.S. interests abroad." For updates, visit

-- Compiled by

Jane Engle

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