By Louise Cameron

Genoa, according to most of the Italians we encountered, is vastly under-rated as a travel destination. The entire hillside port city is a World Heritage Site full of Renaissance palaces and six-to eight-story buildings stunningly enhanced with a panoply of architectural and artistic trompe l’oeil. Unsurprisingly, the food is delicious and the people are warm and welcoming.

By Charles W. Waring III

I lost any potential “cool points” because I was three months too early to see the total eclipse of the sun. Nonetheless, when we had the opportunity as a family to bid on renting a house in Nova Scotia, I heard all I needed to know — plenty of nearby trout fishing, extraordinary natural beauty, abundant wildlife, friendly locals, comfortable accommodations, historic towns and villages of cultural interest and — best of all — seriously cool temperatures. Remote and relaxation roll together with vigor when I am seeking a spring/summer family trip.

By Brandy Culp

“Ichi-go ichi-e. One time, one meeting describes the Japanese thought of treasuring the moment. The term is often translated as ‘for this time only,’ ‘never again,’ or ‘one chance in a lifetime.’” —The Art of Travel

There is an art to traveling and I am not referring to the way you can pack more things in your small suitcase than necessary, or a knack for finding cheap flights. While in search of contemporary Japanese ceramics for a client, I set out to explore how travel can be as carefully curated as an exhibition, so that the world becomes your museum — and in this museum without walls you use all of your senses to explore, learn, interact … and maybe even better understand your place on this globe.

By Jane Izard

There is a new kid on the block of the Little Rainbow Row in Flat Rock. The restaurant Honey and Salt debuts in March and it is going to be good — really, really good. Imagine this: Clean eating marrying the flavors of Hubba Hubba Smokehouse to make (what chef Mary Mujica calls) “Southern fresh food.” I expect it will quickly become the area’s new favorite brunch and breakfast spot. The restaurant is the brainchild of Starr Teel (Hubba Hubba’s owner and pitmaster), Erin Hill and chef Mujica.

By Jane Izard

Have you ever wanted to learn how to create a basket with a shed mule deer antler? What about the ancient art of charcuterie? Or turn a bamboo rod into a stream-ready fly rod? How about create lost-wax cast jewelry? Learn to play the fiddle? One can learn to do all this and more at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina. With more than 880 weeklong and weekend classes offered every year, one is bound to find a course — if not several.

Mercury newspaper racks are located at the following locations:

The Meeting Street Inn

Clair's Service Station at 334 Folly Rd.

Harris Teeter on Houston-Northcutt Blvd.

The Square Onion in I'On

Mt. Pleasant Library on Mathis Ferry Rd.