Todd DeFeo

A look back at 2013

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER VISITOR COMPLEX ATLANTIS2013 was a great year for travel here at The Travel Trolley.

From visiting places where great moments in history transpired to visiting attractions that greeted guests for the first time, the year provided some truly memorable experiences. Here’s a brief look back at some of the top headlines chronicled on The Travel Trolley:

Top travel news headlines: Concerns about what impact sequestration would have on national parks and travel dominated headlines earlier this year. In the end, it turned out to be more of an exercise in political posturing.

In August, the Department of State warned Americans to remain vigilant for possible al Qaida terrorist attacks in the Middle East and North Africa and issued a global travel warning to Americans asking them to “adopt appropriate safety measures to protect themselves when traveling.” Luckily, there was no attack.

Then there was the government shutdown. However, the bark turned out to be bigger than the bite, though it did cost states 2.2 billion in lost tax revenue, according to one estimate.

Storylines to watch in 2014: The TSA, always fodder for critics, will no doubt remain in the conversation next year. The notion of a fuel tax on motorists is likely to garner some attention, though it may fly under the radar to some extent.

New attractions: The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum opened in April to big headlines and rave reviews.

In June, the Atlantis space shuttle exhibit opened to great fanfare at Kennedy Space Center. The 90,000-square-foot, $100 million exhibit pays tribute to NASA’s 30-year space shuttle program.

History happened here: In November, Dallas commemorated the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. While the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza benefited from the anniversary, the city of Irving capitalized in the renewed interest by turning the Ruth Paine house into a new museum.

The Explorations in Antiquity Center in LaGrange, Ga., during the latter half of 2013 unveiled its new Biblical Life Artifacts Gallery to display artifacts from the Bronze Age through the late Byzantine Period. The gallery includes more than 300 artifacts on permanent loan from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA).

Odds and ends: Other places The Travel Trolley explored for the first time in 2013 include: the Dr Pepper Museum and Free Enterprise Institute in Waco, Texas; Gruene Hall in New Braunfels, Texas; the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia; and the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing in Ocala, Fla.

Happy New Year. Here’s to great traveling in 2014.

About Todd DeFeo

Todd DeFeo loves to travel anywhere, anytime, taking pictures and notes. An award-winning reporter, Todd revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He is owner of The DeFeo Groupe and also edits Express Telegraph and