. . . and Two Dakotas Make 50
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Q. In support of my quest to visit all 50 states by age 50, my wife and two young sons have agreed to accompany me this summer to the final two on my list, North and South Dakota; however, none of us enjoys long car trips. Can you suggest a family-friendly way to complete my goal?
Jon A. Gerson, Kensington
A. To be honest, both North and South Dakota were a little miffed when they -- or rather their tourist offices -- heard that the Dakotas were the last places in the United States you wanted to visit. But they acknowledge you'll have to log some highway hours, since, as Sara Otte-Coleman of the North Dakota Department of Commerce (800-435-5663, http:/
In total, Bismarck to Rapid City is only about six hours. You'll roll over gentle hills in the Missouri River valley, past radiant fields of canola (June) or sunflowers (August). Go in early August and your boys should quit their moaning about Dad's 50-state obsession. Why? Because that's when the tiny town of Sturgis hosts its annual motorcycle rally, a surprisingly family-friendly event (605-720-0800, http:/
For a high school graduation gift, our daughter is going to Italy with her aunt. Because she is a minor, are there any documents we should obtain in the event she needs medical attention while overseas?
Craig and Traci Renner, Waldorf
There absolutely are. You should create a power of attorney document allowing your child's aunt to authorize medical treatment, and that's not all. Current concerns about international child abduction means your daughter might need to prove she has parental consent to leave the country, so you should also prepare a notarized statement to that effect, one that is signed by both of you.
With regard to our suggestion that travelers can save money by bringing frozen meat to the Bahamian island of Eleuthera (Jan. 6), Perry Joseph of St. Louis says: "U.S. security may confiscate foods such as frozen meats and cheese. . . . It's not the way you want to start a trip -- having over $100 worth of food taken away from you." Joseph, who runs the Web site http:/
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