Travelogue: Follow in the footsteps of Mark Twain

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

American Tourist: Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum

What is it: The home and museum are in Hannibal, Mo., where Mark Twain lived in his boyhood, from 1839 to 1853. The home, at 208 Hill St., was restored as a museum and has been open to the public in some form since 1912. The legendary whitewashed fence of Tom Sawyer borders the property, and there are six additional museum buildings in the complex -- the Interpretive Center, Becky Thatcher House, Huck Finn House, J.M Clemens Justice of the Peace Office, Grant's Drug Store and the Museum Gallery. The proximity of the Mississippi River, the Mark Twain Cave and other settings found in Twain's novels lure thousands of visitors to the museum each year.

At the museum: The museum's collection includes many first editions by Mark Twain, numerous personal items (including his Oxford gown) and a vast array of Twain memorabilia. There are many interactive exhibits including a replica stagecoach and river raft. These serve to highlight specific books by Twain, including “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” “The Innocents Abroad” and “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.” The museum also houses the second largest collection of original Norman Rockwell paintings.

Cost: $8 for adults; $6.50 for seniors; $4 for children 6 to 12; and free for children younger than 6.

Hours: June, July, August: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Also in Hannibal:

- The town celebrates National Tom Sawyer Days each year, complete with whitewashing and frog jumping contests. This year’s festivities will be from July 2 to July 5. See www.hannibaljaycees.org/tomsawyer.htm for more information.

- Also celebrated is Juneteenth, which will be June 20 and 21 this year. See www.visithannibal.com for more information.

Where: Hannibal is on the Missouri-Illinois border (Mississippi River), about 118 miles from St. Louis and 107 miles from Springfield, Ill.

Sources/more information: Wikipedia.org; www.marktwainmuseum.org; www.visithannibal.com; www.hannibaljaycees.org/tomsawyer.htm; www.marktwainhannibal.com/twain/index.shtml 

The List

Here are the world’s best zoos, according to Forbes Traveler (in alphabetical order):

- Animal Kingdom, Orlando, Fla.

- Basel Zoo, Switzerland

- Beauval Zoo, France

- Berlin Zoological Garden

- Bronx Zoo, New York

- Chester Zoo, U.K.

- National Zoological Gardens of South Africa

- Prague Zoological Garden

- San Diego Zoo

- Schönbrunner Zoo, Austria

- Singapore Zoo

- Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Washington, D.C.

- Taronga and Western Plains Zoo, Sydney

- Toronto Zoo

- Ueno Zoological Gardens, Tokyo

Good to Know

If you’re looking for the Alexander Hamilton home in New York’s Harlem, make sure you double-check the address – it recently was moved. The 206-year-old home now rests at the northwest corner of St. Nicholas Park.

Check Out This Site

ResortCompete.com, a Web site designed for the traveler looking for all-inclusive packages, just kicked off. The site lists vacations from about 630 resorts worldwide.

Fun Facts

- The trams in Alexandria, Egypt, are kind of slow, but at 25 piastres – about 4.6 cents – a ride, you can't really complain. (Wikitravel.org)

- At Tokyo Disneyland, flavors of popcorn include cream soda and curry -- sold, appropriately enough, only in Adventureland. (Wikitravel.org)

Travel Tip: Budget traveling

- Use public transport instead of taxis or other faster, more expensive means of transportation. Some places are experimenting with free public transport. However, in some places, it can be cheaper for three or four people to share a taxi than to take public transport. Shop around and compare.

- For public transport, look into multi-use tickets. Many systems have tickets that can be used a certain number of times, or over a certain time period, for a considerable discount over buying each ticket individually.

- Even national and international rail and bus networks may have discount tickets for a month's or several months' travel. You should also check what discounts you're eligible for: Western Europe frequently has blanket discount schemes for people younger than 26, Great Britain has a youth discount card that pays for itself after three or four journeys (the Young Person's Rail Card) and many countries have discount schemes for students, pensioners and sometimes disabled people. (Wikitravel.org)

Talk Like a Local: Japanese

Good morning

- Ohayo gozaimasu (oh-hah-YOH go-zigh-moss)

Good morning (informal)

- Ohayo

GateHouse News Service