Stephen Travels

And he's ready to take you with him.


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Horses and Beer: Touring the Anheuser-Busch Brewery in St. Louis, Missouri

Anheuser-Busch Brewery, St. Louis, MissouriI had already seen the mausoleum holding the remains of Adolphus Busch and his wife — an elaborate Gothic chapel in historic Bellafontaine Cemetery. Now I wanted to get a closer look at his, and his father-in-law’s, legacy: the Anheuser-Busch Brewery. Fortunately, the largest brewery in the United States offers free daily tours, culminating in a couple of complimentary samples. It seemed the perfect thing to do on an oppressively humid afternoon in St. Louis, Missouri. Read more >

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When Spring Springs in the World’s Best Botanic Gardens

Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn, New YorkEvery spring, as we bid winter goodbye, the time comes to terminate our hibernation and return to the outdoor world. One visually invigorating, and very gentle, way to re-acclimate ourselves is to visit a botanic garden. These oases of flora, very often in the heart of concrete urban clusters, can stir your soul, as the annual rebirth begins and plants, birds, animals, and insects get busy once again. Read more about the top five botanic gardens in the world >


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The Greatest Story Ever Told on a Crucifix

Church of St. Teresa, New York, New YorkIf you celebrate Easter, then you most likely start your day by preparing a big holiday meal, tearing into a chocolate bunny, watching your children search your home for hidden colored eggs, or putting on your Sunday best — including the obligatory bonnet — for the Easter Mass. The most important day in the Christian calendar brings with it the most powerful image as well: Jesus on a cross. Although it’s His resurrection that Christians celebrate today, it’s this Good Friday image that solidifies what His life and teachings were all about. Since that pivotal day at Golgotha, the Crucifixion has been represented countless times in countless cultures in countless media — paintings, sculptures, stained-glass windows, and more. Read about the world’s top five crucifixes >


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Five Train Stations That Will Make You Rethink Flying

Dunedin Railway Station, Dunedin, New ZealandNot that long ago, when travel by train was the preferred and quickest way to embark on a vacation or business trip, railroad companies made sure their passengers were impressed by and made comfortable in their stations, whether it was a charming small-town depot or a massive big-city terminal. Many of these stations are still in use today, offering a far more pleasant experience than generic, isolated airports with countless hassles, endless lines, and crushing rules and regulations. Although some have been repurposed to function as everything but what they were originally intended for, they remain architectural jewels in our urban landscape. These are my five favorite train stations in the world. Read more >


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A Dark and Stormy Afternoon in Historic Bellafontaine Cemetery

Bellafontaine Cemetery, St. Louis, MissouriThe first rural cemetery west of the Mississippi River also happens to be one of the most historic, in terms of those who are interred here. This premier cemetery in Missouri is the final resting place for many who have become household names, and even more who deserve to be. If not for them, Americans might be flying the Stars and Bars instead of the Stars and Stripes, might not be purchasing hotdogs (or a Bud) at baseball games, might not have attended kindergarten, and might not have ever traveled over land to the Pacific. Add to the fascinating list of people who changed the course of a country a fierce thunderstorm that made the afternoon look like night, and Bellafontaine Cemetery became one of my favorite sites in St. Louis. Read more >


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Five Post Offices That Truly Deliver

Post Office, Ljubljana, SloveniaIn the present era of instantaneous communication and e-everything, post offices around the world are in serious decline. But it wasn’t all that long ago when post offices were the lifeline of nations, delivering long-anticipated letters, critical documents, history-making news, and packages of all shapes and sizes. Their vital importance was reflected in the grandeur of the buildings that housed them . Although some of them no longer serve their original purpose, these are my five favorite post offices in the world. Read more >


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Missouri’s Mosaic Marvel

Cathedral Basilica, St. Louis, MissouriThe Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis is much more than just the seat of the city’s archdiocese. It’s the home of the world’s largest collection of mosaic tiles — 41.5 million tiles, to be exact, in more than 7,000 colors that cover a total area of 83,000 square feet. From the second you step inside, you’ll be dazzled by the masterful work created by 20 artists over the course of 75 years. Read more >