How can you miss your national parks if they never go away?

My sons Aren and Iden Elliott jump for joy on Friday, the second day we visited Grand Teton National Park.
My sons Aren and Iden Elliott jump for joy on Friday, the second day we visited Grand Teton National Park.

Maybe we should thank the United States Congress for shutting down our government, which closed America’s national parks for 16 unbearably long days.

I am.

For most of last week, my family and I sat in our vacation rental at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, waiting, hoping, praying that Grand Teton National Park would reopen. When it finally did last Thursday, we immediately drove our rental car to the closest entrance.

“Welcome back,” I said to a smiling park ranger.

“Glad to be back,” he replied. And he sounded like he meant it.

I handed him my credit card and my National Parks annual pass, and asked him for a renewal. Ours had expired during the closure, fittingly.
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Dish doesn’t work even after “re-education” visit

Arogant/Shutterstock
Arogant/Shutterstock
Her mother’s Dish TV service doesn’t work despite repeated calls to the company. But now it refuses to waive her early termination fee. Does Denise Omelia’s mother have no choice but to pay up?

Question: I’m writing on behalf of my mother back in the States, who has a problem with Dish TV. Her service was installed a few weeks ago, but has been faulty since day one. She’s never had a full day of Dish.

The service freezes, the remote control won’t change channels. It’s the same issue every day.

On the first day when I was visiting her from the U.K., I made three late-night phone calls from my mother’s home to Dish after the remote started to freeze. A phone technician started to troubleshoot. We reset the remote three times, but nothing worked. A technician came to her home, but the problems continued.

Dish ordered a new box, which my 80-year-old mother had to install herself. She had to ask one of my friends to help her,since I had returned to Europe. The new receiver box didn’t work. The TV works for a while and then the remote freezes.

Last night, I spoke with the customer service center supervisor and she said if there are three visits for the same problem, my mother would be released from her contract. Problem is, one of the visits was cleverly labeled a customer “re-education” visit, so Dish won’t release my mother from her contract and insists on charging her a $500 early termination fee.
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Weekend adventure: At Leu Gardens without a map


Leu Gardens is one of Central Florida’s cultural centers. At this 50-acre enclave near downtown Orlando, we found America’s largest Camellia collection outside California, a museum, and several impressive botanical gardens, including a butterfly garden.

Although the stated mission of Leu Gardens is to inspire people to appreciate and understand plants, we discovered that the facility offered a lot more, including art exhibits, special events and and an 1880s home that has been restored.
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