All aboard for a lookat history of rail travel
Long ago, before airport security lines, cramped seats and delayed flights, getting there was half the fun.
A new exhibit at Southern Methodist University's DeGolyer Library revisits that golden age of travel with "Southern Pacific Railroad: The Road of a Thousand Wonders."
The exhibit includes photos, maps, manuscripts, timetables, train models, posters, cookbooks and brochures.
Open through June 10.
For more information, visit www.smu.edu/cul/degolyer.
Garden furniture fansflock to N.Y. show
Collectors of quality garden antiques will head to the 13th annual Antique Garden Furniture Show and Sale from Friday to May 1 at the New York Botanical Garden.
More than 30 dealers from across the country will offer their finest pieces.
Items will be available for both novice collectors and garden designers.
Throughout the weekend, antiques experts and garden designers will lecture and give demonstrations.
For more information, call (718) 817-8700 or visit www.nybg.org.
Let your fingers talk
Tie an Italian's hands, and he may have trouble speaking.
A new phrase book tackles the nuances of talking with your hands. "Speak Italian: The Fine Art of the Gesture" by Bruno Munari (Chronicle Books, $14.95), covers the basics and more.
Some gestures are universal: a hand on the neck means choking, a finger to the lips means be quiet. Others are much more subtle.
Programs exploreculture of 3 countries
Globe Aware, a Dallas-based nonprofit international development organization, is offering new programs in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia this summer.
The group, which has had programs in Latin American and Asia for years, invites volunteers to give their time on one of several short-term service programs.
The projects allow volunteers to get a non-tourist view of the world. Volunteers participate in cultural-awareness activities and cultural excursions and have free time for exploration as well.
Planned this summer are "Expedition Vietnam," installing water pumps and teaching English, July 2-9, and then monthly; "Cambodia Rediscovered," assembling wheelchairs for land-mine victims, July 23-30; and "The Path Less Taken: Laos," sharing compassion with land-mine victims and teaching English, Aug. 6-13.
Volunteers pay tax-deductible fees from $1,000 to $1,300, which cover all meals, lodging, project expenses, team leader services, medical insurance and ground transportation.
For more information, call (877) 588-4562 or (214) 823-0083 or visit www.globeaware.org.
Alaska celebratesshorebird layovers
CORDOVA, Alaska -- It's springtime in Alaska, and that means the birds are coming back.
As many as 5 million shorebirds from 30 species stop over in the Copper River Delta on their annual migration. The return is celebrated with a Shorebird Festival, May 5 to 8; details at www.cordovachamber.com.
The Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival, also held May 5 to 8, offers ornithology workshops, field trips, boat tours and art events. For more information, go to www.homeralaska.org/shorebird.htm.
The Alaska Raptor Center in Sitka, and the Alaska Sealife Center in Seward, can host vacationers interested in volunteering.
The facilities rehabilitate injured birds and other sea creatures. Visit www.alaskaraptor.org or www.alaskasealife.org for details.