Remaking of Westminster
The Palace of Westminster, with its cinematic Big Ben clock, set beside the River Thames, is a survivor — of epic fire, German bombs, sulfuric smog and bad plumbing. An eccentric masterwork of Victorian genius, its dual chambers for lords and commoners are the heart of constitutional monarchy, the home of Parliament, and one of the world’s most photographed buildings. But Westminster’s interior, from water pipes to communication systems, is a wreck, caretakers say. British lawmakers approved an ambitious restoration project, a $5 billion scheme. Work is scheduled to begin in 2025, with the hope that sometime in the early 2030s, the temporarily displaced Parliament will return to its home.
New routes for Sun Country
Sun Country announced service to two new destinations from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, both vacation favorites: New Orleans and Santa Barbara, Calif. The nonstop New Orleans flight takes off Sept. 6 and runs through Dec. 16. Between Sept. 6-23, flights operate once a week, in a sequence made for long weekends. Minneapolis to New Orleans flights operate on Thursdays, and New Orleans to Minneapolis flights on Sundays; the sequence makes for a long weekend in the Big Easy. Starting Sept. 24, the Thursday and Sunday flights will become round-trips, giving travelers a bit more flexibility. Nonstop service to Santa Barbara from Minneapolis will operate Aug. 16 through Dec. 9. Round-trip flights are on Thursdays and Sundays. Flights are now available to book through October; November and December flights will be available to book later in May. On May 2, one-way flights to New Orleans were $89, and to Santa Barbara, $109, with 21-day advance purchase.
Lynching memorial opens
Hundreds of people lined up in the rain to get a first look at a lynching memorial and museum that opened April 26 in Montgomery, Ala. The National Memorial for Peace and Justice commemorates 4,400 black people who were slain in lynchings and other racial killings between 1877 and 1950. Their names, where known, are engraved on 800 dark, rectangular steel columns, one for each U.S. county where lynchings occurred. A related museum is also opening in Montgomery, called the Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration.
How to tour like a rock star
The kind of tricked-out buses associated with rock-star tours will drive a new kind of road trip with the debut of travel company Roadies. Roadies buses — which have sleeping berths, lounges, TVs and showers — can transport up to 11 travelers on seven-day itineraries between San Diego and Las Vegas. The buses will make stops in the Los Angeles area, Palm Springs, Joshua Tree National Park and the Grand Canyon. The land cruise, which travels at night, arrives each morning in a new spot, allowing passengers to leave the bus for excursions like hiking, surfing and horseback riding. “We see it as an opportunity to reinvent the great American road trip,” said Mark Wills, a co-founder. The company plans to work with a hotel or resort in each destination that will act as a base camp for exploration and offer access to amenities. Weeklong trips in California and the Southwest begin in June and start at $1,299 (roadies.coach).
New York Times