Travel


A skeptical dad and his daughter go ghost-busting through the South

Eight ghost tours over 10 days in three of America’s most haunted cities. Surely, the apparitional odds would be in our favor, my teen-aged daughter and I assumed when planning our July road trip to St. Augustine, Savannah and Charleston. On foot, bus and horse-drawn carriage, we roamed by night through graveyards lined with crumbling tombstones, musty houses full of tragic histories and streets...
This Florida restaurant was named one of the best in the U.S.

This Florida restaurant was named one of the best in the U.S.

This may be worth a road trip! You really don’t need to travel far to enjoy some of the best food in the United States. Victoria & Albert’s, located in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, was voted as the second best restaurant in America among Trip Advisor’s 2017 Best Fine Dining Restaurants in their Traveler’s Choice Awards.  The fine-dining restaurant...
In Wisconsin, visitors can literally dip their toes into the cranberry harvest

In Wisconsin, visitors can literally dip their toes into the cranberry harvest

It's gray and raining and about 65 degrees, but more than 70 people are lined up in a field in central Wisconsin, undeterred by the gloom - or the wait. Their eyes are fixed on a lagoon that's pink with thousands of floating baubles: cranberries.  In the Badger State, late September to late October is cranberry season, and hundreds of devotees and curiosity seekers have come here, to Wetherby...
Betting on a shore thing: Four megaship veterans try cruising on a smaller scale

Betting on a shore thing: Four megaship veterans try cruising on a smaller scale

Some people like hosting relatives at their homes. We prefer cruising with family because it gives us time together (and apart), plus interesting ports, entertainment and meals without the hassle of shopping, cooking and housekeeping. Every summer since 2009, my cousins Wayne and Mary Jane have joined me and my husband, David, on the high seas.  This year, when it came time to map out our annual...

Jetliner's early days: power, style and size

The 747, one of history’s most iconic airplanes, is heading toward retirement. Mark Vanhoenacker, a pilot and the author of “Skyfaring: A Journey with a Pilot,” writes that for “those who grew up under 747-crossed skies, it can be hard to appreciate how revolutionary the jet’s dimensions were when it first (and improbably, to some observers) got airborne in 1969.&rdquo...

Talk Travel: Compensation for a flight delay? It depends.

The Washington Post's Travel section writers and editors recently discussed stories, questions, gripes and more. Here are edited excerpts:  Q: I recently traveled on American Airlines and experienced a mechanical delay of nearly four hours. I boarded and deboarded the original plane. The second plane pulled up to the gate but was also deemed unfit to fly. A third and final plane got us en route...
Fresh oysters and a slice of history on the Long Beach Peninsula

Fresh oysters and a slice of history on the Long Beach Peninsula

OYSTERVILLE, Wash. — Usually, razor clams get all the publicity. Last spring’s razor clam-digging opening on the 28-mile-long Long Beach Peninsula’s ocean beach was a big deal because state fisheries honchos temporarily upped the daily limit after a long closure assured a good harvest. Fanatical diggers descended in droves. But cross the 13/4-mile-wide peninsula to where the Pacific...
Racing around the world: Exotic marathons for runners with wanderlust

Racing around the world: Exotic marathons for runners with wanderlust

Not many people can say they’ve been to all seven continents. Far fewer can say they’ve run marathons in all of them. Wendy Balthazor belongs to that elite club. It’s a membership that bestows bragging rights Balthazor couldn’t have imagined in 2011, as she milled about the start corrals of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, waiting to embark on her first 26.2 mile run....
The 747’s final approach

The 747’s final approach

How much do I, a Boeing 747 pilot, love the airplane that I fly? It’s tough, and maybe a little embarrassing, to answer. But as the iconic jet’s eventual retirement draws closer, I am surely not the only 747 fan who’s taking some very long flights down memory lane.  To share with you the jumbo dimensions of my 747 obsession, I could describe my wedding cake (hint: it had wings...
NEW: Another Irma-damaged welcome sign missing in the Keys

NEW: Another Irma-damaged welcome sign missing in the Keys

A copycat thief has apparently struck in the Florida Keys. A second town's welcome sign has gone missing after being damaged by Hurricane Irma. The sign welcoming drivers to Tavernier in the Upper Keys disappeared over the weekend, FLKeysNews.com reported. The news came just days after the iconic Key West welcome sign was returned. That sign was gone for more than a month after it vanished in...
17 states granted extension for REAL ID compliance; Driver's license OK for domestic travel 

17 states granted extension for REAL ID compliance; Driver's license OK for domestic travel 

Less than a week ago, residents in 22 states were panicking over the possibility that their state-issued ID cards would be insufficient to access domestic flights. Many thought they would need passports to travel between states. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has now approved requests for an extension, granting 17 states more time to provide appropriate, REAL ID-compliant identification...
A Taste of Transylvania in North Carolina

A Taste of Transylvania in North Carolina

Looking for a couple’s getaway to keep you both happy? A surprisingly attractive option lies a reasonably short distance from the Asheville, N.C., airport. Home to world-class mountain bikers drawn to its extensive trail network and mild winters, nationally known fly fishermen and an internationally acclaimed music center, this rural getaway offers travel amenities, a publicly accessible NASA...
A Yosemite park ranger’s five favorite spots

A Yosemite park ranger’s five favorite spots

Yosemite National Park is not just about Half Dome, spectacular as it is. There’s so much beauty and bounty to check out in its northern reaches, where the crowds are sparse and the sights spectacular. So we asked park ranger Jamie Richards about some of her favorite spots. She’s particularly fond of Tuolumne Meadows and the points along Tioga Road, she says, and now is the perfect time...
Frugal Traveler: Through three neighborhoods, revisiting Chicago’s charms

Frugal Traveler: Through three neighborhoods, revisiting Chicago’s charms

No travel assignment is ever straightforward, but reporting on the place you grew up presents specific challenges. Walking along the bungalow- and tree-lined streets in the Beverly neighborhood of southwest Chicago, where I lived until second grade, a fog of memory followed me as I passed businesses my family used to frequent and the houses of old neighbors. I scarcely recognized Sutherland Elementary...
While cruising, learn more by tapping the power of plugged-in local guides

While cruising, learn more by tapping the power of plugged-in local guides

During a Caribbean cruise in January, we found ourselves on a half-hidden, empty beach on the island of Dominica. Shrouded by sea grapes and visited only by brown pelicans, it was, we learned, the intended setting for a nasty paramilitary coup planned in 1981.  We were three couples who wanted to know how the histories of the United States and the island intertwine, and we discovered - on that...
River or ocean? How to pick the cruise that’s right for you

River or ocean? How to pick the cruise that’s right for you

What’s your cruising style: river or ocean? As with many things, size matters. The biggest differentiator? Those massive, oceangoing ships packed with thousands of passengers are themselves the destination: floating cities with lots to do and see. Not so with river ships. River ships, trim and nimble, are engineered to dock in the heart of your destination — a short walk from the Eiffel...
More U.S. parks and attractions are offering online reservations

More U.S. parks and attractions are offering online reservations

Does a vacation really feel like a vacation when every little thing is scheduled? Perhaps not, but with more attractions offering reservations, chances are you’ll have to do a little more planning.  Certainly, there are upsides to reservations. They slash wait times, allowing travelers to see and do more. They curb disappointment; there’s no driving for an hour only to find out that...

How to care for your skin before, during and after a flight

Everyone loves going on vacation, except for the actual traveling part. The arid environment of an airplane or bus can wreak havoc on the skin and leave it looking dehydrated, blotchy and fatigued.  We asked Elizabeth Tanzi, a dermatologist and director of Capital Laser and Skin Care in Washington, to share her skin-saving travel secrets so your skin looks fresh and ready upon arrival.  ...
Despite hurricanes, Caribbean still a popular travel destination

Despite hurricanes, Caribbean still a popular travel destination

It’s been about a month since a trio of hurricanes barreled through the Caribbean and Florida, destroying many popular vacation spots. Despite all the damage, the majority of destinations are open for business and need visitors to return. A travel group just produced a video called “One Caribbean Family” that drives home the theme that the islands are still beautiful and welcoming...
These local resorts rank among the best in Florida

These local resorts rank among the best in Florida

Seven of Palm Beach  County’s oceanfront resorts have been named among the best in Florida by Conde Nast Traveler readers. The popular travel magazine this week released the results of its annual Reader’s Choice Awards, which ranks the best hotels, resorts, cities, islands, airlines, airports, and cruise lines in the world. The awards include a ranking of the top 35 resorts in Florida...
Here’s why travelers from 22 states could face conflict with domestic flights in 2018

Here’s why travelers from 22 states could face conflict with domestic flights in 2018

Residents in 22 states were panicking earlier this week over the possibility that their state-issued ID cards would be insufficient to access domestic flights next year. Many thought they would need passports to travel between states. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has now approved requests for an extension, granting 17 states more time to provide appropriate, REAL ID-compliant identification...
Familiar frights at these haunts

Familiar frights at these haunts

LOS ANGELES — Six years ago, director Eli Roth pulled on a costume from his film “Hostel” and staged an impromptu performance inside the film’s maze at Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights.  “He showed up, he had the costume from the movie, and he acted in every single scene in the maze for over an hour,” recalled John Murdy, creative director at...
Fall day trip: A bike ride between two Minnesota icons

Fall day trip: A bike ride between two Minnesota icons

Someday the Gitchi-Gami State Trail might extend 89 miles along Minnesota’s North Shore from Two Harbors to Grand Marais — a cyclist’s answer to the 310-mile Superior Hiking Trail.  Until that utopian vision comes to pass, the paved bike trail exists in only a few short segments. The highlight so far may be the 7 or 8 miles between two iconic Minnesota destinations: Split Rock...
Yayoi Kusama museum opens to sellout crowds

Yayoi Kusama museum opens to sellout crowds

A museum featuring the works of avant-garde artist Yayoi Kusama, who gained worldwide fame through her use of motifs such as polka dots and pumpkins, opened Oct. 1 in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo, with tickets already sold out for this year.  The Yayoi Kusama Museum offers tickets that are valid for 90-minute viewing sessions, with four time slots per day.   Kusama, 88, has grown in popularity...
On a Windjammer cruise in Maine, passengers knit a seaworthy yarn

On a Windjammer cruise in Maine, passengers knit a seaworthy yarn

Captain Annie Mahle stood on the deck of the J. & E. Riggin and welcomed more than a dozen passengers already knuckle-deep in the theme of the September cruise.  As the guests knitted and purled, she described life aboard the two-masted schooner with no engine and marine plumbing. She discussed the toilet, which requires vigorous hand-pumping, and the bathing options, which include a rinse with...
Five places to go in Athens

Five places to go in Athens

ATHENS, Greece — Travelers looking for a sense of where locals in Athens hang out should head to Kifissia, a leafy, upscale suburb north of the city center. While homegrown stores have long been a trademark here, eateries have been scarce. In recent years, that’s changed as it’s become easier to obtain restaurant licenses. Now, the neighborhood includes an enticing mix of stores...
On an Oregon lake, a lodge serving kicked-up camp food

On an Oregon lake, a lodge serving kicked-up camp food

There are fish sandwiches, and then there is the fish and chips sandwich at the Boathouse, an all-day counter service spot tucked into a former boathouse at the Suttle Lodge, a magisterial 1930s-era property located in central Oregon’s Deschutes National Forest. A brawny trout filet is encrusted in pulverized Kettle brand potato chips, fried golden brown, and crammed into a squishy potato bun...
The least and most affordable places to spend your holiday vacation

The least and most affordable places to spend your holiday vacation

As the song goes, there’s no place like home for the holidays. But if you prefer to get away, there are plenty of cheap holiday trips you can take.  To help you pinpoint where to spend your Thanksgiving or Christmas without breaking your budget, GOBankingRates looked at six factors in popular destinations: the cost of hotels, holiday flights, food, drinks, transportation and entertainment...
How to navigate extreme weather on a trip

How to navigate extreme weather on a trip

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are recent examples of how extreme weather can lead to endless flight cancellations and delays. Now, with the snowstorm season fast approaching, the threat of inclement weather disrupting the most well-laid travel plans continues to be top of mind. While you can’t control the climate, Andrew Collins, the chief executive and president of the private aviation company...
Texas couple survives being stranded 6 days while on vacation in rural Utah

Texas couple survives being stranded 6 days while on vacation in rural Utah

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Texas couple who set out for a day trip to Lake Powell while on vacation in southern Utah ended up narrowly surviving six harrowing days stranded on a rocky, desolate dirt road that was impassable in their rental car, authorities said Friday.  Helena Byler, 78, was found lying on the road Oct. 2 by a rancher who happened to be checking on his cattle in the area of...

Special VIP events are a less-known credit card perk

You probably already know many of the advantages of using a credit or charge card: earning miles and points on purchases, or cash back rewards, of course. Some airline-affiliated cards offer free checked bags and other perks such as priority boarding when flying. Some of the benefits, however, may appear less obvious. For example, I left a valuable item in overhead compartment after deplaning and...
Freer reopens, Newseum on the rocks, Bible museum premieres

Freer reopens, Newseum on the rocks, Bible museum premieres

WASHINGTON - The Freer Gallery of Art will showcase Chinese bells and Asian Buddhas as it celebrates its reopening after an 18-month renovation. Together with the adjacent Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian's Asian arts museums host all-new exhibitions and an outdoor festival celebrating Asian art and culture.  The Freer's Italian Renaissance interiors have been burnished and buffed to...

Why are flights so much cheaper in Europe than in the US?

BERLIN - In Europe, simply getting to the airport is often more expensive than the flight itself.  Many flights here can be astonishingly cheap, and not only for those who spend hours searching the Internet for the best deals. On a recent day in September, travelers could book $17 flights from London to Berlin on 14 different days in October - or even the next morning. On the same day, the roughly...
For marathon weekend in New York, hotel packages and fun runs

For marathon weekend in New York, hotel packages and fun runs

Sunday, Nov. 5, will be the 47th running of the five-borough marathon in New York City, currently called the TCS New York City Marathon. The race is expected to draw more than 50,000 runners this year, according to New York Road Runners, the group that organizes the event, but the marathon isn’t just for participants: NYRR as well as hotels and restaurants around the city have free or attractively...
Breaking mad: 'Breaking Bad' house gets fence to block fans

Breaking mad: 'Breaking Bad' house gets fence to block fans

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The real Albuquerque house made famous by the methamphetamine-making character Walter White in the AMC-TV hit series "Breaking Bad" is getting a fence.  The owners are installing a 6-foot (2 meter) wrought iron fence on the front of the house used in the series, starring Bryan Cranston. The move comes after the owners have complained of countless fans...
EXCLUSIVE: Brightline train derailed in Feb., causing $408K in damage

EXCLUSIVE: Brightline train derailed in Feb., causing $408K in damage

A Brightline train derailed in February as it moved through the company’s rail repair yard in West Palm Beach at a speed of 4 miles per hour, causing $408,000 in equipment damage, according to an accident report filed with the Federal Railroad Administration. A Florida East Coast locomotive was leading All Aboard Florida’s Brightline train into the company’s maintenance...

Travel deals: Free airfare for a Suez Canal cruise and $1,000 resort credit in Mexico

This week's best travel bargains around the globe.  Land   - More than a dozen hotels have partnered with the St. Kitts Tourism Authority to offer 15 to 40 percent off stays from Dec. 15 to March 31. Hotels participating in the Time to Lime promo include St. Kitts Marriott Resort, Sugar Bay Club and Timothy Beach Resort. Rates vary. For example, four nights in a garden room at Sugar...
Priority for Airbnb’s Brian Chesky: social responsibility

Priority for Airbnb’s Brian Chesky: social responsibility

It’s been an especially busy few months for Brian Chesky, 36, the co-founder and chief executive of the home rental company Airbnb: in late September, he came to New York City to introduce Experiences, a service that allows travelers to book activities with Airbnb hosts in 40 destinations worldwide. A few days earlier, he introduced a partnership with the restaurant reservation app Resy, through...
Tips for taking your field dog on a road trip, including need for travel crate

Tips for taking your field dog on a road trip, including need for travel crate

Field dogs do their part on a road trip by being good listeners, taking the blame for occasional foul odors in the cab and being eager for any hiking, hunting, fishing or camping situation we drive them to regardless of the weather or time of day.  Our job as owners of active dogs is to take care of them.   A little preparation can make a big difference in the pleasure of the trip....

New perks for designated drivers at beer and wine events

Stephanie Waterman, a 56-year-old in San Diego who works in sales, has been attending the San Diego Bay Food and Wine Festival, scheduled this year from Nov. 12-19, for 14 years. As a recovering alcoholic, she doesn’t drink but enjoys the cooking classes, the food samples, and hanging with her friends, whom she often drives home.  This year she is especially excited because at the Grand...
The lowdown on your ‘fly rights’

The lowdown on your ‘fly rights’

What recourse do you have when a flight is canceled or delayed, or the airline changes its schedule or loses or delays a checked bag or bumps you from a flight? Even though the U.S. Department of Transportation and European regulators promulgate and enforce consumer protections, there are probably fewer "fly rights" than you think, and these vary depending on the country you’re flying...

How climate change is affecting travel - and what you can do about it

When Kimberly Button drove her RV to Glacier National Park in Montana this summer, she expected relief from her muggy home town of Orlando, Florida. "We assumed that we'd have mild temperatures," she says. "We couldn't have been more wrong."  Instead, the Rocky Mountains baked in mid-90-degree temperatures. Button's family camper, which didn't have air conditioning, felt like...
Travel accessories and tips for photographers

Travel accessories and tips for photographers

Several travel goods make picture-taking and packing appropriate gear much easier. Whether you’re an amateur or professional, strap-free carrying solutions, an automatic backup device and a backpack loaded with pockets and thoughtful organization give photographers options for prepping and organizing their supplies for any photography occasion and adventure.  The sturdy metal SpiderLight...
Despite travel warning, cruises to Cuba continue

Despite travel warning, cruises to Cuba continue

Although the U.S. Department of State recently issued a travel warning on Cuba, a number of cruise lines plan to add itineraries to Cuba next year.  The Sept. 29 statement, which “warns U.S. citizens not to travel to Cuba,” is based on a series of mysterious illnesses that have befallen U.S. Embassy workers in Havana.   But several cruise lines operating ships in and around...
After Hurricane Irma: Keys tourism push includes images of damage

After Hurricane Irma: Keys tourism push includes images of damage

On the one-month anniversary of Hurricane Irma's landfall in the Keys, the area's tourism bureau posted a video showing the destruction caused by the storm. It was a unique way to draw visitors back to the resilient island chain at the southern tip of Florida. "This is a very unusual approach because I don’t think any tourism agency out there would show scenes of hurricane damage,"...
UPDATE: Girl, 8, dies after falling from Carnival cruise ship in Miami

UPDATE: Girl, 8, dies after falling from Carnival cruise ship in Miami

Update 2 p.m.: An 8-year-old girl has died from her injuries after falling two stories from a Carnival cruise ship on Saturday morning, according to the Miami-Dade Police Department.  Police told NBC Miami that the girl fell at 8:15 a.m. from a balcony inside the ship’s atrium to the lower deck.  Carnival Cruise line released a statement on the incident:  Original story: An 8-year-old...
10 best places to sit down, relax and enjoy art in Washington, D.C.

10 best places to sit down, relax and enjoy art in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON - A good sit at the art museum is about much more than giving your feet a break from the hard floors and walking. A well-placed sofa or bench can change your relationship to what you are seeing, transform the social dynamic of how you relate to the crowds around you and dramatically alter the experience of the building you are in. Sitting down, in a museum, can be an almost radical act...
Why is the sun red, the sky yellow in London? 

Why is the sun red, the sky yellow in London? 

An eerie weather phenomenon across parts of the United Kingdom is turning the skies an anemic yellow color and making the sun appear blood red. The anomaly is not the beginning of the end of days or a sign of the apocalypse, scientists said. Instead, it’s directly related to Hurricane Ophelia, which is whipping through the region. The storm’s tropical air dragged in dust from the Sahara...
Be afraid, be very afraid: The most haunted places in Palm Beach County 

Be afraid, be very afraid: The most haunted places in Palm Beach County 

Do you ever get an eerie feeling while visiting certain places in our county? You are not alone. As ghouls and goblins come out for Halloween, we explore the many haunts around Palm Beach County. Nicknamed the “Wildman of Loxahatchee,” Vince “Trapper” Nelson is the identity of the ghost said to roam Jonathan Dickinson State Park. After moving to the area in the 1930s,...
Vancouver Island, through an artist’s eyes

Vancouver Island, through an artist’s eyes

A light rain was falling in Victoria, but it wasn’t keeping anyone inside on a Saturday afternoon. The horse-drawn carriages and pedicabs were out in force, a ska band was tuning up by the harbor, and all along Wharf Street, people strolled, most of them without umbrellas. This was British Columbia, after all, and no one was going to let a little rain get in the way.  Fresh off the ferry...

Talk Travel: Best places to explore Vermont in the winter

The Washington Post's travel writers and editors recently discussed stories, questions, gripes and more. Here are edited excerpts:  Q: I'm trying to plan a trip to Vermont in February, but I have way too many requirements and can't figure out where best to stay for two or three days. Right now I'm trying to decide between Burlington and Stowe. Each has part of what I'm looking for, they both...
Taking selfies with llamas? Leaning out of a helicopter? Travel photographer Gray Malin has done it all.

Taking selfies with llamas? Leaning out of a helicopter? Travel photographer Gray Malin has done it all.

Winter is coming, but you wouldn't know it flipping through Gray Malin's new book.  "Escape," Malin's latest collection of travel photographs, can transport you from the sun-drenched beaches of St. Barts to the dusty plains of Namibia, no passport required.   The 31-year-old Los Angeles-based fine arts photographer, who got his start hawking travel prints at a West Hollywood...

Is your flight about to be canceled?

Flight cancellations are a fact of travel life and cannot always be predicted.  The key to managing a cancellation is to get out ahead of it as far as possible. During the recent hurricanes, I happened to be traveling with a group of seasoned travel professionals including some fellow travel writers — all full of advice about determining the odds of cancellations and managing the wiggle...
Book the next rocket to New York? Elon Musk’s bizarre travel plan

Book the next rocket to New York? Elon Musk’s bizarre travel plan

SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk envisions a time in the near future when long-distance travelers on Earth can hop on a rocket to go across the globe in less than an hour. But before Musk can set his plans in motion, there are a few down-to-Earth logistics questions he’ll have to answer first. Under the plan announced recently by Musk, passengers would board a large rocket and spacecraft system...

Turkey suspends visa applications for US tourists, halting travel to the republic

Earlier this week, a brief note appeared on the website and Twitter account of the Turkish Embassy in Washington. The meat of the message was: " . . . effective immediately we have suspended all visa services regarding the U.S. citizens at our diplomatic and consular missions in the U.S. This measure will apply to sticker visas as well as e-Visas and border visas."  The implications...
Leaf peeping in Virginia wine country

Leaf peeping in Virginia wine country

LEESBURG, Va. — The rolling hills around this historic town and county seat northwest of Washington, D.C., has long been known as horse country. Jackie Kennedy famously rode with the Piedmont Fox Hounds in nearby Middleburg, and even today there are more horses than houses in Loudoun County, which was settled in the mid-1720s and still feels a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of...
In the rough: Losses mount at Trump's Scottish resorts

In the rough: Losses mount at Trump's Scottish resorts

BALMEDIE, Scotland (AP) — David Milne loves the view of the North Sea from his home high above the roiling surf, but he finds his eye often falling onto the golf course next door and, when it does, on the tiny figures below.  He counts the people coming off the buses in the parking lot and the people swinging at the 1st tee and the 10th tee and he counts the people walking the fairways...

Don't get competitive about leaf-peeping. Everyone's a winner.

There are few harbingers of seasonal change as dramatic as fall foliage. When entire hillsides of hardwood forests transform from varying shades of green into vibrant oranges, yellows, purples and reds, summer is definitively over - no matter what the calendar says. As days shorten and nights lengthen, the changing leaves deliver a riot of color that demands to be seen. And travelers of all stripes...
London’s newest attraction, Mail Rail, delivers

London’s newest attraction, Mail Rail, delivers

LONDON — In 1913, the British Post Office realized that London’s congested traffic was slowing down mail delivery and something needed to be done about it. (They are turning in their graves if watching London’s traffic snarl these days.) That year, Parliament approved building the Post Office Railway, as it was officially known, and construction began two years later. The Great War...
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