D-Day museum set for visitor invasion Fifty-six years...

TRAVEL SMARTS

May 28, 2000

D-Day museum set for visitor invasion

Fifty-six years after the Allies stormed Normandy, the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans opens its doors and salutes those who took part in the 19 D-Day invasions in Europe, the Pacific and North Africa.

The June 6 opening will likely represent the largest gathering of World War II veterans on U.S. soil and will draw such celebrities as Tom Hanks, Tom Brokaw and Steven Spielberg. The museum was developed by author Stephen Ambrose, whose books Spielberg consulted when making the film "Saving Private Ryan."

The museum's four floors house a variety of artifacts -- from helmets and insignias to Jeeps and a tank. A 110-seat auditorium will show the Oscar-nominated documentary "D-Day Remembered," and four multimedia galleries will feature electronic maps, theaters, photo murals and text panels.

Taken together, the exhibits tell the story of the war and allow a new generation to understand the era. For more information about opening-day activities, call 504-527-6012 or go to the Web site www.ddaymuseum.org.

CONDORS FLY HIGH IN NORTH AMERICAN WILDLIFE EXHIBIT

In 1987, fewer than 30 California condors existed. Today, thanks to preservation efforts, 50 fly free and another 100 live in captivity. To celebrate this comeback and pay homage to North America's diverse habitats and wildlife, the San Diego Wild Animal Park has opened Condor Ridge.

Desert bighorn sheep navigate granite boulders, falcons swoop down on prey in the prairie grasses, and bright green parrots squawk in the treetops. Seven bird species, four types of mammals and a reptilian representative put on a nature show for visitors.

And on nearby cliffs within a six-story aviary, condors, North America's largest birds, testify to the value of preservation. For information, call 619-234-6541, or go to the Web site www.sandiegozoo.com.

Fodor guides go traveling

Just the right size to tuck in your pocket, Fodor's new "To Go" series includes eight magnetic microguides about the size of a standard playing card.

Each falls into one of three categories: "48 Hours," which lists a two-day, don't-miss itinerary for London, Paris, Rome and New York; "Languages," which offers quick reference to 100 key words and phrases in Spanish, French or Italian; and "How to Pack," a guide with hints you might not know you need. The guides are held together by magnetic covers - which do stick to things other than each other - and open accordion-style for easy glancing.

Order online for $4.95 at www.fodors.com.

-- Tricia Bishop

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