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Editor's Letter

This has been a surreal decade for travelers. Between terrorist attacks and natural disasters, it seems another challenge is thrown our way every month. Looking back, I realize that I've addressed these challenges before on this page: after 9/11, after the Madrid bombings and after the storms that hit Florida in 2004. In the issues following the latter two events, we proceeded as planned with features on both places, and I'm happy to say that many travelers—especially golf travelers—quickly got back in the saddle and kept their dates with those destinations.

There will be no such luck for New Orleans, however, and this time we had to pull a piece on the Crescent City that we had in the works. I encourage all of you not only to continue to donate to charities on the scene but also to get back to the area as soon as possible. I hear that locals are already about to start playing English Turn and the TPC at New Orleans, both of which were spared significant damage.

Meanwhile, Florida soldiers on through hell and high water. I'm writing this in the midst of hurricane season, but I no longer worry that the state can't shake off whatever is thrown its way. (Who'd have thought that America's retirement home would prove so resilient?) So in this issue, as we do every year at this time, we present dozens of places to tee it up down there this winter. Take special note of our piece on "Florida's Hidden Gems" if you're interested—and who isn't?—in trying something new this year.

Also, now would be a good time to start planning a springtime trip to Northern Ireland. In case you missed it, there's great news from across the pond: The Irish Republican Army has at last utterly dismantled its weaponry, according to the agency that has been overseeing disarmament. Anyone using the tail end of the Troubles to postpone a visit to Royal Portrush or Royal County Down no longer has an excuse.

I expect to land in Belfast in May. Hope to see you there.

JOHN ATWOOD

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