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Briefs:Twain museum tour includes home of Huckleberry Finn

| Sunday, June 10, 2007

Huckleberry Finn is finally getting his due. Huck and Tom Sawyer were fictional characters based on boys Samuel Clemens knew growing up in Hannibal, Mo. Clemens, whose pen name was Mark Twain, immortalized the boys in "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn." Now, the building known as the Huckleberry Finn House is open to the public. The Huck character was based on Tom Blankenship, the son of a drunkard who lived in a ramshackle house near the Mississippi River. The house is located behind the home where Clemens grew up, and sits on the site where the Blankenship family lived. The original house was demolished in 1911. The family that owned the land donated it to the foundation, and the family of a former official at the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum paid for the reconstruction. The reconstruction of the exterior was based upon photographs taken from that period.

Details: www.marktwainmuseum.org .

Cleveland's Great Lakes Brewing pairs food, beer

U.S. beer drinkers are becoming more sophisticated in their suds consumption, matching beer with food and experimenting with varieties different than those promoted on football Sunday TV commercials. In Cleveland, the century-old mahogany bar at Great Lakes Brewing Co. has seen its clientele change over the years. Originally, hardworking locals bellied up -- like famed crime-fighter Eliot Ness, who frequented the place decades earlier when it was called the Market Street Exchange. The locals still show up, but on weekends the parking lot is filled with out-of-state plates from as far away as Nevada and Florida. Beer drinkers come for a taste of the brewery's award-winning Dortmunder Gold, a crisp lager; and Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, named for the ore carrier that sank in Lake Superior in 1975 during a storm as dark as the chocolatey black brew. If you ask for a Bud Light, tour and tasting guide Chas Murray will offer you a glass of tap water. The brewery has a restaurant where manager Pete Gerome will help customers pair beer with food.

Details: 216-771-4404 or www.greatlakesbrewing.com .

Armchair traveler

The Rough Guides travel book series is celebrating its 25th year with the publication of 25 pocket-size books that feature "25 ultimate experiences." Some of the books are focused on destinations: Africa, Australia, Britain & Ireland, Canada, China, Eastern Europe, Europe, France, India, Italy, Mexico and Central America, Middle East, New Zealand, South America, Southeast Asia, Spain, and the United States. Others are themed on topics like "Adventure Travel," "Ethical Travel," "Islands," "Wonders of the World," "World Food," "Places to Stay," "Journeys," and "Wildlife Adventures." The books recommend classic travel experiences from riding an elephant in Thailand to cruising the Panama Canal, seeing the Northern Lights in Alaska and walking around Uluru in Australia's Outback. The "25 ultimate" books are being published in a limited-edition print run and cost $5.99 each. Details: www.roughguides.com .

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