TLC tonight at 9 -- "Who Do You Think You Are?" -- focus on Jesse Tyler Ferguson
Jesse Tyler Ferguson Retraces the Alaskan Trail on “Who Do You Think You Are?”
On Wednesday’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are (WDYTYA), Jesse Tyler Ferguson will look for information on his ancestors. Jesse is known for portraying Mitchell Pritchett on the ABC sitcom Modern Family, a role that has garnered him 5 Emmy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor.
Jesse ends up following the path of his great-grandfather took on the Alaskan trail in 1898. It appears that the expedition was part by boat and part by pack horse. It was at that time when many people were headed to Alaska because of the discovery of gold. Temperatures in Alaska can and did change quickly dooming many expeditions of people who were no prepared for the trip.
Update Ukraine: Safe to Travel? Yes.
Pro-Russia rebels. A downed passenger airplane. Surface-to-air missiles. A ruthless leader whose name sounds like a mispronunciation
of a popular French Canadian dish.
The list reads like a nail-biting Le Carre spy novel. But no, it’s just another week in Ukraine.
Despite the gripping incidents of the past 10 days, experts are not warning travelers to stay away from the country. Instead, it’s
“The conflict is in eastern Ukraine, off the tourist track,” said Ed Daly, director of watch operations for iJET International, a
risk-assessment company. “It’s heavy Cossack territory, industrial with no tourist infrastructure.”
The popular tourist areas — Kiev and points due west, as well as Russia — are said to be safe. Tour operators continue to run trips
to this region with confidence. “These countries are still open for tourism,” said Douglas Grimes, who owns MIR, a tour company that specializes in Russia, Ukraine and former Soviet republics.
This spring, the 28-year-old company suspended trips to Kiev to avoid the heavy protests roiling the capital, but it has since restored
its small-group and customized tours. The summer voyages have “all gone smoothly,” Grimes said. But “the biggest shame is Crimea. We haven’t had anyone go there.” Grimes said that he is waiting to see how events in that region shake out and will probably send
a representative down on an exploratory mission.
Viking River Cruises backed out of Crimea in the spring because of heightened tensions, State Department warnings and uncertainty
over Russian visa requirements. The cruise line canceled its Footsteps of the Cossacks sojourn, which sailed between Kiev and Odessa, and replaced it with a 12-day itinerary between Bucharest, Romania, and the Black Sea. Other cruise lines, including Windstar,
Oceania, Costa, Regent Seven Seas and Azamara, have made similar port substitutions and route alterations.
(In another volatile zone, Costa Cruises announced plans to modify itineraries that include stops in Israel. Fall cruises on Costa
Pacifica will replace Ashdod and Haifa with Istanbul and Volos, Greece; the Sept. 5 cruise on Costa Deliziosa will drop two Israeli ports and add Istanbul and Greece’s Volos and Heraklion.)
One sector of the travel industry is largely bypassing eastern Ukraine altogether, at least from above: airlines. After the downing
of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, many carriers started diverting routes to safer airspace.
“Some airlines are avoiding Ukraine entirely,” Daly said. “It’s minimally disruptive. They can make up time in the air.”
One carrier — Emirates — has even suspended service to Kiev. Like the rest of the world, it is monitoring the situation down below.