Archive for the ‘News’Category

Tips for a Fun Last Minute Memorial Day Weekend

Raise your hand if you’re a procrastinator! If you’ve read any of my other postings, you know that my hand is definitely in the air. This horrible habit can make it rather difficult to plan a vacation. Surprise, surprise, this Memorial Day weekend is no exception. Why didn’t anyone tell me that the end of May was already here?! Wasn’t it just Easter? That being said, I refuse to allow a three-day weekend to slip through my fingers, and neither should you! I have spent the majority of my morning, when I should have been working, piecing together my last minute vacation. To my delight, all is not lost! Thanks to the magic of the World Wide Web (does anyone still say that?) I never have to learn my lesson and neither do you. Check it…

To celebrate the true spirit of the holiday, here’s a list of Memorial Day events including parades, fireworks, musical performances, wreath-laying ceremonies, picnics and more.

Of course the 3 day weekend is also a great opportunity for some R&R so here’s a great article with 5 last minute vacations to do on a budget; yes I said the B word. They have some really great tips to save you money. You can go to Chicago, NYC, Las Vegas, Orlando, or Miami! I don’t know about you, but since I live in a land locked state, the beach sounds like the perfect way to spend this long weekend.

If flying is not an option this year and you’re driving to your destination, I found the best article on foxnews.com. It gives you a list of all the rest stops you should avoid around the country, mostly on the east coast. Yes, rest stops can be creepy, but the main reason you would want to avoid these are because of the crowds. Who knew?

So now that you know where you’re going and how you’re getting there, where are you going to stay? If crashing on someone’s couch, floor, or lawn is not an option, don’t worry I’ve got you covered. Besides the usual last minute websites like Priceline.com and Hotwire.com, here’s a list of hotels around the country that are offering deals for this holiday weekend! Here’s a little secret about using this Frommer’s award winning website – you get better deals if you call them. I know how archaic that sounds, who calls anyone anymore? Just ask yourself if talking to someone for a few minutes is worth saving some money. Your answer may be yes, it may be no, either way it’s a win-win.

Regardless of your political stance, please take some time to remember why we have this holiday. Thank you to the brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives.

Did I miss anything? What are you doing this Memorial Day weekend? Let me know in the comments below! (If you can’t see Facebook comments, click here: Tips for a Fun Last Minute Memorial Day Weekend)

25

05 2012

Do You Know the Way to… Sante Fe?

If you happen to know the way to Sante Fe, New Mexico, you may want to head there. And I’m talking ASAP. An 80 year old Vietnam veteran and former art gallery owner named Forest Fenn has buried a hidden treasure chest near Sante Fe that is estimated to be worth between $1-2 Million USD.

Here’s the catch. You have to find the treasure. That’s the complicated part and it has proved elusive for many. There are entire blogs, facebook pages and social media groups dedicated to finding this treasure and so far no one has found it. The treasure,  rumored to contain gold, jewelry and artifacts, is buried in the mountains near Sante Fe and Mr. Fenn is not talking. Actually he IS talking, but the talking he is doing is more code filled clues. The clues are found in the form of a book he authored and poetry he has written. So, if you are a super detective, clever and an adventurer, this rich treasure trove could be yours. So what are you waiting for?

Would you go in search of buried treasure? Have you ever gone on an adventure of unknown outcome? Do tell! (If you can’t see the Facebook comments section, click here: Do You Know the Way to… Santa Fe?)

Funicular Friday!

Every good traveler needs to expand their vocabulary every once and a while. Whether it’s learning a few phrases of a foreign language or mastering a local dialect in your own language, expanding your vocabulary is generally a very good thing.

I recently expanded my vocabulary to include the word funicular. A cable railway where a cable attached to a pair of tram-like vehicles on rails moves them up and down a steep slope; the ascending and descending vehicles counterbalance each other. Plus it offers great bragging rights to those who ride one.

Implemented throughout the world where steep inclines make transportation difficult, the funicular comes to the rescue.

Have you ridden a funicular? Have you encountered any other interesting modes of transportation with names as fun as funicular? (Click here if you can’t see Facebook comments: Funicular Friday Blog Post)

Luggage: Form, Function or Affordability?

As the summer travel season approaches, I find myself on the hunt for a few new pieces to add to my luggage collection. As a traveler at the point in my life somewhere between that starter set of luggage purchased fresh out of college and the investment pieces of a high-end set, I’m looking for a few quality pieces to get me where I’m going without clearing my bank account. Some of my considerations: not hideous, not going to fall apart when I jam it into the overhead bin, and not going to send me to the chiropractor upon my return home. Here are a few of my finds — just in case any of you are randomly moved to send this travel blogger a gift:

Leather Weekender: Perfect for a quick weekend trip (hence the name, I guess…) and smushy enough to get tucked into nooks and crannies. It looks lovely, and who doesn’t adore the smell of old leather–but does its vintage classification mean it may soon wear out?

Rolling Backpack: Probably the most lumbar-friendly of the options, this roomy backpack with handy rolling wheels (and an ambidextrous handle making it great for you southpaws) doesn’t quite have the presence of the other selections, but all in all, not a bad option.

Rolling Carry On: Personally, I find this adorable – who doesn’t need a little houndstooth in their life? Apparently roomier than it looks, this little lovely could accompany you pretty much anywhere you want to go.

What’s your favorite travel bag? Let us know in the comments below! (Click here if you can’t see Facebook comments)

11

05 2012

Obermutten, Switzerland: Facebook Famous

Obermutten

Obermutten, Switzerland

In a genius move, the tiny and adorable town of Obermutten, Switzerland is well on its way to becoming one of the country’s most famous destinations. How is this 79-person village (hamlet? wide spot in the road?) overtaking the likes of Geneva and Zurich? Easy–Facebook. In what is potentially my favorite social media promotion of all time, the mayor and the only restauranteur in Obermutten have promised to plaster YOUR face on their wooden bulletin board in the center of the village if you ‘like’ their Facebook page. As of 5 minutes ago, my face was added to the list  – what are you waiting for? You know you want to join me.

Check out this video explaining their strategy:

 

07

05 2012

There’s What in my Pizza?

Pizza (in any of its forms – we’re not having that argument today) is proclaimed a favorite food by a pretty large segment of the world’s population. Thick crust, thin crust, traditional Italian-style or fusion-y toppings are among the styles that folks crave, but this blogger at least had never heard of this one:

Pizza di sfrigole – made with….drumroll please…BACON. I mean, this pizza is pretty much a bacon-flavored pile of bacony pizza crust with bacon hanging out both within and on top of it. If you like bacon, my guess is, this pizza is for you.

Technically, this would be a slice for a topping traditionalist, since its origins are in the Abruzzo region of Italy, but it’s much different than the red-sauced pizza napoletano that most people associate with the homeland of pie. Read up on it here.

What’s the best meal you’ve encountered on your travels? Let us know in the comment section below! (click here if you can’t see the Facebook comments)

10

04 2012

Expelliarmus! (hint hint…)

I always joke that I am a closet nerd. The joke, however, may be on me. Why? Well, I don’t think that my nerdy-ness is a secret, to anyone. Sigh. Why am I bringing this up? I just found out about the coolest, make me feel like I’m 12 years old again, tour!  What could that be? Drum roll please . . . It’s a new Warner Bros. Studio Tour of-wait for it-HARRY POTTER! I am absolutely giddy with excitement!

Let me explain, the first book came out when I was 11, and I was hooked! So, of course I saw all the movies, and now I cannot wait to add this tour to my Harry Potter obsession list. What does this magical (wink, wink) journey entail?  This is not a theme park. This is not a recreation of the movie sets. This is an interactive walking tour of the actual movie sets! You get to see the props, costumes, effects, and pretty much everything from the films!

As much as I want to keep this a secret and explore the set on my own, I won’t, that would just be mean! Here are the details. The tour takes place in London and opens up on March 31st of this year. Visit the  Gray Line Warner Bros Studio Tour with Harry Potter Tour page for all the options on how to experience the wondrous world of Harry Potter. Tours can sell out, so book early!

Do you have a favorite Harry Potter quote, scene, moment? Share them in the comments below! (click here to see Facebook comments if you can’t already)

16

03 2012

Are You Feeling Lucky?

Ahhhh, St. Patrick’s Day – one of those special holidays that people all over the globe just love to celebrate. And with the luck of the Irish, it falls on a Saturday this year.

Originally established as a religious holiday to commemorate Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, the day has progressed into a full-on party in many cities in the US and abroad. With block parades, bagpipers, feasting, dancing, and copious amounts of beer – green beer that is, it’s no wonder that every year on March 17th, everyone is feeling a little Irish, and a lot lucky.

If you’re in the US and looking for something fun to do on St. Paddy’s Day this year, check out this list of America’s Best St. Patrick’s Day Parades. If all of this green celebration inspires you to visit the place where it all began, click here for fun things to do in and around Dublin.

“May the Irish hills caress you.
May her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.”

~Irish Blessing

Tell us about you celebrate in the comments below! (click here if you can’t see Facebook comments)

14

03 2012

Do you Luau?

When visiting Hawaii many travelers wonder if a luau is on the “must-see” or “must miss” list. For me, it is definitely a must-experience each and every time we visit the islands. The following are my own personal top 5 reasons never to miss a luau when the opportunity presents itself:

5. A Festivus for the Rest of Us – A luau is a wonderful festive gathering. People are generally friendly attending these soirées and I have met many lovely people from around the world when partaking in the luau experience.

4. Music and Dancing Hearing those distinctive drums and watching the fire dancers just makes me happy.

3. The Sunsets are Breathtaking – The luaus I have attended have had amazing sunsets in full view. It’s a wonderful way to celebrate the end of yet another beautiful day in Hawaii.

2. The Mai Tai – Enough said.

1.  When will you ever see a darling baby look as cute as this little girl?

Well, do you luau? Let us know about your experiences in the comments below! (Having trouble viewing Facebook comments? Click here)

29

02 2012

Yoga to the Rescue

Photo by Author

Let’s face it, air travel can be stressful and at times painful. After sitting for hours on a cramped plane, my knees and lower back are crying out for a massage (or a good stretch, if I’m being less dramatic). Thinking there had to be some standard stretches that could help, I took to the internet. I then discovered a great CNN article that recommends simple stress and pain reducing yoga positions to practice on a plane! No need to worry, they don’t advocate doing downward dog in the aisle way.

On my next flight, I tried out a couple positions that were best suited for me (Cat Cow Movement and Seated Spinal Twist) and I found that I was more relaxed during the flight, which in turn helped reduce my usual aches and pains. The positions are easy to remember and fun to practice. So next time you feel cramped and uncomfortable on a plane, relax with yoga.

Have you used yoga or other techniques to stay comfortable in flight? Tell us in the Facebook comments below! (click here if you’re having trouble viewing)

24

02 2012