Travelrific® Travel Journal

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Archive for April, 2009

Stardust in Your Eyes

By Linda Tancs

When the Stardust Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas was imploded in 2007, many saw the end of an era in this desert of dreams. After all, it was to be replaced by the monolithic Echelon Place, a Miami-chic inspired collection of hotels and shops, now halted due to shaky capital markets. But don’t wipe the dust from your eyes just yet. MGM and its partner Dubai World are forging ahead on their own $8 billion megalopolis, CityCenter. With three luxury residences, it’s billed as the address to live it up–or maybe better put, to live up to. Despite the economic woes, the project is set for completion in late 2009. Let’s hope so. With over 12,000 jobs up for grabs, it’s a veritable economic stimulus package.

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Healthy Travels

By Linda Tancs

We’re all a bit jittery over the prospect of a swine flu pandemic, which has me thinking about preparedness and the need for public health information, particularly to prevent panic and misinformation. For example, you can’t catch swine flu by eating a pork chop. Period. You can catch it, though, by traveling to a country with a known outbreak, such as Mexico–which is why the U.S. has posted an advisory against nonessential travel there. Can you spot the signs of an infected passenger? Are you prepared for an outbreak? Thankfully, the Centers for Disease Control provides answers to these and other questions. Better safe than sorry.

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The Wisconsin Apostles

By Linda Tancs

At the northern tip of Wisconsin’s Bayfield peninsula sits a string of 21 islands–the Apostles–waiting for exploration. Actually, the Ojibwe tribe beat you to their exploration, by about 600 years. In fact, members of the Ojibwe Nation still call this part of the world, and the rest of the Great Lakes, home. One of the most spectacular features of this area is the mainland sea caves, a heaving jut of sandstone best seen by boat. Sandstone, by the way, was a big export of the islands, ferried around to the largest midwestern cities in the 19th century to build some of their best known landmarks. Native Americans used this earthly treasure to create culturally significant imagery. You can learn more about their artifacts from the Wisconsin Historical Society.

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An Alluring Vessel

By Linda Tancs

Royal Caribbean has announced that it’s now accepting reservations for its newest ship, Allure of the Seas. Set to launch in 2010 from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, ports of call include the Bahamas, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Haiti, Jamaica and Mexico. All aboard!

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A Head in the Clouds

By Linda Tancs

If you fancy the idea of experiencing life amidst the treetops like Swiss Family Robinson, then a trip to Costa Rica should be on your short list. At Monteverde Cloud Forest, you can commune with nature along the Skywalk, a series of suspension bridges and integrated walking paths atop the forest canopy–that’s in the clouds, of course (hence, the name). Orchid lovers will swoon over nearly 1500 species supplying a great part of the world’s florists. The walk will take about 2 hours. If you’d rather zip along, then you might want to take Sky Trek (a bit of a misnomer if you ask me), a zip line that zig zags through 10 different cables at about 500 feet. The less adventurous would do just as well taking the tram. They say that 90% of all rainforest life is found in the canopy. With all the flora and fauna converging on this ecosystem, it gives new meaning to the phrase “workplace diversity.”

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Earth Day Celebrations

By Linda Tancs

Happy Earth Day. Kermit the Frog says it’s not easy being green. Earth Day advocates surely don’t agree. This year’s events will show you why. Listen in at Travelrific Radio.

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Fido Flies First Class

By Linda Tancs

Remember Eos and Silverjet, those now defunct business-class only airlines? Well, now comes the equivalent for four-legged travelers: Pet Airways. Billing itself as first-class travel for “pawsengers,” the airline uses Beech 1900 turbo props with a proprietary restraint system to fly your dog or cat in its carrier to one of their current destinations: Teterboro, NJ, Washington, DC, Denver, Los Angeles or Chicago. The experience includes a pet attendant, monitored potty breaks before travel and a little decompression in the travel lounge. The only thing missing is filet mignon on a porcelain plate. Rawhide will just have to do for now.

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