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Archive for August, 2010

Soar over Orlando on MAUIVA

August 26th, 2010

MAUIVA flight over Disney World

Last week I had the chance to soar over Orlando as part of the MAUIVA sightseeing flight. “Sightseeing from the clouds” is a great marketing line, but my favorite part is how personal the experience is. In a way you get to see what it’s like to be a pilot. You are at an airport with no security at all – head to the hanger and then step onto a plane with the pilot. Put the headset one, hear the air traffic controllers and other pilots calling each other in the lingo I don’t understand.

When you are up in the air over the parks and celebrity houses you get the pilots full attention (except for his focus on actually flying the plane). You can ask him what is that? What are they building there? And he points out Harry Potter or the tree of life.

I actually flew the plane which was pretty crazy – I think I stared so hard at the controls to ensure “the line was between this number and that number” that I didn’t even look out the windshield the entire time I was flying the plane.

The landing is my favorite – soooo smooth. And the runway is so close you feel like you can reach out and touch it as you are landing. I can definitely recommend that you check out MAUIVA for your next trip to Orlando.

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New York City - A quick visit

August 24th, 2010

Whether you know it as The Big Apple, Gotham, The World’s Capital, The City That New Sleeps, or just New York, New York - the city so nice they’re named it twice, there is no place else on Earth like it and everybody needs to visit at least once in their life.

Last week I was in New York City for a conference at a posh Manhattan hotel. While there I took advantage of my free afternoon for a little self-guided tour. It’s amazing what you can find just by following a few apps on your mobile phone these days.

Times Square New York

Any trip to New York City is incomplete without a stop in Times Square. The city’s plan to ban cars and turn it into a pedestrian friendly space has been a huge success. In fact, it reminds me of a twenty first century version of Main Street USA at Disneyland.

The Hudson Hotel New York

It’s hard to tell, but that’s a hotel. In fact, it’s one of the hottest destinations in town. So, I was very pleased when I heard I’d be staying at The Hudson Hotel. Located on 58th Ave between 8th and 9th, you are smack dab in the middle of Midtown, while also being just steps away from Central Park. (Search for 4 Star Hotels in Midtown - New York, NY)

Hudson Hotel Lobby

Guests arrive into the illusion of an open air lobby via an escalator that rises up through a green hued tunnel. The effect is transporting and you are instantly in a happier place. Located just off the lobby are three great spots for relaxing during the day and partying at night.

The one comment I hear most about The Hudson is that the rooms are extra-tiny. Which, when compared to the rest of the country is true. But for New York, they’re okay. I think the idea is to get you out in the great open space of the hotel lobby or 15th floor garden terrace.

Time Warner Center & Columbus Circle New York City

If you stay at the Hudson, there are both a Pinkberry and a Starbucks just steps away. Across the street is the Time Warner Center (pictured above) that looks out over Columbus Circle and Central Park. I found that the Whole Foods market in the Time Warner Center was the perfect place to pick up some delicious prepared food. Then you can just walk across the street for a picnic or bring it back to your room for a delicious meal. No one cooks in New York anyway.

New York Sidewalk Farmers Market

The other wonderful thing I found in New York this trip was all the glorious little farmers markets (some not so little). This one was set up on the sidewalk just around the corner from The Hudson on 9th. I was able to get some farm fresh cheese, organic fruits (the apples from New Jersey were dee-lish!) and a breakfast roll that rivaled my great grandmother’s best efforts.

Also on 9th street, about two blocks down, was Thai Basil. If you’re a fan of Thai cuisine I recommend a visit the next time you’re in town. While the Pad Thai was not as sweet as I like it, it was very tasty. But the real star were the curries. The Massaman and the Jungle Curry both had so many flavors I found myself constantly pausing to enjoy them. I also really enjoyed the Mee Grob appetizer.

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This Week In Travel

August 10th, 2010

NomadicMatt has penned a great column on Huffington Post about Why We Travel.

MSNBC has a list of America’s strangest Roadside Attractions. How many have you visited?

The NY Times visits the revived Brixton Market in London.

The LA Times suggests some alternate beach destinations for those tired of the sands of Southern California.

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Last Minute Travel profiles summer deals on Good Day LA

August 4th, 2010

A quick trip to Good Day LA from Lauren Volcheff, Last Minute Travel’s Vice President of Marketing, and we were able to share some great tips for securing deals on last minute summer vacations. Here’s the clip:

(via)

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