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Love, as a journey

January 8th, 2014

Teresa Fritschi, Last Minute Travel and LMT Club Guest Blogger
Read more of Teresa’s posts on her blog at: http://teresafritschi.wordpress.com

I recently received an email from my friend Ken at Last Minute Travel and LMT Club – “Would you like to be our #TravelTweetChat guest for this week, the topic is travel and romance…” to which I replied, “Yes, I’d love to!”

11 months of meeting (all kinds of) men through OKCupid, years of thinking (and writing) about ‘happy endings’ as well as the promise of new beginnings, passion, intimacy, tenderness, romance, words to convey longing, reuniting, and love, exploring the world (largely alone) – maybe he wasn’t so far off with his subsequent words of “We need an expert on love and travel, that’s you!”

So to help you plan your Valentine’s Day travels, it’s time to roll up my sleeves!

Chansonnier de Jean de Montchenu, made in France, c.1475. This is an example of a cordiform (heart-shaped) manuscript. It contains 44 love songs by composers such as Dufay, Ockeghem, Binchois, and Busnois.

The romantic love (rather than relationships for political expedience or strategic alliance) as most of Western society understands it can be directly traced to the courtly love of 12th century France. The troubadours and their lyrical love poetry sung to the accompaniment of a lyre or lute, in nearly every instance this courtly love was directed toward a presumed married, virtuous and unattainable woman (an aristocrat surely and written of as a goddess on earth). The words were always of her being pined for by a younger man.  If he was sufficiently eloquent (and physically compelling) she might deign to take him as her lover – a grand passion, erotic love, in French called fin’amour (discreetly conducted, even if everyone knew) and, you should know, it was always HER CHOICE to call him to court or to her bedroom. So let our journey of love begin in France – but fast forward to Paris in the 20th Century and the scandalous affair that would be publicly condemned by the Vatican, result in two marriages but also two divorces of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.

I have loved every experience I have have ever had in Paris – every single drop of the joie de vivre, the taste of Bellini’s and (multiple bottles of) Veuve Clicquot in Harry’s (American) Bar as well as the the Bar at the Hôtel Lancaster, where Liz and Dick would take over two of the eight floors of the hotel when they were in town, the exquisitely appreciative men whose words tried to seduce me into their arms whilst I simply climbed the stairs of Sacré-Cœur, the forgiving effect which my décolletage ensconced in a black lace bra made by Lise-Charmel peeking out from a Chanel jacket had while breathlessly repeating “Je me regrette, Je M’excuse, Je vous prie de bien vouloir m’excuser” in arriving to Palais Garnier et de l’Opéra bastille , alors!, late.  I have never stayed at the exquisite Shangri-La Paris mais oui, j’ai eu le coup a foudre!

The journey of love doesn’t require grandiosity – I know, I know, it’s lovely but romance can mean just as much when traveling in a late model van.  Skating on the Fond Pond in Boston Common? Followed by a dinner of lobster fra diavolo at The Daily Catch in the North End and cannoli at Caffe Paradiso is perfect in a settled-into-our-relationship-let’s-just-be-kind-of-way. And if you aren’t “in love” or not in a romantic relationship

is there a better city in America for sharing with a best friend of either sex? I  think not! I mean, Ray Kinsella and Terence Mann sitting in Fenway Park? Are you really going to tell me that their ‘bro-mance’ didn’t make you want to plan your own road trip to Kenmore Square to find your own Field of Dreams?

The Blue Cave (Modra špilja) is located at the Balun Cove on the eastern side of the island Biševo

I am falling utterly, ridiculously, in love with the people and country of Croatia. Like two of the other countries of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire I have visited (Austria and Hungary) this horseshoe shaped country is a compelling mix of people who truly appreciate living, who are, as the French would say, bien dans sa peau (comfortable in one’s own skin), an epicurean and oenophile dreamscape made real – found in Istria (adjoins Italy’s Province of Trieste) where Roman emperors regarded the wines amongst the best their empire had to offer, running south and east along the clear beautiful waters of the Adriatic with its 1,000-plus islands of the Dalmatian Coast and onto the music festivals and lifestyles of the rich and famous of Dubrovnik in high season and back to Zagreb – the land and the descendants of Bronze Age inhabitants are proving worthy of my heart.  If you can handle the F-bombs of Anthony Bourdain, see his reaction to the food, the wine and his experience from a year ago which aired in March 2013 and I hope you will take up my challenge to see world class musicians Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser as 2Cellos (oh gawd, you have to hear them play!) - just a sampling, to whet your wanderlust.


Helene Berman straw hat


There is, of course, a short, definitive list of romantic things that should accompany you as journey toward love (even if you decide to stay-cation)  - Neuhaus chocolates, J & E Atkinson I Coloniali hand cream, (as previously mentioned) Veuve Clicquot, a gorgeous straw hat (protection from peering eyes and the sun, a little mysterious and a bit of serious attitude to carry off), a white dress – not a wedding gown – that manages to convey ‘woman’ at the same time it is visually soft, massages, manicures and pedicures for two to make hand holding, kissing, spooning and love-making more tactically voluptuous (and yes, guys you can do

this without getting all metro-sexual), a bouquet of unusual flowers (oh, plueze not roses) such as mixed bunch featuring white peonies and stock; if you are reading this in NYC try my girlfriend Hannah Ling’s Gardenia Organic or if in Stockholm try Jemima’ Nylund’s Norr Mälarstrand Blommor (order REALLY early).

In closing, whether your version of love is Muse or Il DivoNi vous sans moi, ni moi sans vous,(Neither you without me, neither I without you) – Happy Valentine’s Day wishes no matter where you travel with your sweetheart!

Want to be a guest blogger? Email us on ken.herron [at] touricoholidays.com!

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Easter Holiday is almost here!

March 27th, 2013

Get all EGGcited with our Easter holiday special: 40% off on wide selection of hotels!

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Orlando is the next Travel Temptation

December 20th, 2010

Get free hotel nights at popular locations across the country from Last Minute Travel. To qualify, just follow @LMTTweets on Twitter and RT (re-tweet) the contest Tweets as instructed. Then, those who follow and RT will be entered into a random drawing for those free hotel nights. We’ll have a new RT promo every few weeks, so check back for new hotel packages and additional chances to win.

The newest “Travel Temptation” is a 2-night stay at Orlando’s Hilton Disney: A four-star hotel close to Downtown Disney and major attractions including Epcot, Magic Kingdom and Universal Studios. Enter for your chance to stay two nights—on us!

Learn more about this exciting city in our Orlando destination guide.

See official sweepstakes rules for “Travel Temptations”.

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Enter for your chance to win

December 3rd, 2010

Remember to enter for your chance to win two free nights at the 4-star, beachfront Hotel Ocean Miami. Here’s how:

Just follow @LMTTweets on Twitter and RT (re-tweet) the contest Tweets as instructed. Then, those who follow and RT will be entered into a random drawing for those free hotel nights.

We’ll have one more promo before we say goodbye to 2010, so check back for another chance to win.

See official sweepstakes rules for“Travel Temptations .

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Experience the True America: Travel ‘off the beaten path’

May 8th, 2008

Having a few international friends, I often consider where I would recommend they travel to have a TRUE American experience. With the current economic situation, some of these off-the-beaten-path destinations are looking better than ever. Here’s proof that the Mid-West should no longer be called the ‘fly-over-states.’


Madison, Wisconsin:

A gorgeous college town of 200,000+ situated between 2 lakes. Imagine a white capitol building and 5 blocks from its 3 and 9 o’clock positions are lakes and at the 6 o’clock position is State Street: a pedestrian-only street with bohemian shops (and the Gap), local bars and international restaurants (E. African, Afghani, etc). These 10 blocks lead straight to the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.

Experience America in Madison:

  1. Go in the Fall for colorful leaves and the amazingly large farmers market around the capitol square every Saturday.
  2. Madison Wisconsin

    Madison Wisconsin

  3. Get there in time for the Halloween bash (Saturday before the holiday). Voted the #1 Halloween party by Playboy several years, it’s not really a family-friendly event.
  4. Madison Wisconsin Halloween Bash

    Madison Wisconsin Halloween Bash

  5. In the summer, the capitol square hosts Concert on the Square (free) every Wednesday night, bring a blanket, picnic and wine.
  6. Check out the Kohl center for concerts and sporting events
  7. Eat and Drink! Around the capitol is typically more upscale then on State Street.
  1. State Street and Campus

i. The Memorial Union – that’s right, the student union. Sit on the famous Terrace and have a beer (you might have to have a student order for you from the Ratskeller as you need to be a member or student!)

ii. Himal Chuli – Great Nepalese food

iii. Chautra – Hole in the wall Himalayan food, don’t get scared off by the wild plants in the entrance.

iv. State Street Brats – so wisco! Have a brat and stay for the bar atmosphere. Be sure to try a ‘Spotted Cow,’ a great local brew.

Now drive around Madison:

  1. Visit the many wineries and breweries such as Capital Brewery (www.capital-brewery.com or www.wollersheim.com).
  2. Head to the American Players Theatre in Spring Green for Shakespeare under the stars! (www.americanplayers.org)
  3. Also in Spring Green is Frank Llyod Wright’s famed home and studio, Taliesin (www.taliesinpreservation.org).

Budget Travel (www.budgettravel.com) had an article about Wisconsin in their May issue. Before you go, learn more about the Wisco-basics: http://www.youmightbe.com/pages/wisconsin.html


Chicago, Illinois

This is the city I recommend all foreigners visit (over New York) if they really want to experience the America not found in movies. Stay a few nights in the downtown area and a few in one of the neighborhoods like Wrigleyville or Lakeside. I will only add 2 notes about downtown as the sites are quite well known: try it before Christmas; cold yes, but also beautiful and, second, music lovers check out: www.lollapalooza.com. Now, more on the neighborhoods:

  1. Go to a Cubs game at Wrigley Field (Wrigleyville)
  2. Before the game, have a few at one of the designated ‘Cubs bars’ near the stadium. (Wrigleyville)
  3. Every neighborhood has unique, local bars and restaurants. Some worth mentioning: Sheffield’s just off Belmont for a drink, Orange for amazing brunch, Joey’s Brickhouse for a great burger (all in Lakeshore)
  4. Go to the Weiner’s Circle late night (post bars), the busty lady behind the counter will verbally abuse you like its going out of style. (Lincoln Park)
  5. The shopping is great down town, but check out the boutique stores tucked inside the neighborhoods.

Louisville & Lexington, Kentucky

Known as the blue grass state, Kentucky is rich in history, beauty and Southern hospitality. All of Kentucky can get behind a 2 things – horses and basketball (if you are in Louisville cheer for the Cardinals, in Lexington, you are a UK fan!). The two cities are only 1.5 hours away by car.

  1. Lexington
    1. Keeneland – this small but beautiful horse track is only open in April and October. Although all walks of life are in attendance, I suggest dressing up (no hat required) and bringing $2 for a bet and $4 for a drink. www.keeneland.com.
    2. Keeneland Horse Track

    3. Afterwards head to Murray’s (www.murrays-merrick.com) for a drink on the patio and the food is great too (upscale southern food in an old Horse Manor). Go to Dudley’s downtown for brunch. www.dudleysrestaurant.com
    4. Wineries – have lunch and a tasting at Chrisman Mill, then at night, head to Talon Winery for its Summer Concert Series (tickets in advance for dinner and a concert: 859-971-3214).
    5. Bourbon! You can order a glass anywhere or tour the many distilleries such as Makers Mark. Dip your own bottle in the famous red wax.
    6. Right outside of Lexington you can’t miss the Shaker Village.
    7. Visit the Liquor Barn (I would live there if I could) the only thing to rival its selection of booze is the selection of amazing foods.
    8. Liquor Barn

  2. Louisville
    1. The Kentucky Derby – start with Keeneland then finish with the Derby. Unless you are young and stupid (and drunk), don’t opt for the infield. Be sure to wear a hat and order a mint julep.
    2. Don’t miss the Mohammed Ali Center, is interactive and really more about life and about a boxer. www.alicenter.org. There is also a Children’s museum in the area.
    3. Mohammed Ali Center

    1. 21c Museum Hotel – whether you stay here or just visit for an hour the art is too cool, and free. Visit the bathroom before you leave. www.21cmuseumhotel.com
    2. Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory is a must for any sports fan. All these museums are within walking distance too each other too. www.sluggermuseum.org
    3. Fourth Street Live – This is a street of bars and restaurants that is a lot of fun to eat during the day and drink during the night.

Before you leave this great state, be sure to ask someone what ‘corn hole’ is. Don’t worry, its not dirty. Your kids will even like it!

Traveling is all about your experiences, so whether you head off-the-beaten-path in Wisconsin, Illinois or Kentucky, you will be able to experience the beauty, culture, tradition . . . and various accents of the TRUE America.

i. Great Dane Pub- the best and most eclectic bar food and great beer! Get the beer sampler and sit in the outdoor beer garden. (www.greatdanepub.com)

ii. Restaurant Muramoto is a favorite – atypical Asian fusion with a very unassuming entrance.

iii. Marigold for breakfast or brunch. Café Continental is solid too.

iv. Harvest and L’Etoile are fine dining but worth it - the seasonal menus use local foods from local farms.

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NEW! LastMinuteTravel Hotels Google Maps

April 3rd, 2008

You can now look up and book any hotel LastMinuteTravel.com has to offer on Google Maps! I am going to provide you with a step-by-step tutorial for adding this extremely useful application to your Google Maps.

Step 1: Go to Google.com and click on the Maps link at the top of the page.

LastMinuteTravel Hotel Maps Tutorial Step 1

Step 2: Click on the My Maps tab.

LastMinuteTravel Hotel Maps Tutorial Step 2
Step 3: Click on the Browse the Directory button.

 

LastMinuteTravel Hotel Maps Tutorial Step 3

Step 4: Enter lastminutetravel into the search box and then click the Search Google Maps Content button.

LastMinuteTravel Hotel Maps Tutorial Step 4

Step 5: To select the LastMinuteTravel Hotels Google Mapplet, click the Add it to Maps button.

LastMinuteTravel Hotel Maps Tutorial Step 5

 

Step 6: You will now be prompted to sign into your Google account. If you do not have a Google account you can also create one at this time.

 

Remember to send it to your friends :-) Enjoy!
Read the official Press Release by clicking on the link below:

Last Minute Hotel Deals Now Available on Google Maps

Erica Fischer Featured, Hotels

It simply speaks for itself…

January 9th, 2008

Last Minute Travel Club

As I promissed in the first post of this blog we will share with you new things coming up on site. The latest feature we just launched is Last Minute Travel Club. This club requires your registration, however the benefits for the club members are amazing. You simply get additional discount on any product we sell on Lastminutetravel.com. Yes, it will cost you a yearly membership fees of $49.99 but in the first booking you will earn much more. We will send the club members their exlusive deals which will reflect those amazing rates. In the shopping process users will be notified with the exact amount of dollars they are just about to save due to their membership. Guys, this is the place to hear what you think of this really cool club. Go ahead start getting your discounts .

Guys, see this amazing clip below, you can save dozens of dolars per night and hundreds of dolars per stay, simply incredible and you get the whole year membership fees back in the first booking.

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