Posts Tagged ‘Travel’

Summer Travel Plans?!

July 13, 2017

Now that summer is well underway, have you scheduled your summer travel plans?  If you have, great!  If you haven’t and are looking for some ideas, here is an infographic detailing the 2017 travel trends.


Fancy Knots!

July 5, 2017

SamuraiKnotA coupe of weeks ago, while in Phoenix, Arizona, attending the Annual Conference of the Special Libraries Association (SLA), I was able to stay one extra day (post-conference) to explore a bit and visit family (my nephew and his fiancée) and dropped in on the Phoenix Art Museum.  There were several wonderful exhibits, including a collection of Samurai armor.  The armor seems to have been held in place using cords with a very intricate (and decorative) knotting convention (or at least for show or display purposes).   Very cool indeed (and a most beautiful color as well).


June 22, 2017

I’m not the most traveled person in the world (nor am I the least traveled), and certainly I have had my share of frustrating experiences during the course of my travels, but rarely have the issues been up in the air.  Yes, there have been “minor” bouts of turbulence (the violent, unpredictable bursts of air that cause the plane to dip and dive wildly), but all in all, I have not had any serious turbulence in all of my years of flying.

Here are some interesting facts that perhaps you didn’t know about turbulence.

  • It is the most dangerous for the airline employees.
  • Pilots usually decelerate to a “turbulence penetration speed.”  At slower speeds, you are less likely to sustain damage from the shaking that can occur.
  • Jet streams, while helpful at your back can cause turbulence when hitting head-on.
  • All of the math has been done, and turbulence alone will not cause the plane to go down.
  • Turbulence in unpredictable, you just never know when it will hit.
  • Technology has been developed that can detect conditions for turbulence on the fly (the Light Detection and Radar tool (LIDAR) usually installed in the nose of the craft).
  • The industry continues to work on even newer technologies to assist in the understanding of air flows.
  • Turbulence is particularly bad in North America (we can thank the Rocky Mountains for effecting our jet streams).
  • Best solution: fly above the turbulence, but to do this you must pass through the tropopause which can in itself cause turbulence.
  • Give larger aircraft a wide berth — they can create their own “wake turbulence.”
  • Turbulence is not a safety issue; it is so normal and harmless that is is considered more of a convenience issue.
  • Planes are designed to endure way more than what occasional turbulence can deliver (i.e., the wings will NOT fall off from turbulence).

So, relax, it may scare the living daylights out of you, but on any properly functioning airplane, turbulence will not kill you.


How About Some Shakespeare?!

May 27, 2017

ShakespeareDo you ever get that hankering to attend a Shakespeare play?  While there are numerous places throughout the country that offer the occasional play, the three best venues to do so in the United States include: the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Ashland, OR), the Illinois Shakespeare Festival  (Bloomington/Normal, IL), and the Utah Shakespeare Festival (Cedar City, UT).

If you can’t make it to one of these, there are several other festivals around . . . then check out this list of Shakespearean Theatre Companies to find a company near you.

My college offers a week-long trip to Ashland to attend the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in late summer every year (hosted by our resident Shakespeare Scholar, Dr. John Mercer).  I’ve been dying to go along on this trip, but the timing for me just hasn’t worked out yet (it has recently conflicted with my regularly scheduled vacation to Michigan to visit family) . . . one of these years the timing and the stars will align to allow me to attend.

One Wish Each!

February 22, 2017

Happy Wednesday!  We are half way through the work week, so here is a bit of homeland security/TSA humor to help get us through today and a bit closer to the weekend.  Enjoy!

A New York fireman, an American mother of three, and a TSA supervisor are the only survivors of a plane crash in the Pacific Ocean. They all wash up on a desert island where, half drowned, the fireman spots a lamp in the sand. As soon as he touches it, a genie emerges in a cloud of smoke.

“I am the Genie of the Lamp,” he intones. “Because you have released me, I will grant you each one wish.”

The mother breaks into tears. “Oh, thank you, thank you!” she cries. “I just want to fly back home to my babies!”

“Very well,” says the genie, and a pontoon plane appears by the shore, its pilot beckoning to her. Happily she runs off and climbs aboard.

“All I want,” says the fireman, “is to return to my fire station in New York. People there rely on me to help them in times of trouble.”

“Very well,” intones the genie, and another plane pops out of nowhere to idle next to the first. The fireman runs out and climbs aboard.

“And what is your wish?” the genie asks the TSA supervisor.

“Get those people back here. They haven’t been properly searched!”

Source: unknown

99 Great Ways to Save (Part 1)!

September 3, 2016

In the July /August issue of the AARP Bulletin, several experts offer tips and tricks that will help you save money in a variety of categories: travel, technology, home, finance, style, food, fun, getting there, health, and entertainment.  Part 1 will be the travel category (tips courtesy of Samantha Brown [AARP travel expert] and Rick Stevens [European guidebook author and TV travel show host]).

  1. Choose a destination based on its “restaurant week.”
  2. Be a house sitter (
  3. Last minute deals (app HotelTonight)
  4. Update your documents (valid passport for at least six months past travel).
  5. Don’t pay for pricey massages on the road.
  6. Travel with peanut butter (but, it counts as a carry-on liquid).
  7. Buy second-class train seats.
  8. Get cash overseas at ATMs.
  9. Check for last-minute deals at business hotels.
  10. Get your rental car in town (as opposed to the airport or train station).
  11. Use local cash.
  12. Go carless in urban centers.

Source: AARP Bulletin, July/August 2016, p. 21-22

Time to Get Away?

August 13, 2016

Happy Friday!   Hey!  Summer is drawing to a close, have you had or have you scheduled your summer vacation?  There’s still time.  Unfortunately, there are far too many people who are “vacation-deprived.”  Here is an excellent (and startling) infographic (courtesy of to help illustrate this point.


TCFF 2016!

July 29, 2016

Happy Friday!  Well, movie fans, the Traverse City Film Festival is now in full swing with a few more days of film watching still on the schedule (things will wrap up on Sunday).   Another year of “just great movies” and I’ve been fortunate enough to experience sixteen movies over the five-day event!  So many movies . . . so little time.  I figured it out that if I was wanting to view a different movie in each and every time slot available, I’d end up seeing more than 30 different movies (and be totally brain dead for having tried).  The most movies I have scheduled for any one day: five (whew, that’s a lot of screen time.)  Needless to say, I will not be attempting to fill each and every day with this many movies.  But I will certainly get in a good share.  My final list of movies I’ll be seeing (plus the country):

  • Adult Life Skills (UK)
  • Certain Women (US)
  • Concerto: a Beethoven Journey (US)
  • Conspiracy of Faith (Denmark)
  • Equity (US)
  • Five Nights in Maine (US)
  • Folk Hero & Funny Guy (US)
  • Hell or High Water (US)
  • Here Alone (US)
  • Hunt for the Wilderpeople (New Zealand)
  • Infinitely Polar Bear (US)
  • Man Called Ove (Sweden)
  • Marguerite (France)
  • My Blind Brother (US)
  • Viva (Ireland)
  • Welcome to Norway (Norway)

A Pleasant Day in DC!

April 25, 2016

Washington DC has a lot of things to offer: museums, art galleries, history, culture, fine dining, and the list can go on.  The last few times I have found myself in the District of Columbia it has been for business and I didn’t have time to do much sightseeing.  This trip I managed to fit in a few sights. Unfortunately, my timing was a bit off — I was too late to experience the cherry blossoms, and I was a couple of weeks too early for National Police Week (celebrated during the week of May 15th).  But I did manage to pay a visit to the National Law Enforcement Memorial first thing in the morning where I paid my respects  to all of the officers who have given the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.  The rest of the morning was spent in the National Museum of the American Indian followed by an afternoon at the National Gallery of Art.  All in all, a most pleasant day in DC.

“Hook ‘Em Horns!”

August 6, 2015

The gesture created by raising your fist with the index finger and the pinkie extended is generally recognized in these parts (Texas and Oklahoma) as the “hook ’em horns” rallying cry for the University of Texas (their mascot is the Texas Longhorn steer).  However, if you find yourself traveling around the world, use this gesture with caution, for it can have some drastically different meanings in other countries.  For example, in Italy, this gesture means that someone is being cuckolded; in Africa, it can mean putting a curse on someone; however in Brazil or Venezuela, it is considered a good luck sign to ward off evil.

It never hurts to do a little research prior to traveling to a new country . . . especially to educate yourself on the cultural etiquette and norms.

Here are a few sites to help you gain the knowledge you need to be effective.

Source: Gestures: the DOs and TABOOs of Body Language Around the World by Roger E. Axtell