Author Archives: Anje Vela

10 famous cuisines in unexpected places

The phenomenon of foreign cuisines relocating can be traced along the paths of migration — when the Portuguese came to Massachusetts to work on whale ships, they brought along their recipe for fish stew, and when the British Empire welcomed the people of India from the British colonies, curry houses sprouted up along the streets of London. What once was simply the food of an outsider community, however, is now an inseparable part of the cultural identity of these places.

So what does all this mean for the hungry traveler? For one, it expands the culinary possibilities in cities large and small. Excellent, authentic international cuisine can be found not only in major metropolises, but also in places where tourists less frequently go.

READ MORE: 10 famous cuisines in unexpected places

Dogs are welcome in this hotel!

dog hotelPhotographer Unknown

Only in San Diego: 5 quirky things

(CNN) — San Diego is a veritable repository of the unique, the one-off and the rare.

This southern California city is home to the world’s largest lemon (the 10-foot-long fiberglass behemoth sits in Lemon Grove, a small town in metro San Diego) and also boasts the world’s largest collection of memorabilia from the late Dr. Seuss, who was a longtime resident of the city’s La Jolla community. And two products that couldn’t be more different, the ubiquitous WD-40 lubricant and Dr. Bronner’s soaps, both have roots here.

Check out five more quirky things unique to San Diego:

A civic organist who gives free weekly outdoor concerts

A public uproar broke out in 2011 when local leaders threatened to cut the city’s staff organist, a position that’s been on the payroll for nearly a century. Every Sunday afternoon since the organ was donated by sugar heirs John and Adolph Spreckels in 1914, a staff organist has stepped up to the keys of a 50-ton pipe organ at a pavilion in Balboa Park.

Read More: Only in San Diego: 5 quirky things

10 Places To See Before They’re Gone

Places, much like animals can become endangered, and some of the world’s most amazing sights are gradually disappearing. Scientists say climate change has been affecting oceans, reefs, beaches, and even cities. Development is another danger for once-pristine, off-the-beaten-path spots and their cultures. Here are 10 places on the brink of forever changing, and some threatening to disappear altogether. Trust us, you want to see these now, just remember to travel responsibly and respectfully.

READ MORE:  10 Places To See Before They’re Gone

World’s 12 best shopping cities

From a shopper’s perspective, frequent traveling can be crippling. It can get worse in the holiday season where Christmas dominates many people’s calendars. Why buy something in one city when a trip to a better shopping city is coming up?

To pinpoint which cities around the world deliver the most gratifying, enjoyable shopping experiences, we consulted global experts, such as fashion merchandising firm Donegar Creative Services and Marie Bergfelt, senior spokesperson for Global Blue, which publishes the Globe Shopper City Index.

Then we judged cities in four areas, using a one-to-10 scoring scale for each category:

1. Getting around: Quality of public transportation, affordability and availability of cabs, transport time

2. Value: Bargain opportunities, such as sale seasons and average prices.

3. Variety: Number of available brands, range of shopping categories, quantity of upscale shops, department stores, boutique and vintage retailers and market stalls.

4. Experience: City beauty, quality of window displays and shop décor, friendliness and competence of clerks and service staff, dining and accommodation options.

Then we charged into the breach.

READ MORE: World’s 12 best shopping cities

Cheap Travel: Saving Money on the 10 Best Winter Travel Spots

1. DEN – Denver

Aspen and Vail are the cities that come to mind most often when considering Colorado ski destinations. However, Dortha Vela of All About Travel told me these Colorado cities “are two of the most expensive ski destinations.” Plus, it turns out they’re not even that popular when compared to the capital city of Denver — perhaps for that very reason. Denver takes first place in our list of the most popular cities to visit in winter. And there’s plenty to do there besides ski, all at a reasonable cost. What to do: Aside from the close to 30 ski resorts in the city alone, you can also visit the famous Red Rocks Park and amphitheater for breathtaking views and great music, or the nearby Rocky Mountains State Park. How to save: Flights to Denver become more expensive the closer it gets to ski season, so if you plan on booking a trip to the snowy city, locking in a flight now will ensure you save hundreds of dollars. Colorado’s tourism website also has a section dedicated to aggregating deals on travel and attractions in the city.

To plan your trip today:
All About Travel
6104 Northwest 63
Oklahoma City, OK 73132
415.384.3880

5 things to love about the revamped Carnival Sunshine

ABOARD THE CARNIVAL SUNSHINE — Like other cruise lines, industry giant Carnival regularly refreshes its ships every few years in dry dock. But what it did this year to the 17-year-old Carnival Destiny — now renamed Carnival Sunshine — was different.

Originally unveiled in 1996, the 3,006-passenger vessel was taken out of service for several months for an unprecedented, $155 million makeover that saw huge swaths of its public areas gutted and rebuilt — an overhaul so complete that, in many ways, it makes it a whole new ship.

Thinking about giving the newly revamped Sunshine a try? Here, five things to love about it (for a more expanded view of its many features, look for a Cruise Log photo tour coming in the next few weeks):

1. WaterWorks. You don’t have to be a child to appreciate the appeal of this new sprawling water play area — one of the largest at sea. Looming above the rear of the ship, WaterWorks offers three water slides that rival anything found at a land-based resort: The scream-a-minute, 334-foot-long Twister, and dual racing slides that together are called the Speedway Splash. There also is a splash zone aimed at the littlest tots and a 150-gallon “dump bucket” that sends water cascading over a wide area when you least expect it. In short: Prepare to be soaked.

READ MORE: 5 things to love about the revamped Carnival Sunshine

TSA Launches New Application Program for TSA PreCheck

(July 24, 2013) – On July 22, 2013, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that it will add an additional opportunity for U.S. citizens to be eligible to receive expedited screening through TSA PreCheck lanes at select airports.To view the complete TSA press release, please click here.

Delta customers interested in enrolling will be required to submit an online application, complete an in-person interview at an enrollment site and pay an $85 five-year membership fee when the program launches later this fall. A U.S. passport is not required to enroll. Approved customers will be given a Known Traveler Number to store in their passenger profile when purchasing a ticket. Click here for more enrollment details.

  • Customers are encouraged to contact the TSA for more information on this new program via email at TSA-ContactCenter@dhs.gov or 1-866-289-9673.
  • Initially, enrollment sites will be located at Washington Dulles International Airport and Indianapolis International Airport. The TSA expects to expand at other locations in the future.
  • Customers who have received TSA PreCheck through Delta SkyMiles or through a Customs and Border Protection Trusted Traveler Program such as Global Entry, will not need to reapply; this is only for new entrants to the program.

While this additional opportunity provides a benefit to our customers who do not possess a valid U.S. passport, Delta encourages those who travel to international destinations to apply for the Customs and Border Protection Global Entry program to receive TSA PreCheck eligibility.

With Global Entry, customers receive quicker access through Customs and Boarder Protection checkpoints at key international gateways and may receive expedited screening through the TSA PreCheck program as well. Click here to learn more: www.globalentry.gov

As always, the TSA incorporates random unpredictable security measures and no one is guaranteed expedited screening.

Resources
Additional information about TSA PreCheck is available by visiting the following links.

TSA Press Release

TSA PreCheck Application Process

TSA PreCheck FAQs

TSA PreCheck for Active Duty Military  

TSA PreCheck Participating Airports

Delta Offers Unmatched Global Network with New Service between Seattle and London-Heathrow

Delta providing an industry-leading customer experience on the ground and in the air

(July 23, 2013) – In anticipation of receiving antitrust immunity later this year for its joint venture with Virgin Atlantic Airways, Delta will offer new daily nonstop service from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to London-Heathrow Airport beginning March 29, 2014. Tickets will be available for purchase July 27.

Delta will operate Seattle to London-Heathrow service using a 210-seat Boeing 767-300ER aircraft featuring 35 full flat-bed seats in BusinessElite, 32 seats in Economy Comfort and 143 Economy class seats.

New service from Seattle to London-Heathrow gives Delta’s customers nonstop access to one of the world’s top business markets and is an important enhancement to Delta’s growing trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific network from Seattle. As of Jan. 1, 2014, every international Delta flight from Seattle, including the new London service, will feature full flat-bed seats in BusinessElite, Economy Comfort seating and in-flight entertainment in every seat throughout the aircraft.

“Our international expansion in Seattle is possible because of our partnerships with Alaska Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Air France-KLM,“ said Glen Hauenstein, Delta executive vice president – Marketing, Network Planning and Revenue Management. “Together the airlines can provide customers in the Pacific Northwest with an unmatched global network and an industry-leading customer experience on the ground and in the air.”

Seattle is one of Delta’s fastest-growing international gateways. In June, Delta added service to Shanghai and Tokyo-Haneda, complementing long-established service to Tokyo-Narita. Delta also has served Beijing and Osaka, Japan from Seattle since 2010.

Through its trans-Atlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia, Delta also offers Seattle area travelers nonstop service to Paris and Amsterdam while also providing connecting service to more than 150 additional destinations beyond those European hubs. With new service to London-Heathrow, Delta will operate flights to eight nonstop international destinations from Seattle.

The strategic alliance between Delta and Alaska benefits customers of both carriers and gives Pacific Northwest travelers an extensive array of domestic and international travel choices.

On July 3, Delta and Virgin Atlantic launched reciprocal codesharing across 108 routes to 66 destinations throughout North America and the U.K. With the new Seattle service, Delta will operate 10 daily nonstop flights to London Heathrow from six destinations including Detroit, Minneapolis, New York-JFK, Boston and Atlanta.

Ice Bar Helps Sweaty New Yorkers Beat the Heat

In the sweltering summer heat, New Yorkers are ready for the big chill — in midtown.

The city’s first ice bar is now open at the New York Hilton Midtown on Sixth Avenue. The $20 admission includes Eskimo-style gloves and a parka for the privilege of drinking cocktails in the freezing Minus5 Ice Bar.

The entire bar is made of ice.

READ MORE: ICE Bar Helps Sweaty New Yorkers Beat The Heat