Category Archives: Travel

Five Things You Need to Know About The Black Box

For unfortunate reasons and circumstances, an airline’s black box – the vital piece of technology that can often answer unanswered questions – has been in the news quite a bit this year. The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, the shooting down of Malaysia Flight 17, the crash of a TransAsia plane in Taiwan … barely a news story went by that didn’t make reference to the discovery, or need to discover, the black box.

So we thought we’d take a few moments to answer Five Things You Should Know About a Black Box.

Read more: Five Things You Need to Know About The Black Box

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Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley

On Thursday the 7th of August we took a road trip to Robinsonville, MS to stay at Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino. On our trip we decided we would go to Graceland and head up to Nashville to visit family and go to the Johnny Cash Museum. Since we were going to Graceland, we figured we might as well check out Graceland Too and Elvis’ birthplace. It was random that it ended up also being Elvis Presley Week.

Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino I would not recommend. The walls were paper thin, we didn’t get our room cleaned one of the days, we were left with towels with holes in them and the food at the buffet wasn’t that good either. We would probably stay at the Horseshoe the next time. We tried their buffet and it was much better. The staff at Sam’s Town was very nice and friendly.

We went out to the River Bend Links Golf Course the first morning we were there. It was a nice course.

Elvis Presley Week

Elvis Presley passed away August 16, 1977. Elvis was born in Tupelo, MS where he grew up poor. He started his career by making a $4 gift at Sam Phillips studio, Sun Studios for his Mother. Sam Phillips was intrigued by Elvis’ voice and asked him to return to the studio to practice with local musicians. This was the launch of the “King of Rock and Roll”.

No.1 Sustainable Tourism Destination by Leading Study

The results are in, and for the first time the archipelago of the Azores has been named the No.1 sustainable tourism destination in the world by a new leading study, beating 1,000 other coastal and island destinations to the top spot.

The new research comes from Quality Coast, the largest international certification programme for sustainable tourism destinations, which scored the Azores consistently high in all of its criteria including factors such as nature, environment, socio-economic factors and identity/community. The accolade follows the islands’ recent rise to the forefront of the sustainable tourism arena, having been recognized by Quality Coast and National Geographic Traveler Magazine in more recent years as one of the most sustainable holiday destinations in the world.

READ MORE: No.1 Sustainable Tourism Destination by Leading Study

Cruising with Ease – Accessible Seas and Autism Programs

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines is highly rated for cruisers with special needs. Disabilities can be permanent, temporary, visible or invisible. One out of Five people in the U.S. have disabilities. That accounts for about 56 million people in the U.S.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines has made getting on and off the ship easy for those with mobility disabilities. They offer pier assistance, tender assistance and accessible transfers. Although Royal Caribbean does have a few wheelchairs available on board, it is recommended you bring your own. They should be stored in your room when not in use. They also work with Providers: Special Needs at Sea and Care Vacations if wheelchairs or scooters are needed.

Special needs should be brought up at the time of booking your cruise. They provide sign language interrupters for main production shows, major activities and presentations. If you are in need of special diets, dialysis, or oxygen, Royal Caribbean offers all of these services as well for the traveler by request.

For visual impairments, service animals are welcomed on all Royal Caribbean ships. There are designated relief areas provided for your service animal on the ship. Braille is incorporated in public areas and elevators. Large print menus and cruise compasses are also available.

Accessible Staterooms are available with wider doors, automatic doors on Radiance and Quantum class, Roll-in showers, Grab bars, lowered sink and vanity, raised toilet seats – 17-19″, and lowered closet rods and safes.

Quantum of the Seas has 34 accessible staterooms. All include automatic entry doors, roll-in showers and bathtubs, and the accessible interior staterooms have virtual balconies.

“Easy” tours are designed for guests with limited mobility. When it comes to booking your shore excursions you will note the “easy” or wheelchair symbol for your shore excursion. You will want to be sure to request your tour 10 days prior to sailing: 21 days for private excursions.

Alaska cruise tours have accessible motor coaches and railcars. Railcars feature accessible seating with wheelchair lifts to both levels and have an accessible restroom as well.

Royal Caribbean International is the first cruise line to be certified as “Autism Friendly” by Autism on the Seas. The “Autism Friendly” certification recognizes Royal Caribbean’s efforts to make sure their products and services are accessible by guests with autism. Currently Royal Caribbean has achieved a Bronze Certification with “Autism Friendly” and plan completion of the Silver Certification by end of 2014. Silver Certification means that they will begin autism awareness training with their Adventure Ocean staff on-board.

Autism Friendly Features include:

Priority check-in, boarding and departure
Gluten-free and other special dietary offerings
Adventure Ocean flexible age grouping
Adventure Ocean toilet-trained policy exemption
Pagers for parents of children in Adventure Ocean

New Autism Friendly Features include:

Autism Friendly Films
Autism Friendly Toy Lending
Autism Friendly Activities
Cruising Social Story

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

Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas out of Galveston, TX

Recently I experienced the 7-Night Western Caribbean Cruise out of Galveston. Stayed in a room with a balcony, which I highly recommend. I’ve always stayed in interior rooms, but really enjoyed the balcony and probably won’t sail again unless I am in a balcony room.

As always on a cruise, the staff that waited on us were great! We had a great crew that cleaned our room and knew our schedule pretty well. Then the dining room wait staff was great and very helpful with our special needs with food allergies. Of course we alerted the maitre d’ on the first night and they were consistent in meeting our needs.

Our first stop was in Roatan, Honduras. Roatan is home to the second-largest coral reefs in the world. Our shore excursion we chose was the Shipwreck Snorkel & Beach. We took a ride out to a remote private island and met our guides at the Fantasy Island Beach Resort, which was beautiful.

Then the following day we were in Belize City, Belize. Belize City was founded in the 1700’s by former pirates. Home to lush tropical rainforest and the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere. We visited the ancient Mayan city of Altun Ha, which was once a major trading center before the Europeans arrived. Afterwards we took a boat ride along the coast on the River Wallace.

Our final stop was Cozumel, Mexico where we did an underwater Helmet dive.

Tips on lowering your risk of being a victim of petty theft or non-violent crimes while away from home:

1. Leave your valuables and irreplaceable items inside your stateroom safe.
2. Avoid wearing flashy and obviously expensive jewelery.
3. Carry only the cash or credit cards you will need on each of your outings.
4. Use discretion when handling cash in public.
5. Keep your belongings secure and out of sight.

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

The 33rd Annual Telluride Mushroom Festival | August 15 – 19, 2014

Each year in Telluride, Colorado there are many festivals to attend. In August they host the Telluride Mushroom Festival. Last year’s Mushroom Festival focused on the use of fungi as medicine for the environment and people.

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After seeing the documentary, ‘Know Your Mushrooms’ I was intrigued by the festival. I was surprised with a trip to the festival for my Birthday.

Attendees come from all over. For some it’s their first time, as it was for me and others it’s something they do each year. They show films, have booths set up for everything mushroom, have guided forays. It was a great experience. We chose a few of the talks that were about how certain mushrooms are being used in University hospitals to treat anything from cancer to strokes. We also got to hear about how they are using mushrooms to clean up oil spills and other environment issues.

The community gets involved and local Telluride restaurants will have Mushroom specials on their menus or Mushroom beers. Lots of great shops to visit in the area and also street vendors set up with different foods as well.

Some people who attend the festival will camp out at nearby campsites. We stayed at the Bear Creek Lodge and took the free gondola into Telluride when we wanted to go into town for the festival. Bear Creek Lodge had a full kitchen, so we brought a lot of our own food. They also had washer/dryer hookups in our room. It was like a very nice apartment.

We found some King Bolete’s that we foraged, cleaned and cooked to eat. The King Bolete is what most know as the Porcini Mushroom. There are so many different types of Mushroom’s as you will see in the images, that it takes a lot of skill and training to know which one’s are safe to eat. We only tried the one, that we knew for certain was safe.

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Lunch at La Cocina de Luz, which was very good.

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On the road to Telluride:

Mushrooms we foraged:

Some of the areas we foraged in:

Identification tables and slides:

More from Bear Creek Lodge:

In and around Telluride:

In the following video, you will hear Mycologist, Paul Stamets give a talk about how Mushrooms can save the world. It gives you a little idea why Mushrooms are so important to us and our environment.

Check out the program for this year 2014 Telluride Mushroom Festival.

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

Begonia Flower Carpet of Brussels

Every two years in Brussels since 1971 on the Grand-Place a Flower Carpet is put together and displayed. This year the Brussels Flower Carpet will be on view August 14-17, 2014. This is the 19th edition of the Flower Carpet which has been chosen to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Turkish immigration in Belgium.

The Flower Carpet is made from the beautiful summer-flowering perennials, the begonia. Belgium cultivates nearly 60 million begonia tubers annually as one of the worlds’ largest producer. The production of the Flower Carpet begins a year in advance. Each time the theme is different. To construct the Flower Carpet it takes about 120 volunteers and anywhere from 500,000 to 1,000,000 begonias.

To plan your trip today:
All About Travel
6104 Northwest 63
Oklahoma City, OK 73132
info [at] allabout-travel.com
415.384.3880

UNBELIEVABLE PLACES IN THE WORLD 10

The slot canyon located in Arizona consists of two photogenic sections called the Crack and the Corkscrew. Formed by the erosion of the Navajo Sandstone, has been formed as the rain water eroded the sandstone to create a marvellous texture and the characteristic ‘flowing’ shapes in the rocks. Very popular with photographers and sightseers, the canyon is accessible only with a permit since 1997 from the Navajo Nation. The Upper Antelope Canyon is more frequented by tourists as the entrance is at ground level and the canyon is filled with beams of reflected sunlight.

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5 Mind Blowing Underwater Cities

No doubt we’ve all heard of the legend of Atlantis, the ancient, once great city that was lost when the ocean submerged it.

To this day the legendary city has yet to be found (or proven to have ever existed) yet over the years many other underwater cities have been found, each of them as eerie as they are mind blowing and beautiful.

READ MORE:  5 Mind Blowing Underwater Cities