When Flying Was Civilized

It may be hard to imagine if you spend all of your flight hours crammed into what passes as the economy section these days, but at one point flying was civilized. Seriously – a nice, luxurious way to get around! These photos share the glamourous nature of flying in its heyday – I love the United Airlines uniforms, Richard Branson (with several women on his lap), and the treatment of Russian spies. If you’ve ever felt grumpy about the service (or lack of it) provided on flights today, that last photo might make you grind your teeth a tad.

Scenes From When Flying Was Still Civilized – Gizmodo

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Oh Canada!

This video compiled by the Canadian Tourism Commission has been making the rounds, and it’s a real gem. Simply entitled “Keep Exploring”, it nicely captures the raw natural beauty of my home. And, reminds me that there is so much more to see!

I wish more tourism boards would use crowdsourcing for their videos. No marketing team (I’m guessing, here) would ever think, “You know what would sell Canada? Some moose schmoozing with some folks in a car.”

So Canadian friends, what would you want to contribute to a project like this? Leave a comment!

Good Read – Navigating Europe’s Visa System

When I was in the Netherlands last year and hopped on a train to Germany, I initially thought I’d found some wicked loophole that avoided all immigration officials. “I can just float through Europe undetected!,” I thought, because at that point I was a tad uneducated.

The reason why you can seemingly pass through much of Europe without collecting stamps in your passport is because many of the countries are part of the Schengen zone, which has a 90-day visa policy. But what do you do if you want to stay in Europe for longer than 90 days?

Plan creatively. And read this fabulous article courtesy of Nomadic Matt, who did an enormous amount of research and presents a beyond thorough look at the ins and outs of the visa process.

This week’s Good Read!

Sunday Seven – Kick Out the (NYC) Jams

Next Friday I’m checking a big one off my travel bucket list – I’m going to NYC! In preparation I’ve been shuffling through my CDs (yes, some of us still use those) and MP3s (not totally behind the times) and listening only to bands from New York City. It turns out that a LOT of great sounds have come out of there. Initially I thought it would be easy to gather a list of 7 songs that have always made me want to go to NYC.

It was not easy. Here’s 7…

Continue reading “Sunday Seven – Kick Out the (NYC) Jams”

Posh Hotel Amenities – When Robes Don’t Cut It

Luxury items at hotels used to mean fluffy robes, slippers and Egyptian cotton sheets. But now, discerning tastes mean that hotels have to come up with new, unique experiences to distinguish themselves and create memorable moments for their guests. I…don’t stay at four- or five-star hotels much (or ever, really). I get pretty excited when a hotel has a robe. I’ve chosen places based on the fact that they have a fish-in-residence, and once picked a place based on its stellar eco-policies…but couldn’t figure out how to turn the lights on. So I sat in the dark and was exceptionally eco-friendly. My concept of luxury, therefore, is a bit unrefined. But perhaps you’d like a tattoo or graffiti artist-in-residence, like at the Andaz 5th Avenue in NYC (kind of trumps my fish), or a soap concierge at the Viceroy Riviera Maya in Mexico (all organic selections, of course), or a pet psychic like the Hotel Monaco in Portland (held during a complimentary wine hour for the owner)?

Some of the amenities get even weirder. Check out more here.

I’ll continue to book places based on their pets-in-residence.