Missed Mother’s Day? Fly home to Mom’s and kiss her in person for less than cost of a bouquet of peonies.
In another giddy gesture to celebrate their 10th anniversary, JetBlue is having a 2-day sale. If you can find a remaining seat on any JetBlue flight on Tuesday or Wednesday, you can book it for $10. Just buy your tickets at www.jetblue.com/deals/ten-years/ by 11:59pm on Monday night and take a flyer!
Ann Shields is an online senior editor at Travel + Leisure.
As a young child, I loved Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books. Rereading them as a parent, I’m charmed anew (but kind of stunned by what a single-minded nut job Pa seems to be). However homespun my reading material, though, I’m closer in temperament to Woody Allen than to Ma Ingalls. My family’s method of getting down to earth will have to come with an escape hatch. Like a farm vacation.
Feather Down Farms, a farm stay company from Europe that has set up housekeeping on three American farms in the past two years, offers curious city-dwellers a chance to experience a rarified and charming rural experience without any of the hardships that plagued pioneer families like the Ingalls and the Wilders (No locusts! No prairie fires! No wolves!), or even those that faced by modern small farmers today.
On its daily four-hour trip across a swath of southwest oil country Tuesday, Amtrak’s Heartland Flyer was blazing a new trail of sorts: one fueled by biodiesel. The run marks the Earth Week inauguration of a 12-month test of alternative fuels along the 206-mile route.
The fuel, a blend of 80% diesel and 20% beef by–product (if the train industry is shunning Texas oilmen, at least they’re tossing a shank bone to region’s cattle industry), performed well in lab test. Carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions were reduced by 10%, particulates by 15%, and sulfates by 20%, so hopes are high for the track test.
Tinseltown rumor has it that the Hollywood sign, that iconic beacon of glamour, could be cast in a new leading role: that of a luxury hotel.
The fate of the sign, first erected in 1923, has recently been in question as real estate investors who own the adjacent land indicated that they were willing to sell it to developers for building luxury homes. In February, the Trust for Public Land and the Hollywood Sign Trust began an emergency fund-raising campaign to buy the 138 acres and save the sign.
The Los Angeles Daily News recently reported that a Danish architect, Christian Bay-Jorgensen, met with the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce to propose that a luxury hotel, incorporating the 9-letter sign, be built on the site. His plan calls for each letter to be rebuilt 90 feet tall (twice their current height) and enclose lavish guest rooms with enviable views of the city. The rest of the hotel would be built behind the letters and would, in Bay-Jorgensen’s plan, include public spaces that could serve as locations for awards ceremonies.
Looking at old maps and cartograms seems particularly relevant in a time when we’re all thinking about how information is relayed and consumed. The map of the world now centers squarely on the user. Online mapping, via sites like Google Maps, MapQuest, and Yahoo Maps, GPS chips in our phones and cars, and all the smartphone mapping apps, have allowed us to create custom maps and overlay our personal histories on geographical charts. What’s next in our journey to measure and display the world around us? It surely won’t be a folded piece of paper, but what is it?
Here are three maps that don’t conform to the badly-folded-paper-jammed–in-the-glove-compartment variety and which have caught my attention recently:
- This illustration depicts a 19th-century Inuit carvings of the coast of Greenland. The carving served as a tactile map—you could canoe along the coastline and follow the undulations of the land with your finger. When you come to the end of the map, you flip it over and the portable coastline continues down the other side. It floats, it’s waterproof, and it doesn’t require literacy or even good light. Brilliant.
JetBlue fired up one of its short-term, big-savings sales this morning. Book a flight anywhere they fly for prices that start at $29 each way. You have to buy the tickets by midnight on Wednesday for travel between April 13 to June 16. There are blackout dates for some destinations and sale fares to other destinations are available only on specific days of the week.
Restrictions be damned. Spontaneous getaways seem pretty viable when, for the price of two movie tickets and some popcorn, you can fly away.
Ann Shields is a senior online editor at Travel + Leisure.
United Airlines is conducting an exciting short-term experiment: If you book their Door-to-Door Baggage Service before 5 p.m. this Friday, they’ll arrange to pick up and deliver up to 9 pieces of luggage for $25 each. The service can be booked up to 10 days in advance of a domestic trip, so even if you’re not flying for a few days, you can book it now. The $25/bag fee covers one-way travel (so $50 roundtrip) and is only available in locations served by FedEx.
To get an idea of just how great a value this is, consider that United currently charges $25 for your first checked bag and $35 for a second bag. (Think bypassing the airline and shipping directly through FedEx may be a deal? Think again. The company charges upwards of $230 to overnight one 50 lb. bag from New York to Los Angeles. Costs drop significantly with 2nd- or 3rd day delivery, but still don't merit savings enough to live out of a carry-on bag.)
The last holdout in airline food service on domestic flights, Continental Airlines, has announced that there’s no more free lunch. When the airline makes the service change to the economy class cabin beginning this fall, you can expect nothing but a bag of mini pretzels with your diet soda.
Continental does plan to offer economy fliers “high quality, healthy food choices for purchase,” however, and will continue to ply domestic BusinessFirst and first-class passengers with complimentary meals, as well as all passengers on trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific flights.
Caesars Palace in Las Vegas has created Garden of the Gods, a “pool oasis” featuring 8 separate pool “experiences,” slated to open on March 19. The eight pools have differences (some serene, others designated for mingling with other gods) and similarities (cabanas, chaises, and, you know, chlorinated water), but a couple really stand out:
MONDAY: To commemorate its 10th birthday, JetBlue is offering $10 tickets on remaining seats on flights between New York City’s JFK Airport and the first 10 cities it served. You must book the flights today but you can fly today and tomorrow between JFK and Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Orlando, Fort Myers, and West Palm Beach FL; Buffalo and Rochester NY; Oakland, Calif.; Burlington VT; and Salt Lake City.
That’s a quick turnaround, but impulsive behavior flourishes when spring is in the air.
For more information or to book, please visit JetBlue.com before midnight.
Ann Shields is a online senior editor at Travel + Leisure.