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Railroad Revival Tour 2012

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The Railroad Revival tour is being resurrected for 2012, and this year Willie Nelson and Band of Horses are boarding the train. For the unfamiliar, the tour started last year when folk-rock Brits Mumford & Sons, along with L.A.’s Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and New York’s Old Crow Medicine, remembered that tour buses and private jets aren’t the only way to embark on a musical journey.

The three bands harnessed the magic of the U.S. rail system for an eight-day, 2,400-mile concert tour by train—from California to Louisiana. The tour was heralded The Railroad Revival, because it was intent on celebrating the—albeit seldom used—U.S. railway, and urging others to hop on board for their own travels. At each stop, the bands set up a stage, summoned fans to come watch, and delivered an all-out performance in the train station.

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Get Ready to Scream! World’s First Gelato Museum Opens in Italy

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It may not have a rhyming slogan all its own, but the world screams plenty for gelato. This week, enthusiasm for the extra-creamy Italian treat will culminate at the grand opening of the world’s first Gelato Museum in Bologna, Italy. Yes, gelato is finally immortalized in its very own museum. And, it's no surprise that the grand idea came from Carpigiani, one of Italy's early gelato innovators.

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Seagull Films Sunset for Tourist

French tourist Nathalie Rollandin was shocked when a seagull swooped down and snatched her camera and her precious vacation photos. What she didn't realize was the bird was doing her a solid. It snagged her camera while recording and captured epic views of San Francisco Bay, and then genially set it down for her retrieval. Take a look at the footage caught by the mischievous bird above, and hope you're lucky enough to have a run-in with the bird on your next trip to San Francisco.


Kelsi Maree Borland is an editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.

Singapore’s New Pandas Travel in Luxurious Style

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The last time you traveled to Singapore, was your plane temperature controlled? Were your meals specially prepared? Were the flight attendants attuned to your every need? Don't worry, me neither. But, for Kai Kai and Jia Jia, the pair of giant pandas that recently traveled to the Asian city-state to star in a new exhibit at River Safari, Asia's first animal theme park.

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Burning Hot New Trend? Tourists as Firefighters

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If Detroit is seeking to find the next craze in adventure travel, they are really missing the mark. The city commissioner, Don Austin, is thinking of charging visiting firefighters to spend the day doing what they do best: fight fires.

According to My Fox Detroit, the plan would be an extension of the city’s ride-along program, which has long been a main tourist attraction in Detroit. Firefighters from other towns, would get the opportunity to fight a real-life, big-city fire, for a small fee, of course. Risking one's life included.

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Boeing’s Dreamliner Lands in Africa

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This month, Ethiopian Air became the first airline outside of Asia to operate Boeing’s newest airplane: the 787 Dreamliner. The buzz-worthy aircraft has been making headlines for its advancements in technology and enhanced in-flight experience. Some of the new in-plane elements include larger windows, LED lighting and better cabin pressure that mimics an altitude closer to sea level. The true eye-catching feature for airline companies, however, is the plane’s lightweight and extreme fuel efficacy; something Ethiopian Air is excited about. Snag one of their first flights when they begin flying the plane on routes throughout Africa, including Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Their next step: flying an international route to Washington D.C. And, after that, the possibilities are endless.

Kelsi Maree Borland is an editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.

Photo courtesy of Ethiopian Air

Psychics! The Newest Trend in Art

The Tate Modern's Undercurrent

No, this isn’t part of a gypsy-laden renaissance fair. London’s The Tate Modern recently opened its doors to six psychics for the opening weekend of Undercurrent, a festival at the new The Tanks gallery running through August 27th. Images of crystal balls and large warts may fill your head, but according The Guardian, the trained fortunetellers' accessories and setting are much less theatrical; they sat in plain wooden booths inviting museum-goers to interact. 

The art exhibit was part of Jon Fawcett’s EIR installation piece, which opened the 11-day-long show. Undercurrent’s remaining exhibits include Touch and Vision, which blasts museum-goers with music and records the effects, and Tweet Me Up!, a spontaneous photography collaboration via proverbial social media outlets. The combination of off-the-wall acts is something no one could foretell. Well, no one but the psychics that is.

Kelsi Maree Borland is an editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.

Photo by iStockphoto

Man Travels to Slumberland on Luggage Conveyor Belt

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We’ve always felt that finding a comfortable place to rest your head at an airport is challenging, but a Norwegian tourist at the Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport in Rome had no problem drifting away to Slumberland. When he found the ticket check-in counter was empty, the unnamed man wandered behind the desk to take a nap on the baggage conveyor belt. He was sound asleep, hugging his suitcase, until the belt started to move. Of course, as any adventurer would do, he stayed on, riding on the baggage belt (and through the x-ray machines) for 15 minutes until airport security took notice and removed him. Shocked? Airport security wasn’t. They see similar incidents twice a year.     

Kelsi Maree Borland is an editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.

Photo Courtesy of iStock.com.

Alaska Airlines Technician Tapes Handwritten Excuse Note to Damaged Wing

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When you look out of an airplane window in flight, you expect to see clouds, treetops, vast landscape or ocean—but certainly not notes from the plane technicians. On a recent Alaska Airlines flight to Seattle, a passenger spotted a minor tear in the aircraft's wing that was covered by a handwritten note that read: We know about this. (As if the missive would truly ease any discomfort.)

The incident exploded on Twitter and Facebook, leading to an apology from the major airline carrier. It admitted the note was inappropriate but upheld that the technician who penned the letter had good intentions.

Kelsi Maree Borland is an editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.

Photo Courtesy of Don Wilson/Port of Seattle

No More Save-sies: Carnival Cruises Puts an End to Chair Hogs

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We’ve all seen it happen: a couple or family wake up extra early and sprawl towels, bags, newspapers and such on prime lounge chairs to save them from the afternoon rush. In the meantime, they have gone back to sleep or out to breakfast, and have left their items as guardian over the newly acquired spot. The rest of us may look on with disdain at these so-called “chair hogs,” but there is no rule against premium-seat saving—until now.

Carnival Cruises has stepped in to say NO MORE! Its new team monitors will scour the deck for empty seats filled with personal belongings and tag them with the time. If the chair remains empty for 40 minutes, the monitor will take the items to a retrieval counter, and open the seat up for another—albeit less cunning—vacationer. This new "use it or lose it" policy is currently being tested on Carnival Breeze, but they are hoping to soon expand the policy to all of their cruise lines. 

Kelsi Maree Borland is an editoiral intern at Travel + Leisure Magazine.

Photo Credit: iStockphoto

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