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A Travel Blog from the Editors of T+L

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Win a Trip for Two to Paris!

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Sick of Valentine’s Day? Even if you love to hate the holiday, you’d still accept a free trip to Paris, non?

If your answer is “OUI!” click over to NileGuide and enter their “Fall in Love with the City of Love” contest to win a trip for two to the City of Light. In addition to airfare and seven nights in a furnished luxury apartment courtesy of iStopover, the grand prize also includes dinner at the Les Deux Magots, tickets to the Eiffel Tower, and a visit to the Museé Rodin.

All you have to do is become a fan of NileGuide on Facebook and enter your contact information. C’est facile, n’est pas?

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Best Weather Tools for Travelers

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Sick of winter yet? New York City just experienced its snowiest January on record, and Chicago is currently digging itself out from yesterday’s Groundhog’s Day blizzard, which was the third worst snowstorm to ever hit the city.

In a season like this, weather dictates how people travel. Weather Underground, home to the world's largest historical weather database, just re-launched its website Wunderground.com yesterday, which caused weather geeks around the world to rejoice. It's built several great travel tools, drawing info from their massive database to help you stay one step ahead of the weather while planning your next trip. Here are my favorites:

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Last Call for Submissions: Winter Travel Photo Contest

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Last Call! The deadline to enter submissions in our Winter Travel Photo Contest is approaching quickly.

There are nearly 500 images already contending for a chance to win a Booq Mamba Large Messenger/Laptop Bag and publication in Travel + Leisure. For your chance to win, submit your photos here, by this coming Monday, January 31.

If you live in the Northeastern United States, get outdoors to capture the aftermath of this week's snowstorm. Or, look to other submissions for inspiration, like The Artic Explorer (above), which one of our community members shot outside of Tromso, Norway.

Snap to it!

Lyndsey Matthews is an online editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure.

Le Flâneur: Paris in Stop-Motion

Late last night, while browsing through my Google Reader instead of sleeping, I happened on this short, breathtaking video on one of my favorite travel blogs, Prêt à Voyager.

Le Flâneur is the creation of American University of Paris student Luke Shepard, who made this video by stitching together a series of still photographs to create a dreamy stop-motion-like view of Paris. It makes me want to board a CDG-bound plane right now.

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Lyndsey Matthews is an online editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure.

Video courtesy of Luke Shepard

Chernobyl Opens to Tourists

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Was your New Year's resolution to live more dangerously? Book a flight to the Ukraine. Nearly 25 years after Chernobyl's Reactor No. 4 exploded, wreaking nuclear devastation upon the surrounding area, the Ukrainian government is allowing tourists to enter the exclusion zone set up after the accident on official tours starting this year.

Though it was previously possible to tour the disaster zone through private tour companies, 2011 brings the first official and legal tours authorized by the Ukrainian government.

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Affordable Travel Photography

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Looking to travel, but don’t have any vacation time left after taking the holidays off? Check out the Mammoth Collection, an online art gallery that sells prints from as little as $20. Its strong collection of photographs will tame your wanderlust with a visual tour of the world.

The series includes high-quality, yet affordable prints from Nicholas McElroy, a photographer who spends his summers on a muskox domestication project in Alaska, to Wang Yuanling, a photojournalist based in Chongqing, China.

Most prints are available in a variation of sizes and prices, including 8" x 10" ($20), 11" x 14" ($50), 16" x 20" ($200), and 24" x 30" ($800). The company makes their prints in-house with archival pigment inks on heavyweight 100% cotton fibre archival paper.

Here are a few of my favorites below. Click on them to snag a copy. What are your favorites?

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Now Open, Brooklyn Winery: The Borough's First Urban Winemaker

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Brooklynites have been able to find vegetables, beer, and even wine produced in their own borough for quite awhile now. And while they’ve found ways to brew beer in their apartments, they haven’t been able to make their own vino. At least until the borough’s first winemaking center, Brooklyn Winery, opened its doors in Williamsburg a few weeks ago.

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Food & Wine All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas

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What better place than Las Vegas—home to some of the world’s best hotels, restaurants, and nightlife—to host Food & Wine's inaugural All-Star Weekend? Hosted by Food & Wine’s Gail Simmons and a slew of celebrity chefs, including alumni from Bravo’s Top Chef, this weekend of epicurean delights will take place from November 5-7 at some of Vegas’s finest luxury resorts, including the Bellagio, ARIA, and Vdara Hotel & Spa at the new CityCenter.

All-Star Weekend Highlights:

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French Protest Takashi Murakami Exhibit at Versailles

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Visitors to the Palace of Versailles, the former residence of Louis XIV, expect to see the world's most lavishly decorated home. So staging an exhibition of contemporary Japanese artist Takashi Murakami’s bright and kitschy sculptures in the Sun King’s royal apartments makes sense, oui?

No, not so much.

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Grand Reopening: Taj Hotels' Mumbai Flagship

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The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai (previously the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower) is reopening on August 15, in celebration of India’s Independence Day, after extensive restorations on the waterfront 1903 flagship property’s Palace Wing.

The 107-year-old heritage wing of the hotel was badly damaged when terrorists stormed the hotel, taking hostages, and burning rooms in the November 2008 attacks on Mumbai, which also affected the Oberoi hotel (the hotel reopened in April). Mumbai, it appears, is starting a new chapter.

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