This summer, Ritz-Carlton guests will have more to look forward to than just sunbathing. The luxury hotel company will expand its ecological program, Ambassadors of the Environment, to three of its properties. The program, created by award-winning environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau, emphasizes education and sustainability through various Caribbean eco-adventures.
If you’re in La Jolla for lunch, you might think twice before asking for patio seating.
According to various reports including one from The Associated Press, seriously stinky breezes are leaving tourists and business owners gasping for air.
"We've had to relocate tables inside," Christina Collignon, a hostess at the cliffside steak restaurant Eddie V's, told the AP. "Because when people go out to the patio, some are like 'Oh my God. I can't handle the smell.'"
The area of La Jolla Cove is home to some of the city’s best restaurants, posh boutique hotels, and a few famous, well-heeled residents like Mitt Romney. It's also an area of "special biological significance" by California law, which means there are strict regulations to protect local marine life, like dolphins, sea lions, harbor seals, and countless birds.
Those rules have made the area attractive to large numbers of two endangered species, brown pelicans and cormorants. Both species have flocked to La Jolla, no pun intended, and have covered the seaside rocks and outcroppings with guano—lots of guano. The resulting scent, according to a San Diego Union-Tribune article, is akin to a blend of “rotting vinegar and human body odor.”
For years, La Jolla has been the site of another wildlife-related debate: the seals that have taken up residence on the previously human-covered Children's Pool beach. A new “beach cam" monitors both the seals and any humans who might bother them.
Can you guess where this beach is? I took it a few weekends ago on short weekend getaway from New York. Head over to our Facebook page and leave your guesses there. Check back on Monday for the answer!
Lyndsey Matthews is an assistant digital editor at Travel + Leisure.
Last week, Hawaii News Now broadcast a story about the camera, which was found last month washed up 6,000 miles away on the shore in Taiwan. The camera, a Canon PowerShot A520, was intact despite its casing being covered with barnacles. More importantly, its memory card still worked and contained clear pictures of its owner enjoying Maui. A China Airlines employee who found it on a beach in Taiwan set up a Facebook page looking for the woman in the photos. Hawaii News Now posted a slideshow of images recovered from the camera along with an appeal to help track down the people in the photos. Since it was posted on Friday, the story of the lost-and-found camera was passed around the Internet until it was seen by a high school classmate of Scallan's who recognized her and brought it to her attention. She's planning her trip to Taiwan now.
In an interview aired on HNN, Scallan, who lives in Georgia, said the discovery of her camera and its social media-aided return is "just unbelievable… It's pretty neat."
How cute, you might say, when you spot a monkey ambling along the beach in Thailand. (“Wait, where'd my lunch go?”) But lately the primates have become a little too aggressive, so authorities have posted new signs on beaches in the country's Krabi province (which includes Long Beach, Phi Phi Island and the aptly named Monkey Bay) that read "Beware of the Monkey" in both Thai and English. According to a report from the Bangkok Post, roughly 600 beachgoers have been treated at one local hospital in the past year for monkey bites. The furry beachgoers have gotten so used to edible hand-outs from their human enablers that they can turn ugly when spurned. A whopping 75 percent of the victims are foreigners.
On a calm beach, a big wave can knock you off your feet—and even act as a thief, as one resort guest recently learned.
Brittania Fisher and her husband were vacationing earlier this month at Miami’s Turnberry Isle Miami, and on their last day there, Brittania was wading in shallow water and picking up shells on the private beach. Suddenly, a big wave surprised her, and knocked her over. "I clenched my left hand because the water was cold, and I knew it would make my fingers shrink," the Dallas native told us. "But my rings were already gone."
She immediately enlisted other people on the beach to help her look, and hotel staffers are still looking—but so far, with no results.
Turnberry's staffers, it should be noted, have recovered lost rings in the past. In 2002, Heather Mills, former wife of Paul McCartney, "lost" one hers when she was staying with the music legend at the resort. "Apparently they had a big row in our Grand Presidential Suite, and in their fight she threw her engagement ring off the balcony," Rachel Pinzur, the resort's public relations director, told NBC Miami. A determined hotel employee found it in the bushes with the help of a flashlight.
The shoreline may pose greater challenges, but Fisher says that she is hopeful that her two rings—both platinum, and soldered together—are heavy enough to have sunk into the sand, rather than be sucked out to sea. (See picture: above.) She recently posted on the resort's Facebook page asking guests to keep looking, and is offering a $2,000 reward for their return.
“There's a dollar amount on the rings, of course, but I can't replace them," Fisher told us. “The engagement ring was what my husband had when he got down on one knee, and he slipped the band on my hand on our wedding day. They're priceless." She's willing to be patient, too. "You always hear stories about people being reunited with items after a long time, so I'll believe in miracles."
To some travelers, feeding stingrays in their native habitat may seem like a way fun to share some inter-species goodwill, but it turns out that it can leave the wildlife feeling a little off-kilter, to say the least.
According to recent announcement, a study by the Guy Harvey Research Institute, at Florida’s Nova Southeastern University, looked at how regular human interaction is affecting the marine wildlife at Stingray City in the Cayman Islands, where travelers can pet, feed and swim with the big fish. Researchers found some distinct changes in the stingrays' behavior. For instance, the fish shifted from foraging for food at night to doing so only during the day—perhaps when human visitors might be handing out snacks—and then sleeping at night.
From Miami, you’ll head south on one of the country’s most scenic highways to get to Key West. The Overseas Highway is 120 miles of incredible bridges that pass over tropical blue water. Bring a camera! WHERE TO STAY The brightly colored Truman Hotel, just a short walk from the bars along Duval Street, has a small pool and balconies on the upper floors. PRICE $299 a night.
Love to shop? You can’t do better than Fort Lauderdale, which has the posh boutiques along Las Olas Boulevard and more than 300 outlet boutiques at Sawgrass Mills. WHERE TO STAYB Ocean Fort Lauderdale is just north of some of the pricier hotels, but it’s a much better value: there’s free WiFi, complimentary iPad rental, and ocean views from standard rooms. PRICE $299 a night.
A visit to the Magic Kingdom is the ultimate trip for every kid, but parents can have a great time, too. WHERE TO STAYThe Waldorf-Astoria Orlando is set on a 482-acre nature preserve with jogging paths and golf. Disney-view rooms look onto the park’s nightly fireworks show. PRICE $299 a night.
Nothing helps shake off the stress of work like a beach vacation far from home. But as one Welshman learned, there may be a fine line between easing stress and whooping it up—at least in the eyes of his bosses back at home. Paul Marshallsea was taking stress-related sick leave from his job at a charity in Wales, and was using part of that time to visit Australia's Sunshine Coast. On the beach one day, the 62-year-old spotted a shark in shallow waters near a group of kids. "It could have been very nasty," he told the BBC. "My instincts took over and I just grabbed the shark by the tail."
And then some: Marshallsea wrestled the shark into deeper waters, all of which happened to get caught on film and broadcast on Australia's Channel 9, where he was declared a hero. (Watch the video above.)
For starters, we feel for anyone who takes a vacation expressly to unwind, and ends up tangling with a shark. But Marshallsea's good deed did no go unpunished: Back in Wales, his employers happened to see the clip and fired him. "If I hadn't gone in to save the kids on that beach that day, I would still have a job," he told WalesOnline. "You think being … a children's charity, they would have tapped me on the back."
What do you think? Is it out of bounds to take a vacation while on stress-related sick leave?