Ask T+L: Tour de France, Grenada Hotels, Photo-Sharing
—S.P., BAY CITY, TEX.
This year's race—Lance Armstrong's last— ends in Paris on July 24. Cyclists make eight laps up and down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, past the Place de la Concorde, and around the Jardin des Tuileries. You'll have great views from anywhere along the avenue— just be sure to secure a spot early in the morning. If it gets too crowded to see the actual race, you'll still be able to watch it on several large screens. Guests who book the two-night package at the Hôtel de Crillon (800/745-8883 or 33-1/44-71-15-00; www.crillon.com; package from $1,644) can watch the cyclists from one of the Presidential Suites. The ultimate viewing spot, however, is from the top of the Arc de Triomphe. The monument has been closed during the race for the past two years, but at press time the Paris police department had not yet announced their decision for 2005. Check www.parisinfo.com/en for news and www.letour.fr for more information on the race.
My wife and I want to go to Grenada for Christmas. Have any of the top hotels reopened after last year's hurricanes?
—R.K., KANSAS CITY, MO.
The lush spice island, located in the southern West Indies, was leveled by Ivan but has quickly recovered. At press time, nearly two-thirds of the hotels were up and running, with many more expected to be back in business by the end of the year. All 16 cottages are open at Laluna (473/439-0001; www.laluna.com; doubles from $610), a celebrity hideout. This season, the hotel is throwing in a complimentary yoga session for guests who stay a week or more. After a $10 million overhaul, the oceanfront Spice Island Beach Resort (473/444-4258; www.spiceislandbeachresort.com; doubles from $599, including all meals) is taking reservations starting December 16. The 64 redesigned rooms range from 620 to 1,500 square feet; all have whirlpool tubs, flat-screen TV's, and Frette linens. For links to more hotels, go to www.grenadagrenadines.com.
I'd like to post travel photos on the Web. Which are your favorite photo-sharing sites?
—C.G., PORTLAND, OREG.
There are dozens of great sites, many of which are virtually identical. Like its competitors, Snapfish (www.snapfish.com) offers free, unlimited storage, as long as you make one purchase a year. (A single print qualifies.) But Snapfish's prices are by far the best—19 cents a print (versus 25 cents at Kodak EasyShare) and $2.99 to develop and post a roll of regular film, including a set of prints (Kodak charges $3.95, not including prints). The site is also travel friendly: you can upload multiple images quickly via a single e-mail, get 20 free prints if you book a trip on Travelocity, and have the site mail postcards to your friends. Free sites are great, but have their limitations. The newest photo-sharing sites are like visual blogs—they allow you to publish photos for a mass audience, tag them with key words, and easily search others' albums. We love Flickr (www.flickr.com; annual membership $24.95) for its clean design, cheeky commentary, and lack of ads. Also, since friends don't need to sign in to view photos, they won't get unwanted promotional e-mails.
T+L ASKS What's your favorite photo-sharing site?E-mail us (address below) and let us know.
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