Friday, June 29, 2007

Traveling This Summer? Here's What to do if Your Flight is Delayed

Travel industry insiders warned this summer would be riddled with flight delays, primarily due to flight reductions. I read today that Northwest Airlines canceled at least 1,000 flights this week. Wonder how many travelers were delayed? How many vacations were ruined? How many business travelers were stuck? How many guests couldn't make it to a wedding?

I'm just guessing (and haven't fact-checked this), but chances are slim passengers were rebooked on comparable flights on other airlines, because those flights were most likely booked.

I'm flying later this summer and want to get where I'm going but if by chance my flight is delayed, I have these tips I compiled last summer. An oldie but goodie. In the past year, things haven't changed much in the airline industry. Or have they?

Gotta tip to pass the time when a flight's delayed? I'd love to hear how you're entertained!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

MySpace Battle: Ceramic Lawn Ornament or Aging TV Icon?

For the past year, I've been the annoying voice in the office saying, "We need to be doing something with MySpace."

Advertisers seem to be afraid of MySpace but I was tickled to learn how Travelocity registered on MySpace earlier this year and very recently, Priceline followed suit.

Now, just because Travelocity gave me my own traveling gnome to take to Afghanistan doesn't make me tainted in choosing which online travel site has the best MySpace presence. I mean, gotta love Captain Kirk (I am a geek, remember) and his dry sense of humor. I even decided I liked him more after reading the latest issue of "Budget Travel" and seeing stickers of "The Priceline Negotiator" (that's William Shatner's Priceline character).

What else do I have to say on the subject? Well, read my latest article, "Priceline and Travelocity Battle it out on MySpace." Tell me, who's the Online Travel King??? By the way, those who don't have MySpace accounts can still visit the Priceline and Travelocity pages - visit my article for links.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Italy: It's a Done Deal

Well, never thought I'd be writing this before I've exhausted all third-world countries, but I'll be going to Italy over Thanksgiving this year: Venice, Florence and Rome (two nights each). It'll be difficult visiting a country where I don't have the potential of being shot or kidnapped (okay, I wasn't shot at in Afghanistan, just had a riffle pointed at my face by a very small, frightened Afghan military man and if I wanted to, I could have taken him on by yelling "boo" in his face).

Hope I can make it to Pompeii. Ever since high school Latin, I've been fascinated with Mt. Vesuvius and Pompeii. Can anyone help me get excited about Italy???

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Motivation!

It's been a while since I've consistently visited the gym. After vacation this month, I popped in for a day but then had to hit the road again. Think I can count the times on one hand how many times I've been. But I did go twice this week.

Today I got on the dreaded scale. It's been a month of eating horribly without consistent exercise. To my delight, I've lost 10 pounds since March! Okay, I know that doesn't seem like a lot, especially after four months, but that's at least 10 pounds of fat converted to muscle. My legs have some nice definition and the arms are getting there. It's just my middle which doesn't seem to wanna do anything.
Was good with the Pilate's DVD but the player broke (I go through a DVD player every year) and it runs too slow on my PC. But, I will get back to doing that.

I've reached 20% of my weight loss goal. I know I'll never be a size 8 and I'm comfortable with that. (BTW - Don't think I was EVER a size 8 and am pretty sure I bypassed it when growing up; plus, if I ever reached that size, told myself I'd get a belly ring and not sure if that's me...). Just want to transform myself and be the best I can. I also have a nice base tan going, too.

I'm back to thinking positive again...

Read my Tallahassee blog to see what I did today.

Friday, June 22, 2007

June, June Go Away

Will this month not end? June has been a very long month for me and very draining. Emotionally and financially draining. I'm emotionally tapped from exploring opportunities and dealing with rejection. I'm financially tapped from exploring opportunities, over spending on vacation and unexpected car expenses. After the time I invested, I thought at least one opportunity would come through but nothing has. I feel stuck. July can't be here soon enough.

Enjoy these photos. My college pal Val visited this week. Here we are on the Florida State University campus. The other shots are from last weekend's trip to Bluffton, SC, just outside Hilton Head.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

On the Road Again: Hilton Head

It's late June and I'm on my third "personal" trip of the month. (Maybe I'll be able to explain someday, or, just shoot me an email. As I've learned, some things don't belong on a blog).

Anyway, I'm in lovely Hilton Head, SC. Man, I LOVE this part of the country, best of all, everyone I've met so far seems to be from the Northeast, and not necessarily "half-backers" (a term to those Northerners who relocated to Florida and now are living life in the Carolinas). They certainly drive like they're from the Northeast!

I love the water, the sea critters, the smell of pluff mud, the marshes. The first thing I saw was a heron catch a lunch of little fiddler crabs. Some photos will be posted when I return (btw - I've added Portland photos to my S2S photo album. Maybe by the end of June I'll have everything written up and uploaded! In the meantime, enjoy the first article, a review of Extranomical Tours and the trip to California's wine country).

Friday, June 15, 2007

Mailboxixchange.com: Ain't Your Ordinary Mailbox

I house-sat for a friend this week. Three times a day I walked her dog through the neighborhood and admired the perfectly manicured Southern lawns and pretty mailboxes. I know, it may seem strange to admire mailboxes, but let me explain.

I always loved the art of letter writing and mail. At one point in my life, I wanted to be a mail carrier (can't remember if that was before or after I wanted to be a witch). I even made my own mailbox out of a cardboard milk carton and decorated with paper towels. I hoped my mom would deliver my mail to my box, but don't think that ever happened.

Now that I'm grown up and advanced in the 21st century, I'm still a fan of mail. Like football fanatics need their team colors, a mail fanatic needs their accessories: pretty stationary, fancy return address labels and a mailbox with personality.

This is where Mailboxixchange.com comes in, introduced to me by my sponsor. As soon as I get my house (have no idea WHEN that will be), I'll be checking out their options in residential mailboxes. They are the resource for mailboxes (and I bet your mail carrier will think their pretty groovy, too).

You really need to check out the site to actually see the classy and fashionable inventory of residential mailboxes. These ain't your ordinary mailboxes! Some of these mailboxes look as those they come with bells and whistles, they're so decked out. Actually, at least one of the residential mailboxes I saw has a security camera!

With the popularity of email, instant messaging, online bill paying and the lost of letter writing, I certainly hope pretty mailboxes continue to beautify our neighborhoods!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Been a While Since a Shameless Plug: Fantastic Four

Last October I posted about seeing a movie being shot during a trip to Vancouver. Well, that flick, "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer" hits theaters tomorrow so I thought it'd be an EXCELLENT opportunity to write about my experience (as a freebie). Enjoy!

Anyone want to share what movies they've seen being made?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Random Acts of Kindness: At the Check-Out Line

I was going to make this post on my Tallahassee blog, but Blogger seems to think that blog is a spam blog!!!! So while I wait for it to be unlocked, I'll share my story here.

Dropped into the Lake Ella Publix this evening and at the register, the young man in front of me said he'd pay for the woman's $3 tab in front of him. He didn't know the woman at all. She was shocked at his kindness and so was the grocery clerk.

Just when I was losing hope about the goodness in people, human kindness kicked me in the butt.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

A Snap Shot and Two from S2S 2007

I've run out of time this week and haven't uploaded all of my photos from the trip nor my final trip summary :(

But please enjoy some of the photos here. It's basically all things I did in California. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Fun Web Site of the Week: BedJump.com

Mom always said, don't jump on the bed. This taboo seems to be lifted when some people check into hotels. I can honestly say I've never jumped on a hotel bed - not because I'm too stuffy to do that - the thought has never crossed my mind.

HOWEVER, after seeing the images on BedJump.com (affiliated with HotelsByCity.net) I'm gonna have to do a little bed jumping on my next trip.

Are you a bed jumper????

Monday, June 04, 2007

Back to Reality

Today was not a good day. First day back following vacation - which was actually ok until lunchtime when I noticed one of my car's wheels was "sparkling." Upon closer inspection, there was about a 10 inch tear and I could see the inner tube thing! After brief consultation online with my dad, I ended up with four new tires. I did get 45,000 miles out of the first batch and with upcoming trips, better to be safe than sorry. Just wasn't planning on dropping that kind of dough RIGHT after vacation.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

S2S 2007: Home Sweet Home

Completing 1,489 miles, I'm home from my trip. I realize updates for Days 7 & 8 are missing, they'll follow soon, along with photos. Now that I'm back, it's hard to believe it's over. Back to reality tomorrow...

Friday, June 01, 2007

S2S Days 5 & 6: Keep Portland Weird

I love Portland. It's a community embracing individuality, creativity and sustainability. Grunge is still king and admittedly, it's difficult for me to tell the difference between the homeless bums and residents. In 36 hours here, the only time I saw people in suits was during lunchtime. Casual is the business dress, which works for me. People are genuinely nice and friendly.

Skateboarding is recognized as a mode of transportation and while most cities have biking lanes on their roadways, Portland has skateboarding and rollerblading lanes. There's also a hookup for electric cars to charge up for free.

Wednesday morning I left McMinnville and stopped at a couple of wineries while making my way to Portland. At one I got the, "You're brave to be doing this [traveling solo]." Stopped at a fruit stand for hazelnuts (which grow predominantly in Oregon) and whole wheat peach-filled fruit bars. Then it was Portland and off exploring the city.

My hotel has an excellent location, right on the waterfront with easy access to downtown. The Tri-Met, the transportation system, is easy to use but Portland's a great walking city. The weather has been unusually warm, in the upper 80s. I'm told normal temps should be in the 60s or 70s.

Yesterday was a walking tour with just four participants, curry chicken for lunch, a trip to Washington Park's International Rose Test Garden, brewery visit (9, four-ounce samples - oy!) and wander along Tom McCall Waterfront Park for the kick off of the Portland Rose Festival.

My sole Portland souvenir is a bumper sticker which reads, "Keep Portland Weird." Amen.

Heading to Washington today and Mt. Rainer. Am suppose to meet up with Yellowstone pal Jen on Saturday, who lives in Olympia, an hour from Seattle. I think it's been about 9 years since we've last seen each other.