Travel Tips & Adventures

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Archive for the ‘Air Travel’ Category

10 Things We Could Use LESS of in Travel

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Thinking back on 2009, a very hectic year of travel, there are a number of items that could make traveling a more pleasurable experience for everyone.  I’m sure many people could add to this list. (Feel free to write in and add your comments!)

  1. At restaurants, (more…)

10 Things I’d Like to See/Hear More of in Traveling

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

As a frequent traveler, the new year has me wishing for the following in my travels – actually, in general.

  1. Genuine courtesy.  Not forced, but real manners.
  2. Airlines that don’t charge for everything under the sun. Give me a real price.  Don’t I need to sit for the flight?  So, why do I need to pay for my seat?
  3. Equal opportunity security at all airports.  In one airport, I forgot to take out my quart-sized bag of 3 oz items.  They never stopped me. In another airport, they checked me until I was almost embarrassed.
  4. Restaurants that remember to ASK if you’d like anything else. I’m tired of them trying to turn tables when we’d really like to be asked about dessert.  Wait staff show up with the bill before asking. Wouldn’t they like to earn a bigger tip for dessert?
  5. Unscented bath items.  The floral scents are driving us nuts!  My husband would prefer not to smell like he was wearing a bad woman’s perfume.  I just can’t tolerate scents. We are trying to cut back on how much we carry (see #3, above.)
  6. Earlier check in times at hotels.  We never seem to get somewhere when it’s time to check in yet.  Just a coincidence of scheduling.  Sometimes hotels are ready and willing to have us check in, but sometimes not. Think about it – you rent a room for about 19 hours at some hotels – if check in time is 4 PM and check out time is 11 AM.  Do they really need all that time to clean a room? (Especially when maids come knocking on your door trying to get in early!)
  7. People turning off their cell phones when they are in theaters, meetings and gatherings.  Do they really want us to hear about all of their issues and dirty details of their life, love and hygiene?
  8. Lighting that actually lights a room.  I actually like to see to get around.  With the new LCD lights that use less wattage, that shouldn’t be such a big deal or cost to hotels.
  9. “You’re welcome” instead of service and other people saying, “No problem.”  I didn’t expect that what I’ve requested or paid for is a PROBLEM.  If I did you a favor – changed seats, offered a courtesy, etc. -Try the ever popular – THANK YOU!

10.  And, last but not least, remember that we are all passengers on this “Earth Ship.” – Be nice to each other and the environment.  I’m tired of people dropping their cigarettes, refuse and leftovers for me to squish with my shoes or sit in.  Yes, be nice!  A little kindness goes a long way!

What do you think, readers?  Do you have some things you’d like to see more – or less of- in your travels? Write in and I’ll post them!

Enjoy your travels – even if it means just taking an elevator with someone.  Try smiling and giving someone eye contact!  That will really shake people up!  They won’t believe you are just being friendly!


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Tempe is a Tempting Travel Spot

Monday, December 7th, 2009

Tempe, the hometown for Arizona State University, is a vibrant city with business, social and quality of life issues well-handled.  With a population of 175,000-plus residents, Tempe has a business center, new malls, revitalized housing stock and is just a fun place to be.  It’s also near to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, so there is easy access in and out.

Housing in downtown Tempe

Housing in downtown Tempe


Festival of the Arts

During the weekend of December 4-6, Tempe hosted the Festival of the Arts, an arts and crafts gathering that last year attracted 250,000.  In 2009, over 400 artisans with some stunning work were displaying and selling their works.  Pottery, glass, wood, photography, woven items, painting, sculpture and even food showed the individuality and quality of the handmade efforts.

With no two works identical, visitors had the opportunity to see and buy something for their use for as little as $5 or as much as thousands.

Colorful Pottery from Ken Foster Ceramics - and useful, too

Colorful Pottery from Ken Foster Ceramics - and useful, too


(As of early December 2009, his Web site was not populated yet.)

Doug Maders metal art

Doug Mader's metal art - Courtyard Art and Design

(No Web site available – 503-537-0720)

I tend to like usable art, so I was on the lookout for a small pottery casserole to replace one that had broken. I couldn’t find what I was seeking.  Instead, I saw a gorgeous pottery French butterkeeper made by Liscom Hill Pottery Works that I purchased.  (I did not take a photo – the display was crowded and I was intent on my purchase.)

Bands also performed throughout the Festival.  On the jazz stage, we heard the Chandler-Gilbert Community College Band perform big band numbers.  They had an interesting medley with “Auld Lang Syne” intermingled with Christmas carols, plus a rendition of “On the Street Where You Live” from My Fair Lady.


To host the Festival, Tempe blocked off about fifteen blocks of the downtown area.  Since these events occur regularly in Tempe, check out the light rail which travels right through the campus to save you time looking for a parking spot or $10 for event parking. The light rail is relatively new to the Phoenix area, but it is clean, on schedule and reasonable in cost.

Other Tempe notables

It may be in the desert, but Tempe has an amazing amount of water.  Tempe Town Lake, a manmade body of water, is a centerpiece for many community events.  In the area adjacent to the lake, events from ethnic fairs to fireworks are held regularly.

If you’re coming to the Phoenix area for a visit, we recommend that you check out what might be happening in Tempe.  There are hotels in Tempe if you care to stay; the aloft hotel is new, a “hip” hotel, and there are other hotels that can put you right in the middle of things or give you some quiet at the end of the day, if you prefer.

aloft hotel in Tempe

The Buttes

(Tucked into a hillside and next to a spring training baseball facility.)


ASU and Tempe

You can’t miss ASU’s presence in Tempe; it is unmistakable.  

Come back tomorrow for info on Arizona State University and other amenities in the area.

Traveling to the Sun – Arizona and Phoenix

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

The first time I came to Arizona, it was a major revelation for me.  The sunny, blue skies were so welcoming – even at the 100-plus degree temperatures in the middle of summer.  I got off the plane and, when it was time to go back, I really didn’t want to!

If you are taking any airline except for Allegiant (see our blogs on our trip to Oregon), you’ll likely land at Phoenix at Sky Harbor Airport.  Terminals are large and do include amenities like moving sidewalks for some of the long walks from your arrival gate down to baggage claims. (more…)

Trippin’ out to Oregon

Monday, September 14th, 2009

Time to travel! We’ll be reporting on our travel to, around, in and beyond cities in Oregon. We’ve been before, but we never kept track – and it was years ago. So, on your behalf, we’ll be dishing on what, where and how much! (more…)

Dover Air Force Base Open House – A Vicarious Adventure

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

What do you think of when someone mentions Dover, Delaware?  Probably not much.


Dover Sole, the White Cliffs of Dover, maybe?  Or, the place where large corporations incorporate due to favorable tax advantages?


This obviously shows you are not from Delaware, although the last answer would be correct. (more…)

Nickle and Diming in the Airline Industry

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Remember when all you had to do was call for an airline reservation and some friendly person would talk to you?

Cost: Free

Then, as technology advanced you were given the option to book online OR, call that friendly reservation agent.

Cost: Free (for either service)

Fast forward to the year 2009. The following keywords are now in full force: (more…)

International Travel Planning … on your own … without a net…Part 12

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Scotland: Fall 2009

DAY 15






It’s time to hop a golf cart over to the birthplace of golf over 600 years ago, St. Andrews.

Actually, birthplace is not quite accurate. Golf in some form was probably played in another country before it came to Scotland, but hey, Scotland just had a better marketing department! (more…)

International Travel Planning … on your own … without a net…Part 9

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Scotland: Fall 2009

A Sale Is A Sale, Unless It Isn’t …

We had a real scare around here last week. We got an e-mail from Qantas Airlines touting incredible fares to Australia from L.A.!!! And guess what? They were during the same time we planned to go to Scotland! There was even a free stopover thrown in.

Of course there was!

As Australia and New Zealand are our number 2/3 destinations after Scotland, we decided to take a look. I even got out the Australia/New Zealand travel brochures I had been storing, some for over five years! (more…)

International Travel Planning … on your own … without a net

Monday, May 25th, 2009

Part 7

Scotland: Fall 2009

DAY 8 (cont’d)

We are settling in Aviemore for several nights as a base to explore the Highlands. Okay, you had to ask! Where is Aviemore, and why would anyone want to stay there?

Actually, there are three reasons: (more…)