Philadelphia’s New Year’s Day Mummers Parade

Oh to be a Mummer, now that New Year’s is almost here! This is the 103rd year for Philadelphia’s New Year’s Day Mummers Parade, and this is one of those festivities that sound like so much fun.  I’m hoping that a few of my Philly readers chime in here and let me know if it’s as much fun as it sounds.  (Kelly?  Caroline?  Anyone?) The history of the Mummers goes back to the Roman Festival of Saturnalia.  Latin laborers wore masks and marched around giving gifts.  There was also a Celtic version that was a little bit more like trick-or-treat, featuring costumes and little gifts.  Both events were filled with pageantry, enthusiasm, and more than a little bit of noise. Philadelphia got into the act in 1901 with the first official Mummers Parade.  Unofficially large celebrations like this had been […]

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Back to Basics: How to Get Off the Plane & Not be Stressed

The best part about getting on the plane, is knowing that you’ll be getting off at your destination, and that you  have loads of great times ahead of you. For many travelers, however, the landing and deplaning process can be just as confusing and challenging as the boarding process. Here’s the scoop on how the landing process works and some tips that will make it easy for you to get off the plane.  Frequently flyers – pay attention, because you should take some of the suggestions to heart. Once the aircraft is on the ground and taxiing into the gate, most airlines allow you to use your cell phone.  What you cannot do, however, is stand up and get it out of the overhead, or unbuckle your seat belt and get it out from beneath your set.  If you’ll want […]

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Back to Basics: 10 Items to ALWAYS Pack in Your Carry On Luggage

Although I check my bags on occasion, I’m very vigilant in not packing certain types of things.  Some things go in your checked luggage, some go in your carry ons, and depending on space, some things can go either way. It doesn’t seem like I should have to spell this out, but most every day that I fly someone mentions packing one of these items in their checked bagged.  Usually, it doesn’t present a problem, but DON’T PACK THESE ITEMS IN YOUR CHECKED LUGGAGE! Itinerary.  Keep a copy of your itinerary in your checked bag, but make sure that you have a copy with you as well.  If your bag does go missing, you’ll need to know what reservations you have, confirmation numbers, phone numbers, etc.  I keep my itinerary on my phone and computer as well, but have it […]

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Back to Basics: 8 Ways to Get to the Airport on Time

With all the rushing around during the holiday season, one place you won’t want to be rushing to is the airport. While you can get away with being fashionably late to your office or party or neighborhood gift exchange, airport counters and security lines are not that forgiving. This will be a busy travel season, despite the recession, and if you’re one of the ones who’ll be flying it’s time now to start planning on how you’ll be getting to the airport. As you’re making plans, remember to leave plenty of time to get to the airport, and make sure you take into account heavier traffic, less parking places, and longer security lines. Here are some options on how you can get to the airport.  Pick one that is economical – both in price and in stress level! Drive yourself […]

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Quilt Museum at University of Nebraska – Lincoln

  As the weather gets colder, I’ve been pulling my quilts out of the closet and getting them on the beds in the house.  Most of my quilts were made by family members, and have great meaning in both the design and the love and care that went into making them. Quilting is an art form that also shares a history – of a family, a community, a culture, or a country. The International Quilt Study Center & Museum is dedicated to the preservation, study and exhibition of quilts and to sharing the resources with the public. On display you’ll find a selection of approximately 50-75 quilts.  In addition to the permanent galleries, you’ll find rotating current exhibits include. The Museum is located at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (1523 North 33rd Street, Lincoln, Nebraska) and is open Tuesday – Saturday […]

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Back to Basics: Holiday Dinners on the Road

Whether you’re traveling during the holidays to celebrate with loved ones, or perhaps to get away from those same loved ones, sometimes you’d just prefer a holiday dinner in a restaurant, rather than at home. And, for those of use who find that we must work and travel over holidays, like many airline personnel, there are options that allow us to celebrate even though we can’t be at home. Most cities have restaurants that are open for major holiday, offering both their basic menu as well as special holiday fare. Zagat Buzz, the blog arm of the renowned Zagat Guides, lists a variety of restaurant that will be open on Thanksgiving.  If you’re looking for a nice meal out, you won’t go wrong with any of the finds listed here. For other ideas, check with local newspapers or city magazines […]

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Statuary at the Louvre in Paris

I spent some time today at a blogging conference, and met up with fellow travel-blogger Pam from Nerds Eye View.  As is often the case when travel bloggers get to talking, the discussion soon turns to places we’ve been, places we’re going, and places we want to go. Pam is a great photographer (click on her link above and go check out her stuff), and we also discussed how much photos added to the travel blog experience. So today, I’m sharing a photo taken on my trip to Paris last fall.  The photo was taken on a visit to the Louvre.  The statuary was in a garden atrium area of the museum, and is just one of hundreds of pieces on display. I recently had the opportunity to watch some sculptors at work, and that has given me a new […]

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Hauntings at Boston University

Haunting stories come out during Halloween time, and some interesting ones come from college campuses.  Whether they’re reports of true paranormal activity, or merely urban legends, I’ll let you decide. Boston University students, both former and current, have had their share of haunting habitats, with two sites rumored to be sources of paranormal activity.  Of course, this time of year the re-telling of these stories and legends circulate a little more widely! The Charlesgate Hotel (20 Myrtle Street, Beacon Hill area of Boston) was built in 1891, and since the beginning has been rumored to be a site for paranormal activity.  Once a Boston University dormitory, and later a dorm for Emerson college, there were many reports filed by students who claimed the building was haunted during the 1970-90’s.  Today, as the Charlesgate, an upscale residential property, the rumors seem […]

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Back to Basics: Find a Cheap Meal on a College Campus

It the food part of your travel budget is running a little low, but you just can’t face one more trip to the local grocery store for bread and peanut butter, try heading to a nearby college campus to find a hot meal for a reasonable price. While many students take their meals in their dorm dining halls, most campuses still have other student dining facilities.  Whether it’s a snack bar, cafe, full restaurant or bar, the prices are geared to a student budget.  Of course, the food is geared to a student palate as well, but if you’ve been subsisting on a diet of cold snacks, a burger may seem pretty darn tasty. Most non-dorm dining facilities are open to the greater campus community – meaning visitors as well as students.  Plan on using cash, as not all accept […]

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