Sunday Stories for April 13th, 2014

Sunday Stories for April 13th, 2014

I had a great time in Chicago, sampling the food, beverage, and entertainment that the Windy City has to offer. I had the opportunity to visit some famous landmarks, see a preview of Motown:  The Musical (it wowed me), and even met the mayor, Rahm Emmanuel. It was a jam packed four days, giving me just a couple of days and home before heading off to Athens, Greece.

Shores of Lake Michigan, Chicago

The shores of Lake Michigan, taken from the 95th floor of the John Hancock building in Chicago.

I’m in Athens right now for the Athens Travel Trade Fair as part of my responsibilities as Conference Director for TBEX. We’ll be having our European conference here in the fall (October 23-25, contact me if you think this is something you might be interested in), and this is a chance for me to check out the venue and meet the people I’ll be working with to help make things all come together. I should have time to see a few notable sites as well, so look for some photos while I’m on the road.

The Heartbleed Hit List: The Passwords You Need to Change Right Now

You may have heard about this on television, read about it, or very likely gotten emails about it from services and websites you use. The Heartbleed is one nasty little hacker bit and you need to figure out what needs to be changed and what is just fine. This handy list really helped me as I go through the process of changing and updating everything.

An encryption flaw called the Heartbleed bug is already being called one of the biggest security threats the Internet has ever seen. The bug has affected many popular websites and services — ones you might use every day, like Gmail and Facebook — and could have quietly exposed your sensitive account information (such as passwords and credit card numbers) over the past two years.

Innovative Products From The International Travel Goods Show

I love my gadgets and gear, and am always on the lookout for products that help me do what I want to do, and do it more efficiently. I missed TGS this year, but thankfully pal Cacinda Maloney caught me up. Does anything here strike your fancy?

The Travel Goods Show is set up to debut all the latest travel gadgets that you will need (or want) to fly around the country (or in my case the world) in style (and comfort).  The theme of the show appeared to be lighter luggage, the fancy spinner wheels, a better travel pillow/devices and four point backpacks. Also, a lot of the latest in technology has infiltrated the travel market as well.

13 Sweet Spots in Tokyo

I only had a few opportunities to sample the sweets in Tokyo, but armed with this creatively sketched map of recommendations, I go could back and hit up a whole lot more. Are any of your favorites listed here?

These are my favorite pastry shops in Tokyo. I especially love the apricot cake from Cafe Zinc!!(in the lower left corner) It really goes well with their coffee.

The 2014 Smithsonian Photo Contest Finalists

Lots of good photography here, no surprise, so set aside some time to oooh and aaah over it all. And then go vote for your favorite(s).

Smithsonian has just announced the 60 finalists for their 11th Annual Photo Contest. The winning entries were selected by Smithsonian editors from over 50,000 submissions by photographers from 132 countries around the world.

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Mary Jo Manzanares is a traveler, travel blogger, and podcaster. In addition to her blog, Traveling with MJ, she hosts the Where Else to Go podcast, and is the founder and the editor-in-chief of The Traveler’s Way, an online travel magazine. Her travel ethos is value luxury - luxury for real people - and her goal is to help travelers know when to splurge and when to save. Mary Jo has been a speaker at various industry events around the world. When she’s not traveling, Mary Jo likes lingering over a cup of coffee, wandering in a museum, sipping wine at a cafe, and sharing it all with friends and readers. Her most recent travels were to Stockholm, a Baltic cruise, and Universal Orlando Resort.

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