Sunday Stories for August 24th, 2014

This weekend, I’m off to the Yakima Valley (in the central part of Washington State) for some sipping (beer, wine, spirits) and local eating. It’s been a number of years since I’ve made the drive over, a real shame since this is a lovely part of the state, and I’m eager to see what’s changed.

This is agricultural country. Sure, grapes and hops are plentiful, but there’s also plenty of delicious stone fruit, apples, and more. How much more? That’s part of the mission for the weekend. Let the sipping and tasting begin!

sunbathers on Daytona Beach

Let’s Stop Pretending It’s Bad to Bring Devices on Vacation

Digital detox? Not me. I rely on my gadgets for far more than just getting work done. And, being able to take care of a little work each morning and night (no more than an hour each session) means I can stay on vacation longer than I might otherwise be able to. Used wisely, gadgets help us.

It’s time to stop feeling guilty about bringing mobile devices on vacation. Although it is a great idea to unplug , soak up the outdoors , enjoy the company of our  loved ones, and force ourselves to detach from the 24-hour work cycle, it’s time to stop acting surprised about the importance we place on the devices — especially when on the road.

The Hermosa Inn – Hotel Review

I’m always on the look out for charming boutique hotels, and this one sounds lovely. The Phoenix area makes for a great getaway weekend, so give this one a try.

I found a relaxing oasis in the middle of a big city and it is called The Hermosa Inn. It is a small luxury boutique hotel located in the Phoenix suburb of Paradise Valley, Arizona. The Inn was originally built as a home and studio by western artist Lon Megargee. From it’s beginning as a studio it has been transformed into a luxury Inn with 34 rooms, spa and award-winning restaurant.

We took a nostalgic look around Seattle’s Living Computer Museum

Closer to home. . . have you heard of this musuem? I hadn’t. Will put it on my list to check out later this year.

If you’re reading this site, chances are you’ve got a growing collection of obsolete, outdated tech in a closet somewhere, stuff you’re certain will be “collector’s items” some day. Seattle’s Living Computer Museum, created by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, is full of that kind of history, detailing computer milestones from the past few decades.

NFL Asks Musicians for Money to Play Super Bowl

It’s not just writers who are being asked to write for free (or “exposure”) anymore. A-List performers are being asked to perform for free (which they already do), but subsidize the SuperBowl. Current financial arrangements have performers waiving any appearance fee and the NFL picks up the tab for the expenses of the show. Rumor has it those expenses can easily creep up to the one million dollar mark. Still, no one is crying poor over at the NFL, and there seems to be money to pay everyone else, so this one just sits wrong with me.

When reaching out to artists, league representatives asked some acts if they would exchange a headlining slot for a portion of their post-Super Bowl tour earnings, or make another type of financial contribution to the NFL.

Twitter Chats 101: A Step-by-Step Guide To Hosting or Joining a Twitter Chat

Twitter chats have become a popular way to engage consumers on social media, but while the fast paced to-and-fro looks simple, there’s a lot of work behind staging a success one. Here are some great tips to think about. And, if you’re looking for a host for your twitter chat, that’s one of the services I provide through the Value Luxury Network.

Whether you’re a Twitter pro or newer to the network, whether you plan to host your own chat or if you look forward to participating in others, a bit of advance preparation could help.

And finally, a personal plug . I’m trying out a new format for photo essays, and my first one is a photo essay on Kuala Lumpur. Please take a few minutes to go take a look and let me know what you think.

Enjoy your week – it’s the last one in August!



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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