Sunday Stories for May 4th, 2014

Motown the Musical Chicago preview

It’s been a great week to be around Seattle, the weather giving us a taste of Pacific Northwest summer. I’ve completed a very busy month of travel and am looking forward to spending some time closer to home.

While I’ve been traveling, though, I’ve had a chance to put a few travel products through their paces, so will have some reviews coming up over the few weeks. Stay tuned for those, along with a giveaway or two.

lotus at Kenilworth Gardens, DC

Now, on to this week’s recommended reading.

Chocolate Pecan Bourbon Cookies

While a Derby hatand private box is a once of year splurge, these Derby-themed bourbon cookies are a delicious splurge any time of the year. Pair with a favorite beverage and good friends and you’ll have a winning trifecta.

A sea of colorful hats fill the venue. Big, bold, bright, floppy ones are all around. They are adorned with flowers, feathers, ribbons, lace, veils, and more. It is a scene that happens each year as horse racing enthusiasts gather for the Kentucky Derby. The weekend is filled with food, beverages, fashion, flowers, and horses.

Science Says Stress Is Contagious

The results of this study won’t be a surprise to anyone familiar with group dynamics, merely giving empirical evidence and analysis to what we’ve known all along – hanging out with people stressing out will lead to your own stress out. Now let’s have a follow up on how to avoid it.

See someone yawn on the subway, and you know there’s a pretty high probability that you’re going to be yawning. But new research says that there’s another contagion out there that you can catch just through simple observation: Stress.

Here’s How to Ask for — and Get — an Upgrade

Whether you’re looking for an upgrade on your next flight, or  hoping for a suite at your next hotel check in, this article has practical and accurate advice on how to make it happen. Have you tried any of these? What’s your success rate?

Airline upgrades are almost exclusively done by formula, with little discretion allowed to gate or check-in counter agents.

Motown the Musical Chicago preview

Riding to Reno on the “Motown Snow Train”

Last month I had the opportunity to see a preview of Motown the Movie, a Broadway musical now touring the country. It tells the story of Barry Gordy and the various performers whose careers he helped launch. One of the performances was “Dancing in the Street,” a tribute to Martha and the Vandella’s. Turns out that blogging pal, and former Seattle-ite, Dick Jordan, had the opportunity to hear and meet Martha Reeves in person.

Martha performed twice during my “Motown” themed Snow Train trip last week, first singing and dancing with passengers in the train’s Dance Car.

Read original article here: Riding to Reno on the “Motown Snow Train”

Celebrate Jerry Seinfeld’s 60th Birthday

Sixty? Really? Make a list of your favorite Seinfeld episodes and then see how your list stacks up. As I read through this top 10 list, I realized I remembered every single one. How about you?

Happy Birthday Jerry Seinfeld, you’re 60 years old. How about celebrating this milestone with a walk back in time, through some of the top Seinfeld episodes? In honor of Jerry’s 60th, here are the top 10 Seinfeld episodes, according to TV.com user ratings.

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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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