Sunday Stories for March 30th, 2014

Tomorrow morning I’ll be heading off to San Francisco for CMM (Canada Media Marketplace), a hosted event put on by the various tourism agencies and departments in Canada. I’ve attended this event for a number of years and always love learning about the latest happenings and visitor offerings in our neighbor to the north. I’m already starting to think about when and where to make this year’s trip up north. Any suggestions?

Now, on to some of the stories that caught my eye this week. Please leave a comment and let me know which of these you enjoyed.

Hawaiian hibiscus

Top Sights to See in Waikiki

I’m one of the lucky people who get to Hawaii monthly (if not more often), but it’s fun to take a look at familiar places through the eyes of these first time visitors. Many people dismiss Waikiki as “too touristy,” but don’t let that put you off. If you’re on Oahu, you need to make a visit.

Waikiki Beach is the stretch of shoreline fronting the Honolulu neighborhood in Hawaii. It’s hard to imagine now but the area was formally used as a retreat and a surfing sight by the Hawaiian royalty in the 1800s.

Street Art in the British Virgin Islands

I haven’t been to the BVIs, but I’ve no doubt that the increase in tourism over the years has caused some changes. I wish I’d had the opportunity to visit before the changes, but now I’ll have to be content with experiencing it through the island’s street art. I enjoyed the murals in Belfast, so I’m sure I’d like this peek into island history as well.

Like much of the rest of the world, the pace of life here in Tortola is changing. While much is for the better, these portraits touch on the nostalgia or knowledge that good things too are lost from the past.

The Art of Feeding People

Maybe one person can’t make a difference, but what if one person can influence a bunch of other people, who can influence still more. Surely that can make a difference. This inspiring idea is one that I hope will take off. Who’s with me? Can you feed someone this month?

Once a month, I feed someone. I find someone on the street and I give them something. Sometimes it is a couple of empanadas. Sometimes it is a small bag of fruit. Sometimes some crackers. Maybe an ice cream for the child sitting with a woman on the corner who is selling candy to pay for her children’s next meal, one child latched to her leg, another tied to her back.

Wrath Winery wine cat

The Best Red Wine For Beginners

It wouldn’t be a Sunday round up with a wine story (or two), and for those people just dipping their toe in the diverse world of red wine, this is a good starting point.

There are 6 red wines and most fly under the radar, but as it happens they are some of the best red wines for beginners. Learn what Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Shiraz, Carménère, Monastrell and Garnacha have in common as examples of excellent wines to start your adventure into wine.

French Lesson: A Study of Wine & Cheese in Paris

And if you’ve already developed a nose and palate for a glass of the grape, there’s nothing like a taste testing session to help you discern what pairs well together. Wine and cheese? Yes please!

I love cheese. I also love wine. I particularly love cheese with wine. Preferably in France…with a baguette…sitting at a café…inhaling second-hand smoke. The mere thought of creamy, full-fat, non-pasteurized cheese makes this turophile’s mouth water. And the wine, oh the wine! I’m convinced that everything just tastes better in France.

Read original article here: French Lesson: A Study of Wine & Cheese in Paris

Hold your beverage in a wine glass while you bathe

I agree that this is a perfect object. One of my simple pleasures is lounging in a hot bubble bath with a glass of wine. This solves, in a practical way, the problem of what to do with the glass. Has anyone seen this somewhere in stock?

Here is a perfect object. It is sold out, which is understandable: I would pay $20, easily, for such a vivrant thing.

What To Do When You Lose Your Bank Card While Traveling

Maybe you’re had this experience, losing your ATM card, not the dog eating one. Did you (or would you) know what to do? Here’s one example of how to make it work until you get a replacement.

Yeah, there she was chewing away, yup just chewing away at a piece of plastic. I never thought plastic could taste so good. Apparently to her it’s amazing but unfortunately for me it is a flavor she enjoys. What am I talking about?


Airbnb, sees influx of business travelers

I’m a fan of staying at an apartment anytime I’m in the same place for longer than a few days. Or, when I’m traveling with friends and a multi-bedroom apartment saves substantial money over multiple hotel rooms. It saves money, it gives me more space, and it’s fun. It seems that business travelers are now getting in on the act, pushing Airbnb’s valuation right up with some hotel chains. When do you prefer to stay in an apartment?

Staying in a hotel for four weeks in a row is just no fun. It’s so valuable to find a centrally located Airbnb space big enough for our team to work out of.

Ford Just Absolutely Destroyed Cadillac’s Ad 

Parody. It’s a wonderful thing. And it’s creeping into the ad world with increasing success. Have you seen this one?

Ford is giving Americans a choice: Either you can be a self-absorbed Cadillac owner who spends his entire life working so he can buy expensive things, or a civic-minded Ford owner who pours her heart and soul into a project aimed at making the world a better place.


How to Increase Your Chances of an Early Check-In At a Hotel

This is a frequent problem on those red-eye flights to Europe. I mean, what are you going to do at 6 a.m. after a nine-plus hour uncomfortable flight on an airplane? Here are some practical tips for how to ease that pain and get into your room as early as possible.

When you make a hotel reservation, do you always hate seeing the dreaded description, “Check in time is at 3pm”? You’re well aware that your flight gets in at 6am in the morning and you want to get to the hotel as soon as possible.

Sea of Cortez: Conserving the World’s Aquarium

This sounds lovely, doesn’t it? Be sure to click through to see the even lovelier photos.

Imagine an impossibly beautiful place where the Sonoran Desert meets a clear blue ocean that is teeming with life – colonies of playful and mischievous sea lions, flying mobulas (manta rays that leap out of the water) and endemic species of reef fishes (that only occur in that part of the world), large colonies of seabirds nesting and soaring overhead, humpback whales breaching, and blue whales and large schools of dolphins cruising past.

Read original article here: Sea of Cortez: Conserving the World’s Aquarium

1,280 Artworks Stolen by the Nazis

It seems like something right out of the movies (and if you haven’t seen or read Monuments Men, I recommend it). How could these precious works have been hidden for decades? Read this article and start understanding just what happened.

It was the greatest art theft in history: 650,000 works looted from Europe by the Nazis, many of which were never recovered. But last November the world learned that German authorities had found a trove of 1,280 paintings, drawings, and prints worth more than a billion dollars in the Munich apartment of a haunted white-haired recluse.


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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