October is one of my favorite months with the Exceeding Expectations kids. As you all know, our top priority for the kids is, and always will be, education. That said, every October we participate in two athletic events that I feel are significant in laying the groundwork necessary for them to be successful in the academic world and in their adult lives. The first of these events is the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) triathlon, aptly called “The Best Day in Triathlon.” Here’s a brief overview from their website: “In 1994, three friends started a triathlon fundraiser to help one man regain his independence after a tragic accident left him a quadriplegic. From one came many, and Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) took root in the belief that sports and an active lifestyle are a pathway to more in life. Since that fundraiser 25 years ago, CAF has been committed to breaking the financial barrier that individuals with physical challenges face to participate in sports and live a healthy and active lifestyle.” Participating alongside challenged athletes in a very tough race gives our kids an additional perspective on their own lives. The racers on the course with them face obstacles that they
Tag Archives: AOL Travel
Check out the newly launched Expedia app for iPhone! According to various news sources, the free app will also be available on additional smartphones (e.g., Android) and tablets in a few weeks. According to the New York Times, the Expedia app “uses the device’s location-based service to search hotel availability, but travelers can also input a destination. The results are displayed on an interactive map or in list form. Each hotel listing includes a slide show tour, along with its features and star rating. Once the hotel is booked, the details can be shared via e-mail or text, and added to the device’s calendar.” Download the free app here. Take yourself to a summer ballgame with AirTran Airway’s baseball special! The airlines is offering discounted airfare to and from various destinations in the U.S., including: Atlanta to Washington, D.C. $198, Baltimore to Boston $86, San Francisco to Jacksonville $308. Book by April 14, 2011 for travel through November 2, 2011. A ten-day advance purchase is required and blackout dates apply. (Via Frommer’s) Anyone like the sound of a 12-night cruise in the Mediterranean? Royal Caribbean International is offering a tour by sea of Italy, Greece and Turkey starting as low
Monday, February 21st is Presidents’ Day in the U.S. and a day off for many folks in the U.S. If you’re contemplating a kid-friendly excursion, consider the Omni Parker House in downtown Boston. The hotel is offering a Wet-n-Wild Aquarium Package starting at $142 per night. Price includes hotel, breakfast buffet at the Parker Restaurant, tickets to the New England Aquarium for each registered guest, a disposable camera, and milk and cookies and a goodie-filled Omni Kids backpack. Boston is a great city for some education on American history! Book by December 31, 2011. (Via Budget Travel) Sonoma Valley, with it’s acres of vineyards and rolling hillsides, includes some of California’s best scenery. The wine region also offers great accommodations, including the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, a luxurious spa resort not far from downtown Sonoma. Book anytime before November 2011 and pay as low as $239 per night, including breakfast. We weren’t able to determine the “non-sale” price, but we can tell you that $239/night is quite a bargain for staying in a place this nice in Sonoma Valley. (Via Travel + Leisure) What’s your plan for spring break in April? May we recommend Los Angeles, where we are headquartered?
Even though I’ve been a frequent traveler for many years now, I’m not always clear on tipping etiquette in various scenarios. Because I worry about offending people (and getting the evil eye), I tend to tip too often and too much. In contrast, I have friends who rarely tip outside of “traditional” situations, e.g., at restaurants — not because they’re cheap but because they don’t know better. This MSNBC article, with input from etiquette experts at the Emily Post Institute, offers great general advice on tipping: The most common tipping mistake is not tipping. 15% is the general rule-of-thumb. At restaurants, tip on the total bill minus tax. If you order wine from the sommelier, tip that person in cash at the end of the meal. If you order cocktails before the meal at your table, tip the bartender. If you’re unhappy with the service, leave the customary 15% and speak to a manager. Always tip waiters and waitresses but not: doctors, dry cleaners, dentists or therapists. There is no such thing as overtipping. However, don’t bribe “the maitre d’ to give you a better table” — that’s insulting. Leave tips on the side of the bed for housekeeping at hotels and bed & breakfasts. For
Despite the rise in travel costs, it’s still possible to score discount deals — if you search long and hard enough. We’d like to make that process a little easier on you by introducing a weekly post of the best Travel Tuesday deals that we find across an aggregate of sites. For Tuesday, 1/11/11, here are a few that you might find compelling: JetBlue is offering $39 one-way fares in select U.S. cities, including: San Francisco, Chicago, Las Vegas and New York. Book by 1/13/2011. (Via Priceline.com) Continental wants you to get your Mardi Gras on in New Orleans with round-trip discounted tickets from various U.S. cities, including: Boston ($245), Houston ($184), Los Angeles ($331), New York ($297) and Washington D.C. ($281). (Via AOL Travel) Tour the Grand Canyon in luxury with the $1447 Grand Canyon by Trail package for two. Offer includes three nights at the Enchantment Resort (breakfast included) and one day of sightseeing by mini-coach. (Via AOL Travel) If you’re a Monet fan, jet over to Paris with the Concorde Hotels & Resorts package, which starts at $265 for overnight accommodations at one of six hotels and 2 priority tickets to the Monet exhibition at the Grand