Archive for January, 2012

Airplane Ticket

Looking for cheap airfares? Well, you might notice a couple changes now that the Department of Transportation’s new airfare regulations are in effect. One of the new federal guidelines makes it harder for airlines to hide airfare taxes and fees from consumers.

Published airfares — online, on billboards, in print and over the phone — must include all taxes and fees. That means that that when you book your flight with an airline, ticket agents or online booking site (e.g. Expedia, Orbitz, Kayak), the taxes and fees that were added on at the end of a transaction will now be posted up front for you to see. But, wait there’s more you should know.

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Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

On MLK Day, we remember the life and struggles of Martin Luther King Jr., an African-American civil rights leader, who pushed the envelope, with countless others, to demand equal treatment of African-Americans and people of color.

Remembering the passionate, non-violent champion for civil rights is extra special today. For the first time, visitors can reflect on the man and his life, at the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, located on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

Dozens of people flocked to the memorial for a ceremony to remember King. Harry Johnson, the president and CEO of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, laid a wreath at the foot of the memorial this morning.

Rev. Al Sharpton and senior advisor to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar attended the ceremony. You may recall that Salazar recently gave the National Park Service a month to fix an abbreviated version of a quote, etched into the statue centerpiece of the memorial. The quote is from King’s 1968 sermon, The Drum Major Instinct. Writer Maya Angelou and other critics said the current version of the quote made King sound uncharacteristically egotistical.

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African American Civil War Memorial and Museum

If you’re in town over the long MLK weekend, chances are you may see the major memorials and monuments on the National Mall: Vietnam, Korean, Lincoln, Washington, maybe World War II, FDR and Jefferson, too. But don’t let those be your only sightseeing destination. Beyond the National Mall, DC is home to dozens of memorials with equally stirring stories — they may get less attention than the big names, but they’re no less compelling. Here are several worth paying a visit:

African American Civil War Memorial: The Civil War saw African Americans granted the right to fight in defense of their country. The African American Civil War Memorial, at the corner of Vermont Avenue, (pictured) honors the 209,145 such men who fought for the Union.

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MLK Memorial

As our country’s history of racial inequality and segregation recedes slowly into the past, generations of future Washington, DC visitors will find it hard to fathom a time when African-Americans did not have the same rights as white Americans. But the civil rights movement isn’t just history. It’s part of the recent past, especially for those who can still recall a time when they had to move to the back of the bus, attend different schools and drink from separate water fountains.

We all learn about Lincoln and Jefferson in school, but none of us were alive to witness their accomplishments. That’s what makes the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial so unique. For many visitors, the struggle for racial equality is an all-too-recent memory. It’s deeply personal, especially for those who lived through the marches and heard the speeches of the civil rights movement.

Jim Abercrombie, a DC resident who has visited the memorial many times since it officially opened this past August, says, “[The memorial] means more to us because of the struggle we saw [MLK] go through to try to bring people together and have peace, and he finally got recognized for it.”

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Costa Concordia Cruise Liner Sinking Off the Coast of Tuscany

Three people were found alive Sunday morning, more than 24 hours after rocks tore a 160-foot gash in the hull of a cruise ship, off the coast of Tuscany. Rescue crews found the purser of the Costa Concordia trapped in the ship’s restaurant, suffering from hypothermia. A South Korean couple was also found trapped in the ship, which was nearly 50 percent submerged in the Tyrrhenian Sea.

The ship, carrying 4,000 passengers and crew members, ran aground on Friday, and authorities say up to 41 people are still missing. At least 3 people were killed, and 20 others were found with injuries.  Survivors, some comparing the experience to the movie “Titanic,” spoke of a chaotic and terrifying scene where passengers pushed and shoved their way to get onto lifeboats, while others leapt overboard into the sea.

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Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

With the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial opening to the public just last summer, this will be the first MLK Day you’ll be able to visit the memorial. If Monday draws even a fraction of the thousands of people who attended the memorial’s dedication in August, plan ahead and prepare for crowds.

Here’s what you’ll need to know when planning your visit:

Location
Off the Mall, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial is located in a remote and beautiful 4-acre site in West Potomac Park along the Tidal Basin. It’s close to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial and on a direct line between the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials (which makes for a fantastic view and plenty of photo ops).  The official address of the memorial, 1964 Independence Ave, SW, commemorates the year that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 became law.

How to Get There
Like all the memorials on the National Mall, parking is extremely limited so your best bet is to take public transportation and prepare to walk a bit. The closest Metro stations are Smithsonian and Foggy Bottom. For a longer but more scenic walk, get off at Arlington National Cemetery and walk over the Arlington Memorial Bridge, crossing the Potomac with the Lincoln Memorial ahead of you. Metro has helpful walking directions from all these spots, which you can find here.

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Food From The Source

Where to Eat
Nestled along the Tidal Basin with a majestic view of the Jefferson Memorial, the MLK Memorial spans 4 acres in the quiet southwest corner of the National Mall. The remote site is suitable to a memorial of its style and size, but it’s also lacking in obvious places to eat when your out-of-town-guest’s (or your own) stomach starts growling. So before you visit, know your options.

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travel pinterest

Lately, we at Travel Channel have been getting hooked on Pinterest. This social network’s pinboard-community format is excellent for finding and sharing travel inspiration and planning vacations. Here’s our Pinterest page: http://pinterest.com/travelchannel

If you’ve got a case of wanderlust like we do, Pinterest is great for finding interesting destinations to visit, things to do, fun travel tips and tools, and lots more. To start, we’ve been pinning some of our favorite travel photos, quotes, destinations and travel activities that are on our “bucket list,” ideas for future trips, and we’ve also been repinning travel photos that we love from other Pinterest users. Here are some of our other favorite travelers on Pinterest:

ThriftyTravelMama
STA Travel
Croft Global Travel
Southwest Airlines
Lina Widiasana
Kelly Harmon
Julie Norton

Some of our sister networks are on Pinterest too – you can follow Food Network, Cooking ChannelHGTV, and DIY Network for all kinds of home & food inspiration. We hope you’ll follow us and join in the travel fun on Pinterest!

by Matthew Karsten,
ExpertVagabond.com

 

South African Food

There are a wide variety of foods available in South Africa, from indigenous Khoisan, Xhosa and Zulu foods, to spicy Indian cuisine brought over with thousands of Indian workers in the 19th century, to plenty of colonial Afrikaans dishes, too. You’ll find something delicious for all tastes and budgets.

At the high end, there are many 5-star restaurants to get any hardcore foodie excited, such as Le Quartier Francais. Included in many top 50 and top 10 lists for restaurants around the world, the restaurant’s multi-course meals will please your taste buds as well as your eyes. One bite of its beetroot sponge with cucumber-dill granita and yogurt will have you longing for more.

At the low end, bunny chow is found in many South African towns with a strong Indian population. It’s a spicy meat or vegetable curry served in a bowl made from a white bread loaf. A great late-night snack to satisfy your hunger. READ MORE

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A 22-year-old Australian woman is thankful to be alive, after her bungee jump in Africa went horribly wrong. Erin Langworthy wanted to celebrate New Year’s Eve with an adrenaline rush. So she decided to take an111-meter bungee jump off the Victoria Falls Bridge, located on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The adventurous traveler jumped from the bridge, plunging head-first into the croc-infested waters of the Zambezi River, when her bungee cord snapped. The entire event was caught on video. Langworthy is seen hitting the water with her feet still tied before being swept towards edge of the river. She was able to swim to the Zimbabwe side of the river and haul herself out. Langworthy was flown to a South African hospital with a fractured collar bone and massive bruising.

Well, bungee jumping isn’t for the faint of heart, but we wanted to share this amazing video and more details about this gut-wrenching story. So do you think this will show up on an episode of When Vacations Attack?

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