Archive for April, 2013

Tonight at 9|8c, Airport 24/7: Miami is back with 2 all-new episodes! Are you ready to see what goes down in season 2 at one of the largest airports in the US?

First at 9|8c, 2 fully-loaded international flights collide on the jetway, causing hours of expensive delays and headaches for everyone involved.

Then at 9:30|8:30c, the worst accident in MIA’s history happens when a bus crashes into an overpass — it quickly escalates into a life-or-death situation as paramedics rush to the scene.

When an airport sees off over 38 million passengers a year, things are always bound to happen. See what happens tonight at Miami International Airport!

Learn more about the massive airport and what keeps it running, and check out these behind-the-scenes photos!

Photo Courtesy of Susan Balsley

My amazing adventure in 2012 was an adventure … that was almost not meant to be. Due to an intense 10U travel baseball schedule, my family was not planning on a 2012 vacation, beyond a visit to beautiful Omaha, NE, for a baseball tournament and to pay a visit to the NCAA Men’s College World Series. Unfortunately, the team, and ultimately our plans for that trip, fell through and we were faced with time, and money, still left to spend. When in doubt, go Disney, or go home!

Along with my parents, we were able to find a time share available close to the Disney property.   Within 2 weeks, the van was packed up and we were ready to start our adventure! Traveling with a 10 year old, 6 year old and a 2 year old, we had TVs hooked up and iPods charged to get us through to Valdosta, GA, where we stopped for the night, outlasting 6 rush-hour car accidents in the Atlanta metro area. The next morning, we set out for the last few hours of our drive into Orlando. We met my parents, who flew in from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG), at the resort and settled in, each with our own unit (we learned THAT lesson the hard way!). Our resort was packed full with miniature golf, pools, cabanas, batting cage, paddle boats and a huge inflatable waterslide.

On this trip, I decided we were going to play it by ear. We chose Sunday to visit SeaWorld, which is actually my kids’ park of choice. The crowd was minimal, I’m guessing due to travel weekend and others choosing to start their vacation at the Disney theme parks. My 2 year old got to see Elmo & Friends in a live show, while my 2 older children decided to sit in Shamu’s “Splash Zone” and found that description to be accurate! That show turned into the purchase of a couple of beach towels to dry off. We ventured on to other shows: dolphins, walruses,  sea lions and more.

We did stop by Dolphin Cove. However, we played by the rules and did NOT hold our plates over the water for the dolphins to jump at! We fed stingrays some dead fish (yick!) and were able to pet them as they zipped past us in their tank. We moved on to the water ride Atlantis and then to the Kraken and Manta, which my 10 year old declared the “BEST ROLLER COASTER EVER!” We ended our night with Shamu Rocks, and rock we did!

We took the next day off and hung around our resort. Pretty low-key. The following day was Magic Kingdom day! As expected, we shared the park with over 100,000 of our closest friends, many coming from far and wide. Our Fastpasses were a huge success for rides like Space Mountain, Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. The little ones enjoyed It’s a Small World, again and again and again. We visited with Disney princesses and the stars of the park, Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

The day ended with an extended stay in the parking lot due to a diaper bag snafu whereby my parents left the park to take the 2 year old back to the resort, along with the car keys! A family leaving at the same time was kind enough to offer us drinks/snacks from their cooler in their car to get us through the wait.

Again, the following day was an off day, and we visited more family staying at Bonnet Creek resorts. The boys golfed at the Waldorf Astoria, while the girls hit the pool and lazy river. Poolside entertainment included an adult women vs. men trivia game, of which I was on the losing end. (Who knew I would ever need to know the words to the Flintstones theme song?!) Our last day in Orlando was spent at Downtown Disney, where we ate at the Rainforest Café (and were served by someone who is from our hometown and had my brother as a teacher!). We also had a Louisville Slugger bat engraved, and turned my 6 year old into a Fairy Mermaid Princess.

At the end of the long week, we packed up the van and headed home. We drove through the night to take advantage of sleepy children. While impromptu, our adventure made memories to last us a lifetime. Every single day, my now 3 year old asks me, “Mama, are we going on bacation today? I want to see the whales.” And every day I shake my head gently and say, “No, not today, but maybe soon.” Just maybe …

- Written by  Susan Balsley

Photography by Orlando World Center Marriott

Less than 2 miles from Disney World, this all-encompassing resort unfolds across 200 well-manicured acres of lush, hibiscus-covered land. More »

 

Tonight on the series premiere of Red, White and New, host Steve Watson travels the country in search of America’s newest gadgets, coolest vehicles and the strangest new skills. At 10|9c, watch as Steve highlights some of the best “only in America” stories.

In the first episode, Steve attempts to glide over the ocean on a Flyboard, one of the coolest new inventions in water sports — luckily, after 5 minutes of crash-landings, he gets the hang of it. He also gets to race a Ferrari at Las Vegas’ Dream Racing and play stuntman with a special effects scientist.

Then at 10:30|9:30c, Steve zips around both land and sea on a brand-new Quadski, an amphibious vehicle that can reach speeds of up to 40 mph in the water. He also sees an IED explode under an armored car and gets inside the hamster-wheel-shaped VirtuSphere for a seriously awesome gaming experience.

Be sure to tune in tonight for even more awesome inventions, from a compressed-air pogo stick to an exploding watermelon. Plus, get a sneak peek at some of the other amazing feats of innovation that Steve explores this season.

Tonight at its new time — 9|8c — an all-new episode of Burger Land follows hamburger expert George Motz as he heads down to New Orleans to find some of the most unique burger creations the Big Easy has to offer.

How about a cheeseburger served up on a crispy, yet fluffy, loaf of po’ boy bread? Or a smoky, gooey burger slathered with marinated mushrooms and shredded cheddar cheese? Hungry yet? We sure are!

Tune in tonight for a little of NOLA’s rich burger history and a lot of juicy burger goodness. But before you do, go to our My Favorite Burger community, and show us where you find your favorite burgers!

Photography by Getty Images

Move over Men At Workthere’s a new group singing a tune about the Land Down Under, and they go by the name of Tom and Robin. Trip Flip host Bert Kreischer was dancing up and down the streets of Los Angeles when he came across the very lucky, adventurous couple. Little did they know, they would be given an amazing, all-expenses-paid trip to Sydney.

After taking to the sky in style (first class on a double-decker, Qantas A380 with 5-star cuisine, endless champagne and top-of-the-line amenities) Bert and our 2 lucky vacationers hit the road, heading west towards the Blue Mountains to go canyoning through waterfalls. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

To find out more about Tom and Robin’s amazing adventure to the Land Down Under, tune in for an all-new episode, tonight at 8|7c.

And if that’s not enough, check out these exclusive, behind-the-scenes photos from Trip Flip: Sydney.

Courtesy of Alila Manggis

This week in our travel blog round-up, find out how your favorite novels and legends are becoming reality.

Could the fabled sword in the stone of the days of King Arthur actually exist?  Once thought of as just a folk tale, the sword in the stone in Italy’s Montesiepi Chapel dates back to 1100 AD, meaning the legend  could have originated in Italy — not England.  Check out Excalibur in Tuscany, and decide for yourself whether the relic is authentic or just a myth.

In honor of the highly anticipated Great Gatsby film, fans can experience the roaring 20s with a stay at a Gatsby-themed hotel suite. Channel your inner Daisy or Jay, and book a room at one of these hotels.

With rooftop pools, stunning views and unique decors, new hotels seem to be getting more innovative and luxurious every year — check out Conde Nast Traveler’s list of the world’s best new hotels for 2013.

There are 58 US national parks in total, but which ones are the best? Check out Fodor’s selection of the must-see parks to visit this year.

What even more travel highlights from this week? Then visit our This Week in Photos slideshow!

San Antonio

Without a doubt, San Antonio is best known for The Alamo — the site where numerous Texans gave their lives during the Texas War of Independence. The city capitalizes on The Alamo’s popularity and offers numerous tours of the mission, as well as tours of other 18th-century missions in the San Antonio Missions National Historic Park.

San Antonio is a cultural city as well. La Villita, the oldest neighborhood in San Antonio, boasts an old-fashioned market, complete with wool blankets and turquoise and silver jewelry. During the spring and summer, festivals are held almost every week and flamenco dancers often perform. To escape the oppressive summer heat, the young and hip cool down with maragaritas on River Walk, a winding street lined with restaurants and bars. The city has plenty for kids as well, with numerous amusement parks, bike paths, parks and gardens, and a zoo.

The downtown area is a popular place to stay, as it is close to the River Walk as well as numerous other attractions and businesses. The Mokara is undoubtedly the most luxurious option; swanky amenities include a beautiful rooftop pool, a premium spa and fine dining. The nearby Hyatt Regency, with a large pool with poolside dining, and spacious rooms with iPod docks, flat-screen TVs and “pack and play” sets upon request, is a family-friendly hotel. Budget-conscious travelers may consider the Four Points in the downtown area.

- Oyster.com

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