Archive for April, 2014

 

Author Jermel-Lynn Quillopo wearing plumeria and purple orchid leis.

Flowers play such an essential part of the Hawaiian culture and having them strung together into a lei symbolizes a form of Aloha. Aloha translates into phrases such as “hello”, “goodbye”, “I love you” and “thank you.” The gesture of the Aloha spirit also comes in the form of presenting beautifully fragrant leis during occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, and graduations.

The phrase “May Day is Lei Day”, dates back to 1928 when local newspaper writer Don Blanding wrote an article suggesting there be a day dedicated to the tradition of lei giving. If you’re ever on the islands on May Day (May 1st ), you’ll see many draped in colorful and beautifully fragrant leis made from an assortment of flowers such as cigar flowers, orchids and tea leaf.

The original lei stands started during Hawaii’s Boat Days era, when worldwide visitors arrived in big cruise ships into the Aloha Tower Harbor. These visitors would be welcomed with grass skirt wearing hula dancers, beautiful ukulele medleys and greeted with a lei to wear; making the lei Hawaiiʻs international symbol of Aloha.

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On this week’s episode of Hotel Impossible, host Anthony Melchiorri visits the scenic Catskills region of upstate New York to help hotel owners Al and Kathy Guart save their property, the Catskills Mountain Lodge, from going under.

To save the Catskills Mountain Lodge, Anthony enlists the help of designer Leslie Segrete to update the guest rooms and transform the activities room into an attractive and valuable addition to the property. Will Anthony and his team be able to keep the scenic hotel from being buried by the weight of its own problems?

Check out the exclusive photos of the renovated hotel.

Dock Street Theater in Charleston South Carolina

Historic Charleston offers a rich history around every corner. From Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor where the first shots of the Civil War rang out to Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon, a former prison and one of the locations where the Declaration of Independence was read, and with over a hundred hotels, they too hold a rich history, steeped in secrets from the past.

Last night’s Hotel Secrets & Legends featured a story about 2 escaped slaves from Georgia – Ellen and William Craft – who stayed at the then Planter’s Hotel (now the Dock Street Theatre) for one night. READ MORE

This Week in Photos
From the Coachella music festival to an ancient fertility ritual to the White House Easter Egg Roll, there are lots of celebrations to be had in this week in photos. But the fun doesn’t stop there, let’s get to our weekly travel blog roundup.

Johnny Jet has the scoop on the one airport to avoid this summer (if you can).

Want to go on the ultimate Nashville vacation? What to eat, drink, see and buy according to Music City-native Camels & Chocolate.

Skift presents the airplane seat design that could end the battle of the armrests.

If you’re headed to New Orleans for Jazz Fest this weekend and looking to try the best Po’ Boy, look no further. Eat Your World suggests a deep-fried seafood po’ boy from Parkway Bakery & Tavern.

World of Wanderlust presents 6 reasons to visit Italy in the spring (as if you need that many).

Verruckt waterslide at Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, KS

A drop higher than Niagara Falls and the Statue of Liberty, an incline that reaches the heights of the tallest wave ever surfed and a ride that will be faster than the planet’s fastest animal — the cheetah! Are you ready to climb the 264 steps to Verrückt? Before Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, KS, opens its doors Memorial Day weekend and debuts its newest ride, Verrückt, Guinness World Records (accompanied by a handful of major media and news outlets, including Travel Channel) will put Verrückt through its toughest test today — a measurement that will determine whether or not Verrückt is in fact, the tallest and fastest waterslide in the world!

Until the final judgment is declared, you be the judge! Go behind the scenes and watch the making of Verrückt. Tell us what you think in the comments below. Are you ready to ride, or are you terrified? And don’t miss all-new episodes of Xtreme Waterparks (featuring Verrückt) this summer on Travel Channel.

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New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

Photography by Getty Images

There’s no better way to experience the history, soul and charm of The Big Easy than at a festival. While Mardi Gras is the most popular and well-known festival in New Orleans, the celebrations don’t stop there. With more than 400,000 attendees each year, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, also known as Jazz Fest, is the city’s second most popular festival. 

Taking place from April 25 to May 4 this spring at the Fair Grounds Race Course, this 10-day, 2 weekend festival celebrates the music and culture of New Orleans and Louisiana with live music, authentic Louisiana cuisine and crafting. READ MORE

Photo Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

It’s never too early to start saving for next year’s vacation — particularly when you’re planning a $119,000 ultra-luxe splurge on board the brand-spanking-new Four Seasons Jet.

Indeed, the high-end hotel and resort company has decided the sky is quite literally the limit, unveiling the travel industry’s first fully-branded private jet experience on Wednesday.

Debuting in February 2015, the jet — a completely retrofitted Boeing 757 — will be emblazoned with “Four Seasons” on the fuselage, and have the company’s logo displayed on its tail. The redesigned plane will take 52 guests on bespoke tours around the globe and will include an in-flight staff, as well as a dedicated on-board concierge happy to book spa treatments or golf dates at pending destinations.
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#TCSpringFling

That’s right, our #31DaysofSpring campaign has drawn to a close, but that doesn’t mean we’re lacking warm-weather inspiration. In fact, since spring has sprung incredibly slowly for most of the country (thanks, polar vortex) you might just be getting around to that first warm weekend getaway. Remember, you can always revisit our Spring calendar for a month of travel ideas to take you into the summer.

We asked you to send us your best #TCSpringFling Instagram photos from your spring break, weekend getaway or even your commute home, and we received these beautiful, romantic and inspiring signs of spring. We’ve compiled the best into a slideshow for your viewing pleasure, please check out these 14 Enviable Spring Fling Photos.

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Salvador’s Pelourinho Neighborhood (Photo Courtesy of Embratur)

Salvador is known as Brazil’scapital of happiness” because of its countless number of popular outdoor parties, including its street carnival. Its humble beginnings can be traced to 1549 when Portuguese settlers decided to colonize Brazil and make Salvador the capital of the country. As a result, this coastal city quickly became the main port of call for ships from all over the world that would dock and import their goods into South America. Salvador is no longer Brazil’s capital, but it is a magnificent city with unique architecture, historic museums, chic gastronomy restaurants and African-inspired music, which makes it a unique host city for the 2014 World Cup soccer games.

Salvador, the City of Music
Bahia is the musical state of Brazil. Its rich mixture of Brazilian, African and European cultures birthed genres and rhythms like axe, pagode and samba.. The state’s capital, Salvador, marches to its own beat. People here sing and play special percussion instruments like the berimbau, agogos and atabaques.
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Rio Grande do Sul

Photography by André Maceira

When you think of Brazil, do you think of cowboys in wide-brimmed hats and red neck kerchiefs, verdant canyons and apple strudel? Didn’t think so.

These things happen to be as Brazilian as a pulsating samba beat; Technicolor carnival costumes and intoxicatingly beautiful beaches, and you can find them in the country’s southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, which is getting ready for its star turn during the 2014 World Cup.

The region will reveal a side of Brazil that few know with culture and customs traced back to fiercely independent gauchos, along with determined Portuguese, Spanish, German and Italian settlers.  These customs show up mostly in the region’s foods. There’s chimarrao, the evra mate tea sipped from a communal cup called a cuia; galeterias, restaurants serving the pastas, polenta and grilled chicken of Italian immigrants; and café colonial, serving plate after plate of German-inspired dishes, including strudel. And then, there is churrasco, the gaucho parade of grilled beef, pork and chicken, probably Rio Grande do Sul’s most well-known export. READ MORE

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