Allee Sangiolo

A Boston native and Washington, DC, resident, Allee has been growing her bucket list since she began working as an Interactive Producer for TravelChannel.com. When not playing with her Frenchie named Pearl, Allee can be found inputting destinations into Kayak.com in the hopes of finding a deal on a flight to visit friends or family -- she’s lucky enough to have couches to crash on in Boston, New Orleans, Miami, New York and more. No matter how far she goes or what incredible trips she takes, her favorite place on Earth will always be a little island off the coast of Massachusetts: Nantucket.

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Posts by Allee Sangiolo

Trip of a Lifetime Venice Canal

Wish you were here? Yeah, we thought so. Turn your fantasy into a reality by entering to win a $100,000 trip (with 3 of your favorite people!) to the Adriatic.

First, check out the full list of possible prizes – including a shopping spree in Venice, a hot air balloon ride over the city’s famous canals, and palatial accommodations at Hotel Vestibul Palace. Then, design a custom trip or pick from one of our hosts’ hand-picked itineraries. But hurry – voting ends at the stroke of midnight on Sunday, March 24. You can enter once everyday, so you’ve got 3 chances left! Vote now!

With St. Patrick’s Day falling over a weekend this year, parades, festivals and celebrations are planned across the US. Here are 5 cities with uniquely Irish-themed soirees in the works.

Boston

If pretty much everyone you walk by is wearing a scally cap or a Dropkick Murphys shirt, then you must be in Boston. More than 600,000 people line the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade route as it winds through South Boston – (but call it Southie if you want to sound like a local). Plus, scores of the political and politically-connected will gather for the infamous St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast at the Boston Convention Center (a chance to roast one another in the spirit of the day).

Best Craic: The World Championships of Irish Dancing at the Hynes Convention Center, March 23-31.

Chicago

Each year, 40 pounds of green dye are added to the Chicago River, turning it a bright emerald green – head to the east side of the Michigan Avenue bridge for the best viewing. Hundreds of thousands of people also show up at the parades that wind through Chicago’s streets, including the Southside Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday, March 10, and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 16. This year, city leaders are working to have the Windy City named as the US headquarters of St. Patrick’s Day as part of its ShamROCK Chicago campaign.

Best Craic: Celtic punk by the Tossers at Metro, Saturday, March 16.

New York City

Plenty of cities claim to have the best, but there’s no question as to whose parade is the largest. New York City’s annual procession up Fifth Avenue, started in 1762 by Irish soldiers in the British army, will draw nearly 2 million spectators. Step inside Molly’s Shebeen (287 Third Ave) after for some renowned lamb stew or shepherd’s pie. A white stucco exterior topped with shingles, sawdust floors and a warm fireplace make this watering hole one of New York’s most authentic.

Best Craic: McSorley’s Old Ale House at the 8 a.m. opening – everyone is still sober, friendly and excited about the day at this point.

Washington, DC

The Shamrock Festival is a massive celebration of all things Irish. On Saturday, March 16, visitors will jam the RFK Stadium Festival Grounds in Washington, DC, to experience more than 40 bands across 9 stages, beer trucks spanning the length of 2 football fields, a pub row and strolling entertainers. The Irish Village will provide step dancers, pipers and games. The city’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade steps off the next day and will make its way up Constitution Avenue at noon.

Best Craic: Legendary traditional Irish group The Chieftains at the Kennedy Center, March 14-16.

San Diego

Swarms of revelers are expected to squeeze into San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter on St. Patrick’s Day to celebrate the 18th annual shamROCK. Live Irish bands will perform on the main stage – including this year’s headliners the Young Dubliners – and a 150-foot Irish pub will be accessible streetside on F Street between 5th  and 7th avenues. Plus, there’ll be 80,000 square feet of green turf covering the streets of San Diego.

Best Craic: The Smiling Irishman contest at the St. Patrick’s Day Festival in Balboa Park on Saturday, March 16. The winner takes home a special hat and a Blackthorn walking stick.

- Bill Burke 

You May Also Like:
St. Patrick’s Day
Travel Trends 2013 Ireland
Top US Celtic Festivals

Tonight at 9|8c, Don Wildman scours the country in search of artifacts that reveal some of America’s most bizarre, confounding and often shocking mysteries.

Visit Washington, DC’s Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum to see the taxidermied body of one of the first mammals to survive a trip to space. If you’re in New Orleans, stop by the National Museum of the American cocktail to learn about all the terrifying myths that surround the beverage known as the “Green Fairy:” absinthe. Then, journey to Missouri to see a stack of manuscripts supposedly dictated to a St. Louis housewife from beyond the grave. Watch tonight’s episode and then let us know, do you think Patience Worth was real?

Plus, Don examines the strange circumstances surrounding the death of the legendary Grace Kelly, gets a look at the rusty bike ridden by kidnapper “Bicycle Pete,” and finds the desperate diary written by a man who crash-landed on the island of Papua New Guinea during World War II.

Check out all the museums visited in tonight’s episode, and get ready with exclusive behind-the-scenes photos.

Tonight at 9|8c on an all-new episode of Mysteries at the Museum, Don Wildman reveals the shocking stories behind artifacts in museums across the country.

Don examines a dress worn by the star of Howard Hughes’ Hollywood flop The Conqueror. Why did so many members of the cast and crew on this infamous film die young of cancer? Mysteries at the Museum then travels to the Strong National Museum of Play, home to an unassuming lump of gray clay that spawned one of America’s most iconic toys. Then, learn the story of a faded brown document from a murder case that inspired a chilling literary classic by Edgar Allan Poe. Plus, watch as Don unveils the stories of a deceitful art forgery, a devastating cruise ship fire, and an encounter with an otherworldly being.

Get ready for tonight’s episode with behind-the-scenes photos, and check out our travel guide to see all the museums featured in the show.

Until then, tell us – which is your favorite UFO or alien mystery? Vote now!

Edge of Arkansas

Watch Geoff visit the Edge of Arkansas on Sat, Feb. 16 @ 2|1c.

Is there a state with as bad a rap as Arkansas? Childhood obesity. Poverty. Gennifer Flowers.  A cultural backwater like no other, right?

This is why Arkansas is such a perfect place to prove one of Edge of America’s central points. That instead of judging the Earth from the snooty, big city, New York/Chicago/Los Angeles perspective, we should approach every state, every small town, every hamlet with an open mind and an open heart. You never know what you’ll find.

In Arkansas, I found one of the most beautiful states in the country, a place with mountain vistas, rolling meadows, ice cream shops, ranches and old time musicians gathering to play outside, for free.

If salaries are lower than they are in Boston, so is the cost of living. At one point, we drove by a charming country house — all wood, big windows, wrap-around front porch — with a for sale sign outside. I looked it up. $89,500. Now I get it. The reality is that you are not going to see ‘Melo jaw with KG at the Garden, and Bruno Mars ain’t coming to town. But you’re also not going to throw down $650,000 for a 2-room walkup in Chelsea with a brick wall outside your bedroom window and a cranky woman living below you who can’t stand the fact that you have a friend with a baby staying over and “Damn, does the kid have to walk across the floor at 7:30 in the morning?”

Fact is, these Arkansans might have things figured out better than we. They’ve got beautiful homes, family and friends all around, and instead of generic entertainment, they know how to make their own fun.

Tommy Rand taught me to tackle a cow. I have a hunch I’ll never use that skill again. But you get to see it in our episode. A pair of local Arkansans gave me the honor of pushing their outhouse. Don’t ask. You’ll just have to see it. And I found myself in the woods with a kinder, gentler version of Roger Clemens, who let me get behind the wheel of his jeep to rock crawl, which is basically climbing up the side of a mountain in a monster truck. Blue sky. Clean air. Smiles all around.

Out there, in my rock crawler, the last thing I was thinking of was crowding into an arena to catch Neil Young for the umpteenth time.

- Geoff Edgers

Spring Break Destinations

College students knee-deep in papers, projects — and, in some places, snow — can take solace in the knowledge that spring break is just around the corner. But before you end up spending your precious vacation in a hotel room updating your Facebook status with rainy-day laments, you’d better check the weather forecast. Never fear,  weathertrends360 to the rescue! Start packing your sunglasses, sunblock and lax pinnies, because the experts in long-term forecasting have selected the best spring break destinations for the month of March:

FIRST WEEK OF MARCH

Cancun, Mexico: If you want to visit this popular spring break destination, you’d better do it sooner rather than later. The first week of March will be warm and sunny, while the end of the month is expected to be cloudy and rainy. Check out our video to see what makes Cancun an infamous spring break spot.

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic: 2013 is great year to spend your spring break in the Dominican Republic – the temperatures will be the warmest in 3 years. The first week of the month will have the best weather, but you may also get a sun-filled trip during the last week of the month.

Barbados: Like the Dominican Republic, temperatures in March will be the warmest in 3 years, and the first week will be the driest of the month.

FIRST HALF OF MARCH

South Padre Island, Texas: The first half of March will have the best and driest weather in this south Texas town. Book your trip today and you’ll be partying on South Padre Island before you know it.

Miami Beach, Florida: March is a great time to visit Florida — the temperatures are comfortable, and hurricane season is still several months away. The first half of March 2013 will be the best time to visit, as it will be driest part of the month.

Montego Bay, Jamaica: The warm and dry weather during the first half of March will make it a great time to visit the small island nation of Jamaica. It’s expected to be the warmest March in 6 years.

SECOND HALF OF MARCH

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico: Book your trip later in March for the warmest and driest weather.

Las Vegas, Nevada: Sure, Las Vegas is in the desert, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that means it’s bikini weather all the time! If you’re headed to Sin City for your spring break, book your trip later in March for the warmest weather.

ANYTIME

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico:  There really isn’t a bad time to visit Puerto Vallarta in March. It’s expected to be warm and sunny throughout the month.

Acapulco, Mexico: Travel a bit farther south to Acapulco, where sunshine and warmth await all month long.

 

For even more great weather spots, check out weathertrends360′s Sunniest Spots Around the World.

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Photography by Garza Blanca Preserve Resort & Spa

 

Love is in the air, and we’re celebrating all things Valentines Day here at Travel Channel. Whether you’re looking for a unique way to celebrate with your sweetie, or all this talk of Cupid has inspired you to pop the question – we’ve got you covered.

Valentine's Day

1) Forget the red roses and prix fixe dinners – this Valentine’s Day, celebrate with an adrenaline-filled adventure.

2) Nothing says romance quite like a rich, creamy, melt-in-your-mouth artisan chocolate. Get a taste with our picks for the World’s Most Decadent Chocolate Tours.

3) Relax by your private outdoor plunge pool, or fall asleep to the sound of water lapping below your overwater bungalow – splurge on a trip to one of our picks for 2013’s Most Romantic Honeymoon Destinations.

4) It’s a story you’ll tell for the rest of the life, so you’d better make it a good one! Consider popping the question at one of these Most Memorable Places to Propose.

5) Need to spice things up a little?  Get out of town with a Sexy Weekend Getaway.

6) Imagine you’re Downton Abbey’s Lady Mary, and exchange vows with your own Matthew Crawley in a Romantic Castle Wedding.

7) Cuddle close to your sweetheart, and watch the sky bloom with reds, yellows and purples at one of the world’s Most Romantic Places to Watch the Sunset.

8) Hiding the ring in a slice of cake is so last year … or, a few years ago, actually. Get inspired with these new Proposal-Popping Trends.

Our Favorite Valentine's Day Products

There’s just 1 day left until Cupid’s favorite holiday is upon us, and we’ve scoured the web for some of the very best gifts for your globetrotting valentine. Whether it’s love, lust, or just a case of wanderlust, get even more gift ideas with our Valentine’s Day Gifts for the Traveler or our Valentine’s Day Travel Gift Guide.

Valentines Day Travel Products

1)   Remember the romance with a few snaps from this (pink!) Lomography Honeysuckle Camera.

2)   Let your sweetie cycle in style with the foldable TOKYO Citizen Bike.

3)   Share the love … and music … with this heart-shaped headphone splitter.

4)   Harken back to that romantic weekend in Charleston, or reminisce about that jaunt in Tuscany with an Excursion Candle Tin.

5)   Get in a foodie fight with this trivia game for food lovers – then make up afterwards.

6)   Pen a love letter on this Air-Mail Stationery Set, and seal it with a kiss.

7)   Never pass up the opportunity to pop a bottle – take your favorite bottles of wine on the go with this neoprene tote.

8)   Warm her heart … and her hands … with this rechargeable hand warmer.

Last week we asked our Instagram followers to show us the most #bizarrefoods they’ve ever eaten — and let me tell you, they did not disappoint. Bizarre Foods fans, you have certainly proven that you do, in fact, have the guts. While combing through all the photos of frogs’ legs, insects (lots of worms) and animal intestines — we even came upon a few images that left us feeling slightly … queasy (think: a severed, uncooked sheep’s head wrapped in cellophane). Here are a few of our favorites. Warning: They are not for the faint of heart.

Bizarre Foods Instagrams

Top Row, Left to Right

1) “#bizarrefoods Buah Keluah. Indonesian black nut pulp. Poisonous if it isn’t soaked properly for a couple days.” –  chubbychinesegirl

2) “Look at the buns on those guys.” - sarahcuiksa

3) “Homemade chicharon na bituka or deepfried pork intestine.” - jonathankano09

Second Row, Left to Right

1) “Tripe with ginger and scallion #offal #foodie” - thehungrydudes

2) “What the heck are my parents cooking for me to eat, tongue attached and everything #bizarrefoods #sundayfamilytime” - juliejaejung

3) “@travelchannel @andrewzimmern I ate Casu Marzu, the Sardinian cheese filled with live maggots! #BizarreFoods” - annaward14

Third Row, Left to Right

1) “Goooood Morning! Diet-mode Breakfast time… No Fried Rice but Tuyong Bisugo (dried salted fish) and Eggs for me ツ Yummmmy!” - xoxogrusha

2) “Tarantulas for tea! #cambodia #travel” - travelbugjac

3) ”Someone tried #balut tonight and it wasn’t me! The husband said it tasted like liver which doesn’t sound appealing at all… For those who don’t know what “balut” is, google it at your own risk! Needless to say we won’t be making out for a few days… Blehhh.” - taliastudio

Bottom Row, Left to Right

1) “Boiled sheep head for dinner.” - trekker_heck

2) “This is probably the last time I will ever eat rotting #shark fermented in urine again. #hakarl #lokicafe #reykjavik #iceland” - trekker_heck

3) “Most bizarre thing I’ve ever eaten? A whole piranha out of Lake Nicaragua#BizarreFoods” - jessicaarmour

And for even more of the bizarre, follow Andrew Zimmern’s “Organ” Trail.

Croatia

Last week, it looks like many of our Pinterest followers were daydreaming about frolicking through cascading water, surrounded by terraced waterfalls and lush green hills. We know because this scene, from Krka National Park in Dalmatia, Croatia, was last week’s most popular pin. We certainly can’t blame you — why do you think Croatia is featured in our ultimate Trip of a Lifetime giveaway? Keep entering – everyday – for a chance to win this $100,000 trip to the Adriatic, and your fantasy pinboard could become a reality.

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