Travel Channel’s Samantha Brown is about to embark on her biggest adventure yet: motherhood! Samantha, who’s been our girl-meets-world host for the last 12 years on Great Weekends, Passport to Europe, Samantha Brown’s Asia and more, announced to her fans yesterday via Facebook that she and her husband, Kevin O’Leary are expecting … twins! “We have waited such awhile for the love of a child, but our path faced strong headwind. Our troubles have past and now, at long last … Our joy doubled, we’re expecting twins!!!!” READ MORE
Photograph by Ali Kaukas
Need another reason to love September? In addition to Indian summer weather, back to school (shopping) and fall weekend getaways, September is National Yoga Month. Celebrate by visiting one of the thousands of studios and organizations all over the country that are offering free yoga classes and events, many of which are outdoors (so you can enjoy the Indian summer while you’re saluting the sun).
Don’t worry if you aren’t a Vinyasa veteran, these events are open to all levels and are the perfect introduction for newbies to experience all the mind and body benefits of yoga, including bringing people together all over the world. READ MORE
By: Holly C. Corbett
- The Lost Girls: Amanda, Jen and Holly.
I’m part of a trio of female travelers known as The Lost Girls, and more than five years ago we quit our media jobs to set out together on a yearlong, around the world trip. Now we’re calling ourselves the Runaway Bridesmaids after we asked ourselves a question that many women have often pondered: What were we going to do with our old bridesmaid dresses that our married pals swore we could totally wear again?
Rather than let those expensive dresses collect dust in our closets, we decided to prove our bride friends right, and put them back to use for a good cause. Except the next time we wear them, we’ll be strapping on running shoes instead of heels to run in our dresses and raise money to help children of sex workers with the Runaway Bridesmaids Race.
Travel Channel has teamed up with Rand McNally on their annual road rally adventure — Best of the Road — to search for the best small towns across the country. Watch the small-town showdown tonight at 8|7c on Travel Channel.
Hosted by our resident comedian, Bert Kreischer, the show will follow 3 teams as they road-trip across America to find the best small towns in the categories of food, beauty and fun. Town winners are awarded the prestigious title of Rand McNally’s “Best of the Road.”
Our road warrior videographer, Allison Otto, joined the RV as it toured the country from Washington, DC to Seattle. From meeting Joplin, MO’s celebrity cat to touring Danville, KY’s miniature world, Allison captured small town wonders from coast to coast. Check out her photos all the way from Rt. 66’s Carousel Park to a traditional Kentucky BBQ.
Watch a sneak peek of the teams’ adventures. And don’t miss America’s best small towns being revealed tonight!
The Best of the Road RV continues to make its way across the country searching for America’s best small towns. Our road warrior, Allison Otto is capturing the wonders of Small Town America.
Check out Allison’s latest dispatch from the road, where she gets a taste of small town life — one bite at a time:
Biting into a hot, fried cinnamon-apple pie in Gainesville, TX; sipping a salt-rimmed prickly pear margarita in Santa Fe, NM; enjoying a freshly charred romaine salad drizzled with a blue cheese cream and balsamic reduction in San Luis Obispo, CA: This is how I discovered America on this Best of the Road journey.
Strawberry tart from Café Eccell in College Station, TX.
The sweets, the spices, the savories—I’ve been truly lucky on this trip to sample so many of the unique, creative dishes this country has to offer and the variety of meals that make American cuisine my favorite in the world. But what kind of traveler would I be if I didn’t share my finds with you all? So here–in no particular order—are five of the best:
1. Prickly pear margarita from the Coyote Café in Santa Fe, NM: Try this signature drink in the evening in their rooftop cantina with a bowl of chips and the café’s fresh guacamole. Heaven!
2. Strawberry tart from Café Eccell in College Station, TX: Pattie Sears, a College Station resident since the 1960s and a member of the College Station Convention and Visitors Bureau, said this tart— filled with Bavarian cream, topped with apricot-glazed strawberries and chocolate shavings in an almond-lace cookie shell– was a can’t-miss in College Station! I savored every single bite while listening to Pattie’s stories of College Station’s history. Thanks, Pattie!
The Best of the Road RV continues to make its way across the country searching for America’s best small towns. Our road warrior, Allison Otto, is capturing the wonders of Small Town America.
Check out Allison’s latest dispatch from the road, where she meets Joplin’s celebrity cat that’s survived nearly nine lives:
When the Best of the Road RV stopped in Joplin, MO, I had the great fortune to film Percy Katz, a Russian Blue cat and former stray who is the official greeter at the Joplin Museum Complex and has gained a bit of celebrity status. Since Percy, who has greeted visitors from around the world for the last 12 years, is the unofficial mascot of the town, his cancer and a subsequent kidnapping episode made front-page news in Joplin.
Percy, Joplin’s celebrity cat, poses for his close-up.
I was a bit nervous to film Percy, as cats aren’t always interested in posing for the camera. But Percy was wonderful, and with the help of museum director Brad Belk (and a bag or 2 of cat treats) we got some fun shots for a web video. It was obvious how much Percy means to the community. Percy even “wrote” a regular history column (with the help of the museum staff, of course) for the children’s section of the local paper, and every year he donates to Joplin’s humane society.
Travel Channel joins Rand McNally’s Best of the Road cross-country road rally to search for America’s best small towns. With the road rally in full swing, we’re getting dispatches from our road warrior videographer: Allison Otto. Allison joined the Best of the Road RV team and she’ll be filming, taking photos and blogging while on the RV capturing the small town wonders that cross the their path.
Allison’s biggest passion in life is the joy of hitting the open road — she has clocked more than 450 road trips along the back roads of the US. She has also spent 2 years living in a fully-restored, 26 ft. 1958 Airstream — her other passion being vintage RVs!
Check out her photos from New York state and Kentucky.
Allison editing video on the Best of the Road RV.
On the Road dispatch from Allison:
The Best of the Road 2012 tour is officially underway and I’m riding along in a ritzy, 40 ft Fleetwood RV with a crew from Rand McNally as we search for America’s best small towns. It’s such an exciting way to spend the summer, and my personal mission as we head west from Washington D.C. is to find the offbeat and unique people, places and stories that define our country and its small towns.
In honor of Leap Day (and after seeing those motivating Honda CR-V commercials), we’re inspired to make our own “leap list.” We find it more optimistic to think of taking a leap, rather than to think of our dwindling lifespan, aka The Bucket List. Here are 10 ideas to get you started — take a chance, take the plunge, or take a trip:
1.) Dare to Bare It All.
Toss the cover-up AND the bathing suit for the bravest walk of your life on one these nude beaches.
2.) Learn New Dance Moves.
Try the tango in Argentina. The booty-shaking Samba in Brazil. Or learn Capoiera without leaving your city.
3.) Say “I Love You” (or Put a Ring on It).
Find the perfect moment and the best place to say “I love you” or propose.
4.) Sleep in a Tree House.
Forget about free Wi-Fi and continental breakfasts. Pretend you’re a kid again and take refuge in the trees. If you’re lucky, you might just get up close and personal with the monkeys.
5.) Tap into Your Spiritual Side.
Or at least find some peace and quiet. Taking yoga at the gym just doesn’t cut it. Unplug and escape from the daily grind to see the best spots to renew the spirit. No matter what you do (or don’t) believe in, the beauty of these places will leave you speechless.
With the Oscars this Sunday, we’ve pulled together our own awards list: 2011′s Most Travel-Worthy Flicks. The Descendants is a no-brainer. Who doesn’t daydream about walking barefoot on a beach in Hawaii (and with George Clooney)?
But we were equally inspired to pack our bags for the City of Lights to find the “Lost Generation” in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. Even the dark thriller Girl with the Dragon Tattoo had us eying Stockholm to see where the stories took place.
Postcard-perfect scenes in movies we saw years ago still influence our travel plans. Even though it’s been years since we saw The Beach, we still have Maya Bay in Thailand on our bucket list. And its cinematic merits aside, Twilight couldn’t help but make us want to see the town of Forks, WA, for some of them most stunning scenery on the Olympic Peninsula.
Has a movie ever inspired one of your vacations?
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by Holly Corbett
Paris may be the city of love, but New York is the city of sexiness. There’s enough food porn, chic wine bars and anonymity to put most couples in the mood to let their inhibitions go. If you’re looking to take your sweetheart to New York for Valentine’s Day, check out these hotels that are offering special packages to help electrify your romance.
For Couples Who Want … a Hot Night Out
Try the… The Room Mate Grace Hotel
The boutique hotel boasts NYC’s only indoor swim-up bar, which has a sexy club atmosphere with an extensive cocktail menu and a DJ who spins 5 nights a week. (If you also like to rock out together to live music, bands play regularly next door at Connolly’s Pub). The Room Mate Grace Hotel’s central location on one of the less busy avenues off Times Square is ideal for exploring some of NYC’s more iconic destinations, such as Broadway, Fifth Avenue, Rockefeller Center and Bryant Park.
Ask for the “Month of Love” specials any time in February and you’ll receive all of the Valentine’s Day necessities: a double room; 30-minute massage for 2; box of chocolates; bottle of champagne; use of the sauna and steam room; and — of course — rose petals on your table. The price without tax and tip is $425, and the regular price would be $810. (If you want only the above features and use of the aqua lounge minus the overnight stay, you can buy the package for $275). Email or call (212) 702-1643.