ALL POSTS IN [Holidays]

Photo Courtesy of The Lake Placid Holiday Village Stroll

It’s beginning to look a lot like, well, Christmas for one, but also that time of year when visions of Downton Abbey‘s new season premiere dance through eager viewers’ heads. Now, fans of the holidays and the show can combine their passions in Lake Placid, NY, at the Holiday Gala Inspired by Downton Abbey on Dec. 13, which culminates with a viewing of the Season 5 premiere — 3 weeks before its PBS broadcast Jan 4.
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Barbara Helgason/Hemera/Thinkstock

The biggest travel day of the year just got a bit more stressful, thanks to the winter nor’easter in the forecast. It’s inevitable that the day before Thanksgiving will include record-long lines at the airport and headache-inducing traffic — and now, add likely hazardous roads and delayed flights.

Take a deep breath and keep these tips in mind to avoid a holiday travel meltdown.

Take advantage of an airline weather waiver.
With winter weather in the forecast for Wednesday, big airlines such as American Airlines, Delta and United are waiving change fees and relaxing their rebooking rules, even allowing fare differences to be waived. Look carefully at the rules; most include the note that rescheduled travel has to start by Friday.

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Rockefeller Center, New York, NY

Photography by Allan Baxter/ Stone/ Getty Images

Whether you’re going home for the holidays to be surrounded by extended family (and, potentially, tiny childhood furniture), looking forward to a “friendsgiving” or using the valuable vacation days to escape from it all, WalletHub has calculated the best cities for winter holiday travel, at home and abroad. Using metrics such as average airfares, flight times and hotel costs, it determined the best destinations to celebrate the holidays without the hassle. Without further ado … READ MORE

Frosty The Snowman ICE! sculpture at Gaylord National Resort

Photo courtesy Gaylord National Resort

It’s beginning to look, and feel, a lot like Christmas. Bundle up this weekend and visit the annual “ICE!” exhibit at the Gaylord Resort and Convention Centers in Maryland, Texas, Florida and Tennessee, which all officially open their doors to the display this weekend.

In a steadily 9-degree room, the “ICE!” exhibit features larger-than-life ice sculptures from the beloved story of Frosty the Snowman (at Gaylord National in Oxon Hill, MD, and Gaylord Texan in Dallas), ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (at Gaylord Opryland in Nashville) or The Nutcracker (at Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee, FL). Each display is perfectly crafted from more than 2 million pounds of ice by 30 artisans from Harbin, China, the ice carving capital of the world. Don’t worry about running out to L.L. Bean or the like: Cozy parkas are provided for all attendees — children and adults — so they can fully enjoy the exhibit.

Carving out 2.6 million pounds of ice — the most ever for Gaylord National — is no small feat. During an exclusive tour of its “ICE!” exhibit, public relations manager Rachel Dinbokowitz provided insider details on what visitors can expect this holiday season. READ MORE

Bruce Springsteen (Photo Courtesy of Andrew H. Walker/ Getty Images)

Thousands of people are expected to converge on the National Mall in Washington, DC, for the Concert for Valor to honor veterans, active-duty service members and their families. The event — scheduled to start at 7 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Nov. 11 — is free to the public. Concertgoers can snag a spot on the National Mall when it opens at 10 a.m. Televised live on HBO, the concert will feature big-name musicians including Bruce Springsteen, Carrie Underwood, Eminem, Jennifer Hudson, Dave Grohl, Rihanna and the Black Keys.

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Photography by Claudio Cruz/ LatinContent/ Getty Images

The “Day of the Dead,” or Dia de los Muertos in Spanish, is a national holiday celebrated in Mexico on Nov. 1 and 2. Families and friends gather together to remember and pray for those who have died. Dia de los Muertos is famous for its ornately decorated skeleton costumes.

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Hallway of Wizard Chambers at Georgian House hotel

We might not have a magic broom for you to get to London this Halloween weekend, but if you’re planning on being in the big city anyway, why not go all the way? No costume needed for this Hogwarts experience: Stay at London’s Georgian House in the residential district of Victoria. The Georgian House is a beautiful hotel that has created a special space for its Wizard Chambers. It’s as if you’ve come to Hogwarts Castle for the weekend. This, my friends, is where your Harry Potter package begins. The chambers are designed with rustic wood paneling and an Old-English-style bed frame with clever accent pieces from floor to ceiling. The Harry Potter package also includes complimentary tickets for an exclusive Muggle walking tour; see firsthand where Harry Potter was filmed, hear stories of London’s rich history and explore the secret places once known only to Harry, Hermione and Ron. READ MORE

Hawaiian Luau, Honolulu, 1960s

Photography by Retrofile / Getty Images

Grab your grass skirts, leis and umbrella drinks, and get in the Aloha spirit for Hawaii’s 55th birthday! On Aug. 21, 1959, Hawaii officially became the 50th US state. And each year, on the third Friday of August, the Aloha State observes its Statehood Day.

Pictured above, a group of hula dancers perform during a luau in Honolulu — the capital of Hawaii — in the 1960s. An ancient Hawaiian tradition, hula dancing was used as a way to pass down history and myths from generation to generation. And today, luaus have become a popular way for tourists to experience Hawaiian culture and the tradition of hula.

Hang loose and travel to Hawaii’s island paradise! Book a stay at one of Hawaii’s top resorts, attend a luau on Oahu (or any island, really) and catch some waves on Waikiki Beach.

And don’t forget to check back next week for our Vintage Summer Throwback Thursday!

 

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Luaus, Leis and Hula Girls Pictures
Vintage Summer Pictures

 

Photo Courtesy of E+ / Getty Images

It’s less than a week until Father’s Day. Just in case you’ve put off finding that special gift or getaway, we have a few travel ideas on how you can spend some quality time with Dad.
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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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