ALL POSTS IN [Trends]

If you live in a major metropolitan area, you probably already know that the traffic in your city is pretty bad, so seeing your home make it on a list of cities with the worst traffic isn’t too much of a surprise. But maybe you’re planning on renting a car in Miami or taking a family road trip to San Francisco. In that case, TomTom’s North American Traffic Congestion Report might come in handy.

According to the report, the cities that saw an increase in traffic over the last year were Seattle, Houston, Ottawa, Ontario, San Francisco and Miami.

The cities that saw a decrease? Edmonton in Alberta, New York, Boston, Minneapolis and Toronto.

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By Mommy Points

If you’re anything like me and don’t have quite the athletic ability to make it to the Olympic Games as a competitor, then the closest you can get to the experience is as a cheering spectator in the stands. The good news is that being a spectator at the Olympics is an absolutely amazing experience, and the even better news is that it still isn’t too late to get tickets to events at the 2012 Olympic Games in London!

Olympic Tickets Still Available

 Photo By Getty Images

As recently as early July I had success purchasing tickets to gymnastics finals at face value via the official ticket source in the United States.  (More on that later). READ MORE

Need a nakation? Then throw aside your modesty and shed those sweaty clothes, because we just happen to be in the midst of Nude Recreation Week. Created by The Naturist Society 37 years ago, it couldn’t have come at a better time, with the summer heat wave making its way west.

There’s no better way to celebrate Nude Recreation Week than by relaxing on a beach and soaking in the sun, sans tan lines. Not sure which beaches welcome your birthday suit? We’ve listed some of the best nude beaches around the world.

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Photo Courtesy of Kura Hulanda Resort

Chances are, if you watched The Bachelorette, you’re dreaming of a trip to Curacao this morning. After all, what it lacked in sleepovers, it made up for in fantasy dates.

We didn’t think this season’s trips could be topped, but ABC brought out the big guns for the finale – Emily got to partake in a helicopter tour of Curacao, snorkeling on a private island, a romantic boat tour, a beachside dinner and a swim with the dolphins.

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Hotel Commonwealth

In anticipation of tonight’s MLB All-Star Game (and, of course, after last night’s homerun derby), we’ve got America’s national pastime on the brain. Even though Boston is still mourning the loss of Kevin Youkilis to the White Sox, the city is in the process of celebrating the 100th anniversary year of Fenway Park – the nation’s oldest ballpark  – and you can take advantage of it. READ MORE

Welcome to the “Paris of the Plains,” where, tonight, the National League will go head-to-head with the American League in the 83rd Major League Baseball All-Star Game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, MO. Maybe they won’t settle the argument of whether a designated hitter is a good idea or not, but America’s favorite players will surely compete in an exciting battle of the brawn that symbolically marks the halfway point of the baseball season.

From its fountains and parks to its famous barbecue, Kansas City holds its own as an All-Star Game host city. Learn more about the city that the Royals call home with our gallery of Kansas City’s sights.

And while we’re figuring out which league is better, let’s talk about whose stadium is the coolest, too — check out Travel Channel’s picks for Baseball’s Greatest Stadiums.

Who will you be rooting for tonight? We want to know!

If you’re one of the 20 million people who have read Fifty Shades of Grey, then you’ve probably fantasized about being swept away to Seattle. Well, dream no more, because the luxurious, waterfront Edgewater Hotel is making it possible to have a romantic rendezvous, Christian Grey-style.

With The Edgewater Hotel’s 50 Shades of Romance package, you’ll be welcomed to your room with a bottle of Bollinger Rose champagne and a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey in the nightstand – replacing that other best-selling book, we assume.  After cruising through the streets of Seattle with a demo drive in a Mr. Grey-esque Audi, you’ll recreate Christian and Ana’s sailing excursion on Puget Sound. Conclude your weekend with a tour of the infamous couple’s favorite Seattle hot spots, courtesy of a custom Fifty Shades landmarks map. With such a jam-packed weekend, chances are the room’s bed will be put to more practical, rather than creative, use.

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The annual Festival of San Fermin is underway, with locals of Pamplona, Spain — along with visitors from all over the world — filling the streets for outrageous parties, parades and, lest we forget, the running of the bulls.

A tradition with a hazy history, the running of the bulls has grown from a convenient way to get the bulls from the corral to the bullring, to an event worthy of any thrill-seeker’s bucket list.

Get your adrenaline pumping — and learn a little, too — with our Festival of San Fermin photo gallery.

Or vicariously run with the bulls with a personal account by one of our writers and learn how you, too, can live the experience of a lifetime in the streets of northern Spain.

Have you been to the Festival of San Fermin? Tell us about your experience in the comments!

Didn’t make it to Wimbledon this year? The tennis championship wraps up tomorrow with the men’s final, but before the last serve hits the court, get a glimpse of what it would feel like to be at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London.

From the determination displayed on the court to the crowds huddled on Henman Hill, Travel Channel provides a peek into the competition’s excitement in our Visit Wimbledon gallery.

And our eyes will be on London tomorrow as Andy Murray takes on Roger Federer in the men’s final in an attempt to become the first Briton to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936.

Were you lucky enough to go to Wimbledon? Upload your greatest photos to our Take Your Best Shot community!

By Mommy Points

There’s only a little time left until the Olympic torch reaches London and marks the beginning of the 2012 Summer Olympics, so it isn’t surprising that hotel prices in London this summer are high. Not only is the British pound a pretty strong currency against many other currencies (such as the US dollar) but demand is obviously higher than normal because of the Olympics.  You could say that the whole world is converging upon London!

However, if you collect miles and points from your travels, or even just through your credit card spending, you can still use those points to book some free rooms in London during the Olympics.  There are several very nice hotels in London that still have standard reward night availability from July 27 – Aug. 12 when the Olympics are in full force.  In fact, using your hotel points for free nights when the going rate is very expensive, such as during the Olympics, is actually the best way to redeem them.  It ensures you are getting the best value for your hard-earned points.

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