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Art Deco Weekend, Napier, New Zealand

Photography By catspyjamasnz, Flickr

Located in the Hawkes Bay region on the eastern coast of New Zealand, Napier is a popular destination that is chock-full of Art Deco buildings, shopping and events — so much so that its locals and tourists often refer to it as the “Art Deco Capital of the World.”

The city’s largest annual event, the TREMAINS Art Deco Weekend, will take place Feb. 19-23 this year and will include more than 200 events, various displays of 1920s and ’30s cars, trains and planes, and a Gatsby-inspired picnic. Festival-goers from all over the world will fill the streets dressed in era-appropriate attire to wine, dine, dance and celebrate all things Art Deco.

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Lewis Johnson with the US Women’s Bobsled Team: (l-r) Elana Meyers, Lauryn Williams, Aja Evans, Jazmine Fenlator and Lolo Jones (center). (Photo Courtesy of Lewis Johnson)

Traveling must be in your blood to cover the Olympics. Since I was a kid growing up in Austin, TX, I remember seeing the koala — which is not a bear — on the Qantas Airlines commercials on TV. I would think, “I wanna go there one day!” Well, after the disappointment of not making an Olympic team as an 800-meter runner, my Olympic dream did come true in 2000 as an NBC broadcaster. My childhood dream became a reality when I made that trek around the world to Sydney as a Track & Field Analyst for the network’s coverage of the Games down under. Fast forward to 2014, and I’ve just arrived in Sochi, Russia, for my 8th Olympic assignment as the bobsled, luge and skeleton reporter.

You can feel the tension with the increase of security as these Sochi Games begin. Most of us veteran broadcasters and globe trotters will stay alert, but carry on as usual to experience another memorable  Winter Olympics, which will be more than covering our events and going to the hotel. I’m going to hang out with people who want  to embrace Sochi’s culture, including the food, wine and nightlife. It will be my way of exploring the host city and Russia. That’s what I’ll  be writing about for the next few weeks.
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Stranded commuters took to Instagram to post photos of their (mostly abandoned) commutes home. From left to right, top to bottom: @theycallmejethro, @themuaalex, @trishthedish512, @t4vista, @somethingintheroad, @millakilluhh, @hwellj13, @crystal_2246, @scharlesquinn.

The Deep South has been in a deep freeze since yesterday, when a winter storm left some commuters and students stranded overnight and flights canceled at the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

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Photography by Getty Images

Go ahead, spread out under these palm trees, that’s what they’re here for.

Daily Escapes!

The Resort at Paws Up

Photo by The Resort at Paws Up

Well folks, you had the perfect gift picked out online, added it to your list, but just when you were about to add it to your “cart,” the express shipping fee made your eyes bulge or worse, the item is now on backorder. Not to fear, we have some last-minute ideas that your favorite traveler will truly appreciate: An unforgettable travel experience where the only thing to ship is yourself.

Glamping at the Resort at Paws Up in Greenough, MT
Wilderness lovers and those who prefer to be pampered (think: gourmet meals) will both be pleased with a getaway to this luxurious ranch about 30 minutes east of Missoula, MT. Guests can go fly fishing, horseback riding and hot-air ballooning before hitting the spa tent for a massage and then retiring to their own tent, complete with heated floors and electricity.

Check out more glamping spots.

Sonoma Country’s 3-Day Barrel Tasting Weekends
The Wine Road, an association of more than 100 wineries that includes household names like Clos du Bois and family-owned operations such as Stryker Sonoma, typically hosts barrel tastings twice a year along Sonoma’s Russian River Wine Road. Most wineries offer “futures” on their barrel samples — a chance to purchase wine while it’s still in the barrel, at a discount, before the wine is bottled in 12 to 18 months. So this really could be the gift that keeps on giving.

Explore more wine-tour weekends.

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Cathedral of Brasília (Photo Courtesy of Embratur)

One might assume that Brasília, the capital of Brazil, has been around for more than a century, but in reality, it was built on an impressive timeline of just 41 months, from 1956 to 1960. Brazil’s capital for the longest time was the extremely populated Rio de Janeiro, but then the government decided it was essential for the capital to be moved to the center of the country. And so, Brasília was born!

Brasília, the Capital of Innovation
Unlike other host cities for the FIFA World Cup 2014, Brasília is unique in that it was entirely a planned city. As part of the country’s “50 years of prosperity in 5″ plan, Brazil’s president at the time, Juscelino Kubitschek, and urban planner Lúcio Costa approached Oscar Niemeyer about becoming the chief architect in designing the new city’s public buildings.

At the time, Niemeyer was the youngest and most influential designer on the team, having served as the architectural mastermind behind the United Nations Headquarters in New York City roughly a decade before. From the moment he signed onto the project, Niemeyer turned Brasilia into his playground, creating buildings with modern and surreal architecture that could reflect the young capital’s innovativeness. Years later, UNESCO cited Brasília as a World Heritage site.

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The Zócalo

Photo: Robin Bennefield
The Zócalo, Mexico City’s main square, at night.

In a country that’s been getting a bad travel rap, Mexico City stands devoid of travel warnings, rich with cultural heritage, an impressive arts scene and cutting-edge cuisine. It checks all the boxes for the urban traveler seeking a cosmopolitan mix of stylish hotels, trendy neighborhoods and new foodie pursuits.

Just a 4 or 5 hour flight from the East Coast or West Coast, the city boasts over 170 museums, a burgeoning high-end shopping district, the oldest park in North America and one of the largest public squares in the world. So, if you go, put away any pre-conceived notions, pack some patience to navigate the city’s traffic-jammed streets and start by hitting these Mexico City hot spots.

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Photography by Paul Giamou / Aurora Photos

The rugged abandon of California’s Central Coast has been given the cinematic treatment in Sundance darling and newly released Big Sur, starring Kate Bosworth. Based on Jack Kerouac’s eponymous novel, the film highlights the haunting beauty and isolated wilderness that drew the Beat writer to retreat here in the first place.

Relive it for yourself, or discover the splendor of the serpentine coast for the first time, on one of America’s most beloved road trips.

Nowhere is the Pacific Coast Highway’s winding roads more magnificent than along Big Sur’s craggy cliffs and crashing surf some 30 miles south of Carmel, CA.

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You may think you heard this debate before, but now it’s finally official: The One World Trade Center building in Manhattan is the tallest building in the US.

The title was under scrutiny after the designers of the tower decided against enclosing the mast on the top of the building for maintenance reasons, which left the argument open as to whether the height of the mast counted in the building’s overall height measurement.

Today, the Height Committee of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat released its decision, saying that the mast does count in the overall height of the building, and, when finished in January, will enter the organization’s official rankings as the tallest building in the US.

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This Week in Photos is full of twists on tradition: A Halloween surf competition, a Zombie Walk to commemorate the Day of the Dead … and more. Expect nothing less from our travel news roundup, where you’ll meet an inspiring 100-year-old and go on a record-breaking cross-country road trip.

We all have ideas of trips we’d like to cross off of our “bucket list,” but one 100-year-old adventurer is showing us it’s never too late to follow your dreams. Elsa Bailey recently traveled to Churchill, Manitoba, Canada to see polar bears in their natural habitat. She said it’s something she’s always wanted to do, and when the opportunity came, she “jumped at it.”

In other adventure trip news…an Atlanta man took “road tripping” to a whole new level this week, setting a record for the fastest cross-country drive from New York to California in just 28 hours and 50 minutes. Ed Bolian started planning about 18 months ago, adding gas tanks to his Mercedes Benz and purchasing high quality radars to avoid police – something that he says he doesn’t endorse. Find out more about his journey here.

If you’re travelling this Thanksgiving, you might want to prepare yourself for some long lines. Between Nov. 22 and Dec. 3, more than 25 million people are projected to board flights for the holiday. The total number would be a 1.5 percent increase over last year’s travelers, according to Airlines for America.

Before you leave on your trip this holiday season, Johnny Jet says there’s an important step you need to take in order to protect your money. He says notifying your bank and your credit card company that you’re traveling out of the country can put an end to suspicious activity that comes through from your hometown. Safe travels!

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