For US Travelers, Europe is a great DEAL! For the last 10 years, I avoided countries that are on the Euro. Instead, I would go to Prague, Budapest and Croatia – it was always a better deal. But now with the Euro dropping…..
A few years ago 1 Euro = $1.50. This week, 1 Euro = $1.08
Analysts say, The euro is going down because several of the key economies of Europe are heading into deflation, which is always a greater fear than average inflation. European leaders are planning to apply quantitative easing strategies in March that will probably work to reverse the deflation but will likely not strengthen the euro relative to the dollar as QE increases the supply of euros. The fact is that a weak euro will hurt the USA more than it will hurt Europe as it impacts tourism from Europe and lowers the cost of imported products and services from Europe.
It’s a “Catch 22″ I guess; Americans are expected to pour millions of dollars into the Old World as the value of goods and services decreases overseas. But there is only so much money to go around…U.S. could see a shortfall of tourists, which could wreak havoc on cities that depend on income from their vacations. Among those metropolises is New York City, which could experience a drop off of up to $30 billion in tourism dollars in the next year, or 50 percent of the current total, according to the New York Post.
Have you ever seen a GREEN FLASH at Sunset?
I heard about this for the first time last year in a movie that mentioned it.
Green flashes and green rays are optical phenomena that sometimes occur right after sunset or right before sunrise. When the conditions are right, a green spot is visible above the upper rim of the disk of the sun. The green appearance usually lasts for no more than a second or two. Rarely, the green flash can resemble a green ray shooting up from the sunset (or sunrise) point. Green flashes occur because the atmosphere can cause the light from the sun to separate out into different colors. Green flashes are a group of phenomena which stem from slightly different causes, and therefore some types of green flashes are more common than others.
Green flashes are enhanced by mirage, which increase refraction. A green flash is more likely to be seen in stable, clear air, when more of the light from the setting sun reaches the observer without being scattered. One might expect to see a blue flash, since blue light is refracted most of all, and the blue component of the sun’s light is therefore the very last to disappear below the horizon, but the blue is preferentially scattered out of the line of sight, and the remaining light ends up appearing green.
• Hotels, condos, tour operators and airlines have joined forces to be part of the largest LGBT event in the region.
• Vallarta Pride is proud to have the unconditional support of local, national and international businesses to carry out a world class event.
The third gay pride festival “Vallarta Pride” will take place from May 17 to 25, 2015. This festival in honor of the LGBT community living and visiting our vibrant tourist destinationis being supported by several local, national and international businesses under the theme of “Unity”.
It is now easier than ever to come enjoy and live the Vallarta Pride experience with the special promotions and travel packages that hotels, condos, tour operators and airlines are offering this year.
The Blue Chairs Hotel, Hotel Emperador, Hotel Catedral, Hotel Mercurio, Puerto de Luna, Rivera del Río and Villa Mercedes are all offering the 4th night free by booking 3. This promotion will run throughout Vallarta Pride. The condos Andales on the Bay, Condo Carmen Alicia and Piñata Gay Guest House will also join this initiative offering the same deal.
Other accommodation deals include Casa Cupula and OlasAltas Suites (book 4 nights and get the 5th night free), Puerto Vallarta Beach Club (4th night free by booking 3 via http://www.equalitydestinations.com/ using the code EQDPV) and Puerto Vallarta Timeshare Rentals (Get 70% off resort prices when you book a week through http://www.sellmytimesharenow.com/).
The Airlines that have joined the Vallarta Pride travel deals and will offer a discount of up to 10% are Aeroméxico (code B542D12A, valid only in national flights and form May 20 to 25, 2015), Alaska Airlines (code EC8368 and valid till May 29, 2015) and Delta Airlines (code NMKSE and valid form May 9to June 2, 2015).
As nightlife entertainment cannot be missed during your Puerto Vallarta visit, Gay Vallarta Bar Hopping is offering 10% discount when booking using the code Vallarta Pride. GayPV is also offering two complete travel packages:
• Exclusive Travel Package for Pride*
Airfares, Hotels, Events and Excursions (Including Andrew Christian Events)
• VIP Travel Package*
Andrew Christian event tickets, “Wet & Wild” Gay Cruise, fashion show and 5-night hotel accommodation.
*Exclusive deals only available on: http://gaypv.mx/deals/pride2015/.
For more information on these deals and promotions, visit here
and the official Facebook Page
ABC News / AP reports…
Greece’s new left-wing government has promised to grant same-sex couples legal status, in response to a 2013 international court decision condemning the country for discrimination.
Justice Minister Nikolaos Paraskevopoulos told parliament Monday that civil partnerships, first legislated in 2008, would be extended to gay couples but did not say when the changes were planned.
The pledge was made two weeks after the left-wing Syriza party ousted conservatives in a general election and formed a coalition government with a right-wing, anti-bailout party, one which in the past has opposed awarding gay partners legal status.
In other news…ITALY says NO to Gay Marriage!
IT’S ALMOST HERE! Winter Party 2015!
With over 10,000 guests from around the world attending six days of events, the scale of Winter Party Festival is inspiring. But the sense of welcome is warmly personal and sincere. Regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, age, race, ethnicity or belief, anyone and everyone is made to feel comfortable and at home. Winter Party Festival is that place where for one week, the world is full of acceptance and love. And we can take a deep breath of the ocean air and clear our heads. Fill our hearts. Engage our minds. Kick up our heels. And return to everyday life happier, stronger, wiser, and ready to ignite the world.
I have never been to this airport – yet – a friend of mine just saw this!
World’s largest kinetic art sculpture unveiled at Changi Airport
SINGAPORE, 2012 — Passengers and airport visitors entering the Departure Check-in Hall at Singapore Changi Airport’s Terminal 1 (T1) can expect to stop in their tracks and be captivated by a new art installation. Kinetic Rain, as it is titled, takes pride of place at the terminal, enthralling visitors with its fluidity, distinctive shapes, elegant and refined movements and precision-perfect technology.
Kinetic Rain, installed as part of T1’s recent refurbishment, is the icon of the revamped Departure Check-in Hall. This specially commissioned sculpture, a first in an airport globally, comes as a pair, each installed several metres apart from each other and visible from many areas of the Departure Check-in Hall.
Kinetic Rain is made up of 1,216 bronze droplets that transform elegantly into multiple shapes, akin to poetry in motion. Carrying an aviation theme, the key element in every shape shows the movement of flight through slow, fluid movements. Some of the more recognisable shapes include an aeroplane, hot air balloon and a kite. One can also make out a dragon and a flock of birds amongst the 16 different programmed segments.
Each droplet is connected to motors installed in the ceiling of the Departure Check-in Hall. The motors contain a high precision rotary encoder which keeps track of the exact position of each droplet. A computer programme is used to control the movement of the droplets to form Kinetic Rain’s unique shapes and patterns. A video on the making-of Kinetic Rain can be viewed here.
Kinetic Rain was created over a span of 20 months. Artists, programmers and technologists were engaged to analyse the space available at T1 and conceptualise a masterpiece that would be representative of the new terminal. The refurbished T1 is aptly themed ‘Tropical City’ in keeping with Singapore’s garden city status and where rain, is very much a part of the tropical climate.
Mr Yeo Kia Thye, Senior Vice President for Airport Operations, Changi Airport Group, said, “When we decided to upgrade Terminal 1 in 2008, we were mindful that people have fond memories of the terminal including the old Mylar Cords, the circular curtain of water that straddled three stories of the building. We wanted an art sculpture, which we found in Kinetic Rain, that was able to add the signature touch linking back to T1’s illustrious past in a new and exciting way.
“With more than a thousand raindrops working together in harmony, Kinetic Rain also symbolises the thousands in the airport community who work together every day to provide our passengers and visitors with a positively surprising and memorable Changi Experience.”
An audio commentary and official video are also available for visitors who wish to know more about Kinetic Rain. All they have to do is scan the QR code present at the display boards at the T1 Departure Check-in Hall with their smartphones. For more information about the refurbished T1, please visit: www.changiairport.com/terminal1
About Changi Airport Group
Changi Airport Group (Singapore) Pte Ltd (CAG) (www.changiairportgroup.com) was formed on 16 June 2009 and the corporatisation of Singapore Changi Airport followed on 1 July 2009. As the company managing Changi Airport, CAG undertakes key functions focusing on airport operations and management, air hub development, commercial activities and airport emergency services. Through its subsidiary Changi Airports International, the Group invests in and manages foreign airports to spread the success of Changi Airport internationally.
Changi Airport (www.changiairport.com) is the world’s most awarded airport having garnered more than 400 accolades since it opened in 1981. To serve passengers and visitors from the world over, there are 360 retail stores and 130 F&B outlets across the airport’s four terminals. Changi handled more than 46 million passenger movements in 2011, an annual record. Today, it serves some 100 airlines flying to over 220 cities in about 60 countries and territories worldwide. A flight takes off or lands at Changi roughly once every 100 seconds.
According to my Trip Advisor account, I have been to 51 cities in 9 countries. I was feeling kind of proud – until I read this article on LIFE HACK, 50 Incredible Travel Experiences to Have in Your Lifetime!
Seems I have done NONE OF THEM!
Most are in countries I have not seen yet – and some countries I really don’t care to visit. Just because any of our travel experiences are not on this list – does not lessen their value. So what I have not been to India. or Peru.
I HAVE been to Paris and sat at a sidewalk cafe and people watched;
I HAVE been to Budapest and seen the ornate bath houses;
I HAVE been to Prague and looked over the city of spires from the TV Tower;
I HAVE been to New York City and admired the Twin Towers before they fell;
I HAVE been to Hocking Hills Ohio and walked inside the majestic caves and forest;
I HAVE been to the Grand Canyon….
An incredible travel experience can be anywhere – and different for everyone…
What have been YOUR BEST travel experiences?
There are LOTS AND LOTS of March events in Chicago! And until February 15th, you can grab a sweet hotel deal, 50% off your March stay!!
Polar Plunge March 1st. St Patricks Events March 7th. More St Patricks March 15th., Local Food Expo March 19 , Pet Expo March 20th, Tattoo Convention March 20th, Beer festival, Flower Show and on and on! Check out the calendar HERE.
Two of my Favorite cities!
SPRING AND SUMMER TRAVEL SEASON AHEAD
Days are getting longer already!
59 days until SPRING!
START PLANNING NOW!
Here are 2 GREAT GETAWAYS to add to your spring/summer calendar
MONTREAL JAZZ FESTIVAL – JULY 3-6 (2015)
More than 500 concerts – most FREE
AMSTERDAM PRIDE – JUL 28- AUG 3 (2015)
World Famous Canal Parade
Circuit Parties & Street Parties
Amsterdam’s most popular festival
JOIN ME! LET’S PARTY! I can arrange great pricing for you and provide helpful tour information in both cities! Dave @ Donovan Travel
Last week, Vietnam became the first country in Southeast Asia to support same-sex marriage when the communist country’s National Assembly struck down the ban.
According to LifeSiteNews, the country’s motivation to strike down the ban came from pressure to attract homosexual tourism and the influence of U.S. foreign policy, which features Ted Osius, an active homosexual, as the new US ambassador to Vietnam.
“We could get more support from civil society in Vietnam because the American ambassador is gay,” said Luong The Huy, a lawyer with the homosexuality-advocating Institute for Studies of Society. “He promotes a very good image of a very successful person who is gay,” he said.
Though the government does not ban the union, it still does not formally recognize it or provide any legal support system. Read more at THE REVOLT
IF you think coach / economy flights are bad now….just wait…it’s getting worse in 2015!
If you think flying coach is a cramped and claustrophobic experience, then you’re going to hate what’s coming in the months ahead.
An increasing number of airlines are starting to install more paid-legroom seats on their planes (because people buy them), eating into the legroom of the standard coach seat – which we all know is already limited.
Airlines such as JetBlue, American, United, Frontier, and Spirit are introducing a new class of roomier seats with names such as Economy Plus (United) and Classic Plus (Frontier) that offer passengers more space to spread out but at a higher price tag. To make room on the plane for these pricier seats, the standard coach experience gets a little more cramped.
HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO SIT ON A BICYCLE SEAT?
While luxury airlines unveil multi-room apartments in the sky, the future of economy seating for the rest of us is looking smaller and even less comfortable.
In a recent patent filing, plane manufacturer Airbus included diagrams for new standing seats. (ABOVE).
The design is meant to fit even more passengers on flights, specifically on short-haul trips where the added discomfort could be more tolerable, at least in Airbus’ estimation.
Even though the Airbus plan is still just a concept, there is no question air carriers want to fit more economy passengers on each plane.
Boeing is working on adding capacity to its 737 narrow-body airplane model, which is used for short-haul flights. The manufacturer plans to squeeze in more passengers by reducing the space between seats by two inches. Read more at MASHABLE.
“I don’t want to be tortured,” says Judy Greene, a musician who lives in New York.
Durnford King, a TV writer based in Santa Monica, Calif., wonders, “What’s next, rolling passengers up in bubble wrap and packing them in like sausages?”
How to avoid economy “minus” in 2015
Find airlines with more legroom, for now. Some airlines still offer a civil amount of space, even in economy class. One of your best bets is to find planes configured for international travel flying domestic flights. Depending on the aircraft type, your seat may have as much as 33 inches of pitch.
Book for comfort. Expedia.com just added a service called RouteHappy, which displays flights based on comfort. Hipmunk.com also lets you sort fares by “agony.”
Lobby for legroom. Tell your elected representative it’s time to draw the line and to set minimum seat standards on planes. Getting rid of what passes for economy class today would be a good start. Read more on this at USA TODAY.