Tuesday, September 6, 2011

10 New Reasons to Fly Coach

I decided to break my blog ban to share this slideshow. Lots of international airlines and Delta seem to be making some interesting upgrades to their coach sections. I'm particularly intrigued by a state-of-the-art air filter and cooling system and something called "cuddle class".

Check it out and let me know what you think.

See you in another 6 months.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

So Much to Plan, So Little Time

Wedding planning has taken over my life. I've been slipping on planning our trip to Scotland. May is quickly approaching (although the weather right now would make it seem otherwise).

Neither plane tickets nor hotels have been booked. Disaster. I must work to change that this weekend. Hopefully saying this here will make it more likely to happen.

Monday, March 14, 2011

World's Most Underrated Cities

Beautiful Providence
Travel and Leisure recently did an article on the world's 10 most underrated cities. Many of the cities I had never heard of. Bratislava?

There was one very special city that I had heard of. Providence made the list!

Glasgow, Scotland also made the list. I've been thinking about where to go on our Scotland trip and was wavering on Glasgow. Maybe I should reconsider.

Check out the entire article here.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Germaphobes Anonymous

I confess, I'm a huge germaphobe. Usually I'm pretty good at keeping my insanity under-wraps. I walk through the world and people think I'm a normal person. In reality, I would love to live with a germ zapping force field around me that would kill the germs off anyone that came near me. It is becoming increasingly hard for me to not run in disgust every time a person coughs without covering their mouth.

This is why when I saw the New York Times article How Not to Get Sick From a Flight I immediately dropped everything and read it.

I already have a system that I believe helps keep me safe from germs on flights.
  1. I take Airborne before I go to the airport. 
  2. I try not to touch things in the airport or airplane.
  3. Since it is impossible to not touch anything, I carry hand sanitizer with me.
  4. I try not to touch my face.
  5. I wash my hands as much as I can without having to enter gross public bathrooms. If I do have to go into public bathrooms I have another system to try and leave cleaner than I went in.
  6. Pray that the person sitting next to me isn't sick.
This may seem crazy, but I would like to point out that lots of people take it a step further. The people interviewed for the NY Times articles were buying all sorts of things to keep the germs at bay.
  •  Disposable face masks
  • Antiseptic spritzers
  • Airline seat covers
  • Portable air purifiers (hangs around your neck)
  • Nano UV scanners (uses ultraviolet light to kill germs on surfaces)
While I completely understand what motivates these people, I'm way too cheap for all that. The article also mentioned that some people wipe down the arm rests and trays with disinfectant wipes. That is something I could get down with.

Although most of the article didn't give me tips I could use, it did give me a comforting new fact. Major airlines deep clean their planes once a month and do lighter cleanings more frequently than that. This made me happy because I didn't think they were deep cleaning those suckers at all.

Any other germaphobes out there? We've got to stand together...but not too close.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Plaid Could Suit Me

I started out scratching my head about Scotland. I wasn't sure where to start. Usually Trip Advisor is my go-to-site but I didn't feel like I could start there this time. You search by city and I didn't even know which city was the right one to start in. Once I get into the nitty gritty details of the trip I'm sure it'll be helpful. I'm just not there yet.

I ended up going to my beloved NYtimes.com. I typed Scotland into the travel section and got the best overview. It explained:
Loch Ness Monster aka Nessie
  • Scotland has amazing seafood and restaurants. It also gave a short list of the best restaurants. Fiance loves seafood and has been slowly making me appreciate it more and more.
  • Teeny tiny country. It really does make more sense to look at Scotland as a whole in planning your trip because it is so small. The major cities aren't far from each other. It seems totally feasible to rent a car and road trip from region to region. 
  • There is a lot of deep history to explore. Castles, cathedrals, museums, William Wallace (gotta hurry up and watch Braveheart), Loch Ness monster, the list goes on.
  • The end of May is the perfect time to go!
I've decided that even though drinking scotch isn't my thing, it would be dumb not to check out the whiskey region. Plus, Fiance loves scotch. I'll be the designated driver that day.

Next up, nailing down dates and looking at flights.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Introducing Scotland

This weekend we got an invitation to a friend's wedding in Scotland. Now I can officially start planning our trip there at the end of May. One small problem. I know nothing about Scotland.

Usually when I go to a new destination I already have things in mind that I want to do or know a couple of the exciting tourist attractions. In this case I'm clueless.

What do people do in Scotland? I have no idea. I picture highlands, scotch, and kilts. I don't drink scotch, I can only spend so long running in circles on some highlands, and I think kilts are for men. I have some Scottish ancestry so it would be interesting to learn more about that. Fiance and I have been watching the show Who Do You Think You Are so we've been on a genealogy kick. Other than that I'm drawing a blank and since I'm the travel agent in the relationship I need to figure it out.

To start, I'm reading Lonely Planet's intro on Scotland. Wish me luck.

Any suggestions?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Navigation Tips That Will Keep the Peace in Your Relationship

Last weekend, Fiance and I went to Rhode Island. Usually when we go he drives and I navigate. It is a beautiful system. This time he wanted to do work in the car and was just being moody so I drove. It didn't work out so well. We switched half way through. Was it because of my driving? No, I'm an excellent driver. It was his horrible attempt at navigating. We didn't get lost (a miracle as far as I can tell) but it was a stressful experience for both of us.

In an effort to give both of us peace of mind the next time I have to drive I've broken down the correct way to navigate. So, for my dear Fiance:
  1. You are in total control of the GPS. That means you put the destination address in, you pay attention to it, you make sure the thing doesn't die (we use the GPS in our cellphones), etc.
  2. Repeat the next step in the directions at multiple time intervals so nothing sneaks up on the driver. This is also important because it is easier for the driver to understand you than the GPS's robot voice. Especially over the music in the car. Which brings me to my next point.
  3. Navigator = DJ. The driver is focused on more important things like keeping you all alive. It is your job to handle the tunes and make sure they are upbeat if it's night. You don't want the driver to fall asleep at the wheel.
  4. Look out for road signs. Obviously the driver is doing this too but it is good to help. Especially if the driver continually misses an exit even though you have clearly stated where he should go.
  5. Stay calm. When you are sitting next to a frustrated driver that keeps missing exits inexplicably, don't get upset. Calmly repeat the correct way to go. Remember, this person is holding your life in their hands. It is worth it to stroke their ego and say, "Oh honey, anyone would have missed that again and again. That sign is impossible to see...at every angle."
  6. Be on cellphone/blackberry duty. Read the driver's emails and/or texts to them even if it makes you incredibly nauseous to do this in the car. Answer their phone. They can't do these things themselves, nor would you want them to.
  7. Trust the driver. Thinking that the driver might crash at any moment is stressful for everyone. Plus it just isn't true! I have never gotten into a car accident thank you very much.
These are my lessons from driving with him. I hope he learns to do the same for me. My mother always did say men need to be trained.

What tips would you add? He really does need all the help he can get.