Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Cool Accommodations: Irish Lighthouse

Looking for an Unusual Accommodation?

Wicklow, IrelandSometimes you just wants something a little different and that's what this place offers.  The Wicklow Head Lights was a fully functioning lighthouse until 1836 when it was struck by lightening.  The lighthouse is located in the town of Wicklow in eastern Ireland,  has two bedrooms, a bathroom, two common rooms, on the top floor is a kitchen and houses a total of four people.

The lighthouse was acquired by the Irish Landmark Trust in 1996 and restored and updated.  The lighthouse requires a 3 night minimum and prices start at approx. $680.

Activities at Munich Airport

Have a Long Stopover in Munich, Germany?

Munich, GermanyThere's nothing more boring than hanging around an airport for hours but you never know what you can do in those few hours without risking missing your flight.  Well, if your flying through Munich airport there is a website to help you find activities that you can do within your stopover time frame. The "Stopover Guide" can be found at

You just input the date of your arrival and the flight numbers of your incoming and outgoing flights and a list of activities and sites of interests will come up of things that can be experienced around terminal 2 within your stopover's time limit.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

American Airlines Lounge Denial

You may think because you are holding a first class or business class American Airline ticket in your hand you will be granted access to American Airline's Admirals Club Lounge(economy or premium economy ticket holders are not allowed access).  Well, you may be in for a surprise when you try to enter the lounge.

First of all if you are traveling on a domestic ticket - forget it.  The lounge is for international travelers only.

But what if you are traveling to an international destination, no problem then right?  Not so fast.  If you are traveling between the Untied States and Mexico (except Mexico City), the Caribbean or Canada, you will not be allowed to use the lounge.  Even though according to immigration these destinations are considered international and you will need your passport to travel there, American Airlines will not allow you to use their lounge.

Admiral Club LoungeOk, so what if you are traveling from the United States to another country, other then Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean, and you have a connecting flight that code shares with American Airlines which happens all the time.  For example you may be traveling from Chicago to Los Angeles on American Airlines for the first leg of your trip and from Los Angeles to Fiji on Fiji Airways for the second leg of the trip.

Everything seems fine, you booked an American Airlines ticket to an international destination in business class so you head to the Admirals Club Lounge only to find you are denied access.  The reason, Fiji Airways is not a Oneworld member and American Airlines doesn't recognize airlines who aren't Oneworld members therefore they only recognize the portion of your ticket being flown on American Airlines which unfortunately was completed all within the United States and was therefore a "domestic" ticket.  And you are denied entrance.

The moral of the story is make sure you read the fine print.  If you are planning on using the airlines lounge make sure you know all of the rules and restrictions and make sure all of your flights qualify you for entrance.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Zookeeper for a Day in Alaska

For a donation of $200 per person, you can become a zookeeper for a day at The Alaska Zoo.  Experienced caretakers will be your tour guide and mentor.  For six hours you will ;earn how to properly feed the animals, interact with them and care for them.  Because of how intense the program is for the staff, the zookeeper for a day program is only available during the off season, September through May 15.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Emirates Airline Plane Crash-Lands in Dubai

An Emirates Airlines flight from India to Dubai crash landed at Dubai International Airport this morning burning on the runway as 282 passengers and 18 crew members were evacuated.  Flight EK521 was traveling from the Indian city of Thiruvananthapuram to Dubai.  The crash happened at 12:45 p.m. Dubai time.  Many people reached out on Twitter to thank the crew of EMirates for saving so many lives.

Emirates Airline Plane Crash-Lands, Burns on Dubai Runway
(photo via Twitter/Al Arabiya)

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Worlds Best Toy Stores

We have searched the world for the best toy stores.  These aren’t just good places to buy toys, these shops are an experience. 

London, EnglandHamleys
Regent Street, London, England
This seven story toy store is a child’s paradise.  The store has been serving London for over 250 years.  Shoppers can try out many of the toys and will find live demonstrations of the latest toys.  The staff dress in costumes to the delight of both children and adults.  The store has a very festive feel to it and is a fun place to shop.

FAO Schwarz
New York City, United States

Located on the corner of 5th Avenue and 58th Street in Manhattan, FAO Schwarz is the oldest toy store in the United States.  The 150 year old store lets children create a doll in their own image at the Madame Alexander Doll Factory or they can design an authentic muppet at the Muppet Whatnot Workshop.  And who won’t want to try out the floor piano featured in the 1988 movie “Big.”  And when you’re ready for a sweet treat swing by Schweetz for some delicious treats and candies.

The Lego Store
New York City, New York
New York City, United States
This two story, 3000 square foot, Rockefeller Center store boasts of the largest Pick-A-Brick wall with 116 bubbles filled with individual Lego pieces including rare must have pieces.  Lego fans can visit the Master Builder Bar where they can design their own kit and play Lego inspired video games.  And there is an endless array of Lego sets for the kids to choose from.

Kellogg, Minnesota, United States
A family run business that takes you back in time.  A warm, welcoming atmosphere where kids will find old fashion gems such as tea sets, marbles, Jack-in-the-boxes, books and puppets.  LARKS is known for their famous handmade heirloom wooden toys and hand-carved carousel.  Shoppers can also play around on the outdoor mini-golf course, checkout the antique toy collection and pet llamas.  And when you’re in need of a sweet treat you can swing by the candy shop or homemade fudge emporium. 

Barbie Store
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires, Argentina
This is the world’s first official Barbie store.  The store is located in the Palermo district of Buenos Aires and is a Barbie dreamland for little girls.  The store has everything you could thing of for Barbie including jewelry, outfits, DVD’s and Barbie dolls.  Little girls can become a real life Barbie themselves and get manicures, makeup demonstrations, and Barbie-inspired hairstyles, and experience life as Barbie in a life size Casa Barbie bedroom.  And the store didn’t forget about the parents, they can relax at the Barbie Tea House while their little girls enjoy the store.

Charles Ro Supply Company
Malden, Massachusetts, United Stated
America’s largest train store, selling everything you can thing of related to model trains.  Charles Ro Supply Company is the world’s largest Lionel train seller.  They also sell American Flyer, Bridgewerks, USA Trains and Thomas the Tank Engine.  They can also help you find those hard to find train sets, locomotives, box cars and classic re-issues. 

American Girl Place
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Located in Chicago’s Water Tower Place, this 52,000 square foot store is the largest American Girl store in the United States.  They have an extended ranges of doll accessories, clothing, posters and books.  You can design your own matching doll and girl t-shirts, appear on the cover of a souvenir issue of American Girl magazine and pamper your mini me in the Doll Hair salon.  And you and your new doll can share a bite to eat at the elegant American Girl Café for brunch, lunch, afternoon tea or dinner.

Disney Store
London, England
London, England
Located on Oxford Street, this Disney store embraces and celebrates the spirit of Disney, the love of toys and London.  Shoppers enter through the arch of a 28 foot tall castle to find a life size Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck dressed in Palace Guard uniforms.  Shoppers will find toys, games and clothing featuring the beloved Disney characters as well as learn about Disney’s connection to London with a map that pinpoints movie locations – Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral and St James Park – from Peter Pan, Mary Poppins, Cars 2 and 101 Dalmatians.  Shoppers will also enjoy interactive events including animation classes, storytelling, trivia quizzes and parades.

Sopa de Principe
Buenos Aires
Designer Veronica Longoni’s unique store that sells hand-stitched dolls, robots and zoo animals with button eyes and lopsided faces.  You can purchase your own DIY kit with mixing and matching limbs so you can create your own unique creation.  Kids of all ages will fall in love with these dolls and animals. 

Prague, Czech Republic

Located near Prague Castle, this shop sells high quality, artist-carved linden-wood originals and antique rarities from the early 20th century.  A popular among shoppers is a marionette versions of the Good Soldier Svejk, a beloved fictional World War I ear soldier. 

Steiff Museum & Factory Outlet
Giengen an der Brenz, Germany

Known for their high-end teddy bears with the trademark button-in-ear design, Steiff got its Margarete Steiff, a polio stricken seamstress began designing elephant shaped pincushions in the1880s. The museum has a life size plush petting zoo, a collection of rare historic toys and a fabrication demonstration center, plus a factory outlet packed with discounted products. 

Terrific Scientific
Sydney, Australia

Terrific Scientific show kids it’s cool to be a nerd.  Located in Sydney’s suburb of Annandale, the store is filled with all kinds of cool things like volcano making kits, model dinosaurs, ant farms, and telescopes. 


Hakuhinkan Toy Park
Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan
The four story toy store is located in the Ginza district and is filled with the latest western toys such as Lego, Barbie, video games and electronics.  Shoppers will also find plenty of Japanese items including quirky snacks and crazy gadgets you can’t find anywhere else.  The fourth floor houses a model race track where shoppers can pay by the hour to race.  In the basement is the headquarters of Japan’s Licca-Chan fan club – think Barbie, Japanese style.  There is also an onsite restaurant and theater.  Vending machines can be found outside the store that allow shoppers to purchase popular toys around the clock.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Insight Vacations Offering Free Companion Airfare

Insight Vacations Insight Vacations is helping guests make their travel dreams more affordable by offering free airfare for companion travelers on select European Vacations.  For a limited time guests who book trips to Europe between June 30 and September 25, 2016, will receive free airfare for their traveling companion.  Solo guests and triple travelers will receive ten percent off their airfare. 

 Guests can choose from a list of popular tours including premium Europe and Britain itineraries, as well as Insight and Uniworld’s “Europe’s Finest” combined cruise-tours.