Come Together

FullSizeRWhat’re you doing right now?

 I know you’re not busy – unless you’re an epidemiologist looking for a cure. Then stay at it,  give me your address, and we’ll all send you No-Doz.

The rest of you guys, join us for a global meditation for world peace at 5:30 today, Friday, day whatever of the isolationist movement.

It’s half an hour.   Nothing more important as putting your spiritual pedal to the metal for healing.

For world peace. (I  wish I didn’t keep thinking of the bumper sticker…)whirledpeas


Sign up, Stoke the fires. 

Connect via Zoom.



The wrong time to cancel

Been refining (redoing) plans for my trip to New Orleans for Jazz Fest — which now includes a detour to my dear cousin Ted’s wedding in Puerto Vallarta. It’s getting a little crazy.

The process has reminded me of the various ways you can fall into potholes during the booking process. And one, in particular, I’d like to pass along.  It has to do with those pesky cancellation windows.

Don’t be lulled by assurances you can book something and can always change it. There’s probably some kernel of truth in these statements, but look closely at the fine print. Sometimes there’s not even fine print, though…

I was booking a hotel in Paris and had until midnight to cancel. But when I attempted to cancel, I was informed the deadline for cancellation had passed. It was definitely before midnight — in the United States, that is. Not where the booking had been made, however: The discount booking agent was apparently somewhere in Asia!

I fought it (and won).

Just sayin’, be careful.

Still carrying guns on a plane



What part of  “no firearms” is unclear?

There may be some blurry lines in the TSA rules — or at least in their implementation at various airports (do I take my shoes off if I’m under 11 or over 65?), but “no firearms” in carry-ons  is pretty clear. Or am I missing something?

Maybe I am, because recently, the  TSA discovered a record 104 guns in carry-on bags during a one-week period. And of those guns, 87 were loaded.

Really?  What are people thinking?

The TSA addresses that question on its blog — sort of. Continue reading “Still carrying guns on a plane”

Hot ticket turnaround

I usually talk about tickets in terms of airfare. But today, let’s stick closer to home and talk about those tickets for performances.  Broadway, arenas, that kind of ticket. The ones, when you actually snag them, feel like you’ve snagged some holy grail  (“Hamilton”? Foo Fighters? Chris Rock?).

Those same tickets can be a disaster waiting to happen.

Maybe you bought them for yourself. Maybe you bought, or received them, as a gift. Maybe right now, you’re entering the date on your calendar. You’re excited, looking forward to it.  Maybe, though, you’ve already found yourself facing down that big-ticket quandary, as you realize other commitments clash with the date of your show: ‘I can’t go. ticketforweb2Now what do I do?’

Tickets usually come with the caveat,  “All sales final. No refunds, exchanges or returns.”

For the most part, take those words very seriously.

But after being in a few ticket jams, I can tell you, it ain’t necessarily so.

We’re all human: ticket buyers and sometimes even ticket sellers. And so there are some get-out-of-ticket hell-almost-free policies and options.

Here are a few examples: Continue reading “Hot ticket turnaround”

2017’s best — and worst — new luxe hotels


Everybody loves a good list, and when it comes to travel, the best ones — the ones I respect, anyway — are those assembled by experts who have the background to be truly discerning. 

Enter  LTI-Luxury Travel Intelligence’s Best (and Worst) New Luxury Hotels list. The annual compilation is the result of a dozen experts covering the globe to research the most anticipated luxury properties opening each year. LTI is a global members-only organization providing the latest intel for “high net worth”  travelers — covering not only hotels but restaurants, spas and nightlife.  They don’t sell travel or carry advertising.

I’m sharing their list not just because it’s a peek into accommodations many of us couldn’t afford to actually sleep in, but it’s also kind of fun to read about the one that blew it, luxury-wise. A reminder that price is not always commensurate with quality.

This year, LTI experts visited  74 new hotels; 14 merited inclusion on the Best list, while two were bad enough to make it to The Worst.

Here are their picks, in the (slightly condensed) words of Michael Crompton, LTI cofounder.

Continue reading “2017’s best — and worst — new luxe hotels”