When This Delta Crew Called for a Doctor, They Found the U.S. Surgeon General on Their Flight

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 05/18/2018 - 06:03
<p>The U.S. Surgeon General responded to a medical emergency onboard a Delta flight on Thursday.</p><p>On Delta Flight 1827 from Fort Lauderdale to Atlanta, a passenger lost consciousness while waiting for the flight to take off. The flight was delayed for more than three hours and forced to return to the gate due to a “customer illness,” the airline said in a statement.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">This Is How Likely It Is That There's a Doctor on Your Flight</a></p><p>Flight crew asked the cabin if there were any doctors on board to assist with a medical emergency. “Why yes- yes there was,” Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams later tweeted.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">How to Find a Doctor Anywhere in the World</a></p><p>Adams, along with two nurses who also happened to be on board, responded to the medical emergency and the passenger regained consciousness, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services <a href="" target="_blank">told <em>ABC News</em></a>. Adams helped the passenger off the plane and telephoned their spouse with a recommendation to go to the hospital. Adams later reported that the patient was “doing well.”</p><p>After tweeting about the incident, Adams added in a Facebook post that he was one of three medical professionals on board the flight who helped the patient. He also went on to thank the “doctors, nurses, and techs who step up each and every day to respond to emergencies on flights.”</p><p>The Delta flight took off from Fort Lauderdale at 5:14 p.m., <a href="" target="_blank">about three hours after schedule</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Have Chosen Their Bridesmaids and Page Boys

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 05/17/2018 - 17:45
<p><a href="" target="_blank">Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal wedding</a> is only days away, so that means we’re getting more and more juicy details on a daily basis.</p><p>The latest news: The couple has <a href="" target="_blank">officially chosen</a> their bridesmaids and page boys for the event, and we’re all going to be gushing when we finally see this charming bridal party in their formal attire.</p><p>First up, Markle’s bridesmaids include:</p><p>Three-year-old <a href="" target="_blank">Princess Charlotte of Cambridge</a>, who, of course, is the daughter of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge.</p><p>Next is Florence van Cutsem, also age three, and the goddaughter of Prince Harry. She is the daughter of Major Nicholas and Alice van Cutsem. Nicholas is the son of Prince Charles's best friend from Cambridge and grew up with William and Harry, according to <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Town &amp; Country</em></a>.</p><p>Then there are Remi and Rylan Litt, six and seven years old respectively, Meghan's goddaughters and the daughters of <a href="" target="_blank">her friends Benita and Darren Litt</a>.</p><p>Next is Ivy Mulroney, age four, who is the daughter of stylist Jessica Mulroney, one of <a href="" target="_blank">Meghan's best friends</a>, and Benedict Mulroney.</p><p>And last but not least, Zalie Warren, age two, is the goddaughter of Prince Harry and daughter of Zoe and Jake Warren. Jake is the son of John Warren, the Queen's horse racing manager, according to the <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Mirror</em></a>. She has a twin sister who is not a bridesmaid. </p><p>Prince Harry’s page boys are equally adorable:</p><p>First is <a href="" target="_blank">four-year-old Prince George</a> of Cambridge, the first son of Prince William and Kate Middleton. </p><p>Then, Jasper Dyer, age six, the godson of Prince Harry and son of Amanda and Mark Dyer M.V.O. (Member of the Royal Victorian Order).</p><p>Last are Brian and John Mulroney, both seven years old, the sons of Jessica and Benedict and brothers of bridesmaid Ivy. </p><p>More details about the bridal party, including their attire for the big day, will be released on Saturday. The hour-long ceremony will begin at 12 p.m. local time at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, and there's no doubt the whole world will be watching.</p>
Categories: Travel

A Times Square Takeover, a Floating Museum, and Tons of Other Innovative Art Happenings are Coming to New York City

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 05/17/2018 - 17:32
<p>Everyone knows <a href="" target="_blank">New York City</a> is one of the centers of the art world — that’s not news. With dozens of superlative museums and world-class galleries in all five boroughs, this is a make-it-here, make-it-anywhere market for artists from across the globe. But in the next few months, an injection of new shows and innovative projects is making this tried-and-true art destination feel new again.</p><p>International artists are debuting commissioned public works, galleries from around the country (and the world) are opening new spaces in the city, and some of New York’s favorite museums are presenting artists you thought you knew in a new and innovative light. There’s even a museum on a barge.</p><p>Here’s why art lovers should drop everything and book a flight to NYC.</p><img alt="kurimanzutto new york gallery Autocontusión Abraham Cruzvillegas "src=""><h2>Out-of-towners are popping up in the city.</h2><p>One of the most talked-about openings is the New York wing of <a href="" target="_blank">kurimanzutto</a>, a contemporary art space and incubator in <a href="" target="_blank">Mexico City</a> founded by gallerists José Kuri and Mónica Manzutto with influential artist Gabriel Orozco. To celebrate its new project space, <a href="" target="_blank">kurimanzutto new york</a> is hosting a installation from <a href="" target="_blank"><strong><em>Autocontusión</em></strong></a>, an ongoing project by Mexican artist Abraham Cruzvillegas. In addition to the project’s signature hanging sculptures, expect some new pieces — including a mural inspired by Manhattan. <em>(Through June 22)</em></p><p>Sailing in from a little closer to home is <em><strong><a href="" target="_blank">GlassBarge</a></strong></em>, a floating glass-making workshop from western New York's <a href="" target="_blank">Corning Museum of Glass</a>. For the second half of May, the boat will be docked at Brooklyn Bridge Park offering free demonstrations and other events. After its residency, the barge will spend the summer months touring the waterways of New York State as part of the Erie Canal Bicentennial celebrations, sailing up the <a href="" target="_blank">Hudson</a>, around the <a href="" target="_blank">Finger Lakes</a>, and eventually back to Corning in September. <em>(May 17 – 28) </em></p><p>In June, the <a href="" target="_blank">Museum of Latin American Art</a> in Long Beach, CA, organizes an exhibition of pan-<a href="" target="_blank">Caribbean</a> art as part of the Getty Foundation’s <a href="" target="_blank">Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA</a> project. <a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>Relational Undercurrents: Contemporary Art of the Caribbean Archipelago</strong></em></a> at Columbia University’s <a href="" target="_blank">Wallach Art Gallery</a> presents the work of over 70 artists from Aruba, the Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba, Curaçao, the Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Puerto Rico, St. Martin, and Trinidad and Tobago. <em>(June 1 – September 23) </em><br /><br />%image3</p><h2>Notable artists are setting up public works and outdoor installations.</h2><p>In <a href="" target="_blank">Madison Square Park</a>, visitors can wander through an exhibition by Syrian-American artist <a href="" target="_blank">Diana Al-Hadid</a> specially commissioned by the park conservancy. <a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>Delirious Matter</strong></em></a> consists of six sculptures, including human figures, wall installations, and multimedia pieces the artist describes as “a blend between fresco and tapestry,” integrated into the plant life and water elements around the park. Also on the docket: art talks, guided tours, and performance pieces. <em>(Through September 3) </em></p><p>At Rockefeller Center, prominent German painter and sculptor<strong> </strong><a href="" target="_blank">Anselm Kiefer</a> unveils his first-ever public art commission in the U.S.: <a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>Uraeus</strong></em></a>, a massive, imposing lead sculpture inspired in part by Nietzsche's <em>Thus Spoke Zarathustra</em> and the religious symbolism of ancient Egypt. <em>(Through July 22) </em></p><p>Stay up late to visit <a href="" target="_blank">Times Square</a>, where another colossal work comes to the masses. For this month’s installment of the Midnight Moment series — which injects groundbreaking digital art into the advertising screens around this much-maligned NYC tourist destination — Times Square Arts presents <a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>Pattern Language</strong></em></a>, an ongoing work by Brooklyn-based artist <a href="" target="_blank">Peter Burr</a>. Be sure to arrive in time for the 11:57 PM start-time; the display runs for three minutes every night in May. Up next: works by animator <a href="" target="_blank">Jeff Scher</a> in June and British video artist <a href="" target="_blank">Alice Dunseath</a> in July. <em>(Through May 31)</em></p><p>Later in the summer, two elements of experimental multi-location installation <a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>Mel Chin: All Over the Place​​</strong></em></a> will also make their way to Times Square, with a 24-foot-tall sculpture and a mixed-reality immersive art piece taking up residence among the throngs of milling tourists. <em>(July 11 – September 5)</em></p><img alt="Stanley Kubrick Peter Arno Museum of the City of New York "src=""><h2>You can view old favorites in new contexts.</h2><p>Some of the country's most recognizable artists feature prominently in New York's latest museum shows — but you've never seen them like this before. First, a look at the unlikely early career of one of the most acclaimed filmmakers of the 20th century. Stanley Kubrick, legendary director of such pivotal films as <em>2001: A Space </em><em>Odyssey </em>and <em><a href="" target="_blank">The Shining</a>, </em>actually started out as a staff photographer at the now-defunct <em>Look </em>magazine<em>. <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Through a Different Lens: Stanley Kubrick Photographs</strong></a></em> at the <a href="" target="_blank">Museum of the City of New York</a> shows the city through the eyes of this young genius — he sold his first photo to the publication when he was just 17 — with over 120 street scenes, subway shots, and portraits of notable NYC characters. <em>(</em><em>Through </em><em>October 28)</em></p><p>At the <a href="" target="_blank">New York Botanical Garden</a>, <a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>Georgia O'Keeffe: Visions of Hawai'i</strong></em></a> highlights the iconic painter's lesser-known subjects — instead of cow skulls and desert plants, this collection showcases the lush scenery, tropical flowers, and exotic fruits that O'Keeffe painted during a two-month journey through <a href="" target="_blank">the islands</a>. The paintings, paired here with an exhibition of Hawaiian flora in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, have not been displayed together in New York in nearly 80 years. <em>(May 19 – October 28)</em></p><p>And the <a href="" target="_blank">New-York Historical Society</a> is the first stop for the highly anticipated <em><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Rockwell, Roosevelt &amp; the Four Freedoms</a></strong></em>, a touring exhibition that places Norman Rockwell's famous 1943 series — <em>Freedom of Speech</em>, <em>Freedom of Worship</em>, <em>Freedom from Fear</em>, and <em>Freedom from Want — </em>in the context of Rockwell's oeuvre, the FDR presidency, and the contemporary global imagination. For this 75th anniversary tour, the paintings will be displayed alongside historical archival materials and other works from the era. <em>(</em><em>May 25 – September 2)</em></p>
Categories: Travel

An Ancient Greek City Is for Sale for $8.3 Million

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 05/17/2018 - 16:59
<p>It’s possible to buy an <a href="" target="_blank">ancient Greek</a> city, complete with ruins, for a cool $8.3 million.</p><p>The ancient city of Bargylia, in modern day <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Bogazici, Turkey</a>, is up for sale in an effort to protect the ancient archaeological site from decay and treasure hunters.</p><p>The site’s theater, acropolis, fortification walls, and necropolis make up a Grade 1 archaeological site which dates back to the first century B.C. Greek mythology says the city was founded in honor of Bargylos, who was killed when he was kicked by the winged horse Pegasus.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">You Could Live in an Adorable Cottage on Your Own Private Scottish Island</a></p><p>The ancient city is about 81.5 acres and has been private property since 1927, but it has been falling into disrepair. “We hear the sounds of treasure hunters at night, but we cannot do anything out of fear,” a local told <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Hurriyet Daily News</em> in Turkey</a>. A long-abandoned monastery in Bargylia <a href="" target="_blank">now serves as an animal shelter</a> and cows graze among the ruins.</p><p>Because it is a Grade 1 archaeological site, no construction is permitted on property. But a new owner may seek to downgrade that status and build a resort on the ruins. Archaeologists are hoping that Greece’s Culture and Tourism Ministry will step in and buy the site to protect the artifacts buried there.</p><p>A proper archaeological dig has never been performed at Bargylia so it is unknown what treasures lie underneath the earth’s surface — but there’s likely something big. The Hellenistic geographer <a href="" target="_blank">Strabo once wrote about the city</a>'s impressive Temple of Artemis.</p><p>The site was up for sale in 2015 but nobody bought it. This time around, the price has been lowered by about $2 million.</p>
Categories: Travel

Uber Will No Longer Require Sexual Assault Claims to Go to Arbitration

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 05/17/2018 - 16:32
<p>Uber will no longer require arbitration when there are claims of sexual assault or sexual harassment.</p><p>The company announced Tuesday that it was eliminating a clause from its terms of service that forced users to settle any legal claims with the company in an arbitration hearing. Customers will now be able to pursue their complaints of sexual assault or harassment in mediation, arbitration or open court.</p><p>“We have learned it’s important to give sexual assault and harassment survivors control of how they pursue their claims,” Tony West, Uber’s chief legal officer, <a href="" target="_blank">wrote in a blog post</a>. “So moving forward, survivors will be free to choose to resolve their individual claims in the venue they prefer.”</p><p>The decision comes <a href="" target="_blank">two weeks after CNN published a report</a> detailing the extent of sexual harassment claims against Uber drivers. According to the report, at least 103 Uber drivers have been accused of sexual assault over the past four years.</p><p>The change in policy will affect all ongoing and future sexual assault cases. Arbitration will still remain mandatory for other legal claims, like discrimination, <a href="" target="_blank">according to <em>The New York Times</em></a>.</p><p>As part of its new initiative, Uber will also begin publishing a “safety transparency report,” detailing the frequency of sexual harassment, assault and other incidents reported from use of the app.</p><p>Last month, 14 female sexual assault victims sent an open letter to Uber’s board, detailing the company’s problems with sexual assault. “Silencing our stories deprives customers and potential investors from the knowledge that our horrific experiences are part of a widespread problem at Uber,” <a href="" target="_blank">they wrote in the letter</a>.</p><p>This week, Uber launched a <a href="" target="_blank">new advertising campaign</a>, featuring CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. In the ads, Khosrowshahi delivers a message that the company is “moving forward” and promises greater transparency.</p><p>Hours after Uber’s announcement, <a href="" target="_blank">Lyft also scrapped its mandatory arbitration clause</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

American Airlines Is Tightening Its Emotional Support Animal Policy, So No More Goats, Peacocks, or Amphibians

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 05/17/2018 - 16:01
<p>The days of the <a href="" target="_blank">emotional support peacock</a> are numbered. And the same goes for pigs, goats, snakes, hedgehogs and any other unusual animals people have tried to take on planes.</p><p>American Airlines <a href="" target="_blank">announced a new policy</a> this week regarding their emotional support animal policy. American is following other major carriers like <a href="" target="_blank">United</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Delta</a>, which are trying to limit what they see as an unruly expansion of alleged emotional support animals.</p><p>“We support the rights of customers, from veterans to people with disabilities, with legitimate needs for a trained service or support animal,” American Airlines <a href="" target="_blank">said in a statement</a>. “Unfortunately, untrained animals can lead to safety issues for our team, our customers and working dogs onboard our aircraft.”</p><p>There are a number of emotional and psychological conditions that are recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act, and emotional support animals, which are often used for treatment for conditions like depression and anxiety, aren’t going away completely. However, American reports that the number of passengers transporting a service or support animal onboard increased 40% from 2016 to 2017.</p><p>The airline met with several groups, such as American Association of People with Disabilities, Paralyzed Veterans of America, American Council for the Blind and My Blind Spot to craft a stricter but overall safer policy. If you want to travel with an emotional support animal in the cabin, your companion must be able to fit at your feet, under your seat or in your lap. Sitting in an exit row with a support animal isn’t an option. Animals are no longer allowed to take up a seat (even at reduced cost), and they must not eat from tray tables or block aisles. In addition, if an animal displays behavior such as growling, biting or attempting to bite, jumping, or lunging, the animal and its owner will likely be removed from the flight.</p><p>Dogs and cats are the most accepted emotional support animals, and airlines are now cracking down on other species. American is prohibiting amphibians, goats, hedgehogs, ferrets, insects, reptiles, rodents, snakes, spiders, sugar gliders, non-household birds, animals with tusks, horns or hooves (not including miniature horses trained for service) or any animal that is unclean or has an odor.</p><p>Any traveler who wants to bring their emotional support animal with them on a flight also has to <a href="" target="_blank">give 48 hours notice</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">fill out a form</a> that requires authorization from a mental health professional.</p><p>The new policy goes into effect on July 1.</p>
Categories: Travel

The Secret Attraction at Disney World That Most Guests Don’t Know About

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 05/17/2018 - 15:34
<p>Space Mountain, <a href="" target="_blank">Pirates of the Caribbean</a>, and It’s A Small World may be all-time favorites, but there’s a popular Disney attraction plenty guests don’t know about and will never see — unless they pay close attention. That’s because the experiences kids are excited don't always require a <a href="" target="_blank">ride vehicle or a track</a>, but instead a park ticket and some insider knowledge.</p><p>Walt Disney World quietly boasts three interactive games throughout its theme parks, operating immersive attractions hidden in plain sight for a high-tech, interactive, completely unexpected experience. These digital games aren’t played on a board or app, but on top of buildings, inside restaurants, and within props and places that already exist.</p><p>In Magic Kingdom’s <a href="" target="_blank">A Pirate’s Adventure ~ Treasures of the Seven Seas</a> interactive scavenger hunt, guests help Captain Jack Sparrow in locating different kinds of hidden treasure. With five gold-seeking trails throughout Adventureland, aspiring buccaneers follow a map to specific sites where one swipe of a park ticket or MagicBand activates scenes and screens for experiences you’d otherwise never see. Armies mobilize behind bamboo walls, skulls come to life to chant clues, and a snake pops out of a bucket to spit water and provide clues, transforming the stylized decor and hidden corners of Adventureland into a full-fledged attraction.</p><p>The antics are more in-depth over at Epcot, where <a href="" target="_blank">Disney Phineas and Ferb: Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure</a> provides a new layer to six of the park’s international pavilions. The story is seemingly convoluted if you’re unfamiliar with the cartoon’s subplot — the stepbrothers’ pet platypus Perry works towards disarming crazy Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz in a series of adventures — but kids will jump in smoothly. Details for locating the kooky scientist will come in upon signing up at Epcot (the experience is geo-tagged), leading guests to find props dispensed within faux phone booths, change the flow of the Japan pavilion garden waterfall and even witness Perry himself zipline past the France pavilion Eiffel Tower on the half-dozen trips, lasting around 45 minutes each. (There are also small goodies along the way, including custom pressed pennies and fortune cookies, depending on which route you take.)</p><p>And then there is <a href="" target="_blank">Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom</a>, a wildly popular hunt for animated villains wherein park goers can unlock twenty secret “portals” hidden within shop windows, signs and artwork scattered across the park. It’s a delight, but interest in Sorcerers is fueled by its built-in souvenir freebie: spell cards, which are distributed whilst playing the game as well as at special events like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. These spell cards, used to perform powerful spells upon cinematic villains, are integral to the game but interchangeable, adding an adventure of one’s choosing to the drama.</p><p>Only two parks are enabled with these games, which are only offered during the day, but there’s even more on the way. Disney Parks’ forthcoming <a href="" target="_blank">Play app</a> will let you in on little adventures, even if you’re stuck waiting in line for a real ride. It’s part of a trend of theme parks embracing entertainment within its ride lines vis-a-vis smartphones; Universal Studios Florida’s new “Fast &amp; Furious — Supercharged” attraction even hosts a geotagged trivia competition in a section of is queue. Between FastPass+, <a href="" target="_blank">mobile order</a> and these secret games, even the most mundane parts of your vacation will soon go high-tech.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Is What Meghan Markle's Official Royal Title Will Be

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 05/17/2018 - 14:27
<p>We are now just days away from the wedding of <a href="" target="_blank">Meghan Markle and Prince Harry</a>. Though it’s certain that Meghan will become a member of the British royal family, what is less certain is which royal title she will go by.</p><p>According to reports, Meghan will most likely be granted the title of duchess, <a href="" target="_blank">just as Kate Middleton was</a> when she married Prince William in 2011. At that time, the Queen bestowed upon William the Dukedom of Cambridge, meaning he and Kate became known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.</p><p>Though it is not known exactly where Prince Harry and Meghan will be the duke and duchess of, <em><a href="" target="_blank">Royal Central</a></em> reported that the pair may likely become the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, a title that hasn’t been filled since 1843.</p><p>“Most likely, he will be created a duke. Sussex is available so [Meghan] would be HRH the Duchess of Sussex,” royal historian Marlene Koenig told <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Royal Musings</em></a>. “Her rank would be a princess by marriage of the United Kingdom, Great Britain and Northern Ireland.”</p><p>Additionally, Meghan will also be known by a rather odd title: Princess Henry of Wales. She will gain that title because she will officially take her husband’s name once they wed. However, that title will likely be in writing only. The only living royal to officially go by her husband’s name is Princess Michael of Kent, who wed her husband, Prince Michael, in 1978.</p><p>But, to make things even more confusing, Meghan will never, ever, be Princess Meghan. That title is reserved only for those <a href="" target="_blank">born into the royal bloodline</a>. For example, while Princess Charlotte is a true princess, her mother, Kate Middleton, is not. As we do with Kate, however, most of the public will likely just stick to simply calling her Meghan, royal ring or not.</p>
Categories: Travel

Could the Baltic States Be the Next Scandinavia?

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 05/17/2018 - 12:30
<p>“A ten-minute pause before the main course?” asked our server, Alex. He startled me. I’d never been invited by an American waiter to take more time.</p><p>My girlfriend, Jessica, and I were already an hour and a half into dinner at <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">3 Pavaru</a>, a modern restaurant tucked away in a former military barracks in the Old Town of <a href="" target="_blank">Riga</a>, the capital of Latvia. Our meal had begun with a half-dozen sauces —including smoked apple, sea buckthorn, and hempseed oil—and flakes of dried honeycomb painted directly onto our place mats and served with bread for dipping, a maneuver that should have felt pretentious, but didn’t. Then came three hillocks of local ostrich tartare, served with a duck egg and lingonberry-beer foam. We had meant to order a bottle of <a href="" target="_blank">wine</a> from the long, careful list, but Alex kept us busy with a local cider platonically suspended between sweet and dry.</p><p>After the pause, we got duck-breast powder and translucent crisps of pig ear over pork belly, pearl barley, and quince sabayon; smoked whole-milk cheese in wild garlic sauce; and feta over black quinoa and japonica quince. And then dessert: black-sesame ice cream, burnt caramel, and a cream of citrus-spiked white chocolate accompanied by a chip of fermented garlic and several sponge cakes that tasted deeply of, well, onion. Improbably, it was magnificent.</p><p>%image2 article</p><p>“Anna couldn’t sleep for a few nights,” said Alex, pointing to Anna Loča, the dessert chef. She waved shyly. “When she finally fell asleep, that’s what she dreamed of.”</p><p>By now, despite all the culinary rigor before us, the restaurant had transformed into something like a dinner party in a private home. Alex was trying to open a bottle of cider with a huge chef’s knife. Another server was experimenting with liquid nitrogen, puffs of which periodically blew into the dining room. It was difficult to imagine this happening in <a href="" target="_blank">New York City</a>, where it would come with an intense amount of forethought and self-consciousness.</p><p>It was 11:30 p.m. when Jessica and I finally walked out. “That may have been the most spontaneous and intimate meal of my life,” she said. We also understood why Loča might have had trouble falling asleep: there was still light in the sky. In late June in Latvia, the sun goes away for less time than it takes to have dinner.</p> <p>I wasn’t supposed to be here. As a boy living in Soviet Belarus, little seemed more exotic than Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, the Baltic republics at the western edge of the Soviet empire. Unwilling conscripts into the Soviet system, with northern European rather than Slavic roots, the Baltics always carried a whiff of the West. My family and I went there for vacation and better-made things, like my school uniforms, which were sewn in Lithuania.</p><p>I knew that after independence in 1991, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania had lost no time re-modernizing. Only two hours from <a href="" target="_blank">Helsinki</a> by ferry, <a href="" target="_blank">Tallinn</a>, the Estonian capital, had even landed on cruise itineraries. But I’d spent enough time in the former U.S.S.R. I wanted to see the rest of the world. Then, in the fall of 2016, I visited Latvia and Estonia on a cultural mission for the U.S. State Department. I’d heard so much about Tallinn that it took me several days to admit that its vaunted medieval center felt like a theme park, with clusters of Finns who’d come to party, swinging steins and bellowing tunelessly outside the bars. Meanwhile, a step outside Old Town brought me into an unreconstructed gray Soviet past.</p><p>Riga seemed the opposite: its Old Town was gorgeous and largely unpackaged, with real people living in it, framed by a lovely Art Nouveau central district. If  Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, was still refining its style, and Tallinn had rushed and succumbed, Riga was in a sweet spot. Large enough to feel cosmopolitan, but compact enough to be walkable, it had world-class design, food, and lodging at half the cost of Western Europe; an English-speaking population eager to try new things; and a singular combination of outside influences (Nordic, Slavic, Germanic). This charm did not end at the city limits. The size of  West Virginia, with a population smaller than Brooklyn’s, Latvia has an exceptionally fertile countryside whose lakes, rivers, and forests have supplied seasonal treasure for centuries: sorrel, chanterelles, cloudberries, zander, roe deer. It’s also where traditional Latvian culture retreated for safekeeping during the Soviet occupation. And Riga is largely without traffic, so you can find yourself flitting past pines and birches in 20 minutes.</p> <img alt="Scenes and attractions in Riga, Latvia" src=""> From left: The library at the Latvian National Museum of Art, in Riga; a boat on Riga’s City Canal, a former moat that was once used to protect the center of the city from invaders. Felix Odell <p>Late one night during my 2016 visit, I strolled past the canal that wends between Old Town and the central district. Night kayakers were splitting the water, and despite the October chill, multigenerational gatherings filled the lit-up outdoor cafés lining the banks. Old Town sparkled quietly behind me. A boy was trying very hard on a wooden xylophone, his older brother whispering encouragements from the curb. When I threw a euro into the boy’s hat, he lit up so hard he forgot to keep playing.</p><p>Since leaving the Soviet Union for New York in 1988, I’d been looking for a way to reconnect with my past, without success. Belarus remained Soviet in all but name, but I wasn’t Soviet any more. Moscow had become Western in many ways, many less than savory. I’d more or less given up. As I stood in front of that boy, it occurred to me that I was feeling the right angle in Riga: Slavic enough, Western enough, but unglobalized and uncopied. Latvia’s sweet spot was mine, too. I made plans to return, this time with Jessica. I wanted to see what an American would make of it. She’d never been east or north of Berlin.</p><p>Maris Laipenieks from California wanted to talk. We were having breakfast in the plush but sleek dining room of the <a href="" target="_blank">Hotel Bergs</a>, a contemporary property just outside Old Town. Laipenieks’s family had left Latvia in 1942, when he was two, and he was returning after more than 70 years abroad. He had brought his mother’s ashes, his sons, and their sons. Four generations. He was excited, nervous, and slack-jawed. “I can’t believe…” he started saying, and just swept his hand toward the window.</p> <img alt="Dining room at the Hotel Bergs" src=""> The dining room of the Hotel Bergs, a 37-room property in the heart of the Art Nouveau district. Felix Odell <p>While Jessica heroically busied herself with a massage, I went back to 3 Pavaru to talk to Eriks Dreibants, one of the chefs. “After independence, we were all deep in exotica,” Dreibants said as we shared a plate of pinecone jam, prepared much like any other jam, only with edible pinecones playing the role of fruit. “We had kangaroo tails, antelope. Then we had fusion. Fusion confusion! Ratatouille and shrimp with…Japanese sauce! And then we thought, <em>Enough</em><i>.”</i> Dreibants and several other chefs composed a manifesto, which said, among other things: “It is time to think about biologically clean products, especially from Latvia.”</p><p>3 Pavaru was the flagship incarnation of these ideas. (A sister restaurant exploring them further, <a href="" target="_blank">Restorans 3</a>, opened in 2015. It offers a more formal though equally delectable tasting menu. An upstairs dining room simulates the sounds and visuals of a forest.) Some of these ideas may seem familiar from the New Nordic craze. But there’s a critical difference in Latvia. No one is looking to conquer the world or become an Instagram star. Shortly before my visit, one of Dreibants’s partners had told an interviewer that he wished the Michelin Guide would stay out of Riga. “This isn’t René Redzepi,” Dreibants explained. “It’s a family business. We won’t go bankrupt because of a bad review, and we’re open to experiment and mistake without our hands shaking.”</p><p>“The more you experience what’s out there, the more you realize that the only unique thing you have is your own culture,” Andris Rubins, a managing partner at a prominent advertising agency, told me when we met for coffee and pastries at Café Osiris, an assembly point for Riga’s creative elite. I had asked him to explain the focus on homegrown production at the galleries and boutiques I had been visiting, such as <a href="" target="_blank">Art Gallery Putti</a>, which focuses on avant-garde jewelry by Latvian designers, and Pienene, which highlights beauty products derived from local flora. “We have lots of history and tradition here,” he said. “But also a clean slate.” He didn’t have to point out how many of Latvia’s neighbors in Western Europe could offer only the former, and how many others in Eastern Europe were as concerned with nationalism as economic innovation. “A friend in London said Riga is London thirty years ago,” Lolita Tomsone, the director of the Žaņis Lipke Memorial museum, told me. (Lipke, a dockworker, became a national hero after he ferried Jews to safety during World War II.) “Not because of the culture, but because of the opportunity.”</p> <img alt="Sights and culture in Riga, Latvia" src=""> From left: The Woodcraft Museum, set in Vienkoču Park, where visitors can learn about the craft of woodworking from the Stone Age to the present day; a traditional wooden sightseeing boat on the City Canal in Riga, Latvia. Felix Odell <p>It’s an especially promising moment. This year, Latvia will celebrate the centennial of its independence from the Russian Empire, and from June through October Riga will host its first International Biennial of Contemporary Art. When I was there, Jelena Ostapenko had just won the French Open, becoming the first Latvian to capture a Grand Slam. Thousands had watched on an outdoor screen at the foot of the Freedom Monument in central Riga, a 1930s memorial honoring soldiers who died in the war of independence.</p><p>The location was not accidental. During the Soviet occupation, the monument was a rallying point. That history lives on. The building that once held the local KGB headquarters, the <a href="" target="_blank">Corner House</a>, is now a harrowing and moving museum several blocks up Freedom Street. It’s the site of regular tours through interrogation rooms, prison cells, and execution chambers left largely unchanged since Soviet times. Riga remains almost evenly divided between Latvians and ethnic Russians, which makes a visit both surreal and poignant: surreal because Eriks Dreibants is making foam out of lingonberry beer just over there, poignant because the previously occupied are managing to live in peace alongside their former occupiers, with equal pride in their hometown, despite the uncertainty brought on by Russia’s recent efforts to destabilize former Soviet republics.</p> <img alt="Vintage KGB telephone at the Corner House" src=""> A vintage telephone at the Corner House, the Soviet-era KGB headquarters in Riga that visitors can now tour. Felix Odell <p>The young people who fled Latvia during the 1990s are returning to help transform the country with ideas from abroad. Tomsone, the museum director, left in 1999 to pursue Jewish studies in Israel. “I went from a very reserved culture to a very confrontational one,” she said. “But that came with a lot of responsibility for each other, irreverence toward authority.”</p><p>We were speaking at <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Pagalms</a>, a café and bar where twentysomethings were whiling away a sunny afternoon over duck breast and cherry cider. The Latvian aesthetic is so distinctive—something Nordic and lean, something Weimar and lush—that even a board listing bathroom-cleaning times seemed like it belonged in a design boutique.</p><p>Tomsone returned to Latvia in 2013. She didn’t have to wait long for a cause. The Ministry of Health was proposing a law that would allow a woman to donate eggs only after having given birth to a child. “So I organized a demonstration,” she said. “I got a hundred phone calls: ‘How could you do that?!’ But we succeeded. The minister of health was fired the following week. Then I got a hundred more phone calls asking: ‘How do I organize a demonstration?’ ”</p><p>After our three days in Riga, it was time to make like proper capital dwellers, who often escape the city on the weekends. Before we left, I had coffee with Mike Collier, a British writer and journalist who moved to Latvia 11 years ago and makes his home deep in the countryside. He told me to expect a different kind of serenity. “If the Latvian tourism board could box up peace and quiet, they’d make a fortune,” he said. “You can walk those forests all day without meeting one person.”</p> <img alt="Annas Hotel & Spa, in Latvia" src=""> The Annas Hotel, in the village of Annas, a property with a spa, a sauna, and 10 spacious suites. Felix Odell <p>The taxi to the <a href="" target="_blank">Annas Hotel</a>, an hour and a half into the woods in the village of Annas, cost all of $74. Eventually, the butter-smooth highways gave way to gravel. For miles we passed such lovingly tended but modest wooden country homes that when the hotel finally appeared out of nowhere, Jessica and I both laughed in disbelief. An elegant manor, the Annas has landscaped grounds, a spa complex, and a space in the parking lot to accommodate helicopters. We had arrived late, and plates of trout salad and smoked meats and cheese awaited us, accompanied by triangles of dense, sweet focaccia.</p><p>The next morning, I went to see Jacob Dimiters, a carpenter and leatherworker who recently organized local artisans into a guild called <a href="" target="_blank">Northmen</a>. They produce axes forge-welded in the Viking way, bows with horse-tail strings, and watches made with bog-harvested 7,000-year-old oak. (The bogs preserve the oak so well that seeds Dimiters discovered in one hollow sprouted a new tree when exposed to light.) The axes retail for up to $2,000, and the waiting list, primarily from the United States, is four years long.</p><p>Dimiters was working as a film editor in Riga when he remembered a childhood wish to build a home from scratch using only hand tools. “When you sit in front of a computer, you can’t touch your work,” he said. “My question was, ‘What can you do with only your hands? How strong were our ancestors?’ Because I think we’re becoming weaker and weaker.” A local carpenter got him started, and his mistakes taught him the rest.</p> <img alt="Jacob Dimiters and his family in the Latvian countryside" src=""> Jacob Dimiters, a carpenter and the founder of the Northmen, an artisans’ guild that produces axes, bows, and watches, with his family at their home in the Latvian countryside between the towns of Sigulda and Cesis. Felix Odell <p>The guild idea came next. On another part of his property, he’s constructing a workshop that will include a public showroom for its wares and philosophy. When I visited, he was preparing to host the guild’s first apprentice class, a 10-day timber-framing and log-building course in the barn of a nearby manor house, complete with three organic meals a day. “We live in a throwaway society,” he said. “The aim is to make things that will outlast us. A carpenter transforms nature into culture.”</p><p>Jessica and I had been late checking in to the Annas because we had stopped at <a href="" target="_blank">Brūveri</a>, near the town of Sigulda, for a <em>pirts</em><i>,</i> the Latvian version of the steam bath that I’d grown up with in Belarus. I had been going with my father since before I could walk, but in Latvia the experience comes with a dose of the pagan. First, the private <a href="" target="_blank">sauna</a> attendant, a demonically handsome man with ice-white hair, cerulean eyes, and not one but two chin dimples, plied us with tea from local herbs and honey to open “half the pores.” (“The rest are inside you,” he said.) Then he began to discuss astral fields. A staticky radio behind him was blaring “One Way Ticket” by the 70s disco stars Eruption.</p><p>“If the astral field is open…” he began, the blue pools of his eyes gleaming as his face spread into an ambiguous smile.</p><p>“How do I open mine?” I asked, a little too eagerly.</p><p>“That’s why we’re here today,” he said. He studied me. “Don’t worry, I don’t get a heavy feeling from you.” I brightened, feeling like a psychologist had told me there wasn’t much to discuss. But then he added: “Some people fake it, though.” To the receding strains of ABBA’s “I Have a Dream” and Jessica’s semi-alarmed gaze, I vanished into the sauna.</p><p>“We are children of the sun,” he said as he rubbed me with a mixture of honey and salt. I was prostrate on a bed of impossibly fragrant leaves. “<em>Pirts</em> is the world’s oldest solar power. The person who goes once a week doesn’t get sick.” Then he began swatting me with a bouquet of birch, oak, rowan, linden, and hazel leaves. There were various kinds of bouquets, each with a different job. Jessica’s, for instance, had more linden because “God gives woman more energy, and linden brings it down. Otherwise,” he said, quoting a folk saying, “at home it’s a riot instead of peace and quiet.” I had never breathed in such an unadulterated scent of the woods.</p><p>The first thing the man saw rising out of my astral field as he swatted me was a rainbow. Then a water demon. Then I was riding a turtle. Things started more ominously for Jessica, whose astral field sent up a clock going backward, then barbed wire. Then, more encouragingly, she walked a tiger on a leash. Afterward, we were gently wheeled around the cool water of a nearby pond and left to lie in the grass of a meadow, the sun shining down softly.</p><p>After what could have been 10 minutes or an hour, Jessica sprung from her reverie, stirring me from mine. “This place is so gentle,” she exclaimed, and went back to sleep. I stayed awake, thinking. Since we’d met, I’d wanted so much to share with her something of my past. Finally, I’d found a version of it that had made beauty out of the darkness.</p><h2>Visit Latvia</h2><p>Rich in history, with a burgeoning creative scene, the Eastern European nation is only starting to hit the radar of global travelers. The perfect weeklong visit combines four days in the capital, Riga, with three more in the nearby countryside.</p><h3>Getting There</h3><p>A variety of European carriers such as <a href="" target="_blank">KLM</a><i> </i>and <a href="" target="_blank">Lufthansa</a> will get you to Riga, Latvia’s capital, via a stop in a major hub.</p><h3>Lodging</h3><p>When I visited Riga previously, I stayed at the <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Neiburgs</a> <em>(doubles from $165)</em><i>,</i> a boutique hotel with rooms overlooking the mansard roofs of Old Town, a library that doubles as a showcase for local textiles, and a spa that can be reserved for private use, as I did every night after a long day of talks. This time, I opted for the contemporary sleekness of the <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Hotel Bergs</a> <em>(doubles from $250)</em> and the sumptuous old-world style of the <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Grand Palace Hotel</a><i> </i><em>(doubles from $175)</em>. With its subdued palette, high-design flourishes, and refined restaurant, the Bergs, which neighbors a luxury-shopping arcade, would not be out of place in Miami. The Grand Palace evokes Vienna: chandeliers, soaring ceilings, and a staff in bow ties. <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">The Annas Hotel</a> <em>(suites from $140)</em><i>,</i> an hour and a half from Riga, offers 10 apartment-like suites.</p> <img alt="" src=""> From left: The new building for the National Library of Latvia, designed by Latvian-born American architect Gunnar Birkerts, in the heart of Riga; Artūrs Trinkuns, a chef at Riga’s 3 Pavaru. Felix Odell <h3>Eat &amp; Drink</h3><p>You could visit the <a href="" target="_blank">Riga Central Market</a> because it’s housed in five of the last eight World War I dirigible hangars on the planet, or because you’ll find the full bounty of Latvian food production, from the countryside to the waters. You will never have strawberries and cherries this sweet anywhere else. Both <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">3 Pavaru</a> <em>(entrées $22–$34)</em> and <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Restorans 3</a> <i>(tasting menus from $49)</i> serve modern Latvian cuisine and should be first on any gourmand’s itinerary, but for an entirely different yet equally heady experience, visit <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Valtera</a> <em>(entrées $14–$28)</em><i>,</i> which prepares updated versions of traditional food in a rustic setting. We had an excellent dessert of rhubarb purée, hazelnut meringue, rhubarb sorbet, and milk foam.</p><h3>Experiences</h3><p>No trip to Riga is complete without seeing the former local KGB headquarters, the <a href="" target="_blank">Corner House</a> so named because it sits at the intersection of two major streets downtown. Latvians joked grimly that the Corner House was the tallest building in the country — you could see from it all the way to Siberia. The English-language tours are often led by a guide for whom the endeavor is clearly personal.</p><p>Riga’s Old Town is a warren of mostly unexpected delights. For shopping, I suggest browsing for avant-garde jewelry at <a href="" target="_blank">Art Gallery Putti</a>; body-care products derived from Latvian flora (juniper shower gel, milk-thistle eye cream) at <a href="" target="_blank">Pienene</a>; and household items and accessories — linens, kitchenware, handbags — at <a href="" target="_blank">Riija</a>.</p><p>For a traditional <em>pirts</em> (sauna) experience in the countryside, head to <a href="" target="_blank">Brūveri</a> <em>(pirts $60 per person)</em><i>,</i> a hotel complex near Sigulda, which is the scenic gateway to Gauja National Park and is about an hour from Riga. Sigulda is surrounded by castles and hiking trails—for locals, it’s the Switzerland of Latvia—and has a small cottage industry of adventure sports (bungee jumping, bobsledding). And while you have to be venturesome to seek out carpenter Jacob Dimiters’s property and the workshop of the <a href="" target="_blank">Northmen guild of ax- and watchmakers</a><i>,</i> you won’t regret it. He may reward your effort, as he did ours, with homemade blini with fresh cream and lingonberry preserves or a pizza from his wood-burning oven.</p>
Categories: Travel

How to Plan a Vacation That Will Actually Leave You Relaxed, According to an Expert

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 05/17/2018 - 12:02
<p>Do you ever just want to get away from all the stress and <a href="" target="_blank">sit on a beach all day</a>? You may want to rethink that.</p><p>According to Xinran Lehto, wellness tourism expert and member of the Purdue Tourism and Hospitality Research Center, beach vacations that involve lounging in the sand are actually not that great for your mental health.</p><p>Lehto's study, <a href="" target="_blank">Assessing the Perceived Restorative Qualities of Vacation Destinations</a>, published in the Journal of Travel Research in 2013, measured what types of vacations travelers should take in order to recover from “mental fatigue.”</p><p>"Lying on the beach for many, many days is not the best way to recharge yourself. After a while you get bored and anxious, then you start thinking about work and things at home you need to do. That's not healthy for you,” Lehto said. </p><p>Spreading yourself on a beach towel and catching some rays might sound soothing, many of us out there simply can’t help ourselves when we’re left to just “relax.” Everyday stress can still manage to enter our minds while hanging out on an exotic shore in Bali. Even if you <a href="" target="_blank">bring a book</a>.</p><p>But taking a restorative vacation is still possible. Lehto’s study pointed to the key factors you should consider in order to truly have a true self-care experience.</p><p>“The place should have enough variation of interest and activities that have depth for you to be engaged with. The scope and depth of activities is actually more important,” she said.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">How I (Almost) Ruined My Solo Trip to Paris</a></p><p>The first and most important factor, according to the study, is “fascination.” Go to a place that fascinates, inspires, or piques your imagination. “Once you are attracted to a particular scene, you rest what we call your directed attention — the kind of focused mental energy that you need on a daily basis in order to function well for work and study — and activate your indirect attention, which is being drawn to things that make you a being of thought,” Lehto said.</p><p>At the same time, Lehto says, you should also go to a place that's compatible with your personality and where you feel at ease. This way, you don’t waste energy on feeling anxious. The study also notes that your personal “orientation” is key: "Service, signage and everything that helps you orient yourself – is very feel like you have a sense of place."</p><p>Finally, the study discusses the concepts of “awayness” and “mental awayness.” Going to a place that lets you disconnect from everyday life or is physically different or far away from where you live will likely make you feel more rejuvenated when you return. Lehto also suggests <a href="" target="_blank">taking a break from technology or social media</a>, which of course is easier said than done.</p><p>So try to enjoy your next beach day, but if you’re really feeling the urge to get away and recharge, it’s time to get creative.</p>
Categories: Travel

Cook On the Go With This Suitcase That Folds Out Into a Functioning Kitchen

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 05/17/2018 - 08:10
<p>Now you can travel with everything but the kitchen sink. An Italian luggage company has created suitcases that fold out into fully functional kitchens, desks and beds.</p><p>The bags are the brainchild of <a href="" target="_blank">Milan</a>-based designer Marc Sadler for Fabbrica Pelletterie Milano. With the suitcases, home can be anywhere, and each room is an aluminum-covered piece of luggage.</p><p>The most surprising piece is the “cookstation.” Miraculously, the fold-out kitchen contains all the basic cooking essentials, including a hot plate and refrigerator to prepare and preserve meals. It is lined with drawers and shelves for storing ingredients, housing cookware and meal prep. The kitchen luggage is not yet available for purchase but it <a href="" target="_blank">is expected to sell for $7,680</a> (€6,500).</p><img alt="Marc Sadler - Bank collection - Cook Station "src=""><p>Sadler’s other “rooms” are currently available for purchase. Digital nomads who work on the go can set up their office anywhere with the “<a href="" target="_blank">workstation</a>.”</p><p>The suitcase opens to reveal an office chair, a work surface and storage drawers. The suitcase also includes sockets for charging devices. It is available for $5,770 (€4,900).</p><img alt="Marc Sadler - Bank collection - Work Station "src=""><p>And when the nomadic working day is done, those with Sadler’s luggage can retire to their “<a href="" target="_blank">bedstation</a>.” This bag features a wooden mattress frame that folds out to a become a bed with a soft mattress-like topper. It sells for $8,130 (€6,900).</p><img alt="Marc Sadler - Bank collection - Bed Station "src=""><p><a href="" target="_blank">Sadler’s collection</a> also features seven more traditional suitcases with no surprise functionalities. Although, maybe they could be considered mobile storage basements?</p>
Categories: Travel

Rumor Has It Prince Harry Is Planning a Wild Wedding After-party for His 'Inner Circle'

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 05/17/2018 - 07:22
<p>You can take the man out of the party, but you can’t take the party out of the man — even if that man happens to be Prince Harry.</p><p>Prince Harry may be planning a very <a href="" target="_blank">high-class royal wedding</a> with his future wife Meghan Markle, but, according to reports, the one-time party prince is also planning an after-party to end all after-parties.</p><p>According to the <em><a href="" target="_blank">Mirror</a></em>, Prince Harry is planning a “carnival and festival-themed” wedding after-party that will come complete with a steel drum band, vodka-filled ice luges, chilled beers, South African Wagyu beef, and frozen tropical cocktails.</p><p>“Both Harry and Meghan love a party and have a wild side – and the reception will be no different,” a source <a href="" target="_blank">told the <em>Daily Star</em></a>. “Safaris and festival fever are the themes being enveloped into their day – embracing everything the pair love. Both of them are music and festival lovers, so they said they wanted a festival and carnival vibe at the evening do. It might be a royal wedding, but neither Harry or Meghan are stuffy people and the last thing they want is their nuptials to be."</p><p>Though this alleged party plan is not incredibly surprising – considering Prince Harry has a <a href="" target="_blank">long history with wild celebrations</a> – what is a bit perplexing is the fact that Prince Charles is reportedly footing the bill for the bash.</p><p>The <em>Mirror</em> claims Prince Charles will play host for the private evening event at <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Frogmore House</a>, which sits on the grounds of Windsor Castle. The party will reportedly only be for Harry and Meghan’s “inner circle."</p><p>The after-party will mark the couple’s second reception of the day, with the <a href="" target="_blank">first formal reception</a> being hosted by the Queen.</p><p>At the cooler, younger bash, Harry’s friends will reportedly be behind the bar serving drinks to guests. Those drinks, the<em> Mirror</em> said, will include “apache shooters” and “frozen strawberry sparkles.”</p><p>This event is where <a href="" target="_blank">the Spice Girls are expected to perform</a>. However, one insider told the <em>Mirror</em> the likes of Coldplay and Ed Sheeran could also perform a song or two. </p><p>Look, we love the Queen, but this second party is certainly where all the fun seems to be going down. Hopefully someone will sneak in a phone and snap an Instagram photo or two so we can live vicariously through their fun.</p>
Categories: Travel

The Most Exciting New Airline Routes to Book This Summer

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 05/17/2018 - 06:16
<p>Airlines are rolling out new and expanded service just in time for summer travel.</p><p>Southwest is revealing more details on its upcoming flights to Hawaii, and there are more ways to get to Europe, the Caribbean, and south of the border. Here are some of the most exciting new routes.</p><h2>More Ways to Get to Iceland — and Beyond</h2><p><a href="" target="_blank">WOW air</a> began flying from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) to Iceland (KEF) on May 10, with connections onward to Paris, Amsterdam, and other European cities. The four-flights-a-week schedule will expand to five days a week between June and September. For the roll-out, WOW Air is offering a limited number of $99 one-way way tickets between CVG and KEF and $149 one-way tickets to five European cities via KEF for travel in June to July and from September to October 2018, when booked for a return trip.</p><p>There will also soon be three airlines flying to Iceland from Dallas/Fort Worth Airport. WOW air begins flying from DFW on May 24, with seasonal summer service three times a week (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays) to Reykjavík–Keflavík (KEF) International Airport. <a href="" target="_blank">Icelandair</a> begins flying that route on May 31, with year-round service, four times a week (Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays). And <a href="" target="_blank">American Airlines</a> joins in on June 7 with seasonal summer service operating daily.</p><h2>More Flights to Cuba and Mexico City</h2><p>Both United Airlines and JetBlue announced starting dates (subject to government approval) for increased service to Havana, Cuba.</p><p>Beginning July 20, <a href="" target="_blank">United Airlines</a> plans to increase flights between Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and Havana’s José Martí International Airport from one flight a week to daily service.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">JetBlue</a> is also expanding service to Havana with the kick-off of flights on Saturdays between Boston’s Logan International Airport (BOS) and Havana (HAV) starting November 10. The airline is also increasing its service between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), to three flights daily Sundays through Fridays, beginning November 11.</p><p>JetBlue also announced plans to introduce daily nonstop flights to Mexico City from both Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) beginning October 25.</p><h2>Seattle to Dublin</h2><p>Irish air carrier <a href="" target="_blank">Aer Lingus</a> will launch the first year-round service between Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and Dublin, Ireland (DUB) on May 18, with four flights scheduled a week. This makes it easier to plan that visit to the <a href="" target="_blank">Guinness Storehouse</a>, a seven-floor interactive beer-themed attraction billed as the world’s largest pint glass.</p><h2>D.C. to Scotland</h2><p>On May 23, United Airlines will begin flying nonstop flights between Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Scotland’s Edinburg Airport (EDI) with a seasonal service of daily flights scheduled until October 15. During the summer Edinburgh will be <a href="" target="_blank">hosting major festivals</a> dedicated to, among other things, children, film, jazz &amp; blues, art and fringe theater.</p><h2>Southwest Goes to Hawaii</h2><img alt="Big Island, Hawaii "src=""><p>Dates are not yet announced for when Southwest Airlines will begin flying to Hawaii, but the airline <a href="" target="_blank">has shared details</a> about the Hawaiian airports it plans to serve and the initial California cities that will offer nonstop service to Hawaii.</p><p>Southwest said it will begin with nonstop Hawaiian Islands flights from Oakland Metropolitan Airport (OAK), San Diego International Airport (SAN), Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC), and Sacramento International Airport (SMF). Hawaiian airports to be served will be Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu(HNL), Kahului Airport on Maui (OGG), Lihue Airport on Kauai (LIH), and Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole (KOA, on the leeward side of The Island of Hawaii.</p>
Categories: Travel

Rihanna Had the Best Reaction to Not Being Invited to the Royal Wedding

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 05/16/2018 - 17:42
<p>Sure, a lot of famous people are expected to be in attendance this Saturday at the wedding of <a href="" target="_blank">Prince Harry and Meghan Markle</a>, but there’s one person we know for a fact won’t be there: Rihanna.</p><p>A few days ago, a reporter with <em>Access Hollywood</em> had the gall to ask the Barbados-born singer if she would be heading to Windsor Castle to watch Meghan and Harry say their vows. And truly, her response could not have been more perfect.</p><p>"Why would you think I’m invited?” Rihanna snapped back to the reporter. Then, the <em>Access Hollywood </em>producer reminded the "Umbrella" singer that she had spent a bit of time with Prince Harry during his tour of the Caribbean back in November 2016. But, without missing a beat, Rihanna let the reporter know the wedding madness needs to come to an end: "You met me, you think you’re coming to my wedding? Am I coming to yours?" </p><p>Ouch.</p><p>It’s a pretty solid reminder that just because you’re rich, famous, a politician, or even <a href="" target="_blank">related to either Harry or Meghan</a>, you don’t automatically deserve an invitation to their wedding. After all, it is their day, and not yours.</p><img alt="Rihanna Launches Global Lingerie Brand, Savage X Fenty "src=""><p>But who is on the guest list — and, more importantly, who isn’t — has caused quite a bit of controversy in the last few months. Neither former <a href="" target="_blank">President Barack Obama nor current President Donald Trump</a> made the list. Theresa May, Britain's prime minister, also didn’t make the cut.</p><p>Meghan has chosen to not invite her half-siblings or extended family such as her aunts, uncles, and at least a few cousins. They have been more than willing to <a href="" target="_blank">tell every member of the press who will listen</a> just how hurt they are that Meghan chose to celebrate her day without them.</p><p>Instead, Meghan and Harry have chosen to keep their wedding a relatively small affair (for royals, at least), inviting just a few hundred close family members and friends to witness the event in person inside St George’s chapel. Additionally, the couple invited a <a href="" target="_blank">few thousand members of the public</a> to watch their procession both before and after the wedding inside the walls of Windsor Castle.</p>
Categories: Travel

WOW Air Is Launching $199 Flights From the U.S. to India

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 05/16/2018 - 16:51
<p>WOW Air is expanding to Asia, launching routes from nine different U.S. cities to <a href="" target="_blank">Delhi</a>, India, via Iceland, with fares starting at $199 one-way.</p><p>The <a href="" target="_blank">cheap flights</a> are available beginning in December, from Newark (EWR), Boston (BOS), Baltimore (BWI), Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Pittsburgh (PIT), Detroit (DTW), San Francisco (SFO), Los Angeles (LAX), and St. Louis (STL). The $199 price is available on select dates in January, February, and March, while December flights start at $299 one-way. Return flights also start at $199 one-way, meaning you can book a bare bones ticket for $398.</p><p>As with all ultra-low-cost airlines, <a href="" target="_blank">WOW Air</a> charges extra fees for amenities — some of which may be very important on a long-haul flight like this one. The cheapest fares include only a personal item, not a carry-on. Passengers can add on carry-ons for $49, or checked baggage for $80. There are also fees for selecting a seat assignment, starting at $7.</p><p>Despite the restrictions, budget travelers now have a new option for exploring Delhi’s ancient mosques and bustling bazaars.</p><p>And for those travelers who want a relative deal but don't want to sacrifice comfort, WOW Air is also introducing a <a href="" target="_blank">premium seating option</a>, with more legroom, priority boarding, in-flight dining, and up to two checked bags. Premium seats to Delhi start at $699 one-way.</p>
Categories: Travel

Flights Are Getting More Uncomfortable — and That Might Be Your Fault

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 05/16/2018 - 16:19
<p>Flying has become cheaper in the last few decades, but it’s also become more stripped down. Passengers often forego previously complimentary perks — like in-flight meals, carry-on bags, and seat selection — in order to get the cheapest fare.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank"><em>Business Insider</em> reported</a> that 51% of respondents in a <a href="" target="_blank">recent poll</a> chose price as their top priority when selecting an airline.</p><p>In some ways, this has been good by creating competition between airlines, resulting in cheaper fares — but it has also had negative consequences. Airlines now have incentive to cut costs in order to boost profits. For passengers, that means more crowded flights, fewer amenities, and “<a href="" target="_blank">basic economy</a>” fares.</p><p>Airlines know that travelers prefer the cheapest ticket, regardless of how stripped down the service is or how many extra fees there may be.</p><p>“The low-cost carrier always won because people either don't care or aren't sophisticated enough to differentiate between a bundled and unbundled fare,” Vinay Bhaskara, a senior business analyst with industry publication <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Airways</em></a>, told <em>Business Insider</em>.</p><p>It’s not unreasonable to choose the <a href="" target="_blank">cheapest</a> options, but when it comes to airfare, you get what you pay for.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Glamorous New Hotel Is Putting an Underrated European Capital on the Map

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 05/16/2018 - 13:30
<p>The city once derided as Kraków's gloomy Soviet sister has become Eastern Europe's next up-and-coming destination with the addition of <a href="" target="_blank">Raffles Europejski Warsaw</a>, a stately, meticulously restored 1857 property located next to the Presidential Palace in the heart of the old town. Inside, the design is something of a love letter to the city: in the lobby, art installations evoke local landmarks and Poland's past, and a series of galleries feature art and photos from the hotel's previous incarnations. Upstairs, the 106 rooms and suites—the largest you'll find in Warsaw—are furnished with bespoke pieces by local craftspeople. Even the bathrooms have a sense of place: the marble paneling is patterned after the city's skyline.</p><img alt="Cafes and bars in the Old Town market square in Warsaw, Poland "src=""><p>The hotel offers a new entry point to Warsaw's surprisingly cosmopolitan appeal. Start your day with a cup of single-origin coffee at <a href="" target="_blank">Ministerstwo Kawy</a> or <a href="" target="_blank">Niezłe Ziółko</a>, cafés in the quirky Plac Zbawiciela neighborhood.</p><p>Then take in some culture, beginning with a visit to the <a href="" target="_blank">Warsaw Uprising Museum</a>, honoring the 1944 Polish-resistance-led insurrection to drive out the Nazis. Head next to <a href="" target="_blank">Wilanów Palace</a>, the 17th-century royal residence. At the little-known <a href="" target="_blank">Fotoplastikon</a>, a stereoscope theater built in 1905 projects street scenes from turn-of-the-century Warsaw in 3-D. For a more modern brand of nostalgia, there's the <a href="" target="_blank">Neon Museum</a>, which has floor-to-ceiling displays of neon signs, colorful relics of the Cold War.</p><p>Warsaw's blossoming culinary scene challenges the notion that Poles eat only pierogi and borscht. At new food courts like <a href="" target="_blank">Hala Gwardii</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Hala Koszyki</a>, you can sample vegan Palestinian dishes, Georgian khinkali, Italian cheeses—and yes, pierogi and borscht. Save room for a nightcap at <a href="" target="_blank">Kita Koguta</a>, where mixologists conduct a brief interview ("Gin or vodka? Classic or experimental?") before making drinks to individual tastes.</p>
Categories: Travel

Heathrow Airport Is Going All Out for the Royal Wedding (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 05/16/2018 - 13:00
<p>Don’t worry if London's Heathrow Airport is as close as you, your family, and your <a href="" target="_blank">fascinator</a> will get to Saturday’s <a href="" target="_blank">royal wedding</a> at <a href="" target="_blank">Windsor Castle</a>.</p><p>Heathrow — where Terminal 2 is called “The Queen’s Terminal” — will be celebrating the royal wedding airport-wide with a princely amount of wedding-themed treats and activities, including live broadcasts of the much-anticipated mid-day (London time) ceremony and all the celebrations surrounding the moment when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle say “I do.”</p><p>“At Heathrow, we’re passionate about creating memorable experiences for all our passengers and certainly want our travellers to enjoy the royal wedding celebration in style,” said Heathrow's Chief Operating Officer Chris Garton.</p><p>Garton and his team at Heathrow vow that, on Saturday, television screens across all the terminals will be tuned to BBC News 24, which will be covering the wedding-day festivities live. In addition, the airport plans to put up giant video screens, tuned to BBC1, in Terminals 3 and 4 for additional royals-related coverage.</p><p>Inspired by William and Meghan’s break-with-tradition <a href="" target="_blank">lemon elderflower wedding cake</a> with buttercream frosting and fresh flowers, on Saturday, Heathrow will be handing out 1,000 “royal” lemon and elderflower cupcakes to arriving passengers in Terminals 2, 3, 4 and 5 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. In Terminals 2 and 5, actors dressed as a Queen’s Guard, a Royal Trumpeter, and a Beefeater (a ceremonial guard at London Tower) will be on site mingling with passengers as well.</p><img alt="Heathrow Airport will be celebrating the Royal Wedding with treats for travelers and live in-terminal broadcasts of the wedding ceremony "src=""><p>London is in the throes of royal wedding fever and in the week leading up to the main event, Heathrow Airport is expecting 9 percent more arriving passengers from North America and, overall, 3.4 percent more visitors than this same week a year ago, with more than 109,000 passengers arriving on Saturday alone.</p><p>For last-minute planners and royal wedding fans, there may still be some royal hotel deals to be found. At the Oakley Court, a 118-room castle-like Victorian Gothic Manor less than four miles from Windsor Castle, rooms for this weekend are currently available on <a href="" target="_blank">HotelTonight</a> for $606/night. (<a href="" target="_blank">Wedding invitation</a> NOT included.)</p>
Categories: Travel

5 'Forgotten' Tourist Destinations in the U.S. Everyone Should Visit

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 05/16/2018 - 12:31
<p>Sure, social media may make it seem like every corner of the world is now a tourism hot spot, but there are still a few <a href="" target="_blank">forgotten destinations</a> in our very own country that are wildly worthy of your attention.</p><p>In a recent Reddit thread, one user asked the community, “Americans, where are some good tourist spots in the U.S. that are often forgotten about?” And, as usual, Reddit users delivered. Here are five of the best places around the United States we should all be flocking to, according to travelers on Reddit.</p><p><strong>“Sequoia National Park in California. Right next to Yosemite, same mountain range, 90% less tourists.” </strong></p><p>As one Reddit user noted, <a href="" target="_blank">Sequoia National Park</a> is an excellent alternative to larger, more well-known parks in the area. The park is not only home to the world’s largest trees, but also has plenty of other things to find and explore, like “mountains, rugged foothills, deep canyons and vast caverns,” according to the <a href="" target="_blank">National Park Service</a>. Guests are welcome to come camp and see the park all year long, however it should be noted that snow may hamper your experience. Try booking for the summer and fall season to see the park at its best.</p><p><strong>“Padre Island National Shoreline is the longest stretch of untouched shoreline in the United states. The park is so long you can be the only person on the beach for miles and you'll be able to see the Milky Way with your naked eye at night. It's my favorite vacation spot and it being close to Corpus Christi is a big plus.” </strong></p><p>Indeed, <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">South Padre Island National Seashore</a> in Texas is yet another amazing national park worth your time and attention.</p><p>There, guests can enjoy 70 miles of coastline, dunes, prairies, and tidal flats, and experience Laguna Madre, one of just a few hypersaline lagoons in the world.</p><p>Guests can come any time of year to windsurf, fish, swim, kayak, and more in the pristine waters, camp under the stars, and feel truly alone with Mother Nature.</p><p><strong>“Olympic Peninsula, in WA. Rainforest, hikes for days, beautiful coastline, and not very many people. Also some damn good local beer and cider.”</strong></p><p>Of course visitors can always <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">visit the national park</a> that sits along the Olympic Peninsula, but this area also has plenty of other activities to take part in including heading down the <a href="" target="_blank">Cider Route</a>, which stops along various farms and distilleries. </p><p>There, visitors can check out <a href="" target="_blank">Alpenfire Cider</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Finnriver Farm &amp; Cidery</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Eaglemount Wine &amp; Cider</a>, and more.</p><p><strong>"Civil war battle sites are great, especially Gettysburg. I've been to several battlefields, and Gettysburg is the best. Even if you're not a history buff, you could have fun at Gettysburg."</strong></p><p>Like this commenter said, <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Gettysburg, Pennsylvania</a> is a place where both history buffs and novices alike can learn to appreciate America's past.</p><p>In Gettysburg, visitors can check out the famous battlefields, see historical reenactments, and even take a <a href="" target="_blank">ghost tour or two</a>. This place does have a few centuries' worth of stories to tell, so odds are there are some spirits lurking about.</p><p><strong>“The Great Lakes are right there and no one seems to notice them. You can charter a fishing trip, go to a bunch of islands, scuba dive, get lost at sea, eat your family to survive, get cherry ice cream in the traverse bay area.”</strong></p><p>More than a few Reddit users pointed out that the Great Lakes are a totally underappreciated marvel. The Great Lakes touch eight different states in the U.S., meaning there are plenty of things to do and see around them. As a good starting point try Michigan, which has the longest lakefront coastline of all the states.</p><p>There, it’s best to visit in the warmer months so you can truly appreciate all the water activities like surfing, fishing, sailing, motor boating, canoeing, or simply lounging around by the water’s edge.</p>
Categories: Travel

Southwest Is Having a Flight Sale With Fares As Cheap As $49

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 05/16/2018 - 12:25
<p>Southwest is having a huge fare sale, with cheap flights starting at $49.</p><p>The cheapest flights are available on dozens of routes, like Atlanta to <a href="" target="_blank">Orlando</a>, Baltimore to Boston, San Francisco to <a href="" target="_blank">Los Angeles</a> or San Diego, and from Nashville to Pensacola.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">How Passengers Take Advantage of Southwest’s Open-seating Policy</a></p><p>And the deals aren't just for summer; travelers can book by May 18 for travel from June 5 through October 31. Most of the cheapest flights are on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. See the <a href="" target="_blank">full list of sale fares</a>.</p><p>While Southwest is often considering a low fare airline, it's not the typical budget airline like those that have recently expanded (like WOW Air and Norwegian). There are no extra fees for things like baggage.</p><p>Anyone not familiar should be aware that Southwest does not have pre-assigned seating. Instead, passengers receive a spot in line (in A, B, and C groups) and then board the plane, taking any available seat they prefer. To get a better seat, Southwest does sell priority boarding.</p>
Categories: Travel