Will Smith Celebrated His 50th Birthday by Bungee Jumping Out of a Helicopter Over the Grand Canyon (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/02/2018 - 15:54
<p>For most people, a birthday cake and dinner with friends and family is enough to celebrate another trip around the sun. Will Smith <a href="" target="_blank">is not most people</a>.</p><p>To celebrate turning 50, Smith decided to turn his birthday up a notch by bungee jumping 1,000 feet out of a helicopter into the <a href="" target="_blank">Grand Canyon</a>. You read that correctly: <em>He bungee jumped out of a helicopter into the Grand Canyon.</em></p><p>The event, which was livestreamed on YouTube, came about after Smith was challenged by YouTubers <a href="" target="_blank">Yes Theory</a> to confront his fears. Smith told viewers on the livestream that he was “terrified of walking to the edge” after visiting the Grand Canyon as a child. “All my family walked up to the edge but I stayed back too scared to take in the beauty,” he said.</p><p>But now Smith is a different man. “I’ve made it a point in my life to attack anything that I’m scared of,” he said.</p><p>“Never look down,” Smith said as the helicopter was getting into position. And though he looked terrified as the countdown started, the “Men in Black” star jumped without hesitation, falling straight into one of the most beautiful natural areas on the planet.</p><p>“It goes from pure terror to pure bliss,” he said still dangling from the helicopter.</p><p>A crowd that included his wife, <a href="" target="_blank">Jada Pinkett-Smith</a>, children, and “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” co-star Alfonso Ribeiro cheered him on from the edge.</p><p>The jump was a charitable event to raise money for <a href="" target="_blank">Education Cannot Wait</a>, a global fund dedicated to providing education in areas of crisis. He also used the platform as an opportunity to raise awareness for <a href="" target="_blank">Global Citizen</a>, an organization dedicated to ending extreme poverty by 2030.</p>
Categories: Travel

Go Surfing With Dolphins and Eat Fried Piranha on This Cruise of the Brazilian Rain Forest

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/02/2018 - 15:45
<p>The oropendolas sounded like a dripping faucet.</p><p>We couldn’t see these dark, yellow-tailed birds in the dusk, but their calls seemed fitting because we were gliding through a world of water. My wife, Kim, and I were deep in the Amazon rain forest. We were propelling our stand-up paddleboards along a narrow channel of <a href="" target="_blank">Brazil</a>’s Rio Negro. The forest on either side of us was flooded. The sky, finally clear after hours of rain, had burned to a dusky rose over the tops of the trees.</p><img alt="Rio Negro, Brazil "src=""><p>“Listen!” Kim said, then pointed. A toucan, perched on the limb of a tall ficus tree, cried out a piercing, flutelike note. Its silhouette seemed mostly made up of its huge bill. It felt like a miracle that it didn’t topple forward. Then we heard a sudden racket: a dozen scarlet macaws sailed overhead like a volley of arrows.</p><p>“It’s going to be dark soon,” I murmured. “And the guys on the boat said they saw a big caiman.” A caiman is basically Brazil’s version of a crocodile.</p><p>“I know,” Kim replied, but kept paddling up the creek, farther from safety. She was in thrall to the forest. A few minutes earlier she had guided us into a gap in the trees, where a troop of capuchin monkeys dropped figs on our heads. Now I looked over my shoulder to make sure there wasn’t a monster caiman rippling behind us in the last light.</p><p><img src="" /></p><p>We were 130 miles upriver from Manaus, the jungle capital where the Rio Negro merges with the Solimões River to form the <a href="" target="_blank">Amazon</a>. We had flown to the city a week before for a 12-day river voyage with Amazônia Expeditions, a Brazil-based company that specializes in customized tours of the region’s waterways. The trip was organized by Ian Miller, a paleontologist at the Denver Museum of Nature &amp; Science, and his wife, Robyn, a floral designer. They had assembled a loose group of friends, mostly from <a href="" target="_blank">Denver</a>, for a voyage to see some of the most diverse wildlife on the planet. The <em>Dorinha</em><i>,</i> our compact, triple-decked boat, was made especially for the Amazon Basin. It had a dozen cabins and a dining room finished in teak and mahogany; its open upper deck was lined with hammocks. It towed four canoes with outboard motors, which we used for excursions every morning and often at night.</p><p>We had spent the first few days of the trip on the busy Solimões, visiting villages, squeezing up small tributaries, and bird-watching on remote lakes. Then we returned to Manaus and headed up the wilder Rio Negro, whose water is dark with tannin from the thousands of square miles of trees that border it. Once we’d motored for 50 miles, we rarely saw a soul. This was the Amazon rain forest I’d always dreamed about.</p><p>The Amazon Basin has long been steeped in myth. Think of <em>Fitzcarraldo</em><i>,</i> Werner Herzog’s film about a would-be rubber tycoon’s obsession with building an opera house in the jungle, or English geographer Percy Fawcett’s doomed quest to find the ruins of an ancient civilization, as recounted in David Grann’s <em>The Lost City of Z</em> and its movie adaptation. Today, it’s difficult to separate the real from the imagined. After centuries of exploration, the region is still little understood. The World Wildlife Fund estimates that it contains millions of species, most of which have not even been identified. Its forests produce 20 percent of the planet’s oxygen. They are under growing threat of deforestation, and scientists fear that they may be lost before we even come to know them.</p><p><img src="" /></p><p>Before daybreak on the morning after our paddleboard adventure, a week into the trip, a recording of Pavarotti singing in <em>La Traviata</em> blasted over the ship’s speakers. This is the way Captain Moacir “Mo” Fortes likes to roust his passengers. It means you have 20 minutes to hit the canoes. I looked out of the porthole. We had traveled all night, and somewhere along the way Captain Mo had turned up a side channel and entered a broad lake. I could see the first ruddy smudges of dawn over the trees on the far shore and the shapes of small islands scattered across the water. The whole country seemed to echo and thunder with the sound of howler monkeys greeting the day.</p><p>I met Captain Mo on the lower deck. “Are we going bird-watching?” I said. “Or looking for monkeys or sloths?”</p><p>“No, Pedro,” he said, with a gleam in his eye. “We are going fishing.”</p><p>I soon learned that he meant fishing for piranhas.</p><p>The crew tied the <i>Dorinha</i> to a tree at the edge of a tributary called the Igarapé Água Boa, which now, at high water, looked nothing like a river. During the seasonal flooding, which lasts from January to June, it had expanded and spilled over the shorter trees. We climbed aboard the canoes and slipped along the western “shore” — the tops of the taller trees. Mo said the water was probably 15 feet above what was, in dry season, the riverbank.</p><img alt="Scenes from Amazonia "src=""><p>Mo showed us how to bait our lines with pieces of raw chicken and then bounce the bait off the riverbed. My meat never got there. I would feel a fierce tug, but when I jerked upward I would discover that my bait was gone. I’d heard what piranhas can do to a dead cow, and I shivered thinking that we had swum off the side of the boat the night before.</p><p>But Kim had the touch. She began bringing up one red-bellied piranha after another. Their little teeth were razor sharp. After she caught more than a dozen, Mo looked at her with the respect one great fisherman gives another. That evening, after a slightly nervous swim, we dined on a piranha fry. The fish were bony but delicious.</p><p><img src="" /></p><p>It was hard to believe that this flooded world, with little dry ground anywhere, was a seasonal occurrence—and that the animals and plants had evolved to live with it. We saw swimming snakes, turtles sunning on logs, flying squirrels that sailed through the lower canopy, and squirrel monkeys leaping from tree to tree as if they were taking a stroll.</p><img alt="Squirrel Monkeys in Amazonia, Brazil "src=""><p>Kim and I had packed inflatable paddleboards and a fly rod. Her fishing prowess inspired me. Why couldn’t I paddle out into the flood and fish off the board? It would just require a little balance.</p><p>The next day — the eighth of our trip, and the fourth up the Rio Negro — I paddled along the edge of<br />tall woods, wondering where I would be if I were a peacock bass. Most likely I’d be hunting the smaller fish hiding in those islands of brush, I thought. I moved into them and found myself in a maze of broad-leaved thicket that had trails and clearings like meadows — except that it was all water.</p><p>I tied on a fly made of a clump of feathers the size of a sparrow. The guy in the fly shop in Denver had said, “Down there, when in doubt, go big.” I began to cast. A squall of dusky-headed parakeets flew just over my head, which certainly never happened on my local creek. I dropped the fly just off the brush. Something jerked it hard. I told myself to keep my balance, remembering that I wasn’t standing on the bank of a river but a moving board. The fish hauled me toward the trees. I yelled with glee. I fought the fish for 20 minutes, but when I brought it in I was shocked to discover it was a small peacock bass. I was working the hook out, marveling at the fish’s crimson lower fins and green flanks, when I heard a crash a short distance away. I thought of the 15-foot caiman we had seen on the river at lunch. I began to hurry toward the boat, hoping I could remember where it was.</p><p><strong>Related</strong>: <a href="" target="_blank">10 Wildlife Trips Where You Can Get Up Close With the World’s Coolest Animals</a></p><p>That night we had a dance party on the top deck. One of the crew hauled out an electric keyboard. Clouds massed and covered the stars as House of Pain’s “Jump Around” echoed over the forest. The bartender kept pouring caipirinhas. Michael Mowry, a Denver public-art consultant, spun with his wife, Amy, a real estate developer. Claire Antoszewski, a physician’s assistant from Santa Fe, jumped around with John Hankla, a dinosaur paleontologist at the University of Colorado Boulder. Kim and I danced until we were dizzy. I wondered what the howler monkeys, trying to sleep in the pitch-dark forest, thought of our party.</p><p>The next morning we anchored just off a white-sand beach on the main river and took turns diving from the top deck. A few of us did backflips off the roof. Others just swam around in the black water, happy to be in a place few people had ever seen. Before turning the <em>Dorinha</em> around and cruising back to Manaus, Captain Mo turned off the engines and let the ship drift. On a hot, windless afternoon we anchored off a sand island in the middle of the river. Some of the crew and the other passengers played soccer on the sandbar. But I had begun to love paddling, so Kim and I launched the boards and headed upstream along the right bank.</p><p>Thick, ropy liana vines hung down into the water, and sprays of orchids — some cream-colored, some rose — flourished on the limbs of the trees. We saw a giant ceiba tree with buttress roots like low walls. We saw blue-and-gold macaws flying and black-crowned night herons crouching on branches. But mostly we just glided to the rhythm and soft plashes of the paddles.</p><img alt="Ceibo tree, Brazil "src=""><p>And then we heard the blow. Four dolphins swam to us, their pink flanks glistening. These were botos, the famed Amazon river dolphins, which, according to myth, can seduce the men living along the river. They were so close we could see their patterns of fine bluish freckles. They circled back and passed us again and chuffed and breathed. I felt a surge of kinship with these water-loving creatures.</p><p>A few heavy raindrops made rings on the black river. The shouts of the soccer players drifted to us on a fresh upstream breeze. In a few minutes the sky would crack open with a downpour that would make it hard to see and almost hard to breathe. But for now all was peace. We turned around. The dolphins cruised upstream, heading deeper into the heart of the forest.</p><h2>How to explore the Brazilian Amazon</h2><p>A number of <a href="" target="_blank">small cruise lines</a> navigate the great river and its tributaries, with excursions by land and water that offer a close look at rain-forest wildlife. Consider hiring a travel advisor who can expand your visit with further adventures throughout South America.</p><h2>Getting There</h2><p>Most Amazon cruises in Brazil depart from Manaus, in the state of Amazonas. There are several flights per day to Manaus from major cities, including Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, as well as nonstop flights from Miami on the Chilean airline LATAM.</p><h2>Tour Operators</h2><p>Locally owned charter cruise company <a href="" target="_blank">Amazônia Expeditions</a> has been navigating the Amazon for 37 years. The team excels at small-group cruises tailored to passengers’ interests, such as botany or sport fishing. <em>(Cruises for up to eight people from $2,350 per group per day.)</em></p><p>Amazon offerings from conservation-minded tour operator <a href="" target="_blank">Wildlife Worldwide</a> include group river safaris and bespoke private itineraries that take you to see the region’s animal inhabitants. Tack on a transfer to the biodiverse Pantanal, a wetlands region in southwestern Brazil, for a jaguar-tracking trip. <em>(Nine-day trips from $3,690.)</em></p><h2>Travel Advisors</h2><p>Rio-based Brazil specialist <a href="" target="_blank">Paul Irvine</a> <i>(800-690-6899;</i> is the founder of the South American travel firm <a href="" target="_blank">Dehouche</a> and a longtime member of the A-List, T+L’s collection of the world’s top travel advisors. He can plan custom riverboat itineraries, with stays at Brazil’s best rain-forest lodges, and a variety of post-cruise extensions, like a transfer to Trancoso to experience Bahia’s beaches and Afro-Caribbean culture.<i> </i><em>($800 minimum daily spend.)</em></p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Mary Curry</a><i> (406-540-1901;,</i> an adventure-cruise specialist on the A-List, can organize itineraries that put a river excursion in the context of a broader South American expedition. Her team at <a href="" target="_blank">Adventure Life</a> can book a small-ship cruise supplemented with a visit to Iguazú Falls, Machu Picchu, or the Galápagos Islands. <em>($200 minimum daily spend.)</em></p><h2>When to go</h2><p>Irvine notes that fluctuating water levels mean the Amazon changes dramatically from season to season. The rainy season, with intense showers, runs from December to April. River levels are highest between January and August, allowing access to small tributaries and secluded swimming holes. But the drier season, from September to November, is best for fishing, hiking, and visiting the region’s white-sand river beaches.</p><h2>What to pack</h2><p>Curry encourages travelers to take precautions against mosquitoes. Bring <a href="" target="_blank">strong repellent</a>, pretreat clothes with Permethrin spray, and get antimalarial medication from a doctor. Plan on taking light, <a href="" target="_blank">loose-fitting pants</a> and long-sleeved shirts in light colors. Evenings are cool, so pack layers.</p>
Categories: Travel

Alex Trebek Is Going on a Narwhal and Polar Bear Safari in Canada — and He Wants You to Go with Him (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/02/2018 - 11:31
<p>What is the trip of a lifetime?</p><p>Next year, Alex Trebek will venture to the Arctic of Canada to spot narwhals and polar bears. And you could go with him.</p><p>In part of his capacity as <a href="" target="_blank">Honorary President of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society</a> (RCGS), Trebek will join a week-long expedition in next June with Arctic Kingdom.</p><img alt="Polar Bear, Arctic Kingdom "src=""><p>The <a href="" target="_blank">Narwhal &amp; Polar Bear Safari</a> will bring up to 16 travelers and Trebek to the northern section of Canada’s Baffin Island for icebergs, snow and (we’re assuming) the answers to many upcoming “Jeopardy” questions.</p><p>“Our shared goal with RCGS is to grow a deeper appreciation for the people, natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Canadian Arctic. As Canadians, we are privileged to have such a spectacular Arctic region and we hope to inspire people to explore this special part of our country,” Graham Dickson, president and founder of Arctic Kingdom, said in a statement. “We are honoured to welcome Alex Trebek, and travellers from around the world, to experience this incredible place we are so passionate about.”</p><p>The trip brings guests to the floe edge — the border between sea ice and the open ocean — of the island to experience one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems. According to Arctic Kingdom, June is a particularly great time to visit the area as animals congregate around the floe as the ice melts for the summer. Visitors are likely to spot belugas, narwhals, seals and many other types of animals.</p><img alt="Narwhal, Arctic Kingdom "src=""><p>Accommodations are at a premium safari camp on an Arctic beach, with the opportunity to immerse yourself in local Inuit culture.</p><p>The trip departs on June 18, 2019. Pricing starts at about $10,850 ($13,900 CAD) plus tax. If you’re short on cash, perhaps you could win the funds on “Jeopardy.” Start boning up on facts about icebergs.</p>
Categories: Travel

At the Country's Most Remote Distillery, the Rye Is Worth the Journey

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/02/2018 - 11:01
<p>Driving to the headquarters of <a href="" target="_blank">Far North Spirits</a>, in Hallock, Minnesota (pop. 981), takes gumption and a functioning GPS system. The northernmost distillery in the lower 48 sits in the tip-top corner of the state, six hours northwest of the <a href="" target="_blank">Twin Cities</a> and an absent-minded turn from the <a href="" target="_blank">Canadian</a> border. <em>Field &amp; Stream</em> publisher Charles Hallock was this ag town’s namesake. It’s home to narrow county highways, shimmering silos, and open skies. The winters are bright and bruising. When it thaws, the town’s trusty siren whirs back into action; it rings at 6 p.m. each night, a signal to farm hands that dinner is warm.</p><p>%image2 article</p><p>Cheri Reese and Michael Swanson, Far North’s married co-founders, grew up together in Hallock. Her folks ran the flower shop; his family worked 1,200 acres of wheat and sugar beet fields, land the Swansons have owned for four generations. Both were thrilled, following high school, to leave their aging hometown in the rearview mirror. A decade later, in 2000, the pair reconnected on a holiday flight. Reese hadn’t planned on coming home from St. Paul that year, until her mom laid on some Lutheran guilt. Swanson, then living in Denver, looked slick in an ivory turtleneck sweater. Their first date was the very next afternoon a Christmas Day showing of "Castaway." (Swanson’s dad loaned his eager son a car and instructed him “not to say anything stupid.”)</p><p>The couple eventually settled in Minneapolis, where their careers were comfortable but uninspiring. Reese would float the idea of moving back north from time to time, usually in moments of soul sickness. “We had really secure jobs,” she says. “But at the end of the week, there was nothing left. We didn’t have anything to show for it. We had a Powerpoint or something vapid. Mike was honestly just losing his mind.”</p><p>%image6 article</p><p>During those dreamy conversations, they reached a few conclusions: 1) Were they to flee city life for the northern plains, Reese and Swanson would develop a <em>finished</em> product from the grains that Swanson’s family had long cultivated. 2) They also loved whiskey. In 2013, after loads of background research, training, and a few semesters of business school, Swanson felt comfortable swapping his Allen Edmonds for a pair of Red Wings. The two decamped back to Hallock, where Swanson’s parents had set aside one-quarter of their acreage for the new venture. The distillery opened for business that November.</p><p>The timing was opportune. A decade prior, there were only a handful of specialty distillers operating in the United States, maybe 50 or 60. Penetrating a market dominated by multinational conglomerates was nearly impossible. Then came the revival of cocktail culture and the subsequent liberalization of both state and federal liquor laws. Spirits drinkers were suddenly willing to pay a premium for flavor and character. According to the latest count from the <a href="" target="_blank">American Craft Spirits Association</a>, close to <em>1,600</em> craft distilleries are now up and running nationwide — making for a growth curve even steeper than the craft beer boom of the 1980s and 1990s.</p> <p>I met the Far North team at the distillery on a hazy afternoon in August, one of the year’s steamiest. Crops stretched deep into the distance, buried into topsoil so black it looked dyed. There weren’t any neighbors in sight, no other obvious signs of civilization — other than Reese, sliding open the wood door of the main building to welcome me in. Swanson swung around in his truck a minute later. He’d been out harvesting the rye that Far North planted last fall, and he didn’t mind taking a (modest) break to show me around.</p><p>%image3 article</p><p>Their facility — which Reese jokingly calls “The Chocolate Factory” — was built from scratch, right on top of an old wheat field. Inside are two copper stills (50 and 500 gallons), a gurgling mash cooker, open-air fermentation tanks, and dozens of wood barrels stacked neatly in the back. The building has no climate control; extreme temperature swings aid the aging process. Thanks to the mash, everything smells vaguely of hot cereal. It’s also eerily quiet, aside from the hum of equipment and the occasional purr from Eep, a formerly frost-bitten rescue cat who, like his adoptive family, was born and raised in Hallock.</p><p>The concept of <em>terroir</em>, more commonly associated with <a href="" target="_blank">wine</a> and, lately, coffee, is seeping into the vocabulary of craft distillers. It’s the idea that agricultural products are shaped by the climate and the culture in which they’re grown. Corporate distillers tend to use a few giant commodity suppliers; everything starts to taste standardized, even bland. Even among craft distillers, very few grow their own ingredients.</p><p>%image5 article</p><p>Swanson and Reese are a new breed; like chefs, they’re thinking hard about how to maximize the natural strengths of Hallock and the surrounding region. Swanson monitors the entire process starting when the seeds are planted, giving him tight control over quality and taste. He can pick the precise variant of crop, can tweak the spices in each individual batch, can fiddle with his dials if necessary during production. Their land, meanwhile, is nutritionally (and sentimentally) rich, the same fertile pastures that Swanson’s great-grandparents tilled a century ago, fresh off a boat from Sweden.</p><p>Rye — a hardy, drought-resistant grain particularly suited to the soil of both Minnesota and Scandinavia — serves as the foundation for Far North’s sharpest offerings, all of which have Nordic names, specific personalities, and a distinct Minnesota heritage. Reese describes <a href="" target="_blank">Solveig</a>, their first gin, as light and floral, “like Cate Blanchett in a cashmere sweater.” <a href="" target="_blank">Roknar</a>, the outrageously smooth whiskey for which they’re best known, evokes “Steve McQueen in a convertible — the strong, silent type.”</p><p>%image4 article</p><p>Locals were excited when Reese and Swanson moved back, if skeptical of their ambitions. “Northwest Minnesotans are very quiet and passive-aggressive,” Swanson says. “They were like, ‘That sounds <em>different</em>.’” It took only a few months, and a few sips of Solveig, to win them over. On Saturday evenings, Hallockians now stream into <a href="" target="_blank">Far North’s airy tasting room</a>, bellying up to the polished bar for cocktails with birch paper straws. (Considering the beauty of the space and the caliber of the drinks, the prices — $6 for something mixed, $3 for a pour — are shockingly low.) Along one wall, there’s a stack of t-shirts with a simple question printed on the back: <em>Who’s your whiskey farmer?</em></p><p>The couple filled their 100,000th bottle in August, a major milestone for what’s effectively a Mom-and-Pop shop. Distribution is growing steadily, in line with Far North’s burgeoning reputation. (Their wares are stocked at some 1,100 bars or liquor stores nationwide, in the Midwest and on both coasts.) In the past calendar year, they’ve hosted visitors from 23 states and six countries, far-flung locations that Reese marks dutifully on a pinboard map in the warehouse. Those who trek up are rewarded with a comprehensive tour of Far North's operation, charming conversation, and drinks as sophisticated as any you’d find in a big-city bar.</p><p>%image8 article</p><p>The distillery has even inspired a modest cultural boom in Hallock itself, a city struggling to stanch depopulation. A craft brewery (<a href="" target="_blank">Revelation Ale Works</a>) opened 18 months after Far North, along with a funky coffee shop (Bean and Brush) and a tasteful Airbnb (<a href="" target="_blank">The Scandinavia</a>), options that compliment northern Minnesota’s abundant camping and hunting. Hallock’s Main Street Committee recently hired a Minneapolis-based creative agency, <a href="" target="_blank">Bodega Ltd.</a>, to help reshape the town’s image, with the goal of attracting 100 new residents over the next decade. (Drawing inspiration from the vastness of the landscape and from Donald Judd’s work in <a href="" target="_blank">Marfa, Texas</a>, the firm landed on the tagline “Things are clearer up here.”) Lindsey Evenson, who runs Revelation with her husband, calls Far North “pioneers.”</p><p>Reese admits that building a life on the geographic margins sounds loony. It’s certainly full of logistical challenges: finding qualified employees, minimizing shipping costs, enduring long and lonely winters. In truth, the owners (along with assistant distiller Johny Barbosa) put in grueling hours, sometimes in adverse conditions, nearly all on their own.</p><p>And it’s a mistake, Reese argues, “to assume that because there are 6,000 breweries, there can be 6,000 distilleries.” Given the spirits explosion, winning shelf space is no easy feat, and corporate distillers have pursued acquisitions or taken minority positions in promising upstarts. “There are 30 Minnesota gins on the market right now,” Reese says. “There aren’t that many gin drinkers. In <em>London</em>, there aren’t that many gin drinkers! I think we’re going to reach a tipping point.”</p><p>%image7 article</p><p>Still, the folks at Far North are confident about the future. They trust their hands and their instincts. They’re deeply connected to that inky Minnesota soil. Swanson, the consummate farm kid, isn’t afraid to take apart his equipment and experiment. Down the line, they’d like to extend their barreling room, maybe add another still, size up the fermenters. They recently hired a Swedish production assistant; his accent is as thick as his beard. They want the world to see, up close, what sets Northwest Minnesota apart. Their project is by no means a marketing gimmick.</p><p>Not long ago, some <a href="" target="_blank">Napa Valley</a> winemakers swung through Hallock, careening down the gravel road that bends toward Far North’s grain bins, kicking up dust behind them. Swanson couldn’t believe they traveled all that way. (“Was it because Napa was on fire!?”) The winemakers had found Far North Spirits on shelves out west and were stunned to see that Swanson personally dug up the rye they’d later imbibe.</p> <img alt="Facility, Far North Spirits" src=""> Courtesy of Far North Spirits <p>“Being in the middle of nowhere,” he says, “can work in your favor.”</p><p><em>The cocktail room at <a href="" target="_blank">Far North Spirits</a> is open every Saturday from 4-8 p.m, unless noted. The distillery also offers private tours by request; to visit, get in touch through their website (f<a href="" target="_blank"></a>).</em></p>
Categories: Travel

You'd Never Guess Disneyland's Scariest Ride This Halloween

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/02/2018 - 11:00
<p><a href="" target="_blank">Disneyland</a> is known for going all out at holiday celebrations, and Halloween time at the two California theme parks is no exception. Guests can enjoy cheerful Jack-o’-lanterns lining Main Street U.S.A., Haunted Mansion’s re-emergence as a silver screen joyride, and plenty of festive photo ops — all for the price of a main gate ticket. It’s all delightfully family-friendly, but there’s one addition to the seasonal lineup that might actually have you spooked.</p><p>The biggest fright at the Anaheim resort comes not from Oogie Boogie shouting at guests from Disney California Adventure’s front gates or a headless horseman watching over Buena Vista Street. No, the scariest Disney experience you’ll find this fall is on <a href="" target="_blank">Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy</a>.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">11 Theme Park Halloween Celebrations That'll Have You Screaming for More</a></p><p>With an ever-so-slightly demonic overlay to the out-of-this-world roller coaster proving to be as fun as it is frightening, the seasonal changes to this Tomorrowland favorite will make you scream for reasons beyond its dips and turns. Gone is the funky uptempo soundtrack and star-speckled sky fans know and love, and in its place comes a tense tune and bouts of pitch-black darkness, causing every banked turn and sudden drop to feel faster than usual.</p><img alt="The Space Mountain "Ghost Galaxy" ride at Disneyland during Halloween season "src=""><p>As for that galaxy of ghosts, the fiery undead appear throughout the ride, popping up overhead or with skeletal arms projected to reach out towards your rocket as the eerie sounds leave you out in deep space with nowhere left to turn. This intergalactic thrill ride is still somewhat child-friendly, but be warned. Nothing about the actual attraction changes — the track and queue are all the same — but even the Pumpkin King himself taking helm of Haunted Mansion’s graveyard scene can’t compare to the unexpected spooks on this riveting re-done roller coaster.</p><p>It’s not Disneyland’s only ride redux for the season, and in fact, it’s not even the only thrill-stacked one. Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: BREAKOUT! completely changes it theme in fall, transforming to become a sequel to the high-energy fortress escape with new music, scenes and story beginning each night at 5pm. Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree and Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters in Cars Land offer delightfully sweet Halloween updates throughout the fall, a tradition that began last year, and Haunted Mansion twists itself into its very own The Nightmare Before Christmas ride, complete with an enormous gingerbread house on display that changes each year. (2018’s version is a neon green graham cracker mansion covered in spiderwebs and topped with a five foot spider.)</p><p>Still, the lighting effects paired with pulsating music and those make for a haunting journey, one that makes a brilliant Halloween-ready effect, as Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy runs until October 31st. You may not have your decorations up, costumes made or candy prepped for trick-or-treaters, but after one ride on this Disneyland bonanza, you’ll be all set for the holiday to arrive.</p>
Categories: Travel

Meghan Markle’s Trick for Avoiding Germs on a Flight Is Kind of Genius

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/02/2018 - 10:31
<p>Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, is a thoroughly modern woman. She does <a href="" target="_blank">close her own car doors after all</a>. But, it turns out, like the rest of us, she too has some old-school remedies to ward off illness while traveling.</p><p>In a recently unearthed post from Meghan’s now-defunct lifestyle blog, <em><a href="" target="_blank">The Tig</a></em>, Meghan gave perhaps one of the the best tips we’ve ever heard to avoid catching a cold on a plane.</p><p>“If you’ve been tracking my social media of late, you’ll notice that not a week goes by without me finding my derrière on a plane,” Meghan wrote in 2016, just prior to announcing her engagement. “Yes, it’s fun, and yes, it’s purpose-driven, and yes, it can sometimes feel quite glamorous; but, jet-setting (for work or pleasure) comes with its own set of complications. The foremost issue is self-care.”</p><p>She then noted a few of her favorite ways to stay healthy on the go, including wiping down her seat, remote, and TV on a plane with sanitizer before sitting down, always having <a href=";tag=tlmeghanneosporin-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=B00141B7SS&amp;linkId=6331bdd8bc2e3ef93f65bb94981781a6" target="_blank">a probiotic</a> handy, and never leaving home without a scarf.</p><p>Those seem fairly obvious. But, then Meghan added this gem: “A dear friend of mine once told me that Leonardo DiCaprio gave her an excellent travel tip. I know – I could have written an entire post on this conversation alone. What is it, you ask? Evidently, he said that to avoid getting sick on planes, he puts a little <a href=";tag=tlmeghanneosporin-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=B00164IIUI&amp;linkId=8722fbd1132708aaebc9af93bf611671" target="_blank">Neosporin</a> on a cotton swab and coats the inside of his nostrils.”</p><p>Yes, Meghan, by proxy, got some good advice from DiCaprio and has been using it ever since.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">You Might Already Have Meghan Markle’s $5 Secret to Glowing Skin in Your Bathroom</a></p><p>“Not only does it create a barrier for germs, it also lubricates the skin in the nose,” she continued. “That’s important because when the skin cracks, germs can come a running in, so the coating of the Neosporin doubly protects you.”</p><p>As she noted, this was some seriously secondhand information, so while she can’t promise Leo actually does this, she can promise that she does. “It’s a great tip. Try it!”</p><p>The next time you’re on a flight, give this royally approved trick a try (or test another one of these <a href="" target="_blank">ways to avoid catching the flu on a flight</a>), and then, just for fun, imagine Meghan helping the Queen dab a bit of Neosporin into her nose during their next royal engagement.</p>
Categories: Travel

Primera Air Has Ceased Operations — Here's What to Do If You Have an Upcoming Flight

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/02/2018 - 09:51
<p>Thousands of passengers were left with “worthless tickets” on Monday when Primera Air suddenly ceased operations after 14 years of service, <a href="" target="_blank">the <em>Independent</em> reported</a>. Many travelers found out the airline was shutting down while they were waiting to board their flights to New York City and Washington, D.C.</p><p>“On behalf of Primera Air team, we would like to thank you for your loyalty. On this sad day we are saying Goodbye to all of you,” the company said on its website.</p><p>At the time that the news was announced, there were only three Primera flights in the air, and one of the airline's planes had already been impounded at Stansted airport in London.</p><p>“Weighting [sic] the potential losses due to future delivery delays... and bearing in mind the difficult environment that airlines are facing now due to low prices and high fuel costs, we have decided to cease operations now,” Primera said in a statement. The airline will cease all operations at midnight on October 2.</p><p>The news officially broke when a Primera Air crew member shared an e-mail from Anders Ludvigsson, Primera's director of flight operations.</p><p>In the e-mail, Ludvigsson states that the delays in getting new Airbuses created high costs for “wet lease and cancellations,” which ultimately led to the airline's demise.</p><p>The bankruptcy comes just months after the <a href="" target="_blank">airline began operating flights between North American and Europe</a>.</p><h2>What to Do If You Booked a Primera Air Flight</h2><p>Unfortunately, if you have a flight booked with Primera Air, you will no longer be able to contact them via e-mail or phone if you wish to follow up with them for more information. For updates, the airline promises to provide customers with more information on its website in the coming days.</p><p>You will also need to reschedule your flights with another airline.</p><p>It is unknown whether Primera will refund your tickets, so you will need to get in touch with your credit card company or travel insurance provider in order to get your money back.</p><p>If you booked your flights through a tour operator or travel agent, contact them for more information.</p>
Categories: Travel

Adorable Puppy Escapes the House, Then Rings the Doorbell to Get Back In

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/02/2018 - 09:39
<p>All good boys know they should always use the doorbell.</p><p>According to the <a href="">Spokesman-Review</a>, a golden retriever puppy named Marshall, living outside Spokane, Washington, managed to ring the doorbell to let his owner know that he was ready to come back inside.</p><p>The pooch accidentally got out of the house and had locked himself on the porch on Tuesday, September 25.</p><p>According to <a href="">Gizmodo</a>, Marshall's owner, Greg Basel, had a <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Nest video doorbell system</a> installed to produce a knocking sound whenever someone comes to ring the bell. Nest customers can customize their notification sounds through an app.</p><p>As Marshall pawed at the door, the video taken by the doorbell system shows the “knocking” sound as the puppy sniffs the camera. Luckily, his owner was home to let him in and you can hear the door opening at the tail end of the video.</p><p><em>Good boy, Marshall</em>. He’ll be bringing in the paper and helping deliver packages in no time.</p>
Categories: Travel

20,000 Bees Built a Nest in a Plane's Engine in South Africa

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/02/2018 - 07:32
<p>On Sept. 23, King Shaka International Airport in Durban, South Africa was buzzing with activity as a swarm of bees built a nest in an aircraft engine, delaying three flights.</p><p>According to <a href="" target="_blank">News24</a> in South Africa, it took less than 25 minutes for the bees to settle into the <a href="" target="_blank">Mango Airlines</a> plane.</p><p>"This is incredibly rare. I have certainly never seen anything like this in my eight years in the aviation industry," said Mango Airlines spokesman Sergio dos Santos.</p><p>The low-budget airline called in beekeepers to help them safely remove the insects from their passenger airplane.</p><p>The process was "hectic," said Melvyn Dawson, a beekeeper from bee removal company A Bee C. "Ground control was frantic. They wanted us to do it as quickly as possible because of the flight being delayed."</p><p>Before they could begin transporting the bees, however, they had to obtain permits as mandated by aviation regulations. Typically, they would have smoked out the bees, but because the smoke would have damaged the plane, they used palm fronds to gather up the insects and remove them from the engine.</p><p>For now, the insects are being housed at Dawson's brother's home, reported <a href="" target="_blank">News 24</a>. They will later be sent to stay at macadamia farms and with other beekeepers.</p><p>Mike Miles, chairperson of the <a href="" target="_blank">South African Bee Industry Association</a>, believes the insects did not intend to remain in the engine for long. "Normally those places are greasy, smelly and hot and not at all ideal as a permanent home for bees," he told <a href="" target="_blank">News24</a>. "Bees prefer secluded wood cavities. This is very unusual."</p><p>Although Mango Airlines had never dealt with an infestation like this before, this is not the first time the black and yellow creatures have tried honeymooning on an aircraft before.</p><p>At Miami International Airport in March 2017, an <a href="" target="_blank">American Airlines flight was detained for four hours</a> when thousands of bees made their nest near the cargo hold area.</p><p>And in 2016, a <a href="" target="_blank">US Air Force fight was grounded</a> when approximately 20,000 bees were found clinging to its exhaust nozzle.</p><p>In both instances, beekeepers were called in for assistance.</p>
Categories: Travel

You Can Now Get Boozy Push-pops at Disney World

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/02/2018 - 06:36
<p>It’s no secret that you can find tons of tasty and boozy treats in Disney Springs, but the latest icy dessert from Paddlefish Restaurant at the <a href="" target="_blank">Walt Disney World</a> Resort really takes the cake (or, ice cream, rather).</p><p>The Walt Disney Resort announced on Wednesday that the restaurant will now be serving boozy push-pops (you know, kind of like the Flintstones-themed ones you got as a kid, but for adults) from Buzz Pop Cocktails, <a href="" target="_blank">according to <em>People</em></a>.</p><p>Of course, these alcoholic ice pops are have more adult flavors and packaging than the ones you remember. They come in eight flavors — including mango passionfruit, lemon drop martini, and blueberry pomegranate — all made with fresh fruit and rum.</p><p>The CEO for Buzz Pop Cocktails told <em>People</em> that White Russian and grasshopper sorbet flavors will be available this winter. So, any time is a good time for ice cream.</p><p>Boozy treats are becoming pretty easy to come by at Disney, especially since the park started allowing <a href="" target="_blank">alcohol to be served in sit-down restaurants in the Magic Kingdom</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Turtle Cracked Its Shell So Veterinarians Made Him a Lego Wheelchair

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/02/2018 - 06:18
<p>Sometimes a vet has to improvise to help an animal in need.</p><p>According to the <a href="" target="_blank">Associated Press</a>, veterinarians at <a href=";oq=the+Maryland+Zoo&amp;aqs=chrome.0.0l6.377j0j7&amp;sourceid=chrome&amp;ie=UTF-8" target="_blank">The Maryland Zoo</a> worked diligently to help a wild eastern box turtle who cracked the underside of its shell. Unfortunately, after the surgery, the doctors were plagued with the task of how to keep the turtle from injuring itself even further during the healing process.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">The zoo’s website</a> wrote in detail that the surgery, performed back in July, left the turtle with metal bone plates, sewing clasps and surgical wire to temporarily hold its shell back together.</p><p>Zoo veterinary extern (fourth-year veterinary student) Garrett Fraess said in a release on the zoo’s website, “It was important to keep the bottom of the shell off the ground so it could heal properly.”</p><p>Since there are no turtle-sized wheelchairs or crutches out there, Fraess turned to a friend who happened to be a Lego expert for help.</p><img alt="Maryland Zoo rehabilitates turtle with lego wheelchair "src=""><p>The chair has a box-shaped frame and uses tiny wheels to lift the turtle slightly off the ground, supporting its body and legs so it can still move around. Plumber’s putty was also added to attach the chair to the edges of the turtle’s upper shell so he could move freely and keep it in place without receiving further damage.</p><img alt="Maryland Zoo rehabilitates turtle with lego wheelchair "src=""><p>Dr. Ellen Bronson, senior director of animal health, conservation, and research at the Maryland Zoo said on the zoo’s website that the little turtle will wear the device until all of its shell fragments completely fuse back together again, hopefully by the spring.</p><p>The zoo has plenty of <a href="" target="_blank">easter box turtles</a> to see in its Wilderness Area. For more information, visit the <a href="" target="_blank">Maryland Zoo website</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Here's What Happens When You Accidentally Tell the U.S. Government You're a Terrorist on Your Visa Form

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/02/2018 - 06:11
<p>A 29-year-old British woman would like to remind everyone of the importance of reading documents very carefully.</p><p>While applying for a tourist visa for a bucket list trip to <a href="" target="_blank">New York City</a>, Mandie Stevenson erroneously ticked off “Yes” on an online travel application asking if she had ever engaged in terrorist activity. Obviously, her travel application was denied.</p><p>“At first I thought it was a bad dream and then I realized what I had done,” Stevenson said on BBC radio show “Mornings with Stephen Jardine.” She said she made the mistake while filling out a form on the Department of Homeland Security's <a href="" target="_blank">Electronic System for Travel Authorization</a> site. The question reads: “Do you seek to engage in or have you ever engaged in terrorist activities, espionage, sabotage, or genocide?”</p><p>“I believe I ticked ‘no’ and then when I have scrolled down to click confirm, I think it has nudged and moved. That's the story I'm sticking to,” <a href="" target="_blank">Stevenson said</a>. “A lot of people have said ‘How on earth could you do that?’ but to me I've done it really easily.”</p><p>To fix her error, Stevenson had to go to her nearby U.S. embassy, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Mashable</em> reported</a>. At the embassy, Stevenson had to undergo a series of interviews before she was granted a travel visa for her upcoming vacation. The interviews and appointment cost Stevenson $416, and while she was ultimately approved, she had to spend even more money to change her flights and accommodations to a later date.</p><p>While pushing back travel dates may seem like a small pain, for Stevenson time is of the essence. As she explained to BBC, she is currently undergoing treatment for cancer and can only travel in specific windows of time.</p><p>“I live in 12-weekly cycles because I get scanned every 12 weeks. I book my holidays in very specific times and this New York trip was going to be before I get another set of scan results, so I was really looking forward to it,” she said. “I thought because it was a genuine error it would be quite an easy fix but I was quite wrong.”</p>
Categories: Travel

A Complete Guide to Bringing Animals On Flights

Travel and Leisure - Mon, 10/01/2018 - 15:01
<p>This past year most domestic airlines tightened their rules regarding trained service animals, emotional support animals (or ESAs) and psychiatric animals on airplanes.</p><p>The move was necessary, airlines said, because too many passengers were taking advantage of lax government rules regarding the transport of these animals and, in many cases, claiming their regular pets as emotional support animals, which fly for free.</p><p>In announcing its new rules, <a href="" target="_blank">Delta Air Lines</a> noted that it was <a href="" target="_blank">carrying about 700 service and support animals a day</a> and nearly 250,000 annually. Since 2016, the airline has seen an 84 percent increase in the number of reported incidents involving untrained emotional support animals attacking passengers (and other animals) and urinating or defecating in aircraft cabins.</p><p>Airlines say the type of animals passengers claim they need with them on board for emotional support has been getting out of hand as well, citing passengers who claim they can’t fly without a turkey, peacock, pig, goat, spider or snake for support.</p><p>The airlines would like the <a href="" target="_blank">Department of Transportation</a> to clarify and tighten the overall rules for service and ESAs on planes. But while waiting for the government to act, individual airlines are rolling out their own updated policies.</p><p>Here’s a list of those policies as well as links to airline pet policies for passengers who may need to pony up the cash and fly by the rules.</p><p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Alaska Airlines</a>’ </strong>updated policy for support animals goes into effect Oct. 1, 2018. After that date, passengers traveling with emotional support animals will be able to bring only one emotional support animal on board with them: either a dog or a cat that will always need to stay leashed or in a carrier. Documentation and a 48-hour notice are also required. <a href="" target="_blank">Details here.</a> (<a href="" target="_blank">Pet policy</a>)</p><p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">American Airlines</a>’</strong> new rules went into effect July 1 and require passengers to provide three forms of documentation 48 hours before a flight for any emotional support or psychiatric service animal. The rules also prohibit many types of animals from flying as emotional support animals, including amphibians, goats, and snakes or spiders. <a href="" target="_blank">Details here</a>. (<a href="" target="_blank">Pet policy</a>)</p><p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Allegiant</a> </strong>addresses service, emotional support and comfort animals in its Contract of Carriage (updated July 1, 2018), which notes that passengers must provide proper documentation from a mental health professional when bringing an emotional support or comfort animal on board. <a href="" target="_blank">Details here</a> (#48). (<a href="" target="_blank">Pet policy</a>)</p><p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Delta Air Lines</a>'</strong> updated policies for service and support animals went into effect on July 10, 2018 and require passengers to submit documentation 48 hours before a flight. Pit bull-type dogs and animals such as hedgehogs, ferrets, reptiles and rodents are not permitted to fly as service or support animals. The airline reserves the right to refuse transportation to any animal that growls, barks excessively, jumps on passengers, relieves themselves in the gate area or cabin, or eats off seat-back tray tables. <a href="" target="_blank">Details here</a>. (<a href="" target="_blank">Pet policy</a>)</p><p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Frontier</a><a href="" target="_blank">'s</a></strong> policy for therapeutic/emotional support animals requires documentation and excludes aggressive or disruptive animals and unusual or exotic animals including rodents, reptiles, insects, rabbits, non-household birds and animals with foul odors. <a href="" target="_blank">Details here</a>. (<a href="" target="_blank">Pet policy</a>).</p><p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">JetBlue</a></strong> updated its policy for emotional support and psychiatric animals in July 2018. The policy limits emotional support animals to one per passengers and requires documentation 48 hours before a flight, including a medical or health professional’s form, a veterinary health form and a confirmation of animal behavior. <a href="" target="_blank">Details here</a>. (<a href="" target="_blank">Pet policy</a>)</p><p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Southwest Airlines</a>’</strong> new policy for emotional support animals became effective Sept. 17, 2018 and limits ESAs to one dog or cat per passenger. Animals must be kept on a leash or in a carrier both in the airport and on the aircraft. Proper documentation is required for each animal and disruptive animals may be denied boarding. <a href="" target="_blank">Details here</a>. (<a href="" target="_blank">Pet policy</a>)</p><p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Spirit Airlines</a></strong> requires proper documentation and 48-hour notice for emotional support animals. The airline allows passengers to travel with more than one emotional support animal, but no snakes, reptiles, ferrets, rodents, sugar gliders or spiders are permitted. <a href="" target="_blank">Details here</a>. (<a href="" target="_blank">Pet policy</a>)</p><p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">United Airlines</a></strong> updated it policies for emotional support and psychiatric service animals on March 1, 2018. Documentation must be filed 48 hours before the flight. Passengers may travel with only one emotional support animal. Animals must be trained to behave properly in a public setting and, as with most airlines, anyone traveling with an emotional support animal is not permitted to sit in an exit row. <a href="" target="_blank">Details here</a>. (<a href="" target="_blank">Pet policy</a>)</p>
Categories: Travel

This Country Is Europe’s Fastest Growing Tourist Destination — and You’ve Probably Never Heard of It

Travel and Leisure - Mon, 10/01/2018 - 14:00
<p>One of Europe’s smallest countries is growing in tourism numbers faster than anywhere else on the continent.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">According to new data from the United Nations World Tourism Organization</a> (UNWTO), the 24-square-mile country of San Marino became Europe’s fastest growing destination last year.</p><img alt="View of San Marino city with piazza Grande from above "src=""><p>From 2016 to 2017, San Marino saw a 31.1 percent growth in tourism with more than 78,000 people visiting the country last year. That may not seem impressive, but it is considering that the population is only about 33,500. More than twice as many people visited the country last year compared to those who live there.</p><p>To be fair, San Marino’s tourism had nowhere to go but up. Last year, it was reported that <a href="" target="_blank">the micro-nation was the least-visited place in Europe.</a> But, as more people learn about San Marino, tourism is likely to soar (so book your ticket ASAP).</p><p>San Marino is situated inside northeast Italy, only about a three-hour drive from Florence. Despite being the fifth smallest country in the world, there’s plenty to keep visitors entertained. It’s the last remaining independently-governed city-state in Italy and, therefore, has a lot of fascinating history. In fact, the historic center is a <a href="" target="_blank">UNESCO World Heritage Site</a>.</p><img alt="Palazzo Pubblico (Public Palace, Town Hall) and the Statua della Libertà (Statue of Liberty) by Stefano Galletti (1876) at sunset "src=""><p>One of the nation’s biggest draws is the well-preserved collection of medieval architecture. Some citadels around town date back to the 11th century. Wander through the old walled city and spend time in one of several palazzos around town.</p><p>No matter what you intend to do in San Marino, just be sure to get there quick. The tourists are coming.</p>
Categories: Travel

The Unexpected Reason Disneyland Is Getting Rid of Chairs and Benches

Travel and Leisure - Mon, 10/01/2018 - 12:01
<p>Disneyland is a busy place. In 2017, 18.3 million people — more than 50,000 a day on average — visited the park, <a href="" target="_blank">according to an indepent report</a>.</p><p>That many people can make it difficult to get around, which is why Disney taking out benches and chairs in order to widen walkways and paths for guests. The <a href="" target="_blank"><em>OC Register</em> noted</a> that the entire theme park has long been an attraction, rather than just “a collection of rides,” making it an inviting place for guests to come, sit for a spell, and take it all in. But, those benches and planters are now simply getting in the way of people making their way through the park each day. So it's either more seating, or fewer bottlenecks in crowded areas.</p><p>To compensate for the loss of benches, Disneyland is reportedly adding more seating. However, that seating is only available inside restaurants, <a href="" target="_blank">according to <em>MovieWeb</em></a>. For example, The Bengal BBQ restaurant, which is located in Adventureland, has expanded from 30 outdoor seats to 100. Disneyland spokeswoman Liz Jaeger told <em>MovieWeb</em> that the company is “always looking at ways to enhance elements such as guest flow, seating, and landscaping, which play an important part of a guest's visit to the parks.”</p><p>Beyond removing seats, Disneyland also changed its <a href="" target="_blank">pricing structure</a> to alleviate overcrowding (as is <a href="" target="_blank">Disney World</a>). It implemented “demand pricing,” increasing its admission pricing for its most popular days.</p><p>“We continue to work on managing demand by expanding the resort and adding new attractions, balancing offerings at our two theme parks, and providing seasonal pricing to help spread visitation throughout the year,” <a href="" target="_blank">Disneyland spokeswoman Suzi Brown told the <em>Los Angeles Times</em></a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Is the Pilot Accent That Passengers Trust the Most

Travel and Leisure - Mon, 10/01/2018 - 11:01
<p>Flying on an aircraft means trusting the pilot flying it, and it turns out a pilot's accent can make a difference in how confident a passenger feels during a flight.</p><p>A new survey of 4,207 U.S. travelers conducted by Jetcost found that 54% of respondents are more or less confident in their pilot based on the pilot’s accent, <a href="" target="_blank">the <em>Los Angeles Times</em> reported</a>.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">Why You Shouldn't Freak Out If You See Your Pilot Sleeping on a Flight (Video)</a></p><p>When it came to which accents passengers trust the most, it was the Midwest and West Coast that most boosted confidence in the pilot.</p><p>Sixty-three percent of respondents said an Upper Midwestern accent made them trust the pilot's abilities, while 58% said the same of a Southern Californian accent.</p><h2>Accents That Draw the Most Amount of Confidence</h2>Upper Midwestern — 63%Southern Californian — 58%Great Lakes — 51%Central Canadian — 45%Southwestern U.S. — 37%<p>The survey also found that some accents can lower a passenger’s confidence in a pilot.</p><p>These included a Texan accent, with 65 percent of respondents saying the accent would give them the least amount of confidence.</p><h2>Accents That Draw the Least Amount of Confidence</h2>Texan — 65%New York — 59%General American — 54%Central Canadian — 45%Southwestern U.S. — 37%<p>While this seems to show U.S. passengers prefer a middle-of-the-country or relaxed West Coast accent the most, a 2010 survey in Britain seemed to find the opposite: found that British passengers felt safest with a male pilot with a “received pronunciation” Oxford accent, the<a href="" target="_blank"> <em>Daily Mail</em> reported</a>.</p><p>If you're nervous the next time you fly, first remember that flying is practically the safest it ever has been. And second, follow this <a href="" target="_blank">three-second safety trick</a> from a former airline captain so that you're prepared in the case of an emergency.</p>
Categories: Travel

What Space Tourists Will Get for Their $250,000 Ticket

Travel and Leisure - Sun, 09/30/2018 - 13:00
<p>The new space race is on, with <a href="" target="_blank">SpaceX preparing to launch Japanese online fashion tycoon, Yusaku Maezawa, around the moon</a> in 2023. However, British billionaire <a href="" target="_blank">Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Blue Origin, funded by CEO Jeff Bezos</a> are hoping that 2019 is the year that one of them takes paying customers to the edge of space.</p><p>At stake are supersonic speeds, a few minutes of weightlessness, and an incredible view of the curvature of Earth against the blackness of space, but just as important are bragging rights. For future astronauts, there’s a choice to be made. Which ‘spaceline’ is for you?</p><h2>What is suborbital space tourism?</h2><p>For now, it’s all about getting to the Kármán Line that separates Earth and space, which is about 62 miles/100km up. These first flights will be suborbital — they will go up very quickly, and then quickly come down again even faster. In the future, space tourism will almost certainly shift to short orbital flights and the chance to spend a week or two in a space station circling the globe. For now, suborbital is where it’s at.</p><h2>What Blue Origin space tourists will get</h2><p>If you ever wanted to blast-off to space on top of a rocket, Blue Origin’s New Shepard suborbital system is for you. A more conventional, Apollo-like method of getting to space than Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin will put six people in a capsule on top of its 60-foot-tall New Shepard reusable rocket. That’s four paying customers and two Blue Origin pilots who together will experience vertical take-off from a launchpad.</p><p>The capsule itself is designed for observing Earth, albeit briefly, with a 43x29-inch window next to each of the six reclining leather chairs. Although prices haven’t yet been revealed, it’s expected that a Blue Origin ticket will cost between $200,000 and $300,000.</p><h2>The Blue Origin travel itinerary</h2><img alt="Jeff Bezos Blue Origin "src=""><p>After just one day of training, launch will likely take place from Blue Origin’s launch facility near Van Horn, West Texas. After the vertical take-off, the New Shepard rocket engines will burn for 150 seconds and reach Mach 3 – three times the speed of sound – before the rocket and capsule detach from one another. The capsule will keep going to the Kármán Line while the rocket descends and lands back on the launchpad.</p><p>Those inside the capsule will then get three minutes of weightlessness, and a brief chance to look at Earth from space, before the capsule begins to descend, reaching terrifying Mach 5 speeds before a parachute is deployed and the capsule floats back to where it started. The total experience will last just 11 minutes.</p><h2>What Virgin Galactic space tourists will get</h2><p>For $250,000 a ticket (which initially requires a $20,000 deposit), Virgin Galactic ticket-holders will experience a supersonic flight that takes-off and lands on a runway during a trip that lasts around 2.5 hours in total. Well before that, passengers have to have medical checks, safety training, and undergo G-force and microgravity simulations. The spacecraft itself, <em>VSS Unity</em>, has eight seats — two for the pilots and six recliners for passengers — each with a small window.</p><h2>The Virgin Galactic travel itinerary</h2><img alt="Richard Branson Virgin Galactic "src=""><p>The Virgin Galactic experience is no quick joyride. Six wannabe space tourists will arrive at Spaceport America in New Mexico three days before the big day and undergo more medial checks. Finally, they’ll board the tiny carbon-composite <em>VSS Unity</em> strapped to the undercarriage of a the WhiteKnightTwo VMS Eve carrier aircraft. After being carried to 50,000ft., <em>VSS Unity</em> detaches, fires its engines for 63 seconds, and climb vertically at Mach 3.5 to the Kármán Line. Passengers will then unbuckle and experience four minutes of weightlessness, then descend rapidly at Mach 5. At about 70,000ft. <em>VSS Unity</em> will glide back to the runway for a landing.</p><h2>Why is space tourism taking so long?</h2><p>Richard Branson first promised to take people to space in 2004, and there have been several setbacks along the way. Progress was made this last July when <em>VSS Unity</em> reached 114,500 ft., or about 21 miles, after firing its engines for 31 seconds. The plan is to go for 40 seconds on the next test flight, then 50 seconds, and finally, 63 seconds. That will take <em>VSS Unity</em> to space. Also in July, New Shepard flew for the ninth time, and is surely getting close to a crewed test flight.</p>
Categories: Travel

My (Mostly) Legal, Not Sketchy at All Cannabis-based Method for Getting Comfy While Traveling

Travel and Leisure - Sun, 09/30/2018 - 12:31
<p><a href="" target="_blank">Cannabis</a>, it seems, is the It beauty ingredient of the moment, showing up in everything from hand creams to face serums to lip balms.</p><p>"What's the point," you might wonder, "of putting it on the <em>outside </em>of my body?" </p><p>You'd be surprised. The applications of the cannabis plant are many, and beauty nerds are having a heyday with it, extolling its purported anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, emollient, and regenerative properties as a treatment for everything from acne to psoriasis to signs of aging. For me, one of the most exciting developments is the increasing availability of topical lotions, oils, and creams that go heavy on a compound called CBD, the common shorthand for Cannabidiol. It's become my secret weapon for getting comfy during a flight, soothing a strained neck on a long car ride, or calming my aching feet after a day of hiking. </p><p>For those who are unfamiliar, CBD is one of the many cannabinoids found in cannabis. Another cannabinoid you may have heard of is Tetrahydrocannabinol, a.k.a. THC, <a href="" target="_blank">which is responsible for the psychoactive effects associated with marijuana</a> — and is the most highly regulated compound present in the plant. </p><p>CBD, on the other hand, is non-intoxicating and its therapeutic benefits are a particularly hot topic these days. When applied topically, I've found the effect to be soothing, relaxing, numbing, warming... basically, it makes things that hurt <em>not hurt </em>and things that are tight get<em> loose</em>. I apply it on a knot in my shoulder or a stiff knee, and the discomfort dissipates with a melting sensation. Many people also opt to take CBD orally for its mood-stabilizing and pain-management effects, and there are even prescription medications for seizures that rely on CBD.</p><img alt="Assortment of CBD lotions "src=""><p>The way that CBD works — and the full range of its applications and health benefits — is still being explored, but it very broadly has something to do with the compound's natural analgesic effects and its interaction with your body's <a href="" target="_blank">endocannabinoid system</a>. For more information, pick up the forthcoming book, <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">"CBD Oil: Everyday Secrets"</a><em> </em>by wellness editor and writer Gretchen Lidicker; it's perhaps the best summary of what we know about the compound, questions for further research, and how to buy and use CBD products in our daily lives. What I <em>can </em>tell you is that it really works for me.</p><p>If you're confused by the sudden ubiquity of CBD and cannabis-based products, you're not the only one. "My state doesn't even allow <em>medical </em>marijuana," Idahoans or South Dakotans may say. "So why can I suddenly walk into my local Sephora and buy <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">cannabis oil mascara</a>?" As you can imagine, it's complicated. And claims that CBD is 100% legal in all 50 states (which appear frequently) are oversimplifying the matter.</p><p>Lidicker does an excellent job of attempting to unravel the legal jargon in <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">"CBD Oil"</a> <em>— </em>but<em> </em>still, even she notes that "the legal status of CBD is a real doozy." The main issues have to do with the (somewhat arbitrary) distinction between "hemp" and other forms of cannabis. Hemp refers to varieties of <em>Cannabis sativa</em> used mostly for industrial purposes, the THC present in most strains of cannabis specifically bred out of it. You can't smoke hemp and get high; instead, it's used to produce strong fiber for textiles, rope, and paper, as well as things like biofuels and animal feed.</p><p>Plants that qualify as industrial hemp, <a href="" target="_blank">by the standards of the 2014 Farm Bill</a>, must contain less than .3% THC. But the sale of hemp products is seemingly only permitted when derived from the stalks and seeds of the plant (as opposed to the flowers, where a lot of the good stuff is). Mix in the phenomenon known as the "entourage effect" — which demonstrates that CBD is most effective when used in combination with other cannabinoids, leading many to seek a "whole plant" or "full spectrum" version of the compound — and that's where it gets tricky. Are producers of hemp-derived CBD really only using stalks? Would that product be very effective? It remains unclear.</p><p>"The take-home message here," Lidicker writes, "is that many CBD oil companies are operating in a legal gray area, and this is made possible by the lack of specificity in the laws that govern and define hemp." At the end of the day, "CBD companies operating within currently accepted parameters are selling CBD products nationwide without significant interference. That could change in the future, but so far there has been no significant enforcement against consumers or vendors for selling CBD or hemp oil as long as it is nonintoxicating and made from a plant with less than .3 percent THC."</p><p>In <a href="" target="_blank">states where marijuana is legal or allowed for medical purposes</a>, of course, a wider variety of potent products are available. Stores and dispensaries in states like Washington and Colorado will often stock CBD tinctures, topicals, and crystals derived from hemp's more potent sister strains; these are more effective, but are also regulated (or criminalized) in the same way as "marijuana," as a drug. </p><p>So, can you take CBD lotion on a plane? Head to the TSA website and you'll get an emphatic <a href="" target="_blank">"NO"</a> in the context of medial marijuana. But widely available hemp-based CBD topicals are not classified as such — and as several media outlets, anecdotal reports, and cannabis entrepreneurs have noted, they are not a huge concern for the authorities. The prevailing wisdom seems to indicate that hemp-based CBD products are OK to bring on board, but do so at your own risk.</p><p>Here are five CBD topicals I've tried, all of which claim to be totally legal, THC-free, and ready to pack. So go ahead: get loose on your next trip, and you may never fly without CBD again.</p><h2>Charlotte’s Web Hemp Infused Balm</h2><img alt="Charlotte Web's Hemp Balm "src=""><p>Essentially, it's Tiger Balm with a kick. This apricot oil–based balm is driven by menthol and cinnamon extracts — grown sustainably, like all of its ingredients — which provide a tingly, Icy Hot–esque relief that goes deeper thanks to the Colorado-grown, Colorado-made CBD hemp oil within.</p><p>This balm is especially good for sore post-workout muscles and painful knots, providing a distracting minty sensation and prolonged relief from the CBD. The scent can be a bit much in the confines of an airplane — it’s not inconspicuous by any means — but those who rely on <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Axe Oil</a> and the like will appreciate this as a more potent version.</p><p>Charlotte’s Web, a family-owned company that’s been on the forefront of CBD supplements and skincare, carries a range of extracts, flavored oils, and capsules, as well as more subtle topical CBD creams.</p><p>To buy: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $40 for 44ml</p><h2>Khus + Khus 'Copious' Body Serum </h2><img alt="Copious Body Serum by Khus + Khus Modern Herbal Fusion "src=""><p>One main asset of this serum is the scent, a dusky, spicy confluence of rich notes like spikenard, frankincense, myrrh, and lavender. These ingredients, and more, are informed by tenets of Ayurvedic and herbalist medicine, all of which are meant to complement the effects of the CBD extract with their energizing, anti-anxiety, and analgesic properties. </p><p>I’ve found the physical sensation of this one — warm and a little tingly, thanks to additives like nettle — is especially comforting in-flight, since I have a tendency to get goosebumps in that over-air-conditioned environment. Plus, unlike other CBD skin oils that typically come with an eye dropper, this one has a nice pump bottle. (I also have a tendency to spill all over myself, on planes and in daily life).</p><p>Like all Khus + Khus products, this serum is 100% plant-based and 99% organic. They make all sorts of CBD-infused and non-CBD products, including an extended line of body serums and face oils and a CBD hand cream. </p><p>To buy: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $48 for 100ml </p><h2>Leef Organics 'Revive' CBD Balm</h2><img alt="Revive CBD Balm "src=""><p>This balm is thick and ultra-hydrating, formulated with grape seed oil and cocoa butter for a heavy-duty solution to the effects of moisture-sucking airplane air. Plus, it smells like dessert, with an herbal edge and hints of dried flowers. If you find yourself wanting to take a bite, you actually can — it’s totally edible, and many people enjoy mixing it into their morning coffee to take the edge off the jitters. </p><p>The balm contains calendula and comfrey extracts to calm skin irritation, as well as the company’s proprietary CBD hemp oil, which is cold-pressed (more labor-intensive than the traditional extraction method) to maintain the maximum potency and nutrient value. In terms of effectiveness, this one is hard to match; the effect is immediate, and the absence of menthol or strong fragrances puts its power into sharper focus. </p><p>Also worth trying, the brand's skin oil uses that same cold-pressed extract in the form of a serum. Excellent CBD extracts for oral dosage, plus fun CBD-infused soaps are also available. </p><p>To buy:<em> </em><a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $30 for 59ml</p><h2>Lord Jones High CBD Pain &amp; Wellness Formula Body Lotion</h2><img alt="Lord Jones High CBD Pain "src=""><p>This little lotion packs a big punch. Lord Jones was founded by Cindy Capobianco, a former style editor, public relations executive, and fashion industry veteran, and the line has a sophistication and chic sensibility to match her pedigreed resume. Her CBD products have gained a cult following among influencers, with endorsements from names like <a href="" target="_blank">Amy Schumer</a> and Olivia Wilde. Plus, it smells amazing — a little floral, a little grassy, and just dank and musky enough to remind you of what's really going on.</p><p>Lord Jones has been a pioneer in the cannabis industry, crafting seriously high-end beauty products, tinctures, and edibles that are stocked in the chicest shops in Manhattan and beyond. Check out their "<a href="" target="_blank">old fashioned gumdrops</a>" — akin to a mood-stabilizing <em>p</em><em>âte</em><em> de fruit, </em>with soon-to-be-released mango chili and sugarplum flavors for the holidays — and their small-batch CBD tinctures, which come in delicious lemon and peppermint flavors. Solidifying the cool factor, Lord Jones recently launched a <a href="" target="_blank">collaboration with Sigur Rós</a>.</p><p>To buy: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, $50 for 50ml </p><h2>Herb Essentials Cannabis Infused Body Lotion</h2><img alt="Herb Essntls Cannabis Infused Body Lotion "src=""><p>This one is far too large to be TSA-approved in your carry-on, but I don't really use this cannabis-infused body lotion for the loosening, relaxing sensation of CBD — it's not really a factor compared to the previous topicals. I use this because it's a damn good lotion. I bring it along in my checked bag to reinvigorate my dull, dehydrated post-flight skin when I start to unpack. </p><p>Herb Essentials is exploring the benefits of cannabis oils for the health of our skin, and the results are exciting. The hemp seed oil they use is not at all comedogenic (meaning it won't clog your pores). It contains antioxidants like Vitamin E, and according to the company, has an "omega3-omega6 ratio [that] perfectly mirrors the natural proportions in your skin," making for fast absorption and minimal oiliness. And they also make a <a href="" target="_blank">smaller moisturizer</a>, a green <a href="" target="_blank">lip balm</a>, and a proprietary fragrance for <a href="" target="_blank">scented candles</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">roll-on perfume</a> that combines notes of patchouli, citrus, and weed.</p><p>To buy: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $48 for 235ml</p>
Categories: Travel

Saturday Is National Coffee Day — Here's Where to Get Free Coffee

Travel and Leisure - Sun, 09/30/2018 - 11:01
<p>Whatever you call it, and however you drink it, coffee is credited with offering benefits ranging from a morning perk up to a <a href="" target="_blank">longer life</a>.</p><p>And for National Coffee Day 2018 cafés, restaurants, diners and doughnut shops around the country will be catering to caffeine cravings by offering free and discounted coffee drinks to all who stop by.</p><p>Here are some of the deals to seek out this Saturday, September 29, on National Coffee Day. Some may be restricted to participating branches or locations while there are sure to be others that pop up.</p><h2>Krispy Kreme</h2><p>Participating <a href="" target="_blank">Krispy Kreme</a> locations will offer a free coffee, any size; no purchase necessary. Current or new members of the Krispy Kreme free-to-join Rewards program get a complimentary doughnut on Saturday too.</p><h2>Dunkin Donuts</h2><p>At participating <a href="" target="_blank">Dunkin Donuts</a> (which is changing its name to simply Dunkin’), purchase one hot coffee this Saturday and get one hot coffee of equal or lesser value for free. That might give you and a friend the excuse to check out the chain’s seasonal pumpkin and maple pecan flavored coffees.</p><h2>Caribou Coffee</h2><p><a href="" target="_blank">Caribou Coffee</a> is offering a free coffee of the day, any size, to customers who purchase any food item. The offer is also good at participating Einstein Bros. Bagels stores that now serve Caribou Coffee.</p><h2>Bruegger's Bagels</h2><p>Through September 29, <a href="" target="_blank">Bruegger’s Bagels</a> will serve a free coffee with any purchase.</p><h2>Cumberland Farms</h2><p><a href="" target="_blank">Cumberland Farms</a> convenience stores in New York, New England and Florida are offering a free coffee coupon for use on Saturday, Sept 29, to anyone who texts ‘FREE COFFEE” to 64827.</p><h2>Community Coffee</h2><p><a href="" target="_blank">Community Coffee</a> is celebrating National Coffee Day all week long with an offer of 30 percent off online purchases if you use the code COFFEEDAY2018.</p><h2>PJ's Coffee</h2><p>Participating <a href="" target="_blank">PJ’s Coffee</a> shops will be offering guests a free 12 oz. Ruby Roast direct trade – light roast hot coffee.</p><h2>7-Eleven</h2><p>Customers purchasing any breakfast sandwich that costs more than $2 can get a free coffee at participating 7-Eleven locations.</p><h2>Nespresso</h2><p>Flagship Nespresso Boutiques in New York City; Austin, Texas; Portland, Oregon; and other cities around the country are holding <a href="" target="_blank">special tasting sessions</a> on September 29 and 30 and sending participants home with a commemorative box of 50 Nespresso Privé espresso capsules. Most slots are already snapped up, but there’s a waiting list at each shop.</p><h2>Holiday Stationstores</h2><p>Text COFFEE to 44022 on National Coffee Day to get a free coffee (any size) at <a href="" target="_blank">Holiday Stationstores</a> around the country. The chain is also offering free coffee on Tuesdays through October 9.</p><h2>Scooter's Coffee</h2><p>Participating locations of the Midwest-based coffee franchise <a href="" target="_blank">Scooter’s Coffee</a> will mark National Coffee Day with an offer of a free, hot brewed coffee (any size) to anyone stopping by.</p><h2>Press Coffee Roasters</h2><p>Elsewhere, <a href="" target="_blank">Press Coffee Roasters</a> has two deals ready for National Coffee Day. In addition to offering a free drip coffee (any size) at all its cafés in Arizona, the brand will offer $2 off any latte drink for those who use the code NCD2018.</p><h2>Pilot Flying J</h2><p>And, for travelers in need of a caffeine buzz on a highway, <a href="" target="_blank">Pilot Flying J</a> locations out on the interstates will be delivering coupons for free coffee Friday September 28 or Saturday, September 29 through its myPilot app.</p><h2>High Brew Coffee and Sprinkles cupcakes</h2><p>Want more free caffeine? For National Coffee Day, Austin-based <a href="" target="_blank">High Brew Coffee</a> is working with <a href="" target="_blank">Sprinkles cupcake shops</a> on a special offer (buy a cupcake, get a free High Brew) and the buzz is that there are free or discounted coffee offers lined up at Coffee Bean &amp; Tea Leaf locations around the county and at Barnes &amp; Nobel Cafes as well.</p>
Categories: Travel

New York City Airport Workers Will Soon Earn the Highest Minimum Wage in the Country

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 09/29/2018 - 17:35
<p>Airport workers around New York City will have the highest minimum wage of any public agency within the next five years.</p><p>The <a href="" target="_blank">Port Authority of New York and New Jersey</a>’s Board of Commissioners approved a proposal on Thursday that would increase the airport workers’ minimum wage to $19 per hour by 2023.</p><p>The increase will affect 40,000 airport workers, including baggage handlers, security officers, wheelchair agents and terminal and airplane cleaners at New York’s John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia, and Newark airports. The three airports are among the busiest in the country, serving about 65 million passengers combined in 2017.</p><p>The raise is particularly impactful for workers in New Jersey who will begin making $8.45 more per hour. New York employees will see raises from their current minimum wage of $13 per hour. The Port Authority has said that the increases are an attempt to retain employees. New York City airports see a turn over of 30 percent every year. In other comparable airports around the country, that number could be as low as 6 percent.</p><p>“There’s no doubt that this new policy will greatly benefit the traveling public,” Port Authority Vice Chairman Jeffrey Lynford <a href="" target="_blank">said in a statement</a>. “Better wages and benefits will result in significantly reduced staff turnover, allowing for better trained and observant employees who can assist in our overall security efforts as well as in emergency situations. It also will improve workplace morale and productivity.”</p><p>The wage increase will happen in increments, beginning with the first rise on November 1.</p><p>Earlier this year, Los Angeles airports <a href="" target="_blank">raised the minimum wage for airport employees</a> to $18.99 per hour, excluding benefits.</p>
Categories: Travel