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Waving Goodbye To Our Once Favorite Stores

     The holiday season will be starting shortly, bringing all the newest fashions, inventions, and toys. Malls and stand-alone retailers will be in full bloom… or will they? There’s no denying that retails near and far will pull out every stop in order to attract any and all shopper but will these stores be open in just a few months? For many of them on this list, yes. However, it’s sad to see some of our favorite and childhood pay-places go to the mall in the great-beyond. That being said, the rise of ecommerce and Amazon has greatly changed the way shoppers are spending their dollars and dimes. How much will these existing retailers last for?

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Destinations

Bed and Breakfast vs. Hotels

When choosing where to stay on vacation, you’ll notice bed and breakfasts popping up everywhere, so, what’s the deal? Bed and breakfasts are a great option in the increasingly overcrowded accommodations markets of tourist areas.   With the advent of popular shared economy websites like AirBnB and VRBO (Vacation rentals By Owner) bed and breakfasts are steadily increasing in popularity.

Personal preference comes into play when deciding which is the best selection for you. I’ll break down the differences into 6 main talking points and let you decide, where you stay: Bed & breakfasts (B&Bs) Versus Hotels.

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When choosing where to stay on vacation, you’ll notice bed and breakfasts popping up everywhere, so, what’s the deal? Bed and breakfasts are a great option in the increasingly overcrowded accommodations markets of tourist areas.   With the advent of popular shared economy websites like AirBnB and VRBO (Vacation rentals By Owner) bed and breakfasts are steadily increasing in popularity.

Personal preference comes into play when deciding which is the best selection for you. I’ll break down the differences into 6 main talking points and let you decide, where you stay: Bed & breakfasts (B&Bs) Versus Hotels.

 

Breakfast

Well, it’s in their name so bed and breakfasts should dominate this category. It’s often that B&Bs will provide delicious breakfast options that seem more personal. Many times hotels will just offer a continental breakfast, which you should never experience at a B&B. I can get my own stale muffin and cheap juice thank you, I’ll take the B&B breakfast any day. The advantage of a B&B is that they are often home cooked meals that are prepared with love and attention. These meals are included in your room rate and are great ways to start your day of site-seeing or adventure.

Advantage B&Bs

 

Options

Hotels usually offer more options than B&Bs because they are such larger entities overall. Hotel buffets can be massive and feed many more guests than the average B&B can even accommodate. Most B&Bs will usually just provide one or two choices for your meal because they deal in such low numbers.

Advantage Hotels

 

Privacy

Bed and breakfasts feel like you are literally staying in someone’s house, because often you are. People open up B&Bs to make an income or they just enjoy having guests, so many times your privacy is sacrificed for the intimate abodes. Hotels on the other hand offer tons of privacy and you can feel alone at times. If you are searching for privacy, than hotels are your choice.

Advantage Hotels

 

Local Feel

B&Bs give you a local experience and you get a better sense of the place you are visiting. The host usually lives on site so you can pick their brain about attractions and things to do. These are things you can get from a hotel’s concierge but that is such a formal interaction that you rarely feel anything but corporate from them.

Advantage B&Bs

 

Amenities

Hotels kill it when talking about amenities. B&Bs usually don’t offer too much other than a bed and breakfast, since they are pretty minimal. If you are looking for a pool, gym and other cool amenities, your best bet is a hotel.

Advantage Hotel

 

Socialization

Often times at a B&B you will eat with the other guests at a shared table type of experience. The decision on whether this is a pro or con is up to you. I enjoy meeting other travelers but I can totally understand if this kind of situation would make you uncomfortable. Hotels obviously don’t make you dine with other guests so if you like privacy, hotels are better. However, if you want a more personal experience and have the opportunity to make new friends, B&Bs are best.

You have to decide what is best for you so I can’t give an advantage to either.

 

Hopefully this little guide helps you decide which is best for you: Hotel or Bed and Breakfast.

 

Photos courtesy of B&Bs, breakfast, fredAdventures, W

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Food

Airlines With Food You Will Actually Want To Eat

The food on airplanes have always been less than appetizing, how good can a meal be made in the tiny kitchen area 36,000 feet in the sky. Tasteless, texture free foods served in plastic trays is what you expect to receive when your flight attendant…

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The food on airplanes have always been less than appetizing, how good can a meal be made in the tiny kitchen area 36,000 feet in the sky. Tasteless, texture free foods served in plastic trays is what you expect to receive when your flight attendant serves you. Well lower your tray tables and prepare to feast! If you book your next flight with one of these airlines you will be pleasantly surprised at the repast offered. While free food on flights are a thing of the past, many airlines are attempting to earn their customer’s loyalty with meals that are not only edible, but delicious. 

In 2014 Delta started offering regional craft brews on the in-flight beverage menu. Take a Delta One flight out of JKF airport and you will be served meals by culinary superstar Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, the food service behind NYC restaurants like Gramercy Tavern. Or fly Delta One from South America and you will enjoy a menu created by Michelle Bernstein, acclaimed for her Latin style fare. If you fly Delta in the economy class you will be served unlimited Starbucks coffee, and the only GMO-free snack box served on an American airline. 

JetBlue has partnered with chef Brad Farmerie to create a menu for their first class passengers, pursuing advanced technologies that deliver better moisture in aircraft ovens and a better understanding of taste and texture at higher altitudes. On domestic and international flights, JetBlue economy passengers are treated to an endless pantry of complimentary name brand snacks. 

Investing to become the airline of choice for international flyers, Emirates is working with chefs such as Jamie Bissonnette from Boston restaurant’s Toro and Coppa. Meals on Emirates flights will vary regionally, a flight to Japan will have meals served with authentic Japanese crockery, and on a flight to Italy meals served will include Italian favorites like ravioli and gnocchi. Economy passengers won’t enjoy the same meals as the more expensive seats, but the same attention is given to the meals designed for the menu served to the passengers in these seats. Between meals passengers can get slices of pizza, ice cream, chocolates and fruit. 

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Destinations

Lesser Known Wine Regions that you Must Visit

Everyone knows that Napa Valley or Burgundy France are wine traveler’s destinations of choice, but there are plenty of other fantastic regions.   A true wine connoisseur will tell you that the soil and environment are just as important as the type of grape used to…

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Everyone knows that Napa Valley or Burgundy France are wine traveler’s destinations of choice, but there are plenty of other fantastic regions.   A true wine connoisseur will tell you that the soil and environment are just as important as the type of grape used to make wine. The world has embraced wine making and excellent booze is now being produced all over the map. Let’s explore and see where these hidden wine gems are located and what makes them so special.

Wine producers are spreading their wings and growing some superior grapes in some unexpected places.

npr 

Kakheti, Georgia

I’m not talking about Georgia in America; I’m talking about the one that straddles Europe and Asia. This former Soviet country has excelled in producing some really interesting and delicious varieties of grapes. Wine production is nothing new to this region as archeologists have found winemaking equipment dating as far back as 6,000 BC.

One unique thing that wine makers in Georgia do is they ferment their wine in clay jars instead of the standard wooden or steel barrels. The clay gives Georgian wine a distinct sweet taste and earthy after tones.

 

Douro Valley, Portugal

Known as the birthplace of port wine, the Northernmost region in Portugal is a wine lover’s heaven. With panoramic views of the rolling hills and beautiful vineyards, wine has been produced in this region for over 2,000 years.   The golden colored hills and the divine port produced here will make this a favorite among port snobs from around the globe.

 chilled magazine

Finger Lakes Region, New York

White wines flourish in this Northern New York region, specifically Rieslings. The expansive landscape is dotted with waterfalls, 11 glacial lakes and one great lake, giving the region miles and miles of beautiful coastlines. With well over a 100 wineries, the Finger Lakes region is the largest wine-producing region East of California in the USA.

 tenerife

Tenerife, Canary Islands

Grown in rich nutrient volcanic soil, Tenerife produces exquisite reds and whites. The largest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife features grape varieties that were completely wiped out of the European mainland in a mid-1800s epidemic. The rare varieties create distinct flavor profiles and memorable aftertastes. The island views and abundant sea life compliments the island’s white wine collections.

 

Healdsburg, California

Avoid the rush that happens in Napa and head just an hour North to Healdsburg wine region. Producing similar quality wines, Healdsburg is Napa’s red headed stepchild. Born out of the need t have more wine tasting locations, Healdsburg boasts over 200 wineries and multiple award winning varieties. California has some of the best weather and soil combinations in the world, so it’s no surprise that he wine here is fantastic.

 pinterest

Door County, Wisconsin

If you are a fan of fruit wines, Door County should be your next stop. Located in the Midwest, Door County has eight wineries and is famous for their tart cherry wine. Specializing in fruit wines, Door County has plenty of grape varieties as well, so a little something for everyone.

 

Franschhoek, South Africa

Nestled just 45 short minutes from Cape Town, Franschhoek was originally known as Elephant’s Corner for the huge elephant population that roamed here. Now known for their impressive wine, the area is the best in South Africa and possibly all of Africa. Enjoy a hop-on hop-off style tour that stops at every winery and you can get a real taste of the region.

 

Enjoy these of the beaten path wine regions and taste some of their specialties, to see what all the hype is about.

 

 

Photos courtesy of Schug, NPR, chilled, New York Times, pinterest

Enjoy the full list here

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