Tuesday, April 26, 2011

As Seen On...

 I have tons of lists...there's 30 before 30, my bucket list, grocery list...you name it, so when I ran across this article (10 places to see before they disappear) today, I just had to pencil it in my agenda. The article lists ten natural wonders(obvi not the OFFICIAL natural wonder list..there are only 7, smarties) that you must see before they're gone from the Earth...thanks to global warming and all those other bad things we to do our planet (*ahem* Al Gore plug). 

Although my swimming skills don't rival Flipper,I always love a good island so I think I'll definitely throw Madagascar on the bucket list. Maybe I'll run into Marty, Alex and Gloria while I'm there...don't act like you haven't seen the movie. Ooooorrrrrr maybe I should hit the Dead Sea, the legendary site for Cleopatra's first spa.

What's jumping to the top of your list?




Wednesday, April 20, 2011

HAVE YOU HEARD!?!?!

So as your travel bestie, I HAVE to tell you about my best kept secret...Jetsetter. It's a members-only travel sales site. Jetsetter offers the most exclusive deals on luxury hotels and adventures. Example you ask? Last summer my friends and I went to Miami and stayed at the chic Gansevoort Miami Beach for $180/night (post tax)...this luxury telly usually goes for an average $380/night. I mean...we practically stayed for free!!!! If you're all about the champagne taste - beer budget life, I suggest you immediately log on to jetsetter.com and register for a free account. You'll soon find that these amazing flash sales dictate your upcoming travel plans;-)




Sunday, April 17, 2011

Pteromerhanophobia

Pteromerhanophobia is a lot of letters that simply means fear of flying. Allow me to first reintroduce myself...Hi my name is Kay and I have a insane, irrational, extreme fear of flying....and I'm an alcoholic (kidding).



So background on me...my first flight was at 2 weeks old, I started flying by myself at 5 ( aaahh the good ol' safe days) and I clock at least 15 personal trips per year. I LOVE traveling...I love the research, I love the anticipation, the shopping for the trip "looks" and obvi, I love the memories....butttttttt what I go through from take off to touchdown is a whole other story.

I'll paint the picture for you, and I forewarn you a lot of my "rituals" or theories might not make any sense, but whoever said fear was rational? It starts the morning of travel, I check the weather and then look up hoping for clear skies. In my head clear skies = no turbulence. I'm always cool on the way to the airport, but if I haven't already reserved my seat I'm panicking that all that might be left are seats in the back. Yes, there is special seating...Per my research, I know that sitting in the back of the plane is the safest. That's why the black box is in the back, but for me, the front of the plane is where it's at. No screeching engine noises, no stinky bathroom and less turbulence.
Regardless of my departure time, I go down my special contact list (you should feel honored to be on it) and start my last will and testament messages. You know the kind "if anything happens to me make sure they don't find my journals and oh, you can have my shot glass collection". I have the best friends and family because regardless of how long they've been on the special contact list they all respond like its the first time getting my frantic message.

And now it's time for...drinks!!! Could be a 6a flight or a 6p flight it doesn't matter...it's GOING DOWN. My drink of choice is a rum and coke. Some may like to pop a Xanax, but I prefer liquid confidence. It works quickly and is yummy on the way down. By "works quickly" I only mean takes off about 5% of the edge. I've had many a "Care Bear Stare" from other passengers that are shocked by my early morning drinks...I usually give those prudes a wink and a smile.

My first obstacle is always the take off. Just writing about this is making my hands clammy...bleh. The feeling of the plane accelerating down the runway...with hopes that the wind pattern kicks in as planned and takes that metal bird up...aaahhhh it's just not natural. Once up, I don't exhale until I hear the "ding, ding" that signifies that we're 10,000 feet above ground. If it's safe enough for iPads to be turned on, it's safe enough for me to let go of my neighbors hand. Which leads me to my next point....airplane besties! I'm sure many of you HATE sitting next to peeps like me. You paid your plane fare and are looking forward to checking out, taking a nap or catching up on some good reading...until you sit next to me. I'm pretty intuitive so I know who to mess with...the friendly neighbors that make small talk when stuffing their bags under the chair, the ones that compliment me or the ones that ask me about my reason for travel. After I identify prey, I go in for the kill... OK I'm lying, usually after I grab a thigh or damn near leap into your seat, its pretty hard not to become fast friends. Once, coming back from Italy, I sat in first class amongst a group of nuns. After the first bump of turbulence I had them launch into a full Rosary. I've met some amazing people as a result of my little fear and many of them I call friends to this day.

I love a chatty pilot. It really puts me at ease when the captain comes on and tells us where we are, how many mph we're going and what the expected turbulence levels will be. Once he turns the seat belt light off I'm as happy as a pig in shit! Now don't get it twisted, I'm never comfortable enough to sleep. I've NEVER slept on a flight...my longest flight thus far has been to Buenos Aires, Argentina - 11 hours overnight and I never so much as blinked too long. When everyone is deplaning refreshed and ready to hit the streets, I'm dragging and   ready for a quick nap.

The absolute best part of every flight is hearing the captain say "Flight attendants please prepare the cabin for arrival". It's like music to my ears. I can care less about the descent...just get me on the ground. I'm too excited to even know if its a rough way down.

I can't really pin point when this fear started... as a kid I couldn't wait to get my wing pin and sit in the cockpit (R.I.P Eastern Airlines). I do know that my love for travel always wins and that I'll never let this fear cripple me. I fully understand that flying is the safest way to travel, but until they convince me that planes don't fall out the sky, I'll carry on with my crack of dawn cocktails.

What are some of your travel rituals?!


Monday, April 11, 2011

D.C Chillin'

It's been a month since Trinidad, so naturally I've been itching for a getaway. Luckily for me, my girl Adria's baby shower was this past weekend so I had a good excuse to hit #theglamtrak. I love D.C and always think this city is the happy median between NY and Atlanta. The weather is perfect, the culture is diverse and you're south enough to get Chick-fil-A, but north enough that Pepsi rules.

I'm a sucker for a good hotel and I swear it's just as important as the purpose of travel. I was thrilled to find a last minute deal on the cutest boutique hotel - Kimpton Helix. First impression of this telly was DOPPPPEEEEE!!!!! Let's just say they had the coolest white on white lobby that made me feel like my eyes were playing tricks on me. Mohammad, my fab front desk agent was super accommodating, I mean he gave me a 1p check out...unheard of these days. I could have slept in the elevator...it was lined with snake skin. Helllloooo Helix have we met before? I love a skin ( sorry PETA). The room...aaahhh the room...9 words PEZ CANDY IN THE FREAKING LIME GREEN MINI BAR. The room  was this retro chic haven that looked like Andy Warhol and Candice Olsen puked up the finest resting spot for yours truly. While some would have been overstimulated by the 6 foot poster over the bed or the bright orange sink in the bathroom, I took a few moments to touch everything and take pix in front of the naughty Barbie and Ken wall decor.

The Kimpton Helix thinks of everything for you. There's an extensive list of "oops I forgot products" that are quickly ushered up to you with a press of a button. Amongst that list, I got tweezers, a magnifying make up mirror and a toothbrush/toothpaste combo (Gratis, by the way). The in room toiletries were premium and at the time of this post I haven't broken out in hives (fingers crossed). So saving the best detail for last...if you can't bring Fluffy on this trip, don't fret...send a pic of her/him and the Helix will have Fluffy framed up and waiting on your nightstand. *Sigh* I'm soooo ready to go back.

Pros: Location (Dupont Circle), decor
Cons: They didn't accept IOUs as a form of extended stay payment

Glamtrak certified ;-)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Bag Lady

Here's the situation... you're waiting at the baggage carousel when you spot that poor unfortunate soul (which may be you) sheepishly heaving their Barney purple bag that has been stapled,  duct taped and sewn together. The handle is barely hanging on and oh, did I just spot an article of clothing peeking behind the busted zipper. Yes, these are real situations. If you want to avoid the utter shame of your bag giving out on you in the middle of Somewheresville Airport, here are a few great options...

Samsonite - I like to call Samsonite "luggage for the people"...it's your middle of the road, not to chic not too shabby option. They carry a wide array of styles and sizes. Prices range from $120 to $299. I recommend for starters.

Diane Von Furstenerg - I was skeptical at first...thinking "Here we go another House of Dereon disaster", but DVF has an amazing luggage line. If you're a sucker for a good print and have about 300 bones to spare I recommend, but specifically for my ladies as this line is uber femme.


Delsey - With their innovative 360 degree swivel Pullmans, this collection is for the frequent traveler. Think 300,000 Delta Skymiles, not 200 mile road trip. Although prices settle around $400, they do have a few cost efficient pieces.


Tumi - Ooooh where do I start...to know me is to know that Tumi makes my heart beat a little faster. I love their sleek signature black on black understated luggage. Simple, yet classic..Tumi has that je ne sa qa and with prices upwards of $900, you should have IT as well...





In these times, I understand dishing out $300+ for luggage may be a sacrifice, but luckily from time to time you can stumble upon these options in stores like Marshalls and Loehmanns. Soooo there is no excuse for borrowing your Mom's luggage, doctoring up your old one or dare I say it using shopping bags as carry - ons.

P.S- If money is no object, by all means run out and get that $36,000 vintage LouisVuitton trunk..I kidd





Happy Shopping!


 
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