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Author: lillian-africano

Indianapolis: My Unforgettable Adventure in Speed City USA

During my long career, I have traveled all over the world, but one of my greatest adventures took place a half dozen years ago, right here in the United States. In Indianapolis. Before I visited the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway, I never suspected I had a taste for speed. Never chewed up Jersey Turnpike miles singing “Born to Run,” never flipped the bird at the drivers I left in the dust. Nope. Though I drive a traffic-cop-magnet red car, I have never gotten a speeding ticket; I just go with the flow of traffic. But something happened when I arrived...

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Ten Top Mediterranean Cruises for Every Budget and Taste

  For cruise lovers who want to dip a toe into the Mediterranean, ten cruise lines offer scores of ships sailing scores of itineraries. The first choice, of course, is: Western Med or Eastern Med. For me, the Western Med has a slight edge because I favor the cultural attractions in Spain, France and Italy, as well as the shopping and dining. However, if a client favors pristine beaches, ancient ruins and perhaps a religious pilgrimage to Israel, then the Eastern Med is the obvious choice. 1. When luxury is the main consideration, Seabourn consistently gets high marks. The...

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Beauty Hacks to Beat Winter Blues

Winter can be tough on hair, and sometimes no amount of product can restore shine and luster. If you color your hair as I do, then you’re probably faced with dull, dry hair, regardless of the shampoos, conditioners and treatments you use. That’s why I was eager to try a brand-new hair conditioning tool that seemed to be unlike anything I’d ever seen before. Recently introduced to the United States, it’s called INVERSE and it uses patented ICE (sub-zero) temperatures to produce all-natural extreme conditioning for dry, damaged hair like mine. Whereas hair tools like my flat iron almost...

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Arctic Cruises: High Adventure for Everyone

For adventure seekers, the Arctic is a wish-list destination that’s easier to reach than Antarctica and easier to experience. It’s a vast area, stretching across the North Pole and including Alaska and northern Canada, as well as the northern regions of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Greenland, and Norway. Because it is so vast, there are many ways to experience the Arctic, from “soft” adventure options, like coastal sailings from Norway that might include a photo op at the Arctic Circle to expedition sailings that could feature glacier walks and dog sledding. In addition to the natural phenomena of Midnight...

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New Ships: 2019 and Beyond

  With each new bumper crop of ships there are innovations, usually in shipboard attractions, accommodations and activities, but also in technology. The year 2019 will see the industry’s first ship powered by clean-burning liquefied natural gas (LNG). Others are coming. The 3,954-passenger Carnival Panorama, a Vista-class ship debuts December 2019 in Long Beach, CA, and will sail seven-day itineraries to the Mexican Riviera, departing every Saturday. This will be first Carnival ship home ported here in two decades. Notable features: Spacious rooms and suites in the Family Harbor area; a huge WaterWorks aqua park, SkyRide, the open-air SportSquare,...

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Valentine’s Day Dinners for Lovers: Sublime Meals by Top Chefs

For romantic Valentine’s Day dinners, New York has an abundance of fine choices. Even better, one restaurant is home to a chef who has not one, but two Michelin stars. That would be Joseph’s, a family run restaurant located in New York’s Financial District at 3 Hanover Square. Heading the kitchen is Chef Frank Langello, who brings his 20 years of experience along with the Michelin stars. Chef Langello has also earned three stars from the New York Times—and has enjoyed the privilege of preparing state dinners for former president, Barack Obama. The décor at this sophisticated 140-seat restaurant...

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Required Reading for Black History Month: Streetcar to Justice

One hundred years before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, a black schoolteacher named Elizabeth Jennings was violently removed from a segregated streetcar in Manhattan, setting into motion a major civil rights court case in New York City. The story, famous in its day, was all-but-forgotten until HarperCollins published a new book, Streetcar to Justice: How Elizabeth Jennings Won the Right to Ride in New York. The author of the book, Peabody Award-winning journalist Amy Hill Hearth, researched the topic for more than twenty years. Hearth wrote the book, which is...

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Chocolate for Valentine’s Day: The Food of Love?

Shakespeare suggested that music was the food of love, but judging by the tens of thousands of heart-shaped boxes presented to wives and sweethearts on Valentine’s Day, that honor should be shared with chocolate. Not only is chocolate delicious, it has been celebrated as a food that holds the promise of significant health benefits similar to those in red wine and green tea. Like wine and green tea, cocoa beans are rich in flavonoids–phytochemicals (plant compounds) with powerful antioxidant properties. While the research on chocolate’s benefits may be relatively new, it has had a long and distinguished history. Ancient...

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UnCruise Offers Savings on a Small Ship Adventure Cruise in Alaska, Costa Rica/Panama

  UnCruise Adventures, an award-winning small ship cruise line, is offering savings on select adventure cruises in Alaska and Costa Rica/Panama. Ships carrying 22-90 guests sail adventure cruises with included activities and a focus on nature and wildlife.   Southeast Alaska Savings Alaska Air Credit: Travelers heading north for adventure can save with an Alaska Air credit of up to $600 per couple on select 2019 departures on board the 90-guest Legacy and 22-guest Safari Quest.  Book by February 28, 2019 for sailings between April and August 2019–and mention code ADVAIRAK to receive the savings on three adventure cruise...

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Trending: Spectacular Shopping at Sea

  Starboard Cruise Services creates spectacular shopping at sea on new ships Miami-based Starboard Cruise Services, an LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton company, is the premier retail company that designs and curates retail boutiques for Bulgari, Cartier, Tiffany & Co. and other iconic global brands aboard the world’s most famous cruise lines (including the top 10). The company has launched a next-level shopping experience aboard Celebrity Cruises’ newest ship, the Celebrity Edge. The ship began her maiden sailing on December 9th from Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale, FL The ship’s godmother, Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai. Malala unveiled the custom Malala...

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Celebrate the Holidays at National Harbor, Md.

Washington, D.C. region’s  premier waterfront escape features Santa, larger-than-life ice sculptures, performers, stunning holiday décor and displays National Harbor has quickly become one of the nation’s top holiday waterfront destinations, offering both family activities and romantic getaways for couples. Each year, National Harbor welcomes Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center’s amazing ICE! This year, the fun begins on November 16 and runs through January 1, 2019.  The world-famous interactive ICE! attraction will showcase the true meaning of Christmas with its rendition of the ever-popular Peanuts holiday story, A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles Schulz. Beloved characters including Charlie Brown,...

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Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive Go Bold for the Holidays

  The second annual BOLD Holidays campaign kicks off on November 15 from 5:00 – 8:30 p.m. with the highly anticipated Rodeo Drive Holiday Lighting Celebration.  This multi-generational event is sponsored by the Rodeo Drive Committee in partnership with the City of Beverly Hills, Beverly Hills Conference & Visitors Bureau and Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce. The event will be hosted by TV and social media personality Dawn McCoy.  The festivities will include live music from electro hip hop violinist and America’s Got Talent contestant, Svet, and a specially curated 20-piece #BOLDBH band which will be playing a mix...

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