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Space Camp Highlight Reel

Check out the highlights from our adventures at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center last weekend! Click the image to get started.

SPACE CAMP

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Space Camp Now Loading…

We are currently at camp and can’t wait to share the details next week!

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Caribbean National Culinary Team of the Year Goes To…

I’m not a huge fan of seafood but it doesn’t mean the food whipped up by the chefs and cooks in the Caribbean isn’t worth the trip. The Taste of the Carribean competition highlights the culinary inventiveness of the region’s best chefs and remind the rest of the world the Carribean isn’t just beaches and clear water.

The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) provides a space for the best of the Caribbean culinary world to shine. A dozen teams participated in the Taste of the Caribbean culinary competition in Miami from June 22 to 26. The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bonaire, Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos selected their best chefs and mixologists for this year’s event.  Jamall Small from the Bahamas was crowned Caribbean Chef of the Year while teammate Hazen Rolle was named Caribbean Junior Chef of the Year. The Turks and Caicos won the Caribbean Pastry Chef competition and the British Virgin Islands topped the Seafood competition. The team from Trinidad and Tobago won top honors in the finale of the 2018 Taste of the Caribbean culinary competition after also winning the Bartender, Best Non-Alcoholic Drink and Beef categories. The Best Rum Drink went to Bonaire and St. Lucia topped the vodka drink category.

“CHTA applauds this year’s Taste of the Caribbean participants, their national hotel and tourism associations, team managers and sponsors for another incredible demonstration of passion, purpose and performance,” said Frank Comito, Director General and CEO of CHTA. “These participants are the future of tourism and the teamwork and camaraderie on display augurs well for a united Caribbean.”

Courtesy: Margot Jordan

Check out the full list of winners; maybe you’ll be inspired to visit one of the teams on your next Caribbean trip!

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Powder Rules

Image courtesy: Wikipedia

I came across an article the other day that said there was a limit on the amount of powder you can pack in your carry-on. I was surprised because I’d never heard of such of a restriction. A restriction like that may not be a problem for me, but, say you’re on some sort of health kick and are drinking protein powder (cough – Amanda) it might be a problem.

The TSA website says “powder-like substances greater than 12 oz. / 350 mL must be placed in a separate bin for X-ray screening. They may require additional screening and containers may need to be opened. For your convenience, we encourage you to place non-essential powders greater than 12 oz. in checked bags.” The site also says that the final decision is up to the TSA officer at the checkpoint.

The powder-like substance not only applies to protein powder but also talc and powder-based makeup. The main exemptions are for baby formula and human remains.

If you are carrying acceptable amounts of powders you may keep them in your carry-on, though TSA screeners may ask you to place them in a separate bin for screening if they obstruct X-ray machines from getting clear images.

We hope that helps give you a heads up if you plan on traveling by air in the near future.

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Take A Seat, Dad

Robert F. Kennedy Stadium

Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, known as RFK Stadium and originally District of Columbia Stadium, is a multi-purpose stadium in Washington, DC. The stadium is located on the exact axis of East Capitol Street, which means that from the top of the stadium you can see the US Capitol and the Washington Monument lined up perfectly to the west. Opened in 1961, RFK Stadium has hosted five NFC Championship games, two MLB All-Star Games, men’s and women’s World Cup matches (four of which I attended) and a whole lot more.

I’ll never say it’s a pretty stadium; it is not Camden Yards, home of the Orioles. RFK was one of the first major stadiums designed specifically as a multi-sport facility for both baseball and football.  RFK was one of the first to employ what became known as the circular “cookie-cutter” design. The stadium relied on the fans to give it personality. The last game the Washington Senators played there, which my parents attended, never actually ended because the fans stormed the field before the game was over.

My family has a lot of history connected with the stadium. My mother’s father worked for the Washington Redskins since their founding and spent every Sunday during football season down on the field. I saw my first pro-football game there one December in the early 80s. I was there when the stadium hosted their new baseball team, the Washington Nationals, on opening day in 2005 after more than 20 years without pro-baseball in the capital city.

The point of this rambling isn’t to go on about the history of a stadium, it was just background. My siblings and I found a seat from that old stadium for sale, bought it for my father and gave it to him for Father’s Day. It came with a certificate that shows the seat was part of 36 NFL seasons and several Senators’ baseball seasons. It was removed from the stadium in 2005 during preparations to welcome the Nationals to town. He can now sit in that orange-colored seat and watch baseball outside on the deck while remembering those all those baseball and football games he’d seen back in ol’ DC.

 

 

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Continuing to Grow USVI Strong

The U.S. Virgin Islands is a tourist mecca and like all communities that thrive on tourism, the customer experience is a big part of what keeps those dollars flowing. We also understand that being good at customer service doesn’t always come naturally.  You simply have to have worked in retail to understand that one.
As part of National Travel and Tourism Week, the U.S Virgin Island Department of Tourism brought in The Aquila Center for Cruise Excellence. The training group offers programs to help cruise destinations and tour operators around the world achieve excellence in their ports, tours, guides, and businesses.
The idea was to help train 200 hundred of the islands “meeters and greeters” because those who work in tourism become the face of the territory to the outside world.

Courtesy of Luana Wheatley, U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism

“Having well-trained frontline team members in cruise destinations is critical, as they hold the guest experience in their hands. Their actions can make or break a guest experience, and greatly impact the guest satisfaction ratings in a cruise destination – and those ratings are an important factor in a cruise line’s decision to call on a port,” said Melanie Colpitts, the Director of the Center.
The push to improve the tourist experience is also a call to action in the aftermath of last year’s hurricanes. We know the images of the damaged homes, grounded boats, and destroyed infrastructure will stick with many of us for a lifetime and may shade what some people think of when they imagine the islands. The training and improvement of the customer experience is partly a reaction to that.
The U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism seems to be committed to offering continuing education opportunities for Virgin Islanders to ensure the territory remains a destination despite the storms. Tourism Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty said in a statement, “We will not rest on our laurels given the importance of the hospitality sector to our socioeconomic development and to elevating the quality of life for all Virgin Islanders.” 
At No Kids, Will Travel, we think this kind of education is important not just for the tourists’ experience, but for the communities they visit and spend their money in. It might be a good idea to start a reverse program to teach tourists how to be good guests during their visits.
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Hockey in June!!!

You have my apologies right off the bat for this blog post; it’s not about travel.

If you’ve been following our blog, you know Amanda and I are huge hockey fans. We love the game we watch it at least three or four nights a week during the hockey season. We are also big, big, super-big Washington Capitals fans. For the first time in years — literally two decades — Capitals are in the finals of the Stanley Cup. That means they get to play hockey in June after 30 other teams go home for the offseason.

They’re facing off against the Golden Knights — a team in its inaugural season. We’ve watched some of these players since they were in the minor leagues, like Jay Beagle and Braden Holtby. Amanda even came out of retirement and did television live shots for DC TV stations when the Caps meet their arch-rivals in the playoffs since we now live in the city of our hockey enemy.

I think we’d be selling ourselves short if we simply said we were fans; we are emotionally invested in this team. I met and interviewed many of them back during my days as a journalist in Washington. The third game in the best-of-seven series is about to come on and we are on the edge of our seats. I promise a more travel-oriented post next week; until then, LET’S GO CAPS!

Amanda doing live shots for NBCSN Washington from our balcony after the Caps played in Pittsburgh.

This pennant hung in my nursery as a child. I’ve had a love of the Caps since birth.

We are standing with the Stanley Cup at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. The Hershey Bears are the Caps’ farm team.

We even supported the team on our sailing trip in the Virgin Islands.