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The Caribbean Has a Rhythm All Its Own

The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association has kicked off a new campaign to highlight the diversity of the million square miles of geographic and ethnic variety the region has to offer.
“Visitors, past and present, have not been introduced to the offerings of our vast and diverse region. We will change that by highlighting the charms contained in the million square miles of Caribbean Sea, home to French, English, Spanish, Dutch, Creole, African, Asian, American and many other cultures,” said Frank Comito, Director General and CEO of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, encouraging residents and visitors to experience more of the region’s rhythms.
The region sees the Caribbean as a brand and wants to reinforce the idea that with the year-round nature of their product, the Caribbean itself, “The Rhythm Never Stops.”
We at No Kids, Will Travel understand that sentiment. Whether it is the sound of the waves softly crashing on the sand, the sound of a steel drum echoing on the wind, or the causal no-hurry attitude, the Caribbean has a rhythm all its own.
“The Rhythm Never Stops” is a marketing campaign enticing travelers to revel in the Caribbean’s incredible natural beauty, diverse cultures and hidden treasures.
The initial online campaign will run for 12 weeks and focus on the Bahamas in the north; the Cayman Islands and Jamaica in the western Caribbean; the French department of Martinique and its eastern Caribbean neighbor St. Lucia, as well as Grenada and Trinidad & Tobago in the south.
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The United States Sailboat Show 2018

We do love our sailboats here at No Kids.  So, for the last couple of year we’ve made a big effort to make a trip Annapolis, Maryland each October for the United States Sailboat Show.  The miles of docks spanning the harbor beautiful downtown historic Annapolis make this event a sailboat lovers paradise. I made the show a day trip this year by driving the four and a half hours down and back.  The reality is that I spent more than twice the amount of time on the road as at the show but for me, it was a wonderful distraction. This is an internationally acclaimed sailboat show, recognized as the world’s largest and most prestigious sailboat show. I made sure to take a few pictures to show give you a sample of the sights.  I’ve written a lot about this show in the past and how much we love Annapolis. I’ll leave you with a few pictures today and a reminder that this event is really something and you should definitely make time for it no matter what your sailing skill set is. 

Small Boats for the Pond or Lake

50 foot long luxury sailboat

Standing in the middle of the harbor

 

Small boat for the bay or lake

 

Small Cannon (That Really Fires)

 

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JetBlue’s New Escape Route

JetBlue announced last Thursday it is offering a new route of escape from winter’s crushing cold for residents of the northeast. The escape is the expansion of the budget airline’s Palm Springs, California service. You will now have even more options in flying non-stop from Boston to the desert city. The airline is now offering year-round routes to Palm Springs from New York City. JetBlue is currently the only non-stop service from New England to Palm Springs

“When the snow is falling in the northeast, the sun is shining in Palm Springs, so we want more of our customers to trade their scarves for swimsuits this season,” said Andrea Lusso, director route planning, JetBlue. “New Boston service, combined with this season’s expanded New York schedule, means a winter warmup is easier than ever, and also makes JetBlue the leading airline flying nonstop between Palm Springs and the northeast.”

Palm Springs always greets you with a warm reception with more than 360 days of sunshine you can hit the pool year round. The Rat Pack (Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Joey Bishop and Sammy Davis Jr.) used to vacation and play in the resort. You could walk down the streets of the small town and see celebrities like Bob Hope and Lucille Ball eating at an al fresco restaurant. The Palm Springs of the 40s, 50s and 60s was Hollywood with all the glamor but without the glitz. The oasis of today has become a haven for architecture aficionados, musicians, artists and trendy weekenders seeking a warm, retro-chic getaway.

“Our growing relationship with JetBlue and this highly anticipated flight between Palm Springs and Boston represents JetBlue’s increased confidence in Greater Palm Springs as a destination that appeals to East Coast travelers,” said Scott White, President, and CEO of the Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We look forward to welcoming Bostonians and winter-weary visitors to our destination.”

So when the winter weather starts getting to you, put on your Sinatra, pack your bag with your best vintage attire, and board a six-hour flight for a weekend of sun, outdoor dining and shopping for mid-century modern antiques.

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PreCheck Is PreCheck

courtesy: TSA.gov

We hear it all the time: “the TSA line is slow and long.” We even allot extra time to get to the airport in order to get through the sometimes torturously slow lines in time to get to our gate. We submit to a background check and pay a fee so we can avoid the line with TSA PreCheck. You may have recently noticed that not everyone in the PreCheck line is a PreCheck member. The TSA has more recently been shunting passengers they consider low-risk out of the regular line and into the PreCheck lane, thus increasing the length of the PreCheck line. The U.S. Congress, many of whom are probably members, have taken note of this and — citing the security risks of letting un-vetted passengers bypass the regular scrutiny in the standard line — are passing the PreCheck Is PreCheck Act of 2018 or H.R. 6265

The bill “directs the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to ensure that only travelers who are members of a trusted traveler program are permitted to use TSA PreCheck security screening lanes at TSA checkpoints.” The bill also asks for an inspector general report on if there has been a systematic pattern of violations of the use of TSA PreCheck security screening lanes at TSA checkpoints. The bill also goes on to investigate the designation of “low-risk” lanes that certain passengers can be sent to in order to alleviate overcrowding and not sent to the PreCheck lane.

I, for one, don’t mind the occasional use of the PreCheck lane for non-PreCheck flyers (as long as the wait doesn’t become long). On the other hand, I think the bill makes sense on its points of security and the fact that we pay for that expedited service and the re-routed regular flyers haven’t. I don’t mind being courteous to my fellow traveler and letting them in the line occasionally but if it becomes a regular event it will be one of concern for both of those reasons.

The bill currently has passed the U.S. House of Representatives and is awaiting being scheduled for a vote in the U.S. Senate.

courtesy: TSA.gov

 

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A Weather Obsession

The memory of the devastation wrought by hurricanes from Irma and Maria is still fresh in our minds. The islanders, as well as those of us who love the islands, are just a little apprehensive about the current hurricane season.

NOAA Hurricane Tracker

The fact that my little sister, though a grown woman, is living down there means my anxiety level has been rather high. The only way for me to alleviate that feeling is to watch every tropical wave that drifts off the west coast of Africa and heads toward our shores. You, like me, can constantly look at charts from the National Hurricane Center closely. I’ve kept an even closer eye on Windy.com, my new favorite weather site. The site lets you look at wind patterns on a global scale, wave heights, temperatures, cloud cover, and weather radar with lighting. I highly recommend you check it out if you are a weather geek. But I digress a bit.

Windy.com Wind Tracking

The focus of my attention the last week has been Isacc. The hurricane, like most, formed off the coast of eastern Africa and slowly moved its way across the Atlantic. I watched Issac like a hawk. I was nervous as it didn’t make a predicted turn that said it would head north but instead aimed at the Leeward Islands. I called my sister on St. Thomas to remind her about stocking up strategies, how she can slowly fill her pantry with plenty of food and water just in case. She said the locals weren’t worried and they don’t get worried unless a storm is Cat 2 or higher.

I started feeling better as Isaac began to destabilize and become a tropical storm. I relaxed even more as it passed 120 miles south of St. Croix. This apparently disappointed the children she teaches because they get “storm days” like the “snow days” we get in the northeastern US. I guess the point of this whole post is, whereas hurricanes were an object of fascination before, they’re a focus of obsession now. I firmly believe that by the time the season is through my time studying the weather should afford me a degree in meteorology.

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A Disaster of a Summer in Japan

The summer hasn’t been kind to Japan. The usually hot summer was even hotter than normal with the temperatures topping out at 106 degrees, beating the old record of 105. The record temps weren’t just at one location, either; a large portion of the country recorded record highs. A recent report from Kyodo News cites that there were at least 77 heat-related deaths. “The heat is a threat to life. We recognize it as a natural disaster,” an official with the Japan Meteorological Agency said at a press conference.

The island nation was also dealing with the aftermath of severe flooding from earlier in the summer that was considered the worst in 40 years. It was reported by Japanese broadcaster NHK that 14.3 inches of rain fell between 5 am and 7am in Uwajima on July 11th and that was just a sample of what July had offered. The summer continued with Typhoon Jebi, considered the worst in 35 years. The death toll was officially recorded as 10, seven of those deaths were in Osaka.

And then a major earthquake hit the north island of Hokkaido last Friday, August 31st and killing 16 as well as causing massive mudslides that buried homes in the mountainous region.

We say all this as a reminder that disasters like this don’t just happen in the developing world or small islands in the Caribbean. A major developed nation like Japan can be knocked back on its heels after repeated disasters. The people responding to these emergencies are none other than the same people who respond to crises like these all over the world: the Red Cross. The Japanese Red Cross Society is a good place to make your donation if you feel like helping out the country that gave us instant noodles, emojis, and the Walkman.

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Are You on Your Way to San Jose?

We know this looks more like an Instagram post than a blog post and we’re sorry about that. I’m on the road this week in San Jose, California. It’s a whirlwind trip with not a lot of downtime. I did manage to take some pictures of the heart of Silicon Valley. The city is filled with a lot of restaurants and cafes; almost all of them have outside seating. The city feels like a wonderful place to get to know and this being my second trip to San Jose I am already looking forward to a third.

Light rail tracks in downtown

 

Cafe Frascati

 

Warm mocha on a warm day

 

Light rail

 

San Jose Museum of Art

 

Cathedral Basilica de St. Joseph

 

Plaza de Cesar Chavez

 

Flowers

 

Tree-lined light transit tracks

 

The City National Civic Center and Montgomery Theater