Leave a comment

Pitching in for the Big Game

When the Super Bowl comes to town, host cities go all out to welcome partners, players, and fans. Hundreds of volunteers donate their time and talent to welcome visitors at the airport, staff game-adjacent events, and generally keep things running smoothly.

As a social media professional, I’ve been part of the teams behind the handles for a few large events, but never one as big as the Super Bowl—and never before during a pandemic.

Before every volunteer’s first shift there was training on messaging, the mission, how to use various online tools and more. We signed COVID-19 waivers and agreed to daily health screenings and 100% compliance with mask-wearing rules.

When the social media command center opened, experienced professionals and college students manned a socially distanced bank of laptops pulling in content from across social media. The vast majority of comments were positive as visitors and locals took in the Super Bowl experience. As with any subject up for discussion online, there were naysayers and malcontents as well.

People asked about the timing for fireworks displays, where to find memorabilia, if they could change their reservations at the Super Bowl Experience, if there was a wait list, etc. The command center was ready for just about anything and we spent most of our time complimenting visitors’ posts.

Hosting a Super Bowl during a pandemic is a tall order to fill, but the Tampa Bay Host Committee made sure it was memorable for all the right reasons.

Leave a comment

Tampa beating the Odds…

I’m not a big Tampa sports fan. I am, as you’ve seen a big sports fan, but we remain loyal to our old home town teams in Washington and Balitmore. I will say though there must be something in the water down here and we’re not talking mermaids or manatees.

The Tampa teams have been on a role recently the Tampa Bay Rays went to the world series in 2020 and lost to the LA Dodgers. The Tampa Bay Lighting hockey team won the Stanley Cup (championship) in 2020 and now the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in the NFL’s Superbowl. Yes, the Ray’s didn’t win and the Buc’s game isn’t until next week but they’ve already become the first NFL team to be the host city of the Superbowl and one of the teams playing. The Buc’s in many odds houses are the favorite.

The point is the odds of any city winning 3 out of 4 of the major North American championship is very slim. The Harvard Sports Anaylisis Collective puts it this way…”When we sum up the individual probabilities, we get 0.43%. Thus, ignoring the “big market” effect and assuming all franchises in a given league have a uniform probability of winning the championship, we would expect one city to win at least three out of four titles about once every 227 years.”

So, even without a Ray’s win or a Buc’s win they’ve done something amazing in this town and its worth trying to answer the question, what are the odds?

Leave a comment

Change is in the Air

The simple things that are already starting to change when it comes to climate change.

I have to say there is a lot of hope in the beginnings of a new administration and one of them is the US rejoining the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.


I, Joseph R. Biden Jr., President of the United States of America, having seen and considered the Paris Agreement, done at Paris on December 12, 2015, do hereby accept the said Agreement and every article and clause thereof on behalf of the United States of America.

Done at Washington this 20th day of January 2021.


If you are not familiar “The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change. It was adopted by 196 Countries at COP 21 in Paris, on 12 December 2015 and entered into force on 4 November 2016.

Its goal is to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.

To achieve this long-term temperature goal, countries aim to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible to achieve a climate-neutral world by mid-century.

The Paris Agreement is a landmark in the multilateral climate change process because, for the first time, a binding agreement brings all nations into a common cause to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects.” – United Nations Climate Change

We, Amanda and I, truly hope that this small step in rejoining the world is symbolic of the new administrations’ commitment to protecting the world we love to travel so much.  

Leave a comment

Reno Italiano

We had the chance to watch a great new program on HG TV called Reno Italiano. It is as you guessed about renovating homes in Italy. We were tipped off to the pilot by @girlinflorence (Georgette Jupe). A wonderful person who fills my twitter and instagram feed with pictures of beautiful Firenze. The host of the show is @arleneagibbs (Arlene A Gibbs) a LA transplant to Italy. She has a great upbeat personality and works well as the host. She is also an amazing decorator and renovation specialist. She seems to apply a lot of practical knowledge to the renovation and doesn’t seem like she’s one of those “unrealistic” renovators…yes, we are looking at you Hillary from love-it or list-it.

The production company @luckydogfilms (Lucky Dog Films) is a superb job at condensing the story of a multi-month reno into the span of 24 or so minutes. I think they did a really good job of the herculean task of widdling down the probably 100’s of hours of video into a cohesive story. I really hope that this show gets a full season and we can see other great stories that can inspire us to to move and start our own reno italiano.

Leave a comment

“Without a Doubt, 2020 …Anxiety and Loss”

The U.S. Virgin Islands’ Commissioner of Tourism is thankful for all the support the tourism industry received in the last year and is optimistic about the year to come. Commissioner Joseph Boschulte highlighted in his year-end address one of the Territory’s most recent honors — being named Destination of the Year by Caribbean Journal, a leading digital travel news publication focusing on the region. 

The islands response to COVID-19 and the implementation of its travel portal as one of the key factors into why the USVI were chosen as Destination of the Year.

“Without a doubt, 2020 has been a turbulent year, and many of us have experienced anxiety and suffered loss. But it has also been a time when we have come together as never before to care for one another, to celebrate the values and people we cherish, to bear one another’s burdens, and to find solutions to overcome our challenges,” recalled the commissioner.

The U.S. Virgin Islands is currently in the “Safer-at-Home” phase of the Territory’s pandemic response, during which businesses are open, but residents and visitors are urged to engage in activities with health and safety as a top priority and to limit exposure to others, especially groups. 

Every traveler aged five or older who enters the U.S. Virgin Islands by air or sea, including anyone in-transit to another destination, is required to use the USVI Travel Screening Portal (usvitravelportal.com) and submit a COVID-19 test result prior to travel.

We, at No Kids, Will Travel really hope that soon we will be able to travel again and take advantage of all that America’s Caribbean has to offer. I for one can’t wait to see my little sister who lives on Saint Thomas and we haven’t seen in over a year.

We know 2021 has gotten off to a rocky start and COVID-19 didn’t just disappear when the clock struck 12 but, we hope to be ready to responsibly travel again by this summer. *fingers crossed*

Leave a comment

Happy Holidays

We like a lot of people spent the morning catching up with family on Zoom. I for one really enjoyed not having to rush between families on Christmas Day. We did however hit the road and take a trip to Clearwater Beach for a nice long walk. The temperature was only around 50 F so we had to wear sweatshirts but it was still nice to listen to the wave rolling in against the beach.

Leave a comment

Potential Roadblocks to Your Travels

The COVID world is still very much controlling our lives despite the rollout of two vaccines. The CDC stated that you shouldn’t travel over the holidays. You should just stay home and we are fine with that especially after hearing about a new more contagious strain of the COVID virus on the loose in England. You also might have some problems if you are traveling out of state too.

If you are traveling to California as of December 3 to curb the fast-moving spread of COVID-19. In it, a crucial clause specifies that “no hotel or lodging entity in California shall accept or honor out of state reservations for non-essential travel,” unless the reservation is made for a stay of at least 14 days, during which guests will quarantine in their accommodations.

If you are entering Connecticut from one of several states on watch list for having high COVID numbers you must fill out a Connecticut Travel Health Form upon arrival. Failure to submit the form or to complete quarantine could result in a civil penalty of $500 per violation.

Illinois has you quarantining for 10 days if you are entering from any State in the union unless you have a negative COVID test less than 72 hours old.

Visitors entering from states that are noncontiguous with New York must quarantine for 14 days. You can “test out” of the quarantine if you have a negative test within 72 hours that were taken at your point of origin. You must then quarantine for 3 days upon arrival and then take another COVID test. If you are negative for the virus you may leave quarantine. You must also complete a Traveler Health Form. If you leave the airport without completing the form you are subject to a $10,000 fine. If you are entering via a train or automobile you must fill out the form online.

We recommend that with each state having its own particular rules you check their website in order to see what rules apply to you.

Leave a comment

Just Out of Reach

We can dream.

We can hope.

We can look at a map.

We know until things change it just out of reach.

Leave a comment

An Island Plan that Doesn’t Rely upon Sun and Cocktails.

The US Virgin Islands has a plan to not only sustain its tourism industry post COVID but grow it. But, this time it won’t just be relying on the beautiful beaches and crystal clear water to attract visitors. U.S. VIRGIN

Tourism Commissioner Joseph Boschulte pledged to leverage the Territory’s “natural appeal and a growing complement of facilities to attract athletes to practice and compete on and off our shores.” Boschulte along with Commissioner of Sports, Parks & Recreation Calvert White, and Virgin Islands Sports Commission Chairman Leon Hunt, Commissioner Boschulte said promoting the benefits of the Territory’s sporting capabilities and infrastructure was critical, in addition to extended seasons for training and the enjoyment of a year-round tropical climate. “In addition, teams won’t have to worry about passports as they are not needed for U.S. citizens, and we have top-rated facilities as well as U.S. ​standards and coaches to provide oversight,” said the tourism chief.

The growth of the “tournament hosting industry” where the island hosts college teams for competitions like the Paradise Basketball Jam over Thanksgiving break is one of the key sectors where the commissioners see growth potential.

The U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism was a proud sponsor of the 21st Paradise Jam basketball tournament in Washington, DC.

From hosting the annual Paradise Jam basketball tournament to leveraging the USVI Soccer Federation’s FIFA-certified soccer field on St. Croix, and hosting the ITF junior tennis tournament, Commissioner Boschulte stated that the Department of Tourism will continue to invite members of the media to attend and participate in events such as the USVI Charter Yacht Show, the St. Thomas International Regatta, Carlos Aguilar Match Race, Beauty and the Beast Triathlon, Beach to Beach Power Swim, and the USVI Tennis Cup.

The islands aren’t only focusing on what they can do on land with the commission citing that the U.S. Virgin Islands economy made by 150 week/term charter vessels, 75 day charter, 17 sport-fishing and 55 bareboat charter vessels were estimated at approximately US$45 million.

“We forecast 2020 numbers to be positive due to a large number of visiting vessels, as well as our expanded reach into the charter yacht, regatta, and game fishing sectors,” The Tourism Commission reported this year. The commission further reported that the U.S. Virgin Islands Charter Yacht Show successfully brought large numbers of vessels into the Territory, further boosting the economy and leveraging the Territory’s charter facilities.

The web page www.usviupdate.com/marine provides an overview of the Territory’s assets and resources for the marine industry for anyone interested in seeing what the territory has to offer and has planned for the future.

The report all and all precedents a healthy future for tourism in territories as the world begins its recovery from the most devastating plague in recent history.

Leave a comment

A Walk in the Park

The weather was nice this past Saturday and in an effort to breath some fresh air and  journey beyond the walls of our apartment we went for a walk along the trails in Upper Tampa Bay Park. We’d been meaning to visit this park for a while but it had been closed for months because of the COVID-19 lockdowns. The park entrance off of the main thoroughfare of Hillsborough Ave to the west of Tampa is a bit in assuming. Yet when you drive the half mile back the speed bump covered road you get to the big red canoe indicating you’ve reached the formal entrance. The park offers a small playground, picnic pavilions, nature trails (with information plaques) and canoes and kayak rentals if you don’t have your own. The park boasts a nature center too but that is still closed. Amanda and I took a leisurely walk down some of the trails, each running in a loop, and many running along the marshland or bayous of the upper bay.  It was a nice chance to get out of the house we just might remembered bring the bug spray bedtime since one of the trails seemed to have quite a few mosquitoes. We think over all for 2 dollars admission and 25 dollars for four hours boat rental the Upper Tampa Bay Park is a nice escapee from our all to familiar walls of our apartment.