Travel Feed

Texas officials warn of rattlesnakes hiding in pool noodles: 'Try to avoid panicking!'

image from s.aolcdn.com
Officials in Texas are warning residents about an animal that could be lurking in pool noodles: rattlesnakes.

A family hanging out at the pool stumbled upon the reptile when someone picked up a pool noodle and a large rattlesnake snake fell out, according to a Facebook post from the Salado Texas Volunteer Fire Department.

"They realized later that several baby snakes were still inside," the post said.

According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife, there are 10 species of rattlesnakes in Texas including the most common, the western diamondback.

The post said it is not unusual for snakes to seek cooler places as temperatures rise.


10 Best Summer Road Trips in New England

Bob Barney: I grew up in the Housatonic Valley of Ct. The road trip from Boardman's Bridge to Canaan is beautiful- year round!

Dreaming of a New England road trip? From back roads and small towns to coastal spots, these are the best summer road trips in New England.

image from newengland.com

Tracey Minkin •

Dreaming about a New England road trip? This region was practically made for summer road trips. We’ve got great back roads, fascinating small towns, endless natural splendor, and the ability to hit several states in one day (if that’s your thing). When the time is right, grab your sunglasses, buckle up, and check out these ten tremendous rambles that we think qualify as the best summer road trips in New England.



Get ready for a summer road trip! Here are the 10 Best Summer Road Trips in New England.

Flickr/MA Office of Tourism

10 Best Summer Road Trips in New England

Rangeley Lakes Scenic Byway
Maine

This New England road trip will have you going to go from Mexico to Madrid, Maine-style, on ME routes 17 and 4 as they traverse the pristine lakes and mountains of this wild section of northern New England. Don’t miss the panorama at the Height of Land pullout, and keep an eye peeled the whole way for moose, bear, and bobcats.
Distance: 50 miles.



Park Loop Road in Acadia National Park, Maine. | 10 Best Summer Road Trips in New England

Dreamstime

Mount Desert Island Loop
Acadia National Park, Maine

Make charming Bar Harbor your base, and take a relaxed circumnavigation of Acadia National Parkvia the Mount Desert Island Loop Road. This rugged, spectacular island is the second-largest in the New England. Bring a picnic, and make time for the Hulls Cove Visitors Center.
Distance: 27 miles round-trip.



Brown’s Lobster Pound in Seabrook, New Hampshire. | 10 Best Summer Road Trips in New England

Aimee Tucker

Coastal Crossing
New Hampshire

Here’s a short, summer delight of a New England road trip—take in the length of the New Hampshire coastline, from Seabrook Beach to Portsmouth in a breezy half-day. It’s only 18 miles, but full of great places to stop, including funky Hampton BeachFort Constitution, and charming New Castle, home of the elegant Wentworth by the Sea Hotel.
Distance: 18 miles.

Green Mountain Ribbon
Vermont

Vermont’s Route 100 is a road-tripper’s dream: long, straight, and flanked the entire way by the beautiful Green Mountains. While the road runs the entire north-south length of the state, a great section begins in Ludlow and ends in Waterbury. Must-stop: the charming villages of neighboring Warren and Waitsfield.
Distance: 90 miles.



Yankee's New England Adventures

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Alpine Drama
Vermont

With this New England road trip, you’ll think you’re in the Alps, as VT108 climbs steeply from Stowetoward Smugglers’ Notch in the Green Mountains, tightening into a blacktop corkscrew past boulders and cliffs. Get ready to have your breath taken, and Instagram all those photos on the other side, over a meal in tiny Jeffersonville.
Distance: 18 miles.



The Bridge of Flowers can be found along the Mohawk Trail in Massachusetts. | 10 Best Summer Road Trips in New England

Heather Marcus

Mohawk Trail
Massachusetts

Famous at foliage time, but equally splendid in the summer, this historic scenic highway winds along northern Massachusetts via MA2, among the rolling hills of the Berkshires, combining art museums like Mass MoCA with classic roadside Americana (like the Shelburne Fall “Big Indian”) and great vistas.
Distance:
 63 miles.

Housatonic Valley
Connecticut

On this New England road trip, following Route 7 along the Housatonic River from New Milford to Canaan reveals the green beauty of Western Connecticut. There’s a covered bridge and waterfalls.
Distance: 35 miles.

The Quiet Corner
Connecticut

Travel back in history for bucolic tranquility on quiet CT169 from Old Norwich to Woodstock, meandering past colonial homesteads and stone walls, farmers’ fields, and quaint town greens.
Distance: 40 miles.

SEE MORE>>>>>>

 


Get the Most Out of Your Next Weekend Getaway with Train Travel

Westbound California Zephyr, operated by Amtra...Westbound California Zephyr, operated by Amtrak, in front of the Book Cliffs, between Green River and Floy, Utah, USA. The train is hauled by two General Electric P42DC locomotives. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Convenient, Stress-free Nature of Amtrak Train Travel and the Onboard Experience Enhances Any Weekend Travel Adventure

Do you feel like you need to get away from it all sometimes? A small break from hectic modern life can be both relaxing and invigorating. Remember, getting away doesn't necessarily mean planning a big, elaborate vacation across the globe — some of the most sensational destinations are sprinkled throughout the U.S. and are easily accessible by planning a weekend getaway.

Whether you travel somewhere in your home state or head to another region of the country, traveling by train offers many benefits. First, by skipping congested roads and hectic airports, you can drastically cut stress levels. Additionally, the onboard experience adds a touch of comfort to your weekend travel excursion. With amazing Amtrak customer service, roomy seats, delicious food and many other amenities, you're sure to travel in style no matter where you're headed.

There's a weekend travel deal for any type of traveler. Here are a few ideas that will inspire you to book now and start packing your bags:

Couples are sure to love a long weekend sampling some of the best wines our country has to offer. Book a Napa Valley wine tasting weekend getaway. The area is ideal for car-free travel, meaning travelers can save on gas, vehicle wear and tear, and the hassles that come with driving. There are numerous train routes criss-crossing northern California, including:

 

Why not hit the slopes with your best friends and create memories to last a lifetime? Epic hills and pristine scenery can be found in Vermont. Plan a weekend trip to this gorgeous area and stay at numerous outstanding resorts. Kick start your getaway with a scenic train ride, an excellent way to access the slopes. Remember, Amtrak makes it easy and affordable to travel with ski equipment — allowing you to bring skis free of charge in lieu of a piece of baggage.

 

Continue reading "Get the Most Out of Your Next Weekend Getaway with Train Travel" »


Rebirth of Luxury: The New Orient Express ready to roll in 2023

First look at the brand-new Orient Express La Dolce Vita trains set to debut in Italy in

Renderings have been released that show the stunning interiors of the new Italian 'Orient Express' that will transport passengers in total luxury when it begins running in 2023. Images have also been unveiled for the exterior, which looks pretty eye-catching, too. Passengers aboard the 'Orient Express La Dolce Vita' will enjoy 'five-star service' surrounded by 'sumptuous decor' on journeys through Italy and further afield to Paris and Istanbul. There will be six 'Orient Express La Dolce Vita' trains, each carrying 62 passengers and featuring 12 'deluxe cabins', 18 suites, and one 'Honour Suite'.


Traveling around seeing the beauty Florida

Florida holiday guide: The Sunshine State is bursting with attractions, from Miami to Key

Do you think of Florida as just one big theme park? Think again. With secret islands and sweeping expanses of wilderness, it's a place where you can really get back to nature, and where you're more likely to see a pelican or heron than a cartoon duck. Not only that, the Sunshine State has a wealth of historic towns and cultural cities, and miles of sandy shores. And as UK tourists are allowed to return from next month, it makes the perfect place for winter sun. Pictured: Seven Mile Bridge (top left), Captiva Island (top right), Alligator Alley (bottom right), Sarasota (bottom left), and Crystal River (inset).


The biggest cruise ship in the world sets sail

The biggest cruise ship in the world sets sail

The Wonder of the Seas, the world's biggest cruise ship, set sail in spectacular style on Friday for her maiden seven-day voyage from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to the Caribbean. The record-breaking 362 metre (1,188 ft) long Royal Caribbean liner carries 6,988 passengers and 2,300 crew… and enough beer to fill each of her swimming pools twice over. But is bigger always better? Those on-board definitely think so. Speedy wi-fi has allowed passengers to fill social media channels with comments. One woman holidaymaker said: 'It's hard to believe you are even on a ship. It's a city on the water. There is everything you could ever want. There's no reason to ever get off.' Another quipped: 'We're going to need a bigger ocean!'


Forgotten America

The humble beauty of America's forgotten roadside buildings celebrated in mesmerising

Venture down America's backroads and you'll find, in the words of photographers Steve Gross and Susan Daley, 'a parallel universe', a world of lost-in-time buildings 'that often goes unnoticed'. In a series of road trips, the pair trained their lenses on over 100 forgotten buildings from New England to the Deep South and published the resulting images in a mesmerising coffee table book called Backroads Buildings - In Search Of The Vernacular (Schiffer Publishing).


Visit: The Rock IN the house

Rock in the house: The Wisconsin home with a 55-ton boulder wedged into its rear

The 55-ton boulder was originally part of a bluff 500ft above the Fountain City house, but became dislodged on April 24, 1995. Amazingly, the owners escaped unscathed. An eyewitness told local newspapers that he heard a 'train-like roar' before the boulder hit the house. One TripAdvisor reviewer recently wrote: 'The rock is truly something to see in person.'


More people want to spend holidays in the sun this year

image from i.dailymail.co.uk

For anyone with savings to blow on a once-in-a-lifetime trip, look no further than this list, which includes North America's first landscape hotel and a 'dream destination' in Grand Cayman.


Best 5 New England Winter Drives

Enjoy classic New England scenes, stippled in white and sparkling with frost, without leaving the warmth of your car with these 5 winter drives.

Intuitively, winter might seem like the wrong season for a New England driving tour. But imagine how freeing it feels to drive along dramatic coastal routes without summer’s standstill traffic. How meditative a forest can be when tree-lined arteries are no longer clogged with autumn leaf-peepers. Of course, you must be mindful of road conditions and storm forecasts if you’re setting out on one of these ideal-for-winter drives. But with cellphones and GPS apps adding a warm layer of security, a road trip is an exhilarating way to spend an ice-kissed, blue-sky day.

Best 5 New England Winter Drives

Best 5 New England Winter Drives

The Litchfield Hills | Best 5 New England Winter Drives

Kim Knox Beckius

Best Connecticut Winter Drive
Winter’s Essence in the Litchfield Hills

Even if you don’t plan to get out of your car to cross-country ski or snowshoe, drive the pine-lined entry road to the White Memorial Conservation Center in Litchfield, Connecticut, and admire old stone walls frosted with winter’s icing. More iconic New England scenes await, as you drive east on U.S. Route 202 and turn left on state Route 63 to journey north toward rural Goshen and its eclectic farms, including Sunset Meadow Vineyards, which is open for tastings Thursday through Monday in the winter. Drive west on state Route 4, and you’ll pass the entrance to Mohawk Mountain, where snowmaking was invented in 1950. Continue on state Route 128, and drive through the classic red West Cornwall covered bridge, which strikes a photogenic pose when the Housatonic River churns below and snow coats the hillsides. You’re headed south next on U.S. Route 7. Watch for a left turn onto state Route 45 south, which clings to the eastern shore of Lake Waramaug, the prettiest lake in the state. Turn left at the U.S. Route 202 intersection, and complete the loop back to Litchfield. Never mind that it’s winter — you’ll want to stop in Bantam for luscious ice cream at the Arethusa Farm dairy. Warm your tongue at Litchfield Distillery, where tours and craft spirit tastings are free Wednesday through Sunday. A bottle of their Batchers’ cinnamon bourbon is the antidote for the rest of winter’s chilly days.

 

https://newengland.com/today/travel/new-england/best-new-england-winter-drives/


The Beauty of Italy's Countryside

Spellbinding images show the beauty of Italy's most stunning forests

Italy is best known for its picture-perfect cities, stunning lakes, incredible mountains and beautiful coastline. But its fairy tale-like forests are just as spellbinding- as these jaw-dropping images show. They were all snapped in enchanting woodland areas across Italy throughout the seasons and entered into the 2019 Experience Forests photo contest run by the Italian branch of the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).


The Moon sits on Las Vegas!

Plan revealed for a 735ft-high Moon resort in Las Vegas with 4,000 hotel rooms

According to the Canadian entrepreneurs behind it, it would cost $5billion to build and, with a height of 735ft, would become the joint-second-tallest building in Sin City with the JW Marriott, which is currently the second-loftiest structure behind the 350m- (1,149ft) tall Strat Observation Tower. The celestial retreat - which would be the world's largest sphere - features 4,000 hotel rooms, a 'crater café', a spa, a casino, a lagoon and guests seeking a space-age adventure will be able to take a moon shuttle to a 'lunar colony'. Other attractions at the otherworldly resort would include an event centre for up to 5,000 attendees, a theatre for resident performers and touring acts, a piano bar, boutiques, several lounges and a convention centre.


Travel With Your Car on the Amtrak Auto Train

image from www.tripsavvy.com

 Busà Photography / Getty Images

Driving 850 miles on I-95 is the ultimate test of patience even for a road trip enthusiast. Thanks to 21st-century transportation, there's a way to travel between Virginia and Florida that doesn't require spending 12 hours straight in a car.

Sure, a flight would be quicker, but the Amtrak Auto Train allows people to bring along their vehicles without having to physically drive that far. The car-carrying train that runs through five East Coast states is the first of its kind in the nation.

The auto train can accommodate cars, vans, motorcycles, SUVs, small boats, and jet skis. Reservations are required and are only available to those who are traveling with a vehicle.

The Amtrak Auto Train's northernmost station is in Lorton, Virginia, 20 miles south of Washington, D.C. Its central location—within about a 4-hour drive of Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh—makes it a convenient starting point for northerners traveling south and vice versa.

 

Station in Sanford, Florida

The southernmost station is in Sanford, Florida, which is 25 miles north of Orlando. Walt Disney World, Daytona Beach, and Tampa are all within easy reach.

 

Ticket Options and Travel Time

Ticket prices vary in accordance with comfort levels. The most basic fare will get you only a coach seat, but spend a bit extra and you'll be sleeping in a bedroom suite with a private bathroom. Special accommodation is offered for families and people with disabilities.

 

Keep in mind that bringing a vehicle—which is required for all passengers—is an additional charge. The nonstop trip takes just over 17 hours, slightly longer than the time it would take to drive the 850 miles without stopping (and without traffic). The train departs daily.

 
image from www.tripsavvy.com
The Nomadic Life 

Tips for Traveling on the Auto Train

As with any booking, it would be wise to read the fine print. Remember that you must obtain your Auto Train tickets before you board the train, regardless of whether you have an electronic ticket or a paper ticket. A photo ID is required to pick up tickets on the day of departure.

 

Check-in times vary depending on the type of vehicle you'll be traveling with, so find which window applies to you and get there ahead of time.

 

Pack a small carry-on bag for your overnight stay on the train and leave nothing you may need in the car because you won't have access to it at any point on the trip. Each passenger is allowed two carry-on bags and veteran Auto Train travelers have recommended making room for a pillow and blanket, especially if traveling in coach. All other luggage must remain in your vehicle.

 

Car alarm systems should be deactivated to avoid the risk of having a dead battery upon arrival. Dinner and breakfast are included in the price of your ticket, and snacks are available for purchase in the lounges. Passengers may also bring their own food and beverages if they prefer.

 

Once you arrive at your destination, retrieving your vehicle can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours, so plan accordingly. For an extra fee, you can upgrade to a Priority Vehicle Offloading ticket, which will guarantee that you're one of the first 30 out the door.

 
 

Best Foliage Town in Every New England State

We used research, road trips, and a dash of personal opinion to come up with our picks, from Maine to Connecticut, for the best foliage town in every New England state.

 

Please note that businesses, attractions, and events throughout New England have been modified, closed, and/or canceled in response to the COVID-19 health crisis. Please travel responsibly, and check with state guidelines and individual businesses and organizations before making travel plans.


Anyone who has witnessed the annual procession of fall foliage in New England never forgets it — from the early flashes of fire on northern mountainsides to the late colors that smolder in southern forests. Along the way, there are certain towns where the autumn glow seems just a little bit brighter, thanks to a convergence of visitor amenities and natural gifts. From scenic overlooks to downtown shopping, fall festivals to postcard landscapes, these six destinations represent our picks for the best foliage town in every New England state (plus a worthy runner-up, to double your road-trip options).

That said, when it comes to fall getaways, it’s hard to go wrong with almost anyclassic New England town — so if you have a favorite, be sure to make a case for it in the comments at the end of this post.

The Best Foliage Town in Every New England State

Best Foliage Town in Every New England State

Fog hovers above the Housatonic River as it runs past downtown Kent, Connecticut.

Mark Fleming

Best Foliage Town in Connecticut: KENT

 

Continue reading "Best Foliage Town in Every New England State" »


The world's biggest observation wheel-- 820 Feet high

UAE holidays: Tickets go on sale for the world's biggest observation wheel in Dubai

Tickets are now on sale for trips on the world's largest and tallest observation wheel, Ain Dubai. Last year, the TV documentary Impossible Engineering showed how the enormous wheel was constructed in Dubai. Now visitors will finally get to ride it from October 21. The record-breaking wheel is over 250m (820ft) in height, made up of 48 double-glazed cabins and can take 1,750 passengers at one time.


Vacation in America like this young lad!

Five-year-old boy becomes one of the youngest people to hike the entire Appalachian Trail

Harvey Sutton, who is known as 'Little Man' on the Appalachian Trail, was four when he started the hike in Georgia in January. With his parents, Cassie and Josh, he hiked through 14 states, finishing at the top of a mountain in Maine earlier this month. They slept in a tent, awoke at 5:30 a.m. each day, and hiked about ten miles daily. A big challenge was keeping Harvey motivated and engaging his imagination, but he said he had a lot of fun. The family met other hikers who gave Harvey toys, and hiked with one man who set up a treasure hunt for the boy. Harvey was excited to get home and sleep in a bed and is now starting kindergarten.


This could all be yours!

Luxury 34-acre Hawaii estate with private path leading to Secret Beach heads to auction in

NEW A 34-acre luxury property on Kauai's north shore with near exclusive access to its famed Secret Beach is heading to auction in September if it doesn't first sell for its $50million list price. The auction has no minimum reserve, meaning it could sell for as little or as much as the bidders dictate. Seller Michael Shotey, founder of electrical products company Taymac, said he wanted to sell because his family is not around enough to enjoy it. They originally purchased the property for $10.75million in 2012. In addition to beach access, the piece of real estate features a villa and two small vacation rental cottages.


Private Islands That You Can Rent Without Breaking the Bank and escape the COVID HYPE!

image from ssl.tzoo-img.com

You don’t have to be a Hollywood celeb or billionaire to afford to rent a slice of paradise. Check out one of these affordable private island rentals that will leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated without emptying out your bank account. The Little Peter Oasis private island can house four people in a bungalow -- ideal for families or two couples -- and is located off the coast of Belize. Guests can indulge in a number of on-site activities, included snorkeling, paddleboarding, kayaking and fishing, or swimming in the 30-foot-deep private lagoon. Those wanting to explore the surrounding area can book additional activities such as diving, guided offshore fishing and Mayan ruin tours, all for an additional price. A personal on-site concierge can help coordinate transfers to and from the island, along with setting up island activities and excursions. An all-inclusive package starts from $5,995 for five days and four nights, including a private helicopter transfer from Belize City.

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Stunning photos by Julian Lennon capture the eeriness of California's landlocked Salton Sea

The landlocked body of water is one of the world's biggest inland seas and at 226ft (69m) below sea level one of the lowest places on earth. It has appeared and disappeared several times over the ages, but was re-created in 1905 when the Colorado River, which runs to the east, overwhelmed an irrigation system and flooded a basin called the Salton Trough. For 18 months, according to parks.ca.gov, the entire volume of the river flowed into the basin and by the time it was halted in 1907, a lake 45 miles long and 20 miles wide had formed.

Spotting an opportunity to make fast bucks, developers moved in during the 50s and 60s and it blossomed into a tourist hotspot, with settlements, resorts, hotels and attractions popping up left, right and center. However, due to farm runoff, the lake became increasingly toxic and salty, fish and birds began dying and the settlements became like ghost towns. It was hoped around 40,000 people would live on the Salton Sea's shores. But homeowners tend not to like environmental disasters and today the population is between five and 10,000, though the area does attract, in normal times, up to one million visitors a year for bird-watching and water sports.

Lennon told MailOnline Travel that he'd 'always heard so much about the place', so he decided to head out on a last-minute road trip in 2019 with a friend and explore the area for himself. He describes Salton Sea, which he has visited several times since, as a 'mysterious and surreal place' with an 'eerie calm'.

He added: 'It sounds a little cliched, but I wanted to show through my images that there can be beauty in death. Salton Sea has a bad rep because of the environmental catastrophe and it is almost a "dead" lake. But seen at the right time of day, especially just before sunset, the light is just incredibly beautiful. Even when shooting in black and white, there's a stark beauty to be seen.' Scroll down to soak up some of Salton Sea's salt-weathered scenery for yourself...      

A stunning, newly released photo series by Julian Lennon, the son of Beatles legend John, captures the eeriness of California's Salton Sea. Pictured here is a shot of the Death Ship, which was created and installed by artist Sean Guerrero at a settlement known as Bombay Beach
The area attracts, in normal times, up to one million visitors a year for bird-watching and water sports
Over recent years, the lake has attracted an influx of artists and hipsters. This image shows installations left over from the Bombay Beach Biennale, an art festival founded in 2016
Over recent years, the lake has attracted an influx of artists and hipsters. This image shows installations left over from the Bombay Beach Biennale, an art festival founded in 2016
Lennon told MailOnline Travel that he'd 'always heard so much about the place', so he decided to head out on a last-minute road trip in 2019 with a friend and explore Salton Sea for himself
Corroded signs for the Ski Inn bar, which prides itself on being the lowest bar in the Western Hemisphere, around 226ft (69m) below sea level. The dive bar is one of the few remaining businesses open in the Bombay Beach area. One recent visitor described it as 'truly a hidden gem', adding that 'the beer is cold, the staff super-friendly and the steaks are great'. The bar has attracted much media attention over the years. The late Anthony Bourdain featured it on his TV series No Reservations, dining on a patty melt

Continue reading "Stunning photos by Julian Lennon capture the eeriness of California's landlocked Salton Sea " »


Is this America's most bizarre property?

This is the bizarre holiday home that has been dubbed the 'whale house' thanks to its grey shale exterior and colourful rooms.

Built in 1978, the house - in Mission Canyon, Santa Barbara, California - has been described by a holiday rental company as one of the most 'mind boggling homes in America'.

And now holidaymakers are being given the chance to rent out the the quirky property with prices starting from $625 (£450) per night.

This is the bizarre holiday home dubbed the 'whale house', which is now available to rent in Santa Barbara 
The quirky and colourful property is available to rent from $625 (£450) per night
In the courtyard of the house there is a pool that snakes for 75 feet around the house and ends in what is said to be the creature's tail 


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-5655539/Inside-wacky-whale-house-rent-625-night.html#ixzz5DtAoUwbT 


Drivers go 'James Bond' to avoid paying tolls

author-image JOE KOVACS About | Email | Archive FROM 2018

image from i.ytimg.comIt’s almost like something you’d see in a James Bond spy movie, but it’s a reality on American roadways today.  Drivers are using devices, both high-tech and low-tech, to obscure or completely cover their license plates to avoid paying tolls. Sammy and Mayte Salinas were driving on the Dolphin Expressway recently in South Florida when they noticed a maroon Chrysler Pacifica with the Florida tag DSB5U in front of them using a specially devised cover that moves up and down over the plate.

“At the next toll by plate cameras, they took out their own camera and, sure enough, recorded as a black cover came down over the plate of the car ahead,” reported CBS4 in Miami. “After getting clear of the toll by plate cameras, the driver activated a device, lifting the black cover off the license plate.”

 

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Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2018/06/drivers-go-james-bond-to-avoid-paying-tolls/#vSoHHtjHYP4WbXKB.99


The ultimate Robinson Crusoe retreat

 

Moonhole resort on Caribbean island Bequia is available to hire

Moonhole is located on the island of Bequia and consists of a collection of villas that offer spectacular sea views. The unique cluster of stone homes were built in the 1960s by a couple who sought to create their dream Caribbean retreat. Living in the front house (left) they built the surrounding villas (top and bottom right) for friends who wanted to enjoy their own slice of paradise. Now five of the villas are available for adventurous holidaymakers to rent. The ultimate Robinson Crusoe retreat: Castaway at a Caribbean island hideaway built under a volcanic arch


The Norwegian island that abolished time: 'You can cut the lawn at 4am'

Sommarøy island in Norway
Sommarøy island in Norway, whose 350 residents want to escape the tyranny of the clock. Photograph: Anna Berkut/Alamy

The 350 residents of Sommarøy in the land of the midnight sun are hoping to free themselves from the tyranny of the clock by declaring the small Norwegian island the world’s first time-free zone.

“All over the world, people are characterised by stress and depression,” Kjell Ove Hveding, the leader of the campaign on the island, west of Tromsø and inside the Arctic circle, told the Norwegian public broadcaster NRK.

“In many cases this can be linked to the feeling of being trapped by the clock. We will be a time-free zone where everyone can live their lives to the fullest … Our goal is to provide full flexibility, 24/7. If you want to cut the lawn at 4am, then you can do it.”  MORE


The Last Howard Johnson’s Restaurant in New England

At one time, Howard Johnson's was the largest restaurant chain in the country. In 2015, we traveled to Bangor, Maine, to visit the last Howard Johnson's restaurant in New England.

Update: We are sad to report that the Bangor Howard Johnson’s restaurant closed its doors in September 2016. The following is a look back at our 2015 visit.

NEWENGLAND.COM


At one time, New England-born Howard Johnson’s was the largest restaurant chain in the country, with more than 1,000 locations. In the summer of 2015, however, the last Howard Johnson’s restaurant in New England, and one of just two left in the country, was operating on borrowed time in Bangor, Maine. Unable to resist experiencing this cultural icon for myself, I decided to make the drive to Bangor last week for lunch. Here’s a recap of my visit, with an update on the restaurant’s fate at the bottom of the post.

The Last Howard Johnson's Restaurant in New England | Bangor, Maine

The Last Howard Johnson’s Restaurant in New England | Bangor, Maine

Aimee Seavey

Like so many other good things, Howard Johnson’s restaurant got its start right here in New England. They even advertised in Yankee Magazine during the 1940s.

1940 Howard Johnson's Ad from Yankee Magazine | 28 Flavors

A Howard Johnson’s ad from a 1940 issue of Yankee Magazine boasted “Made by a Yankee for Discriminating Yankees”. Do you remember all 28 delicious flavors?

So how did it all begin? In 1925, Howard Deering Johnson started his first soda fountain in the Wollaston neighborhood of Quincy, Massachusetts, with a focus on making superior ice cream. He had two stores when the stock market crashed in 1929, but he managed to hang onto them, and even added his name and products to a dairy bar on Cape Cod, which became very popular. By the 1930’s he had introduced the “Simple Simon and the Pieman” logo, and by 1935, there were 25 Howard Johnson’s ice cream stands in Massachusetts, with more expansion in the works.

Quality and homemade taste were important to Johnson, and no doubt contributed to the brand’s steady success. In the automobile-fueled post-war years, Johnson was poised and ready to deliver friendly service to an American public that was desperate for a little fun and adventure. This included expanding to new states, opening restaurants on the New Jersey and Pennsylvania Turnpikes, and adding hotels.

Continue reading "The Last Howard Johnson’s Restaurant in New England " »