Archive for May, 2010


May 23, 2010
Canadian Snowbirds at Jones Beach Air Show

Aeronautical acrobatics like the Canadian Air Force's Snowbirds perform at The Bethpage Federal Credit Union Air Show at Jones Beach, on Memorial Day weekend 2010 at Jones Beach State Park promises to be thrilling (© 2010 Karen Rubin/

I’ve marked my calendar and set my alarm to get to Jones Beach State Park, Wantagh, as early as possible for the 7th annual Memorial Day Weekend Air Show, which is guaranteed to be thrilling, especially as you see the most amazing airborne aerobatics right in front of you, as you gaze into the limitless horizon of the Atlantic Ocean.

The United States Navy Blue Angels, the world’s oldest and most renowned flight demonstration squadron, will headline the Bethpage Federal Credit Union 2010 Air Show at Jones Beach, on Memorial Day weekend 2010 at Jones Beach State Park, Wantagh, on Saturday, May 29, and Sunday, May 30, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

The Air Show, now in its 7th year, is free to the public, but the standard $10 vehicle use fee will be collected each day upon entry to the State Park. (The event has become so popular, last year the roadway was shut down and cars turned away; people parked on the median and walked).

A US Navy Blue Angels flight demonstration, often called the “Greatest Show Above Earth,” amazes nearly 15 million people each year with heart-stopping feats providing the thrill and magic of flight to fans of all ages.  The first Bethpage Air Show in 2004 headlined the US Navy Blue Angels, who again will execute a Precision Demonstration over the Atlantic Ocean in front of the shores of Jones Beach State Park.  Joining the US Navy Blue Angels are some of the top military and civilian performers including the Canadian Air Forces CF-18 Demonstration Team.

In addition the United States Navy Blue Angels and Canadian Forces F-18 Demo Team, to this year’s scheduled performers include: United States Army Golden Knights Parachute Team, A-10 East Demo Team, United States Air Force Heritage, 106th New York Air National Guard Air Flight Rescue Demo HC-130/HH-60, Sean D. Tucker – Team Oracle, Julie Clark, Matt Chapman – Embry Riddle, John Klatt – National Guard Reserve, GEICO Skytypers, Ed Hamill – Living the Dream, American Air Power Museum Warbirds, Warbirds Over Long Island, David Windmiller, Chuck Aaron – Red Bull Helicopter and Parachute Demo, Kirby Chambliss – Red Bull Race Pilot.  For additions to the performance schedule, visit

For more information about the Air Show, contact the New York State Parks Department Regional Office, Recreation Department at 631/321-3510 or visit, visit Bethpage at, or become an Air Show Facebook fan at

18th annual Tour de Nez brings 3 days of pro bicycle racing to Reno and Lake Tahoe, June 18-20

May 12, 2010

The Tour De Nez is an infamous cycling race and “festival” that’s been going on for almost 20 years in Northern Nevada.

But the TDN is far more than just a sporting event. In addition to the pro races, time trials, and a national handcycling championship time trial, the Tour offers an event for everyone from your average-Joe cycling enthusiast standing on the sidelines of the Tour of California, to the PBR-guzzling, beach cruising riders who could care less what brand your bike is, they just want to ride, and even delivers participation opportunities to families on the lookout for healthy outdoor activities to do together.

A 3 day-long event, the Tour makes two stops in Nevada and showcases the rowdy and friendly atmosphere of Reno and Sparks, NV. It all gets underway at the Northstar-at-Tahoe resort in Lake Tahoe, offering spectators breathtaking mountainous scenery to take in, as well as dining and outdoor activity opportunities for the whole family.     


Modeled after legendary European Kermesse races, which incorporate professional cycling into 100-year-old festivals, the Tour de Nez has grown to be an important stop on the professional cycling circuit, and now attracts many of the top U.S. professional cycling teams including: UnitedHealthcare (formerly Health Net), Kelly Benefit Strategies, Bissell, Jelly Belly and Fly V Australia.

During the Tour de Nez, spectators have the chance to watch intense start-to-finish cycling action ­– with Pro, Masters, Women’s and Handcycle divisions – on the streets of downtown Reno on Friday, June 18, followed by more racing through the narrow streets of the Village at Northstar Resort on Saturday. In addition, road cyclists can take in Lake Tahoe’s breathtaking scenery on one of the supported recreational rides, while mountain bikers can tackle some of Northstar’s 100-plus miles of cross-country and downhill mountain bike trails.

“We have a number of short, fun rides with the pros,” said Tour de Nez founder and Race Director Tim Healion, “and the festivals include live music, and big parties every day. So you can ride your bike all day in the Sierra, then watch a killer bike race and party all night.”

And while cycling takes center stage during the Tour de Nez weekend, there is also world-class shopping, dining and entertainment right in the heart of the Village at Northstar, as well as fun options for kids and families going on all weekend long.

Lodging packages catering to Tour de Nez spectators are available at Northstar Resort, as well as in Reno, and cycling enthusiasts are encouraged to register early for the Ride With the Pros breakfast/ride on Sunday following the weekend of racing.

Located just six miles from the North Shore of Lake Tahoe and downtown Truckee, Calif., and featuring a beautiful new mountain village with year-round activities and amenities, Northstar Resort is an ideal location not only for the Tour de Nez, but for downhill and cross-country mountain bikers and road cyclists alike. There are several great road bike rides near Northstar Resort that provide great views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding mountains. Additionally, Northstar Resort offers more than 100 miles of trails for downhill and cross-country mountain bikers looking for a challenging ride. For lodging packages and more information, visit

 For more about Lake Tahoe resorts, visit

–Karen Rubin, Editor & Publisher, Travel Features Syndicate


May 10, 2010

Until 11:59 p.m. tonight, May 10, Jet Blue is booking seats to 59 destinations across the US, Caribbean and Central America for just $10, on a space available basis, when purchased online at for travel on Tuesday, May 11 or Wednesday, May 12, 2010.

The promotion is part of JetBlue Airways’ year-long celebration of 10 years of service.

“FUN is one of JetBlue’s core values, and we couldn’t think of a better way to carry on our 10th anniversary celebrations than telling our customers it’s time to hit the road,” said Robin Hayes, chief commercial officer for JetBlue Airways.  “This week you can check out one of our newest Caribbean destinations, Punta Cana, or have dinner with friends on the ‘other’ coast, all for less than the cost of a tank of gas.  We continue to find ways to make travel easy, affordable and entertaining for our customers!”

JetBlue aims to be the Americas’ Favorite Airline by delivering superior customer service, the award-winning JetBlue Experience and the best domestic coach product in the skies.  JetBlue is the 7th largest passenger carrier in the United States, serving 61 destinations in 20 states, Puerto Rico and 11 countries in the Caribbean, Central and South America. 

JetBlue serves 60 cities with 650 daily flights. New service to Hartford and Washington (Reagan National) begins later this year. With JetBlue, all seats are assigned, all fares are one-way, and an overnight stay is never required. For information or reservations call 1-800-JET-BLUE (1-800-538-2583), TTY/TDD 1-800-336-5530 or visit

Karen Rubin, Editor & Publisher

Travel Features Syndicate

see more travel features at


Volunteers to help complete Continental Divide National Scenic Trail

May 8, 2010

Want to do something important, physical, and be out in the wild over your summer vacation? Each year, the Colorado Divide Trail Alliance organizes projects allowing volunteers to help complete the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDT).

Each year CDTA coordinates more than 500 volunteers on projects from Mexico to Canada. No previous experience is required and tools and training are provided.

This year, you can enjoy the majesty of the Collegiate Peaks near Leadville, Colorado and work on the Clear Creek and Winfield projects, constructing a  new trail as part of a major 50-mile relocation to create a nonmotorized route linking Mount Elbert to Monarch Pass.

You build along with professional crew leaders, have your meals prepared by award-winning volunteer crew chefs, and enjoy the region’s history, hiking, fishing and numerous other outdoor recreation opportunities.
The CDTA is recruiting for the following 2010 volunteer opportunities:

•   Project #9 Clear Creek 1 – June 19 to 20
•   Project #10 Winfield 1 – June 23 to 27
•   Project #13 Clear Creek 2 – July 2 to 4
*   Project #15 Winfield 2 – July 7 to 11
•   Project #16 Winfield 3 – July 14 to 18
•   Project #33 Clear Creek 3 – Sept. 11 to 12
•   Project #37 Clear Creek 4 – Sept. 18 to 19

Volunteers are provided with free camping for our volunteers, and for most projects this is vehicle-accessed camping with no backpacking required. There is no charge any kind of registration fee to volunteer with CDTA (you would be amazed that some volunteer programs actually charge volunteers for the privilege).

Volunteers come from across the country with a few international volunteers mixed in. (More answers to Frequently Asked Questions are at

The Continental Divide Trail was established by Congress as a National Scenic Trail in 1978. When complete, the “King of Trails” will be the most significant trail system in the world. Stretching 3,100 miles along the backbone of America from Canada to Mexico, it accesses some of the most wild and scenic places left in the world while conserving the environment and promoting personal well being.

Since 1995, the Continental Divide Trail Alliance has played a central role toward the completion, management and protection of the Trail and it is the voice for unity in the diverse story of the Trail.

For more information about the Continental Divide Trail, call (303) 278-3177 or toll-free (888) 909-CDTA (2382). Or visit

For more information and to register online, visit

 See also:

Sustainable Travel: Reconnect with your inner Mother Nature while giving back to Planet Earth

Families pursue the call of adventure

Karen Rubin, Travel Features Syndicate

CoCo Key Orlando Salutes Military with $79 rate

May 8, 2010

In honor of Military Appreciation Month, Orlando’s newest family resort, CoCo Key Hotel and Water Resort-Orlando, is reaching out to members of the U.S. Armed Forces with a special $79 stay-and-play offer. 

For $79 per night through June 15, active and retired U.S. military personnel, including active and retired members of the United States Coast Guard and activated members of the National Guard or Reservists can enjoy a complete resort stay-and-play experience at the new CoCo Key Hotel and Water Resort-Orlando.

Located on International Drive just minutes from the theme parks, CoCo Key offers an atmosphere that captures the relaxation and enchantment of the Florida Keys.  Brightly colored cabanas, swaying palms, fragrant hibiscus, native artwork and thatched roofs welcome guests to Florida’s newest and most unique water resort.

The 54,000-square-foot canopy-covered and outdoor water park features 14 water slides; a zero-entry pool area offering water fun for youngsters; a teen pool; an interactive Play Island; three daring adventure slides; lots of dining options; and a state-of-the-art arcade. 

Reservations are available by visiting (click on the Orlando tab), by calling 877/875-4681 or contacting a travel agent.

Karen Rubin, Travel Features Syndicate