Archive for November, 2013

Christmas on the Potomac at Gaylord National Resort

November 19, 2013
The Gaylord National Resort is the "capital of Christmas" with its "Christmas on the Potomac" festival, featuring nightly fountain shows and a new edition of ICE! © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The Gaylord National Resort is the “capital of Christmas” with its “Christmas on the Potomac” festival, featuring nightly fountain shows and a new edition of ICE! © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

From indoor snowfalls to a 60-foot-tall glass Christmas tree to 12 miles of dazzling lights, every year Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center is transformed into the Washington, D.C. region’s “Capital of Christmas.” The sixth annual Christmas on the Potomac is a 52-day celebration running from November 15 through January 5 at Gaylord National Resort in National Harbor, Maryland (just eight miles south of Washington, D.C.).

Marvel at the hotel’s largest, award-winning indoor attraction, ICE! featuring a brand-new theme, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Hand-carved from more than two million pounds of colorful ice (all kept at a frigid 9 degrees), Clement Moore’s classic American holiday poem is brought to life in an icy wonderland. The attraction includes beloved scenes such as Ma in her kerchief, Pa in his cap, visions of Sugar Plums, and Saint Nick with his eight reindeer – all hand-carved into life-size ice sculptures. Children and adults alike thrill going down the 20-foot-tall ice slides. New this year: “Christmas in New York City,” bringing to life the iconic sights and sounds of the Big Apple at Christmastime, and featuring the tallest ice sculptures ever created at ICE!

ICE! is open daily and can be accessed at its new location, connected to the resort and entered from inside the hotel’s 19-story atrium. Tickets start at $27 for adults ages 12 and older, $19 for children ages 3 to 11 and free for kids ages 2 and younger.

For the ultimate ICE! experience, overnight guests at the hotel who book the “Christmas on the Potomac” Hotel Package receive unlimited admission to the attraction available at any time during daily operating hours throughout their stay. The package also includes one-night accommodations, a souvenir photo and $100 resort credit that can be used on-site toward dining, seasonal spa treatments, Gingy’s Gingerbread Decorating and additional activities. The package is available for select dates from November 15 through January 5 and starts at $269** for two guests. To make a reservation, call 301-965-4000 or book online at www.ChristmasOnThePotomac.com.

Additional hotel offerings include: Gingy’s Gingerbread Decorating, Brunch with Santa, DreamWorks’ Madagascar Crack’ A Lackin’ Cook-in Character Breakfast, a new Gourmet Holiday Cake Pop Experience, PEEPS & COMPANY Potomac Express Train Rides, Photos with Santa Claus, Tree of Light and Nightly Tree Lighting Show; and DreamWorks Themed Scavenger Hunt and Seasonal Spa Treatments at Reláche Spa

Also, each night, from 5 to 9 pm, there are four free Holiday Fountain Shows and Nightly Indoor Snowfalls. These feature a narration of the classic Christmas story during the Brightest Star Fountain Show, or both modern and classical Christmas carols during the Sounds & Songs of Christmas Show. Each show also features an indoor snowfall within the 72 degree atrium.

Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center is the largest, non-gaming hotel and convention center on the Eastern Coast, located along the banks of the Potomac River in National Harbor, Maryland. Opened in April 2008 and only eight miles from Washington, D.C., the AAA-Four Diamond resort offers 2,000 rooms including 110 suites; a 19-story atrium; 470,000 square-feet of convention space; acclaimed restaurants including Old Hickory Steakhouse; a modern resort spa, Relache Spa and Salon; and Pose Rooftop Lounge.

For additional information on Christmas on the Potomac and its offerings, visit www.ChristmasOnThePotomac.com or call 301-965-4000.

For more travel features, visit:

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

New Exhibit at Battleship Missouri Memorial, Pearl Harbor, Honors Nisei Veterans

November 19, 2013
Newly enlisted soldiers of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team gathered on March 28, 1943 in front of the historic Iolani Palace at the heart of downtown Honolulu for a memorable farewell ceremony.

Newly enlisted soldiers of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team gathered on March 28, 1943 in front of the historic Iolani Palace at the heart of downtown Honolulu for a memorable farewell ceremony.

The Battleship Missouri Memorial at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, unveiled a new onboard exhibit in tribute to America’s Nisei veterans. The exhibit includes dramatic photos, news articles and descriptive text on large display panels, and a video that tells the story of how these Americans of Japanese ancestry overcame the prejudice and questioning of their loyalty at the war’s outset to earn acclaim and respect with their courageous exploits in Europe and the Pacific. The exhibit stretches more than 50 feet and is located one deck below the main deck near the ship’s galley.

“This new exhibit highlights the extraordinary achievements of America’s courageous Nisei soldiers and shows how they proved to our nation during the most stressful of times that being an American isn’t defined by race nor religion,” Michael A. Carr, President and COO of the Battleship Missouri Memorial, said.

“It was 70 years ago when young Nisei men from Hawaii and the U.S. mainland heroically went to battle for America to defeat fascism and tyranny. America’s people, our way of life, and our freedoms were under attack – and no one fought harder to protect all that we hold dear as citizens than the Nisei soldiers. We are deeply honored to recognize these proud warriors on this Veterans Day for all they did in fighting for our country.”

On December 7, 1941, hundreds of Hawaii’s Nisei residents were serving on active duty with the Army or Territorial Guard when Imperial Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and other defense installations. Many of these Nisei were soon removed from their units by a government suspicious of their devotion to America. Most went on to form the 100th Infantry Battalion or to enlist in the Military Intelligence Service starting in 1942. In 1943, thousands more Nisei answered a call for volunteers to serve in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. The 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion was activated in April 1944.

The 100th Infantry Battalion was the first Nisei combat unit, fighting in Italy and France from September 1943 until Germany’s surrender in May 1945. The 100th absorbed so many casualties, it became known as the ‘Purple Heart Battalion.’

The 442nd Regimental Combat Team lived up to its motto of “Go for Broke” with incredible battlefield exploits in Europe. The 442nd became the most decorated unit for its size and duration of service in U.S. military history.

 

The Military Intelligence Service took part in every major U.S. military command and battle in Asia and the Pacific, translating Japanese-language communications. The MIS is credited with saving thousands of lives and shortening the war.

The 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion built 54 major defense projects on Oahu. The War Department refused General Douglas MacArthur’s request to relocate the 1399th to the Philippines, considering the unit essential to Hawaii’s defense.

Contributors and sources for the Missouri’s Nisei exhibit are:

  • Go For Broke National Education Center “Unknown Warriors” DVD video
  • Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii “Honouliuli Internment” Exhibit
  • Kapiolani Community College “Honoring the Legacy” Exhibit and 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion
  • Eric Saul, Images from the National Archives of the 100th Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and Military Intelligence Service
  • Claire Mitani, 442nd Veterans Archives (Consultant)
  • Mark Matsunaga, Military Intelligence Service (Consultant)

Battleship Missouri Memorial

The Battleship Missouri Memorial is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. General admission, which includes choice of an optional tour, is $22 per adult and $11 per child (4-12). Military, kama‘aina (local resident) and school group pricing is available. For information or reservations, call (toll-free) 1-877-644-4896 or visit USSMissouri.org.

The Battleship Missouri Memorial, located a mere ship’s length from the USS Arizona Memorial, completes a historical visitor experience that begins with the “day of infamy” and the sinking of the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor and ends with Imperial Japan’s surrender aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. 

For more travel features, visit:

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

LondonTown Contest: Win a Free Two-Night Stay at a Go Native London Apartment

November 19, 2013

LondonTown.com has teamed up with Go Native Apartments to treat one reader to a complimentary two-night stay at one of their London properties. Providing an alternative accommodation option, Go Native Apartments have properties in many popular London locations including Hyde Park, Paddington, Chelsea, Canary Wharf and Aldgate. With fully equipped kitchen, living and dining areas, the luxury serviced apartments, studios and suites provide the freedom to relax and cook during your stay.

To have a chance of winning the complimentary two-night stay, answer the following question: How many acres does Hyde Park cover?

Send your answer to competitions@londontown.com by midday on Saturday 30th November with ‘Go Native’ as the subject and your full name, postal address and contact telephone number within the body of the email. The winner will be selected at random and will be able to choose the date and location of their stay (subject to availability).

For visitors who prefer a traditional hotel stay, London hotels for all budgets can be found and booked on LondonTown.com.

LondonTown.com is a leading Internet site for London. With over 18 years of experience assisting visitors in finding inexpensive London hotels, sightseeing tours, ticket information and events. Visit http://www.LondonTown.com.

For more travel features, visit:

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

AccuWeather: Prime Viewing Conditions in Northeast for Leonid Meteor Shower, Comet ISON

November 15, 2013

accuweather-meteor 111513The best locations for viewing the Leonid Meteor Shower in the United States will be in the Northeast and across the Southwest, Nov. 16-18.

AccuWeather.com’s Jillian MacMath reports the Leonid meteor shower, which began in early November, will peak Nov. 16-18, 2013, though it may be tough to see due to another celestial display.

As the shower hits its peak this weekend, the moon will near its full phase, making the sky particularly bright.

“This will be a major obstacle to viewing this sometimes brilliant meteor shower,” AccuWeather.com Astronomy Expert Mark Paquette said.

Despite the moonlight, the meteors will pick up steam after midnight and display the greatest numbers just before dawn on the 17th and 18th.

The best locations for viewing the show in the United States will be in the Northeast and across the Southwest.

Likewise, comet ISON will be more visible than usual this weekend, especially on Nov. 17.

This comet is new to our solar system and has undergone significant brightening in the last few days making it visible to the naked eye, MacMath reports.

However, despite its visibility now, it will near the sun next and it could be destroyed, according to Paquette. If the comet survives, it could again be visible as it moves away from the sun in the weeks after Thanksgiving.

Due its potential destruction, the ideal time to view this comet is this weekend.

It can be seen near the constellation Virgo just before dawn on Nov. 17. The brighter conditions of the comet will not yet make it visible to the naked eye, but it can be seen with a telescope or binoculars.

On November 17 and 18, it will pass by the star Spica, improving its viewing conditions for areas with clear skies.

For more travel features, visit:

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

AccuWeather Launches Minute-by-Minute Forecast of Precipitation

November 12, 2013

Finding out the weather in places you are traveling to is easier and more reliable now, so you can better plan what to pack and what to do during your visit.

AccuWeather, a leading global digital media company, has acquired Sky Motion Research, Inc., of Montreal, Canada, an innovative developer of ultra-short-term and highly localized weather forecasts. With this acquisition, AccuWeather will now offer highly accurate, minute-by-minute weather predictions, including precipitation start and end times, at a hyper-local level. The new MinuteCast, Minute-by-Minute Forecast solution will be made available on all of AccuWeather’s mobile applications including iOS, Android, and Windows, as well as its website properties including accuweather.com and m.accuweather.com.

“With AccuWeather’s introduction of the new MinuteCast, we will now offer the most accurate minute-by-minute forecast available in the market,” said Dr. Joel N Myers, AccuWeather Founder and President. “MinuteCast will provide our customers with a critical and valuable decision-making tool.”

Sky Motion pioneered the development of proprietary nowcasting technology that uses algorithms invented by Sky Motion Founder and Chief Technology Officer, André LeBlanc to track every rain cloud’s movement in real-time. The technology also tracks other weather variables such as wind and temperature and integrates ground observations to create a hyper-local forecast for approximately every half square mile, refreshing every five minutes.

“The acquisition of Sky Motion Research is another step in AccuWeather’s ongoing dedication to offering cutting-edge weather technology to meet the needs of our global audience and our global partners,” said Barry Lee Myers, AccuWeather Chief Executive Officer. “Sky Motion’s innovative technologies make them the perfect addition to the AccuWeather family.”   He added, “This new addition also builds on technology related to location based weather products patented by AccuWeather’s affiliated partner LocatorCentric. Because this technology is legally protected world-wide, no one else can do what we do.”

As part of the acquisition, Sky Motion’s facilities in Canada will be added to AccuWeather’s suite of offices, continuing its international expansion and becoming a key innovation and development center for the company. In addition, André LeBlanc will continue as an AccuWeather executive along with his software engineering resources.

“We are proud to be joining the AccuWeather family,” said LeBlanc. “The proprietary technology behind MinuteCast, combined with AccuWeather’s superior accuracy and decades of experience, means that AccuWeather will continue to provide state-of-the-art weather information that customers need to know, when they need to know it.”

“We’re excited to be joining forces with AccuWeather. Their strong brand recognition will accelerate the discovery and adoption of MinuteCast beyond our wildest dreams,” said Maxime Julien, former SkyMotion Research Chief Executive Officer.

The addition of MinuteCast to AccuWeather’s portfolio is part of its strategy to be the leading global digital media company that serves superior weather forecasts to more than one billion people worldwide. AccuWeather’s website properties provide users with numerous innovative weather forecasts including the 45-Day Forecast and lifestyle forecasts informing how weather affects travel, business planning, hobbies such as golfing and sailing, and conditions such as migraines and allergies.

AccuWeather also offers animated and interactive weather radar and satellite maps, broadcast-quality weather videos and news stories, and up-to-date hurricane and tropical storm information in its Hurricane Center.

For more travel features, visit:

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Celebrate the Holidays along California’s Half Moon Bay Coastside

November 12, 2013

The Half Moon Bay Coastside offers an enchanting and festive setting for celebrating the holiday season. Located about 35 minutes south of San Francisco, this vibrant coastal region is an ideal area for a relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Get those cheeks nice and rosy on a crisp winter day while taking in a view of the Pacific Ocean from scenic seaside bluffs. Snuggle up together at a cozy inn with hot cider and all the comforts of the holidays at your fingertips. Fields of Christmas trees abound and get everyone in the spirit for festive events including a tree lighting ceremony, a gingerbread house decorating competition and a visit from Santa Claus. Visitors to Half Moon Bay this holiday season are sure to find themselves filled with cheer and happy tidings!

A potpourri of holiday events and specials are taking place along the Half Moon Bay Coastside. For more information on how to make the most of your stay in Half Moon Bay, visit http://www.visithalfmoonbay.org, download Half Moon Bay’s app iCoastside or call 650-726-8380 for everything needed to plan a trip – from information on cozy inns and luxury coastal resorts, renowned restaurants, farm visits, golfing, wine tasting, fishing, whale watching, surfing and much more.

Celebrate the Holidays with the Beach House Hotel
This luxuriously appointed New England-style boutique hotel overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Pillar Point features 54 ocean lofts, all with a patio or balcony and a fireplace. This holiday season, take advantage of two fabulous packages being offered:

  • Winter Romance in Half Moon Bay: Romance is in the air and further heightened by the dramatic sunsets that the coastal town of Half Moon Bay is known for during the winter months. To celebrate this magical season, Beach House is offering a “Coastal Romance Package” which includes a Junior Suite overlooking Pillar Point Harbor with a complimentary bottle of champagne, as well as a late check out at 2 p.m. on departure day. The “Coastal Romance Package” is available through December 15, 2013, Sunday – Thursday nights (only) and price is based on room type.
  • Stay and Save During the Holidays: Beach House Hotel offers a traditional holiday atmosphere from the moment guests step into the Lobby. Enjoy cookies and cider throughout December and the gorgeous beach-theme Christmas décor. The festive atmosphere of the property makes for a great holiday destination with many local shops and restaurants offering seasonal specials. Through December 30, take advantage of the “Stay & Save” promotion: stay three nights (or longer) and receive 15% off the room rate, any day of the week. This is the perfect winter vacation for those looking to enjoy the beach sans the crowds or for an unforgettable family holiday. Rates start at $ 215.00 per night.

Specials are based on room availability, and can be found at http://www.beach-house.com/half-moon-bay/accommodations. 4100 N. Cabrillo Highway, (800) 315-9366, http://www.beach-house.com.
Get into the Holiday Spirit at Half Moon Bay Lodge
This holiday season, the newly renovated Half Moon Bay Lodge is offering 20% off when guests bring in a toy valued at $10 or more during their stay. This newly renovated Spanish-style lodge features 80 comfortable guestrooms and offers gorgeous holiday décor throughout the property. The ample complimentary continental breakfast, complete with make-your-own-waffles, is not to be missed. Guest must book the “TOYS” rate prior to arrival.  Rate is open now through December 23. Cannot be combined with any other rates. 2400 S. Cabrillo Highway, (650) 726-9000, http://www.halfmoonbaylodge.com.

Breakfast in Bed
Start your day with breakfast in bed, followed by a warm cup of hot apple cider while sitting on a private porch overlooking the California coast when staying at the Ocean View Inn. Guests can choose to explore the area or cozy up inside while watching a holiday movie. The Ocean View Inn is perfect for guests to enjoy a comforting holiday vacation while getting some much needed R & R. Fall/winter rates start at $159 per couple with a one night stay. Breakfast in bed is available for each night stay.  Not applicable with any discounts or offers. Packages valid from November 15-December 31, 2013 and excludes Christmas Day. 8425 Cabrillo Highway, Montara, CA, 94037, (650) 728-8200, http://www.oceanviewinnhmb.com. 

12 Days of Christmas at Goose & Turrets
The Goose & Turrets B&B, a historic 100-year old building, celebrates the traditional 12 Days of Christmas (December 25 through January 5).  Each day will feature one of the specialties that owners, Raymond and Emily Hoche-Mong grew up with in England, France, and the American South.  The treats might include real plum pudding (aged a year), chess pie, cheese dreams, pecan pie, syllabub, French macaroons, madeleines, financiers, and numerous delicacies.  At tea time, there will be short readings of Christmas themed poems and stories accompanied plenty of Christmas music. 835 George Street, Montara, (650) 728-5451, http://www.gooseandturretsbandb.com.

For more travel features, visit:

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

 

 

 

Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay Introduces an Intriguing Package

November 12, 2013

The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay is inviting guests to stay a little longer and enjoy the warm winter days and cool ocean breezes. The resort’s Intrigue Package extends the visit with a complimentary night at Northern California’s only luxury coastal resort.

The Intrigue Package includes a complimentary third night when booking three nights in a coastal view guestroom. The package also features daily breakfast for two in Navio, overnight valet parking, and daily resort fee.

While at the resort, guests can partake in stunning coastline diversions like a Segway® tour where they can view an assortment of wildlife, native plants and shore birds along the beautiful Half Moon Bay Coastal Trail. Guests can also enjoy the Signature Drive, Half Moon Bay’s official mapped scenic automobile route that navigates five distinctly different micro-regions including Historic Main Street, the Pumpkin Region, California’s Redwood Forest, the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Pacific Coast.

A stay at the resort would not be complete without dinner in Navio. Navio boasts exceptional seafood dishes and a comfortable California-inspired design. Combing subtle sea flavors with fresh textures and light savory accompaniments, Chef Sean Eastwood’s cuisine highlights approachable flavors that reference the best of coastal dining from all around the world.

Golfers can experience Northern California’s Scottish links on two championship courses that stretch from pines to cliff at The Golf Links. For total relaxation, The Ritz-Carlton Spa features 16 treatment rooms, co-ed Roman mineral bath and steam room, group exercise classes and gym access. Highlighting the Spa’s menu is the famed Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Facial, a luxurious 90-minute that utilizes a pumpkin enzyme mask.

The Intrigue Package is available through March 30, 2014. For additional information, visit www.ritzcarlton.com/hmb.

For more travel features, visit:

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

 

Mount Vernon Offers Glimpse of Holiday Celebrations in George Washington’s Day

November 12, 2013

Mount Vernon decks the hall with themed Christmas trees on the estate and festive greenery in the Mansion from Nov 29, 2013 through Jan 6, 2014, and hosts special candlelight evening tours Nov. 29, 30 & Dec. 1 (Friday – Sunday), and weekends Dec. 7 & 8, 14 & 15 and 21 & 22 from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.

During the Christmastime event, visitors can get to tour the rarely-opened third floor of the Mansion; learn how chocolate was made in the 18th century with live demonstrations; hear engaging tales from Washington’s time in special weekend story hours and meet Aladdin the Camel and see the National Thanksgiving Turkey after its official “presidential pardoning” at the White House.

Candlelight Tours

For the candlelight evenings, you join “Mrs. Washington” as she hosts an enchanting evening of candlelight tours!  Tours include merry music, dancing, and characters from Washingtons’ world guiding visitors through the first and second floors of the home, adding ambiance and authenticity to a traditional Christmas evening at Mount Vernon.

On the Mount Vernon by Candlelight tour, visitors will meet a cast of friends and family of the famous founding couple. In the kitchen, the final stop on the tour, guests will hear about 18th-century holiday cooking, see a reproduction of Martha Washington’s Great Cake, and be given a complimentary copy of the recipe to try at home.  Following the Mansion tour, guests are invited to stroll candlelit walks, join in fireside caroling, and visit Aladdin the Christmas camel.

Since 1860, more than 80 million visitors have made George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens the most popular historic home in America.  Through thought-provoking tours, entertaining events, and stimulating educational programs on the Estate and in classrooms across the nation, Mount Vernon strives to preserve George Washington’s place in history as “First in War, First in Peace, and First in the Hearts of His Countrymen.”  Mount Vernon is owned and operated by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, America’s oldest national preservation organization, founded in 1853.  A picturesque drive to the southern end of the scenic George Washington Memorial Parkway, Mount Vernon is located just 16 miles from the nation’s capital.

Candlelight tours of Mount Vernon are offered on Nov. 29, 30 & Dec. 1, 7 & 8, 14 & 15, 21 & 22 from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.  Tickets may be purchased in advance at the Ford Orientation Center or through MountVernon.org/Christmas. Admission is $22 for adults and $15 for children under 12. You can purchase tickets online (www.mountvernon.org/christmas). For information, 703-780-2000; http://www.MountVernon.org.

For more travel features, visit:

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Offers Best Public Viewing of Historic MAVEN Launch on Nov. 18

November 8, 2013
An Atlas V rocket blasts off from Cape Canaveral.

An Atlas V rocket blasts off from Cape Canaveral.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex guests can enjoy viewing the thrilling and historic launch of a massive United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvoultioN (MAVEN) orbiter on Monday, Nov. 18. The rocket will lift off from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station with a launch window from 1:28 p.m. to 3:28 p.m. EST.

Launch viewing is included in regular Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex admission and features live mission control commentary. Visitor Complex guests may view the launch from the Apollo/Saturn V Center, the closest possible public viewing area, or specially designated areas at the Visitor Complex. Guests may bring blankets and compact “umbrella-style” folding chairs that are carried in shoulder bags. Space will be available on a first come, first serve basis.

The MAVEN mission will explore the Red Planet’s upper atmosphere, ionosphere and interactions with the sun and solar wind. Scientists will use MAVEN data to determine the role that loss of vital compounds from the atmosphere to space has played through time. This data will provide insight into the history of Mars’ atmosphere and climate, and whether the planet was ever capable of supporting life. MAVEN is the first mission dedicated to measuring the upper atmosphere of the planet.

The Visitor Complex will celebrate the MAVEN launch with four days of special launch-related activities, including a presentation on Sunday, Nov. 17 by Bill Nye of the Emmy award-winning TV show, “Bill Nye the Science Guy®.”  Nye will speak to guests, preparing them for the launch of the MAVEN spacecraft. Nye is the chief executive officer of The Planetary Society, the world’s largest space interest group, as well as a scientist, former Boeing engineer, stand-up comedian, author, inventor and man on a mission: to help foster a scientifically literate society. He is the host of three currently running TV shows including “The 100 Greatest Discoveries” on the Science Channel, “The Eyes of Nye” on PBS and “Stuff Happens” on Planet Green.

From Thursday, Nov. 14 through Sunday, Nov. 17, Visitor Complex guests can discover a wide array of displays, exhibits and models themed around Humans 2 Mars including:

  • Learn about Humans 2 Mars by the 2030s; Mars past, present and future; recent scientific discoveries on Mars; and NASA’s Launch Services Program
  • Mark the 10th anniversary of Mars exploration rovers Spirit and Opportunity
  • View Mars as Art and a 3D Mars landscapes complete with 3D glasses
  • Take the exploration challenge playing interactive games
  • Stand next to a 30-foot tall inflatable Space Launch System and a six-foot tall Atlas rocket model
  • Explore the future of human space exploration through displays on the Space Launch System, Orion capsule, Commercial Crew Program and a manned Mars mission

Guests also have the opportunity to hear firsthand from experts about the fascinating science behind MAVEN during daily presentations including:

  • Nov. 14, 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., Kelly Fast, MAVEN program scientist, NASA Headquarters
  • Nov. 15, 11 a.m., Sandra Cauffman, MAVEN deputy project manager, Goddard Space Flight Center and 4 p.m., Dave Lavery, program executive for Solar System Exploration, NASA Headquarters
  • Nov. 16, 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Jim Green, NASA planetary science chief, NASA headquarters
  • Nov. 17, 11 a.m., Sandra Cauffman, MAVEN deputy manager, Goddard Space Flight Center and 2 p.m., Bill Nye the Science Guy

All presentations and special displays and exhibits are included in regular admission to the Visitor Complex.

Launch date and time are subject to change. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 877-313-2610 and visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.

About Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex brings to life the epic story of the U.S. space program, offering a full day or more of fun and educational activities, including the new Angry Birds Space Encounter, Shuttle Launch Experience, 3D IMAX® space films, Astronaut Encounter, Exploration Space®: Explorers Wanted and many other interactive exhibits. The new $100 million home for Space Shuttle AtlantisSM opened June 29, 2013. Admission also includes the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®, featuring historic spacecraft and the world’s largest collection of personal astronaut memorabilia, which opens daily at noon and closing times vary by season. Only 45 minutes from Orlando, Fla., Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opens daily at 9 a.m. with closing times varying by season.  Admission is $50 + tax for adults and $40 + tax for children ages 3-11. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers annual passes starting at $75 + tax for adults and $60 + tax for children ages 3-11. For more information, call 877-313-2610 or visit http://www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.

For more travel features, visit:

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

 

Colorado Resorts Offer Slew of Early Season Ski Deals

November 6, 2013
Winter Park, Colorado © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Winter Park, Colorado © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

To tempt skiers and riders to make the most of the 2013-14 season, Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) resorts are offering significant early season discounts. CSCUSA resorts are committed to providing the opportunity for families to have a well-priced, value-packed and enjoyment-filled ski experience. By partnering with lodging properties and leveraging ski school programs, resorts are able to put together packages with benefits that include free hotel nights to free skiing. Below is a sampling of some of the early season deals offered by CSCUSA member resorts.

Arapahoe Basin

From December 1-20, 2013, kids ages 14 and under can ski or ride for free at Arapahoe Basin. No purchase required, no strings attached – parents only need to bring their kids to the ticket window to receive their free lift tickets. Arapahoe Basin wants kids to experience the snow sports Coloradans love so much, and for families to explore the mountain without breaking the bank. This is a wonderful way to introduce kids to skiing and snowboarding, and also to keep kids in the sport longer. Additionally, Arapahoe Basin will be offering $10 off all class snowsports lessons from December 1-20, 2013 to incentivize people to transform their skills on the mountain. For more information, visit http://www.arapahoebasin.com.

Aspen/Snowmass

Aspen/Snowmass’s Perfect Holiday package allows kids to ski free with the purchase of an adult lift ticket, rent free with purchase of an adult equipment rental and stay free at the resorts. Kids also eat lunch free with a comparable adult purchase at select on-mountain restaurants. Equipment rentals include ski and snowboard packages and individual items. Package must be booked by November 15, 2013 and is valid December 20-25, 2013. For more information, visit http://www.aspensnowmass.com.

Copper Mountain

All the best things come in threes and there’s no exception at Copper Mountain. With the One. Two. Free! package, guests can receive a 3rd night of lodging free, 3rd day of rentals free and a 3rd day of ski lessons free when booking at least three nights of lodging. Also, kids 12 years of age and under ski free with the purchase of an Adult Secret Pass. This package can be booked now for a stay any time during the 2013/14 winter season, November 1, 2013 – April 20, 2014. For more information, visit CopperColorado.com.

Crested Butte

A destination known for its past free skiing promotions, Crested Butte Mountain Resort offers free skiing on Opening Day of the 2013-2014 winter season. On November 27, 2013, everyone skis and rides for free, no strings attached. For guests who want to stay longer to enjoy the fun, the Early Season Ski Offer is available; $79 per person, per night to ski and stay at the Grand Lodge Crested Butte. Available November 28 – December 17, 2013, some restrictions apply. For details please visit www.skicb.com/earlyseason.

Durango Mountain Resort

Visitors can escape to the scenic Rocky Mountains in Durango, Colorado for $94 per person/per night with the Rocky Mountain Getaway at Durango Mountain Resort. Package includes two days of lift tickets and two nights lodging at Durango Mountain Resort. Skiers and snowboarders can plan their winter ski getaways by calling 1-800-525-0892. Some restrictions apply.

Eldora

Eldora offers the Boulder Ski Escape: Stay and Ski package starting at $70 per person. Stay at any one of 15 or more lodges and hotels in the city of Boulder and ski Eldora for as little as $70 per person. Guests can enjoy the dining, shopping and nightlife of Boulder and the skiing and riding at Eldora. Visit www.bouldercoloradousa.com/skiescape.

Loveland

Loveland 4-Paks are available through November 24 with no restrictions and no blackout dates. These tickets are valid anytime during the 2013-2014 season. The 4-Paks are four actual tickets that guests can take straight to the lift. Skiers and riders only need to grab a wicket and they’re ready to ski. Loveland’s 4-Pak tickets are fully transferable and can be used by anyone on any day of the season. Skiers and riders can use the four tickets on four different days or share them with friends and family all on the same day. Loveland 4-Paks are $129 equating to $33.25 per day, and only available online at www.skiloveland.com or by calling the ticket office at 303-571-5580 x136.

Powderhorn

Powderhorn Mountain Resort is offering its Learn to Ski or Ride Season Pass Series. Designed for first timers ages 8 and up, kids must be new to either the sport of skiing or snowboarding and ready to commit to three lessons. At the end of these lessons, they will have a great foundation and be able to take their new skills all over the mountain. Best of all, when new skiers and riders complete all three sessions, they will receive a free season pass for the rest of the season. For more information, visit http://www.powderhorn.com.

Steamboat

Reap the rewards of booking early with the Steamboat’s Early Rewards package, offering up to 20 percent off lodging and lift tickets. Book at least four nights’ lodging and a 3-day lift ticket through Steamboat Central Reservation by Nov. 30 to enjoy 20 percent savings. Special holiday savings of up to 10 percent are available from December 21 – January 4. For more information, visit  www.steamboat.com/earlyrewards or call 800-922-2722. Early Reward packages also enjoy 20 percent off Steamboat’s Snowsports School.

Sunlight

For first timers learning to ski or snowboard, Sunlight offers the Learn to Shine program. The package includes three days of lessons, equipment rental and lift tickets, as well as a free 5-Day ski pass, once the student has completed the lessons, for $365. The three lessons can be taken anytime, whether they are consecutive or not. Skiers and snowboarders that participate in the Learn to Shine program are matched with top-notch instructors that will have them navigating beginner terrain by the end of their first day. For more information please visit http://www.sunlightmtn.com/.

Winter Park

Skiers and snowboarders can get their ski and snowboard legs ready with a pair of great deals from Winter Park. Buy one night at any Winter Park Resort property between November 13 and December 20 and get a second night for half-price. Or, book at least two nights of lodging at regular price and get a free kid’s (ages 6-12) lift ticket with the purchase of an adult lift ticket, valid from November 13 to December 19. The offer is good for both single and multi-day tickets so bring the family and enjoy great early season conditions as well as great savings at Winter Park Resort. Details can be found by visiting http://www.winterparkresort.com/.

Wolf Creek

Wolf Creek Ski Area is offering a Ladies Day Ski and Board Clinic on Saturday, December 7. This is a women’s specific lesson and chairlift package that includes a 2-hour morning lesson from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM plus an All Mountain Lift Ticket for $69. Ladies of all levels, from beginners to advanced, are invited to attend a fun day on the slopes taught by women for women. For more information, visit http://www.wolfcreekski.com.

Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) is the not-for-profit trade association representing Colorado’s 21 ski & snowboard resorts. Information about CSCUSA and its members can be found at www.ColoradoSki.com, on Twitter @ColoradoSkiUSA and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ColoradoSkiCountryUSA.

For more travel features, visit:

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures