Saturday, January 31, 2015

Superbowl Forecast: Fans may Face Travel Delays Due To Snowstorms

Big Game forecast: Patriots fans may face travel delays due to snowstorms

The New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks will take center stage on Sunday, Feb. 1, as the big game kicks off in Glendale, Arizona.
Hosted at University of Phoenix Stadium, more than 63,400 people will pack the enclosed venue for the biggest pro football game of the year.
As fans and enthusiasts flock to the Phoenix area, showers could dampen festivities leading up to the game. However, as Sunday unfolds, seasonable temperatures and sunshine will be the dominant factors.
"The Phoenix area will first endure wet and cool conditions by their standards," Meteorologist Maggie Samuhel said.
Showers will stretch into Saturday and could drop up to an inch of rain over the region.
Usual temperatures for this time of year hover near 70 F. Into Saturday, temperatures will hover in the mid-60s. However, with showers and abundant clouds, AccuWeather RealFeel® temperatures could hit closer to the 60 F mark.
Those attending outdoor events leading up to the game can keep track incoming rain by using MinuteCast® to stay alert of rapidly changing conditions.
As thousands of fans surge the stadium and tailgates leading up to the 6:30 p.m. EST kickoff, dry conditions will return.
"The storm will depart just in time for the game," Samuhel said.
Temperatures will rebound to the upper 60s and sunshine will fill the skies on Sunday, making for ideal conditions to leave the venue's retractable roof open.
Scott Norton, director of marketing & public relations for University of Phoenix Stadium, said it is entirely up to the NFL whether or not the roof will be open. The NFL announced they plan to keep the roof open unless there is inclement weather.
The Patriots (12-4) will be making their eighth big game appearance, last taking home the championship in 2004. The Seattle Seahawks (12-4) enter the game as defending champions after winning last year's big game in New Jersey.
As New England recovers from the first blizzard to hit the Northeast in 2015, Boston airports returned to normal operations on Wednesday, Jan. 28. Boston Logan International Airport previously announced they added extra flights to Phoenix in order to accommodate fans flocking southwest to attend the game.
A clipper storm hitting the Northeast into the latter part of the week could cause some disruptions for pre-game travel. Across the country, a dry pattern in Seattle stretching throughout the weekend should make for easy air travel to Arizona.
As fans begin to journey home Monday, temperatures in the Phoenix area will continue to rebound, reaching above the 70 F mark. Skies should remain clear and sunny.
For returning flights back to New England, a storm set to unravel into early next week could bring some travel concerns.
"The storm may lead to delays and cancellations," Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.
Those returning to the Pacific Northwest could fly into cloudy, rainy conditions through Tuesday.

Friday, January 30, 2015

The Philadelphia Flower Show Will "Celebrate The Movies" This Year With Displays That Interpret Themes And Characters From Disney And Disney Pixar Films.

The Philadelphia Flower Show will "Celebrate the Movies" this year with displays that interpret themes and characters from Disney and Disney Pixar films.

"We want to transport viewers and inspire them to dream big," Pennsylvania Horticultural Society president Drew Becher said at the show's kickoff event Thursday, at the Ritz East theater in Old City before an audience of enthusiastic supporters, exhibitors, and volunteers.

PHS produces the annual show, which dates to 1829 and this year runs from Feb. 28 through March 9 at the Convention Center.
The range of films chosen for floral and landscape interpretation is vast, from Pirates of the Caribbean to Winnie the Pooh. And yes, there will be princesses.

One exhibitor has chosen Frozen, the cultural phenom and the highest-grossing animated movie of all time, whose songs, costumes, and royal characters are the stuff of obsession for millions of little girls. Another exhibit will feature all 11 Disney princesses, from Snow White to Tiana.

Becher and others expressed hope that Disney's broad appeal, and the magic of the movies, will attract more young people and families, and help revive the tradition of children going to the Flower Show with their parents and grandparents.
"Everyone loves the movies, and everyone loves Disney, young and old, men and women. The appeal is broad," said Ron Mulray, owner of the Philadelphia Flower Co. in the Far Northeast, who exhibits at the show with the American Institute of Floral Designers.
The 2015 production will highlight four international garden designers, from Australia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and Malaysia - and some actual movie figures, including Pam Grier, the 1970s star of Foxy Brown and other blaxploitation films.

Dan Aykroyd, of GhostbustersThe Blues Brothers, and many other classics, and Ethan Wayne, son of John and an actor in his own right, will be on hand, too. The former will be hawking his additive-free vodka, the latter a bourbon called "Duke."
In an interview, Becher described the relationship between PHS and Disney as "a partnership, not a sponsorship." It came about through PHS's long-standing association with 6ABC, which is owned by the Walt Disney Co. The station does a show every year at the Flower Show preview party and participates in other projects with PHS.
Thursday's event featured a red carpet with popping paparazzi flashes, free popcorn, and bottles of a new hard cider created just for the show; a large, sequined Liza Minnelli impersonator known as Mimi Imfurst; and several stunning dresses from Gene London's 60,000-piece collection of Hollywood costumes.
London, now 83 and living in Reading, starred in the children's TV show Cartoon Corners General Store from 1959 to 1977. He'll bring more than 50 costumes from his collection to the Flower Show.

As for the show's flora, there will be masses of cut flowers and plants, palm trees and junipers, horticultural displays, competitions, special events, and workshops. The entrance garden promises to recall the interiors of 1920s movie palaces.
Hopes are high for the 2015 show, which, like the others, raises money for PHS programs such as City Harvest, through which community gardeners donate their fresh produce to food cupboards.

The 2014 show, called "ARTiculture," drew 230,000 visitors, slightly more than the 2013 British-themed show, which - at 225,000 - was the lowest attendance since 2001, despite the show's being open an extra day.

For Flower Show information, go to

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Ultra-Luxe $108,000 Trip Takes You To Nine Countries On A Private Jet

When choosing one exotic vacation destination is too tough, why not do them all? For $108,000 per person, luxury travel company Abercrombie & Kent’s Wonders of the World by Private Jet journey spans nine countries. 
The twenty-four day trip, beginning and culminating in Miami, will run from September 17 – October 10, 2015, accommodating fifty guests. The company’s founder and CEO Geoffrey Kent will join in as host in the last leg of the trip. His passion for travel stems from growing up in Kenya, and by age sixteen he was the first person to travel by motorbike from Nairobi to Cape Town, over 5000 miles. A globetrotter at heart, Kent is excited to get to know his clients through the one-of-a-kind experiences they will share. “This is the first time we've offered this unique itinerary, featuring many of the world’s greatest wonders all in one journey,” he told Forbes.
Here’s what the agenda looks like:
After a brief stay at the Four Seasons in Miami, passengers will board Abercrombie & Kent’s chartered Icelandair Boeing BA +5.99% 757-200ER private jet, which is so luxurious, that getting there may actually be half the fun. It has lie-flat massage seats, privacy screens, social seating areas, and gourmet cuisine. But deboarding the aircraft won’t be too hard, considering the destinations.
Private Jet Interior. Photo: A&K
An In-Flight Meal. Photo: A&K
The Crew Aboard The Jet. Photo: A&K
First Stop: Peru. A private tour of the Larco Herrera Museum will kick off the adventure, followed by musical performances and private meals at iconic spaces such a the Convent of San Francisco. To close off the Peru portion of the journey, a privately chartered Hiram Bingham train will take the group to Machu Picchu.
Chile’s ever enchanting Easter Island is next up, with an itinerary including trips to the villages of Hangaroa and Orongo, where “birdman” rituals originated, and a demonstration of Haka Pei, a form of sledding. The final dinner on Easter Island will be a traditional umu “earth-cooked” meal, during which travelers will have the chance to socialize with local dignitaries.
Machu Piccu. Photo: A&K
Easter Island.
Easter Island. Photo: A&K
In Samoa, highlights include being greeted by a dance troupe, lodging at a beach resort, partaking in various water activities, eating Polynesian meals, and touring the village of Vailima.
And what better way to ease from the shores of Samoa into Australian culture than with a dinner on Sydney Harbor? The two days in Australia that follow will feature a tour of Shark Island by private yacht, and a chartered helicopter ride to a wildlife conservation and spa that offers nature tours with kangaroos and wallabies. As for the last adventure in the land Down Under? How about a private show and dinner at the Sydney Opera House.
After crossing the equator and touching down in Cambodia, travelers will indulge in a champagne breakfast, tour Angkor Wat and a nearby Buddhist monastery, helicopter over the temple Banteay Srei, and take in a sunset cruise on Tonle Sap Lake.
Sydney. Photo: A&K
Cambodia. Photo: A&K

In India, all rooms in the Oberoi Amarvilas hotel face the Taj Mahal, of which the group will get a private tour the following day. But first, a play about Shah Jahan, builder of the iconic palace, welcomes everyone to India. After a traditional Mughal meal and Kathak dance performance, the jet takes off for the place where East and West converge: Istanbul. Private tours of the Basilica Cistern, Hagia Sophia, Hippodrome, the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum, and Topkapi Palace will give the lucky fifty a broad sense of Turkish culture. After two days and nights of adventure, dinner inside an Ottoman palace caps off this portion of the trip.
The Taj Mahal.
The Taj Mahal. Photo: A&K
Istanbul's Topkapi Palace.
Istanbul’s Topkapi Palace. Photo: A&K
The last stop on this globe trek is Morocco, where Geoffrey Kent will tag on as host. Upon landing in Rissani, a car will transport passengers through the city and into the desert, where camel rides, stargazing, and a welcoming by members of the Gnaoua tribe await. A flight to Marrakech the next day will provide the group with the shopping experience of a lifetime at Souk Smarine, and tours of the Bahia Palace and Majorelle Gardens.
Marrakech. Photo: A&K
Marrakech. Photo: A&K
Logistically, how does Abercrombie & Kent pull off such a full and unique itinerary? We asked Kent just that, and here’s what he had to say: “Through our deep roots and long-established relationships — we have 52 offices around the world — we can offer exclusive insider access, unique encounters and inspiring experiences not available to others. We have perfected the art of delivering unexpected luxury in even the most remote places.” And as host of the Morocco portion, Kent will have the luxury of travelling with his clients, which reflects his hands-on, highly personal approach to running the business. “Having just returned from another private jet journey around the world, I can attest to the value of being able to get to know our guests personally, and see firsthand their reactions to the experiences we arrange, hearing their opinions about the plane and the lie-flat seats, and bouncing ideas off them for future trips.”
Originally from
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Travelore Tips: Where To Shop In Paris

Shopping in Paris has been a grandiose affair since the 19th century when its famous grands magasins (department stores) opened on the grand boulevards. But what makes it so grand today is its brilliant mix of big stores, markets and boutiques specialising in everything from porcelain cats and delicate parasols to perfumed candles and haute couture hats.
Handmade perfumed candles from concept store Centre Commercial. Image by Nicola Williams/Lonely Planet
Each neighbourhood (arrondissement) has its own style. Global chains and France’s flagship haute couture fashion houses pack the glitzy Champs-Élysées and chic Triangle d’Or (Golden Triangle) in the 8th arrondissement (8e). Bookshops such as Shakespeare & Company are the essence of the literary Latin Quarter, while flea market fiends swear by northern Paris’ gigantic Marché aux Puces St-Ouen.
Here's our rundown of the best shopping spots to spend your euros.

Le Marais

Casual wear and street fashion are at the heart of shopping in the cool Marais district in the 3e. Young designers congregate in the northern Marais around rue de Turenne and rue Charlot: secondhand vintage specialists Violette et Léonie and eco-conscious designer Valentine Gauthier are standouts. Fashionistas spend Saturdays strolling the boutiques of rue Vieille du Temple, home to Parisian fashion-art collective Surface to Air and French Trotters (, a multi-brand store known for high-quality fashion manufactured in small workshops, some local. Nearby, in a cobbled courtyard off rue Debelleyme, Charlotte Bialas ( creates one-off skirts and dresses in rare 1950s silks. Fashion tours led by handbag designer Kasia Dietz ( open the door to many more Marais designers.
Each worth a lengthy browse are concept stores Broken Arm and Merci. The former is tiny, top end and touts a hipster cafe . The latter, in an old wallpaper factory, donates its profits to a Madagascan children’s charity and mixes eye-catching female fashion with quirky home and lifestyle goods such as mojito glasses and magnetic bicycle lights. A few doors down is Parisian pop fashion brand Leon & Harper ( with their store: Hello, I love You, Can You Tell Me Your Name?
Round it off browsing craft shops in the ancient courtyards of Village St-Paul or art galleries tucked beneath the arches of place des Vosges.
Charlotte bialas-shop-Paris-csFor beautiful pieces made from vintage silk, head to Charlotte Bialas in Le Marais. Image by Nicola Williams/Lonely Planet

Canal St-Martin & the 10th arrondissement

Snappy, off-beat boutiques is the newfound forte in these neighbourhoods. Rue Beaurepaire and rue de Marseille are key shopping streets. Bazartherapy (15 rue Beaurepaire) is a cool neo-Bazaar packed to the rafters – literally – with a mesmerising display of knick-knacks for every age, style and budget. Grab a paper cone and fill it up for €19! Fashion designer Liza Korn is here, as is local jeweler Marie Montaud at Medecine Douce whose delicate bohemian designs in gold include a collection inspired by the street.
Trendy pop-up stores occasionally appear in Espace Beaurepaire. Concept store Centre Commercial ( is first choice for sustainable French-made fashion for men, women and the home. Its peppermint- and pine-perfumed mug candles, handmade in Paris, make a beautiful gift. Or browse the shelves of stylish homewares crafted by artisans and small producers at La Trésorie ( Down by the water, pillar-box red Artazart ( is one of the city’s finest art and design bookshops.
06-latresorie-shop-Paris-NWNab yourself some stylish homewares at La Trésorie. Image by Nicola Williams/Lonely Planet

Louvre & Les Halles

Shopping in the 1e and 2e is classical and elegant. Mainstream chains and shops jostle for attention on rue Rivoli while Paris’ famous bouquinists (antiquarian book sellers) fringe the river banks with their green box stalls as they did in the 16th century. But what really captivates is the stash of 19th-century covered arcades.
The regal galleries framing Jardin du Palais Royal squirrel away posh art galleries and designer boutiques in their arches: at La Petite Robe Noire Didier Ludot collects and sells little black dresses from the 1920s to 1990s. Nearby, Galerie Vivienne (4 rue des Petits Champs) is a historic passageway dating to 1826 with secondhand bookshops, a toy shop, a couple of clothes shops and a tearoom. Legrand Filles & Fils sells wine and all theaccoutrements, and By Khol ( is the new French maison for handmade scented candles set in Limoges porcelain.
Paris' antiquarian booksellers have been lining the River Seine since the 16th century. Image by Nicola Williams/Lonely Planet

St-Germain des Près

Across the Seine on the Left Bank, the northern wedge of the 6e and the Carré Rive Gauche in the neighbouring 7e are filled with art galleries and antiques shops. St-Germain’s natural style continues along the western half of bd St-Germain and rue du Bac with contemporary furniture, kitchen and design shops – and the dandiest umbrella shop around.
Don't skip Le Bon Marché, Paris’ original department store built by Gustave Eiffel in 1852. Its food hall is sublime and the tasting/making ateliers (workshops) it organises are foodie fabuleux. The same goes for luxury retail-therapy icon Hermès whose flagship store stuns in a former art deco swimming pool with mosaic tiles and iron balustrades. Signature silk scarves start at €140 for a 45cm square.
Concept store Gab & Jo is another outstanding address for exclusively French-made items: Marie-Jeanne de Grasse (scented candles), Marius Fabre (Marseille soaps), Germaine-des-Prés (lingerie), MILF (sunglasses) and Monsieur Marcel (t-shirts).
Le Chocolat Alain Ducaisse and La Maison du Chocolat are essential chocolate stops, Barthélémy is the address for cheese and Pierre Hermé for sweet macarons.
15-hermes-scarves-shop-Paris-NWHermès' iconic scarves make for a luxurious Parisian gift. Image by Nicola Williams/Lonely Planet

 Need to know

  • Opening hours: shops generally open between 10am and 7pm Monday to Saturday, with larger stores staying open later Thursday. Smaller shops often shut all day Monday and sometimes for a couple of hours at lunchtime.
  • Les soldes (sales) usher in bargains galore twice a year: 7 January to 17 February 2015 (winter) and 24 June to 4 August 2015 (summer).
  • Etiquette: say ‘Bonjour’ when entering a shop and avoid touching items when ‘looking’ - shopkeepers really don’t like it. If you’re happy browsing, tell the sales staff ‘Je regarde’ – ‘I’m just looking’. If you would like your item gift-wrapped, don’t hesitate to ask for ‘un paquet cadeau’ when paying – every shop does it, both beautifully, and for free.
  • Items are impossible to exchange without the ticket de caisse (receipt).


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Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company Tops AAA List Of Five And Four Diamond Properties

Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company tops AAA list of five and four diamond properties

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC, led the 2015 American Automobile Association (AAA) Five and Four Diamond awards with 24 hotels earning the Five Diamond rating and 20 hotels earning the Four Diamond rating, including two of the newest additions to the portfolio, The Ritz-Carton, Rancho Mirage in Palm Springs, California, and The Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour, Miami.
"We are proud to once again have the recognition by AAA with 24 Ritz-Carlton hotels and resorts earning the five diamond rating. The exemplary service that our hotels continue to provide validates the commitment of our ladies and gentlemen to making our customers care and comfort their highest mission," said Herve Humler, president and chief operating officer, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.
Hotels in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean were rated by the AAA inspectors who anonymously visit thousands of properties each year, carefully reviewing everything from guest room cleanliness to quality of service. Each year, more than 28,000 luxury hotels are reviewed and just 0.4 percent make it the on to the AAA Five Diamond list. "Attaining the Five Diamond Rating is an impressive accomplishment and a point of great pride for these top hotels," said Michael Petrone, director, AAA Inspections & Diamond Ratings.
A complete list of AAA Five and Four Diamond Ritz-Carlton Hotels includes:
Five Diamond Hotels
The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island
The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta
The Ritz-Carlton, Battery Park
The Ritz-Carlton, Boston Common
The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead
The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun
The Ritz-Carlton, Central Park
The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte
The Ritz-Carlton, Denver
The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale
The Ritz-Carlton, Georgetown
The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples
The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua
The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel
The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe
The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation
The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey
The Ritz-Carlton, Montreal
The Ritz-Carlton, Naples
The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco
The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota
The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto
The Ritz-Carlton, Washington D.C
Four Diamond Hotels
The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba
The Ritz-Carlton, Bal Harbour, Miami
The Ritz-Carlton, Coconut Grove, Miami
The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas
The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain
The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne
The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles
The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans
The Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City
The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia
The Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix
The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage
The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan
The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach
The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis
The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas
The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner
The Ritz-Carlton, Westchester

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Travelore News: Hilton Worldwide Wins Big With U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hotels of 2015

Today, U.S. News & World Report named 22 hotels within the Hilton Worldwide (NYSE: HLT) Portfolio to its annual "Best Hotels" list. The winning properties span four brands within the Hilton Portfolio, and include two "Best Hotels in the USA" honors, U.S. News & World Report's annual evaluation of hotels identifies properties that offer high-quality amenities and an exceptional guest experience.
"Delivering high-quality service and continuing to innovate the guest experience at our more than 4,250 hotels around the world is at the heart of our success," said Jim Holthouser, executive vice president, Global Brands, Hilton Worldwide. "We're proud that these 22 properties were selected as examples of excellence in hospitality and recognized on this prestigious list."
Below are the 2015 Hilton winners:
Gold Badge Winners
Earned a "Best Hotels in the USA" award:

Silver Badge Winners
Identified as one of the "Best Hotels" within its market:

The Best Hotels methodology combines a hotel's industry accolades with expert and guest reviews and hotel class ratings. U.S. News & World Report scored luxury hotels, identifying the top 10 percent in the United StatesCanadaMexico and the Caribbean with Gold badges and the top 30 percent within specific markets with Silver badges. The rankings feature 2,558 hotels across the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. For a full list of rankings visit