If you’re like I am when I travel, I’m always happy to meet a well-connected local who can tell me where to stay, shop, or eat. There’s a line of guidebooks that aren’t traditional guidebooks that usually list hundreds of hotels and thousands of restaurant. Instead, these books tell you where you really want to go.
The books are about the size of one a big smartphones, and they’re called The Hunt. Each one opens with a fold-out cover that gives you 12 perfect things to do in 12 hours in the city in question. The Hunt folks have guides for cities ranging from Austin to New York, from Hong Kong to London.
Inside, the guides are divided by neighborhoods. And there you’ll find a curated list of suggested restaurants you might not find otherwise along with shops selling cool things—no chain stores included. You might not get any more than five hotel recommendations, but they’re all good. Like the Inn at the Presidio in San Francisco or the Lafayette house in a Nolita brownstone in Manhattan.
You won’t go hungry and you won’t go home empty handed if you let these books be your guide. Details here.
Choose a country, any country. Say, India, in honor of the fact that India’s leader recently visited the White House.
So here’s what you do. You talk to your kids briefly about the country, point it out on the map. Then you prepare Indian food for a couple of dinners—you can find frozen options in most any grocery store. Or go to an Indian restaurant. Find some Indian music on YouTube. You rent a great Indian movie–which one depends on the age of your kids. You could choose “The Jungle Book” for young kids, or for older kids, consider “Gandhi,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” “The Darjeeling Limited,” or David Lean’s “A Passage to India.”
For mom and dad, choose “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.”
The point is, by semi-immersing your family in a few things Indian, your kids’ eyes will be opened to a different, exotic world.
Hey, now that I think about it, I made two public television episodes on India. You may order a DVD with both shows here.
The Inn at Cuckolds Lighthouse was, until the late 1800s, a beacon to help ships sailing in fog avoid two, rocky islets at the entrance to Booth Bay that were much feared by sailors. Seven years ago, a local citizens formed a group to take over and renovate the property that’s now open in summer months to visitors and overnight guests. There are two suites, the East and the West, and if you’re a couple who have dreamed about running an inn—or who have run an inn—this might just be where you want to spend mid-May through mid-October next year.
You’ll live in the Keeper’s Quarters on the property, and you’ll be expected to provide impeccable hospitality, including preparing hearty breakfasts, afternoon tea, and gourmet dinners for guests. You must also be comfortable handling the small craft that transports guests from the mainland to the inn.
You can apply here by writing Janet Reingold.
Email to apply for the job: email@example.com
Last month, Lufthansa Airlines said it would deliver a ready-to-heat, business-class meal to homes in Germany every Wednesday for about $13. But how about having dinner in a replica of Pan Am a Boeing 747? You can do that in Los Angeles.
Suddenly it’s 1970 again, and Pan Am is still a vibrant, international airline when you step inside the cabin of a 747 on the site of Air Hollywood, an aviation-themed studio used for shooting television show and movies. Air Hollywood teamed up with Anthony Toth, perhaps the world’s foremost collector of Pan Am memorabilia, to create what they call the Pan Am Experience. Flight attendants—excuse me, stewardesses—in vintage uniforms wheel that food cart right down the aisle to carve your chateaubriand as you watch.
No jeans allowed—guests are asked to dress up a bit, just like the old days. Dinner will cost you $297 to sit upstairs in first class, $30 less to sit downstairs, which is also first class. You’ll start with a shrimp and crabmeat cocktail and move onto the beef, chicken, or a vegetarian pasta main course. A dessert, fruit, and cheese trolley will follow with liquors and coffee. And ‘70s movies will play on the overhead projection system.
More info here.
I recently crossed a threshold of sorts—somewhere in the air between London and San Francisco, I crossed the million-mile mark in terms of flying Delta Air Lines a couple of weeks ago. These are actual miles flown on paid tickets—not flights using award miles.
I got to tell you, it exhausts me to think about it. I hit a million on American Airlines years ago when I lived on the East Coast. But since moving to St. Paul more than a decade ago, Delta became my go-to airline since that airline dominates the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport.
And now I’m a million-mile guy on Delta.
I think the airline sends me a new frequent flyer card with “million miler” on it, and I get to be a silver-level flyer for the rest of my life even if I don’t re-qualify each year. Other than that, who knows?
This is not an exclusive club— thousands of regular fliers rack up millions of miles on various airlines. A Chicago automotive sales consultant, Tom Stuker, has accumulated more than 13 million miles on United, and the airline painted his name on the side of a 747. Much as I enjoy flying, I’m not sure I ever want to reach that threshold.