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Travel Savings Alerts Newsletter, December 2006 Issue

Travel Savings Alerts
P.O. Box 91033
Columbus OH 43209
ISSN: 1542-801X, Copyright © 2006 
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In This Issue:
Las Vegas, NM

Bridge Street, Las Vegas NM

  • LA Tapings
  • Fr.ee Ticket from United
  • Thailand/Cambodia Specials
  • US Airways New Fares
  • UK from $330 Roundtrip on bmi
  • Tahiti, South Sea Islands for Less
  • Select Specials on Waikiki
  • Passport Card
  • Fr.ee Guided Hikes into Sonoran Preserve
  • Tauck Singles Savings on Select Itineraries
  • Almond Resorts' White Sand Sale
  • Shop Til’ You Drop in Chicago
  • “Orlan-Dough” Mega Value Package
  • Arlington Discount Holiday Hotel Package
  • Vacation Europe London Air/Hotel Package from $437
  • CDC Warning
  • SwissMade Zurich Package $379
  • The Other Las Vegas by Nicki Chodnoff
  • Winter Weekends in Copenhagen

  • LA Tapings

    Los Angeles may seem familiar even if you never set foot in Southern California thanks to its television exposure. From the beaches of “Baywatch” to the skyline of “L.A. Law,” Los Angeles finds its way into homes all over the world.

    As LA celebrates its 225th anniversary, there are 225 TV shows that have been set in LA. For the ones filmed in Los Angeles, you can get tickets to see some of the live tapings. The shows listed below are taped in LA. The link for each show indicates the studio where the show is taped, which channel airs the show, the minimum age to be part of the audience, dates of tapings, how to order tickets and other important information. Tickets to watch the tapings are usually fr.ee.

    According to Jim

    All of Us

    America’s Funniest Home Videos

    The Class

    Cory in the House

    The George Lopez Show

    Happy Hour

    The King of Queens

    New Adventures of Old Christine


    Rules of Engagement

    ’Til Death

    Twenty Good Years

    Two and a Half Men

    The War at Home

    The Winner

    Fr.ee Ticket from United

    United Airlines has a special deal for its Mileage Plus frequent flyer members to fly three qualifying roundtrips during the popular holiday travel season and earn up to 25,000 bonus miles, enough to redeem a Saver Award ticket. This offer is valid through Jan. 31, 2007, for purchasing and flying qualifying roundtrips on United, United Express or Ted.

    The first qualifying roundtrip must be completed by Dec. 31, 2006 to be eligible for any bonus with this offer. Mileage Plus members must registered for the promotion online by Dec. 31, 2006, to be eligible. E-ticket purchases are required.

    Bonus miles will be deposited four to six weeks after the end of the promotion period. The offer is valid for residents of the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands and government fares are not eligible. Bonus miles apply to base flight miles, do not count toward elite status and are in addition to applicable elite or class of service bonuses.

    United Airlines.

    Give a Jaguar -- An Amber Jaguar -- The remarkable face of a jaguar is hand-carved onto a lovely piece of cherry amber that's 33x20 mm in size. The dramatic pendent hangs on an ultra-chic 18" natural-colored leather necklace cord with a sterling silver clasp. Boy will this turn heads.

    High-style boutiques and jewelers charge $500 or more for this glam piece. It's yours for only $125 plus shipping & insurance. Click here to order.
    At the home page, click on the amber category.

    Thailand/Cambodia Specials

    The Plaza Athenee Bangkok, a Royal Meridien Hotel and Le Meridien Angkor offer a “Travel Industry Rate” of $59 per room, per night, until March 2007.

    The Plaza Athénée Bangkok is in the heart of Bangkok on Wireless Road, about 30 minutes from the recently opened Suvarnabhumi Airport and a three minute walk from Bangkok’s famous BTS, connecting you to all the shopping hot spots. The hotel features Spa Athenee, featuring traditional Thai amenities, fully equipped gym, squash courts, and an outdoor pool surrounded by gardens.

    Le Meridien Bangkok or reservations.bangkok@lemeridien.com.

    Le Meridien Angkor is the closest hotel to the World Heritage site of Angkor Wat. All rooms are designed with Khmer influences, hand-crafted accessories and works of art .The 104 rooms are on the elevated 2nd floor with garden views. Each room is about 125 square feet and appointed with high speed internet access, DVD/CD players, a pillow top mattress, and aromatherapy oil burners. Bathrooms include tubs and separate showers. Non-smoking and connecting rooms are available. .

    Le Meridien Angkor or reservations@angkor.lemeridien.com.

    US Airways New Fares

    US Airways warms up winter with fare reductions to 39 destinations on the East and West Coast. Walkup fares are reduced up to 63 percent while advance purchase fares are reduced up to 69 percent.

    Walkup fares are based on a one-way purchase. Advance purchase fare requires roundtrip air travel. With this wave of fare reductions US Airways has lowered prices in more than 225 markets this year.

    Advance Purchase fares are shown as one way and require roundtrip air travel. A 21-day advance purchase and a one-night minimum stay are required. Tickets are non-refundable and permissible changes incur a $100 change fee and any applicable fare difference. Fares do not include federal taxes, facility and security fees. Seats are limited and may not be available on all flights.. Tickets purchased through US Airways telephone reservations are $5 higher.

    The current changes include the following sample one-way advance purchase fares and the percent reduction. Fares are valid for purchases made online at the carrier’s web site. Tickets purchased at US Airways airports or city ticket offices are $10 higher.

    Charlotte to/from: Manchester, NH $139 37%; Albany, NY $139 41%; Columbia, SC $99 69%; Johnson City, TN $139 55%; Norfolk, VA $139 48% ; Knoxville, TN $139 52%; Montgomery, AL $139 33% ; Roanoke, VA $99 49%

    New York (LaGuardia) to/from: Roanoke, VA $99 52% ; Philadelphia, PA $99 56%

    Philadelphia to/from: Binghamton, NY $139 53%; Baltimore, MD $99 63%; Allentown, PA $99 51%; Newport News, VA

    Pittsburgh to/from: Columbus, OH $99 62%; Erie, PA $99 49%

    Washington DC to/from: Philadelphia, PA $99 23%;

    Phoenix to/from: Flagstaff, AZ $80 63%; Tucson, AZ $80 63%; Yuma, AZ $90 62%.

    US Airways or 800/428-4322.

    UK from $330 Roundtrip on bmi

    PURCHASE BY DEC. 7 - - bmi offers roundtrip air fares to England from $330 for travel to Dec. 15, 2006 and Dec. 24, 2006 to Mar. 31, 2007. Tickets must be purchased by Dec. 7, 2006. on www.flybmi.com.

    From Chicago to Manchester, the roundtrip economy fare is $330, $730 in premium economy and $2328 in business class. From Las Vegas to Manchester the fare is $480 in economy, $880 in premium economy and $2478. To London and the Scottish cities of Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh, the add-on fare is $38 roundtrip from Chicago or Las Vegas for all fare classes. The sale is also available on United Airlines code share flights from Denver, Dallas, Los Angeles, Orlando, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle, San Francisco and Salt Lake City at different fare levels.

    A stopover in Manchester in either direction on the London or Scottish flights is permitted at no additional cost.

    These sale fares are non-refundable and require a 14 day-advance purchase. Changes can be made after departure for a $150 fee plus any difference in the fare level. Children’s fares are available at a reduced rate. Fares are based on roundtrip purchase and exclude taxes and service fees of up to $178. Tickets must be purchased within 72 hours of making a reservation.

    bmi’s transatlantic service features Airbus A330 aircraft and offers video equipment with individual seat back screens featuring 16 audio and 20 video channels and the latest Nintendo and classic PC games. Passengers also have a bird’s eye view of their journey throughout the flight as a result of cameras mounted on the nose and belly of the aircraft.

    Business class passengers have their own chef on every transatlantic flight, preparing meals according to their preferences. They can take advantage of a fr.ee arrivals package at the Radisson SAS hotel at Manchester to freshen up.

    As a member of Star Alliance, bmi passengers earn and redeem miles on any Star Alliance member’s frequent flyer program when flying bmi including United Airlines.

    bmi or 800/788-0555.

    Fr-ee Fun San Diego
    This savings-packed FR.EE brochure features almost 40 Fun, Fr-ee Things to do in San Diego. When heading to Southern California, attend concerts or visit a State Historic Park and keep that cash in your pocket.

    To get your Fr-ee Fun San Diego brochure, for a $1 handling fee, click here to send us an email.

    Tahiti, South Sea Islands for Less

    Starting from $2895 per person, including airfare from Los Angeles, Vantage Deluxe World Travel offers 11 to 21 day cruises to Tahiti and the Society Islands on the 330-passenger m/s Paul Gauguin.

    You can choose cruise options January through December that include up to nine ports of call in French Polynesia including Tahiti, Bora Bora, Fiji, and the Cook, Marquesas, and Society Islands.

    All-inclusive pricing includes all meals on the cruise, 24-hour room service, gratuities, baggage handling and fr,ee select fine wines, spirits, and nonalcoholic beverages throughout the cruise. In addition, you can take part in fr.ee water sports, kayaking, windsurfing, and waterskiing, off the ship’s retractable marina; guest lectures by marine biologists, anthropologists and other regional experts; and on-ship Polynesian cultural shows with local performers.

    Vantage offers special deals and amenities booked early in 2007. Deals include fr.ee airfare from Los Angeles and two or three fr.ee nights at the Radisson Plaza Resort Hotel with daily breakfast, one dinner and sightseeing in Tahiti's capital, Papeete, depending on selected trip.

    Vantage Deluxe World Travel or 800/993-1593.

    Select Specials on Waikiki

    The oceanfront Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki and Golf Club offers 27 holes of golf and gracious Hawaiian hospitality.

    Select limited-time specials include the Fall Oceanview Getaway, valid until Dec. 22, 2006. From $224 per night, the package includes an oceanfront Vista room and a $100 resort credit good towards activities, dining, spa treatments and massages. The rate is based on availability and a three night minimum stay is required. If you join the Prince Preferred member club, you get 500 Bonus points with a confirmed booking. Some restrictions and blackout dates apply.

    Late Getaways, valid to Dec. 27, 2006 start from $189 per night in a oceanfront Marina room.

    The Room and Car package is valid to Dec. 27, 2006. Rates start from $219 per night and include an oceanfront Marina room and a compact car daily. The rate is based on the driver being 25 years or older. For drivers under 25, a per day surcharge applies.

    The Room & Breakfast, valid to Dec. 27, 2006 starts at $219 per night in a Marina room and includes daily breakfast for two.

    Wellness Package, valid to Dec. 27, 2006 starts at $359 per night in a Marina room and includes daily breakfast for two, choice of one spa service per day and a daily fitness activity.

    You must request the promotion when making reservations and rooms are subject to availability. Some restrictions and blackout dates apply.

    Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki and Golf Club.

    Passport Card

    To meet the documentary requirements of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), the Department of State with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), submit for public comment a federal rule proposing a card-format passport for international travel by U.S. citizens through land and sea ports of entry between the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda.

    The limited-use passport card will use the same standards as a traditional passport book. The rule proposes a wallet-sized card that would cost $10 for children and $20 for adults, plus a $25 execution fee.

    To facilitate frequent travelers living in U.S. border communities and those traveling on commercial maritime vessels, the Department of State committed to a passport card with cutting-edge technology. The technology in the proposed card addresses the operational needs of land border-crossings. The proposed passport card would use long-range, or vicinity, radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to link the card to a secure U.S. government database with biographical data and a photograph. The card will not contain personal information and the DHS will implement protections to keep the database secure.

    The passport card is the core element of the PASS (People Access Security Service) System announced in January 2006 and will secure and expedite travel to and from the United States.

    To view and comment on the proposed rule, click here. For more information, click here. .

    Face-It Luggage Tags -- Your Face on Your Luggage
    There's no mistaking your luggage with the Face-It Luggage Tag. The durable, laminated tag displays your face and the phrase "This Face Belongs With This Luggage."

    A Face-It Luggage tag makes it less likely for a stranger or thief to walk off with your luggage and helps you recognize your luggage at a glance in hotels or airports. Face-It Tags are also available for briefcases, portfolio books, backpacks, sporting equipment, musical instruments, bicycles and more. Face-It Luggage Tags.

    Fr.ee Guided Hikes into Sonoran Preserve

    Through Apr. 2007, the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, in Scottsdale, AZ, offers scenic hikes in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Currently, 17,000 acres (47 percent) of the planned 36,000-acre McDowell Sonoran Preserve are protected.

    The desert outings, led by experienced guides who are experts in Sonoran Desert plants, animals and lore, vary from three to eight miles and from two to four hours. More than 25 different hikes are offered Saturdays and Sundays through the end of the year with more scheduled hikes to be announced in January.

    For ease, if you want to add a hike to your vacation itinerary, you can do so without registering beforehand. Rather, each hike has a designated meeting point and start time listed on the web site.

    Tours range for all ages and fitness levels. Some tours are designed with photography in mind, including the Ringtail Loop Photo Hike. All hikers should wear sturdy, covered shoes or boots and bring their own water. Hats, sunscreen and trail snacks are suggested.

    For a donation, the organization can also arrange special weekday or weekend hikes for groups of eight or more. Contributions benefit the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, a non-profit organization dedicated to conservation, desert-education programs and maintenance of the city-owned McDowell Sonoran Preserve in Scottsdale.

    McDowell Sonoran Conservancy or 480/998-7971.

    Tauck Singles Savings on Select Itineraries

    Relief is in sight for solo travelers eager to avoid the “single supplement” common to cruises and tours, where pricing is calculated on a double- occupancy model.

    For 2007, Tauck World Discovery offers departure dates on select cruises and tours where the “single occupancy” surcharge faced by solo travelers is reduced or waived. The special rates apply to some 47 departures on 16 different cruise and tour itineraries in the U.S., Europe and Canada.

    Tauck President/CEO Robin Tauck noted that the savings for solo travelers are substantial, singles can save up to $3,000 off standard single pricing and the average savings is more than $1,200. The singles-friendly departures alleviate solo travelers’ concerns that they’ll be the only single on a trip.

    The specially priced trips include six Mediterranean cruises, eight itineraries in Europe, and two journeys in the United States and Canada.

    Tauck World Discovery or 800/214-5158.

    Almond Resorts' White Sand Sale

    Almond Resorts, the Caribbean's all-inclusive resort chain, offers value packages for 2007 during its White Sand Sale. Set among tropical gardens bordering on beaches, Almond's resorts feature restaurants with varied cuisines, water-sports and other activities, spa and fitness facilities, golf, tennis, and nightly entertainment. The younger set has its Kids Clubs which offer activities for children of all ages.

    White Sand Sale packages are available at Almond Beach Village and Almond Beach Club Resort & Spa in Barbados, and Almond Morgan Bay Beach Resort in St. Lucia. White Sand Sale rates are valid Jan. 5 through Apr. 30, 2007, with some restrictions. All bookings must be made by Dec. 10, 2006.

    Sample all-inclusive rates below are per person, for standard rooms based on double occupancy. Other room categories and longer stay packages are available. Guests at the Barbados resorts can use the facilities and restaurants at either resort (Almond Beach Club only accepts guests 16 years and up). Shuttle service between the resorts is provided.

    Four-day, three night stays at Almond Beach Village and Almond Beach Club Resort & Spa in Barbados start from $659. Almond Morgan Bay Beach Resort in St. Lucia starts from $519. The valid dates for the three resorts are Jan. 5 to 31, 2007.

    From Feb. 1 to Apr. 4, 2007, three night rates at Almond Beach Village and Almond Beach Club Resort & Spa in Barbados start from $715. The rate at Almond Morgan Bay Beach Resort in St. Lucia starts from $565 for Feb. 1 to Mar. 11, 2007; Apr. 1 to 4 and Apr. 13 to 30, 2007.

    Black out dates apply: St. Lucia: Mar. 12 to 31 and Apr. 5 to 12, 2007; Barbados: Apr. 5 to 30, 2007

    Almond Resorts' White Sand Sale rates apply to new bookings and are subject to availability. The sale rate is not combinable with any other promotion, nor is it extended to charters.

    Almond Resorts or 800/4AL-MOND.

    Protect Luggage with Baggage Guard Seals

    The pre-numbered, one-time use plastic padlocks are the perfect way to protect your luggage since they cannot be reinstalled once removed. That feature lets you instantly know if someone tampered with your luggage. Yet when TSAs at airports need to inspect your luggage, Baggage Guard Seals can be easily removed. A package of 10 Baggage Guard Seals is still only $9.95.

    Click Here to Order from On The Go Publishing.

    Shop Til’ You Drop in Chicago

    The Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers and the Westin Chicago River North offer a Shop Til’ You Drop package. Priced at $149 per night and $169 per night, respectively for a two-night stay, each getaway includes accommodations and VIP savings from Bloomingdale’s, Bose, Hugo Boss and Nordstrom. Rates are based on availability, double occupancy and do not include tax or service charge.

    A $25 gift card from American Express or Nordstrom lets you pick up something for yourself without feeling guilty. The American Express gift card is available at Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers and the Nordstrom gift card is available at the Westin Chicago River North. The Windy City shopping escape is valid through Feb. 28, 2007, meaning you can indulge in post-holiday sales. Black out dates may apply. The package includes a 3 p.m. checkout and a voucher for fr=ee hot chocolate, tea or coffee upon check-in.

    The River Connection hotels are each located minutes away from the Magnificent Mile. For the holiday season, area stores offer discounts to ease the strain on shoppers’ wallets.

    At Westfield North Bridge you receive up to 20 percent savings at select stores (Armani Exchange, Hugo Bose, Kenneth Cole and more) through Dec. 31, 2006. Nordstrom offers fr=ee delivery to either hotel.

    At Water Tower Place, the Premier Perks program offers savings, such as five to 10 percent off and fr.ee shipping at participating one-of-a-kind retail stores and discounts at dining outlets. You receive a fr.ee signature gift when you spend $100 or more.

    The Exclusively 900 Card offers discounts up to 15 percent at Bloomingdale’s, charles david and Max Studio. Fr.ee shipping within the U.S. is available from stores such as Coach, Diesel and Lalique.

    Reservations at Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers, 312/464-1000; for The Westin Chicago River North, 312/744-1900. When booking, ask for the SHOPWND rate plan.

    “Orlan-Dough” Mega Value Package

    If you are looking to save some “dough” on a vacation to Orlando this December and January, you are in luck. Rosen Hotels & Resorts kicks off the holiday travel season with an “Orlan-Dough” Mega Value package. Rates start from $39.95 per night (double occupancy), plus you receive $30 in food and beverage discounts and discounts and offers for theme parks, attractions, dinner shows, restaurants, golf, and spa visits worth a combined value of more than $3,000. The offer is valid for travel to Jan. 31, 2007 at Rosen Hotels & Resorts’ four Orlando leisure properties: the Quality Inn International, Rodeway Inn International, Quality Inn Plaza and Comfort Inn Lake Buena Vista.

    Through January, the average daytime temperatures in Orlando are in the 70s. Sunny, cloudless skies are the norm. Although there’s no “real” snow and ice, holiday shows, decorations, events and festivities are abundant in the theme parks, dinner attractions and malls. During non-holiday weeks, theme park lines are virtually wide open.

    The “Orlan-Dough” Mega Value package offer is not valid during special events, holidays for groups or during conventions. This offer is not valid at Rosen Shingle Creek Resort, Rosen Plaza or Rosen Centre hotels.

    “Orlan-Dough” Mega Value Package, or 866/337-6736.

    To contact participating Rosen hotels directly:
    Quality Inn International, 800/825-7600
    Rodeway Inn International, 800/999-6327
    Quality Inn Plaza, International Drive, 800/999-8585
    Comfort Inn Lake Buena Vista, 800/999-7300.

    Arlington Discount Holiday Hotel Package

    Arlington, VA offers Washington, D.C. area visitors a special weekend package during the 2006 holiday season. Through Jan. 7, 2007, more than a dozen of Arlington's major hotels offer rates from $69 per night. Located across the river from the nation's capital, Arlington offers attractions, shopping and dining, plus easy access to world-famous sights and holiday festivities in Washington, D.C.

    In addition to accommodations at 14 area hotels, all on the Metro transit system and minutes from National Airport, the package includes: a f.ree $50 gift card for the Pentagon Row shopping and entertainment center; shopping and dining discount coupons; a calendar of holiday events and reservation information for Arlington and Washington, D.C. concerts, plays and holiday events; a welcome gift and fr.ee Arlington Visitors Guide.

    The offer is valid for individuals Friday and Saturday nights during the promotional period. Rates listed are per room, per night, based on double occupancy in standard accommodations for a minimum stay of two consecutive nights at the same hotel property. Complete details are online.

    Arlington Discount Holiday Hotel Package.

    Cheap Tix Chart
    Buy Tickets at a Discount -- Special ticket outlets sell discounted day-of-performance tickets to theater productions, films, and sporting events. Discounts can be 50 percent or more. On The Go Publishing’s Cheap Tix Chart, still only $14, lists outlets in the U.S. and eight foreign cities that sell discounted, day-of-performance tickets. Click here to order the Cheap Tix Chart from On The Go Publishing.

    Vacation Europe London Air/Hotel Package from $437

    BOOK BY DEC 15 - - Vacation Europe, a vacation package operator, offers winter savings on European city packages. You can build your own vacations in the European city of your choice until Dec. 14, 2006 and from Jan. 4 to Mar. 25, 2007. Packages start at $437 per person for seven days and five nights at the Ambassadors hotel in London.

    Additional city packages include Rome at the Blanca Hotel from $587; Barcelona at the Catalonia Princess from $699; Venice at the Arlecchino Hotel from $609; and Florence at the Ariston Hotel from $627.

    Prices are per person based on double-occupancy with mid-week, economy roundtrip air from New York. Packages include hotel accommodations, hotel taxes and service fees and daily breakfast. Air fees, fuel surcharges and other taxes do not apply. Packages are available from other gateways.

    Vacation Europe or 800/330-8272.

    CDC Warning

    Western travelers who visit tropical areas, especially the Indian continent and islands in the Indian Ocean, are warned by the U.S. Centers Of Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention to be aware of the chikungunya virus infection.

    Chikungunya virus is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected mosquitoes.

    In its Morbidity and Monthly Report, Dr. E. Warner from the CDC confirmed four cases of the chikungunya infection: one in Minnesota, Louisiana, Maryland and Colorado, based on blood samples submitted to the CDC. Europe reported 340 cases of imported chikungunya fever this year, in addition to several cases in Canada, Martinique and French Guyana.

    Public health officials warn returning travelers who suffer from fever and joint pains to be aware of early symptoms of chikungunya virus infection.

    Since May 2004, there has been a large outbreak of the fever in areas of southeast India, Indian Ocean islands and Kenya.

    "Some risks exists that chikungunya virus might be introduced into previously nonendemic areas by returning travelers from tropical or subtropical areas of the U.S.," said the CDC report.

    Areas most at risk are the U.S. Gulf Coast, Hawaii and territories of Guam, Puerto Rico and Virgin islands.

    However, there has yet been no known local case of transmission by mosquitoes.

    Symptoms include fever, chills, malaise, muscle pains, joint pains and rashes. Joint pains resolve within several weeks in two cases, but persisted for months in two others.

    "Chikungunya fever usually resolves on its own within three to seven days. There is no specific therapy for the infection or vaccine against chikungunya," added the CDC advisory.

    Travelers going to chikungunya-endemic areas should avoid mosquitoes bites by sleeping under a mosquito net, wearing barrier clothing and using mosquito repellents.

    SwissMade Zurich Package from $379

    Through Mar. 31, 2007, is the time to visit Zurich as SwissMade Tours by Picasso Travel offers a five day/four night package from $379 per person, double occupancy, or $729 for singles. With roundtrip air from JFK, the package starts from $699 per person, double occupancy or $1053 for a single traveler. Departures are midweek and there are holiday blackouts Dec. 17, 2006 to Jan. 4, 2007. The package price does not include air taxes and fuel surcharges that amount to $289 per person.

    The package includes four nights’ stay at a three star hotel such as Hotel Comfort Inn (walking distance to the train station, lake and Bahnhofstreet), fr.ee daily breakfast, fre.e admission to Zurich's Christmas Stroll ( through Dec. 23), and a fr.ee ZurichCARD for the first 20 bookings (a $25 value).

    The ZurichCARD allows you to use public transport in the greater Zurich area as often as you need, fr.ee admission to more than 40 Zurich museums, a fr.ee welcome drink in more than 20 city restaurants and other discounts.

    SwissMade Tours or 00/995-7997.

    Silky Travel Jewelry Roll
    A must have for travelers. Our silky travel jewelry roll comes in a random assortment of single-color jacquards, solid colors and two-color brocades. This handy travel jewelry roll measures 8 1/2 x 11 inches when open and closes to a compact 8 1/2 x 4 inches. Our exclusive design offers a place for everything with one deep pocket, a ring bar and three zippered compartments. Price $40. Click here to order from On The Go Publishing.

    The Other Las Vegas - - article and photos by Nicki Chodnoff

    Fort Union ruinsWhen looking for gambling, action and a time on the town, many people turn to Las Vegas. Around 120 years ago, the Las Vegas you’d turn to was in New Mexico.

    The first Las Vegas, about an hour north of Sante Fe in northeastern New Mexico, was so named because of its broad meadows that straddled the edge of the eastern plains at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Las Vegas was established in 1835 by Spanish settlers whose roots went back to the early 1600s. The first adobe and log buildings were built around a plaza. Two buildings from that first settlement still stand today in the town square.

    The town became a key stop on the Santa Fe Trail, one of the first and most traveled routes to burgeoning western outposts. The Trail allowed entrepreneurs to trade sheep and farm goods for manufactured wares. A welcome site for weary travelers, Las Vegas was the first community of any size after the 600 mile trek from Kansas.

    The U.S. Army built Fort Union, about 20 miles north of Las Vegas, in 1851 to protect the Sante Fe Trail from Indian raids. Today the fort’s history is recounted at Fort Union National Monument, where the largest visible network of Santa Fe Trail ruts can be seen. The new fort encouraged the growth of Las Vegas explained Park Ranger Valerie Duran, as the army bought supplies for the hundreds of soldiers and civilians stationed at the fort.

    “It was a good sized city,” said Duran as she gestured to what is now an empty, grassy square with remnants of foundations and buildings around three sides of the square. The persistent wind nearly drowned out her words. “In its day, the fort was a bustling place. At any given time there were 3,000 civilians and military personnel at the fort and in summer up to 3,000 wagons per day came through.” Duran’s lively description is a stark contrast to what’s in this desolate location today, a unobstructed horizon. The only people you see are the other visitors at Fort Union.

    remains of Mission churchAs we peered at what was left of buildings, Duran provided insights about this self-contained city such as a school, church and masonic lodge were at the fort. Literate prisoners taught the children at the fort and the canon was fired twice a day, when the flag was raised and lowered. The sutler’s store, like today’s convenience store, sold a little of everything: pots, pans, food, children’s toys and bottled beer. The store’s civilians owners, granted the right by the military, took in $1,000 per day.

    From Fort Union, we discovered a more ancient site in Pecos, NM, 45 west of Las Vegas. Pecos National Historical Park preserves 12,000 years of history including the ancient pueblo of Pecos, once the largest Indian pueblo in the Southwest, the massive adobe ruins of 17th Century Spanish missions, Santa Fe Trail sites, the Glorieta Pass Civil War battle site and Forked Lightning Ranch, owned by the late Oscar-winning actress Greer Garson.

    Before heading to the ruins, we watched a short film about Pecos and its people at the visitors center. The visitors center features dioramas of the site and an exhibit room where pottery, arrowheads, clay effigies and jewelry found in the area are displayed.

    As we walked along the paths, our volunteer guide, Carol, pointed out the remains of an 18th-century mission church, with its massive adobe walls and arched doorways. It struck me as the most impressive structure on the site. The foundations of an older church are also visible.

    Today, what remains of Pecos Pueblo are grass-covered mounds. Carol led us to several restored kivas, native ceremonial chambers. She explained that Kivas were built of rock covered with plaster, with entry through the roof. As I climbed the ladder down into the kiva, inside there was little more than a firepit, and a "sipapu," or spirit hole, through which the Indians believed ancestors entered the world. Carol indicated this was the universal kiva design.

    Bridge Street“Without exception there was no town which harbored a more disreputable gang of desperadoes, and outlaws than did Las Vegas,” stated Ralph Emerson Twitchell, considered the first to write the major history of New Mexico. After all, Billy the Kid spent the night in jail here and was killed nearby by Bob Ford. The Kid’s trigger finger was sent to the Las Vegas newspaper and became an attraction. Pat Garrett averted a lynching at the train depot. Doc Holiday operated a bar and Wyatt Earp called Las Vegas home before heading to Tombstone, AZ.

    As we walked around Old Town Plaza, Marcus Gottshalk, our guide, seconded the notion that Las Vegas, NM was wild and wooly. “In its heyday, Las Vegas was the place to be for gambling, ladies of the evening, criminals and hot springs,” Gottshalk said. The 19th century buildings around the drowsy Plaza, some a tad run down, could pass for a movie set. "The Santa Fe Trail went through the town square," Gottschalk added. "Then after the railroad came, New Town Las Vegas was added."

    So far, Old Town Plaza with its 1882 Plaza Hotel, complete with high tin ceilings, grand stairways and a saloon, and the shops along Bridge Street don’t sport the chain stores and fast-food joints that homogenize America. You’ll find stores specializing in antiques, books, local crafts and Western Americana. Venerable Estella's Café, a favorite among locals for more than 50 years, serves some of the state's best New Mexican food.

    This Las Vegas, which represents the understated, genuine Wild West, is nothing like the one in Nevada. Shops here close early and Sunday nights are exceptionally quiet. To get a better sense of the history along its quiet streets, the Historic Las Vegas brochure contains maps and details about the 900-plus significant buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. A drive through both sections of town will reveal interesting and unique examples of Victorians and Spanish Territorial architecture.

    World CollegeIn 1879, Las Vegas boomed with the arrival of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway. Then, the Las Vegas area received more visitors than its famous namesake in Nevada. It became New Mexico's largest and wealthiest city, hosting presidents and generals. In 1886, in nearby Montezuma, NM, the railroad built a massive Queen Anne-style luxury hotel called the Montezuma, capitalizing on the natural hot springs on the site. Now nicknamed “the castle,” it is actually the third building on the site.

    The castle is home to the Armand Hammer United World College of the American West. In 2000, the school spent more than $12 million restoring the building and its historic details plus adding modern treasures including two eight-foot glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly. You can tour the United World College campus where about 200 students from 88 countries live and learn at the two-year preparatory school. Founded by business tycoon Armand Hammer, the New Mexico campus is the only United World College in the United States. Student-led f.ree tours are offered on select Saturdays and last about one hour.

    In a perverse cycle, the arrival of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, which started a boom in Las Vegas, spelled the start of the city’s downward spiral. Because of the railroad, the Sante Fe Trail passed into history and Albuquerque became the railroad hub. Looking the other way no longer was necessary when gambling was legalized in Nevada.

    Las Vegas MuseumBut the antics and escapades aren’t forgotten. The town's history is preserved in the city of Las Vegas Museum & Rough Riders collection. The collection commemorates Teddy Roosevelt's 1898 Spanish-American War regiment, whose soldiers came mostly from New Mexico. Edward, a volunteer at the museum, said the Las Vegas Rough Rider connection came straight from Teddy Roosevelt. “Roosevelt thought there should be a regiment from the Southwest going to Cuba since people here rode horses, spoke Spanish and could shoot.” Las Vegas became the site of the first Rough Rider reunion in 1899, which was attended by Roosevelt.

    Through photographs, local Native American pottery, household items, costumes, ranching and farming equipment the museum interprets local history, area agriculture, merchants, and the Santa Fe Trail. Proud of the city’s history and heritage, Edward shared interesting factoids such as Las Vegas was the first community in New Mexico to have a phone system and the largest rodeo in the state from 1915 through the 1930s. His involvement was a labor or love.

    Obviously, Las Vegas, N.M., will never pass its Nevada larger sister in tourism. But Las Vegas, N.M., gives you the real version of Southwestern culture and history in a beautiful, authentic setting and in a much more relaxed way. Plus, you’ll want to tell your friends about what happens in this Las Vegas.

    For more information, contact theLas Vegas/San Miguel Chamber of Commerceor 800/832-5947.

    Winter Weekends in Copenhagen

    The Adina Apartment Hotel in Copenhagen takes the chill out of winter with some deals for your next getaway.

    The Refresh package includes overnight accommodation in a one bedroom apartment with breakfast for two from 995 DKK (about $175) per apartment, per night, with a minimum two night stay on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Valid until Feb. 15, 2007, the package is subject to availability and excludes peak periods.

    The Tivoli package includes accommodations in a one bedroom apartment, breakfast for two and two tickets to Tivoli entertainment complex from 1200 DKK , about $212. The Tivoli Family package spreads you out into a two bedroom apartment, with breakfast for four and four tickets to Tivoli from 1600 DKK, about $281. Valid until Feb. 15, 2007, both packages are based on a minimum two night weekend stay and exclude peak periods.

    Situated in Copenhagen’s new harbor development between the city and the waterfront business district, the Adina Apartment Hotel is one of the largest apartment hotels in Copenhagen and offers a restaurant, pool, gym, meeting rooms and parking.

    Adina apartments include studio rooms and one and two bedroom apartments, which are serviced daily. One and two bedroom apartments feature separate lounge and dining areas; fully-equipped kitchens and individual fully equipped laundries.

    Book online for the best guaranteed rates.

    Adina Apartment Hotel.

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    Information & Credits

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