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Travel Savings Alerts Newsletter, June 2005 Issue


Travel Savings Alerts
P.O. Box 91033
Columbus OH 43209
http://tsalerts.freespaces.com
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ISSN: 1542-801X, Copyright © 2005 
All Rights Reserved.


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Heavenly Style
This bracelet is as beautiful as a heavenly vision. For some, the bracelet represents each layer in the foundation of heaven, a meaningful, spiritual reminder.

The 7" long bracelet is made from pearls and crystals that represents sardonyx, beryl and chalcedony, stones mentioned in the Bible. The 12 genuine multi-colored crystals beads and freshwater pearls are each separated by pewter spacer beads. Each crystal bead is faceted to bring out its color and sparkle. Rarely found in stores or jewelry shops, we sell the Heavenly bracelet for only $29. Order here from AAA Jewelry Outlet.


In This Issue:
Museum of Natural History's Mammal Hall

  • D.C. Heats Up with Summer Savings
  • Family Rates, Kids Eat Free at Cheyenne Mountain
  • Americans Pick Top U.S. Treasures
  • Scottsdale Cool Summer Savings
  • Hotel Derek Summer Deals
  • Checked Bag Arrives with You or Fare is Free
  • Britain Offers Value
  • 2005 Thunderbirds Performance Schedule
  • Charter Service to Brazil
  • First All-Glass Undersea Restaurant Opens
  • Marriott, United & Visa Serve Up Family Savings
  • Clearing the Air on Airplane Cabin Air
  • American Express, Pan Pacific 50% Off
  • Find Discounts in Waldo County, Maine
  • Buy Four Nights, Get Four Nights Free
  • On the Go Skin Care Goals by Mia Guerra
  • What’s New In Washington, D.C. Part II by Kay Douglas

  • D.C. Heats Up with Summer Savings

    The city's newest professional sports team, the Washington Nationals, has inspired several hotels to offer baseball-themed Summer Freedom Savings packages with amenities such as souvenir programs and Cracker Jacks. Packages are available exclusively online at http://www.washington.org/, or 800/422-8644.

    Aug. 1 to 7 is Washington, DC Restaurant Week, when diners enjoy three-course, fixed-price lunch and dinner specials priced at $20.05 (lunch) and $30.05 (dinner).

    Washington's museums offer fr-ee exhibitions. At the National Gallery of Art, catch Toulouse-Lautrec and Montmartre (through June 12) and Gilbert Stuart (through July 31). The National Museum of Natural History explores The Allure of Pearls and the National Museum of the American Indian showcases its new feature film, A Thousand Roads. Visitors enjoy fr-ee admission to these and other well-known attractions, including the 14 museums of the Smithsonian Institution.

    Fr-ee concerts take place at many points throughout the city, including the Library of Congress, the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the National Zoo. Military bands perform several nights of the week at the U.S. Capitol, the U.S. Navy Memorial and the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial.

    Washington, DC Convention & Tourism Corporation.


    Family Rates, Kids Eat Fr-ee at Cheyenne Mountain

    Through September, Cheyenne Mountain Resort, near Colorado Springs, Colorado, offers rates from $129 for a family of four, combined with a Kids Eat Fr-ee program.

    Family sports and recreational activities include a daily summer camp for children five to 12; an aquatics program with swimming lessons and lifeguard training; day care Monday through Saturday; a 35-acre recreation lake with water sports and trout fishing; 18 tennis courts; a championship golf course; five swimming pools including adult, baby, indoor, outdoor and resort pools; and hiking and biking on the resort’s 217 acres.

    Four restaurants offer choices and include a Kids Eat Fr-ee menu for children 12 and under.

    Cheyenne Mountain Resort or 800/428-8886.


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    Americans Pick Top U.S. Treasures

    The Travel Industry Association of America (TIA), in a national survey, asked Americans to name the top American treasures they would like to visit. Results showed a true appreciation for the nation’s natural and historic sites. The top ten selections, in order, were:

    • The Grand Canyon
    • The Statue of Liberty
    • Yellowstone National Park
    • The White House and monuments of Washington, DC
    • Niagara Falls
    • The Hawaiian Islands
    • Mount Rushmore
    • The Redwood Forest
    • The Glaciers and the Fjords of Alaska
    • The Rocky Mountains

    Roger Dow, TIA’s President and CEO notes that survey results support TIA’s new See America’s Treasures Campaign, which offers travelers a fun way to discover treasures in their backyards or in far-flung locations. Visitors to TIA’s website can play the See America’s Treasures Game and link to all kinds of interesting places and things to do.

    Through July 31, visitors can enter a sweepstakes to win one of six vacations featuring many of the top ten treasures including a trip to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon, a trip to New York and Boston, a trip to the Finger Lakes and Niagara Falls, a cruise in Alaska, a trip to Hollywood, and a trip to Orlando with tickets to the theme parks.

    See America offers travelers a commercial-fr-ee U.S. information site with maps for cities and states, driving directions, itineraries, deals and a search engine that brings travelers to the destinations that meet their needs. www.

    Travel Industry Association.


    Scottsdale Cool Summer Savings

    Scottsdale, AZ has much to offer, so visitors can make vacation planning easier with all the summer packages at their web site.

    A few examples:

    The Bed & Breakfast package at CopperWynd Resort and Club starts at $149 per night and includes one night in a mountain-view room with gas fireplace and private balcony plus breakfast for two.

    A pitcher of margaritas is delivered to your room at the Renaissance Scottsdale Resort. The Margarita Getaway also includes a suite with a private hot tub spa for $179.

    The unlimited golf package at the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North costs $235 per night, with same day consecutive play golf at Troon North, Legend Trail or Talking Stick golf clubs for every night’s stay.

    The Essenza Di Vita at the Royal Palms Resort and Spa includes three nights in a luxurious casita, two rounds of golf at Troon Golf facilities and two spa treatments at Alvadora Spa for $989.

    Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau or 800/805-0471.


    Hotel Derek Summer Deals

    The Houston hotel offers special packages and promotions for the sunny summer season.

    Play ball with the "Houston Astros Package" and enjoy a one-night stay, fr,ee valet parking and a fr,ee welcome amenity. To top it off, you will get two Derek ball caps to wear to the game. Available through Oct. 10, 2005, the package costs $215 for a weekday night and $149 for a weekend. This package is based on availability and some restrictions apply.

    See Phantom of the Opera, July 6 through July 30, and take advantage of the "Broadway in Houston" package that includes champagne and truffles on arrival, deluxe accommodations, fr,ee breakfast for two and a Phantom of the Opera soundtrack souvenir. The package costs $239 per weekday night and $149 per weekend night, with taxes included.

    The spend the night package, with room service dinner for two, a one-night stay, fr,ee valet parking and one in-house movie costs $259 per weekday night and $199 per weekend night.

    Hotel Derek or 713/961-3000.

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    Fun, Fr-ee Things, San Diego
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    To get your Fr-ee Fun San Diego, click here to send us an email. We will email you a secure, Paypal payment link for the $1 handling fee. Once that’s received, we will email you the San Diego Fr-ee Fun brochure.


    Checked Bag Arrives with You or Fare is Fr,ee

    As a way to highlight its growing reputation for excellent customer service and operational performance, low-fare airline Independence Air offers a new guarantee. If your checked bag does not arrive at your final destination when you do, Independence Air will offer a credit for future travel in the amount of the one-way fare paid for that flight. You can use the credit any time within the next year.

    As a way to kick off the new service promise, Independence Air also introduces the "Happy Bags Instant Win Game" that will run for at least one month. Every checked bag on all Independence Air flights will be tagged with a special game piece. 500 winners will receive a grand prize of a roundtrip flight to any Independence Air destination. All other game pieces will contain a discount coupon for future travel. Full details and limitations of the "Happy Bags Instant Win Game" and the Independence Air baggage delivery service promise can be found online.

    Independence Air.


    Britain Offers Value

    Britain offers diverse experiences at affordable prices for U.S. travelers in England, Scotland and Wales. To help visitors reap the best value for their dollar, VisitBritain, the national tourist office, highlights ways to save on accommodations, attractions, dining, entertainment and travel within the country.

    Accommodations:

    Several hotels are running guaranteed pound for dollar promotions. Travelers pay the pound rate in dollars to stay at properties. Participating properties include Athenæum Hotel & Apartments, the Cadogan Hotel, Capital Hotels, Dorset Square Hotel, Royal Garden Hotel, the Stafford Hotel and Thistle Hotels.

    Britain’s colleges and universities have accommodations in student halls, hostels, college- or university-owned lodgings and student apartments for rentals during the summer and school holidays. Click here for information on lodgings at recognized colleges and universities.

    Self-catering apartments are an affordable way for cost-conscious consumers to save money during their stay in England, Scotland and Wales. Several companies such as Emperor’s Gate in London, Royal Garden Apartments in Edinburgh and Coastal Cottages in Pembrokeshire operate affordable apartments in Britain.

    The Youth Hostels Association is Britain’s leading accommodation provider with a network of 227 youth hostels in England and Wales. The hostels are ideal for single and family travelers, student and youth groups because they provides comfortable accommodations, and good food at reasonable prices.

    Edinburgh First operates a network of bed and breakfast accommodations and self-catering apartments in the center of Edinburgh. The company’s accommodations are on the scale of a three star hotel. Click here for accommodations and prices.

    St. Christopher’s Inn operates dormitory-style hostels in Edinburgh, Scotland; London; Newquay (Cornwall); Bath; and Brighton in England. The hostels give value for the money in centrally located areas.

    Attractions, dining and travel within Britain options will be covered in the July 2005 issue.


    2005 Air Force Thunderbirds Performance Schedule

    In 1947, while the jet age was still in its infancy, the U.S. Air Force was created as a separate service. Six years later, the Air Force’s official air demonstration team, designated the 3600th Air Demonstration Unit, was activated at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona.

    The name “Thunderbirds” was adopted, influenced by the strong Indian culture and folklore of the southwestern United States. Indian legend speaks of the Thunderbird with great fear and respect. To some it was a giant eagle, others envisioned a hawk. When it took to the skies, the earth trembled from the thunder of its great wings and its eyes shot bolts of lightning. Nothing in nature could challenge the bird of thunder, the story said, and no man could stand against its might.

    The original demonstration sequence consisted of aerobatic formations lasting 15 minutes. In 1956, the Thunderbirds became the world’s first supersonic aerial demonstration team and moved to Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.

    If you’d like to see the heart-stopping performances of this unmatched aerial precision team flying in their F-16C aircraft, here are the places they will be performing.

    June: 1st USAF Academy, CO; 4th Peterson AFB, CO; 5th Malmstrom AFB, MT; 11 to 12 Rochester, NY; 18 to 19 La Crosse, WI; 25 to 26 Davenport, IA.

    July: 2nd Tinker AFB, OK; 3 to 4 Battle Creek, MI; 9 to 10 Pittsburgh, PA; 16 to 17 Dayton, OH; 23 to 24 Terre Haute, IN; 27th Cheyenne, WY; 30 to 31 McChord AFB, WA.

    August: 13 to 14 Abbotsford, Canada; 20 to 21 Chicago, IL; 27 to 28 Westfield, MA; 30 to 31 Atlantic City, NJ;

    Click here for the schedule for September, October and November.


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    Charter Service to Brazil

    Avocet Travel offers a new vacation package with non-stop charter air service from New York to Bahia, Brazil. Beginning June 2, you can fly on Varig Airlines directly to Salvador, Bahia, a nine hour flight, instead of Sao Paulo, eliminating nearly five hours of travel time.

    In addition to charter flight service, the seven-day package includes accommodations and tours for an intro rate of $998 per person based on double occupancy. The intro rate is valid until Sep. 30, 2005. You must book the package by July 27, 2005.

    Air-only flights to Salvador, Bahia, with a limited availability, start from $575 one way or $775 roundtrip. The minimum stay for air-only flights is two weeks with a maximum stay of six weeks. The above promotional rates are available through Sep. 30, 2005.

    A copy of the contract detailing your rights and information on the charter program is available from Avocet Travel.

    According to the American Society of Travel Agents, Bahia, the most historic city in Northeast Brazil and the birthplace and first capital of the country, is the third leading tourism destination in Brazil. The state has more than 620 miles of tropical coastline, 100 islands and a yearly average temperature of 78 degrees.

    Avocet Travel or 866/862-2442.



    First All-Glass Undersea Restaurant Opens

    The first all-glass undersea restaurant opened at the Hilton Maldives Resort & Spa. Ithaa sits 15 feet below the waves of the Indian Ocean, surrounded by a coral reef and encased in clear acrylic with 270-degrees panoramic underwater views. Ithaa (pronounced eet-ha) means ‘pearl’ in the language of the Maldives, Dhivehi.

    Curved transparent acrylic, in the walls and roof similar to those used in aquarium attractions, is the component for the entire restaurant except for the floor. A coral garden on the reef is being planted on one side to add to the views of the rays, sharks and fish that live around the reef near the restaurant. A clear lagoon is on the other side.

    A transparent arch spans the entire room, which seats 14 people. Ithaa is reached by a wooden walkway from the nearby over-water Sunset Grill Restaurant. Diners begin their meal with drinks on a specially constructed deck over the ocean and then descend to the restaurant via a spiral staircase where the à la carte menu is served..

    This restaurant is part of a multi-million dollar re-build of Rangalifinolhu Island, one of the twin islands that make up Hilton Maldives Resort & Spa.

    Hilton Maldives Resort & Spa.



    Marriott, United & Visa Serve Up Family Savings

    This summer, travelers who purchase the Stay for Breakfast rate with a Visa card at participating JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Marriott Hotels & Resorts and Renaissance Hotels & Resorts will receive a $100 Bonus Bucks coupon toward a future two-night stay worldwide at those brands. In addition, they will receive a coupon for $50 off the ticket price of their next qualifying roundtrip United flight. The Marriott summer promotional rate is available seven days a week and requires a Friday or Saturday night stay.

    The Stay for Breakfast rate is popular with families since breakfast is included in the room rate for up to two adults and children under the age of 12.

    Marriott's moderately priced brands, Courtyard, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites, TownePlace Suites and Fairfield Inn are also teaming up with Visa. Travelers who book the Promotional Weekend Rate with a Friday or Saturday night stay and pay with a Visa card will receive a $50 Bonus Bucks coupon toward a future two-night stay worldwide at those brands.

    Both the Stay for Breakfast and Weekend Promotional Rate offers are valid for stays through Sep. 5, 2005 at participating hotels in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

    Marriott International or 877-MARRIOTT. Insert code "OTP" for JW Marriott, Marriott and Renaissance hotels or "OP7" for Courtyard, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites, TownePlace Suites or Fairfield Inn hotels.


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    Click Here to Order from On The Go Publishing.


    Clearing the Air on Airplane Cabin Air

    Fear about the safety of the air in airplane cabins heightens whenever a new or emerging infection, such as SARS or avian (bird) flu, appears in the headlines. Each new report raises questions if airplane cabin air can transmit the viruses, which some scientists predict could be the source of the next major global influenza epidemic.

    "The flying public needs to be armed with the facts and informed about the risks of cabin air transmission of viruses, bacteria and fungi that can cause illness," says Joe Lundquist, an airplane air filtration technology expert at Pall Corporation. A new study published in Lancet concluded that the risk of transmission of infectious diseases in airplanes is not as great as people perceive it to be. The risk is low, even in aircraft that re-circulate air, provided that the airplane is equipped with HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters.

    However, Lundquist points out that not all filters used by aircraft, even some designated HEPA, provide the highest level of microbial removal efficiency available today. In order to prevent the dissemination of infectious diseases, the filters must stop microbes of all shapes and sizes on the first pass before they can be dispersed throughout the cabin.

    The efficiency standards for filters to be classified as HEPA can vary considerably. These standards are based on chemical challenge tests, which do not simulate the removal of microorganisms and do not reflect a filter's true microbial removal efficiency. The most accurate way to determine whether a filter can remove microorganisms efficiently is with bacteria and viral challenge tests. That’s because the surface chemistry and shape of bacteria, fungi and viruses (which all have very complex organic shells) act differently.

    Although helpful, Lundquist explains that even state-of-the-art cabin air filters cannot prevent direct person-to-person transmission within the aircraft cabin. Touching common surfaces, sneezing, coughing and talking with an infected individual on an airplane, can transmit infections. Proximity to an infected individual increases risk more than the duration of a flight.

    Infectious disease specialists recommend that air travelers wash their hands frequently. Lundquist also recommends that opening the overhead air nozzles to provide a steady flow of filtered air can help reduce the direct transmission of microbes from neighboring passengers.

    Pall Corporation.



    American Express, Pan Pacific 50% Off

    Receive 50 percent off published room rates when you stay at any Pan Pacific hotel and resort before Nov. 30, 2005. What’s more, stay two nights or more, and the third night is fr,ee. Simply book and pay with your American Express Card through June 30, 2005.

    The offer applies to deluxe rooms only, except for Palau Pacific Resorts where the offer is for suites only. Reservations and the fr,ee night are subject to availability plus local taxes and service charges apply.

    Pan Pacific San Francisco's new Business First program offers a special rate of $189. The program includes dedicated Business First check-in or curb-side check in, 24 hour personal valet, welcome amenities (your choice of snacks and beverages), frequent flyer miles, fr,ee use of the business and fitness centers and fr,ee Internet access. The Business First program is valid until Dec. 31, 2005.

    Pan Pacific Hotels.



    American Express Caribbean Wide Savings

    Statement credits of up to $150, a Vacation Values Card with savings up to 30 percent on car rentals, excursions, cell phone rentals, dining, greens fees, shopping and a preferred exchange rate are featured in American Express' "Beyond the Beach" Caribbean program. Available at 17 destinations, the program is offered for travel through Sep. 30, 2005. Bookings must be made by June 30, 2005.

    "Beyond the Beach" is available to travelers who book qualifying vacation packages with any American Express travel office or affiliate using their eligible American Express Card. A qualifying vacation is a purchase valued at $2,000 or more per booking which comes with a $100 statement credit. Gold, Platinum and Centurion charge card members who book a package of $2,500 or more receive a $150 statement credit.

    Other exclusive features include buy-one get-one-fr*ee offers, a year subscription to Travel & Leisure magazine and double membership reward points.

    Participating destinations include Anguilla, Antigua, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curacao, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Turks and Caicos, Cancun, Cozumel and Riviera Maya in the Mexican Caribbean.

    American Express Company.



    Find Discounts in Waldo County, Maine

    A group of historic inns and motor courts in mid-coast Maine (many former 19th century ship captain's homes) offer discounted rates during the state's all-too-brief high season, June through October.

    During the "Finding Waldo" promotion, June through October 2005, discounted daily rates at inns range from $67 to $160 (regularly $75 to $185); self-catering weekly rental rates (cottages to luxury estates) range from $760 to $3,400 per week (regular price $850 to $4,000) and motel rates range from $41 to $135 (regular price $49 to $159).

    Participating properties include:

    1794 Watchtide by the Sea, 800/698-6575 - Searsport B&B listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

    Carriage House Inn, 800/578-2167 - Searsport "Painted Lady" on Historic Register.

    Londonderry Inn, 877/529-9566 - 1803 Maine farmhouse in Belfast.

    Wildflower Inn, 888/546-2112 - 1846 sea captain's home in Searsport.

    McGilvery House, 207/548-6289 - Self-catering weekly rentals only. Sea captain's mansion in Searsport.

    Homeport Inn, 800/742-5814 - Sea captain's estate in Searsport overlooking Penobscot Bay.

    Yardarm Motel, 207/548-2404 - Motor court-style motel in Searsport with front porches.

    Seascape Motel & Cottages, 800/477-0786 - Cottage rentals and guest rooms in Belfast with views of the Penobscot.

    Discounts range from 10 to 15 percent. Contact the property to make reservations and mention the "Finding Waldo" promotion to receive your discount.. The offer is subject to availability and black out dates.

    The 734-square-mile Waldo County includes 26 small villages, many along the Penobscot Bay between Camden and Bar Harbor. Located two hours north of Portland, Waldo County is the quieter, artistic, family-oriented side of Maine which includes coast and countryside.

    Waldo County, Maine.


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    Buy Four Nights, Get Four Nights Fr.ee

    The Mount Nevis Hotel, in Nevis, West Indies, offers their 50 percent off “Match Made in Nevis” promotion through Dec. 15, 2005.

    Travelers who book a two-bedroom superior suite with kitchen for four nights at $500 per night, get four nights fr.ee. If you pay for five nights, you get five nights fr.ee, and so on. The suite accommodates a family of four or two couples and the kitchen is well-equipped.

    The hilltop location keeps the hotel pleasant, even in the summer. The hotel’s newly decorated rooms have air-conditioning, direct-dial telephones, fr.ee cell phones, cable television and video players with a library of films. Each room also has a patio or balcony with views of the lush island, the Caribbean Sea and the nearby island of St. Kitts.

    A daytime shuttle service takes guests to a nearby beach club. On property, there is a 60-foot freshwater swimming pool, relaxing hammocks, tennis courts and an exercise room. Golf is nearby on an 18-hole Robert Trent Jones golf course.

    The “Match Made in Nevis” promotion is subject to availability and does not include the 10 percent service or 8 percent tax or any meals.

    Mount Nevis Hotel or 800-756-3847.


    On the Go Skin Care By Mia Guerra

    Traveling is fun, but we always seem to forget something. Some leave the toothbrush or favorite razor, but we are all guilty of leaving our skin education at home. Not for long. Skin care has to be a priority and soon it will be part of your daily agenda with these easy steps.

    Whether planning a warrior road trip or simply taking a day trip, you need to prepare and educate yourself about skin terminology and tips for travel. After spending much time traveling for business, I have compiled the cause and effects of skin when out on the run. Regardless of age, your skin is the key element to your physical appearance; in fact, your skin tells your age and whether you are happy or not. Let's become our personalized skin healers and dare to be skin-savvy and different on our next escapade.

    With combination skin, you can have two kinds of skin at the same time. Your cheeks can be neither dry nor oily, but your T-zone-the 'T' formed by your forehead, nose and chin-can be a little oily. Often the pores around your nose are larger than those on the rest of your face. With sun exposure, you'll probably burn the first time but the burn will turn to tan quickly. You'll break out occasionally but your skin will behave well under non-stressful conditions. As you age, fine lines will appear around your eyes, forehead and lips.

    What to do? Normal/combination skin benefits from a good beauty cleansing regimen and usually performs well when left to itself. If you're lucky enough to have this kind of skin, flaunt it! Your skin can handle just about anything you throw at it! Must-have: Dermalogica's Special Cleansing Gel.

    Dry skin is dull, feels tight after washing, and flakes, scales and chaps easily. It is more likely to react adversely to harsh chemicals and will tend to make wrinkles look more prominent, although it won't actually cause wrinkles. Most skins tend to get drier as they get older.

    What to do? Dry skin should be especially well protected in summer, as more moisture is lost from the skin when the weather is hot and humidity is low. A good moisturizer is also important in the winter when central heating can have the same effect. As a general rule, the lower the humidity, the heavier your moisturizer should be. Must-have: La Prairie's Skin caviar Luxe Cream.

    Oily skin feels relaxed and supple, but looks shiny and is more prone to outbreaks of spots. This is because of a heightened production of sebum by the sebaceous glands. Too much sebum can cause a blockage in the duct, leading to inflammation and pimples. Sebaceous glands are unevenly distributed, being more concentrated around the scalp, on the forehead, along the nose and on the chin, and scarcer on the cheeks and neck, and around the eyes. As a result, most skins tend to be oily only in patches.

    What to do? Oily skin may or may not lead to acne, but it is important to distinguish between oil on the surface of the skin, where it is meant to be and can easily be removed with careful cleansing, and oil trapped within the sebaceous duct, which can be helped by regular exfoliation. If you can control excessive oiliness, your skin will reward you-a light sheen of oil is the essence of that youthful glow! Must-haves: Ravi Botanical Cleanser and Dr. Brandt's Exfoliating Facial Wash.

    There are two types of skin that fall into the sensitive skin category. One is susceptible to break outs, and the other is easily irritated. The irritations come from overusing products or using products that are too harsh-especially cleansers. If you've found that your skin is reacting to some skin products and showing signs of irritation or redness, you probably have sensitive skin. We all have skin that is somewhat sensitive, however hypersensitive skin, which usually goes with blonde or red-haired people, reacts to irritants by turning blotchy or developing spots and rashes. This type of skin rarely tans but only burns or freckles.

    What to do? Cleanse with gentle, water-soluble lotions and tepid water. Avoid hot water and washcloths. Moisturizer is essential to protect sensitive skin-and it should be hypoallergenic and fragrance fr.ee. Avoid products that contain a lot of stabilizers -chemicals that add to the shelf life of a product wreak havoc with hypersensitive skin. Must-haves: Pevonia's Sensitive Cleanser and Lotion.

    Dry, thin and sagging skin is among the most common complaints of women who have gone through menopause. Lower estrogen levels are the cause, and the result is that your skin's normal function slows down. Because your mature skin does not work as fast to shed dead cells and build new skin, you lose radiance. If you have not taken good care of your skin in the past or spent years in the sun, your skin will look rough and weathered. If that weren't enough, the rate of cell division and replacement falls off by 50 percent between the ages of 35 and 80, increasing the tendency for the old cells on the surface of the skin to cling there for a bit longer. All this leads to sagging, wrinkling, loss of skin tone and uneven pigmentation. The degree of wrinkling depends on your genetic makeup, but smoking, dry skin and sun exposure (especially sunburns) make it worse. Dynamic motion-making facial expressions -also causes permanent creases over time.

    What to do? Treating skin well is now more important than ever, you need to super-hydrate the skin with rich creams, following exfoliation. You can give yourself an at home monthly facial by using an alpha-hydroxy mask, followed by a thick moisturizer. Alpha-hydroxy Acids (AHAs) dissolve the "glue" that binds dead skin cells to the skin's surface. When these cells build up, the skin looks gray and dull; when you remove this buildup, your skin will not only look more radiant, it will be able to absorb moisturizers better. Also look for products that contain glycolic or lactic acids to help soften the overall appearance of your complexion-and use a sunscreen of SPF15 or higher whenever you go outside. Must-haves: Crème de la Mer and La Roche Posay's Hydranorme

    In the normal course of events, sebum, made in the sebaceous glands deep down in the skin, travel up the hair follicle to emerge through a fine pore on the surface, creating acne skin. However, if the sebum hardens and becomes trapped just beneath the surface of the skin, or if the dead epidermal cells stick together and clog the opening of the pore, a small pimple or blackhead will appear. Blackheads are not dirt-the secretion trapped in the pore turns black upon exposure to air. If the blockage occurs deeper down, inflammation and primary bacterial infection combine to produce a much larger and angrier spot, which can spread when touched with dirty fingers. When the pimple becomes infected, a whitehead or pustule can develop. This is the type of blemish that can burst and may eventually scar. The biggest blemish of all is a cyst-the red, swollen result of a deeper infection. If you develop cysts, you should definitely seek the advice of a dermatologist.

    What to do? Fortunately much can be done to improve acne. Topical acne treatments range from mild antiseptic astringents to stronger, more abrasive chemical solutions that strip off the dead layer of skin cells to unblock the pore and fr.ee the sebum. Lotions containing benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid or retinoic acid (vitamin A) are probably the most effective. Cleanse your skin twice daily with an antiseptic or medicated cleanser, use topical creams and lotions sparingly and remember not to overdo it-dirt and oil on top of the skin have nothing to do with any but the smallest of pimples, it is the oil trapped beneath that is to blame. Must-haves: SkinCeuticals' Gentle Cleanser and Aveeno's Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser

    If your skin has been very red and broken lately, but it doesn't seem like regular acne, you may have rosacea, a skin condition that usually occurs in the late 20s or early 30s and affects both women and men. Rosacea's symptoms include broken capillaries, redness on the cheeks, nose and forehead, and acne-like lesions that don't clear with normal acne treatments. Those who have rosacea might first notice a tendency to flush or blush easily. The condition can occur over a long period of time and often progresses to a persistent redness, pimples and visible blood vessels in the center of the face that might eventually involve the cheeks, forehead, chin and nose. Other areas that can be affected by rosacea are the neck, ears, chest and back. Sometimes, rosacea affects the eyes.

    What to do? The best advice to anyone who thinks that they might have rosacea is to see a dermatologist as early as possible. While there currently is no cure for rosacea, today's treatments can successfully control, and possibly reverse, rosacea's bothersome cosmetic and physical effects. In addition to medical treatments, dermatologists often recommend that certain moisturizers, soaps and sunscreens be used, which will not irritate and might help rosacea. People bothered by the redness can use cosmetics, especially green tinted makeup, to mask it. While rosacea cannot be completely prevented, flare-ups can often be avoided. The trick is to avoid some of the things that increases blood flow to the cheeks and make the face red or flushed. People who suffer from rosacea should keep personal diaries of those things that seem to trigger their flare-ups. Must-haves: Pevonia's RS2 Line

    Travel Savvy Tips:

    • A pressurized cabin has an extremely drying effect on skin. I keep key beauty products well packed and within arm's reach while flying. A good moisturizer is critical, but go easy when applying, and target only areas that feel especially tight.
    • Research reveals that humidity levels on planes can sometime dip as low as the Sahara Desert, which makes water a travel essential. Pack your own bottle and ask for regular refills throughout your flight. Drink no fewer than six glasses a day, especially since dehydration is a common symptom of prolonged flights. Never underestimate water's ability to protect and rehydrate the skin.
    • By leaning forward in your seat and supporting your face in your hands for several minutes, you provide the right amount of pressure on facial skin tissue to help eliminate the puffiness caused by lengthy flights.
    • A light splash or spritz of cool water keeps skin supple while traveling and decreases the chance of puffiness on arrival.
    • It's an unfortunate fact that you'll probably encounter harsh lighting in airports and terminals while traveling. To play down the effects of bad lighting on your face, use foundation like concealer, applying only where needed: under the eyes, around the nose and on any areas of high color.
    • To soothe and seal lips, prick a vitamin E capsule and apply a light amount over lipstick to guard against dryness.
    • For your face I insist on a moisturizing glycolic (2-10%) wash; one should look for ingredients such as glycerin/dimethicicone/cyclomethicone/stearates for moisture, which help clear skin and keep it clear.
    • After washing daily, always use a soothing toner geared for your skin type. Look for soothing agents such as green tea extract (polyphenol) or witch hazel for sensitive skin/salicylic acid for acne-prone skin/glycolic acid for mature or drier skin types.
    • And forget those harsh rays and opt for St. Tropez or SkinCeuticals self tanners. Look for DHA, which is in most good self-tanners these days. This ingredient also helps protect against skin cancer.
    • And if you still insist on heading towards the rays keep Pevonia's Hydrating SPF 30 handy and their After-Sun Soothing Gel, just in case.

    Not your average beauty writer, Mia Guerra makes certain she lives and breathes the benefits of beauty. Serving as a beauty editor for more than 10 years, Guerra promotes the simple things in life including breathing, "Deep breaths throughout the day makes the doctor go away."


    Surfside Escape Special in B.C.

    The Surfside Escape special at Pacific Sands Beach Resort, located on the edge of Pacific Rim National Park, eight km (about five miles) south of Tofino, British Columbia, offers a mid-week deal that will have guests flocking to the west coast of Vancouver Island.

    Through June, you can choose between a beach-front two-bedroom villa or a one bedroom lighthouse suite at a special springtime rate for Monday through Thursday stays. All suites include kitchens, fireplaces and decks overlooking the waterfront property.

    The resort spreads over 45 acres along Cox Bay. Activities popular with guests include hiking, beach combing and whale watching during the annual grey whale migration in early spring. More energetic visitors can walk to Tofino and explore this artistic coastal village on a small harbor with funky waterfront eateries.

    Surfside Escape Specials start at $249 CDN per night (approx. $200) for the two-bedroom villas and $149 CDN (approx. $120) per night for the lighthouse suites. Stays of three nights or longer include fr.ee video rentals.

    Pacific Sands Beach Resort or 800/565-2322.


    New in Washington, D.C., Part II, story and photos by Kay Douglas

    World War II MemorialThe World War II Memorial -- It was a long time coming, which perhaps made the dedication of the World War II Memorial all the more joyous an occasion for the remaining World War II vets and their families who gathered on the Mall on May 29, 2004. It was the culmination of an 11 year crusade to establish the first national monument dedicated to those who served during World War II, both as civilians and in the military. Tom Brokaw, President Bush, Tom Hanks, Bob Dole, and a host of dignitaries and celebrities, along with thousands of ordinary Americans, gathered to pay homage to "The Greatest Generation."

    The World War II vets I met on the Mall during the opening ceremonies seemed almost dazed by the attention they were receiving. One octogenarian, his service cap set at a jaunty angle, confided, "Where were all these adoring women when I was young? I've been kissed by so many women today I've lost count!" It was a dwindling generation's time in the spotlight; the tragedy was that it took 59 years for the moment to arrive.

    The monument is located at a central position on the mall, at the east end of the Reflecting Pool between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. It sits in a vast oval plaza, a central Rainbow Pool flanked to the north and south by two 43-foot-tall pavilions symbolizing the Atlantic and Pacific theaters of operation during the war. Each pavilion in turn is flanked by granite pillars, one for each U.S. state and territory. Four thousand gold stars set into the Fre.edom Wall facing the Washington Monument honor the more than 400,000 American lives lost during the war.

    While the design of the Memorial was deplored by some as "cold" and "sterile," these critics overlooked the human dimension that followed. The plaza has become much more than a monument; it has become a gathering place for all war veterans, their families, and a grateful nation. Bouquets are routinely placed along the Wall of Fre.edom, many bearing heartfelt notes of gratitude. The faces of veterans and their families visiting the monument glow with pride - and remembrance.

    National History Museum's Mammal HallThe Museum of Natural History's New Mammal Hall -- In addition to Washington's new museums and monuments, it's well worth visiting the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History to see the largest renovation the museum has undertaken since 1910 - the Kenneth E. Behring Family Hall of Mammals, a 25,000-square-foot gallery that is a tour de force of the taxidermist's art. Named after the California businessman who donated $20 million towards the renovation, the new mammal hall is three times as large as the old hall, which some may remember as a dim corridor lined with glass cases containing fusty specimens. The new mammal hall practically roars it's so lifelike. A leopard perches high on the limb of a tree, while frozen in a griping tableau below, two lionesses attack a water buffalo.

    But not all is red in tooth and claw. Two-toed sloths dangle from trees, zebras and giraffes gather peaceably at a watering hole, and cuddly creatures such as marmosets, koalas, and dik-diks abound. Even bats are given their due. Some 274 stuffed creatures inhabit the gallery, along with fossils of their ancestors, a nice touch that helps visitors understand evolutionary development. Sounds of the veldt, outback, and jungle play in the background, while at intervals a tumultuous "rainstorm" takes places in the central display. This is a big hit with the children, who squeal in mock terror at the crashing thunder.

    Big Changes at the National Archives -- "You're about to see the real national treasure," announces Lt. Pringle, who is in charge of the officers guarding the Rotunda holding the Charters of Fre.edom. Undoubtedly the blockbuster film of the same name has inspired some of the crowd waiting to view the Declaration of Independence and other historical documents, but the truth of the matter is that the badly faded documents are barely legible. The documents were cleaned and partially restored when they were placed in new casings, and it's worth taking the time to watch the 18-minute NOVA segment explaining the complex and lengthy process that led to the re-encasement of the documents. (The film is shown every half hour in the Archive's McGowan Theater downstairs.)

    National ArchivesAfter waiting in line for an hour or more then filing slowly past the historic documents, most visitors simply exit the building, which is a shame. There's a lot more to see at the Archives, including an impressive new exhibit that opened in November 2004, "Public Vaults." While more than a million people visit the Archives each year to see the Charters of Fre.edom, few realize what how extensive and active a role the National Archives plays behind the scenes to document important historical events and preserve critical cultural materials.

    Genealogists, historians, film directors, federal investigators, and countless others come to the Archives to fact-check and conduct research. "Public Vaults" gives a good overview of the types of materials housed in the Archives - everything from a tattered telegram sent by the "Lost Battalion" caught behind German lines in World War I to film footage of George W. Bush, age 2. Visitors can see how the Archives were used to research such films as "Glory" or learn about the declassification of top-secret documents. They can listen in to private conversations taped in the Oval Office (Nixon wasn't the first!), and even see the infamous tape recorder entered into evidence during the Watergate trial. Letters to various presidents, ranging from the poignant to the humorous, are displayed on one wall. One teen's missive is a passionate plea to exempt Elvis from the army.

    Planning Your Visit -- Of course, many visitors to Washington would like to see some of the inner workings of the government by viewing a Supreme Court or perhaps visiting the Capitol Building. However, some advance planning is needed to assure everything goes smoothly.

    When the Supreme Court is in session, visitors may attend oral arguments, but seating is available strictly on a first-come, first-served basis. It's best to arrive before 9 a.m. to secure a spot. However, if a visitor merely wishes to observe the Court for a brief (approximately three minute) period, a separate, faster-moving line is formed. Normally oral arguments are conducted Monday to Wednesday, beginning at 10 a.m. until 2 or 3, with a one-hour lunch recess.

    Tickets for guided public tours of the Capitol are distributed beginning at 9 a.m., and it goes without saying that it's a good idea to be in line well before that time. The Capitol Guide Service Ticketing and Information Kiosk is at the southwest corner of the grounds near the Botanic Garden.

    Passes to visit the Galleries of the House and Senate are available from the offices of individual Senators and Representatives. Visitors should contact a Senator or Representative from their state in order to obtain a pass. Doing so in advance of a visit is highly recommended; while there's a chance your Representative or Senator can accommodate you at the last moment, the chance is slim.

    White HouseFinally, White House Tours are generally not available to individual visitors. Public tours - especially for groups of Boy or Girl Scouts, church groups, school groups, and so on - are available for groups of 10 or more people. Again, to obtain tickets for a tour, it's necessary to submit a request to a Member of Congress. Requests are accepted up to six months in advance.

    The Washington Monument, always wildly popular with visitors, is currently undergoing extensive remodeling. However, the next-best panorama of Washington can be seen from the 270-foot tower of the Old Postal Office. While the security check entering the Old Post Office Building is rigorous, there's seldom a wait to take the elevator up to the tower.

    The Smithsonian Mammal Hall
    The World War II Memorial
    The National Archives
    Visiting the Supreme Court
    Visiting the Capitol Building
    Visiting the White House



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