Travel Savings Alerts Newsletter, June 2016 Issue
Travel Savings Alerts
P.O. Box 877
Logan OH 43138
All Rights Reserved.
ISSN: 1542-801X, Copyright 2016
Editor: Nicki Chodnoff
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|In This Issue:
Society for Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, PA
Special Savings on AmaDara 2017/2018 Departures
|AmaWaterways enhances its “Vietnam, Cambodia & the Riches of the Mekong” itinerary with more options to experience Southeast Asia. With the flexibility to sail upstream and downstream aboard the AmaDara, the company’s offerings in the region now include:
- 15-night Mekong upstream: two nights Ho Chi Minh City, seven night cruise, three nights in Siem Reap, two nights in Hanoi and one night in Ha Long Bay; prices from $4,498
- 15-night Mekong downstream is identical but reversed. Prices from $4,498
- 10-night Mekong upstream: seven night cruise from Ho Chi Minh City followed by three nights in Siem Reap; prices from $3,098
- 10-night Mekong downstream is identical but reversed. Prices from $3,098
There is an option to book a seven-night cruise as well.
AmaWaterways’ “Vietnam, Cambodia & the Riches of the Mekong” sailings offer experiences along the Mekong River. Travelers on this itinerary can take cultural excursions such as touring the temples of Angkor Archeological Park, visiting the lakeside wetlands via a motor boat, a Buddhist monastery, the royal palace in Phnom Penh, a full-day in Xeo Quyt and a rice paper and candy-making workshop in Cai Be.
AmaDara debuted in August 2015 and features 62 rooms and suites, the Chef’s Table specialty restaurant plus the main dining room. Each stateroom includes a French Balcony with a second full-sized step-out balcony. AmaDara amenities include three spas, a fitness center and a sun deck with swimming pool. Free unlimited wine is available with lunch and dinner; free house spirits, local beer, soft drinks and bottled water are available all day.
AmaWaterways offers a special discount on all 2017 and 2018 “Vietnam, Cambodia & the Riches of the Mekong” departures. Book by July 31, 2016 and receive $1,500 off per stateroom.
AmaWaterways or 800/626-0126.
The Breakers Summer Value
|Receive savings while building memories at the Breakers Palm Beach, in Palm Beach, FL, with the summer promotion available through Sep. 30, 2016, including July Fourth and Labor Day holiday weekends.
Special nightly rates start at $369 per room, per night, Sunday through Thursday and begin at $469, per night on weekends. This is almost a 50 percent savings compared to winter rates and includes free daily benefits and savings on amenities. There is never a resort fee.
Free daily summer benefits at The Breakers, include:
- Full breakfast buffet served in the Circle and the Beach Club Restaurant
- Kids' menu meals for ages 12 and under
- Unlimited golf ($35 cart fee applies, per person, per round) at the Ocean Course and the Breakers Rees Jones Course
- Unlimited tennis on the resort's 10 lighted Har-Tru courts
- Access to the indoor/outdoor fitness center with more than 60 free fitness classes
- Unlimited Wi-Fi and local calls
Additional summer savings apply to:
- Dining at the resort's nine restaurants
- Poolside bungalows for daytime rental
- Select services at the spa
- Camp Breakers for kids ages three to 12
- Tennis and golf instruction
- Shopping at 11 on-site boutiques.
The 538-room, Italian Renaissance-style hotel resides on 140 acres of oceanfront property in Palm Beach. The Breakers was founded in 1896 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Breakers or 855/313-8851.
Wyndham Summer of Savings
|Wyndham Rewards forecasts savings for members this summer with two new hotel promotions and a partnership with Six Flags theme parks across the U.S.
Through Oct. 31, 2016, members can redeem $100 in Wyndham Rewards gift cards after two qualified stays at any of Wyndham's nearly 8,000 hotels worldwide. When members book online, they'll save up to 25 percent off the best available rate at participating hotels each time they stay.
Building on the savings offered by its summer promotions, Wyndham Rewards signed on as the official national hotel partner of Six Flags, giving its members access to special park discounts and perks.
Wyndham Rewards members can receive $10 off regular admission at any U.S. Six Flags park valid on normal operating days through Sep. 18, 2016 when they join or login to their Wyndham Rewards account. The benefits extend inside the park, where members receive a coupon sheet for special offers and discounts to use during their visit. Additionally, Six Flags and Wyndham Rewards will host a Wyndham Rewards event on July 14, where members can enjoy more perks, including a special ticket discount and access to exclusive ride times on select rides after the park closes.
Wyndham Rewards is the guest loyalty program of Wyndham Hotel Group that makes earning and redeeming rewards for travel simple and attainable. The program offers a flat, free night redemption rate. Members earn a minimum 1,000 points for every qualified stay and for 15,000 points, can redeem a free night at any of more than 7,800 Wyndham Rewards hotels across the globe, with no blackout dates.
Hyatt Direct-Booking Discount
|Hyatt Hotels offer a discount for Hyatt Gold Passport members, receiving up to a 10 percent discount for bookings made through the Hyatt web site or the Hyatt mobile app.
The Hyatt Gold Passport member discount is available at Hyatt hotels in the U.S., Canada and Australia. Additional direct-booking benefits include Gold Passport points, online check-in and Express Checkout, mobile reservation management, and around-the-clock customer care, including through social channels.
The Hyatt Gold Passport member discount joins benefits for travelers who book direct, including:
- Best value: With Hyatt’s Best Rate Guarantee, if you find a qualifying lower rate published on another site within 24 hours of booking, Hyatt will match it and discount it by 20 percent for the entire stay.
- Loyalty program benefits: Hyatt Gold Passport members who make direct bookings can earn loyalty points and credit toward elite tier status, which provides additional benefits such as free premium Wi-Fi and free suite upgrades.
The Hyatt Gold Passport member discount is available to members who request it by phone and travel advisors who book on behalf of members online.
Membership in Hyatt Gold Passport is free.
3rd Night Free at Naples Beach Hotel
|The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club, in Naples, FL, offers the third night free for stays through Sep. 30, 2016. In addition, there are no resort fees plus free parking is available and there is free access to the resort’s fitness center.
The beachfront resort on the Gulf of Mexico features a spa, tennis center, multiple dining options, and a free daily recreational program for children age five to 12.
The resort’s 319 rooms and suites feature flat-panel televisions; patio or balcony (with a view of the Gulf or the lush resort interior); coffee maker; and refrigerator.
The offer is based on availability, with holiday weekends excluded, and blackout dates may apply. The promotion may not be combined with any other offer, and is not applicable to groups.
When booking by phone ask for the special Summer in Paradise Promotion.
Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club or 800/237-7600.
Oglebay ‘Swing Into Spring’ Golf Package
|Oglebay Resort and Conference Center, in Wheeling, WV, unveils its “Swing Into Spring” golf package, pairing golf and value.
Starting at $129 per person (based on double occupancy), the golf package includes nightly accommodations, golf on two 18-hole layouts at the Speidel Golf Club designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. and Arnold Palmer, and GPS cart for each round.
Besides Speidel Golf Club, Oglebay’s golf amenities include the resort’s original course, the Crispin at 5,600 yards which is ideal for warm-up rounds, seniors and beginners. There are two driving ranges and a par-3 course at Wheeling Park.
Oglebay offers additional stay-and-play packages:
- Early Birdie Package – Available Sunday to Thursday, prices start at $149 per person, per night, double occupancy. The package includes a round of golf and GPS cart on the Jones and Palmer courses, and lodging in Wilson Lodge or golf cottages. Play on the Crispin Course is included based on availability (golf cart not included). Club storage, unlimited practice facility access and daily breakfast buffet also are included.
- His & Hers Weekday Package – From $159 per person, per night, double occupancy, this package includes lodge accommodations and a round of golf on the Jones or Palmer courses. Available Sunday through Thursday, the offer features daily breakfast buffet and dinner, and a $50 spa gift card at the West Spa (reservations required).
- Championship Unlimited Getaway – Available Monday through Thursday, the offer starts at $239 per person, per night, double occupancy), and includes a stay in the Wilson Lodge or golf cottages, unlimited golf (with GPS cart) on the Jones and Palmer courses, daily breakfast buffet and play on the Crispin Course (based on availability, golf car not included).
- Eagle Weekend Package – Available Friday to Sunday, from $299 per person, double occupancy, a two-night is stay required. The getaway includes rounds of golf (with GPS cart) on the Jones and Palmer courses, daily play on the par-3 course and Crispin Course (subject to availability, golf cart not included). Accommodations in the Wilson Lodge or golf cottages and daily breakfast buffet also are included.
Oglebay Resort and Conference Center or 800/624-6988.
Scottsdale Summer Rates
|Scottsdale, AZ’s summers may be hot but the summer months are the best time for vacations at a fraction of the price. Scottsdale’s summer rates are slashed by as much as 60 percent off peak season. Below are some of the available summer packages.
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess brings beach resort fun with the debut of the new sandy beach pool, cabanas and 102 new guest rooms. Room rates start at $179 per night through Sep. 10, 2016, with the Sip, Savor & Sand package, which includes accommodations and a $50 daily resort credit.
The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa’s Big Chill package includes a $50 dining credit for every night of your stay or two free sessions on the FlowRider wave simulator. The Big Chill package starts at $149 per night through Sep. 5, 2016.
The Hermosa Inn celebrates its 80th anniversary with a package. At check in you are welcomed with sparkling wine, you receive an $80 dining credit at the resort’s LON restaurant, free admission for two to the Phoenix Art Museum, enhanced turndown service with an “Alonzo 80” signature cocktail. Rates from $289 per night through Aug. 31, 2016.
Hotel Valley Ho’s Stay2Play package features a $50 daily resort credit, two free drinks and upgraded internet. The package starts from $149 per night.
The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch celebrates its 40th anniversary. Book the Dive into the Decades package with rates from $159 per night, spa vouchers, decade-themed cocktails and nightly food & beverage credits. This package is available through Labor Day.
The Sanctuary Resort on Camelback Mountain’s Spa Harmony package includes three night’s accommodations for two in a casita, daily breakfast and two 60-minute spa treatments per person. Summer rates start at $292 per night.
Boulders Resort & Spa offers summer rates from $109 per night. Book the Spa Daze Away package from $419 per night available through Sep. 8, 2016. It includes accommodations for two, a 50-minute signature massage each night for two, a $25 food credit for two each night, free access to the spa facilities and unlimited fitness classes.
Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale summer rates start from $179 per night and are available through Sep. 1, 2016. Use hashtag #FSSummerStory and tag the property through Instagram or enter the contest on Facebook and you may win one of three stays at the resort. The contest runs through Sep. 5, 2016. Prizes will be offered to the best entries for couples, families and friends.
Talking Stick Resort’s Hot Rates and Hot Dates promotion rates start at $109 per night and are available through Aug. 26, 2016.
The Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia’s Summer Escape package offers a third night free when you stay two consecutive nights. Package is available through Sep. 20, 2016.
W Scottsdale’s Vitamin W package gives you a free tote bag, sunblock and sunglasses and a free pitcher of W Scottsdale’s signature cocktail, Vitamin W. Summer rates start at $199.
Scottsdale Summer Rates.
Summer Specials at Marriott Pompano Beach Resort
|Visitors to Pompano Beach, FL., near Fort Lauderdale, will appreciate special package deals from Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa.
The hotel offers packages with perks that highlight Pompano Beach's features and activities.
The Summer Staycation package features accommodations from $209 to $299 per night plus valet parking, daily buffet breakfast for two, free Wi-Fi and 20 percent off regular-priced treatments and services at SiSpa. Use promo code L9Z when booking.
The Discover Scuba package includes accommodations from $249 to $459 per night plus an introductory scuba diving lesson in the resort's pool, rental equipment, two tanks and two dives. A boat ride out to the sea will transport divers to their underwater adventure. Use promo code PK3 when booking.
The Sun, Sand and SiSpa package offers accommodations from $249 to $459 per night plus a 50-minute treatment at SiSpa, 15 percent off spa merchandise and a private beach setup that includes two beach chairs and an umbrella. Use promo code SPA.
Take advantage of any of the deals through Sep. 1, 2016
In addition to jet skiing, surfing and volleyball, there is swimming in the two pools. American cuisine and seafood are served at McCoy's Oceanfront, a casual restaurant open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Rooms and suites have pillow-top mattresses with down comforters, duvets, and plenty of pillows. High-speed Internet access and 42-inch flat-panel TVs. Marble bathrooms offer lighted makeup mirrors, robes, and Bath & Body Works products. Mini-refrigerators, coffee makers and safes are among the other amenities.
Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa or 800/228-9290.
Summer Savings Pass
|Lion Country Safari, Miami Seaquarium, Museum of Discovery and Science and Zoo Miami, in Miami, FL, offer a Summer Savings Pass which gives you unlimited admission to all four attractions throughout the summer.
The Summer Savings Pass can be purchased at each of the participating parks and will be valid for admission to each of the attractions until Sep. 30, 2016.
At $56 plus tax, per adult and $46 plus tax, per child (ages three to 12), this pass grants unlimited admission to Lion Country Safari, Miami Seaquarium, Museum of Discovery and Science and Zoo Miami.
Summer Savings Pass.
New San Antonio Pass at Go City Card
|San Antonio, TX is the newest destination to have a Go City Card. When planning a summer vacation to San Antonio, you can save up to 40 percent on sightseeing at the city's most popular attractions.
The brand-new Go San Antonio Card provides two ways to sightsee:
The Explorer Pass provides admission to three or five San Antonio attractions, including one premium attraction. The three-choice pass costs $89 for adults and $84 for children ages three to 11. Most attractions don’t charge for children under the age of three. You have 12 options to choose from and this pass will save you up to 40 percent versus buying tickets individually at the gate. For your premium attraction, choose SeaWorld San Antonio, Six Flags Fiesta Texas or a Texas Hill Country & LBJ Tour.
The Build Your Own Pass allows you to pick and choose exactly what you want to see. The cost is 20 percent off regular admission prices when you purchase two or more attractions to your pass.
Both options let you purchase a pass online in advance or last minute while at the destination. The passes are delivered via email and can be printed out or displayed on any smart phone, to be scanned for easy access at each attraction. In addition to saving money, you get the convenience of not having to pay for admission at each attraction or having to carry around paper tickets. The passes are valid for 30 days after the first attraction visit.
Go City Card, a division of Smart Destinations, sells multi-attraction passes to the following destinations: Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Oahu, Orlando, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.
All passes come with extras including the ability to skip the line at select attractions and guidebooks that offer insider tips and bonus discounts on shopping and dining.
Go San Antonio Card.
Go City Card or 800/887-9103.
Stay More, Save More with Club Med
|Club Med unveils its "Stay More, Save More" offer. The longer you stay on vacation, the more you save.
Book by June 22, 2016, for select travel dates at select resorts for stays through Dec. 17, 2016 for the following savings:
- Stay three or four nights, receive up to 30 percent off
- Stay five nights, receive up to 35 percent off
- Stay six or more nights, receive up to 40 percent off.
The offer requires a three-night minimum stay or seven-night minimum for Columbus Isle. Club Med Membership fees of $60 per adult and $30 per child are additional.
Children age four or less stay for free at Club Med family destinations. Children ages four to 11 years stay at up to 50 percent off adult price at select family resorts. Children ages 12 to 15 years stay at up to 40 percent off adult price at select family resorts. For flights that are booked through Club Med, tickets for children must be paid for by the client. Children who are eligible to stay for free must be lodged in the same room as the adults who are paying for their stay, or in a connecting room. Blackout dates may apply. Costs associated with Baby & Petit Club Med are at full day rate during entire stay booked.
Club Med's most popular beach front destinations are included in the offer. Properties include:
Club Med Cancun Yucatan with a new Petit Club Med for children ages two and three, and oceanfront building with separate bedrooms and bath for children and parents.
Club Med Sandpiper Bay, north of Miami, FL is a premium sports academy. This multi-sport resort offers free golf, waterskiing and wakeboard activities this summer. The golf offer is available through Oct. 31, 2016. The waterski offer, subject to availability, is available July 1, to Aug. 31, 2016. The minimum age to stay at the resort is eight years old.
The Zen Oasis area of Club Med Punta Cana, in the Dominican Republic is reserved for adults only.
At Club Med Ixtapa Pacific children can cook with the Petit Chef program while parents can unwind at the Club Med Spa.
Club Med Columbus Isle in the Bahamas offers yoga, tennis or swimming. You must be two years or older to stay at Columbus Isle.
Club Med's adults-exclusive property Club Med Turkoise in Turks & Caicos offers beaches and watersports. You must be 18 or older to stay at the property.
Club Med Buccaneer's Creek in the French West Indies offers scuba diving, wake boarding, water skiing and kitesurfing.
Club Med La Caravelle, in Guadeloupe is famous for its sand beaches.
A Club Med all-inclusive vacation means accommodations, dining options with a full open bar of premium alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages included. Water and land sports offer expert instruction by day and shows in the evening.
Club Med or 800/258-2633.
Divi Summer Caribbean Escape
|BOOK BY JUNE 8 - - An all-inclusive vacation at an affordable place is what Divi Resorts offer. Divi's Caribbean resorts offer summer savings up to 30 percent on Aruba, Barbados, Bonaire, and St. Maarten. Book summer savings by June 8, 2016.
Most Divi Resorts are all-suite properties, ranging from studios to two-bedrooms, and offer fully equipped kitchens, living areas and private balconies or patios with ocean, pool, or garden views. Each resort has extra amenities including pools with swim-up bars, on-site restaurants, tennis courts, freshwater kids' activity clubs, water sports centers, and spas.
Children ages 12 and under stay and eat free at all Divi Resorts. That offer expands for families traveling to Aruba this summer. At the Divi Village Golf & Beach Resort and Divi Dutch Village Beach Resort, kids ages 17 and under stay and eat free.
Divi's Treasures of the Caribbean Kids' Club provides a full day of supervised outdoor activities.
Solo travelers have advantages staying at Divi Resorts. Many hotels charge extra fees if traveling alone. Divi does not charge a supplemental fee to its single guests.
During this summer's 30 percent off sale, rates for travel are good through Dec. 20, 2016. Book by June 8, 2016.
Rates are as follows:
In Aruba -
- Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort, from $189 per night
- Divi Village Golf & Beach Resort, from $159 per night and $225 per person, per night for all-inclusive option
- Divi Dutch Village Beach Resort, from $139 per night and $195 per person, per night for all-inclusive option.
In Barbados -
- Divi Southwinds Beach Resort, from $129 per night, $160 per person, per night for all-inclusive option.
In Bonaire -
- Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino, from $139 per night.
In St. Maarten -
- Divi Little Bay Beach Resort, from $159 per night, $191 per person, per night for all-inclusive option.
Divi Resort Summer Caribbean Sale or 800/367-3484.
Summer Savings at Kimpton Hotels of Florida
|When looking for a summer vacation with added savings consider Kimpton hotels of Florida’s "make a splash" offer as you get bigger discounts the longer you stay.
You can get 20 percent off of five or more nights, 15 percent off on three to four night stays or 10 percent off one to two nights. The deal is available at EPIC in Miami; Surfcomber or the Angler’s in South Beach; Vero Beach Hotel & Spa; Tideline Resort & Spa, Palm Beach or Hotel Zamora on St. Pete Beach.
You can book “make a splash” until Sep. 30, 2016.
Kimpton Make a Splash discounts or 800-KIMPTON.
Exclusive Rates for Choice Privileges Members
|Choice Hotels’ members-only hotel rates online and the company's mobile app, enhance the value of its loyalty program.
All Choice Privileges members will have access to an exclusive discount only available when they book directly on Choice's online and mobile channels. The rates support the company's best price guarantee, so you know the best price for its hotel rooms can be found online or the Choice Hotels mobile app.
Choice Hotels is committed to making it easy to find and book the best price for its hotels. There's no need to shop around; just go online and find the best price, content and rewards - guaranteed.
In February, Choice Hotels significantly redesigned the Choice Privileges program to offer faster rewards, including Your Extras, FlexRewards, Digital Gift Cards, Keep Your Points, and 10 Points per Dollar. Since the changes, Choice has seen a steady increase in members.
It's free and easy to join the program.
Choice Privileges rewards program.
Silversea $199 Business Class Air Upgrade
|BOOK BY JUNE 10 - - Silversea Cruises' introduces business class air upgrades for $199 each way on transoceanic flights. The offer is available from more than 50 gateway cities in the U.S. and Canada and is valid for new bookings made through June 10, 2016 on 18 voyages that feature the following amenities:
- Roundtrip economy air travel and transfers
- Two-night pre-cruise hotel stay and transfers
- Free Silver Shore Select excursions
- Free Wi-Fi (for all 2016 sailings to all regions of the globe)
Following is a sampling of voyages offering the $199 business class air upgrade program:
- Silver Spirit, 10-day voyage (#5623) departs Aug. 12 from Venice. All-inclusive packages start at $7,750 per guest.
- Silver Cloud, seven-day voyage (#1629) departs Sep. 16 from Monte Carlo. All-inclusive packages start at $6,400 per guest.
- Silver Wind seven-day voyage (#2632) departs Nov. 8 from Rome. All-inclusive packages start at $6,000 per guest.
Most Exclusive All-inclusive voyages enrich the travel experience with a choice of free shore excursions in every port of call. These small-group excursions present a destination's art, history, and culture utilizing comfortable transportation and expert local guides.
In addition to the free shore excursions, you may purchase tours from land programs including the more-immersive Silver Shore Collection tours, and Silver Shore Privato, which provides a private car and driver for independent exploring.
The all-inclusive package includes amenities such as: open-seating dining; butler service for all suites; Champagne, select wines, premium spirits, specialty coffees, bottled water, juices and soft drinks; in-suite bar stocked with your preferences; in-suite dining and 24-hour dining service; lecture and enrichment programs; roundtrip transportation into town (in most ports); onboard gratuities (exclusive of spa treatments); and free Wi-Fi.
The $199 air upgrade is a capacity-controlled program, airline and routing are at the discretion of Silversea, and the program may be modified or discontinued at any time without notice. Above-listed package fares are based on economy air.
Mediterranean voyages with $199 business class air upgrade or 877/215-9986.
Stauffer's Myrtle Beach Sweepstakes
|Stauffer's, makers of Animal Crackers and other baked snacks, celebrates summer with a promotional tie-in with Myrtle Beach, the top-ranked family destination. In Stauffer's "Win A Trip To Myrtle Sweepstakes," the company is giving away more than 200 prizes, including three grand prize trips to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
The Stauffer's/Myrtle Beach sweepstakes runs through Aug. 15, 2016. For the three grand prizes, winners will receive roundtrip airfare for four to Myrtle Beach, three nights’ accommodations at a resort and a $100 gift card. Additional prizes include Pawleys Island rope hammocks, Myrtle Beach towels and Myrtle Beach Tervis Tumbler sets.
Stauffer's supports the Myrtle Beach promotion by sticking more than three million of their packages with promotional bursts and game codes and advertising on social and digital media.
You can get game codes from packages of select Stauffer's cracker products to enter the Stauffer's "Win A Trip To Myrtle Sweepstakes."
Complete rules and information are available here.
SAA Vacations Savings On Safari Package
|South African Airways Vacations launched a new safari vacation package to explore Kenya's national parks and experience Africa's wildlife.
The seven-night "Discover Kilimanjaro & the Masai Mara" package is a scheduled safari from $3,699 per person (restrictions apply), which provides a savings of up to $1,300 per person off the normal package price. The package is available for departures on Sundays Sep. 23 and Dec. 9, 2016, and includes roundtrip Economy Class airfare on South African Airways, hotel accommodations throughout Kenya, safari game drives and other sightseeing activities. All lodge accommodations are on a full-board basis with breakfast, lunch and evening meal included.
The price is per person based on double occupancy for Sunday departures and is subject to availability and currency exchange rate fluctuations. The package includes all government and airline taxes and fees. Baggage and optional service fees, cancellation charges and other restrictions may apply. The same itinerary is available at higher prices during other travel periods. Other departure points and domestic flights within the U.S. can be booked. Package must be booked by June 30, 2016.
SAA Vacations "Discover Kilimanjaro & Masai Mara" Package includes:
- Roundtrip international airfare on South African Airways from New York-JFK Airport
- One night at the Jacaranda Hotel in Nairobi on a bed and breakfast basis
- Two nights at the Amboseli Sopa Lodge in Kenya's Amboseli National Park
- Two nights at the Lake Naivasha Sopa Lodge, next to Lake Nakuru National Park
- Two nights at the Mara Sopa Lodge in the Masai Mara National Reserve
- All safari game drives and activities
- Scenic boat excursion on Lake Naivasha
- Ground transfers, English-speaking guides and meet and greet services.
You must book this package by June 30, 2016 for the special savings in the "Discover Kilimanjaro & Masai Mara" package.
SAA Vacations packages to South Africa and Southern and East Africa or 855/FLY-SAAV.
Kids Eat Free at TA and Petro Restaurants
|Take a break from cooking all summer as the TA Restaurant Group gives children, age 10 and under, a free meal from the kid’s menu, with the purchase of an adult entrée.
Free meals are offered through Sep. 5, 2016, at TA Country Pride Restaurants and Petro Iron Skillet Restaurants. Free meals can be enjoyed at breakfast, lunch or dinner and each includes a small beverage.
TA and Petro locations are located off interstate highway exits. The kids eat free discount is available on dine-in purchases only.
TA offers diesel and gasoline fueling, restaurants, truck repair facilities, convenience stores and other services in 43 states and in Canada.
TA and the TA Restaurant Group.
Art and Soul in Southwestern PA Part 2 - article and photos by Nicki and Harold Chodnoff
| We continue our travels around Pittsburgh and the Laurel Highlands in southwestern Pennsylvania. In this second of two articles, we explore our discoveries on Pittsburgh’s art riches and treasures. Pittsburgh is known for its sports, but is may not be as well known for its preserving and developing art.
The Steel City defined by the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers includes an impressive number of historic and contemporary art spaces. Here are some that should be high on your list.
Andy Warhol Museum, 117 Sandusky St., 412/237-8300 – Andy Warhol was one of the complex talents the art world produced. Visiting the Andy Warhol Museum in his hometown of Pittsburgh will prove that there’s much more to Andy Warhol than Campbell’s soup cans and Marilyn Monroe.
The museum digs into Andrew Warhola, Warhol’s real name, as man and artist and gets much out of the excavation. All seven of its floors are in timeline like format for an orderly survey of what Warhol did from the 1950s as a leading commercial artist to his impresario work with the Velvet Underground in the later ’60s, his films, his video art and his place within the MTV culture in the 1980s. Yes, Warhol did all that. Other artists such as Roy Lichtenstein and Claes Oldenburg used pop culture to feed their art. Warhol became part of that culture and pop art.
The museum is much about Warhol as a person and how and maybe why that person created this art. You learn about Warhol from the trove of archival documents and early art, much of it on loan from local relatives. It’s easy to spend nearly the whole day in this interesting place.
One gallery shows a little-known student painting from 1948 when he was a student in college. Warhol already was pushing the limits of good taste and fine art when he used expressionist brushwork to portray himself nude, with a finger stuck up his nose. Near that artwork hangs a rare family snapshot of baby Andy, maybe two years old, also with his finger in his nose. Plus there are plenty of silkscreen images and pop art works that made him world-famous.
Mattress Factory, 500 Sampsonia Way, 412/231-3169 – At the turn of the last century, the Mattress Factory was a warehouse and showroom for Stearns & Foster. It hasn’t been used as a mattress factory/warehouse since the 1960s. Today, it is an unusual art museum, not filled with mattresses, paintings or sculptures. It is four stories and several satellite buildings of installations – ideas in three dimensional form that take you places, places you don’t expect to go in an art museum. The installations are "site-specific," meaning that they are tied to the space they are in at the Mattress Factory. That was not true when the building began its new life in 1977. The art is collaborative and interactive, where artists respond to the space they're given and you don’t just look at the art. There are no boundaries between you and the art. You are completely surrounded by the installation and often can experience it with all of your senses.
Each time you visit the Mattress Factory, it is a different experience as many of the installations are temporary, lasting maybe six months to a couple years. So rather than tell you about an installation you won’t see because it is no longer there, we’ll mention several permanent exhibits that you will always see.
Permanent exhibits include Yayoi Kusama's mirrored, polka-dotted rooms where it seems like the artist captured infinity. When you step inside the rooms, mirrors reflect the polka dots and the image seems to go on forever. James Turrell’s light sculptures of Danaë and Casto Red sculpt and manipulate light so two dimensional surfaces seem like three dimensions. And Greer Lankton's re-created room with sculpted dolls and mounted body parts in It's all about ME, Not You, provides a glimpse into this transgender artist's struggles with addiction and anorexia.
Carnegie Museum of Art/Natural History, 4400 Forbes Ave., 412/622-3131 - Get bang for your buck at the Carnegie Museum of Art and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Pittsburgh’s largest mueums are adjacent and connected to one another. Large means that the Carnegie Museum of Natural History maintains, preserves, and interprets 22 million objects and scientific specimens while the Carnegie Museum of Art has more than 35,000 objects. One admission gets you into both museums.
Aiming for the Art Museum, we were waylaid by the Natural History Museum's Hall of Gems. We never made it to the Art Museum part. Between the two museums, it is easy to be transfixed for the day.
The Carnegie Museum of Natural History is home to different themed “halls” dedicated to geology and paleontology which includes dinosaurs and gems, anthropology, the Cenozoic area (think saber-toothed cats and mammoths), wildlife and ecology.
What transfixed us is the Hall of Gems with its minerals, gems and crystals. It is one of the most impressive collections in the museum, with more than 1,300 specimens. It is beyond showing different rocks and gems. Just about every rock you’ve heard of is on display. Not only are there volcanic rocks, you’ll find radioactive rocks (we’re assured they’re safe), rocks that change color under polarization, rocks that glow under ultraviolet light, a section devoted to minerals and gems from Pennsylvania. There’s a section on locality suites that illustrate the diversity of mineral species that come from a single geographic environment. Perhaps most impressive is the museum's gem collection, with 17 permanent exhibits that display nearly 530 pieces, including the birthstones exhibit. Judging from all the fingerprints on the display case of the rough and cut jewels, birthstones are really popular.
The first floor is full of dinosaurs, including all of the favorites: T. rex, triceratops, stegosaurus, diplodocus and pterodactyl. Visitors can see how the fossils were found and learn the difference between a fossil and a bone or shell.
A recent dinosaur addition, an oviraptorosaur, belongs to a bizarre, poorly understood group of oviraptorosaurs. This bizarre dinosaur is unlike any other known to science. It represents a brand new species of oviraptorosaur that has yet to be named. Toothless, a relatively short tail, long spindly legs, and three-toed feet, the oviraptorosaur looks more like a bird than a typical dinosaur.
If that isn’t enough, within the dinosaur section, you can watch dinosaur fossils and other prehistoric creatures being prepared for exhibit and study in the PaleoLab and a hands-on dig unearthing dinosaur and mammal fossils casts in the interactive fossil dig, Bonehunters Quarry.
Society for Contemporary Craft, 2100 Smallman St., 412/261-7003 – Each time we visit the Society for Contemporary Craft, it is like we are visiting for the first time. In Pittsburgh’s Strip District, the Society for Contemporary Craft (SCC) includes a large first floor exhibition space that regularly changes and store retail space that features and sells regional and national artists’ work, plus three large working studios where classes and open studios take place. The non-profit, visual arts organization focuses on areas in fine metals, ceramics, wood, glass, paper arts, fibers and mixed media.
In addition to its Smallman Street location in the Strip District, the SCC has a satellite gallery at the BNY Mellon Center, which includes changing exhibitions.
Frick Art & Historical Center, 7227 Reynolds St., 412/371-0600 - The Frick Art & Historical Center celebrates Pittsburgh's cultural history through art collections and preserved buildings. Established by Helen Clay Frick, the eldest daughter of one of America’s greatest industrialists, philanthropist and art collector, Henry C. Frick, the center was established to preserve her family estate and art collection. The Frick opened to the public in 1990 and the five-acre museum includes paintings dating back to the 15th century collected by Frick. The Frick Art & Historical Center partnered with the Google Cultural Institute and online you can view 11 masterpieces from their collection and objects that illustrate the elaborate dining and entertaining that signified taste at the turn of the twentieth century. In all there are 150 pieces online.
Part of the Frick Center includes the Car and Carriage Museum, the Playhouse and Clayton Mansion. Guides lead you through tours at Clayton, the meticulously preserved 11-room Gilded Age home built by Henry Clay Frick. The last occupant of the estate, Helen Clay Frick, died in 1984. Thereafter the family home filled with the exquisite Gilded Age furnishings, art pieces, and decorative elements, was opened to the public.
Visit Pittsburgh or 800/359-0758.
Pittsburgh has a wealth of good and interesting places to eat and stay. Here are some we experienced during our visit.
Grand Concourse Restaurant, 100 W Station Square Dr, 412/261-1717 - Located in the former Pennsylvania and Lake Erie Railroad Station, the restaurant provides a beautiful atmosphere in an architectural gem. The cavernous space screams grandeur with faux marble columns, vaulted ceilings, hand-cut tile floors and stained glass that draws the eye skyward. A host will lead you through the opulent main room to the River Room, an intimately lit space with drop-ceilings and framed by large glass windows and a view of Pittsburgh's bridges. The waterfront view from the River Room is mesmerizing. For sure, this is the special occasion place for Mother's Day, out-of-town friends, rehearsal dinners or graduation.
The Café at the Frick, 7227 Reynolds St., 412/371-0600 or thefrickpittsburgh.org – Spring, summer and fall are the perfect times to visit this cafe with its wall of windows and the accompanying patio. The menu changes seasonally and concentrates on local, sustainable and quality ingredients. The menu formula remains the same: soup, salad, sandwiches and entrees, including a fish of the day. Dining in this elegant ambiance, it is easy to think you are turn-of-the-century Pittsburgh royalty. This lovely café, in the heart of the city, is surrounded by lush, blooming trees and greenery.
Church Brew Works, 3525 Liberty Ave., 412/688-8200 – During our last visit to Pittsburgh we ate at Church Brew Works. Our opinion remains the same. While their beer is tasty and their food menu interesting, the most impressive thing about Church Brew Works is the building. Located inside an old church in Lawrenceville, the beautifully restored architecture steals the show as you sip on one of their award-winning beers.
PAN, 3519 Butler St, 412/325-3435 - The restaurant's name is a nod to the eatery’s pan-Asian menu, which includes influences from a variety of Asian countries (everything from pho to maki to drunken noodles). Pan, in the Lawrenceville area, features a full bar and a small patio for al fresco dining. The sushi creations are not the typical fare you find at a traditional sushi house. The menu is appealing with updates of familiar dishes from East and Southeast Asia such such as pho, make, chicken tom kha with noodles and bok choi. Pan’s dumplings are traditional with a tender wrapper holding in its payload of ground pork and napa cabbage.
Pamela’s P&G Diner, 60 21st St., 412/281-6366 - There are six Pamela’s in the metro area and this trip we ate the Strip District location. What's really cool about Pamela's is that each one has its own personal touch and decor. They are known for their crepe style hotcakes and what’s not to like about Chocolate Chip Banana Hotcakes topped with real whipped cream. Lyonnaise potatoes top off egg orders. Again, a dish served at Pamela’s that everyone raves about. Keep in mind only cash is accepted.
Hotel Monaco, 620 William Penn Place, 412/471-1170, Décor at this boutique hotel is filled with quirky artwork and in-room touches. The upper level of the lobby, called the Living Room, is aptly named. This is where you can relax or meet up with friends. There is plenty of comfortable seating and space to work or relax. Free coffee , tea and the wine hour are found here. There is no coffee maker in the room, but you can request one. The downtown location is not next door to bars and restaurants, but a short walk gets you to any destination downtown. We received a hint from a subscriber who mentioned to book your Hotel Monaco stay through their mobile site. It usually offers a lower rate than booking on your desktop.
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