Saturday, June 5, 2010

Love Letter To The Gulf

The oil spill is so sad for many reasons--environmental, economic, and just plain emotional.
Many of us have never lived along the gulf, but have vacationed over the years at the beaches with the world's whitest sand and feel it to be ours.

Waiting is hard--no one knows yet how bad the oil is going to be if and when it does reach Destin and surrounding beaches. It could happen at any minute. It has already reached Pensacola. TV reports show tarballs on the beach there, but people enjoying themselves anyway. I guess that could change tomorrow.

Also hard is knowing that those who live there are going to be negatively impacted economically, amounting to a double whammy in this already tenuous economic time.

Dear Gulf, I wish I were there now. I miss your white sand, your clear, sparkling water, invigorating sea air, your seashells, your seagulls, and yes even your occasional seaweed and, gulp, jellyfish. The dolphins in the morning and late afternoon. Your calm demeanor, but also your very strong waves when storms kick up. Hoping things stay this way. Sending good thoughts your direction; we'll keep a vigil. And we won't buy BP gas.

Follow this link to read a wonderful CNN iReport titled "Dear Gulf, I'll Miss You," written a few weeks ago. The author, a local, fears the region will never be the same.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Vacationers Sued Over Negative Online Hotel Review

If you have a negative experience at a vacation spot, you might want to think twice before posting a negative review online. The link below talks about a Murfreesboro, TN man who posted a negative vacation condo review online and may be sued for $15,000. He says he had a crappy hotel experience; the owner denies his allegations and says it cost her a lot of business.

Truth is an absolute defense to defamation, but the internet is still considered the wild wild west when it comes to these kind of issues. First amendment advocates are afraid this will chill speech of those with valid complaints. There is sure to be litigation from both sides on these issues.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Gaylord Opryland Hotel Flooded

Nashville's largest hotel, the Gaylord Opryland Hotel, closed its doors temporarily because of the recent flood in Nashville. Guests were safely evacuated to a local high school before water from the nearby Cumberland River inundated the hotel, rising as high as 10 feet inside. Company executives expect the hotel to reopen in about six months.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Museum of Bad Art: A Tribute to the Best of the Worst

You've heard of MoMA, but what about MoBA?

Do you get tired of only going to "good" museums? Tired of only seeing flawless masterpieces? Have a taste for the quirky and weird? If so, the Museum of Bad Art might be just your thing.

I learned of the museum when I went to visit my sister Laura in Dedham, MA. We went to see the movie The Road  (based on the book by Cormac McCarthy) in the Dedham Community Theater. She said we might stop by the Museum of Bad Art after the movie. We didn't have to go far, as the museum is in the basement of the theater, located outside the men's room. Scattered around the one-room gallery is a hilarous collection of art mishaps.Some of the pieces produce a giggle, some a scratch on the head.

The art is bad in the way that something went wrong--very wrong-- in the creation of each piece. Some artists have a modicum of talent but just couldn't pull it off. Other artists.....well, we're just not sure what happened there. Check out the collection and see what I mean:

There is now a second MOBa gallery in the basement of a theater in Somerville, MA. If you are in the area, you must stop by. But if not, you can experience it via the website. You can even donate your own art, donate money, or become a guest interpreter.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Everyday Is St. Paddy's Day at Silky O'Sullivans

If being Irish once a year just isn't enough for you, head to Silky O'Sullivan's in Memphis where everyday is St. Paddy's Day. Located on Beale Street, the restaurant is a blend of Irish and the blues, shamrocks and barbecue. The service can be a little slow, but sitting on the patio in the afternoon sun listening to live music is definitely a delight. Make sure you check out the live goat on the patio!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Dirtiest Hotels In The U.S.

We've all stayed in a dirty hotel room once or twice or more. My worst experience occurred at a hotel near New York LaGuardia airport. I had just returned from an overseas trip and was grossed out by the gum in one of the glasses in the bathroom, dirty trash can, and other obvious signs of an uncleaned room. But jet lag and lack of other available alternative rooms kept me from checking out and going elsewhere. I was only going to be there for a few hours, so I decided to put up with it. Here are the top ten dirtiest hotels based on TripAdvisor traveler reviews.

1. Heritage Marina Hotel, San Francisco, California
2. Days Inn Eureka/Six Flags, Eureka, Missouri
3. Tropicana Resort Hotel, Virginia Beach, Virginia
4. Super 8 Virginia Beach/At the Ocean, Virginia Beach, Virginia
5. Quality Inn, Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
6. New York Inn, New York City, New York
7. Parisian Hotel & Suites, Miami Beach, Florida
8. Capistrano Seaside Inn, Capistrano Beach, California
9. Desert Lodge, Palm Springs, California
10. Continental Oceanfront Hotel South Beach, Miami Beach, Florida