Tuesday, December 18, 2012

WellsWorld on the radio: Travel goodies for Christmasts


Disneyworld's present: New Fantasyland


Cinderella's Castle is joined by the Beast's. Photos © by Judy Wells.

 Belle tells her story with visitors' help, the Beast stalks through his castle while diners enjoy French cuisine, Ariel takes humans on a trip under the sea and two identical Dumbos fly over a new recreation of a 1930s circus.

At Epcot, guests design their dream drives then take them for a spin on the Chevrolet Test Track.  Meanwhile, at Downtown Disney, Splittsville provides bowling, booze, sushi and more to keglers. 

Merry Christmas, Disney devotees. New worlds to visit.


Pros offer bargains



Bid for seven-nights at Morgan Bay Beach Resort, St. Lucia.

What: The Society of American Travel Writers' annual on-line auction is open to all with bargains to be had in travel packages, photography and travel writing courses.
Fairmont St. Andrews

Windjammer Cruise










For instance, a six-day Windjammer Cruise or a four-night luxury Nile cruise, stays in Abu Dhabi or St. Andrews, family packages in the Smokies or Legoland, hip and historic hotels.
Hotel Matilda, San Miguel Allende, Mexico
                                                                                         
When: Now through 11:45 p.m. (EST) Dec. 30, 2012.

How: http://auctions.readysetauction.com/societyofamericantra/

Happy bidding.

Dine IN Gingerbread

Great Wolf Lodge, Pocono Mountains.
What: Have breakfast, lunch or dinner in a Life-Sized Gingerbread House.

Where: Snowland in all 11 locations of Great Wolf Lodge, the largest family of indoor waterpark resorts. This includes resorts in North Carolina, Washington State, Virginia, Texas, Ohio and the Pocono Mountains, PA.

When: Now through Dec. 25, 2012

How:  Book a stay and pay a $20 seating fee which goes to Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Bet you won't be able to pass up dessert.


Ultimate Outdoor Experience: Camping overnight in Antarctica

Camp on the White Continent  in 2013.
What: Sign up for camping overnight when booking any of five different 2013 cruises to Antarctica aboard Hurtigruten's MS Fram -

• 10-day "Classic Expedition" focuses solely on Antarctica, sailing through the Drake Passage to landings that immerse guests in the remote landscape and exotic wildlife of The White Continent.

• 13-day "Polar Circle Expedition," similar to the 10-day experience, spends its extra days traveling as far south as the Antarctic Circle.

• 13-day "Weddell Sea Expedition" follows the path forged by British Captain James Weddell, who reached 74º latitude in 1823 - a first for explorations;

• 17-day "Christmas Expedition" celebrates the season with traditional carols, festive meals, Santa Claus visits and a New Year's gala and includes the Falklands and South Georgia;

• 19-day "In the Realm of the Great Explorers" explores the areas visited by Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton, and takes in the sub-Arctic eco-system of the Falkland Islands, and South Georgia.

Details: Each camping night is limited to 15 in two-person tents. Campers are accompanied by expedition guides and will be supplied with cold-weather gear, but all is weather permitting.  Should more than 15 sign up, a lottery will be held determine who participates. A second camping experience can be scheduled if weather and land conditions permit.
Your neighbors.

Cost: The night of camping is $500 per person; cruises start from $5,327 to $10,321.

www.hurtigruten.us.

You've got to admit this is the gift for anyone who has everything. Talk about bragging rights.


Tickets to Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance

Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance. Photo © by Judy Wells.

What: One of the nation's top gathering of automotive collectibles from classic town cars to world-famous racers.

When: March 8-10, 2013; Concours display March 10.

How: Buy tickets now and save. Advance adult tickets are $55, at the gate $70. You the ages 12-18 $30 in advance, $35 at the gate.

Buy: www.amelia concours.org.

Reduced winter rates for Grand Canyon and Zion Lodge

Grand Canyon in winter.

What: Grand Canyon -  $85 a night at Maswik Lodge South, $115 per night at Maswik Lodge North. Now through March 7, 2013, excluding Dec. 21-31, 2012.
           El Tovar Romance package - $380 plus tax for one night, a bottle of California sparkling wine, and dinner for two with a bottle of Grand Canyon label wine. Available now through Feb. 14, 2013, excluding Dec. 22 through Jan. 1, 2013. Use promo code "romance".

www.grandcanyonlodges.com 
Zion with a smattering of snow.
What: Winter Magic in Zion at Zion Lodge - $89 standard room, $109 Western cabin, $119 for a suite, with breakfast for two, Sunday-Thursday. Available through March 15, 2013.

www.zionlodge.com

Special holiday rate at JIA

What: Economy Lot 3 at Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) opens from Dec. 21 through Jan. 5 - or until the lot fills - for a flat fee of $20.

Details: It's first come, first served with the fee payable by cash or credit card upon entry. Travelers are advised to arrive at least two hours before their flight in case the lot is full and they have to find alternative parking. Options include Economy Lots 1 and 2, $5 a day; daily surface lot, $8 a day; Daily Garage, $14 a day, and Hourly Garage, $18 a day.  

Picking someone up? Wait in the free courtesy lot next to the JAA administration building and have your traveler call after picking up their luggage.

Give or get an Oxford education

The Quad, Christ Church, Oxford.

What: Learn something new in one of the world's most prestigious centers of learning. Study a variety of topics from the operas of Verdi to quantum mechanics or mythical animals during a one-week residence and savor the Oxford experience.

Where: Christ Church, Oxford University, England.

Cost: Tuition, accommodations and all meals are included for approximately $1,885 (US). Private bathroom will add to cost.

When: One-week periods from June 30 to August 10. Registration deadline is May 1, but the most popular courses fill early.

www.conted.ox.ac.uk/oxfordexperience,


Splurgiferous Family Christmas 

Shangri-La Hotel, Paris
If money is no object, spend it before we go over the Fiscal Cliff and taxes go up.

 What: Head to Shangri-La Hotel, Paris for the Noel en Famile package, a two- night minimum stay in an Eiffel Premier Suite for parents and a connecting room for the children including a Christmas tree to decorate, breakfasts and tea, a two-hour tour of Paris in a horse-drawn carriage and VIP treatment at Studio Harcourt where movie stars go for portraits. Champagne for adults, fruit juice for children, professional makeup sessions and a two-hour photo session for four or six people. A framed portrait, a low-res digital copy plus a book and 50 greeting cards. You could also set the session in your suites around the Christmas tree.

Price: Approximately $11,674 (US) per night, but that includes value-added tax, visitor taxes and service.

Book: www.shangri-la.com/paris/





Friday, December 7, 2012

Catch a launch at Kennedy Space Center


What: Experience the excitement of a space launch from Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex as an Atlas V rocket launches a space plane prototype. United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket will carry X-37B, a prototype of an unmanned space plane or an orbital test vehicle (OTV), in its secret cargo.

The X-37B space plane, developed by The Boeing Company, is the newest and most advanced re-entry spacecraft. This prototype measures at 29 feet in length and can return to Earth and land like an airplane. The mission, named OTV-3, is the second flight of this re-usable spacecraft. The first flight successfully landed at Vandenberg Air Force Base on Dec. 3, 2012, after 224 days in orbit.

When: Launch window scheduled Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012, between 1:03 and 6:03 p.m. EDT from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex’s operating hours may be extended based on the actual launch time.

Where: Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Cape Canaveral, FL.

How Much: Launch viewing is included with admission. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex admission is $50+ tax for adults and $40 + tax for children ages 3-11.

 Admission also includes the Kennedy Space Center Tour, Shuttle Launch Experience, 3D IMAX® space films, Astronaut Encounter, Exploration Space: Explorers Wanted and all exhibits, the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®, featuring historic spacecraft and the world's largest collection of personal astronaut memorabilia, open from noon until 5:00 p.m. daily.

The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Commander's Club Annual Pass is $63 + tax for adults and $53 + tax for children ages 3-11.

Details: 877-313-2610 or www.kennedyspacecenter.com .

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Win a FLASH: Win Caribbean Cruise for 2 at Carnival's Breeze-A-Thon

What: Carnival Cruise Lines on-line sweepstakes in honor of the new Carnival Breeze's official naming ceremony. Top prize, the Caribbean cruise aboard the Breeze, the largest ship home-ported in south Florida. Others include Samsung 40-inch 3D hi-def TV, pre-loaded iPod touch and Bluetooth speakers, Kindle Fire HD and wine glass collection.

When: Now through Dec. 6.

How: www.facebook.com/carnival

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

WellsWorld on the WJCT: Deals on Manhattan digs, Manatee swims and more

Manhattan © Judy Wells
Black Friday/Cyber Monday Travel Specials

What: Manhattan room rates starting at $119 for December 16- 25, 2012 & January 2- March 10, 2013. Extras include complimentary Wi-Fi (a $15 daily value) and two free welcome drinks at the new lobby bar ($24 value).

Where: DoubleTree by Hilton Metropolitan, located at Lexington Avenue at 51st Street in Midtown's East Side, within walking distance to many museums, Bloomingdales, Park Avenue, Central Park, the United Nations, Broadway theaters.
All-new guestrooms after a $25 million renovation.

How: Must book between Friday, 11/23/12, and Monday, 11/26/12, for new stays between December 16-25, 2012 and January 2, 2013 through March 10, 2013.

Go to http://bit.ly/ZGNLrS, 800-222-TREE, or the hotel directly at 212-752-7000, and requesting plan code PL1.
4 BR, 3 Ba property in Seacrest Beach.

What: Save 20 percent on sunny Florida vacation rentals throughout 2013.

Where: Rental home communities of Blue Mountain Beach, Dune Allen Beach, Grayton Beach, Inlet Beach, Rosemary Beach, Santa Rosa Beach, Seacrest Beach, Seagrove Beach, WaterColor and WaterSound in the South Walton area.

How: Book Cyber Monday, 11/26/2012, at Beach Rentals of South Walton, managed by Sterling Resorts, www.brswvacations.com, 877-500-4801.

What: Starwood Hotels' 20-40 percent-off packages at 35 hotels for the following six weekends and resorts seven days a week for the following six weeks. Offers at Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, Four Points by Sheraton, W Hotels, The Luxury Collection, Le Meridien, Westin Hotels and Resorts, St. Regis Hotels and Resorts.

How: "Like" them on Facebook to get a sneak peak before Cyber Monday then book that day.

Patagonia © Judy Wells
Cyber Monday Sale
What: Friendly Planet Travel offers $100-$400 off every tour package, almost 300 departures, booked during Cyber Monday.

Examples: $400 off 10-day Easter Island and Machu Picchu or Patagonian cruise, $100 off 7-day Kenya safari or Barcelona. 

When: Starting 12:10 a.m. EST and ending 11:59 p.m. Monday, Nov. 26.

How: Use coupon code CYBERMONDAY. www.friendlyplantet.com, 800-555-5765

Yoga at Wintergreen.
Thanksgiving Excesses Got You Down?

Get up and moving with a week in Virginia. at Wintergreen Resort and Spa.

What: Wellness Week, Nov. 26-Dec. 2 includes daily morning hikes, meditation, yoga and Pilates classes, circuit training, abs and interval training and health and nutrition classes discounted to $10 each per person. Room rates 20 percent off for participants. 

Where: Wintergreen Resort and Spa in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains offers an array of overnight accommodations from studio condominiums to six-bedroom residences with large kitchens. All come with complimentary use of the Aquatics and Fitness Center's strength and conditioning circuit and free weights, treadmills, stationary bicycles, elliptical trainers, hot tubs and indoor pool.

How: www.wintergreenresort.com, 434-325-8562.

Days Inn and Suites, Jekyll Island
Island Holiday

What: Special holiday rates start at $49.95 Islandside, $59.95 Oceanside including continental breakfast, free WiFi, oceanfront locale, bike rentals, a heated pool, grills and picnic area.

Where: Days Inn and Suites, oceanfront, Jekyll Island, GA.

When: Now through Jan. 31, 2013.

How: 888-635-3003

Swim with Manatees

What: Swim with the Manatees one-night stay package includes garden view room, welcome bag, manatee snorkeling tour for two with all needed equipment from Plantation Adventure Center, breakfast for two, hot chocolate and coffee on enclosed boat, hot shower facility; $224 for two people, Sunday-Thursday.

Where: The Plantation on Crystal River, Florida, 80 miles north of Tampa, also offers 18-hole and 9-hole executive golf courses, Aveda spa, full-service marina and dining.

When: Best viewing is Oct. 1-March 31.

Fine Print: Taxes not included, package based on double occupancy.

How: www.PlantationCrystalRiver.com, 800-632-6262.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Free show for Vets at Fantasy of Flight


What: "Veterans Day Salute: A Celebration of Service," an encore presentation of Fantasy of Flight's Legends & Legacies Symposium Series. Five veterans of World War II and Vietnam will share their personal stories, while six military aircraft that flew in those conflicts will be featured and flown.

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10 and Sunday, Nov. 11.

Where: Fantasy of Flight, 1400 Broadway Blvd. SE, Polk City, FL 33868.
Contact info: 863-984-3500 or www.fantasyofflight.com

Details: The Veterans Day events are included in Fantasy of Flight general admission of $28.95 plus tax for adults and $14.95 plus tax for youth (ages 6-12); ages 5 and younger are free with full-paying adult. All active duty, retired, reserve and veterans with valid ID will receive free admission during the Veterans Day Salute.

Also: Through Nov. 14, guests may bring a non-perishable food item that will be donated to The Mission in Winter Haven and receive $5 off general admission. Each person in a group must bring an item to donate. This offer cannot be combined with any other discounts or offers. Group rates are available.    

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

WellsWorld on the Radio: Cumberland Island, Free skiing for life, Petanque Open, Gettysburg

Wild mare and foal grazing at Plum Orchard.
Cumberland Island Lands and Legacies Tour
Forty years ago yesterday - Oct. 23, 1962 - the U. S. Park Service took over Cumberland Island National Seashore. Since then, Plum Orchard, the mansion Lucy Carnegie built as a wedding present for her son and new daughter-in-law, has under gone major renovations and is open for visitors on the Lands and Legacies Tour.

Traditionally day trippers to Cumberland have gone from ferry dock to the south end of the island's beaches and the ruins of Dungeness, the mansion built by Thomas Carnegie, younger brother of steel magnate and library builder Andrew.  They reached it by foot or on bicycles.

Only overnight campers who were hardy hikers had time to take in the island's north end. For the first time, the Lands and Legacies tour, introduced a year ago, makes the north end accessible to all. Or at least the 20-30 who snag reservations for it. There are three regular 15-passenger vans and one equipped with a wheelchair lift.

The vans take visitors from the Dungeness dock past the open field once part of the Stafford Plantation, now an airfield of sort kept trimmed by grazing wild horses, stopping for a look at the Stafford cemetery. Buried here also is Thomas Hutchinson from St. Andrews, Scotland, a golf pro the Carnegies brought over to design and manage a nine-hole golf course.

Along the way you learn of the maritime forest ecosystem and Revolutionary War hero Nathaniel Green who was given much of the island as recompense for the money he lost financing the war for America's freedom. If you're lucky, you'll also encounter deer, wild turkeys and horses.

Plum Orchard is the longest stop to tour the main rooms including the indoor pool and one of the last remaining indoor squash tennis courts left.

The tour continues to Brickhill Bluff and The Settlement, where former slaves made their homes and where John F. Kennedy Jr. was married. Visitors are delivered back to the Dungeness dock in time for the 4:45 p.m. ferry back to the mainland.

As memorable as 100-plus-room mansions are, what sticks with you is the island's rich history and challenging ecosystem.

Tip: Around mid November, the rangers and volunteers begin decorating Plum Orchard for Christmas. On Sunday, Dec. 9, the day after the St. Mary's Christmas Tour of Homes, Plum Orchard is open for tours and the decorators are all attired in period costumes. It's VERY popular and limited to space available on the ferry.

www.nps.gov/cuis

The Lands and Legacies tour is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and children ages 15 and under. The round-trip ferry from St. Marys, GA, to the island is $20 for adults, $18 seniors and $14 children 12 and under. Advance reservations are necessary.

Skiers' Dream Contest

What: Win a "Lifer Pass" to the slopes at Winter Park Resort in Colorado. That's the grand prize. Bi-weekly giveaways include a Spyder Sweater, a bag from The North Face, a Never Summer Snowboard, skis from Head, a Burton snowboard.

When: Now through 11:59 p.m. (Mountain Time) Jan. 10, 2013.

Cost: Free

How: Go to http://forlife.winterparkresort.com/ and enter to win.

Fine Print: Open only to entrants who, as of the entry date, are permanent legal residents of the 50 United States and Washington, D.C., who are at least 18 years old. The Sweepstakes is void outside the 50 United States and D.C., and where prohibited or restricted by law. LIMIT: One (1) entry per person (regardless of method of entry) or address (physical or email).

Space Shuttle Atlantis
Final Journey of Atlantis

When: Scheduled for 7 a.m.-6 p.m., Friday, Nov. 2

Where: Kennedy Space Center Vehicle Assembly Building to Space Florida's Exploration Park to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Cape Canaveral, FL.

What: Space shuttle Atlantis flew 33 missions into space, logging 125+ million miles. The 10-mile move is the only opportunity to see it until the scheduled opening of its new home July 2013.  Astronauts, space program officials, special exhibits and autograph sessions will be available

How:  Two ticket prices are offered for the move.
Explorer Package, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see Atlantis in the round includes Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex admission, Exploration Park ticket and round-trip transportation.
o    Live robotics demonstrations by FIRST Robotic teams.
o    Displays to view the Orion Crew Module, designed for deep space human exploration as the flagship of the nation’s next-generation space fleet.
o    Spaceflight and exploration exhibits by NASA, The Boeing Company, Sierra Nevada Corporation, SpaceX, ATK, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne and XCOR Aerospace.
o    Solar observation using high-power telescopes with solar filters.
o    Historic space flight hardware and support vehicles, including the astronauts’ escape vehicle, Armored Personnel Carrier, Astronaut Van and more.
o    See and hear from Space Shuttle astronauts, space industry leaders and NASA experts. 
 Cost: $90 adult/$80 child (ages 3-11) plus tax

Rollover Package, includes Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex admission with the opportunity to see Atlantis on the final leg of its 10-mile journey entering the new orbiter home, followed by fireworks.
Planetarium experience at the Human Exploration and Operations (HEO) Dome.
Learn about NASA’s Time Machines: the Hubble Space Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope.
Discover the future of NASA with the transformation of Kennedy Space Center into a 21st Century Spaceport; the next generation of heavy launch vehicles: Space Launch System; and building the future in space through commercial crews.
A special Astronaut Encounter with space shuttle astronauts from Atlantis’ final mission.
Additional displays and activities include the Lunar Quest Simulator, Vehicle Assembly Building Crane Simulator, Robotic Refueling mission, Technology Demonstration Missions and Inflatable Curiosity RoverCost: $50 adult/$40 child (ages 3-11) plus tax.

Autograph Session and Memorabilia Show, Visitor Complex, benefiting the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation. Throughout the day, a "who's who" of space exploration – more than 50 astronauts and special guests – will sign autographs at the Kurt H. Debus Conference Facility, adjacent to the Rocket Garden. Each astronaut will have his/her own station and charge a fee for autographs. Guests can bring memorabilia to be signed, or choose from photos and memorabilia that will be available for purchase. Admission is $15 for adults and children.

www.KennedySpaceCenter.com


Petanque, anyone?

What: The 5th truly Open, International Petanque Tournament in the USA.

Where: On Amelia Island, Florida - at the downtown marina in Fernandina Beach.

Who: Open to anyone, teams of two players (doubles).
Beginners, amateurs, advanced players and champions will all play together in one big tournament.

When: Saturday, Nov. 10 and Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012. Training on Friday, Nov 9.      

$$$: Total prize purse: $7,500.00, spread over at least 30 teams.

What is it? A game that started in 1907, petanque is a version of an older outdoor bowling game. The object is to toss or roll a number of hollow steel balls as closely as possible to a small wooden target ball. Teams take turns and the one closest to the target when all balls have been played is the winner.

What else: Watching is free and international live music, food and a bar are promised.

www.petanque-america-open.net.

Parrot Heads Convene

What: "Another Trip Around the Sun," Jimmy Buffet's party of supporters' annual convention.


When: Nov. 1-4, 2012.

Where: Casa Marina Resort, 1500 Reynolds St., Key West, FL.




Open to the public: Margaritaville Street Fest, 1-5:30 p.m., Nov. 2 at Duval and Fleming Streets, featuring Jim Morris and the Big Bamboo Band and Michael Armstrong and The Key West Band.

Event information: www.phip.com/MOTM.asp
Key West visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY

Friday, September 28, 2012

Rocket Liftoff Up Close and Personal


What: See the space launch of a Delta IV rocket from a special viewing area and listen to live launch commentary from mission control.

When: Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012; launch window scheduled for between 8:10 and 8:29 a.m. EDT.

Where: Launch Complex 37 B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

Cost: Launch viewing is included with admission to Kennedy Space Center which is $50 + tax for adults and $40 + tax for children ages 3-11.

Details: The Delta IV-Medium rocket, built by the United Launch Alliance, will be carrying the Navstar GPS, a constellation of satellites providing navigational assistance for U.S. military operations on land, at sea, and in the air, as well as supporting consumer GPS devices by providing accurate time, location and velocity information.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will open early at 7 a.m. 

Admission includes the Kennedy Space Center Tour, Shuttle Launch Experience, 3D IMAX® space films, Astronaut Encounter, Exploration Space: Explorers Wanted and all exhibits. Admission also includes the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®, featuring historic spacecraft and the world's largest collection of personal astronaut memorabilia, open from noon until 6:00 p.m. daily.

Call 877-313-2610 or visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

WellsWorld on the radio: Road trips, deals, leaf peeping and more

Brasstown Valley Resort and Spa, Young Harris, GA.
Catch Autumn's annual show of color and a bargain, too, at Brasstown Valley Resort and Spa.

What: Fall into Savings package, one night at regular rate starting at $169 a night and get the second night for only $50.

When: Sunday through Thursday nights through Nov. 15.

Where: The base of Brasstown Bald, Georgia's highest peak, in the Blue Ridge Mountains, two hours north of Atlanta.

Can't you just hear the crunch of leaves?
What else is there? Good dining, golf, horseback riding, guided hikes, spa services, indoor/outdoor pool and geo-caching.

Fine Print: Guestroom packages do not include taxes, gratuities and the $10 per guestroom resort fee.

www.brasstownvalley.com

North Carolina Leafing Specials
Cashiers: High Hampton Inn: Midweek fall getaways include a $75 resort credit with any two-night or longer stay Sunday-Thursday. www.highhamptoninn.com.

Southern Pines: Pine Needles-Mid Pines Resort offers $275 and up rates per person per night for breakfast and dinner daily, 18 holes of golf per day at Mid Pines, unlimited range balls, carts and club storage, two-night minimum.
                           Best Western Pinehurst Inn's special Stay and Play package includes two nights accommodations and three rounds of golf at Seven Lakes, The Carolina and Hyland courses with breakfast, greens and cart fees for $219 per person double occupancy. www.gosandhillgolf.com.

Blowing Rock: Dinner and a Movie package includes accommodations in Chetola Lodge, The bob Timberlake Inn or a condominium, a $40 gift certificate to Timberlake's Restauant, and a Movie Entertainment Bucket with two movies, snacks and beverages; $213 per couple for one night, two nights from $371.  www.chetola.com.

For other North Carolina Fall packages, go to www.visitnc.com.


Golfers' go-to site
Feel like slipping away for a golf-filled weekend in Northeast Florida?

Go to www.FloridaGolf.org, Florida's First Coast of Golf  comprehensive listing of lodging staying and playing specials at three golf academies, 18 accommodation partners, 30 golf courses, Jacksonville Aviation Authority and five area tourist bureaus.

What kind of deals? The Grand Slam package at Ponte Vedra Inn & Club includes • luxury accommodations
• unlimited golf
• range balls
• unlimited golf cart
• daily club cleaning and storage • golf gift set
• guaranteed advance starting time
• breakfast each morning

All for $415-$505 per night now through Nov. 30 and $395-$495 December, double occupancy (two-night minimum).

In Orange Park, stay at the Courtyard by Marriott for three nights and play Bent Creek, Eagle Harbor and Eagle Landing for $328.

Add Jaguar tickets to any package, too.

Amelia Island Georgia-Florida Packages
Bulldogs and Gators or just those curious to observe the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party who call quickly can take advantage of these specials.

The Amelia Hotel at the Beach: GA vs. FL weekend pre-sale special. Call by  September 30, the property is offering rooms starting at $99 per night. Individuals taking advantage of the presale special will also receive two cocktails and a smoked fish dip appetizer at the Crab Trap in historic downtown Fernandina Beach. The discount can be booked by calling (904) 206-5600 and providing code GFSP.

The Amelia Island Hampton Inn at the Beach offers a Football Game Weekend Special that gives guests a third night free. Rates start at $149 per night. The offer is only available by calling (904) 321-1111 by October 25.

Beachside Motel offers Florida and Georgia fans accommodations starting at $99 per night during the exciting football weekend. To book the offer, guests must call (877) 261-4236.

The Blue Heron Inn is offering guests a special Pre-Game cookout by the pool on Friday night, October 26. Guests can enjoy brats and burgers with beer and all the fixings, plus a special football team gift. Starting at $490 per couple, the package includes two nights accommodations in a King room with breakfast each morning, cookout and all the other standard amenities at the Blue Heron Inn.  The package can be booked by calling (904) 445-9034.


The Omni Amelia Island Plantation is offering guests a “Georgia/Florida Tailgate Package” that includes luxurious accommodations, round trip transportation to the game and tailgate cocktails. The package starts at $309 in the resort and $289 in the villas.  Also offered is a Georgia/Florida Block Party for visitors on October 26. From 6 to 10 p.m., guests celebrate the biggest weekend in college football with live music, family recreation, food, cocktails and more. Visit www.omniameliaislandplantation.com for additional information about the Block Party or Tailgate Package.

The Residence Inn Amelia Island is offering a free Tailgate party, including beer and wine, at check-in on October 26, Additional information is available at www.residenceinnameliaisland.com.

Package information is also available at www.ameliaisland.com/flgaspecial.


 Road Trip Tips
Having driven more than 1,500 miles through South and North Dakota (see Good Girls in the Badlands blog, www.goodgirlsinthebadlands.blogspot.com) and several hundred miles around Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley in the last month, I've gathered a few.

1. Don't rely on GPS. Maps don't disappear into the ether in mountainous terrain or tell you there's insufficient information for directions to that out-of-the-way place you're dying to see.
2. It's more fun with another along. The miles flew by in the Dakotas with pal Debi Lander to chat with, but talking to myself through Pennsylvania got a little boring.
3. Watch that gas gauge. The compact I drove through Pennsylvania's gas gauge barely moved the first 3/4s of a tank but boy did it gulp from there.  Not a big deal in that state but there were l-o-o-o-n-g stretches of North Dakota where it was just us and cows on the horizon.
4. Put all the clothes, shoes and toiletries you'll need in a carry-on-sized bag. There may be a large bag on the bottom but if you're changing hotels each night, go light. I recommend jeans and shorts plus one just-in-case nice skirt or pair of slacks. Things like cameras and snacks work nicely in a tote bag you can stow inside.
5. If there's a scenic pull-out, take it. The stretch and scenery will do you good.
6. Remember, it's not where you drive but who and what you see along the way.





Monday, August 20, 2012

Win a honeymoon at Horse Stamp Inn

Horse Stamp Inn entrance.
Funny? Outrageous? Embarrassing? Did you make or receive a unique proposal? Describe it in 30 words by October 30, 2012 and you might win a two-night honeymoon at Horse Stamp Inn in Waverly, GA.

What you win: Package that includes:

• A bottle of Chilled Champagne
• Chocolate covered strawberries and assorted sweets
• Turn-down service with fresh rose petals
• 1-hour boat excursion on the Horse Stamp Inn sightseeing boat down the Little Satilla River
 Morning mimosas served in your room or accompanying a gourmet breakfast

The honeymoon couple will have a choice of one of the five luxurious bedrooms at the Inn that are namesakes of famous horses: Sea Biscuit, Cimarron, Dawn Run, April Love and Sugar Foot. Photos and descriptions are on the Inn’s website, www.horsestampinn.com.

How: The contest runs from August 20 – October 30, 2012. The couple that submits "the most unusual wedding proposal" on the Inn's Facebook page,  www.facebook.com/HorseStampInn, wins the grand prize 2-night Honeymoon Package at the Inn. The winner will be chosen by Inn owners Tom & Kris Hutcheson.

No fair making it up.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

WellsWorld on the Radio: Tourist Tips for NYC, CityPASS, Fun in Flagler County, Park and Cruise



Manhattan
Being a tourist in New York is all about hurry up and wait. There are lines for everything, from picking up a sandwich at Dean & DeLuca to the myriad of lines that have you all but climbing to the top of the Empire State Building.


9/11 Memorial
9/11 Memorial
The Memorial Museum isn't finished yet but the Memorial opened on the 10th year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. It's an impressive sight -  the two acre-sized reflecting pools each with continuous waterfalls and names of victims etched around the rims surrounded by a grove of trees - and everyone wants to see it.

The site, though, is surrounded by ongoing construction. To facilitate the crowds, free, timed reservation tickets are issued, either in person or, much better, online at www.911memorial.org/visitor-passes.

Getting in: Wait until reaching New York and you'll wait on line forever. A limited number of  same-day passes are issued, maximum 4 per person, daily but lines stretch around the blocks at the four distribution locations.

My recommendation: Go online from home. There are separate links for family members of victims and the rest of us. You can reserve and print out access passes or if you don't have access to a printer, reserve at home and line up to pick up your tickets in the Visitor Center near the Memorial. If the date and time you want to visit are taken, keep checking. More tickets are released regularly.
You'll still have to stand in line to enter but you will get in.
Getting there: The entrance is at the northwest corner of Albany and Greenwich Streets, The website has specific directions. 

Atop the Empire State Building
Empire State Building
It's become our Tower of Babel. Standing in line to get in, around, up, around again and finally out then repeating the process to finally reach the sidewalk, you'll hear all of the world's languages. The building is a fine example of Art Deco and a remarkable feat of engineering for its era, but the lure of going to the top escapes me. it's one of those things everyone wants to do at least once, though, so set aside a whole morning or afternoon if that describes you. There's only one way to shorten the wait, a CityPASS, but it will still take you more than an hour of lines, waits and elevators to reach the top.

Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island


Posing with the lady.
One welcomed, the other processed the millions of immigrants to this country and now you do both in one day. A full day. 

Getting there: The subway deposits you in front of the Staten Island Ferry terminal and the short walk through Battery Park to the shuttle boats is pleasant. The wait to board them isn't. Again, the only way to speed the process is with CityPASS, which lets you avoid the ticket lines. Expect lines to get off then more lines to get back on the boats.

You'll  pay extra to get under Miss Liberty's robes and go to the top. For my money the best show is watching the people, again a United Nations of ethnicity, pose for pictures of themselves with the iconic sculpture.

Ellis Island
I found Ellis Island much more interesting. The film is worth watching, the sound displays, especially the songs, are endearing and the realization of what it took to get across to the U.S. is mind-boggling. We come from brave, determined, desperate stock. 

If your ancestors came in through Ellis Island you can research it here but better, do your search online, www.ellisisland.org.

CityPASS
Carrying one one of these is the most cost-effective and efficient ways to do Manhattan.
You save money, about 48 percent, on admissions to museums and attractions, but better, you save time being able to bypass all those lines for tickets. Often there's a separate dedicated line if one at all.

Check into it at www.citypass.com.


Washington Oaks Gardens beach
Day tripping: Flagler County
For many it's the no-stop zone along I-95 between St. Augustine and Daytona. My recommendation: Stop. Here are three good places to do just that.

Florida Cracker cattle at Florida Agricultural Musuem
Florida Agricultural Museum
It's living history that crows, quacks, moos, barks, brays, meows, whinnies and oinks. Take a ride in a tractor-pulled wagon or atop a horse. Let the kids have close encounters with farm animals and see how farmers used to live. www.myagmuseum.com.
  
Lodge at Princess Place Preserve
Princess Place Preserve 
 See Florida's first in-ground pool and where a Russian prince and his wife once lived. Trails are easy and short for amblers or challenging to mountain bikers and the surroundings are beautiful. A nice place to picnic and wander. If you have horses, they have equestrian trails for you, too. www.flaglercounty.org/facilities.aspx?page=detail&RID=18

Koi pond at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park
Washington Oaks Gardens State Park
Perfect for picnics, you have your choice of a beach with coquina rock outcroppings or oak-shaded gardens overlooking the Matanzas River. Do both but don't miss the gift shop; it's a good one. Plant sales the second Saturday of the month.


Park, Stay and Cruise from Fort Lauderdale

Parking is a part of cruise costs that most people forget to factor in. No problem with this special package.

The AAA Four-Diamond Hollywood Beach Marriott is located beachfront between the Intracoastal Waterway and Hollywood’s famous two-and-a-half mile Broadwalk of cafes, restaurants and live entertainment. 

What: The Park and Cruise Package includes overnight accommodations, breakfast for two, and complimentary covered parking while you are on your cruise. 

Where: The AAA Four-Diamond Hollywood Beach Marriott is located beachfront between the Intracoastal Waterway and Hollywood’s famous two-and-a-half mile Broadwalk of cafes, restaurants and live entertainment. Hollywood, FL.

When: Valid through Oct. 31, 2012

Price: Rates from $129. 

Fine Print:
Must mention promotional code: PCJ. j

Monday, August 13, 2012

Shaken, Not Stirred St. Augustine Open House

Sip a signature Bond martini and celebrate the 50th anniversary of James Bond films.

Where: Casablanca Inn and its Tini Martini Bar, 24 Avenida Menendez, St. Augustine, FL.

When: 5 p.m. till ... Sunday, August 26, 2012

Cost: Free hors d'oeuvres and Bond movies (3). If you want to stay Sunday night, rooms are $99 plus tax.

Attire: Bond-worthy tuxedo, villainous togs or Bond girls' costumes optional but wearer of the best wins a weekend at the Inn.

No guarantee Miss Moneypenny will answer but you can get info at 904-829-0928 or www.casablancainn.com.





Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Quick Cruise Deals from Cruises-N-More

Act quickly - by August 31, 2012 - to save money on your next cruise.

Example: Book a Celebrity Cruise for

• Gratuities or onboard credits for all bookings

• Credits for spa treatments, specialty dinners and/or wine; $50 per ocean-view, $100 per balcony, $159 Aqua Class or Concierge Class balcony cabins; $200 per suite.

Teacher Appreciation Sale: Active or retired teachers receive $100 off per cabin on 4- or 5-night cruises, $200 off 6- or 9-night cruises, $300 on 10-plus-night cruises in 2012.

Contact: www.cruises-n-more.com

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

End of Summer Grand Canyon Special

The savings will make you jump for joy.
See the South Rim of the Grand Canyon at end of summer prices.

When: Aug. 26-Sept. 6, 2012
What: Accommodations at Maswik Lodge or Yavapai Lodge, cafeteria breakfast for two, one in-park motorcoach tour for two and discounts in Xanterra gift shops of up to 20 percent. Rates are based upon double occupancy. Additional guests can share the room at $9 plus tax each. Breakfast and tour may be purchased separately.

How Much: The rate at Maswik Lodge is $169 per night plus tax and features accommodations in a “Maswik North” room,  breakfast coupons, choice of a Hermits Rest motorcoach tour in the morning or Sunset motorcoach tour in the afternoon and a one-time gift shop discount good for 10 percent off purchases of $50-149.99 and 20 percent off purchases $150 and above.

The rate at Yavapai Lodge is $154 plus tax and features accommodations in a “Yavapai East” room, breakfast coupons, choice of a Hermits Rest motorcoach tour in the morning or Sunset motorcoach tour in the afternoon and a one-time gift shop discount good for 10 percent off purchases of $50-149.99 and 20 percent off purchases $150 and above.

Such a deal? Rack rates for rooms alone are normally $176 per night at Maswik North and $166 at Yavapai East. Rates do not include taxes.

To book: Use the promo code SUMMER online at www.grandcanyonlodges.com or call toll-free 1-888-297-2757 or 1-303-297-2757 from outside the United States

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

WellsWorld on the Radio:

The Lodge, luxury living at Turning Stone Resort, Casino and Spa.
Oneida Success: Surprising Turning Stone Resort and Casino

Stunned and delighted with the success of a simple bingo parlor, the Oneida leaders set out to create a first-rate resort that could secure future priorities for their people, better education, health and housing. The Oneida, known as the "people of the standing stone," named it Turning Stone for the effect it would have on their lives.


I recently spent two nights there as their guests and was most impressed with the service, quality, amenities and attitudes, not to mention the improved lives of those living in Oneida territory. Casino buffs will be pleased, gourmets will be more than satisfied and golfers will love it.

Turning Stone is located 30 minutes east of Syracuse, NY, near the town of Oneida and the Finger Lakes region. 


Here is a sample of their specials.


Be Our Next Champion Package
Starting at $635 for The Lodge, $540 for the Tower and $520 for the Hotel, per person based on double occupancy, available May 1 through September 30, 2012.
• Two nights accommodations at The Lodge, Tower or Hotel
• One round each at Atunyote®, Shenendoah and Kaluhyat courses
• $100 replays same day at Atunyote®
• Unlimited replays same day at Shenendoah or Kaluhyat
• Complimentary golf at Sandstone Hollow

Putt & Pamper Package
Starting at $380 per person based on double occupancy, available May 1 through October 31, 2012.
• Luxury overnight accommodations at The Lodge
• One round per person at Shenendoah or Kaluhyat
• One 50 minute Sk7:n8: Spa service per person
• $50 meal credit per person

Lodge Golfer's Getaway
Starting at $303 per person based on double occupancy, available May 1 through October 31, 2012.
• Overnight accommodations at The Lodge
• Unlimited golf after 3 p.m. at Shenendoah or Kaluhyat on arrival afternoon
• 18 holes of golf at Shenendoah or Kaluhyat next morning
• Lunch on the Turn and a drink at the 19th hole
• Complimentary access to the Lodge Fitness Center
• Guaranteed 3 p.m. Check-in
Please call to make a reservation.


Details: www.turningstone.com Reservations: 800-771-7711


Summer in Virginia.
Boar's Head Inn Summer Specials
What: Summer rates from $160 per night per room.
Stay and Play package, $270 per room per night:
•  one night's accommodation
• 1 18-hole round of golf for two at Birdwood
• use of driving range and practice green
• range balls
• cart.
When: Through Nov. 12, 2012.
Where: The Boar's Head Inn, Charlottesville, VA.
Fine Print: Resort fees, taxes and gratuities extra.
www.boarsheadinn.com

Discounts for Amelia's Great Southern Tailgate Cook-off

What: Six hotels offer discounted rooms for the Kansas City Barbecue Society-sanctioned Great Southern Tailgate Cook-off which has 50 professional and backyard teams vying for Best Barbecue cash awards and bragging rights plus free live entertainment from Little River Band and Rockit Fly.

Addison on Amelia offers a free night on reservations of four nights or more during the Great Southern Tailgate Cook-off weekend.  AddisonOnAmelia.com

• Amelia Island Hampton Inn at the Beach is offering a $99 rate for a double room, plus tax, during the cook-off. AmeliaIslandHamptonInn.com

Amelia Hotel at the Beach is offering standard rooms (king or double) for $79 per night for visitors attending the cook-off. The rate is only available through phone reservations and includes free parking, free Hot & Healthy breakfast daily, an afternoon warm cookie service and the new “Lobby Lounge” featuring a variety of beverages. Make sure to use rate code COOK when booking the deal.  AmeliaHotel.com

Beachside Motel will offer a third night free during the Great Southern Tailgate Cook-off. For visitors who can only stay for two nights, the property is offering a 20 percent discount. Only one discount is allowed per room.  The offers are valid August 22-27, 2012. Must call (877) 261-4236 to receive discount. BeachsideMotel.com

Elizabeth Pointe Lodge is walking distance from the event and offers a Third Annual Great Southern Tailgate Cook-off Package starting at $578.  The package includes a king bed, sunset guest room for two nights, bike rental for two, hors d’oeuvres reception each evening, complete breakfast each morning, newspaper, Wi-Fi, beach equipment and parking. ElizabethPointeLodge.com

Fairbanks House is offering a bottle of Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce and a bag of Southern Slush Mix to guests staying three or more nights for the Cook-off.  Guests will also be treated to gourmet breakfasts and evening social hours with adult beverages and hors d'oeuvres.  This offer is available for new bookings only, and one offer per room.  Mention code STC12 when making your reservation. FairbanksHouse.com

Omni Amelia Island Plantation is offering their “Beach and Breakfast” package during the Great Southern Tailgate Cook-off. The package includes accommodations, breakfast for each registered guest, and use of the health and fitness center. Prices start at $179 per night. Must use code LEISBF when booking. OmniAmeliaIslandPlantation.com

Residence Inn, Amelia Island is the official host hotel of the Great Southern Tailgate Cook-off and recently received the Diamond designation, Marriott’s Highest Level of Distinction. The property offers rates starting at $109 per night, which includes free hot full breakfast, evening social, and shuttle service to the cook-off. Mention Tailgate Cook-off to get the rate.  ResidenceInnAmeliaIsland.com

The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island is offering the “Comfort You” package during the Great Southern Tailgate Cook-off weekend. The package includes accommodations, breakfast for two and a $75 resort credit. The package starts at $379 per night. Ritzcarlton.com/AmeliaIsland
 
Where: Amelia Island, FL.

When: 3 p.m. Aug. 24, 10 a.m. Aug. 25, 2012.

More on the cook-off:  www.gstailgatecookoff.com.

Paddling from the Sea Voyager.
SOLO Travelers Alert
What: Book any 2012-2013 Sea Voyager Expeditions cruise by Oct. 31, 2012 and pay no single supplement! Rates for these all-inclusive 8-12-night cruises aboard the ship M/V Sea Voyager range from $3,950 to $7,450, vs. the usual single rates of $6,350 to $8,950.Cruises concentrate on Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica and Ecuador and most transit the Panama Canal.

Where:
Eight-night "Caribbean Parks & Islands of Colombia & Panamá" which focuses on the Panamá Canal transit, the San Blas Islands, and the rainforests, clear waters and exotic wildlife of Columbia's rarely visited coast;

12-night "Pacific Wilds of Ecuador, Colombia & Panama" and its similar reverse sailing, "Last Frontier of Panama Colombia & Ecuador " visiting Colombia's Malaga Bay and Gorgona Island NP and giving guests the chance to hike Panama's Darien Jungle and Ecuador's Cayapas-Mataje Ecological Reserve;

Eight-night "Unspoiled Pacific of Panama & Costa Rica" where highlights include Las Perlas Islands, Coiba Island - the world's third largest marine park -- and Osa Peninsula, named by National Geographic as "the most biologically intense place on Earth";

Eight-night "Treasures of Costa Rica & Panama," where guests explore the Secas Islands with hikes, by Zodiac and kayak, and snorkel the secluded bays, Marenco Biological Reserve with its monkeys, toucans, parrots, manta rays, dolphins and other exotic wildlife, and Panama's Darien Jungle with a visit to the local Emberá village.

Details: www.seavoyagerexpeditions.com

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Save $ on 2013 Viking River Cruises

What: Reserve a 2013 Viking River Cruise through Europe or Asia by July 30, 2012 and get $1,000 per couple off airfare. That's in addition to two-for-one fares on selected cruises!

Where: Viking River Cruises offers excursions throughout Europe as well as Vietnam and China along the Elbe, Seine, Saone, Rhine, Many, Moselle, Danube, Rhone and Mekong Rivers.

Fine Print: Applies to new bookings only, airfares subject to change until full payment of air received.

To Book: Contact your travel agent or call 1-800-707-8697 and ask for 2013EBD.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Last minute opportunity - recipe contest

What: Relish Magazine contest for recipes based on summer foods.

Deadline: June 30, 2012

Details: Entry forms at   http://www.relish.com/articles/summer-recipe-contest/
 
Winner receives: Prize valued at $1,700
• three nights in an oceanfront room with balcony at The King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort, St. Simons island, GA.
• daily buffet breakfast, Sunday brunch for two, Friday night seafood buffet for two
• 60-minute side-by-side massage in the Royal /treatment cottage
• 2-hour cruise on a working shrimp boat
• umbrella and two beach chairs
• one day bicycle rental for two

Friday, June 22, 2012

WellsWorld on the Radio - Disney, summer and golf dealsFirst Coast Connect

Who needs parks with a pool like this?
Find Nemo and fun at Disney World's latest value resort
Where: Walt Disney World Art of Animation Resort Finding Nemo wing, Orlando, FL.

What: The latest Disney World value resort to open comes with a ginormous pool complete with underwater sound and characters from the movie, a tempting arcade with Wi-Fi-equipped sitting area for non-gamers, good and good-for-you meal choices in the design-your-own meal-style restaurant and unique family suites all in neon colors. 
Arcade
 Guest services include
 Complimentary transportation within the park
 Self-parking
 Self-service laundry facility
 Concierge desk

Cost: Family Suites priced at $249 a night mid-week come with
Queen-bedded en suite room.
Sleeper sofa in the living room.
Three separate sleeping areas - Queen-size bed, Double-size Inova TableBed,
Double-size sleeper sofa
Living room
2 bathrooms
Mini-kitchen
Reading chair
Table and chairs
Flat-panel TV
In-room wall safe
Voice mail
Complimentary WiFi
Microwave
Cable TV with Disney programming
Compact refrigerator
Coffeemaker
Hairdryer
Iron and ironing board
Crib is available upon request
All rooms are non-smoking
Wheelchair-accessible rooms are available
Views of the parking lot, courtyard or pool

To book: www.disneyworld.disney.go.com/resorts/art-of-animation-resort/

Coming:
• Cars Family Suites—Opening June 18, 2012Cars Family Suites—Opening June 18, 2012
• The Lion King Family Suites—Opening August 10, 2012
• The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms—Opening September 15, 2012


 




Free summer nights on Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key

Where: Anna Maria Island, Longboat Key and the Bradenton area. Located between St. Petersburg and Sarasota on Florida’s west coast, Anna Maria Island & Longboat Key, and their coastal companions, Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch, are known for Old Florida charm, breath-taking scenery, funky dining and shopping districts and 16 miles of sugar-white sands.

What: FREE nights at 10 properties.  As part of this new “Your Summer, Your Way” program,  other island and mainland accommodations are also offering a variety of discounts, including 25 percent off weekly rentals, Florida resident rates and even cash discounts. Free fun continues with several summer events and activities for the entire family, including a monthly ArtWalk in Bradenton’s Village
of the Arts and Snooty’s™ 64th birthday party at the South Florida Museum.

Third Night Free
Bridgewalk, A Landmark Resort
Silver Surf Gulf Beach Resort
Wingate by Wyndham

Fourth Night Free
Tradewinds Resort
Tortuga Inn Beach Resort
Hilton Longboat Key Beachfront Resort

 Fifth Night Free
An Island Getaway at Palm Tree Villas

Sixth and Seventh Nights Free
Florida Vacation Connection
A Tropical Breeze Beach Club On Anna Maria Island

Seventh Night Free
A Paradise Vacation Rentals

To Book: www.AMILBK.com/Deals




BOGOs at Amelia Island, FL

What: Free Monday Night at Five Island Hotels.
Guests who book a Sunday night stay will receive a Monday night stay for free at these  participating properties.


Where:


• Amelia Hotel at the Beach
www.ameliahotel.com
(877) 263-5428

• Days Inn & Suites at the Beach
www.ameliaislandbeachhotel.com
(904) 277-2300

• Hampton Inn at Fernandina Beach
www.ameliaislandhamptoninn.com 
(800) 426-7866

• Harbor Front Hampton Inn & Suites
www.hamptoninnameliaisland.com
(800) 426-7866

• Seaside Amelia Inn
www.seasideameliainn.com
(904) 206-5300


When: Through August, 2012

Details: Payment may be due at time of booking with no refunds, changes or cancellations allowed.  Some blackout dates or other restrictions may apply.  Offer may not be combined with any other offer.  Check with individual properties for terms and conditions before booking. Contact individual properties by phone to book this offer.  www.ameliaisland.com/BOGO.

Brasstown Valley Lodge and 18th green.
Golf Your Way at Brasstown Valley Resort

Where: Brasstown Valley Resort and Spa is located in Young Harris, GA, at the foot of Brasstown Bald in the North Georgia mountains.

What: To celebrate new ratings, three sets of tees for women and four for men, to ensure a more enjoyable game for all skill levels at its course, Brasstown has a new golf package:

Sunday through Thursday stays from $264 per night, double occupancy, include a traditional Lodge guestroom, unlimited greens and cart fees and use of driving and practice ranges. On Friday and Saturday, the package includes the room, the practice ranges, cart and one round of golf (additional rounds are $25 each).

Other amenities include spa, pool and stables.

Book:  www.brasstownvalley.com, 706-379-9900.


Me with the Ferrari before the drive.
 Disney Dream Drive

Disney is all about dreams and if your dream is to drive a sports car at top speed, you can fulfill it.
Where: Exotic Driving Experience at Walt Disney World Speedway.

What: Drive or be driven in a $295,000 Ferrari 458 italia, $243,000 Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera or $220,000 Gallardo LP560-4, $150,000 Audi R8 or $99,900 Porsche 997 S around the road course. 

Costs: Be driven for two laps $99. Drive yourself (there will be a professional driver in the passenger seat) for seven laps for $169 to $419; Porsche's the least expensive, Ferrari the most. Photographs of you with and in the car and/or a tape of the experience (including your comments as you drive) are extra. 

Details: Your session begins with a classroom where the cars are described, tips are given and drivers are warned that they won't remember a thing once they get in the car. You might remember a few but they do tend to disappear with that first "Step on the gas" order. If you aren't among the first on the track you and friends/family will watch from small stands until it's your turn. When your name is called, you return to "pit row" where your head  is covered in a balaclava and helmet and your seat is adjusted for you. The seven laps will be up before you know it.
Tip: If you really want to achieve personal best speeds, be driven first then get in a car and do it yourself.Seeing how far the car could safely be pushed would have made a big difference.

On the track.