Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Yellowstone Openings

Old Faithful
When it comes to getting the most out of our national parks, beat the crowds by getting there first.

Here are the dates when accommodations, restaurants, shops and activities open at Yellowstone National Park.


April 20 - Old Faithful Snow Lodge Geyser Grill and gift shop                              

April 27 - Mammoth Hot Springs gift shop and Terrace Grill                               

May 4 - Old Faithful Snow Lodge, rooms, restaurant and cabins                      

May 4 - Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and Cabins, and restaurant       

May 11 - Lake Yellowstone Hotel, rooms, cabins, restaurant, deli and gift shop

May 11 - Old Faithful Lodge, cabins, cafeteria. Bake Shop and gift store            

May 18 - Old Faithful Inn, rooms, gift shop, snack shop and restaurant            

May 25 - Grant Village, rooms, gift shop and restaurant                                    

June 1 - Canyon Lodge, rooms, cabins, restaurant, cafeteria, deli and gift shop        

June 8 - Roosevelt Lodge Cabins, dining and gift shop                                     

June 10 - Lake Lodge Cabins, cafeteria and gift shop                                         

June 15 - Grant Village Lake House restaurant                                                    


May 4 - Madison Campground    

May 11 - Fishing Bridge RV Park                                                                    

May 25 - Bridge Bay Campground

June 1 - Canyon Campground

June 21 - Grant Village Campground 


May 19 - Circle of Fire tour (Lake Hotel and Fishing Bridge RV Park)

May 23 - Old Faithful Inn Photo Safaris

May 25 - Lake Yellowstone Hotel Photo Safaris           

May 25 - Bridge Bay Marina (dock slips) 
May 25 - Mammoth horseback rides

May 26 - Yellowstone in a Day tour (Mammoth and Gardiner)

June 8 - Roosevelt horseback and stagecoach rides

June 9 - Roosevelt Old West Cookout

June 15 - Boat tours, rentals and charters

June 26 - Canyon horseback rides

Complete details about accommodations, restaurants, tours and activities in Yellowstone National Park can be made by visiting or calling 1-307-344-7311 or toll free 1-866-GEYSERLAND (1-866-439-7375).

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

WellsWorld on the radio

Brand new JetBlue Park at Fenway South opened this month in Fort Myers.
Spring Training Special
You'll never get closer to the crack of the bat than during Spring Training in Florida's Grapefruit League. Here's a guide to where the teams train and play and where you might stay this season, Feb. 29-April 4. For the complete schedule, go to

Where the teams train in Florida 
Atlanta Braves - Champion Stadium, Lake Buena Vista

Baltimore Orioles - Ed Smith Stadium, Sarasota

Boston Red Sox - JetBlue Park at Fenway South, Fort Myers

Detroit Tigers - Joker Marchant Stadium, Lakeland

Miami Marlins, St. Louis Cardinals - Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter

Houston Astros - Osceola County Stadium, Kissimmee

Minnesota Twins - Hammond Stadium, Ft. Myers

New York Mets - Digital Domain Park, Port St. Lucie

New York Yankees - Steinbrenner Field, Tampa

Philadelphia Phillies - Bright House Networks Field, Clearwater

Pittsburgh Pirates - McKechnie Filed, Bradenton

Tampa Bay Rays - Charlotte County Sports Park, Port Charlotte

Toronto Blue Jays - Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, Dunedin

Washington Nationals - Space Coast Stadium, Melbourne

A short sample of specials. 
 InterContinental Tampa Spring Training Package
When:    Feb.29-Apr.4, 2012
What: Package includes:
    • 20 percent discount off  the best available rate for deluxe accommodations – rates begin at $151 per night
    • Fan Tool Kit, complete with  a baseball for signing, Cracker Jacks, peanuts, popcorn, bubble gum, soda, and the lyrics and history of the song, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”
The InterContinental Tampa is located to the New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies and the Toronto Blue Jays.
To reserve the Spring Training package at InterContinental Tampa, call (866) 402-0758 and mention rate code ILQGA or visit Mention favorite baseball team at the time of reservation.

NY Yankees Spring Training Hotel: Mainsail Suites Hotel, Tampa, 10 minutes from the field, rates start at $129 a night through March.

Other Spring Training Specials
Check Expedia, for Florida Grapefruit League 
• Orlando area pages 1-13
• Ft. Lauderdale area, pages 14-20
• St. Petersburg/Clearwater area pages 20-23
• Fort Myers area pages 23-25
• Lakeland/Winter Haven area pages 25-26
• Leesburg, page 26
• Port Charlotte page 26
• Port Richey page 26
• Sarasota pages 27-28
• Space Coast page 28-29
• Tampa page 29-34
and Arizona Cactus League

Naples, FL, Special packages for 2012
The upscale Inn on Fifth, located directly along Fifth Avenue South in downtown Naples, FL, has eight new vacation packages that can be enjoyed throughout 2012.  The new packages make the most of the Inn’s distinctive downtown locale, the luxury of its  Spa on Fifth, exclusive golf privileges and all the best that Naples has to offer.

Greet the Easter Bunny in Vienna and Budapest

What: One week in Vienna and Budapest Easter Package
When: Valid from March 23 to April 12.
 Cost: The price is $621 from March 23 to 31, $793 from April 1 to 12, including airport transfers; six nights hotel accommodation, daily breakfast, a train ticket and a sightseeing tour, snack and dinner in each city.
Not included: Air fare, city tax and gratuities.

Details: In Vienna accommodations are at the 3-star Hotel Post, just a five-minute walk from St. Stephen’s Cathedral.  A 72-hour Vienna Card provides free transportation and museum discounts. A Hop On Hop Off bus tour of the city, discovering the Freyung and Kalvarienberg Easter Markets with their crafts, Easter decorations and culinary delights. The most beautiful Easter Market is the one at the 17th-century baroque Schönbrunn Palace, where you’ll get a snack, drink and a Schönbrunn cup to take home.  Also included in the Vienna stay is a sausage sandwich and drink at the Bitzinger Würstelstand in the Old City, coffee and cake at the historic Café Central and dinner at the cozy Restaurant Führich, known for its Wiener Schnitzel and fiery gypsy music.

In Budapest you’ll stay in the modern 4-star Hotel Carlton at the foot of Fisherman’s Bastion near the Chain Bridge.  A Hop On Hop Off tour of the city, a sightseeing cruise on the Danube, coffee and cake at the famous Café Gerbeaud and a  meal at the Restaurant Kaltenberg (which has its own brewery and gypsy music)  are all included.

Alternatives: Those who would prefer three nights in Salzburg instead of Budapest can pay $845 from March 27 to 31 or $986 from April 1 to 12, to stay in the comfortable 3-star Hotel Hofwirt; get a 48-hour Salzburg card for free transportation and museum, shop and restaurant discounts; enjoy a Mozart City Tour; coffee and cake at the traditional Café Fürst; and dinner at the charming K&K Restaurant am Waagplatz, which dates back to 1181. Similar specials are available in Italy and France.
 Details: Prices quoted are per person, double occupancy, and are subject to availability.

50th Annual Conch Blowing Contest in Key West 
When: Noon, Saturday, March 3

Where: In the tropical garden of Key West’s Oldest House, 322 Duval St.

What: The Conch Honk salutes Key West’s seafaring heritage and is presented by the Old Island Restoration Foundation. The tradition of blowing a conch shell in the Florida Keys began centuries ago. In the 1800s, when the local economy was largely based on salvaging cargoes from ships wrecked on the nearby reef, sailors attracted attention by blowing piercing blasts on the shell.
“There wasn’t a ship that went out that didn’t have at least one conch shell on it for communications,” said veteran contest winner Clinton Curry.
Several dozen kids and adults are expected to compete in the March 3 “conch honk,” showcasing their pucker power and honoring the Keys tradition. Spectators can expect more laughs than musical inspiration and a surprise visit from some characters from Key West’s seafaring history.
Winners are chosen for the quality, duration, loudness and novelty of the sounds they make, with trophies awarded in multiple age categories. The festivities typically include performances by talented “pucker pros.”

Cost: The 2012 Conch Shell Blowing Contest is free to enter and watch. Contestants can register at the Oldest House from 10:30 a.m. to noon March 3, or at the event itself if space is still available. Those lacking “instruments” can purchase conch shells on site. 
Event information: or 305-294-9501
Key West visitor information: or 1-800-LAST-KEY

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Discounts for military visitors to Amelia Island, FL

Fernandina, Amelia Island's historic neighbor.
In a "Seaside Salute,' hoteliers on Amelia Island, FL, are offering discounts to active duty, reserve and retired members of the U. S. Armed Forces.

Where and How Much:

▪ The Addison on Amelia (14-room boutique inn) – 15 percent off for Active Duty Military
▪ Amelia by the Sea (oceanfront condominiums) – 20 percent off
▪ Amelia Hotel at the Beach (family-owned, oceanview hotel) – Rates starting at $69
▪ The Amelia Island Williams House (southern Victorian inn) – 15 percent off for Active Duty Military
▪ Amelia South Condominiums (beachfront, on South Fletcher Avenue) – 20 percent off
▪ by ERA Fernandina Beach Realty (vacation rental homes and condos) – 20 percent off
▪ Beachside Motel Inn (the island’s only oceanfront motel) – 15 percent off
▪ Comfort Suites (located steps from Main Beach) – 15 percent off
▪ Elizabeth Pointe Lodge (#6 small resort by Conde Nast Traveler) – 15 percent off Active Duty Military
▪ Hampton Inn Amelia Island (one block from the beach) – $88 rate
▪ Hampton Inn & Suites Amelia Island (Fernandina Beach historic harbor-front hotel) – $88 rate
▪ Hoyt House (elegant, 10-room inn) – 15 percent off for Active Duty Military
▪ Oceans of Amelia (oceanfront units with private balcony) – 20 percent off
▪ Omni Amelia Island Plantation (1,350-acre beach resort) – from $96 rate
▪ Residence Inn Amelia Island (area’s newest hotel) – Rates starting at $80
▪ Summer Beach Resort (condominium accommodations with resort amenities) – 20 percent off

Fine Print: Additional information can be found at or by calling (904) 277-0717.
Advance reservations are required.  Military ID must be presented at time of check-in.  Some blackout dates or other restrictions may apply.  Rates shown do not include applicable taxes.  Offers may not be combined with any other offer, promotion, or package.  Check with each individual property for specific terms and conditions.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Two Oldest Classics: Academy Awards and St. Augustine

What: Academy Awards Party with canapes and hors d'oeuvres

Where: Casablanca Inn's Tini Martini Bar, 24 Avenida Menendez, St. Augustine, Florida, 904-829-0928,

When: 7 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 26

Cost: Free, optional overnight stay $99 plus tax.

Attire: Hollywood style, optional