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,

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,, 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

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

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,

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

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.
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.

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

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.


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 or call toll-free 1-888-297-2757 or 1-303-297-2757 from outside the United States