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

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.

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.

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.

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.

For other North Carolina Fall packages, go to

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

Go to, 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 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

Package information is also available at

 Road Trip Tips
Having driven more than 1,500 miles through South and North Dakota (see Good Girls in the Badlands blog, 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.