Sunday, March 29, 2015

Fly with an astronaut

 Limited to 43 guests per day between Friday, April 2 and Monday, April 6, so you better fly LIKE an astronaut to take advantage of this opportunity. 

What: "Fly" on the Shuttle Launch Experience with your guide, astronaut and pilot Jon McBride. Discover what it's like to launch into space aboard a shuttle traveling 17,500 miles per hour. The experience begins at 9:30 a.m. with a pre-flight briefing and photo with McBride at Space Shuttle Atlantis followed by "launch" with Shuttle Launch Experience. Then its off in a bus for a private tour of Kennedy Space Center while McBride shares stories of his space shuttle adventures and life in space. At the Apollo/Saturn V Center it's a guided tour and lunch with printed photos of themselves with McBride and other treats.

 Where: Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. 

 How Much:  $199 for adults, $174 children ages 3-11; $149 and $134 for annual pass holders.

For reservations, call 877-313-2610.

Traditional potter Wayne Hewell has a special take on the classic face jug.
Credit: The Macon Arts Alliance

Pot Luck 

Folk pottery is featured but you will find all styles among the 6,000-plus pieces by 65 ceramic artists at the10th Annual Fired Works Regional Ceramics Exhibition.

Where: Central City Park, Macon, GA.

When: April 11-19, 2015

Bruce Bley's ceramics showcase his love
for the mountains of North Georgia.
Credit: The Macon Arts Alliance.
What: The state's largest annual sale and show of functional and sculptural pottery, including featured artists Bruce Bley, Clint Alderman, Roger Corn, Steve Turpin and fifth generation potter Wayne Hewell. Also, the Earth, Wine and Fire weekend weekend getaway package and free clay workshops.

National Park Week runs April 18-26. On opening days, April 18-19, 2015, entrance fees at the 127 of the 407 national parks that charge entrance fees, it's free.

That includes fee-free commercial tours and transportation entrance as well.

Of course, savvy travelers opt for an annual pass ($80) that provides entrance to all national parks, wildlife refuges, forests and many other Federal lands.

Adventures on the Gorge Park Week Special

Start spring with a splash on a whitewater rafting trip on the Lower New River for ages 12 and up, two nights of lodging, and one dinner, lunch and breakfast per person.

The cost? Based on double occupancy, from $99 for a campsite to $279 for a four-bedroom deluxe cabin with private hot tub.

Where? Adventures on the Gorge near Fayetteville, WV.; 855-379-8738.

Daily Getaways, Daily Deals

For the sixth year, it's a new deal every weekday from more than 20 major travel brands.

How: At 1 p.m. EDT, now through April 22, any U.S. resident can go to the website, , and buy the day's special which may range from Hilton Hotel points for half-price stays to rental cars and theme park entries.

Click fast, they sell out quickly.

An Unsolicited Testimonial

Heading to Iceland for three weeks last year and thinking of my often unreliable artificial hip and that country's icy crags, moonscapes and uninhabited lands, decided to be prudent and sign up for Medjet Assist Insurance, just in case. 
Basically, if you are more than 100 miles from home and wind up in a hospital, they will come get you and take you to the hospital of your choice. By commercial flight if you are able, chartered jet if you are not.
I didn't even get beyond a chair in the Air Iceland waiting area at JFK; my hip dislocated 10 minutes before boarding. I wound up in the emergency room at Jamaica Hospital and Medical Center on a busy, full moon night, but that's another story. 
When the orthopedist who repositioned my hip refused to approve travel to Iceland, Medjet Assist was a lifesaver, arranging reservations and sending a most personable nurse companion to see to all the details and deliver me safely to a Jacksonville hospital.  
Never mind the American Express card, I will never leave home without my Medjet Assist card and recommend you look into getting one, too.