Saturday, July 31, 2010

Traveler's Night In - a Twitter party !!

For those of you who:

A) love to travel, and B) participate in the online phenomenon known as Twitter, allow me to introduce you to something that combines the two -- Traveler's Night In !!

Traveler's Night In is a weekly Twitter party, or "Tweetup", brought to you by the travel enthusiasts at  They pick out a different travel related topic each week, tweet out 10 questions (one every 10 minutes), then anyone who wants to participate can tweet back answers, questions, tips, experiences, etc.

Find out more about Traveler's Night In by clicking on the following link:

Traveler's Night In

The party happens every Thursday from 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM Eastern Standard Time -- prepare yourself for an informative, entertaining, creative, dynamic, and VERY interactive discussion, all conducted in Twitter messages of 140 characters or less.

For those of you who miss the party, one of the participants (@adventurouskate) posts a recap of the latest Traveler's Night In tweetup on her website, including all ten questions from that day's topic as well as some of the best answers from the participants.  For a sample, click HERE.

Every single time I've participated in this event I've learned something new, laughed out loud a lot, and met some interesting new people who love to travel as much as I do ........  CHECK IT OUT !!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Summertime Tree Trimming !!

This isn't really a travel related post, but since I believe in rewarding exemplary customer service, let me tell you about what happened over the weekend .....

We have several large eucalyptus trees just past the block wall of our back yard, which provide us with a little bit of shade, a little break from the wind when it's gusty, and a little bit of privacy from our neighbor's backyards on the other side of the street.

Saturday afternoon Paula was watching TV in the back bedroom when she witnessed one of the larger branches split off from one of the trees and come crashing down into our backyard.  No one got hurt, and there was minimal damage to the backyard landscaping.

The branch was a little too big for me a deal with by myself, plus I don't own a chainsaw to cut it up, so Monday morning I called the local City of Chino Hills Public Works Dept.

Within an hour of my call, two of the local supervisors were at our house to assess the damage, and within an hour after that, a crew was onsite removing the fallen branch.  For good measure, they decided that the tree the branch had fallen from was too close to our backyard block wall, so they completely cut it down as well.

 All of this was accomplished in a completely safe and VERY professional manner, for which we are very grateful.  THREE CHEERS to all the Public Works guys who helped us out with this little dilemma, and as a twenty two year resident of Chino Hills, it's great to know that my city listens and responds quickly to requests from its citizens. 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

3rd Annual GHCC Fundraising CRUISE

Yes, that’s right, I said CRUISE !! Help raise money for the Granada Hills Chamber of Commerce just by joining us on the 3rd annual GHCC Fundraising Cruise, sailing from Sunday, January 30, 2011 to Sunday, February 6, 2011.

The first two GHCC Fundraising Cruises found a spirited group of travelers exploring the Mexican Riviera, day tripping to La Bufadora to watch the spouting marine geyser, sailing past the craggy arches of Land’s End at the tip of Cabo San Lucas to watch the sunset over the western Pacific horizon, and enjoying the casual ambience of days at sea aboard two magnificent cruise ships.

Sunset while passing the famous arch at Cabo San Lucas
This year, we’ve decided to follow a new compass heading and dip our toes into the Caribbean Sea. Sailing out of Galveston, TX, we will basically be making a counter-clockwise lap through the western Caribbean, with stops at Cozumel (on the Yucatan Peninsula), Grand Cayman Island, and Jamaica. Each of these outstanding destinations features “can’t miss” attractions, whether you decide to jump in the water, go on an adventure in the tropical landscape, or follow the time honored tradition of cruisers worldwide and “shop till you drop “.

We will be sailing on Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas, which at 138,000 tons will be the largest ship that the GHCC has sailed on. In addition to the usual cruise ship amenities, it has a full size basketball court, golf simulators, an inline skating track, an onboard Promenade lined with bars and shops, and an ICE RINK !! I suppose since the godmother of the ship is Olympic figure skating champion Katarina Witt, an ice rink seems very appropriate !!

Sun & fun on the pool deck of a typical Royal Caribbean ship
Special rates have been negotiated for this cruise, starting at approx. $675 per person for an inside cabin up to approx. $910 per person for a cabin with a private balcony. And don’t forget, for every cabin sold, a contribution will be made to the GHCC – so come and sail with us !!

Best cabins typically sell out first, so don’t delay, call today …… even if you are “on the fence” about participating in this fundraiser, you can put down a REFUNDABLE deposit of $500 to secure your cabin today !!

Contact Paula Harness of MY TRAVEL AGENT at (800) 388-7477 for all the details.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Encounter at LAX

Over the holiday weekend Paula and I headed to LAX to pick up my sister Karen, who was flying home from London after just completing a Baltic cruise on the Oceania cruise line.

We decided to go a little early to check out one LAX landmark that we had never been to ..... the Encounter Restaurant in the iconic theme building at the center of the LAX property.


It's pretty simple to find , we walked over from the parking structure opposite Terminal 2 and in a couple of minutes, we were heading up in the SMALL elevator (max. capacity = 5) to the 2nd Floor.

On the way up, the piped in music in the elevator sounded like something out of a Star Trek movie ..... we weren't planning "to boldly go where no man has gone before" ...... The decor of the restaurant is in line with the space age, futuristic design of the building, sort of like we had walked into an episode of The Jetsons (including a few lava lamps, actually working !!).

We only had time for drinks prior to my sister's arrival time, so we sat at the bar and watched a few planes land while Paula sipped on an apple martini, and a Sprite for me (designated driver).  We did peek at the menu, most entrees are $20-$30, which seemed a little pricey for the venue, but you DO have a marvelous view if you choose to have dinner.

Recently I spotted an article in the Los Angeles Times that the Observation Deck (one level above the restaurant) has just completed a significant renovation and would be re-opening to the public, on a limited basis, on 7/10/10.  I'm sure the views from one deck up would be even more spectacular than those from the restaurant.

All in all, not a bad place to hang out if you need to kill some time at LAX ............ or if you just like to watch planes come and go !!