Thursday, October 30, 2008

Congratulations Philadelphia Phillies..MLB Champs

I wrote a few weeks back that oddly enough TravelApe is a fan of the Philadelphia Phillies. Well last night our symian friend's team won the World Series. 

Well being a travel related blog it's probably important to get some information out there to all the people traveling to Philadelphia to attend the parade tomorrow. So here it is.

First things first, Public Officials have said anyone wishing to attend this event use public transportation. That is SEPTA or AMTRAK. Here are links to their sites. But use the information below first to see where the parade route will be so you can plan around it.

The parade is set to begin this Friday, October 31st, Halloween at 20th and Markets Street and to start at 12 Noon. 

The parade will travel south down Broad Street and end at the sports complex.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Time Saving Travel Tips..Why has the "Fast" in Fast Food lost it's Meaning.

I'll tell you what really get's my goat and had TravelApe very frusted this past weekend on his own. Oddly enough it was the same situation but at different places and areas. First to me. I was visiting a friend outside of Philadelphia the other day and being pressed for time I got into a drive through line at a Burger King. Yeah, let's not even get into quality or anything like that, I'm talking about the mere fact that I wanted something that tasted somewhat good and could get it fast. I proceeded to sit in line for 10 minutes !!! Yes ten minutes. Now let us get the facts straight. I was in line, there was one car in front of me and there was one other car in the parking lot. I could see that there was no activity in the store. Oh, by the way did I mention two lovelorn teen agers were in the throws of ectasy as I sat in line. Point is, when one drives into a fast food line, the expectation is in less than five minutes you can make an order, pay, get your food and be on your way with a half decent meal. Point is for me, I left.

Unbeknownst to me our friend TravelApe was in the Miami area this weekend doing some sightseeing and decided to stop in at an area KFC. Once again, he sat in line for over 15 minutes. TravelApe, unlike me, however, is a little more patient. That, however, still doesn't offer a happy end to the story. First, he sat in line while he watched a group of teenager or young workers throwing stuff at each other through the store windows. Second, a special meal he saw on a commercial wasn't available yet?? Third the food was terrible.

Well the moral of this story is there has to be a better way. TravelApe and I conversed on the phone and decided there are a few decent options. First, and probably people poo-poo on this concept, the local brand name convenience stores are sometimes the best of the options. The have food that is probably of higher quality, offer better selection, and sure let's get past the "fast" element here, actually can get you out the door in less the five minutes. The selections are boundless depending on where you are in the country. You have your 7-11 Convenient Stores across the country. You have Your WaWa's in the North East area of the United States. You've got your Circle K's out West. And a whole smorgish borg of selections across this great country. Do yourself a favor, before you take that turn and head into a Burger King, McDonald's, KFC or Taco Bell, think...And think well. The in and out convenient stores are your best bet.

Over the next few posts I'm going to feature some great destinations and offer some recommendations as to other alternatives outside the convenient stores too. The options are out there and TravelApe is sure to find them for you.  

Monday, October 20, 2008

Jamaica...A Place for Couples..

The island of Jamaica is a tropical paradise, if you can find the right places to visit. While island hopping Travel Ape was very happy to find that this oasis of the Caribbean has several resorts that cater to couples. 

Specifically Couples Resorts has several properties around the island that offer a little bit of unique pampering all to themselves. Just as you would think these properties are the perfect fit for weddings, honeymoons or just a good old classic romantic getaway. Let's take a little deeper look at some of the specific properties this group services. First you'll find Couples Negril Hotel.  The resort is all inclusive and is couples only. So no worrying about kids or frolicking youths. Well unless that 20 something couple is something to be worried about. Current rates for nightly stays, and again remember this is an all inclusive resort, are $519 per night. If that rate seems a little steep for you, there is another Couples resort that offers a better rate. At the Couples Swept Away Hotel, you can find current daily rates at an average of about $390. 

All told the Couples resorts are dedicated to providing a great closed setting for the romantically inclined. From moonlit dining to days swaying under hammocks tied to palm trees, I'm sure you can let your imagination get away with you to figure out how great a destination plan these are. Travel Ape might just surprise his sweetheart with an all inclusive trip to either one of the Couples properties, so if you are booking soon you may just see him there. Be sure to send over a Banana Daiquiri. I'm sure he'll return the favor. 

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Oak Room New York City..Fancy for Your Eyes as Well As Your Stomach...

There are certain times when just getting something to eat is not primitive. Not just getting the sustinence that is required to live. The fact is, going out to eat can sometimes be like going to an art museum. Well feast your eyes, your ears and the rest of what ever senses you have on the Oak Room New York City. This is a place of elegant style that offers entertainment in the old world style. You and the guests that accompany you can enjoy the elegance and warmth of carbaret style entertainment along with a great dinner. The Oak Room in New York City is located in the Algonquin Hotel New York City and is a perfect match for this legendary hotel. Quite simply this is really a fun place to visit, eat and just enjoy some great quality entertainment.

Visitors to the Oak Room Supper Club have been treated to the best in jazz, piano and much more. You're sure to enjoy some great laughs too on occaision as these performers really play it up to the crowd. Some great entertainment is coming to the venue soon as they include Barbara Carroll. Actually this performance is being offered every sunday as the show is called Barbara Carrol's Sunday Brunch Performance. A treat for your sunday afternoon. Beginning on October 20th, Glimpses of the Moon, a Jazz Age interpretation of a book authored by Edith Wharton will be gracing the Oak Room New York City.

There are many more performances that are worthy of a night out or afternoon if you're in the New York City area. Enjoy the best that these places have to offer.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Seeing the Changing Fall Colors of New England Should be an Annual Pilgrimage...

The Ape is a fan of big colorful things. No doubt, and it would be hard to contend, that some of the biggest, brightest and most colorful scenes in the world is the changing of the colors in New England. In fact during the fall, many New York City residents make an annual pilgrimage to places such as Connecticut to enjoy the peace and serenity that come along with the country.

Enjoy Maine fall vacations at The Cozy Moose on Moosehead LakeOur highlight or spotlight today is the beautiful and serene state of Maine. Specifically on our journey, the Ape took a great liking to the Cozy Moose Cabins of Maine. This is one wonderful place to literally get away from it all. Whether you are just a single person looking to get away and be at peace with yourself, or for the lovebirds out there that are looking for the best scenic and romantic getway you could possibly have, the Cozy Moose Cabins of Maine are right on target. To start the cabins are located right on Moosehead Lake of Maine. The area is out of a Norman Rockwell painting to some degree. The cabin resorts are located in Greenville Maine. The resort is home to vacation fun all year long, but the Ape, if pressed would have to say that if he had to make a choice, the fall is the best time of year to visit this place. The cabins are well appointed and being the class act they are, are decorated for the fall season. Bright earth tone colors and lot's off blankets to keep you and your love warm. One thing to remember is that it's not all about the cabins. If you're up in that area get out and enjoy the outdoors. The resort has lot's of planned activities to choose from such as canoes, organized hiking trips, mountain climbing and off road vehicles to rent.

The point is, these are crazy times and it is important to really step out and smell the roses. The Cozy Moose Cabins of Greenville Maine is one heck of a place to do this.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Can Someone Find Me Some Live Music in Atlantic City..

That is the cry I most recently heard from a near and dear friend. The issue is I don't think there is lack of live music, but just a lack of great free live music. Atlantic City has some of the best headlining acts of most places out there. The issue is that the area does a very poor job in promoting clubs, venues and other places of entertainment that have free live music.

Well because they offer just what the doctor ordered, the Borgata and their Gypsy Bar is the topic of this discussion. They Gypsy Bar was written up by a local Atlantic City publication on the net that praised the level of entertainment offered. This isn't a bar that sets up an aging group of musicians set out to cover every dime a dozen bar song ever made. The Gypsy Bar brings in new and unheard talent on a regular basis to dazzle and entertain the crowds. Like the precision of the well oiled machine that is the Borgata Hotel and Spa Casino, they don't miss. The talent varies on the type of music offered but the result is always the same...quality.

So if you're looking for great live music check out the schedule for the Gypsy Bar at the Borgata Atlantic City.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Let's Here it for the MLB Playoffs and Especially the Fightin' Phillies..

Trust me my faithful following, TravelApe will hardly make personal opinions known, but something very neat is happening near and dear to the big fella's heart. The Philadelphia Phillies have made it to the post season of Major League Baseball for the second straight year on the back of another Division Championship. That's all great, but one little difference, at least this year is the Phils are up 2-0 to a great Milwaukee Brewers club. Baseball fan's TravelApe has access to places to buy tickets and also check for room availability in both cities. The series heads to Milwaukee for Saturday October 4th, where some probability lies that the Phils will finish off the series best of 5 with their third win. But why not take a chance to see if you could have some fun. Check for ticket availability for the Phillies Playoff Tickets at StubHub. TravelApe is not officially associated with that site or anyone from the company, but we have found it to be a place for quality prices and hard to find tickets. It also makes sense to see what type of room availability there is for Philadelphia Hotels, so also being helpful the link provided offers you the ability to search for rooms.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Miami Florida...A Hot Place to Visit as the Temp Gets Cool..

It's hardly winter and October just started, but for anyone that lives in the North East or North West areas of the US a crisp bite in the air can be felt. No doubt fall is here and visions of summer memories are already more than a month past. That should hardly mean that for those
of you untethered to family or children better stated, that options and getaways to some of the worlds greatest sun soaked destinations are out of reach.

Ancient Spanish Monastery photos
This post is dedicated to Miami Florida and general area
of southern Florida. A great place to vacation and continue to soak in
the rays of the oh so wonderful sun. The spotlight attraction is the
Ancient Spanish Monestary located specifically in North Miami Beach
16711 West Dixie Highway. The Ancient Spanish Monestary official site is here for further review. The Monastery is open Mondays thru Saturdays from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM, Sundays 12 Noon to 4:30 PM. The facility does close on occasions during regular business hours as the schedule here shows. The official site says it makes sense to call ahead just in case to see what the schedule for the upcoming days. The phone number is 305-945-1461. Admission is $5.00 regular, $2.50 Seniors over 62, $2.50 Students with valid ID, Children under 12 $2.00. The history of the Ancient Spanish Monestary starts actually in Spain, between the years
1133 to 1141 AD. At that time the St. Bernard de Clairvaux was built in the city of Sacramenia in the Province of Segovia Spain. The original purpose of the construction of the Monestary was to honor the Blessed Mother Mary, however, a local monk was canonized for sainthood, St.
Bernard of Clairvaux, as such the Monestary was named in honor of him. During civil war in Spain the monestary was cloistered and the entire facility was taken down brick by brick. Around 1925 a gentleman by the name of William Randolph Hearst purchased these cloisters and all buildings associated with the monestary. Packed away in over 11,000 protective crates the entire structure was shipped to the US.  About that time, hoof and mouth disease had broken out in Segovia, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, fearing possible contagion, quarantined the shipment upon its arrival, broke open the crates and burned the hay, a possible carrier of the disease. Unfortunately, the workmen failed to replace the stones in the same
numbered boxes before moving them to a warehouse. Soon after the shipment arrived, Hearst's financial problems forced most of his collection to be sold at auction. The stones remained in a warehouse in Brooklyn, New York, for 26 years. One year after Hearts' death in 1952, they were purchased by Messrs. W. Edgemon and R. Moss for use as a tourist attraction. It took 19 months and almost $1.5 million dollars to put the Monastery back together. Some of the unmatched stones still remain in the back lot; others were used in the construction of the
present Church's Parish Hall.

There is a lot more you can learn by visiting the Ancient Spanish Monestary Miami if you do plan on heading to theMiami Beach area. Places like these are just awesome to take in while
you look for that occaisional diversion from the sunny beaches.