Much like Jack Bauer on 24, I find that Friday has come around and there is NO MORE TIME to do all the things I wanted to accomplish by week’s end. But, I have so much cool stuff I want to tell you about! So, here we go!
This is best read if you picture me Walter Cronkite-like, reporting over a clacking news ticker. Or, that we’re having a delicious lunch and a glass of wine on the terrace. Either way, it’s VERY NEWSY.
First up, regarding the late night cornetto tragedy in Rome: “Il cornetto è salvo!” (“The cornetto is saved!”) Hilariously, this is an exact quote from the Mayor of Rome, who appeared in person to officially announce the good news “to calm the people of the night, agitated for days after the news of the closing of late night ovens at 1AM.” The article calls the whole ordeal “Cornetto-Gate.” AWESOME.
So: Rome and I are back together. Come on. How could I stay mad at a city whose populace rises up in passionate defense of late-night snack foods? (No word on the fate of the sausage truck at Porta Maggiore; must do further research.)
Girls Guide to the World is a new boutique travel planning website targeted toward the fairer sex. As usual when I find a new travel site, I go to where I know – France and Italy – to see how they stack up. While they’re not going to win any points for including The Drunken Ship – a Girls Gone Wild nightmare – as one of the top five bars in Rome, their hotel choices are great for the cities I know and love, and there are some interesting, off-the-beaten-path options for other leisure time pursuits.
isango! is a pretty cool site. It’s like Expedia or (the much-dreaded, to me at least) Travel Advisor, but for stuff to do. Click on “Venice,” for example, and you get a full list – gondola serenades, walking tours, etc. – with prices, reviews and easy-to-use filters. Very cool.
My experience with Viscape has been a confusing one. It’s not apparent from their home page what they do, exactly; further research reveals them to be a “social marketplace for travelers, owners, and real estate professionals to come together to network, exchange ideas, conduct business, meet and organize trips around vacation properties and second homes.” Now, those are seriously diverse target markets to satisfy with one community website.
What drew me to their site was a promotion I saw on Twitter, a contest they had called “Be a Travel Writer.” My interest piqued, I read that entrants had to enter travel stories in order to be in the running for some sweet travel writing gigs in either Belize or Key West. Sweet! Where do I sign up!
No, really, where do I sign up? Even after I registered on the site, I couldn’t find anywhere to write a travel story, let alone any information about the contest – except a months-old forum discussion stating that the contest was over, and they had already gotten their 1,000 contestants – with no reply from anyone at Viscape. Oh, well.
Then I received a lovely email from someone named Dorothy Carlow at Viscape, welcoming me to the community and encouraging me to enter the contest. But, when I go to the link she provided, there’s nothing there about writing your own destinations at all.
CONFUSION. Can anyone out there who’s done this help a sister out?
This tidbit of news is about another contest:
“American Express has announced the start of the Advance Your World Challenge, an interactive online race, sponsored by American Express, in which participants compete for 1,000 prizes, including seven grand prizes of one million Hilton HHonors bonus points– enough for a 25 days Hilton Family hotels worldwide; Hilton HHonors Diamond VIP tier status upgrade for one year; and a ten thousand dollar cash prize. The contest, which runs from March 1 through April 15, 2009, is open to all current members of the Hilton HHonors guest program or anyone who registers to join the program.”
It looks like it’s easy to register, which I am about to do right now. A chance to spend 25 days at a Hilton hotel sounds right up my alley!
Dubai takes an economic nosedive – The wealthy Gulf state of Dubai has been hit hard by the global economic crisis. Tens of thousands of workers have been laid off and forced to return to their homelands. The Dutch community in Dubai is also feeling the pinch. Ouch.
Competitours is like The Amazing Race for regular people. This is yet another reason why I must become independently wealthy. Either that, or find the time to find sponsors who will pay for me to go. Otherwise? Ain’t gonna happen this year.
Fabulous Cousin sent me an equally fabulous link – in which Catholics in Italy are urged to give up texting for Lent. What would Jesus do? I wonder if he’d be on Twitter?