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IT’S NATIONAL TRAVEL AND TOURISM WEEK!

NATIONAL TRAVEL AND TOURISM WEEK is May 3-11, 2014

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The first week of May is recognized as National Travel and Tourism Week, a tradition first celebrated in 1984, established by a Congressional joint resolution passed in 1983.

Visitors Center - Lee Vining, California (copyright 2011 Joshua Weisel)

Visitors Center – Lee Vining, California (copyright 2011 JoshWillTravel)

The U.S. travel community has collectively marked the event in a number of creative ways, from staging local rallies and conducting media outreach to securing proclamations and resolutions from local legislative bodies. Each year, localized events are presented in cities, states and travel businesses nationwide to champion the power of travel.

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This year’s theme is “Travel Effect”:

This theme aligns with the current industry-wide campaign to prove the benefits of travel.

Research studies on travel’s positive effect on relationships, health, education, meetings and more, provide opportunities to tailor messaging about the impact of travel. Access current economic impact data, including a state-by-state interactive map, to spotlight the Travel Effect in your area.

In 2014, Travel Effect will broaden its focus to examine America’s “Day Off Deficit” and explore what it could mean to individuals, businesses and the economy if U.S. workers were motivated to use more of the time off they’ve earned and deserve. Stay tuned for new research in the coming weeks.

Champion the Benefits of Travel! Travel Rally Day is Tuesday, May 6! 

Travel Rally Day is a concerted effort to demonstrate travel’s positive impact on local workers, businesses and economies – and, of course, on personal lives of travelers. Individual events are staged in cities nationwide during National Travel and Tourism Week.

The goal of Rally Day is to unite the local travel community with its supporters and publicly represent the importance of travel to media and elected officials.

Join the conversation by following @USTravel, #NTTW and #TravelEffect.

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SOME VERY INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY!

LEISURE TRAVEL

■ Direct spending on leisure travel by domestic and international travelers totaled $564 billion in 2011.

■ Spending on leisure travel generated $86 billion in tax revenue.

■ 3 out of 4 domestic trips taken are for leisure purposes (77%).

■ U.S. residents logged 1.5 billion person-trips for leisure purposes in 2011.

■ Top 5 leisure travel activities for U.S. domestic travelers: (1) visiting relatives; (2) shopping; (3) visiting friends; (4) fine dining; and (5) beaches.

BUSINESS TRAVEL

■ Direct spending on business travel by domestic and international travelers, including expenditures on meetings, events and incentive programs (ME&I), totaled $249 billion in 2011.

■ ME&I travel accounted for $99 billion of all business travel spending.

■ U.S. residents logged 458 million person-trips for business purposes in 2011, with more than one-third (36%) for meetings and events.

■ For every dollar invested in business travel, businesses benefit from an average of $12.50 in increased revenue and $3.80 in new profits.

(Person-trip defined as one person trip away from home overnight in paid accommodations or a day or overnight trip 50 miles one-way or more from home.)

U.S. Travel Association

U.S. Travel Association

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL

■ In 2011, international traveler spending (export receipts) totaled $153 billion and travel spending abroad by Americans totaled $110 billion (travel import payments), creating a trade surplus of $43 billion in favor of the U.S.

■ The U.S.received 62.3 million international arrivals in 2011. Of those, approximately 27.9 million were from overseas markets and 34.4 million were from Canada and Mexico.

■ The United States’ share of total international arrivals is 6.4% (down from 7.5% in 2000).

■ International travel spending directly supported about 1.2 million U.S. jobs and wages of $28.5 billion.

■ Each overseas traveler spends approximately $4,300 when they visit the U.S. and stay on average more than 17 nights.

■ Overseas arrivals represent 45% of all international arrivals, yet account for 78% of total international travel receipts.

■ Greatest challenges facing international visitors: burdensome visa process; unwelcoming entry experience.

■ Top 5 leisure travel activities for overseas visitors: (1) shopping; (2) dining; (3) city sightseeing; (4) visiting historical places; and (5) amusement/theme parks.

9th Annual Travel & Adventure Show - Long Beach Convention Center (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

PRESS CREDENTIAL – 9th Annual Travel & Adventure Show – Long Beach Convention Center (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry that generates $1.9 trillion in economic output. It is the voice for the collective interests of the U.S. travel industry and the association’s 1,400 member organizations. U.S. Travel’s mission is to promote and facilitate increased travel to and within the United States.

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05-JUN-13: The Sea is Calling. Answer it Royally.

The Sea is Calling. Answer it Royally.

Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, the Quantum of the Seas!

Royal Caribbean's newest ship the Quantum of the Seas

Royal Caribbean’s newest ship the Quantum of the Seas

From the Royal Caribbean blog: http://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2013/06/04/royal-caribbean-puts-quantum-seas-cruises-sale-general-public

My previous blog post on the Quantum of the Seas: https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/introducing-royal-caribbeans-the-quantum-of-the-seas/

 

 

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INTRODUCING ROYAL CARIBBEAN’S, THE QUANTUM OF THE SEAS!

ROYAL CARIBBEAN’S NEWEST SHIP, THE QUANTUM OF THE SEAS

Royal Caribbean's newest ship the Quantum of the Seas

Royal Caribbean’s newest ship the Quantum of the Seas

The Sea is Calling. Answer it Royally.

The sea is calling.  It whispers your name, inviting you in.  Some barely hear the call over the noise of their lives.  Others answer it quietly by dipping a toe or wading ankle deep in its shore.  But going in halfway isn’t our way.

We believe in answering the call in a way that is as majestic as the sea itself.

When the sea calls with breathtaking views, we answer with balcony rooms big enough to take them in.  When the sea calls your name, we answer by knowing your name.  A sea that sparkles with light is answered with a Vitality Spa that fills you with light.  And when the sea calls with endless destinations, we answer with the best destination to see them all.  You could say answering the call of the sea is our calling.  And there aren’t enough anchors in the world to hold us back.

This explains why we’re the only global cruise line sailing every major sea in the world.

The Sea is Calling. Answer it Royally.

Royal-Caribbean

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01-JUN-13: One World Trade Center aka “Freedom Tower”

One World Trade Center aka “Freedom Tower”
The 104-story skyscraper (standing a symbolic 1776 feet) in Manhattan, New York City, New York, officially opens today!

One World Trade Center (a rendering) - New York City, New York

1 World Trade Center (rendering) – New York City, New York

The Flag of the United States of America

The Flag of the United States of America – “Don’t mess with the U.S.!”

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Pic of the Day 13-MAY-13: Central Park, New York City, NY

ALICE IN WONDERLAND – Central Park, New York City, NY

“This sculpture is for children and meant to be climbed on!”

Alice in Wonderland - Central Park, New York City, NY (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Alice in Wonderland – Central Park, New York City, NY (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Alice and her cast of storybook friends found their way to Central Park in 1959, when philanthropist George Delacorte commissioned this bronze statue as a gift to the children of New York City. Inspired by the zany characters of the Lewis Carroll classic Alice in Wonderland, the sculpture was also meant as a tribute to his late wife, Margarita, who read Alice to their children. Engraved around the statue are lines from his nonsensical poem, The Jabberwocky.

The sculpture is a favorite among children, who love to climb atop it and explore its varied textures and hiding spaces. Through the years, thousands of tiny hands have literally polished parts of its patina surface smooth.

Created by the Spanish-born American sculptor José de Creeft, the piece depicts Alice holding court from her perch on the mushroom. The host of the story’s tea party is the Mad Hatter, a caricature of George Delacorte. The White Rabbit is depicted holding his pocket watch, and a timid dormouse nibbles a treat at Alice’s feet.

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http://www.centralparknyc.org/visit/things-to-see/great-lawn/alice-in-wonderland.html

Contact me at  joshuawwilletttravel@gmail.com to plan your next trip to New York City!

04-MAY-13: Kentucky Derby Day!

May 4, 2013

May 4, 2013 – Louisville, Kentucky

Derby Day!

The Kentucky Derby has been run every year since 1875!

Derby Day! Have a Mint Julep!

Derby Day! Have a Mint Julep!

“I must….descant a little upon the mint-julep, as it is, with the thermometer at 100 degrees F., one of the most delightful and insinuating potations that ever was invented, and may be drunk with equal satisfaction when the thermometer is as low as 70 degrees.” – Captain Frederick Marryat’s diary (1838)

Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs

Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs – Louisville, Kentucky

The Kentucky Derby is a horse race for three-year-old thoroughbreds, held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, on the first Saturday in May. The race is one and a quarter miles at Churchill Downs.  The race is known as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports” or “The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports” for its approximate duration, and is also called “The Run for the Roses” for the blanket of roses draped over the winning horse.

The Mint Julep, an iced drink consisting of bourbon, mint and a sugar syrup, is the traditional beverage of the race. The historic drink can be served in an ice-frosted silver julep cup, but most Churchill Downs patrons sip theirs from souvenir glasses (first offered in 1939 and available in revised form each year since) printed with all previous Derby winners. Also, Burgoo, a thick stew of beef, chicken, pork and vegetables, is a popular Kentucky dish served at the Derby.

“The sun shines bright on my ol’ Kentucky home….”
“My Old Kentucky Home” became the official state song of Kentucky in 1928.
In 1986 the word “darkies” was changed to “people”.

It’s National Travel & Tourism Week!
Where do you want to go?

U.S. Travel Association - www.ustravel.org

U.S. Travel Association – http://www.ustravel.org

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RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW OUR YOUTUBE PAGE!>

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UPDATED! 7 May 2016 – Derby Day Again!

Last Year in 2015, American Pharoah won the ‪Kentucky Derby‬, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes to complete the ‪Triple Crown‬!

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American Pharaoh wins the Belmont Stakes and the Triple Crown!

 

UPDATED 4 MAY 2019 – It’s Derby Day again!

Read the NEW BLOG POST “The 145th Kentucky Derby 2019” > https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2019/05/04/the-kentucky-derby-2019/

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Dinner & Show: Thai Food at Chan Dara & “Dreamgirls” @ the Met Theater in Hollywood

Friday 12-April-2013

Drove the 101 Freeway into Hollywood (no traffic!) and picked up my friend Jessica on a warm Friday evening for dinner and a show.  Reservation for 6:45pm at House of Chan Dara (Larchmont) and a lovely Thai food meal ahead.

A quick car ride and a short walk after self parking on Larchmont, we arrived at our destination:

House of Chan Dara - 310 North Larchmont, Hollywood

House of Chan Dara – 310 North Larchmont, Hollywood

ChandaraPIC

We were both hungry, and I didn’t take the food pics until after we had both eaten, so apologies (or not, because it was delicious) and imagine the plates with even more food!

We shared a tasty chicken satay with peanut sauce appetizer (4 skewers),

Chicken satay with peanut sauce  appetizer (4 skewers)

Chicken satay with peanut sauce appetizer (4 skewers)

a spicy beef panang which was delicious but the meat was just a little overcooked,

Spicy Beef Panang

Spicy Beef Panang

a great plate of chicken and shrimp pad thai noodles,

Chicken and Shrimp Pad Thai Noodles

Chicken and Shrimp Pad Thai Noodles

and an order of yummy sweet and crispy mee krob.

Crispy and Sweet Mee Krob

Sweet and Crispy Mee Krob

I had a Thai iced tea with no cream and Jessica had a glass of red wine.

My friend Jessica Jolly is a very talented actor/standup comedian/writer/producer/director and currently be seen in “The Broad Casters – Football for Girls Who Like Football” on Funny or Die: http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/cd317b2861/the-broadcasters (NSFW)

Jessica enjoying the sweet and crispy Mee Krob

Jessica enjoying the sweet and crispy Mee Krob for the camera and making me laugh!

The food was fantastic, and it is every time I eat here or at the other Chan Dara (at Cahuenga and Sunset in Hollywood proper) and the price is very reasonable.  Dinner for two (or four if you count the leftovers) with drinks and tip ~$75.  The service is very good, and the portions are big, so we had a lot of leftovers to take home.  But, it wasn’t time to go home yet…

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My friend Keith Arthur Bolden is starring in “Dreamgirls” at the Met Theater in Hollywood presented by the Doma Theatre Company http://www.domatheatre.com.  He’s a great actor and he absolutely brings it as Jimmy “Thunder” Early along with a very talented cast and chorus.  The LIVE BAND did a fantastic job and rocked the house, with a special shout out to the keyboard player and conductor!  The show is getting rave reviews and has been extended through May 5th.155602_10152737492845584_1320352895_n

View Keith’s IMDB pagehttp://www.imdb.com/name/nm1080768/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

The Met Theater is in East Hollywood, on Oxford, just east of Western, and just north of Santa Monica. Parking is tight but there are two lots that are available for the theater, stack park at Earl Scheib, or park at Catalina Marketplace (enter alley just east of Western off Santa Monica) for $5.

The Met Theater - up the stairs to the Lobby

The Met Theater – up the stairs to the Lobby

The Lobby at the Met is too small for the house and the Box Office is inside and on the far side of the Lobby.  The show was full but not sold out and the lobby was hot and crowded.  Because of some technical difficulties the show started about a half hour late, and the show producers offered free drinks at the bar while we waited.  BRAVO!!!

Technical Difficulties = Free drinks at the bar!

Technical Difficulties = Free drinks at the bar!

Jessica had a glass of red wine and I had a Heineken and we continued talking while we waited.  We went down the stairs to the landing where it wasn’t crowded and hot and it didn’t take very long before they solved the problems and opened the house.

Dreamgirls "Stage" Set at the Met- preshow

Dreamgirls split-level “Stage” Set at the Met – preshow

The show was worth the wait!  It was well staged and wonderfully choreographed.  The music was performed live and the band rocked the house.  The lead actors were extremely talented and gave strong performances. The large chorus did a great job acting as supporting characters and executing the large musical numbers.  The singing and dancing was very well executed, and the staging was creative and entertaining.  The production value was amazing!  The set and lighting design was very effective.  The period wigs were hilarious!  And the costumes were absolutely fantastic!  Special congratulations go to the costume designer  and director for a job well done.

My friend Keith was terrific!  I had only seen him do heavy, dramatic material prior to this show and was pleasantly suprised to see him sing and dance as well as act.  He had the  entire audience cheering as he sang “Jimmy Wants More!” so it’s not just a biased opinion.  I was again reminded of how many talented people there are in Los Angeles, who perform in smaller theaters every weekend while chasing the Hollywood dream.  The show was fun but wasn’t perfect.  The performances were mixed,  with some actors not as strong as the leads.  And the show was long, with the first act running 90 minutes and the second act running almost an hour with a brief intermission.  Overall it was an entertaining and exciting piece of musical theater with a very talented cast, and at a caliber not often seen in a smaller theater space. Check out the reviews and go see it!

Watch a preview  of “Dreamgirls” at the Met on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyA7MqoogTw

We waited for Keith after the show, thanked him for the tickets and congratulated him and other members of the cast.  It’s always good when you see someone you know perform and it’s great (not so good when it’s not good).  We talked for awhile and after saying goodnight and a fast walk to the car, I drove Jessica home and then headed back to the valley.  It was a very fun night!