United States Travel Guide
Whether you call it Charm City, The City of Firsts, Ravenstown, or Monument City — something that should be on any itinerary during a trip to Baltimore is crab! When it comes to indulging in quintessentially Baltimorean fare, the small crustacean is at the top of our list. Baltimore crabs are kind of world famous.
Frankly, it's almost impossible to venture anywhere in the city and not find crab on a menu. One of the most common ways to taste the seafood is by choosing crab cakes, but beware, not all are created equal. We'd recommend a splurge on a lump crab cake that features hand-picked crab meat and little to no filler, like breadcrumbs.
Right in the Inner Harbor sits Phillips, a touristy hot spot for seafood that serves up one of the heartier cakes we had while visiting. While it was delicious, we'd eschew the $42 price tag in favor of a more local flavor (at market price) by noshing over at Fells Point, where the hip locals eat. Thames Street Oyster House and Kooper's Tavern are on our short list.
In 2013, Adam Tichauer was trying to rally his friends together for a getaway. As adults, he found it increasingly difficult to synchronize schedules because everyone was busy with boring adult obligations like work and family.
Adam was feeling professionally dispassionate and decided that if he was going to get a group of friends together then he would have to devise something especially eccentric.
So he rented out a summer camp. And his small getaway turned into a 90-person event. This was just the start of Camp No Counselors.
In Adam’s own words:
“At that first camp weekend in early autumn of 2013, I realized that the majority of our adult life is spent in situations where we are expected to be confident and we are rarely afforded opportunities when it’s ok to be truly vulnerable. Camp was that chance. I saw a highly accomplished and driven group shed their work identities and become their truest selves.”
Okay, we’re in. This sounds like the most thrilling, primitive, debaucherous, unrestrained break away from “real life” that we’ve heard about in a long time. But perhaps most importantly, it’s also poignantly meaningful.
“As kids we made friendships based on who we were and this was the first time in a long while that I saw adults forming friendships based simply on that innocent principle.”
On Thursday, April 23, a cemetery of sorts opened up in Chicago for the public to gawk at.
No Longer Art is the brainchild of Salvage Art Institute (SAI), a faux museum on the University of Chicago campus located at the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society. Taken from the glossary of art insurance, the term “salvage art” refers to works of art that have been removed from circulation due to accidental damage. When artwork is classified in this manner, it is dubbed as a total loss (that’s a formal expression, by the way) and officially devoid of value.
In-Flight Meals / Food Travel / American Airlines / 757 / Europe Travel / Economy Class Travel / → All Tags
It may have taken a few years, but American Airlines has finally come around to offering a better breakfast in economy class, on long-haul flights.
You see, it used to be that passengers in the back of plane, on transatlantic flights between the U.S. and Europe, were treated (we use the word sarcastically) to a small and salty hot dinner then, several hours later and before arrival at the destination, a greasy croissant would arrive on a tray. Said croissant would leave grease marks all over the tray, be accompanied by orange juice and little side packets of butter and jam, and altogether make you feel as though your face were a grease slick until you eventually had a chance to shower away the memory of the flight.
We first complained about the meal way, way back in 2011, and went on to take a distinct interest in airline breakfast meals over the years. See our "Surprisingly Awesome Airline Meals" category for times when airlines actually got it right.
Now, the AA has finally cleaned up their act to change economy class breakfast into a pleasant little boxed meal containing things you might want to eat, and wouldn't feel gross for ingesting after a lengthy trip.
Getting to Washington State's picturesque San Juan Islands is half the fun. Unless you’re stuck in an endless wait for the ferry, and then it’s kind of a drag. Despite our best planning efforts, we’ve sometimes had to wait several hours to catch a ferry during summer months. (This is exactly why we keep lawn chairs in our trunk.)
The good news is that you may now reserve a spot for your vehicle on the Washington State Ferries (WSF) for travel in the San Juan Islands. After a rocky start, the WSF booking system is back up and running and taking ressies for summer travel.
Vehicle reservations are released in three tiers by the WSF:
Events / World War 2 / War Travel / Military Travel / Historical Travel / Washington DC Travel / Smithsonian / Airplanes / → All Tags
May 8, 1945: V-E Day. The Allies officially celebrate the end of World War 2 with the acceptance of the surrender of Nazi Germany and the Axis powers. For the first time in years, airplanes flying overhead meant only celebration and the return of good times instead of loss and potential tragedy.
May 8, 2015: The 70th Anniversary of V-E Day. The airplanes flying overheard on this day will again celebrate the victory of the allies, and some of the aircraft will be the very same which flew those 70 years ago.
Washington D.C. will be the site of the United States' grand 70th anniversary celebration of V-E Day this Friday, and Smithsonian's Air & Space Museum reports that the highlight will be a flyover of one of the country's largest private collections of World War 2-era aircraft.
The Smithsonian Air & Space Museum is the chief sponsor, and has a bunch of extras for those who both will and won't be there to watch the display. From the Smithsonian:
Wisconsin already dominates the world of dairy, and now it looks like they’re working on ruling social media, too.
Earlier this week The Shorty Awards, which honor the best of social media, announced their winners. For the "Best in Tourism" category, the win went to Travel Wisconsin's #BragBadge Social Listening Campaign.
Just as we all thought the border between the U.S. and Cuba was beginning to soften for good, members of the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a Department of Transportation bill this week with a caveat that could put the brakes on the momentum.
According to Reuters, the bill, if passed, has a section included that "would effectively keep the U.S. government from recertifying any airline or cruise line if it were to travel to Cuba." This measure of the bill was introduced by Representative Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, a Cuban-American Republication and a major opponent of the changing relationship with Cuba.
We know, we know. Sea urchin is an acquired taste for many. Okay, a lot of people. In fact the marine animal’s gonads, it’s oft been called foie gras or butter of the sea. (Mmm...butter.)
At Toro in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City, co-chef/owner Ken Oringer serves the silky roe pressed with pickled mustard seeds between two slices of miso-buttered bread. For first-timers, the Bocadillo de Erizos (a bocadillo is a type of Spanish sandwich) strikes the perfect balance of oozy, briny sweetness and crisp bread. Luscious and salty, it’s straight up essence of the sea.
Two bites into our bocadillo and we were ready for another. It’s that delicious. And of all the things we ate during a recent NYC trip, it’s the number one dish we think about. As in, we will never look at a glass of rosé the same way without this ridiculously tasty pairing.
Even if you’re sea urchin squeamish, there’s a really good chance the Bocadillo de Erizos ($13) will sway you. So go to Toro, give it a try and tell us what you think.
Music Travel / Elvis Presley / Elvis Presley Hologram / Live Music Travel / Las Vegas Travel / → All Tags
Last summer, it was announced that the King could be coming back to Vegas... in the form of a hologram. That has yet to materialize (although it is apparently still in the works), but in the meantime, a new Elvis initative has just launched in hopes of holding everyone over: Graceland Presents ELVIS: The Exhibition – The Show – The Experience.
The city of Baltimore is recovering from a long day and a night of violent riots that erupted after the funeral of Freddie Gray, who died after suffering a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody. But while the violence in downtown has calmed down for now, the city is still on edge.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency and ordered National Guard Troops to assist the city police in preventing further riots. The NY Times reports that a weeklong curfew has also been imposed from 10pm to 5am starting tonight.
The Visit Baltimore site has updated its Important Visitor Information page about the riots and the curfew but has said to check Baltimore Police's website for more current information. Which really means following the police on social media for the most immediate updates.
One good question was brought forth by this FlyerTalk member who wondered if the curfew applied to traveling to and from the airport. Actually yes, it does. The Balitmore Sun reports that the curfew means "people may not be out on the road unless they are driving to or from work or have a medical emergency."
Currently, flights to and from Baltimore are not affected, however, last night's baseball game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Chicago White Sox was cancelled. According to the NY Times, if the tensions persists, tonight's game may also be postponed or moved into nearby Washington, DC.
As for visitors who are in the city right now, there are a wide-ranging observations from Business as Usual in some parts of town to National Guard sightings and of course, fear and concern about whether more rioting is still to come. Here are a few reactions on Twitter:
United / American Airlines / Boeing / Boeing 787 / 787 / Airline News / Airplanes / Airplane News / Boeing 787 Dreamliner / → All Tags
Bad news for those looking to score a trip aboard a Boeing 787 Dreamliner here in the nifty fifty, as a couple of carriers are changing up their plans and orders as apparently the latest isn’t necessarily the greatest.
United has a whole bunch of 787s on order, and that’s in addition to the ones they’re already flying. According to the Associated Press and ABC News, United is pretty cool with the 787; however, they’re just looking for something a little bit bigger for certain routes. Boeing will still be their bird of choice, as the plan is to trade in some of the 787s for Boeing 777-300ERs. All in all they will be reordering ten of the different planes—hey, at least they didn’t call Airbus!