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Order Up a 'Portonic' in Portugal's Douro Valley

Where: Porto, Portugal
October 28, 2014 at 2:20 PM | by | Comments (0)

In the same way that only sparkling wine from Champagne in France can be sold under that name, only dessert wine made in Porto’s Douro Valley can be labeled as “Port.” Later this week, we’ll take a walk through one of the region’s most famous wine lodges to get a sense of its varieties and history, but today we want to take a glance at how Port is being consumed in the present.

You’ve all no doubt seen the small after-dinner sipper glasses used when it is drunk in the traditional way, but did you know that Port has gone trendy? It has found new life in Portuguese bars, restaurants, and homes as the base ingredient in cocktails.

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Travel Movie Tuesday: What Happens 'Before Sunrise' Stays in Vienna

Where: Vienna, Austria
October 28, 2014 at 12:08 PM | by | Comments (0)

From Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck falling in love in Rome to Julia Roberts circling the globe to find herself, film has played an important role in shaping both the golden years and current day of travel. Thus, we present our newest series, Travel Movie Tuesday, where we detail the most inspiring travel films.

Traveling alone can not only be liberating and fun, it can also allow for some new and exciting relationships to blossom. 'Before Sunrise' is a romantic comedy and coming-of-age film about an American traveling through Europe as he makes his final trek to Vienna, and here he meets a young French woman returning to university in Paris.

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Try This Tequila Substitute on Your Next Trip to Baja California

October 28, 2014 at 11:39 AM | by | Comments (0)

Tequila and summertime lagers dominate the drinking scene in Mexico so much so that, unless you're hitting up fancy cocktail bars in Mexico City, variety is not something you expect to experience. Because of that, we get very excited anytime we come across a liquid vice that allows us to do a margarita differently.

In Cabo and Baja California, keep your eye out for Damiana, a herb-based liqueur produced from the locally grown plant by the same name, which is considered to be a strong aphrodisiac in itself. So, you can imagine the potential it holds when fermented. As a funny footnote, a Mexican bride is sometimes given a bottle of Diamana as a wedding present to foster fertility.

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National Parks to Raise Entrance Fees in 2015

October 28, 2014 at 10:24 AM | by | Comments (0)

You best review those freebie days for your national park visit once 2015 rolls around, as it looks like Uncle Sam and friends might be raising admission prices.

Nothing is set in stone as of yet, but the National Park Service is kicking around the idea of increasing admission costs. This would be the first time in eight years or so in which they have done something like this, so we can only assume it’s not something they decide quickly. The proposals for fee increases are due early next year, so it’ll be at least around spring before we hear anything official.

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Virgin Atlantic's 30th Birthday Brings the Boeing 787-9 to Boston

October 28, 2014 at 9:39 AM | by | Comments (0)

This isn't just any Tuesday. Today Virgin Atlantic becomes the 25th airline to fly a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, as they inaugurate their new arrival with flights between London-Heathrow and Boston-Logan.

This isn't just any 787, either. Virgin Atlantic is the first European airline to welcome the longer, cooler 787-9 to their fleet, and they do so on their own 30th birthday as an airline, hence the aircraft's name, "Birthday Girl" G-VNEW.

Inside are 198 Economy, 35 Premium Economy, and 31 Upper Class seats, plus a new "Wander Wall" concept in Premium Economy. This is essentially a snack-and-chat station, since the bar is reserved for Upper Class only. Speaking of that bar—it's been redesigned to fit within the 787-9, but you'll still be able to pop on a barstool and order a Virgin Redhead somewhere 38,000' above the Atlantic Ocean. Instagram it instantly, thanks to long-haul in-flight WiFi onboard.

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Is Gate-to-Gate Recline the Next Big Perk for Business Class?

Where: Australia
October 28, 2014 at 8:53 AM | by | Comments (0)

We have seen all kinds of innovations and improvements when it comes to the wild, wild world of business class; however, one thing that seems to be overlooked is true comfort from gate to gate. No, we’re not talking about keeping the champagne flowing from takeoff to touchdown with a side of mixed nuts, but rather the ability to keep that seat reclined no matter what stage of the flight.

Qantas is looking to change that, as the kangaroo carrier is in the final stages of introducing a business class seat that would allow sleeping comfort from boarding to departing. It sounds like regulatory approval and associated paperwork are the final steps in the process, but soon sleep can be yours from the moment you sit down to the second before you step off into the jet bridge at your destination.

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Food Worth Flying For: Cream Tea at Bedruthan Steps

October 27, 2014 at 5:16 PM | by | Comments (0)

That croissant in Paris. The char kway teow in Singapore. That cup of hot chocolate in Perugia. This is Food Worth Flying For. In this new series, Jaunted's contributors share the foods they'd gladly fly around the world for (and probably already have).

An excellent cream tea relies on several factors. Is the jam fresh and are the scones (pronounced like 'scawns') served warm? Is the clotted cream Cornish-style, with a golden butterfat crust? Is the ramekin heaped with it? That fact that it's called Cornish clotted cream is the first indicator of quality; it's under a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin), meaning it must be made in Cornwall to use the term, much like the rules for French champagne.

As you can probably tell, I can be pretty demanding when it comes to this simple mid-day snack, and it's mostly due to my experience at an unassuming National Trust cafe tucked into a small stone cottage, next to the visitor parking lot along the cliffs at Carnewas and Bedruthan Steps, near Newquay in Cornwall.

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San Francisco Welcomes the Plush Seats, Posh Meals of JetBlue Mint

October 27, 2014 at 3:22 PM | by | Comments (0)

If there's one question we've heard over and over since the launch of JetBlue's Mint premium class earlier this year, it's "when will it fly to San Francisco?"

The answer arrived this last Sunday, literally, in the form of a JetBlue A321. This milestone marks the beginning of regular Mint service between JFK and SFO, which comes in addition to the original route of JFK-LAX begun in June.

**21 original photos of the JetBlue Mint seats and service**

Mint seats start at $599 each way, and include custom extras specifically for JetBlue Mint passengers. These include a full, hot meal from NYC's Saxon + Parole, a special customer service line, an amenity kit by Birchbox, a comfy pillow and duvet, and a fully flat bed for optimum nappage.

To book Mint between JFK and LAX or JFK and SFO, simply search your preferred dates on JetBlue.com and look for the green column of Mint fares.

[Photo: Jaunted]

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Trip Review: The $100 'First Class' Vonlane Bus Between Austin and Dallas

October 27, 2014 at 12:57 PM | by | Comments (0)

We’ve done the 3+ hour drive from Dallas to Austin at least 100 times and can safely say that it is an incredibly boring way to spend an afternoon.

Difficulties include such things as keeping the car between the lines and staying awake, not to mention trying our best to avoid stopping off at Loves truck stop for the chicken fried chicken. Driving also makes us unable to get any work done as using our laptop while speeding down the highway is almost always frowned upon by police.

Thankfully, the smart people at Vonlane have introduced a new way to get from Dallas to Austin that avoids the stress of air travel and the turtle-like speeds of Amtrak while providing as luxurious an experience as public bus travel can manage. They also offer the flexibility to book in advance or on the day of your trip without paying the exorbitant prices you’d pay for a last-minute flight. One-way trips are $100.

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How to Get Tickets to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concerts

October 27, 2014 at 12:12 PM | by | Comments (0)

If you missed your early bird opportunity to score tickets to the National Christmas Tree Lighting we’re sorry; however, we have another ticket lottery to enter for a shot at another seasonal celebration.

Over in Salt Lake City the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has been doing their thing for well over 150 years, and from what we hear every Christmas they put on a hell of a show—we just think they’d probably use a different adjective.

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Why 'Windowless Plane' Technology is Actually a Horrible Idea

October 27, 2014 at 11:40 AM | by | Comment (1)

"It's too bright! Close the window, please." - your annoying seatmate

Despite recent reports that "windowless planes" are the wave of the future, air travelers have a love-hate relationship with airplane windows and turning the whole fuselage into a portal to view the sky around you just will not fly (pardon the pun).

You can thank British firm CPI (Centre for Progress Innovation) for the concept and, while it's a fun daydream, there is no way a plane with screens in place of windows will be happening in our lifetime. Here's why:

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How to Send a Package to Madagascar (or Other Far Away Lands)

Where: Madagascar
October 27, 2014 at 9:56 AM | by | Comments (2)

Jaunted contributor TipsyTraveler recently faced a conundrum more complex than carry-on or checked baggage; he just wanted to ship a box overseas. Here is his story.

My best friend recently uprooted her glamorous life as a hip and happening 20-something, wide-eyed publicist in a major city built on entertainment and celebrities and bright lights and excess.

Why? Madagascar.

Despite popular belief, Madagascar is more than an animated film. It’s actually a real live place you can spot on a map with inhabitants and vegetation and whatnot. Nobly, she joined the Peace Corps, something I could never imagine doing because 1) air conditioning, 2) easy access to clean water and 3) I think my heart might be black?

When I dabble in charity—which, as much as I jest, I do often—it’s usually in the form of a gift. Donating money, donating time, donating clothing, etc. For my friend who is now a zebra in Africa for all I know, I tried to send a care package.

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