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Prost! There's one more month until the start of the 179th Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. Running from September 22 - October 7, the celebration of beer and the autumn harvest returns with its 14 Big Tents, an amusement park, and all the sausages under heat lamps you can handle.
Naturally the focus will again be beer, but we're here to say that, yes, we've been to Oktoberfest before and, yes, there's more than just heading for the hops. If you haven't made your beer tent table reservations yet, good luck (they're usually booked up as early as February), but drinking other beverages can still yield you a seat.
Here's three other liquids to guzzle during Oktoberfest 2012:
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July is just starting to wind down, and that means it’s already time to start planning for Halloween. We might be exaggerating just a bit, but getting things ready well in advance is a necessity if you’re running a theme park. Even though the summer is still in full swing, details about spooky and scary stuff is already starting to trickle in. Of course we’ll fill you in on where and when to go once the weather gets a little cooler, but for now we though it would be worth revealing a sneak peek.
Over at Universal Studios—in both Hollywood and Orlando—it sounds like the characters and critters from the movie and video game Silent Hill will be making an appearance. That means theme park visitors will be happily tormented by all kinds of creatures from an alternate dimension, including everyone’s favorite—deformed nurses and the executioner. Specific details haven’t really been released as of yet, but it does sound like the designers and engineers at the park are truly up to the challenge of bringing the horror from the video games and the movies to life.
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There is no reason that good shoesespecially ones ideal for travelhave to be ugly. With this in mind, we've scoured our closets and done the research to present you with three excellent options for great shoes for fall/winter travel, ones that are also affordable and either lightweight for packing or sturdy for action. All of them are personal favorites, some tested on our own feet and in our own luggage around the world.
You now no longer have an excuse for showing up to the airport in your stained Uggs (ladies) or beat-down leather loafers (dudes).
The Five Best Fall/Winter Shoes for 2011/12 are:
Holiday rush security line crowding at Delta's LaGuardia terminal
It's widely said that the day before Thanksgiving is the busiest travel day of the year, but really some summer days can be just as hectic. Still, with Americans scrambling to get home to eat a feast of turkey/tofurkey and stuffing, the airports aren't exactly a picnic in late November.
Curious to see exactly how high roundtrip prices for Thanksgiving flights have gotten, we headed over to place some sample trips into Hipmunk.
Here's the cheapest fares we found:
The leaves have been falling and the pumpkins are being added to fire escapes and front stoops across the country, and that means it’s time to hit the scary stuff at the theme parks. Halloween is the best time at many parks across the country, but if you’re looking for the scariest haunted house here’s three that are worth your time:
· Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios - The In-Between:
The scary stuff runs in both Hollywood and Orlando, but when it comes to the fright and fear the parks in Florida are probably your best bet. There are plenty of different atrocious attractions, but the one that sounds the scariest is the The In-Between. Apparently here your worst nightmares come to life, and it’s all done in 3D. Not only will you see your life flash before your eyes, but also you’ll be doing it all with a pair of 3D glasses. Tickets to this house—and plenty of other awful attractions—will set you back around $80; however, this is to both the scary stuff at night and the more tame attractions during the day.
Look at the quality of that light. It doesn't get any better.
Our "Wish You Were Here" series is less intended as a bragging ground for us Jaunters than it is meant to inspire our beloved readers to follow suit and trek to the gorgeous places we feature. But you'll have to let us crow a little bit with the latest installment.
After spending some quality time in France's Rhône Valley over the weekend, where temperatures hovered in the 80-degree range, we were tempted to start poking around for property and leave city life behind for good. Check out the quality of light in this photo. This trip revealed so many breathtaking sights we had to remind ourselves to breathe at certain points.
There’s only a few weeks until we discover who will be crowned this year’s lord of the gourd, as the World Championship Punkin Chunkin competition is set to hit the skies from November 4-6. Each year there are more and more pumpkins serving as projectiles—as well as machinery dedicated to launching the orange orbs—so this might be the best year yet.
Unfortunately registration to launch your own pumpkin is now closed, but that’s fine with us as it’s probably better to just enjoy being a spectator. The main events take place where they always do—Bridgeville, Delaware—and the fun starts each day at around 7:30am. There’s live music, fireworks, and even a chili cook-off, but obviously the main attraction are the weapons of mass pumpkin destruction.
If all that candy is making you thirsty then we have a solution—pumpkin beer festivals! Here’s just a couple of this season’s offerings that are sure to satisfy your longing for lagers and ales of the pumpkin variety:
· Great Pumpkin Beer Festival:
Plenty of pumpkins will be harmed, but it’s all for a good cause at Elysian Brewing Company in Seattle. The brewery is celebrating yet another Great Pumpkin Beer Festival—this year is the seventh annual. You need to make your plans quickly, as things are scheduled for this weekend. There’s sessions on October 8 and October 9, and it’s all going down in the city’s Georgetown neighborhood. Tickets are $20 if you score them in advance, but if you need to get them at the door that’ll be $25.
Over 50 different pumpkin beers should be in attendance along with quite a number of beer enthusiasts. They’re even bringing some local food trucks to help you satisfy your beer munchies. The highlight of the festival is when the Great Pumpkin is tapped each day, and that’s when you can get your beer straight from an oversized pumpkin—awesome. Breweries from all over the place will be featured, but Elysian has 11 of their own offerings including Mr. Yuck Sour Pumpkin Ale, Headless Horsey, and PK-47 Pumpkin Malt Liquor—haha that’s great.
Somehow it’s already October, and while we’re still working on selecting a Halloween costume it’s definitely time to start planning for pumpkin season. There’s seasonal stuff all over the country, but here’s three picks to get your fill of jack-o-lanterns:
· Pumpkin Festival 2011 – Keene, New Hampshire:
This one might be the best of them all, and it’s up to you to help the festival retain its glory. There will be thousands of jack-o-lanterns on display as the night approaches, but organizers encourage—if not demand—that you bring your own to share and display as well.
The fun takes place on Saturday, October 22, between noon and 8:30 in the evening. You’ll want to get there early to enjoy all the different food and entertainment offerings including pumpkin bowling at 2pm, as well as to score a good seat to see all the pumpkins illuminated in the town’s Central Square. Admission is free, but they would appreciate a $10 donation—you know, to keep things running smoothly.
Autumn leaves and... suntans?
People, if ever there was a time when you should hop on a plane and fly over to the UK, now is it. Exhibit 1 (above): Clapham Common in London, on October 2.
Exhibit 2: Brighton beach, yesterday:
Exhibit 3: Hyde Park, this morning, that we took as we lay on the grass in a maxidress getting a sunburnt chest. Let’s say this again, it’s October 3.
Yep, the south of the UK is basking in a heatwave right now with temperatures hitting 86 over the weekend, and apparently 80.6 right now in London. Which means you get all the beauty of autumn – golden leaves falling around you, a little bit of wind to whisk them round your ankles – with bikini weather. Perfect, and perfectly unlike London.
We’re sure you’ve seen plenty of pictures of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, so try to make this the year you finally make it out to New Mexico to check it out in person. We know it’s short notice—things run from October 1 through October 9—but where else can you see a SpongeBob SquarePants hot air balloon in person?
The hot air balloon party started back in the 1970s with just around a dozen or so balloons, but when the balloons hit the skies next week there will be more than 700. The launch field is almost 80-acres in size, so definitely remember to bring your sneakers if you’re planning to walk around before lift-off. This is one of the only festivals where visitors are allowed to walk between balloons so take advantage of the opportunity to meander about.
Even though it feels like summer has been over for a few weeks, fall doesn’t really arrive until later this week. To celebrate we’ve been looking for a few good fall food festivals here and there, and here are just three that we found to be well worthy of the season:
· Warrens Cranberry Festival:
Although its starring role as a Thanksgiving side dish is still a couple months away, it’s already time to celebrate and honor the mighty cranberry in Warrens, Wisconsin. Things kick off this weekend, as the fun is scheduled for to run on September 23, 24, and 25. It’s the world’s largest cranberry festival, so if you only have time for one cranberry festival this year—make it this one.
Get there early, as lots of the booths open right at 7am. You don’t want to miss the biggest berry contest, 350 flea market booths, or 850 arts and crafts tables. There were well over 100,000 cran-fans in attendance last year alone. Besides all the food and fun the best part are the marsh tours. Only $6 will get you a ride out into the middle of an active cranberry marsh along with plenty of options to buy some samples to bring back home. Other than the tours, admission is free, so make sure to bring the whole family along.