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If you’re tying to figure out how the world moved around prior to Google Maps, then now’s a good time head down to the museums of the Smithsonian. The Air and Space Museum is holding a new exhibit all about getting from here to there—and back again—so set your GPS to Gallery 213 on the second floor of the east wing.
The exhibit–Time and Navigation–aims to transport visitors back hundreds of years, for a sneak a peek into the tools of the trade from the past. Clocks, compasses, and other navigation devices will be on display, basically anything which deals with keeping accurate time. In total there’s around 144 different objects on display, and they’ve got things broken down into five sections: Navigation for Everyone; Navigating at Sea; Navigating in the Air; Navigating in Space; and Inventing Satellite Navigation. No word on if they have a special place to discuss the bummer that is Apple Maps.
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That was a close call. A week ago the administration seemed to be suggesting that White House tours might reopen, which might have been nice for schoolchildren but would have been a disaster for us. Of all the interminable travel news that has come out of the sequestration debate, the administrations's cancellation of White House tours was a delightfully bitchy (read: actually interesting) bright spot.
The tours are scheduled through individual Congressional offices, and so it was the staffers from those offices who had to call back to their districts and explain to little Timmy's mom that his tour was cancelled. Since the White House blames Congress for the entire sequester fiasco, no matter what side you are in the debate, you had to admit that was objectively pretty funny. Losing it would have been tragic. Luckily White House tours are still not happening.
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Elementary logic: all organizations are increasingly leveraging social media, zoos are organizations, therefore zoos are increasingly leveraging social media. What differentiates zoos from other groups, of course, is that their tweets, posts, photos, and videos are much, much cuter.
Our beloved San Diego Zoo probably sets the standard for social media completionismtheir annual Panda Week activities are to the pointbut the National Zoo in Washington, DC is not far behind. Last year they live-tweeted the artificial insemination of a giant panda and the subsequent birth of the panda baby. Both of those were neat but not particularly cute.
The zoo's most recent live-tweeted event did much better on the cuteness front: photos and descriptions of elephant baths.
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The fall tours of the White House Gardens may have already come and gone, but the holidays bring other special, Presidential events. For example, there's the lighting of the National Christmas Tree, which goes down December 6 on the Ellipse nearby the White House.
This will be the 90th annual National Tree lighting, which gives it a full decade more seniority over the Rockefeller Center Tree, and the night promises "nationally known entertainers and a United States military band," plus the President's message of peace.
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BAM! Last night at 10:46pm the National Zoo in Washington, DC welcomed a new baby panda into the world. We noticed that something was amiss outside Jaunted's zoo-adjacent DC headquarters this morningnews vans were gathering to take pictures and video, because Anchorman is far closer to reality than anyone in broadcast journalism wants to admitand so we investigated.
The result of the investigation was the picture at the top of this post, with the reporters doing interviews with cherubic crotch-dumplings and their mothers, and the news about the baby panda. YouTube video of the birth is embedded below and the relevant Twitter hashtag for updates is #cubwatch. Zoo travel social media completionism, is what that is.
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Ever just started crying in an airport? Until this week, we'd have answered "no"and even this week, it wasn't anything to do with our flight.
No, it was the sheer power of the blocks of the AIDS Memorial Quilt currently on display at Washington Dulles, and in particular this block, "Sewn with love by the flight attendants of Continental Airlines."
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The National Zoo, which as we've mentioned before is mere feet away from Jaunted's Washington DC offices, is literally a work in progress. When you walk through the park you see construction everywhere, with signs promising that huge changes are right around the corner. In the meantime they've managed to get baby otters and baby monkeys and baby cheetahs and baby wolvesall of which combine to ensure that visitors remain interested and distracted while the under-construction buildings and exhibits inch toward completion.
And just to make sure that people stay interested, zoo officials are hosting an evening of beer drinking on July 12. As a description, we can't do much better than the blurb on the official event page: "Conservationists around the globe are plagued by the same question, 'What can we do to help?' Here at the National Zoo, we have an answer: Drink beer." We like all of the things in all of those sentences.
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Spring is quickly transitioning into summer, which means two things. One, the weather is perfect for outings to the nations' zoos, where you can see baby otters and baby giraffes and baby tigers and - as you're about to read - baby monkeys. Two, those zoos are about to get overrun by screaming children so you won't be able to view any of those animals in peace and quiet (no but seriously, we heart kids).
As usual we've tried to give you parks on both coasts, because people are going on vacation. Also as usual we've embedded a bunch of videos at the bottom, because baby monkeys.
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The National Zoo, which is mere feet away from Jaunted's Washington DC offices, just put all 11 members of its otter family on exhibit. The clan of Asian small-clawed otters had been transported from Southern California to take up residence in the nation's capital, and the 9 pups are by all reports simply adorable. The Zoo has an extensive photo gallery confirming those reports and persuasively demonstrating that baby otters are indeed very small and very cute.
But what if you can't make it to Washington DC this summer but still want to see otter pups up close and personal? Or what if you can make it but don't want to because, like everybody else, you refuse to set foot in the city because DC's July and August are unlivable? You're in luck.
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Okay, who wants to go to Hawaii? Really, the better question would be who doesn't to go to Hawaii? Even though it seems all the state can do is cry about how they need more tourists, airlines have been upping their island game all season. Heck, Hawaiian Airlines is gearing up to begin NYC-Honolulu direct service next month, while that Mokulele thing is doing some other island-hoppy stuff and now we may be able to throw Virgin America an "aloha."
The SFO-based low-cost airline is flying their birds back and forth between San Francisco and Hawaii already...but not with paying passengers. Instead, the FAA is onboard as, according to the NYCAviation discussion board, the airline's Airbus A320s undergo ETOPS trials.
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Tax day has come and gone, and you're probably excited to get the direct deposit of your big fat tax refund. Probably. The economy may be on its way back up, but you should try to stretch that tax refund as far as you can...like with a little "you did a great job last year" trip.
Now that the stress and worry of tax day is over, you can focus on more important things, like where to go with that tax refund. Ultimately, the government returned your money, and it might be patriotic to spend that money in our nation's capital. Washington DC isn't all stuffy politicians, but it can require some stuffed pockets.
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Buying flights in bulkis this the next new thing? Virgin America tried it out last year with a Gilt City deal that saw a pack of 3 roundtrip short-haul flights going for $427, all the way on up to 10 long-haul roundtrips for $3,585. Well, the originators of the All-You-Can-Jet ideaJetBlueare kicking off spring travel with a bulk deal of their very own. The only catch? You have to really love flying between Boston and Washington DC.
The deal is quite simple:
· Buy a "Go Pack" of 10 one-way flights between Boston (BOS) and all Washington, DC airports—Washington-Reagan (DCA), Washington-Dulles (IAD), Baltimore (BWI).
· Pay $699, plus $7 in taxes for each flight (so it's $776 total).
· Fly your 10 flights between April 23 through June 27, 2012.
· Earn a lump sum 4,200 TrueBlue miles