On our recent visit to San Diego, we made sure to budget a good portion of one day for a visit to the world-renowned San Diego Zoo, located in the city’s Balboa Park, which also houses a number of museums and other attractions. We’d checked in advance to see whether we’d need to reserve an entry time, but a recent relaxation of COVID rules had dropped that requirement. We arrived just after the zoo opened at 9 a.m. and purchased our one-day passes ($62 for adults, with a small discount with our AAA membership), which included unlimited access to the aptly named hop-on, hop-off Kangaroo Bus and the 45-minute guided bus tour. Unfortunately, the Skyfari aerial tram, which is also normally included, was not operating that day. It provides a short cut with a view by connecting two far-flung corners of the park.
We grabbed a couple of maps and headed out, deciding to take a sort of counter-clockwise route from the entrance. Several hours later, we wished we had started with the guided bus tour in order to get a good overview of the entire zoo first, and that would be my advice for anyone visiting here. With more than 12,000 resident critters and at over 100 acres covered by miles of interconnecting paths, the zoo offers so much to see, and one really needs to have a plan or risk becoming overwhelmed and/or exhausted.
We wound our way first through the Africa Rocks exhibit, and I was as impressed with the gardens and landscaping as I was with the animals, which included a very entertaining band of primates. We enjoyed strolling through a three-story aviary filled with a wide assortment of busy, colorful birds, eventually making our way to another continent as we trekked to the Northern Frontier to see the polar bear exhibit (sadly, the bears weren’t swimming in their pool when we stopped by). We backtracked when we realized we’d missed a lot of animals in the Elephant Odyssey section, including elephants, a rare rhinoceros and a preening California condor (much more show-offish than the ones we’d seen at the Oregon Zoo a few weeks earlier).
With temperatures rising and energy waning, we made a final push to follow the Hippo Trail and visit some of the animals from Asia before making our way back to the entrance and the large flock of flamingoes there. A good 5 hours had shown us about half of the exhibits, and we figured we’d just have to catch the rest on another visit. It really is a wonderful zoo and great for visitors of all ages. A new and improved Children’s Zoo is scheduled to open this fall, so families may want to take note.
— Patty Vanikiotis, associate editor/copy editor
The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.
I imagine that when writer Hans Christian Andersen mused, “Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale,” he was standing at the edge of Copenhagen’s historic Tivoli Gardens, one of his favorite haunts, enlivened by the swirl of human happiness that surrounded him: children laughing; carousels spinning; games of chance played for prizes; lovers holding hands; hungry people whispering over sweets, hot drinks, beer and towering, open-faced smørrebrød, Denmark’s quintessential sandwich. That fairy tale lives on today at the second-oldest amusement park in the world, a spectacle of folly architecture, bakeries, gardens, rides, restaurants, puppet shows and joy ... and which also happens to be one of the city’s most storied places to convene for business.
The restored Park Hyatt Toronto reopened its doors, bringing luxury, sophistication and glamour alongside a nod to the hotel’s Canadian heritage. Alessandro Munge of Studio Munge collaborated on the hotel’s refresh, drawing inspiration from Canada’s seasons and natural landscapes.
Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.
I recently dined at Irwin’s in Philadelphia. The restaurant is located on the rooftop of the Bok Building, a former school turned collective of small businesses, non-profits, artist workshops, a bar and restaurant. I previously visited Bok for the bar and yoga classes, and I was excited to experience the restaurant.
Cathay Pacific reaffirms its commitment to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 with a pledge to use Sustainable Aviation Fuel for 10 percent of its total fuel consumption by 2030. The airline has made pioneering efforts in supporting SAF development for more than 10 years.
GBTA’s Convention 2021 will bring the business travel industry together for the first time in a long time. Once again, you’ll learn and connect with experts and each other, along with discussions with leading thinkers, entrepreneurs and change makers addressing the issues that matter most.
Arriving early afternoon in Puerto Rico, we jumped in an Uber and took a short, 15-minute drive from the airport to La Concha. As it was Tuesday, the streets were not too busy and the hotel lobby was calm. During the weekend, the scene likely would have been more bustling. We were greeted by a staff member who requested proof of vaccination and government-issued ID, and were given a wristband to indicate we were fully vaccinated. All guests are required to be vaccinated and wear masks at all times while moving around the hotel. Hand sanitizer stations were placed around the lobby, in elevators and in each common area.