I spent all of last week in Las Vegas. I returned home very tired, with a little less cash and a lot of great memories. We went to a few shows, with Love at the Mirage being the best. Cirque du Soleil celebrates the music of the Beatles using the master tapes of the Abbey Road sessions. The performance is colorful, energetic and graceful. Everyone in my group (even non-Beatles fans) totally enjoyed Love. We saw a couple of good comedy shows.
At Harrah’s we saw Darryl Lenox, Chris Mancini and Rocky LaPorte. Coincidentally, I had seen LaPorte about 20 years ago in Chicago. We also saw Vinny Favorito at the Flamingo. While not the biggest names on the strip, the comedians kept us laughing all night. Finally we saw Defending the Caveman. This was an enjoyable one-man show about relationships. It was good, but I wouldn’t list it as a “can’t miss.”
We also made a short trek to see the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop, the setting for the TV show Pawn Stars. This was a major disappointment. After about an hour wait, we were herded through the overcrowded store. They featured a lot of Pawn Stars merchandise, but the stars of the show were nowhere to be found, contrary to its appearance on TV.
As expected, I spent a lot of time at the Pai Gow poker tables. Pai Gow wasn’t as generous to me as it has been in the past, but I played a lot without losing much. Having my nephew Matt and brother-in-law Scott playing at the same table added to the fun. Scott also hit a nice bonus when he got a Royal Flush. Of course, we also played several slot machines. I loved when a few of us played a row of machines. That was great fun. It was an excellent trip. I think everyone got to do everything we wanted and all had a fantastic time.
— John Wroblewski, distribution specialist
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It’s been almost three years since Category 5 Hurricane Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico, wreaking havoc on the island and leaving most residents without electricity and clean water. Tourism, which accounts for 6.5 percent of Puerto Rico’s gross domestic product, took a beating, with hotels closed for year-long repairs, airlines cutting service and cruise lines shifting itineraries to other Caribbean destinations. Timing for the hurricane couldn’t have been worse, coming on the heels of the government’s announcement in May 2017 that it was unable to pay more than $70 billion in public debt and thus forced to file for bankruptcy. Large protests and a change of government would follow. Then, in January 2020, a 6.4-magnitude earthquake rocked the south side of the island, forcing San Juan restaurants to close while power was restored. And as we write this story, coronavirus runs rampant across the globe with severe economic implications for all destinations, including Puerto Rico.
Climbing along the coast, I was trying to snap pictures of the cool-blue Puerto Vallarta waters outside my car window (I know, it never works) when we started winding along stone walls draped in jungle-like foliage. Annoyed my view was blocked, I looked around to see where we were just as we were parking at Hotel Mousai — I audibly gasped. The all-glass, chic and incredibly grand entrance was so well-secluded, it somehow snuck up on me.
Though air travel slowed as airports temporarily closed and borders shuttered to stifle the spread of coronavirus, the airline industry — led by oneworld alliance member airlines — enacted enhanced protective measures to reduce risk and protect passengers.
Three weeks after welcoming the first international flights since its borders closed, Saint Lucia’s government reinforced its mandatory travel protocol messaging. The island also launched an informative video with on-island footage of the actual travel experience.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, small businesses create two-thirds of net new jobs and account for nearly 48 percent of the U.S. private sector workforce. And small- and medium-sized businesses outpace all other sectors as one of the fastest-growing in the United States. InterContinental® Hotels Group (IHG) goes above and beyond to create opportunities for this segment with its IHG® Business Edge program, voted Best Small- to Mid-Sized Business Program in Global Traveler’s 2019 GT Tested Reader Survey awards.
As more destinations around the globe reopen to travelers, we are ready to get back to one of our favorite activities. Join us over the next several weeks as we take you to places around the world saying #WelcomeBacktoTravel. Take a visual journey through Cape Cod, Massachusetts, with us.