Luck o' the Irish

So how are you celebrating St. Patrick's Day this year? If you're over in Dublin right now, not only are you smart and lucky... but I (and the rest of us) are pretty jealous right now!

I have been to Ireland, but it wasn't during St Patrick's Day. Some day... that's on the travel bucket list. (I suppose I should create a blog list for that.)

But I definitely celebrate St. Patrick's Day no matter where I am. It's a fantastic (drinking) holiday to celebrate with friends...especially when it's a traveling holiday.

Here's some thowback photos to a few years ago when some girlfriends and I traveled to Chicago to celebrate. ;)

Yes, they put 45lbs of green dye into the Chicago River. 


Green Beer? Yes, please!

This bar was appropriately called "Shenanigan's"!

Irish Kissy-Face


It's time to travel, baby!!




Ummm... holy cats! The USD to Euro just went down again... it's now $1.04 to one Euro. My next trip isn't until June; I think I may need to change that. 

Seriously... there couldn't be a better time for Americans to travel right now. :)

My next "planned" overseas trip is in June...maybe I should rethink things and go (again) sooner!!

Enjoy the little things



This is so true when it comes to most everything. Keeping travel in mind... I try to savor that last macchiato, one last conversation with a stranger, one last store greeting, basically remembering all the little things along the journey...so you can cherish until the next visit. 



Something in the Italian Travel Water?...

How cool is this? Two, unbeknownst to each other, friends are both traveling to Italy the same week -- and in a few weeks. Soo excited for them... as neither have been there before, and I was able to help them a bit with their trips.
You see, in all my travels... Italy has stolen my heart. Straight up, stole it. To the point where, whenever I travel somewhere else...it's like I feel guilty or something. I just love to go there and explore... the big cities are cool, yes - and quintessentially "touristic necessities"... but it's the small towns that have grabbed at my heart strings.
I feel blessed that my friends shared their upcoming journeys with me. Grateful that I could shed some light on their itineraries...and can't wait to see the photos!

Get Your Status....

Oh boy, has it really been a YEAR since I've posted anything in my blog??! That's just horrible.. :)

Well, 2010 was definitely a fulfilling travel year for me. I reached Platinum status once again with Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Platinum status with US Airways, Gold status with Hilton, Gold #1 with Hertz, and Silver with Marriott.

Yes, I am a points/frequent flying/loyalty club junkie!

If you're wondering if it's worth the "trouble" getting all those cards... making sure the points are there. Yes, it IS! Next week I'll be flying Envoy class on US Airways (FREE w/ mileage...)to Paris and staying at all hotels in Paris and Amsterdam for FREE (using hotel points). And I even still have 120,000 miles banked for another trip to Venice next yr with my husband.

There are great opportunities and deals out there -- you just have to be a smarter and savvier travel shopper. For instance, my flight to Paris -- roundtrip F/C and Envoy all the way is only costing me 60,000 miles + taxes -- for going in the off-season.

Paris is Paris... I certainly don't mind going in January. :)

Last year was certainly a busy, busy travel year for me - -mainly all business travel. But I'm looking forward to traveling again this year, and collecting all the points for future lifelong memories.

FREE Gold Membership at Starwood

I'm a self-proclaimed Starwood junkie! Think St. Regis, W Hotels, Westin, Sheraton, etc - those kind of hotels, yeah well I love them!

I pretty much always try to stay at Starwood properties so that I can maintain my elite status with them each year. And when you travel alot, the nice perks are appreciated! I just LOVE getting upgraded to nicer rooms... most of the times suites (for free).

Anyhoo... Starwood is allowing me to extend a FREE Gold SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest) membership to my friends throughout 2010. With Gold status you will get upgraded, upon availability, to a room upgrade and more SPG points,etc, etc.

If you would like a free Gold SPG membership, please comment or email me your email address. You can reach me at jessica.adza at gmail dot com

***My apologies, this SPG promotion ended on 02/28/2010. If I hear of any more, I will definitely post again in the future. Or feel free to email me and I will save your contact info. :) Cheers!

Vacation Playlists .... keep the memories coming!

So my new thing when I get back from vacation, is I like to create a playlist on iTunes with various songs that I heard while on the trip.

For me, music really has an affect on me. So even if I hear a song - - it's like I'm transported back to that place. ha!

For example, on a recent Girls Getaway trip to Cancun we heard so many fun songs out in the bars and fun new songs that we all danced to in the villa.

And as soon as I got home, I downloaded the new songs and created a playlist for all to enjoy. And now the playlist is saved on my iPod... so whenever I'm wanting to remember how fun the vacation was, I just click on the playlist. And ALL the memories come flooding back!!

I mean... we have playlists for working out, relaxing... why not have one that always reminds you of the fun you just had??

I call mine by the various vacation hotspot - -that's easiest for me.

Great Travel/Foodie gift for the Holidays!

Not sure why it took me SO long to do this... but we tested out the Restaurant.com gift certificate last week. What a great deal! And a WONDERFUL gift for the special someone who travels alot. (Maybe that's you?)

It's a great way to check out new restaurants in town... or the city you're going to. It's super easy on their website to sort through the restaurants available.

And the best part - - truly saved $25 off our tab. ;)


Restaurant.com Weekly Promo Offer 125 X 125

Excursion


Just came back from an AMAZING vacation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. What was special about this trip was that we were with over 1100 of our friends! Amazing time... we're part of a great travel club. (If you want info about that let me know..)
But what was also special about this trip was the fun adventure tours we took. We went ziplining one day on a canopy tour through the canyons and another day we sailed and grinded away on the America's Cup sailing vessel. So cool!
I'm so glad we went on a couple excursions! We had so much fun with our friends - there were 14 of us who went together. Nothing better than playing around with your friends on vacation!
Excursions are a great way to see different scenery at your destination, experience some adventure, have alot of fun, or even learn history and exciting facts.
I can't WAIT to go on another zipline -- so much fun!!

Learning Languages from Podcasts

So you're thinking about learning another language? Want to brush up on some skills before you fly over the pond, down south, or over yonder?

If you have iTunes, you should check out the free language podcasts. (Note the word FREE!) I am trying to brush up on my Italian, so i DL'd a bunch the other night. I mean, you're gonna listen to your iPod on the flight anyway, right? :)

Save some room in your luggage, and try not to bring so many "How to speak __ fast" books and toss some podcasts on.

You could even listen to the podcasts in your car while you're driving to work (if you have to commute) or at the gym.

Ciao!

Taste of ( Location of Your Choice)


Yes, long overdue. My bad! Meant to put another post for a long, long time.. But have you ever been to a "Taste" event?

First taste I ever heard of growing up was always the big "Taste of Chicago". WGN always did a great job promoting that event. And living out in SoCal, we had the discriminating "Taste of Newport". Yummmm... good eats!

But this weekend, I don't even have to venture far for my next "Taste". It's traveling out here.... in Arizona, for my alma mater. ?! Yeah... that's right! My university alumni foundation is having a "Taste of Minnesota in Arizona" for us .... Arizonans.

We'll have the traditional Minnesota Walleye... with the side of Minnesota long-grain Wild Rice. There won't be any Minnesota Hamm's beer (out-of-date) or Minnesota Nut Goodie bars. But maybe.. just maybe there will be some good ol' potato salad.

What "Tastes" have you been to?

Luxury Travel Expo 2008

Arrived home last night after attending my first Luxury Travel Expo in Las Vegas!! www.luxurytravelexpowest.com This was the 10 year anniversary. It was a great event! It was travel week in Vegas all week, so the Luxury Travel Expo was held in conjunction with the Home-Based Travel Agent Expo. So lot's of great Travel Suppliers were there.

There were exhibitors from ALL over the world, and a lot of great education classes to attend. Everything from social-media to CLIA certification classes (Cruise Line Industry Association). We even had the dancers from Cris Angel's Believe perform during the General Session!! This event is for travel professionals; so even though you may be a Professional Traveler.... it's intended for those of us that earn our income from travel.

I received a lot of great information, and would be more than happy to share with any of you. So please feel free and contact me - - no matter where you may be going, and no matter how large or small your budget. It would be my pleasure to help you have an unforgettable travel experience!

That's the value of working with a travel professional like myself, I can provide you with the latest trends and value-driven advice to ensure that you get every penny's worth and then some. Ciao for now!

For the Love of Air Travel


Zagat Survey just published their 2008 Airline Survey Results. You can read about it here. But what I really enjoyed were the fantastic comments that over 9,000 surveyers had left regarding the various airlines.

Here are a couple of my personal favorites:

"The Rhett Butler of airlines: they just don't give a damn."

"The only thing older than the planes are the flight attendants."

"Bathrooms smell like the lion house at the zoo on a hot day."


I have my speculations on which airlines some of the comments were geared towards, but I give props to Zagat for bringing some much needed light-hearted humor to the travel industry.

One Hotelier's Mindset for this Economy...


Check out this link on HotelChatter.com for the Morgans Hotel Groups' thoughts for the recession. While the language may be bold for some, I tend to appreciate their attitude. Why wimper and crawl into a hole? Embrace the struggle with enthusiam and energy!

Like attracts like... therefore, having a party to celebrate will bring more excitement, more promotion, therefore more business!

The last thing anyone should be doing right now is to stick their head in the sand, complain, and do nothing.

I know some have found the Morgan's promotion tasteless... and tacky... but then again, there's always naysayers. And frankly, I'd rather hang around with fun, vivacious people who embrace life!

Here's to us who Live Life to the Fullest!!! :) C'est si bon!