A weakened Hurricane Earl sweeps by Cape Elizabeth, Maine, on Sept. 2, 2010.
When Hurricane Earl passed by the New England coast in 2010, David Jordan headed out with his youngest daughter to Portland Head Light, an historic lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, to photograph the crashing waters.
The two spent a couple of hours walking the pathways that run along the top of the cliffs, each taking dozens of photos while looking for the ideal vantage point.
“The Maine coast is always beautiful but having a storm off the coast churning up waves adds some flavor and gives you the opportunity to capture that one moment out of time … in this case wind-driven waves breaking 30 to 40 feet high along the rocky coast,” Jordan told TODAY.com.
He used Photoshop to convert the image to black and white to better capture the dramatic tones, and added some vignetting. The photo won last week’s gallery.
If you have photos you’d like to share, submit them for a chance to be featured in our reader photo gallery.
In the meantime, be sure to check out this week’s It’s a Snap gallery and vote for your favorite photo.
Vice President Biden and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will travel to Maury High School in Norfolk on Tuesday to discuss college Vice President Biden (Carolyn Kaster/AP)affordability.
Since students in Maury High’s senior class were born, average tuition and fees at public four-year colleges across the country have tripled, according to the White House. Two-thirds of all college students take out loans to pay for school, graduating with an average debt of more than $25,000.
Later in the day, Biden will answer questions on Twitter about college affordability and talk about the steps the Obama administration has taken to keep college costs down in Virginia and across the country.
Omni Amelia Island Plantation: The Pirates Princesses package at the Florida resort is available through Sept. 3. Extras include pirate patches and princess tiaras at check-in, a romantic parents-only dinner and a “just for kids” dinner party, and plenty of other activities. Rates start at $245 per night and are subject to availability (rates regularly start at $289/night). A Thursday arrival and three-night stay is required. To book, call 904-261-6161.
Jekyll Island Club Hotel: Welcome the warm weather in style and save with the Spring Getaway special from the Jekyll Island Club Hotel. Take 25 percent off any room through May 24 (rates regularly start at $199). This deal is available Sunday through Thursday, based on availability. Restrictions apply.
Riverside Hotel: The Paw Print special at the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., hotel will let your pup stay for free (regularly $75 ). Find pet perks like a doggie bed, treats, a pet toy and more. The special is valid through Dec. 31; Restrictions may apply. For reservations, call 1-800-325-3280 and ask for the promotion.
Hilton Curaçao Resort: Get a fifth night free when you book five nights, now through June 30. Kids 18 and younger stay free and kids ages 6-12 get 50 percent off all meals. Use plan code P5 when booking. Restrictions and blackout dates apply. To book, call 1-877-445-8667 and request plan code P5.
LOS ANGELES, March 30, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ –
Om is Life is pleased to introduce its new spring/summer line of scarves and wraps. This new collection features over 10 new colors and prints that capture the essence of the upcoming season, with an eye-catching assortment of fresh, rich colors. The line is promoted under the category name OmWrap, and is a continuation of the company’s effort to offer eco-friendly, quality products to its customers. The OmWrap is made of Modal, produced from the cellulose fibers of the beech tree in strict accordance with sustainable principles. This wonder fabric is not only eco-friendly but it is silky soft and breathes better than cotton. As with all Om is Life products, the OmWrap provides relief as well as comfort. The scarves and wraps feature a small hidden pocket designed to fit an air-activated warmer, providing hours of warmth when needed.
Om is Life also offers a full line of travel pillows for the entire family, including the OmTraveler, which has earned travel industry accolades for its comfort and versatility and has been called “the world’s best travel pillow” by many. The company also offers The Omster, a travel pillow/plush toy with interchangeable faces, and a favorite amongst the younger travelers.
The OmTraveler was the inspiration for the company. As an airline pilot, founder Leah Murakami spent countless hours at airports and commuting on planes (when not flying them). On her days off, she flew F-16s in the Air National Guard. Comfort and sleep were the essential elements she needed to maintain some quality of life … yet she lacked both. Leah yearned for a neck pillow that would provide enough support and comfort to sleep restfully, especially while in an upright position. “I spent over half my life on the road and could seldom get a comfortable rest. I needed a great pillow. After searching long and hard, I realized that if I wanted the perfect travel pillow, I would have to design it myself.” Thus the OmTraveler and Om is Life were born.
About Om is Life.
Om is Life is an online retailer specializing in unique, eco-friendly products for travel, fashion and fun. Om is Life is marketed worldwide at
Om is Life was founded with the belief that the finest materials and quality workmanship make better products. Their desire is to provide products that improve people’s lives and honor the environment, a philosophy that drives all the company’s collections. All Om is Life products are made in the USA, with the goal of bringing comfort and joy to the customer with limited environmental impact.
For more information about Om is Life and their products, please visit
This press release was issued through eReleases(R). For more information, visit eReleases Press Release Distribution at
SOURCE Om is Life
Copyright (C) 2012 PR Newswire. All rights reserved
● The Woodstock Inn Resort in Woodstock, Vt., is offering a Sugar Season Escape package to celebrate the maple syrup season. Rooms start at $183 weekdays (including $19 in taxes) and $216 weekends (including $22 in taxes) for stays through May 24; rates with taxes typically start at $277 on weekdays and $342 weekends. The package also includes daily breakfast for two, a $36 value. Book by April 30 to receive a 20 percent discount on any spa service costing more than $100. Info: 800-448-7900, www.woodstockinn.com.
● Breezes Resorts and Spas is taking up to 50 percent off rates at its all-inclusive properties in Jamaica, Curacao, the Bahamas and Brazil. For example, at Breezes Grand Resort in Negril, Jamaica, pay $125 a night per person double, down from $250, on stays Aug. 18 through 31. At Breezes in Buzios, Brazil, the rate from June 15 to June 28 drops to $101, down from $202. Taxes are included. Book by April 18; travel May 1 to Dec. 14 for Curacao, Trelawny (Jamaica) and Brazil, and May 1 to Dec. 21 for Negril, Runaway Bay (Jamaica) and the Bahamas. Minimum stay of three nights. Info: 877-BREEZES (273-3937), www.breezes.com.
● Couples save $1,200 on four new departures of Grand Circle Cruise Line’s Danube River cruise. With the discount, the 11-day Old World Prague the Blue Danube trip starts at $1,895 per person double for the July 21 and 25 departures, and from $1,995 on Aug. 4 and 8. Price includes seven nights in an outside cabin on the M/S River Adagio or the M/S River Aria, three nights in a Prague hotel, 25 meals with wine during at-sea dinners, eight tours and more. Add $125 in port charges. The cruise visits Budapest; Bratislava, Slovakia; and Vienna, Durnstein, Linz and Salzburg in Austria. Info: 800-248-3737, www.gct.com.
● Holland America is offering savings of up to 50 percent on Alaska, Europe and Caribbean cruises. The deal applies to 18 itineraries with departures throughout 2012. For example, an interior cabin on the seven-night Mediterranean Glamour cruise departing Civitavecchia, Italy, on May 4 now starts at $726 per person double, including $77 taxes; the brochure rate was $1,298. Book by April 8. Info: 877-932-4259, www.hollandamerica.com.
● JetBlue has a sale on new routes, including one from Reagan National to Tampa starting June 11. Rates start at $170 round trip, including taxes. Other airlines charge closer to $200. Book by April 13; travel any day but Friday and Sunday from June 11 through July 31. Blackout dates apply. Another sale in the vicinity: Newark to San Juan, Puerto Rico, with service starting April 25 and rates from $319 round trip. Twenty-one-day advance purchase required. Info: 800-538-2583, www2.jetblue.com/deals/new-service.
● Spend nine nights on three Tahitian islands with a deal from Air Tahiti Nui. The promotion, which starts at $3,929 per person double, includes round-trip nonstop air from Los Angeles to Papeete; flights between Papeete, Moorea and Bora Bora; one night in a standard room at the InterContinental Tahiti Resort; three nights in a beach bungalow at the InterContinental Moorea Resort Spa; five nights in a lagoon-view overwater bungalow at the InterContinental Bora Bora Le Moana Resort; transfers; breakfasts; and taxes. For the best prices, travel Nov. 1 to Dec. 10 and Jan. 11 to March 31, 2013. Booking deadline is four months in advance. Priced separately, the trip would cost about $770 more per couple. Info: 877-824-4846, www.airtahitinui-usa.com.
Submit travel deals to email@example.com. Prices were verified at press time Thursday, but deals sell out and availability is not guaranteed. Some restrictions may apply.
After more than 20 years of dragging a notebook computer around whenever I traveled, I finally told myself that enough is enough. On two recent business trips, I joined the small but growing number of travelers who eschew a laptop in favor of a smaller, lighter device.
I could have opted for an iPad or an Android tablet, which would have lightened my load somewhat while providing a 7-to-10-in. screen. But that’s an intermediary approach that would still require carrying a phone in addition to the tablet, probably shaving only a few pounds off my travel weight. I decided to go all the way to the light side and see if I could travel with just a smartphone. Call it extreme mobility.
Leaving my laptop and its clunky power adapter at my office has lightened my load considerably. I feel like the After picture in an ad for a new diet plan. Before, I was hunched over, burdened by a heavy notebook bag filled with nearly 10 lbs. of assorted stuff. The After shot shows me standing up straight, holding a thin leather briefcase that houses my smartphone, accessories, paper files and reading material.
All told, I cut 7 lbs. out of my hand baggage — not bad for a diet that doesn’t involve Nutrisystem or eating a mango with every meal.
Of course, it’s not quite as simple as swapping a laptop for a phone. There are serious pros and cons to laptop-free travel, and pulling it off takes some extra planning, new hardware and software, and a willingness to squint at a small screen.
In my travels, I relied on an LG Nitro HD smartphone ($100 with a two-year contract), which runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and can tap into ATT’s 4G LTE data service for fast connectivity. It weighs 4.8 oz. (6.8 oz. with its power adapter), a savings of nearly 5 lbs. compared to my HP EliteBook 2560p notebook and its 13-oz. power adapter.
In addition to the phone’s included apps for email, Web browsing and mapping, I downloaded several more from the Android Market to make working from a phone feasible. Many of these were free, and those I had to pay for cost less than $30, allowing me to outfit the phone with the programs I needed for laptop-free travel for less than $100. That’s half as much as I paid for just my desktop version of Microsoft Office.
While I used an Android smartphone, you can of course get similar results with an iPhone, a Windows Phone or a BlackBerry, although the latter two will offer fewer apps to aid you in your journey.
Successes and failures
During my trips, I succeeded in doing most of my work without a notebook. I was able to keep up with email, do Web research, write using a word processor, update spreadsheets and give presentations. Using a foldable Bluetooth keyboard and having a stand for the phone helped make it all work.
I also found a wealth of entertainment possibilities for the smartphone, including movies, Internet radio and games. Adding a tiny Bluetooth speaker made it, well, more entertaining. I even stayed in touch with my family via Skype video calls and kept an eye on things back home with a remote webcam app.
Unfortunately, my experience was not a clean sweep. I was unable to successfully update my website using Typepad’s Web interface, and I couldn’t work with complex project management documents. I spent too much time zooming in to make a change or check on a font size, then zooming out to see the big picture. Zoom in, zoom out — lather, rinse, repeat. Before long, I gave up.
Nevertheless, I’ve found that I can do nearly everything with my trusty smartphone that I once used my notebook for. Keep reading for the best tools and tips I’ve found for smartphone-only travel. (story continues)
CALGARY, March 30, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ –
Tweet this release:
Travel Alberta and its PR agency Current
Lifestyle Marketing were among those recognized as winners for the 2012
Silver SABRE awards, as reported by the Holmes Report this week. Travel
Alberta and Current took first place in the “Product Placement”
category for the destination’s work with ABC’s new Saturday morning
travel series “Born to Explore.”
The award entry was selected from close to 2,000 submitted this year,
all of which represent some of the strongest programming in the history
of the competition. A relatively new addition to Saturday ABC morning
program, “Born to Explore,” traveled to the largest horned dinosaur
bone bed in North America in Alberta, Canada. The thirty minute program
was hosted by explorer and Emmy winner Richard Wiese, and aired in
November 2011 and January 2012.
“The quality of the work this year was the highest we have ever seen,”
said Paul Holmes, editor of The Holmes Report and chairman of the SABRE judges. “The integration of social media with
traditional channels is increasingly seamless. There is more attention
to research and evaluation than ever before. And we saw lots of big
creative ideas. The result was a lot of deserving winners, and a lot of
runners-up that probably would have been deserving winners in any other
The SABRE awards highlight the best work among the Public Relations
industry in a multitude of categories. The awards recognize campaigns
that demonstrate the highest levels of strategic planning, creativity
and business results.
“We’re honored to accept this prestigious award,” says Bruce Okabe,
Chief Executive Officer at Travel Alberta. “Born to Explore was a
strategic opportunity to leverage Travel Alberta’s award-winning brand
and showcase some of our signature tourism experiences in breathtaking
For more information about travel to Alberta, visit
About Travel Alberta
Travel Alberta is the tourism marketing agency of the Government of
Follow Travel Alberta at:
About the SABRE Awards:
The SABRE (Superior Achievement in Branding and Reputation) Awards
celebrate public relations campaigns that demonstrate the highest
levels of creativity, integrity and effectiveness. Travel Alberta’s
entry was selected from close to 2,000 submitted this year from Asia
Pacific, North America, Europe the Middle East and Africa. 2012 entries
reportedly represented some of the strongest programming in the history
of the competition.
SOURCE Travel Alberta
Copyright (C) 2012 PR Newswire. All rights reserved
TORONTO, ONTARIO, Mar 30, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) –
Weekend Spokesperson/Tours of the Gas Station Available
With gas expected to reach excruciating highs this spring, travel
leader FlightNetwork.com is seeking to ease some of the pain at the
pumps by offering motorists the chance to fill up for 50 cents per
litre on Monday, April 2, 2012.
The company made headlines last summer when they dropped the price of
gas by 50 cents per litre to launch their uniquely 24/7/365 Price
Drop Protection Plan. Due to consumers’ enthusiastic reception of
both the Plan for online travel bookings and the first Price Drop Gas
promotion, the company decided to ‘up the ante’ with Monday’s Gas 2.0
While last summer’s one-day promotion gave customers 50 cents OFF per
litre, Monday’s event is flipping things around, when customers will
pay ONLY 50 cents per litre, offering Toronto motorists gas prices
that haven’t been seen for decades.
“We protect our customers every day with our exclusive 24/7/365 Price
Drop Protection plan. Monday we’ll be price dropping them at the
pumps as well,” said Naman Budhdeo, CEO of FlightNetwork.com.
The event runs from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., or until 10,000 litres
of gas have been sold – whichever comes first. ((i)Limit of 50 litres
of regular gasoline per vehicle, and jerry cans are not
What: Gas for only 50 CENTS PER LITRE!
Where: Gas station at 759 Eastern Avenue (at Mosley Street, just west of
When: Monday, April 2, 2012, 8:00 - 11:00 a.m., or until 10,000 litres
of gas have been sold- whichever comes first.
Why: Because you deserve to be able to travel for the lowest price
About FlightNetwork.com (
As one of Canada’s leaders in online travel, FlightNetwork.com
delivers the lowest airfares from the top airlines by offering
consumers access to over 2 million bulk rates on cheap flights
negotiated with major airlines. Its proprietary flight booking engine
offers last second booking and the exclusive ability to ‘mix and
match’ fares – the only Canadian online travel agency that allows
booking on different airlines for departure and return flights to get
the lowest fares possible. Backing up FlightNetwork.com’s award
winning online service are over 120 insightful travel specialists in
the FlightNetwork.com call centre who ensure that customers
successfully book the best travel deals.
FlightNetwork.com’s Price Drop Protection plan is a unique, free
program, exclusive to FlightNetwork.com customers on all economy
flights, vacations and hotels. The Price Drop Deal covers up to a
$100 drop on USA and international flights, and unlimited drops on
domestic flights, vacations and hotel bookings. If you book with
FlightNetwork.com, and the price drops after you book, you will get
the difference credited back.
Pointman Public Relations
Pointman Public Relations
today released its 2011 Travel Snapshot reports
highlighting key spend insights from Visa account holders traveling to
and from the United States, Canada, Mexico and Brazil. According to
VisaVue® Travel data, Visa account holders from these
countries continued to increase spend on international travel-related
purchases from 2010 to 2011, building momentum toward pre-recession
levels. Travelers from the United States increased tourism spend on
their Visa accounts by 7 percent, those from Canada by 11 percent, and
Mexico by 19 percent. Most notably, travelers from Brazil increased
international travel spend on their Visa accounts by 32 percent in 2011
— 43 percent of which was in the United States.
“Visa works closely with governments and tourism entities to connect
merchants to the more than 2.3 billion(1) Visa global account
holders and provides a convenient, secure and reliable payment
experience for international travelers,” said Ava Kelly, head of global
affluent and cross border initiatives at Visa Inc. “Tourism is a key
contributor to economic growth so this upward trend in international
travel expenditures can provide some welcome revenues for growing
countries like Mexico and Brazil as well as the U.S. and Canada.”
VisaVue Travel Data Spending Trends
United States: Brazil and China proved to be significant
corridors for travel to the United States. Visa account holders from
Brazil increased spend on travel to the United States by 41 percent,
from $1.9 billion in 2010 to $2.7 billion in 2011, edging out the U.K.
as the second highest total contributor to U.S. tourism revenue. Visa
account holders from China increased travel spend within the United
States by 61 percent, from $741 million in 2010 to $942 million in
2011. Similarly, Visa account holders from the United States increased
travel spend in China by 27 percent, from $741 million in 2010 to $941
million in 2011.
Canada: While Visa account holders from the United States ($3.5
billion), France ($351 million) and the United Kingdom ($348 million)
remained the top three contributors to Canadian tourism, Visa account
holders from China had one of the most significant increases with a 41
percent increase year over year, from $229 million in 2010 to $321
million in 2011.
Mexico: Visa account holders increased spending in Mexico by
six percent in 2011. While Russian account holders increased travel
spending in Mexico by 73 percent, travelers from South America also
showed more interest in Mexico with Argentina (+58 percent), Brazil
(+56 percent), Peru (+30 percent) and Colombia (+30 percent) following
Russia with the greatest increases in travel spend to Mexico in 2011.
Brazil: While the United States remains the top destination of
choice for Visa account holders from Brazil, most European nations
recognized double digit increases in travel spend by Brazilian Visa
account holders in 2011. Spending by Brazilian Visa account holders
increased by 30 percent in France, 44 percent in Italy and 41 percent
in the United Kingdom.
Visa’s suite of travel products and services advances the value and
reach of electronic payments as a key component of sustainable global
tourism. Visa products offer account holders peace-of-mind in knowing
they have the ability to make purchases at tens of millions of merchants
worldwide, access to local currencies at more than 1.9 million ATMs, the
protection of Visa’s Zero Liability Policy(2) for fraudulent
transactions, and a range of travel perks and benefits which can save
account holders time and money.
For more information on Visa’s full suite of travel products and tips
for international travel payment, visit
To view complete copies of the 2011 Visa Travel Snapshot reports
for the United States, Canada, Mexico and Brazil, please visit
About VisaVue® Travel Data
Visa cardholder spend data cited is based upon VisaVue Travel data. Visa
introduced the VisaVue Travel tourism reporting product to U.S. tourism
organizations in 2008 and has continued to provide reports to the
industry on a variety of popular tourist destinations every year. For
more information on VisaVue Travel and Visa’s products focused on the
tourism industry, please contact the VisaVue Product Office at VisaVueTravel@Visa.com.
Data included in the 2011 reports includes spending on Visa-branded
payment cards by international visitors from key source countries during
the calendar year 2011 (Jan. 1 – Dec. 31, 2011) and includes travel
spend in Visa Europe.
Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers,
businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200
countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency.
Underpinning digital currency is one of the world’s most advanced
processing networks–VisaNet–that is capable of handling more than 20,000
transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and
guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue
cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s
innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to
offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, ahead of time with
prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit
(1) Includes Visa Europe account holders
(2) Visa’s Zero Liability policy covers U.S.-issued cards only
and does not apply to ATM transactions, PIN transactions not processed
by Visa, or certain commercial card transactions. Cardholder must notify
issuer promptly of any unauthorized use. Consult issuer for additional
details or visit
SOURCE: Visa Inc.
Sarah Toffoli, 415-932-2564