Orlando International Airport, otherwise known as MCO in airline speak (Please don’t call it OIA. Well, you could. But you’d be wrong 😉 ), was a destination for over 40 million airline passengers in 2015, which makes it the 14th busiest airport in the U.S. based on total passenger traffic. For many of those passengers, Orlando is their final destination and the need for them to spend hours at the airport waiting for a connecting flight isn’t as great as at a major hub airport like Miami, Atlanta, Chicago or New York-JFK. Subsequently, the airline lounge market has been stagnant, or even declining, over the past decade because leisure travelers weren’t the bread and butter customers for lounges. These lounges were designed with the business travelers in mind, giving them a place to be productive while waiting for their next flight.
Fortunately, times have changed and many more people have lounge access thanks to credit card benefits, so the lounges at Orlando Airport are finally starting to catch up.
London is one of our favorite (or favourite) cities in the world to visit. It’s charming yet bustling. Grand and imperial, but still warm and comforting. We’ve visited London more than any other city outside of the U.S, and look for any reason we can find to go back.
Drive up or down I-95 and after miles and miles of billboards promoting the place, just south of the North Carolina/South Carolina state line, you’ll find South of The Border (SOTB), a tourist attraction in Dillon SC, whose name is a tongue-in-cheek tip of the hat to its Mexican theming. A well worn tourist attraction since its humble beginnings as a beer stand 1949 (the just-north-of-the-border NC counties were “dry” at the time), SOTB runs on both sides of highway 501 and contains, among other things, a truck stop, a 300-room motel, several souvenir shops that sell everything from T-shirts to hats to fireworks to leather goods to beachwear and everything in between, a handful of restaurants, a 200-foot tall observation tower shaped like a sombrero, and the largest reptile exhibit in the country. Oh, and don’t forget the dozens of statues of animals such as dinosaurs, gorillas, dolphins, flamingos, etc., painted in whatever garishly beautiful color was the cheapest paint at the store that day.
It’s been almost TWENTY YEARS (I can’t believe it) since I visited the city of Chicago and 13 years since Sharon did. We have a whole day on Saturday to sightsee and really have no idea what to do. Ed Debevics, Sharon’s favorite Chicago food spot, is closed. The one thing I wanted to do isn’t happening because the Chicago Cubs don’t plan their home game schedule around my trips. How dare they! 😉
It’s nice to think about taking a trip to some exotic location. Flying half way around the globe to visit an ancient temple or natural wonder. I’ve done it and, well, it’s fantastic.
I also realize that whether I like it or not, international travel isn’t going to be getting any easier in the near future. Instead of complaining about whatever changes may be put into effect, I’ve decided to look into places to visit in the U.S. instead. We live in a big country and there are many different cities to visit. I’d encourage you to get out and travel around the United States – life is all about experiences, so experience as much as you can!
Here is a short list of places in America that I’d like to visit. Please note that this is my list and I think Sharon might have a thing or two to say about going to a few of these places (edit from Sharon – editorial comments? ME??? LOLOL!).
We all know the process of getting through X-ray has become something of a time consuming organized chaos in the past several years. In fact, I’d put it up towards the top of the more stressful parts of air travel, up there with delays and the actual flight. Getting approved for TSA Pre✓® (which is currently available in more than 180 airports, with 37 participating airlines nationwide) or Global Entry does help tremendously, but even then, there are people who are not super familiar with the modern-day process of going through X-ray, with or without TSA Pre✓®, simply because they don’t fly very often, and sometimes that unfamiliarity can cause the line to snag even more. Here’s a list that might help:
Of the many tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years by reading different websites and blogs, I think the one that has improved the quality of traveling the most is when we applied and were approved for Global Entry. There is still confusion over the different programs available to make your travel experience less problematic so I’ll try to cover the basics of the differences between Global Entry and TSA Pre✓®