Touring the Key West Cemetery

We’ve visited Key West many times and have done most of the “touristy” things around the island. During our last visit, we checked out one of the last places we hadn’t visited yet, the Key West Cemetery. The cemetery isn’t a typical tourist attraction; there isn’t even anywhere for you to pay to get in. That is, if you can manage to find the entrance in the first place…

It’s important to remember this is a real cemetery, still used by the people of Key West. While you are walking around following your map looking for gravestones, keep in mind that these plots are all the resting place of someone’s loved ones. Try to keep the conversations down and be respectful.

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Why Do Loyalty Programs Act Like The Grinch?

You know the Dr. Seuss story about The Grinch Who Stole Christmas? He was the grouchy grump who lived up on a mountain and was so mad about the people below having a good time that he devised a way to take away the thing he thought was making them so happy. I think that some loyalty programs should adopt The Grinch as their unofficial mascot, cause I’m sure they’re too cheap to pay for the official rights to the character.

So what do the programs do to keep us from redeeming our points for what we really want to use them for? Here are the four things loyalty programs do that make me think the people who run them have hearts that are two sizes too small.

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Ghosts, Orbs and The Paranormal: Visiting Haunted Locations

One of my guilty pleasures is watching ghost hunting shows. I DVR episodes of Ghost Adventures (and previously Ghost Hunters – may the show R.I.P.) and snuggle with our dog on the bed while I listen to the EVPs and slamming doors. I’ve even gotten to the point where I can hear the spirit voices before they replay them with the subtitles. I think I like watching these shows because I’m pretty sure I used to live in a house where I had some spiritual co-inhabitants. It was a house built in 1928 on the farmland of one of the city founders. I never felt anything evil or menacing, just a occasional presence over my shoulder, watching what I was doing. There was also the times where lights I know I turned off were back on. Not just once or twice, but more like a weekly occurrence. I really noticed the difference when I moved and the feeling of being watched was gone. It was the strangest thing and it’s impossible to describe if you’ve never experienced it.

Alas, Sharon doesn’t share my enthusiasm in ghosts and the paranormal, but over the years, I’ve managed to get her to go to a number of haunted locations. Some of them because they had another appeal to her tastes and other times we were led there as part of a tour package. I didn’t care, we were going ghost hunting!

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What’s The Big Deal About Getting A Free Breakfast?

For as long as I’ve been reading travel websites, one of the biggest advantages of having status with a hotel chain was getting free breakfast. At first, I wondered what all the fuss was about. I mean, I’d received free breakfast at hotels before. They consisted of some stale bagels, bread and pastries, powered eggs, flimsy bacon, one flavor of yogurt, a vat of oatmeal and maybe some unripe bananas. Oh, don’t forget the really bad coffee.

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The breakfast rooms were usually packed at the normal eating times and the food wasn’t refreshed nearly enough. Why were people so excited with this benefit? Continue reading “What’s The Big Deal About Getting A Free Breakfast?”

What’s The Strangest Thing You’ve Seen In A Hotel Room?

Most hotel stays are uneventful and that’s a good thing. Occasionally you’ll have a memorable stay at a really nice place and other times you’ll endure a night somewhere that “did not live up to expectations” and that’s life.

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Sometimes you win and find a hotel like Chambers Park Place in Leeds, UK
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Other times you end up staying at the Holiday Inn Kensington Forum in London, UK – just look at that modern telly, the spacious beds and the 12″ of space between the two. At least the TV worked during our second stay. Yes, we stayed there more than once. Totally not our fault – it was part of a package arrangement when we sang at the Royal Albert Hall.

However, there can also be that hotel you remember for that ONE thing that made it, different or unique or just flat out weird. I’m not talking about cultural differences like a bidet or tea kettle. I’m talking about things you’ve never seen before.

With some contributions from our friend Steve, here are some of the things we’ve found in hotel rooms that to this day make us scratch our heads in bewilderment.

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