Travel and Leisure - Msn Feeds
Updated: 1 hour 54 min ago

Enjoy 30% off Stays at a Luxurious Destination Spa in Vietnam

Wed, 10/03/2018 - 10:53
<p><em>T+L launched Operation Vacation to inspire workers to use their days off and get away, offering exclusive travel discounts as incentive. For the latest deals on hotels, airfare, cruises, and trip packages, visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a></em></p><p>Vietnam: 30 percent off at <a href="" target="_blank">Fusion Resort Phu Quoc</a>, a dreamy destination spa with thatched-roof abodes.</p><p>First Anniversary Offer includes:</p>Four nights in a private villa with a plunge pool Round-trip airport transfersPriority check-in Daily treatments at Maia SpaDaily breakfast One dinner or lunch per person, per dayOne healthy drink or juice – such as detox juices, sunset smoothies, and herbal teas – per person, per day Daily wellness sessions, including yoga, tai chi, and meditation<p>Original Price: From $2,592 (or $648 per night)</p><p><strong>T+L Price</strong>: From $1,815 (or $454 per night); valid from November 1 – April 26, 2019</p><p>Booking details: Use booking code 4NPKG when emailing <a href=""></a></p><p>Booking URL: <a href="" rel="noreferrer nofollow" target="_blank"></a></p><p>Availability: Blackout dates from December 23, 2018 – January 7, 2019 and February 5 – 9, 2019.</p>
Categories: Travel

Winter Is Coming — and It’s Bringing an Official 'Game of Thrones' Whisky With It (Video)

Wed, 10/03/2018 - 08:22
<p><a href="" target="_blank">Winter is coming</a>. And this year it’s bringing whisky.</p><p>Fans of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” have been patiently awaiting the arrival of the final season of the acclaimed series. And though the show still doesn’t have an exact release date, it did pair up with Johnnie Walker to introduce a brand new “Game of Thrones”-inspired Scotch Whisky to help ease fan’s nerves while they wait it out one last winter.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">White Walker by Johnnie Walker</a>, as it’s cleverly named, was designed to evoke the icy world of the show’s undead army from the Frozen North, a press release said. Best served straight out of the freezer, the bottom of the bottle contains a secret message for fans when it’s chilled to a level only White Walkers can embrace.</p><img alt="Game of Thrones White Walker Whisky "src=""><p>The flavor of this frozen Scotch was also designed to embrace the chill of the North by using single malts from Cardhu and Clynelish, one of Scotland’s most northern distilleries. “Whiskies from Clynelish have endured long, Scottish winters, not dissimilar to the long periods endured by the Night’s Watch who have ventured north of the wall,” whisky specialist and creator of White Walker said. “It was the perfect place to start when creating this unique whisky.”</p><p>The limited blend, which starts around $29.99, is <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">now available</a> at liquor stores and airports around the world. If you get your frozen hands on a bottle, Johnnie Walker has created some “Game of Thrones” inspired cocktails, like the <a href="" target="_blank">White Walker Old Fashioned</a>, to really prep for the winter.</p><p>If a drink isn’t enough to hold you over, you could always escape to one of the <a href="" target="_blank">incredible filming locations</a> around the world, or start planning a future trip to some of the original sets slated to become <a href="" target="_blank">behind-the-scenes tourists attractions</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Village in Switzerland Wants to Be a Hotel

Wed, 10/03/2018 - 08:08
<p>There are plenty of amazing hotels in idyllic-looking towns to stay at while you’re in Switzerland, but this little town is looking to make their entire village into a one-stop resort.</p><p>The village of Corippo, located in the Italian-speaking region of Ticino, is a gorgeous little place with tons of character, history, and local flavor. But there’s a big problem: The small town’s residents have decreased from around 300 to 12. And 11 of those residents are over the age of 65, <a href="" target="_blank">according to CNN</a>.</p><p>This puts the village in a terrible predicament. Either the residents must find ways boosting the local economy, or be doomed to becoming extinct as a town. And so in July officials gave a local charity, Fondazione Corippo 1975, authorization to transform 30 of the village’s buildings into a hotel complex, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>The New York Times</em> reported</a>.</p><img alt="Corippo, Ticino, Switzerland Verzasca Valley "src=""><p>According to CNN, Fabio Giacomazzi, an architect and president of the foundation, got the idea for the <a href="" target="_blank">“scattered hotel”</a> from several Italian villages. Sextantio, Il Borgo di Sempronio, and Corte della Maestà are all different Italian towns that were transformed into <a href="" target="_blank"><em>alberghi diffusi</em></a>.</p><p>About $2.7 million was raised as of August, according to the <em>Times</em>, to transform the town. Among the many plans includes renovating private cottages and hotel rooms, expanding the town restaurant, and turning the town square into a reception area. In addition, businesses like the old mill, a public bakery, and local farming will also be revitalized, according to <a href="" target="_blank">SwissInfo</a>.</p><p>But not everyone is on board with the idea. Some doubt the sustainability of having a hotel built where the locals are over retirement age. “If we’re talking about sustainable tourism, we should start by asking exactly who will be left here in 10 years to welcome the tourists,” Alfredo Scilacci, an architect in Geneva who inherited a family home in Corippo, told <em>Times</em>. Residents also have voiced their concern, stating that the village should be more focused on town preservation and upkeep.</p><img alt="Corippo, Ticino, Switzerland "src=""><p>But Giacomazzi told CNN that the prospect of a bustling village may draw in younger locals as well as tourists to revitalize the town. “We hope that the hotel will offer the opportunity for a young family to undertake the management and to settle in Corippo together with some employees,” he said.</p><p>CNN reported that one small cottage, Casa Arcotti, has already been opened to the public, while the rest of the hotel/village could open around Easter 2020.</p>
Categories: Travel

Get a Sneak Peek at the New Roller Coaster at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Wed, 10/03/2018 - 07:31
<p>It’s time for muggles to start planning a return trip to Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter.</p><p>The theme park kicked off its promotional campaign on Monday for a new roller coaster that has yet to be named, but already looks awesome.</p><p>“The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the theme park experience that opened at Universal Orlando in 2010, is soon to welcome a brand-new ride in the Hogsmeade section of the park,” <a href="" target="_blank">Pottermore announced Monday</a> alongside an artist rendering. The new coaster follows in the footsteps of the now-closed <a href="" target="_blank">Dragon Challenge attraction</a>, which was a set of intertwined roller coasters that closed in September of 2017.</p><p>According to <em><a href="" target="_blank">Theme Park Insider</a></em>, the ride appears to take guests through the Forbidden Forest and will likely include multiple indoor elements, including a drop track. <em><a href="" target="_blank">Hypable</a></em> also theorized the three Cornish Pixies, which were introduced during <i>Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets</i>, along with the castle in the background could offer clues as to what riders can soon expect.</p><p>Not much else is known about this mysterious ride just yet — except that it will likely be huge.</p><p>“I walked by the construction site in August and can tell you that the amount of land this ride takes up is <em>massive</em>. I expect that this’ll be an amazing ride,” <em>Hypable</em>'s Stefanie Lis wrote.</p><p>For now, fans will simply have to make due with the existing rides and attractions at the park as this roller coaster isn’t expected to open to the public until sometime in 2019. Here’s everything a would-be Hogwarts students need to know about <a href="" target="_blank">planning the perfect visit to the park</a> any time of year.</p>
Categories: Travel

Here's How Meghan Markle Is Preparing for Her First Big Royal Trip

Wed, 10/03/2018 - 07:01
<p>Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, appears to be fitting into her new life as royal rather nicely. At each and every appearance she makes she seems to impress the world with her charm, grace, and <a href="" target="_blank">down-to-earth nature</a>. But, she hasn’t gotten here alone.</p><p>According to royal insiders, Markle has had plenty of help along the way and is now getting personalized training for her <a href="" target="_blank">upcoming official royal trip</a> to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and the Kingdom of Tonga.</p><p>“The Duchess of Sussex will have a team of Royal aids within the palace that are there to assist her in every way to prepare for her formal engagements,” Myka Meier of Beaumont Etiquette, <a href="" target="_blank">told <em>Cosmopolitan</em></a>. And Meier should know, as she too was trained a former member of the Queen's Household.</p><p>“As a senior member of the Royal family, she is a working royal with roles and responsibilities to fulfill on behalf of the family. In order to show respect to the people she is meeting, she will be briefed ahead of each event on the Senior people she will be meeting and how to greet and address them, solely in order to show respect,” <a href="" target="_blank">she revealed</a>. “From assisting her with what to wear all the way to important topics to speak about, she will have help to ensure she is fully prepared.”</p><p>For her upcoming trip, Meghan is likely getting briefed on all the local customs and will most certainly be embracing each one. “For instance, if in a country they visit it’s a sign of respect to dress in a certain way, they will do so,” Meier said.</p><p>Beyond how to dress and which local customs are fine to take part in, Meghan, Harry, and any other traveling royal will also be briefed on how to address the leaders they meet as well as “any political, religious or cultural sensitivities to be aware of."</p><p>Luckily, if Meghan finds herself perplexed by any royal protocol while she’s traveling, she’ll have her husband Prince Harry by her side to help her out in a pinch.</p>
Categories: Travel

JetBlue Is Begrudgingly Adding Basic Economy Tickets

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 17:55
<p>JetBlue is joining the ranks of airlines offering <a href="" target="_blank">basic economy ticketing</a>.</p><p>The <a href="" target="_blank">popular airline</a> has long bucked the trend of offering the low-cost tickets that other airlines including Delta, United, and American have all gotten on board with. But, according to JetBlue President and COO Joanna Geragthy, basic economy is now a necessary evil.</p><p>“At JetBlue, we never liked the 'no frills' approach,” Geragthy wrote in a memo obtained by <em>Business Insider</em>. “But with these competitors now offering basic economy on many routes we fly, Customer behavior suggests our success is at risk if we do not disrupt this market by lowering fares without sacrificing the experience."</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">According to <em>Business Insider</em></a>, the airline will begin offering the basic economy ticketing sometime in 2019. Basic economy will then join its other pricing options, which will likely be rebranded to <a href="" target="_blank">Blue, Blue Save, and Blue </a>More.</p><p>While the lower fare may seem attractive, it’s key for travelers to know that they may be paying more in the long run anyway. Bbasic economy fares are just that — <a href="" target="_blank">basic</a>. Typically, travelers with this fare cannot select their own seats, may have to pay for overhead bin space, and will have to pay extra for checked bags and onboard snacks. That’s why many airlines thoroughly warn passengers before booking the low fare so they aren’t blindsided by the extras later.</p><p>But, perhaps JetBlue will be different. As Geragthy added in her memo, guests that book basic economy will still have access to “the full JetBlue experience” which includes ample legroom in coach and free in-flight entertainment and snacks. What they will likely miss out on includes “things like boarding order, seating, and change/cancelation flexibility.”</p>
Categories: Travel

How to Take a Southern Food Road Trip Like Helen Mirren

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 17:10
<p>“I didn’t really know about real Southern cooking until my husband and I took a road trip from Nashville to Charleston, where he taught me about the enormous pleasures of the all-you-can-eat buffet,” says Helen Mirren. “When you find those places they’re usually called Ruben’s, or Mama’s, and the food is just fantastic.”</p><p>Inspired by Helen Mirren’s tour, <em>RoadFood</em>’s Michael Stern presents a buffet-led Southern itinerary:</p><h2><a href="" target="_blank">Hermitage House Smorgasbord</a> — Nashville</h2><img alt="Hermitage House Smorgasboard "src=""><p>You’ll find a roster of kitchen-fresh Dixie delights at this big, popular restaurant, running from Southern fried chicken to warm peach cobbler. A dazzling variety of side dishes includes candied yams and turnip greens.</p><h2><a href="" target="_blank">Miss Mary Bobo’s</a> — Lynchburg, Tennessee</h2><img alt="Pie at Miss Mary Bobo's "src=""><p>When proprietor Miss Mary died in 1983 at the age of 101, the Jack Daniels Distillery bought her boardinghouse. Today, diners enjoy Southern feasts of mac and cheese, baked whiskey apples, and chess pie at communal tables.</p><h2><a href="" target="_blank">Fried Tomato Buffet</a> — Kennesaw, Georgia</h2><p>This family-friendly restaurant isn’t pretty, but the buffet is a sight to behold. Each day has a specific entrée, from Monday’s smoked sausage to Friday’s fried fish. But you can always count on fried chicken, collard greens, and banana pudding.</p><h2><a href="" target="_blank">Blue Willow Inn</a> — Social Circle, Georgia</h2><img alt="Blue Willow Inn "src=""><p>“Gone with the Wind” author Margaret Mitchell often stayed at this stately Greek Revival house, which today is home to one of the grandest buffets in the land. Pile a plate with smothered pork chops, biscuits, and fried green tomatoes with tomato chutney.</p><h2><a href="http://sweatmans​" target="_blank">Sweatman’s BBQ</a> — Holly Hill, South Carolina</h2><p>An essential South Carolina barbecue experience in an old farmhouse, where the buffet features whole hog slow-cooked over oak and hickory coals. The meat is so succulent, you won’t even need sauce.</p><h2><a href="" target="_blank">Bowens Island</a> — Charleston, South Carolina</h2><img alt="Bowens Island oyster joint in Charleston, SC "src=""><p>Down a rutted dirt road south of Charleston, Bowens Island serves local oysters steamed under wet burlap, served on tables with big holes in the middle to throw the shells into.</p>
Categories: Travel

José Andrés Shares Where to Go for Conch in the Caribbean

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 17:09
<p>As we left the <a href="" target="_blank">Atlantis Bahamas resort</a> and turned toward Nassau, a siren whooped and lights flashed. Chef José Andrés turned to peer out, but the cop sped past. “I bet he’s going to McKenzie’s,” Andrés said. He shook his fist. “You better not get there before me!” We were on our way to his favorite lunch venue, McKenzie’s Fresh Conch, in Potter’s Cay, a strip of shacks hawking cold beer and the national specialty: conch.</p><p>Andrés has been in the Bahamas a lot lately, working on <a href="" target="_blank">Fish by José Andrés at Atlantis</a> — sister to his Washington, D.C., restaurant of the same name. His mission? To elevate local cuisine and spotlight sustainability. Lionfish, an invasive species wrecking Bahamian reefs, is a star entrée.</p><img alt="Fish by José Andrés at the Atlantis Resort, Bahamas. "src=""><p>We pulled up at McKenzie’s, a pink-and-white clapboard sugar cube of a building with a takeout window and shaded front porch. The woman behind the bar greeted Andrés like an old friend, and we settled on barstools. Andrés ordered rum cocktails, and when no one began mixing them, he got behind the bar and started pouring. Just then, the owner showed up. “McKenzie’s in the house!” Andrés crowed. He held up a lime. “Don’t you have a machine? For the juice?” McKenzie wiggled his fingers. “You see my machine? Hands! Fingers!”</p><p>Andrés squeezed lemons and limes, then added Sprite and grenadine. “McKenzie on the Rocks!” he declared, handing me a plastic cup. “If it’s no good, don’t blame me.” It was good.</p><p>McKenzie, still in sunglasses, his long dreadlocks gathered on his back, donned a green apron and set to work making conch salad. He chopped onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, and scotch bonnets, then diced five of the white, fist-size mollusks and mixed everything together with citrus juice and salt. “Nobody does it like him,” Andrés said in a confidential tone.</p><p>McKenzie, asked his secret, laughed. “Lemon. Lime. You slice the pepper. That’s it!”</p><p>A whole fried red snapper appeared, sharing a foam plate with a pile of fried plantains. “Boom!” Andrés said. He topped a plantain with a piece of fish, squeezed lime over it, and popped it in my mouth.</p><p>Andrés’s instinct to feed people is a force to be reckoned with. Once a cook in the Spanish navy, he now owns a rapidly proliferating network of restaurants — Fish at Atlantis is his 31st. But to him, the power of food goes far beyond its business potential. Since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico last year, Andrés and his nonprofit World Central Kitchen have served more than 3.6 million meals on the island.</p><p>We’d been told there were no conch fritters, but Andrés got on his knees in the kitchen and begged until one of the bemused cooks shooed him out, saying she’d try. Crab and rice appeared and, then, miraculously, a plate of the longed-for fritters with a tub of pink sauce.</p><p>“You know that sauce?” McKenzie said. “Mayo and ketchup.”</p><p>“My mother always puts brandy,” Andrés said. “Gets the boom!”</p><p>Andrés scooped up a forkful of conch salad. I opened my mouth. The bite was impossibly fresh, with a little heat and a little tang. It tasted of the sea and of sunshine on a vegetable patch. Boom.</p><p><strong>Where to Go:</strong> Stall 1, Potter’s Cay Dock, Nassau; 1-242-425-4934; entrées $12–$26.</p><h2>The Best of the Bahamas</h2><p><strong>Fish by José Andrés</strong>. A new addition to the Atlantis resort that serves Bahamian cuisine with a sophisticated twist. <em>atlantis; entrées $24–$58.</em></p><p><strong>McKenzie’s Fresh Conch</strong>. The Potter’s Cay classic has a new outpost in Atlantis’s Marina Village. <em>atlantis; conch salad $14–$16.</em></p><p><strong>Twin Brothers</strong>. Near Arawak Cay, Nassau, this restaurant is a solid option for seafood, burgers, and, yes, conch. <em>twin​; entrées $18–$52.</em></p>
Categories: Travel

The Spanish Fish Restaurant 'Sweetbitter' Author Stephanie Danler Can't Forget

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 17:07
<p>“<em>Kokotxas al pil pil</em>,” the waiter said, setting down a plate of tiny gelatinous jewels in a cloudy sauce. All I knew about this strange seafood was that it had come from the incredibly biodiverse stretch of the Atlantic that I could see from the dining table. I was in Getaria, a fishing village in Spain’s Basque Country, at <a href="" target="_blank">Kaia-Kaipe</a>, a place where you could order fish heads — separated from the body — as a specialty, eyeballs included. My Spanish host poured me more Txakoli and whispered, “Don’t worry, it’s just hake cheeks.”</p><p>I was an assistant wine buyer, with no expectations for my first trip to Spain, just total intimidation at drinking and eating with wine professionals for six days. Txakoli is an effervescent, needle-sharp, dry white wine usually poured from high above the table so it foams into short, flat glasses, after which you shoot it back and ask for more. It’s made in three regions in the Basque Country, but two of the best wineries, Txomin Etxaniz and Ameztoi, are in Getaria, so close to the sea that the grapes wake up encrusted with salt. At nine that morning, “breakfast” had consisted of bottles of Txakoli accompanied by bread and pink, fleshy <em>anchoas,</em> the local salt-cured anchovies.</p><img alt="The dining room at Kaia-Kaipe restaurant in Spain "src=""><p>We’d rolled into Kaia-Kaipe for lunch at 3 p.m. As we knew from the grills lining every cobblestoned lane, the specialty of this town is grilled whole turbot, deconstructed tableside. The cooks of Getaria were so serious about grilling that they invented their own special cage, to execute it better. What separates Kaia-Kaipe from every other grill on the street is an astounding wine list that reads like a greatest-hits list of Spain. After the Txakoli, we moved on to Riojas — a bottle of 1981 López de Heredia, as ruby red and tart as if it had been bottled yesterday.</p><img alt="Kaia Kaipe restaurant in Spain's Basque region "src=""><p>This type of restaurant — where every single ingredient is the definition of local and made on site in a way so traditional it’s almost historic — has become the benchmark for what I look for when I travel. I have been eating in Spain for more than a decade now and have been to all the famous restaurants — the Arzaks, the Mugaritzs, the Etxebarris. But I’ve never felt about any of them the way I do about Kaia-Kaipe and the salty green hills of Getaria. It’s imbued not only with the romance of being my first but also the romance of simplicity. <em>Kokotxas</em> are, in fact, a piece of the fish from right below the gills that was once discarded but is now considered a delicacy. The cloudy <em>pil pil</em> sauce is just olive oil, garlic, and parsley. Of course, I knew none of that when I took my first bite — only that I immediately wanted another.</p>
Categories: Travel

Foraging in the Swedish Wilderness With Rosio Sanchez

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 17:06
<p>Deep in the forest of southern Sweden, I was struggling to keep up with chef Rosio Sanchez. As pine branches lashed my face and legs, she scampered ahead through the dense underbrush. Was this a return to childhood?</p><p>“I’m from <a href="" target="_blank">Chicago</a>,” Sanchez said, laughing. “There was no camping.” But there was a five-year stint at Noma. As René Redzepi’s former pastry chef, Sanchez clearly learned a thing or two about navigating the Nordic landscape from her mentor, the world’s preeminent foraging evangelist. Rolling up the sleeves of her white T-shirt to reveal a biceps inked with roses, she reached for a nearby branch, plucked off a fir shoot, and popped it in her mouth as casually as if it were a tortilla chip.</p><p>Sanchez and I were at Stedsans in the Woods, a back-to-nature retreat, restaurant, and permaculture farm founded by a Danish couple named Mette Helbæk and Flemming Hansen. Stedsans sits on 17 wooded acres on the shore of the bucolic Lake Halla, a two-and-a-half-hour drive north of Copenhagen, where Sanchez lives and works.</p><p>I was accompanying Sanchez on a culinary pilgrimage of sorts — a chance for her to escape the relentless pace of running restaurants and investigate the latest iteration of the wild, destination-centric Nordic dining culture pioneered by culinary icons like <a href="" target="_blank">Sweden’s Fäviken</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Koks, in the Faeroe Islands</a>.</p><img alt="Chef Rosio Sanchez at Stedsans in the Woods "src=""><p>We arrived on a warm day in June and checked in to newly built wooden cabins that were rustic (compost toilets, no electricity) yet comfortable, with soft, organic bedding and floor-to-ceiling windows framing the unspoiled forest. The trip was a rare break for the chef, who was missing only her third day of service since opening her first proper restaurant, <a href="" target="_blank">Sanchez</a>, in Copenhagen in December.</p><p>Back in 2015, Sanchez left Noma to launch <a href="" target="_blank">Hija de Sanchez</a>, a taqueria in the Torvehallerne food market inspired by the flavors she grew up with as the daughter of Mexican immigrants in Chicago’s La Villita neighborhood. She opened a second location in Kødbyen, Copenhagen’s meatpacking district, soon after. Then last year, Sanchez rejoined Redzepi at Noma Mexico, a pop-up in the jungle of Quintana Roo. “Noma Mexico inspired me to make Sanchez what it is,” she said. “If I hadn’t gone through that, it probably would’ve been another taqueria.”</p><p>Instead, Sanchez became a distillation of the chef herself, a modern, unpretentious restaurant with Mexican roots and high culinary ambitions. Already it’s a game-changing addition to Copenhagen’s restaurant scene. You’ll find gooseberries in the pozole and fjord shrimp in the tacos, but Sanchez won’t compromise on the tortillas, which means importing Oaxacan corn for the masa.</p><p>In the woods, however, there were no tortillas. The restaurant at Stedsans is resolutely Nordic, serving hearty, elemental feasts rooted in the seasons. The open air kitchen is powered solely by fire, so we found ourselves sipping aperitifs of Crémant beside makeshift grills strung from the trees before joining the other guests — a total of 12 that evening — for a family-style dinner.</p><img alt="Outdoor kitchen at Stedsans in the Woods, in Sweden "src=""><p>Aside from a platter of grilled pork, the meal focused on hyper-local produce, most of it grown on the farm or picked in the forest: late-spring asparagus, green onions, smashed potatoes, foraged herbs, and the magenta rose-hip blossoms we had seen on our afternoon walk. It’s light, unfussy cooking, which suits Sanchez perfectly. “I’ve been a pastry chef most of my life, so I don’t work with a lot of meat,” she said. But she does eat and drink like a chef — in other words, with gusto.</p><p>After a long, lively dinner, we walked down to the lake. It was that magical time of year when the night sky descends into twilight, but never darkness. We hopped aboard the retreat’s floating sauna, an unmoored wooden A-frame drifting freely on the water.</p><img alt="Breakfast at Stedsans in the Woods "src=""><p>Inside, Sanchez focused her intense gaze on the glowing stove. “I don’t think it’s hot enough, do you?” she asked. Before I could protest, she dumped another ladle over the embers and a cloud of steam filled the tiny sauna. Coasting across the surface of the glassy lake, the buzz of the city many miles away, she finally exhaled.</p><p><strong>How to Go:</strong> The best way to reach the retreat is by car. Göteborg, Sweden, is an hour and 45 minutes’ drive; Malmö, Sweden, is two hours; and Copenhagen is two-and-a-half hours. Cabins and tents are $763 for two people, with breakfast and dinner; <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Will Smith Celebrated His 50th Birthday by Bungee Jumping Out of a Helicopter Over the Grand Canyon (Video)

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 15:54
<p>For most people, a birthday cake and dinner with friends and family is enough to celebrate another trip around the sun. Will Smith <a href="" target="_blank">is not most people</a>.</p><p>To celebrate turning 50, Smith decided to turn his birthday up a notch by bungee jumping 1,000 feet out of a helicopter into the <a href="" target="_blank">Grand Canyon</a>. You read that correctly: <em>He bungee jumped out of a helicopter into the Grand Canyon.</em></p><p>The event, which was livestreamed on YouTube, came about after Smith was challenged by YouTubers <a href="" target="_blank">Yes Theory</a> to confront his fears. Smith told viewers on the livestream that he was “terrified of walking to the edge” after visiting the Grand Canyon as a child. “All my family walked up to the edge but I stayed back too scared to take in the beauty,” he said.</p><p>But now Smith is a different man. “I’ve made it a point in my life to attack anything that I’m scared of,” he said.</p><p>“Never look down,” Smith said as the helicopter was getting into position. And though he looked terrified as the countdown started, the “Men in Black” star jumped without hesitation, falling straight into one of the most beautiful natural areas on the planet.</p><p>“It goes from pure terror to pure bliss,” he said still dangling from the helicopter.</p><p>A crowd that included his wife, <a href="" target="_blank">Jada Pinkett-Smith</a>, children, and “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” co-star Alfonso Ribeiro cheered him on from the edge.</p><p>The jump was a charitable event to raise money for <a href="" target="_blank">Education Cannot Wait</a>, a global fund dedicated to providing education in areas of crisis. He also used the platform as an opportunity to raise awareness for <a href="" target="_blank">Global Citizen</a>, an organization dedicated to ending extreme poverty by 2030.</p>
Categories: Travel

Go Surfing With Dolphins and Eat Fried Piranha on This Cruise of the Brazilian Rain Forest

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 15:45
<p>The oropendolas sounded like a dripping faucet.</p><p>We couldn’t see these dark, yellow-tailed birds in the dusk, but their calls seemed fitting because we were gliding through a world of water. My wife, Kim, and I were deep in the Amazon rain forest. We were propelling our stand-up paddleboards along a narrow channel of <a href="" target="_blank">Brazil</a>’s Rio Negro. The forest on either side of us was flooded. The sky, finally clear after hours of rain, had burned to a dusky rose over the tops of the trees.</p><img alt="Rio Negro, Brazil "src=""><p>“Listen!” Kim said, then pointed. A toucan, perched on the limb of a tall ficus tree, cried out a piercing, flutelike note. Its silhouette seemed mostly made up of its huge bill. It felt like a miracle that it didn’t topple forward. Then we heard a sudden racket: a dozen scarlet macaws sailed overhead like a volley of arrows.</p><p>“It’s going to be dark soon,” I murmured. “And the guys on the boat said they saw a big caiman.” A caiman is basically Brazil’s version of a crocodile.</p><p>“I know,” Kim replied, but kept paddling up the creek, farther from safety. She was in thrall to the forest. A few minutes earlier she had guided us into a gap in the trees, where a troop of capuchin monkeys dropped figs on our heads. Now I looked over my shoulder to make sure there wasn’t a monster caiman rippling behind us in the last light.</p><p><img src="" /></p><p>We were 130 miles upriver from Manaus, the jungle capital where the Rio Negro merges with the Solimões River to form the <a href="" target="_blank">Amazon</a>. We had flown to the city a week before for a 12-day river voyage with Amazônia Expeditions, a Brazil-based company that specializes in customized tours of the region’s waterways. The trip was organized by Ian Miller, a paleontologist at the Denver Museum of Nature &amp; Science, and his wife, Robyn, a floral designer. They had assembled a loose group of friends, mostly from <a href="" target="_blank">Denver</a>, for a voyage to see some of the most diverse wildlife on the planet. The <em>Dorinha</em><i>,</i> our compact, triple-decked boat, was made especially for the Amazon Basin. It had a dozen cabins and a dining room finished in teak and mahogany; its open upper deck was lined with hammocks. It towed four canoes with outboard motors, which we used for excursions every morning and often at night.</p><p>We had spent the first few days of the trip on the busy Solimões, visiting villages, squeezing up small tributaries, and bird-watching on remote lakes. Then we returned to Manaus and headed up the wilder Rio Negro, whose water is dark with tannin from the thousands of square miles of trees that border it. Once we’d motored for 50 miles, we rarely saw a soul. This was the Amazon rain forest I’d always dreamed about.</p><p>The Amazon Basin has long been steeped in myth. Think of <em>Fitzcarraldo</em><i>,</i> Werner Herzog’s film about a would-be rubber tycoon’s obsession with building an opera house in the jungle, or English geographer Percy Fawcett’s doomed quest to find the ruins of an ancient civilization, as recounted in David Grann’s <em>The Lost City of Z</em> and its movie adaptation. Today, it’s difficult to separate the real from the imagined. After centuries of exploration, the region is still little understood. The World Wildlife Fund estimates that it contains millions of species, most of which have not even been identified. Its forests produce 20 percent of the planet’s oxygen. They are under growing threat of deforestation, and scientists fear that they may be lost before we even come to know them.</p><p><img src="" /></p><p>Before daybreak on the morning after our paddleboard adventure, a week into the trip, a recording of Pavarotti singing in <em>La Traviata</em> blasted over the ship’s speakers. This is the way Captain Moacir “Mo” Fortes likes to roust his passengers. It means you have 20 minutes to hit the canoes. I looked out of the porthole. We had traveled all night, and somewhere along the way Captain Mo had turned up a side channel and entered a broad lake. I could see the first ruddy smudges of dawn over the trees on the far shore and the shapes of small islands scattered across the water. The whole country seemed to echo and thunder with the sound of howler monkeys greeting the day.</p><p>I met Captain Mo on the lower deck. “Are we going bird-watching?” I said. “Or looking for monkeys or sloths?”</p><p>“No, Pedro,” he said, with a gleam in his eye. “We are going fishing.”</p><p>I soon learned that he meant fishing for piranhas.</p><p>The crew tied the <i>Dorinha</i> to a tree at the edge of a tributary called the Igarapé Água Boa, which now, at high water, looked nothing like a river. During the seasonal flooding, which lasts from January to June, it had expanded and spilled over the shorter trees. We climbed aboard the canoes and slipped along the western “shore” — the tops of the taller trees. Mo said the water was probably 15 feet above what was, in dry season, the riverbank.</p><img alt="Scenes from Amazonia "src=""><p>Mo showed us how to bait our lines with pieces of raw chicken and then bounce the bait off the riverbed. My meat never got there. I would feel a fierce tug, but when I jerked upward I would discover that my bait was gone. I’d heard what piranhas can do to a dead cow, and I shivered thinking that we had swum off the side of the boat the night before.</p><p>But Kim had the touch. She began bringing up one red-bellied piranha after another. Their little teeth were razor sharp. After she caught more than a dozen, Mo looked at her with the respect one great fisherman gives another. That evening, after a slightly nervous swim, we dined on a piranha fry. The fish were bony but delicious.</p><p><img src="" /></p><p>It was hard to believe that this flooded world, with little dry ground anywhere, was a seasonal occurrence—and that the animals and plants had evolved to live with it. We saw swimming snakes, turtles sunning on logs, flying squirrels that sailed through the lower canopy, and squirrel monkeys leaping from tree to tree as if they were taking a stroll.</p><img alt="Squirrel Monkeys in Amazonia, Brazil "src=""><p>Kim and I had packed inflatable paddleboards and a fly rod. Her fishing prowess inspired me. Why couldn’t I paddle out into the flood and fish off the board? It would just require a little balance.</p><p>The next day — the eighth of our trip, and the fourth up the Rio Negro — I paddled along the edge of<br />tall woods, wondering where I would be if I were a peacock bass. Most likely I’d be hunting the smaller fish hiding in those islands of brush, I thought. I moved into them and found myself in a maze of broad-leaved thicket that had trails and clearings like meadows — except that it was all water.</p><p>I tied on a fly made of a clump of feathers the size of a sparrow. The guy in the fly shop in Denver had said, “Down there, when in doubt, go big.” I began to cast. A squall of dusky-headed parakeets flew just over my head, which certainly never happened on my local creek. I dropped the fly just off the brush. Something jerked it hard. I told myself to keep my balance, remembering that I wasn’t standing on the bank of a river but a moving board. The fish hauled me toward the trees. I yelled with glee. I fought the fish for 20 minutes, but when I brought it in I was shocked to discover it was a small peacock bass. I was working the hook out, marveling at the fish’s crimson lower fins and green flanks, when I heard a crash a short distance away. I thought of the 15-foot caiman we had seen on the river at lunch. I began to hurry toward the boat, hoping I could remember where it was.</p><p><strong>Related</strong>: <a href="" target="_blank">10 Wildlife Trips Where You Can Get Up Close With the World’s Coolest Animals</a></p><p>That night we had a dance party on the top deck. One of the crew hauled out an electric keyboard. Clouds massed and covered the stars as House of Pain’s “Jump Around” echoed over the forest. The bartender kept pouring caipirinhas. Michael Mowry, a Denver public-art consultant, spun with his wife, Amy, a real estate developer. Claire Antoszewski, a physician’s assistant from Santa Fe, jumped around with John Hankla, a dinosaur paleontologist at the University of Colorado Boulder. Kim and I danced until we were dizzy. I wondered what the howler monkeys, trying to sleep in the pitch-dark forest, thought of our party.</p><p>The next morning we anchored just off a white-sand beach on the main river and took turns diving from the top deck. A few of us did backflips off the roof. Others just swam around in the black water, happy to be in a place few people had ever seen. Before turning the <em>Dorinha</em> around and cruising back to Manaus, Captain Mo turned off the engines and let the ship drift. On a hot, windless afternoon we anchored off a sand island in the middle of the river. Some of the crew and the other passengers played soccer on the sandbar. But I had begun to love paddling, so Kim and I launched the boards and headed upstream along the right bank.</p><p>Thick, ropy liana vines hung down into the water, and sprays of orchids — some cream-colored, some rose — flourished on the limbs of the trees. We saw a giant ceiba tree with buttress roots like low walls. We saw blue-and-gold macaws flying and black-crowned night herons crouching on branches. But mostly we just glided to the rhythm and soft plashes of the paddles.</p><img alt="Ceibo tree, Brazil "src=""><p>And then we heard the blow. Four dolphins swam to us, their pink flanks glistening. These were botos, the famed Amazon river dolphins, which, according to myth, can seduce the men living along the river. They were so close we could see their patterns of fine bluish freckles. They circled back and passed us again and chuffed and breathed. I felt a surge of kinship with these water-loving creatures.</p><p>A few heavy raindrops made rings on the black river. The shouts of the soccer players drifted to us on a fresh upstream breeze. In a few minutes the sky would crack open with a downpour that would make it hard to see and almost hard to breathe. But for now all was peace. We turned around. The dolphins cruised upstream, heading deeper into the heart of the forest.</p><h2>How to explore the Brazilian Amazon</h2><p>A number of <a href="" target="_blank">small cruise lines</a> navigate the great river and its tributaries, with excursions by land and water that offer a close look at rain-forest wildlife. Consider hiring a travel advisor who can expand your visit with further adventures throughout South America.</p><h2>Getting There</h2><p>Most Amazon cruises in Brazil depart from Manaus, in the state of Amazonas. There are several flights per day to Manaus from major cities, including Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, as well as nonstop flights from Miami on the Chilean airline LATAM.</p><h2>Tour Operators</h2><p>Locally owned charter cruise company <a href="" target="_blank">Amazônia Expeditions</a> has been navigating the Amazon for 37 years. The team excels at small-group cruises tailored to passengers’ interests, such as botany or sport fishing. <em>(Cruises for up to eight people from $2,350 per group per day.)</em></p><p>Amazon offerings from conservation-minded tour operator <a href="" target="_blank">Wildlife Worldwide</a> include group river safaris and bespoke private itineraries that take you to see the region’s animal inhabitants. Tack on a transfer to the biodiverse Pantanal, a wetlands region in southwestern Brazil, for a jaguar-tracking trip. <em>(Nine-day trips from $3,690.)</em></p><h2>Travel Advisors</h2><p>Rio-based Brazil specialist <a href="" target="_blank">Paul Irvine</a> <i>(800-690-6899;</i> is the founder of the South American travel firm <a href="" target="_blank">Dehouche</a> and a longtime member of the A-List, T+L’s collection of the world’s top travel advisors. He can plan custom riverboat itineraries, with stays at Brazil’s best rain-forest lodges, and a variety of post-cruise extensions, like a transfer to Trancoso to experience Bahia’s beaches and Afro-Caribbean culture.<i> </i><em>($800 minimum daily spend.)</em></p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Mary Curry</a><i> (406-540-1901;,</i> an adventure-cruise specialist on the A-List, can organize itineraries that put a river excursion in the context of a broader South American expedition. Her team at <a href="" target="_blank">Adventure Life</a> can book a small-ship cruise supplemented with a visit to Iguazú Falls, Machu Picchu, or the Galápagos Islands. <em>($200 minimum daily spend.)</em></p><h2>When to go</h2><p>Irvine notes that fluctuating water levels mean the Amazon changes dramatically from season to season. The rainy season, with intense showers, runs from December to April. River levels are highest between January and August, allowing access to small tributaries and secluded swimming holes. But the drier season, from September to November, is best for fishing, hiking, and visiting the region’s white-sand river beaches.</p><h2>What to pack</h2><p>Curry encourages travelers to take precautions against mosquitoes. Bring <a href="" target="_blank">strong repellent</a>, pretreat clothes with Permethrin spray, and get antimalarial medication from a doctor. Plan on taking light, <a href="" target="_blank">loose-fitting pants</a> and long-sleeved shirts in light colors. Evenings are cool, so pack layers.</p>
Categories: Travel

Alex Trebek Is Going on a Narwhal and Polar Bear Safari in Canada — and He Wants You to Go with Him (Video)

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 11:31
<p>What is the trip of a lifetime?</p><p>Next year, Alex Trebek will venture to the Arctic of Canada to spot narwhals and polar bears. And you could go with him.</p><p>In part of his capacity as <a href="" target="_blank">Honorary President of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society</a> (RCGS), Trebek will join a week-long expedition in next June with Arctic Kingdom.</p><img alt="Polar Bear, Arctic Kingdom "src=""><p>The <a href="" target="_blank">Narwhal &amp; Polar Bear Safari</a> will bring up to 16 travelers and Trebek to the northern section of Canada’s Baffin Island for icebergs, snow and (we’re assuming) the answers to many upcoming “Jeopardy” questions.</p><p>“Our shared goal with RCGS is to grow a deeper appreciation for the people, natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Canadian Arctic. As Canadians, we are privileged to have such a spectacular Arctic region and we hope to inspire people to explore this special part of our country,” Graham Dickson, president and founder of Arctic Kingdom, said in a statement. “We are honoured to welcome Alex Trebek, and travellers from around the world, to experience this incredible place we are so passionate about.”</p><p>The trip brings guests to the floe edge — the border between sea ice and the open ocean — of the island to experience one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems. According to Arctic Kingdom, June is a particularly great time to visit the area as animals congregate around the floe as the ice melts for the summer. Visitors are likely to spot belugas, narwhals, seals and many other types of animals.</p><img alt="Narwhal, Arctic Kingdom "src=""><p>Accommodations are at a premium safari camp on an Arctic beach, with the opportunity to immerse yourself in local Inuit culture.</p><p>The trip departs on June 18, 2019. Pricing starts at about $10,850 ($13,900 CAD) plus tax. If you’re short on cash, perhaps you could win the funds on “Jeopardy.” Start boning up on facts about icebergs.</p>
Categories: Travel

At the Country's Most Remote Distillery, the Rye Is Worth the Journey

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 11:01
<p>Driving to the headquarters of <a href="" target="_blank">Far North Spirits</a>, in Hallock, Minnesota (pop. 981), takes gumption and a functioning GPS system. The northernmost distillery in the lower 48 sits in the tip-top corner of the state, six hours northwest of the <a href="" target="_blank">Twin Cities</a> and an absent-minded turn from the <a href="" target="_blank">Canadian</a> border. <em>Field &amp; Stream</em> publisher Charles Hallock was this ag town’s namesake. It’s home to narrow county highways, shimmering silos, and open skies. The winters are bright and bruising. When it thaws, the town’s trusty siren whirs back into action; it rings at 6 p.m. each night, a signal to farm hands that dinner is warm.</p><p>%image2 article</p><p>Cheri Reese and Michael Swanson, Far North’s married co-founders, grew up together in Hallock. Her folks ran the flower shop; his family worked 1,200 acres of wheat and sugar beet fields, land the Swansons have owned for four generations. Both were thrilled, following high school, to leave their aging hometown in the rearview mirror. A decade later, in 2000, the pair reconnected on a holiday flight. Reese hadn’t planned on coming home from St. Paul that year, until her mom laid on some Lutheran guilt. Swanson, then living in Denver, looked slick in an ivory turtleneck sweater. Their first date was the very next afternoon a Christmas Day showing of "Castaway." (Swanson’s dad loaned his eager son a car and instructed him “not to say anything stupid.”)</p><p>The couple eventually settled in Minneapolis, where their careers were comfortable but uninspiring. Reese would float the idea of moving back north from time to time, usually in moments of soul sickness. “We had really secure jobs,” she says. “But at the end of the week, there was nothing left. We didn’t have anything to show for it. We had a Powerpoint or something vapid. Mike was honestly just losing his mind.”</p><p>%image6 article</p><p>During those dreamy conversations, they reached a few conclusions: 1) Were they to flee city life for the northern plains, Reese and Swanson would develop a <em>finished</em> product from the grains that Swanson’s family had long cultivated. 2) They also loved whiskey. In 2013, after loads of background research, training, and a few semesters of business school, Swanson felt comfortable swapping his Allen Edmonds for a pair of Red Wings. The two decamped back to Hallock, where Swanson’s parents had set aside one-quarter of their acreage for the new venture. The distillery opened for business that November.</p><p>The timing was opportune. A decade prior, there were only a handful of specialty distillers operating in the United States, maybe 50 or 60. Penetrating a market dominated by multinational conglomerates was nearly impossible. Then came the revival of cocktail culture and the subsequent liberalization of both state and federal liquor laws. Spirits drinkers were suddenly willing to pay a premium for flavor and character. According to the latest count from the <a href="" target="_blank">American Craft Spirits Association</a>, close to <em>1,600</em> craft distilleries are now up and running nationwide — making for a growth curve even steeper than the craft beer boom of the 1980s and 1990s.</p> <p>I met the Far North team at the distillery on a hazy afternoon in August, one of the year’s steamiest. Crops stretched deep into the distance, buried into topsoil so black it looked dyed. There weren’t any neighbors in sight, no other obvious signs of civilization — other than Reese, sliding open the wood door of the main building to welcome me in. Swanson swung around in his truck a minute later. He’d been out harvesting the rye that Far North planted last fall, and he didn’t mind taking a (modest) break to show me around.</p><p>%image3 article</p><p>Their facility — which Reese jokingly calls “The Chocolate Factory” — was built from scratch, right on top of an old wheat field. Inside are two copper stills (50 and 500 gallons), a gurgling mash cooker, open-air fermentation tanks, and dozens of wood barrels stacked neatly in the back. The building has no climate control; extreme temperature swings aid the aging process. Thanks to the mash, everything smells vaguely of hot cereal. It’s also eerily quiet, aside from the hum of equipment and the occasional purr from Eep, a formerly frost-bitten rescue cat who, like his adoptive family, was born and raised in Hallock.</p><p>The concept of <em>terroir</em>, more commonly associated with <a href="" target="_blank">wine</a> and, lately, coffee, is seeping into the vocabulary of craft distillers. It’s the idea that agricultural products are shaped by the climate and the culture in which they’re grown. Corporate distillers tend to use a few giant commodity suppliers; everything starts to taste standardized, even bland. Even among craft distillers, very few grow their own ingredients.</p><p>%image5 article</p><p>Swanson and Reese are a new breed; like chefs, they’re thinking hard about how to maximize the natural strengths of Hallock and the surrounding region. Swanson monitors the entire process starting when the seeds are planted, giving him tight control over quality and taste. He can pick the precise variant of crop, can tweak the spices in each individual batch, can fiddle with his dials if necessary during production. Their land, meanwhile, is nutritionally (and sentimentally) rich, the same fertile pastures that Swanson’s great-grandparents tilled a century ago, fresh off a boat from Sweden.</p><p>Rye — a hardy, drought-resistant grain particularly suited to the soil of both Minnesota and Scandinavia — serves as the foundation for Far North’s sharpest offerings, all of which have Nordic names, specific personalities, and a distinct Minnesota heritage. Reese describes <a href="" target="_blank">Solveig</a>, their first gin, as light and floral, “like Cate Blanchett in a cashmere sweater.” <a href="" target="_blank">Roknar</a>, the outrageously smooth whiskey for which they’re best known, evokes “Steve McQueen in a convertible — the strong, silent type.”</p><p>%image4 article</p><p>Locals were excited when Reese and Swanson moved back, if skeptical of their ambitions. “Northwest Minnesotans are very quiet and passive-aggressive,” Swanson says. “They were like, ‘That sounds <em>different</em>.’” It took only a few months, and a few sips of Solveig, to win them over. On Saturday evenings, Hallockians now stream into <a href="" target="_blank">Far North’s airy tasting room</a>, bellying up to the polished bar for cocktails with birch paper straws. (Considering the beauty of the space and the caliber of the drinks, the prices — $6 for something mixed, $3 for a pour — are shockingly low.) Along one wall, there’s a stack of t-shirts with a simple question printed on the back: <em>Who’s your whiskey farmer?</em></p><p>The couple filled their 100,000th bottle in August, a major milestone for what’s effectively a Mom-and-Pop shop. Distribution is growing steadily, in line with Far North’s burgeoning reputation. (Their wares are stocked at some 1,100 bars or liquor stores nationwide, in the Midwest and on both coasts.) In the past calendar year, they’ve hosted visitors from 23 states and six countries, far-flung locations that Reese marks dutifully on a pinboard map in the warehouse. Those who trek up are rewarded with a comprehensive tour of Far North's operation, charming conversation, and drinks as sophisticated as any you’d find in a big-city bar.</p><p>%image8 article</p><p>The distillery has even inspired a modest cultural boom in Hallock itself, a city struggling to stanch depopulation. A craft brewery (<a href="" target="_blank">Revelation Ale Works</a>) opened 18 months after Far North, along with a funky coffee shop (Bean and Brush) and a tasteful Airbnb (<a href="" target="_blank">The Scandinavia</a>), options that compliment northern Minnesota’s abundant camping and hunting. Hallock’s Main Street Committee recently hired a Minneapolis-based creative agency, <a href="" target="_blank">Bodega Ltd.</a>, to help reshape the town’s image, with the goal of attracting 100 new residents over the next decade. (Drawing inspiration from the vastness of the landscape and from Donald Judd’s work in <a href="" target="_blank">Marfa, Texas</a>, the firm landed on the tagline “Things are clearer up here.”) Lindsey Evenson, who runs Revelation with her husband, calls Far North “pioneers.”</p><p>Reese admits that building a life on the geographic margins sounds loony. It’s certainly full of logistical challenges: finding qualified employees, minimizing shipping costs, enduring long and lonely winters. In truth, the owners (along with assistant distiller Johny Barbosa) put in grueling hours, sometimes in adverse conditions, nearly all on their own.</p><p>And it’s a mistake, Reese argues, “to assume that because there are 6,000 breweries, there can be 6,000 distilleries.” Given the spirits explosion, winning shelf space is no easy feat, and corporate distillers have pursued acquisitions or taken minority positions in promising upstarts. “There are 30 Minnesota gins on the market right now,” Reese says. “There aren’t that many gin drinkers. In <em>London</em>, there aren’t that many gin drinkers! I think we’re going to reach a tipping point.”</p><p>%image7 article</p><p>Still, the folks at Far North are confident about the future. They trust their hands and their instincts. They’re deeply connected to that inky Minnesota soil. Swanson, the consummate farm kid, isn’t afraid to take apart his equipment and experiment. Down the line, they’d like to extend their barreling room, maybe add another still, size up the fermenters. They recently hired a Swedish production assistant; his accent is as thick as his beard. They want the world to see, up close, what sets Northwest Minnesota apart. Their project is by no means a marketing gimmick.</p><p>Not long ago, some <a href="" target="_blank">Napa Valley</a> winemakers swung through Hallock, careening down the gravel road that bends toward Far North’s grain bins, kicking up dust behind them. Swanson couldn’t believe they traveled all that way. (“Was it because Napa was on fire!?”) The winemakers had found Far North Spirits on shelves out west and were stunned to see that Swanson personally dug up the rye they’d later imbibe.</p> <img alt="Facility, Far North Spirits" src=""> Courtesy of Far North Spirits <p>“Being in the middle of nowhere,” he says, “can work in your favor.”</p><p><em>The cocktail room at <a href="" target="_blank">Far North Spirits</a> is open every Saturday from 4-8 p.m, unless noted. The distillery also offers private tours by request; to visit, get in touch through their website (f<a href="" target="_blank"></a>).</em></p>
Categories: Travel

You'd Never Guess Disneyland's Scariest Ride This Halloween

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 11:00
<p><a href="" target="_blank">Disneyland</a> is known for going all out at holiday celebrations, and Halloween time at the two California theme parks is no exception. Guests can enjoy cheerful Jack-o’-lanterns lining Main Street U.S.A., Haunted Mansion’s re-emergence as a silver screen joyride, and plenty of festive photo ops — all for the price of a main gate ticket. It’s all delightfully family-friendly, but there’s one addition to the seasonal lineup that might actually have you spooked.</p><p>The biggest fright at the Anaheim resort comes not from Oogie Boogie shouting at guests from Disney California Adventure’s front gates or a headless horseman watching over Buena Vista Street. No, the scariest Disney experience you’ll find this fall is on <a href="" target="_blank">Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy</a>.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">11 Theme Park Halloween Celebrations That'll Have You Screaming for More</a></p><p>With an ever-so-slightly demonic overlay to the out-of-this-world roller coaster proving to be as fun as it is frightening, the seasonal changes to this Tomorrowland favorite will make you scream for reasons beyond its dips and turns. Gone is the funky uptempo soundtrack and star-speckled sky fans know and love, and in its place comes a tense tune and bouts of pitch-black darkness, causing every banked turn and sudden drop to feel faster than usual.</p><img alt="The Space Mountain "Ghost Galaxy" ride at Disneyland during Halloween season "src=""><p>As for that galaxy of ghosts, the fiery undead appear throughout the ride, popping up overhead or with skeletal arms projected to reach out towards your rocket as the eerie sounds leave you out in deep space with nowhere left to turn. This intergalactic thrill ride is still somewhat child-friendly, but be warned. Nothing about the actual attraction changes — the track and queue are all the same — but even the Pumpkin King himself taking helm of Haunted Mansion’s graveyard scene can’t compare to the unexpected spooks on this riveting re-done roller coaster.</p><p>It’s not Disneyland’s only ride redux for the season, and in fact, it’s not even the only thrill-stacked one. Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: BREAKOUT! completely changes it theme in fall, transforming to become a sequel to the high-energy fortress escape with new music, scenes and story beginning each night at 5pm. Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree and Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters in Cars Land offer delightfully sweet Halloween updates throughout the fall, a tradition that began last year, and Haunted Mansion twists itself into its very own The Nightmare Before Christmas ride, complete with an enormous gingerbread house on display that changes each year. (2018’s version is a neon green graham cracker mansion covered in spiderwebs and topped with a five foot spider.)</p><p>Still, the lighting effects paired with pulsating music and those make for a haunting journey, one that makes a brilliant Halloween-ready effect, as Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy runs until October 31st. You may not have your decorations up, costumes made or candy prepped for trick-or-treaters, but after one ride on this Disneyland bonanza, you’ll be all set for the holiday to arrive.</p>
Categories: Travel

Meghan Markle’s Trick for Avoiding Germs on a Flight Is Kind of Genius

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 10:31
<p>Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, is a thoroughly modern woman. She does <a href="" target="_blank">close her own car doors after all</a>. But, it turns out, like the rest of us, she too has some old-school remedies to ward off illness while traveling.</p><p>In a recently unearthed post from Meghan’s now-defunct lifestyle blog, <em><a href="" target="_blank">The Tig</a></em>, Meghan gave perhaps one of the the best tips we’ve ever heard to avoid catching a cold on a plane.</p><p>“If you’ve been tracking my social media of late, you’ll notice that not a week goes by without me finding my derrière on a plane,” Meghan wrote in 2016, just prior to announcing her engagement. “Yes, it’s fun, and yes, it’s purpose-driven, and yes, it can sometimes feel quite glamorous; but, jet-setting (for work or pleasure) comes with its own set of complications. The foremost issue is self-care.”</p><p>She then noted a few of her favorite ways to stay healthy on the go, including wiping down her seat, remote, and TV on a plane with sanitizer before sitting down, always having <a href=";tag=tlmeghanneosporin-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=B00141B7SS&amp;linkId=6331bdd8bc2e3ef93f65bb94981781a6" target="_blank">a probiotic</a> handy, and never leaving home without a scarf.</p><p>Those seem fairly obvious. But, then Meghan added this gem: “A dear friend of mine once told me that Leonardo DiCaprio gave her an excellent travel tip. I know – I could have written an entire post on this conversation alone. What is it, you ask? Evidently, he said that to avoid getting sick on planes, he puts a little <a href=";tag=tlmeghanneosporin-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=B00164IIUI&amp;linkId=8722fbd1132708aaebc9af93bf611671" target="_blank">Neosporin</a> on a cotton swab and coats the inside of his nostrils.”</p><p>Yes, Meghan, by proxy, got some good advice from DiCaprio and has been using it ever since.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">You Might Already Have Meghan Markle’s $5 Secret to Glowing Skin in Your Bathroom</a></p><p>“Not only does it create a barrier for germs, it also lubricates the skin in the nose,” she continued. “That’s important because when the skin cracks, germs can come a running in, so the coating of the Neosporin doubly protects you.”</p><p>As she noted, this was some seriously secondhand information, so while she can’t promise Leo actually does this, she can promise that she does. “It’s a great tip. Try it!”</p><p>The next time you’re on a flight, give this royally approved trick a try (or test another one of these <a href="" target="_blank">ways to avoid catching the flu on a flight</a>), and then, just for fun, imagine Meghan helping the Queen dab a bit of Neosporin into her nose during their next royal engagement.</p>
Categories: Travel

Primera Air Has Ceased Operations — Here's What to Do If You Have an Upcoming Flight

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 09:51
<p>Thousands of passengers were left with “worthless tickets” on Monday when Primera Air suddenly ceased operations after 14 years of service, <a href="" target="_blank">the <em>Independent</em> reported</a>. Many travelers found out the airline was shutting down while they were waiting to board their flights to New York City and Washington, D.C.</p><p>“On behalf of Primera Air team, we would like to thank you for your loyalty. On this sad day we are saying Goodbye to all of you,” the company said on its website.</p><p>At the time that the news was announced, there were only three Primera flights in the air, and one of the airline's planes had already been impounded at Stansted airport in London.</p><p>“Weighting [sic] the potential losses due to future delivery delays... and bearing in mind the difficult environment that airlines are facing now due to low prices and high fuel costs, we have decided to cease operations now,” Primera said in a statement. The airline will cease all operations at midnight on October 2.</p><p>The news officially broke when a Primera Air crew member shared an e-mail from Anders Ludvigsson, Primera's director of flight operations.</p><p>In the e-mail, Ludvigsson states that the delays in getting new Airbuses created high costs for “wet lease and cancellations,” which ultimately led to the airline's demise.</p><p>The bankruptcy comes just months after the <a href="" target="_blank">airline began operating flights between North American and Europe</a>.</p><h2>What to Do If You Booked a Primera Air Flight</h2><p>Unfortunately, if you have a flight booked with Primera Air, you will no longer be able to contact them via e-mail or phone if you wish to follow up with them for more information. For updates, the airline promises to provide customers with more information on its website in the coming days.</p><p>You will also need to reschedule your flights with another airline.</p><p>It is unknown whether Primera will refund your tickets, so you will need to get in touch with your credit card company or travel insurance provider in order to get your money back.</p><p>If you booked your flights through a tour operator or travel agent, contact them for more information.</p>
Categories: Travel

Adorable Puppy Escapes the House, Then Rings the Doorbell to Get Back In

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 09:39
<p>All good boys know they should always use the doorbell.</p><p>According to the <a href="">Spokesman-Review</a>, a golden retriever puppy named Marshall, living outside Spokane, Washington, managed to ring the doorbell to let his owner know that he was ready to come back inside.</p><p>The pooch accidentally got out of the house and had locked himself on the porch on Tuesday, September 25.</p><p>According to <a href="">Gizmodo</a>, Marshall's owner, Greg Basel, had a <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Nest video doorbell system</a> installed to produce a knocking sound whenever someone comes to ring the bell. Nest customers can customize their notification sounds through an app.</p><p>As Marshall pawed at the door, the video taken by the doorbell system shows the “knocking” sound as the puppy sniffs the camera. Luckily, his owner was home to let him in and you can hear the door opening at the tail end of the video.</p><p><em>Good boy, Marshall</em>. He’ll be bringing in the paper and helping deliver packages in no time.</p>
Categories: Travel

20,000 Bees Built a Nest in a Plane's Engine in South Africa

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 07:32
<p>On Sept. 23, King Shaka International Airport in Durban, South Africa was buzzing with activity as a swarm of bees built a nest in an aircraft engine, delaying three flights.</p><p>According to <a href="" target="_blank">News24</a> in South Africa, it took less than 25 minutes for the bees to settle into the <a href="" target="_blank">Mango Airlines</a> plane.</p><p>"This is incredibly rare. I have certainly never seen anything like this in my eight years in the aviation industry," said Mango Airlines spokesman Sergio dos Santos.</p><p>The low-budget airline called in beekeepers to help them safely remove the insects from their passenger airplane.</p><p>The process was "hectic," said Melvyn Dawson, a beekeeper from bee removal company A Bee C. "Ground control was frantic. They wanted us to do it as quickly as possible because of the flight being delayed."</p><p>Before they could begin transporting the bees, however, they had to obtain permits as mandated by aviation regulations. Typically, they would have smoked out the bees, but because the smoke would have damaged the plane, they used palm fronds to gather up the insects and remove them from the engine.</p><p>For now, the insects are being housed at Dawson's brother's home, reported <a href="" target="_blank">News 24</a>. They will later be sent to stay at macadamia farms and with other beekeepers.</p><p>Mike Miles, chairperson of the <a href="" target="_blank">South African Bee Industry Association</a>, believes the insects did not intend to remain in the engine for long. "Normally those places are greasy, smelly and hot and not at all ideal as a permanent home for bees," he told <a href="" target="_blank">News24</a>. "Bees prefer secluded wood cavities. This is very unusual."</p><p>Although Mango Airlines had never dealt with an infestation like this before, this is not the first time the black and yellow creatures have tried honeymooning on an aircraft before.</p><p>At Miami International Airport in March 2017, an <a href="" target="_blank">American Airlines flight was detained for four hours</a> when thousands of bees made their nest near the cargo hold area.</p><p>And in 2016, a <a href="" target="_blank">US Air Force fight was grounded</a> when approximately 20,000 bees were found clinging to its exhaust nozzle.</p><p>In both instances, beekeepers were called in for assistance.</p>
Categories: Travel

You Can Now Get Boozy Push-pops at Disney World

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 06:36
<p>It’s no secret that you can find tons of tasty and boozy treats in Disney Springs, but the latest icy dessert from Paddlefish Restaurant at the <a href="" target="_blank">Walt Disney World</a> Resort really takes the cake (or, ice cream, rather).</p><p>The Walt Disney Resort announced on Wednesday that the restaurant will now be serving boozy push-pops (you know, kind of like the Flintstones-themed ones you got as a kid, but for adults) from Buzz Pop Cocktails, <a href="" target="_blank">according to <em>People</em></a>.</p><p>Of course, these alcoholic ice pops are have more adult flavors and packaging than the ones you remember. They come in eight flavors — including mango passionfruit, lemon drop martini, and blueberry pomegranate — all made with fresh fruit and rum.</p><p>The CEO for Buzz Pop Cocktails told <em>People</em> that White Russian and grasshopper sorbet flavors will be available this winter. So, any time is a good time for ice cream.</p><p>Boozy treats are becoming pretty easy to come by at Disney, especially since the park started allowing <a href="" target="_blank">alcohol to be served in sit-down restaurants in the Magic Kingdom</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel