HOUSE KEEPING: Remember when you click on the pictures in "Where's Johnny Jet," they will open up in another window. Just click the "x"(close) in each picture to get back to the newsletter. This should alleviate complaints about closing Johnny Jet. Thanks again for your support, and remember: If you book trips on the web, please go through JohnnyJet.com. (It will save you money).
Happy New Year! What a stellar travel year 2009 was for me personally, as I visited over 20 countries on five continents. In case you missed last week's newsletter with all the breakdowns of my 2009 travels and a slideshow of my favorite 2009 hotel rooms, here's the link. I'm also including a single webpage of 109 pictures from my 2009 travels, which I forgot to post last week.
NEW YEAR'S EVE
I don't know about you, but New Year's Eve to me is the most overrated night of the year. I found the perfect fun, free alternative to spending a lot of money at some restaurant or bar with people you don't know who won't stop spilling their drink(s) on you. It's visiting the Rose Parade floats while they add last-minute touches; the action starts around 10 p.m. and lasts until the parade begins at 8 a.m.
ROSE PARADE FLOATS
I spent this New Year's Eve walking up and down brilliantly lit Orange Grove Boulevard with a few friends and several hundreds of onlookers, getting an up-close free sneak peek at the Rose Parade floats before anyone else. I never really appreciated or even tuned in to the Rose Parade, which airs in a remarkable 127 countries, until after taking part in this event the night before. The same can be said about the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City: Television does not do the floats justice and it really is an incredible sight to see in person, especially since the Rose Parade floats must have all surfaces covered in natural material.
This year's participants included 39 floral floats (corporations and community organizations), 23 equestrian units, and 21 marching bands. The theme was "A Cut Above the Rest" and Captain Sully was the Grand Marshall.
*If you heard about us somewhere else or have the link to the story please email Johnny Jet media and let us know where!
SOME OF LAST WEEK'S READER AIR-eMAIL
I think I like the new format - at least it's something different. Wow - almost 150,000 miles traveled this year and away from "home" for more than half the year. Keep these trips in your newsletter. Happy New Year to you and your family! Geof O'Connor San Diego
Go Johnny go! You are a travel animal!! :) Have to add sea days in their too! Anita P - Pennsylvania
"Who would have ever thought that you would be flying all over!! Hope you have a Happy New Year Julie L 0 Orange County, CA
What you see is what you get in Colombia. Have been traveling there for 15 years. The service everywhere is the best!! NICE VIDEO! Gchoice -
Always enjoy the newsletter. Go and see "Up In The Air". Steve Charlton - Montreal (retired Air Canada employee)
Couldn't agree more with your comments about the knuckleheads at the TSA! Just go on making the travel experience as miserable as possible for millions of people while constantly dropping the ball on nailing those bastards even when they're served up on a silver platter like this last guy. Absolute window dressing and closing of barn doors after the horses have bolted. We've been taking off our shoes and carry miniscule toiletries in see-thru bags, as if those methods would be used again. Next, I guess we'll probably have to lower our pants or soon check-in stark naked while our cloth go thru the screener......! Happy New Year and enjoy your flying - I for one will continue to stay closer to home or drive! Joe B - Connecticut
I like your new format. I've been reading your letter for many years and have seen it improve as you mature (I'm an old guy so I can get away with saying this). Over the years I've travelled a fair amount both domestically and internationally and find your attention to details to be outstanding. Maybe you're a little too fearful at times but then again, it's probably better to be a little too cautious than being too reckless. The only suggestion I would add is to put captions to the photos...I know it's a pain but it should help the reader more quickly scan through pieces. (I take a lot of photos too using my PowerShot when I don't want to bother with a big camera and a Nikon D-90 when I'm a little more serious). Keep up the good work, and keep having fun. I think that is what makes your site so readable. Best to you and Happy New Year, Joe E – Charlotte, N.C.
Great e-dition! Seems they're going after blogger Gwyneth Paltrow of all people as well for not making it clear she was on a junket when she BLOGGED about Morocco. Welcome to the era of 'new' freedom. Happy New Year and keep travelin' Peter Z - NYC
Love this issue! I flew this week and will post. Meryl P – Boston, MA
I am SO jealous! Bogotá is one of my top five cities in the world! Twice in Colombia this year and I never felt safer! Uribe rocks! Sebastian W - NYC
Thank you for showing my beautiful country... I hope you had a great time. Caicedo -
Will be there in a few weeks! Love Love Love Colombia! Marcela M - Los Angeles, CA
THAT WAS A QUICK FLIGHT... Can you please bring home that white powder stuff in the bag... I need to make some extra money... Thanks Dude! John D - Huntington Beach, CA
Welcome to Colombia. One day you need to visit PARQUE TAYRONA, PUEBLITO, SAN ANDRES, SANTA MARTA, and most definitely, MEDELLIN. Ill send you an album i have on here with a quick view of these wonders we have in Colombia. Del T - Norwalk, CT
Saw Uribe interview on TV. He makes good impression and is serious about ending violence and drug cartels in Columbia. Appears to be succeeding. Peter K - Austria
President Uribe is an impressive man and I am a witness to all the positive changes over the last 7 years Colombia's gone thru. A smart man and a great orator.
Beware the aguardiente! Amanda C -
I'm jealous. Always wanted to go there! Have fun. Chris M – San Francisco
D.C. HOTEL TIP
Just returned from a drive from Macon, GA to Portland, ME for Christmas. Spent almost a week in DC to do the museums and get a personal tour of the Capitol. One Washington Circle Hotel features rooms with full kitchens and free Wi-Fi. It's located on Washington Circle just down from Dupont Circle, near the Foggy Bottom Metro. At $99 per night, we found it the perfect spot. We got snowed in for two days during their worst ever snowstorm, but as we were just 2 blocks from a Trader Joe's we were able to survive like kings! It should be on your budget list for folks "Doing-DC." Karen Quinn - Macon, GA
A COUPLE TRIP REPORTS
Hi – I traveled today (12/30) out of O’Hare and through Atlanta. Security at O’Hare was very quick to get through with no new procedures that weren’t already in place before the Christmas incident. Atlanta was just regular-busy, not crazy. All in all, I had early arrivals into O’Hare on 12/24 from Orlando and on-time arrives today. My good travel karma continues. Carol Margolis, Founder SmartWomenTravelers.com
Dear Mr. Jet, As usual, we turn to Johnny Jet information announcements for the most up to date travel services domestically and internationally. We inadvertently chose British Airways for a direct flight to LHR from PHX on the exact dates of the proposed BA crew flight strike. Undaunted, we chose a 'stiff upper lip' and took advantage of the free changes and extended our trip by one extra day, knowing full well the strike was preposterous and somehow would not take place (prediction true!). Next, we tackled the weather issue, but unfortunately, the flight leaving Phoenix the previous day (Dec. 20) got rerouted due to snow to DUBLIN for an overnight! Well, that scenario would have worked out well for us, as we would have raised a pint to our wonderful 'misfortune'. The BA flight crew couldn't have been more pleasant and attentive. There really isn't any real joy to holiday travel particularly in coach, but everyone did the best under the circumstances for the 9+ hour flight and couldn't really find any reason to complain. I spoke with one crew member regarding the excellent service and patience of the flight crew and gave her a 'thumb's up' and a vocal "Well Done!" Her response was, "Don't believe everything you read in the British press." My wife and I agree with J Jet's terse words regarding the stupidity of the snap judgements of the TSA punishing the Americans and causing tighter restrictions on an already constricted and taxed system. I am still incensed that I have to remove my shoes at airport security after the inane act of one individual. Thankfully, British Airways, considered most of these guidelines as rubbish and loosened up considerably. Kudos go out to the fast actions of the gentleman (Jasper Schuringa), that helped thwart the attempted act of 'stupid terrorism' on Christmas day. After 911, we all must be less little lambs and more vigilant activists to our immediate travel surroundings. I hope Mr. Schuringa is decorated ceremoniously by the US and Delta Airlines. What a joy to see luggage, travel accessories and worldwide travel planning shops whilst in London. The shop I visited near Covent Garden was busting with customers researching and plenty lined up at the tills to make purchases. What a joy to see! Naturally, this is probably the most important part of your advice. We need these crews to be nicer to us more than ever, so don't forget to thank them for good service. "And of course, don’t forget to pack your patience and be extra friendly to the airport personnel and flight crew—they are just as upset as you are with these new restrictions." We fly again Saturday, returning to Phoenix. We will keep you updated as to the 'progress' of air travel. Keep up the good work Johnny J! Please, don't stop traveling, we need you out there! Talley HO! Dewey J Bub, Phoenix, AZ
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