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You're running late for a flight. The taxi your ordered never showed up, so the only way you'll make your flight is to drive yourself to the airport. After speeding down the freeway you finally arrive, only to find a shortage of convenient and affordable parking. This is one of the most nerve-racking things to happen to a traveler. Now, thanks to AirportParkingReservations.com, it will never happen again.
Thanks to this website, you can make a guaranteed airport parking reservation from home before you leave. And it doesn't just work for emergencies. There's no need to arrive at the airport early, searching for a parking space - you can reserve a spot a few hours to several months in advance online. Best of all, the price is low.
Simply select your airport, enter your travel itinerary, choose your parking vendor, and book your reservation by paying for one day online. It's quick, safe, guaranteed, and the pre-paid day will be deducted from your bill at the parking lot. You can sort parking selections by price, parking type (self, valet, indoor) and parking company. (Some lots may be listed more than once because they provide multiple parking choices). All parking operators are secure, and within 5 minutes of the airport. Most are open 24 hours, and all provide free transportation to and from the terminals.
One hint: When you make a reservation online, enter the time you expect to arrive at the parking facility -- NOT your flight time. Remember, most airlines require check-in 1-3 hours prior to departure.
AirportParkingReservations.com includes over 50 airports in the US and Canada: Anchorage, Albany, Albuquerque, Atlanta, Baltimore, Birmingham, Boise, Boston, Burbank, Charleston, Chicago Midway, Chicago O'Hare, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Dayton, Denver, Detroit, El Paso, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Hartford, Honolulu, Houston (Bush), Houston (Hobby), Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, Little Rock, Los Angeles, Manchester, Miami, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, New York JFK, New York Laguardia, Newark, Norfolk, Oakland, Omaha, Ontario, Orlando, Palm Beach, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, Providence, Raleigh-Durham, Richmond, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Spokane, St. Louis, Tampa, Toronto, Winnipeg.
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Greetings, and once again Happy 2004! I hope you had a great week. Last week I told you about my amazing flight from Erie, PA to West Palm Beach, FL. Not only was it so cool to fly on a private jet, but it was also a great feeling to leave such a freezing cold place, and a couple of hours later land in a hot, sunny destination. It blows my mind that man has the ability to do this in such a short time -- and for so little money. Stepping off that plane brought back the surreal feeling I used to get when I was young. Going from cold Connecticut (where I grew up) to Florida was special. These days I live in Southern California, and it's just not the same feeling to fly somewhere tropical. I get spoiled living here.
As I mentioned last week, we were fortunate to stay at my cousin AJ and Jamie's amazing house in Palm Beach while they were away. They actually live in Palm Beach Gardens, which is 15 minutes north of Palm Beach and PBI (West Palm Beach International Airport). The big difference between the two places is that Palm Beach is on the water, and PB Gardens is not. In other words, PB Gardens is a lot cheaper than Palm Beach. Don't get me wrong -- it's still pricey. It’s just not outrageous.
It didn't matter to us that they don’t live real close to the beach, because their house was so plush and comfortable we didn't want to leave. It is in a gated community bordering three golf courses, in a neighborhood that is scary quiet. There must be a ton of older residents, because I never heard anything or saw anyone. It was the perfect place to relax and do nothing. Their house is huge, with high ceilings (25 feet high), a gigantic kitchen, 4 bedrooms, 5 1/2 bathrooms, and a pool and hot tub. Speaking of AJ and Jamie, this Monday night (January 19) at 10 you can see their wedding featured on ABC-TV (along with 9 other celebrities). You might even see me on the tube (I was a best man and practically stood on top of AJ during the ceremony).
After relaxing around the house and pool all day, we decided to go out for din-din. We drove to CityPlace in West Palm Beach. CityPlace is a fairly new shopping plaza. It's big, clean, has plenty of shops and restaurants, and feels European. CityPlace : Okeechobee Boulevard (just east of I-95), West Palm Beach, FL.; tel.: 561-366-1000.
After hitting a few shops, we ate outside under a heat lamp (it did get chilly at night) at an Italian restaurant called Il Bellagio. The food was good, but the worst part about CityPlace is trying to find parking. It’s a nightmare, making traffic around CityPlace horrendous. We waited half an hour for the valet to get our car. After we complained, we were told we were lucky to get valet parking at all, because the lot fills up quickly. Il Bellagio; tel.: (561) 659-6160.
The following day we lounged around the house again. The highlight was helping my niece and nephew catch lizards. Those suckers (or should I say amphibians) are quick. Later that night we went to dinner at another fine Italian restaurant: Carmine's Ocean Grill & Sushi Bar (it seems kind of odd to have Italian food and a sushi bar together, but it worked). Carmine's Ocean Grill & Sushi Bar; 2460 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens; tel.: (561) 624-1141. The owners also have a great gourmet market, which we frequented often for takeout. Carmine's Gourmet Market, PGA Blvd. #172, Palm Beach Gardens, tel.: (561) 775-0105.
The next day we got a surprise visit from my cousin Dennis and his family. Remember, I stayed with them in Chicago on December 23, and on Christmas Eve we went to ORD together? Then I headed to Erie, and they hit Palm Beach to see relatives. Down in Florida, Dennis was kind enough to come over and help me baby-sit (I foolishly agreed to watch the kids when my sister and brother-in-law went off golfing). Actually, Dennis' kids Bea and Willem did most of the babysitting. Dennis and I took the kids to breakfast at a place called Off The Vine. The food and the service were good. Off The Vine, 5530 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens; tel.: (561) 799-6655.
The highlight of the day was driving down AJ and Jamie's street, and seeing a coconut in their neighbors’ driveway. We told my nephew Johnny to hurry up and grab it. He was so funny the way he ran, he acted like he was in Mission Impossible. Back at the house I couldn't find a machete (surprising, huh?) to open it, so I made do with a hammer and screwdriver. It worked, and the kids screamed like I was a hero when I opened it. Ummm ummm, was that coconut good!
The next day we talked Dennis and his family into staying with us for a couple of nights, in AJ's pool house. Dennis is AJ's brother, and their dad (my Uncle Joe) lives close by in the winter. Uncle Joe, invited us to hang out at his new club, The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club & Spa . Surprisingly, this is not a hotel; it's just an "elite enclave centered around championship golf, with a 68,000-square-foot club house and spa" (that’s from the Ritz- Carlton website). There are different options for joining this unique property. You can become a club member, buy into a timeshare, or buy one of their new homes as a permanent residence. Whichever you choose, this place is plush. As is the case with every Ritz-Carlton, the service is amazing.
When we pulled into the club we looked like a bunch of hillbillies. We carried our change of clothes in a plastic garbage bag, and weren't dressed all preppy like most everyone else. A funny thing happened when we got lost after going through through the security gate. We pulled up to their model home for directions to the pool. Little Johnny was with us, and as we were talking I saw my nephew take off his shirt. He was just about to
jump in the hot tub in the house, thinking that was the pool. Too funny!
Well, Johnny and the rest of us were pleasantly surprised when we saw the real pool and hot tub. We hung out and chilled down by the pool, while the ladies were off getting massages, pedicures and things like that. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a member (or just want to fantasize about it), click here.
You probably know that my cousin Dennis and I always try to play tricks on each other. When we first pulled into the Ritz, he told all the kids to make sure to behave -- no running or screaming. I wanted to take a dip in the pool, but instead of walking to the bathroom to change, I wrapped a towel around my shorts and started putting my bathing suit on at the pool. When it was down around one ankle, I saw Cousin Dennis sneaking up on me to pull my towel off. I had no desire to stand there naked in front of all the guests, so I made a run for it. My bathing suit strings were tied, and I realized there was no way I could cover myself in time, so I started running. Actually it was more like hobbling, because my bathing suit was at my ankles). Dennis and his son started chasing me around the pool for five minutes (which felt like 30). The whole time I was yelling, “This is the Ritz! Remember? You’re supposed to behave!”
They didn't catch me, because I jumped through the bushes (I have the scrapes to prove it), and made it safely to the bathroom. But the tricks didn't stop there; now it was payback time. I forgot to mention earlier that when I first arrived at AJ's house, I kept hearing annoying clicking sounds. After searching high and low. I found that each room had a Sunbeam insect repellent plug-in (the noise is supposed to keep the bugs away). But it sure bugged me, and if I hadn't found them I would slept somewhere else. (My sister and I unplugged them all, so we wouldn't have to hear them anymore). To get revenge on Dennis, I decided to give him some bug torture. While he was at the store, I plugged every one into sockets around the pool house where he was staying. The next morning at breakfast, he had dark circles under his eyes. I said what's wrong, and he said he couldn't sleep all night because he kept hearing annoying clicking noises, equivalent to Chinese water torture. When I showed him the source, he was not too pleased!
The next night we had dinner at an unusual place: Club Med. It turned out my Uncle Joe had a friend staying at the Club Med Sandpiper resort in Port St. Lucie (40 minutes north). His friend invited us all for dinner with his family at Club Med. I had no idea outside visitors could eat there, but as long as you know someone staying there, guests are welcome. It was a real treat for me, because it was my first time at a Club Med. I didn’t get the entire experience, but I got plenty of it just eating there. We sat in the main restaurant, with a huge buffet. Every night has a different theme. We were there on French night. The food was average, but the whole package was great. This Club Med is geared to kids, and I can't think of a better place to go on a break from school. After dinner we walked around, checking out the beach and a couple of shows. We even did the Club Med song and dance. Everyone loved it, and from casual chats with other guests it seems they really did too.
To top off our “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” vacation in South Florida, we had to visit the world-famous and extravagant Breakers in Palm Beach. Tom (my brother-in-law's father was staying there, so one afternoon we had lunch and hung out by the pool and beach with him. The Breakers is not just a luxurious oceanfront hotel; it's one of America's legendary resort destinations. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and distinguished with the AAA Five Diamond Award. The architecture and design was inspired by the Italian Renaissance, and is just amazing. However, the hotel wasn’t for me -- at least not during the Christmas holiday. It was way too crowded, and most of the guests were not very friendly. Maybe it's different during the off season. The Breakers, 1 South County Rd., Palm Beach; tel.: (561) 655-6611 (toll-free reservations: 888-BREAKERS).
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Did you catch me waving at you at 30,000 feet? I spent Christmas in Florida (Clearwater) and New Years Eve in Erie. And here's some news for some of your Northeast, Midwest and Florida folks. USA3000 is another small airline that I can use to fly to Florida. Right now I normally take USAir to Tampa to visit my sister's family. I can now fly directly from PIT to St. Pete/Clearwater using USA3000 . It's only $59 each way and it's a direct flight. There are some restrictions on days and times, but they'll work for me. I'll bet I would save an average of $80 - $100. Also, since they live in Clearwater and it's a smaller airport, I'll probably save about 1/2 hour of time as well. Happy New Year. Bob
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Break bad habits when buying travel: Five money-saving resolutions for 2004 |
Still planning your vacations in the same old way? If you don't know about the changes that transformed online booking in 2003, you could be wasting hundreds of dollars on every trip. But it's not too late to break your bad shopping habits. Resolve to start the New Year with five fresh approaches that can save you money. Click Here To Read Article
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