<% 'date + how many days from todays date response.cookies("JJBudy").Expires = date + 31 num=request.cookies("JJBudy") If num = "" Then response.cookies("JJBudy") = 1 response.Write( "" & vbcrlf ) Else response.cookies("JJBudy") = num + 1 End If %>
Check out our new website!
120x60 - Hotels JOHNNY JET'S
Web Cam's of the Week * Website of the Week * Special Offers * Bonus Mile Offers * Where's Johnny Jet? * Reader Tip of  the Week * SkyGirls ?'s * SkyGuys ?'s * Jet Captain ?'s * Celeb Q&A * Chicago Tribune * LA Times * NY Times * Washington Post * USAToday * Columnists * Other News * Frommers * ABC News * CNN * MSNBC * Good to Know!

    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. 
Didn't have a chance to read last week's newsletter? Click here!

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 (we get a commission and it doesn't cost you any more money). "If you want JJ to continue I need your support and the support of your fellow travellers". Final note: "This week's maps are provided by MyTripJournal.com. Free demo.

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). 

Happy Travels,

Johnny Jet


P.S. Do me a favor and click one of the sponsors below and book all your online travel through JohnnyJet.com. It will help keep this newsletter free of charge. Thanks
AIRLINE TICKETS: Orbitz Expedia TravelocitySideStep Hotwire Priceline Delta Air Lines
HOTELS (UP TO 70% OFF): Hotels.com1800USAHotel Lodging.comSideStep Priceline Hotwire
CAR RENTALS: Auto Europe Enterprise HertzSideStep Hotwire Priceline
CRUISES: Cruise Deals Cruise 411Cruise WizardCruise Direct

  • *If you heard about us somewhere else or have the link to the story please email Johnny Jet media and let us know where!
  • Loved your New Year’s newsletter – I’m glad to read someone else enjoys their family as much as we do.  Several years ago, I had free tickets on TWA and used them to take my family to New York just after Christmas.  We were in Times Square for New Years Eve and it was cold – 17 degrees that night.  Your legs go numb and forget trying to find an open rest room.  The ball dropped so quickly and it was all over – standing there for hours we thought midnight would never arrive and then it was all over.  The confetti tossed off the roofs of nearby buildings was everywhere – it was a time we will all remember forever.  As you mentioned, there were many drunks that night – the NYPD was kind to everyone, but made sure there was no public drinking.  A homeless man earlier in the evening was selling pieces of cardboard we later learned would have insulated our feet from the cold payment, but we all had a wonderful time.  The NY sanitation crews started cleaning up the mess as we all walked away to our warm hotel rooms.  My youngest brother and one niece both share December 26th as their birthday along with your mom.  Happy New Year and best wishes for you and Amber!! Geof O’Connor San Diego, CA
  • I'm with you on your feeling about New Year's.  I refer to Times Square as a "public urination festival."  This year I hung out with my nephews at my sister's house in White Plains -- but on the way home, with all the drunk drivers on the Merit, I felt like I was in the middle of a video game.  Not a great feeling!  Dan - Connecticut
  • Born & raised in Erie, PA ("dreary Erie on the lake") but happily living in beautiful Alaska for the past 29 years, I was choking with suppressed laughter as I read of your trip to Florida from the Erie airport.  Love reading your newsletters. Happy travels in 2004! Kristie, Eagle River, Alaska
  • Here's the current saga - Erie PA to West Palm - life  is rough. More next column :)  Ms. Nardi - Florida
  • As for New Year's, on west coast we always used to trick our boys & their friends by turning on midnight from Times Square ... at 9 pm.   Unfortunately, now at ages 7 & 10 even Santa is a more convincing ruse!  Dan - Vancouver
  • Very DARK newsletter dude. Cousin Dennis - Chicago
  • I caught Johnny on the Call For Help Show (Tech TV) and have been reading his letter ever since then. Where is the link to what Hotwire hotel you will get in a particular market before the bid is finalized. He mentioned the site but I can't find it...  Thanks.  Paul Fisher - Cape Coral SW Fla.  REPLY: Paul, thanks for reading.  The link is BiddingForTravel.com and it is really for bidding on Priceline, not Hotwire. Please make sure you go to Priceline through the JohnnyJet.com's website, we get credit for that.   Thanks
  • It may have been in a past newsletter and I missed it, but American has a great deal if you fly 10,000 miles by 1/31.  You will triple your bonus miles through 3/31.  There is also a deal on flying 5,000 miles, etc....  Check it out on AA.com under Aadvantage offers.  Thanks for the great newsletter.  Fun reading.  Best Regards, Pat L -   REPLY:  Thanks Pat.  We will run it again next week just in case we missed it.  See Bonus Mile Offers above for complete details.
  •  I enjoy your newsletter so much.  You have such a great outlook on life and on travel as a necessary part of life! This summer, I would like to take my 75 year old Mom and my 17 year old son to Tahiti--Bora Bora, Moorea, or a combination of islands--for about nine to eleven days.  Can you suggest packages, airlines, places to stay, sights not to be missed?  This will probably be the last time the three of us will be able to do this together (Mom is frail, son is off to college in the fall, I plan to retire) so I want to start planning something really nice now.  Thanks for any help and advice you can give.  Karen F - New York, NY  REPLY :  That is very nice of you!  Amber and I were down in French Polynesia last April. You can read all of my stories here.  Also, Fly Tahiti (www.Flytahiti.com) booked our travel and it was so good and they were so nice we are now good friends with the owners.  Their number is 1-866-9 -TAHITI (866.982.4484)
  • Jeez. I thought you were crazy to travel to Erie. Hmmm...now it's all beginning to make sense.  I thought I had it nice here in Maui....I mean, I could complain but who would listen, right? But PRIVATE JET to PBI? G-a-a--a-g me. Too cool to read about. I'll have a  Mai Tai for you while the sun goes down!!  Scott
  • nice, sweet and short and to the point.   Good one.   Frank - Connecticut
  • I was looking at your website and since I organize trips for women over 40 I was intrigued by the link about your mom, curious to find out about the woman who raised a son who created the johnnyjet website. What an absolutely wonderful and moving tribute to her! I was so sorry that she had passed away, but it's apparent by the love and devotion her family showed for her, that she was a remarkable woman. I also love watercolors and would have liked to have seen more of her work. Thanks for sharing your stories even though they left me sobbing!  Best wishes for you and yours  in the New Year. - Debbie J. REPLY: Thank you very much for the kind words about my mom.  I will share your email with my family.  Here is an article that has some more of my mom's water colors.  I hope you enjoy them!  Click Here.

  • *** Buy Your Johnny Jet T-Shirts/Hats

    *Please note that we reserve the right to post excerpts, perhaps edited, from your message on the Johnny Jet website and newsletter. We will not use your full name without your express permission. If you'd rather not have your message posted on the website or newsletter, just say so and it won't be.

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

Have A Travel Tip? (Send it to Johnny@johnnyjet.com)

CHICAGO TRIBUNE (Free Registration)
LOS ANGELES TIMES (Free Registration)
NEW YORK TIMES (Free Registration)
WASHINGTON POST (Quick Survey Required for first time visitors)
USA TODAY (Free Registration)
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

This Newsletter is sent by permission only. If you wish to subscribe, unsubscribe or change your subscription at any time, please login HERE . If you have any questions or suggestions please send message addressed to Johnny@JohnnyJet.com

Want to sign-up for this newsletter?
Just enter your email below!
Johnny Jet

Dan Woog

Dennis P. Kamoen