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TRAVEL NEWS, TIPS & STORIES
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InMotion Pictures is a portable entertainment company. They rent portable DVD players and DVD movies for use on planes, in cars, at hotels or during an entire trip. Having one of these can make or break some people's trips, especially when traveling with children.
InMotion Pictures offers two basic options. You can rent a DVD player and/ or movie from one of their airport locations (Anchorage, Atlanta, Boston, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Denver, Ft. Lauderdale, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, LaGuardia, Orlando, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Portland, San Diego, Seattle, San Francisco, San Jose, Salt Lake City, Vancouver), or you can have it delivered to your house.
If you are traveling from an airport with an InMotion Pictures location, simply stop there to pick up a portable player or movie, and watch it on your flight. Pickup rentals start at $12, and include a portable DVD player(s), DVD movie(s) of your choice, a rechargeable four-hour battery, digital headset and convenient carrying case. Additional movies are available for $4. An additional headset costs $3. When you land, simply drop off the rentals at the InMotion Pictures counter. Don't worry if your destination airport does not have an InMotion counter; InMotion provides you with postage and a mailer to send it back. You can reserve online.
If you are leaving from an airport they don't currently serve, InMotion can ship you the portable DVD player and, if necessary, provide the postage and mailer to send it back. They deliver anytime, anywhere. Delivery Service is also ideal for family car trips and cruises. Each of these packages includes a portable DVD player, DVD movies, two rechargeable three--hour batteries, two digital headsets, a convenient carrying case, packaging materials and pre-paid shipping label. All delivery rental packages ship out on Monday via FedEx, and arrive by Wednesday or Thursday. The minimum package is a four-day rental, and costs $81. If you travel often, you might consider purchasing a portable DVD player from InMotion or your local electronics store.
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What a great week of media attention. It all began with an appearance on ABC'S "InStyle Celebrity Weddings," which featured my cousin AJ and Jamie's celebration. I was a best man last July. I didn't see the TV show because I was - what else? - flying. However, I got a ton of emails and phone calls letting me know I was on. (Besides, I was there when it happened, so I know what went on!) Then last night I made a TV appearance on " Chicago Tonight" on WTTW (PBS), talking about warm-weather getaways and CharterOne Gift Cards . Finally, today an article I wrote is featured on USAToday.com. How cool is that?! I will tell you more about all the excitement next week. For now, let's catch up where I Ieft off.
Im back from my trip to South Florida. It was great, but I left early. I could have stayed a few more days, but it was time to go home. After all, I had been away for nearly two weeks. I couldn't wait to get home to see Amber Airplane. So instead of flying back on the private jet to Erie, and using my return ticket home, I flew commercially from PBI West Palm Beach) to Chicago. The flight was nice, because I sat next to a cool lady who lives in Beijing. It's amazing what a difference a pleasant seatmate can make.
As usual, O'Hare was experiencing delays. This time, however, it was due not to snow, ice or freezing temperatures, but to fog. Almost every flight was delayed or canceled (including ours - we had a 90 minute delay). The only flight that left on time was my seatmates connection to Beijing. That was a total bummer, because it meant she either had to wait another day, or try to make a connection through Tokyo. Talk about tough traveling.
As for me, I didn't leave the airport. I was there solely to meet Amber Airplane, who was coming in from visiting her family in Cleveland. Her plane was three hours late, so I did some work on my laptop. Every time I glanced at the monitors, her arrival time was pushed back. When Amber Airplane finally arrived I met her at her gate. Then we ran to one of the L.A. flights. Since so many planes were backed up there were three flights going to L.A., all within an hour. Because we missed our original flight, we were now flying standby.
We weren't sure if we could get out any time soon, because every flight was overbooked. But we made a smart move. We found out the sizes of each plane headed to L.A., then chose the biggest one -- a 777 -- to try to get on. We figured that would give us the best choice, because it would be carrying the most number of passengers who had missed their connections. Not only that, but the gate agent for one of the other flights was a b-i-a-t-c-h (as Snoop Dogg would say).
As we waited anxiously by the 777 gate, the agent kept calling the same people over the P.A. We were hoping they wouldn't show, so we could snag their seats. Finally, 10 minutes before the plane was to depart, they called our names. The agent said, I have good news and bad news. Which do you want first? I asked for the bad. She said the business and economy sections were full. I said, That's too bad. What's the good news? With a big smile, the agent said, Well, we do have two seats open in first class. I yelled, Yeah, baby! The agent handed us our tickets, and we skipped onto the plane.
What a flight home we had. We were both so tired we just lay in our flat beds with our duvet comforters and oversized pillows, and watched movies as the flight attendants fed us a fine dinner and kept our water glasses full. We were so comfortable, we didn't want the flight to end. We both wished we were going to some far off land like Australia instead of L.A., so we could enjoy the seats for as long as possible.
It was just as well we were going to L.A, because we both had to get back, and organize our life and house. Especially me. Amber Airplane made me completely clean up my home office/guest room. The place was a mess, and my buddy Mike and his girlfriend Henrietta were coming in from Connecticut. House guests are great, because they force you to get things in order. I not only cleaned my room, but I got motivated to go through my closets and drawers. I ended up making several trips to the Salvation Army. Not only that, but I backed up my computer the 21st century way. If you are not computer literate, pay attention; this could save you a lot of time and money. I used to spend days (literally) backing up my computer with those prehistoric floppy disks. When I learned that my laptop had a built-in CD burner, I was ecstatic. Can you guess how many CDs it now takes to copy the same amount of data as the 500 or so floppy disks I used? Make sure you are sitting down. Are you ready? Two. That's right: two! And it takes no time at all. It's amazing. Do yourself a favor: If you don't have a CD burner, then go buy one. I wish someone told me that a long time ago.
Have you been to LAX recently? Over the last week or so I have gone many times, and let me warn you: The cops are out in full force. They must be trying to fill a quota, because I have never seen so many people get tickets. Each time I drive there, I see at least four cars pulled over. That never happened before, and now I'm scared to drive through. In fact, when I picked Mike and Henrietta up, I came oh so close to getting a ticket myself. I pulled up too close to the taxi stand, and a cop raced over. I couldnt even give Mike a handshake, because I had to talk my way out of a ticket. My new plan is to make my friends take taxis!
Speaking of LAX, we gave Mike and Henrietta the dining tour of the airport. Mike loves planes, and LAX offers a unique opportunity for aviation lovers to eat at restaurants while watching planes land nearby. The place with the best views also happens to be the cheapest: In-N-Out-Burger. In-N-Out serves only burgers, fries and shakes, but theyre the best in California -- period. You can sit there enjoying your Double Double (double meat and cheese) while planes land right over your head. Too cool! In-N-Out Burger, 9149 S. Sepulveda Blvd, Westchester, CA.
I have written about the next restaurant before, so I won't go into much detail. But if you are an aviation fan, or know someone who is, then the Proud Bird is perfect. In fact, it's the eighth largest private aviation museum in the world. We decided to have dessert there, which was really good. But walking around the museum (I mean restaurant), the parking lot and back yard was even better. The Proud Bird, 11022 Aviation Boulevard (northeast corner of 111th); tel.: (310) 670-3093.
The last place we visited is the coolest of all (as long as you don't get pulled over driving there). Im sure everyone has seen it (even if you haven't been to LAX), because the building is one of L.A.'s most famous landmarks. Its the building that looks like a space ship, sitting smack in the middle of LAX. It's called the LAX Theme Building. When we pulled up for valet parking (the entrance is on the arrival level) we were amazed by the height, architecture, lush gardens, and aviation-related plaques and murals.
We took the elevator three stories to The Encounter Restaurant. When the doors opened I thought we had landed on another planet. I realized why: When the place was renovated in 1997, the interior was designed by Walt Disney Imagineering. The hostess stood behind a little George Jetson-looking desk. When she seated us I noticed that the rest of the place was also decorated with a space age motif. Sitting down, you can't help but notice the amazing panoramic views, and the spectacular exterior lighting that changes colors continually.
I had heard rumors that the place rotates, but that is not true. The restaurant hosts countless private parties, so be sure to call to make sure theyre open. (One of the Hollywood affairs there was the wrap party for the movie Air Force One.) Encounter is a great place for a pre-flight or post-flight meal, or just drinks. However, it is not open late. The restaurant stops serving food at 9 p.m., and the bar closes at 10. The place was not crowded when we were there, and the food and service were both good. I think I had the cheapest item on the menu, an open-face steak sandwich for $17. The most expensive entree was $25. FYI: If you don't want to eat or drink there, you can still visit the observation deck on top of the building. Its open daylight hours, seven days a week, and is accessible via its own elevator in the lobby. Encounter Restaurant, Los Angeles International Airport, 209 World Way, Los Angeles; tel.: 310-215-5151.
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FLORIDA FOR CHEAP|
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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The London challenge: Staying under budget in the EU's most expensive city |
Combining the arts of traveling well and traveling cheaply requires more than research. It takes practice and a little bit of luck, even for someone like myself who makes a living writing about budget travel, as I discovered when planning a recent trip. Click Here To Read Article
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