Week 02–1, Jan 2021
“Two roads diverged in a wood and I — I took the one less traveled by.”
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” 〜Mark Twain
◆ The Red Lion Hotel Redding wants to take you for a high-tech drive. The car of your dreams could be a test drive away. And if you can get a good hotel stay at the same time, all the better.
◆ Near the hotel enjoy gorgeous views of the Sundial Bridge and the Sacramento River, as well as its close proximity to Lake Shasta and lots of places to explore the great outdoors. The hotel announced that it is now featuring a Tesla Charging Station, where road trippers can charge up. And even if you don’t own a Tesla, you can still take a joy ride in either of the hotel’s white Model 3 or black Model Y vehicles.
◆ Much like Tesla, the Red Lion Hotel Redding is also dedicated to sustainability and practices that are a little more eco-friendly. The hotel is a member of the California Green Lodging Program, recognized for demonstrating the highest standards of integrity and environmental ethics in CA.
◆ You’ll only get one chance to see this Pablo Picasso exhibit in the U.S., and you’ll have to plan a trip to Tennessee to do so. The Frist Art Museum in Nashville, Tennessee is celebrating its 20th anniversary by hosting an incredible art exhibit straight from France. Picasso. Figures, from the Musée national Picasso-Paris, will be making its home in Nashville between Feb. 5 and May 2.
◆ Composed of 75 paintings, works on paper, and sculptures, Picasso. Figures highlights some of the greatest masterpieces as well as less-known works by the artist spanning across many of the famous “periods” in his work.
◆ It’s important to note that the museum has changed its hours and ticketing to ensure proper social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Admission to the museum is free to members and guests under 18, $15 for adults, $10 for seniors over 65, and $8 for military personnel with ID.
◆ UK holiday park operator Parkdean Resorts published a ranking of the “most Instagrammable” hot springs in the world. The prettiest springs range from Termas Geométricas in Chile’s Villarrica National Park to Blue Lagoon in Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula.
◆ From Budapest’s opulent spas to California’s heart-shaped waters, read on for a deeper look at the 12 “most Instagrammable” hot springs, ranked in descending order.
12. Located in Villarrica National Park, Termas Geométricas is the largest complex of hot springs in Chile
11. Aqua Dome is a deluxe spa resort in Tyrol, Austria, that offers superb alpine views from the inside of a big thermal basin
10. The grand decor of Budapest’s Gellért Baths echoes Wes Anderson’s dreamy movie sets
9. Peninsula Hot Springs in the Australian Mornington Peninsula is a geothermal spa oasis
8. The town of Kinosaki in Japan brims with hot springs and bathhouses
7. Grutas Tolantongo is a natural hot-spring park in Hidalgo, Mexico, that has cliffside infinity pools, caves, and waterfalls
6. Terme di Saturnia in Tuscany, Italy, offers visitors the chance to relax near majestic waterfalls
5. The natural thermal pools emerging from Hot Water Beach’s sand in New Zealand resemble otherworldly moon craters
4. The thermal waters of Hanmer Springs in Canterbury, New Zealand, intertwine with the highland landscape
3. Visitors can soak inside a secluded, heart-shaped hot tub in Mammoth Lakes, California
2. Housed in a sumptuous Neo-baroque palace, the Szechenyi Spa Baths in Budapest are a popular spot
1. With its milky-blue waters contrasting a black lava field, the Blue Lagoon in Iceland is a man-made geothermal paradise
◆ Over the weekend, Mayor Anne Hidalgo approved a $304 million (€250 million) plan, meant to transform its famous Champs-Élysées into an “extraordinary garden” after the 2024 Olympics, in an attempt to bring locals back to what has become a crowded tourist attraction.
◆ A major component of the renovation is greatly reducing the amount of vehicle traffic on the Champs-Élysées. The plan — by architect Philippe Chiambaretta and his firm PCA-Stream — will see the lanes of car traffic cut down and reclaimed by pedestrian space, with lots of new greenery planted.
◆ Two dwarf giraffes have been discovered for the first time in Africa by scientists from the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF). One giraffe named “Gimli” was found in Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda in 2015 and the other called “Nigel” on a private farm in central Namibia in 2018.
◆ Researchers found that they had skeletal dysplasia, which affects bone growth and often results in a shorter stature. Although it has occurred in humans and domestic animals like dogs, cows, and pigs in the past, dwarfism is rarely observed among wild animals, and this is the first time it has been seen in giraffe.
◆ Outdoor activities, fresh air, and social distancing make a visit to a national park very appealing. All lodges offer rustic serenity combined with creature comforts, from stunning views to sumptuous beds.
◆ Here are the best national parks to visit during winter, plus highlighted the best hotels for each, sorted by price from low to high.
1. Mount Rainier National Park — Washington: National Park Inn
2. Olympic National Park — Washington: Lake Quinault Lodge
3. Zion National Park — Utah: Zion National Park Lodge
4. Arches National Park — Utah: Red Cliffs Lodge
5. Death Valley National Park — California: The Oasis at Death Valley
6. Grand Canyon National Park — Arizona: El Tovar
7. Yellowstone National Park — Wyoming: Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel
8. Yosemite National Park — California: The Ahwahnee