Week 05–1, Mar. 2021
“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” 〜 Andre Gide
“The use of traveling is to regulate imagination with reality, and instead of thinking of how things may be, see them as they are.” 〜 Samuel Johnson
By LuxPin Team
◆ Etihad Airways revamped its safety video not only to include new COVID-19 precautions but with stunning scenes of the Louvre Abu Dhabi. The video, filmed entirely at the Louvre Abu Dhabi, which opened to the public in 2017 after 10 years of construction, has updated precautions like wearing face masks and also includes traditional safety protocol like wearing seatbelts and instructions regarding emergency exits. The art museum was built to be equally as stunning as its collection of art, with the video showing off the best of the attraction, including its city views and water features. It’s the largest museum in the Arabian peninsula.
◆ The Dream Away Lodge is for sale for the first time in 25 years. If you live in the Berkshires, chances are you’re familiar with The Dream Away Lodge. Rumored to have been a brothel and speakeasy during the Great Depression, this two-hundred-year-old farmhouse at the edge of October Mountain State Forest is renown for its larger-than-life founders, Mama Maria Frasca and her three musical daughters, and colorful history, rich in music and local mythology. This is all part of the charm of the Dream Away Lodge, which is now on the market for the first time in 25 years.
◆ Delta Air Lines will no longer block middle seats on its aircraft, becoming the last U.S. carrier to eliminate the pandemic-era practice. Starting May 1, Delta will open up all seats to passengers, a full year after the airline started blocking the middle seat to give travelers more room to socially distance.
◆ If you’re looking for a beach vacation where you can feel like you’re at a home away from home, keep reading for our favorite beach houses available to rent on Airbnb.
1. Stunning Montauk Beach House: Montauk, NY
2. Beach Cottage: North Kingstown, RI
3. Spurwink House: Cape Elizabeth, ME
4. Vintage 1929 Rehoboth Beach House: Rehoboth Beach, DE
5. Waverly’s White Bungalow Over the Water: Malibu, CA
6. Cottage Getaway by the Sea: Aptos, CA
7. Cozy Cape Code Oceanfront House: Cannon Beach, OR
8. Cabin on Private Acre: Long Beach, WA
◆ Ever dream of living in a castle in the Italian countryside? A château in Loire Valley? A manor in Germany? This may be your chance — we’ve rounded up nine of the best Airbnb castles so you can plan the ultimate fairytale escape. These nine properties, from Tuscany to Bavaria, bring affordable luxury to a whole new level. Not only are they big enough for the entire family, but some of the over-the-top accommodations will only cost you and your travel companions the price of an average hotel room.
◆ If you’re looking for a true escape, a remote Airbnb located in the mountains, in the middle of a forest, or in the desert, might be just what you’ve been looking for. From a cozy cabin in New York’s Adirondack Mountains to a charming home located on its very own island in Maine, we’ve rounded up some of the best, most private Airbnbs in the U.S.
1. Juniper Hill Cabin: Wilmington, New York
2. Oak Island Wildlife Preserve: Camden, Maine
3. Renovated Hillside Cabin: Gatlinburg, Tennessee
4. Bungalow in the Redwoods: Trinidad, California
5. Cross Tress Cottage: Mackinac Island, Michigan
6. San Angelo House + Hot Tub: Joshua Tree, California
7. China Mountain House: Port Orford, Oregon
◆ Three Magellanic penguins waddled into Chicago’s Shaw’s Crab House restaurant with a serious message: It’s time to cut back on single-use plastics. The trio from the city’s Shedd Aquarium made the visit to support Chicago Restaurant Week, which runs through Sunday, April 4, and to highlight Shedd’s program to fight plastic pollution, called Let’s Shedd Plastic. This isn’t the first field trip the Shedd penguins have taken to Chicago landmarks during the pandemic. Two of them wandered over to the Field Museum ahead of its reopening last July.
◆ One will honor the state dinosaur, while the other will be around a popular reservoir. Utah is getting two new state parks — and one of them comes with a serious roar. Utahraptor State Park, named for the state’s dinosaur, and Lost Creek State Park, around the Morgan County reservoir, will officially become the state’s 45th and 46th state parks.
◆ California has more national parks than any other state. As the most populous state in the union and one of the most geologically diverse, it’s no wonder that California boasts more tantalizing national parks than any other state. Now, with nine national parks within its borders, there’s something for adventure seekers of all sorts to enjoy — from colossal granite domes and 3,000-year-old trees to sled-worthy sand dunes and here are the 5 best CA National Parks.
1. Yosemite: Touted as the birthplace of “America’s best idea,” it doesn’t come as a surprise that Yosemite is as awe-inspiring as it is diverse.
2. Joshua Tree: So much more than just the title to a U2 album, Joshua Tree has long been a favorite haunt for rock climbers, hikers, and desert sunset seekers.
3. Lassen Volcanic: Similar to a mini-Yellowstone, Lassen Volcanic is home to eight different geothermal areas.
4. Sequoia: Home to the famous ancient sequoia trees, the 404,064-acre expanse of Sequoia National Park is much more than a walk in the woods.
5. Death Valley: As the biggest national park in the contiguous U.S. at over 3 million acres, Death Valley is a geological wonderland, often cited as the “park of superlatives.”
◆ You’ll soon be able to hike between Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, thanks to this new 1,300-mile trail. A new 1,300-mile hiking trail that cuts through several national forests, connecting the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Notably, the trail cuts through Gauja National Park, home to more than 500 monuments and historical markers.
◆ Here’s how to stay safe from sharks while swimming in the ocean.
1. Research local shark patterns.
2. Bring a mask and fins on long swims.
3. Leave the white bikini at home.
4. Don’t worry if you have a cut — sharks don’t react to human blood.
5. Act like a predator by constantly checking your surroundings.
6. Make eye contact if you see a shark.
7. Create space between you and the shark.
8. Slowly back away after you’ve made eye contact, but avoid splashing and making noise.
9. Note the shark’s body language.
10. Remember that sharks swim by and ignore people all the time.
11. Above all, don’t panic.
◆ Singapore’s hawker centers are the beating hearts of the city-state, reflecting its multicultural identity. Some hawker stalls have earned Michelin stars and the culture has been recognized by Unesco. The centers are no-frills, mostly cash-based, and offer a wide variety of Asian cuisines.
Singapore’s hawker culture was added to Unesco’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, which also includes things like yoga in India and sauna culture in Finland.
◆ This week, All Nippon Airways launched a new promotion serving up their parked aircraft as “winged restaurants” to make up for lack of travel due to the pandemic. The experience will run twice a day through April 11 — but sold out before it even began. Passengers will sit aboard a Boeing 777–300ER aircraft parked at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport while they dine. A first-class meal will set you back $540 (59,800 yen) while the business class meals ring in at $270 (29,800 yen). There is one perk to the high price tag: all the meals are served with endless glasses of wine or champagne.
◆ When the pandemic hit in March 2020, Puerto Rico shut down two of its airports, funneling everyone through San Juan’s Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport. After a year of no commercial flights, the other two international airports on the island will reopen on April 1. Both Rafael Hernández Airport in Aguadilla and Mercedita International Airport in Ponce will start receiving commercial airline flights.
◆ Find colorful gardens, 20 festival kitchens, and more at this year’s Taste of Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. With colorful topiaries shaped like favorite Disney characters, delicious seasonal eats and drinks, and live entertainment including musical performances from local bands, the Taste of Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is the ultimate springtime event at Walt Disney World Resort. From March 3 to July 5, Epcot comes alive with fresh blooms and flavors. Here’s what guests have to look forward to at the festival this year.
◆ Colorado offers an ideal year-round nature-filled vacation. The Rocky Mountains make it easy to ski, snowboard, or snowshoe in winter or hike during warmer weather. Here are the best Colorado Airbnbs, sorted by price from low to high.
1. A tumbleweed tiny home in Fairplay, $79
2. A cozy tiny house in Colorado Springs, $82
3. A historic city home in Denver, $114
4. A midcentury hygge chalet in Grant, $176
5. A ski cabin with a hot tub in Durango, $181
6. A modern cabin in Pike National Forest, $232
7. A riverside A-frame in Basalt, $241
8. A four-bedroom cabin in Grand Lake, $248
9. A ski-in/ski-out penthouse condo in Breckenridge, $608
10. A modern glass house in Winter Park, $925