New flights, State Capitol and travel presentation in Kansas

Spirit Airlines announced its plan to offer flights to Kansas City.  Spirit flights will be from Kansas City to Las Vegas, Chicago, Detroit, Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth. The flights will begin Aug. 7.  Kansas City will be the 56th city to join Spirit Airlines network.

Keeper of the Plains in Wichita by Dale L Puckett

Keeper of the Plains in Wichita by Dale L Puckett

The Kansas State Capitol is finishing a 13-year renovation costing $300 million.  The Statehouse restored the copper dome, which will slowly turn green throughout the decades.  The renovation also includes a museum in the basement.

Steve Elmore, music teacher from Wichita Collegiate School, will share his travels through Kansas.  The presentation, “Kansas Like You’ve Never Seen It,” will be held at the Celebration Centre on Highway 56 at 7 p.m., Monday, April 28.  The slide show portrays  interesting sites that are unknown to most tourists.

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“Giant Seats” now available with Allegiant Air

Allegiant Air now offers six “Giant Seats” for passengers willing to pay a little extra. The “Giant Seats” are in a semi-reclined position. They also offer an extra six inches of legroom and extra seven and a half inches in width as compared to a typical economy seat.

The State Department updated a travel warning for Ukraine. The previous warning discussed Russian efforts to occupy Crimea. The new warning says, “Russian forces

St. Maarten Hotel  Photo by Dale L Puckett

St. Maarten Hotel
Photo by Dale L Puckett

have occupied the Crimean Peninsula in support of the Russian Federation’s claim of Crimean annexation.” There was also information added about hazardous demonstrations, some of which “appear” to be Russian forces.

Travel Editor, Kerri Westenberg, for the Star Tribune wrote an article titled “From the Travel Desk: Confessions of a travel editor” in which she explains what she is most cautious about when traveling. Westeneberg talks about taking photos of rental cars to inspecting the hotel beds for bed bugs.

National Library Week attracts people to U.S. libraries

In Lawrence, Kan., there is a Little Free Library.  The only rule is if you take a book, give a book.   Photo by @SquirrelsOfKU

In Lawrence, Kan., there is a Little Free Library. The only rule is if you take a book, give a book.
Photo by @SquirrelsOfKU

When traveling, keep in mind National Library Week is from April 13 through April 19 this year.  After visiting the Seattle Public Library, Glenn Nagel decided he wanted to visit other libraries across the U.S.  Nagel has traveled to 12 libraries photographing and exploring each of them.  CNN has taken the idea of traveling to libraries in the U.S. and invited readers to share their photos.

Sunday, April 13 was the last day of the 2014 Masters.  For golfer, three of the top 10 courses to play are in the U.S., according to CNN.  These courses include Pebble Beach Golf Links in California, Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina and an ocean course in South Carolina (Kiawah Island Golf Resort).

Looking for something to do with kids?  Universal Studios in Hollywood has opened a Minion world based on the movie “Despicable Me.”  When visiting, guests become Minions themselves, the little yellow characters from the movie.  Guests start in arch-villain Gru’s suburb home and move to the Minion Prep room for a 3-D ride.

Kansas to start new tourism campaign

Kansas sunset along U.S. Highway 54 about 10 miles west of the Dwight D. Eisenhower International Airport in Wichita.   Photo by Dale L Puckett

Kansas sunset along U.S. Highway 54 about 10 miles west of the Dwight D. Eisenhower International Airport in Wichita.
Photo by Dale L Puckett

On Wednesday, April 9, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and Kansas tourism officials will launch a promotional campaign for tourism across the state.  The event will be held at the Exploration Place in Wichita Wednesday morning.  The campaign will be under the Kansas tourism brand- “There’s No Place Like Kansas.”

Logan Mize, Kansan and country music artist, will be at the event.  The event will also have period re-enactors and representatives from many Kansas tourist destinations.

Food and drink tours, Carlo’s Bakery, seafood finds all worth a trip

Portland tourists now have the opportunity to go on local food and drink tours.  USA Today recommends the Portland Walking Tours Epicurean Excursion, Forktown North Mississippi Avenue Tour, Food Cart Tour, Distillery Row Pedicab Tour and the Brewcycle Brewpub Crawl.  The tours range from $20 to $79 per person.

Photo by Dale L Puckett

Photo by Dale L Puckett

If your looking to travel for food, make sure to check out the new Carlo’s Bakery in Las Vegas.  Buddy Valastro, famous for being featured on Cake Boss in Hoboken, N.J., recently opened the new bakery in Las Vegas across the street from Buddy V’s Ristorante.  This is the first Carlo’s Bakery on the West Coast, but Valastro says they will keep growing.

With spring upon us, seafood is a popular choice.  Considering traveling to Seattle, Baltimore, Miami Beach, Biloxi, Miss., or Annapolis, Md., for a variety of crab?  Faidley Seafood in Baltimore offers three styles of crab cakes.  Cantler’s Riverside Inn in Annapolis, Md., is known for its steamed blue crabs.

Spring drives, gross wonders, ancient sites in America

View on hiking trail in Colorado.  Photo by Cassidy Ritter

View on hiking trail in Colorado. Photo by Cassidy Ritter

With the arrival of spring, what better way to travel than with an American road trip?  CNN mapped out 10 of the best spring drives from Maine to California and everywhere in between.  The Million Dollar Highway in Colorado provides great views, the George Washington Memorial Parkway in Maryland and Virginia provides 591 different flower species and the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway in South California provides waterfalls, bridges and creeks.

7 gross wonders across America” highlights some unexpected and gross places to visit.  One of which is in Colma, Calif., where the dead outnumber the living by 899 at Necropolis by the Bay.  Another gross wonder is in Brooklyn, N.Y., at the Morbid Anatomy Library.  Here dead animals are dressed in outfits and pose doing human like activities.

Illinois and Texas are among CNN’s list on “8 very old sites in the New World.”  Cahokia Mounds in Collinsville, Ill., is the oldest pre-Columbian settlement north of Mexico.  The Rock Art of the Lower Pecos Canyonlands in Texas is a collection of cave paintings and carvings created by prehistoric hunters and gatherers.

Travel powered by the kindness of others

Photo by Matt Long

Photo by Matt Long

Leon Logothetis combined his passion for traveling and connecting with others into the Kindness Cab and Kindness One.  The Kindness Cab is a London taxi Logothetis used to drive from New York to Los Angeles helping those in need along the way.  The Kindness One is a yellow motorcycle with a sidecar Logothetis will use to travel around the world.

North Beach, Calif., is home to an all-American, hip bookstore and has been for 60 years.  City Lights Bookstore is not like any other bookstore.  City Lights Bookstore is home to many books not found outside of university libraries.  The store is split into sections such as Stolen Continents, Banned Books and Muckraking.

The Los Angeles Times has been doing series of 14 things to do or places to visit in 2014.  An article titled “14 offbeat destinations for 2014,” there are four offbeat destinations within the U.S.  The destinations range from Washboard Music Festivals in Ohio to the John M. Studebaker International Wheelbarrow Races in California.

Travel expected to increase in 2014

Cloud Gate in Chicago by Matt Long

Cloud Gate (aka “The Bean”) in Chicago by Matt Long

 

An increase in business travel, hotel construction and airline travel has travelers making more time for vacations.  International travel was up five percent in 2013 and predicted to increase to nine percent in 2014, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization.  American road trips have also increased by four percent from 2013, according to an American Express Spending and Saving Tracker report.

The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) announced the release of the 2014 U.S. Travel Agency Regulatory Compliance Handbook.  This handbook explains the major federal statutes and regulations.  New assistance on the pending Hazardous Materials Rule is also in the handbook.

Supporting local business is one of the top seven ways to give back while traveling, according to a Huffington Post article.  Aside from supporting local businesses, travelers can give back by using public transportation, volunteering and being an ambassador of the place you visited.

Travelers be aware of airline changes and winter storms

Delta Air Lines changed its frequent- flier program to reward customers on the fares they pay as compared to the miles they travel.  Delta is “the first of the so-called network carriers- large, hub-oriented airlines with international service-in the U.S.” to base their rewards on the cost of the ticket instead of the miles customers travel.

British Airways recently added Austin to their list of stops making “Austin one of the smallest U.S. markets able to boast of trans-Atlantic airline service.”  The first flight will be flown on the Boeing Dreamliner, the world’s first passenger jet made of carbon mixtures instead of aluminum and steel.

Winter storm captured by Dale L Puckett

Winter storm captured by Dale L Puckett

Winter Storm Titan is creating major travel problems across large areas like Washington D.C.  More than 2,100 flights have been canceled across the U.S. Monday with more than 3,000 delays, according to FlightAware.

Pennsylvania Community College cancels spring break

To make up for seven classes canceled or delayed due to winter storms, Northampton Community College in Pennsylvania canceled spring break.  Students are not happy with the cancelation of spring break, according to student tweets.  Students are told, if plans have been made for spring break, they are responsible to make up any work they miss.

As many college students and families prepare for spring break, USA Today says that traditional vacation spots “will see bigger crowds this year as the American economy continues to heal.”  Some upcoming events include JamFest, a weekend full of concerts, in Jamaica and MTV’s Spring Break Party in Cancun.

Photo by Dale L Puckett

Photo by Dale L Puckett

For people looking to stay in the U.S., Florida and Phoenix will be the best spring break locations according to Travelocity.  When it comes to looking for flights, travelers need to plan ahead.  Those who wait until the week of March 4 can expect to pay 53 percent more for a plane ticket compared to what they would normally pay for a flight.

Luke Bryan will release Spring Break 6…Like We Ain’t Ever on March 11, just in time for spring break.  Over the last five years, Bryan’s spring break EPs (extended plays) have sold 750,000 copies.  Bryan will play two free concerts in Panama City on March 11 and 12 at Spinnaker’s Beach Club.