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Double Duty in Orlando

January 28, 2008 by · Comments Off on Double Duty in Orlando 

Over the weekend I jostled between travel writer and Mom duties. Daughter Laura started her travel team tournament season, competing in the Orlando Volleyball Association's AAU Classic held in the Orange County Convention Center.

Courtyard at Lake Lucerne
Courtyard at Lake Lucerne

On Saturday morning Jay chauffered me to the SATW (Society of American Travel Writers) Workshop in downtown Orlando. The Courtyard at Lake Lucerne sounds like a typical business hotel, but turned out to be a jewel of a bed and breakfast. Four historic buildings are hidden near over-passing highways and the lake.

We had the hardest time finding the place—even with GPS. But once discovered, the gardens are seductively quiet with fountains and statuary, swaying Spanish moss and a scattering of birds and squirrels. Brick walkways add a warm welcoming touch.

I can't say the same for the workshop director, a reincarnation of Seinfeld's soup Nazi. His AAA narrow personality shouted out session details crammed with abrupt, disconcerting directions. Otherwise, the conference offered helpful tips and tricks on getting published, website design, photography tools and numerous guidebook themes.

While Laura's team made it into the Gold division play-offs, they lost in the tie-breaker to a local OVA team. We all returned to Jacksonville by 5:30 on Sunday.

Jay and I eagerly await next weekend’s trip to Nawlin’s for some fabulous food, frivolity and beads. –New Orleans Mardi Gras 2008.

More Battery & Baggage News

January 14, 2008 by · Comments Off on More Battery & Baggage News 

All the fuss over carrying lithium batteries (see previous blog entry) is due to the possibility of fire. The connection points must be covered, so, place the batteries in individual plastic baggies! Do not let them come in contact with metal objects, such as coins, keys or jewelry.

Concerns? See Safe Travel with Batteries and Devices at TSA’s Website

Now some good news for those traveling through British airports—
Passengers may now take a purse or laptop as well as a carry-on bag onto flights leaving Heathrow, Stansted, Manchester and some others. This new rule does NOT apply to Gatwick.

When Jay and I were connecting through London last fall, the rule concerning one carry-on was strictly enforced. JMy husband tried to get by with a newspaper and a book- no way, each was considered as one carry-on. I ended up rearranging my camera bag and purse to fit into a collapsible tote or else I would have had to place them in checked luggage. That, of course, is never a good idea. Before you travel, visit the website of the selected British airport to avoid any problems.

Fall in Florida

January 8, 2008 by · Comments Off on Fall in Florida 

Fall in Florida
Fall in Florida

This photo, “Fall in Florida,” was featured in’s The Color of Autumn–2007.

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