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Memphis TN: Steamboat revival a champagne smash!

The widow of Elvis, Priscilla Presley recently broke the traditional bubbly bottle to relaunch the American Queen steamboat. After nearly five years off the river, the Queen is expected to begin again regular passenger cruising of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.

The 418-foot-long paddlewheeler is scheduled to carry up to 436 passengers. From Memphis, the Queen will typically make port visits in Tennessee, Ohio, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Minnesota.

For schedules, prices and other information on the American Queen, go to greatamericansteamboatcompany.com

Laguna Niguel CA: Ritz-Carlton Welcomes Canine Pals PDF Print E-mail

The AAA Five-Diamond beach resort offers guests and their best furry friends a monthly cocktail party, appropriately called Yappy Hour. While owners sip the usual drinks and snacks, pampered pups munch on hand-made dog biscuits and special flavored water.

The proceeds from Yappy Hour and the hotel’s more formal Diamond Ball will be donated to the Wounded Veterans Initiative of Canine Companions for Independence. The organization includes 360 volunteer puppy raisers in Orange County, who are involved in training, transportation, spaying, neutering and other tasks.

2014 Yappy Hour Dates: The events are on the hotel’s Dana Lawn Thursdays from 5 to 8 p.m, including May 15, June 19, July 17, August 21 and September 18.

Ritz-Carlton, 1 Ritz Carlton Dr, Dana Point CA 92629. For additional information on the hotel and these events, as well as dates for Yappy Howl-O-Ween, The Diamond Ball and Yappy Howl-iday Celebration, go to www.ritzcarlton.com/LagunaYappyHour

Flying Senior Up In The Air On Best Fares PDF Print E-mail

Q: Airline ticket prices just keep rising and rising. We’re no experts, but always try to schedule flights to get the best possible fares. According to online travel info gurus, the basic rule is that the cheapest flights are on Wednesday nights.

However, on our past two trips, we got lowest fares on a Sunday night and Tuesday morning. What’s the latest on getting the cheapest tickets? PRJ, Richmond VA

A: Frankly, PRJ, booking cheap flights is mostly luck these days. Because of continuing digital advances in online info gathering, airline beancounters are now as crafty as Vegas blackjack dealers. They’re continuously in instant touch as people buy tickets and reserve seats, and they manipulate prices to the airlines’ advantage. Their ultimate task is to fill each flight’s seat with the highest-paying customer.

In other words, while your research about mid-week and red-eye flights may sometimes result in lower fares, it ain’t necessarily so. Your best bet is to take time to shop online prices and special offers, then book when you believe you have the best to meet your schedule.

For more details about how airline pricing pros deal out fares, go to www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-03-28/how-to-find-the-cheapest-airline-flights#r=rss

Chicago IL: Happy 100th Birthday, Wrigley Field PDF Print E-mail

Just weeks before the start of World War I, the Windy City welcomed a brand-new baseball stadium. Then, it was 70 years ago in the middle of World War II, when your travel4seniors.com editor was at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center near Waukegan. With a bunch of other Navy trainees, we traveled 60 miles to see a Cubs game at the stadium named for chewing gum millionaire, Bill Wrigley. 

The Cubs played my hometown Phillies, and although many of the star players were in the service at the time, it was great to see a real Major League game. How many senior readers remember 1944 baseball names such as Hank Wyse, Eddy Stanky, Claude Passeau, Deacon Donahue, Andy Seminick, Putsy Caballero and Coaker Triplett?

The Cubs won the National League title in the next year, 1945. Sadly, the last time the Cubs actually won a World Series was in 1908. So far this year, they’re 7 wins and 12 losses. Good luck, Cubbies! You’ll need lots of it. For more information, go to www.cubs.com

Atlantic City NJ: Help Keep Vintage Memories Alive PDF Print E-mail

As if the city didn’t have enough troubles from that destructive hurricane, the vintage New Jersey destination town just experienced a cold winter. As a chilly finale before spring (locals hope), AC posted one March night temperature of 2º, the lowest in at least 200 years!

In balmier days, when growing up, we frequently rode the $5 Reading RR one-hour train journey from Philly to Atlantic City. A day at the beach, surf, Boardwalk and Steel Pier music combined to make a fun, economical treat. We practically grew up there.

Opened in 1898, Steel Pier was one of America’s top entertainment centers, with its dance hall starring Frank Sinatra, Tommy Dorsey and Harry James. We all gathered at the end of the pier to see the High Diving Horse. During World War II, several major Boardwalk hotels were converted to hospitals for wounded GIs. From 1921 to 2005, Atlantic City enjoyed each season’s closing September days with the Miss America event.

Monte Carlo, Monaco: Be James Bond For A Day PDF Print E-mail

Monaco should be on every senior traveler’s bucket list. On our most recent visit, we made sure it would be a memorable one, and we hope you’ll do the same.

When we arrived at the beautiful Riviera resort city on our senior bus three-hour tour, we then swaggered up the outer steps of the Monte Carlo Casino. We did our best to look like famed 007 sleuth, determined to beat the house while sipping a vodka martini, shaken not stirred.

Realistically, we played only on the casino’s first level, on inexpensive slot machines as you’d find in Vegas, Atlantic City or your local Native American casino. However, if you’re willing to gamble real money as 007 would, resume your swagger, go up to the second floor where all the much more expensive table games are located. Who knows...you may meet Pussy Galore, Ursula Andress or Goldfinger there at the roulette wheel.


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