Philly Liberty Bell area to get new hotel

The Kimpton hotel chain plans to revitalize an old building just a short walk away from the famed American icon. Guest rooms will have a clear view of the famed Liberty Bell and Independence Hall in downtown Philadelphia.

The 11-story Lafayette Building on the Fifth Street side of Independence Mall will be fully refurbished at a cost estimated to be $70 million to become a 270-room boutique hotel.

The closest major chain hotel in the very busy tourist area is the Omni at 5th and Chestnut Streets. No actual construction has started on the new hotel, and no opening date has been announced yet.

Is that a boa constrictor in your pocket, or .... PDF Print E-mail

Boa constrictor

Pardon me, but isss thisss ssseat taken?

We’ve heard of the “Snakes on a Plane” movie, and it was sort of slinky fun. But, how would you feel if this smuggler with 95 snakes sat next to you on the flight?

Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur Airport security agents discovered 95 live baby boa constrictors in a piece of carry-on luggage on a flight that was about to take off. They had been warned about the snake guy, because he was part of a worldwide smuggling operation that sold exotic animals throughout the world.

Along with the boas, the carry-on bag also contained other snake species and a small turtle. So, next time you fly and the guy next to you acts a bit slithery, you may want to ask the flight attendant to move you to another seat.

Cruise healthy and avoid overeating PDF Print E-mail

fat man

In addition to wartime Navy cruises during our active years, we’ve been on many cruises since our retirement. There’s something about the ocean and fresh air that makes eating a pleasure. Make that over-eating.

However, there’s a great difference between a hard-working young sailor and a sedentary senior. That’s why the typical retiree gains one pound or more a day on a cruise. Because food is all around you on senior cruises, the temptation is too much to eat in moderation. Who can resist the unlimited cakes, cookies and that midnight chocolate bonanza? 

Now, some cruise lines are beginning to offer advice to passengers who want to moderate their eating while aboard. There’s nothing complicated about it. Just follow the sensible eating constraints you practice on land to maintain your weight.

Stay away from the obviously fatty, sugary foods, and despite the temptation, eat smaller amounts. If your ship’s dining areas display lists of the more healthy menus, follow the advice. And if there’s a midnight buffet or chocoholic spread, stay in your cabin. Or better yet, do some vigorous moonlight jogging or hiking around that upper deck track.

Five facts about getting lucky on a singles cruise PDF Print E-mail

Romeo and Juliet

There’s an old sailors’ saying: If you don’t make a new love connection on a singles-only cruise, you’re libido is either dead or should be.

If you’re anxious enough to shell out a thousand bucks or so to take that special sailing, there are basic tips you should take along to help you find love at sea. Here are some suggestions:

1. No matter how youthful you think you look after Botox and hair dye, sign up for a cruise with your own age group. If  in your 60s, don’t sail on a 20s and 30s only cruise. Make sure the cruise you choose is exactly the one you want. Be aware of ethnic, religious, gay, couger and other special cruises you may want to join or avoid.

Review of objects allowed or taboo on flights PDF Print E-mail

Scuba diver

Hey, don’t even think about it
If you plan to fly on busy holiday weekends, or at any other time, you’ll save delays if you obey the rules. According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), there are several categories of restricted objects you may or may not take with you on your flight.

Some are totally banned, others must be only in checked baggage and less-dangerous others may be taken in carry-on bags. This list contains just the general rules, and TSA is continually changing and updating them. For air passengers planning their flights, it's a sensible idea to continually check the latest information so that their check-in process will go as smoothly and trouble-free as possible.


They include such potentially dangerous items such as gunpowder products, dynamite, blasting caps, fireworks, flares, plastic explosives and grenades. Parents traveling with children should note that the ban also applies to toys or models that closely resemble any of the above items.

Flammable Items: Any types of gasoline, alcohol or other liquid products that could ignite spontaneously or quickly. Exceptions are prescription items containing alcohol. They may be allowed if sealed in a proper, labeled container. Strike-anywhere matches are not allowed.

Containers where ingredients are under heavy, potentially-explosive pressure are banned. This applies to aggressive and self-protection products, such as mace, tear gas and pepper spray. Some hygienic aerosols are permitted if properly labeled and in small plastic containers of three ounces or smaller. In most cases, passengers with small personal oxygen tanks may not take them if the aircraft can provide the service.

Poisonous liquids: These include acids, drain cleaners, peroxides, weed killers, fertilizers and other corrosive fluids.


How you can avoid Sin City’s sinful smokers PDF Print E-mail

Smoker cartoon

Q: I’ll attend our company’s annual conference and awards program in Vegas next month. I’m not a gambler and cigarette smoke makes me sick. It’ll be bad enough when I have to be coughing all evening at a big resort’s smoke-clogged convention center, but I can survive if I can find a a nice quiet, clean-aired hotel on or near the Strip. Is there such a place you can recommend? 

A: We like Vegas, too, don’t mind the noise and casino crowds, but hate the addicted smokers fouling up the air. Yes, we’ll reveal the best kept clean-air secret hideaway in Las Vegas. It’s the all-suite Platinum Hotel on Flamingo Road, across the Strip from the Bellagio and  just behind Bally's. If you want to visit other parts of Vegas, it’s conveniently near a monorail station.

Suite prices start from $129 a night. For more information check with your favorite hometown or online travel agency, or go to: theplatinumhotel.com


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