RCL Quantum of the Seas Intros Robot Bartender

The combo of mechanical arms are called N1-C and B1-O, sort of reminders of C-3PO and T2-D2 from Star Wars. And maybe an earlier movie robot, too.

They serve on the Royal Caribbean Line’s newest and most technically-advanced cruise ship in its aptly-named Bionic Bar. After you belly up, whether you order a Bloody Mary or Scotch on the rocks, a robot will have the drink in front of you in a quick minute or so.

It all sounds great to us, and if we’re lucky enough to sail on the new RCL ship, we just have one question: How much do you tip a robot bartender? Further, what do you use as a tip? Are three screws, two wing nuts and a bolt enough? 

For more information on the Quantum of the Seas and other RCL schedules, go to www.royalcaribbean.com

Step out on glass at Sears Tower & Grand Canyon PDF Print E-mail

SkyWalk, Grand Canyon

Sears Tower, at the top of the tallest building in Chicago, is now featuring a walk in the sky. Well, it’s more like venturing on onto a four-foot box of clear glass on its 103rd Floor Skydeck. If you’re brave enough to go, you can see the city in all of its glory 1,353 feet below you.

Chicago isn’t called the Windy City for nothing, so you can imagine how it will feel when you’re out there and the box begins to sway. There’s a similar, but much more way-out glass deck feature now available for tourist visitors at the Grand Canyon. So, if you’re tempted to step out on the transparent suicide ledge either at the Sears Tower in Chicago and/or the Grand Canyon, go ahead. You’re already old, so what do you have to lose?

Dancers in Seoul, South Korea PDF Print E-mail
Korean dancers
Want a real cheap, real fun vacation with grandkids? PDF Print E-mail

Instead of inching along the highway for eight weekend hours to get to a crowded beach, or flying eight hours to get to a crowded theme park, try a staycation this year. It is not only a very simple task, but you can be sure your grandkids will enjoy it just as much as trying to see the guy dressed as Mickey and getting sick on the roller coaster.

Have the kids help you to pitch a tent in the backyard. Line the inside ground with blankets and equip everyone with sleeping bags or inflated mattresses. Take the kids to the local store and have them choose whatever they want for the overnight camping experience.Kids tosting marshmallows

When you’re all settled in at dusk, start a campfire and cook your dinner in pans. In the morning, do the same for breakfast. Steaks, chicken parts, hot dogs, bacon, eggs or whatever the kids want. Carve tree branches into sticks for toasting marshmallows and hot dogs.

Forget the world outside, and in fact, also, for just those fun hours, forget TV, computers, twitter, cell phones and any other kind of electricity. Sit around the campfire and have all tell spooky stories, jokes and sing songs. If it rains, retreat into the tent, light a candle and have the same fun to the beat of the rain on the canvas.

OK, you’re permitted to have one modern item. Bring your camera, still or video, and record this memorable night that will bring you and your family joy for years.

AAA gives legendary Beverly Hills Hotel its Five Diamond Rating PDF Print E-mail

Three Los Angeles area hotels, just a short half-hour (not during drive time) from each other were honored with the American Automobile Association’s Five Diamonds, its highest honors for excellence. In addition to the Beverly Hills are the Montage in Laguna Beach and the Four Seasons Westlake Village.

Others in the U.S. earning the honors for the first time are the Ritz-Carlton in Palm Beach, Florida, the Four Seasons in St. Louis, Missouri, and the InterContinental Buckhead in Atlanta, Georgia.

Why it took the AAA so long to recognize the posh Beverly Hills Hotel, which opened in 1912, is a mystery. The hotel has consistently kept up its extremely high quality, including lavishly decorous rooms, tropical landscaping and luxury bungalows surrounding its pool.

Remember when: A whole lotta shakin' goin' on PDF Print E-mail

John Houghtaling, 92, recently passed away. In case you don’t recognize the name, John invented the motel miracle called Magic Fingers. Remember when you drove cross-country in the 1950s and 1960s, and needed to bed down for the night? When you checked in, tired and achy from hours on the road, that’s when John’s invention offered solace.

Next to your motel bed was a metal box with a 25-cent coin slot on top. That coin would make your bed shake for about 15 minutes, presumably to help lull you to sleep. Of course, stand-up comics made jokes about how the devices could be used for more devious means at so-called no-tell motels.


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