Home Edition #3

Dear Travelers,
Yes, we still consider ourselves, and you, travelers. Just because we are stuck in one place does not change who we are or, we assume, what we want, though at this particular moment in time, perhaps what we want – even more than going SOMEWHERE – is the health and safety of our friends and family.

We’re back with another Timely Travel Thoughts, Home Edition. If you feel like this one comes sooner than expected, you’re right! It’s just that we are reading EVERYTHING having to do with traveling or the lack thereof, and some of you have also sent us some great links and suggestions so our newsletters are filling up faster than ever before. Rather than wait and send our missives further apart but longer, we thought you might appreciate a little diversion more often.

We continue to hope you and yours are safe and healthy and you have not lost your minds, your patience or your sense of humor. And, of course, we hope you have maintained your desire to see the world. When the time comes we cannot wait to help you get back out there. But for now…

The songs Andrea Bocelli sang in the empty Milan Cathedral during his “Music For Hope” Easter broadcast were sublime and beautiful. But it was his rendition of Amazing Grace, sung standing alone outside the cathedral, that sent shivers up our spines and brought tears to our eyes. Click HERE

What we are dreaming of: The best Porchetta sandwich in the world
Audrey’s love for this dish knows no bounds. All’Antico Vinaio is in Florence, just behind the Uffizi Gallery. There are two, across the street from one another. You’ll have no trouble spotting them – there is always a long line of locals waiting patiently. The choices are numerous, but she always orders La Favolosa – filled with cured meats and cheese and their wonderful artichoke spread and served on Schiacciata – a large round bread that is more fragrant and slightly more dense than focaccia. If she’s in town long enough, she’ll go back for the Porchetta sandwhich – truly the best in the world!

DIY Museum Masterpieces
The Getty Museum in Los Angeles challenged art fans to post photos of themselves recreating their favorite works of art from the safety of their homes. The results are classic.
Click HERE

What we are watching right now:
Would you like 2 minutes and 40 second of happiness right about now? Check out this dance mash up to one of our favorite songs — Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk. Everyone from Fred Astaire to John Travolta and Catherine Zeta-Jones to Olivia Newton John. It is just pure fun.
Click HERE

Songs that we can’t get out of our heads (but help when washing our hands):
Each set of lyrics lasts 20 seconds when you sing them. Boldly outloud or humming to yourself; it doesn’t matter. FYI – we timed ourselves singing these. Audrey belted them Broadway style while being timed, Anne was less loud but added a little dance step to hers.

For those who want to relive the 80s Culture Club – “Karma Chameleon” Chorus
Karma karma karma karma karma chameleon
You come and go, you come and go
Loving would be easy if your colors were like my dreams
Red gold and green, red gold and green

For Nostalgia Fans “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” from the Wizard of Oz
Someday I’ll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far
Behind me
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That’s where you’ll find me

For Country Fans Dolly Parton- “Jolene” Chorus
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
I’m begging of you please don’t take my man
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
Please don’t take him just because you can

For Broadway Fans Hamilton – “Not Throwing Away My Shot”
I am not throwing away my shot
I am not throwing away my shot
Hey yo, I’m just like my country
I’m young, scrappy and hungry
And I’m not throwing away my shot
I’ma get a scholarship to King’s College
I prob’ly shouldn’t brag, but dag, I amaze and astonish
The problem is I got a lot of brains but no polish
I gotta holler just to be heard
With every word, I drop knowledge

A couple of travel facts surprised us this week – and you probably did not need to know:

  • Favorite pizza topping in Sweden? Banana & curry powder
  • You’re never more than 30 steps away from a trash can in Disneyland.
  • Saudi Arabia is one of the 17 countries in the world without a single river flowing through it.
  • The island of Okunoshima in Japan is inhabited entirely by bunnies.
  • We have not been able to confirm this one yet, but from many sources we hear that almost 3% of the ice in Antarctica is made up of penguin urine

Fabulous, funny movies that have nothing to do with travel:
Movies we loved before and will still love after. We are asking you to trust us with just a few hours of your day – these are hilarious!

The Ref
Denis Leary plays a cat burglar, whose partner deserts him in the middle of a heist. He is forced to take an irritating Connecticut couple (Kevin Spacey, Judy Davis) hostage and soon finds that he is no match for the couple’s blackmailing son and despicable in-laws. Before long they’re driving him nuts with their petty bickering and disfunctional family. The only way for him to survive is to referee their differences before the police arrive.

So I Married an Axe Murderer
Pay no attention to the name; this rom-com gets us every time. Mike Meyers is Charlie, a poet who hasn’t had much luck with women, but then he meets Harriet, the girl of his dreams.. or maybe it’s his nightmares? Charlie begins to suspect that Harriet is Ms X, a woman who marries then kills her husbands. Hilarity ensues.

Game Night
Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams star as Max and Annie, whose weekly couples game night gets out of control when Max’s brother, Brooks (Kyle Chandler), arranges a murder mystery party, complete with fake thugs and federal agents. When Brooks gets kidnapped, it’s all part of the game–right? But as the six uber-competitive gamers set out to solve the case, they begin to see that neither this game–nor Brooks–are what they seem to be. Over the course of one chaotic night, the friends find themselves increasingly in over their heads as each twist leads to another unexpected turn. With no rules, no points, and no idea who all the players are, this could turn out to be the most fun they’ve ever had… or the end of it all.

The Other Guys
A caveat, this movie is only funny to males – usually under the age of 26 (but now our research says their grown fathers also find it hilarious). So, if you are sheltering in place with a teenage son – or any other male – you’ll look like a hero when you click on this one. Starring Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Michael Keaton, Eva Mendes, Steve Coogan, Samuel L. Jackson, and Dwayne Johnson.

Ngicela uhlale ekhaya (Please Stay Home in Zulu)
Jessica Nabongo’s wanderlust has shaped her world. She is a cultural ambassador, travel writer and expert, photographer and entrepreneur. She also happens to be the first black woman to travel to every country in the world. Here is a video she put together of some of the friends she made on her journeys: people from 84 countries are asking you in 75 different languages, to please stay home!
Click HERE

Hike the Appalachian Trail
Don’t wait a minute to download the free App ‘Walk The Distance’. Use your daily walking/running distance recorded from the Health app towards the Appalachian Trail. See other users completing the same route, and don’t let them pass you! Walk The Distance uses your walking/running distance (daily steps) tracked in the Health app and shows you how far along you would be if you were walking the Appalachian Trail, Boston Marathon, or other featured routes in cities and national parks around the world. There are free walks in each category (Appalachian Trail, Marathons, Cities, National Parks), then other walks are available for purchase for $0.99.

Plus, if you choose to walk the Appalachian Trail, you absolutely must read Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail. Even if you don’t plan on walking you should read it anyway – an account of his hilarious, and sometimes trying, Appalachian Trail adventure.

Time for a Coke!
We generally do not tout multinational companies that produce products that, while tasty, are not so good for you. Here is an exception. A Belgian advertising agency working for Coca-Cola hired an actor to randomly start laughing on a commuter train. With the tagline – “Happiness starts with a smile”– their new ad aims to bring a bit of joy to everyone’s day. Just watch and try to keep a straight face. Click HERE

Until our next Timely Travel Thoughts Home Edition is released, we urge you to:

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