Farecompare.com is a great website for comparing a multitude of fares and also picking up some hand travel tips. Here one about How to Avoid ‘Crappy’ Food when travelling by air.

Farecompare takes over:

A friend once told me, “Food consumed in the air has no calories.” I like the way she thinks but alas, it’s not true. Here’s the question: Can you avoid crappy food and find the healthy stuff while traveling? Sure you can, and here are some ideas. Be sure and see the update below.

Disclaimer: We are not doctors, nutritionists or even restaurant reviewers. If food is an issue, consult a health care professional. This is for those who try to avoid crappy food when possible and might want a little guidance.

1. First, Find the Cheapest Flight Possible

Why? You’ll have more left over to spend on anything from great food in wonderful restaurants to fun events at your vacation city. So start by getting the best flight deal possible and that means comparing airfares. Tip: If you’re don’t have to travel on a specific date, you can often find very cheap flights year-round on the Getaway Map.

2. Eat the Free Food on Planes

Yes, free food is making a comeback – on a couple of airlines anyway.

Delta: As of March 2017, Delta began offering free meals in coach class on several long-haul routes and more are coming. Healthy stuff: Turkey and vegetarian wraps, plus fruit and cheese plates (and certain overnight flights feature a breakfast bar).
UPDATE: One air travel industry insider believes American and United may join Delta in free economy meals, if only to maintain their competitive edge. When this could happen isn’t known.
Hawaiian: Flights from the mainland U.S. to Hawaii also offer free meals in economy. Example: Ginger chicken with peas, carrots, corn and steamed white rice.
International flights: Most offer free food in economy including a wide range of chicken and pasta dishes; Emirates Airlines, for example, serves a chicken and herb-seasoned dish or sweet and sour fish; both come with vegetables.
International flights with no free food: Ultra-discount carriers such as Norwegian and Wow only provide food for purchase but it includes plenty of healthy (and tasty-sounding) options like salmon salad and bags of nuts.
Free snacks: Both Southwest and JetBlue have reputations for a wide array of free snacks that include healthy-ish type items like JetBlue’s dried cranberries and popcorn chips.
3. Bring Your Own Food

Make a sandwich the night before you leave; you’ll have something cheap to eat you know you’ll like. It can be healthy – and filling – and maybe you’ll be less tempted by those overpriced bags of candy and chips in the airport news kiosks. More ideas:

Hummus or peanut butter-smeared rice cakes
Small plastic tub of salad
Granola bars, fruits and vegetables
Remember, no liquids in containers larger than 3.4 ounces through security so bring an empty bottle to fill up past the checkpoint or get a free drink on the plane. Note: You have to pay for soft drinks on most of the super-discount airlines including Frontier, Ryanair and Spirit.

4. Avoid the Crappy Food – Fast Food

Many food-conscious travelers already know this stuff; it’s kind of common-sensical, but it may be news to some.

Fast food burgers: Tasty? Absolutely! But if you’re looking to cut calories, might want to go with a fast food salad and skip the fries. And the milk shake.
Pastries: Yes, sometimes you do deserve a treat and those giant sweet rolls with white icing are delicious. On the other hand, they are not necessarily ideal for dieters. One popular airport-and-mall bakery franchise offers a pecan/caramel treat that sources say is 1,080 calories but these shops also offer donut-hole snacks for 260 calories.
Pizza: What would the world be without pizza? But for the health conscious, it’s all about the toppings. One popular airport pizzeria’s site says a slice of its extra-meat pizza has 600 calories but they also offer a tomato & spinach slice with just 370 calories.
5. Avoid Crappy Food – Airport Restaurants

Most airports aren’t foodie destinations but that could be changing thanks to an explosion of good dining options. We’ve got some examples of good food at good airport restaurants around the world but please not that menus can change without notice. Tip: Click the city to find a cheap flight.

Hong Kong: This award-winning airport has a wide array of Asian and Western options including Chinese, Greek, Italian, French and numerous establishments serving vegetarian dishes. Try the fish balls or get a taste of home at McDonald’s. See more restaurants here.
London Heathrow: So many restaurants but we like the sound of Leon because one reviewer wrote, “Fast food that’s good for you might be a confusing concept, but a quick look at what’s on offer [at Leon] proves it’s not an impossible dream.” Rhubarb sounds good too; it offers “a welcome alternative to the ‘stodgy’ full-English breakfast.” See more here.
Los Angeles: Try Petrossian for caviar; it’s only about 40 calories per tablespoon and heck, how much can you afford to eat? Plus there are lots of salads at Lemonade. See more here.
New York (JFK): Deep Blue Sushi has – well, sushi – and Piquillo is recommended for paella and ceviche. See more here.
Frankfurt: Okay, so maybe Deustch doesn’t top the list of healthy options thanks to all those wonderful sausages (reviewers say they’re really good) but sauerkraut is kind of light. See more here.
San Francisco: Napa Farms Market offers a changing seasonal menu but usually includes a yogurt bar, rotisserie meats and fresh berries, while fans of Cat Cora’s Kitchen love the oysters and artichokes. If you overdo it, you can always visit the airport’s yoga room. See more here.
Sydney: The airport’s website lists a bunch of ‘healthy eating’ options including Little Bok Choy and Soul Origin. See more here.
Safe travels – and savour the journey.

 

Are they nervous, or bored, or completely oblivious? There’s no one-size-fits-all diagnosis for the airplane seat kicker, but they’re universally annoying.

For the third year in a row, rear seat kickers have earned the dubious distinction of being the No. 1 most offensive type of airline passenger.
They beat out inattentive parents, aromatic passengers, seat recliners and more in the fourth annual Expedia Airplane Etiquette Study, released Tuesday.
Drawn from feedback from 1,005 Americans age 18 and over, the study shows that 64% of respondents find the rear seat kicker annoying. Inattentive parents rank second, aggravating 59% of those surveyed, followed by smelly or “aromatic” passengers (55%).
Rear seat kickers have topped the rankings since 2014. In 2013, the first year of the study, inattentive parents topped the list.
Despite some variations, there’s a common theme from study to study.
“A prevailing theme across all four years of the study is the importance people place on the sanctity of their personal space within the tight confines of an airplane,” said Dave McNamee, Expedia spokesman.
The good news?
“A sizable majority of Americans — 70-80% of people — consider their fellow passengers to be ‘considerate,'” McNamee noted.
Annoying passenger rankings
So how do all the aggravating passengers stack up? Here’s the full 2016 list:
1. The Rear Seat Kicker (cited by 64% of respondents)
2. Inattentive Parents (59%)
3. The Aromatic Passenger (55%)
4. The Audio Insensitive (49%)
5. The Boozer (49%)
6. Chatty Cathy (40%)
7. The Queue Jumper (35%)
8. Seat-Back Guy (35%)
9. The Armrest Hog (34%)
10. Pungent Foodies (30%)
11. The Undresser (28%)
12. The Amorous (28%)
13. The Mad Bladder (22%)
14. The Single and Ready to Mingle (18%)
Commissioned by online travel company Expedia, the study was conducted by GfK, an independent market research company.

The ‘La Caja’ China roasting box has been placed firmly at the top of my new BBQ wish list:

Although, called the La Caja China, the concept hails from Cuba.

There’s a pig and a chicken inside that box – along with coals burning down from the top.

A quick check

Coals burning away

Some of the accoutrements needed to make this whole thing work – quite an event

At La Caja China, we believe barbequing is a work of art meant to be shared with friends and family. However, we know many people don’t have the time to truly enjoy barbequing because of all the work required to cook meat with traditional grills and rotisseries. With the La Caja China roasting box, the work and time required to grill meat is cut in half. Our China box roasters can cook up to 100 pounds of meat in four hours, meaning you can prepare more food in less time. The BBQ box, known as a Cajun microwave in some areas, requires little supervision because it builds up and maintains an even heat fast and effortlessly.

Our La Caja China pig cookers and grills are perfect for personal and business use and have been used by master chefs, including Bobby Flay and Martha Stewart. No pig roaster will get your skin as crispy or meat as juicy as our China box. La Caja China is also portable, allowing for seamless transportation between events for caterers. Our family designed La Caja China in order to give everyone the best possible BBQ experience, regardless of their budget. We know a La Caja China will help you in your backyard, at your event or business, and leave you and your friends with a full stomach and a smile.

Interested, click here.

I know, I know, it’s early but we’re excited!

A beautiful sight at Oysterpond, Cape Cod. Down the staircase he goes, back over the Atlantic and home!

Number 12 belongs to Quarterback legend Tom Brady – superhero of the Pats.

January means that it’s NFL Playoff time and those of us up here in New England follow the exploits and activities of the New England Patriots closely as they inch towards another Superbowl showdown.

The New England Patriots are a professional American football team based in the Greater Boston region. The Patriots compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member of the American Football Conference (AFC) East division. The team plays its home games at Gillette Stadium in the town of Foxborough, Massachusetts, which is located 21 miles (34 km) southwest of downtown Boston and 20 miles (32 km) northeast of downtown Providence, Rhode Island. The Patriots are also headquartered at Gillette Stadium.

An original member of the American Football League (AFL), the Patriots joined the NFL in the 1970 merger of the two leagues. The team changed its name from the original Boston Patriots after relocating to Foxborough in 1971. The Patriots played their home games at Foxboro Stadium from 1971 to 2001, then moved to Gillette Stadium at the start of the 2002 season. The Patriots’ rivalry with the New York Jets is considered one of the most bitter rivalries in the NFL.

The Patriots have appeared in the Super Bowl eight times in franchise history, six of them since the arrival of head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady in 2000. The Patriots have since become one of the most successful teams in NFL history, winning 14 AFC East titles in 16 seasons since 2001, without a losing season in that period. The franchise has since set numerous notable records, including most wins in a ten-year period (126, in 2003–2012), an undefeated 16-game regular season in 2007, the longest winning streak consisting of regular season and playoff games in NFL history (a 21-game streak from October 2003 to October 2004), and the most consecutive division titles won by a team in NFL history (won eight straight division titles from 2009 to 2016). The team owns the record for most Super Bowls reached by a head coach-quarterback tandem (six), as well as being the first tandem to win the Super Bowl 13 years after the first.

Sunday 22nd January 2017 – another date with destiny – the Pats vs Pittsburgh Steelers for the right to play in the 2017 Super Bowl!

Spotted in the Chatham Squire Bar and Restaurant, Chatham. Note the reference to taking your clubs away!

 

We all know that craft beer consumption is on the up; artificial big brand beer is going down.

We visited a local Cape Cod brewery, Devil’s Purse to have our own look at what the fuss is all about.

The range – Growlers, Howlers, Crowlers. Each bottle/pack size has it’s own distinctive name.

Gleaming tanks in a highly sterile environment.

Devil’ Purse is predominantly a ‘tap’ venture.

Kegs and Logs – half size kegs, waiting to go out to the pubs and clubs.

Matt, co-founder and master brewer

For more information on Devil’s Purse, click here.

World Series and American Conference pennants line Yawkey Way.

Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox.

Yawkey Way is a short street in the city of Boston, Massachusetts. Located in Back Bay, it runs for two blocks from Brookline Avenue in the north to Boylston Street in the south, where it changes to Jersey Street. It used to be a continuation of Jersey Street, part of the Back Bay scheme of alphabetical streets. The street is named after Tom Yawkey, owner of the Boston Red Sox from 1933–1976.

4 Yawkey Way is famous as the address of Fenway Park, the Red Sox’s home stadium, and is closely identified with the park and the team. The park’s original address was 24 Jersey Street before it was renamed in Yawkey’s honor.

2016 – American East Conference Champions!

 

The Newport Mansions are one of the most popular tourist attractions in Rhode Island, with about 800,000 visitors a year.

Even people who don’t normally like “historic homes tours” love visiting the Newport Mansions!

The Breakers (pic above):
The Breakers is the largest and most popular of all the Newport Mansions, attracting nearly 350,000 visitors a year!

Built by the Vanderbilt family in 1895, this 70-room summer “cottage” was designed in the Italian Renaissance style. The home and grounds overlook Newport’s famous Cliff Walk.

Marble House (see above):
Marble House gets about 160,000 visitors each year, making it the second most popular mansion. Like The Breakers, it was built for the Vanderbilt family.

Inspired by a chateau on the grounds at Versailles, the home was built between 1888 and 1892 with 500,000 cubic feet of marble!

Although smaller than The Breakers, some consider Marble House more “opulent.”

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