Auctioning a family heirloom for a cause: With this Ring Project

It’s true that it takes very little to make a difference in people’s lives. A few thousand dollars could either cover a fraction of an American wedding, or stretch pretty far in philanthropic work in places like Nepal, Mexico, or Ecuador.

Or in this case, both at once.

Starting January 1st, a serious blind-the-wedding-party diamond ring is going up for bid on With This Ring‘s website for five weeks. The project’s founder, Chris Ammon, inherited it – but as beautiful as it is, it’s not her style.

What’s a philanthropic gal of the world to do? Chris is auctioning it off and donating the money to eight international grassroots projects that she’s personally been touched by — including quilt making in Nepal that helps send kids to school, veterinary assistance in Mexico, and schooling for low-income children in Ecuador.

If you’re in the market for a ring, this is one for the record books – a platinum setting, with an emerald-cut 2.75 ct. main diamond and smaller diamonds on the side. Its estimated value is $22,000.

You can place your own bid for the ring on the website’s blog until February 7th.

Ivana Trump forced off Palm Beach flight

What does Ivana Trump dislike about airplanes more than peanut packets or lines outside the lavatory?

Children running around, making noise in the aisles.

That’s what threw her over the edge on her Delta flight departing Palm Beach Airport yesterday.

Originally what made he upset was something about her first-class seat in the LaGuardia-bound plane. Flight attendants tried to calm her by offering her another seat and headphones. Then, it was the children running up and down the aisles that really made her angry.

The way that sources tell it, she turned belligerent and swore up a storm at everybody around her — the kids, the adult passengers, and even the sheriff’s deputies who asked her to voluntarily get off the plane.

She put up a fuss, then finally gave in and deplaned — only after the airline offered to let her fly on a later flight.

All told, the plane had to return to the gate and the scene caused a two-hour delay.

Groom arrives at Corpus Christi Airport to a surprise wedding — his own

Cinnabon-tinged air. Mumbled overhead announcements. And a few hundred weary strangers by your side.

Now that’s romantic.

But that’s probably what Robyn Moore must’ve gotten when she arranged an impromptu wedding for her fiance, William Acosta, at the Corpus Christi International Airport.

He arrived on his flight from Toledo, Ohio, wearing jeans and a sweater, and clutching his carry-on bags. She greeted him, wearing a wedding gown and accessorized by a justice of the peace.

They said their “I do”s right there in the terminal, surrounded by some family and the travelers who were nearby. Official photos were taken near the Christmas tree at a security checkpoint.

The two had already picked up a marriage license last week, with the idea of getting married before the end of the year — except they didn’t know where or when.

Why an airport? They had been dating long distance between Texas and Ohio for a year and a half. Moore figured an airport wedding was appropriate, considering they had spent so much time during their relationship in airports.

Hyatt’s 24-hour sale today: 40% off

A holiday gift is landing on your doorstep — but you’ll only get the chance to unwrap it today.

Until 11:59 p.m. tonight, you can get 40% off a stay at a Hyatt Hotel. It’s only available for hotels in North America, but that includes Lake Tahoe, Maui, and Curacao (opening in March). You have a wide window of opportunity for your stay — it can be between now and May 31, 2010.

Get an extra perk — a wine/fruit welcome — when you mention code 24TWT during your reservation.

Survey shows best airports for making your (love) connection

If you think about it, all of the stars are aligned at an airport.

Get a group of people together with a) a common interest in travel, b) extra time on their hands, and c) good ol’ human chemistry, and you’ve got a petri dish with love connections in the making.

But a new survey argues that not every airport is equal in opportunity. Oh no.

The top three airports are Newark, JFK, and Philadelphia. Foreign rendezvous aren’t excluded, mind you. The first three international listings are Paris’ Charles de Gaulle, London’s Heathrow, and Rome’s Fiumicino.

The 33 largest international airports were rated on on-time statistics, historical weather conditions, and amenities (bars, restaurants, activities) per person per airport.

For example, a connection is more likely to happen if you have a long layover at a place with great restaurant options.

Along with the report on AXE’s Facebook page are suggestions for making the most of your wait time, such as: “Spark conversation by casually pulling out your small wad of left-over foreign currency.”

The survey was created by Sperling’s BestPlaces, and commissioned by Axe (makers of grooming products for men).