Odds are, you’ll be on a smaller plane

Airlines are using the little planes for longer runs, these days. According to the Las Vegas Sun, the average regional airline flight hit 461 miles in 2008, up profoundly from 274 miles in 2009. That’s an increase of 41 percent! This is an industry-wide trend, so shopping around isn’t likely to help you get a larger jet. The major carriers are relying on regional affiliates, so you’ll probably be out of luck. The regionals fly more than half the flights from some pretty hefty airports, including LaGuardia, O’Hare, Milwaukee, Raleigh and Memphis. And, these airlines account for 45% of the traffic at Atlanta’s Hartsfield International, the busiest airport in the United States.

American Airlines and United announced that they were adopting this approach back in September, particularly at airports such as Chicago and Denver. Delta has moved its Washington-to-New York shuttle to one of its regional carriers, as well.

[Via USA Today]

NYC best city for singles (if you own a computer)

Looking for love lust on your next vacation? Your next trip should be to New York, which has knocked Atlanta out of the top spot as the best city in the country for singles. And, why wouldn’t it? You have more than 8 million people chasing their dreams, so the choices are endless. There’s one of everything, so in one night, you could meet every flavor of scumbag available. But, there’s an upside to all this variety, so don’t give up hope yet!

Atlanta fell to the sixth position, with Boston, Chicago, Seattle and Washington, D.C. occupying the second through fifth spots in this annual survey by Forbes.com. San Francisco, Los Angeles, Milwaukee and Philadelphia round out the top 10.

This is New York’s first time in the #1 spot, which evaluates 40 of the largest cities in the United States for “coolness, cost of living alone, culture, job growth, online dting, nightlife, and ratio of singles to the entire population.” Notably absent are: willingness of hot girls in that city to talk to you, cost of buying several drinks for someone genuinely out of your league and adult bookstores nearby to help you when you strike out yet again.

Well … I think New York would win on that one, too.

What pushed New York into the winners circle, apparently, was the number of people with online dating accounts. The city has more people hitting the web to scratch their various itches than any other city in the country.

Eudora Welty’s 100th birthday and historic landmark house

“Through travel I first became aware of the outside world; it was through travel that I found my own introspective way into becoming a part of it.” –Eudora Welty.

Today is Eudora Welty’s 100th birthday. Welty, the Pulitzer-Prize winning novelist for The Optimist’s Daughter, besides having a totally cool name, is a person who has inspired people to think, read and embrace the arts. Along with being a writer, Welty was a traveler and photographer. Throughout her life, Welty’s roots remained firmly in the American South.

As with other southern writers who remain beloved after their deaths, Welty’s legacy continues. One of my friends, who is an avid traveler, recently visited Eudora Welty’s house in Jackson, Mississippi and came back in a glow.

Welty’s house, a National Historic Landmark, is now a museum that is open for guided tours. Here is where Welty lived and wrote from 1925 until her death in 2001.

Along with being a place where one of the United States’ literary greats wrote, the house is one of the best intact examples of an American writer’s home. The Tudor-style home looks like it did when Welty was growing up here when she lived here with her parents and her siblings, and afterward when she penned her masterpieces.

Visiting her house is only one of the options for honoring Welty’s 100th birthday. There are several exhibits and events throughout the year.

The Eudora Welty Foundation Website lists several. Two exhibits are being shown at different venues.

“Welty” is a combination of Welty’s 1930s era photographs and excerpts from her writing to “show the relationship between her source material and her writing.”

You can see this exhibit through May 22, 2009 at Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia; from August 3 to September 25 at Bryan Public Library; and from November 10-January 2, 2010 at The Triangle Cultural Center, Yazoo City, Mississippi.

The other exhibit “Eudora Welty: Other Places” is a collection of photographs that Welty took took in New Orleans and New York City from 1936 to 1939. This exhibit is being shown at Sardis Public Library, Sardis, Mississippi through April 26 and at The Hernando Public Library, April 27-June 19.

According to the Website, as more exhibits and events are planned they will be added. Click here for Calendar of Events that also has contact numbers for the various locations.

Limited prints of Welty’s photo “Window Shopping” you see here are being sold to raise money for the foundation. My friend says that the home, as wonderful as it is, needs work in order to keep it up and running.

Travel or home improvement? How about travel to a home and garden show?

When I lived overseas some friends of mine, who also lived overseas, complained that when they were in the U.S. on vacation, they couldn’t relate to what excited people.

For example, one friend said that a friend of hers in the U.S. was excited about getting a new deck. My friend didn’t think that getting a new deck was exciting news. Planning an adventure vacation was exciting, however–unless you are a person who enjoys staying home enjoying a party on your new deck.

I did point out that for people who live overseas, buying items like carpets and unusual furniture can also give one that new things rush and that people like to show off at their parties. She agreed.

Once we moved back to the U.S., I discovered that we were fresh meat when it came to people trying to sell us stuff for home improvement. Let’s just say we have a whole house water improvement system that we have to feed salt, because we lived in two countries where we couldn’t drink the water. I have become more savvy since that purchase. Still, there are always home improvements that loom while we are off traveling.

This is the time of year when, now that vacation fun is fading into the past, the need to nest before winter kicks in begins to build. Somehow, each fall, I’m hooked into some “Let’s spruce up the place” endeavor. A friend who is a handy fellow is doing some plaster repair work today.

Because my friend who was less than impressed with decks has not moved back to the U.S., she is unaware that there are places to go dedicated to decks and other wonders of home improvement. Home and garden shows are a nesting bonanza. This month kicks off a flurry of fall activities geared towards getting people to focus on the place where they live.

At such shows, I’m one of those people who picks up brochures just so I can imagine what a sunroom might look like in the backyard. I won’t actually put a sunroom in the backyard, but the brochures are enticing. I also like to tour model homes and trailers. It’s not like I’d actually like to live in one, but it’s like visiting a movie set where you can imagine another kind of life.

A home and garden show, to a traveler, is a place to fantasize what your house might look like if you were ever home enough to fix it up–or what life would be like if you lived in one place.

Of course, a travel show opens up the possibilities of where you might go if you didn’t need to fix the leaky roof, or felt the draw of energy efficient windows. With some financial juggling, it is possible to take the trips and do home improvements.

The Home and Garden shows listed here are some of the ones I found for September and October.

Although there is an admission price, check local grocery stores or other venues for discount tickets. For example, the Best of Fall Show in Columbus, September 12-14 has free tickets at Krogers.

One thing I noticed about the Columbus show is that there are exhibitors specific to Ohio such as Longaberger baskets, as well as local celebrities. Chances are, if you go to a home and garden show, it’s a way to learn a bit about the state where the show is located. The one in Columbus also has travel related exhibitors which illustrates the fix up the house AND travel lifestyle.

Home and Garden Show in Canada

Toronto Home Show: September 18-21

Here’s a link to a site that lists several others. If you miss the ones this fall, there is always the spring.

New World of Coca-Cola Museum Opens Today

Once in a while one story leads to another. I was writing a post about Winter, the guy who is traveling around the world visiting Starbucks, when I headed to the Coca-Cola museum Web site. It turns out there is a grand opening today in Atlanta, Georgia. The Coca-Cola museum has a new look. It’s now called The New World of Coca-Cola Museum. Through Memorial Day (Monday) the celebration is taking place at the Pemberton Place green space.

Since the doors opened today at 2:00 visitors have been milling about looking at memorabilia, the traveling art exhibit of Andy Warhol’s paintings, the the bottling line and going to the 4-D theater.

I went to the old museum several years ago. My favorite part was the drink rooms where you can sample Coke products from around the world. There are 70 different flavors to try, but according to the Coke Web Site there are a lot more than that. One soft drink, for example is Cheers. I found out about it at the Virtual Vendor. If you click on the beverage type, then click on one of the brands that comes up, you can find out what the soda is called, what it tastes like and which country it is sold in. If you happen to be drinking a soda right now, maybe it’s a spin off from Coke.