Photo of the Day: Fasnacht characters

Context accounts for so much. In the right context, even the most outlandish costume looks appropriate, and an everyday outfit can look out of place. Last month, much of the world celebrated Carnival or Mardi Gras, leading up to the Lenten period which marks the 40 days and nights before Easter. In Germany, they celebrate Fasnacht on the day before Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins, with lots of parades, sugary treats, and silly costumes. Which is where today’s Photo of the Day comes in, captured by Flickr user Taylor McConnell. These gentlemen from Wiesbaden, southwest of Frankfurt, are wearing remnants from their Fasnacht costumes. Earlier, they were likely surrounded by other revelers in multicolored wigs and sparkly pasties, but sitting in a bar, they just look odd. On the same day in New Orleans or Rio, there were probably similar groups of oddly dressed characters relaxing after many days of all-night partying. Context can be everything, and what a difference a day makes.

Share your best travel shots with us in the Gadling Flickr pool and you might see one as a future Photo of the Day.

Pack for a theme party – Cruise tip

If you really want to get into the spirit of a cruise, you’ll want to participate in any theme parties or special events on board.

Before departing, contact the cruise line to find out what will be offered on your cruise. Toga parties require a gown made of bed sheets, of course, while shamrocks and green hats are appropriate for a St. Patrick’s celebration. Beads, feathers and masks are in order for a Mardi Gras parade, and pirate garb would be appropriate for any pirate-themed celebration.

You can sometimes buy the items aboard ship to make your costume, but why spend the money? Pack your own outfit and save your cash for a Hurricane cocktail.

Related: Choose a themed cruise – Cruise tip

Party with Hef at the Playboy Mansion for Halloween

If haunted houses, ghost hunts, cemetery tours, zombie pub crawls and other usual Halloween attractions just aren’t sexy enough to make your holiday complete, if you want more girls and less gore, and if you’ve got $1000 to drop, make plans now to attend the Kandy Halloween Party at the Playboy Mansion.

I was always under the impression that you had to be an invited guest (or a lowly “Tunnel of Love” ride attendant as my husband was for the party in 1999) to attend. That’s not the case. A $1000 ticket and a costume (which is mandatory) will get you access to “1,000 of the sexiest girls in the world”, plus Hef and some Bunny-loving celebrities.

The party will be held on October 24th and tickets cost $1000-$2000 per person, unless you want to roll in some serious style. Then you’ll need to shell out about $10,000 for a table or cabana, table service, Crystal, seating for 8-10 people, and a Kabana girl to attend to your every need.

I wonder if November’s cover girl, Marge Simpson, will be there.

[via Jaunted]

Five haunted attractions for Halloween: options around the world

Halloween is the one day a year we seek fear rather than try to avoid it. We invite the prospect of ghosts, witches and vampires, and even if we concede that they aren’t real, it’s fine to suspend disbelief for a day. To heighten the sensation, consider wrapping your next trip in the Halloween spirit. There are plenty of destinations around the world that will help the hairs on the back of your neck to stand on end.

1. Melbourne’s Haunted Bookshop
Ghost-hunter and historian Drew Sinton is waiting for you at The Haunted Bookshop in Melbourne, Australia. If you’re not afraid of the written word, this starting point won’t scare you, but along the way, you’ll hit a number of spots where ghosts have been sighted. Old Melbourne Goal (jail, that is) was home to 135 hangings. One of them, Ned Kelly, is said to have resulted in a ghost that won’t leave the site of his demise. While you’re there, walk the road to the gallows. If this isn’t enough for you, look for nutty ghosts on the Beechworth Ghost Tour at what was once the Mayday Hills Lunatic Asylum.

2. Under the Royal Mile
Beneath Edinburgh‘s Royal Mile, you’ll find a warren of hidden “closes” where people once lived, worked … and perished. Mary King’s Close, once abandoned and forgotten, is now open via the Supernatural History Tour. Explore one of Scotland’s most haunted locations, get the scoop on urban myths and hear about sightings that occurred as recently as 2003. A few claim to have felt ghosts brush past on this tour. Will you be one of them?

3. Follow New France’s Great Master
Old Montreal‘s cobblestone streets set the scene for any supernatural encounter. The sun goes down; the wind blows off the river. You don’t know what’s gust and what’s ghost! History is the breeding ground of the other-worldly, and the Great Master will take you through the century’s that have contributed to what is now the “New France Ghost Hunt.”

4. The Darker Side of Luxury
No, you won’t have to worry about peasant uprisings, but if you’re looking for paranormal trouble, you can find it at a handful of Fairmont hotels. At the Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa (where I suffered through a business trip from hell a decade ago), keep an eye open for Victoria, a now deceased member of one of the founding families of the Sonoma Valley. A former steward, now dead, of course, hangs out in the silver room at the Fairmont Royal York, and a hotel maid who fell to her death in 1908 has yet to leave the Fairmont Empress.

5. The Ghastly Side of Downtown Orlando
I’m sure there’s something going on at Disneyworld, but skip it in favor of downtown Orlando (my favorite part of Florida). On the Orlando Ghost Tours, you’ll get two hours to pick up the basics of parapsychology and poke around in locations confirmed to be haunted. You’ll even get to use specialized equipment to conduct your own paranormal investigation. Who you gonna call? After this, probably yourself.

Galley Gossip: How to create a flight attendant Halloween costume

It’s that time of year, people! Hopefully you’ve already figured out what you’re going to be for Halloween. It is right around the corner, ya know.

I’m the type of person who usually waits until the last second to pull something together, which is why I almost always end up feeling insecure about my costume, a crap costume, which only leads to a miserable night out – that is if I even go out! It all depends on just how crappy the crap costume actually ends up.

But this year I’ve decided to do things a little differently and embrace the holiday season. I’m going to dress up in something I’ve planned out well in advance. What that costume may be I still don’t know, but my three year-old knows that he’s going as Captain Hook and wants me to dress up as Tinkerbell. Not a chance. Thankfully there’s still plenty of time to figure it out.

Now if you’re like me, you’re looking for a costume that’s easy to throw together and inexpensive. So why not live out your inner fantasy and dress up as me – a flight attendant! Think about it, you’ll be able to deliver drinks and do the pointy-point all night long. Oh you know you want to!

Last year at this exact same time I came across an interesting post from Jennine (that’s her in the photo) who has a fantastic fashion blog called The Coveted. Imagine my surprise when I spotted her dressed up as a stewardess for Halloween, a fantastic get up she created by using clothing from her very own closet.

“All you need,” Jennine writes,”is a hat, gloves, a neck scarf, a go-go dress or shift dress, a vest, and knee high boots.”

As for hair and make up, Jennine suggests to go heavy on the liquid eyeliner and use blue eyeshadow and red lips. Of course the beehive is a must.

What’s that you say, the retro look really isn’t your thing? You’d much rather unleash your inner slut? That’s okay. It’s a good thing I’m here help.

I plugged the words FLIGHT ATTENDANT COSTUME into the search engine and then went through dozens of web sites until I narrowed it down to my favorites. See a costume you like, just click on the picture and you’ll be directed to a page where you’ll be able to place an order. It’s that simple. You can thank me later. By the way, the pink and orange dress with the white go-go boots is by far my favorite retro flight attendant costume – just in case you were wondering. Now don’t start clicking away just yet, not before you have a chance to scroll down to the bottom of this post for a few very important tips on how to complete your flight attendant transformation.

You’ve picked out the perfect flight attendant costume, so why not take it a step further and go for it. See what it’s like, really like, to work the unfriendly skies by doing what flight attendants spend a good portion of their time doing at 30,000 feet…

Point a lot: “Flight attendants tend to point a lot, they point at the exits, they point at the aisle, they point at the bathrooms. They point at your trays while they are telling you to put them away,” writes Jennine.

Smile: Fake smiles are even better.

Apologize Do it as often as possible, even when it’s not your fault. Make sure to mean it when you say it.

Sell whatever you can get your hands on. Why not have fun and make a little money while doing so.

Pick up trash – I’m not talking about your future ex-boyfriend or girlfriend.

“Abuse” your power. Flash your badge and cut the line. Once you get where you need to be, push your way through the crowd while reminding people that the seat belt sign is on.

Happy Halloween. Hope you have a terrible fright!