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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

National Plan for Vacation Day


The photo taken below of the Masonic Temple, as my last trip on March 7th when I attended the 2020 Philadelphia Flower Show with a friend. We noticed the show was much less crowded than normal for a Saturday, and we took advantage of the gorgeous weather to walk around Philadelphia a bit. I want to explore the area more as we found some beautiful architecture. We never thought it would get to the situation it became, not being able to travel. I am so fortunate that I live within a 2 hours bus ride to NYC and Philadelphia, as well as other great cities. I am in missing travel in such a MAJOR way! 

Today is National Plan for Vacation day and it's a great idea to start thinking about scheduling some travel plans for 2021, that you can cancel if need be. I personally am looking to hopefully get back to New York City by the Fall season, depending on how things with COVID are at the time. Road trips are going to be big this year as driving to your destination yourself is a great way to travel and see something different. 


WASHINGTON (January 22, 2021)—If it wasn’t obvious already, the latest research confirms it: Americans need a vacation.

More than six in 10 Americans (63%) report that they “desperately” need a vacation after trauma of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data prepared for the U.S. Travel Association by the research firm Destination Analysts.

Destination Analysts has also found:

  • Close to six in 10 American travelers (59%) miss traveling “very much” and 55% are excited about leisure travel in the next six months. (Destination Analysts, Coronavirus Travel Sentiment Index Report, 1/18)
  • Close to three quarters (72%) of employed Americans indicated they set aside time to plan out vacation days for the coming year, and 84% of Americans are excited to plan a vacation in the next six months. (Destination Analysts, December 2020)
  • More than nine in 10 (93%) American workers say it is important to use their paid time off to travel. (Destination Analysts, December 2020)
  • Once a vaccine is available and accessible, 53% of American workers prefer to use their paid time off to take a vacation away from home. (Destination Analysts, December 2020)

Enter National Plan for Vacation Day, celebrated on the last Tuesday of each January with the goal of encouraging Americans to plan all of their days off for the year at the beginning of the year.

Historically, National Plan for Vacation Day has been intended to help address the problem of Americans failing to utilize all of their earned time off each year (an issue that persists, according to the latest data).

But as the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on virtually every aspect of society—and notably on people’s ability to move about and congregate freely—National Plan for Vacation Day is taking on a special significance is 2021. Two key reasons:

Looking ahead to a travel experience provides a psychological boost. After the significant suffering and anxiety of the past year, putting a trip on the books can lift our outlook: previous polling found that 97% of Americans say having a trip planned makes them happier. And academic research has found that the positive effect of anticipating a journey rivals that of actually being on one.

It’s an ideal time for consumers to plan and book travel. With the chilling effect that the pandemic has had on travel, favorable offers from travel providers are abundant and change or cancellation policies are flexible throughout the industry—from flights, to hotels, to car rentals and theme parks. And as vaccines become more widely available and Americans’ pent-up demand for travel creates a booking surge, those offers are likely going to become harder to find.

“Vacation planners are going to be rewarded this year more than ever before,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. “Not only will planners reap the significant personal benefits of looking forward to their next travel experience, but they will find some of the friendliest booking conditions we have seen in a very long time.

“After the very real peril and hardship that too many have endured due to the pandemic, National Plan for Vacation Day is the perfect opportunity to look ahead to a future travel experience when the time is right for you to travel once again.”

Dow stressed that COVID-19 is still a very present challenge, and that all Americans must continue to put health and safety first. Making the decision to travel again is a very personal decision, he said, and when people choose to travel they must continue to embrace the health and safety practices that can keep themselves and their fellow travelers safe.

That’s why National Plan for Vacation Day aligns perfectly with Let’s Go There, the national initiative launched last year to spark a conversation about future getaways. Let’s Go There aims to tell travelers: When it’s time for you, we’ll be ready.


Don't let those PTO days get away from you! Be sure to try to schedule some travel time for this year. It makes us so very happy when we travel and see new things. I know it does for me big time, not sure where I will head my first visit in the city, but I am sure when I get there, my eyes will be a bit misty. 

If you do plan to travel, when you do feel you will be comfortable doing so ? 


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Sunday, January 17, 2021

Virtual Friends Tour with On Location Tours


Are we all not happy to welcome 2021 ? I know I am, however, travel is probably not going to be happening until maybe the Fall months. Many companies are offering great virtual tours to keep us safe at home but able to enjoy some fun activities. One of the blog's favorite tour companies, On Location Tours, has available a Friends Virtual Tour Package. For fans of the show, this is a great way to see where they filmed in the city and have some fun. It's a great activity to gather family, friends or co-workers you have not seen in a while! The video is 40 minutes long but you can break it up if you wish if watching solo. I really enjoyed this tour. 

My friend, Bénédicte, from France, took the tour and here are some of her thoughts:  
It's the kind of show that you would love watching with friends with a lot of popcorn during a Friends binge home night laughing all together. This virtual tour makes me want to do the in-person Friends tour! 

These tours are great to do and then go back and see all the places on our own. I have been taking On Location Tours for quite a few years and have always enjoyed every one. I have even found folks who live in NYC on these tours as sometimes they learn things as well! 

Tour Highlights

  • The tour is approximately 40 minutes long and features 18 locations from the acclaimed series. The purchase of a ticket also includes a Friends box shipped to your US home address (don’t worry, a smelly cat isn’t included in the box). The box contains a Central Perk mug along with four other surprise items, which are all essential for the virtual tour (and great keepsakes for after the tour as well).
  • In addition to seeing the notorious Friends NYC apartment building, which sits on the sixth floor above the local coffee shop Central Perk, you’ll pass by Chandler’s work building, and the Museum of Natural History, where Ross works as a paleontologist. Note to self: When working with Ross, never eat his sandwich!
  • You will also swing by Bloomingdale’s where Rachel is hired as an assistant buyer, as well as Saks 5th Avenue where Joey’s new day job forces him to compete with another cologne spritzer, “The Hombre Man.” I think at this point, we all knew that Joey should have just stuck with his acting career.
  • The purchase of a ticket also includes a Friends box shipped to your US home address (don’t worry, a smelly cat isn’t included in the box). The box contains a Central Perk mug along with four other surprise items, which are all essential for the virtual tour (and great keepsakes for after the tour as well).
  • And last but not least, purchasing a ticket will grant you admission to the virtual Friends trivia night, where you will go up against other Friends super fans (don’t worry, you’ll do a great job). So pour yourself a “quarantini,” order the Joey Special, bake some Nestlé toll house cookies and sit back and enjoy!



Friends Virtual Tour + Package
Includes free access to Friends Trivia and a Friends box shipped to your US home address (don’t worry, a smelly cat isn’t included in the box).  $68
Friends Virtual Tour (no package) 
Includes free access to Friends Trivia  $29

If you are really getting bored by now, I know I sure am, give some thought to doing a Friends Virtual Tour as it's a fun escape from this world right now. I think we all need that just a little bit!! I hope if you do take the tour, that you enjoy it and feel free to leave comments after you have. 

Disclosure: I was provided (2) tickets for the Virtual Friends Tour from On Location Tours for this review. There has been no monetary compensation for this post. I only recommend products that I feel will be of interest to my readers, and that I am truly impressed by. All opinions are my own. Thank you!! 


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Friday, January 1, 2021

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2021


I think it is safe to say we are all very happy 2020 is over and done with. I am so looking forward to this year, and the positive it will bring us. The photos above were of the Afternoon Tea at the Peninsula Hotel my friend and I attended in 2017. It was a glorious day, the city was pretty empty on New Year's Day and we sat for hours just chatting and enjoying champagne. We were supposed to do this again January 2020 but I ended up getting sick and had to cancel that morning. I also had the pleasure of a little squirrel in my home in January, funny now but not at the time, and should have realized 2020 was not going to be a good year. Little did I know how bad it would get as the months went on.

We are now in 2021, and I hope you are all doing well and staying healthy. For those who have lost loved ones, I am so deeply sorry. I hope you know they are always with you in your heart. I often think how my parents would have dealt with the pandemic, and although I miss them terribly, I wouldn't have wanted them to deal with what 2020 brought us. 

Please be sure to be careful out there, wear your mask and do what you can to not get this virus. We all need to stick together and be there for each other. Remember kindness goes a long way, especially now as we never know what someone else may be going through. We are in the home stretch and I really feel things are going to improve greatly in 2021. We also need to support our local/small businesses and restaurants. They have been hit so hard by this pandemic, and so many you can patronize online, please do so. I will be highlighting more places this year in the city that ship so you can have a little bit of NYC at your door. 

May 2021 bring you much happiness, health and love. 


All my best,
Rosemary 


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