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Under the "Pets on Trains Act of 2013," one car of each passenger train would allow furry friends, who would need to be brought aboard in kennels or crates that conform to standards set by Amtrak. The service could only be used on trips less than 750 miles in length, and a fee would be required. Currently, Amtrak only allows specially trained service animals on trains.
When introducing the bill on Tuesday, the sponsoring Representatives pulled at other Congresspeople's heartstrings, explaining that pets are part of people's families. "If I can take [my dog Lily] on a plane, why can't I travel with her on Amtrak, too?" asked Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), one of the bill's cosponsors. If things pan out, it won't be long before dogs and cats will be able to ride the rails alongside their owners.
Seat Alerts - Airplane Seat Monitoring and Alerting By ExpertFlyer.com is a must-have for anyone who has ever booked the last seat on a flight or been stuck in the middle with no way out. Monitoring flight information the user inputs, Seat Alerts sounds off if/when aisle or window seats open up on that flight. The free version gets one seat alert at a time. Multiple alerts are available for purchase. Seat maps also include recently updated SeatGuru seat ratings. Seats may not open up, but it's worth trying.
Airports by TravelNerd By NerdWallet
Airports puts all the information on the 70 most popular airports in one easy-to-use app. Other apps have basic terminal maps and real-time flight tracking but this one adds much more detail and has information on ground transportation, airport parking options (with coupons), Wi-Fi availability and pricing, airport restaurant, shop and lounge hours and locations along with an Offline mode that works without a signal.
Now choosing one has been made easier by a new interactive website by the European Environment Agency. The agency has released its 2012 figures for water quality of 23,511 "bathing waters." The website has them broken down by country and region. While most are beaches, popular inland swimming areas such as lakes are also included.
Some countries do better than others. Cyprus may be in economic doldrums, but 100% of their beaches have clean water. Slovenia, the subject of an upcoming series here on Gadling, gets equally high praise for its narrow strip of shoreline.
Scientists examined samples of water over several months in 2012, looking for evidence of pollution. It turns out 93 percent of sites had at least the minimum standard set by the European Union. The worst countries were Belgium, with 12 percent substandard swimming areas, and The Netherlands, with 7 percent.
Jim Henson's family has donated nearly 400 puppets, costumes, props, and other objects to the museum. They include items from all of his major projects such as "The Muppet Show," "Sesame Street," "Fraggle Rock," "The Dark Crystal" and others. The biggest stars included in the collection are Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Elmo, Ernie, Bert, Count von Count, Gobo Fraggle, the Swedish Chef, and Statler and Waldorf.
The 2,200 square-foot exhibition space will also feature storyboards, scripts, and video clips.
The new gallery will open in the winter of 2014-15. It will cost $5 million to build and has already received $2.75 million for the City of New York.
The study, which polled 11,800 passengers, rated flier satisfaction on a 1,000-point scale. It looked at everything from baggage fees to check-in to boarding processes and in-flight services to figure out just what makes air passengers tick.
If there was a grand tour of eating in the 21st century and we had to corner it to one continent only, it probably wouldn't be Europe. It would most likely be Asia, which has a tremendous diversity of flavors and ingredients and seems more and more clear that 21st-century eating habits are adopting Asian cuisine as its own.
There was no better place to explore this idea than at the annual Lucky Rice Festival. At the Grand Feast, housed in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in New York City, I asked a slew of well-known chefs what the best country in Asia is for eating.
Here's what they had to say:
The 2013 edition of the GVBR will get underway on November 23 and run through December 1. The nine-day tour will set out from the spectacular Blue Lake, located near the town of Mount Gambier in South Australia. From there, the route will wander for 610 kilometers (379 miles) along the Great Ocean Road and into the Otways, a lush and ecologically diverse rainforest punctuated by dramatic rock formations and towering waterfalls.
Tickets for the 2013 GVBR went on sale a few days ago and are already moving fast. The ride is limited to just 6000 participants, which sounds like a lot but previous years have actually sold out quite quickly. Anyone interested in joining in on the fun should book early to avoid getting completely shut out. Organizers say they have already seen a record amount of interest in the ride this year with entries going quickly.
If you have great shots from your travels, upload them to the Gadling Flickr pool, or share them on Instagram, mentioning @gadlingtravel and using the hashtag #Gadling. We choose new ones several times a week for out Photo Of The Day.
Here all all the details for you Game of Thrones fans out there, courtesy of tour company Viator:
- In Belfast, a 9-hour private tour takes visitors along the Causeway Coastal Route, which should be instantly recognizable to any fans of the HBO series. Pose for photos on the Dark Hedges road before crossing the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, and see the caves where Melisandre of Asshai gave birth to a shadow baby before stopping for lunch at Ballintoy Harbour, which is known as Lordsport Harbour in the series. The tour also includes a stop at the UNESCO-listed Giant's Causeway.
- Four-hour walking tours in Dubrovnik take fans to the setting of King's Landing, the capital of the Seven Kingdoms in the series. Visitors will check out Lovrijenac Fortress and climb the city walls that were attacked by the Baratheons in the first series, from which point they can look out over Blackwater Bay. According to Viator, a guide will also take visitors to several city parks used to film countryside scenes in the series.
Disney World, Discounted
Summer is usually a popular time to visit Florida's Walt Disney World and this year is no exception. Many families have to do vacations during the summer, when kids are out of school, most often driving prices up. Still, with hotel capacity running a bit ahead of reservations, deals are out there. Savings of 30 percent on select Disney hotels on Disney property, free dining with a hotel and ticket package, and more can be found at Disney's Special Offers webpage.
Hike the Blue Mountains in Jamaica
Strawberry Hill is offering guests 25 percent off rates for stays through October 31 with its "Discover the Blue Mountains" package. The three-night stay includes two hikes on Gordon Town Trail and Settlement Trail, daily breakfast, a fruit and cheese welcome amenity, dinner with a bottle of wine, daily Blackwell Rum cocktail and a spa treatment. Don't come home without a pound or two of that Blue Mountain coffee.