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My Final Boarding Call

I've never been the guy who gets paged to his departure gate because the flight is about to leave without him. I'm ashamed to admit that I'm actually the guy who sneaks through the boarding line well before his group has been called. I'm not really in a rush to leave; it's just that I want to make sure that I have room for my bag. That's a roundabout way of saying that it's time for me to leave Gadling and say farewell to all of you.

I joined Gadling in November 2008. The Internet was powered by a hand crank and flip phones were all the rage. It really was a simpler time. I've enjoyed being a part of Gadling's growth and evolution over the years. More than anything else, though, I relished the opportunity to entertain all of you.

I have written approximately 180 "SkyMall Monday" posts in which I have covered somewhere around 250 products. Frankly, that's insane. Well, more accurately, it's whimsical. I always strove to add my odd sense of humor to Gadling. Doing so has allowed me to share laughs with many of you, earn the ire of others and even appear on CBS News.

Video Of The Day: Scuba Marriage Proposal In Riviera Maya, Mexico

Scuba diving is a hobby that many travelers enjoy. People traverse the globe looking for the best dive sights and new adventures. While most scuba divers consider any excursion in which they see a new fish or sea creature a success, the young man in this video had a bigger catch in mind: his girlfriend. He proposed underwater in Riviera Maya, Mexico after plotting with the dive crew for six months leading up to the trip. The YouTube video description provides more details:

Once in the water, we dived for approximately 25 minutes until we both sat on the bottom of the ocean floor with fish, turtles, and lobsters all around. Once we sat, Emily thought we were actually taking a group picture. She had no idea she was about to be engaged!

I pulled out a board that I had written on, "I love you so much. Will you marry me?" I pulled the ring out of a shell that I had hidden it in. She was so confused she didn't know what to do. Also, with scuba diving, you can't give a thumbs up, because it simply means to surface, so we we're left to enjoy out satisfaction with the "OK" sign.

OK indeed.

SkyMall Monday: Bed Bug Sleeping Cocoon (Poll)

skymall bed bug sleeping cocoonHotel beds are gross. That's just a fact. Frankly, everything in your hotel room is contaminated with something (including bodily fluids) and not just the hellholes where you expect to find filth. These days, however, more and more people are worried about a particular cleanliness issue in hotels: bedbugs. Not only will bedbugs make your stay miserable, but you very well could ruin your home life if you carry the little biters back with you at the end of your trip. We sleep in a meat locker here at SkyMall Monday headquarters to keep the bloodsuckers at bay. When we travel, however, we live in constant fear of waking up with itchy red marks brought on from letting the bedbugs bite. Thankfully, SkyMall has chosen to nip this problem in the bud and now offers a layer of protection from things that chomp in the night. The next time you're calling it a day in your hotel room, wrap yourself up in the Bed Bug Sleeping Cocoon.

Airline Madness Champion: Obese Passengers Who Take Up Two Seats

Airline Madness is Gadling's tournament of airline annoyances. You can catch up on all of the previous tournament action here.

airline madness champion obese passengers

Obese passengers who take up two seats has won our Airline Madness tournament. After last year's Hotel Madness tournament was completely dominated by the #1 seed, it's shocking to see this Airline Madness won by the #13 seed. It just goes to show that you never know what to expect when things are put to a vote. Obese passengers who take up two seats garnered a shocking number of votes from Gadling readers in every round of the tournament. Even in the championship round, #2 seed Legroom struggled to secure even 40% of the vote. Our readers, it turns out, do not like to share their space.

Video Of The Day: Bear Dances In The Woods

Spring is here, which means we'll all be heading back onto hiking trails and into the woods for camping trips. Of course, we're not the only species taking advantage of everything nature has to offer. We share trails, forests and just about everything else with all manner of animals big and small. Thanks to a well-placed camera, we can now see what happens in the woods when we're not there. As expected, it's all dance parties, popping and locking. After sleeping for months, you'd be ready to bust a move, too!

SkyMall Monday: Velvet Rasta Hat

gadling velvet rasta hatA person's choice of religion is a serious matter. For many, there is no choice in the matter. They are born into a faith and their spiritual path through life is already mapped out. For others, the search for answers is a quest that lasts a lifetime. Here at "SkyMall Monday" headquarters, we keep things pretty secular, pausing only occasionally to seek answers from the all-knowing one. For those who struggle to find salvation, the journey to inner peace can take them to many destinations. Trying out different religions can be a challenge when many religious practices are meant to take years. One cannot simply grow a beard in a matter of days or learn an entire book of scripture in an afternoon. For those looking for a shortcut, however, the only holy book needed is SkyMall and the only purchase necessary is the Velvet Rasta Hat.

Hospitality Employees Waste 1.7 Million Hours Annually Creating Towel Origami

towels hearts origami

According to a new study published in Terry Cloth Scientific, employees in the hospitality industry waste nearly two million hours a year folding towels into the shapes of animals and other figures. Employees at hotels, aboard cruise ships and at spas spend entire shifts at their places of business folding, rolling and tucking towels to resemble local and exotic wildlife. The study suggests that employee time would be better spent servicing customer needs. However, industry leaders believe that the practice will continue.

Airline Madness Championship: Obese people who take up two seats vs. Legroom

Airline Madness is Gadling's tournament of airline annoyances. You can catch up on all of the previous tournament action here.

In a tournament full of upsets and unexpected outcomes, it's fitting that the Airline Madness championship match-up does not feature the bracket's top seed. Instead, it all comes down to #2 Legroom and #13 Obese people who take up two seats. In the Final Four, Obese people who take up two seats proved to be too big for all of those other annoying passengers combined. Legroom, meanwhile, kicked those change fees and standby charges off the plane. That's how we got here, but what happens next is, once again, up to you. Only one of these truly annoying airline pet peeves will be declared the ultimate annoyance of the skies and your votes will decide it.

Airline Madness: Final Four Ends Today

Airline Madness is Gadling's tournament of airline annoyances. You can catch up on all of the previous tournament action here.

gadling airline madness final four

Don't forget to vote in the Final Four of Airline Madness. Voting for this round ends at 11:59PM EDT, so get to it! Beginning tomorrow, voting will open for the championships.

Video of the Day: Time lapse of cruises in Europe, South America, the Caribbean and Alaska

No matter what you think of cruises - and they are a polarizing force in the travel world - this video is pretty captivating. From Alaska's icy waters to the coasts of Croatia and the buffets in the bowels of the boats, we get a sense of just what you can see and experience while traveling in a mobile metropolis. And the best part of the video? No Dramamine is necessary to enjoy it!

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