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Video: Santa's elves take over an airBaltic plane

Dec 20th, 2011 at 4:00PM: What a clever and creative way to bring holiday cheer to an airport. Santa's elves took over an airBaltic plane in Riga airport....

Cambodia's Hôtel de la Paix tree made of 3,200 white feathers

Dec 20th, 2011 at 2:00PM: Implementing a massive symbol of both peace and sustainability takes time. Ten days, in fact. Cambodia's Hôtel de la Paix (The Hotel of Peace), a luxury boutique hotel dedicated to community sustainability in Siem Reap, Cambodia, is currently displaying an eco-conscious Christmas tree composed of 3,200 white feathers hung on individual wires from the ceiling in the hotel's lobby. More...

Photo of the Day - Holiday lights

Photo of the Day - Holiday lights Dec 4th, 2011 at 8:00PM: With the holidays fast approaching, trees, houses and fences across the world are beginning to glow with decorative lights of all shapes and sizes. Whatever your religion or beliefs, these festive displays add a burst of warmth and color to the dark days of December. Flickr user herb.g does a great job of capturing this holiday spirit in today's shot from Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania - the...

Traditional holiday beverages from around the world

Traditional holiday beverages from around the world Nov 30th, 2011 at 5:30PM: Americans aren't very creative when it comes to traditional holiday beverages (do, however, look for my upcoming story on Boulder's banging mixology scene, which includes some killer contemporary winter cocktails). Historically, though, we're more of an eggnog/mulled cider/hot chocolate kind of society. I'm not knocking our Christmas beverages of choice. Properly made, they're delicious, and...

Video of the day: a goaty guide to pronouncing foreign cheeses

Nov 12th, 2011 at 4:00PM: The holidays are Cheese Season. At no other time of the year are cheese and specialty food shops as thronged by dairy-seeking customers. They're hungry for a fix or searching for a gift, recipe ingredient, or the makings of a cheese plate. Cheese is love, and one of the easiest, most elegant ways to kick off a cocktail party or conclude (or make) a memorable meal. With that in mind, the folks...

Navy museum receives 111 year old pudding from the Boer War

Navy museum receives 111 year old pudding from the Boer War Nov 12th, 2011 at 1:00PM: One hundred and eleven years ago, a batch of Christmas pudding was made to cheer up a soldier fighting in the Boer War. While most would assume it would have been eaten long ago, it has actually turned up in a kitchen cupboard. The batch is thought to be one made by Victorian philanthropist Agnes Weston, often known as "the mother of the Navy" for her goodwill work writing to soldiers and sailors,...

Five sustainable alternatives to turkey this Thanksgiving or holiday season

Five sustainable alternatives to turkey this Thanksgiving or holiday season Nov 7th, 2011 at 12:00PM: If you expected to see "Tofurkey" anywhere in this article, you clearly aren't familiar with my work. Nope, no textured vegetable protein here. As a kid--an obnoxiously picky eater, at that--turkey was on my lengthy list of foods to avoid. I suspect it was the notoriously dried-out birds of my youth that caused my aversion. Today, I like turkey, but it's honestly not one of my favorite eating...

Be a part of Christmas history in Weimar, Germany

Be a part of Christmas history in Weimar, Germany Oct 22nd, 2011 at 1:00PM: Did you know that the first Christmas tree was erected in Weimar, Germany? Or, that one of the most famous Christmas carols, "O, Du Fröhliche" was composed there, as well? If you're looking to have a traditional Christmas as well as be a part of the holiday's past, then Weimar may be the perfect place for you. In the early 1800's, on the night before Christmas, a man named Johann Wilhelm...

Bizarre foods: European "delicacies," by country

Bizarre foods: European Mar 16th, 2011 at 1:00PM: What constitutes "food" is relative, depending upon what part of the world you call home. In Asia, pretty much anything on no (snakes), two, four, six, or eight legs is up for grabs. Europe, however, has its own culinary oddities, as detailed below. Got maggots? Iceland Hákarl: Fermented, dried Greenland or basking shark. This tasty treat is prepared by burying the beheaded and...

Knocked up abroad: pregnant travel in the first trimester

Knocked up abroad: pregnant travel in the first trimester Mar 16th, 2011 at 11:30AM: For more on pregnant travel, see parts 1 and 2 of Knocked up abroad: pregnancy in a foreign country here and here. There's no question that having a baby changes you: your body, your lifestyle, even your shoe size. One thing I hoped not to change altogether was traveling, as long as it was reasonably safe and comfortable for me and the baby. From the beginning of my pregnancy in Istanbul, my...

The five busiest air travel weeks of 2010

The five busiest air travel weeks of 2010 Jan 16th, 2011 at 9:00AM: So, when did we hit the road last year? There are some times of year that are more hectic than others, and we all know to avoid airports when we can. Yet, there are some weeks that bring crowded terminals even when we wouldn't expect it. We all know the insanity of flying the day before Thanksgiving, but there are other time that can be brutal, as well. Looking back on 2010, Orbitz has...

It's still Christmas in Spain!

It's still Christmas in Spain! Jan 6th, 2011 at 10:30AM: Well, Epiphany actually, but in Spain this is when we give presents. Christmas in Spain is a time for big meals and family fun, as well as church services for those who are so inclined. Santa passes Spain by to deal with the Anglo and Germanic countries, and Japan from what I hear. Spanish children wait for Los Reyes, the Three Kings, who come on their camels bearing gifts for good little boys and...

Winter holiday celebrations in Russia

Winter holiday celebrations in Russia Dec 31st, 2010 at 4:00PM: In most of the western world, Christmas and Hanukkah have come and gone, but in Russia, presents are being wrapped in anticipation of tonight, New Year's Eve. In the days of the Soviet Union, religious celebrations were frowned upon, so Russians shifted their winter celebrating to December 31 and combining the traditions of gift-exchanging and New Year's revelry into one night. In the Russian...

Photo of the Day (12.25.2010)

Photo of the Day (12.25.2010) Dec 25th, 2010 at 5:00PM: Merry Christmas from the team here at Gadling! If you're celebrating it, we hope you're full of mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. If you're dreaming of a white Christmas, this photo is for you. Trees with gingerbread-house icing against a sunny winter sky: it's a great day for a cross-country ski, or even a sleigh ride! Afterward, warm up with a cup of spiced wine or cider, or a hot...

Christmas pictures from around the world

Christmas pictures from around the world Dec 25th, 2010 at 1:30PM: Our friend and colleague over at Thebrooklynnomad has been busy preparing for the holidays and just put together a few photos in honor of the holiday around the planet. Among his photos are Christmas shots from Paris, Lisbon, New York City, Beijing and Prague. You can see both part 1 and part 2 of the series over at his site. Merry Christmas from Gadling!...

¡Feliz Navidad! More Christmas traditions from Spain

¡Feliz Navidad! More Christmas traditions from Spain Dec 25th, 2010 at 10:30AM: Merry Christmas from Madrid! Last year I covered some of the big Spanish Christmas traditions. This year I'd like to talk on a more personal level about how I and my in-laws celebrate. I'm married to a Spaniard. A Castilian to be precise, as regional identity is important here. Living in Madrid we have a very Castilian Christmas. My five-year-old son is pretty much Castilian too, although he's got...

Christmas with Jesse James

Christmas with Jesse James Dec 25th, 2010 at 10:00AM: Christmas can be a stressful time. In fact, statistics show that you're more likely to have a heart attack on Christmas than any other day of the year. Hanging out with family too much can be hazardous to your health. Some families, of course, are more hazardous than others. Most people don't have the emotional baggage that Jesse James, Jr., did. He was the son of the famous outlaw but didn't...

Galley Gossip: A flight attendant Christmas story

Galley Gossip: A flight attendant Christmas story Dec 25th, 2010 at 9:30AM: I graduated from flight attendant training on the 8th of December in 1995. Two weeks later, on Christmas Eve, my roommate and I were called out to work a trip - together. The crew scheduling God's must have been smiling down on us that day because it's not often a flight attendant gets to work with their roommate who also happens to be their best friend on reserve. Although we were scheduled to...

Ethiopian Jesus

Ethiopian Jesus Dec 25th, 2010 at 9:00AM: It's Christmas, when the Christian world celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. The Muslim world celebrates too because in Islam Jesus is considered a prophet. Christianity has spread all over the world. One of the best things about travel is the different world views it exposes you to, and one of these insights is that religious artists have created Jesus in their own image. Europe has a...

Photo of the Day (12.24.10)

Photo of the Day (12.24.10) Dec 24th, 2010 at 6:00PM: For Santa, Christmas Eve must be a royal pain in the ass. First of all, he obviously has to work at an unreasonable, unfathomable pace. He is also forced to grapple with potentially uncooperative reindeer and salty elves--not to mention children who just won't go to bed. One imagines that by the time Santa hits Apia he's ready to jet back to the tundra and hibernate for a good long month. ...

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