Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Weather Channel in Destin!

Wow!  I turned on TWC like I do most mornings (musta missed the news of this, though) and lo and behold there they are, Stephanie Abrams and Mike Bettes, broadcasting from the Emerald Coast! 

One of my Canadian snowbird friends, already returned to the North, emailed me asking why I didn't go down, photograph them, and put it on the blog.  Now why didn't I think of that?!

However, it's a good thing I searched the web first and found these photos, as I would never have been able to figure out what hotel or condominium deck they are shooting from....the beach goes for miles, so I could've walked myself to death searching.

So I'll just cleverly repost the photos they posted on Facebook.

(Click to enlarge photos)

Abrams and Bettes with Harbormaster Greg

Guess they went fishing the first day here...Destin does make this boast:

Bettes' grouper and Abrams' chocolate porgy (don't ask me...that's what it said on Facebook)

On Day 2, they set up before daybreak...

And start before the sun even rises....

Posing with the staff from Another Broken Egg, one of my regular breakfast places.  Guess they bring them breakfast before shooting.

Part of today's show, making snow, um, I mean sand angels.

I guess this week's show is focusing on spring at the beaches.  So we'll be seeing more of them.  Stay tuned for more.....

Which Is Healthier?


Multigrain vs. whole grain:  Which is healthier?  I'm trying to eat a healthy diet. Is multigrain the same thing as whole grain?  Which is the healthier choice?

Answer from Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.

Multigrain and whole grain are not interchangeable terms. Whole grain means that all parts of the grain kernel — the bran, germ and endosperm — are used. In contrast, multigrain means that a food contains more than one type of grain; it doesn't tell you whether they're whole or refined grains, or a mix of both.

Whole-grain foods are a healthy choice because they contain nutrients, fiber and other healthy plant compounds found naturally in the grain. Look for products that list the first ingredient as "whole grain," "whole wheat" or "whole oats." Healthy adults should eat at least three 1-ounce equivalents of whole grains a day as part of a balanced diet.

(from Mayo Clinic's website)



(Reprinted post from Solo Traveler, one of my favorite blogs.)

Solo travel by flashpacking: cheap travel with a few perks.
Posted on March 29, 2010 - by Guest

I am pleased to introduce David Jedeikin as this week’s guest blogger. David Jedeikin is the author of Wander the Rainbow, an upcoming chronicle of a gay solo traveler on a seven month flashpacking trip around the world. You can follow him on Twitter where he is @wanderrainbow.

The fabulous hotel I stayed at in Bali for around $40 a night

If there’s one thing backpackers love to hate, it’s “flashpacking,” loosely defined as backpacking with a few frills. “It’s not a real experience,” “you won’t meet people,” “You won’t see the true [fill in the destination of your choice].” All untrue: It’s eminently possible to travel more comfortably than the backpacker norm and still garner incredible adventures. Here’s how:

1. Travel solo and hang with friends (and family)
This applies to everyone, not just flashpackers: if you have contacts or kin anywhere you’re going, make a point to look them up. In much of the world hospitality is highly prized, and friends and relatives may be eager to put you up. Assuming these folks have the space and the inclination, you can be assured of a decent place to sleep and possibly a great tour guide in an unfamiliar locale.

2. Travel Solo and Stay local
What if you don’t have cousins in Cape Town or buddies in Beijing? Staying at a Westin or Marriott isn’t the best-value alternative: international chains charge a hefty premium for predictability. But comfort can be had for a lot less at smaller midrange accommodations geared at local travelers. In expensive cities like Rome or Tokyo, sweet private rooms can be had for under $100 a night; in Bangkok, Bali, or smaller Indian centers $30 to $50 is the norm. Plus many hostels in Europe, Australia, and especially New Zealand offer private rooms for about $50 a night.

3. Scour the web before you travelsolo
The days of leafing through guidebooks or traipsing from guesthouse to hotel are mostly behind us; guidebook recommendations can date quickly, but online resources offer current reviews from fellow travelers. The best-known of these are TripAdvisor (hotels and guesthouses), and Hostelworld (hostels and other budget digs).

4. Gear up – but not too much
Portable electronics have never been cheaper: in addition to digital cameras are iPods (perfect for that just-right playlist atop Macchu Pichu), unlocked cellphones, and especially netbook computers. Internet caf├ęs can be handy – and they are everywhere – but there’s nothing like having a basic machine of your own for privacy and convenience.

Me with my netbook blogging

5. Socialize as you travel solo.
Private accommodations mean you’ll have to work a little harder to meet people – but not too much harder. If you’re staying in a hostel room you can still take advantage of group activities – beer-tasting nights in Belgium or a downstairs bar or dining room. If you identify with any subgroup – gay, Jewish, Rastafarian, role-playing gamer, whatever – by all means make the effort to connect with that crowd.

6. Mix it up
Vary your accommodations choices; the best part about having a little extra cash is flexibility: try a hostel room in one place, a guesthouse in another, a bed & breakfast somewhere else, even a fancier hotel if you snag a deal (hint: off season is best).

7. Flex your points
If you’re flashpacking you’ve probably traveled some already. This is a great time to use those frequent flyer miles: alliances such as Star Alliance and OneWorld offer great value-for-miles awards on long-haul, multi-destination trips; for the equivalent of a simple round-trip to Europe you can fly a half-dozen or more (non round-trip) segments. The rules can be a bit involved and there’s some advance planning required – but most of these awards allow date changes with no extra charge. Some award categories even offer business class for not a whole lot extra.

Comfort on a budget – now that’s what flashpacking’s *really* about.