Monday, November 29, 2010

A Piece of History

The Lorraine Motel located in Memphis, Tennessee will forever be a part of history. The site of Martin Luther King's assassination still stands in tact and preserved as it was in 1968.
The Motel was not just for travlers but was also used a place of residence. After the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., The Lorraine Motel remained a functioning hotel until 1988 when the last holdout tenant was evicted. However, no one has stayed in rooms 306 & 307 which belonged to MLK at the time of his death.
Even though the hotel still remains and unused as a dwelling, it is now home to the National Civil Rights Museum. The Museum is located right beside the hotel and is home to artifacts of MLK and documents the Civil Rights Movement. 

The Lorraine Motel is a national landmark in the Civil Rights Movement and a large part of history. If you're visiting Memphis, then do not leave out seeing this historic site. 

The National Civil Rights Museum is open: 
Monday 9:00 a.m-5:00 p.m.
Closed Tuesday
Wednesday-Sunday 1:00p.m-5:00p.m.
Special hours exist June-August so check before planning a visit. 

Admission is $13.00 per adult. 
Other prices vary.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Besides gambling, Las Vegas has a plethora of shows. The best show on the strip can be found at the MGM Grand and it's name is KA
KA- A Cirque du Soleil Show 
(Photo Credit: Google Images)

KA is a spectacular, acrobatic live performance which tells the tale of two Imperial twins, a brother and sister, who are separated during an attack on their Palace. They travel through many terrains and embark in hard journeys to be reunited together and claim their land. 
(Photo Credit: Google Images)

The show has a narrative story unlike the other Cirque shows and is easy to follow from beginning to end. Instead of dialogue, the story is told through music and actions. The stage is ever changing and the sets become things never imagined. 

If you're in Vegas this is one show not worth missing! I've seen it twice and it's worth the time and money. I also suggest picking up the soundtrack in the gift shop after the performance. The music is inspiring and you'll find yourself humming it for hours. 

The show is located at the MGM Grand and reservations are recommended. Prices begin at $116.00 but can be found on discount ticket sites for less. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sandia Peak Tramway

The Sandia Peak Tramway is the worlds longest passenger aerial tramway.
The Tram is located in the Cibola National Forest of Albuquerque, New Mexico and boasts an average of 275,000 passengers a year. The Tramway was constructed in 1964-1966 and cost 2 million dollars. 

Passengers soar to the top via the western face of the Sandia Mountains. Once at the top passengers step out of the tram to be at 10,378 ft. elevation. 
Once passengers reach the top, they have the options of strolling around the observation paths or even having a bite to eat in the restaurant. One thing is for sure, you'll have great views of the entire city. 

In addition to the great views, you can also spot wildlife. Animals such as eagles, cougars, foxes and various species of squirrels have been spotted. 

If you're visiting Albuquerque this is a must on any "to-do" list! Tram operating hours depend on the season so make sure you check their schedule before visiting. In addition to the restaurant on top of the mountain, there is a gift shop at base. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Balloon Museum

The Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum 
The Balloon Museum presents the development of balloons through the years by using historical, scientific and artistic objects documenting the achievements made in the field. 
The museum boasts over 50 historic and modern gondolas with many of them complete with the balloon systems. The museum begins with a tour guide giving a brief history and then patrons are left to self guide through the building. Their volunteers are available for questions.
Visiting the museum is definitely worth seeing and you'll never look at balloons in the sky the same way again. 
The Museum is located at 9201 Balloon Museum Drive NE in Albuquerque New Mexico. 
Open Tuesday-Sunday 9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Newport Aquarium

The Newport Aquarium houses thousands of animals, sea creatures, tropical birds and penguins. The Aquarium is located in Newport, Kentucky on the Levee and only minutes away from downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. 

At the Aquarium you can feed the birds, walk with the penguins and even pet a shark! Open 365 days a year to the public, the Aquarium is a great place to spend your day. It's great for single travel or with the family. 
No matter what your favorite attractions are they have something for everyone...
They also have daily shows of divers and feeding and the Aquarium boasts a walk thru tunnel where sea animals can swim directly over top and around the public. 
The Aquarium is very affordable at $22.00 per adult ticket and an annual pass is worth purchasing for only a few dollars more. So the next time you're in Newport make sure you check out the Newport Aquarium doors open daily at 10:00am.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Griffith Observatory

Perched on top of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, sits the Griffith Observatory. 
Boasting some of the best views of the city and sky the Griffith Observatory sits 1,134 ft above sea level and can be seen from many parts of Los Angeles, CA. Currently in it's 75 year of operation, the museum offers inside exhibits and telescopes for star gazing. There is also a cafe and sitting area in addition to a gift shop. 
The Observatory location also offers a great view of the Hollywood sign...
In my travels, I've visited the Observatory twice, once in the day and once at night. In the daytime expect a crowd but once nightfall hits expect to be hiking up the hill because there will no parking and the crowds will be very thick. At night, the views of the city are worth the parking hassle! Locals bring out their telescopes for star gazing and invite everyone to take a peek at the stars through their lenses. 
So if you're traveling to Los Angeles even for a small amount of time, the Griffith Observatory is definitely worth seeing. The drive is easy through Griffith Park and the views are spectacular!

The Observatory is open Wednesday- Friday Noon-10:00pm and Saturday-Sunday 10:00am-10:00pm. Closed on Monday and Tuesday. Admission the grounds and building are free. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Arcade Restaurant

Arcade Restaurant located in the heart of dixieland is not just a restaurant but also an iconic landmark. Arcade should be visited by anyone traveling to or thru Memphis, Tennessee. 
Arcade has been serving the public since 1919 and continues to do so daily. Be warned, they close at 3:00pm. Sadly for me, I got there too late one day and had to wait till the next morning to experience their food. 

I did have the pleasure of stopping there for breakfast and I was not disappointed. The meal was prepared quickly and was quite tasty. The menu offered numerous selections and the prices were more than reasonable. In this economy that's a definite plus! 
(Hash browns and toast)
Apart from the scrumptious food, the atmosphere at the Arcade felt nostalgic. The decor of the restaurant and it's location in downtown made me feel as if I was sitting there eating breakfast in the 1960's. It's also conviently located a few blocks from the Lorraine Motel, the site of Martin Luther King's death. 
Do you think you've heard about the restaurant before? Well guess what... you probably have! Arcade has been seen in tons of films such as: The Client, Mystery Train, Great Balls of Fire and Walk the Line. So not only can you get a great meal for cheap, you can also sit and walk where celebrities have been. Elvis use to be a regular at one time! 
I highly suggest stopping by for some food the next time your in Memphis! Also, don't forget to pick up a t-shirt on your way out (I bought the gray & white one). That way you can let everyone know about your experience. I know I'll be stopping back in the next time I'm in Memphis! 

Arcade Restaurant is located downtown at 540 South Main Street, Memphis, TN. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Don't Miss the Salt

Located in the great Smokey Mountains of Gaitlinburg, Tennessee is the one and only Museum of Salt & Pepper Shakers.
When entering the museum I became overwhelmed with how many S&P shakers there were on display. I had no idea that there had even been that many different ones manufactured over the years but indeed there has been. The Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum has the goods to prove it.
Hall after hall is categorically filled with the owners personal collection. The collection includes everything ranging from kitschy 1970's pieces of fruit to expensive crystal sets. Not only does the museum boast over 20,000 shakers on display, it also has a wide variety of sets for sale in their gift shop. The museum also houses the largest pepper mill collection.
I even experienced a flashback moment to my childhood, when I looked over and saw a set that use to sit on my grandmother's kitchen table.
(The mouse sitting inside the cheese)
Another great thing about the museum is the admission fee... it's only $3.00 and is a self guided tour so you can look at the collection until your heart is content.

This Museum shouldn't be missed. It's fun, interesting and affordable. The Museum is open Monday-Sunday from 10:00am-4:00pm est.