The Travel Professor
Join me on a journey across the broad spectrum of interesting travel topics. We’ll discuss destinations domestic and abroad, some familiar and some off the beaten path. We take a look at suppliers like cruise lines, air carriers and tour operators and find their bargains and special offerings. Got questions? Email

Sunday, February 28, 2010

London's Westminister Abbey is opened

Heart of London landmark Westminster Abbey opens on February 28 1066. Home to kings, queens, statesmen and soldiers; poets, priests, heroes and villains the Abbey is a must-see living pageant of British history. Every year Westminster Abbey welcomes over one million visitors who want to explore this wonderful 700-year-old building. Thousands more attend daily worship services. Once inside audio guides are available in eight languages or there is the highly-popular verger-led tour. Current adult admission fees are £15.00 ($22.85)

This is a don’t miss it stop on any tour of the English capitol city. There are other “don’t miss” venues that I’ll share with you later.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Columbus-Central Ohio Garden show

The 2010 Central Ohio Home & Garden Show kicks off February 27 through March 7 at the Ohio Expo Center. The center is located on the Ohio State Fairgrounds in Columbus OH.

This year the theme is “With the Art in Bloom” the 2010 Garden Showcase will feature dazzling living landscapes inspired by masterpiece works of art and will feature stunning sculpture, paintings and other art pieces within the gardens. Show guests will discover incredible garden and landscape ideas in these 14 full-sized gardens, which are produced by talented professional designers of the Columbus Landscape Association.

Renowned for its breathtaking gardens, the Central Ohio Home & Garden Show is among North America’s most exciting and interactive home and garden shows, featuring more than 400 exhibits and attractions. Consumers who visit the show have the opportunity to shop for every imaginable tool, accessory and service for any home or landscape project – all in one easy location at this one-of-a-kind marketplace.

Show hours are Saturdays 10 am to 9 pm.; Sundays 11 am to 6 pm ; CLOSED MONDAY, Tuesday and Thursday 3 pm to 9 pm and Wednesday & Friday Noon – 9 pm Tickets are $10 for adults. Children ages 12 and under are admitted free. Complete show information is found here.

The Travel Professor is planning on heading north next week weather permitting to take in a day or two of the show. I’ll report back on my findings.

Got travel questions? Email them to

Happy travels!

Monday, February 22, 2010

United States buy Florida on Feb. 22 1819

Spain was losing its grip on its New World territories. Years of war and tension with England and France had left the Spanish empire without the means to firmly control its colonies. General Andrew Jackson, while fighting the First Seminole Wars against Native Americans in Georgia had on occasion attacked and captured Spanish forts in Florida without provocation. When Spain was unable to retaliate, President John Monroe and his Secretary of State John Quincy Adams saw an opportunity.

Forcing Spain to the negotiating table, Adams demanded the purchase of Florida. Residents there had grievances against Spain amounting to slightly more than $5,000,000. In exchange for agreeing to pay those claims, the United States was granted all of Spanish Florida in the treaty known as the Adams-Onis Treaty which was signed on February 22nd 1819

It would appear that this was another great land purchase by our founding fathers. Florida has developed into a world wide tourism market leader! Can you say Disney & beyond?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Wizarding World opens up Orlando FLA!

The big news in Orlando for 2010 is the unveiling of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, based on the J.K. Rowling book series, at Universal’s Islands of Adventure during the spring. The theme-park-within-a-theme-park will include the attractions Dragon Challenge, Flight of the Hippogriff and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, in addition to unique shops, eateries and interactive experiences that could only be found in this wizarding world.

Book an Allegiant Air flight from Huntington and go check it out!

Got travel questions? Email

Friday, February 19, 2010

US Marines invade Iwo Jima

Iwo Jima is five miles long and three miles across at its widest point. But in 1945 it housed three Japanese war ships and over 21,000 soldiers. On this date, three battalions of American soldiers took the island in fierce fighting, a decisive battle in World War II. By the 10th day of fighting, the Americans still had taken only half the island. Some 6,000 American lives were lost along with another 14,000 wounded. Fewer than 1,000 Japanese survived, launching massive waves of suicide charges against the Americans, one of which lasted more than a week. The famous photograph of marines raising the American Flag, later immortalized in bronze, was taken during the battle. After the war, the United States occupied Iwo Jima until 1968, when it was returned to Japan.

A great trip while in the Washington DC area is a visit to the
United States Marine Corps Museum in Triangle VA. It’s about 30 miles from DC and well worth the visit. Semper Fi!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

New airline starts to fly out of Louisville-SDF

Low cost Denver based Frontier Airlines just announced new service out of Louisville KY. Service begins April 19, 2010 with connections through Denver to many popular western US destinations.

Frontier has flown out of Ohio’s Akron Canton airport for a few years and I’ve received nothing but favorable reports from passengers that have traveled with them. They also partner with Air Tran and you can earn and/or redeem on either carrier.

For those folks willing to travel a couple of hours to save some cash on airline flights we have another option. Within a 3 hour drive we have multiple airports and a nice variety of legacy and low cost carriers.

For travel reservations contact your travel agent or Frontier Airlines.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Enjoy Presidents Day!

What started out as a celebration for our 1st President George Washington’s Birthday has evolved into Presidents Day. This is a federal holiday and is celebrated on the third Monday of February of each year.

Questions of the day are what state is known as:

1) the father of Presidents?
2) mother of Presidents?
3) where is 1st Ladies Museum?

Email your answers to There are travel prizes for the winners!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy B-Day Mr. Lincoln

On this day in 1809, the sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln was born in a one-room log cabin on Sinking Spring Farm in Hardin County, Kentucky. His education consisted of little more than 18 months of formal schooling, but he was an avid reader and focused on the law as a course of study. Admitted to the bar in 1837, he moved to Springfield, Illinois and began a law practice. He was elected to and served four successive terms in the Illinois House of Representatives. In 1842 he married Mary Todd with whom he had four sons, only one surviving to adulthood. He was instrumental in the formation of the Republican Party on an abolitionist platform.

A great one day trip is motoring over to Lexington KY & visiting the
Mary Todd Lincoln house then continuing over to Mr. Lincoln’s birthplace. It’s a full day but worth the drive.

You could spend a long weekend around here exploring youn Mr. Lincoln but then again that's another story.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Happy birthday Thomas Edison!

1,093 patents were issued to Thomas A. Edison during his lifetime, the last at age 83. He was born February 11, 1846 in Milan, Ohio. He was nothing short of practical, saying once that he never wasted time inventing things people did not want to buy. Almost deaf since childhood, he famously remarked that genius was "one percent inspiration and 99% perspiration."

Milan OH is also known for their annual melon festival. And it is about 20 minute to Ohio’s “Roller Coast”-Cedar Point. Make a weekend out of it!

Got travel questions? Email

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Free or reduced rate air to the Bahamas

It’s Better in the Bahamas” and here’s a deal where you will get complimentary and/or reduced airfare to the Bahamas when you purchase a Delta Vacations air and hotel vacation package to Grand Bahamas Island; Nassau, Paradise Island; or the Out Islands in the Bahamas. You will instantly receive up to $300 credit towards the air portion of your package. You’ll also receive up to 2,000 bonus miles in addition to credited flown flight miles through the SkyMiles® program. You need to make your air hotel reservations for your Bahamas package by Mar 3rd 2010 for travel now through Dec 22th 2010.

Be kind to your travel agent get out of town!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

It's Presidents' Month

Sworn in on Feb 9th 1825 the election of John Quincy Adams was controversial.
In the Presidential election of 1824, none of the four candidates received a majority of the electoral votes. The race for the office of the 6th President of the United States came down to John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. Speaker of the House Henry Clay, one of the other candidates, threw his vote to Adams, and the House of Representatives voted on the first ballot to make Adams the President.

Adams family home in Quincy MA is a short distance from Boston & easily reached via the “T”. Quincy is a great city to explore with plenty of Colonial & New England charm plus it is also the home to the 1st Dunkin Doughnuts.

Where in the world?

This place_________________ is known for its Mexican heart and Caribbean soul. This is a destination that comes close to paradise where tradition, flavor and joy come together. You will always find a friendly face and a warm welcome to make your stay an unforgettable one.

Where in the world has the Travel Professor sent you?

Happy travels!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Beatlemania storms the USA

On February 7, 1964, a Pan Am flight from London lands in NYC and the British invasion is on. “Beatlemania" storms ashore with their first visit to the USA. The Beatles; a British rock-and-roll quartet that had just scored its first No. 1 U.S. hit six days before with "I Want to Hold Your Hand." At the airport the "Fab Four"decked out in mod suits and sporting their trademark pudding bowl haircuts were greeted by 3,000 screaming fans who caused a near riot when the boys stepped off their plane and onto American soil. It seems like only “Yesterday” that they burst on the scene.

Years ago because of a dock workers strike I got stranded me in Liverpool England for a few days. I took advantage of this delay and got to visit a few sights related to “the guys with the hair in their eyes” early days!

Rock on!

Friday, February 5, 2010

The B**tch is Back!

Damaged by recent hurricane and storm activities the world’s most perfect beach has been rebuilt and is back!

Where in the world is this b**tch? Email your reply to

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Beatles Tribute cruise

Picture yourself in a boat on a river...make that a cruise ship as a Beatles Tribute Cruise will set sail on March 28 from Fort Lauderdale on Royal Caribbean International’s Independence of the Seas. The six-night cruise will include Beatles artists, photographers, authors and ex-girlfriends of the famous group. The cruise visits Belize City, Costa Maya and Cozumel. In addition to featuring band trivia, karaoke and autograph sessions, the cruise will also hold an auction of Beatles memorabilia for the Dara Roberts Fund. The festivities include three performances by BritBeat, a tribute band.

It’s time for a little magical mystery tour! So rock on!

Got travel? Email

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

US Income Tax passed into law on Feb 3rd 1913

On February 3, 1913, the Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified by the United States Congress, allowing the Federal government to collect a tax based on income. While the Constitution give the Congress the power of taxation, a Supreme Court case had held that direct taxes on income were unconstitutional. In 1909 President Taft initially proposed a constitutional amendment and, though passed by the Congress in 1909, the amendment required three full years for ratification.

Here's the 1913 form 1040. I wish it was still this simple!

As often as I been to DC I've never seen the IRS headquarters on any tours. I can only wonder why.

Monday, February 1, 2010

On February 1st 1913 Grand Central Terminal ("Station" is not a part of its official name) opened at 42nd Street and Park Avenue in midtown Manhattan. The terminal represents the largest train station in the world gauged by the number of tracks. Grand Central contains restaurants, delis, bakeries, newsstands, a gourmet and fresh food market, and more than thirty retail stores. The clock on the front of the building contains the world's largest example of Tiffany glass. The cavernous interior boasts an elaborately decorated astronomical ceiling. Inexplicably, the stars are all painted backwards. It is said that when the Vanderbilt family (the major stockholders of the New York Central Railroad) learned that the stars were portrayed backwards, they explained that the ceiling reflected God's view of the sky. Today it’s still part of NYC’s tourism with restaurants, shops and Metro Transit Authority service.

Got travel? Email