Posts by Victor Crew


Riu Concordia, a hotel chain on Spanish holiday island Mallorca, has been chosen to greet some of the 11k German tourists heading to the island as part of a pilot program to test Covid-19 precautions at hotels.

RIU Hotels have invested in many new protocols in the hopes of opening back up along with the rest of Spain’s economy.

The lobby will employ thermal camera scans of guests as the walk-in to catch guests who may have a fever. If a guest signals the system, the hotel receives a discrete alert.

At meals cutlery is safety sealed and guests are asked by numerous signage to remain two meters apart. Like much retail in the U.S. the hotel is also using directional arrows to control the flow of foot traffic. The attendants offer guests numerous opportunities for hand sanitizer use.

Guests will notice that cleaning staff are numerous and working around the clock to disinfect common areas.
Some guests will enjoy that limitations on the number of guests allowed at the pool or the beach. Unfortunately, the bars and clubs will be closed until further notice.

Riu Concordia, like Las Vegas, is one vacation destination experimenting with guest willing to leave home on how to safely offer vacation services to the willing.

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After more than seventy days locked down Las Vegas is finally open but may not feel familiar to those who visit regularly. The following is just a taste of what post-lockdown Vegas looks like.

All casino resorts will have many hand sanitizing stations throughout their properties upon reopening. Casinos and resorts will also offer free face masks. As you might suspect, many of these will be branded. Some of the more upscale resorts like New York-New York and the Bellagio will offer actual hand washing stations with soap, water and towels.

New sings will recommend but not require guests to wear masks, but masks will be required for employees.
Some resorts are expected to enact other precautions. Wynn Resorts, for example, will be using thermal cameras at their entrances to intercept patrons with fevers. The Venetian has a 25 person team of Emergency Medical Technicians on standby to help any guest that needs immediate medical attention.

Perhaps a surprise to some but most hotels are expected to reopen with pool access. Some will likely have reduced schedules. However, if you are looking forward to the infamous pool parties Vegas is known for you are likely to be disappointed as these parties are not expected to come back any time soon.

Some changes most will view as a good thing. To reduce long lines for check-in many resorts will roll out keyless entry programs. Additionally, free parking is expected to be a returning perk in Vegas. Free parking had slowly fallen out of fashion over the last couple years in Vegas while it had been a long-time amenity.

Nightclubs, shows and many spas will continue to be closed indefinitely.

Housekeeping will now be subject to the standards of the CDC, Southern Nevada Health District, the World Health Organization and the local gaming control board.

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While there are many styles of vacations you can take your family on, many still favor the tried and true family road trip to destinations important to the history and culture of our country.

While many coastal cities, east and west, are significant to the birth and growth of America, Boston stands out as particularly significant to the early struggles of our great nation. Beacon Hill in Boston was home to the descendants of early English colonialists whose elegant, gas-lit streets are well worth wandering through. And of course no trip to Boston would be complete without a visit to the famous Boston Harbor which includes a fantastic interactive museum and two replica 18th century vessels. Boston is also home to America’s first college, Harvard, which was established in 1636, student lead walking tours are available.

While the Big Apple has so much to offer one couldn’t possibly see it all in one trip, the historically minded will want to visit some particular locations: Ellis Island, landing spot of some 12 million immigrants is as fascinating as any place you might visit in the city and features a stunning museum; the Brooklyn Bridge is a must see landmark—it took 600 some workers 14 years to construct one of the world’s first steel wire suspension bridges which was the longest of its kind at completion in 1883; architectural buffs won’t want to miss Brooklyn Heights, one of the first areas of the city to be deemed a historic district.

While the Alamo is certainly a main point of interest, the entire city is a treasure trove of Spanish colonialism. The Alamo itself is one of only five missions that have been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site (i.e., don’t miss!). The new River Walk Mission Reach Trail will allow you to explore the grounds and buildings in which priests and Native Americans worked and lived together.

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While it may be difficult to imagine a desert oasis, they do actually exist and believe it or not in Egypt they are often far from the top tourist destinations.

However, just about two hours south west of Cairo lives the Fayoum Oasis which is arguably a hidden gem of the country. It is made up of lakes and canals. The large region is a great weekend or day spot as it is far slower paced than Cairo.

Many can’t imagine green farms, art and poetry, relaxation and meditation when they think of Egypt—but this is what Fayoum Oasis provides.

The area also includes a protected national park, Wadi El Rayan, that encompasses almost 700 square miles of land. It includes an upper and lower man-made lake separated by one Egypt’s largest waterfalls. The park also includes dunes, natural sulfur springs and mountains.

Visitors can also tour the strange and beautiful Wadi Al Hitan open air museum which includes a surreal depiction of the evolution of life. Wadi Al Hitan as been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2005.

For the more adventurous you can visit the Magic Lake which changes color according to the time of day but is only accessible by ATV.

Fayoum Oasis is a must visit for those looking to deepen their Egyptian experience.

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Bubble Tea: A Brief History


Posted By on Apr 29, 2020

Bubble tea, the popular Taiwanese drink—if you haven’t at least heard of it perhaps you’ve been vacationing under a rock as it has recently taken the world over. It was created in the 1980’s and is also known as “black pearl tea” and “boba tea” and is now beloved not only in Taiwan and around the world.

While there are no dozens of variations, it is basically a combination of tea, milk and of course the bubbles. These can be anything from large tapioca pearls to balls of fruit jelly.

Bubble tea has risen in the ranks of the food kingdom. It is a new official emoji in 2020. And recently has become a pizza topping and can even be found inside cheesecakes. But perhaps most telling is the fact that it is has been considered a star item of Taiwan state banquets for three years running.

But where did it come from? The story dates back to the 1940s.

In 1949 Chang Fan Shu, a mixologist and bartender who worked in Taiwan under the Japanese in WWII opened a tea shop. This was shou yao shop, the tea all made with cocktail shakers.

This resulted in a cold, clean tasting tea with a foamy top. They called foam tea in Taiwan. And not only was the foamy element new, but the idea of eating and drinking for pleasure was not yet quite part of the culture yet. And cold beverages were a rare treat.

It wasn’t until later on in the 1980’s in Taiwan during their economic boom when tea houses and tea and food restaurants became more popular that modern Bubble Tea was created.

Taiwanese artist and entrepreneur Tu Tsong He decided to open a tea house and ride the trend. While walking in a wet market one day he saw tapioca pearls, a favorite childhood treat of his. He decided to try some in his green tea and took off experimenting.

As these things do, it took off until we have the international phenomenon we have today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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