How to Get the Best Rate at a Hotel

June 4th, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Travel over the years has changed so much. In the days I was a child, my parents just went down to the local AAA office, got some trip “tics”, asked them to reserve a room at a “motel” (a word many in the hotel industry cringe at) and that was it. They didn’t read reviews, didn’t question the agent, if it was a fair price and was on the way, they booked it. 

Now days there is so much more to consider – price, location, customer reviews, amenities, breakfast, pool, free wifi, pet friendly, security, and on and on and on. I remember on my last vacation with my family, we searched the internet for days before we decided on where to stay. We looked at dozens of locations, photos, read reviews and booked on one of those sites that says you can reserve a room for less on their site than any place else.

I will give credit to the internet for allowing us to preview where we will stay, what the room might look like and read some past experiences from the guests. However, that in itself also confused us even more. Do we stay at the hotel that has all positive reviews? How can they never get a complaint? Or do we stay at the hotel that has mixed reviews? What if we get there on one of there “off” days? Then there are the photos. Of course they look great. Would a hotel post a photo of a bad looking room? Will my room have those fresh cut flowers, the perfect linen, and the fresh…

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Burnsville’s Performing Arts Center – A Place to See and Be Seen!

April 3rd, 2012 at 4:10 pm

The Burnsville Performing Arts Center is located at 12600 Nicollet Ave in the Heart of the City. This new complex opened in January, 2009. The center has two theatres, a 1014 seat Proscenium Stage and an intimate 150 seat Black Box.

The lobby is two stories tall, all glass, with a sweeping view of Nicollet Commons Park, the Minnesota River Valley, and the Minneapolis skyline.

In addition to the theatres, the Center has a 2000 sq. ft. art gallery, meeting rooms and a large rehearsal room.

There is additional space for banquets, special events and receptions.

Presentations at the Burnsville PAC include cultural events, dramas, comedies, dance, and musical acts from local arts organizations and national touring artists.

Their Mission Statement sends the right message – “The Burnsville Performing Arts Center is dedicated to: fostering the growth, development and appreciation of the performing arts through the presentation of the broadest possible range of cultural, entertainment and artistic activities and events; providing a home to the community’s major performing arts groups; serving as a community center for the visual arts, business and educational meetings and presentations and providing economic stimulus for the benefit of the residents of Burnsville and the surrounding region.”

There are many performances scheduled for this summer and if you want to experience some great entertainment and fun, visit their website at

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Cincinnati’s Secret Undergound

March 13th, 2012 at 7:34 pm

Most major cities have subway systems–New York, LA, Chicago, Washington. In the early years of the twentieth century, when the river trade was flourishing and it ranked in the top ten largest cities in the nation, Cincinnati decided to build one for itself. The major impetus was the draining of the Miami and Erie Canal, along which the subway would be built.

The idea really originated in 1884, when the Cincinnati Graphic printed an illustration showing trains chugging along underground, in an old canal bed covered with a new street. After their remarkably brief golden era, canals quickly became even more of a nuisance than they had been when they were bringing in trade. Many were partially drained; whatever water there was ended up breeding mosquitoes and disease. The muddy canal bottoms were used as refuse dumps. Since the Miami & Erie cut right through the heart of the city, it was a particular eyesore in Cincinnati.

The plan was made in 1912 to build a sixteen-mile rapid transit rail system in a loop around the city, with a branch going underground and heading downtown. It surfaced at Brighton and Saint Bernard and ran aboveground along the Ohio River.  Despite several delays, the two-mile underground portion of the subway was completed by 1923. Inflation had destroyed the projected budget and caused the rail loop to be reduced in size.

In 1926 Mayor Murray Seasongood took control of the transit project from the county and gave it to the city, then estimated another $10 million needed to be spent to see it through to completion. Central Parkway, which was built atop the underground…

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Cincinnati’s Top Shopping Destinations

December 9th, 2011 at 10:05 pm

When Shopping for the Holidays, or any time of year, the places are this list are the places you need to go!

Newport on the Levee                                                           

One Levee Way
Newport, KY 41071

A jewel on Northern Kentucky’s riverfront, the Levee features 12 restaurants, over 20 unique shopping venues, a comedy club, a live blues club, a live cabaret, 20 stadium-style AMC movie theaters, the Newport Aquarium, street performers, live bands and an excitement that has made the Levee one of the top entertainment and shopping destinations in the region. Rated the No. 1 Shopping/Mall Attraction for Families in the United States by Zagat, May 2004.
Hours: Sept. 1 through Memorial Day — Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. Memorial Day through Sept. 1 — Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.


Findlay Market

Race & Elder streets
Cincinnati, OH, 45202

One of the oldest open-air marketplaces in the nation, Findlay Market has been in continuous operation since 1852. It is famous for its fresh produce and meats.
Hours: Wednesday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed Monday & Tuesday. (Contact individual vendors for availability on these days).


Jungle Jim’s

5440 Dixie Hwy.
Fairfield, OH 45014

Six acres of food under one roof — it’s not a supermarket, it’s a zoo-permarket! An international mecca, Jungle Jim’s offers thousands of imported and national brand groceries: 10,000 wines, 1,000 beers, 1,600 cheeses, 1,000 kinds of hot sauce, one full acre of produce (including organic and international). If it’s edible,…

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Top 7 Holiday Shopping Locations in Minneapolis St Paul Area

December 2nd, 2011 at 6:26 pm

The Mall of America, Bloomington 

It’s the biggest mall in the country and attracts 40 million visitors annually, and is one of the largest tourist attractions in America. But it’s so vast that it never seems too crowded. As well as over 520 stores, there’s the Nickelodeon Universe theme park, an aquarium and several other permanent and temporary attractions. The Hiawatha Light Rail goes to the Mall of America, assuming that you think you’ll be able to manage all your purchases on the train.


Midtown Global Market, Minneapolis

Best known for local, independent stores and cafes selling produce, baked goods and groceries from around the world, the Midtown Global Market also has several stores selling art, jewelry and clothing from Norway, India, Kenya and more.


Gaviidae Common Mall and Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis

Downtown Minneapolis’ shopping is centered on the Nicollet Mall. A varied selection of independent and chain stores, mainly lifestyle and fashion stores, inhabit the lower levels of the skyscrapers, and with many luxury retailers gathered inside art deco mall Gaviidae Common.

The flagship Macy’s store is at 700 Nicollet Mall. (Note to visitors: many locals still refer to this store as Dayton’s, after Macy’s long-gone predecessor.)


Rosedale Center, Roseville

Just north of St. Paul in the city of Roseville, the Rosedale Center has plenty of stores to keep mall rats happy for hours. Parking is usually easier than at Mall of America and it has many of the same stores, so it’s…

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