The Gaylord Opryland hotel has re-opened after flooding in Nashville, Tennessee, forced the landmark’s closure this spring. And its grand re-opening festivities happened during the season that the Gaylord Opryland does best – Christmas! I stopped by the Gaylord Opryland on a drive through Nashville recently and checked out some of the Christmas decorations that adorn the hotel’s atriums. There are hundreds of poinsettias, and millions of lights. The resort calls its holiday events “A Country Christmas.” This season, the celebration continues until Jan. 2, 2011. It includes: ICE! – A walk-through exhibit in a building chilled to 9 degrees. ICE! is an environment carvedRead More →

If you’re looking for a place to see Christmas lights in Evansville, Indiana, head to Garvin Park, where 61 light displays are set up as part of Ritzy’s Fantasy of Lights. My family checked out this Evansville Christmas tradition on a visit to Indiana over the weekend. We loaded the kids up in the car – but not before getting in our PJs and serving up a round of hot chocolate with whipped cream AND marshmallows. The Fantasy of Lights is a drive-through exhibit. There is an admission fee of $7 per car or $10 if you have a minivan-full, and it all goes toRead More →

My friend and fellow Gadling contributor Heather Poole has posted a great video for all you moms out there getting ready to take young children to the airport this holiday season. In the video, a very cute 4-year-old boy discusses his experiences with airport security in the “Fifty-hundred” times he has been to the airport. He’s obviously a veteran traveler, and what he has to say about airport security procedures is funny, and yet very accurate. I recommend showing this video to your kids. It should help put them at ease about what they might encounter at airport security, and it will certainly help themRead More →

The Gaylord Opryland Resort re-opened this month after the spring floods in Nashville forced major renovations at the hotel. I got a chance to stop by and check out the new look earlier this week. If you don’t know much about the Gaylord Opryland, calling it a “hotel” doesn’t really do it justice. It’s a giant complex – the largest non-gaming hotel in the country — and besides the guest rooms and convention space, there are four atriums, more than a dozen eateries, shopping, nightclubs and even a river. As for what’s new inside following the grand re-opening, the Cascades Lobby has been totally redone.Read More →

Hilton Hotels & Resorts has introduced a fun new Facebook promotion that could net you a new trip, or at least help out a great charity. To enter, you send a “Wish I Were There” digital postcard from a Hilton destination to friends either near or far. Kind of like a virtual vacation! Two grand prizes that include roundtrip airfare, a 4-night stay and a $500 Hilton hotel credit will be awarded. And there’s a charity aspect to his sweepstakes. You tell the app where you are and where your friend is. For each 100 “virtual miles” your postcard travels, Hilton will donate $1 to TheRead More →

There is always something new at Walt Disney World. The resort didn’t open any new mega-attractions this year, but Disney is always rolling out new things. Since many families make an annual trip to Disney during the holidays, here’s a list of five new things to see that have opened since this spring: 1. The Main Street Electrical Parade This classic Disney parade was brought back to the Magic Kingdom this summer after being replaced by Spectromagic in 2001. It’s the parade I grew up watching when I visited Walt Disney World as a child in the 1980s, and it has been great fun toRead More →

The Carnival Splendor has been towed back to California after its engine fire, and the passengers are back on dry land. I watched much of the news coverage, as I’m sure many of you did. And what I heard time and time again was, “I’m never going on a cruise again.” I have heard it from radio hosts, news anchors, my neighbors, random Walt Disney World visitors and some of the passengers on the ship. My response: Be reasonable, people. Any time you travel, you take risks about how things are going to go on your trip. Any of a myriad things could go wrongRead More →

There’s a new item to add to your list of things that you can’t bring on a plane: printer ink cartridges. That’s right, the Department of Homeland Security now says ink and toner cartridges larger than 16 ounces cannot be packed for a flight. The ban applies to both carry-on and checked luggage. It’s all because of a terrorist plot discovered last month to hide explosives in the cartridges. Now I, for one, have never packed, nor thought about packing, a printer ink cartridge for a flight. But I suppose the situation does come up from time to time. I know that there are portableRead More →

Southwest Airlines has announced a new fare sale today. One-way flights start at $59 to many destinations. The sale is on from today (Nov. 9, 2010) through Nov. 22, but many routes may sell out, so you probably want to act quickly. The cheaper airfare is available for travel on most days between Dec. 1, 2010 and Feb. 16, 2011. Why not plan a January girlfriend getaway to Las Vegas or a romantic escape to Baton Rouge for Mardi Gras festivities? My best tip for getting in on this deal is to be flexible. If you aren’t finding the sale fares for the dates youRead More →