A Weekend Getaway

Although there’s no real reason to want to escape on this mild December weekend in the heart of what is already one of the busiest travel times of the year, we do have the opportunity to transport ourselves to Pluto today, thanks to new images released by NASA.

I would not have guessed even last year that I’d be able to sit in my living room on a sunny Saturday morning and do a flyover of Pluto. The texture of this distant terrain is fascinating, but not so much that I’d like to see it first hand.

The heat source is a bit distant for my comfort.  I’m fine watching from here.

The image above is of Pluto’s moon, Charon.  They’re calling the dark smudge at the top of the moon “Mordor”, which sounds like the first bit of travel marketing for this far end of the solar system.

No doubt the Plutonian Tourism Agency (PTA), when seeking to book tour groups, would have a big challenge in closing the deal, with an average surface temperature of -384 F.

One time honored tactic is to show impossibly beautiful people having fun in the location being advertised.  But its hard to see those models when they’re sealed up inside their spacesuits.

And for outright fun, how about “surviving”?

What travel marketing tricks work on you?



61 thoughts on “A Weekend Getaway”

  1. More and more I like photos of elderly couples sitting in a comfortable deckchair, wine glasses in hand, looking at the beautiful old castles along whatever river they are cruising.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I love to travel. The biggest trick is actually affording it. I can usually take a ‘spring break’ to Phoenix because I can stay with my snow-birding folks.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think the most effective tour advertising is being done by Viking River Cruises. Their TV ads are distinctive, featuring high resolution film that has been edited to amp up color saturation. The content of the ads suggests that taking a river cruise will bring you into intimate contact with people in the lands you tour. I seriously doubt that is an honest depiction of European river cruises, but it interests me that that is how they choose to promote themselves. The people we see in the ads are not doing anything terribly athletic. We see them taking a comfortable trip through lovely country where a retired person can experience another culture up close without getting sweaty and tired.


    1. Let me tell you from experience that to get to those lovely scenes, they do plenty of walking – if they choose to go with the guides on planned excursions into those towns, wineries… (Of course, we did plenty of bussing boo, but that was not planned.)


  4. “Do it yourself” tours. I learned last spring from cruise mates that there is a kind of tour where the group meets in the morning and get individual instructions from the guide(s) about how to navigate their day’s desired itinerary. Then people go off on their own, meeting “back at the ranch” when day is done. When I looked up the link I was given, it was no longer active. Have any other Babooners heard of this?


  5. Rick Steve’s books and TV shows on travel catch my attention and increase my interest in traveling. I can imagine that some people are turned off by his somewhat geeky style. That doesn’t bother me and I have found that he does have good advice for travelers.

    Maybe Rick would be able to find a way to get people interested in travel to Pluto. He might come up with some good tips for making that trip and some suggestions about things t see. Perhaps he would have tips on the best kind of relatively inexpensive space suit to use. Also, I’m sure he would have some advice about interesting things to see that are being over looked and that will become over run after he talks about these spots on public TV

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I can tell you what didn’t work for me this morning. I got an email from Airbnb (which I used for my trip out west last March). They suggested I take a weekend away for “destinations around Minneapolis.” Their suggested cities were Chicago, NYC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, and Seattle. For some reason, I thought they would suggest places like Stillwater and Duluth for a weekend at a destination “around Minneapolis.” I guess I’m just not the kind of person who just goes to New York City or some such place for a weekend away.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Several years ago, I was flown to NYC to film a national talk show, all expenses paid. I won’t mention the topic. I’d never been to NYC and, as we flew into the city, I asked my seat mate; “What IS that??”. He said, “The ocean”. I didn’t even know NYC was on an ocean.

      I got to my 24th floor NY Hilton room, looked out the window, and wondered what to do with myself next. I felt lost and disoriented, so I opened up this little wood cabinet and thought, “Wow – they really treat you well here”. Poured two little gin bottles into a glass, added a can of Tonic water, and sat there sipping while looking over this foreign city from my perch on high.

      This midwestern, sheltered girl had no clue how to appreciate being in NYC, so when not taping, I mostly just sat on a fountain feeding sea gulls in the middle of Manhattan, watching New Yorkers pass by. I learned a couple of things about these odd folks: they always wear black, always have head gear on, and they walk so fast that they tilt forward. Oh – and they don’t filter what they say. I at least had this in common with them!! It was unnerving to be around people who said exactly what they thought, especially having lived my whole life among midwestern passive aggressive (otherwise know as Minnesota Nice).

      I’ve concluded that I really don’t belong out there in the world. Maybe if I had a guide to lead me around and make sure that I don’t miss my flight or get lost, it’d be OK.


  7. TPT used to air a nice travel show by Burt Wolf called Travels and Traditions. Wolf is an elegant, small, white-haired elf with a good mind and strong interest in food. His shows are intelligently written and nicely photographed, and he always ends up somewhere enjoying food. If you want a sample:

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Home without no where I have to go in a car, friends dropping by, a nap, movie, chocolate, ice cream, reading, writing, watching birds out the window. Yup that’s my ‘getaway’ plan.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Don’t forget about book club tomorrow…
    Sunday, December 6
    1 p.m.
    Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast
    Ground Beneath Her Feet by Salmon Rushdie

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Travel doesn’t need any marketing for me. I love traveling.

    However I will say that I am a complete sucker for Oreos with different colors in the middle. Yellow in spring, orange at Halloween and red for the winter holidays. I actually don’t eat regular Oreos but can’t keep away from the seasonal ones! That’s a marketing plan that really works.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I love how everybody’s so different; how everybody’s story is so unique; how each one is rich; how varied yet connected we seem to be; how much respect and inclusion each of us find; how human we are. There isn’t a lot of this in the world so we create our own.

    Just wanted to say that.

    Liked by 5 people

  12. Tell me I will learn something or see some history, and I will want to go. Old castles, art, ruins, archeology – those are things that pique my interest. Sunny beaches while pleasant looking mostly make me feel like I will need to be immobile under an umbrella slathered in sunscreen lest I burn to a crisp. I enjoy trying new foods but invariably travel with those who are averse to eating adventures…so castles and art and old stuff it is. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Greetings. I have been off the trail due to traveling (only to Fargo) and haveng my phone on the fritz so i couldn’t look in and contribute. As chance would have it, husband and I stopped at a travel agency on friday to start planning a 2-3 week trip to Europe in May. We will go to Amsterdam and Bremen (where my family came from) and then we will travel to England so husband can visit Glasgow where his family came from, and then go to Dublin for a couple of days before we go home. He is a hopeful traveller, hoping that he can squeeze many places in and have it all work out. I am thankful we have a realistic travel agent who convinced him that it would take up too much time to also go to Wales as well as the island of Iona, so he gave up Wales and we are still comtemplating Iona. None of the places we are going are particularly scenic. I don’t think that northern Germany is a beauty spot, but I think it is important for me to see it. Son and Dil will join us for the first part of the trip, and daughter will join us for the Scotland trip. It will take rather a lot of logistical work, and the agent seems up to it.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You are the only person I know who uses a travel agent, but that seems smart to me now. My erstwife and I traveled twice to England,Scotland and Wales. I wish we’d had an agent. My partner was almost grimly determined to pack each day with a challenging list of destinations. My plan was to enjoy the trip, not trying to do in two weeks what would have been comfortable in a month. Trips that should have been joyful became marathons that had us tense and exhausted.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. consider driving from glascow to snowdonia alice in wonderlands home base is beautiful and quaint and taking the ferry across to dublin. it is beautiful and will take a day but is a wonderful way to see the area on the fly.


        2. The biggest problem is that there are fewer and fewer travel agents. In the olden days, travel agents earned their keep by commissions from airlines and hotels. Airlines quit coughing up the cash about 15 years ago and a lot of hotels will not help out on a small booking either. A lot of smaller travel agencies couldn’t keep their heads above water. It’s a shame really.

          Liked by 3 people

  14. I don’t travel unless I get an invitation from someone I know, so there is never any marketing tricks involved. As for the exotic locales you see online, I think I will just adopt Dale’s line…”I’m fine watching from here.”

    Liked by 1 person

  15. No marketing tricks need for me – I’ll go to interesting places at the drop of a hat (if timing and price are right). Have been off trail because of a wonderful trip to Peru (Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, and Lima). The scenery is stunning, the locals very friendly (even the vendors were polite), and the cuisine tasty (which is good for me as I am not an adventurous eater). However, it is not a trip for the faint-hearted. We climbed up and down a baziillion stone steps and steep paths, which can be tough enough at sea level but at altitudes of 9,000 to nearly 14,000 feet can be quite taxing. Best of all was the weather…….November is the beginning of the rainy season and we were prepared to sightsee in the rain. Instead we had mostly sunny skies, daytime temps in the low 70s, and not much wind. The only rain we experienced was a thunderstorm in Cusco that occurred while we were at dinner. The few minutes of nickel sized hail was fascinating to the locals – apparently it isn’t often seen. Our tour director told us we had good weather karma – even he hadn’t experienced such good weather on a tour for a long time. I’m usually not so lucky.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. We stayed in nice hotels. The first one (Sacred Valley) was a former monastery with gorgeous gardens and 2 llamas in the backyard. The hotel at Lake Titicaca was right on the lake. The other two were major chain hotels……nice but nothing unique…..and well located near good restaurants.


  16. We went to a mental health conference in Fargo that advertised a Mexican cruise for continuing education credits. How awful to be trapped on board a boat with a bunch of mental health professionals learning how to work with borderline personality disorder! Traveling with our children will be somewhat stressful, but at least our children can be really fun.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Four years ago, I did the same thing, Renee. It was a 7-day cruise for 20 credits. What could be better than that? My expectations were to get a nice, mid-winter tan and hang out with a couple dozen fellow therapists. I envisioned a fun group of people who had that in common.

      When we had our first meeting, I quickly discovered that, with the one exception being me, every other therapist had brought his/her SO, adult child, or best friend. At the end of classes, they’d all scatter in pairs throughout the ship of 3000 people. I’ve never felt so alone in my life as I bumped around the huge ship, looking for friendly faces because I don’t do well in foreign places without knowing anyone.

      The second expectation, tanning, wasn’t possible because seven days running, the sun never peeked out for even an hour. This left me with nothing to do during daylight hours. There were only three day-long classes in the seven-day cruise.

      The one positive part of the experience was my discovery of a nightly live band, a Latin dance club, and a piano bar. I even entered a dance competition in the auditorium with Michael Jackson music. I won the contest but probably by default. Just as I did the “going low” move, the ship suddenly shifted and I fell on my ass. Like an Olympian gymnast, though, I got right back up as if nothing had happened. The audience rewarded my guts with thunderous applause, and applause was what determined the winner.

      I’ve been on three cruises since that fateful one, but have taken my daughter and her daughters. These three-generation trips have brought so much joy and bonding that I’ll do one a year until I can’t walk anymore.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Thanks everybody for accommodating me yesterday with an earlier start time for BBC. My meeting went well last night and I even found a parking spot RIGHT outside the restaurant so I didn’t have to park at the Walker (although this was a great idea Jim & Cathy). My mantra today is “Just three more days….”


  18. It’s nice to see some astronomy again, Dale – I was wondering what is the surface in foreground of photo at top, clicked on the link and got this caption:
    “The Mountainous Shoreline of Sputnik Planum: In this highest-resolution image from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, great blocks of Pluto’s water-ice crust appear jammed together in the informally named al-Idrisi mountains. “The mountains bordering Sputnik Planum are absolutely stunning at this resolution,” said New Horizons science team member John Spencer of the Southwest Research Institute. “The new details revealed here, particularly the crumpled ridges in the rubbly material surrounding several of the mountains, reinforce our earlier impression that the mountains are huge ice blocks that have been jostled and tumbled and somehow transported to their present locations.”


  19. Hey Babooners!

    Friday is the 7th anniversary of Radio Heartland and Mike is going to re-run the LGMS Request Show at noon. He said if we have any requests, he’ll try to get them into the 9-12 slot. SO, if there was something that you requested last time that didn’t make the show, let me know. I have to have requests to Mike by tomorrow night.

    I will repeat this message in the morning!!!

    Liked by 2 people

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