The World’s Largest

I subscribe to TravelZoo’s Top 20 weekly travel deals, and one caught my eye this week.

$899 — Balcony on World’s Largest Ship, plus $350 in Extras
Source: CruCon Cruise Outlet

When you click on it, the deal is for passage on TWO different ships, the Allure and Oasis, both on the Royal Caribbean line. Technically the Allure is two inches longer, though both ships have identical superstructures.

There have been a lot of world’s largest over the years, and you have to wonder when do we run out of room to grow. Here are few of my favorite world’s largest.

World’s Largest Easter Egg: Argentina
Can someone tell me how I can get this 27-feet-high, 8800 lbs egg into my house please?

World’s Largest Bottle of Wine: Italy
30 vineyards donated their entire 2009 vintages to fill this 510-liter bottle last year. I’m pretty sure I know a few good sorority girls who could help me polish it off.

World’s Largest Pinata: M&Ms
Cee Lo Green helped smash the world record for the largest pinata (now 46 feet tall) at the M&Ms celebration for Pretzel M&Ms last year. Really I just want to know where all the bags of candy went…

Now here are a few you can actually go visit:

World’s Largest Crossword Puzzle: Ivov, Ukraine
The squares look blank during the day, but the answers light up at night. Hunt around the city for the answers to clues then come back after dark to check how you did.

World’s Largest Chair: Manzano, Italy
This little town is in the heart of Italy’s hand-crafted furniture market. At over 60 feet high, this chair is almost twice the size of its American counterpart – a 33-foot tall office chair in Alabama.

World’s Largest Swimming Pool: Algarrobo, Chile
This nearly 20-acre pool sucks water directly in from the sea using a computer-controlled suction and filtration system and is bigger than 20 Olympic-sized pools. I think even Michael Phelps would get tired after swimming its 1,013 meter length. It even shows up on satellite.

The World

Sometimes I forget just how lucky I am. Example one, I own a passport. Correction, I now own my second passport. My first was about to expire and I got married.

My mother has never owned a passport.
She has, however, supported me on almost all of my international expeditions. She got my first passport for me at age 16, when for some reason my uncle decided to send me on a school trip to France. We spent two weeks in the Nice area. Eating baguettes, using the sidewalks along the Riviera as a catwalk, and watching Chicago in French. I still to this day have not seen the entire film in English.

A few years later mom packed me up again, this time to Greece. I had just finished a class on the Trojan War in Literature, and I sucked in Athens, Delphi, Olympus and the Peloponnese like desert rain. Somehow I managed to skip the nightclubs and even tolerate the wine (Greece is definitely not known for it). My one regret is not coming home with any olive oil.

Then for graduation my father took me to Ireland. The rolling hills and mists of my ancestors–on both sides of my family. I regretted that she wasn’t with us, she would have enjoyed whiskey tasting at Jameson while my father begrudgingly took the photographs I asked for.

Only three months later I took off for five months flash packing in New Zealand. We spoke daily. When I came home, she sent me to Spain to see friends from college teaching in Malaga. Then, I left her again for China. Four continents later, we were planning my wedding across 12 time zones. I wish I had delegated more phone calls with vendors to her, since I had to take them all between 9pm and 1am.

There have been a few trips in between. Hosting my 7 friends and sorority sisters before our 5 day spring break in the Bahamas. Taking care of the wedding decorations while we honeymooned in Saint Lucia. And daydreaming about the trip to Paris we haven’t yet had the chance to take.

Someday soon we hope to take her to Paris. Maybe we’ll throw in a weekend in London and a stop over in Belgium for the heck of it.

Travel Thursday: How to Make Your Vacation Work-Out

I’ll admit, I’ve never been very athletic. I love participating in heart-healthy activities, but I hate going alone, and forget about working out while I’m on vacation (thank you 5 months in New Zealand, I think I went running 4 times??).  Glamour’s Vitamin G blog has lots of health and fitness tips, and I searched for the easy ones to pack along on vacation with you.

This easy ab workout can be done in your hotel room in front of the tv or out on the porch watching the sun rise or set. . This move targets your abs, but also–bonus–your shoulders and obliques. All you need to pack is a pair of shoes (check!) and a long, rubber exercise band. There are also three good exercises to keep your behind toned up for all those LBD’s you’ll be wearing out and around your exotic location. It might be hard to take along an exercise ball, I like leaving extra room in my suitcase, but squats and lunges can be done anywhere! Other good options: the never-fail run (if you’re ambitious), or a long walk on the beach. Just don’t go too slowly.

Glamour plus some healthy snacking tips. Let’s be honest, eating healthy foods on vacation rarely happens. This list makes it easy, like putting healthy foods within eyesight so you are more likely to choose them, and eating more frequently throughout the day. I am always a fan of the afternoon energy snack and love anything that can be thrown into a Zip-Lock baggie and brought along in my bag.

What are your healthy vacation tips? Any snacks that have to come along or any exercises that you do no matter where you are? Here’s to a happy, healthy vacation!


Jenna Kate

Pink Living

Sorry for the delay in posting, I’ve had a busy weekend. Adam and I went down to Duke for a wedding on Saturday night. We also made a pit-stop at the J.Crew Warehouse sale in Winston-Salem where I scored a few good items including:

the Impressionist Floral Silk Dress (which I wore to the wedding on Saturday night):

the Black Blossoms cardigan:

The silk Blakely Wrap Blouse:

As well as a pink haberdashery blouse, black skinny pants, and a perfect tan ruffle neck racket that I have been eyeing for a while. Some serious finds!

The wedding was beautiful, the bride very gracious and Southern, the groom his usual goofball self. We had salad to start, and I’m aching to find out the vinaigrette recipe, followed by delicious chicken and crab cakes for dinner, with a yummy wedding cake finish. I’m proud to say I’m one of the few ladies in attendance who kept my heels on all night.

On Sunday, we went to the Duke gardens for an adorable picnic lunch:

We went for a stroll through the grounds. Here, Adam asked me to go to his fraternity formal with him, and I was hesitant to say yes. Here, we played bocce and drank cheap wine in the middle of the day to relax from senior year stress. Here, we began our graduation festivities with a reception held for the Duke 2009 seniors. This place has quite a few fond memories.

And five minutes after this photo:

He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! Then he even had champagne waiting back in the picnic basket. How perfect! My awesome pink engagement dress? A flirty INC floral jersey knit. All weekend I carted around my new pink Coach bag Adam gave me when he first got home last week, just to take my pink to a new level. My mom did tell me to wear something cute just in case!

Sunday night we went out to celebrate at Lauriol Plaza in Dupont Circle for lots of margaritas, another bottle of champagne and a few good friends. And, as if the phone hadn’t been ringing enough all Sunday, Monday morning at 8:30 am I had my first “Wedding planning!” text from my mother. I’m glad she’s so excited too!

My future husband is being sweet enough to let me use pink in our color scheme, and I’m going to try to ease him into the idea of letting pink be part of our more daily life. Today I found a great new photography blog for company Enchanted Dream Weddings & Affairs with some amazing interior design photos of how to incorporate pink into your lifestyle. This is my favorite:

Hopefully this helps make pink seem less intimidating, hunny. I’m so excited to start planning!

Cheers, Kate

Weekly Newscap 7/2

Sorry I’m a little late on last week’s Article of the Day update. Enjoy:

Monday 6/28: Like a good Kiwi, this driver opened another beer to quench his thirst while waiting for the police to arrive on the scene to free him from his car.

Tuesday 6/29: We had some fun Guerrilla Gardening to beautify the cracks and crevaces everywhere. Then enjoyed some frisky astronauts. It’s not like they’re really stranded somewhere with nothing to do and no one to see or anything.

Photo source. Follow-up unreliable info from Wikipedia, and reliable from Wired.

Wednesday 6/30: We turned a little Patriotic in anticipated of the upcoming Fourth of July weekend. And appreicated the vigor with which this gentleman defended his right to a good corner-stand taco.


Thursday 7/1: In honor of my fellow proofers, out Standard American English is under threat by the NY Times. And we watched the Duke of Germany get arrested for taking a shower.

Friday 7/2: The office teared up (just a bit) at the site of this tree-top, camo wedding.

Airport Snafu’s

TIME magazine released a great little slide show of  some pretty big ‘Oops!’ moments at airports around the world. While this article originally debuted in March, it’s interesting that the front page is showcasing it now – 5 days after the closed runway at JFK was scheduled to be reopened. Luckily for them, it reopened “under budget and ahead of schdule,” according to this CNN article.


Others on the list include the disastrous opening days of British Airways’ T5 at Heathrow, where thousands of bags were lost and passengers stranded, and the redevelopment of Chicago O’Hare airport. All but two of the O’Hare runways intersect, and the redesign project will oust the residents of nearby Bensonville. Also on the list was the 2007 JetBlue incident where passengers on nine flights were stranded on the runway for upwards of 11 hours. Congress didn’t pass a passenger’s bill of rights until 2009.

Any good airport accidents you’ve witnessed?