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.

Letters and Inspiration

So I’m sorry for the hiatus. Again. I really need to get my act together and stop apologizing. Ok, I’m not sorry I took 3 weeks off blogging. I needed a break and something to inspire me. Yes, I believe in Muses, but thankfully they don’t rollerskate or wear shredded jersey dresses like Olivia Newton John in Xanadu.


But I did find a new movie to add to my favorites list (The Princess Bride, all 3 Pirates of the Caribbean, Chris Pine’s Star Trek, Keira Knightly’s Pride and Prejudice, The Holiday, seeing a trend?): Letters to Juliet. Amanda Seyfried is not one of my favorite actresses. I thought Mamma Mia! was horrible (sorry Meryl). But Seyfried delivers as a wanna-be journalist searching the Italian countryside in hopes of rekindling a 50-years-dormant romance. Molto romantico.


I respect two things about Seyfried’s character: first she is a fact checker for the New York Times. She is awesome enough to work for that hallowed publication, but I can totally relate to the misery of verifying other people’s work while secretly dreaming of something bigger. Secondly, she follows her own advice. I won’t spoil the movie for you, but it’s always refreshing to see someone live how they preach.

It also doesn’t hurt this film that Christopher Egan (cold, emotionless Brit Charlie) is a total fox:


I wonder what my Shakespeare professor would say about such an iconic character like Juliet taking on a completely modern occupation, even if it is through her secretaries. If you have doubts, just grab the girls, some cheap red wine and enjoy!


Jenna Kate

Weekly Newscap 8/20

It’s been a few weeks since we’ve had a newscap, so here are the gems from the office this week:

Monday: A very international news day. In Australia, an Aboriginal elder led police to…the wrong body? While in France, those vertically challenged can now serve on the police force. While on the home front, a 78 year old man takes a historic roller coaster ride and a poor bear cub is released from getting his head stuck inside the cookie jar.

Photo source.

Tuesday: The South was busy over the weekend. A skateboarding priest was converting the masses over the weekend, while a Mississippi woman got a different haircut than she asked for: a bald patch. Meanwhile, an Alabama man got his missing high school ring back after 14 years. It’s no laughing matter in North Carolina, a man was arrested for laughing in court and later found with three grams of cocaine.

Wednesday: Animal day. A pair of zebras took a stroll around Northern California, even swimming in a local pool. A Python was removed from duty – guaring a stash of cocaine in Rome. And a group of humboldt penguins spent the afternoon chasing a butterfly in Philly:

And in real news, women were yet again suffraging. Or well, suffraging for the right not to suffrage.

Thursday: Kids all over the world are flashing ATM users? And the Canadians are thinking like the Italians: use black bears to guard marijuana crops. The Huffington Post also claimed ‘Bears are the Best’ with this great slideshow, and Sarah Palin issued her list of ‘Mama Grizzlies,’ while simultaneously shocking us all with her stupidity.

Photo source.

Today: The job seeker advice I received on Monday won’t come in handy after all (I didn’t get the job), and I fully plan on popping a whole bottle of Merlot. And the recycling the bottle so it doesn’t end up in the growing Atlantic Ocean Garbage Patch. And seriously, check your eggs to see if they match this recall by the USDA.

Happy Friday!


Jenna Kate

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

I shamelessly finished Elizabeth Gilbert’s #1 best-seller Eat Pray Love at 1am last night.  Yes, I spent a Friday night with a book about a 34-year-old in an existential mid-life crisis instead of at a  fancy club downtown with my best friend Alana and her new Swiss roommate Alex.  My sorority sister Brittany suggested it, as she is on her own one year voyage through Australia and knows I am getting ready to come join her down under.

First let me say this is not a boy book.  Boys, don’t even think about it.  The first sentence talks about Ms. Gilbert’s desire to kiss a gorgeous Italian man 10 years her junior.  You will not enjoy this book.  Ladies, if you want him to read it, bookmark the important pages that you think may but actually may not completely apply to your romantic and emotional situation.  At least that was my first temptation.  Sometimes, there are things that a woman does not need to share with the man in her life.  How this book applies falls into this category.

Ms. Gilbert’s wit certainly shines through this emotional and revealing memoir, and I found myself actually chuckling at her anecdotes and internal monologues, so hopefully you will too.  This is definitely a book to read while laying on the beach, if possible, or in another warm, sunny, cheerful environment.  Ms. Gilbert’s journey through a self-inflicted life rehab is strange and a bit questionable.  Since I personally have never seen my soul, I cannot say whether it actually is a cool blue light as she describes seeing on the roof of her Ashram in India.

The three sections of this book represent each of her locales: Italy, India and Indonesia (Bali).  By far Italy was the most enjoyable.  This section could easily be siphoned off into a novella of its own.   Ms. Gilbert’s relationships in Italy are intriguing and deserve more exploration, which she denies them because of the structure of her piece and her control to devote equal time to each part of her journey.  However for a woman recovering from a disastrous divorce and equally corrupt relationship with a boyfriend, she certainly attaches herself to men quickly: whether it is her young Italian speech partner, Richard from Texas offering her advice, or the delicious Felipe from Brazil.  But I guess crossing the world gets lonely, so you can’t really blame her.

Structurally, the 108 sections were an interesting format based on the japa mala, the original rosary which the Catholics borrowed from Hindus and Buddhists in India.  Somehow, she intermingles stories of her past life well, with few interruptions from the recent past and even more sparse are the reminiscences back to childhood.  I was slightly less interested in her metaphysical experiences in India, but appreciated her overall approach to try to show travel as a process working with for or against your soul.

Overall, I enjoyed reading and was glad Indonesia was less spiritual and more back on the travel wave length. Definitely recommend.