Posts tagged with "travel"

Mina Tocalini, 360 Magazine, COVID-19

Covid Risk Increases During Holidays

By Hannah DiPilato

With the holiday season quickly approaching, Covid cases are skyrocketing all over the country and officials are advising people to social distance this holiday season.

According to CNN, more than 12 million people in the United States have been infected with the coronavirus and over 260,000 people have died. With those that are elderly or immune-compromised, the risk of complications due to COVID-19 is higher.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated the safety guidelines for traveling. “CDC is recommending against travel during the Thanksgiving Day period,” Dr. Henry Walke, Covid-19 incident manager for the CDC, said in a conference call.

“Right now, especially as we are seeing exponential growth in cases and the opportunity to translocate disease or infection from one part of the country to another leads to our recommendation to avoid travel at this time,” Walke continued.

The CDC has also recommended people stay in their immediate households for the holiday season. Even without traveling across the country, seeing those you don’t usually see can lead to a breakout of coronavirus.

Walke said he does not plan to visit his own family for the holiday season. “I haven’t seen my parents since January. I’m staying home and that’s been difficult as I have older parents who would like to see me and who would like to see my children as well,” he said.

“It’s been a long outbreak, almost 11 months now, and people are tired. And we understand that and people want to see their relatives and their friends in the way they’ve always done it,” he continued, “But this year, particularly, we’re asking people to be as safe as possible and limit their travel.”

If you plan to gather with those outside of your immediate household, there are important precautions to take to prevent the spread of coronavirus. First, keep gatherings as small as possible. Many states have restrictions in place which limit the number of people allowed to gather inside. Check your local and state regulations to ensure your gathering is following the laws.

The CDC’s Dr. Erin Sauber-Schatz said, “The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is at home with the people in your household.”

If possible, move your Thanksgiving dinner outside. Coronavirus is less likely to spread outside where there is better ventilation than indoors. Although many places are getting cold, tell your guests to load up with blankets and winter gear. If it’s too cold for an outside gathering, keep the windows open to ventilate the area.

One of the most important and simplest things you can do to stop the spread of Covid is to wear a mask. In many states, masks are required in public places and Thanksgiving dinner should be no exception. Keep your mask on unless eating and remain six feet away from other guests.

It is also recommended that guests handle making their own food and bringing their own utensils to Thanksgiving dinner this year. This prevents the spread of germs as well as cross-contamination between households. Remember to frequently wash your hands when cooking, eating and generally to stop the spread of germs.

Covid cases are rising in communities as well as healthcare networks which is making the virus even harder to handle. Many more people are becoming hospitalized due to the virus and healthcare workings are at risk.

According to the Associated Press, 905 staff members at The Mayo Clinic Health System have been infected with coronavirus in the last two weeks. The Mayo Clinic Health System is a network of clinics and hospitals in the midwest that are run by Mayo Clinic.

Executive dean of Mayo Clinic Practice, Dr. Amy Williams, said that most cases came from exposure within the community and not from work. “It shows how widely spread this is in our communities and how easy it is to get COVID-19 in the communities here in the Midwest,” she said.

If a virtual gathering isn’t in your Thanksgiving plans this year and you will be seeing people outside of your family in person, consider isolating yourself beforehand. Since the incubation period of the virus is 14 days, a negative test result doesn’t necessarily mean a person does not carry the virus. Although a negative test result for coronavirus isn’t a sure sign of safety, it is an extra precaution everyone should add before mingling this holiday season.

Besides getting a coronavirus test, people should also consider a 14-day quarantine before seeing loved ones, or afterward. Isolating before seeing family will decrease the risk of spreading the disease within your holiday circle. If you plan on traveling for the holiday, consider isolating yourself after returning to prevent the spread of covid in your community.

The CDC has predicted this will be a dark winter and although a vaccine is in the works, it likely won’t be ready for mass distribution for a few more weeks. The holiday season will only lead to more cases with an increase in travel and group gatherings. As the weather in many places gets colder, inside gatherings are more likely to occur.

The CDC also recommends everyone get their flu shot for the upcoming flu season. By protecting yourself from the flu, you can help the healthcare system more easily manage the large influx of people going to the hospital.

In all states except Hawaii, Maine and Vermont, there is an active or imminent outbreak of coronavirus according to Covid Act Now. Even these three states are at risk for an outbreak. Currently, North Dakota has the highest number of new daily cases per 100,000 people with 159.6 cases. Wyoming and New Mexico follow closely behind.

Many states have separated their cities and counties into different zones depending on the number of Covid cases present. The restrictions in place for these areas are then determined by the number of cases.

New York City is starting to enforce tighter restrictions as cases start to rise. “In the next week or two we should see some substantial restrictions,” said Mayor, Bill de Blasio. “I think indoor dining will be closed, gyms will be closed.  I’m not happy about it. No one is happy about it but that’s what’s coming.” There is currently a 10 person gathering limit and a curfew for nonessential businesses between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Similarly, in Boston, Governor Charlie Baker has released a stay-at-home advisory for the same time frame. People are urged to only go out between these hours for essentials. Indoor gatherings are limited to 10 people while outdoor gatherings should be capped at 25 people.

Things on the west coast seem just as bleak. According to the Los Angeles Department of Public Health, restaurants, bars, wineries and breweries will be closed for dine-in services for at least three weeks. People in Los Angeles are being advised to stay home and have a similar curfew to Boston and New York City.

In some cities where cases are skyrocketing, restrictions are not being put in place as heavily as in California and New York. In Miami, restaurants are able to be open to 100% capacity and seat 10 people per table. Most things in Miami are reopened, but with restrictions such as requiring masks.

It is crucial for everyone to work together to bring covid cases back down over the coming weeks. As cases spike, it is important to remember that each state has precautions in place for a reason. Although many states won’t fully shut down, you can decide to continue social distancing and only going out for essentials.

teamLab's Forest of Resonating Lamps is an iconic exhibit from the MORI Building Digital Art Museum as announced by 360 MAGAZINE.

JNTO x Japan’s Winter Illuminations

In celebration of the coming winter months, Japan lights up across the country with winter illuminations in cities, rural areas and natural attractions. While travelers can’t experience many of the illuminations due to travel restrictions this year, below are a few galleries of some of the most exciting events taking place this winter.

Forest of Resonating Lamps – One Stroke, Ice Cave by teamLab, Tokyo

An iconic exhibit from the MORI Building Digital Art Museum, teamLab’s Forest of Resonating Lamps – One Stroke, Ice Cave is an interactive exhibit featuring a seemingly endless arrangement of Venetian glass lamps. The arrangement of the lamps is mathematically determined and when a person stands still close to a lamp, it will shine brightly and cause a chain reaction with all of the surrounding lamps.

Sendai Pageant of Starlight, Miyagi Prefecture

On Jozenji-dori Street in Sendai, about 160 zelkova trees are decorated with over half a million LED lights. With the street Illuminated in a warm glow, it becomes the perfect place for a nice romantic walk while dining on tasty treats from local vendors and shops. In addition to the scenery, there is an ice skating rink and a light tunnel at Kotodai Park.

Ashikaga Flower Fantasy, Tochigi Prefecture

Ranked #1 by the Japan’s night-view critics, Ashikaga Flower Park’s Flower Fantasy is one of the most popular seasonal illuminations in the country. Running through February, the Ashikaga Flower Fantasy changes lights about every six weeks to match with a different theme. For November and December, the park puts on a Christmas fantasy and in January and February, the New Year is celebrated with the blooming winter peonies.

Nabana no Sato Winter Illumination, Mie Prefecture

The Nabana no Sato Winter Illumination utilizes millions of LED lights to bring even more color and brightness to the large flower park. Visitors can get a bird’s eye view of the lights from a special observation deck, “swim” through a sea of lights that shine in a huge field and navigate their way through various light tunnels.

Otaki Ice Festival, Saitama Prefecture

Located in the former Otaki village, the Misotsuchi Icicles are illuminated every night during January and February. While there are two other “Great Icicles” in the local city of Chichibu, the Misotsuchi Icicles are the only ones that are naturally occurring. Visitors can view the icicle light-up from the north side or along the river on the south side. The nearby Tsuchiuchi Camping grounds also serve hot food and drinks during the ice festival. (Note: Whether this event will be held is still being determined.)

For more information and to discover more of Japan’s local attractions, JNTO has put together a collection of the best of the country’s local treasures on a new section of their website for would-be travelers to browse through HERE.

For updates on travel restrictions to Japan, click HERE.

Downtown Gateway Arches on Las Vegas Boulevard Photo Courtesy of City Of Las Vegas

Vegas’ New Gateway Arches Illuminated Tonight

Tonight, the City of Las Vegas will illuminate its new, 80-foot-tall Gateway Arches spanning Las Vegas Boulevard between St. Louis and Bob Stupak avenues at the base of The STRAT Hotel, Casino & SkyPod. Conceived and designed by Selbert Perkins Design and fabricated and installed by YESCO, the 100-year-old company synonymous with Las Vegas’ most iconic signs, the archway marks travelers’ official arrival into the City of Las Vegas.

“Las Vegas is known worldwide as the getaway for the best in entertainment, fun, dining and convention business,” Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman said. “What better way to invite everyone into historic downtown than by this passing through this massive, new archway into the heart of a revitalized Las Vegas.”

“Ward 3 is a dynamic part of the city of Las Vegas and I am so excited to represent the home of this beautiful new gateway,” Ward 3 Councilwoman Olivia Diaz said. “I am sure these iconic arches will become synonymous with the fun and excitement of our city, as well as being a point of community pride for years to come.”

The blue illuminated arches form a towering gateway to the city’s burgeoning Downtown and feature a pink, retro-inspired Las Vegas emblem suspended above the boulevard. While the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign at the south end of the Strip enjoys world renown, many people do not realize it lies outside the City of Las Vegas’ boundaries in unincorporated Clark County, Nevada. The new, brightly lit, Gateway Arches will welcome visitors to the city of Las Vegas as they travel north on Las Vegas Boulevard. 

“YESCO has a long history of fabricating, installing and maintaining Las Vegas’ most internationally recognizable signs, and the Gateway Arches represent the newest monumental addition to that portfolio,” said Jeff Young, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of YESCO. “This project is history in the making, and we’re proud to have partnered with the City of Las Vegas and Selbert Perkins Design to bring it to life.”

Added Stephen Thayer, vice president and general manager at The STRAT, “The Gateway Arches are a striking landmark to designate what has long been the gateway from the Las Vegas Strip to the City of Las Vegas. We are thrilled that this beautiful monument has been erected just steps away from our iconic tower.”

“Selbert Perkins Design has been designing city gateways, public art and landmarks for over 30 years. We are honored to have worked with the City of Las Vegas to design its newest gateway which welcomes all to historic downtown,” said Robin Perkins, partner of Selbert Perkins Design. “Our thanks to YESCO for fabricating and installing this complex work. It’s been a fantastic collaboration all around!”

FUN FACTS:

  • One leg of the Gateway Arches weighs 18,400 pounds
  • Number of lights on the arches: 13,016 
  • City Of Las Vegas emblem measures 20-feet x 40-feet and weighs 7,300 pounds
  • The entire arch draws over 61,000 watts of power
  • The arches are comprised of over 13,000 + RGB light-emitting diode (LED) pucks that are individually programmable
  • Over 700 feet of fully programmable RGBW LED Flex Neon, each pixel is 4.92 inches 
  • Fully programmable, the color-changing sign contains more than 170 IP addresses
  • Each arch leg spans 140 feet across Las Vegas Boulevard
  • 900-plus LED lamps in the southern face of the hanging “Las Vegas” cabinet
  • Four footings were drilled with a drill rig and are 20-feet in depth x 4-feet wide with a steel reinforced cage

Other high-profile Las Vegas projects YESCO has fabricated and installed during its centennial year include the sign package for Allegiant Stadium, as well as interior and exterior signage for Downtown’s new Circa Resort & Casino. 

The Gateway Arches will be illuminated every day beginning at dusk.

Kaelen Felix Illustrates a Food and Travel Article for 360 MAGAZINE

Turkey Recipes From Melissa Cookston

No one likes a dry turkey, and Melissa Cookston, celebrity chef and judge on Netflix’s new food show “American Barbecue Showdown,” is here to help avoid ruined Thanksgivings.

Cookston offers up three different recipes for all to enjoy while also touching on the differences between brining and injecting.

Brining vs. Injecting

“The first thing people will say is, ‘You should brine your turkey.’ Yes, brining has many adherents, but I’m not usually one of them. I have always preferred injecting to deliver added moisture and flavor for a few reasons. First, brining a turkey requires a good bit of refrigerated space, generally for a couple of days. Space in the fridge is generally in short supply around the holidays. Secondly, brining has its drawbacks in terms of how it affects (for me at least) the skin and texture of the turkey. Maybe I’ve just not been doing it right, but I’ve just never been a huge fan. I have published brined turkey recipes that were quite good, I thought, but overall, I just prefer injecting a turkey.”

Injecting a Turkey

“When you are going to inject, you can do it right before cooking. You can also put in a different flavor profile than you can when you brine. Also, I’ve had some brined turkeys that were just too salty, and you won’t run the risk of that by injecting.

“You’re going to need an injector obviously. If this is a once-a-year thing for you, then grab an injector from the grocery store for a couple of dollars. They will suffice to get through one turkey a year. If you cook and BBQ more often through the year, you’ll want to invest in a better injector. I have a heavy-duty injector that will make short work of turkeys, pork butts, whole hogs, etc.

“When you inject the turkey, try not to go through the skin too often. I usually work around the skin of the breast as much as possible. If I do go through the skin, I will use it multiple times by injecting through that spot multiple times (at different angles.)”

Turkey Injection Recipes

“I’m attaching some recipes below to help you get started. As you see, you’ll only be limited by your imagination when you inject, so if you want to add some different flavors, knock yourself out. The only caution is making sure you don’t have too large of particles in your injection recipe, or you might clog your needle. These recipes also work great with any poultry, so don’t just save them for Thanksgiving!”

Recipe No. 1

Ingredients

-1 cup chicken stock

-1/2 cup maple syrup

-1 tsp kosher salt

-1/2 tsp white pepper

-1 tsp granulated garlic

-1 tsp soy sauce

-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

-1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder

-1 tsp hot sauce

Instructions

Add all ingredients to a saucepan and bring it to almost a boil while whisking. Allow to cool before use.

Recipe No. 2

Ingredients

-1/2 cup butter

-1 cup chicken stock

-juice from 1/2 lemon

-1 tsp dried sage

-1/2 tsp garlic powder

-1/2 tsp kosher salt

-1/4 tsp white pepper

Instructions

In a saucepan, heat all ingredients until butter is melted and spices are incorporated. All to cool down. Before it thickens too much, inject poultry in thighs, legs, breasts, and along the breastbone. Allow to sit for 1 hour before cooking.

Recipe No. 3

Ingredients

-1/2 cup lemon juice

-1/2 cup liquid crab boil

-1/2 cup butter

-1 cup chicken stock

-1 tsp hot sauce

-1 tsp cayenne pepper

-1/2 cup olive oil

-1 tsp garlic powder

-1 TBS Cajun seasoning

Instructions

Place all ingredients in a saucepan. Heat until butter is melted and spices are incorporated. Remove and allow to cool to room temperature (it should still be liquid.) Then, inject turkey and place in a pan in fridge for 1 hour before cooking. This will allow injection to spread through the meat.

For more information about Melissa Cookston, you can click right here.

Travel story illustration by Maria Soloman for 360 MAGAZINE

Setouchi in Japan

The region of Setouchi in Japan is curious, cool, creative and boasts an impressive level of experiences. It’s the authentic side of Japan that awaits with a restorative element that is unparalleled, offering countless experiences to choose from. Seven prefectures spanning the idyllic Seto Inland Sea, making it the iyllic blend of explorations across land and sea…close your eyes and begin to dream after considering inspirational ideas…

  • Eat your way through Setouchi…Kagawa is known as the Udon Prefecture. Home to these slurp-worthy thick white noodles and boasting the highest number of udon restauuranst in Japan. Sanuki udon has a square shape and flat edges and is native to Kagawa, comprised of wheat, salt, soy sauce and dry sardine- try your hand at creating them with a master chef or hop around to sample it at multiple eateries. And, naturally, no journey to Setouchi is complete without tasting the famed Wagyu Beef in Shimani, known the world over. Juicy, tender and stellar. Consider pairing it with a glass of Japanese wine at the Chateau Misen winery
  • Luxe it up overnight…Aman + Adrian Zecha have teamed up on a stellar collaboration to launch a new ryokan-inspired hotel brand in Japan called Azumi- the first will open on an island in Setouchi along the Seto Inland Sea- a fusion of culture, harmony, wellness and exceptional design
  • Hit all the power spots where mystical energy flows on a northern drive route, stopping at temples, shrines and cultural sites in Tottori, Shimani and Yamaguchi, or take the eastern route for the most ridiculously gorgeous views through Okayama, Hyogo and Tokushima (NB- a power spot for romance as it’s shaped like a heart)
  • Pick fruit in Yamaguchi! Apple, Mandarin orange; Blueberry; Pear; Strawberry; Grape and wrap it up at a stay at Nagato Yumoto Onsen and the Otozure ryokan, welcoming guests for 600 _ years and truly the setting of a brilliant love story from hundreds of years ago. A gorgeously designed property with a true sense of place, focused on toji, hot spring recouperation.
  • Chill in a hot spring and completelty surrender to a natural therapeutic experience at Kaike Onsen in Tottori, the highest hot spring source in the prefecture, and take a stroll on the beach afterward before digging into a huge pot of fresh rich meaty snow crabs, a specialty of the region (best season Nov- Mar). Misasa Onsen is a great hot spring alternative, with water rumored to be extremely healing.
  • Cycle the famed Shimanami Kaido….do all 70 KM or book a support car or boat bike ride back if you just want a taste. This exceptional route is a cyclist’s paradise, treating riders to impossibly gorgeous views between the islands of Shikoku and Honshu.
  • Get your Sake on with a hop around 7 of Hiroshima’s best breweries along Saijo Sakagura Dori and the Fujii Shuzo Brewery Exchange Hall in Takehara city. Sample to your delight and compare with the contenders for the winner of the day.
  • Get greeted by a white rabbit at Hakuto Beach in Tottori…just one of the ubiquitous sculptures and art installations found across multiple islands in Setouchi. The legend has it the rabbit of Inaba was crying because it suffered from threats from alligators but today, it’s a welcoming symbol to travelers who arrive to dig into watersports or trek through caves, across cliffs, discovering unusual rock formations

Connect with Setouchi Tourism in Japan for more info.

Rita Azar illustration for 360 MAGAZINE travel stories

Free Ways to Have Fun in Montreal This Summer

You don’t have to break the bank to have an amazing time in Montreal. The city is filled to the brim with stunning museums, gorgeous nature parks, and frequent cultural festivals. The best part? Most of the best things to see in Montreal are actually completely free.

Travelling on a budget may be tricky but in a city like Montreal, it’s easy to have an unforgettable trip without spending a fortune. 

#1. Explore the natural beauty of Mount Royal Park

The namesake of Montreal is also one of its main attractions, the beautiful Mount Royal. This peaked hill stands tall in the centre of the city, surrounded by a nature park designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, the renowned architect who made New York’s Central Park a reality.

Mount Royal Park is especially beautiful in the summer for picnics, relaxing by Beaver Lake, or hiking to the top for some spectacular views. You can spend a whole day here and all without spending a bit.

#2. Create your own bike tour of the city and surrounds

A great way to spend a day without breaking the bank is by seeing the city on a bicycle. Montreal is crisscrossed with bike paths that total a length of over 500km and all are open to the public for free.

Cycle along the Lachine Canal into Old Montreal, pass the Olympic Village, and enjoy the sights of Parc La Fontaine along the way. If you’re feeling especially adventurous, you can even make your way off of the island to explore the north and south shores.

#3. Get your culture fix at one of the city’s amazing museums

The Musee des Beaux Arts

For lovers of art and photography, there is no better way to spend an afternoon for free than at The Musee des Beaux-Arts. Along with a permanent exhibition, the museum features artwork from Canadian and European artists like drawings, engravings, silverware, and works of art from ancient Asia, Egypt, Greece, and South America. 

Modern art aficionados can also see Andy Warhol’s advertising on display too! Museum admission is free for all on the first Sunday of the month and every day for those 20 and under while seniors (65+) are admitted free on Thursdays.

The Redpath Museum

The Redpath Museum is named after a 19th-century sugar baron who financially supported the museum on the campus of McGill University. 

History and science geeks will get a kick out of the wide range of fossils (including dinosaurs), skeletons of rare and extinct animals, rocks and minerals, and a fine collection of Egyptian antiquities that the Redpath has to offer. And best of all, admission is free.

#4. Partake in the summer festivals

Montreal is known as a festival town and it’s no wonder with locals that love to eat, drink, and celebrate life every day of the year. 

The city is abuzz with music festivals throughout the year like the International Jazz Festival, Les Francofolies, Les Nuits D’Afrique, and the indie music festival Pop Montreal. Music lovers, rejoice! From shows and live entertainment, the summer is ablaze with music — and all of it is completely free.

#5. Enjoy the spectacle of the International Fireworks Competition

Summer visitors to Montreal will likely be familiar with the International Fireworks Competition there that takes place twice a week throughout June and July. This epic (and free) attraction draws locals and tourists alike to the waterfront of the Old Port, the Jacques Cartier Bridge, or the amusement park, La Ronde, for the best views.

#6. Stay in and relax

Whether you’re a Montreal local or on a summer holiday, some days you may just feel like staying in and snuggling up with a glass of wine and a good movie. 

For a fun and free good time, put on your comfiest outfit and try your luck at one of Canada’s great online casinos with free spins that require no obligation and are easy to activate. Who knows? Your free spins might end up paying off!

MONTREALIVE

The vibrance of the city is undeniable, as is the accessibility for all types of travellers on any budget. There are delicious cheap food choices, it’s easy to walk or cycle around, and there are plentiful free activities to do and things to see – especially in the summer when nearly every week hosts some kind of festival, street fair, parade, or cultural show.

Montreal has been called many things throughout the years. From “The City of Steeples” to “Festival City”, “The City of Saints”, nothing captures the essence of the city as well as its most recent nickname: “Montrealive”.

Croatia by Patrick Cooper for 360 magazine

Christmas In Croatia

By Patrick T. Cooper

This year has been anything but ordinary. Extraordinary would even be an understatement! Most who dare to read this article are grappling with the thought of where your first travel destination will be post-pandemic. Well, forget pulling out all of those dusty ornaments and slaving in the kitchen to prepare the family meal. Croatia is calling you to blend your love of travel with holiday traditions to make your season a memorable one.

Croatia offers a unique old-world feel with a hip awareness that locals will eagerly share while illustrating the countries fair and flare. The gift of travel is evergreen and never antiquated. Give the gift of lifetime memories well beyond the impact of material goods. This past year should be your throttle boost to knock off the destinations of the world that you have always hungered to see. Christmas in Croatia is not just a catchy title but a rhythmic vibe that will have you singing in the city streets.

The aha moment is forthcoming once you maneuver through the city cafes at the center of Zagreb. Beyond the city’s annual Festival of Lights is a community that is welcoming, warm, genuine and excited to educate you on the rich culture of this region in the world. While travel has been practically extinct this year, this story gives you ample time for planning to experience The Ultimate Holiday Gift – Christmas in Croatia.

Christmas in Croatia by Patrick Cooper for 360 mag

The Bucket List

Positioned on the Adriatic Sea, Croatia is a country at the intersection of Central and Southeast Europe. The Croatian economy is dominated by the services and industrial sectors as well as agriculture. Tourism is the paramount source of revenue, ranking Croatia among the 20 most popular tourist destinations in the world. The country measures 21,851 square miles and a population of 4.07 million, most of whom are Catholic.

Zagreb, Croatia’s northwestern capital, is riddled with distinguished 18th and 19th– century Austro-Hungarian architecture contributing to your eyes dancing as you wonder about the city. Most infatuated upon my arrival, I, of course, had to make the 13th-century St. Mark’s Church and the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary as my initial stops. From the colored rooftop of the church to the edifice of the cathedral, I hastened to mark three destinations off of my travel bucket list.

At this point, I have piqued your curiosity, similar to anxious adolescents on the night before Christmas. Never fear, I will be the calming hand to give you a Croatia travel cheat sheet. The path is now lit!! Continue reading and start preparing to soar into the unknown and craft memories to enhance your personal journey.

Lights in Zagreb

By day, Zagreb’s main square is perfect for people watching. A brief stop in Dolac’s open-air market will intensify your cultural submersion. Prepare to indulge in the ultimate Christmas experience by evening. The city literally lights up!! The splendid display of the holiday spirit is like no other in the world. Advent on European Square, Advent on Zrinjevac, Ice park, and Advent in Tunnel are all close in proximity and offer an array of souvenirs, decorations, food and beverages to heighten the beginning of your fairy-tale in Croatia.

Truffle Hunt in Istria

Everyone loves a day trip to Istria which includes phenomenal hunting. Fetching some of the world’s most renowned mushrooms is quite an adventure. Prior to exiting the field, fuel up with your personalized truffle cooking class at Karlić Tatufi. Opting for the scrambled truffled eggs and a variety of truffle-infused pastries is the perfect breakfast to start the day. Excitement ensues watching the eagerness of canine energy to hunt the delicacy of the Croatian culture. The benefits of eating, education and exposure culminate in creating a magical endeavor.

Truffle photo by Patrick Cooper for 360 magazine

Rest in Rovinj

From the sleek curbside appeal, the Grand Park Hotel Rovinj is perhaps one of the sexiest hotels that I have visited. Modern, yet minimalist furnishings and features make this property award-winning. Beyond the architecture, you prepare to be rewarded with elegantly appointed seafront views overlooking St. Katarina Island and the Old Town of Rovinj. Completed in 2019, this hotel represents a collaboration with Milan studio Lissoni Architecture by Piero Lissoni. From its beaches, pool, dining and spa the Grand Park Hotel Rovinj is an unforgettable designed stay.

Grand Park hotel photo by Patrick Cooper for 360 magazine

Chocolate in Opatija

A chocolate Santa Claus is such a treat!! Literally one of Opatija’s sweetest events happening the first weekend of December is when you should be ready to taste and experience the finest chocolates from the world’s best chocolatiers. Everywhere the eye can wander, you shall see white, milk and dark chocolate creations that elevate from edibles to works of art.

By all means, secure your global selfie stamp by posing with famous individuals like Gustav Mahler and Isadore Duncan of Opatija at the Open Air Theatre at the Park Angiolina.

Chocolate Santas by Patrick Cooper for 360 Magazine

Castles in Rijeka

Korzo is the main promenade in Rijeka. It is the focal point to capture the hustle of the city and a quick coffee in a multitude of cafes. At nightfall, it is the climb to the Trsat Fortress that will illuminate your love for Rijeka, Croatia. Never before have I seen such a delicate display of holiday savoir-faire. From carriages to castles dripping in bright lights, prepare to spend your upcoming holiday in this historical winter wonderland. Croatia is certainly worth planning an entire year in advance.

Tuska Utopia combines a travel show with metal music

While music and travel industries are suffering from the lockdown and people around the globe have fewer opportunities to enjoy concerts and fulfil their wanderlust, Tuska Utopia offers a new way of experiencing both of these. The concept sees Finnish artists performing and audiences embarking on a journey to intriguing landscapes in the global home of heavy metal, from church ruins to disused gasometers.

Combining an entertaining travel show, one-of-a-kind metal concerts and state-of-the-art music video aesthetics, Tuska Utopia will receive its premiere this November. The concept is created and produced by the team behind Tuska Festival, the biggest metal festival in the Nordic region, and it takes audiences on a journey to some of the most exceptional landscapes in Finland. Each hour-long episode includes a concert, an interview with the artists and a tour of the location in the spirit of a travel show. Watch season 1 trailer here.

The first season comprises of three episodes. Industrial metal powerhouse Turmion Kätilöt will perform at the Suvilahti gasometer in Helsinki on 13 November, power metal band Battle Beast at a secret stone castle on 20 November, and cello metal sensations Apocalyptica at the church ruins in Pälkäne on 27 November. Tickets to all three episodes have already gone on sale.

Tuska Utopia is hosted by Samy Elbanna from the thrash metal band Lost Society and directed by Taku Kaskela, a household name behind many music videos and TV productions.

“The series takes the visuality of gigs to a whole new level. It was a real dream for a director like me to get the opportunity to create new utopian worlds through music and light design for soulscapes that are so familiar to us Finns,” Kaskela says.

“The power of Tuska Utopia stems from the curating between the artists and locations, which creates a story, a tension and a theme that connects all the concerts in the series. The name of the series itself acts as a kind of reading guide, as each episode reveals an actual existing place in the Finnish landscape, as well as a fantasy world created especially for the series,” adds Jenni Kääriäinen, Artistic Director of Tuska Utopia.

“This is not just a way to replace live concerts”

Tuska Utopia aims to offer unique experiences, as well as to create new opportunities between the fields of music and travel. While both industries are suffering from a worldwide lockdown, Tuska Utopia enables people to enjoy both activities in a new way.

“This is not just a way to replace live concerts now that so many events are on hold. We hope to succeed in creating a new crossover culture that I can easily see continuing along its own path also after the crisis is over,” says Eeka Mäkynen, Executive Producer of Tuska Utopia.

The artists featured in the programme all have well-established global fan bases, so the English-language series is expected to attract interest around the world.

“Finland has already been called the global home of heavy metal, with more metal bands per capita than anywhere else in the world, and this country definitely has a strange appeal. Tuska Utopia is a dive into the deep end of the Finnish metal soulscape, a place where your feet can no longer touch the bottom. Welcome along!” Mäkynen invites.

Tuska Utopia

Friday 13 November 2020 at 9pm UTC +2, Turmion kätilöt, Suvilahti gas holder, Helsinki (available for purchase until 15 Nov at 9 pm UTC +2)

Friday 20 November 2020 at 9pm UTC +2, Battle Beast, secret stone castle (available for purchase until 22 Nov at 9 pm UTC +2)

Friday 27 November 2020 at 9pm UTC +2, Apocalyptica, the ruins of the Church of St. Michael, Pälkäne (available for purchase until 29 Nov at 9 pm UTC +2)

The episodes are available worldwide on SemiLive’s platform. The price of each stream is €14.90, which includes viewing rights for 48 hours. Special Tuska Utopia merchandise is available on Tuska’s web shop. Ticket holders are entitled to a discount on Utopia Collection items with a promotion code provided with the ticket.

In cooperation with Helsingin Sanomat, Sinebrychoff, Genelec and Varusteleka. Powered by SemiLive.

Rita Azar illustrates travel article for 360 MAGAZINE

Cozy Winter Retreats

Enjoy delicious food, spectacular accommodations, and seasonal activities this winter

As temperatures drop and winter nears, a sweet escape may be closer than you think! If you’re yearning for a weekend getaway, look no further than the scenic Hudson Valley for a charming winter retreat. Located just an hours’ drive from New York City, Orange County, N.Y. offers acclaimed restaurants and accommodations with seasonal packages for couples, singles, and families looking for a home away from home this season.

“The perfect winter getaway can be found close to home with a visit to one of our cozy inns or B&Bs — all just a short drive from the area’s ski resorts, ice rinks, riding stables, hiking, biking, and mountain trails,” said Orange County Tourism Director Amanda Dana. “Unwind with loved ones or a good book by a crackling fireplace after a day outdoors. Or, warm up with a delicious meal from one of our many acclaimed restaurants offering indoor dining and seasonal menus, too.”

Below are some winter getaways available in Orange County, N.Y. Before visiting any of the locations, please contact the venue directly to confirm that they are open and practice safe social-distancing.

Cedar Lake Estates, 1 Team USA Way, Port Jervis: Cedar Lakes Estate offers 500 acres of Winter Wonderland for you to explore. Stay for a long weekend, or grab a seat at one of the venue’s Saturday dinners. Whether just for a toast by the fire, or a snowshoe around the property, explore all there is to do in the beautiful Hudson Valley. cedarlakesestate.com

The Thayer Hotel, 674 Thayer Road, West Point: Experience the luxurious accommodations at the Historic Thayer Hotel at West Point with one of many seasonal packages available. Visitors can enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving dinner prepared by the Culinary Institute of America team of chefs with an overnight stay, or choose the venue’s holiday brunch package that includes an exquisite feast for two, luxurious overnight accommodations, and a souvenir Thayer Hotel holiday ornament. Ring in the New Year with overnight accommodations, a cocktail reception at MacArthur’s Riverview Restaurant, a four-course meal, open bar, DJ, champagne toast at midnight, and a New Year’s Day champagne brunch. thethayerhotel.com

The Waterstone Inn, 62 Sterling Road, Greenwood Lake: Skiers won’t want to overlook one of Orange County’s hidden gems, The Waterstone Inn. Located just three miles from Mount Peter, a full-service mountain offering skiing, snowboarding and tubing, the beautiful inn offers visitors a peek back in time to the Golden Age of Greenwood Lake when affluent New York families would flock to the lake for leisure throughout the 1800s and early 1900s. Accommodating parties of all sizes, guests can choose from studio rooms, suites, or the entire third floor. thewaterstoneinn.com

Bear Mountain Inn, 3020 Seven Lakes Drive, Bear Mountain: Built in 1915 upon a plateau overlooking the shores of Hessian Lake, this natural beauty of local stone and timber is a national treasure. Its 15 deluxe guest rooms and suites combine rustic mountainside elegance with all the creature comforts of home to make it the quintessential romantic Hudson Valley destination. Relax and recharge with the inn’s shop, stay, and spa package that includes a gift card to Woodbury Common Premium outlets and a $100 credit to the Spa at Bear Mountain. visitbearmountain.com

Cromwell Manor Historic Inn, 174 Angola Road, Cornwall: Relax at this elegant 1820 mansion with additional guest rooms in a charming 1762 colonial cottage. Decorated with period antiques and furnishings, all rooms have private baths and many have working fireplaces. Enjoy homemade breakfast each morning, overlooking the seven-acre private estate, before heading out to explore nearby parks and trails, world class shopping at Woodbury Common Premium Outlets, and many vineyards and wineries. cromwellmanorinn.com

Stagecoach Inn, 268 Main Street, Goshen: The Hudson Valley’s premier inn and restaurant can be found within an elegant mansion built in 1747. Despite its historic past, the five-bedroom inn features private baths and all the modern updates and amenities for 21st-century travelers. The on-site restaurant offers casually elegant dining in several sitting rooms and a stone veranda overlooking three acres of manicured lawns. During the day, explore all that Orange County has to offer with local museums and art galleries, parks and outdoor activities, and shopping galore. stagecoachny.com

As the world reopens, Orange County, N.Y., invites residents and visitors to escape, enjoy and explore its wide-open spaces. For a full list of attractions, lodging and dining options available at this time, please visit orangetourism.org/fall-fun. Additionally, a fun, free, 56-page travel guide is available for digital download at OrangeTourism.org/travel-guide.

About Orange County Tourism

Orange County Tourism, based in Goshen, N.Y., is the county’s tourism headquarters and a participant in the I LOVE NY program. A comprehensive listing of area attractions, lodging and events can be found at OrangeTourism.org. Like Orange County Tourism on Facebook for the latest news on local happenings.

Rita Azar illustrates relationship article for 360 MAGAZINE

Important Tips When Vacationing with Your Special Someone

Traveling is an enjoyable activity, most especially if you are with the one you love. Sunrises and sunsets become more beautiful, the food seemingly tastes better, and any cultural barriers become more of an experience to laugh at than an irritant.

So, all your custom research papers are written, vacation is about to start, your clothes are ready and tickets are waiting for you to take them and go. But if you are together and unprepared, things might not go the way you planned. Here are some things to consider when vacationing with your special someone.

#1 Agree upon what you’d like to do together

A common source of conflict when vacationing together is that one person is dictating the terms. He or she says what tourist sites they will visit, where they will eat, what souvenirs to buy, and even what time of the day they will do all these things. While the other partner may give in at first, it eventually becomes a pain.

Instead, the couple should discuss what they’d like to do together before going on the trip, including possible dos and don’ts. While spontaneity can be fun and romantic, if your partner is really against doing something (swimming with the sharks, jumping out of a plane, or eating scorpions), then there should be no reason to force them.

#2 Be patient when difficulties crop up

When traveling, difficulties of some sort usually crop up, such as misplacing your tickets, leaving the cellphone charger at the hotel, or forgetting to pick something up on your supply run at the local store. It is important to stay patient. Snapping at each other over such minor inconveniences will ruin the mood for your trip.

This patience is also necessary when dealing with the locals. Cultural and language differences may cause you to become impatient. But dealing rudely with them may get you into further trouble, or it may even irritate your partner who just wants to have a good time.

#3 Give each other space

Even in your locale, it is important to give one another space. 

This is also true when visiting a new place. If the place is safe, it is good to allow one another to explore the area alone for a time. If not that safe, then give one another time to lounge alone, read a magazine, or even watch a favorite show. You will find that after some alone time, you and your partner will be ready to enjoy things together again.

#4 Enjoy your time together

A vacation together is supposed to strengthen your bond as a couple. So ensure that you are both having fun. That’s why it is inadvisable to bring work with you as much as possible.  

If you notice that one of you is not enjoying the trip, find ways to make it more fun. Think of what you can both do to bring more life to your trip. It could be visiting something not on your itinerary, having a coffee at a local café, or just watching the sunset together.

Summary

It’s a blessing to have the chance to travel together. Take advantage of such time, and make it enjoyable by considering the tips above.