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Something To Smile About

(NAPSI)-Whether your dream vacation involves relaxing at the pool and spa or leaping from airplanes and cruising on motorcycles, you might want to follow the advice of some well-seasoned travelers.

Kyle Post and Stacey Doornbos, now known as "smile ambassadors," made news when they produced hundreds of tweets, Facebook updates and pictures as they experienced the diversity of more than 120 Orlando, Florida attractions in 67 days.

Now, people can visit the Web site 67daysofsmiles.com to check out an online guidebook with images, video and commentary posted by the smile ambassadors.

The site--which breaks down the posts and information by attractions, accommodations, dining/nightlife, shopping, unexpected Orlando and special events--can be a fun tool for people planning a trip to Orlando.

For more information, visit 67daysofsmiles.com or call (800) 551-0181.

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Getting Away To Enjoy Wine

(NAPSI)-Millions of people tour wineries each year, with wine tasting now a popular attraction at destinations around the world. In fact, the state of California welcomed 19.7 million visitors to its wineries in one year alone, according to WineBusiness.com.

With wine tourism on the rise, connoisseurs have identified one of the best spots to experience the bouquet and flavors of award-winning wines, in an area that you might not expect: Canada. Having received numerous international awards, the Okanagan Valley in southern British Columbia is home to a number of acclaimed wineries, producing what are considered some of the best wines in the world.

A Taste of Elegance

In 2010, wine lovers can experience a unique and exclusive wine tasting-themed vacation with Rocky Mountaineer, known for its acclaimed two-day, all-daylight-rail journeys offering exceptional service, spectacular scenery and a gourmet culinary experience. Visitors to Western Canada can embark on an exclusive eight-day/seven-night journey with the new GoldLeaf Themed Experiences--Wine Tasting tour. Wine enthusiasts travel onboard the Rocky Mountaineer from Vancouver into British Columbia's Interior region, where they deboard and tour some of the Okanagan Valley's top wineries. Onboard the train, guests have the opportunity to enjoy regionally sourced cuisine, expertly paired with local British Columbian wines-all as they enjoy panoramic views and the elegant surroundings of an exclusive GoldLeaf dome coach.

After experiencing the best of the wineries in the region, the train continues to Banff, Alberta, in the Rocky Mountains, where guests are treated to a separate but no less stunning region of Western Canada. During the trip, rail travelers have ample free time to relax, enjoy area shopping or play a few rounds of golf. Travelers can even take a helicopter tour of the Canadian Rockies. But for many, the getaway is mainly about experiencing an exclusive rail journey while discovering some of the world's finest wines straight from the wineries that produce them.

For more information, visit www.rockymountaineer.com.

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Helping Kids Help The Community

(NAPSI)-Whether playing sports, sitting in the classroom or singing in the school choir, kids are molded by the adults around them. So how can adults shape their young lives for the better?

One way is to introduce kids to community service and show them the importance of bettering their own neighborhoods at an early age. Doing activities as a family or through school programs sets an example that can leave a lasting impression. After all, according to German/French philosopher Albert Schweitzer, "Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing."

One company has picked up on this philosophy. For seven years, Doubletree Hotels' Teaching Kids To Care program has educated students on local and global environmental and social issues by encouraging them to make conscious decisions to benefit their communities and the world. This year, it's teaming up with students and teachers nationwide to help fight world hunger. According to the United Nations, over 1 billion people suffer from hunger worldwide--an unprecedented, historic high. And yet, hunger is just one of the many issues facing communities today.

For parents and teachers wanting to encourage their kids and students to make a difference in the community, here are some tips for channeling their inner humanitarian:

  1. Identify Your Neighborhood's Needs: Research the issues facing your community to find a cause you can support. Saving the world can get overwhelming, so narrowing the focus to a cause that you are passionate about is the best way to start. Libraries, schools, newspapers and Web sites can be good resources to discover where support is needed.
  2. Participate in a Food Drive: Hunger has no boundaries. Look to businesses, schools and churches that host food drives. For example, Doubletree Hotels works with students to host "Great Community Food Collection" drives, encouraging family, friends and fellow citizens to help feed the hungry through food donations. You can explore similar opportunities with food banks to directly connect your child to the hunger needs present in your own community.
  3. Volunteer: Contact a rescue mission, nonprofit organization or senior citizens center to determine the best way to get your family involved. Rescue missions often need help sorting donations or making care packages for families in need. For a more hands-on approach, take your family to a senior citizens home or center so kids can play games or plant flowers with the elderly. By volunteering for a couple hours a week, kids are not only helping the community, they learn life lessons of generosity and service.
  4. Lend a Hand with Hand-Me-Downs: Kids outgrow clothing faster than you can say "growth spurt." Their closets turn into a black hole of clothing, benefiting nothing but the dust mites. One simple way to make a difference is to clean out the closets twice a year. Clothes and books that have not seen the light of day for a year or more can be donated to a donation center or shelter.
  5. Recycling Is a Walk in the Park: There are numerous ways to tweak your routine to improve the environment and beauty of the community. Take a weekly family walk through the park to gather litter and recyclables. Doing this activity together not only provides quality family time, it teaches kids the value of recycling and beautifies the neighborhood.

To learn more about how you can make a difference, visit the Teaching Kids to CARE Web site at www.doubletree.com/thinktrees.

Photo courtesy of Doubletree Hotels

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Time-Saving Tools For Business Travelers' Briefcases

(NAPSI)-Business travelers know that time is often their most valuable asset. When on the road, they depend on products and programs that allow them to be as efficient as possible. Here's a list of five essential tools that business travelers should have in their briefcases to make life easier and more productive.

Smart Phone. Once just a gadget for the privileged, a smart phone is now a practically indispensable tool for those who need to conduct business on the go. The advantages of mobile computing are unparalleled, and never before have executives so easily synchronized data with their offices. Wireless messaging provides mobile access and entry into entire networks of information, providing the means to productively conduct business wherever their travels take them.

Netbook. While smart phones are indispensable, they can't handle some of the bigger jobs that may need to be addressed when on the move. So travelers may also opt to bring along a netbook. Similar to a laptop, they are smaller, lighter and designed for general computing and accessing Web-based applications, making them an essential resource when traveling.

Language Translator. Language translators are a necessity for business travelers who frequently visit foreign countries or conduct business with clients whose first language is not English. Benefits include access to multiple languages, audio of proper pronunciation and the ability for executives to greet and converse in their client's native tongue.

Universal Charger. Universal chargers are able to provide power to many different devices with a single charger through the use of interchangeable power tips. It can cut down on packing space and help prevent technological tools from losing power during an important call or presentation.

Private Jet Card. Now, with the briefcase outfitted, there is one more tool needed to help make business travelers more efficient and give them a competitive edge--the jet card. Much like debit cards for many products and services, jet cards provide travelers with a designated number of private jet flight hours on a specific class of aircraft.

With the ability to access more than 10 times the number of airports than commercial airlines (5,000 vs. 500), private jets can take business executives exactly where they need to go, allowing them to visit up to three cities a day, without wasting time on layovers.

For example, the Flexjet 25 Jet Card, operated by Jet Solutions, offers flexibility, value and the widest range of options for customizing private jet travel. It's almost like finding extra hours in the day for business travelers.

For more information, call (866) 473-0025 or visit www.flexjet25.com.

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The Right Call

(NAPSI)-When you're thinking of giving the gift of a phone, it's wise to reflect on the individual's lifestyle and select a phone that matches. Consider these personality types and telephones:

The World Traveler: Verizon Escapade is a versatile phone that provides calling capability from 220 destinations worldwide. It's terrific for the businessperson or leisure traveler.

The Savvy Student or Aspiring Professional: T-Mobile Tap offers 3G speed for accessing the Internet, texting, instant messaging and personal e-mail.

The Music Lover: Verizon Razzle boasts expandable storage, full keypad and cool swivel design to maximize music enjoyment.

The Texting Teen or Social Networker: T-Mobile Sidekick provides texting with instant access to Twitter, Facebook and MySpace. With a large flip screen and full keypad, it has lots of features to stay in touch.

When you give a phone that fits the person's lifestyle, explains Philip Christopher, president of Personal Communications Devices (PCD), it's likely to be a hit. For more information, visit www.pcdphones.com.

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Money-Saving Travel Tips

(NAPSI)-There are several innovative ways to spend less while traveling.
  1. Know what's on--Many of the best events around the world are free. Major travel destinations have festivals, public concerts and exhibitions almost every weekend.
  2. Ditch the crowds--Expenses increase the closer you get to tourist hot spots. Look for off-the-beaten-path and off-season destinations and activities. Online resources can offer many tips to help you save money while traveling.
  3. Skip the rental car--Rely on public transportation, taxis, even walking.
  4. Use the Web--Why spend $30 on a guidebook when you can find everything you need online? Sites such as www.NileGuide.com help you create a custom itinerary and print your own personalized guidebook for free.
  5. Stay (at a) home--Book a vacation rental. Equip yourself with a kitchen and cut your bills. Try VRBO.com or HomeExchange.com

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Tips To Safeguard Travelers' Health

(NAPSI)-Following a few simple tips can help protect travelers from a common and often dangerous condition.

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is the formation of a blood clot within a deep vein. It commonly occurs in the thigh or calf and can develop after any major surgery, but people who have surgery on the legs and hip are especially at risk.

If a DVT clot blocks the flow of blood through the vein, repeated swelling and pain can occur. Worse, a clot may break free and possibly block the flow of blood to the lungs and heart (known as pulmonary embolism, or PE). PE is a serious medical threat that could lead to death.

Safe Travels

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), people prone to DVT may be at particular risk when they take long trips, since a lack of movement in the legs could allow blood clots to form. To help keep people safe, the group offers this travel checklist of "Do's" and "Don'ts":

DVT Do's...

  • Talk to your doctor before going on a trip during which you will be sitting still for more than a few hours.
  • Exercise your lower legs regularly. Ankle pumps are a good option when you need to stay seated--simply move your foot up and down by contracting your calf and shin muscles.
  • Keep moving. If you are on a plane or train, walk up and down the aisle every hour or so. In addition to walking, find a spot to do calf raise exercises--come up on your toes and back down--to help increase circulation.
  • Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
  • Talk to your doctor about wearing compression stockings during your trip.
  • Be sure to take a nice walk once you have left the plane, train or car. This will get your circulation going again.

DVT Don'ts...

  • Do not drink alcohol. It can make you drowsy and keep you from moving.
  • Do not take sleeping medicine. A deep sleep will keep you still for too long a time.

For more tips and information, visit www.aaos.org/dvt or call 800-824-BONES.

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Fun And Food Are Featured At These Diners

by K. Bailey Fucanan

(NAPSI)-Today's diners, with vintage memorabilia, polished chrome, retro styles and homemade eats, offer a sharp contrast to cheap, greasy grub consumed in a converted railroad car that was the original diner experience. Here are five fine diners in the Valley Forge area that offer fun, affordability and surprisingly good food.

Daddypops in Hatboro is affectionately named after owner Ken Smith's grandfather. In this intimate eatery, with its eight booths and two barbershop chairs anchoring the counter, patrons literally line up to be served.

Breakfast is the most sought-after meal and the flapjacks feature a certain secret ingredient that Smith says he'll never reveal. The home fries are simple yet popular. The diner goes through about 800 pounds of potatoes a week.

The freshness is apparent at Towne Restaurant in Telford, Pa., in the former Fenstermacher building. "We make everything here and all the recipes are mine, my mom's mom's or my husband's," said owner--and often waitress--Pam Brunner. The tasty soups are so popular they're offered to go by the gallon.

In the quaint shopping village of Skippack, Mal's American Diner is one of several eateries, but for breakfast and lunch it is often the busiest. With an art deco vibe, Mal's offers variety in both atmosphere and menu. Visitors will find everything from grits, chipped beef and eggs Benedict to beer, wine and coffee drinks, right through dinner.

The menu at Ruby's Diner, inside King of Prussia Mall, features a mix of burgers, salads and milk shakes. Burgers are the biggest sellers, but the new Kobe beef, turkey and breakfast sliders are a real hit.

At Ray's Restaurant and Malt Shop in East Norriton, turkey clubs and Reubens rule midday, while traditional hot oven-roasted turkey and meat loaf platters are the most popular evening meals.

A diner experience doesn't seem complete without a milk shake. Ray's uses locally crafted Nelson's Ice Cream for all the treats served in its '50s-style malt shop, tucked in the back of the restaurant.

The eclectic diners of Montgomery County have something for everyone. To learn more, visit www.valleyforge.org/diners.

Ms. Fucanan is the director of communications for the Valley Forge Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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