Read: Washington Post article goes hand in hand with one of my favorite books…The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner


Not sure I am thrilled with the federal government spending money we don’t have on measuring how happy and content the citizens are, but this article did remind me of one of my favorite and most interesting books.  The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner!  It is a compelling and thought provoking look at places around the world that claim to be the happiest on the planet.  Eric Weiner’s portrayal of the people he encounters, food he eats, beverages he samples and the all around nature of these different cities is an absolutely hysterical page turner.  Perfect Spring Break or summer vacay read.  Who knows, maybe you will be reading it in one of the blissful locales featured in Eric’s book.


Depart DC: Welcome Spring…with a trip to DC’s Cherry Blossom Festival


Happy first day of spring, everyone!  Here in the DC metro area, we usher in this season of rebirth and growth with the annual Cherry Blossom Festival, celebrating its 100th year, to honor Japan’s gift of 3000 cherry trees to the United States in 1912 as a sign of friendship.  If you have not had the pleasure of strolling along the Tidal Basin in DC during the peak of the cherry blossoms, you really must!  It is a sight to behold…one that children and adults alike would cherish. 

The Cherry Blossom festivities run from March 20th-April 27th with daily events throughout the city along with pop-up shops that will only stick around until the festival ends.  Check out the National Cherry Blossom Festival official website to see a listing of the happenings.  You can also find visitor information including maps, hotels, commemorative merchandise for purchase and information about how you can get involved to ensure the trees are around for another 100 years.    

Additionally, The Washington Post Going-Out-Gurus have compiled a map and podcast that you can download to your mobile device to enjoy while walking amongst the gorgeous, pink, flowering trees! Hope to see you at the festival!


Depart: Spring Break 2012

 Aerial Pool View


Do you have plans for a Spring Break getaway yet?  The first installment of Depart is just what you have been looking for if you need a little help deciding where to take the fam on a vacation that won’t break the bank.  Here are a few carefully chosen options by VerumVita from the amazing travel gurus at Travelzoo.  Safe Travels!


San Antonio, Texas: Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa, voted Travel + Leisure’s 2011 World’s Best Family Resort, is offering rooms for $129 per night with an option to upgrade to a 1 bedroom suite, perfect for families, for an additional $70 per night.   There is plenty to do on property with a water park, golf course, tennis courts, spa and kids club!  if you want to do a bit of exploring Sea World is close by as is San Antonio’s famous River Walk.  Mention TravelZoo code TVL569  to receive the 45% off discount rate.


New York City: Hotel rooms in NYC are astronomically priced but you can get a room at TRYP New York City Times Square South for $165-195 per night with discounts on larger rooms for families as well.  This is in a prime location close to the subway, shopping, shows and, of course, Times Square!  Mention Travelzoo when booking for discount.


Miami, Florida: Yearning for some fun in the sun? Look no further than The Shelborne South Beach!  Set in the idyllic South Beach Art Deco District, this oceanfront hotel is close to shopping, dining and local attractions!  You can snag a room here for $129-179 a night.  Click here for the discounted rate.

San Diego, California: If a west coast destination is your target, Loews Coronado Bay is a bull’s eye with three pools, basketball and tennis courts, and private marina.  This resort was listed in Parents Magazine’s 2010 “10 Best Beach Vacations in the U.S. & Caribbean”, has easy beach access to Silver Strand State Park, and rates of $119.25-141.75 per night. Mention Travelzoo when booking.

Mexico (Cancun, Riviera Maya, Isla Mujeres): The Palace Resorts are offering $185 per night rates for several of their all inclusive properties on select dates!  Check out Beach Palace, Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort, & Sun Palace in Cancun. The Riviera Maya and Isla Mujeres locations include Aventura Cove Palace, Aventura Spa Palace and Playacar Palace and Isla Mujeres Palace.  An additional $1500 resort credit will be applied for a stay of 5 nights or more.