Saturday, February 27, 2016

Timing Application for Airline Cards Credit Card Mileage Offers

Airline credit card mileage offers are as abundant as they've always been. Although now, instead of 25K or 30K free miles, there are cards offering as much as 50K miles.

All of the cards have a minimum amount that must be spent within a specific period of time. The time period is usually the first three months that you have the card and the amount that must be spent to get the bonus typically ranges from $1K to $2K.

If you are not a big credit card user, it is important to time the application for these cards, like a month or so before a trip or final payment on a trip. That way you can be sure to meet the minimum within the specified time frame and get your bonus miles.

Keep track of your spending. Don't miss out the offer you are trying to take advantage of!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

"Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse"

This exhibition, exploring how the city's gardens influenced Impressionist and Avant-Garde artists run from January 30, 2016 to April 20, 2016 at the Royal Academy of Arts.  Tickets are available online.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Rodin Museum Reopens

The Musee Rodin in Paris reopened last November after a 3 year renovation that cost 16 million Euros. As part of the project, may of the sculptures and paintings were restored. There are two entry fees, one for the museum and a less expensive option for just the sculpture garden.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Trevi Fountain Opens

It took 20 months but the restoration of the fountain is now open. It reopened November 3, 2015 at a restoration and cleaning cost of $2.33 million.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Starwood and Marriott Merge

Marriott announced on November 16, 2015 that it would merge with the Starwood brands of hotels. When completed, the merged company will have more than 5,000 hotels worldwide, including Sheraton and Ritz-Carlton, resulting in the largest hotel chain.

Currently no chances have been announced to any of the loyalty programs, although the Starwood program is considered better because points can be earned through the use of 35 airlines and American Express.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

How Long Can It Take To Renew A Passport? Months!

In 2007, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative took effect. In 2008, that initiative was extended to the Caribbean, Canada and Mexico. So U.S. citizens with travel plans in 2008 were flooding the passport office with applications in 2007 and early 2008. That means all those passports are now coming up for renewal.

While it typically takes about 4 weeks to get a passport, officials are now warning that it could take 6 weeks or even longer.


Vincent van Gogh Atlas

At 180 pages, the "Vincent van Gogh Atlas" includes maps showing places the painter lived and worked, including Amsterdam, Paris, London and Auvers-sur-Oise. Included are drawings, photographs and letters relating to each location.

The atlas can be purchase from the Van Gogh Museum in English, Dutch and French and is available through the museum's website. Price is about $47 total for atlas and shipping to the U.S.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Look Inside the KGB in Riga

Espionage and secret-police work was the job of the KGB, known as "Cheka" in Latvia. These activities are now the focus of an exhibition that opened February 2015 at the former KGB headquarters in Riga, Latvia. Called the Corner House, visitors can see the dungeon and prison cells, the offices and a memorial to KGB victims.

The Corner House is the work of the Museum of the Occupation which is dedicated to the 1944-91 Soviet occupation of Latvia.