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Visit America: It’s Easier Than You Think


That’s the theme of the State Department’s invitation video ads aimed at people throughout the world to come and spend some money in the U.S. We certainly can use some fresh money coming in, instead of it all going out in foreign aid, wars and floods of imports.

A new video released by the State Department is trying to encourage tourists from around the world to visit America. Their euros, yens, dinars, sheckels and all other currencies are very welcome.

The ad continues with: Discover America. More than 65 million visitors do each year. The voice of President Obama adds, "We've got the best product to sell." We can guess he doesn’t mean Toyotas, Hondas, Audis, Volkswagens, Samsung TV sets and stacks of Chinese clothing and toys in Wal-Marts and K-Marts.

ABC reported last year that foreign tourists visits to the U.S. have slowed down due to the State Department’s complicate visa requirements. The claim is that the practice represents lost foreign tourist revenue of $500,000,00o a year.

That indicates foreigners just don’t want to go through all the official hassle of getting into the U.S. Hmmm. Have they ever considered coming in the simplest way, across the Mexican border?

Watch Travel Movie Faves While Required To Stay At Home PDF Print E-mail


While the pandemic is keeping you from traveling, the British daily newspaper The Guardian suggests 20 travel-related films you can enjoy for free online at home from movie websites. All except one were made after 2000, and in this writer’s humble opinion, can’t compare with any of the earlier classic travel films in the past half-century or so.

Before naming my oldie favorites, the Guardian list does include an exception I recommend. Roman Holiday features a princess (Audrey Hepburn) roaming Rome anonymously in 1963. An American reporter (Gregory Peck) learns her identity, but keeps it secret while trying to get a money-making exclusive scoop. Romance and great photography include Rome’s Spanish Steps, Colosseum and Vespa race through scenic traffic and taverns.

So, my classic choices, including Roman Holiday, are: Doctor Zhivago (1965), Easy Rider (1969), National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983), Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987) To Catch a Thief (1955), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), The Wizard of Oz 1939, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (1939), It Happened One Night (1934), Lost Horizon (1937) and Casablanca (1942).

 
Gas Prices Fall: Bit Of Good News In Bad News Times PDF Print E-mail

Gas Prices Fall: Bit Of Good News In Bad News Times 
The national average price of gas at the pump is less than $2 a gallon, and may drop even lower. For several previous years, it was $4 and higher. With the coronavirus pandemic now affecting the economy, and a deep drop in the price of crude oil, have combined to send gas prices speedily downward.

AAA estimates the gas pump signs will show $1.75 or less in April. Springtime usually means a sharp rise in prices because of the usual heavy warm weather driving. However, this season is different, now that many of us are kept off the roads by stay-at-home regulations.

Also, many seniors fondly remember when the per gallon costs were much, much cheaper. I remember filling up my ’49 Chevy at the Philly Navy Yard gas station for 16 cents a gallon. It was after being recalled to active duty for the Korean War in the early 1950s. Will affordable prices happen again?

 
Commercial Air Travel Down 90% Through Month Of March PDF Print E-mail


Daily numbers show less than 200,000 passengers passed thru airport check points on March 29 and 30. The figures decreased dramatically since the coronavirus travel restrictions and cancellations started on March 22.

If you have plans to fly, be sure to keep up daily on the latest news about schedules, restrictions and cancellations. It’s also wise to seek other forms of transportation, especially if your trip is essential for emergencies, family events and business.

 
Q: Coronavirus Fear: Should I Wear Gloves While Traveling? PDF Print E-mail


I obey all the warnings about washing hands while dealing with dirty surfaces on the road and in the air. I’ll be taking a train trip next week and wonder if I should not only wash, but also put on gloves. Advice? JKH, New Amsterdam NY

A: If you have a sore or tender skin condition, to avoid infection, wear gloves. Also, with the current epidemic, no matter what your skin condition, it’s a good idea to wear tight plastic gloves when traveling, especially while using public toilets. Thoroughly wash hands and gloves as often as possible in hot, soapy water. Carry an extra pair so you’re always prepared for protection.

 
Cruise Ship Movies Remind You Of What You’re Missing PDF Print E-mail


The worldwide pandemic is keeping public movie theaters empty. However, you can still enjoy some of the classic seagoing films at home online by television. The Titanic and Poseidon disaster movies are entertaining in their shocking themes.

Other cruise ship movies are less disastrous: Consider Speed 2: Cruise Control, the Kelsey Grammer comedy, Like Father (Harmony of the Seas), and the Adam Sandler film, Jack And Jill (Allure of the Seas). Sandler also pops up again in Going Overboard.

For younger viewers, Carnival Dream stars in the Alvin and the Chipmunks movie, Chipwrecked. And older Marilyn Monroe fans remember fondly that her 1953 hit, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, was set on a cruise ship. Marilyn also starred in Some Like It Hot with Tony Curtis in 1959, especially their love scenes aboard a yacht.

 
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