Originally published on TravelSalt.com
Tasty Tasty Tasty. Who doesn't like a bit of salt? In fact, mix a little salt with some sugar and a touch of fat and you've whipped yourself up an almost irresistible combination. What I like about salt is that you really don't need much. And it's true that many of us could do with less.
As for the word itself, those of you who know me know that I was born and raised in Salt Lake City. For those of you who don't know me or the first thing about Utah or Salt Lake City, here's a little tidbit: Did you know that the salt content in the Great Salt Lake is so dense, you will actually float if you take a dip? People in Utah scoff at this tidbit as all too obvious, but I say to you, my fellow Salt Lake..ians, if you leave the boundaries of your village and venture out, you may find this fact is a surprise to quite a few. Here's another tidbit for the word Salt: did you know that in addition to being a word for seasoning, Salt is a Cryptography term? It's a little complicated for me, but it has to do with random bits of information used to make a key for a cipher or other kind of algorithm. I'm still waiting for my Crypto-Genius cousin turned DOD operative to get back to me on a more simplified definition, but he's probably away on the job in Abu Dhabi or Senegal listed under the name Fitzwallace or Solomon or Schneller, so I'm not holding my breath. I do like that 'salt' is about random bits of information that form a key. It's exactly what you'll get here. Any travel site or blog can give you a lay of the land or tell you St. Mark's Square is beautiful. How many will tell you to visit Venice in the early Spring because the canal isn't quite so stinky? My goal is to point out what might seem like random bits of detail that catch my attention and find either beautiful or weird or useful or all of the above. Something that others might miss. It could be a particular corner of a hotel lobby, a view, or a person to approach that may add some small but distinct flavor to your travel experience. I might tell you that the best time to visit the tree at Rockefeller Center is after 9:30pm or if you happen to be gay and happen to be visiting the lights at Salt Lake City's Temple Square at Christmas, to prepare yourself for verbal fits of displeasure from certain (but definitely not all) locals if you insist on holding your sweetheart's hand during your stroll. Like I said, one thing about salt is that you only need a little to make a difference.
I work with a handful of seasoned, well-traveled folks and they live all over the globe. One family lives in Korea, another in Paris and Geneva. One hilarious and crotchety retired couple in Amarillo; a family in London; one in Brazil; another in Beverly Hills. There are two families in my hometown, Salt Lake City, and a few more in my new hometown, Manhattan. If I refer to them or borrow from their travel wisdom, I'll use fictional names, like Buford or Sally.
Again, some things to keep in mind: This is not a general travel reference site. If you want that, send me an email and I'll hook you up. Second, if I review a lodging location, I'll also provide a link to our site's page on that property. I work with a boutique agency on Madison Avenue called Classic Travel. We're a small group of well-traveled and personable people who keep only an intimate list of clients and offer them our full attention and expertise. Another cool thing about Classic Travel is that we are the only agency whose website offers the ability to book lodging with Virtuoso benefits and rates. What the hell is Virtuoso, you ask? Among other things, it's a consortium of hoity-toity hotels with rates and benefits offered only when you book through a Virtuoso agency - which we are. Here's an example: Let's say you want to stay at the Huka Lodge in New Zealand. If you book the suite directly through the hotel or on one of the more ubiquitous sites like expedia or travelocity, you're going to get an x-dollar rate, let's call it $1500 per night. If you book it through a Virtuoso Agency like Classic, you'll get the y-dollar rate, let's say $1250 per night - PLUS - you'll get benefits that can include not only the exclusively offered rate but also complimentary upgrades (unless Paris Hilton has booked the whole damn place and hogged all the upper categories!), free breakfasts, and an added special goody chosen by each property such as a spa credit, a complementary lunch or dinner for two, or a visit backstage with Justin Bieber...! "That's a lie," you say. You caught me, it is, but only the Bieber bit. Everything else is true, I swear!
The cool thing about Classic Travel and this blog is that if some of you are feeling a little, shall we say, 'Boo Radley-esque,' and just don't want to talk to another living soul to book your room but you still want the Schweet Virtuoso Schwag, you can just click click click on the link and book to your heart's content. Shake a stick at that Justin Bieber! I kid Justin... I hear he's a very nice boy.
So there you have it. Stop by as you please and feel free to join in the conversation. If you want something more specific, schick me an email and I'll do my best to address it: firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time, enjoy. Don't forget to look for those granules that make life interesting and unique for each of us. And share! If there's some small tidbit that you appreciate, chances are someone else will too.
Check out the Huka Lodge in Taupo, New Zealand.