9/11/01 – The Power of Numbers

Time that the burning towers stood

09/11/01 – 8:46AM.

09/11/01 – 9:02AM.

Everyone of age remembers where they were and what they were doing “when the world stopped turning on THAT September day.”  (cue Alan Jackson and Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning).  And today, as we mark the 15th anniversary of 09/11/01, it’s important to focus on some of the numbers that came out of that tragedy.  Some numbers you might be familiar with:

343 dead firefighters. . . 23 dead NYPD. . . 37 NY Port Authority employees. . .2350 first responders and other precious souls from all walks of life

Read More

Are You Overbooked?

I know I am, and I’m guessing you are, too.

But let’s suppose for a minute that we’re a hotel or restaurant that is filled to capacity.  Then the term ‘overbooked’ is a good thing, right?

Well, maybe not always.  At least that’s one chain of thought as presented in a book I’ve just finished reading titled, appropriately, “Overbooked – the Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism.”  Written by Elizabeth Becker, a former NY Times correspondent as well as a Senior Foreign Editor at NPR, the book puts forth a different vision of the industry that many – approximately one of every ten people around the world,  myself included – call home in terms of the job market.

Read More

Orlando Tourism Continues to Move On

Well ‘it’ finally happened. Orlando, formerly known as both The City Beautiful and The Happiest Place on Earth was finally tested, and when I say tested I mean that in the worst possible scenario. While there’s no point or need to rehash what happened to OTown over the course of one crazy-sad mind blowing weekend full of shocking gun violence and a singular gator stunner, here in the Hospitality Hive we think what’s most important moving forward is exactly that.

Moving forward.

Read More

Dear Mom–

I know it’s been a while since we spent Mother’s Day together, in fact, I honestly can’t even remember what we did on that last one back in 2000, but I sure hope we had some fun and shared some laughs because, well, back then I didn’t realize it would be our last one. I’m […]

Read More

Stop ‘Wine-ing’ – Drink More Beer!

And I know just the place to start doing that. Harry’s Poolside Bar & Grill at the Rosen Centre Hotel is now hosting a series of beer-pairing dinners, Harry’s Brewmaster Series, that are both fun and incredibly educational, even after you’ve sipped and slurped and tasted your way through five complete meal courses and six exceptional beers. That’s right, I used the words ‘fun’ and ‘educational’ in the same sentence; but did you also notice that I’m talking about drinking beer? Kudos to the culinary braintrust at the Rosen Centre who concocted this unique event, which actually is an extension of their still very popular Vine and Dine at Rosen Centre which I’ve also written about here. Except that having attended one of each, I have to admit that the beer pairing seemed to hold the edge on the fun factor. Why? I don’t know, just trust me on this one. Maybe it was the combination of the more casual but chic, poolside location of Harry’s Bar & Grill. Maybe it was because when your first course is Steamed Pork Belly Buns and your last course is Beer Battered Granny Smith Apples (with a chocolate rum dipping sauce) it’s just more fun to talk about. And eat. Or, maybe, possibly it’s just because drinking beer itself tends to invite more colorful conversations (even without having a ball game blasting away in surround sound on ten different TV screens). Whatever the reason, the night was lively, and at only $50 per person it’s a steal of a dining out deal. Here’s the review in pictures and all photo credits go to professional photographer, Richard Pabis (what, like you thought I could be trusted with a camera while eating and drinking all this?):

Read More

Planes and Boats and Trains . . .

          . . .and taxis, bikes, shuttles busses, and limos, too.  This is the end of the never-ending cruise story series!  But, before I get to the wrap up, I do want to thank everyone who has been reading these blog posts and taking the journey with us.  For sure it was a memorable and fun trip, […]

Read More

Human Trafficking in Orlando?

I know what most of you are thinking – not in my backyard, right?  Well think again, dear reader, because this topic keeps rearing its ugly head, even right here in our own beautiful city full of magic and make-believe.  In fact, as recently as January 22 of this very year the Orlando Sentinel featured […]

Read More

Cooking Up a New Career

From time to time I like to write about different jobs in the hospitality industry because, well, there are tons of them.  So many, in fact, that I always tell people if you are unhappy with your current hospitality position you have no one to blame but yourself because all you need to do is look around and spread your wings – fly right,turn left, look up, then down. There is such a variety of jobs under this broad category that I could write about a different one every day of the week and you and I both would still be learning .  But, I’m not going to do that because, well, frankly that might get boring.  Plus, I’m not a headhunter (please don’t start sending me your resumes), so I’m going to spare you the details of Hospitality Jobs 101 and go straight to some of the more interesting ones.  Please consider this part of the advanced course.

Read More

Day 15 – Venice, Italy                  

            Thursday, June 27:   VENEZIA!             “If you read a lot, nothing is as great as you’ve imagined.                          Venice is — Venice is better.”   [Fran Lebowitz] I totally agree.  And judging by the passenger comments we overheard from all those who were gathered on the upper deck as our ship cruised into port this […]

Read More

Day 14- Dubrovnik, Croatia      

 Wednesday, June 26 Croatia is where again?“I’m sorry; could you repeat what you just said?”  For a minute, I thought I heard husband say he wanted to go mountain biking in Croatia but he must have said ‘I want to go mountain hiking’ in Croatia.  Yes, surely that’s what he said.  A nice leisurely stroll […]

Read More

Day 13 – Kotor, Montenegro

   Tuesday, June 25: Kotor, Montenegro   Surprise!  It’s Both Old and New Here’s a true confession:  Prior to our cruise, I really had no idea where this country was, nor did I know anything about it.  In fact, I actually mistakenly thought that Montenegro was a city, not a country.  And even though we had […]

Read More

DAY 12 – Corfu, Greece

Monday, June 24: Corfu, Greece   OOPA! Even though we were first-timers to Greece, I can’t really say that there were any surprises on this stop. It looked like all the pictures we had ever seen of any one of the Greek Islands, only much, much more spectacular.  Turquoise waters splashing up against rocky coves, brilliantly […]

Read More

Faces of Hunger – Right in our Own Backyard

Many of us are already up to our turkey necks with food prep for the big holiday ahead, so reading another blog post about pumpkin pies and cranberry sauce might not seem too important right now. Go ahead and thank me for avoiding same because that’s not what this story is about. Instead, I want to focus on a different food issue. The one some people turn a blind eye to.

Hunger.

More specifically, hunger in our own neighborhoods, in people we meet and pass each day within our own communities.

If you’re reading this right now you probably aren’t worried about where your next meal is coming from. In fact, you might be hard pressed to even remember what it feels like to be hungry, and I’m not referring to that gap between your last Starbucks and the chicken salad you bought for lunch. I’m talking about to honest to goodness hunger pains that start to take over your stomach first, then your mental state of mind when you’ve only had one meal in the last two days. Or, maybe none at all.

Read More

Day 11 – Sicily    

  Sunday, June 23:  Sicily – Non di Corsa             Not in a hurry.  Piú piano.  Slower! When I think back to our day spent on the island of Sicily I remember the relaxed, leisurely pace of it all.  Very reminiscent of ‘old Italy’, the kind we see portrayed in movies where there’s action but […]

Read More

16 Stories – Sorrento & Capri         

  DAY 10 – Saturday, June 22:  Sorrento/CAPRI where  Lemons= Limoncello=Happiness           First of all, let’s all get a piccolo glass of limoncello in our hands as we read this little story because as world-savvy travelers, you do know that this area around Naples, specifically Sorrento and the Island of Capri, is where that luscious-lemony-liquid […]

Read More

Bone Shaking Fun With Skeletons this Halloween

This is the week – Halloween is here! Have you heard enough about it yet, or can you stand a little more?

If you’re not into the whole HHN freak out at Universal, and yet Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party doesn’t quite do it for you either, here’s another option, Skeletons: Animals Unveiled! It’s ‘under the wheel’ at the Orlando Eye complex and for sure it’s the real deal with over 40 exhibits featuring more than 400 real animal skeletons in poses and dioramas that will give you a whole new perspective (dare we say, um, the actual inside scoop?) on our friends in the animal kingdom. Plus, the price of this one might not rattle your bones as much as those other options with current ticket prices at $19.99 per adult and $12.99 for kids ages 3-11.

Read More

Day #9 – When In Rome. . .         

This picture of the Vatican was NOT taken on this trip because, well, remember when I told you we are sight-skippers? Yes we are, and yes, we did.  Friday, June 21:  Civitavecchia/Rome Big decision for us today, and the contemplation actually had begun several days earlier.  You see on a cruise, one has to make […]

Read More

Day #8 – Tuscany       

  Thursday, June 20 –  Lovely Lucca! Have you ever pictured yourself enjoying a leisurely afternoon in Tuscany, perhaps shopping and sipping wine?  Well, did that vision ever include you riding a bicycle?  Up until today, I must confess, mine did not, but all of a sudden here we were getting sized up for our […]

Read More

Ready to Get Halloweeny Yet?

This post is about vampires. . .and asylum. . .and James Bond. Oh my! October’s a long, busy month, so for sure it’s a slow build, but when you get to the crazy holiday climax at the end – aka Halloween – it just seems right to let loose then, doesn’t it?  Even if you don’t dress up […]

Read More

Hotels and Hurricanes

As I finished up my work with another convention group here in Orlando today the client mentioned they were heading out to the airport early due to all the hurricane preparations.

“Huh?  Joaquin has already passed Florida and moving on up North” I replied. “Looks like this one is missing us.”

“We know, and now it’s expected to hit us back in New Jersey, so we need to get outta this place right away and get home!”

Read More