Sunday Spontaneity Flight 12:19:21
Tornadoes cause devastating destruction in the U.S., online passport renewals are coming, and hotel buffets make a comeback
For my wedding gift, my husband bought us an overnight stay at the TWA Hotel located at Terminal 5 of JFK International Airport. It’s been on my list for what has felt like ages (aka two years ago when it opened), and it met all of my wildest 1960s expectations: the red conversation pit, the mock departures and arrivals split-flap board, the airplane-turned-bar Connie Cocktail Lounge. It gave me a glimpse into how glam air travel used to be (patiently awaiting the return of those days).
I almost forgot what it felt like to make progress on my unofficial “bucket list” (I put that in quotes because really, everything is on my list). Ah, that butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling when you’re on your way to travel somewhere or do something that you’ve been thinking about for far too long. Often, that hype is far more exciting than actually doing the thing — but in this case, my expectations met the reality (and it helps that airports make my heart sing, even if I’m not physically traveling anywhere).
Often, you don’t know what you have until it’s gone — and that exhilarating feeling was something I missed during the darkest days of the pandemic. Moving forward, I hope to forever remember those rough days so I can hopefully always appreciate anything travel-related I ever do. It should never be taken for granted.
Tornados cause devastating destruction across six states: Last weekend, 40-plus tornados ripped through Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee, killing at least 90 people and leaving massive destruction in their path. States are just in the beginning stages of recovering as the full damage is still being assessed and understood, and there’s a long road ahead for those affected by the tragedy. Here’s how you can help victims right now.
New York has its highest single-day reporting of COVID cases: The omicron variant continues to make headlines as it spreads across the country, and this week was a wake-up call for the state of New York as they hit the most COVID infections in a day since the pandemic began. New information is rolling out by what feels like the second, and while there are no concrete updates on new restrictions in New York, Mayor-elect Eric Adams says new measures are on the way.
U.S. to introduce online passport renewals: A bit of good news! This past Monday, Biden announced that a new online passport renewal system is underway. The passport renewing process has been extremely anxiety-inducing throughout the pandemic, and this new digital method will expedite the process from the comfort of home. However, a timeline for rolling this out is yet to be announced.
Fun and/or Interesting Trends
Hotel buffets are making a comeback: You heard it here first, y’all (jk, all credit goes to The Points Guy). It’s no surprise that buffets went away during the worst of the pandemic, but for them to make a comeback might be shocking to some. However, it’s not so much about the food as it is the crowds hovering around the said food. As a result, hotels are getting smarter and making their buffets run more smoothly (a big part is requiring diners to be vaxxed and implementing mask requirements) while providing the hot buffets guests know and love. As someone who just had a hot breakfast buffet this morning, it kind of felt like — dare I say — home?
Interior design lovers flock to these hotels: OK, this isn’t necessarily a trend, considering design-forward boutiques and hotels are nothing new to the hospitality space. However, to have a compressed list where you can see all the best-designed hotels that exist in one place? Your next cross-country road trip is basically planned out for you. And, since there’s no harm in mentioning the TWA one more time, take a look at number one on the list.
**In light of COVID numbers spiking due to Omicron combined with the holiday week ahead (and many events not happening for both those reasons), we will be skipping this week’s “Things to Do Next Weekend” section.**
Stay safe, get tested, rest up, and try to enjoy the holiday season if you’re celebrating — we’re all in this together. Travel Boldly (& Safely), friends x