It's like Expedia...only for bus travel
A new website makes it easier to find the bus line and bus fare that fits your budget, schedule, and even your neighborhood: BusJunction.com.
Searching on busjunction.com allows users to select their departure and arrival cities, desired date, and number of passengers. It fetches the cheapest fares, listing multiple bus lines in a single window.
Helpfully, the site uses simple icons to say whether a bus line offers free Wi-Fi or outlets for laptop users. It's important to read those symbols to make sure you're getting the most perks for your dollar. You may not want to pay the lowest fare possible for a "Chinatown" bus line when you can spend a few dollars more to ride on a mainstay company line like Peter Pan, which has been around since the (truly) Great Depression.
A downside: Busjunction.com isn't for bus riders nationwide, yet. The site checks buses in
20 17* states east of Kansas and north of Tennesse, plus a sprinkling of options north of the border, such as for Niagara Falls and Toronto. And it only does one-way searches! What's up with that?
—Julia Furlan for Budget Travel
Worth reading: Destination weddings in Mexico are jilted at the altar
Some interesting items around the Internet. Some wedding couples have jilted their destination weddings in Mexico out of fear of swine flu. [The New York Times] The latest place for literary ex-pats? Berlin. [World Hum] The National Trust for Historic Preservation named its 11 most endangered sites in the U.S. last week, including a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed temple in Illinois. [Intelligent Travel] Some favorite Aussie abbreviations—a little more voddy, anyone? [Carry On (welcome to the blogosphere!)] Three customer-service policies that should be revived. [MSNBC] Mind that waistline: European chain Concorde is offering an 800-calorie, three-course meal. [HotelChatter] For more travel blogs, go to Alltop.com.
This weekend: Fly high in Branson, Mo., with a new airport and air show
Branson, Mo., receives 8 million visitors a year, who are drawn to its more than 50 theaters and 100 live shows. But getting there isn't easy. Located in southern Missouri, Branson's closest airport has been Springfield, Mo.—about an hour away. Thankfully, on Monday, a $155-million airport opens in Branson. (Fun fact: It's the first commercial airport in the country to be financed, built, and operated privately.) To celebrate, Branson is hosting its first-ever air show, with performances by the elite U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, a collection of F-16s whose pilots execute 30 high-flying maneuvers in one show—including a six-plane formation that's so close you'll hold your breath. The US Army Golden Knights and the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team, among many others, will also perform. The show starts Friday night, with events scheduled through Sunday. Besides fantastic displays of aerial wizardry in the sky, there will also be historic aircraft on display. The Branson Airport officially opens on Monday, with a 7,140-foot runway and a terminal with four gates. AirTran and Sun Country will provide service from cities like Atlanta, Dallas, and Milwaukee (Airfarewatchdog.com spotted a $129 round-trip flight between Dallas and Branson). Read more about the airport on msnbc.com. For more info on all of Branson's year-round shows and activities, visit its official website. Tickets to the air show are $18 for adults at the gate and $6 for kids 6-12 (kids under 6 free).
The Vatican stays open to help Abruzzo earthquake victims
This Sunday, the Vatican Museums are opening their doors and donating all admission fees to families left homeless by the 6.3 magnitude earthquake that rocked Abruzzo, a region northeast of Rome, on April 6. Museum staff will donate their salaries for the day and admit visitors from 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., with a 2 p.m. close. Admission is €14 ($18.60) for adults. The museums are typically closed on Sundays, except for the final Sunday of each month when they're free. Pope Benedict XVI visited Abruzzo at end of April. His stops included a shattered medieval basilica near L'Aquila and the tents that have sprung up around the devastated town of Onna, where he offered hugs, prayers, and promises.
Paris bistro buzz: Frenchie
Open for only a handful of weeks, Frenchie is a bistro worth checking out. The fact that I've allowed a full six days to pass since my last meal there is a source of deep and personal regret. I love its location on a tiny street at the very top of market street rue Montorgueil. I love the décor—exposed stone and brick, with timbered ceilings and chic industrial lighting. I love the friendly chef—the namesake frenchie who probably earned that nickname during stints at New York's Gramercy Tavern and with Jamie Oliver in London. Most of all, I love the inspired, careful and altogether delicious food. The menuShort and seasonal carte changes daily based on what's best at the market. Only two to three choices for each course, but every one of the available options looked delicious. Star starters during my visit included truite fumée, asperges (house smoked trout with green, purple and wild asparagus) and salade tomates cerises—a revelatory mix of heirloom tomatoes, baby basil, cherries, and white balsamic. The winning main was canard au miel carottes aux epices fenouil—a honeyed duck breast whose sweetness was balanced by shaved fennel and spicy carrots. For dessert, I passed on pavlova and went for tarte au chocolate amer, caramel au beurre sale—bitter chocolate tart with salted butter caramel. To say this was 'rich' would be an understatement. The bill At dinner, the prix fixe is €27 ($37) for two courses and €33 ($45) for three. Sharing two nice bottles between six people, our final tally was €42 ($57) per person for three courses plus wine. Less expensive wines are available by the carafe, and the lunchtime menu is cheaper at €16/19 ($22/26) for two or three courses. The buzz It's mainly French press at this point, but (English-language food blogger) John Talbott clocked an early and adoring review. En français, Le Fooding loved Frenchie, as did Le Figaro, L'Express, and blogger Chrisoscope. The coordinates 5, rue du Nil, 2nd arrondissement, 011-33/1-40-39-96-19. Métro Sentier. Closed all day Sunday and Monday, and Tuesday at lunch. MORE FROM OUR PARIS BLOGGER Slimming down the lunch bill at Paris restaurants (10-plus comments) Practical Paris: What's closed on Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays?