Sunday, December 31, 2006

Travel Blog Year in Review

Lizzie Bean has done a bit of traveling this year and has visited many memorable places and eaten many fine meals.
List of trips we took in no particular order to the best of my recollection.
  • Our first major trip of the year was a Ski trip to Whistler, BC at the beginning of the year. Fabulous trip which was our favorite trip of the year.
  • We took many Philadelphia trips and we attempted to stay at different hotels on each visit. Loews was nominated as our favorite hotel to stay at in Philly for the 2006 year.
  • The worst trip was easily a day trip we had to Washington D.C.
  • Numerous trips to Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • Several trips to Red Horse Lake located in Ontario
  • Our major family vacation to the Avon, N.C.
  • We made one trip to Atlantic City, which we are not too eager to repeat. The hotel we stayed at was truly the worst hotel we stayed at this past year. We both would prefer to gamble in Vegas, then again, who wouldn't.
  • Our Las Vegas trip this past October were we stayed at the MGM Grand, who downgraded our room and would have charged us the same without giving us any comps if we had not complained. Also had a bad experience with the Philly airport on this trip when they lost my bag and would still be lost if I had not done some Internet research of my own to find it.
Our Favorites for the Year

  • As mentioned above, our favorite Hotel in Philadelphia for 2006 was Loews
  • Our favorite trip was the Whistler ski trip
  • My favorite sandwich was the Zep from Eve's Lunch
  • Lizzie's favorite burger was from the Continental Martini Bar
  • The best Cheese Cake was really hard to pin down, because we have rarely had a bad one, but I do believe the best of the year is going to Old Man Raffertys in New Brunswick,NJ.
  • Favorite restaurant was the restaurant in Whistler was the Rimrock Cafe.
  • Favorite wine of the year was the wine we had at the Rimrock, which was a Famous Gate Pinot Noir.
  • Favorite Airline for the year is Cathay Pacific.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Sheraton Society Hill

Hotel Reservations were made at Sheraton Society Hill, where we went for the first Friday at the beginning of the month. A really great time was had by both Lizzie and I. We got to check out lots of great new artists in the Philadelphia area. Further posts about that adventure will be forthcoming. The back log on our adventures is huge. The Sheraton at Society Hill was great, we love its location and the friendliness of the staff. We would make hotel reserations there again for sure.

Hotel Reservations from

Making hotel reservations online for traveling is becoming more and more common as ecommerce becomes an everyday part of our lives. In 2005, online travel was projected to be around 65 Billion dollar industry, so I am sure it is well over 70 billion by now. Lizzy makes reservations online at a number of other hotel reservation sites, and usually ends up going with what ever site has the better deal. However, with the guarantee of a 100 dollar rebate, it seems like is making an attempt to persuade us online travel shoppers to come and use their travel site.
With you can save up to 70% off of your reservations and then there is also the $100 rebate if you make a reservation on the Internet. Potentially getting money back if you find an online reservation cheaper at anther site is pretty cool. However some conditions do apply, so make sure you read the small print. But hey, 100 bucks is a hundred bucks, so you might as well give it a try. I am sure that if the site does not do as it says, it won't be around for long.
In addition to making reservations for hotels, flights, cars, vacation rentals or combination vacation packages, many other options are available. Just searching through the site gives me some ideas for future trips. I particularly like the bed and breakfast section...some of those bed and breakfasts sound too cool. Another groovy feature of the site is the destination guides which they may not have for every city, but it appears that many are, and it seems like more are being added all the time.
So I took the search bar for a ride and typed in Philadelphia for New Years eve. The hotel reservations that were available included accommodations from $59- $350, with a few of the places that Lizzy and I have stayed at being discounted more than when we had stayed there. Well I don't do the reservations for our travels, Lizzy does that, but if it is cheaper she will use it. However, does not have an affiliate program, so we would more than likely check our affiliate partners first, and then we would do a comparison. I will remind her when making our next reservations to use the site as one of the comparison sites.

Critiquing the site from a webmaster stand point, with an SEO Skew, the site does need some work to be competitive. The site is currently nowhere in the SERP's for the search term "hotel reservations" for which they want to be found. But it can be found for its name and for I am assuming its owners name. For example, Title tags need quite a bit of work, (Hotel reservations is in the title tag on the home page) the site name is used in them way too much. That's fine if you want to rank for or Barry Sowder, but it would seem that they would have their keywords in the front of the title on all of their pages, not just the home page. Far to valuable SEO real estate to be wasted on the site name or the owners name. Also, for wanting to rank for the search term "Hotel reservations", the site should have internal links with this as the link text, even perhaps in the top navigation. And were is the site map to be found? Optimize that site better for a better ROI. tsk tsk. Your SEO company must be slacking.

One last thing, if you have a blog, you may also be able to participate in a paid program they have for reviewing their site, which seems to be a really unique opportunity for bloggers. This site is not eligible for it because this post is a paid for advertisement.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

CD's Place Boyertown, PA

CD's Place Menu
Originally uploaded by Emperor Anton.
This a menu of Lizzies favorite Boyertown Diner, CD's Place, that she visits atleast twice a week...once being almost every Saturday morning at 8am. Ask for Lizzie's omlete. Having slaw dogs and good music, makes CD's Place Lizzies Favorite Boyertown Diner.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Slot Machines Prize Money Paris Casino, Las Vegas

Originally uploaded by arkworld.
Oh how sweet it would have come home from Vegas with all this loot. This is a photo according to Arkworld " is the one million dollar prize money for this slot tournament the Paris Hotel & Casino will be holding." Thats weird, how can you have a slots tournament. I can see a poker tournament, that actually involves a little skill. What skill is there in putting money into a machine? I picture little old laddies making lots of money at the slotts. I mayself had a few minor slot windfalls, but nothing that would pay for a good meal in Vegas.

Well I will have to keep my eye out for info on the slot tournament.