Category Archives: Other Neat Things

Christmas Village in Philadelphia


Christmas Village in Philadelphia ( is back for its 10th anniversary season. I visited the Christmas village on Black Friday and it was simply magical. The event started on Thanksgiving Day and runs daily through Christmas Eve. Philadelphia’s LOVE Park (15th and JFK Boulevard) is transformed into a traditional open-air German Christmas Market.

There’s fun shopping for international and local gifts and decorations, lots of food and drinks, live music and cool children’s activities, including photos with Santa Claus. Admission is free!!

New surprises for 2017 Holiday season:

  • Dog Fridays with specials for our furry friends
  • Meet St. Nikolaus and get your boot filled with treats
  • Guided tours through the market for senior citizens
  • New mascot Phil, the 10th reindeer of Santa
  • Anniversary weekend with a huge birthday bash and a cake sponsored by Whole Foods
  • New vendors
  • New restaurant partnerships for HoHo Happy Hour with The Little Lion, Dim Sum House, Tir Na Nog and Revolution Taco
  • Collector Mug with a new design for 2017

Theme Weekends

Theme weekends will be filled with music, performances and entertainment. Full schedules and additional info can be found here:

  • November 25 and 26 – Opening Weekend
  • December 2 and 3 – 10th Anniversary Weekend
  • December 9 and 10 – German American Weekend
  • December 16 and 17 – Charity Weekend with Make-A-Wish® Foundation
  • December 23 and 24 – Christmas Weekend

Love Park – 1500 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102.

Weekender’s Food Guide to Providence


I’m excited to say that my article about food hot spots in Providence, Rhode Island was published by Hilton for its #HiltonSuggests helpful compilations. Here’s the fun article:

Weekender’s Food Guide to :

Have you been to this great town?

Safe travels,


5 U.S. Hotels with Museum Grade Artwork


On a business or leisure trip without much time to spare yet wanting to take in some arts and culture? Some hotels in popular travel destinations are home to very extensive art collections worthy of top museums.

Here are Five U.S. Hotels with Museum Grade Artwork.

Photo Credit: Boca Raton Resort

Boca Raton Resort and Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort – Boca Raton, FL

The Boca Raton Resort and Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, in partnership with the Baker Sponder Gallery, established a collection of museum-quality sculptures by internationally renowned artists.  Works by artists like Fernando Botero, Lynn Chadwick, Jim Dine, Claude Lalanne, George Segal, Manolo Valdes, Boaz Vaadia and Bernar Venet can be viewed throughout the property. Each sculpture features a sign with interesting facts about the artists and with a telephone number that guests can dial to listen to additional information. Sculptures are continuously-rotated and are available for purchase.

Conrad New York – New York, NY

Photo Credit: Conrad New York

The Conrad New York, in downtown Manhattan, features over 2,000 works of art throughout its public spaces and in over 463 luxury guest suites. From commissions such as Sol LeWitt’s amazing Loopy Doopy (Blue and Purple) in the Atrium and Pat Steir’s Topsy Turvy at the Gallery Ballroom, to the more intimate, specially commissioned Mary Heilmann, Elizabeth Peyton and Sara Sosnowy lithographs in the guest suites, the Conrad New York exhibits a remarkably diverse collection by some of the world’s most prominent contemporary artists.

Hilton Anatole Dallas – Dallas, TX

Photo Credit: Hilton Anatole Dallas

Hilton Anatole Dallas is known for its extensive collection of art and antiques – the largest ever assembled in an American hotel. This unique collection includes pieces that have graced the palaces of kings, emperors and czars. Guests can plug into on their cellphone or tablet to enjoy a variety of art exploration activities like a walking tour of the hotel’s 100 most iconic pieces, including the kinetic sculpture Nebula. The hotel also offers a new dining experience called The Anatole Art Dine-Around where 15 of the hotels’ most iconic art pieces have been paired with savory food and beverage items from their country of origin.

The Curtis – Denver. CO

Photo Credit: The Curtis

The Curtis, a Doubletree by Hilton in Denver is a vibrant destination for pop art with an eclectic mix of artworks created by local Colorado and nationally renowned artists. Guests are treated to pop art throughout the lobby and the halls. There are fun guest rooms themed after TV Mania, Sci-Fi, One Hit Wonders or Perfect Pair. All Together Now is a 42-foot high sculpture by nationally renowned artists Roberto Behar and Rosario Marquardt. Inspired by the famous Beatles song, the piece is a stack of steel 3-dimensional building blocks in a variety of vibrant colors spelling out “All Together Now.”

Hilton Cleveland Downtown – Cleveland, OH

Photo Credit: Hilton Cleveland Downtown

The Hilton Cleveland Downtown features artwork throughout its public spaces, specifically, nearly 200 original works from mostly all local artists. Highlights include pieces from Cleveland native and Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Michael Cartellone, along with the metal sculptures in the lobby. There’s also what’s thought to be the first crowd-sourced hotel mural composed of 2,800 selfies depicting all that’s great about Cleveland.

Do you have favorite US hotels with museum grade artwork to tell us about today?

Safe travels,


I’m a travel industry veteran currently employed by Hilton. The views and contents of this post are my own and in no way in partnership with my employer. I wasn’t compensated for writing about this subject.

Eerily Watch Jaws While Floating on a Lake



You can now watch one of the most epic thrillers, Steven Spielberg’s Jaws, while floating on a tube in the dark waters of Lake Travis in Austin, TX. Austin’s popular Alamo Drafthouse is reintroducing its Jaws on the Water viewings where the audience floats on inner tubes on the lake while watching the shark cult classic.

I’m not 100% sold on this idea…you?

DoubleTree by Hilton Serving Up Global Cookie Cookbook


To celebrate reaching a milestone of 500 hotels worldwide, the hotel brand known for its signature welcome and warm DoubleTree Cookie, unveils its first-ever cookbook – titled “We Have Cookies: Taste the World of DoubleTree by Hilton.” The e-cookbook is a collection of 33 recipes reflecting the distinct flavors of the brand’s 500 hotels. Curated by DoubleTree by Hilton hotel teams, each recipe contains the warm DoubleTree Cookie and reflects the distinct flavors of the brand’s 500 hotels.

Cookie lovers will delight in the special edition recipe collection, available at, where they can view vibrant photos, easy-to-follow recipes, local anecdotes and – of course – intriguing facts about the brand’s world-famous DoubleTree Cookie.

A few highlights from the digital recipe collection include:

Happy travels and cookie eating,


Cheap Family-Friendly Vacation in Washington DC


Washington, D.C.

National Air and Space Museum. Photo by The Smithsonian Institution.

In Washington, D.C., most of the family-friendly attractions are free making this popular city a bargain for families. Three stops on the National Mall that are must-visit are part of the Smithsonian Institution:  the National Air and Space Museum, the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History and the National Museum of American History. The National Air and Space Museum offers many educational opportunities for children and adults and features thousands of objects on display, including the 1903 Wright Flyer, Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis, the Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia and a lunar rock kids can touch. The National Museum of National History has a compelling display of dinosaur bones and artifacts and also features the wildly-popular Butterfly Pavilion, which is a paid exhibit. At the National Museum of American History, families will be able to view the Star Spangled Banner and visit hands-on kid-friendly exhibits. A short metro ride away is the National Zoo with its more than 2,000 animals and many informative educational classes.

Where to stay: The Embassy Suites Washington DC Convention Center is within walking distance to the Smithsonian museums and White House and has an indoor pool. Hampton Inn Washington, D.C./White House has an indoor pool and offers complimentary breakfast and internet. The District by Hilton Club offers a touch of luxury with family-friendly amenities like free hot breakfast and an indoor pool.

Happy travels!


Veronique Deblois is a travel industry veteran who currently works for Hilton. The views and contents on this post are my own and in no way in partnership with my employer.

Best Way to Pass the Time on a Flight


Coloring Book and PencilsIf you’ve followed me for a while, you know I’m on the road for work a good part of the year. That means lots of time at the airport lounge and sitting on a plane.

While I typically work on my laptop to keep up with emails and assignments, I can’t do that at the start of end of my flights as laptops need to be powered down. What I find myself doing during that time is getting on my iPad and playing games or reading.

I’ve been looking for new ways to pass the time while traveling and started coloring. Yes, coloring…as in coloring book and colored pencils! I’ve been buying adult coloring books that are very intricate in a henna sort of way. The books and my coloring pencils case are thin so they take up hardly any space in my laptop bag, a definite plus!

Coloring Book PageAccording to the American Art Therapy Association, art therapy, including adult coloring, is a mental health profession in which the process of making and creating artwork is used to “explore feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety and increase self-esteem”. Basically, for me, it’s all about stress relieving and keeping my mental focus sharp.


I find the time flies by as I color and I’ve enjoyed it tremendously. Perhaps it would also be good for you!

Happy travels,


Yet Another Reason to Love United


United_Airlines_1181356I fly a lot for work and my hub is Newark so I’m on a United Airlines place, often. While some of my fellow road warriors gripe about United for various reasons – I love United.

  • I enjoy terminal C at Newark with all its cool new restaurants, shops and perks.
  • I like being able to visit a United Club prior to a flight to get work done (please put a Club at Miami International Airport).
  • Mileage Plus rocks, plain and simple.
  • The new-ish website is so much better and the app is super also with the entertainment selection.
  • I actually think the gate agents and the crews are awesome and helpful. And to illustrate just how amazing these folks are, I thought I’d recap my flight home from Dallas yesterday.
    • Rush from a client presentation to Dallas DFW for a 1:47PM flight to Newark.
    • We board the flight and after about 2 ½ hours, the lead flight attendant announces there’s a medical emergency and asks for any medically-trained passenger to come to the back of the plane. Nobody identifies him/herself.
    • Captain then makes a second announcement saying it’s critical someone with a medical background identifies him/herself. I feel the plane descending (yes, I fly a lot) and know we’ll reroute.
    • Captain comes on and says we’ll be landing in 20 minutes and to stay seated. He sounds concerned. Everyone sits and all becomes quiet, even the baby that’s been crying for 2 hours.
    • Captain comes back on to say we’re rerouting to Dulles airport as a baby’s in distress. You know, the baby no longer crying. Chills, all the complainers about a flight diversion shut up immediately.
    • Medics are onboard within minutes of landing, take the not-alert baby off, get their gear out, we refuel, restock medical equipment and we take off.
    • We were at the gate at Newark 75 minutes after our flight was due to land – INCREDIBLE!!!

Kudos United.

Veronique Deblois

Happiest of Thanksgiving



Just a short note to wish you a very happy Thanksgiving and to say how thankful I am to have your support with this blog and my crazy travel adventures.

I’ll be spending the holiday with good friends and, I’m sure, over-indulging on delicious traditional foods.

All the best for a wonderful holiday.



Publishing a Post Vs Sharing an Update on LinkedIn

linkedin_logoEarlier this year, LinkedIn made an enhancement I’m not sure everyone fully understands. This enhancement allows users to either “share an update” or “publish a post”. After getting inquiries from some of my connections, I thought I’d clarify the difference between these publishing options.

Share an Update

This option is for short, simple messages – typically a sentence or two and a link to be accessed for further info. For example, my latest update: Sabre to acquire hotel technology company, Trust Group –

Publish a Post

This option is to be used for longer messages or perhaps a complete blog post. See this example of a published post by Michelle Guelbart – Director of Private Sector Engagement at ECPAT-USA: Breaking the Cycle of Slavery: 40 Miles for the TD Bike Tour –

Both options get shared to your network, so have no fear an update or a post will be missed by your connections.

Hope this helps!