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TIME TRAVELERS’ TRILOGY TEASES FLORIDA’S HISTORY WITH FANCIFUL PLAUSIBILITY

This Florida Time Travel Series captivates the imagination and reveals facts about Florida that likely few know other than historical or geological researchers.

16,500 years BP (Before Present time), a bald stranger wearing tight dark blue pants and turtleneck, black boots and black cape appears suddenly before an ancient Indian chief and his son. Before the stranger from 2338 CE (Common Era) departs in the same gust of cool swirling air, he imparts knowledge of wheels and wagons: practical tools to advance their progress as a people and as the first step in preparing them to counter the lethal invasion of Europeans in 1492. That stranger, whom the natives think of as a god, materializes multiple times in later centuries, each time dispensing knowledge for making tools, and techniques and languages for the betterment of diverse ancient tribes. However, not all time travelers proved to be as magnanimous.

Time travel topics have always tantalized my imagination. These were whimsical what-if stories that begged for suspension of known science; yet armed with a cozy couch and a glass of wine, made for delightful sojourns of the mind.

Then I read the Florida time travel trilogy written by John Charles Miller, a Tampa, FL-based author, groundwater geologist in the United States and Latin America for more than 40 years, and an avid birdwatcher with his wife, Mary.

The three books of alternate history (there’s that what-if premise)– Citrus White Gold, The Gatherers, and Deep Florida, are embedded with rich dialogue, colorful characters, articulated technology, and graphic depiction of how events and Florida’s native population’s history might have plausibly impacted today’s Florida. The stories are absorbing, thought-provoking, stimulating fun.

I am awed by John Charles Miller’s proficiency at dialogue to reflect the locations and timelines. His In-depth descriptions of a place or event compelled me to research their veracity, for no reason than just wanting to know if this detail was fact or fiction. Each instance was a factual pivotal moment of Florida history meticulously woven into the stories’ narrative. So, not only did I spend many hours of enjoyable time reading, but I learned about Central Florida, where I live.

Each book can be read on its own, but I encourage you to read them in succession.

HOTEL HAPPENINGS & PROGRAM PROMOTIONS – FEBRUARY 2020

No, you can’t ride this turtle during this Glapagos cruise

Booking a cruise for your meetings or social group, or maybe for family members and friends? Check out the promotional packages being offered by AdventureSmith Expeditions. Booking dates vary, as do the promotional incentives. For a Feb. 28 deadline, many packages are available. 1* Save up to $350 per person on the Hawaiian Seascapes cruise aboard the luxurious 36-guest Safari Explorer small ship. Snorkel among coral gardens and a sea turtle habitat, stand-up paddleboard, kayak and sightsee on skiff tours. 2* Grandparents paying two full adult fares can save 25% on rates for grandchildren by booking Exploring the Sea of Cortez: A Living Sea & Desert Isles cruise. The ships are the 100-guest National Geographic Venture and National Geographic Quest. 3* Save $500 per person on Alaskan family cruises: Alaska’s Glacier Country, Alaska’s Glaciers & Whales, Alaska Fjords & Glaciers and Whales, Wildlife & Glaciers. The ships are 90-guest S.S. Legacy and 84-guest Safari Endeavour. 4* Save $400 per person on the Belize & Guatemala Wonders—Rivers, Reefs & Cultures aboard the 66-guest Safari Voyager. 5* Save $1,250 per person on an Inside Passage Sojourn small ship cruise aboard the sleek 76-guest Chichago Dream. This experience focuses on Alaska’s nature, history and First Nations culture.

WHEN A SHOOTER TARGETS YOUR GROUP: RUN, HIDE OR FIGHT?

What if you were in the target zone of this shooter?

The headlines have become all too numbingly familiar: mass killings at schools, airports, churches, offices, restaurants, arenas and public streets.

What if fight or flight aren’t your only solutions?

What if you could prepare yourself to spot dangerous behaviors, strategize how you’d narrow the chances of being caught unawares, and might save both yourself and others during unexpected, volatile, life-threatening scenarios?

It’s about understanding behavior patterns and looking at anomalous behavior outside of the normal baseline. It’s about profiling behavior, not people and identifying behavioral indicators consistent to a potential threatening environment.

All of the above are possible according to two experienced lawmen who addressed the Greater Orlando (FL) chapter of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) luncheon held at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress.

Director of Education & Life Safety for the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) Mark Herrera’s keynote presentation was aimed at mitigating threats to employees or meeting groups, but the practical information would be as applicable to individuals.

HOTEL HAPPENINGS & PROGRAM PROMOTIONS – LATE JANUARY 2020

Atrium at The Biltmore in Coral Gables, FL

HOT DEALS!

Associated Luxury International Hotels has rolled out a plethora of incentives for booking their properties across the United States. Rather than outline all the assets of each property, here’s a fast rundown of some of the options. The Biltmore in Coral Gables, FL just completed a $35 million restoration. Book a 2020 meeting and select three incentives, which includes everything from a one-hour beer and wine reception to 15% room block attrition. Promotion applicable to groups of at least 25 rooms per night. Book the Meritage Resort & Spa in NapaValley, CA by Mar. 31 through Dec. 31 and receive one complimentary upgrade per 25 rooms, as well as other incentives such as a 30% site fee reduction on the Estate Wine Cave, Vintner’s Room, Vineyard Deck and Vintner’s Rooftop or perhaps a complimentary spa treatment per 10 treatments booked. Offer valid for programs with 30+ room on peak.

www.alhi.com

HOTEL HAPPENINGS & PROGRAM PROMOTIONS – JANUARY, 2020

manatees

Ever swim with a manatee? Have you even watched them from a heated boat as they lazily swim in waters ranging from 72-74 degrees? Now’s your chance to see the sea cows up close and personal with River Ventures in Homosassa, FL. Multiple packages available. Use promo code E N E W S 1 0.

https://riverventures.rezdy.com

Ski and shop in Squaw Valley, CA.

I don’t ski. Way too clumsy and going up on a mountain atop a slim set of boards is riskier than when I thought I was a roller skater extraordinaire and slid the length of an elongated hill in my neighborhood, painfully removing most of the skin on my bared legs. However, I do recognize there are many of you far more agile and coordinated than me, so maybe you’ll be excited to know that Alpine Meadows/Squaw Valley (CA) has lift ticket packages ready. The company in charge says more than double the amount of snow from last year has already fallen, so the excitement has mounted (get my sly sense of pun-ish humor there?). There are multiple packages, so explore those options on your own.

HOTEL HAPPENINGS & PROGRAM PROMOTIONS – NOVEMBER 2019

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows

HOT DEALS!

Time is running out to book The Village at Squaw Valley Lodging (Olympic Village, CA) winter sale and save 25% for stays from Jan. 6 – May 31, based on availability and only for Sun-Thursday and non-holiday stays. The majority of room have private balconies, fireplaces and kitchens. Standard rooms do not have those amenities.

(800) 403-0206

The Winter Escape Package being offered by Caribe Royale Orlando isn’t the luxury resorts only promotional package being offered. There’s one for Florida and Georgia residents and if you hurry, there’s a Fall program Read more

HOTEL HAPPENINGS & PROGRAM PROMOTIONS – OCTOBER 2019

HOT DEALS!

Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort

This may be the gift that keeps on giving, all the way through December 31, 2022. Bring your meeting to The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel and receive a $3 room rebate per actualized room up to $5,000. The Islands Incentive program created by the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau includes any new bookings that occur from May 1 to December 31 each year through 2022. To qualify, planners must book a meeting with a minimum of 150 room nights at one of these 14 properties. In Fort Myers: Crowne Plaza Fort Myers at Bell Tower Shops, Holiday Inn Fort Myers Airport at Town Center, Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa, Drury Inn & Suites, and Luminary Hotel & Co., Autograph Collection (opening in 2020). On Fort Myers Beach: DiamondHead Beach Resort and Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina. South Seas Island Resort and ‘Tween Waters Inn Island Resort are both on Captiva Island. The others include Embassy Suites Hotel, Estero; Gasparilla Inn & Club, Boca Grande; Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa, Bonita Springs; The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village, Cape Coral; and Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, Sanibel Island. The offer applies to meeting groups who may be considering other destinations besides Lee County. Read more

Part 6: ALPINE ADVENTURES EXCEED EXPECTATIONS – MUNICH, GERMANY

IMG_9605 Russ really lost his head over this accordianist!

Russ really lost his head over this accordionist!

In Part 5: Mozart brought music to the world, The Sound of Music rang in our heads, and the Eagle’s Nest reminded us of the destruction that greed, hatred, and supreme power can enable.

Munich is the capital of Bavaria. There are roughly one-and-a-half million people living in the city, who proudly have their own nationalistic dialect, and think of themselves as from München Bavaria, not Germany. Munich is known for its beer, Oktoberfest celebrations, museums, and international companies like the headquarters of BMW.

Where we stayed:

Eurostars Book Hotel must have been designed for people like me: readers and/or writers whose imaginations propel their lives. From the first moment we stepped inside Read more

Part 5: ALPINE ADVENTURES EXCEED EXPECTATIONS – SALZBURG, AUSTRIA and BERCHTESGADEN, GERMANY

IMG_9413 This is the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born here.

In Part 4: Neither the Prince of Liechtenstein or Heidi was around so instead we visited a mountain in Innsbruck and a centuries-old museum of Tyrolean farms.

SALZBURG, AUSTRIA

Where we stayed:

Imlauer Hotel Pitter Salzburg has been owned by the Pitter family since 2007. The hotel was renovated in 2014. It has a beer cellar and Imlauer Sky – Bar & Restaurant rooftop restaurant. The buffet was diverse and carries many regional dishes. Staff was friendly and professional.

What we saw:

One of my grandfathers was from Salzburg (which means salt fortress), so I was Read more

Part 4: ALPINE ADVENTURES EXCEED EXPECTATIONS – LIECHTENSTEIN and AUSTRIA

Vineyard near Heidiland (Maienfeld) in Switzerland.

MAIENFELD, SWITZERLAND (OR HEIDILAND TO DEVOTEES!)

In Part 3: A toe dip into Stresa, Italy and a relaxing cruise around Lugano, Switzerland that explored many ancient and diverse communities.

Before leaving Switzerland behind and crossing into Vaduz, the capital of Liechtenstein, we stopped in the border town of Maienfeld, Switzerland. For such a small area, Majenfeld holds two great distinctions of world import.

It’s the birthplace of Heidi, a story written in 1881 by Johanna Spyri.  The story may have been a work of fiction, but try telling that to the international tourists who flock here to visit a theme park-like area called Heidiland to see Read more