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Colleen & Catie’s Picks for Memorial Day Weekend
Destination: Nashville, Tennessee
Accommodations: Loews Vanderbilt Hotel – Adjacent to the Vanderbilt University campus in Midtown, only 0.9 miles from The Parthenon replica, and 1.7 miles from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Suites include separate living rooms; some feature fireplaces and/or kitchenettes, plus the club-level quarters have access to a lounge serving free breakfast! There’s even a complimentary local car service.
Restaurant: Martin’s BBQ Joint – Authentic BBQ – Big roadhouse-style eatery known for its whole-hog pit-fired BBQ, with chicken, tacos & burgers.
Country Music Hall of Fame/RCA Studio B Tour – Book the studio B tour when you get your Country Music Hall of Fame ticket. You’ll be shuttled by bus to the Studio from the Hall of Fame.
Tennessee Performing Arts Center – Great Broadway shows, but less expensive.
How to get around: Either drive, or if you fly, rent a car (free car service if you stay at Loews Vanderbilt Hotel) or take Ubers/shuttles. If you stay right downtown you can get around by walking or public transit.
Any other tips? Drive from Chicago – Only 8 hours and much cheaper than flying. Plus, when you get there you have a car.
Destination: Petoskey, Michigan – 7 hour drive from Chicago in Northern Michigan
Accommodations: Inn at Bay Harbor, Autograph Collection – 3.8 miles from downtown Petoskey and 8.6 miles from Petoskey State Park, complete with a golf course, spa, and seasonal outdoor pool.
Restaurant: Beards Brewery – Located in downtown Petoskey with a full-service restaurant, views of the bay, and lots of craft beers on tap. They have great beer – You can even watch them brew! Some of the best poutine and wings we ever had. They also offer veggie bowls, tacos, pizza, and beer cheese poutine. From cream ale to double IPA to wheat wine. All were spot on.
Pedego Electric Bikes – We rented electric bikes and toured around the area and the bike paths!
Hiking or Exploring Petoskey State Park.
How to get around: Car or electric bikes!
Any other tips: Look for rock treasures – The Petoskey stone (the state stone) is only found in Michigan and is most prevalent in Petoskey. The stones are also polished, cut, made into jewelry and sold in local boutiques throughout town.
“What’s” with the “Trip Sisters”
What’s in Your Suitcase?
Cinco Linko – $9.99 at Walmart or on Amazon
Cinco Linko is a family-friendly, five-in-a-row tile game that you can clip to your bag and play on the go. It’s small, compact, travels easily, can be played on any flat surface.
What’s on your phone?
Roadie Delivery – Free on Android or iOS with in-app purchases
From cupcakes to couches, Roadie is a fast, inexpensive way to send urgent or oversized items. You’ll save time on errands and get your items there faster. Similarly to Uber, you can also get paid to drive and delivery for Roadie if you’re looking to earn a little extra cash.
What’s the tip?
How to Check Your Vacation Rental or Hotel Room for Hidden Cameras
Use a flashlight
According to CNN, using your phone’s flashlight may be one of the easiest ways to detect a hidden camera.
All you need to do is flash the light against anything that looks abnormal including clocks and smoke detectors.
You should be able to see any reflections of a camera lens
Download an app to scan for recording equipment
Apps such as Hidden Spy Camera Detector, Radarbot, and Tiny Spy Camera Finder will scan for frequencies used by recording equipment.
You can even buy a standard bug detector that you sweep the room with to search for hidden sources of radio transmission
Do a physical inspection
This trick is perhaps the easiest, and the cheapest: Physically inspect the room for any irregularities.
Guests should be looking for any small holes around the room, including in the wall or in objects placed in the room.
Also be on the lookout for random wires that don’t belong, or any flashing or blinking lights.
Light fixtures, smoke detectors, clock radios, coffee pots, air vents, and electric sockets have all been used to hide cameras
Remember: Hosts are technically allowed to film you in certain locations.
Airbnb’s current regulations do allow hosts to place cameras in common areas, such as the living room, outside, or in the kitchen.
However, hosts must disclose the use of cameras and guests must agree to these terms before booking.
Cameras are never allowed in areas of “reasonable privacy” like the bedrooms or bathrooms.
If you do find a camera in your rental, contact customer service at your rental agency immediately.
If you find one in your hotel room, ask to change rooms and contact the hotel management as soon as possible.