Pink Jeep Sedona Tour, Travvy Award Winners And More

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This time out our column features something especially for sweethearts, news of this year's winners of Travvy Awards, and a new book for travelers who are fans of military history. Get a bag packed and let's go!

Pink Jeep Sedona Tour for Valentines

If you'd like to treat your Valentine to something more exciting than candy and flowers, Pink Jeep Tours may have just the ticket. Pink Jeep Tours are always geared to small groups, but the company is doing something they've never done before; in conjunction with Valentine's Day, Pink Jeep is offering tours of Sedona, Arizona's "Red Rock Country" just for couples. The "Love is an Adventure" tour is a private tour for two that is a special version of the company's "Diamondback Gulch Tour" that traverses Boynton Canyon and Greasy Spoon, the Sidewinder Trail and Diamondback Gulch itself. Led by an entertaining and knowledgeable guide, the tour stops at various historic sites and jaw-dropping vistas. At the close of the adventure participants will be taken to a private picnic spot to enjoy an artisan meat and cheese tray, chocolate covered strawberries and sparkling water. A limited number of sunset departures are also on offer. Offer is good Feb. 11-14 only; for details go here

2017 Travvy Award Winners

The envelope please! They're considered the Academy Awards of the travel industry, awarded only to those entities adhering to the highest standards of excellence. Here's a partial list of who earned a Travvy Award this year:

Best airline, domestic: Southwest Airlines
Best airline, international: Emirates Airlines
Best car rental, domestic: Enterprise Rent-a-Car
Best car rental, international: Auto Europe
Best rail experience, worldwide: Rocky Mountaineer
Best destination, overall: Hawaii
Best honeymoon destination, Caribbean and Bahamas: Jamaica
Best family destination, domestic: Orlando
Best luxury destination, Europe: Cannes
Best LGBTQ destination: Ibiza
Best tourism board, overall: Jamaica
Best tourism board, US and Canada: Las Vegas
Best Cruise line, overall: Royal Caribbean
Best hotel chain, overall: Marriott

To view the entire extensive list of 2017 Travvy Award winners here

"The Bulge Battlefields"

Having already penned "Fields of War: Battle of Normandy," author Robert J. Mueller returns with this in-depth look at America's largest battle of the Second World War, the Ardennes Offensive which is more commonly referred to as the Battle of the Bulge. There is necessarily a lot of history here but the book is a field guide, put together with the intent of helping visitors get the most out of a visit to Battle of the Bulge battlefields. So for example in the chapter entitled Battle for Elsenborn Ridge, Mueller first provides an overview before giving a comprehensive synopsis of each significant battle within the campaign: Monschau, Krinkelterwald and Lausdell Crossroads to name a few. Within each sub-section Mueller explains the specific objectives of German and American forces and explains the outcome of the battle including casualty numbers. But the real treasure here lies in the explicit directions that Mueller gives that enable the battlefield visitor to trace troop movements and locate still-standing remnants like German bunkers, command posts, machine gun barriers and even tanks. Battlefield maps are included as are suggested touring routes and directions to memorials and museums. And so it goes for the battles covered in the additional six chapters. Mueller has really done most of the work for potential battlefield visitors and for them "The Bulge Battlefields" will be an indispensable companion during their adventure; those who aren't able to make it to Europe for a first-hand look will find the book a wealth of well-presented information that will no doubt fill in holes in what they may already know about the Battle of the Bulge. "The Bulge Battlefields" can be purchased here

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