Lucky Labrador pubwelcomes canine visitors
Even the beer names at the Lucky Labrador Brewing Co. reflect the Portland, Ore., pub's dog-friendly philosophy: Black Lab Stout, Dog Day India Pale Ale and Top Dog Extra Special Pale Ale.
As promised by the pub's name, canine visitors are always welcome amid the picnic tables in the outdoor seating area.
The Lucky Lab, 915 S.E. Hawthorne, opened in October 1994 in an historic warehouse in Portland's tie-dye-tinged Hawthorne District. In celebration of its anniversary, the microbrewery stages "Dogtoberfest" every October.
The highlight of the event is the annual dog wash, held in the pub's parking lot. Proceeds benefit a local animal hospital.
While every freshly scrubbed dog is treated to dog biscuits, human attendees can sample the special Dogtoberfest Ale and listen to live music.
For more information, call (503) 236-3555 or visit www.luckylab.com on the Web.
Princess line beginssanitizing Alaskan ships
Travel Weekly reported that Princess Cruises began advising those on its Alaskan cruises that some visitors to Alaska, including some of its passengers, were showing symptoms of the Norwalk virus, a gastrointestinal ailment. A spokeswoman for the line said that fewer than 4 percent of passengers had symptoms. The line started a sanitation program on its Alaska ships.
Outbreaks of Norwalk-related illness have occurred on ships many times in the past, and several studies can be found at the Web site of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov. The CDC says symptoms of Norwalk virus infection include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Headache and low-grade fever may also occur. Victims usually recover within two or three days, without serious or long-term health effects.
Top Web sites
Expedia and Travelocity came out on top in an evaluation of six big independent travel sites in the June issue of Consumer Reports Travel Letter.
The newsletter compared the sites on five factors: lowest fares, viable itineraries, ease of use, customer service, and privacy/security policies.
Expedia most often provided the lowest fares, the newsletter said, while Travelocity offered the best array of low fares coupled with viable flight choices.
Orbitz did well at providing lowest fares and viable flights but "was edged out in most tests" by one of the top two.
The other sites tested were Cheap Tickets, OneTravel and TravelNow.
The newsletter's bottom line: Check fares on the top three sites, then check the best fare against the airlines' own sites.
JetBlue offers discounts to promote Web site
Book a JetBlue flight online from the airline's own Web site (www.jetblue.com) and you get $5 off the one-way purchase price. It's one method low-cost carriers are using to promote their Web sites.
You also earn "TrueBlue" double points for booking on JetBlue's Web site. The frequent flier program, which JetBlue started last month, provides bonus points instead of mileage -- two points for a short flight, four for a medium flight and six for a long flight. One hundred points earns a free round trip.
JetBlue can also be booked through Travelocity, but without the $5 discount or the double points, according to spokeswoman Fiona Morrison. "We want to reward people for using our Web site," she said.
Some low-cost carriers insist on the exclusive use of their own Web site for online booking.
The only way you can book Southwest on the Internet is via the airline's Web site, www.southwest.com. Southwest doesn't use any of the major online agencies, "and it's more than likely that we never, ever will," said spokesman Ed Stewart. "We want to control our own distribution."
Vacationers returnhome exhausted
If you wake up after a vacation wearier than when you started out, you're not alone.
In a Gallup survey of 1,000 Americans who traveled on vacation during the past year, more than half reported feeling tired when they returned and nearly one out of five were "exhausted."
The prevailing cause of the weariness was sleep loss because of later bedtimes, earlier rising and unfamiliar or uncomfortable accommodations, according to the survey, which was sponsored by the pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Synthelabo.
What's the most -- or the least -- relaxing vacation? People who took a cruise were the most likely to arrive home "well rested," while those who visited family were most likely to return exhausted.