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Experience This 360 John Savoie

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Travel Podcast
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    16 How to Get Low Flight Fares to Europe

    16 How to Get Low Flight Fares to Europe

    On this episode of the Experience This 360 Podcast we are going to Find ways to get Low Flight Fares to Europe - plus how to get free upgrades with discounted tours and attractions
    Flying overseas is often costly and lets face it – it is a long haul, often with one or two layovers that have you waiting around airport terminals, eating junk food, and feeling lethargic.
    Once you arrive at your destination, you feel tired, and your energy is sapped and it may take a few days to get you back into the swing of things and actually enjoy your vacation.
    But it doesn't have to be this way. You can find exceptionally good deals online and ways to make your stopover a vacation of its very own.
    Iceland Air is the first airline to market to North America, as a viable, safe airline, with decent pricing and a stopover vacation. They have been doing this since 1960 and offer some deals every now and then.
    More recently, Portugal's National Airline TAP, has been offering up much the same but with some greater deals and options.
    TAP flies out of 35 major US airports and only one Canadian airport, so we will focus on both JFK airport in New York City, and Pearson International out of Toronto, Canada, just too keep things simple.
    Doing a quick online search, a direct flight to most European cities using any other airline ranges from $700US to well over $3200. Direct flights are convenient but you end up paying a premium and that is why Iceland Air and TAP Portugal offer direct flights to their distinct countries, but offer up amazing deals with Stop Overs in each particular country.
    Basically, you fly into Portugal, have a layover from one to five days exploring the country, including free excursions, free wine, discounted hotel rooms, and sometimes free, yes, free domestic flights within the country.
    First, we'll look at the initial costs to fly to Portugal, then we'll discover the layover options and then we'll talk about TAP specifically and what to expect.
    More at www.experiencethis360.com

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    • 7 min
    15 Elvis Presley's Graceland Visitor's Guide

    15 Elvis Presley's Graceland Visitor's Guide

    Welcome to our Memphis Travel Guide, this is part 5 of this series. On this episode we will provide you with information about visiting Memphis' top attraction - Graceland.
    Graceland Farms was originally owned by Stephen C. Toof, founder of S.C. Toof & Co., the oldest commercial printing firm in Memphis, who was previously the pressroom foreman of the Memphis newspaper, the Memphis Daily Appeal. The "grounds" (before the mansion home was built in 1939) was named after Toof's daughter, Grace. She inherited the farm/grounds from her father in 1894. After her death, the property was passed down to her niece Ruth Moore, a Memphis socialite, who together with her husband, Thomas Moore, built a 10,266 square foot Colonial Revival style mansion in 1939.
    After Elvis Presley began his musical career, he purchased a $40,000 home for himself and his family at 1034 Audubon Drive in Memphis. As his fame grew, especially after his appearances on television, the number of fans that would congregate outside the house multiplied. Presley's neighbors, most of whom were happy to have a celebrity living nearby, soon came to find the constant gathering of fans and journalists a nuisance. After several complaints, Presley decided it was necessary for him to move to a property more suitable.
    In early 1957, Presley gave his parents, Vernon and Gladys Presley, a $100,000 budget, and asked them to find a "farmhouse" type property to purchase. At the time, Graceland was located several miles beyond Memphis' main urban area. In later years, Memphis would expand with housing, resulting in Graceland being surrounded by other properties. Presley purchased Graceland on March 19, 1957 for the amount of $102,500. which is nearly million in today's money.
    Graceland would remain Elvis' home until he died in 1977 and today remains one of the best kept rock n roll museum-homes of all time. Elvis fans flock to the house to get a peek into Elvis' life and those not too fond or too young to remember the music, the actor and the entertainer, will also be surprised that this is a fun tour with a lot to see and do. Even if you are travelling with younger children, you will find that the house and museum is accommodating, and includes personal ipads with children specific themes.
    And that is what is great about Graceland – it is very accessible for the young, the old and those with physical disabilities.
    Graceland is open from 9-5 each day, but there are specific days and holidays in which it is closed, or that the hours of operation change. It is best to check with the official web site for updates and special schedules.
    The ticket office opens promptly at 8:30 and staff are more than welcoming, engaging and helpful in determining what tour you should do.
    Once you have your ticket in hand you can proceed to a waiting area in which while waiting to board a motorcoach, you are provided headsets and a personal ipad. The ipad will offer up an interactive experience once you enter through Graceland's doors. It is narrated by actor John Stamos and provides information, insight and interactive elements such as photos and videos. It is really simple to use and is an outstanding inclusion on the tour.
    The bus ride to Graceland takes less than 5 minutes from the ticket boarding area. Once inside you are guided through the house, at your own pace.
    Once inside Graceland you are immersed in Elvis' personal world. John Stamos naarrates the salient events of Elvis’s life and introduce the relics that adorn the rooms and corridors. The story celebrates the life of an extraordinary man, emphasizing his generosity, his kindness and good fellowship, how he was at once a poor boy who made good, an extraordinary musical talent, a sinner and substance abuser, and a religious man devoted to the Gospel and its music. One is able to visit the entire house, except for the top floor which is

    • 13 min
    14 Memphis Tennessee Travel Guide Part Four

    14 Memphis Tennessee Travel Guide Part Four

    Thanks for joining us on the Memphis Destination Guide Part 4 – Memphis Good Eats and Good Sleeps.
    Memphis is not surprisingly a very active, entertaining city, and with that comes a very unique culinary experience – from Memphis BBQ to Creole to Elvis inspired delights – Memphis has an enormous amount of variety and spice.
    And since we are in Memphis and you are probably here because of the King, let's get two places that are must visit out of the way first.
    The oldest cafe still in operation in Memphis is the legendary Arcade Cafe. Located at 540 South Main St. You can't miss the neon signs inviting you into the comfy cafe and the plush booths. It is reported that Elvis visited this restaurant frequently and enjoyed their breakfasts and burger options. Today, you can sit in the same booth that Elvis sat in and order Elvis inspired treats. The restaurant's seating is limited and it can get very, very, busy, so plan on waiting for some time if there are events going on in town related to Elvis. An interesting fact is that the Arcade was the location that sparked Memphis' film industry in 1988. Night Train was filmed here as well as many other films including Great Balls of Fire!, the docu-film about another Memphis legend – Jerry Lee Lewis.
    Next up on the Elvis gastronomic tour is Marlow's Ribs and Restaurant, located just minutes from Graceland and immediately recognizable by the fleet of pink Cadillac limosine shuttles that offer transport to and from the restaurant. Previously known as the Whitehaven Ranch House, it was a favourite BBQ of the King himself. This family operated BBQ offers up some excellent ribs, pulled pork and beef brisket, along with catfish, burgers and the best hunka hunka apple pie in the USA. Along with the food, you will find the service and friendly family atmosphere to be excellent. Prices are also affordable for both lunch and dinner. In the evening they offer live entertainment on some days.
    The next restaurant we highly recommend if you are looking for unique and romantic atmosphere and incredible food is restaurant iris. Named best restaurant, best service and best chef by Memphis Magazine restaurant iris serves up some of the most creative and delicious creole dishes in the south. Located near the historic Overton Square of Midtown the restaurant is located right inside a victorian mansion house. Parking is available free of charge across the street. There is also cheap parking at the overtone parking garage and valet service is only $8. The parking may be cheap, but the iris is a high end restaurant offering up an ever changing menu. If you want to treat yourself and your loved one to an exceptional and unique dinner, this is the place.

    Now I know a lot of listeners are looking for not only good eats, but cheap eats. And you can have both in Memphis. If you are looking for another Memphis delicacy that does not include BBQ sauce, check out Gus' world famous friend chicken. It is located in downtown Memphis at 310 s front st. And even though the exterior has its own southern wear and tear, get inside for the best fried chicken you have ever had. Try the coconut cream pie of the pecan pie to top off the meal. Other franchise locations are available so check online to the one closest to you.

    And if you are still craving southern treats, head over to Memphis' own Miss Polly's Fried Chicken and Waffles. Located right on Beale St. This simple eatery offers up some fabulous fried chicken and waffles. After a night on Beale St. This may be the best spot to cure that hang over.

    The summers in Memphis can be brutal and the best spot to cool down is at an old gas station. No, we are not kidding. Back on the 1920s, a Sinclair gas station began giving away free snow cones to children as their parents filled up their automobiles. The snow cones were a bigger hit than the gas filling station so b

    • 9 min
    13 Memphis Tennessee Travel Guide Part Three

    13 Memphis Tennessee Travel Guide Part Three

    By now you have probably figured out that there are a lot of exciting activities and great museums in Memphis, so lets slow things down a bit and talk about some easy going, relaxing travel activities that are also great with families with young children.
    If you have young children and are particularly fond of water fowl, head over to the Peabody Hotel to watch the famous duck march. The Legend of the Peabody Memphis Ducks started back in the 1930s, and they still visit the lobby fountain at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day.
    They hop out of the fountain, walk the red carpet, step into the elevator and ride to the rooftop. The whole procession only takes 20 seconds, but the “duck master” talks for about 20 minutes about the history of the hotel and the ducks. Now you might think this is an odd tourist attraction, and you are right and that is probably why it is so popular.
    If you have little ones and you need to wear them out for the day, head over to the Memphis Children's Museum. Children will have the opportunity to learn about transportation, camping, art, weather, nutrition and health in a hands-on environment. Exhibits are located both indoors and outdoors, creating year-round fun.
    Here you can also ride the historic Dentzel Memphis Grand Carousel. The original carousel was constructed in 1909 and has been fully restored. Admission to the museum costs $15 per person and most people spend a great deal of a day here.
    The next spot we recommend is the Pink Palace. The Pink Palace is unlike what most people think of when it comes to museums. Learn about everything from agriculture, to dinosaurs, to the civil war! The Pink Palace looks back at the history of Memphis from many perspectives. The museum is undergoing renovations and new and improved exhibitions will soon be made available. It is best to check out their website for updates.

    For those who want a little outdoor activity head over to Mud Island. Located on the Memphis riverfront, Mud Island has various activities to entertain the family. The Riverwalk is an exact scale replica of the Lower Mississippi River. Part splash pad, part history lesson; it provides a unique opportunity to have fun while learning.
    $4 per person gets you on the monorail which goes across the harbor to the Riverwalk while enjoying spectacular views of Downtown Memphis and the river. Once you’ve walked down the Mississippi you arrive at the ‘Gulf of Mexico’. The ‘Gulf’ is represented a mile acre pond. You can rent paddleboats for $5 per person.

    If you are still enjoying the sunshine head over to Overton Park where you will find biking trails and picnic areas as well as the Memphis Zoo and the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. You might find a free concert going on at Levitt Shell, the place Elvis was first paid to entertain in 1954. That show is also known as the first ever rock-n-roll concert. Today, Levitt Shell hosts 50 free concerts each year.

    Another great park to unwind in is Shelby Farms. Not only is it a huge green space, there is horseback riding and one of the coolest playgrounds you will ever see. In fact, it was named one of 16 coolest playgrounds in the whole world. Look for signs pointing you to the Woodland Discovery Playground.
    Another great experience for children is the Fire Museum of Memphis which showcases and exhibits firefighting trucks and equipment. Also, the Railroad & Trolley Museum located downtown is a popular spot for train enthusiasts. Keep in mind, however, there is some major renovations going on and they expect to be open in the fall of 2018.

    Now the next place we recommend going to may seem a bit odd but it is a pretty neat attraction.
    Located inside Memphis Memorial Park Funeral Home & Cemetery, the Crystal Shrine Grotto was designed by Mexican artist Dionicio Rodriquez and has been inspiring visitors since the 1930s.
    Dionicio dug a cave almost 60 fee

    • 6 min
    12 Memphis Tennessee Travel Guide Part Two

    12 Memphis Tennessee Travel Guide Part Two

    Thanks for joining us, this is part two of The Memphis Destination Guide.
    Now, if you already haven't figured out, Memphis is huge when it comes to music and there is no better place to visit than the Sun Records Studio, where rocknroll all began. Sun Studio is known worldwide as “The Birthplace of Rock’n’roll”. It is the discovery location of musical legends and genres of the 50’s from B.B. King and Elvis Presley to Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis; from Blues and Gospel to Country and Rock’n'roll.
    You will be able to stand in the very same spot that Elvis first recorded. Your tour guide will tell you the inside stories of B.B. King, Howlin' Wolf and Ike Turner, Elvis, JohnnyCash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, & Roy Orbison who were all drawn to the new SunSound.
    You'll get to see the priceless memorbillia from the musical legends that blended blues and country music to explode in the "big bang" of Rock'n'roll.
    The funny and entertaining tour includes outtakes from recording sessions from early Blues to Elvis himself.
    The studio is open for 45 minute guided tours every day from 10am to 6pm. The tour is $14 for adults, $12 for students and free to kids ages 5-11. Insider tip: There is free, limited parking behind the studio and the Sun Studio also operates a free shuttle service to and from Graceland, The RocknSoul Museum and of course Sun Studio.
    You should arrive early for your tour, to get tickets in hand, because this place can fill up quickly, especially when a bus tour arrives. Make your way into the Sun Studio Cafe (located next door) and have a seat on the iconic barstools and order up a malt milkshake. A lot of online review sites mix up this restaurant for the one at the airport (which, according to reviews should be avoided). But don't worry, this little cafe is pretty decent. While you wait for your tour time there are some artifacts on the walls, souvenirs to buy and a small old record collection to dive into and staff are friendly and attentive. You will be relieved to have a seat and cold drink when the room fills in up wall to wall.
    The tour takes you upstairs and into various rooms to show artifacts and tell the story of Sun Records. It eventually ends in the Sun Records Recording Studio where the energy and vibe of that Sun Sound hits everyone. Even though the cafe is swarming with bodies, each tour only accepts a certain amount of people, so it doesn't feel overly crowded.
    Next up, another great museum dedicated to music, hustle and talent – The Stax Museum of Soul Music. You start your tour in the true birthplace of soul music – a modest country church. Just as Stax’s music found its roots in the sounds of Southern gospel music, the museum opens in a real, circa-1906 Mississippi Delta church that has been carefully reassembled inside the museum. As the museum tour progresses you'll find yourself in a dance hall where you are encouraged to dance and singalong. You will move along toward a large collection of period recording equipment in the control room, then stand in Studio A, an exact replica of the legendary converted movie theater where Stax artists cut records. Next, you'll see the wall of sound – literally thousands of hit records recorded at Stax. But there is something even more flashy just around the corner.
    The Superfly! Isaac Hayes’ glittering custom Cadillac Eldorado, which was purchased as part of his renegotiated deal with Stax in 1972. The car, which was purchased for $26,000 (or, $143,000 in 2013 dollars), is fully equipped with unique amenities like a refrigerated mini-bar, television, 24-carat gold exterior trim and white fur carpeting on the floorboards. Admission is $13 and free for those under 8.

    Even though Isaac Hayes could afford a six figure automobile with gold trim, the color of his skin ultimately determined his social status. Our next stop is the National

    • 7 min
    11 Memphis Tennessee Travel Guide Part One

    11 Memphis Tennessee Travel Guide Part One

    Welcome to the Memphis Travel Guide Part One
    On the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River, Memphis is Tennessee's largest city and home to the historic birthplace of blues, barbecue, and rock ‘n’ roll. Memphis just doesn't attract tourists, it creates pilgrimages from all over the world.
    You will often find tourists stating they are on their third, 10th or even 100th visit to Memphis and who can blame them? – fantastic BBQ pulled pork, spicy dry rubbed ribs, exceptional live blues entertainment, often free, and the home of the king of rock n roll himself – The big E. --- Elvis Presley.
    And as much as Memphis is about Elvis, there is a lot more going on there culturally and historically that can be explored. Don't worry, we'll cover the Elvis attractions, but we will also go more in depth in a special episode giving you tips and information on visiting Graceland.
    One of the great things about Memphis is that it is relatively affordable to visit if you know when and where to go. In these next few episodes we will cover tourist attractions, where to stay and where to eat. We'll also give tips on how to stay on budget, and ideas for families and solo travelers.
    Let's start off with some recommended attractions. Even though Memphis is a large city, there are a great number of attractions situated in relatively small geographical location making it easy to see and do a lot of things in a short amount of time. One of the biggest draws to Memphis is because of its rich history in music so let's start here.
    Depending on when you arrive in Memphis the first stop on anyone's list should be historic Beale Street and the home of the blues. The main drag is lined up and down for several blocks of blues joints, honkytonks, great restaurants bars and tourists shops. In the evening, almost every venue hosts free live music, from Mississippi Blues to Jerry Lee Lewis tribute bands. Also at dusk, the lights turn on to the many wonderfully designed neon lights and makes for iconic photos. Drinks and food are priced moderately, even though this is a top tourist attraction. We recommend the Beale Street Tap Room and The King's Palace Restaurant where not only you can get a good beer but also some great BBQ including ribs, Voodoo Chicken and Cajun Faire.
    Now a lot of the action may be happening inside, but there is a lot going on outside. Street performers, acrobats and magicians sometimes perform down the main strip to the delight of onlookers. Handy Park, is usually a great place to listen to a blues band or solo artist, while enjoying the historical significance of the park.
    Even though Beale St. Is lined wall to wall with drinks and individuals drinking walking down the street, it is totally safe. The Memphis police department controls the entranceway's into the thoroughfare and actively patrol the street keeping everyone in check. Police monitor those underage as well and anyone under 21 is not permitted on Beale Street after 10pm – when things get a little wilder.
    Now if you prefer it a little slower, you can go during the day or into the evening and still enjoy Beale Street, especially if you enjoy visiting museums and historic attractions.
    WC Handy is considered to be the "Father of the Blues" and is one of America's most influential songwriters ever and you can take a tour of WC Handy's humble beginnings at his turn-of-the-century home on Beale Street. Admission is $6 but be aware they run a limited schedule of Tues-Sat from 10-5 in the summer months and 11-4pm in the winter months. You can find the museum at the corner of Beale St. And 4th.
    Another great museum to learn about Memphis' Music past is the RocknSoul Museum. The Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum is at the corner of historic Beale Street, and legendary Highway 61 (Third Street), also known as the “Blues Highway”. The museum is located on the plaza of the FedExFor

    • 7 min

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