“Good Morning America’s” Secret Deals and Steals have been among the show’s hottest segments. Today, we’re bringing you discounted deals on fine jewelry, plus items for home and travel — all perfect for your holiday shopping!
First, the fine print:
1. Use the promo codes and links provided below only on the dates listed to receive the savings.
2. All deals available only while supplies last. No back orders or rain checks unless specified by the retailer.
3. Exclusive deals are applicable only to the items specified below. The savings are not applicable to other items on each site.
4. Deals may not be combined with other coupons and offers.
5. Contact retailers directly for any questions about products, pricing and delivery before ordering online.
6. You may experience temporary technical issues because of the high volume of traffic. Thanks for your patience.
To suggest an exclusive deal for my consideration, connect with me directly at Facebook.com/Tory. If you have any trouble accessing a deal, you’re welcome to email me directly through www.toryjohnson.com. I will answer you the same day.
Wolfgang Puck: Wolfgang Puck Convection Oven
GMA Exclusive Discount: $70
Get 50 percent savings on a toaster oven using promo code GMA
There are five different functions on this convention oven, each available with the shade selector: convection, broil, slow cook, bake and toast. This is an all in one cooking appliance that serves a variety of needs in one unit. It’s big enough to hold a 12″ pizza, with a brush stainless exterior with non-stick coated interior. All orders will ship on 12/17/11 via UPS ground. (If product sells out, the company says customers may place a back order only on 12/16/11, which will include free shipping by 1/22/12. In such a case, your card will not be charged until the item is ready to ship.) Free standard shipping is applicable only to the 48 continental states. For shipping to Hawaii and Alaska, there is a $65.00 shipping charge that will be automatically added in the shopping cart.
eBags.com: Select Luggage and Luggage Scale
Original: $25 to $110
GMA Exclusive Discount: $13 to $55
Get 50 percent savings on a selection of luggage using promo code GMA
Included in this deal is the eBags Mother Lode TLS Weekender Convertible, the Skyway Sigma 3, which is a vertical carry-on, and a Traveler’s Choice Rome, which is a hardshell spinner suitcase. You may also choose the GripScale to weigh your checked bags before heading to the airport. Free standard shipping.
Key Largo Bay Marriott Beach Resort
This Key Largo beachfront hotel has just extended one of the best Key Largo hotel deals available, its popular Stay Here, Fly There package
Key Largo, FL (PRWEB) December 16, 2011
As the weather gets colder, consider taking a trip to Key Largo’s most popular resort—the Key Largo Bay Marriott Beach Resort. This Key Largo beachfront hotel has just extended one of the best Key Largo hotel deals available, its popular Stay Here, Fly There package.
The Stay Here, Fly There hotel deal offers $100 in resort credit for a two night stay, with an additional $50 resort credit each night after. Also, this Key Largo hotel deal offers a companion airline ticket voucher for a future flight within the continental United States. No other Key Largo hotel deals can offer such an exceptional value for both present and future trips.
Due to the tremendous response received to date, the Marriott Key Largo Beach Resort has decided to extend the Stay Here, Fly There hotel deal throughout the winter months. The deal can be booked now until February 19, 2012 for stays between now and February 29, 2012. For more information, or to book this package online for the Key Largo resort, visit http://www.marriott.com/MTHKL and use promotional code P91, or call 1-800-721-6996. Resort credit cannot be applied to room rate and may not be redeemed for cash. Minimum two night stay.
With the Stay Here, Fly There hotel deal, guests can experience the very best of the Marriott Key Largo Beach Resort. From exceptional on-site Key Largo restaurants like Gus’ Grille and Breezer’s Tiki Bar to great things to do in Key Largo, like golf and scuba diving and kayaking, the resort credit can be applied to all types of activities. This winter, escape the cold and visit one of the best Key Largo resorts—the Key Largo Bay Marriott Beach Resort.
About the Key Largo Bay Marriott Beach Resort
Discover the Key Largo Bay Marriott Beach Resort, located on 17 lush acres of waterfront paradise overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Just an hour south of Miami, this resort in the Florida Keys entices guests with dazzling blue skies and colorful drinks while they fish or explore the coral reefs! The Key Largo Bay Marriott Resort is a premier full-service Key Largo hotel offering upscale rooms highlighted by luxurious amenities. The deluxe, two-bedroom suites offer balconies with breathtaking water views. The Key Largo resort offers Gus’ Grille for breakfast, lunch and dinner; Breezer’s Tiki Bar, featuring live music; and Flipper’s Pool Bar, serving poolside and on the beach. Also available on the resort is a full-service Day Spa, along with the resort’s well-equipped dive shop and marina and a pristine private beach. With something for everyone, this beautiful Key Largo, Florida hotel is sure to become a favorite vacation destination. For more information, visit http://www.marriott.com/MTHKL.
Travelzoo has picked its top destinations for hot deals in 2012, and only one U.S. city, Orlando, Fla., made the cut.
“We anticipate higher airfare prices, jaw-dropping hotel deals and an oversupply of cruise cabins,” senior editor Gabe Saglie said in a statement about what the company calls its Wow Deal Destinations of 2012. “Based on our extensive market research, we predict that Costa Rica, Japan, the Mediterranean, Orlando and Thailand will offer the most outstanding deals next year.”
Wow, indeed. That’s a pretty disparate list. The company researched deals and interviewed travel executives during the past three months in making these predictions. Here’s some of what it found.
–Orlando: It’s easy to think the city has an endless stream of families churning through to see Walt Disney World, Universal Studios Orlando, the Harry Potter park and more. But Travelzoo says Orlando might start to feel the impact of a soft convention market and a slowdown in European tourism. If so, that could mean lots of hotel beds to fill — at bargain prices.
–Costa Rica: Some airlines are increasing the number of flights to Costa Rica, which could signal more competition and more deals for consumers. That fits nicely with the fact the U.S. dollar goes a long way in Costa Rica.
–The Mediterranean: Norwegian, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean cruise lines are collectively putting a record number of ships in European waters, Travelzoo says. With all those cabins to fill, there’s bound to be good, competitive prices. An example: The early-bird price on a 10-night Norwegian Jade sailing that stops in Italy, Greece, Turkey and Egypt starts at $549 per person, plus tax and fees.
-Japan and Thailand: Both countries will be wooing tourists as they recover from disasters, Travelzoo predicts. The March quake and tsunami in Japan and last fall’s months-long flooding in Thailand have left both countries hungry for tourists. Travelzoo’s Tokyo staff reports some top hotels have cut rates as much as 50%.
Check out Travelzoo’s list – and some real-time deals for those destinations.
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – With up to a foot of recent snowfall, the Arizona Snowbowl in Flagstaff plans to open its 2011-12 season on Friday morning.
Lifts will operate from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily at the ski resort.
Snowbowl will have lifts and terrain open for all ability levels, both lodges and full amenities including rental equipment, Ski Ride School lessons, food and beverage and retail shops.
Officials say crews have been working around the clock, packing down the snow with snowcats and moving new snow to critical areas around the resort.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – A driver in the next lane is moving his lips. Is he on a hands-free cellphone? Talking to someone in the car? To himself? Singing along to the radio?
If lawmakers follow the advice of a federal board, police officers will have to start figuring that out — somehow.
The National Transportation Safety Board said this week that drivers should not only be barred from using hand-held cellphones, as they are in several states, but also from using hands-free devices. No more “Sorry, I’m stuck in traffic” calls, or virtually any other cellphone chatter behind the wheel.
Though no state has yet implemented such restrictive rules, the NTSB’s recommendations carry weight that could place such language into future laws, or motivate the federal government to cut funding to states that don’t follow suit.
Many of the men and women patrolling the nation’s streets and highways wonder how they would sort the criminally chatty from the legally chatty.
“It would be almost impossible to determine if someone was talking on a phone or exercising their vocal cords,” said Capt. Donald Melanson of the West Hartford, Conn., police department, which took part in a national pilot program aimed at cracking down on drivers’ cellphone use. “That would be much more difficult to enforce, almost to the point where it would be impossible.”
Officer Tom Nichols of the Port St. Lucie, Fla., police said a law written like the NTSB suggests would be difficult to enforce because so many variables would be at play.
“If you identify someone who has a hands-free set hooked up to their ear that doesn’t mean they are talking on the phone,” he said. “They could be talking to a passenger. They could be talking to a child in the back. They could be singing.”
Police could end up turning to technology for help. They might even end up with the cellphone equivalent of a radar speed gun.
Fred Mannering, a Purdue University civil engineering professor who is associate director of the Center for Road Safety, said that since all cellphones emit signals, a simple Bluetooth detection device could spot them.
Computers are already common in patrol cars, and Mannering said a relatively cheap add-on could fit them to track cellphone signals.
“It would be really easy for police to have a computer on board and pick up those signals,” Mannering said, “but it is sort of Big Brother.”
The NTSB’s proposal, announced Tuesday as a unanimous recommendation of its five-member board, urges all states to impose total bans except for emergencies. It cited deadly crashes caused by distracted drivers across the country, and noted that many studies have shown that hands-free cellphones are often as unsafe as hand-held devices.
The recommendation poses an astounding number of questions. What about chauffeurs and traveling salesmen who spend their entire day on the road? And roadside Amber Alert and Silver Alert notifications that implore drivers to call in if they spot a specific vehicle? What comes of phone lines dedicated to those “How’s My Driving?” signs on trucks? How will you let someone know you’re stuck in traffic?
Joe Schwieterman, a DePaul University professor who studies people’s use of technology while traveling, said he can’t envision a law so restrictive ever hitting the books because phone use has become commonplace for drivers. He called such an approach “draconian” and said that if such a law were passed, the public would despise it as “imperial overreach,” then ignore it.
“It’s a little like speeding laws where it will become just culturally acceptable to violate,” he said. He said a no-call law would be followed only if violations carried stiff penalties like those for drunken driving.
Lewis Katz, a law professor at Case Western Reserve University, said a nationwide ban on using cellphones while driving would be wildly unpopular, and likely the target of legal challenges. But he believed such a law, and the methods police might use to enforce it, ultimately would be deemed as constitutional as seatbelt enforcement.
“I’m sure that it would be challenged on all sorts of constitutional grounds, including free speech,” he said in a phone call from his car. “But it seems to me that it doesn’t in any way infringe on any constitutional rights. It’s a simple safety issue.”
Whether the NTSB’s recommendations will motivate decision-makers remains to be seen, but they have certainly caught their attention.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who has made combating distracted driving the signature issue of his tenure, stopped short of an endorsement. His department is separate from the NTSB.
“My focus is going to be on preaching to people: Take personal responsibility. Put your cellphone and your texting device in the glove compartment when you get behind the wheel of a car,” LaHood told reporters at a news conference in Chicago. “You can’t drive safely when you have your hand on a cellphone and are trying to drive a 4,000- 5,000 pound vehicle.”
Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon, a Republican, said he was wary. His state is among those that have resisted passing laws restricting drivers’ cellphone use.
Cannon said future technological advances may prove more effective than legislation at addressing driver distraction issues. As an example, he cited his new iPhone, which can make phone calls and send text messages via voice command.
“In these attempts to try and prevent every bad thing from happening,” he said, “it’s all too easy to overly restrict personal freedoms and individual rights and responsibilities.”
Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, the top law enforcement official in Palm Beach County, Fla., said that if lawmakers take the NTSB’s suggestions to heart, they should address all manner of distracted driving.
“I see women putting makeup on. I see a guy with an electric shaver. I see one woman with a newspaper. I see a guy with a dog in his hands. All of those are worse than texting,” he said.
Monique Bond, a spokeswoman for the Illinois State Police, said training would be key to enforcing any ban. Officers are already looking for unbuckled seat belts and swerving drivers; they’d have to add to their mental checklists.
“It’s something that is not insurmountable,” Bond said. “How you’re going to spot it, or how you’re going to look for it — you have to acclimate the troops and acclimate the operations as to how to do this.”
Chief Walter McNeil of Quincy, Fla., president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, said enforcement of a total ban would be difficult, but that distracted driving needs to be addressed.
“We certainly need to deal with the overall problem with distracted drivers, and getting some level of uniformity in how we enforce that would be helpful,” he said.
Associated Press writer Dave Collins in Hartford, Conn., contributed to this report.
PORTLAND, Maine – Amtrak’s Downeaster is celebrating its 10th birthday with $10 fares from Portland to Boston.
The fares, which are $5 less than the lowest published fare, are available on select runs next month. They’re available for purchase starting Thursday, the 10th anniversary of the first regularly scheduled run.
Also Thursday, Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority board members, transportation officials and other dignitaries will participate in an anniversary ceremony in Portland.
Existing stops between Portland and Boston are Old Orchard Beach, Saco and Wells in Maine; Dover, Durham and Exeter in New Hampshire; and Haverhill and Woburn in Massachusetts. Next year, the train will expand northward with additional stops in Freeport and Brunswick.
PRETORIA, South Africa – Martha Mahlangu can’t bear to visit the prison where her son, an anti-apartheid guerrilla, was hanged. But she says it’s important that other South Africans see the gallows the government opened as a monument Thursday, and contemplate the example her son set.
“Solomon only thought of freedom, to free the black man,” she said in an interview in her Pretoria home. “He never thought of himself, only about seeing the black man free.”
The 87-year-old former maid’s voice faltered when she tried speak about being invited to take part in a series of events this week at the gallows at Pretoria Central Prison. She sat on her porch in a neighborhood set aside for blacks under apartheid that today remains predominantly black and poor.
She said she was instead sending her eldest son and a nephew to Thursday’s inauguration by President Jacob Zuma of the gallows and the death row block housing it as a national memorial and museum. She also sent her son and nephew to a traditional ceremony Wednesday during which relatives of those hanged offered prayers and burned incense in remembrance. Zuma toured the building Thursday morning at the start of the ceremony to open the site, accompanied by several Cabinet ministers and George Bizos, a prominent campaigner against the death penalty who was also former President Nelson Mandela’s lawyer.
Death row was in a low, brick building with imposing oak doors just outside the main block of Pretoria Central Prison. The gallows were abandoned after the death penalty was abolished in 1995. Thursday, a sign on a freshly painted wall along a hallway leading to the gallows told visitors some 3,500 South Africans were hanged over the last century. “Of these,” it said, “130 were patriots whose only crime was fighting oppression.”
Not all those hanged were executed in Pretoria, but many of the most prominent were.
South Africa’s highest court ruled in 1995 that the death penalty was a cruel, inhuman and degrading violation of the country’s post-apartheid constitution. Executions had been on hold since 1989, as a debate raged that touched on the executions of anti-apartheid militants and on whether there could be a fair or just way of deciding who would be hanged.
Solomon Mahlangu was among the class of 1976, young South Africans radicalized by a student uprising in Soweto that year that was met by a brutal police crackdown. He was 20 when he left South Africa to train in Mozambique and Angola with Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the African National Congress, which celebrates its 50th anniversary Friday.
One of Solomon Mahlangu’s trio got away. Another, the only one accused of firing a gun, was so badly beaten in custody he was judged unfit to stand trial. Prosecutors did not dispute that Solomon Mahlangu never fired a gun, but he was convicted of sharing his comrade’s deadly purpose. He was hanged on April 6, 1979. The next day, his mother was brought to Pretoria Central and shown her son’s plain wooden coffin. She remembers thinking it looked very small.
The gallows was destroyed in a smelter after the death penalty was abolished. Visitors to the site will see a replica: Seven nooses dangling from iron loops over a trap door.
A prison employee who said he had been a death row guard helped ensure the new museum’s details are correct, down to the thickness of the ropes. He refused to give his name, saying he feared reprisals from South Africans who might consider him a murderer. But he said he was just doing a job.
The guard said the political prisoners were disciplined, never struggling, sometimes singing anti-apartheid songs as they climbed the stairs.
David Kutumela, a 56-year-old anti-apartheid activist who like Solomon Mahlangu began his fight after the 1976 uprisings, helped campaign to create the gallows memorial. He and other activists visited the gallows often as it was transformed into a museum.
“Walking up those 52 steps, we all think, `It might have been us instead of Solomon,’” he said.
Kutumela said the museum is for South Africans as young as or younger than he and Solomon Mahlangu were when they became militants. He said he worries today’s children “don’t even understand how this freedom came about.”
In another sign of how far South Africa has come, the top spokeswoman for the prison department is an ANC veteran who trained as a teenager in the same Angolan camp where Solomon Mahlangu became a guerrilla.
Sibongile Promise Khumalo has a hug for everyone she meets, including the white guards at Pretoria Central who once escorted ANC fighters to their deaths.
Khumalo said she embraced the museum project, speaking with the families of those hanged instead of delegating the emotional job.
“I cried with those people,” Khumalo said. “We were reopening wounds for them.”
She said the goal was to offer closure to the families, and to society a chance to confront the wounds of the past and then move on.
“I know South Africans are forgiving,” she said. “We need to help each other carry out this journey of remembrance.”
Donna Bryson can be reached on http://twitter.com/dbrysonAP
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. – Part of Yellowstone National Park are now open to snowmobiles.
Starting Thursday, commercially-guided snowmobiles or snowcoaches are allowed to travel between the park’s South Entrance and Old Faithful.
Park officials say there’s not enough snow yet to open up other areas of the park to snow travel yet.
To mark the launch of seasonal service from Logan International Airport to St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, JetBlue is offering one-way sale fares as low as $149 through Dec. 22 for travel from Jan. 5 to Feb. 15. The New York-based carrier said in June that it would begin starting Dec. 15 direct flights from Boston to St. Thomas International Airport and returns via San Juan, Puerto Rico. St. Thomas is JetBlue’s 43d nonstop destination from Logan.
Article source: http://www.boston.com/travel/blog/2011/12/jetblue_begins.html
MIAMI (AP) — Language restricting the ability of Cuban-Americans to travel and send money to relatives in Cuba has been dropped from a $1 trillion spending bill.
A deal on the spending measure was reached after Republicans agreed to pull the measure.
Cuban-Americans were closely following the amendment by Florida Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, a Cuban-American. It would have rolled back the law to Bush-era limits of one trip every three years.
Older Cuban-Americans who came shortly after the revolution and have few connections to the island tend to support limited travel and remittances. They saw the amendment as a way to limit cash to the Cuban government.
Many Cubans who have come in the last 20 years tend to have family on the island and want to help relatives in any way possible. But they are also less likely to vote or contribute to political campaigns.
Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.