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Thursday Flakes: Luxury Trains, Weekend Getaways and Hawaiian Tourist Fees

Let’s get fancy in this week’s Travel Flakes.

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A Night Train Through Europe’s Heart Has a Lot Riding On It

I have never ridden Amtrak in the United States, VIA Rail in Canada or fancy luxury trains in the Middle East or Japan but I have been on passenger trains in Spain, Czechia and Slovakia because they are going to places I want to visit. It was super convenient to get from city to city and town to town but something like this in the United States and Canada is practically non-existent. Mexico is very well connected with big luxury buses from city-to-city and smaller old-fashioned colectivo buses from town-to-town. The Tren Maya opened recently in Mexico but then shut down again due to so many logistical problems. This project might not turn out to be a success.

One thing that is really missing in North America is extensive high speed trains. Thankfully, the Atlantic Coast has the Acela Express and Florida is on track with the Brightline and hopefully more states begin to follow suit in the future. Part of this has to do with upgrading the tracks to accommodate higher speeds.

What is the fanciest luxury train you have ridden?

Do you think we will ever see

What are your thoughts about Hawaii’s new tourist fees?

Favorite vineyard in the United States? Favorite vineyard in the World?

Have you ever been to Copenhagen?

Do you have any travel plans for February?

Feel free to answer some of these questions in the comments below. Anyways...onto Flakes.

Flakes

Nebraska Women’s Basketball Outlasts Purdue 68-54 | Women’s Basketball | Corn Nation

First order of business, Callin Hake joins the starting lineup in place of Maddie Krull. Maybe looking for more of an offensive punch tonight. Nebraska Women’s Basketball: The one where they go on multiple scoring droughts, including one of six minutes, and still have five players in double digits.

Spring Game Ticket Information | Football | Huskers.com

Tickets for Nebraska’s April 27 Spring Game presented by FNBO will go on sale next week to Husker fans. Nebraska football season ticket holders will have the first opportunity to purchase tickets on Tuesday, February 6th at 10 a.m. (CT). The public on-sale will open the following day at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, February 7th.

Huskers Ready for Frank Sevigne Invitational | Track & Field | Huskers.com

Nebraska track and field hosts the 48th Annual Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational at the Bob Devaney Sports Center Indoor Track this weekend, competing against athletes representing 22 other schools across the country. Action begins with combined events at Noon on Friday, followed by field events at 4 p.m. and running events at 6 p.m. On Saturday, the heptathlon picks back up at 9:30 a.m., with running events beginning at 11 a.m. and field events at Noon.

Tichy, Baxter Collect Big Ten Weekly Honors | Swimming & Diving | Huskers.com

Tichy, a freshman from Salzburg, Austria, was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week after setting a facility record in the 200 butterfly at ARC Pool this past weekend against Illinois with a time of 1:59.22. She also contributed a fourth-place finish in the 100 butterfly (56.22). Baxter, the Big Ten Diver of the Week, swept the diving competition against the Fighting Illini with first-place finishes on the one meter and the three meter. She logged a score of 331.65 on the three meter for a career-best and added a 296.18 on the one meter.

Chucky Hepburn Will Hear the Nebraska Boos Again — But Now He Returns on a Title Contender | Men’s Basketball | Omaha World-Herald

The Omaha native and Bellevue West Graduate will return to the familiar building, the site of his two high school state championship appearances and one victory, for the third time as a Wisconsin Badger. It was where he attended games as a kid, the home of the in-state school that had an inside track on his recruitment until a coaching change in 2019.

Travel

Where to Travel in February, 2024 | Travel | Travel Pulse

Events and holidays from the Super Bowl to President’s Day and the month-long celebration of Black History Month will spur plenty of trips. What’s more, because 2024 is a leap year, travelers will have an extra day to enjoy a February getaway.

Hawaii Proposes New Tourist Fees, Targets Vacation Rentals | Travel | Travel Pulse

The issue of reducing the state’s reliance on fossil fuels came hand-in-hand with a proposal for charging tourists a new $25 fee. Green also said that he would be forced to place a moratorium on all short-term rentals in West Maui if an adequate number of people do not volunteer their properties to house families displaced by the Lahaina fire.

A Wine Tour Through the Vineyards of Mexico | Travel | Travel Pulse

The land between San Miguel de Allende and Dolores Hidalgo is covered with grapevines; there is the Wine Route in Guanajuato, a tour that will remind you of the freedom of the countryside and the gratitude of the pleasure of drinking a good wine.

Best Couples Weekend Getaways in the USA | Travel | Lonely Planet

We’ve looked all over the USA and plucked out 10 weekend getaways that cater to couples of all tastes. From mountains to beaches, big cities to small towns, sprawling national parks to epic West Coast drives, here are the best places in the US for a romantic escape from it all.

8 Great Rail Journeys to Take Across the USA | Travel | Lonely Planet

Considerably more relaxing than driving or flying, the best train rides in the US offer a leisurely, nostalgic sightseeing experience, often passing through pristine landscapes inaccessible by other means. The US is rich with amazing train journeys, but the routes listed below are the cream of the crop. From California to New England, here are eight epic US train trips our editors have selected, taken from Lonely Planet’s Amazing Train Journeys.

A Total Trip: What I Spent in Tartu, Estonia | Travel | Lonely Planet

In our A Total Trip series, writers document what they spent on a recent getaway. In this edition, Daniel James Clarke shows us how far his money went on a long weekend in Tartu, Estonia.

Things to Know Before Traveling to Copenhagen | Travel | Lonely Planet

Living abroad allowed me to reflect on Danish culture and what makes Copenhagen unique. For example, the widespread bike culture, which was part of my everyday life and something I considered to be completely normal until I lived elsewhere. Before you go to Copenhagen, here are the 13 top things that you need to know.

American and United Launch Flights for the Super Bowl — With Clever Nods to Taylor Swift | Travel | Travel + Leisure

To usher in the big game, United Airlines told Travel + Leisure the carrier will add fifteen direct flights to Las Vegas from both Kansas City and the San Francisco Bay Area. Of those, one will be named “UA 1989” — for the famous singer’s hit album — and will take off on Feb. 9th. American Airlines is also planning to fly its very own “AA1989” flights from Kansas City to Las Vegas on both Feb. 9th and Feb. 10th, the airline shared with T+L. The carrier will then operate flight “AA87” as a nod to Kelce from Las Vegas back to Kansas City on Feb. 12th.

Saudi Arabia’s First Luxury Train Service Is Coming in 2025 | Travel | Conde Nast Traveler

Made in Italy, by hospitality company Arsenale Group, and commissioned by Saudi Arabia Railways (SAR), the 40-cabin train will run on 800 miles of existing railway lines from the capital Riyadh to Al Qurayyat in the northern province of Al Jawf, making stops along the way. The planned one- to two-day route takes in Al Qassim, Hail and Al Jouf, on the edge of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Nature Reserve, before it terminates some 20 miles from the border with Jordan.

The Last Place to be Mapped in the United States | Travel | BBC

With its impenetrable canyons, Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument defies human perspective and remains a mystery even to those who know it best.

The Dark History Behind Madeira’s Famous Levadas | Travel | BBC

Fundamental to Madeiran identity, its 3,100km of aqueducts have proven to be more than a clever and functional feat of engineering to colonize an isolated island.

A Vibrant Celebration of Taiwan’s Little-Known Original Inhabitants | Travel | BBC

Once the island’s only inhabitants, Indigenous Taiwanese now make up just 2.38% of Taiwan’s population – and their vibrant festivals play a crucial part in preserving their culture.

The Rest

Sneaky little bird.

This dog isn’t easily fooled.

Hedgehogs are always cute.

And finally let’s celebrate making it to the bottom with this crazy birthday cake.