The Features

Virginia Tourism, NPS, “Art” and Advertising Money

Photo courtesy of

courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’

You may have noticed the sculpture of the word “LOVE” erected in Dupont Circle last week. While it was billed as an art installation, it was actually part of an ad blitz done for the Virginia Tourism campaign, and the Park Service isn’t happy at all about being lied to.  According to Lydia DePillis from the City Paper, the installation was removed with prejudice Friday.

Virginia Tourism took down their blog posting on the takeover, but the press release remains online.

What would an ad like that cost, though? I know you can’t buy ad space in Dupont Circle, as it’s Park Service land and they don’t permit advertising on public land, even in DC, but I did some talking to media buyers today, and came up with some numbers.

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Adventures, Getaways, The Features

Getaways: Virginia Beach, Part 2

Photo courtesy of
’40Off Blue Team Pics’
courtesy of ‘visitvirginia’

I won a mystery trip to somewhere in Virginia last month, and Katie told you all about day one already. The adventure continues…

The day before, our trip organizers had announced that we would be going kayaking on day two of our all-expenses-paid exploration of Virginia Beach. Everyone was pretty excited about this at first, but as the day wore on, the weather reports kept getting gloomier and gloomier. Cold, rainy kayaking? No, thanks.

Luckily, our fabulous guides were flexible (key when traveling with a group!) and let us know that we would be playing it safe and heading indoors to the Virginia Aquarium. I’m a huge fan of aquariums, so I was pretty excited to check out this one, since I had never been before. Plus, we got to sleep in an extra hour with the change of plans! Bonus. Continue reading

Fun & Games, Getaways, Special Events

Getaways: Virginia Beach (Part I)

Live the Life

This is a special edition of Getaways, which will be broken into two parts. Since Jasmine and I were both lucky enough to head to Virginia Beach, we’re tag teaming the trip for your reading pleasure.

Jasmine: Like many of you, after reading Katie’s post last month on Virginia Tourism Corporation’s mystery vacation giveaway, I put my name on the list. The temptation of an all-expenses-paid trip plus the mystery of not knowing where I would be going was just too much to handle. And a few weeks ago, after a particularly terrible day, I got the call: I had won! After extensive squealing and jumping up and down in the street, I immediately called diligent informer of awesome vacations and excellent travel companion Katie to invite her along with me. VA Tourism packed so much into our two days, we’re going to have to split this one up, with each of us taking a day. And so, without further adieu, here’s Katie to tell you all about that first crazy day. Continue reading