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Reintroducing Travel Jonze

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Now that is looking fresh and new, the folks here who bring you the Travel Jonze blog have recommitted ourselves to providing timely observations and witticisms on the travel industry, the media who occasionally cover it and, of course, traveling in general.

We love the travel industry. We love to travel. And we love to observe, gossip and speculate about the goings-on in the most interesting and colorful business on Earth: travel (we’re a little biased; heck, our employer does have the name “travel” in the title, no?). And so, we promise to snark with as much humor and intelligence as possible in the new Travel Jonze.

In the spirit of lighthearted blogginess, we hope you’ll fill out a comment form at the bottom of the page and snark right back (for example, is “snark” now officially a verb? Is that an intelligent question?)

As they say in England, we’ll “keep calm, and carry on.”

And so, speaking of the Brits, here’s my favorite travel-story-aside of the day, hidden within the report of the Spirit of Adventure, which was chased by pirates off the coast of Africa. Yes, passengers were were forced to abandon their dinner and seek shelter in order to avoid possible gunfire from the pirates. Yes, the passengers were scared. And yes, according to the report: the ship “was able to outpace the pirates and dinner was resumed.”

The kicker, from the cruise line spokesman: "The soup may have got cold for a while, but we have heated it back up again."

A million butterbeers served

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Universal Orlando has sold its one millionth mug of butterbeer at its Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction, the Associated Press says.

For uninitiated Muggles, butterbeer is the beverage of choice for wizards and witches in J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" novels. As in the books, park attendees can quaff (nonalcoholic) butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks restaurant. Adults, meanwhile, can down real beer and specialty drinks -- including firewhiskey, we presume -- at the Hogs Head pub in the rear of the Three Broomsticks.

According to the report, the Harry Potter attraction, which opened in June, has boosted park attendance 36% in its first three months.

For Destination Editor Ken Kiesnoski's Dispatch of the Wizarding World and his first taste of butterbeer, read here.

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