Roses Are Red…And Cheap for Amazon Prime Members!

Roses at Whole Foods Market
Roses at Whole Foods Market

The downtown Austin Whole Foods Market is running a promotion on roses. Two dozen for $19.99, but only for Amazon Prime members and only until Valentines Day (Feb. 14, 2018).

This deal is probably available in other Whole Foods stores also.

Slowly, Amazon is integrating itself with Whole Foods.

Delta Will Open New Lounge at ABIA Next Year

Austin Bergstrom International Airport logo

Delta Airlines has announced that it will open a new Sky Club lounge at Austin Bergstrom International Airport in 2019.

According to the announcement from Delta: This 9,000 sq. ft. circular Delta Sky Club, conveniently located near the Delta gates, will feature:

  • Local brews and bites, inspired by Austin’s foodie scene
  • A full-service, complimentary bar that features seasonal cocktails and wine selected by Delta’s Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson, stored in a 170-bottle custom glass tower
  • Artwork throughout the Club from up-and-coming regional artists
  • Unique design that reflects Austin’s flair, with warm walnut finishes and rich fabrics
  • Covered Sky Deck, an outdoor patio perfect for a cocktail and socializing, equipped with large fans so it can be enjoyed year-round
  • High-speed Wi-Fi, comfortable seating and power outlets at nearly every seat

Deets here and here.

Austin Bergstrom already has American Airlines and United Airlines lounges.


Austin to Venice $386 Round-Trip on Air Canada / United

United Airlines AircraftThe airfare deals from the US to Europe just keep coming! Scott’s Cheap Flights has found round-trip tickets from Austin to Venice for as little as $386 in March, April, May, August, September, October, November and December.

These are round-trip fares, not one-way. No bag fees. Check United Airlines website and Google Flights. Other airlines may match, and there are other European destinations with similar fares.

Venice Canal
Venice Canal
Venice Bridge
Venice Bridge

Watch out — those gondola rides in Venice are EXPENSIVE!

Another Worry for Children: Will Santa Find Them on Christmas Eve if They Are Away from Home?

HomeAway BuildingHomeAway® is an Austin-based leader in vacation rentals. HomeAway’s corporate headquarters at 5th and Lamar features a human-size birdhouse visible from the street outside. Right now, during the holiday season, the birdhouse is festooned with typical Christmas decorations.

My family frequently uses for lodging in larger cities. HomeAway owns VRBO (Vacation Rental by Owner). Airbnb and are HomeAway’s largest competitors.

HomeAway analyzed data from popular metro destinations and saw growth in suburban stays during the holiday. Cities that experienced an increase in suburban demand include New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas-Fort Worth, Philadelphia, and Phoenix.

“This data suggests that holiday travelers are straying away from the city experience and choosing the suburbs to be closer to family, without having to cram everyone into Grandma’s house,” said Melanie Fish, family travel expert at HomeAway.

HomeAway found that the top ten U.S. destinations for holiday travelers are:

o Four Corners, Fla.
o Breckenridge, Colo.
o Park City, Utah
o Kihei, Hawaii
o Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
o San Diego
o Lake Tahoe, Calif.
o Cape Coral, Fla.
o Honolulu
o New York

Family matters to travelers. 95 percent of parents agree it’s important to be with family at Christmas and seven out of ten kids surveyed said their ideal Christmas is spent with their family, according to the 2016 Kid Holiday Survey.

Here is the big worry among younger children traveling during the holidays to see family members: Nearly half (42 percent) of children surveyed fear that Santa won’t be able to find them on Christmas. To ease this concern, HomeAway has an interactive tool,, that lets children communicate with the North Pole about where they will be on Christmas Eve.

Environmental & Sustainability Events from UT

Environmental Science Institute LogoThe Environmental Science Institute at the University of Texas at Austin offers a variety of educational opportunities, mostly free, in the realm of environmental science. These include brown-bag talks, symposia, seminars and talks. Most are held on the UT campus, so you will need to pay to park in one of the parking garages.

A typical week during the school year will feature several events.

You can find out more and get on the weekly mailing list by visiting the Environmental Science Institute’s website at



AUSOME Group Helps Austin Entrepreneurs Grow

AUSOME LogoI’ve been a fan of AUSOME – Austin Online Marketing for Entrepreneurs for several years. The group meets monthly, and has since 2009. Admission is free, and every meeting features an interesting local (mostly) entrepreneur who has done well and is willing to share her/his secrets. David Gonzales and Anna Cummins are the hosts.

Last evening’s meeting featured Lani Rosales, the COO of and She also co-founded the Big Ass Social Happy Hour (BASHH), and is the “iron-fist co-founder and Evil Overlord” at Austin Digital Jobs (ADJ, a Facebook group with 35,000+ active members).

AUSOME meetings are held at the Capital Factory, a major player in Austin’s startup scene.

You can find and join AUSOME on

If you have an online business, or are considering one, you definitely should check this out.

Free Admission to Some Austin Museums This Weekend for BOA & Merrill Lynch Customers

Bullock MuseumIf you have a credit card or debit card from Bank of America, this is your lucky weekend. Every month BOA provides free admission to over 175 museums nation-wide to their customers. In Austin, the affected museums are the Bullock Texas State History Museum, the Thinkery (at Mueller), and Contemporary Austin (at Laguna Gloria and downtown).

Going farther afield, if you head down to San Antonio you can enter the Witte Museum, to DoSeum (museum for kids), the McNay Art Museum and the San Antonio Museum of Art.

Houston and Ft. Worth also have museums on the list.

Here is the fine print:

Offer valid the first full weekend (Sat and Sun) of the month. Photo ID and any valid Bank of America® or Merrill Lynch® credit or debit card must be presented. Free general admission is limited to the cardholder at participating institution. Museum hours and participation varies. Excludes special exhibitions, ticketed shows and fundraising events. Not to be combined with other offers.

Fun Dining Ideas in Austin

In recent months my wife and I have been invited for fondue at one friend’s house, and for a raclette at another friend’s house. Both evenings were very enjoyable.

Both fondue and raclette involve melted cheese with another food item.

Researching in Google, I see that there is at least one local fondue restaurant. It is named The Melting Pot (certainly an appropriate name), and is located near 183 and Anderson Mill Road in northwest Austin. They have a full menu, with plenty of delicious cheese and chocolate.

We need to try it out!

Low-Cost Austin to Europe Fares for 2018

Austin to London or Manchester about $540 Round-Trip, 7-day stay minimum, travel in May 2018, Skyteam and Virgin Atlantic. You can find the details at

If you prefer American Airlines and can go between January and March, this link describes similar low-cost flights from Austin to Amsterdam, Paris, Rome, Milan and perhaps other cities in Europe:

These low fares come and go rapidly, so if you see one you like it’s best to jump on it sooner rather than later.

Free Food, Delivered to Your Door LogoMasterCard and are offering a $10 discount off food deliveries from local restaurants. If you order $10.01 of food, you will pay only one cent (plus tax). This is not a single-use offer!

You can go to this page and enter your ZIP code to see which restaurants serve your part of town via For the downtown 78701 ZIP, there are seven restaurants listed. Other ZIPs have varying numbers.

Check this blog post for more information.