Blogs > Millennial Traveler

New and traditional ways of exploring the globe, and your own backyard.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Want your High Schooler to Take an Academic Trip to Washington D.C. for Free?

The International Center of the Capital Region is looking for a four-member academic high school team to send to Washington DC in the Spring of 2015

ICCR wants to give area high schools plenty of notice so that they can start preparing… On Saturday, March 21, 2015 from 9:00 – 12:00 Noon, the International Center of the Capital Region will once again be sponsoring a local Academic WorldQuest competition at the Celtic Hall in Colonie with the anticipation of sending the winning four-member team and faculty coach down to Washington DC to represent our region in the national Academic WorldQuest competition taking place on Saturday, April 25th, 2015. There is no cost to participate. Additionally, ICCR will cover the costs of overnight accommodations and flights for the winning team plus faculty coach to attend the national competition.

Academic WorldQuest is the World Affairs Councils of America's flagship student education program. The main objective of the program is to inform and engage high school students and their teachers across the country in global affairs. Each year, over 4000 students, test their knowledge of international affairs, in regional Academic WorldQuest competitions.

Study guides are available.

The 2014-2015 Topics assigned are as follows:
  Russia / Eurasia
  Youth, Jobs, and Social Unrest
  Food and Water
  Future of Energy
  Africa Rising
  Human Trafficking
  Asia and the New Global Economy
  Millennium Development Goals: 2015 and Beyond
  Great Decisions
  Current Events
Nine of the ten question rounds will feature a multiple-choice format. This year, the Current Events round in both the Local and National Competitions will include fill-in-the-blank, true/false, and open-ended questions. 

Schools can enter up to three (3) four-member student teams plus alternates in the Local Competition.

For further information or to register your school, please e-mail or (518) 708-7608.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Rochester's Newest Brewery with Sustainable Design Features

Rochester, NY - Nedloh Brewing opened its doors this past weekend, adding its name to the growing list of craft breweries in the Finger Lakes region. It is also on another list - a list of sustainably-built craft beverage buildings designed by Edge Architecture. Since 2008, Edge has been designing breweries, wineries and distilleries in the Finger Lakes and Northeast United States. They specialize in sustainable building, which is something many brewers, winemakers and distillers value.

Sustainable building sounds fancy, but it is also a cost-saving measure for many of Edge's clients. Buildings like Nedloh are built to work with the surrounding environment, taking advantage of the resources and beauty, and minimizing negatives.

For example, the Nedloh building is oriented so that a wall of windows faces north. This allows for daylight to enter the brewery from sunup to sundown, without suffering from direct heat from the sun. A roof overhang on the south side of the building also reduces heat by blocking direct sunlight. That same roof overhang was designed so that the sun can provide heat in the winter when the sun comes in at a lower angle. Beer coolers for breweries are very large - they can hold up to 5,000 gallons of beer - and need to be kept cold. By installing the coolers below the ground, they are protected from outside heat, costing less to keep the beer cold.

Water is another element that can work for or against a building. Edge designed a stone parking lot for Nedloh to allow rain water to flow directly into the ground and a rain garden to collect run-off waters for decorative plants. On-site ponds also collect rain water and a green septic system reduces strain on the municipal system.

Nedloh is also built with energy-saving building materials. High-performance insulation reduces energy use in winter and summer. A high-tech rainscreen system is part of the wall construction. It involves a moisture-resistant barrier underneath the siding, with a gap in between. Any water that manages to get through the siding is trapped by the barrier and either drains out or evaporates.

# # #
About Edge Architecture, PLLC:
Edge is located in Rochester, New York and specializes in craft beverage, winery and higher education architectural design. With winery, brewery and distillery work completed throughout the Northeast, the team at Edge has a combined experience of designing over 30 craft beverage facilities. An important aspect of their work is sustainable building, which lowers operating costs and keeps projects within budget.

Edge services include building plans, building layout, architectural services, code review, building permits & agency approvals, cost estimating services and more.
For more information, visit or call (585) 461-3580.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

September in the City Art Fair in Tricentennial Park Wednesday

The free art show series, held 11:30am to 2pm every Wednesday in September, returns this week
ALBANY, NY - The City of Albany presents the 2014 September in the City Art Fair series, September Wednesdays in Downtown Albany’s Tricentennial Park. A midday showcase for local art, music and culture, September in the City features exhibits and work available for purchase from regional mixed media artists and crafters, with a different live musical act providing the soundtrack each week. The September in the City Art Fair is sponsored by Albany Center Gallery and Exit 97.7 FM.

This week’s September in the City Art Fair features live music by:
Holly & Evan: Sept. 17<>
Holly & Evan are the blues. Both from long, rich musical backgrounds, Holly Taormina and Evan Conway have updated the tradition of the barrelhouse with their unique style. Together, they showcase a wide range of original and cover material, in the styles of blues, jazz, and soul. The originals, which are often featured on local radio, are catchy, full of personality, and can appeal to audiences everywhere.

 For more information on the September in the City Art Fair, call 518.434.2032, visit<> or follow on Facebook ( or Twitter (@albanyNYevents).

E-Vehicle Charging Stations Now Available at Albany-based Hampton Hotels

Several Albany-based Hampton hotels are making eco-conscious travel more of a reality with electric vehicle (EV) charging stations now offered upon booking, just in time for National Drive Electric Week.
 The program, called Green Electric Vehicle, launched as a pilot at four Hampton hotels in Albany and is in the process of branching out to other Hilton Worldwide hotels in the U.S.  The initiative allows travelers to book a room at a participating Hilton Worldwide hotel and reserve a parking space with a Skychargers-managed GE charging station. For travelers renting a car during their stay, Hertz provides a broad EV fleet at the Albany International Airport. More Hilton Worldwide hotels within the Albany area will be installing the charging stations early next year.

“Hilton Worldwide is committed to living sustainably, and helping our guests maintain their sustainable habits while on the road,” said Brad Freet, senior director, Product, Quality & Innovation, Hilton Worldwide. “This EV program provides the means for guests to choose a more eco-friendly travel option and is a natural extension of our current renewable and energy efficiency initiatives. Our hotels are fortunate to have GE, Hertz and Skychargers on board to help power this initiative for EV enthusiasts visiting the Albany area.”

Hilton Worldwide hotels currently offering EV chargers as a part of the program:
Coming soon:
  • DoubleTree Schenectady – 100 Nott Terrace, Schenectady, NY 12308
  • Home2 Suites Albany – 10 Metropark Road, Albany, NY 12205

“Hertz has been a leader in offering electric vehicles to our customers and we’re pleased to add Albany to the list of cities where EVs are offered,” said Louis Scarpelli, Region Vice President, Hertz. “By working with our partners, we’ve created local area infrastructure to make renting an EV a reality for travelers to New York’s Capital Region.  Environmental sustainability is important for Hertz, and we’re committed to moving forward the development of EV options.”

Skychargers provided funding for the pilot, which rolled out at the end of 2013. The project is part of Charge-NY, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's initiative to accelerate the use of electric vehicles in New York State by promoting the demonstration of EV charging equipment. Additional support came from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

Now, in partnership with Skychargers, GE, and Hertz, any Hilton Worldwide hotel that is seeing an influx of electric vehicle use in their area is able to install EV chargers.  With the U.S. Department of Energy estimating one million EVs to be on the road by 2015, the demand for electric charging stations will ultimately see growth in the coming months.

“Driving an electric vehicle fulfills a personal green commitment, and I encourage first time EV drivers to use the program as a test drive,” said Skychargers’ President David McGann.  “The program is both environmentally and financially shrewd. I booked the program with a Chevy Volt for two days and experienced tremendous gas savings.”

For more information about the program or to book a stay a Hilton Worldwide EV-friendly hotel in the Albany area, visit or visit  To learn more about Hilton Worldwide’s corporate responsibility initiatives, go to

The "National Wild Turkey Federation" is actually a Thing....

Who knew?

Humphries Appointed NWTF Chief Conservation Officer

For more information, contact Pete Muller at (803) 637-7698.

EDGEFIELD, S.C. — The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) recently appointed Becky Humphries its new chief conservation officer.
"I am excited to lead NWTF's conservation efforts in this new role," said Humphries. "Our staff is working hard to conserve the focal landscapes we have identified across the country. We also are focused on the future site of the Palmetto Shooting Complex, ensuring we continue to lead by example when it comes to wildlife and habitat management plans."
Humphries' promotion comes just one year after joining the conservation organization's management team. Under Humphries' leadership, NWTF conservation staff has identified habitats across the nation requiring immediate attention, developed partnerships with conservation agencies and groups to improve the areas with urgent needs, and worked with state chapters to develop and implement management plans that advance the Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative.
Humphries' reputation as a respected professional extends beyond the NWTF's walls. She is a member of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America's Fish and Wildlife Resources of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, and she also chairs the Association's Fish & Wildlife Health Initiative Steering Committee. Humphries serves on the Council to Advance Hunting and Shooting Sports, the Conservation Leaders Advisory Team for the Berkley Conservation Institute and the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council.
Humphries' impressive résumé details more than 35 years of experience in wildlife management and conservation. She previously served as the Director of Operations in Great Lakes/Atlantic Region for Ducks Unlimited, focusing on conservation delivery, policy and science. She also served the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment for 32 years, including seven years as department director.
The NWTF Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative is a charge that mobilizes science, fundraising and devoted volunteers to give the NWTF more energy and purpose than ever. Through this national initiative, NWTF has committed to raising $1.2 billion to conserve or enhance more than 4 million acres of essential upland wildlife habitat, create at least 1.5 million hunters and open access to 500,000 acres for hunting, shooting and outdoor enjoyment. Without hunters, there will be no wildlife or habitat. The NWTF is determined to Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt.
National Wild Turkey Federation
770 Augusta Rd., Edgefield, SC, 29824

Festival of Nations Planned October 26 in Watervliet

Watervliet, NY – A celebration of cultures and art will take place on October 26 during the Festival of Nations event held at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in downtown Albany, NY.

“With such division taking place around the world today, it is nice to have our community here in Upstate New York unify to appreciate one another’s culture,” shared Rafi Topalian, President of the Capital District Armenian Cultural Organization.

Nations participating in this 43rd annual Festival of Nations include: Argentia, Armenia, Bangladesh, Burma, China, Dominican Republic, Ethipoia, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Korea, Liberia, Lithuania, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Puerto Rico, Russia, Scotland, Taiwan, Turkey and Ukraine.

The day will begin at 12 noon with a parade of the 27 nations represented.  In addition to a stage full of native dances and music, the convention hall will be sprinkled with unique crafts and delicious ethnic foods to savor.

The highlight of the day will be the crowning of the Miss Festival of Nations.  St. Peter Armenian Church’s own Renee Dearstyne will represent as Miss Armenia.  Renee, daughter of Rebecca & Michael Dearstyne and granddaughter of Victor Khachikian, is a multi-talented 14-year-old prepared to take on the task of proudly representing the Armenian community in the Capital District.

“We have always been fortunate to have beautiful and intelligent young ladies participate as Miss Armenia, and this year we are very pleased to have the talented and poised Renee Dearstyne as our representative,” expressed Topalian.

Renee, a freshman, is enrolled in the Schalmont High School honors curriculum and is also a member of the National Junior Honors Society.  She has studied the piano for eight years, and is part of the Capital District Youth Choral.  Other interests include volutneering at the Schenectady City Mission store, competivie dance and cheerleading, and participation in several school clubs as well as a member of the Armenian Church Youth Organization of America (ACYOA) and a St. Peter Sunday School student.

(Renee Dearstyne, 14, of St. Peter Armenian Church in Watervliet, NY, will represent the Upstate New York Armenian community as Miss Armenia during the 43rd annual Festival of Nations.)

Plan to attend and support Renee in her bid for Miss Festival of Nations while taking in the sights, sounds and tastes of a wonderful afternoon appreciating the cultural diversity of the Upstate New York community.

General admission is $5 for adult and $2 for children ages 3-12.  For further information about the Festival of Nations, please call 518-371-3737 or visit www.festival of, or contact Rafi Topalian directly at 518-272-2000 or email

“I strongly encourage you to take the time to attend and enjoy an afternoon of delicious international foods and wonderful cultural entertainment,” concluded Topalian.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Accomodations for the Cooperstown Farmers Museum Fall Festival

Just as Cooperstown has a long history of baseball, my family has a long history of going to festivals in Cooperstown.

We no longer attend their Winter Carnival annually but we've managed to continue to make the trek to the Farmers Museum for the Fall Festival - which happens to be this weekend and coincides with my dad's 70th birthday.

As with most festivals, our family seems to like the tradition behind it. We go, look around at the interactive exhibits, and enjoy the food and entertainment. There was a juggler that my siblings always especially liked as kids, and he was there even last year. The chili is always fresh and meat-filled. The yellow corn is salted and buttered to perfection.

Not much has changed there, except us.

(from our 2013 trip)

We'll be going there again this year but, instead of making it a day trip, which it can be very comfortably from Troy, we're staying overnight at a place called the Lake N Pines Motel just about a mile from the museum.

When I was looking around at hotels and motels, this seemed to be the best option and bang for our buck. The $85-$95 rooms (since it's off-season now) include access to the waterfront of a lake, paddle boating, inside/outside pools, a jacuzzi, a sauna, and the size/type of rooms that we were looking for.

And, though I don't remember, my sister informs me that we likely stayed there a long time ago when we went for the same festival.

I'll let you know how the overall stay is but it's shaping up to be a fun, nostalgic time.