Kicks Off Cross-country, Summer-long Series in Chicago
Would-be Travelers Find Inspiration With Giveaways, "Gowalla Badges," "TweetUps," Travel Tip Videos and More
CHICAGO (June 1, 2011)
– Just in time for the summer travel season, "Traveling the American Road
," from Gadling, an AOL Travel blog, launches today from America's heartland city of Chicago. The summer-long online interactive diary by experienced travel writer Paul Brady* begins at the Chicago Assembly Plant, home of the Ford Explorer, paying homage to a company that made the American road trip possible more than 100 years ago. An AOL Travel associate editor, lifelong road-trip enthusiast and acclaimed writer, Brady's blog spotlights resurgent towns and cities across the country, as well as American attractions, landscapes, and the people behind these tourism experiences.
"While the country's seen some challenging economic times, America is back," said Brady. "We look forward to sharing stories of American resilience, while also highlighting the country's incredible diversity and sense of adventure. We also hope to inspire people to hit the road. We're pleased to launch the blog in Chicago, a city that in many ways is an expression of all that the country has to offer, from big city sophistication and small town friendliness to stunning architecture and great natural beauty."
Brady is a seasoned travel writer who's been published by Condé Nast Traveler, Budget Travel, Jaunted, HotelChatter and The New York Times. Born in Seattle, raised in Missouri and now based in New York City, he's also spent extensive time in Italy and the wilds of South America.
· Visa Memory Mapper
: Available at www.facebook.com/visa
, the Memory Mapper application allows users to upload photos and videos, input the locations in which each image originated, write captions, and add music to create a virtual keepsake of their adventures to share with family and friends via Facebook, e-mail and Twitter.
· 2011 Ford Explorer: Brady is driving the all-new 2011 Ford Explorer, featuring best-in-class highway fuel economy of 25 miles per gallon and SYNC® with MyFord Touch technology. As Brady travels across the country, he will use the features and technology in the Explorer to help him find his destinations.
· MapQuest Map Builder
: To locate Brady's next stop, followers can track his itinerary illustrated by MapQuest Map Builder at TravelingTheAmericanRoad.com
Followers and would-be travelers can find inspiration by engaging with the program, including:
- Gowalla: Find the latest stops from Brady'sGowalla passport
- TweetUps:Connect with other followers by following AOL Travel and Gadling to learn when and where TweetUps are happening
- Twitter: Get up to speed with live Tweets from Brady'sstops along the way, and suggestions from followers using hashtag #americanroad
- Giveaways: Qualify for exclusive giveaways throughout the entire trip
After Chicago, Brady heads to Detroit for a few days of getting to know the Motor City, followed by visits to a variety of cities and states that offer a unique glimpse of Americana, such as:
· Austin, Texas
· Asheville, N.C.
· Athens, Ga.
· Biloxi/Gulfport, Ms.
· Charleston, S.C.
· Craftsbury, Vt.
· Mobile, Ala.
· New York City
· New Orleans
· Newport, R.I.
· St. Louis
· Washington D.C.
· New Hampshire
· New Jersey
· West Virginia
*Editor's Note: Paul Brady replaces Eva Holland in the travel blog series.
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