Today’s Top Headlines: May 16, 2012


Military families are getting free annual passes to the country’s national parks; you’re probably going to buy a Space Shuttle food truck soon; Cathay Pacific brings luxe and comfort to Premium Economy; an elderly couple gets kicked off a cruise for playing hooky during a safety briefing; and a Florence hotel collection wants to help you make new friends. Here’s what we’re perusing this morning.

Military families can go to National Parks for free.

It was announced Tuesday that an annual pass, called the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Annual Pass and valued at $80, will be made available to members of the military and their families for free in an effort to thank them for their service. It will give them access to more than 2,000 national parks and wildlife refuges. {MSNBC}

It’s high time you bought a Space Shuttle food truck.

Been wondering what to do with that extra $150,000 you’ve got laying around? Well, you’re welcome because we figured it out. On sale now on eBay is a "Space Shuttle Café," which is a DC3 airplane that supposedly flew in World War II before being converted for street use in the ’70s with a totally tricked out kitchen. {Eater}

Cathay Pacific unveils new Premium Economy cabin.

Cathay Pacific recently unveiled their newly redesigned Premium Economy class cabin complete with wider seats and deeper reclines. Jaunted took a look, reporting that on top of the expected upgrades, the cabin also offers noise-cancelling headphones, larger armrests, a cocktail table and larger meal table, USB port, eco-friendly amenity kit, full-sized water bottles, better meal options, and much, much more. {Jaunted}

Elderly cruisers kicked off Seabourn ship.

After refusing to participate in the mandatory safety briefing aboard the Seabourn Sojourn this week, an 80-year-old woman and her 90-year-old husband were kicked off the ship. They were on the second leg of a three leg journey when the woman said she didn’t feel well, sending her husband to attend the briefing that they’d already participated in on the first leg of the trip. {USA Today}

Florence hotels taking on new social media initiatives.

The Lungarno Collection in Florence, an uber-luxe boutique hotel collection with just four properties in Florence, Italy, is the latest hotel to adopt the LobbyFriend social media and guide app. It not only offers the chance to get to know fellow hotel guests, but is a guide to what’s going on around the hotel and the city. The Lungarno Collection told HotelChatter, it "a useful tool to ensure that guests never miss out on any activities or shows, whether it’s a wine tasting event at Borgo San Jacopo or an opening of the new art exhibit at GALLERY Hotel Art." The app debuted last month at New York’s TRYP Hotel. {HotelChatter}

Photo credits: Florence via Shutterstock; Yosemite via Shutterstock