Nextpedition: Our First Destination Revealed
Usually the trend of NYC merchants barraging us with holiday tunes the second after Halloween is enough to annoy our inner Scrooge. But today, hot damn, Christmas came early at OutTraveler HQ and we couldn't be more delighted.
The second phase of our Nextpedition mystery trip -- the first, determining our travel sign and getting the elves-cum-sponsors at American Express Travel a plannin' -- commenced on Monday with the arrival of our travel console, a geo-aware Android device that reveals our itinerary bit by bit. It also acts as an internet-enabled Lonely Planet guidebook with things to do/see/eat/drink in our destination(s) and a portal to broadcast photos/videos direct to Facebook for free (calls and such are disabled). Up until now, the trip's just been one big tease. We choose our dates (Thursday to Thursday, November 3-10), agreed to the included terms (flights, transfers, accomodations and custom activities), got a generic packing list (layered clothes, passport, squeeing anticipation), and a "Get Ready" letter, the only clue to our destination being hidden in small type at the bottom: