Planes, Trains & (Really Fast) Automobiles

Seaplane In The Desert?
All kinds of aircraft can be spotted in the skies over the greater Phoenix area but you still might think you're hallucinating when you look up and spy a seaplane overhead. This is the very dry Sonoran Desert---what's going on? The plane---a nine-passenger Cessna Caravan jet-prop amphibious seaplane to be formal---is used by Island Air Express for their Desert Splash aerial sightseeing tour, an adventure that also includes the experience of a landing on water. Here's how it works: The seaplane departs from the private executive terminal at Scottsdale Airport and sets a course for the Apache Trail, the rugged canyon lands along the Salt River, flying over spectacular scenery on the way to Roosevelt Lake where the plane retracts its wheels and glides onto the water for an unbelievably smooth landing. The plane taxis around the lake for awhile then lifts off and heads to the Superstition Mountains, the supposed site of the legendary Lost Dutchman Mine---can you spot it? Passengers will see towering Weaver's Needle and the craggy Superstition formations known as "The Spires." It's also possible to see desert bighorn sheep, Indian ruins and a ghost town during the approximate 75-minute flight which is fully narrated. An array of add-on tours are also offered by Island Air Express; inquire by phone at (877) 588-8819. www.desertsplashadventures.com

National Train Day
The 5th Annual National Train Day will be celebrated nationwide on Saturday, May 12. Signature experiences taking place at Grand Central Terminal in New York City, Union Station in Chicago, 30th Street Station in Philadelphia and Union Station in Los Angeles include train equipment displays, model train displays, a kid's depot and Amtrak's high speed rail display. Amtrak will also have their K-9 security dogs on display in select markets. Those who enjoy the unique perspective of travel by rail and who have photos, videos and stories to share are invited to submit entries at www.nationaltrainday.com for a chance to win prizes.

Monte-Carlo Grand Prix
Can you hear the engines revving? The Monaco Formula One Grand Prix takes place in Monte-Carlo, Monaco May 24-27. There is perhaps no more exciting place to watch a Grand Prix race than the celebrity-lined streets (and hairpin turns) of Monte-Carlo. If the timing of your visit to the Principality causes you to miss the actual race you can check out Top Marques Monaco 2012, a car show featuring displays from prestige car makers Aston Martin, Jaguar, Fisker, GTA Motor, Hamann, Identity Cars, Noble and Pagani. The Prombron by Dartz will also be on display in case you're considering purchasing a car with an interior of bulletproof nano-skin. For more info including hotel/race packages: www.visitmonaco.com

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