TSA’s Cutest Canine Contest

Move over airport therapy dogs. For just a moment.

It’s time to give some love to some of the more than 1000 dogs that work for the Transportation Security Administration sniffing out explosives and the components for explosives in airports around the country.

For several years now, TSA has been hosting an annual Cutest Canine Contest, inviting the public to weigh in on their favorites.

Ebbers, an explosive detection canine working at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) won the contest last year. And now it’s time to pick the cutest K9 for 2023.

This year’s contest is underway, with four finalists in the running:

Zita, a German Shorthair pointer who, like Ebbers, hails from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP);

Dina, a German Shorthaired Pointer who works at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas (LAS);

Zeta, (not to be confused with MSP’s Zita) a German Shepherd from Tampa International Airport (TPA);

and Joker-Jordan a Belgian Malinois assigned to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL).

Voting is taking place on TSA’s various social media accounts on Twitter, Instagram, and on Facebook.

Cast your vote(s) by Thursday, Aug. 24th at 1 pm (ET). The top dog will be announced on Monday, August 28th.

On assignment: Northern Lights adventure

The cruise team for is on a bucket list assignment in Norway with Viking Cruises.

Much of our time has been spent sailing fjords, bundling up for late-night treks to dark spaces in search of the Northern Lights, and visiting small museums.

One of the favorite museum stops has been the Polar Museum in Tromso, Norway.

A bust of famed explorer Roald Amundsen is outside the museum. And one of the main stories told inside the museum is that of Amundsen’s life and work in the polar regions at the beginning of the 20th century. 

“With the passage of the Northwest Passage, the journey to the South Pole, and the overflight over the North Pole, Amundsen seriously put Norway on the map as a leading nation in the exploration of the polar regions,” the museum rightly boasts.

Among the many objects on view in the museum, these two stood out.

 Amundsen was the first to successfully navigate the North-West Passage by boat, on a voyage that lasted from 1903 to 1906. This razor was with him on that trip. Below is a taxidermy dog, one of at least 20 that was on that ship.

More snaps and stories from this adventure will follow.

Airports have gone to the dogs

Thursday was National Dog Day and airports went all out to celebrate their favorite pooches.

First, let’s congratulate Alona, who works at Mccarran International Airport in Las Vegas, who is this year’s winner of the TSA’s Cutest Canine contest.

Here are some of the other working dogs at airports around the country who got some extra love and attention on National Dog Day too. All winners.

Did we miss the pups at your favorite airport? Let us know and we’ll add them to the list.

Souvenir Sunday: Kennedy Space Center

Ready to travel into space?  Prepare for the trip at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center.

And make sure to bring home souvenirs.

Souvenirs from Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center

Today is Souvenir Sunday, the day takes a look at fun, locally-themed souvenirs you can find when you’re out on the road.

This week’s treats come from the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center in Florida.

The giant complex houses the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, the Apollo/Saturn V Center with an actual Saturn V moon rocket, an IMAX theater, a Rocket Garden and lots more.

The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center also has a great gift shops.

Here are some of the favorite items I found, including astronaut pens, t-shirts featuring dogs and cats dressed for space, shuttle key rings, NASA mugs (of course) – and lettuce seeds for when people land on Mars and need to start planting food for the future.

Souvenirs from Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center

Souvenirs from Kennedy Space Center Visitor CenterSouvenirs from Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center

Souvenirs from Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center

Have you been to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center? Tell us about your favorite exhibits- and the cool souvenirs – you found there.