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What We’re Reading: Tourist Fined $6,500 for Vising Cuba

A few juicy news tidbits caught my eye this week, including one story about an overdressed (not in the way you think) Disney World guest and a piece about a guy who went to Cuba—and paid dearly for it. Plus, find out what’s scrolling on Matt Gross’s iPad.

We’re Reading What Matt Gross Is Reading

Here’s a meta twist on our weekly roundup of stuff to read: Matt Gross, former Frugal Traveler at The New York Times (now replaced by Seth Kugel, whose name just so happens to rhyme with his title), posted a list of his favorite travel blogs this week. This excites us, as awesome travel blogs don’t necessarily pop up in the top of search results when one Googles “awesome travel blogs.” .

Disney World Tells Guest to Try and Look Less Like Santa

NBC News reports that a guest at Disney World was ordered to “stop signing autographs, posing for photographs, and dressing to look like Santa.” Apparently, the guest, Thomas Tolbert of Georgia, who is an award-winning professional Santa Claus lookalike, started to attract too much attention from fellow park visitors. So a Disney employee told Tolbert to wear clothes that were not so “Santa-ish” and to instruct joyful, Christmas-spirited children to “leave [him] alone.” Tolbert refused.

Is Mickey Mouse jealous of Santa? Or is he just a big grinch? A Disney representative told NBC News that Tolbert’s behavior was “disruptive to our operations and confusing to our other guests, particularly children who asked to take photos with him.” Actually, I would think children might find it fitting to run into Santa Claus in a place where giant talking ducks and fairy princesses run amok.

Tourist Fined $6,500 for Vising Cuba

A man who traveled to Cuba 14 years ago has been hit with a $6,500 fine. According to a report from USA Today, Zachary Sanders, who violated the United States’ ban against traveling to Cuba (without the required U.S. Treasury license), had been fighting his fine since 2009. On Tuesday, Sanders agreed to pay the fine in a settlement.

Sanders had also been denied admission to the New Jersey bar because he had admitted visiting Cuba illegally, reports Reuters. Hey, at least he’s honest.

Is a $6,500 fine fair—or outrageous? Did Sanders get what he deserved? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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