Scouting: 5 Tips for Avoiding a Bad Sushi Restaurant

It’s interesting how things change over time.

As a kid growing up in a suburb of Seattle, sushi was not a very popular food. In fact, I remember the week that my elementary classmates discovered that I ate sushi and mere seconds after (no really) I was soon known as “the kid who’s family eats raw fish. Ewwwwwwww.” I think they probably could have come up with a shorter nickname, but were just being lazy.

However, fast forward to today, and you’ll find the atmosphere around sushi is completely different. In fact, in several areas of the U.S., sushi is not only a popular food, but is considered to be “trendy.” Now, I find it more unusual if someone doesn’t like sushi rather than if they do.

Another example: When I’m at a sushi restaurant, it’s a strange experience for me to see kids as young as 5 years old fighting over the last piece of sashimi. It’s such a contrast from what I remember as a child and I can’t help but ask, “Where am I???”

Of course, I’m only joking about this, and I’m extremely happy that sushi is growing in popularity, because – if anything – for my own selfish reasons, it means more sushi restaurants will open and it’ll be easier for me to fill my cravings.

However, with more sushi restaurants becoming readily available, how do you know if the one you just walked into is a good one? Or worse, how do you know if it’s bad?

As scouting is all about helping you discover and explore things to do and try, today I’ll share with you a few tips on finding good sushi spots.

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6 Things to Do with Your Family This Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day weekend is right around the corner and for many Americans, it means one thing – hittin’ the road. According to AAA, almost 35 million people will travel 50 miles or more during the extended weekend.

Will you one of millions of people traveling somewhere over Memorial Day weekend?

Whether you will be or you decide to stay home and avoid the traffic, wherever you end up, Memorial Day weekend is traditionally a time best spent with family and friends. So what will you be doing with them over the extended weekend?  Since we’re in the business of helping you find things to do, here’s a list I put together to help you discover just that!

6 Things to Do with Your Family This Memorial Day Weekend

1. Fire Up the Grill – Mmm… Meat!

Picture it. Steaks, ribs, & hamburgers all sizzling over an open charcoal flame. Sound good? .

This Memorial Day, gather the family and have a good ol’ fashioned cookout in the back yard… and if you’ve never grilled before, it’s the perfect opportunity learn!

To get you grillin’ like a pro, here are some useful links:

2.  See a Famous Landmark

Somewhere near you, whether it be a building or some other type of structure, likely is a famous landmark. Why not take the time this Memorial Day weekend to go check it out?

Need some inspiration? Here are a few of the more famous ones our amazing country offers:

3. Go to the Ball Park

Is there anything more classically American in tradition than going to a baseball game?  Here are some notable games taking place on Memorial Day:

4.  Visit a National Park

America’s park system offer some of the most beautiful breathtaking scenery found anywhere – in this galaxy or the next.

If you're in the area, you may want to go see:

5. Hit the Cinema!

If you haven’t seen the Avengers – this weekend, I implore you to do so.  It is by far one of the most enjoyable movies I’ve seen in some time. But if comic book movies aren’t your thing, don’t worry – there are still plenty of other movies worth checking out. Besides the Avengers, movies opening this week include Men in Black 3, Moonrise Kingdom, and th Chernobyl Diaries.

Want to make your movie experience memorable this weekend? Then maybe consider checking out a movie at one of these iconic theaters:

6. Say Thank You

Most of all, wherever you go and whatever you do this Memorial Day, remember to take time to say thank you to all the men and women who have served and continued to serve our country. It is because of them we live in the greatest country in the world and continue to have freedoms and opportunities to become whatever we set our paths on.

Now it’s Your Turn

What is your favorite thing to do over Memorial Day weekend? What did I miss? Let me know!

Scouts on the iPhone: Want a Sneek Peek of the Next Version?

Since launching in January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, things on the Scout team have been busier than ever.  Just in the last couple of months, we've launched Scout Plus on the iPhone, opened Scout for Apps up to all developers (like AroundMe), won a couple of awards, and have added brand new features to Scout.me. *phew!*

In addition to all of this, just last week, for the first time, we invited our fans on Facebook and Twitter followers to get a sneak peek at the first version of Scout for Android – something we were really excited about. Any time we can work with our customers, we're certainly all for it.

But this left our Scouts with iPhones saying, “Where's the love?”

Well, today I'm happy to share with you that we're going to be able to give our iPhone customers the same opportunity to beta test the next version of Scout on the iPhone!

Specifically, we're looking for Scouts who:

  • Have an iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4, or 4S
  • Are 18+ years old
  • Live in the U.S.
  • LOOOOOOOVE giving feedback

Sound like you? Still interested? Then start by filling out this application HERE.

Unfortunately, there are a limited amount of spots available and we likely won't be able to include everyone who applies. We will however, hold onto the names of those who apply for future beta testing opportunities.

Thanks everyone and happy scouting!

Kenji from the Scout Team

iPads, iPads, iPads! Announcing the Winners of our iPad Giveaway!

Picture this. You're at home, sitting in your favorite chair with one of the most beautiful pieces of technology on the planet in your hands. With it, you can do almost anything you could imagine from take pictures of your favorite people, places, and things to watch your favorite movies and shows to keep in touch with your friends and family on your favorite social network all while on the go. Simply put, this is one of the most amazing pieces of technology found anywhere… and it's all yours. Yup, you guessed it – I'm talking about the Apple iPad.

A couple of weeks back, we announced here on our blog that we had teamed up with iMore.com to give away four of these amazing devices – which, as luck would have it, can also be used with Scout.me to discover local activities, events, and restaurants. ;)  Well, earlier this week, the giveaway entry period officially came to a close so now comes the fun part – I get to announce the winners!

*drum roll*

The winners of our Apple iPad Giveaway are:

  • Carolyn Benson
  • Frank Pollauf
  • David Roberts
  • William Wood

Congrats to our winners and thank you to everyone who has entered! If you missed out on this sweepstakes, please be on the look out for future giveaways and chances to win in the future. In the meantime, keep on discovering and exploring your world!

Happy Scouting!

HOW TO: Sync Favorites, Drive a Red Sports Car, & Give Feedback in Scout

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, part of my job as the “Scout Social Media Guy” entails answering a wide variety questions for our customers and generally, helping them to get more out of Scout everyday.

As such, today I wanted to take five minutes and share with you three questions that I’ve recently answered for some of our customers. Hopefully, you find them useful. They are:

Hopefully, you find these useful and if you do, I'll plan on posting some more of these tips and tricks in the future.

Let me know by leaving a comment below. I want to make sure that the content we provide here on the blog is helpful to our customers. Thanks!

Kenji from the Scout Team

Want a First Look at Scout on Android? Become a Beta Tester!

As the Social Scout (read: Social Media Guy) at Telenav, a good portion of my job involves answering questions from customers from all corners of the internet. Sometimes I receive questions on Twitter about a feature in Scout and other times, I get questions on how to do something on Scout.me on our Facebook page. Whatever the question is, I try my best to answer it.

Now, of all the questions I receive throughout my day, there is one that comes up more often than any other by FAR. It is …

“When is Scout coming to Android?”

My answer is that is, “it’s on the way,” because… well, it is. Our team is working on it right now.

But today I have some good news for those of you who like getting a sneak peek at things because…

We’re looking for Android Beta Testers for Scout!

That's right! If you want a first look at Scout on Android before anyone else, now is your chance!

Specifically, we want to find people who:

  1. Have an Android phone
  2. Like discovering and exploring the world around them
  3. Love providing feedback

To qualify, you must:

  • Have a smartphone running Android 2.2, 2.3, or 4.0
  • Live in the U.S.
  • Be 18 years of age or older

Interested in beta testing Scout on Android? Fill out our application here!

Unfortunately, we have a limited amount of spaces available, but if you’re not chosen for this round of beta testing, we will keep your information on hand for the next opportunity.

Have a question? Let us know below!

Thanks, everyone! We can't wait to know what you think!

Scout.me Update: Send ANY Address Using Scout for Apps – HTML5 Browser-Based Navigation

We’re excited to share with you a new feature on Scout.me that makes it dead simple for you and all of your friends and family to get to places using Scout for Apps navigation – and it’s free!

Starting today, ANY ADDRESS can be sent using Scout for Apps, allowing you to provide your friends and family instant directions via text or email. Once they receive the text or email, they can just click the link and – presto – they’ll instantly be provided with turn-by-turn, voice guided directions to the address you’ve entered without having to open any additional apps, do extra searches, or download anything. It’s all in their phone’s internet-browser and it doesn’t matter if they’ve used Scout before. It just works.

Seems too easy? Give it a shot with a familiar address: www.scout.me/navigate.

Why are we excited about this new feature on Scout.me?

Up until today, you could only send Scout for Apps navigation for known places already on our site. Previously, if it wasn’t a place Scout.me knew about, you’d be out of luck.

Now, Scout for Apps on Scout.me works with any address.

So imagine this: You’re going to be meeting a friend later for dinner at a place neither of you have been to. Instead of separately looking up the location, you can send the address to him/her from Scout.me and there won’t be any confusion about where you’ll be meeting.

Let us know what you think!

We’re always looking to make improvements, so check it out and leave a comment below: http://www.scout.me/navigate.

That’s it for now, Scouts! Be sure to watch our blog for all of the latest Scout news and updates.

Cheers,

Jim from the Scout Team

Jim is a Telenav product managers who, along with the rest of our Boston team, works on Scout.me, a service designed to make finding events and local places easier and more fun. 

Want an Apple iPad? We’re giving away 4 with iMore.com!

Like Apple iPads? Still looking to get your hands on one of the coolest pieces of technology in the galaxy? Now’s your chance because we’ve teamed up with iMore.com – the best source for everything iPhones & iPads – to give away FOUR Apple iPads!

Can you already feel Apple iPad-goodness in your palms? After winning it, don't forget you can use it to scout and discover local events and places on Scout.me!

So the question is, are you feeling lucky?

To enter, just jump on over to our Facebook page and follow the directions as instructed.

Want more entries so you can increase your chances? Be sure to invite your friends to enter by clicking the ‘Invite Friends’ button and when they enterr, you’ll be given more chances to win!

Our sweepstakes will run until Monday, May 21st at 11:59 PM (PST).

Good luck everyone!

Your Ultimate Guide to Scouting Cinco De Mayo

Get ready to fiesta with the flavor of old Mexico because happening this weekend is one most well-known of latin celebrations – Cinco de Mayo!

Still not sure how and where to celebrate this Saturday? Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered.

As with any great celebration or festival, the key to making this Cinco de Mayo an absolute blast is all in the preparation. Determining details like how you’ll dress, how to celebrate, and most importantly, where will you’ll be when you do, will all help determine how much fun you’ll have on May 5th.

Sound overwhelming? Fret not, amigos y amigas, because today I wanted to make it easy for you to partake in this awesome celebration by providing you with my Ultimate Guide to Scouting Cinco de Mayo.

Enjoy!

The Background on Cinco de Mayo: The Battle of Puebla

Cinco de Mayo is most recognized as a day to celebrate Mexican heritage and pride all over the U.S. (and regionally in Mexico).

So how did it all get its start?

Cinco de Mayo gets its roots during a time in history when the French occupied Mexico in the 1800s.

During this time, Mexico was absolutely in ruins and nearly bankrupt as a result of having fought in several wars including the Mexican-American War, the Mexican Civil War, and the Reform Wars. In response to their financial crisis, then President of Mexico, Benito Juarez, issued a moratorium suspending all foreign debt payments for two years. What happened next? Well, turns out many countries don’t like not getting their money so they sent ships to Mexico in response. While Britain and Spain were able to negotiate an agreement with Mexico, the French, under the rule of Napoleon III, saw it as an opportunity to establish a Latin empire in Mexico – one which would favor France.

How does this relate to Cinco de Mayo? In 1862, an extremely well-armed French fleet landed in Mexico and fought deep into the country… that is until they encountered heavy resistance from the Mexican Army in a town called Puebla. It was on May 5th (Cinco de Mayo), that the vastly outnumbered and a much more poorly equipped Mexican army, managed to not just beat, but absolutely demolish their French counterparts – who at the time, were considered to be the greatest military powers in the world.

As a result of this victory against the French, Cinco de Mayo is a day to celebrate Mexican national unity, heritage, and patriotism – similar to 4th of July in the U.S.

Other facts about Cinco de Mayo & Mexico

  • Cinco de Mayo is more celebrated in the U.S. than it is in Mexico, where it is a much more low key celebration.
  • Cinco de Mayo is often confused with Mexican Independence Day, but they are two completely separate celebrations with the latter falling on September 16th.
  • The largest Cinco de Mayo celebration takes place in Los Angeles, where more than 600,000 people participate in “Festival de Fiesta Broadway.”
  • The celebration was made popular in the 60’s and 70’s in the U.S. by Chicano activists who identified with Mexican Indian and mestizo (people of Mexican Indian and European descent)
  • Cinco de Mayo is just one 365 festivals the Mexican community celebrates each year.

CELEBRATING CINCO DE MAYO IN STYLE

So now that we know about the history of Cinco de Mayo, how do people actually celebrate it? Well, depending on where you are and what your own personal style, you could celebrate it in a variety of ways. Here are some ideas.

Indulge  Mexican Cuisine 

Whether you want to go out or bring the fiesta back home, one way you could celebrate Cinco de Mayo is by eating Mexican Cuisine. Thankfully here in the U.S., Mexican food is very popular and no matter where you are, you’re likely not far away from an excellent Mexican restaurant or taqueria.

Need some suggestions on where to eat? If you’re in any of these areas, you might want to check out one of these awesome Mexican restaurants:

Tip: There is no one food associated with Cinco de Mayo so eat whatever Mexican dish you most enjoy, like tacos, enchiladas, burritos, or fajitas!

Find a Fiesta 

Of course, for those of you looking for more a lively Cinco de Mayo, the only way to go is by going to a FIESTA!

Here are some of the more notable Cinco de Mayo festivals taking place across the U.S.

Tip: If you’re attending a fiesta, opt to wear colors associated with the Mexican flag – Red, white and green. Additionally, you could wear a few pieces of traditional Mexican attire like sombreros, cowboy boots, or huarches (leather sandals).

Not able to find a Cinco de Mayo fiesta near you? Don’t worry because you can still celebrate by planning your own party almost as easily!

Tip: If you’re Cinco de Mayo celebration involves kids, here are some Mexican recipes you might want to consider that everyone will enjoy.

Other Cinco de Mayo Activities

If you’re still looking for other ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, all across the U.S. there are a variety of activities you might consider participating in, including 5k runs, fundraisers, and more

Here are some you may consider checking out:

Cinco de Mayo

This Saturday, all across the U.S., many Americans will celebrate Cinco de Mayo – a celebration of Mexican heritage, culture, and pride. From New York to Los Angeles, cities will host a variety of events and festivals designed for everyone to join and participate in, like fiestas, concerts, and fundraisers. Hopefully regardless of what city you’re in or what your flavor, our guide to Cinco de Mayo made it easier for you to figure out where and how to celebrate this day of Mexican culture and heritage.

Lastly, if you do decide to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with margaritas and spirits, I encourage you to please do so responsibly and to plan your rides ahead of time.

Still looking for more ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo near you? Check out Scout.me and discover events and celebrations near you.