Miami to Barcelona on NCL Epic — a Transatlantic Repositioning Cruise

repositioning cruise

Eleven nights to get to Europe.  No airport lineups nor Homeland Security hassles.  Just relax, refresh and enjoy the voyage.  The NCL Epic is repositioning. Now that it is low season and the ship needs to get to the Mediterranean for summer sailings.  You will find a significant drop in price to encourage travellers with the time to spare.  Cruise …

It’s time to party in Puerto Vallarta

The streets are teeming with paper flags in green, white and red. Mexican Independence Day falls on September 16th but if you know Mexicans and how they love to party, the entire month is cause to celebrate. This year, I am lucky to be in Puerto Vallarta, the former sleepy fishing village made famous when Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor …

Photo Shoot in Yelapa, Mexico

Last August, a request was sent out seeking specific shots taken in the remote cove of Yelapa, a sleepy village about 20 miles south of Puerto Vallarta.  Riding the water taxi is an adventure in itself and makes for a fun day trip. It was rainy season and lighting bolts were bouncing off Banderas Bay but at the sign of …

Brazilian Carnaval is more than Rio de Janeiro

  Over 3 million revelers are expected to attend this year’s celebration in Brazil. There is the samba parade in Rio de Janeiro but there are other cities that throw equally massive parties in even more gorgeous settings. Learn about them and join the party! Salvador  Salvador, the capital of Bahia, proves to be a forerunner of carnivals. The city has …

Best River Cruises Guide from Consumer Affairs

river cruises

You’ve cruised the Caribbean and maybe the Mediterranean.  What’s next?  A river cruise?  But it is a fairly new itinerary and you don’t know where to start or how to plan.  I have found an answer.  Consumer Affairs has published a “Best River Cruises Guide”. The River Cruise industry is experiencing an unprecedented boom – up 11% from last year. …

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Wine for a Homemade Romantic Dinner Valentine’s Day

According to the National Restaurant Association, roughly one quarter of all Americans are expected to dine out to celebrate Valentine’s Day. While this may seem like a large number, it really means that the majority of people will dine at home creating their own romantic meal. The good news is that it’s even easier than most people realize to create …

How are you spending Spring Break?

College students can now participate in Care and Medicine programs in Argentina, Belize, and Fiji. Students will be able to skip the typical vacation experience in favor of volunteering abroad in Argentina, Belize, and Fiji. Each trip emphasizes having a worthwhile experience in a short period of time and are all scheduled to coincide with major university breaks. International volunteer …

80th Annual Atlanta Dogwood Festival April 8-10, 2016

The Southeast’s official kick-off to spring, the Atlanta Dogwood Festival celebrates its 80th anniversary next April. Held in beautiful Piedmont Park, the festival welcomes hundreds of fine artists and hundreds of thousands of visitors to three days of festivities including live music – expect some tunes from the 80s, international performances, gourmet and festival fare, midway rides and games, the …

Traveler’s Dilemma of Meaningful vs. Restful Vacations

Many travelers are looking for a chance to go beyond being a tourist and truly immerse themselves in a culture. But the two main strategies for an authentic experience – very high-end tour packages or months of volunteer work – have kept this kind of authentic experience beyond the grasp of most travelers by making it either too expensive or …

Budget Travel’s List for Where to Go 2016 & Sweepstakes

Ready to stoke your wanderlust? Budget Travel’s Where To Go 2016 list is bigger and better than ever with amazing (and amazingly affordable!) budget destinations from around the globe. Expertly curated by the editors at Budget Travel, an 18-year-old multi-platform travel media and services company that empowers consumers to travel the world on any budget, the annual compendium is the …

Celebrating Christmas & Réveillon In Brazil

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and soon enough it will be 2016. With the strong dollar, this may be the best time to sneak south of the border to spend a unique holiday season in Brazil! Christmas is one of the most important annual festivals in Brazil, a major Christian nation. Brazil is home to the world’s …

Boudin Bakery ~ “San Francisco’s Original Flour Children”

More than 160 years ago, Isidore and Louise Boudin created sourdough in their bakery.  Using recipes from the Gold Rush days, Boudin Bakery continues to be the longest continuously operated business in San Francisco. Maybe you were hoping to take a foodie walking tour but that long walk along the Embarcadero has your feet talking back.  Sit in Boudin’s Cafe …

No more guzzling wine

“Show it respect.  It is a living thing”  says our tour guide, George, of Tower Tours  in San Francisco. He was a wealth of details as we journeyed on our 9 hour Wine Country Adventure. He warned that we would never drink the fruit of the gods the same way again after today. It was a scenic drive north lasting …

Hungarian Village for Rent ~ An Adventure to Blog About

I can still hear Jack Bailey’s voice asking “Do YOU want to be Queen for a Day?”  Remember the tv show, or the radio program that preceded it?  “Queen for a Day”  first aired in 1945 and ran until 1964.  A game show where the contestant with the most heart wrenching tale of woe would win merchandise and assorted prizes.  …

SATW Award Winners for 2014

The Lowell Thomas competition is overseen by the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation (SATWF). The awards are recognized as the most prestigious in travel journalism. The awards are announced annually at the conference of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW), the premier professional organization of travel journalists and communicators. The competition was judged by faculty members at the …

Sundays are for families in Mexico

Family life ranks high in priorities for Mexicans.  Sundays are spent together attending Mass followed by brunch.  I asked for a table for one and the waiters scrambled like cockroaches at the flick of the light switch to break up the extended table settings for me. February 5 is Constitution Day, a national holiday.  This year it is being celebrated …

Tlaquepaque for Arts & Crafts

textile art

Just outside of Guadalajara, the unique town of Tlaquepaque is world-famous for its arts and crafts. These local treasures adorn everywhere from the Vatican to LBJ’s ranch and here you can shop directly from the artisans in their studios and galleries. Historic mansions have been converted into boutique hotels, galleries and shops to showcase the works of art. More than …

Mardi Gras Recipes to celebrate at home

  Can’t make it to New Orleans this year?  Plan your own celebration with these Mardi Gras recipes and decorating ideas http://www.mardigrasday.com/food-recipes/ “Fat Tuesday” is March 4 this year.  However, festivities begin Februrary 14 in NOLA.  So there’s still lots of time to plan a visit and join in the party atmostphere. http://www.neworleansonline.com/neworleans/mardigras/ Also known as Carnival, Mardi Gras is …

Muir Woods National Monument

Twelve miles north of San Francisco, California grows a 554 acre forest of giant redwood trees surpassing 100 years of age. Most people are aware of the foggy climate hovering the Bay Area and that moist atmosphere is what contributes to the vigorous growth. The oldest tree is estimated to be 1,200 years old and 258 feet tall.  Most range …

Reveillon Dinners in New Orleans ~ Culinary Christmas Tradition

History In the 19th century, Catholics would fast December 24th. Following midnight mass at St. Louis Cathedral, feasting would start with a large family meal lasting into the wee hours of the morning. A second reveillon dinner was celebrated New Year’s Eve that would include friends as well a relatives. As the season became more commercialized, this traditional Creole custom …

Have you been to Mother’s Restaurant in New Orleans?

Mother’s Restaurant in the Central Business District is a New Orleans landmark since 1938.  Located at the corner of Poydras and Tchoupitoulas Streets, you will often find a line up around the block. What are these people waiting for? They are going to line up again once inside to order their meal. A server hands you a menu as you …

Running of the Santas in New Orleans

Whoooaaa!  They are multiplying like wire coat hangers in my closet.  Santas.  Santas. Santas.  Hundreds of them outside my hotel in the historic Warehouse District.  And here comes Rudolph and elves too. Today is the ‘Running of the Santas”.   This charity event started in Philadelphia when a group of friends decided to dress up in their Christmas ‘finery’ and go …

Cooking School in New Orleans

Entertaining and educational classes are held daily at the New Orleans School of Cooking located in the heart of the French Quarter. Located in a renovated molasses warehouse, the General Store is there for purchasing Cajun and Creole cookbooks, spices, kitchen supplies, etc. Well known chefs run the classes in either demonstration or hands-on styles.  No one fails this class.  …