Sunday, June 26, 2016

Back in the Saddle Again

Wow! Life can sure get in the way of your travel plans!

We ended up leaving an incredibly bad host travel agency! What a trip that was. So many issues, so much deceit.

We are now with a great host company by the name of Outside Agents. So good!  No outrageous fees and above the board in "what you see is what you get".

My dogs decided to go visit a friend of there's coming up the sidewalk last September 2015... they just forgot I was attached to them via their leashes. I literally did a Superman off the top steps of our porch. Landed hard on my knee and broke my right femur. Nine months later and after two surgeries I'm down to one crutch and feeling better.  When 180 pounds of dogs decide to go... you can't stop them... or so I've found.

We did manage to make it to Mexico last February  2016. We met up with our dear friend Veronica and her daughter in a great little seaside fishing village called Puerto Morelos. We spent a lot of much needed time on the beach, got massages, ate good food, and spent quality time with our two amigas.

Sally and our son Greg are headed back to Mexico in July 2016. They plan on staying in the local hotels and using the local transportation.  We used it several times in February. Regular bus services and smaller vehicles called Colectivo. They will be doing a lot of hiking and biking and since I'm still recuperating I elected to stay home and watch the dogs. Lucky me!

They are looking forward to spending a couple of nights at Veronica's casa and hanging out on the fabulous beach with her and her daughter.

We are planning our next trip together for November 2016 and again in February 2017.

It's good to have put so much behind us and moving in a positive travel direction again!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

We Made it to Cuba!

Sally and I have dreamed of visiting Cuba for years.  With the silly US embargo's US citizens were forbidden to travel there.  Obama has made it possible for us to go there with certain licensed travel companies.

We went in October 2012 and it was fantastic!

We found the Cuban people to be warm and friendly and we enjoyed their hospitality for seven days.  What an incredible place to visit, in fact we highly recommend you go there.  We enjoyed it so much we are putting a group together for 2013.

The everyday Cuban is not rich by any means, parts of Cuba seem very third world.  Even though the Cubans have been under a repressive regime for decades the Cubans are a proud and happy people.

We saw a lot of "bootstrap" type businesses or Cubans lifting themselves up with small business.


You will see many different cultural influences in the "gene pool".  African, Spanish, British, German, Russian, USA and Latino.  Don't be surprised to even see very blonde and light skinned Cubans.

The music and dance is very unique to Cuba.  We found live music nearly everywhere we went.


 Labeling the Rum

 Cuban Cigars

 Small Pastry Business

 Beautiful Happy School Children

 Ernest Hemingway's Home

 1950's Chevy

 Enjoying Cuban Cigar & Rum

 Obispo Street (bishop street) Great Shopping

 Dale, me, Sally and Pepe our guide

 Hemingway's favorite little bar. Mojito's!

View from Libre Hotel Havana

You must go to Cuba!

Busy Year, Travel is Good, New Web Site Project

It's been a very busy year for Sally and me with travel! Sally has been to Jamaica three times, Riviera Maya last week and we are packing now to fly to Puerto Vallarta this Friday, Nov. 12th.

I actually tagged along with Sally on her last trip to Jamaica in August. We stayed at the Fabulous Sandals Whitehouse Resort.  This was a working get-away. We toured several Sandals properties while there. We had a wonderful time as guests of Sandals.

Me & Sally at Sunset Jamaica

Sally took several of her lady friends along with about 40 other women as they attended the W.I.N.O.S. (women in need of something) get-away to the Riviera Maya.

Our upcoming trip to Puerto Vallarta will be another working get-away but I think there will be some good downtime put into the schedule.  We will be touring some properties while we are in the area.  We will be staying at the Marival Residence and World Spa

Sally is looking forward to seeing her friend Norma who owns the Venus Sunshine Massage and Spa for another inexpensive excellent massage! I am looking so forward to meeting Norma and her staff of massage therapist for my first experience there.  Remember I was a professional massage therapist for 10 years and love my massages! Can't wait!!

We'll post our experience of this property and properties we tour as well as Venus Sunshine Massage when we get back.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Travel Tip St Martin St Maarten Island Caribbean

Here's a great travel tip to tuck away for your next cruise to St Martin Island in the Caribbean. If you are looking for free WiFi go the Greenhouse restaurant on the Dutch side of the island or St Maarten. 

Have a couple of cold Carib beers while you are there!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Celebrity Millinium - Great Cruise to Cozumel and Isla Roatan

We just returned from a great cruise aboard the Celebrity Millennium.  Our ports of call were Isla Roatan and Cozumel.

Millennium next to the huge Oasis
The Celebrity Millennium will be undergoing an upgrade shortly  It is currently a millennium class ship. There are for ships in this class. 

Celebrity Cruise Line says; These four award-winning ships are visually stunning and superbly designed. Marvel at the expansive atrium that spans 11 decks. Soak in the sophisticated ambiance resplendent with teak and glass accents. Ride the glass elevator along the outside of the ship. Take in endless ocean views. Retreat to one of the most luxurious spa facilities at sea. Every detail is designed to capture the romantic exhilaration of travel.

It will be upgraded to a Solstice class. Celebrity describes this class as; The most stylish ships at sea. Each, a destination unto itself, offers more unique experiences, more restaurants, and an entirely new approach to stateroom design. Currently, there are three in this class, with our newest poised to premiere in 2012.

Having been to Isla Roatan before we wanted to delve into the countryside and island life more this time around.  My wife, Sally, discovered a private tour company called Christopher Tours. Our one-on-one guide Charley met us just outside the gates at the cruise dock.  He was great! We told him what we wanted to experience and he custom designed our day for us.  We learned a lot about the political structure and history of Roatan as well as family life.

 Beautiful panoramic mountaintop views Roatan

We had asked Charley to take us to his favorite lunch spot before the tour was over.  We ended up at a great little restaurant.  His cousin was the chef.  We ate our huge bowls of excellent fish chowder right on the water.  Our waiter gave us even more insight into the political structure of the two governors of the island.  Great day, excellent company.

We do love Cozumel.  After the hurricane hit a few years ago they have really recovered.  It is really turning into a great cruise destination.  The diving and snorkeling are exceptional.  We always, always go to our dear friend Veronica's Cozumel Spa for the best massage treatments in the Caribbean.

 Our dear friend Veronica at Cozumel Spa

Veronica was kind enough to take us to the beach for the day.  Sally gave her daughter Dany a swimming lesson while they snorkeled looking for "big fish".  It was a wonderful day.  We can't wait to go back to this beautiful island and it's warm people. 

Dany and Sally looking for "Big Fish"

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Punta Cana

Well I finally made it to the Dominican Republic. Our stay was in Punta Cana at the beautiful Gran Bahia Principe Esmeralda.

Apple Vacations sponsored our trip. We were joined by 110 of our fellow travel agents.  This is a great all-inclusive resort with nice beaches. I especially enjoyed all of the mature palm groves on the beaches.

One of our agents had suggested a company that supported a local grade school. She contacted them and arranged for each agent to bring a book bag with school supplies

 Later on Sally and I along with two other of our agents booked an excursion through this company, Jungle Outback Safari, to see more of the island. Part of the excursion was to stop in for a visit to the school they support.

We were allowed to donate more school supplies or candy but never money. They do not want to teach the children to beg. They told us many of these children walk five days a week 2-4 miles up rough country roads to get to school. There are two sessions per day. It's not unusual for the first group of kids to have siblings that attend the second session. They may even share uniforms.

If the parents are unemployed the children can not get a free education. There's a high unemployment rate here. Groups like Outback Safari step in to sponsor schools so these children can go to school. They also sponsor a clinic/hospital so that people in this area can have medical care.

This excursion was one of the most rewarding parts of our trip.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Loved this B&B and already planning return stay!

Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast in Amish Country

Our review from Trip Advisor

5 of 5 starsReviewed August 14, 2011
This beautiful bed & breakfast in the heart of Ohio's Amish country is a must stay! Off the beaten path, yet close to shopping and many wonderful Amish style restaurants.

Each room has it's own theme.

You will really enjoy the evening social hour around the traditional nightly "campfire". It was great fun to get to know guests from other parts of the country. Inn Keepers Herb & Carol kept the conversation lively. They know every road and buggy trail there is in Millersburg and surrounding area. They really are experts on the area and local culture.

You will love this place!

Room Tip: Google Garden Gate Get Away Millersburg Ohio to learn about the different room themes.