Summer is finally here. It’s time to pack up the beach towels, suntan oil and take a break from everyday life. You can go to the nearest beach whether it’s a few miles away or a few hours. Spend the next couple of days doing what you always do every summer or you can skip the same place and experience the ocean in a very different way. Instead seeing the water from the shore, go underwater. Where you’ll dine and sleep looking into the ocean and the aquatic life living there. I know, it doesn’t sound possible but at Poseidon Resort, located on a private island in Fiji, this is exactly what you’ll do.
This will be a week long excursion unlike any other. You have the opportunity of staying above and below the surface. Each offers their own beauty. Above the surface you can watch the sunset as you recline in your suite depending on which room you choose. The rooms consist of king size beds; flat-screen TV’s and marble countertops in the bathrooms with Jacuzzi tubs. Above the surface you’ll have your own splash pool and below the surface you’ll be completely immersed with your own fish feeder. Either room offers complete privacy. Not too worry, unlike other underwater hotels, this one is designed so you won’t feel the effects of being under-water; it will feel as if you’re still on the surface. After you’ve checked in, the activities are limitless.
Once you’re settled in, you can relax; get that suntan you’ve been wishing for all winter long with your favorite book. Take some time in the spa to rejuvenate your body and soul. In the evening, enjoy a gourmet dinner. Take time for a wine tasting course and then get ready to explore the ocean. There are scuba diving and snorkeling excursions. Learn how to navigate your own submarine to explore the ocean. Check out the ocean reef in a two person or sixteen person submarine. Not afraid of heights? Take off and go Parasailing. Explore underwater caves and participate in the tours.
Just like any resort it also has a fitness center, library and for those who really want a once in a lifetime experience, you can get married here. Now that would be one for the photos. This vacation isn’t for everyone. It costs $15,000 per person or $30,000 per couple. I know, it’s extremely pricey, but think of the memories!
It’s been an emotional week and as much as I want sit down and write about a fabulous place to visit I cannot help but look around me in Cambridge and think of everything that has transpired. So I thought instead of leaving this wonderful area I’d share some of the great places Boston has to offer. Because of course there are so many.
New York is known for its “little Italy.” Depending on where you live you’ll swear “little Italy” is in Manhattan or if you’re like me it’s in the Bronx. But New York isn’t the only place with a “little Italy.” Boston has a quaint area called the North End where a cluster of Italian restaurants and pastry shops line the streets. During the summer, there will be tables on the sidewalks where locals will be eating a cannoli or drinking a glass of wine. I’d name a few restaurants but really you can’t go wrong with any of the places in the North End; from the authentic Italian cuisine, to men and women who’ve come straight from Italy and have offered their expertise.
You can’t stay in the North End forever; well maybe you can, but remember if you leave you can always come back! While you’re away from that eggplant rollatini you can’t stop thinking about, you have the opportunity to take a three hour whale watching tour. Chances are you’ll see a Humpback whale and if you don’t they will give you a ticket for a return visit to get that camera shot again.
Don’t want to go that far off land but still want to stay on the waters? One of the most well-known places Boston is known for are the Swan boats rides. At the Boston Gardens, the Swan boats linger on the waters waiting for passengers to take them on a fifteen minute guided ride. If you didn’t already know, Boston has a thing for birds. Not only do they have the Swan boat ride, Red Sox but they also have the Duck tour.
The Duck tour departs at three different areas depending on your interest. First you need to book your tour in advance as it fills up very quickly. Second you need to choose where you want to board. You have the option of the museum of Science, The Prudential Center or the Aquarium. Any choice is a great choice. You can explore any of these places before you board. The Prudential Center is a huge mall with restaurants, stores and a bookstore. The Skywalk Observatory is here as well. You’ll be able to see all of Boston from this viewpoint. The Pru is also near Boston’s famous shopping area, Newbury Street. A great place to go for unique gifts, café’s that have outdoor seating during the warm months, not to mention the beautiful buildings you’ll walk by as you shop and eat here.
The Duck tour itself is not to be missed. It takes you on a boat ride throughout Boston. You’ll see major landmarks accompanied by a guide who will tell you all the fun little facts you never knew. You’ll do this all on a boat that looks like a blue WWII landing vehicle. You won’t be disappointed.
Time to get off the water and head to The Garden, depending on what season you’re in Boston, the Bruins will be playing or the Celtics. Not a sports fan, The Garden also hosts concerts from your favorite entertainer. Boston fans would be very upset if I forgot their beloved baseball team, the Red Sox. Not to too far from The Garden is Fenway Park where you can watch them play most of the year.
Feel like some history on land? Take the Freedom Trail as it’ll show you all the landmarks that make Boston famous. When you’re done head to Harvard square. It’s an open campus and you can walk around to see its grounds or browse the streets filled with shops and one of a kind places to eat.
I could go on and on. Boston itself has so much to offer even for a weekend visit. Not to mention its neighboring towns and such. The Cape is close by, or a drive to Maine. It’s all here to experience and explore. Is it New York? No, it doesn’t have skyscrapers towering over you or the famous landmarks that seem to make it in every movie. But what it does have is a city with a small town feel like everywhere you go is special. It’s not overwhelming; it has its own magic filled with brotherly love. Maybe I’m getting sentimental. I’m okay with that. I live in a great city.
I don’t know about anyone else but I can never get enough of Ireland. I will venture out beyond this lovely country, I promise. But not quite yet. While the search this month is on for the mythical Leprechaun, this summer Ireland will hold quite a dance. You may remember the huge phenomena a few years ago when everyone was obsessed with Riverdance. No, it’s not hip-hop or top 40. What it is, is extreme talent mixed with beautiful Irish music. If you haven’t seen it before, you should put this on your bucket list as you will always remember it.
This summer in Ireland there is going to be a week of dancing to Irish music. Anyone from the novice dancer to the experienced is welcome to attend. Even if you don’t want to participate you can watch the performers and enjoy the shows.
Of course there will be a Master Class as that seems to be everywhere nowadays, and The Gathering is no exception. The best of the best will be invited to apply to the Master Class. You have until April 26th to apply, so don’t delay if you’re interested. You will learn everything from dance to a dancer’s diet to the type of fitness you should be doing to enhance your skill. You will be learning from the best and dancing with the best. Good luck! I will be one of those taking a side course or just watching the stages and drinking my Guinness.
At some point during your visit you will have the opportunity to participate in the Guinness World Record of having the longest Riverdance line. The last record was 652 in Tennessee (United States) and this year Ireland plans to break that record.
There will be guest stars making their appearance during Saturday’s line up on stage. As well as some of the best riverdancing you will ever see. Sunday will end the festivities at the Gaiety. If you miss any of the other performances this one is not to be missed as this will feature some of the top performers of Riverdance. Mark your calendars, get out your dance shoes and get ready for a week of dance in Ireland.
While some of us will be looking for eggs this March, there will be those looking for that mysterious man in green who hides behind rainbows and a pot of gold. Every year in Carlingford, Ireland there is a Leprechaun hunt. It has become so well-known in 2010 the lobbyist helped to have a bill passed that the Leprechauns cannot be caught and harmed. There are a little over two hundred leprechauns left on the Slieve Foy Mountain. This is where they reside.
While you won’t be able to actually go into their habitat there is a designated walkway that you can travel along. One hundred ceramic Leprechauns will be placed along the path just in case you don’t get the opportunity to spot a live one.
Traveling is different for everyone. You may be someone who gathers a few friends or family and likes to make up your own itinerary but for those who like a package there are quite a few during the Leprechaun season and they not only involve looking for little green men they also have you on a whimsical journey of finding fairies and a Leprechaun whisperer. You’ll visit Fairy Glen in the mountains of Mourne where fairies have been spotted for years fluttering around. The whisperer will tell you all about the history of leprechauns and how he communicates with them. You’ll also learn about St. Patrick, take leisure walks into the mountains and see breathtaking views of Ireland. Of course your week wouldn’t be complete without trying what Ireland is known for, Guinness. You will go to the Guinness storehouse; a Guinness Museum. You will learn everything you ever wanted to know about this delicious beer.
There will be those of us eating our Cadbury eggs and if we’re feeling lucky perhaps going to the local convenience store to buy our lottery ticket in hopes of finding our own pot of gold. But there will be some on April 7th who will be on the Leprechaun Hunt and waiting for the faintest hint of a rainbow poking out of the sky.
Who doesn’t like chocolate? Actually, I didn’t for many years until my met my two best friends who had to have chocolate every time we got together. I pretended to like it as much as they did until one day I woke up craving it. Now I can’t get enough. There are all kinds of chocolate to be found especially during the spring season when children are filling their baskets with anything from Cadbury eggs to pastel colored M&Ms. I know, finding eggs is for children not adults. I beg to differ. Every year I go to my friend’s house and hunt eggs with her son and daughter. Honestly, it’s her husband and me that do most of the hunting. It’s a great time with family and friends. When I saw Lindt was having an Easter egg hunt I had to know all about it.
Set in the U.K. it is one of the biggest Easter egg hunts in the world. They use 101 eggs and hide them throughout the cities. I’m not talking small eggs but huge ones. They remind me of the painted cows one can see next to a building in some of the American cities. Each egg is painted in extraordinary colors and varies in design. There is an enormous gold bunny made to look like the Lindt chocolate bunny they sell in their stores.
While this is going to be a wonderful time spent with family if you do go and try to find all the eggs, it’s not just for leisure. The proceeds will be donated to Action for Children, a program devoted to children who are severely neglected and in need. You are able to go online, look at all the eggs and bid on your favorite one. I’ve seen them all and the artists did an amazingly creative job.
As you start your Egg adventure, don’t forget to get your “hunt book.” It contains all the eggs, the information on the artists and what cities you will be visiting. When you find your last egg you will get a certificate to add to your memory box. As your finding all the eggs and eating as much chocolate as you can don’t forget to be on the lookout for Humpty Dumpty, one of the most famous eggs of all.
Their site is called thebigegghunt.co.uk. Here you will find all the information on how to get started and you will be able to view and bid on your favorite egg. Good luck, have fun and try not to eat too much chocolate!
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