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!
I enjoy the soft snow lazily kicking up behind me when I cross-country ski but you may be like some of my friends and find that the most boring way to enjoy wintertime and all its snow flaked glory. Instead of sledding down a mountain and rushing into the lodge for a hot chocolate you are waiting impatiently to find the highest lift to take you to the highest mountain only to rush down it at the speed of light. Well, I will watch you from below. In the warmth. But in the meantime I will tell you, my extreme skiers, of a place that takes you by helicopter to the top of the mountain and drops you off. Sound exciting? Actually, if I didn’t know any better I’d do it myself. But I’d end up waiting for the St. Bernard to come with his whiskey and help me down. If your talent far exceeds mine you’ll want to check it out.
Canadian Mountain Holidays in British Colombia, Canada offers you a trip to the top of a mountain via helicopter. At the top it will drop you off into virgin snow and from there you’ll make your way down the mountain. There are different levels of mountains so you may not be as dare devilish as some of your friends but you’ll still be able to find a trail fit for you. While there if you’ve mastered skiing and want to take it up a notch you can get out your snowboard, hop on the helicopter and opt for a whole new experience. You can go with your family for a week or with some friends. Different packages are offered at different lodges.
For me jumping off a helicopter with only skies sounds fun but for all intent and purposes is not going to happen, but what they offer in the winter they also offer in the summer. The helicopter will drop you off at different spots for a once in a lifetime hiking adventure. Now this is designed for me and perhaps you too. Just like skiing, there are different levels of hiking that are offered. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed you can ask for a private guide to lead you on your hike.
Whether you enjoy the snow or the dirt under your feet, this offers you a unique way of getting to the top of a mountain and allowing you to find your own way down.
Snow! It’s everywhere including three feet on my porch. Which I managed to shovel off after spending an entire day shoveling out my car. Yes, I live in Massachusetts. Do I miss the sun, the beach and everything hot? The answer is yes! But not quite yet. If I’m going to have snow I might as well enjoy it. As they say, if you can’t beat them, join them. Why not?
When I was younger I would get out my lightning glider sled and head to my favorite hill. My dad and I would sled for hours until we were in need of hot chocolate. Of course that was then and this is now. I still sled and I still look for that beautiful hill packed with snow waiting for me to make the first tracks of the day. Beyond sledding is skiing and snowboarding. What better way to celebrate the snow than finding a ski resort and forgetting about the chores and errands I should be doing. For me I’m more of a cross-country adventurer. I’ve tried skiing lessons and almost made it to the bunny slope but to no avail. It was not meant to be. My legs refused to allow me the pleasure of whipping down a hill as fast as I could and after landing in a ditch during my one on one lesson, even my coach agreed: this is not for you. So now I take it nice and easy.
The Great Glen Trails in New Hampshire is perfect for my kind of skiing. It has many trails for the cross-country skier. On certain nights you can get out your snowshoes and go for a moonlight ski. Simplistically breathtaking and romantic. This is a guided tour and you will have to make a reservation. You can’t bring your lightning glider but they do have tubes for those who want to have a blast going down hills without the worry of where your feet should go.
Don’t mistake my inability to pick up the sport that this resort does not offer skiing for all levels. It does. There are races and prices will be awarded if you decided to participate in the events or you can just ski until your heart is content. This resort has something for everyone including a ride on their snow coach. The snow coach is a guided tour through Mount Washington and at the top you can ride back down in the snow coach or put on your skis and venture down yourself.
For me, I will be on the cross-country trails, enjoying a relaxing afternoon. After which I will be drinking hot chocolate and reminiscing on my younger years where I would sing with my dad until my mother brought us each a mug filled with marshmallows.
It’s almost Valentine’s Day which isn’t just for couples, yet it does seem that way sometimes. I say make the most of it and travel alone or lasso a friend into the mix and bring them along. Sometimes the best trips are taken spontaneously with our friends. And what better way than to have an exciting time and to put them on top of a horse and watch them ride. A dude ranch. Just because you don’t have one doesn’t mean you can’t go to one (if you’re a guy, that’s okay you’re invited too).
There are all kinds of ranches and depending what kind of vacation you’re looking for, it’s available. Whether you just want to enjoy the scenery or get your hands dirty and take care of a horse yourself, you can find it.
There is even a ranch for single moms. If this is the year you decided to stay away from the dating scene and want to spend your time with family and friends the “Sugar and Spice” ranch is going to offer an assortment of ideas for bonding with your daughter. You’ll learn how to take care of horses, sleep in bunkhouses and ride the trails. Inspired by the women who run this ranch, a mother and daughter duo, they have planned all kinds of activities for you share with your daughter. The summer months will be more active and have a lot more to offer but you can go at any time.
There are many ranches but during the winter months it may not offer the same experience as you might find during the summer and fall months unless you go to Rancho Las Cascadas, Mexico. Here the weather is around the 70’s all year long. Unlike the Sugar and Spice ranch this one is open to everyone, so round up your best of friends and take a quick trip to forget about those Valentine blues. While here you’ll forget about not having a date or not getting roses on that dreaded day. Instead you’ll be riding on the back of horses taking in the land and experiencing a whole new way of life. Who knows you might create a new tradition and turn into a yearly event.
Love is in the air. It’s that time to head to the nearest store to buy the same chocolate and flowers for that special someone. Don’t get me wrong. I am more than happy to bite into chocolate covered cherries. Or get the huge box of chocolate that I have no idea what each piece will be but somehow they all taste the same. Yet I’m expecting the next piece to be different. I still love it. I can’t wait to come home on Valentine’s and see my roses. Still, if I had the chance I’d rather be sitting in front of a fireplace snuggled down with a blanket and reading a book or playing a card game with that special someone. I know what you’re thinking I can do that anywhere. True. But then again anywhere isn’t The Swiss Alps. The name alone sounds romantic.
Like most places you can opt for the grand hotel, get lost in the glittery effect of having everything be the best of the best; silk sheets, four star restaurants and all the amenities your heart desires. Of course you could also stay at the Le Chalet D’Adrien. While similar to a hotel it looks and feels more like a bed and breakfast. Le Chalet D’Adrien is located on the side of a mountain in the Swiss Alps. You will stay in one of the many “log cabin” buildings. Each one beautifully structured. As with most places there are numerous rooms to choose from.
The Alps wouldn’t be the Alps without skiing, which is abundant in this area. I have tried to ski and would love to learn again but for me I’d rather be sitting in one of those cabins enjoying a nice glass of wine in the drawing room next to the fire with one of my favorite books while my significant is on the slopes. When he tires from the cold, stroll outside to the terrace and take in the views of the mountain while eating our lunch.
Though all of this sounds endearing and romantic what really seals the deal for me is the heated outside pool. It overlooks a snowy mountain view. Yes, I can imagine spending an afternoon on the terrace swimming the day away, drinking champagne, and all the while knowing snow is surrounding me.
The Chalet offers prestigious restaurants of five star qualities, a fitness center, a spa and any other luxury you can imagine. But if you’re just looking to escape with your loved one for the weekend that is a little over the top in all the right ways, this is the place to go. The Chalet even has a package for the most romantic of souls that includes a private candlelight dinner for two. After a few days at the Le Chalet D’Adrien you won’t remember the heart box of chocolates that won’t be waiting for you when you get home.
I love the snow. I like the way it shimmers off the trees and covers streets and sidewalks. On my days off I like to go outside to make snow angels and snowmen. At times I’ve been known to build a snow fort. In my mind these are masterpieces of art. I’ve even gone so far as to take pictures of my artwork with pride. So when I became aware of China’s yearly Ice Sculpture Festival I was intrigued. Did I have the same skills?
In Harbin, China it stays below forty degrees for a half the year. The way they celebrate the coldness without letting the temperature get them down is to build and compete with ice sculptures. Beautiful pieces of art are displayed. Great dragons, a woman playing the flute and ice sculptures of animals are just a few that can be seen. Trees are decorated with hundreds of lights in colors of pink and blue. At night the sculptures are lit up with multi-colors. Ice palaces become alive. The Great Wall is lit in green and becomes an ice slope. You can hop on and go for a ride. There’s an ice wall you can climb. Ice horses you can sit on and have your picture taken. Take a ride on horse-drawn carriages. Go ice skating or sledding.
The Festival lasts for an entire month of January and into February. People from all over the world participate in the event. Whether they are building their own sculptures or just visiting. Couples will say their vows under castles in matrimony. There is something for everyone from swimming competitions to dance shows to paddling down the river during the Lantern Festival in ice boats. On any given day there is an activity going on that you can participate in or watch.
While I will still go out and make my snowmen with carrots for noses and stones for buttons and call them masterpieces. I will know somewhere; someone is perfecting my abilities by building an ice sculpture so beautiful even my snowman would bow in appreciation.
Submit your travel articles and travel photography to inTravel Magazine™. The article (or photography set) in each issue with the most votes wins our Travel Writer Contest and $100. All authors/photographers will receive a t-shirt, tote, mousepad, or custom luggage tags if your article is chosen for publication. Anyone can vote.Read more ...