BAHAMAS BEYOND THE BEACH
excerpt from travelalliancemedia
From the pastel, British-influenced colonial buildings lining downtown Nassau to the chalk white sand beaches which run parallel to the turquoise blue waters on Paradise Island, the beauty of the Bahamas is evident to all visitors.
More than simply a resort destination with stunning vistas, the Bahamas prides itself on its immense culture and history for tourists of all ages.
One of the main activities in the Bahamas centers on food. Some even say food is the golden ticket to a heart and nowhere is this more accurate than in the savory dishes native to the Bahamas. One way to experience both delicacies and traditional dishes, along with the opportunity for exclusive access to engage with chefs and local artisans, is on the “Tru Bahamian Food Tour” (www.trubahamianfoodtours.com)
The Bahamian people understand the importance of celebrations and their many festivals and events throughout the year are great testament to this. Some examples are: The Rum Festival in February, The Bahamas International Film Festival and the most popular Junkanoo Carnival celebrated twice a year on December 26 and New Year’s Day. The Junkanoo Carnival dates back to the time of slavery in the Bahamas and features music, dance and cultural performances.
The Bahamas is just a three-hour flight from New York City and one hour from Miami. Contact us for additional information and suggestions on what to do and see in the Bahamas.
Cabo San Lucas.... the best kept secret
The theme for Los Cabos is "Rediscover Yourself" because it is known for its striking natural beauty and range of activities. The quality of its accommodations, dining and shopping makes it the kind of place that brings visitors back again and again. Los Cabos is also known as "Lands End" because it is a place where the mountains, desert, ocean and sea all meet. Los Cabos is a dream destination with an ever-increasing array of activities, attractions and luxury accommodations.
Los Cabos includes the towns of San Jose'del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas, as well as the Tourist Corridor, which runs between them. The destination is located about 1,000 miles south of San Diego, in the state of Baja California Sur.
Los Cabos is a place where visitors of all types find the vacation they've dreamed about. Whether you are a golfer, shopper, fishing enthusiast, or into watersports, this is the place for you. Los Cabos has an array of beautiful hotels and resorts, beautiful scenery and a perfect place for relaxation
During my visit to Los Cabos I stayed at the Sheraton Hacienda Del Mar Resort and Spa in Cabo San Lucas. This facility is a 5 star resort that boarders on the Sea of Cortez. The beaches of Cabo San Lucas offer plenty of places to soak up the rays and enjoy the scenery. Whatever your preference, Carbo San Lucas is there to give you a reason to head out to the water. With a coastline that offers both the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez and includes dramatic coves and cliffs as well as peaceful bays and inlets, you can find whatever you’re looking for at the beaches of Los Cabos. One word of caution some of the beaches are not recommended for swimming (I found this out the hard way).
Cabos San Lucas holds many beautiful memories for me.... one was a luxurious massage under a private tent by the sea while listening to the waves hitting the shore in the background, another was a romantic sea cruise as the sun was setting at twilight time and the third was a delicious candlelight dinner served on a private balcony and later a moonlight stroll by the beach.
What can I say...whatever you want Los Cabos has it...I can't wait to return.
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Alaska, I've been dreaming of her for years. The legendary beauty...a place where there is wildlife, glaciers and mountains in epic proportions. Unspoiled, unobstructed, unlike anything I’ve experienced before.... finally I had a chance to turn my own travel dream into a reality.
In August of 2009 I took a Princess cruise up the inside Passage which offered an amazing look at Alaska's coastline and extended my cruise by adding a rail tour to Denali. My voyage of the Glacier itinerary originated in Vancouver, British Columbia and would carry me through the Inside Passage, terminating at Whittier. My trip included a train trip along Alaska's frontier land and terminated on board the Diamond Princess.
Once aboard the ship I quickly settled into cruise ship life filled with a bustling casino, on board entertainment; a spa, swimming pools and, of course a number of bars and restaurants. Although the cruise ship experience was familiar to other ships, the breathtaking views were unlike anything I have ever seen before. Standing on the deck of the ship overlooking the wall of blue-gray ice and rock of Glacier Bay made me wonder if this was what Heaven might be like. There was a sudden "stillness" that settled over the land and suddenly it was followed by a muffled "boom!" as a grinding, sliding piece of ice poured in a mammoth avalanche which slammed into the water below I watched as the ship plowed through the frigid waters of Glacier Bay National Park and Gulls wheeled through the air, while chunks of glittering ice littered the water of the narrow passage, giving the entire scene a wild and artic look.
Gray skies and a light mist welcomed us as we toured the towns of Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway where we had the chance to tour, shop and explore each ports' Historic Districts. Each port is an easy walk from where the ship was docked.
A few minutes north of Juneau, the capital city, was Mendenhall Glacier, a 13-mile river of ice that ended at Mendenhall Lake. A tour of Mendenhall Lake consisted of a visit to the visitors' center, hiking trails and a view of the most beautiful bluish wall of glaciers I have ever seen.
The tour of Skagway was a combination of history and tourism. It is the gateway city to the Klondike, a visual treat of frontier architecture. With streets filled with souvenir and gift shops, selling everything from tacky T-shirts to high-end jewelry and furs.
Alaska, the experience was priceless! To find out more about this destination, Princess cruises and Alaska's itineraries and land-based cruise tours, log on to www.ahymantravelnetwork.com
I invite you to come with me as I re-explore the sights, sounds and awe- inspiring experiences of my trip to "unforgettable China".
Day 1 Beijing
As I arrived in Beijing, the capital and cultural center of China, I immediately realized I was in a place where virtually every boulevard and building was a step back in history. The tall buildings and the number of people living in a small space where people were literally on top of each other immediately shocked me. After a long plane ride, and a bus ride that seemed more like being locked in a traffic jam on the world's longest "parking lot" I looked forward to a good nights rest and then off to see the sights of Beijing.
Today we experienced a full-day tour of the sights and sounds that make Beijing a spectacular destination. Among the sights visited were the Forbidden City, home to 24 Ming and Qing emperors and now a repository of precious art and antiques, The Temple of Heaven, famous for its elegance and symmetry, and the Summer Palace, an oasis of tea gardens, pavilions, painted corridors and shimmering Kunming Lake with Empress Dowager's eccentric marble
Day 3 Beijing
One of the world's most magnificent sights and one of the Seven Wonders of the World is the Great Wall, which snakes along nearly 4000 miles of impossible steep hills and harsh, rugged plains. Today's excursion gave us ample time to explore the Wall and marvel at the manpower that went into building the world's longest structure made entirely by hand.
It is impossible to overstate Xi'an's importance in China's history. Here began the fabled Silk Road where a string of dynasties made their capital and where a Neolithic culture built a village 6000 years ago. The highlight of this trip was the excavation site of 8000 Terra Cotta Soldiers buried around the tomb of Emperor Qin, builder of the Great Wall and other massive endeavors. Our day was rounded out with stops at the old City Gate and the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Xi'an is truly a vital center of history, culture and archaeology.
Day5/ Day 6 Shanghai
Today we board the plane for our trip to Shanghai. Shanghai is the largest and most cosmopolitan city. Our time in Shanghai was spent visiting popular shops and restaurants. A full day tour included a trip to the riverfront Bund where foreign traders left a legacy of European- style buildings. One of the highlights of this day was a trip to the beautiful Yuan Gardens. Our day ended with a native dumpling dinner cultural show, a perfect ending to a perfect day
With new insights and fond memories of the shopping trips, the educational seminars, the cultural shows, the authentic foods, the beautiful gardens and landscapes and a preview of the 2008 Olympic sights, we board the plane with new found memories of an unforgettable china experience.
Audrey Hyman is the owner and CEO of the Hyman Travel Network, a full service travel agency located in the suburbs of Washington, that specializes in cruises and all inclusive vacations