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Showing posts from March, 2012

Disney's Dream Cruises the "High Seas" to the Caribbean

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What cruise line could possibly think of having fireworks (yes, fireworks!) at sea, a pirate dance party on the pool deck, Captain Jack’s special appearance, a water slide flowing across both sides of the ship and even OVER the edge? Of course, it’s Disney, with the entrance of its new ship into the fleet, the ‘Disney Dream’.



Small Fleets with Big Hawaiian Adventures on American Safaris Cruises

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If you ask me, choice is one of life’s greatest challenges because eventually, by its very definition, you need to make one! So, here I am again, it’s another year, with another February vacation opportunity; ultimately another choice needs to be made. Oh where oh where should I go this year? And what should I do once I get there? Said the cobbler’s son :))
Well, after reviewing multiple options, translated professional & personal zip code fantasies, I’ve decided upon a rediscovery tour of the Hawaiian Islands. The 1st runners up, The Maldives, Tahiti, Dubai, etc., etc., etc, will just have to take their rightful, patient place in my traveler’s universal category of ‘must see & do, just not now!’


I describe my choice as a “rediscovery of the Hawaiian Islands” because I’ve been fortunate to have traveled there several times on traditional, multiple Island hopper itineraries-staying a few days on one Island and then taking a puddle skipping transfer to another. Can you say fly …

Cayo District, Nature Reserve in Western Belize

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Today we visited the Cayo District in the western part of Belize close to the Guatemalan border.  As we drove from the coast to the west, we were marveled by the beautiful hills and mountains rich in green dense jungle.  From the humblest of beginnings Chaa Creek Cottages has grown into a 365 acre private nature reserve offering a range of exciting, educational adventures, expeditions and cultural experiences.

The Natural History Centre, Butterfly Farm, Conference Centre, Macal River Camp bungalows, Rainforest Medicine Trail, Organic Maya Farm, eco-friendly Hilltop Spa and swimming pool are linked by miles of beautiful jungle trails perfect for bird watching, mountain biking, horseback riding, hiking, or just strolling through a pristine rainforest. The canoes remain the most popular way to explore the river and enjoy scenic excursions into San Ignacio Town.  The Chaa Creek region has been a hub of Maya civilisation for thousands of years.   They are now internationally recognised for…

Xunantanich, the tallest Mayan Ruin in Belize

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Xunantanich, located in the Cayo District is the tallest Mayan Ruin in Belize.

We made the steep, but short, climb to the top of “El Castillo.” This vantage point provides a breathtaking, 360 degree, panoramic view over the jungle canopy
of the Macal, Mopan and Belize River valleys, as well as a vast area of the Guatemalan Peten District, which is only a few miles away. You will also get a close look at the restored portions of two unique stucco friezes, which appear on the east and west sides of the upper portion of the pyramid.
Located in the Cayo District in western Belize, Xunantunich is easily accessible. Most of the lodging facilities in the area offer day trips to the site, which is very popular with all tourists in the region.

What's for lunch in Belize, Central America?

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Lunch served by beautiful Mayan ladies dressed in white dresses with bright floral accents.  The dishes were typical of the Latin culture.



Salbutes stuffed with pico de gallo, cabbage, and chicken

Ceviche with plantain chips


Chicken soup with cabbage and potatoes

Spelunking in Belize

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I felt like Indiana Jones. I even had the obligatory chapeau, although in this case, it was a hard hat equipped with a headlamp. Actun Tunichil Muknal, or ATM, is only one of the many unique excursions one can take from the Cayo district in Belize.

The full day excursion started with a 40 minute hike, complete with three river crossings, to the staging area, where we quickly scarfed down box lunches and strapped on our equipment. Then we climbed down a hill and literally swam into the cave. Once inside, we alternated between walking, swimming, crawling and climbing. Definitely a challenge, mentally and physically (if you are an almost middle aged average Josephina)!

Of course, there were numerous stalagmites and stalactites. But, the true reward was the treasure trove of Mayan pottery and human sacrificial remains. I had been concerned that viewing the skeletons would seem irreverent and overly voyeuristic. But, the requirement that all hikers remove their shoes and the accompanying ed…

The Perfect Long Weekend Getaway in Arizona

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Twice a year I travel to sunny Scottsdale for my TAMS (Travel Agency Management Solutions) meeting.  Traditionally, my trip has involved a long connecting flight followed by two days of intense and enlightening meetings which leave me thoroughly drained as I rush home to return to the office with a notebook full of ideas and a body full of exhaustion.  This hurried pace often leaves little time for reflection and pondering about how I will once again take on the world of travel.  However, on my most recent trip to Scottsdale in February, I decided that a few days after my meeting with my significant only, Gary, and visit the immense beauty of Sedona, Arizona was just what the doctor ordered.