For Billy Joel fans, you can complete the thought, it all depends on your appetite.
For baby boomers, wine was just that, red or white. But today, your grocery store offers a global collection of wines, including choices from the USA, France, Italy, Chile, South Africa, even Australia.
Believe it or not the USA is the 4th top wine producing country in the world. There are 4700 wineries in the USA. Most are in California, but every state has at least one. Virginia is the 5th top wine producer in the USA, with wineries throughout the state.
Wine tasting and winery tours have become popular excursions. There are even limo companies, like Virginia Wine Tours, offering tours so you can imbibe as you please and not worry about who’s behind the wheel.
Words like Sommelier and Oenophile have crept into our vocabulary, and who hasn’t heard of Merlot. But most of us are novices, myself included. When traveling its great to try new foods and new wines. In fact if you travel then you have the incredible opportunity of trying new cuisines and local flavors that can be the icing on the cake of a great trip.
We often hear about wine pairings. This is when expert advice is really an advantage. Let the chef and sommelier at a restaurant work their magic. There is even an organization Food and Wine Pairing which helps to educate us. Why is it important? In the scheme of things this is not life altering but when we can get the most out of an experience we should. Pairings allow us to get the best flavor from both the food and the wine.
There is a ton of information available online and in the book stores. If you want a fun and educated view of wine try Drinkthistv.com. The Wine Bible is pretty highly rated for consumers who want to learn about wine.
Enjoy your travels and treat your tastebuds to all the delicacies the world has to offer.
If God forbade drinking, would He have made wine so good?
Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough,
A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse – and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness –
And Wilderness is Paradise enow.
The Rubiyaiyat of Omar Khayyam
translated by Edward Fitzgerald
Do you have a great wine story, a wine that you just can’t live without or a bit of education on wine? Let us know, we’ll share the knowledge and give you credit (with your permission of course) Photos and videos are welcome.
Unique Travel Events is a full service travel agency. Call us at 703-986-0934 for all your travel and vacation needs.
As I have begun to promote river cruises I realize that because they are a relatively unknown way of seeing the world it is time to give folks a good explanation of what river cruising is and isn’t.
Although you are cruising a river when sitting on the deck of a ship that spends the afternoon floating down the Potomac or Hudson, or spending an evening dining and dancing while sailing down the river this is not the type of river cruising offered by travel agents.
For this purpose river cruising is spending anywhere from 4-15 days sailing one of the world’s scenic rivers, but most are 7-10 days. As with an ocean cruise your meals and lodging are part of the experience, unpack once and take in some amazing sites and cities. One of the added benefits of a river cruise, wine and beer is usually included. The staterooms are becoming more luxurious as river cruising grows in popularity. Avalon is adding suites to their newest ships.
Unlike ocean cruises the ships are much smaller carrying 100-150 passengers vs 1,000-5,000 passengers.
In addition on many river cruises shore excursions are often included. A distinct advantage of river cruising is the proximity to the places you really want to visit. Since the ships are small enough to sail the rivers they pull up to docks that are often right at the heartbeat of a city. Instead of a half hour or longer trip to visit a museum or market it can be a 5 minute walk.
River cruises are offered in Europe, Egypt and China. If you are looking for an exotic experience but want the comfort and security of being in same place every night a river cruise is perfect for you.
Even here in the USA river cruises are catching on. From Maine to the Potomac to the Columbia and Snake rivers cruising is a great option for getting up close and personal to American cities. Next year there will be TWO new river cruise ships on the Mississippi, the Mississippi Queen which has already booked passengers and the American Queen being refurbished now.
For those who can’t take an ocean cruise because the waves are too rough the river cruise is another plus.
A couple of things to keep in mind with river cruises:
The staff on the ships speak English.
They are not designed for children. Taking your mature 12 year old may be okay but I wouldn’t recommend it for most children.
You probably won’t find Las Vegas or Broadway style shows onboard, take advantage of those in the cities. There will often be lecturers, local entertainment and piano or jazz bars.
The food is often shopped for by the chefs in the city you are visiting, which means you will dine on authentic cuisine, but as with the larger cruise ships your dietary needs will be met, just ask.
In the US, American Cruise Line offers many options.
Unique Travel Events is a full SERVICE travel agency working to make their clients travel and vacation dreams as seamless as possible.
- River cruising poised to return to Mississippi (msnbc.msn.com)
Americans spent over $47 billion on their pets last year, so its no surprise that a wide variety of services have cropped up to accommodate pet owners wants and needs, from vets that make house calls to an airline just for pets.
While our furry friends Possum and Abbot are not much on road trips we know lots of people whose pets love going everywhere with them. An article by Janet Tobiassen Crosby, DVM gives pet owners a good education about how to plan and prepare for traveling with your pet.
If you want to bring your pet to a hotel here are a few questions to ask:
- Are you pet friendly?
- Do you accept all types of pets? (Some only take dogs or cats but not both)
- What is the maximum size pet allowed?
- Can I leave my pet unattended in my room? (If they say no, ask if they will allow it if the pet is crated)
- If you cannot leave them alone in the room check for local pet sitting and kennel services
A super pet friendly hotel chain is Loew’s This is especially good if you are traveling to Orlando and plan on bringing the pooch.
When traveling space is always a consideration. Check out items like collapsible dog bowls, soft-sided crates, etc.
The airlines have their rules regarding pet travel. PetTravel.com has very useful information but you should check with the individual airlines before arriving at the airport.
Do you want to really let your pet fly in style? Try PetAirways They have a limited number of cities they fly between but its still an interesting option.
Amtrak is not pet friendly, the only animals allowed are service dogs and the same goes for Greyhound.
A good resource for information on pet travel and care is Petswelcome.com
Unique Travel Events is a full service travel agency. We understand that travel is not one size fits all, whether its budget or accommodations. SERVICE is what we offer to make your travel as seamless and pleasant as possible.
Call us at 703-986-0934 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I was treated to a wonderful experience this week, a presentation and dinner at the residence of the Turkish ambassador.
Like most Americans I really didn’t know much about this culturally diverse and beautiful country. Whether you want to sunbathe, picture yourself at the beach Marc Antony gave to Cleopatra, or explore ancient ruins, like the stone heads of the gods rising from from the sand, you will not be disappointed.
In Istanbul you will find the ultimate mall for shopaholics, the Grand Bazaar with over 4000 shops. Visit the birthplace of Santa Claus, St. Nicholas, tingle your tastebuds with Turkish coffee, Baklava and seafood dishes you’ll want to bring home.
Call Andrea at Unique Travel Events to find out how create your ‘great escape’ to a place you’ve never been but always dreamed of seeing.
Unique Travel Events
Orlando has it all.
Imagine a city that is one big playground, for just about everybody. During our recent trip we hit the highlights and know that a summer trip would offer an even greater wonderland.
There be whales at Sea World, and that is just the start. Seaworld offers a full day of fun, from being splashed by Shamu to dining amidst the sharks. Yes you can feed some of the sea creatures but also dine in the middle of an amazing aquarium. This park is more than entertainment, Seaworld is taking true steps to make the planet a better place for our deep sea friends and ultimately us.
On to wedges. Lush greens under a blue sky and warm sun, a place of relaxation, fun and friendship. Golfing can be your passion, your pastime or an exciting new sport. Orlando offers dozens of courses for all levels of players. The kids can spend the day at Disneyworld and you can be at Disney golf course, there are at least three. Orlando Golf is a great source for any golfer. The website gives you a list of the notable courses and which one is right for you. To make it really easy, visit Orlando Tee Times and set up your tee time.
Witches. Take your choice, the evil Disney witches that have delighted us for decades or the new kid on the block, Harry Potter. We had to see it all. Though I’m not much on roller coasters the newest ride at Harry Potter’s Wizarding World, The Forbidden Journey was great. Walking around the Wizarding World truly felt like you were in Hogwarts and Diagon Alley. A note about Universal Orlando, if you like rides then the Islands of Adventure is for you, but if you are movie fans and looking for something less heart pounding but great fun Universal Studios is the ticket. The City Walk has lots of restaurants and a huge cineplex.
Disneyworld is an enchanting visit for everyone, but the younger members of the family definitely appreciate the Disney flair the most. Although our day at the Animal Kingdom melted my heart. The terrific environment provided for the wild beasts who would otherwise suffer is heartwarming. The family of gorillas is truly a site to behold.
Whatever your interests, take time to enjoy. If you don’t have time to figure out where to go or what to do call us at 703-350-2999 or email email@example.com and we will create your unique ‘Getaway’. Visit our website for more info.
Ask yourself this question the next time you are ready to make travel plans whether for work or pleasure, ‘what am I worth’, or perhaps what is my time worth? Would I rather spend it searching the internet for hotels and flights and figuring out how to entertain myself and my family or would I rather let someone else do that for me so I can make money or enjoy time with my loved ones?
Don’t let money stop you. We can help you plan not just the vacation but how to save for it. Call 703-986-0934.
Travel agents save you time, and their fees are paid by the hotels, cruise lines and vacation companies. So why waste your time, leave the ‘surfing’ to us.
This week’s blog post is Sponsored by GolfNow.com Go. Play.
Probably the biggest concern I hear about travel is how to pay for it.
While we in the USA consider travel and vacations a luxury they are really part of our emotional and mental health. But economics always play a part in everything we do.
Here are a few ideas:
Setup a savings account solely for travel- If you can afford to save $100 a month, in one year, you can save enough for a 7 day cruise for two people. If its only $50 a month, you can have a long weekend.
Tell friends and family that instead of buying you gifts or gift cards, have them write a check and deposit it in your Travel Saving account.
The Unique Travel Events website offers a really easy way for you, or friends and family to build your travel account with the Honeymoon and Travel Registry account. You can sign up online and add to it any time you or anyone else wants.
If you plan your cruise for a year from today, you have 9-10 months to pay for your trip after a small deposit. This gives you time to put money away and know how much you need, very little guesswork.
We wish you happy travels!