Where to go on the Spectacular Vacation- Part I

Where to go on that spectacular vacation

So often I am asked, ‘where should I go on vacation?’

Unless we’ve been bff’s for years the standard answer is I don’t know, but let’s figure it out.

The world is a big place with thousands of opportunities exploring, learning, relaxing and just plain fun. But for each of us, fun has a different meaning.

So I will try over the next few months to help you explore your options, continent by continent, country by country, even cities.

Let’s start with something familiar, North America. You may think that North America is the USA and Canada, maybe Mexico in there as well, but try again. There are about 23 countries in North America besides some additional lands owned by European nations.

Most people love the idea of warm sands, cool waves and lots of sun, so let’s head to the Caribbean and a lot of those countries.

Below are most of the places you would want to visit. Many are easily accessible by cruise ship.

Until about 2 years ago Cuba was forbidden fruit, but today you may visit. There is a lot of history and great food in Cuba. If you choose this destination, work with a travel agent and reputable tour company. There are still lots of rules and you wouldn’t want to go it alone.

Jamaica is probably one of the most popular places to visit. It is warm year round, has nice beaches and a wide variety of all-inclusive resorts. It’s also a common port for cruise ships.

If you are a nature lover, Costa Rica may be the place for you. There are habitats, a mini version of the Amazon and lovely beaches as well.

Each country has its own unique culture and geography.

The Caribbean offers

  • Guatemala
  • Cuba
  • Dominican Republic
  • Nicaragua:
  • Costa Rica:
  • Panama:
  • Jamaica:
  • Trinidad & Tobago
  • Bahamas:
  • Belize:
  • Barbados:
  • Saint Lucia
  • St. Vincent & the Grenadines
  • Grenada:
  • Antigua & Barbuda:
  • Dominica:
  • Saint Kitts & Nevis:

 

When you are planning that spectacular Caribbean vacation consider these points:

  • Time of year- The Western Caribbean is warmer than the Eastern Caribbean, so if you are planning on a summer vacation, be prepared for 100º weather in the Western Caribbean.
  • Shopping-Expect to have many shops closed on Sunday so if you are cruising be aware and if you are flying in, consider which days you will be there.
  • Flights- Places like Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica are relatively easy to get to, although there is a good chance you won’t get a direct flight. The smaller island countries can be trickier for transportation. Check which days the airlines go to the islands or if you have to get a local flight from a larger neighboring island.
  • Money- US dollars are accepted most everywhere, but check ahead just to be sure.
  • PASSPORTS- Yes, you need a passport to visit any of the Caribbean nations. Tip: Although you may be able to use just an ID and birth certificate for the cruise, if something goes wrong and you have to fly back, it will cost time and additional fees to get your passport to board the plane.

As always, plan ahead. Most people are going on vacation during the summer and holiday weeks, so the cruises and resorts book up quickly. Today you are rewarded for that early booking.

If you’d like an email of today’s tips, Like my Facebook page, Unique Travel Events or sign up for my free newsletter on www.uniquetravelevents.com

Do you have a great idea for travel preparation? I’d love to share your idea with my readers.

Lots more tips to come on the do’s and don’ts, advice from good sources and more

Remember, travel is medicine for the heart, mind and soul and your travel agent has the cure.

Email- asavitch@uniquetravelevents.com

Andrea

 

 

That Spectacular Vacation- Ready, Set, GO

Your bags are packed, the taxi’s waiting, but are you ready to go?

I’m a believer in checking and re-checking, so here are a few last minute preparation tips.

Day Before Travel

1)If you are flying, print out or download your boarding pass

2) If someone is taking you to the airport, cruiseport or train station verify what time they will arrive to pick you up.

3) Have you let the post office you know you’ll be away? If not, do it now or make sure someone is picking up your mail and newspapers. An overflowing mailbox and a stack of papers  advertise that no one is around.

4) If you are boarding pets, today is a good day to drop them off instead of stressing about it tomorrow when you are ready to leave.

5) Re-check your luggage, make sure everything is in there. Tip: Luggage tags should be on each piece but don’t put your home address or phone, use a business address instead. One less way to invite the ‘wrong’ kind of guest.

6) Let a neighbor you trust know that you will be away for a while.

Here is a link to some advice from the TSA.

Day of Travel

1) Make sure your passport/identification and boarding pass are readily available at the airport, cruiseport, etc.

2) Bring the minimum number of credit cards. Tip: Let your credit card companies know that you are traveling to avoid the ‘frozen account due to security measures’.

3) Check your carry-on for the essentials, medications, electronics, toiletries and one change of clothes. Tip: Carry an empty water bottle that you can fill up after you get through security at the airport.

4) If you are driving to the airport, check the traffic reports. Arrive at the airport at least 2 hours before your flight. Tip: If your boarding pass shows ‘pre-check’ you can save time at the shorter lines where you don’t need to take off shoes and such. TSAPre-check link

5) If you are sailing, have your cruise line luggage tags on the luggage. For most cruise lines your cabin should be available around 1pm. If you arrive early treat yourself to lunch onboard the ship at the buffet.

6) Make sure the appliances in your home are off. Leave a light on somewhere in the house.

7) If you are traveling outside the USA and haven’t gotten any foreign currency, get about $50 worth at the airport.

Now, go and have a great time.

If you’d like an email of today’s tips or more info, Like my Facebook page, Unique Travel Events or sign up for my free newsletter on www.uniquetravelevents.com or send an email to asavitch@uniquetravelevents.com

Do you have a great idea for travel preparation? I’d love to share your idea with my readers.

Lots more tips to come on the do’s and don’ts, advice from good sources and more

Remember, travel is medicine for the heart, mind and soul and your travel agent has the cure.

Andrea

 

Wild Wednesday for Celebrity Silhouette

Unique Travel Events
703-986-0934
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 |   Trip Request/Contact Us  |  Detailed Search  |  FAQ
7 Night Eastern Caribbean Cruise on Celebrity Silhouette

Roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, FloridaSee More Dates
More offers from this supplier 
Sailing Date: Jan 06, 2013
Through: Jan 13, 2013
Book By: Dec 26 2012 10:59PM
# of Nights: 7
Ship: Celebrity Silhouette
Line: Celebrity Cruises
Terms: Terms & Disclaimers
ID: 3095233
from  $499.00  (USD)
Per Person
Category Inside stateroom
Contact Agent!
Exciting Deal: Can only be booked Wednesday, Dec 26,
Overview Ship Info Deck Plans Cruise Line
Day Port Arrive Depart
1 Fort Lauderdale, Florida 4:30 PM
2 At Sea
3 San Juan, Puerto Rico 3:00 PM 10:00 PM
4 Philipsburg, St. Maarten 9:00 AM 6:00 PM
5 Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
6 At Sea
7 At Sea
8 Fort Lauderdale, Florida 7:00 AM
 Number of Nights: 7

Itinerary Map

(Click to Enlarge)
More Information
Once Celebrity SilhouetteSM joins our fleet in 2011, you’ll have another outstanding option for cruising Europe and the Caribbean. She’ll have all the best-loved Solstice® Class features – and some new ones. Chic changes to Celebrity’s iconic Lawn Club give you more opportunities to relax, eat, drink and socialize in the fresh air. Celebrate the flavorful joys of outdoor grilling in the new Lawn Club Grill. Unwind in your own cabana-styled haven, The Alcoves. Inside, go on a culinary adventure in QsineSM where you order food and wine from an iPad® menu. Excitement brews with up to 50 international craft beers in the enhanced Michael’s Club. And enjoy sweeping veranda views in 85% of staterooms. We’ve created an extraordinary vacation experience. Again.

(Click on a price for additional details)
Travel Date Range Price From Information
Jan 06, 2013 – Jan 13, 2013 $499.00 Category Inside stateroom View Details
Jan 06, 2013 – Jan 13, 2013 $549.00 I – Cat. Z View Details
Jan 20, 2013 – Jan 27, 2013 $699.00 Category Balcony sta… View Details
Jan 20, 2013 – Jan 27, 2013 $799.00 Interior – Cat. 12 View Details
Feb 03, 2013 – Feb 10, 2013 $799.00 Interior – Cat. 12 View Details
Feb 17, 2013 – Feb 24, 2013 $799.00 Interior – Cat. 12 View Details
Mar 03, 2013 – Mar 10, 2013 $749.00 Interior – Cat. 12 View Details
Mar 17, 2013 – Mar 24, 2013 $749.00 Interior – Cat. 12 View Details
Mar 31, 2013 – Apr 07, 2013 $799.00 Interior – Cat. 12 View Details
Prices are per-person based on double occupancy, unless otherwise noted.

Tantalizing Tuesday is Christmas in the Caribbean

Unique Travel Events
703-986-0934
uniquetravelevents@gmail.com
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7 Night S Caribbean – Holiday Cruise on Celebrity Summit

Roundtrip from San Juan, Puerto RicoSee More Dates
More offers from this supplier 
Sailing Date: Dec 22, 2012
Through: Dec 29, 2012
Book By: Dec 4 2012 11:59PM
# of Nights: 7
Ship: Celebrity Summit
Line: Celebrity Cruises
Terms: Terms & Disclaimers
ID: 3073993
from  $699.00  (USD)
Per Person
Category Inside stateroom
Contact Agent!
View other cabin categories
Exciting Deal: Can only be booked 9:00 am – 11:59 pm EST Tuesday, Dec 04
Overview Ship Info Deck Plans Cruise Line
Day Port Arrive Depart
1 San Juan, Puerto Rico 8:30 PM
2 St. Croix, U.S.V.I. 8:00 AM 5:30 PM
3 Basseterre, St. Kitts 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
4 Roseau, Dominica 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
5 St. George’s, Grenada 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
6 At Sea
7 Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
8 San Juan, Puerto Rico 6:00 AM
 Number of Nights: 7

Itinerary Map

(Click to Enlarge)
More Information
Celebrity Summit® will soon sail with a new sense of style and excitement. The third member of Millennium Class to be “Solsticized,” she’ll undergo a dazzling revitalization in January. She’ll be upgraded with AquaClass® accommodations including the Mediterranean-themed Blu specialty restaurant. She’ll get the hip Celebrity iLoungeSM where you can participate in the iLearn enrichment series or pick up the latest high-tech gadget from the first Apple Reseller at Sea. And get ready to have a unique, memorable dinner at the cutting edge QsineSM restaurant, with a menu and wine list housed in an iPad®. Finish with a chilled Lychee Martini at the ultra-cool, ice-topped Martini Bar. Plus more staterooms, more verandas, an expanded art collection, and completely new décor throughout. There’s going to be a new way to make your next vacation truly different and better than any you’ve experienced before.

(Click on a price for additional details)
Travel Date Range Price From Information
Dec 22, 2012 – Dec 29, 2012 $699.00 Category Inside stateroom View Details
Dec 22, 2012 – Dec 29, 2012 $799.00 Inside Stateroom Gua… View Details
Prices are per-person based on double occupancy, unless otherwise noted.

Tantalizing Tuesday Sail the Seas for under $300

Unique Travel Events
703-986-0934
uniquetravelevents@gmail.com
 |   Trip Request/Contact Us  |  Detailed Search  |  FAQ
5 Night Western Caribbean Cruise on Celebrity ConstellationSee More Dates
More offers from this supplier 
Sailing Date: Dec 15, 2012
Through: Dec 20, 2012
Book By: Nov 20 2012 10:59PM
# of Nights: 5
Ship: Celebrity Constellation
Line: Celebrity Cruises
Terms: Terms & Disclaimers
ID: 3070495
from  $239.00  (USD)
Per Person
Category Inside stateroom
Contact Agent!
View other cabin categories
Exciting Deal: Can only be booked Tuesday 11/20/2012
Caribbean 4/5-Night Special  (See details)
Overview Ship Info Deck Plans Cruise Line
Day Port Arrive Depart
1 Miami, Florida 5:30 PM
2 At Sea
3 Falmouth, Jamaica 9:00 AM 6:00 PM
4 George Town, Grand Cayman 8:00 AM 4:00 PM
5 At Sea
6 Miami, Florida 7:00 AM
 Number of Nights: 5

Itinerary Map

(Click to Enlarge)
More Information
Celebrity Constellation® has just been revamped-we call it “Solsticized” since it infuses her with cosmopolitan Solstice Class features.

(Click on a price for additional details)
Travel Date Range Price From Information
Dec 15, 2012 – Dec 20, 2012 $239.00 Category Inside stateroom View Details
Dec 15, 2012 – Dec 20, 2012 $329.00 Interior – Cat. 12 View Details
Prices are per-person based on double occupancy, unless otherwise noted.

Tantalizing Tuesday on the Summit

Unique Travel Events
703-986-0934
uniquetravelevents@gmail.com

 

 |   Trip Request/Contact Us  |  Detailed Search  |  FAQ
7 Night S Caribbean – Holiday Cruise on Celebrity Summit

Roundtrip from San Juan, Puerto RicoSee More Dates
More offers from this supplier 
Sailing Date: Dec 22, 2012
Through: Dec 29, 2012
Book By: Nov 6 2012 10:59PM
# of Nights: 7
Ship: Celebrity Summit
Line: Celebrity Cruises
Terms: Terms & Disclaimers
ID: 3045991
from  $949.00  (USD)
Per Person
Category Balcony stateroom
Contact Agent!
View other cabin categories
Exciting Deal: Can only be booked Tuesday 11/06/2012
Overview Ship Info Deck Plans Cruise Line
Day Port Arrive Depart
1 San Juan, Puerto Rico 8:30 PM
2 St. Croix, U.S.V.I. 8:00 AM 5:30 PM
3 Basseterre, St. Kitts 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
4 Roseau, Dominica 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
5 St. Georges, Grenada 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
6 At Sea
7 Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
8 San Juan, Puerto Rico 6:00 AM
 Number of Nights: 7

Itinerary Map

(Click to Enlarge)
More Information

Celebrity Summit® will soon sail with a new sense of style and excitement. The third member of MillenniumClass to be “Solsticized,” she’ll undergo a dazzling revitalization in January. She’ll be upgraded with AquaClass® accommodations including the Mediterranean-themed Blu specialty restaurant. She’ll get the hip Celebrity iLoungeSM where you can participate in the iLearn enrichment series or pick up the latest high-tech gadget from the first Apple Reseller at Sea. And get ready to have a unique, memorable dinner at the cutting edge QsineSM restaurant, with a menu and wine list housed in an iPad®. Finish with a chilled Lychee Martini at the ultra-cool, ice-topped Martini Bar. Plus more staterooms, more verandas, an expanded art collection, and completely new décor throughout. There’s going to be a new way to make your next vacation truly different and better than any you’ve experienced before.

 

Tantalizing Tuesday Goes to Jerusalem

Unique Travel Events
703-986-0934
uniquetravelevents@gmail.com
 |   Trip Request/Contact Us  |  Detailed Search  |  FAQ
14 Night Holy Land Cruise on Celebrity Silhouette

Roundtrip from Rome (Civitavecchia), ItalySee More Dates
More offers from this supplier 
Sailing Date: Nov 03, 2012
Through: Nov 17, 2012
Book By: Sep 4 2012 10:59PM
# of Nights: 14
Ship: Celebrity Silhouette
Line: Celebrity Cruises
Terms: Terms & Disclaimers
ID: 2980357
from  $899.00  (USD)
Per Person
Category Inside stateroom
Contact Agent!
Exciting Deal: Can only be booked 9:00 am – 11:59 pm EST Tuesday, Sep 04
Europe Suite Fly & Sail Savings Event  (See details)
Overview Ship Info Deck Plans Cruise Line
Day Port Arrive Depart
1 Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy 5:00 PM
2 At Sea
3 At Sea
4 Alexandria, Egypt 7:00 AM
5 Alexandria, Egypt 7:00 PM
6 Jerusalem (Ashdod), Israel 12:00 PM
7 Jerusalem (Ashdod), Israel 10:00 PM
8 Haifa, Israel 7:00 AM 10:00 PM
9 At Sea
10 Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey 7:00 AM 6:00 PM
11 Athens (Piraeus), Greece 7:00 AM 6:00 PM
12 At Sea
13 Catania,sicily,italy 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
14 Naples/Capri, Italy 7:00 AM 6:30 PM
15 Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy 4:30 AM
 Number of Nights: 14

More Information
Once Celebrity SilhouetteSM joins our fleet in 2011, you’ll have another outstanding option for cruising Europe and the Caribbean. She’ll have all the best-loved Solstice® Class features – and some new ones. Chic changes to Celebrity’s iconic Lawn Club give you more opportunities to relax, eat, drink and socialize in the fresh air. Celebrate the flavorful joys of outdoor grilling in the new Lawn Club Grill. Unwind in your own cabana-styled haven, The Alcoves. Inside, go on a culinary adventure in QsineSM where you order food and wine from an iPad® menu. Excitement brews with up to 50 international craft beers in the enhanced Michael’s Club. And enjoy sweeping veranda views in 85% of staterooms. We’ve created an extraordinary vacation experience. Again.

(Click on a price for additional details)
Travel Date Range Price From Information
Nov 03, 2012 – Nov 17, 2012 $899.00 Category Inside stateroom View Details
Nov 03, 2012 – Nov 17, 2012 $1,249.00 I – Cat. Z View Details
Prices are per-person based on double occupancy, unless otherwise noted.

Tantalizing Tuesday Wine & Dine

Unique Travel Events
703-986-0934
uniquetravelevents@gmail.com
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8 Night Wine Cruise Cruise on Celebrity Millennium

Vancouver, British Columbia to San Diego, CaliforniaSee More Dates
More offers from this supplier 
Sailing Date: Sep 14, 2012
Through: Sep 22, 2012
Book By: Aug 14 2012 10:59PM
# of Nights: 8
Ship: Celebrity Millennium
Line: Celebrity Cruises
Terms: Terms & Disclaimers
ID: 2951038
from  $1,299.00  (USD)
Per Person
Category Balcony stateroom
Contact Agent!
Exciting Deal: Can only be booked Tuesday 08/14/2012
Overview Ship Info Deck Plans Cruise Line
Day Port Arrive Depart
1 Vancouver, British Columbia 4:30 PM
2 Nanaimo, British Columbia 7:00 AM 5:00 PM
3 Victoria, British Columbia 7:00 AM 5:00 PM
4 At Sea
5 San Francisco, California 11:00 AM
6 San Francisco, California 9:00 PM
7 Monterey, California 7:00 AM 5:00 PM
8 At Sea
9 San Diego, California 7:00 AM
 Number of Nights: 8

More Information
What do you call a place that offers world-class restaurants, Broadway-style shows, a luxurious spa and amenities that rival the grandest hotel on land? We call her Celebrity Millennium; you’ll call her magnificent. To sail on Celebrity Millennium, the first of our Millennium-class of ships, is an experience that cannot be expressed in words. Stride her decks and see for yourself what those who have experienced her already know: Celebrity Millennium is more than a ship; she is a special memory waiting to be had.

(Click on a price for additional details)
Travel Date Range Price From Information
Sep 14, 2012 – Sep 22, 2012 $599.00 Inside Stateroom Gua… View Details
Sep 14, 2012 – Sep 22, 2012 $1,299.00 Category Balcony sta… View Details
Prices are per-person based on double occupancy, unless otherwise noted.

Tantalizing Tuesday Sips the Bubbly

Unique Travel Events
703-986-0934
uniquetravelevents@gmail.com
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12 Night Immersive Wine Cruise on Celebrity Constellation

Roundtrip from Southampton, EnglandSee More Dates
More offers from this supplier 
Sailing Date: Sep 07, 2012
Through: Sep 19, 2012
Book By: Jul 31 2012 10:59PM
# of Nights: 12
Ship: Celebrity Constellation
Line: Celebrity Cruises
Terms: Terms & Disclaimers
ID: 2939360
from  $749.00  (USD)
Per Person
Category Inside stateroom
Contact Agent!
Exciting Deal: Can only be booked Tuesday 07/31/2012
Europe Suite Fly & Sail Savings Event  (See details)
Overview Ship Info Deck Plans Cruise Line
Day Port Arrive Depart
1 Southampton, England 5:00 PM
2 Paris (Le Havre), France 7:30 AM
3 Paris (Le Havre), France 11:00 PM
4 At Sea
5 Bordeaux (Le Verdon), France 8:00 AM
6 Bordeaux (Le Verdon), France 6:00 PM
7 Bilbao, Spain 7:00 AM
8 Bilbao, Spain 3:00 PM
9 Vigo, Spain 12:00 PM 8:00 PM
10 Porto (Leixoes), Portugal 7:00 AM 6:00 PM
11 At Sea
12 At Sea
13 Southampton, England 4:00 AM
 Number of Nights: 12

More Information
Celebrity Constellation® has just been revamped-we call it “Solsticized” since it infuses her with cosmopolitan Solstice Class features.

She boasts a spectacular, new look and ambience. From the minute you enter the magnificent Grand Foyer, or savor a flavorful steak in the sophisticated Tuscan Grille, or sip your favorite vodka at the ultra-cool, ice-topped Martini Bar, you’ll feel pampered and transformed, too.

Sumptuous suites and staterooms offer stunning new décor and flat-screen TVs, yet the level of personal service remains unparalleled and meticulous. It’s a highly enhanced experience.

(Click on a price for additional details)
Travel Date Range Price From Information
Sep 07, 2012 – Sep 19, 2012 $749.00 Category Inside stateroom View Details
Sep 07, 2012 – Sep 19, 2012 $999.00 Inside Stateroom Gua… View Details
Prices are per-person based on double occupancy, unless otherwise noted.

Whales, Witches and Wedges

 

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 uniquetravelevents@gmail.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.