St. Croix



Lee's Travel Guide

Lee's Observations

Las Vegas

I went to Las Vegas once on a business trip. You can see a travelogue and photos here: Las Vegas, October, 2008
I had time to walk up and down the "strip" and get photos of most of the hotels and casinos. But unfortunately I did not get to Fremont Street. This is something you should try to do if you go.
You can get some information about Fremont Street, as well as information about other things to do in Las Vegas, at the link below.

More information at: Fremont Street Experience

Previous Ovservations

Las Vegas

I went to Las Vegas once on a business trip. You can see a travelogue and photos here: Las Vegas, October, 2008
I had time to walk up and down the "strip" and get photos of most of the hotels and casinos. But unfortunately I did not get to Fremont Street. This is something you should try to do if you go.
You can get some information about Fremont Street, as well as information about other things to do in Las Vegas, at the link below.

More information at: Fremont Street Experience

Moab, Utah

So what's in Moab?
How about massive red rock formations in Arches National Park; Canyonlands National Park with mesas and buttes carved by the Green and Colorado rivers; Native American rock art; Dinosaur tracks at sites like Bull Canyon Overlook and Copper Ridge; Hell's Revenge 4x4 trail; the Museum of Moab includes dinosaur bones and archaeological artifacts.
One source for more information is at the link below.

More information at: Discover Moab -- The City of Moab Utah's Official Vacation Planning Website

Europe's Oldest Culture

A quote from the Fodor's Travel website:

Northern Spain’s Basque Country has proudly maintained its own identity for hundreds of years (Basque is Spain’s oldest living language) while also becoming a modern hub of art, industry, and culture. Bilbao, San Sebastian, and the scenic farmland, quaint villages, and seaside towns sprinkled in between offer everything from gastronomy (a favorite Basque pastime) to adventure sports.

You can use Spain's excellent train system for the entire Basque experience or rent a car.
Basque Country includes wines from Rioja; surfing off the Costa Vasca; Michelin-starred restaurants; medieval villages; pintxos, small-plate dishes similar to tapas but with Basque flair; Basque festivals; Txakoli, a unique bubbly wine particular to Northern Spain that pairs perfectly with pintxos; Ancient Paleolithic etchings carved into towering pine trees and stones in the Oma Enchanted Forest; cheese making with the milk of the longhaired Latxa sheep.
And be sure to check out the Camino de Santiago, known in English as the Way of Saint James among other names, the walk through Spain that connects various pilgrimage sites, leading to the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia.
Be sure to visit Guernica, the perfect place to end your hike. The city has become a symbol of peace and is a deeply impactful Basque cultural center.
Get lots more information at the link below.

More information at: Fodor's Travel

Family Travel

Traveling is great. Traveling with family members is even greater.
Whether it is your immediate family or a wider range of family members, you can have a wonderful experience sharing the adventure.
There are many ways you can arrange this, but sometimes it can be a good idea to have someone else do most of the work for you. There are lots of options, but Vantage Travel has some interesting multigenerational journeys you can choose from. Whether it is you and your children, or you include grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins or others, one of these journeys may be just what you are looking for. (Use the link below to discover them.)
This is not a recommendation as I have never traveled with Vantage. This is simply meant to show you one option out of many.

More information at: Vantage Multigenerational Adventures

European Canal and River Cruising

One thing that I have seen and hope to be able to do one day is to take a canal or river cruise in Europe.
There are companies that offer river cruises on the Danube, Rhine, and other European rivers. These are usually on larger specially built boats that accommodate lots of passengers and visit some of the major cities in Europe.
Some other companies offer canal cruises on barges that take fewer passengers but still visit some cities.
Both of these also offer optional shore expeditions and specialty cruises, like culinary cruises, etc.
It appears that European Waterways offers both types of cruises. (See link below.) But there are many companies for you to choose from, so do some research before settling on a company to deal with.

More information at: European Waterways

Cooking Classes in Italy

In 2007 we took a trip to Italy and part of the trip included cooking classes in an agriturismo in Tuscany. An agriturismo is like a bed-and-breakfast, but to be classified as an agriturismo (and receive assistance from the government) it has to be a working farm. We stayed at the Podere San Lorenzo near the Tuscan town of Volterra. They have about 1200 olive trees and make award winning olive oil. We had cooking classes on two days while we were there and had a great time.
You can find information about our trip at Tuscany by Car.
There are many, many options for cooking classes in Italy. The Italian Connection (see the link below) has some Culinary Tours available. This is not a recommendation as I have not traveled with them. This is only to point out one of the many options available to you.

More information at: Italian Connection

European Christmas Markets

If you want to visit Christmas markets in Europe, now is the time to start planning.
I know people who go every year to German Christmas markets. They use the trains to get from one city to the next. They don't make any hotel reservations ahead of time. They look around for a hotel when they arrive in a new town. The train stations have boards where hotels advertise and they call from the station.
I don't know if I could travel like that. I usually like to have my hotels arranged ahead of time rather than taking my chances.
There are also travel companies that have special tours of Christmas markets. If you look around and check their itineraries, you should be able to find one that you like. I think if I were going, I would use this option the first time, and then do it on my own the next year.
Another thing to think about is where to go. When many people think about Christmas markets they think about Germany. But there are very nice Christmas markets all over Europe. One list of "The World's Best Christmas Markets" can be found at the link below.

More information at: CNN

Bermuda

If you are thinking about travelling to Bermuda, here is some information that you should know.
First, you cannot rent a car in Bermuda, so you have to rely on public transportation to get around. When I went there for business in 2007, I used taxis and a ferry, but I have no information about the bus system.
There are various levels of accommodation available. The hotel I stayed at was the Grape Bay Beach Hotel. It is a little distance from the main town of Hamilton (not within walking distance) but it was a nice place to stay. When I booked it, I assumed that it would be on the beach. However, I never did see Grape Bay Beach. There are pictures at the link below for Lee's Travel Guide Bermuda Photos.
On the last day I was there I had some time for a little sightseeing.
First, I took a ferry across the Great Sound to the Bermuda Maritime Museum which was quite interesting.
Then, after taking the ferry back to Hamilton, I walked to Fort Hamilton, which was also very interesting.
You can see pictures of these things and more at the link below for Lee's Travel Guide Bermuda Photos.
For information about travel to Bermuda, try this link: Bermuda's Official Travel Resource

More information at: Lee's Travel Guide Bermuda Photos

Overrated Tourist Traps

for every tourist destination that’s come by its iconic reputation honestly, there’s a crappy tourist trap that isn’t worth your time or money.
With the time and money you saved by giving these a miss, find some place more beautiful, compelling and unique to visit instead
:

  • Plymouth Rock
  • Blarney Stone
  • Stonehenge
  • Niagara Falls
  • Times Square
  • Four Corners
  • Taj Mahal
  • The Leaning Tower of Pisa
  • Westminster Abbey
  • Madame Tussauds
  • Versailles
  • Wall Drug Store (South Dakota)
  • South of the Border (South Carolina)
  • Manneken Pis
  • The "Mona Lisa” at The Louvre

While I disagree with some of these choices, you can read for yourself at the link for Far & Wide below. Many of these are on the list not because they are not worth seeing, but because they may be crowded when you go. However, some of these choices are valid places that you can skip and realize that you are not missing anything.

More information at: Far & Wide

Most Luxurious Foodie Places to Stay in Australia

Read why these places are among the 5 most luxurious foodie places to stay in Australia:

  • Capella Lodge, Lord Howe Island, New South Wales
  • Longitude 131, Alice Springs
  • Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island, South Australia
  • The Lakehouse, Daylesford, Victoria
  • Cape Lodge, Margaret River, Western Australia

More information at: A Luxury Travel Blog

September in Florence, Italy

Visiting Florence in September means to explore a city and its surroundings in an explosion of flavors and local events.
The grapes are ready to be harvested, there is a slight chill in the temps which will ripen the last of the fresh fruit and there is an excitement in the air for the long-established events which celebrate the fertility of the land and the beauty of the season including many fairs, re-enactments … And of course, sagras and food festivals which exalt the many traditional dishes that start to become available with the change of the season.

More information at: Visit Florence

The 10 Most Beautiful Small Towns in France

From wine country to the Alps, these small towns have beauty to rival any major city in the world.

More information at: Condé Nast Traveler

10 Destinations That Prove Water Makes You Happy

On the Conde Nast Traveler website, Wallace J. Nichols, Ph.D., a marine biologist and the author of Blue Mind, offers ten water destinations. Not just the places you might expect, like tropical getaways, but urban fountains, wide-open lakes, and city rivers.

More information at: Condé Nast Traveler

Vantage Adventures 2019 Antarctica Adventures

Free international airfare on 2019 Antarctica Adventures

More information at: Vantage Adventures 2019 Antarctica Adventures

Top Ten Cities in the World

Readers' Choice Awards: Top Cities in the World 2012. From Florence to Charleston to Bangkok and everywhere in between, these cities were voted the best in the world by Condé Nast readers

More information at: Condé Nast Traveler

First Ever Etruscan Pyramids Found in Italy

The first ever Etruscan pyramids have been located underneath a wine cellar in the city of Orvieto in central Italy, according to a team of U.S. and Italian archaeologists. Carved into the rock of the tufa plateau — a sedimentary area that is a result of volcanic activity — on which the city stands, the subterranean structures were largely filled. Only the top-most modern layer was visible.

More information at: Discovery News

10 Surprisingly Cheap European Cities

Europe is the world's most expensive continent for U.S. travelers to visit; this probably doesn't shock anyone who's ventured across the Pond. You might be surprised, though, to discover which cities in Europe are remarkably affordable places to vacation.

More information at: USA Today Travel

Summer Festival Alert: Bordeaux Fête le Vin

You're excused to wander around Bordeaux tipsy this weekend. From June 28 through July 1, this UNESCO World Heritage marvel in the south of France celebrates the diversity of regional wines, from 11 a.m. to midnight daily.

More information at: Condé Nast Traveler

Photos: The Food, Art and Mayan Culture of Mérida, Mexico

Julien Capmeil captures the vibrant colors and authentic flavors of Mérida, Mexico in this gallery of photos and exclusive outtakes from Mérida in Bloom by Amy Wilentz. Locations include the Plaza Grande, Paseo de Montejo, and Parque de Santa Lucia

More information at: Condé Nast Traveler

36 Hours in Mérida, Mexico

YUCATECANS are fiercely proud of their culture, sprinkling their Spanish with Mayan words and quick to recount the stories of resistance and revolution that set this region apart from the rest of Mexico for centuries. Somehow, those tales seem a little distant now in Yucatán's capital, Mérida, a languid city of pastel mansions and evening promenades. The city, now one of the safest in Mexico, is an architectural jewel, and has one of the country's largest historic centers outside Mexico City.

More information at: NY Times Travel









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