Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Virtual Vacation: Halifax, Nova Scotia

 


By Katy DeHaven

A few weeks ago we took a look at Bar Harbor, Maine for our virtual vacation. Normally this time of year is a popular time for Canada and New England cruises. In honor of that I thought we could look at another port of call that often appears on those itineraries, Halifax, Nova Scotia. 


This coastal city is Nova Scotia’s capital and home to the second-largest natural harbor in the world. It became a permanent British settlement in 1749, and was named for the 2nd earl of Halifax. This city played a key role in the aftermath of the sinking of the Titanic, as it sent three ships to recover bodies and it is the final resting place for many unclaimed victims.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Best Cancun All Inclusive Resorts

 


It's always hard to pick a favorite, but I narrowed down all the Cancun Hotel Zone all inclusive resorts to the four I like best. 

Cancun Hotel Zone  features a long stretch of white sand beach, blue water and it's close to the airport. It's close to luxury shopping. The Cancun Hotel Zone tends to have a strong current so water activities like kayaking and paddle boarding may be limited.

The four best resorts, in my opinion, are:
  • Hyatt Ziva Cancun
  • Fiesta Americana Condesa
  • Le Blanc Spa Resort Cancun
  • Live Aqua Cancun

Take a look: 


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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Virtual Vacation: Nashville, Tennessee



Virtual Vacation:Nashville, Tennessee 

By: Katy DeHaven 

We are back in the USA for this week’s virtual vacation and headed to the capital of country music and also the capital of the state of Tennessee, Nashville. 

 

Founded in 1779, the city is named for Francis Nash, a general in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. Situated on the Cumberland River, the city is a center for music, healthcare, publishing, banking, transportation industries, and also home to a number of colleges and universities. Let’s check it out!

 

A great way to explore this music city is the Hop On Hop Off Trolley Tour . There are 14 stops around the city offering access to more than 100 points of interest. One of the most popular stops is Broadway, the major thoroughfare through Nashville, and the Lower Broadway area is an entertainment district known for its honky tonks and live country music. For a great informational video on the Lower Broadway area, click here

 

Music and history lovers will enjoy spending a few hours at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum located near Broadway. The museum has amassed one the world’s largest musical collections with more than 2.5 million priceless artifacts. The museum offers a video section on their website with pre-recorded live performances, interviews, songwriter sessions, podcasts and more. The museum’s digital archives with photos, recordings, objects and more can be found here. For a virtual tour of the museum itself, click here

 

Once the home to the Grand Ole Opry is Ryman Auditorium. Tours are offered for a behind the scenes glimpse, but one of the best ways to experience the venue is to see a live concert. The auditorium continues to host contemporary artists like Trace Adkins, Blake Shelton, and Luke Combs. For a peak inside, click here

 


The Johnny Cash Museum boasts the largest collection of memorabilia, including films, handwritten notes and letters penned by Cash himself. Exhibit highlights include his years in the Air Force, his marriage to June Carter, and his famous prison concert tour. To learn about the Johnny Cash and the museum click here


On the second floor of the Johnny Cash Museum you will find the Patsy Cline Museum where visitors can explore the life of one of country music’s top female entertainers of all time. To learn about Patsy Cline and the Patsy Cline Museum click here

 

Family-friendly, the Frist Art Museum is dedicated to presenting a changing schedule of exhibitions from local, regional, national, and international art sources. The museum has 30 interactive art-making stations, educational programs, and offers live music on Thursday and Friday evenings. The museum has its own YouTube channel where you can learn more about the museum itself and the exhibits. 

 

Centennial Park, located in Nashville’s West End Neighborhood, once served as a fairground, a racetrack and the location for the 1897 Tennessee Centennial and International Exposition.  Today in the summertime visitors to the park will find Shakespeare in the Park, craft fairs, and local festivals. Park amenities include a one mile walking trail, a sportsplex, lake, historical monuments, sunken garden, volleyball courts, and a dog park. The centerpiece of the park is a replica of the Parthenon. The original is located in Athens, Greece. This Parthenon facility in Centennial Park also serves as Nashville’s art museum.

 

Music Valley is home to the Grand Ole Opry, a weekly American country music stage concert. It was founded in 1925 as a one-hour radio barn dance on WSM, it is the longest-running radio broadcast in US History. Guided backstage tours are available of the theater. Check out this tour and brief history of Grand Ole Opry. Music Valley is also home to a slew of restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, shopping and the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. Check out this video tour of the area. 

 

Just northeast of Nashville, is The Hermitage the home of our 7th U.S. President, Andrew Jackson from 1804 until his death in 1845. The current home was actually built between 1819 and 1821, and in 1831 the home went under a major remodel with the addition of 1st floor wings added to the east and west side of the home and a two-story portico. A fire in 1834 heavily damaged the home, it was remodeled again and completed in 1837. The Hermitage has its own YouTube channel where you can learn more about Andrew Jackson and his home. 

 

For a wonderful overview of the city, check out Expedia’s Nashville Travel Guide. There are also a lot of great little towns within two hours of Nashville to explore if you are looking for some more Tennessee history and culture. Check this link to see if any of these are of interest. My vote would be a day trip to Pulaski to tour the home of Frank Mars, founder of Mars candy, followed by a stop at Big Creek Winery. What would be your pick?

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Cabo All Inclusive Resort: Sandos Finisterra | COVID Travel Vlog

 


I visited Sandos Finisterrs Cabo on a travel agent rate in August 2020. 

Sandos Finisterra is a Cabo all inclusive resort for families. Sandos Finisterras has a terrific, unique location with both a view of the marina and a beach front. You cannot swim at Sandos Finisterra because of the strong current. You can enjoy a walk on the beach and the sound of the waves crashing to the shore. 

You'll find four restaurants plus a coffee shop and a pizza quick service at the Sandos Finisterra pool.

Take a peek: 



Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Virtual Vacation: Cathedrals of Europe

Virtual Vacation: Cathedrals of Europe by Katy DeHaven



For this week's virtual trip I thought we would do something a little different and take a look at the top 10 best cathedrals in Europe. This list come to us from USA Today and National Geographic. These are the European cathedrals that best represent the history, architectural wonders and the imagination of the country in which they are located. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Cabo All Inclusive: Secrets Puerto Los Cabos Golf and Spa Resort



Secrets Puerto Los Cabos Golf and Spa Resort is an adults only all inclusive resort about 45 minutes from the SJD Cabo Airport. The resort sits right in the middle of a 27 hole golf course. You can watch golfers on the 6th hole from the Preferred Club infinity pool. 

Secrets Cabo has  five restaurants plus a coffee shop and poolside grill. The only dining option that requires reservations is the teppanyaki tables at the Asian restaurants. We thought the food in general was very good. We didn't love the steak. We've often had trouble getting "good" steaks in Mexico. 

We stayed in August 2020. I was very impressed with the COVID precautions. Plexiglass was added to the check in, the bars, and the hostess stands. All the staff are wearing masks all the time. Hand sanitizer is offered at the entrance at each restaurant and when ordering at the bar. Bar waiters will also bring it to you.

Monday, August 31, 2020

Virtual Vacation: Denver, Colorado



Virtual Vacation: Denver, Colorado 
By: Katy DeHaven 

A few weeks ago we visited Baltimore, MD for our virtual vacation and I could not believe all that there was to see and do there. I found Denver to be much the same with tons and tons of attractions. I just picked out some highlights below, but for even more to explore check out this website.

Denver is known as The Mile High City, because its elevation is exactly 5,280 feet or 1 mile above sea level. Annually the city has 300 days of sunshine with a mild and dry climate. This outdoor city is known for its cultural attractions, craft breweries, music scene and world class dining. The city has one of the largest park systems in the country with more than 200 parks within the city.