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blog250px Pienza ITI had an interesting conversation a few days ago with a lady looking to join one of our tours.  She asked me why we didn't include more meals?  I have been asked this question many times and as usual I mentioned that we always include breakfast but do not include lunches and dinners (other than frequently a welcome dinner).  Large tour groups frequently do include meals but in fact it is more a matter of logistics for the tour company to efficiently accommodate groups of 35 to 45 participants in one place at one time. 

blog250px Salsa Dance LessonI have been having a great time reconnecting with Havana. 

Along with seeing the current work on all the restoration of HABANA VIEJA (Old Havana) I have been to see Beunavista social Club and great Jazz Clubs playing both Bolero and 'young jazz'. The musicians are amazing.

blog250px cwt cambodia well dedicationIn November 2014, I set out with 13 wonderful women on a tour through Vietnam and Cambodia. We started in Hanoi, one of Asia's most fascinating cities, then continued with a Halong Bay cruise aboard a deluxe 'junk', a traditional Vietnamese sailing vessel then onto the delightful cities of Hue and Hoi An and through to Saigon. We also included Cambodia. During this wonderful tour, we visited not one but four UNESCO World Heritage sites!

blog250px italy tuscany curled road overgrown cypress trees montichielloIt seems like a new travel trend that's catching on. Small women's tours that balance time for yourself with time to see local sights in historic towns.

In the past, there have been three types of women's specialty trips:

  • The retreat where you spend the day doing meditation and self-awareness exercises
  • The active trip where you move from one hotel to another every day or so.
  • Then cruising helped bridge the gap - unpack once and stop to tour a port a day.

But we believe a new travel trend is out there and catching on FAST. The combination retreat/organized activity trip. This trip seems to be a perfect balance – travel to an amazing location, relax and have some personal time during part of each day then go out with others to explore and soak up local culture for the rest of the day.

blog250px Mississippi SteamboatThe 436 passenger American Queen was re-christened at the Beale Street Landing in Memphis on April 27 by her godmother, Priscilla Presley. The American Queen is now travelling out of her home port of Memphis, along the great Mississippi and its tributaries to cities such as Vicksburg, Louisville, St. Louis, New Orleans and Pittsburgh.Riverboats on the Mississippi represent a storied chapter in American history and folklore, harking back to the 19th century and the writings of Mark Twain. Great American purchased the vessel from the government last year and then completely refurbished it.

blog250px cwt 1dorchester afternoon tea conde nast traveller 9apr13 pr 810x540I've just happened upon the most delicious list – The Best Afternoon Teas in London. They all look spectacular! I'm struggling to figure out how we'll choose next time in London. 

There are the traditional ones at Harrods, The Dorchester and The Savoy. If we're already shopping at Harrods, their time-honoured tea would be a sure winner.

Or, the Dorchester Hotel boasts a scone recipe that's been served for over 50 years. AND the Dorchester being one of the higher end hotels in London - wouldn't it be grand to have tea and find myself sitting next to Maggie Smith? Or perhaps Maggie will be at The Savoy, imbibing in their Royal Treatment tea. 

blog250px cwt cambodia groupWell, here it is – the depths of winter. So far, it's been a rough winter in northern America and warm climates are on your mind. You have the time. You have the money. So now, the travel dilemma ...go solo or find a friend to go with?

If you travel solo:

You can decide where you want to go with no ties to someone else.

You need only consider your own financial means.

You don't need to worry about someone else's schedule.

Once at your destination, you decide what activities you want to do.

You'd feel a sense of pride and accomplishment to do it on your own.

BUT, travelling alone is:

Lonely. it's not easy eating alone in a restaurant.

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