Saturday, July 14, 2018

Meet Us at Streamwood Summer Celebration

Once a year we participate in our local Chamber of Commerce hosted Summer Celebration.
This will be our 12th appearance at the show.  Last year I turned over my role as Chairman of the Chamber's Summer Celebration Committee so I shouldn't have to split my time between the Chamber Booth and my personal one, and look forward to meeting many of our fans during the three day event.

For those in the area, it is your chance to meet us in person to discuss your vacation plans, pick up some brochures, and take advantage of our exclusive offers.   Here is one of those specials that we will be featuring during the event July 27th - 29th.  We also extend the offers to our readers - ask us for complete details.  (click the link above for times and location)

Select from Cruises, Resorts, & Tours

Where do YOU Want to Go - So Many Choices

Explore Tours  ---  Explore Cruises
Perhaps the hottest new destination for 2018 and beyond is Cuba.  

Several cruise lines offer People-to-People experiences which include overnights in Havana, Cuba. This is perhaps the best way to visit Cuba because it eliminates any fears about the country's infrastructure not supporting tourism - your ship is your oasis.

President Donald Trump announced last year he would reverse the historic thawing of relations between the U.S. and Cuba made under the Obama Administration. The new actions are aimed to once again restrict travel to Cuba and block business deals between the two countries. If you have a remote interest in visiting Cuba, then perhaps now would be the time to plan a visit before travel is once again restricted.

Exclusive Offers

Even if you aren't able to visit us at our booth, you can still take advantage of our special offers like this one from Royal Caribbean and other Cruise Lines.

You may be familiar with BOGOHO promotion where you get 50% second guest. Now the offer is even better when combined with Kids Sail Free promo. Additional amenities are also now combined to make this an even more attractive offer (Valid on select ships & sailings).

Hurry - These are Limited Time Offers!

We rarely write about our cruise and land offers in our column, but these were too good to pass up.  Don't miss out on these great deals! 

We hope to meet many of our local fans at the Summer Celebration.  This is one of the best parts of the business - being able to have 1-1 conversations in person to help plan your dream vacation.  So where do You want to go?
Click for Schedule of Events


We get several calls for cruise ship and land vacation brochures.   In this day and age, the majority of the suppliers have cut down on printed materials and replaced them with online versions.

We stock brochures that are available from our suppliers on a regular basis and increase our stock in time for this annual event.   If you are in the area, this is a great opportunity for you to browse our "wish books".

Did you know that was how I convinced my husband to take an Alaska cruise?  He had said, "It's cold there.   We live where it's cold.  Why would I go on a vacation to somewhere that is cold?"   Well we've been back to Alaska several times since that initial look at an Alaska brochure.

What's on your wish list?   If we don't have a brochure, we'll be happy to do some research and provide you with all the details.

Come see us if you are in the area last weekend of  July  - or call us afterwards to discuss your wish list.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Cruising Seattle - What Would a Foodie Do

Embarkation Seattle, Washington 

Seattle, Washington is the embarkation port for west coast cruises to destinations such as British Columbia, Oregon, California, and my favorite, Alaska.

My advice, for any cruise, is to arrive at least the day before your cruise departs to avoid stress of same day travel, and give you some time to explore the destination. Seattle's Waterfront is a great location to spend your time prior to departure. There are many hotels within walking distance to the waterfront.  You may even be able to arrange an inexpensive shuttle to the pier from your hotel.

Pictured above is Miner's Landing and the Seattle Great Wheel on Pier 57 of Seattle's Historic Waterfront.  Take a ride on the Great Wheel and see Seattle from your 8 passenger gondola.  Day or night the view is amazing.   Grab something to eat in one of the restaurants along the Waterfront or just take a leisurely stroll along the pier. 

click images to enlarge

Have You Seen Flying Fish

If not, you can in Seattle's Public Market. 

The Pike Place Fish Market, founded in 1930, is an open air fish market located in Seattle, Washington's Pike Place Market, at the corner of Pike Street and Pike Place. It is known for their tradition of fishmongers throwing fish that customers have purchased, before they are wrapped.

The store is now a popular tourist destination in Seattle, attracting up to 10,000 daily visitors, and is often billed as world-famous.  A must-see for foodies.

There's much more to see and do in Seattle.  We'll cover more about this homeport in another blog post.   This week #FoodTravelChat is talking about World Markets.   Seattle's market is world famous and worth consideration for foodies and non-foodies alike.

Additional photos can be found on our Close to Home Shutterfly page

Pike Place Market


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Saturday, July 7, 2018

Visit to Bronnoysund

click images  to enlarge

A pretty little town rich in history and maritime atmosphere 

Brønnøysund is situated on a narrow peninsula on the mainland, surrounded by islands and water. Here, you're actually at the halfway point along the western coast of Norway. The small coastal town of 5,000 inhabitants is centered on the narrow but strategically situated harbor, that caters to all trade and fishing. It is a vibrant and pretty little town with an attractive visitors' marina.

We spent some time some strolling among the shops just across from where we docked - including a Coop food store. to stroll around the streets – perhaps a walk along Havnegata, where you can enjoy looking at the small boats and bustling life of the archipelago. Sample the street life and go into one of the pubs, or treat yourself to a delicious meal at one of the restaurants.

Shortly after leaving the town, we made a slight detour for ....


On deck we saw the strange mountain Torghatten (rising 850 ft above sea level), famous for its
distinctive hole right through the middle. The hole is 525 ft long, 115 ft high, and 65 ft wide, and was created during the Ice Age.

Stay on deck to see the hole from the sea, as is natural for seafarers (who in the past were the only ones visiting the place).
Additional photos can be found on our Norway Shutterfly page


Click on the image to the right for more Blog posts about this trip.

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Friday, July 6, 2018

Southbound Arctic Circle Crossing

click images to enlarge
Heading Back Southbound

Crossing the Arctic Circle at 66°33’ N is an important rite of passage. Day 10 we celebrated the event out on deck with a taste of Arctic tradition – a spoonful of cod liver oil!

We couldn't have asked for a better day as we crossed the Arctic Circle for the second time.  The blue sky and white clouds made a beautiful background for the snow-capped mountain tops.

The Arctic Circle is the most northerly of the five major circles of latitude as shown on maps of Earth. It marks the northernmost point at which the noon sun is just visible on the December solstice and the southernmost point at which the midnight sun is just visible on the June solstice. The region north of this circle is known as the Arctic, and the zone just to the south is called the Northern Temperate Zone.

Bodø – Rørvik

We spent the majority of Day 10 sailing along the Helgeland coast. We passed hundreds of islets, fertile farmland, and steep granite walls rich in local lore.
Additional photos can be found on our Norway Shutterfly page

Crossing the Arctic Circle Southbound
Sailing Day 10

Click on the image to the right for more Blog posts about this trip.

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Where have you explored? 

Gather your travel and food pics and join us Wednesday night for the latest installment of #FoodTravelChat