Friday, May 25, 2018

Thoughts on Memorial Day 2018

History of Memorial Day: Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. May 30th was chosen for Decoration Day because it was believed that flowers would be in bloom all across the country.

On Memorial Day the flag should be flown at half-staff from sunrise until noon only, then raised briskly to the top of the staff until sunset, in honor of the nation’s battle heroes. In the early days of our country, no regulations existed for flying the flag at half-staff and, as a result, there were many conflicting policies. But on March 1, 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower issued a proclamation on the proper times.

You will notice in the collage above, that the flag is flying at half-staff. Those pictures were taken during our visit to the American Cemetary in Normandy, France. It was very moving seeing row after row of graves. For more pictures from our visit to Normandy, see my previous posts on the topic and also our cruise vacations website.

I've mentioned several times in the past about the opportunity to relive history while on a cruise vacation. This is especially true in Europe due to the large battle field from the World Wars. Whether your cruise vacation takes you to Normandy, France or Honolulu, Hawaii, please take some time to visit a historical site and pay your respects to the troops that fought to keep America strong. We have done so on several cruises and of all the trips we've taken, those tend to stand out in my mind. Don't forget to bring you children with you so that they too can learn about war first hand.

As Albert Schweitzer said "... Wargraves are the great communicators of peace ..." Perhaps another more striking quote was by George Santayanan who said "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

And who can forget those immortal words of President John F. Kennedy: "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man. "

To the brave men and women, living and deceased, who have taken President Kennedy's charge to heart, Thank You for your Service. May we never forget the sacrifices you have made.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Attention Golfers - Feeling Lucky

Join Us for Fun Day of Golf & Prizes 
Bartlett Hills Golf Club & Banquets
800 W. Oneida, Bartlett, IL 60103
June 21, 2018

I’m sponsoring a Hole-In-One Contest for this year’s Bartlett Area Chamber of Commerce Golf Outing.

If you get a Hole-In-One on Hole #3, you win $5,000 towards a dream vacation booked through me.

Where would YOU go on YOUR dream vacation 
with $5000 to spend?

Click here to explore resort and cruise options for most popular vacation destinations.

You could also win Travis Mathew $500 online shopping spree, $2000 Complimentary Golf from or a Luxurious 4-day 3-night Golf Vacation at French Lick Resort.

Where Do You Wanna Go?
$5000 towards Your
Dream Vacation
Could be Yours 
with Hole-In-One
A portion of all Sponsorships goes towards the BACC Scholarship Fund

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Saturday, May 19, 2018

2018 National Safe Boating Week

Life Jackets Save Lives

click logo to read our related article

Announcements on NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards

2018 Safe Boating Week : May 19 - 25
Sat. Sun. Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri.

Life Jackets

Fire Extinguishers

Boating Under the Influence

Distress Beacons

Thunderstorm Safety

Hurricane Preparedness


Approximately 500 people drown each year from recreational boating accidents, so we've teamed up with NOAA and the National Safe Boating Council to remind you to  "Wear It!"  when you are on the water.   Here are some links for you to learn additional information about boating safety.

        May 19 - 25, 2018

Click on Infographic to enlarge - daily messages will also be posted on our Facebook & Twitter feeds.

North America Safe Boating Campaign

Ready Set Wear It

NWS National Safe Boating Week

National Safe Boating Council

USCG Boating Safety Resource Center

USCG Boat Rental Safety

More links and information about safe boating can be found on National Safe Boating Counsel

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Life Jackets Worn Nobody Mourns

Whether At Home or Away on Vacation
Please Be Safe on the Water

I believe I have the best job in the world.  Each day I wake up and help my guests plan dream vacations for themselves, their families, and friends.  The stories I share on this blog, and my other social media, inspire others to explore this great world.

The majority of the trips I help plan involve water activities of some sort. That isn't surprising since about 71 percent of the Earth's surface is water-covered, and the oceans hold about 96.5 percent of all Earth's water.

When my guests return from their trips, I get to hear about how their dreams came true.  The last thing I ever want to hear is how dreams were shattered due to a water accident.

Please be careful in and around the water because even strong swimmers drown. Check out this blog post to find valuable tips and resources that could save your life or the life of someone you care about.


Water Safety Resource Guide
Wear It Right Brochure
How to Choose the Right Life Jacket
Campaign Materials

Video PSAs

Drowning in 60 Seconds
Girl Overboard
Life Jacket Debate
Man Overboard

Resources for Kids

Click on Bobber to visit the official web site.  You’ll find cartoons and other water safety fun! An excellent program for young children!

Education Resources (for teachers)

Produced by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Operations Center for Water Safety. All Rights Reserved. Bobber and all related titles, logos and characters are trademarks of the Corps of Engineers.

National Safe Boating Week 
(May 19-25, 2018)

More links and information about safe boating can be found on National Safe Boating Counsel


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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day 2018

Life Jackets Save Lives

May 18th is Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day

Ready, Set, Wear It - Post Your Pics on our Facebook Page

Safety is a primary concern in the cruise industry.  One of the first things you'll do once you are onboard the ship is a mandatory safety drill which includes locating your life jackets and proceeding to a muster station for further instructions.

When you put your life jacket back away in your stateroom, that doesn't mean you forget about safety for the rest of the cruise.   Instead, that is the start of paying attention to safety.    You may participate in some shore excursions that include water sports, sailing on small boats, etc.    Be sure to wear your life jacket during these excursions.

We thought it would be fun to post some of your pictures in life jacket attire, so we've started a Safe  Boating Photo Album on Facebook that you can add your pics to.  Even if you don't send us one of your pics, check out the photos that are posted. You can also share your pics via Twitter.

National Safe Boating Week:   
May 19-25, 2018

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