Tuesday, July 31, 2018

2018 Streamwood Summer Celebration Recap

Streamwood Summer Celebration
A Success  

We've just completed our twelfth annual appearance at the Streamwood Summer Celebration's Business Expo sponsored by the Streamwood Chamber of Commerce.  It would have been #13, but we missed one year to go on a river cruise.

"Junior" who is always with us at shows
The Summer Celebration runs the last weekend of July each year and is well attended.  The weather this year was the best of all the years combined.   Usually it rains at least one day, but this time the rain held off until the final hour of the festival (after the expo had already closed).  There was a nice breeze blowing through the Business Expo tent which made it enjoyable.  Best of all, it wasn't humid.

Friday night had large crowds, partly because of the weather, but also the feature band, American English.   Saturday was another gorgeous day with lots of  the traffic in the expo tent.  The evening was busiest due to the featured band, 7th Heaven, drawing the crowds.  Sunday was warmer, but even that didn't keep the crowds away.  Unfortunately, ARRA had to cut their act short when it started to rain.

In addition to show-casing local businesses in the expo tent, there were plenty of activities for families. Local bands performed throughout the weekend, there was a parade on Saturday with about 100 entries this year, rides for the children and young at heart, bingo, face-painting, ice cream eating content for the children and lots more.  Many volunteers from the village make this a special event each and every year.

Lots of Interest in Land & Sea Vacations

We spoke to many couples, families, and individuals that were interested in getting away for a vacation.   As usual, we had a large supply of brochures, which we call "wish books" on hand.  Alaska cruisetours and European River Cruises were the most popular areas of interest in the cruise category.

Europe and Disneyworld were the most popular land tour destinations.  Galapagos and Asia were other destinations with lots of interest among fair goers.   

Since we've had personal travel experiences in all of the above destinations, we were able to provide first-hand knowledge that is valuable when planning a vacation. We love talking to people about our more than 30 years of cruise and other vacation experiences.  It was also great talking with our loyal customers about their experiences and their upcoming plans.

Special Promotions Continues

If you didn't register for our eNewsletter, be sure to do so on our website.   This way you'll always be aware of our latest promotions, including exclusive offers that won't be found anywhere else.   You could even win a cruise for two in our quarterly drawing.  Become a Vacation Superhero - Because Friends Don't Let Friends Take Boring Vacations.  Refer a Friend Today.

To Our New Followers

We'd like to welcome new readers to our Blog, Facebook fan page, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and website,.   We look forward to talking to you more in the future to help plan a great cruise or land vacation for you and your traveling companions. We've included links here with a brief explanation of some of the resources we offer to our followers.   Please be sure to take advantage of all these opportunities, as that is the best way to stay informed.

If you love Food & Travel you should join #FoodTravelChat every Wednesday at 8 PM Eastern.  I'm one of the chat moderators.  

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Take advantage of these resources to assist in you in planning your dream vacations.  Of course, we are always available to answer any questions you might have about travel and the industry.

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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Where have you explored? 

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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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Where have you explored? 

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