Author Archives: Atouristlife

Queens of Egypt

I am an Avid lover of all things Egypt involving Tombs, Pyramids and Archeology. I was fortunate to see the King Tutankhamun exhibit many years ago in Philadelphia. King Tut is my favorite and what started my interest in Egyptian History.

Recently while we were in Montreal looking for activities to fill the day we stopped at Pointe-a’-Calliere.  This is a wonderful Museum of History and Archeology that features local History as well as outside Exhibits. The Museum is built above the remains of the first french settlement , walk through the Original Sewer constructed between 1832 and 1838. There is well over a Thousand Years of History on this site.

To my surprise the Featured Exhibit was “Queens of Egypt”.

 

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This wonderful exhibit will be in Montreal until November 4th, 2018 so why not take a Fall Foliage Drive and head up to Montreal and see it for yourself.

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Montreal

It’s amazing how a few hundred miles can make such a difference in cultures. Montreal not that far West of Saint John New Brunswick and Halifax yet things are very different. Most noticeable is the lack of English both spoken and displayed on road signs , menus, television etc. as well as the friendliness of the people.

Along with the strong French influence you will find many of the people rude. I totally understand being annoyed with tourists, I work in an area with a large population of summer tourism and it gets overwhelming. The people here are rude to each other as well, it had nothing to do with tourists.

I never finished French Class and it’s not a priority language for me to complete. Thanks to google translate I was easily able to decipher the dinner menu beyond my educated guess.

We wandered around looking for food and landed at  Merchant Boeuf  it looked like a nice upscale place. We looked at the menu outside and decided to give it a try. The host said they were only offering brunch. Beware if you are hungry after a long trip this place is not for you. The choices were limited to about 5 items. My husband had sliders, I usully take photos of our food (awasome food ) I wish I thought to do so this time. There were three buns with a tiny meatball on them and I am NOT joking when I say they were SMALLER than a Quarter or Loone for the Canadians. I ordered a Greek Salad it was served on a plate smaller than a saucer and the olive was two squirts of Olive Paste.  The only filling thing was my beer an amazing tasting Oatmeal Stout from St. Ambroise.

We finished our Beer paid the $ 86 bill and left. We walked around for about 15min. and it looked like rain. The street we were on had many restaraunts with outdoor seating and since we were still starving we took a seat at Maggie Oaks.

I had a large order of fish and chips, I don’t recall what my husband ate. Both of us had beer,dessert,and coffee and the bill was still less than the other place.

This time we left feeling like we had a meal. The rain had caused a quick decision that didn’t involve research. After ordering I discovered Four Square only rated the place a 5.5 thankfully they were wrong it was at least an 8.

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The following day we headed out early to Notre-Dame Basilica.

In 1824 the Construction began , the Architect was James O’Donnell. There have been additions and changes over the years. The construction of the towers began in 1841 and was completed in 1843. The Western Tower houses the great bell which weighs 10,900 kg.

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In 1874 the interior was beautified. The Organ built in 1891and modified a few times has approximately 7000 pipes. Unfortunately vandalls set fire to the Chapel on Dec. 7th, 1978 that almost completely destroyed it. It was rebuilt between 1979 and 1982.

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Carnival Horizon

Carnival Cruise Line Takes Delivery Of 26th Ship, Carnival Horizon

March 28, 2018

Line’s Newest Ship to Sail on Inaugural Voyage from Barcelona April 2

MIAMI (March 28, 2018) –  In a traditional maritime handover ceremony held earlier today at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, Carnival Cruise Line officially took delivery of the new 133,500-ton Carnival Horizon, the 26th ship in its fleet.

The 3,954-passenger ship will reposition to Barcelona, Spain, where it will depart April 2 on an inaugural 13-day voyage – the first of four sailings from the European port.  The ship will then operate a trans-Atlantic crossing before arriving in New York May 23, 2018, for a pierside overnight gala and naming ceremony featuring the ship’s godmother, Grammy award-winning musical artist and acclaimed actress Queen Latifah.

Following a summer schedule of four-day Bermuda and eight-day Caribbean sailings from New York, Carnival Horizon will shift to Miami for a year-round schedule of six- and eight-day Caribbean cruises beginning Sept. 22, 2018.

Carnival Horizon offers several unique and exciting features, including a new Dr. Seuss-themed WaterWorks aqua park, part of the line’s exclusive partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, Bonsai Teppanyaki, the line’s first teppanyaki venue, and Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse|Brewhouse serving up “real deal” barbecue favorites created by Food Network star Guy Fieri, as well as four new craft beers brewed on board.

The four new beers on Carnival Horizon will include:

• ParchedPig Smoked Porter – brewed with in-house smoked malt, this robust, full-bodied beer offers big and bold flavors and notes of molasses and hickory smoke, providing the perfect complement to Smokehouse|Brewhouse’s BBQ favorites

• ParchedPig Farmhouse Ale – this lightly hopped beer is distinguished by its blond color, fruity and complex character with mild spice notes that balance the brew’s dry finish

• ParchedPig Toasted Amber Ale – highlighted by its rich amber color and notes of toasted caramel and biscuit, this beer is well balanced, smooth and highly drinkable

• ParchedPig West Coast IPA – the embodiment of a traditional West Coast India Pale Ale, this hoppy, intense beer is loaded with bitterness with a bright flavor profile and distinctive aroma of citrus and pine

The second in the line’s highly successful Vista-class, Carnival Horizon also offers fun innovations like the bike-ride-in-the-sky aerial attraction SkyRide, an IMAX Theatre, the Havana section with tropics-inspired staterooms and its own pool, and Family Harbor featuring extra-roomy accommodations and the Family Harbor Lounge.    Like its name implies, Carnival Horizon also includes food and beverage outlets offering amazing views with both indoor and al fresco seating options at venues such as Bonsai Sushi, Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse and Library Bar.

“Carnival Horizon is an absolutely stunning ship offering so many ways to ‘Choose Fun’ both inside and out,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.  “In addition to the many exciting innovations previously introduced on Carnival Vista, Carnival Horizon offers some new one-of-a-kind features and attractions that make this ship truly special allowing our guests to create a lifetime of wonderful vacation memories,” she added.

Story compliments of Carnival , contact me to Book your Cabin on Horizon or any Carnival ship.

Why Travel?

Many people have never travelled. If that is you, “Why travel?” you asked. To quote my tagline… “It’s all about the journey”. Start small, and venture out of your comfort zone. Take a road trip to a nearby attraction and along the way take in your surroundings. What makes the location different? Are the houses the same? Do people have a different accent? What makes the area unique? What makes it similar?

Often, leaving makes you appreciate your home more. Sometimes however you will get the bug to travel. It starts out small. Before I started as a travel planner, I never had left the country. I have travelled all over the U. S. and Canada and actually flying is not my favourite thing. That doesn’t hold me back any longer sinse I got the cruising bug. I will fly anywhere, anytime to get to a ship. If you follow any news stories you will see there is no lack of entertainment on flights. I am not referring to the movie or snacks. That is exactly what I mean about the journey.

I cannot begin to explain, on many days when I’m learning about a new destination the combination of butterflies in my stomach and a restless leg and mind syndrome I encounter. I want to leap out of my chair and go, go, go.

There is a big world out there and truly understanding it takes work. We are all different and we are all the same.

 

Coba

Coba (Spanish: Cobá) is an ancient Mayan city on the Yucatán Peninsula, located in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. The site Coba (Spanish: Cobá) is an ancient Mayan city on the Yucatán Peninsula, located in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. The site is the nexus of the largest network of stone causeways of the ancient Mayan world, and it contains many engraved and sculpted stelae that document ceremonial life and important events of the Late Classic Period (AD 600–900) of Mesoamerican civilization.[1] The adjacent modern village bearing the same name, reported a population of 1,278 inhabitants in the 2010 Mexican federal census.[2]is the nexus of the largest network of stone causeways of the ancient Mayan world, and it contains many engraved and sculpted stelae that document ceremonial life and important events of the Late Classic Period (AD 600–900) of Mesoamerican civilization.[1] The adjacent modern village bearing the same name, reported a population of 1,278 inhabitants in the 2010 Mexican federal census.[2]. credit for information Wikipedia.

Our tour begins with a short bike ride to the entrance where the ball game called Pok-Ta-Pok is located. It is believed that the two rock structures are used to bounce a large heavy rubber ball weighing as much as 9 lbs between the sculls representing the way to gain points.

La Iglesia believed to be a ceremonial location for prayers and offerings .

Stelae 1 has a carving representing the Mayan time cycle ( part of the area called the Macanox Group named for Macanox Lake.

Temple of the paintings relating to agriculture and rain cycles. Xaibe has different levels of construction.

The roads leading through the site are original mayan roads called Sacbe, which resemble a dense concrete. All of the construction will leave you speechless.

Now saving the best for last, Nohoch Mul built to commemorate the power of Coba’s rulers and the last resting place for some of the reigning overlords. The highest pyramid in the Yucatán Peninsula at 138 ft. Climb to the top if you dare , the steps are very close together . I found the easiest way to get to the top was not look down , or up . The view is amazing and scary , since the next part of the adventure is getting back down.

I can’t believe people actually took children up there. The roped off area is only the entrance to a structure at the top, Not a security rope. There are no barriers to keep one from falling off the edge and no phones or cell service for emergencies.

Make adventure part of your life, travel . www.atouristlifetravel.com

Niagara Falls 

It’s that time again, our yearly trip to the falls. Today’s forcast is rain. Being at the falls you can’t tell the difference between rain and the spray from the falls anyway.

  • Funny story now that it’s over, the prior day we were going to the Casino on the NY side but thanks to google and their so called improvements it took us to The Peace Brige not Rainbow and I did a U turn since only half of us had passports on us. Bad part is we still have to clear US customs even though we didn’t leave the US. Did I mention one of us had no ID at all, we were sure it was not going to turn out well. So here we sit in a line waiting for doom. Just as it’s our turn at the booth we discover online passports saved from previous cruises. The agent asked how we were I think my face told more than I knew. I replied terrible and he said I can see that. We explained our dilemma and gave him the IDs we had, a few minutes later we were on our way.

Summer Vacation

What is your idea of summer vacation? A  road trip ? most summer vacations start out as a trip across the state or maybe all the way across the U. S. It takes weeks of planning from picking a route to selecting a place to stay and packing. Spending quality time in the confined space of a car definitely has its disadvantages. That said, in years to come those will be the memories you cherish.

 

Do your homework, once you pick a destination, find out the days that are less busy since often the accommodations are less expensive. Don’t think saving a few dollars by booking non-refundable is a good idea, it’s not. Book early at a refundable rate, if a sale comes along that leaves you the option of getting a lower rate. Packing snacks for the road is a good way to avoid extra stops. Find a local Walmart at your destination and pick up your other goods when you arrive. You know there is one on nearly every corner, it will save you room and the chance of food spoiling.

 

If you are on a budget but want to still enjoy eating out to try the local cuisine, lunch is usually the best option for a lower cost and the same meal. Eat late so you can just fix snacks for your evening meal.  Many places include breakfast with your stay, if breakfast is not included, cereal either hot or cold is a simple thing to fix. Carry  a few plastic bowls or cups and spoons, milk is available everywhere.  History is everywhere and most of it free to see or maybe a small donation. Google the local chamber of commerce and send them an email for suggestions .

 

“It’s all about the Journey”

This has been my #Tagline since the beginning of my Blogging. Where ever we go it seems either something crazy happens or we share our travels with special people. Over the years we had a flight that was nearly cancelled due to serious mechanical issues. The flight with the mechanical issues was taking us to Seattle for a Cruise where our ship also was having mechanical issues. To continue the saga our return flight home we nearly missed because the bus driver got lost. We have been on several honor flights and flew with a famous Hockey Team. Since many of our trips take us to popular destinations of the rich and famous , the opportunity to see a celebrity always exists. Occasionally what starts out as a problem turns into a great adventure to never forget. That is the fuel that feeds the thirst for travel and need to seek out the unknown. Does all of this sounds good to you , it’s time to plan you adventure. If International travel is not for you, there are plenty of spectacular things to see and do in the United States.

Just Because 

Today’s discussion is about Blog writing. I enjoy writing about travel and even more about the journey. Unfortunately I need to write immediately as an idea or story pops in my head. Ever since starting my travel agency I have spent more of my travel time focused on business. One of my other hang-ups is feeling as though I am writing too much. I don’t want my readers to lose interest, so I post photos and facts but no stories. I have been reading the blogs of a few aquaintances’ lately and decided to try and go back to my original style. I enjoy reading all the good and bad experiences; that is the real adventure. Here’s to turning over a new leaf. 

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