YO HO HO, and a Bottle of Rum!
About a year ago, my brother asked me to find him a bottle of Tortuga Vanilla Rum during one of our Caribbean cruises. I’m not sure how he learned about this particular rum, but he was hell-bent on trying some. For whatever reason, Tortuga Rum is not available for purchase in the United States – so the search was on.
On our first cruise, after Skip made his request, we checked the ship’s store and the Duty-Free shop at each of the ports we visited: no go. They didn’t sell Tortuga. We stopped in Grand Turk and St. Thomas and checked around town – still a dud. For the next couple of cruises, we kept checking and couldn’t find it.
Now you must understand something: Dan and I almost ALWAYS buy rum on each of our cruises. It’s our spirit of choice and the deals we get, both on the ship and on each island, are amazing! But more on that later!
Many years ago, I had an opportunity to travel to Tangier, Morocco. Although I had and have traveled to many different countries over the years, Morocco was an especially interesting and eye-opening experience.
Tangier serves as Europe’s gateway to Africa. It’s an interesting blend of cultures and influences that are unique in Morocco.
Mention Tangier to any worldly traveler and you might get a startled look: It was long considered a bit sleezy and, well, mysterious – partly because of its time as a semi-independent international zone that appealed to flamboyant travelers, artists and spies. For many years, it had an unsavory reputation and visitors, while attracted to its seedy allure, didn’t tend to stay for extended visits!
In more recent years, however, things have changed, due to investments into the city. There’s a new business construction, along with a new TGB train line to Casablanca. But when I visited, things were still a little “iffy.” It made for a totally exciting adventure!
I took a very high-speed ferry from Spain to Morocco and arriving was, in and of itself, an experience. We were greeted by locals hustling their wares – wading out to meet the ferry, selling everything you could imagine. Even very small children met the boat and were so adorable, it was difficult to resist.
Dan and I love having new adventures when we cruise. Seeing new places, sampling different cuisines, exploring new heights (literally and figuratively!) – it’s all part of the fun of traveling!
One of our favorite cruise adventures was when we were in Cozumel. Carnival Cruise Lines has a relatively new program where port calls have been extended on more than 750 voyages, providing guests with even more opportunities to experience and explore this diverse vacation destination. Many new excursions have been added as a result of the extended time in port, with several of these on the Mexican mainland.
With an early morning arrival in Cozumel and a late “back on board” time, Dan and I were able to take a trip inland for a 3-part adventure.
First, we traveled in an air-conditioned van to a small lagoon where we spent an hour or so snorkeling. It was a beautiful; albeit a bit crowded. But the snorkeling was awesome and the water amazing, so it was something we were happy to have experienced.
Anyone who knows me, or spends much time around me, knows that I have a living, breathing, constantly growing Bucket List. And, with only two exceptions, my wish list takes me far from home … Europe, Asia, etc. And even the two adventures that beckon closer to home, are still quite a distance and will require a lot of advanced planning, saving and packing.
But let’s face it: we can’t always feed our hunger for adventure by traveling off to new destinations around the world! So maybe it’s a good idea to think of things you can do right in (or near) your own hometown!
As a child, and a young parent, we would hop in the car on a Saturday morning and start driving. No matter where we ended up, we would find a great adventure. We didn’t have to pack, plan, or spend a lot of money. We had a great time together as a family and saw a lot of country, attended many festivals, and shared quite a few humorous adventures. Let’s see if I can help you look at your hometown through the eyes of a traveler – to help you see home in a new light!
1. Take a tour of your home city – now, I confess: I happen to live in the perfect city to explore (St. Augustine, FL). It’s the oldest, continually inhabited city in the United States. So, there are a LOT of tours available for exploration! But every city has its’ own history, its’ own culture, its’ own attractions. Do some research and take a weekend to explore by taking a local tour. It could be a trolley ride, a winery, a boat cruise around your local waterway – whatever is available, look at your town as though seeing it for the first time. I guarantee you’ll find something new! I happen to be a real history buff, so checking out the history of ANY city absolutely fascinates me! Or maybe you’re really into the Arts – check out a local museum or see if there’s an Art Fair on the calendar. The possibilities are endless!
0 Days Viking Cruise | Budapest to Munich
MAY-SEP 2020 Departures ~ Cruise from $5,599 per person, plus Air from $999*
Every ten years, the city of Oberammergau, Germany comes together to present The Passion Play, about the trial, suffering and death of Christ. Now, you can witness this play as part of Viking Cruise Line's enriching 10-day cruisetour. Sail the fabled Danube, calling on medieval towns and grand cities. With beautiful scenery at every turn, plus The Passion Play, this journey is sure to inspire you.
A soul-stirring journey
Visit Budapest’s Castle District and cross the famous Chain Bridge. Explore Göttweig Abbey, one of Austria’s most revered monastic centers, and make dumplings with Wachau Valley apricots. See Europe’s largest pipe organ in Passau, or travel to Salzburg. Celebrate Vienna’s musical heritage at a concert featuring works by Mozart and Strauss. With medieval towns, grand cities and stunning scenery, this 8-day journey on the “Blue Danube” is one you are sure to love.
Embark on an enriching Danube cruise. Call on vibrant Budapest, elegant Vienna, picturesque Regensburg and medieval Nuremberg before witnessing the iconic Passion Play in Oberammergau. Your journey ends with an overnight in Munich, the center of Bavarian culture.
Day One: Budapest, Hungry: Welcome to Budapest, capital of Hungary. Transfer to your ship from the airport.* After boarding, the afternoon is yours to relax or do a bit of exploring. Tonight, return to your ship for a traditional Hungarian dinner.
Day Two: Budapest, Hungry: Your morning begins with a panoramic tour of the Pest side of the city. Journey along Andrássy Avenue and see the 19th- and 20th-century mansions, National Opera House, Parliament Building and Chain Bridge. Stop in Heroes’ Square to learn more about Hungarian history, then cross the Danube to Buda’s Castle District. Visit Matthias Church and enjoy brilliant views of the Danube and the beautiful Hungarian Parliament building from Fishermen’s Bastion. Rejoin your ship in Visegrád for lunch as you cruise along the scenic Danube River. Enjoy a mid=afternoon Viennese coffee workshop, complete with apple strudel.
A Remarkable Journey Through the
cture yourself onboard the world's leading luxury rail experience. From the moment you set foot onboard, the Rocky Mountaineer hosts will go above and beyond to make your journey as comfortable as it is unforgettable.
Custom-designed coaches provide you with panoramic views – or get a bit closer by stepping into the outdoor viewing area.
Savor locally-inspired cuisine: From Fraser River salmon to Okanagan wines, you will be delighted with delicious West Coast-inspired cuisine. Enjoy Northern Hospitality:
From refilling your wine glass to sharing stories and helping out with special requests, your Hosts are dedicated to making your onboard experience as memorable as the scenery outside.