Planning a trip to Greece and trying to decide which islands to hit in the Cyclades? While we've only been to two islands, our advice is to do Mykonos before Santorini (the opposite of what we did). Mykonos is all about partying, while Santorini is about dramatic views and romantic little towns (especially Oia). Mykonos has some really pretty vistas, but it's hard not to see them as low-lying and barren compared to the cliffs of Santorini. Plus, you can get all-night partying and all-day beach going (Mykonos has much nicer beaches - especially Super Paradise) out of your system, and then just rest and enjoy the scenery and infinity pools in Santorini. Just our .02.
This drink features some of the oldest cognac in the world. Made from grapes that were on vines well before the phylloxera infestation of the 1860s devastated many of France's finest vineyards, the 1830 Ritz Reserve cognac provides a taste of history and can be found in only a handful of bottles. Over the past three years, the Ritz has sold approximately 60 of these drinks, so they may not last very long.
Air travel isn't what it used to be. It shouldn't take nearly 24 hours to get to the west coast. Regardless of season, it seems that every time we get on an airplane these days, we experience countless hours of delays, cancellations, or are re-routed through a lovely tour of middle America "hub" cities. On Friday, we attempted to fly Continental Airlines from Manchester, NH, to San Diego for our friends Meredith's and Geoff's wedding. However, it was raining in Massachusetts (big surprise), and two hours before our flight was scheduled to depart, we received a call that the first leg (Manchester to Newark) had been canceled. Immediately, I got on the phone with the airlines, only to be put on hold for approximately 20 minutes and then to be talked through a series of re-scheduling options, each more ridiculous than the last. For example, after the customer service rep asked if we could make it to Logan Airport, park our car, check our luggage, and get on a filght that departed in 45 minutes (isn't there a 40-45 minute pre-flight baggage check-in rule??), she asked if we could possibly drive from Boston to Newark to make our connection. After more than an hour had passed, we finally came up with a solution - we would fly from Boston to Cleveland to LAX, and then drive down to San Diego. It was our only way to get to California Friday night - especially since Continental refused to "protect" us on another airline. As we drove in bumper-to-bumper traffic to Boston (you'd think MA residents would be used to the inclement weather by now), the rain was pelting down and our stomachs began to sink. Sure enough, we soon found out that our flight to Cleveland was delayed three hours. Fortunately, the connection to LA was also majorly delayed, making it seem like things just might work out for us. Sure we'd arrive in LA at 1:00 AM and then have to drive two hours to San Diego. But hey, we'd be in California, right? Wrong. Several hours later, when we got off the plane in Cleveland, the terminal was eerily quiet - actually, it was completely deserted. We couldn't find our connection to LA anywhere on the monitor. Eventually we learned that the flight that had been delayed to LA had suddenly become un-delayed (didn't know that could happen) and had taken off two hours earlier. Therefore, our only option was to stay in Cleveland, come back to the airport at 5 AM and catch a flight to Houston and then a connection to San Diego. Assuming all went like clockwork, we would be in San Diego by 10:30 - in time for the wedding. Exhausted, we went to the nearby Sheraton Hotel, where we were told that our only option was a "smoking" room. On the way up to the smoking floor - which literally felt like it was quaratined in a "special" wing of the hotel - we were joined by a bride and a groom, fresh off their nuptials and loaded down with luggage for their honeymoon. As we observed their flushed cheeks, the tiara still affixed to the bride's head, and the groom repeatedly glancing at his new wedding band with a mixture of awe and pride, we were reminded that what could be one of our worst days could be someone else's best. That's how the world goes round I guess.
Anyway, after less than three hours of restless sleep, we returned to the airport. On the shuttle from the hotel to the aiport, we were accompanied by twelve people, ranging from age 11-80, with t-shirts that said, "Cancun 2006" on the front, and "Sponsored by Grandma Sally" on the back. When we got off the bus, we noticed that the little old lady just in front of us had a shirt on that said, "I'm Sally." Mystery solved. Despite our exhaustion, we had to smile. In fact, during our 24-hour tour of four airports - Boston, Cleveland, Houston and San Diego - we were constantly surrounded by groups of people wearing matching t-shirts. When did this phenomenon begin? In Houston, it was easy to explain - dozens of mission groups heading off to do their suummer work. But in Cleveland? And Boston? And San Diego? It seems that if you have more than one person traveling in your party, your trip warrants a t-shirt. I'll be sure to remember that for my next trade show.
Thankfully, the flights from Cleveland to Houston to San Diego were on time and relatively uneventful. Of course as I finally relaxed on the first flight and reclined my seat to get some shut-eye, the woman behind me began to vigorously kick my seat. When I looked back at her, she said, "Can you not recline your seat? It bumps into my knees." Now, she was not a tall or particularly large woman - just extremely ornery. Even when the person in front of Thadd reclines his/her seat, it does not hit his knees. Sure there's not a whole lot of room to move around, but it's each passengers right to recline their seats. Therefore, I left my seat back and closed my eyes. She kicked me like a child throughout the entire flight, but fortunately my exhaustion allowed me a few hours of blessed sleep.
Ah the joys of air travel in 2006. We fly home tomorrow and once again are touring the country, hitting both Houston and Cleveland again before returning to Boston. And I get to fly to the west coast at least two more times this summer. Lucky me.
Tavarua Island Resort offers a unique experience for surfers and non-surfers alike. A typical day might include a healthy breakfast of our own island papayas amongst other items, some surfing, snorkeling or scuba diving on the beautiful coral reefs and delicious freshly-caught fish for lunch. Then onto more surfing or fishing excursions and maybe some sashimi if you get lucky. If there is any energy left, volleyball or a set of tennis on the championship-size tennis court. Finally, cocktails by the pool or in the spa to wind down and enjoy a magnificent South Pacific sunset before dinner.
Stop into the Ritz Carlton and have dinner at Kisik at watch the sunset. Kisik means "a cliff rising out of the ocean". As you would expect their specialty is fresh local seafood and chardonnay from around the world.
The most frequent route for The Blue Train is between Pretoria and Cape Town, where on average it travels three times a week. It also operates between Pretoria and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth (Garden Route), and Pretoria and Hoedspruit in Mpumalanga/Eastern Transvaal (Valley of the Olifants/Safari land) on a less frequent basis. Pretoria is The Blue Train's central departure station.
A sophisticated, opulent atmosphere, gourmet menu and the finest South African wines sourced from boutique vineyards, make dining on The Blue Train a magnificent experience. The Blue Train's own creative team of chefs has created a menu to delight the most discerning palate. Guests are offered a choice of entrees, soups, fish, meat dishes, desserts, coffee and cheese platters, all beautifully presented. Typically, South African cuisine includes Karoo lamb, kabeljou, Knysna oysters, snoek, crayfish and impala. The Blue Train is a showcase for South African wines which have been selected to complement each course on the menu after meticulous consultation with top South African wine experts.