I’m crazy about Christmas. I love the plays and parties, and all the decorations. I love the the Hallmark movies, even if I know they are cheesy and predictable. I love the excuse to gather with family and friends.. But anyway, let’s get back to our discussion of places to go for the holidays.
- The first one we are going to look at today is Ireland. The people at Eske Castle, which is in Donegal, are preparing special treats for everyone who visits them. First, are your forever wanting to help you in the kitchen, but you don’t want the mess? The staff at the castle will welcome your little ones’ help as they bake treats. Children will also be enjoying a visit from Adults are going to enjoy a three course dinner at a fine restaurant. There will also be special programming and live music each evening.
- Does your family love history and tradition? Spend the Christmas holiday in DC. The Jefferson, a hotel there, is going to have all kinds of decorations to celebrate this special season. You may want to go to The Quill, which is a popular lounge where you can enjoy holiday drinks. You might also enjoy having dinner at the restaurant called Plume.
- Do you want to do something different, something exotic for the holidays this yearGo to Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort and Spa. Here you will be more than welcome to help decorate the lobby Christmas tree. Your children will have an opportunity to take a a picture with Santa. They can also take cooking classes with real chefs. The holiday meals are Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas brunch and Christmas dinner.
- Is your favorite part of the holiday all of the shopping? You might want to go to Europe and see their Christmas markets. There are tours that you can go on that will show you several different markets. So which markets might you be interested in visiting?
We are going to finish this discussion today, I promise. Europe is a truly fascinating place to read about and to visit. Please let me know if you would be interested in planning a trip through me. I would love to help you..
- It is important to remember that the United Kingdom is made up of four separate countries. They are England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. They are their own unique ethnic groups, and people from Scotland and Northern Ireland may get pretty upset if you refer to them as English. Do this at your own peril.
- Yesterday we were discussing how different restaurants can be. You may be charged to use the bathroom in a train station or other public place. They do this in order to keep riffraff out and their bathrooms cleaner.
- They also are not big on air conditioner like we are. Most of your big hotels will have it, don’t worry about that. But a lot of restaurants or places like that will not, especially if you are in the north.
- Europeans have many holidays that we may not to think about, and they tend to take off work. This is especially true around the celebration of Easter and in early May when they celebrate Victory in Europe Day. There are also national holidays that you will have to be careful of. You can either be frustrated by this or enjoy the party.
- Crowds are flocking to Europe. The major cities are going to be stuffed, and this is even more true on weekends from May to September. Planning your trip is probably your best bet.
- If you plan to see several places during your stay, you might want to fly into one city and fly out of another. Doing it this way will save you having to backtrack. If you have several places you would like to visit, you might want to ask me to help you figure it out.
I am rgoing to stop here. Please let me know your thoughts.
Let’s get to some more tips about what you should expect if you were to go to Europe.
- First, they think differently about drinks when you go out to eat. They do not give refills when you ask for sodas. You will usually get a bottle of soda. Want another bottle? You will be paying for another. And you will get ice only if you ask for it.
- Bread is another thing you may want to be careful about. Sometimes they charge you for it, sometimes they don’t. You’ll never know unless you ask.
- Soccer, or football as most everyone over there calls it, Is extremely popular. You may want to go to a game. You might also want to go watch a game at a bar. Rugby is also popular there.
- In Northern Italy, you are going to find that a lot of people speak German. You are going to find a lot of that kind of situation in a lot of places. Make sure you know which language is spoken where you are going.
Different countries, and continents, have different cultures and customs. And when you’re visiting a place, it’s a good idea to know the kinds of things they expect from you, and also what you can expect.
- You will want to remember that Europe is not a third world place. You will have no problems finding a grocery store or a drug store. As a matter of fact, you might even want to pack light and buy clothes once you get there.
- Some people think that Europeans are in general more liberal. While that might be true across the board, it isn’t true everywhere, and it certainly isn’t true true of every single person. Many countries over there are led by conservative parties these days. You might just want to be careful what you say.
- Like him or hate him, Mr. Trump is pretty much synonymous with the United States. People over there are going to want to know your thoughts. It’s up to you whether you want to try to laugh the question off or give them a serious answer.
- Remember the whole Brexit thing? The United Kingdom decided to leave the European Union in 2016. However, they are still working on all the details of what all that will mean. All that really means for you is that you should have no problems going between the UK and the continent.
- If you need to make your trip ten days or less, you’re probably going to want to limit yourself to one country, and maybe just two or three cities in that city. Trying to fit everything in one trip is going to wear you out.
- The rumor that Europeans do not tip is simply not true. They do tip, but usually less than we do here. Tipping 10% is likely the best bet.
xxEurope is one of the places that a lot of people would really like to visit one day. Today let’s start looking at some things you might want to know before you go.
- While the Euro is accepted in a lot of European countries, it isn’t accepted in all of them. England and the Scandinavian countries are countries that use other currencies. You will want to know the currency of the country or country that you are visiting before you leave. There are exchange places pretty much anywhere that you would want to go.
- Europeans see Americans as loud and boisterous. And a lot of times, they’re right. Maybe we’re excited to be in the places we have always dreamed about going. Maybe we think that if we talk loud enough, they may be able to understand us better. Please try to keep the noise level down. They will appreciate it.
- We know that countries like France and England have a lot to offer, and we will explore every part of those countries. But some of the other countries we think of having only one city worth seeing. I would love to know the kinds of things you’re interested in seeing, and be able to help you plan your itinerary. Please let me know if you are interested.
- You will not need to carry around all the cash you may need on your entire trip. Take enough to get you from the airport to your first hotel. They do have ATMs in Europe. Look for a bank that will give you a good rate on international transfers.
Going to Europe can be expensive, especially if you want to go during the summer months when everyone when everyone wants to be there because school is out and things like that. Today let’s look at some ways you can save money and also have fun.
- Most European cities are going to have one fancy/expensive market where they want all the tourists to go. Don’t go there, unless you just want to get a selfie for your favorite social media site. Instead you will want to go to the market where the locals shop. That will give you a better idea of how they live anyway.
- Things are going to be a lot more reasonable if you go to small towns in Eastern Europe. For the best prices, you will want to go to the lesser known towns.
- Europe is going to have parks anywhere you might go. Go to their market to get your favorite picnic food, and then enjoy an afternoon in the park. This is an inexpensive way to enjoy an afternoon.
- A lot of these cities are going to have city passes. These will get you into their museums and different attractions for a reduced price. The more you use the passes, the more you’ll save.
- Europeans love to party and have fun. There are always going to be citywide parties everywhere, especially during the summer month. These parties are often going to be free, so go for it.
- One of the best ways to get from Point A to Point B is to go by bus. You are going to find that this is going one of the least expensive ways to travel.
- Walking tours of cities have become big in Europe. These are often led by someone who has lived in the city all their lives. This is going to give you a great overview of city. They might ask for tips, but this is going to be a lot less expensive than formal tours.
Yesterday we were looking at some cruise news. Today let’s look at some cruises you might want to go on this year.
- First we are going at Norwegian Bliss. They are going to Alaska this season. And Alaska is a popular place to cruise from from everything that I’ve was been reading. If you are going to go to Alaska,you’re likely going to want to hit several spots. And what better way to do that than from the comfort of a cruise ship?
- Norwegian is also planning to go to another popular cruise destination, and that is Cuba. But Norwegian is actually combining Cuba with the Caribbean. You will also be visiting a couple of private islands along the way.
- If you want to take a Paul Gauguin cruise, which is a luxury cruiseline, you might want to go to Polynesia. On this cruise, you will be places like Tahiti. This will be the perfect cruise for if water sports.
- Are you fascinated by wines, and how they are made? You might try one of Amawaterways fifty cruises in Europe. You are going to meet winery owners and all kinds of interesting things.
I have to confess that I’ve taken on several work projects on lately, and figuring out how to do everything in the way way and order is not easier. I do have to remind myself that I go out on Thursday mornings, so time is shorter most weeks… But let’s get back to kid friendly places in London.
- If you have dreamed of going on a tour of Kensington Palace, this is probably not the best place to take your toddler. However, this palace does have lovely gardens that your little ones will enjoy. Why don’t you leave your little one with your husband or a friend, and go enjoy the tour by yourself?
- You’ve seen those double decker buses any time you watch anything about London, right? But what you might not know is that kids eleven and under ride those buses for free. So this is one fun thing you can do with your child that isn’t going to cost much.
- The Arsenal Stadium and Museum has a great self-paced audio tour. This is geared more toward older people. But it is a great place for little ones to run around and climb. Children under five get in free here too.
- Most families will love walking along the Thames on the Riverside Walk. It is a beautiful view. And along the way you are going to see places like Big Ben and Parliament.
This is where the royal event will take place
There Yesterday we started talking about a trip Trafalgar is putting together in honor of the royal wedding. To see that post, please go to Celebrate the royal engagement?Today let’s look some more of the details.
- On day four you are going to have some options. You are welcome to continue exploring London on your own. Your travel guide will be more than happy to give you suggestions depending on your interests. Or take a tour of Oxford. Here you will see Shakespeare’s house as well as touring Christ’s Church College.
- Day five will give you a more in depth look at Westminster Abbey. This is England’s most famous church building. A lot of her famous people are also buried here.
- Day six you will get to walk through the market. Here your guide will give you a feel of the day of the English. You will also be learning more about where the food comes from and things like that. In the afternoon you will have your choice of free museums to visit.
- Day seven is yours to enjoy however you like. Do the last minute shopping. Revisit your favorite spots. That evening you will be taking a cruise to tell your fellow travelers good-bye.. And on day eight you return home filled with wonderful memories.
I’ve heard that some entrepreneurs take the whole time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day off. And to be honest, I can kind of understand that. I will work tomorrow and then be off the rest of this week just as way of reminder.
Okay, I love British drama. I can’t decide whether I like Pride and Prejudice or Downton Abbey more. And I also really like The Crown, but I’ve never been one to keep current on the royal family. However, when I saw this piece in the travel news about the royal engagement, I was intrigued. Yes Prince Harry is engaged to an American named Meghan Markle. In honor of this, Trafalgar is setting up a royal tour of England. Let’s look at that today and probably tomorrow as well.
- You will be flying into London your first day. On this day, you will be getting in and settled. And there will be a tea served where you will be getting to know your fellow travelers as well as your tour guide.
- On the second day you will be free to enjoy a leisurely breakfast. After which you will be touring places like Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace. After that you will be free to decide what you want to do the rest of the day. Shop at the famous stores. Explore more on your own. It’s really up to you.
- Day three you will be exploring Windsor Castle. This is one of the places the queen still comes and works. You will spend the entire day here, but will be free for lunch.
I am going to pick this back up tomorrow. I would love to know your thoughts or any questions you might have.