Monday, September 26, 2011
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Now that the weather is finally getting nicer and NOT 100 degrees plus, for me it is time to go enjoy the beach and do some relaxing.
The kids are back in school, things are getting back to "normal" and time to take a quick break. My two rental homes are just about 3 hours from Austin and an easy drive on the way down.
If you travel through Lockhart and Luling, you can stop at some outstanding BBQ places--4 of them in Lockhart and at least two in Luling. They have been featured on the Travel Channel on their program, BEST BBQ. My favorite one is Smitty's BBQ in Lockhart; good meat, good prices and I do like their sauce. I order the sausage dry, so I avoid all the usual grease dripping. It is a tasty treat that can be enjoyed on the go or in their restaurant.
If you journey through Cuero, there is a great old fashioned drive in with some the best malts around. But they are only open on weekdays since they are located next to a school and close at 7pm. Good food at excellent prices.
I like the beach especially in the evenings when the breeze is blowing in and I have my favorite beverage at my side while sitting on my beach chair. Since you can drive on our beach, you can load up your chair, cooler and gear, find a spot you like on the beach, then put your music on the car stereo and just chill out with your own private party.
My two homes are fully furnished, so you have all the linen you need, full kitchen with appliances, washer/dryer and DISH TV provided with about 150 additional movies in each home. So it is a relaxing, fun place to just hang out and get to know your family once again.
And now that it is getting cooler, the fish should start biting again! I think they were also affected with our extreme heat.
The main website for the coast is www.magnoliavacation.com. Call me today at 1-888-811-4497 as some of the weekends and week days are filling up pretty quickly.
Think relax and enjoy life!
Thursday, September 15, 2011
I'm so excited. . .next month I get to return to Ireland for a new tour and introduction of a product line by Sceptre Tours. Can hardly wait to get the itinerary in hand and start doing my research.
The last time I was there, we were in the southern part of Ireland, but due to flooding at the time, we could not visit several sites and even stay at the hotel in Cork that was on the original schedule. But no matter, whatever route we take, I will love being back in the "old country".
Sceptre Tours sends more people to Ireland than any of their competitors. They are very good at what they do and really take care of business.
Right now, I am working on a Spring Break trip to Ireland during Texas State's Spring Break. . . March 10-17. It would run one week and get you back home before classes resume on Monday. It includes round trip airfare from Austin to Dublin (from Chicago to Dublin and return) on the wonderful Airline, Aer Lingus, a four day tour of the south including the Ring of Kerry. It also includes a 2 night extension in Dublin.
Dublin is really a young city, the median age is 30. So it is where everyone should be to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in style. No matter that we have to come back on the "official" day, there are still celebrations all week long honoring the patron saint of Ireland.
I love that this tour would be a combination learning and then exploration tour with lots of free time to enjoy the sites of Dublin. The town was originally settled by Viking raiders. Today there are still Viking ruins and influences in the city. So it would be a painless history lesson.
To get you in the moooood to party, the pictures above are an exterior and an interior of the Red Fox Inn. I had the best Irish Coffee of my life while visiting here.
Please contact me asap. It takes at least 10 people for a group and more can lower the price for all. You can reach me at my office number 1-800-340-8050.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Having an office that is NOT at home is a new adventure! I do like having people drop in and I can help them find the right vacation for them. And I post specials on my door and at the entry to the offices.
There is ONE special that I think is a wonderful sale. If you book a trip to Sandals in the Bahamas, the companion airfare is free! So their 2 resorts are on sale UP TO 65% and with a free companion air ticket--I call that a win/win situation.
Love the Sandals Royal Bahamian with it's own private island for guests (have visited there twice) and I am ready to go to Emerald Bay very soon.
So call today 1-800-340-8050 or stop by 1515 Aquarena Springs Dr, Suite 101 in San Marcos for the latest great deals!!!
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Yes, this is a REAL sign. We saw this in Utah on the highway south from the Arches National Forest and just had to take a picture of it!
Evidently the deer are so prevalent in the area that they are warning EVERYONE that the deer are into the throes of passion and they are not looking out for cars. Hence the sign.
I love finding quirky signs and sites while traveling. So call me today at 512-805-9500 and I can help you plan your fun trip or getaway. Maybe you will see something fun and make you laugh, too!
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Bet you did not know that Lake Tahoe in Nevada/California has an Island? I was really surprised to find one when touring the area. The name is Fannette Island and it rises 150 feet high. Today there are stone ruins still to be seen but in 1929 there was a stone "castle" built on the island. Mrs. Lora J. Knight built it and called it her "Tea House". The main area was 250 square feet and she had her friends over for tea. I would have enjoyed an invitation to that party!
What fun to dress up, ride in a boat to such a charming destination and have tea with your closest friends! We should all be pampered that way.
I love quirky off the beaten path places and will help you find your perfect spot for a quick getaway or an extended trip. Call today, 512-805-9500.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
But at left is a picture of some downtown stores in a charming quirky place in Nevada, Virginia City. The entire town is on the National Register of Historic Places. It has creaky wooden sidewalks and was originally a mining area--and you can still take a mine tour here.
It is located about 1/2 hour from Reno and is not far off the beaten path to Lake Tahoe.
If you will remember the TV show Bonanza (think you can still catch it on TV Land) when the Cartwrights were going to "town" they were always going to Virginia City. Yes, the same place.
It has some fun shops, antique shops, restaurants and the same Western Flavor so you will know you are in the old Wild West.
One fun festival they do once a year is race camels. Yes, I mean those desert animals. One thing on my "bucket list" is to attend these races. I would love to watch all the fun and antics and maybe take a camel ride, as well
So call me today at 512-805-9500 and I can get you up on skis, gambling or having fun at the races!
Monday, January 31, 2011
One of the things that I really enjoy about all the Sandals Resorts is their emphasis on excellent quality food and drinks. Since it is an all-inclusive resort--you do not have to make choices based on quality or compromise because of price. I have never been disappointed with any meal at these resorts.
And they always have several different types of restaurants from Tex-Mex to Italian, Japanese and just plain great gourmet buffet. And if you stay at the family friendly Beaches Turks and Caicos in the Caribbean, you can choose from 16 restaurants! I had one of the best steaks of my life when enjoying their French restaurant.
When you have so many choices of places to eat, I like to treat the meal like a progressive dinner party. Drinks and appetizers at the bar, salad at another restaurant, main course at a 3rd and of course, dessert at a 4th. Then on to the nightlife and entertainment! So call today 512-805-9500 and I can make your dining dreams come true!
Friday, January 28, 2011
Happy Friday to all! Today's picture is NOT at an exotic destination (well maybe to some people) but is is right here at the Texas Gulf Coast! This picture was taken at Magnolia Beach on Matagorda Bay. It is a small community about halfway between Port Lavaca and Port O'Connor. For a pure beach experience, it is one of the best! No condos located here yet, no tourist stores or shell shops, just SUN, beach and FUN. It also includes a boat launch, 20 free covered picnic areas, a bird walk, kayaking, a great place to sail, and of course fishing and even crabbing. At the end of the 5 mile beach stretch is also a marina.
I have 2 fully furnished vacation rental homes located here at Magnolia Beach and they are great for families or just getting away. For more information, check out my website at www.magnoliavacation.com.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Ready to fly away to warmer lands? I am!
One of my favorite resorts in the world is Sandals Royal Bahamian. It is an awesome place, not only for the resort itself, the offshore island you can enjoy, the tax free shopping, but also the gambling. All this in one location.
On the island (for Sandals guests) there is beach on two sides, a lovely pool with swim up bar and a great restaurant. You can spend the entire day here and dream that YOU own it!
In addition, they have a restaurant called Baccarat which should have a 6 star designation--total excellence in their cousine. It is included in the restaurants available to you as guest, but you do have to make reservations after you check into the resort. Last time I visited I counted 17 tables, so it is tiny, but mighty on the palate.
So call today. . .for a limited time, this great all-inclusive resort is offering up to a 65% discount on the resort, but also a free companion fare on the airline tickets. Call today 512-805-9500 and I can get you on your way to warmer lands!
Monday, January 24, 2011
Here I am in Cobh (pronounced cove) Ireland standing next to the statue to Annie Moore whose group is turned toward America. Her fame is that she is the first Irish immigrant through Ellis Island in New York Harbor. Cobh is the port where most of the Irish immigrants left on the long journey to America. There is a sister statue on Ellis Island with her facing Ireland.
Here at Cobh is an Irish heritage museum and research center--fascinating place and great for your own family research.
If you have never heard of the Irish DNA project, you need to check it out. http://www.familytreedna.com/Default.aspx
By testing your DNA, you can find more of your long lost relatives. And if you have seen the series on TV, "Who Do You Think You Are" (coming soon for another season) then you have an idea of how this opens up new possibilities to your own search.
Travel not only broadens your horizons, but educates and brings people together. So call today to schedule your own voyage of discovery to your heritage, 512-805-9500.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Keeping the Irish theme going this week, here is a shot below of Ashford Castle located in County Mayo. It was built beginning in 1228. This charming castle was the highlight of our tour to Ireland and we not only got to stay there, but also dine here! The 5 star accommodations and food were INCLUDED in our tour.
Once owned by the Guiness Family (yes, the brewery family), it was their hunting retreat. Now it is a fabulous place to not only rest for the night, but to eat. The chef was recently honored as one of the very best chefs in all of Ireland. The food was amazing! We were served a 5 course meal by white gloved waiters and treated just like royalty! I could soon get used to this.
Our room was very comfortable and very well furnished. And in the bathroom, there was an indulgence I loved--a heated towel rack! What luxury to have a warm cozy towel waiting for you after your shower.
A booklet published by the castle listed some of the famous people who have stayed here in the past--John Wayne, Sir Elton John, Sir Paul McCartney and many more.
It was not all antiques and old stuff here, they have been updated into the 21st century. There is free internet service for guests! Up a wide, well decorated and elegant staircase is a computer room. So I got to check my email in splendor while connecting with the rest of the world.
So call today 512-805-9500 and you too can be treated like royalty!
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Looking at the calendar, it will soon be time for St. Patrick's Day. How about a trip the the "Old Country" and a tour of Irish Pubs to help celebrate that Saint driving the snakes out of Ireland? Now that is something I can get behind! Wish someone would come and drive them out of Texas!
While there during my last visit, I found some lovely Irish wool I brought back for my knitting daughters. There is even a tour for knitters! Part of the tour is going to the Aran Islands and meeting the knitters from that famous region. Call today 512-805-9500 and I can make your wishes come true!
Monday, January 17, 2011
Our rainy weather here in Texas reminds me of my trip last December to Ireland. I'm ready to go back and visit; it was one of the best trips of my life.
Above is a picture of the Cliffs of Moher, one of the top attractions in all of Ireland. It is located on the West Side of Ireland and well worth a visit. We happen to be there when it was pouring rain, but as so often happens in Ireland, it cleared up for a short time so we could explore. When it was time to leave, it started raining again.
One amazing thing about the entire trip was that there were so many different shades of green everywhere you looked, despite it being December! No wonder Johnny Cash wrote a song after visiting called "40 Shades of Green".
Call to today 512-805-9500 and I can help you with a trip to this Emerald Isle whether it is an escorted tour, self drive and B&B tour or just to visit for St. Patrick's Day.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Opening soon (before February 1) my office location is 1515 Aquarena Springs, Suite 101 here in San Marcos. Close to Texas State University, just off 1-35 between Austin and San Antonio so easily accessible for everyone.
For a while, my hours will be by chance or appointment, but I will be there as much as possible between 9am to 5pm. Of course, I do have meetings with my clients to deliver documents and take care of other business.
And I will let you know when I have my office warming party so you can come and celebrate with me!
Meanwhile, call me TODAY and see how affordable that getaway can be. 512-805-9500.
Friday, January 14, 2011
Fridays are special to me. . .the represent the "end" of the traditional work week and having time ahead to relax for a couple days. Bet most of you are ready to kick back and go out to dinner or just relax in front of the TV tonight.
But for me, I do not stop working for you. Yes, I'm here for you and answer the phone when you call. And if you are on a trip and have problems or need changes made to your hotels, I am here. This service is not available if you book your travel online at the big wholesale sites. Calling an 800 number will not give you the help you need from an anonymous person; they don't know you.
Service is what we do for our clients. We do CARE about your trip and making things run smoothly for you. We treat you like family and want you to trust us to return for the next vacation. And we are HAPPY if you refer us to your friends and family.
So call today 512-805-9500 and I'll be at answering the phone.
The picture above is Newschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany. Built by King Ludwig (who almost bankrupted the State of Bavaria). And it is this castle which was the inspiration for Walt Disney when he built Cinderella's Castle at both Disney World and Disneyland.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Dream away--above is the pool and swim up bar at the Melia Cabo Real in the Los Cabos area, a 4 star All-Inclusive resort. Good food, nice rooms, quality drinks. Yes, it is a fabulous idea to have a swim up bar. . .no getting out of the pool to refresh yourself!
My job is to travel and lend my experiences to my clients, but another crucial part is to keep my clients informed about travel news and how it impacts them. This involves not only the newest sales, but also changes in policy like the new Mexican law which took effect on September 14, 2010. The new law limits the amount of US Currency that will be accepted in Mexico on a daily basis as well as a monthly. Below is a link to check it out.
In the past, if traveling in a tourist area like Cancun, Riviera Maya, Los Cabos, Puerta Vallarta or even Ixtapa, I typically would not change my American dollars to pesos. Everyone would quickly accept dollars with no hesitation.
My attitude is that every time you change money, you lose purchasing power. This was brought home to me on a trip to England. I purchased American Express traveler's checks (for a fee) and then when I wanted to exchange them for British pounds, I was charged another fee (5%) to change them. Ouch!
Credit cards are pretty well accepted all over the world now, so it is easy to use them instead of cash. But before you travel, call your credit company and tell them you will be out of the country and what dates. You do not want to be standing in a line to purchase tickets to the Tower of London and have the purchase denied!
At the same time, also check with them about any extra fees they charge for changing the local currency to US dollars. Sometimes it is worth it to pay for purchases with the pesos or pounds or euros and NOT your credit card.
So call me today to book your trip to warmer climates! 512-805-9500 or 1-888-811-4497.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
On the left is Sandals Cay, at Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort near Montego Bay, Jamaica, one of the two private islands you can enjoy when you visit the Sandals Resorts.
But my favorite one is located at Sandals Royal Bahamian in the Bahamas. By having these islands included with your resort, you not only have the wonderful luxury included resorts to enjoy, but a short boat ride that will whisk you away for your own island experience. More fun and great value. They have restaurants, private beaches and in the Bahamas a pool with a great swim up bar.
I pride myself in matching the resort with my client to give them the best experiences and satisfaction possible. So by using my expertise in travel, I can save you money, time and give you the very best vacation possible. Right now, Sandals is having a sale with up to 65% discounts on the resorts. What a deal!
Monday, January 10, 2011
I'm always happy to start a new week, it is almost like a clean slate and I can start over. Hope you feel the same way.
Just got an email with great deals to Hawaii! Limited time deal. . includes airfare (from San Francisco), 5 nights at a hotel and an Avis Car. ..all for one set price. Oahu starts at $825/person;
Maui from $910/person; Kauai from $904 and Hawaii from $1397. So from here in Austin, you would just need to add flights to and from San Francisco. This picture is from a client who wanted to share how beautiful it was on the beach in Maui.
Call today to take advantage of this limited time promotion! 512-805-9500 or 1-888-811-4497.
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Today it is raining here and overcast. . .Texas winter with a coming cold snap for early next week. All I want to do is to run away to warmer climates!
I would love to enjoy some of the great Spring Break specials I have, but think I'm too old right now (yes, you are as old as you feel) but all the wild craziness is no longer for me. Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE to party and have fun, but a bit more sedate.
The pictures above should give you some ideas! The one on the top is at the Los Cabos area in Mexico and the one at the bottom is taken at one of the Sandals Resorts in Jamaica. Yes, I have been to all of the Sandals and Beaches Resorts in Jamaica. . .all the better to preview them for you. I love helping match people and resorts.
For the great Spring Break specials geared to the college crowd, check out http://www.ststravel.com/?repcode=00630000. This will get you directly into my site to book directly. . .or you can CALL ME (what a novel idea!) at 512-805-9500 or toll free at 1-888-811-4497.
And coming SOON you will be able to personally VISIT us at Trips and Travel with our new office located on Aquarena Springs Drive, after we sign the lease late next week! SO you can pop in, get brochures and personalized help, all at no cost to you! I'll keep you posted as to when we are open, but it will be soon.
Meanwhile, think warm thoughts, dream of your vacation and then CALL me so I can make your travel dreams come true!
Friday, January 7, 2011
The cold weather makes me think of tropical getaways. The picture above is of the Sandals Resort in Negril, Jamaica. Only 7 miles of beautiful white sandy beaches to walk on barefoot and lounge on the beach enjoying Margaritas. Right now there are some great specials for Sandals and their sister Family Resorts, Beaches. Time to call and find out how easy it is to work with a travel agent! Call me today! If I cannot travel, then the next best thing is helping others plan their getaways.