Friday, December 31, 2010

Wishing you a safe New Year's Celebration, and a
wonderful, healthy, and prosperous New Year!

See you next year!

Chicks That Trip

Saturday, December 25, 2010


We would like to wish you and your families a beautiful,
warm, and special holiday season.

Merry Christmas!

Chicks That Trip

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Pick Up Your Passport!

Pick Up Your Passport!

Imagine that all of your friends are planning an impromptu trip to an exotic locale like Bali, Greece, Portugal, or even Jamaica, to depart in the next week, but you can't go. Yes, you can't go because you don't have a passport. You think to yourself, "No problem, I can get one in the next week without a problem"- but it is a problem. Obtaining a passport on short notice (while possible) is expensive. Most people don't realize the cost until they are attempting to get a passport expedited to them in the course of a week; oftentimes less time than that. Currently, receiving your passport can run 4-6 weeks, sometimes longer if there are a glut of applications that are received and need to be processed (excluding expedited passports).

Here is the information you will need in order to obtain a passport, as well as the costs:
  1. You need to get passport photos (2);
  2. Verification of identity is required which can include one of the following: Previously issued, undamaged U.S. Passport, Certified birth certificate issued by the city, county or state, Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth, Naturalization Certificate or Certificate of Citizenship;
  3. If applying in person the following information can be used as identification: Previously issued, undamaged U.S. Passport, Naturalization Certificate, Valid Driver's License, Current Government ID (city, state or federal), or Current Military ID (military and dependents);
  4. If you are providing Secondary Identification, you must provide a photocopy of the front and back of each document presented with your application. Example of secondary identification would be: Social Security Card + Credit Card + Employee ID + Library Card *these items are not acceptable as secondary identification when presented alone;
  5. There are special requirements for All Minors Under Age 16 and All Minors Ages 16 & 17 - you will need to review those requirements, and any information, as they are subject to change at any time;
  6. An Adult Passport is $110 + $25 execution fee = $135. The Adult renewal is $110;
  7. A Minor Passport is $80 + $25 execution fee = $105;
  8. Expedition costs are $60 per application plus overnight delivery costs, as well as other fees that can be associated too. Check the fine print.
I would strongly recommend checking out this website:, so that you are prepared whenever you are going to obtain your passport, as it is a wealth of information, and any information can change at their discretion in respect to pricing and fees. Also, keep in mind for those of you who are sitting their smugly thinking that you are o.k. because you have your passport; if you are traveling, and your passport expires in less than 6 months of your return date, then you will need to renew your passport prior to your travels too.

Don't be left behind - get or renew your passport today!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Part 14 Of Series: 101 Reasons To Use A Travel Agent

Part 14 Of Series: 101 Reasons To Use A Travel Agent

My business partner sent me an email forwarded from another party regarding deep discounted rooms in the Dominican Republic. The rooms were jaw dropping 90% off of their rates; which equated to approximately $20.00 a night. Upon further perusing, I reviewed the fine print and came up with well over several hundred dollars of associated fees; so while the price was still very inexpensive, it was not the $20.00 that was advertised.

The same thing happens with deep discounted cruise rates you will see online or in snail mailings too. There will be a rate for 3-7 nights showing a ridiculously low price of $199/$299/$399; however, once the port surcharges, and additional fees are added, those ratchet the prices up several hundred dollars more. Again, even with the additional charges, some of these rates are still significantly less than other prices; but, more often than not, the cruise lines who have the these deep discounts are not the upper echelon of the cruise industry. Again it goes to the old adage, “You get what you pay for.” While there are countless people who have and will continue to take a discounted cruise on a lower class ship, there are those who will chose to add more to their budget in order to obtain a higher level of service, food and overall experience.

Difference in Days to Save Money - Instead of playing around with dates on the internet for hours your travel agent can advise you on any changes to your travel dates that might save you hundreds of dollars.

Staying In-the-Know of Daily Promotions - Travel agents get emails and faxes of daily money saving promotions.

Enhancing the Trip With Extra Amenities -Your travel specialist may be able to arrange for those little extras like a bottle of champagne to be waiting in your room when you arrive.

Using Clout in Impossible Situations - Whether it is air line seats, cruise reservations, or overbooked activities travel experts have more buying power than the average consumer.

Clarifying the Fine Print - Your travel agent can advise you of all the cancellation penalties and restrictions hidden in the fine print of your travel documents.

Detailed Itineraries - Your travel expert can help you plan your trip out day- by- day to give you a good mix of fun and relaxation.

*Source Information from ASTA


Thursday, December 2, 2010

What Are Your Plans For New Year's Eve?

What Are Your Plans For New Year's Eve?

First, let me say that New Year's Eve is probably my least favorite holiday. It started at a young age for me, and I primarily can say my distaste for the holiday was derived from the singing, or should I say, the lyrics of "Auld Lang Syne." It's slow tempo and depressing lyrics never made me feel like leaping out of my seat and dancing the night away; nor did it give me any feeling that I'd be able to accomplish magnificent goals in the new year.

With that being said, I do enjoy New Year's Day! The parades, food, and you guessed it - FOOTBALL! A lot of my friends and colleagues are in a frenzy trying to decide what they are going to do on NYE? Where they are going? What they are going to wear? Who is going to be where they are going? How much are they willing to pay to be at X location? And it goes on, and on and on. While the end of the year is oftentimes viewed with a certain degree of mixed emotions; I (typically), am able to reflect on all of the positive steps I've made over the past year, while also looking ahead at all of the marvelous adventures I will have in store for the New Year.

There are still quite a few other holidays between now and the end of the year, so enjoy all of the holiday cheer and don't "sweat the small stuff." Whether you are in New York watching the ball drop in Times Square; sitting in your home watching television; partying the night away in Los Angeles or enjoying a private party with friends and family, make sure to enjoy the remainder of 2010, so you can carry that excitement into 2011!



Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Au Revoir! Addio! Adiós! Goodbye!

Au Revoir! Addio! Adiós! Goodbye!

It was with much chagrin and disgust that I listened to the NPR (National Public Radio) piece regarding the cuts to SUNY (State University of New York) humanities programs which were to eliminate French, Italian, Russian, classics and theater. The full story can be read here:

I'm sure you are sitting there thinking, "What does this have to do with travel?" I'll tell you - everything. For years, since I was in elementary school, the lackluster performance by American students in foreign language courses has been a bane of many educators existence. Mind numbing statistics have placed the United States well behind other countries in respect to their ability to read, comprehend and speak foreign languages. While numerous countries have their children speaking multiple languages essentially from birth, we are doing well to say our American students are able to read, comprehend and speak the English language, much less a foreign language.

Now, back to travel. It's imperative that we all are able to adapt to the Global economy/marketplace, and in doing so, foreign language skills are critical. I'll be the first to admit that I studied French for over 7 years (high school and three years in college), and while I am able to read and comprehend a lot, my speaking the language is oftentimes downright scary and unintelligible, but I still try, because I know it's important. I've met a lot of people over the course of my life from various countries, and they are not only able to speak one language, but oftentimes multiple languages. I have a friend that speaks six languages: French (being his native language), Italian, English, Swahili, Spanish and German. That's an extreme case, but I know others from other countries who speak at least two or three languages - well. These individuals are able to travel comfortably, and interact at a level that most Americans are unable to accomplish; so when I hear and read about programs being stricken from our colleges that would benefit our students, it disappoints me and aggravates me to no end.

There are many who would argue that liberal arts degrees are useless and that a person with say, a degree in Business, Technology or Engineering will be better prepared in the workplace than a person with an English degree (yes, I hold a B.A. in English, as well as an M.B.A. in Global Management); however, I would argue that all degrees have their importance. Being able to travel and communicate in the native language is as crucial as being able to memorize and know the Pythagorean Theorem (which, by the way, I don't know by memory).

Despite our current economy, I hope that we don't continue down the path of disregarding important courses in colleges because they may not correlate to dollars and cents, but realize the significance of the liberal arts courses which also help us to navigate, understand and communicate with other cultures.

*photo taken from:


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Brilliant, Breathtaking Brazil!

Brilliant, Breathtaking Brazil!

That Chick Dawni is on her way back from romping through Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. My lovely business partner was ecstatic (and of course, had to immediately share with me) as she snapped this photo of the pristine water located directly below her hotel room. I must confess...there was a moment of envy as my eyes glazed over and I imagined myself stepping into that warm water, and having it sweep over my bare feet. Alas, I was unable to make this trip with her, but be assured, I will be headed there too - sooner, rather than later!

Bravo Brazil!

*Photo provided by That Chick Dawni


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pizza, Bruschetta & Vino....OH MY!

Pizza, Bruschetta & Vino ... OH MY!

On October 27th, I hosted an event at Piatti's Italian restaurant which is located in Cherry Creek, Colorado. It was an intimate affair hosted by Chicks That Trip. The event was held in order to showcase some culinary and wine tours of Italy. While it was not a large gathering, we sat back, relaxed, and enjoyed titillating conversation, food and of course, some vino.

Sal was the server in our area, and he was engaging, personable and a real gentleman. We were never without anything we needed, and he set-up our spread of food just like a pro! There was brilliant bruschetta, aromatic roasted vegetables, and pizza's with pizzaz as well as other delicious bites to eat.

One of the tours being promoted is an absolutely divine culinary experience in Tuscany, Italy. The property is on thirty (30) acres with five (5) acres of Truffle farming; a 12 ensuite Villa, and more than enough room to roam. There are daily cooking classes set-up at lunchtime; however, there is plenty of cushion in the itinerary to get out and explore Tuscany and the surrounding countryside, which, incidentally, is only a short hours drive to Florence. The food prepared during the classes is seasonal; therefore, all of the classes are based on the time of year so that all the dishes are fresh, current, and impart Tuscany's regional fare. And if, per chance, you are traveling with someone who just wants to partake of the food, but not actually prepare it - they are free to join as a companion! They get all the benefits of the food, without all of the work...hmmmm.

As we start pushing our way into the holiday season, it's never to soon to start thinking about travels for next year. Wherever your travels may take you during the holiday season and in to the next year, be sure to take a step back, relax and enjoy yourself.

Per la tua salute!

Personalized, Chicks That Trip wrapped candy bars
Sensational spread of appetizers
Gift table
Brilliant bruschetta
Platters of pizza

*photos provided by That Chick Té


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Part 13 Of Series: 101 Reasons To Use A Travel Agent

Part 13 Of Series: 101 Reasons To Use A Travel Agent

Recently I was part of a travel community webinar that was hosted in respect to travel statistics for 2010 and projections for 2011. I won't bore you with mind numbing statistics, but there were quite a few statistics that stood out for me, and while I do not prefer to recite statistics without the supporting documentation; I will say that the travel agent is coming back stronger than ever.

During the webinar, there were statistics on where people are traveling? Who is traveling the most (age groups)? What the newest emerging group of travelers are? And, how many people are reverting back to utilizing travel agents in their quest for the best, not cheapest, vacation package. There is a misconception amongst people who are not in the travel community that the cheapest vacation is the best. Well, I am here to tell you that it's completely not true, and there are countless travelers that I've spoken with personally who have discussed their distaste for the "bait and switch" tactics that some sellers of travel have resorted. I would be lying if I said that there are not people who really do prefer the cheapest vacation. It doesn't matter if they are only shaving $50 or $100 off of their total travel; they will travel to the farthest flung airports; change planes multiple times, and stay in the least expensive places in order to save a bit of cash. While there is nothing wrong with that travel, if that's your preference, most people I know who are going on vacation are trying to get away from the reality of their finances, problems, etc, so for them, paying a bit more to only change planes once (if at all); staying in a modest to more upscale property, and hiring a private car service is part of the total experience of their vacation.

Being a part of the travel community, it is my responsibility to reconcile a lot of information that's out there and put it into a well formatted, easy to understand form of communication. Working with a travel professional helps to ensure that your investment of time and money is always the top priority in any recommendations that are put forth. While they may not always be the least expensive options, I can say for myself, I listen, really listen to the needs of the client and create an experience they will be happy with and can remember for years to come - until their next vacation!

Advice on Where to Go if You Get Sick - If you happen to be unfortunate enough to get hurt or fall ill while on your trip, your travel agent can help you find somewhere clean and safe for medical attention.

Trust - If you should have any questions after booking your trip you know how to reach your travel agent and can avoid the FAQ section on a website.

You Know How to Reach Them When You Need Them - Problems at the airport? Reservation issues at the hotel? Your travel agent is a phone call away from getting your problem solved.

Tips and Tricks - How early do you really need to be at the airport? What are the quickest ways to get through security? Your travel expert can advise you of the airport security levels the day of your trip and any new security checkpoints you may have to worry about.

Is the Upgrade Worth It? - Your travel expert can help you save money by helping you decide if certain upgrades at hotels are really worth the extra money.

*source information provided by ASTA


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Restaurant Spotlight: Corridor 44 - Denver, CO

Restaurant Spotlight: Corridor 44 - Denver, CO

A few weeks ago I had one of my close friends visiting me from Arizona. Yes, she luxuriated in the sheer coolness that is Colorado, over the torrid heat of Arizona - even in October!
During her short visit we were able to enjoy a nice, hip, restaurant spot in Downtown Denver called Corridor 44; which is known for its Champagne, as they have a plethora of selections (over 100+); it is not only a Champagne bar, but also a delectable restaurant.
In my friends generous nature, she treated me to a lovely dinner there, and we dined on creamed spinach and pancetta; pan roasted organic chicken breast w/mashed potatoes, mushrooms and white truffle oil, and filet mignon w/mashed potatoes, asparagus and a (rich) veal demi-glaze.
We started our evening with a flight of three (3) Rosé Champagnes. They were a divine selection of Rosé from light to fuller body. I failed to secure the card that spoke of their vintage, but they were delicious and since my traveling to Paris, I've grown a profound fondness and familiarity to Rosé's.
I enjoyed the crispy bits of the fried pancetta along with the smooth, and not overly creamy spinach. My friend dined on her pan roasted organic chicken breast w/mashed potatoes and she enjoyed every bit of it. I had a medium well filet mignon that was perfectly executed, with asparagus that still retained a bit of their crunch without being over cooked and mushy; however, we both commented on the richness of the mushroom and truffle oil that was a part of her chicken dish, and the veal-demi glaze that was the base of my filet mignon and mashed potatoes. It was not unpalatable, but both sauces were a little rich for our tastes. I would have been fine with a simple red wine reduction sauce for my filet.
All in all, we were able to sit back, relax, and enjoy an unhurried time together in order to catch up on old times and sip on some scintillating libations.
Pour la santé.

Petite Parlour area off of the bar and main dining area

Main booth seating area across from the bar

Our delicious Rosé flights served in this whimsical set-up

Organic pan roasted chicken over mashed potatoes

Creamed spinach w/crispy pancetta

Filet mignon w/asparagus and mashed potatoes w/veal demi-glaze

After dinner cocktail - mmmmmm

Small corridor just past the main lobby and sitting area

Incredible sitting room where you can have private events & gatherings

The sitting room has multiple seating areas that are both intimate and functional

*photos taken by That Chick Té