Monday, June 25, 2012

The Art of Travel Part 8: Enjoying Your Time Away are relaxing on your perfect vacation! This is the time for you to sit back so you can eat, drink and be merry. Take in the sights and sounds around you without feeling pressured to be anywhere.
The beauty of vacations is that your itinerary can change at anytime; especially when you are traveling solo. If you wake up one day and decide you'd rather wander around neighbors, versus going to the museum - you can do that!

Sip a nice glass of wine while sitting at a quaint cafe, while doing some interesting people watching. Chat with the locals in order to hear about their lives, and the culture you are visiting during your vacation. Soak it all in, because these are the stories you will be telling your friends and family about when you return from your travels.

Being on vacation is a time to refresh your mind, body and spirit. There shouldn't be anything rushed about it, unless you are on an adventure seeking trip, and in that case, the whole trip will likely be a rush! Jumping out of planes; bungee jumping; mountain climbing - whatever your adventures may entail.

Wherever your travels may take you this year, make sure you revel in the pure luxury of just being allowed the time away, because real life will be there when you return.

*photo of food tray taken by Grant Cochran and provided by; photo of red wine by chawalitpix and provided by

Friday, June 15, 2012

Bottoms Up! Culinary Connectors - Beer Tour -Preview

I'm calling this a preview because I haven't actually taken the tour yet; however, I was cruising through Culinary Connectors site to find a tour for some clients that will be staying in Aspen for a vacation, and in my perusing their site, I saw the Craft Beer Tour...very cool! I've heard wonderful things about Culinary Connectors, so I figured that it would be an opportune time to try out some of their tours, and to have some fun downtown. It's baseball season, so I can't imagine a more appropriate tour to take right now; especially if it happens to be a day that the Colorado Rockies are playing!

Culinary Connectors operates in Denver, Boulder and Aspen, Colorado, so they provide a variety of restaurants to accommodate many palettes. I will write a review once I've actually taken the tour, but until then, check out their website to see some of the wonderful tours that they offer. Looking at their website makes my mouth water...

*Image courtesy of:

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Art of Travel: Part 7 - Arriving to Your Destination

Arrival to your destination is filled with a strange feeling of euphoria. You are excited to be there, yet, you can sometimes feel a bit of discomfort by being in unfamiliar territory; especially if you are traveling to a destination where there is a language barrier.

There are quite a few things that are important to navigate once you arrive into your final destination, and this segment will discuss a few of those items to make your arrival as stress free as possible.
  • Prior to disembarking from whatever mode of transportation you've utilized (plane, train, automobile), make certain that you check the area you were sitting in, to ensure you haven't forgotten anything. There is nothing worse than to lose items while traveling.
  • Keep all important documents close to your body. There are quite a few carrying cases/pouches that are sold whereby you can attach the case/pouch to your waist, or other parts of your body. Incidentally, avoid placing all of your money in the same place (if traveling with money). Keep some money in separate places throughout your luggage and on your body. 
  • Maintain control of your luggage at all time. If you have checked luggage, it is best to go to the restroom prior to picking up luggage from baggage claim, that way you won't have to shuttle all of your luggage into the restroom with you.
  • If you have rented a car, make sure that you place your luggage into the car yourself; be aware of your surroundings, especially if you are traveling alone and/or arrive late at night.
  • If you are using shuttle service or private transportation, maintain control of your luggage as long as possible, and keep your eye on exactly where your luggage was placed. This isn't paranoia, it's being practical, because so many people have similar luggage that it's easy to get your luggage confused with others...which leads to the next tip.
  • Have some highly identifiable luggage tag on  your luggage, so that it is easy to spot. There are a lot of people who purchase brightly colored luggage tags, and even unique luggage itself so as not to be easily confused with others luggage.
  • Once you have arrived at your hotel (assuming you are staying at a hotel), make sure to take several of the hotels business cards to have with you, just in case you get lost. It's easier to provide a taxi driver with the business card for the exact location of your hotel, or to obtain directions if you have the business cards.
  • If you unpack your belongings on trips (I typically don't, I like my luggage to remain packed so that if anything goes awry, it's easy to scoop up and get out - just my thing), make sure to peruse the room first. Check the bathrooms, under the beds, etc, to make sure things are clean and that the other occupants haven't left anything that house cleaning may not have found. 
  • I discourage traveling with valuables; especially to certain destinations, but if you do, make certain that if you utilize the in-room safes, that you check it out prior to placing your belongings in the safe. 
While vacations are supposed to be fun experiences, the reality is that there are unscrupulous people out there that would love nothing more than to separate you from your belongings. I had a purse stolen on a vacation in the Bahamas several years ago, and it made me become even more vigilant in making sure that I am always aware of my surroundings at all times. It had a fairly good out come, as I did obtain my purse back, along with most of its contents, except for my cell phone and about $200 cash. It was a valuable lesson for me, but I learned that it's my responsibility to ensure the safety of me and my personal belongings (friends were supposed to be watching our belongings as some of us danced - clearly that didn't work out too well).

*photo provided by That Chick Té