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Unique Meets Boutique at Hotel Saint Louis in Lisieux Normandy

October 30, 2014 by  

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Heading to Normandy? Then Lisieux is bound to be on your list. For stays, Hotel Saint Louis, which conveniently sits in the center of Lisieux is a great choice for those who are looking for unique and boutique blended into one. Hotel Saint Louis isn’t a luxury hotel, nor does it have the bells and whistles you might need from a chain if you’re traveling on business, although they do have reliable wifi. It is all things quaint and charming however in more ways than one. The outside courtyard below is in the front of hotel, which immediately faces the infamous historical cathedral across the street. It’s a great place to sip that morning coffee during warmer months. The place is run and managed by a highly energetic local woman who is not only hospitable and friendly, but she seems to be able to “do anything,” so if you have a quirky problem, run it by her and chances are she’ll come up with a solution. Below is the ever so French breakfast they serve in the morning in a delightful side room where guests meet…

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Taking in the Best That Nantucket Has to Offer!

October 30, 2014 by  

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When I lived in Boston, we would occasionally zip over to Nantucket although I can probably count only a half dozen or so times over the years we made the effort. We tended to go to Martha’s Vineyard more often, which we skipped this past summer during our August visit since Obama was there at the time and security was through the roof. I always thought of Nantucket is the “older island” when I was in my twenties since it seemed to appeal to the older, wealthier, more established New Englander, many of whom either had a second home there or semi or permanently retired to the island. For those of you not familiar with Nantucket, it’s an island roughly 30 miles south of Cape Cod. Together with the small islands of Tuckernuck and Muskeget, it constitutes the town of Nantucket, Massachusetts and spans across only around 105 miles, so you can easily get around the island in a day.  The feeling of the place is very intimate even in the bubbling summer months, where the population bursts to around 50,000, up from its year round population of only 11,000. We came in by fast ferry from Hyannis…

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Watching An Elephant Give Birth In Southern Africa

October 30, 2014 by  

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As a guide in Africa, I have a wish list as I’m sure many guides do, things I would love to see, rare sightings I’d love to witness during my guiding career and I have been fortunate enough to tick off a few over the last few years. Having said that, every now and then we have sightings that no words or pictures can describe. This afternoon’s events were just one of those moments. Myself and guest Irene Nathanson headed out on game drive. As we were leaving for game drive we were discussing our plan for the afternoon, the Sparta pride had been found in the morning and so we decided to try our luck and see if we could find them. About 45 minutes into drive we were heading down a road called Circuit South when we stumbled upon a breeding herd of elephants and from a distance myself and Richard could see that something was not quite right. The herd seemed unsettled but there were no obvious clues as to why. They scattered running in all directions so we stopped the vehicle, switched off and observed from a distance. After a while the elephants seemed to relax and started feeding.…

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The Magic Spell of Normandy’s Mont Saint Michel

October 30, 2014 by  

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Rewind the clock to over twenty years ago. I’m in my early twenties and hitching my way through France…every nook and cranny of her, from the castles and valleys in the south, to Dijon, Lyon, the Loire Valley and Paris, through the coastline of Brittany and then to northern Normandy. I was young and my luggage and budget were both slight — back then, it was more about the discovery and meeting new people than it was about capturing an experience. Today, I somehow manage to do both. There was a magical and remarkable place I visited oh so long ago on that lovely and free-spirited summer that has remained on my mind since I first set eyes on her. I didn’t have a serious camera at the time so never managed to get high quality shots of this magical, remarkable place and so I decided to make up for it this time. Welcome to Mont Saint Michel on the northern coast of France.
Mont Saint-Michel is an island commune approximately one kilometer off the country’s northwestern coast, at the mouth of the Couesnon River near Avranches. It boasts several marvels of medieval architecture, with…

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Fun Things To Do on Halloween Night in the Big Apple

October 29, 2014 by  

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Hey New Yorkers or those who may be in the Big Apple on Halloween. Since it’s around the corner, here are some fun things to do in the city. halloween-1-parade_650

MANHATTAN

  • Take a ghost tour and learn about Manhattan’s most scandalous tales.  Led by the most passionate ghost gurus you’ll ever meet, these creepy tours meet at dusk and take you through the East Village’s dark, dark past.
  • Visit a haunted house.  With NYC’s surplus of talented actors and actresses who haven’t quite made their Broadway debut, a haunted house in the city promises to hold some of the very best (and creepiest!) talent!
  • Drink a pint at a NYC haunted pub.  There’s something enticing about knowing that the souls of NYC’s past are lurking right behind you as you sip your pumpkin ale, right?
  • Dress up your four legged friend for the cutest costume parade, ever!
  • Dress yourself up for the NYC Halloween Parade, a legendary event that’s the largest of its kind in the nation.  Oh heyyy, NYC!  Grand Marshall this year is Whoppi Goldberg, woo hoo!
  • Sleep No More.  Alright, I know I’m ALWAYS telling you guys about a “must do” that is simply THE BEST EVER, right?


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Get Bathed in White at Le Royal Monceau Luxury Spa in Paris

October 29, 2014 by  

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A temple of well-being and contemporary beauty, Le Royal Monceau, a Raffles Spa in Paris, was a godsend stop on the tail end of my Normandy tour this past September. You’re bathed in all white from the moment you enter its doors. Imagine 1,500 square meters of space under one roof, including a 23-meter infinity pool, the largest ever built in a Paris luxury hotel. On the same floor are the exclusive treatment rooms, where you can get everything from a pedicure, manicure or body wrap to a facial or more traditional massage. There’s also hammam, laconium room and sauna, a gym and dedicated fitness coaches. What else is cool is that you can access the spa from every floor regardless of where you’re staying in the hotel. The experience was nothing short of 5 star and for those who travel a lot, you know that a 5 star spa experience in Paris is a notch above what you’d find in New York, Miami or Vegas. My favorite? Beside the fabulous facial that is, I’d have to vote for the incredibly luxurious and…

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A Visit With The Forever Birds of Mumbai

October 29, 2014 by  

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Beautiful Mumbai in India. On a cool winter morning, as one walks down the road to the Sewri jetty in Mumbai, it seems more like taking a guard of honour from the oversized trucks that line both sides of the road. Pass them, and the road opens up. Towards the left, a smattering of old ship wrecks marks the foreground. And beyond them, a rising Sun glints upon the Arabian Sea, trying to figure its way between the clouds and the smoke that mark the usual Mumbai sky. But there’s so much here that’s unlike the usual Mumbai. Flamingos for example. A sea of Flamingos It’s the east coast (yes, Mumbai has one!), and in a city known for its evening Chaupati sunsets, we are here to witness a sunrise and so, even the Sun is atypically benign.  But more than that, we are here for a glimpse of nature in the otherwise industrial area of Sewri. A Sunrise through the wrecks A Sunrise through the wrecks A keener look at the sight reveals those thousands of birds that we’ve come looking after. They stand, in row after row, at the edge of what’s…

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A Beautiful Walk Along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way…

October 29, 2014 by  

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I continued to work my way north along the Wild Atlantic Way coastal drive and with each hair raising bend and narrow road I began to fall more in love with the Irish culture and history. This week I crossed 2 counties, County Kerry and County Clare, and took the time to slow down, get out of the car for a bit, and use my own two feet to finally do some walking in Ireland. I think any good road trip needs to have a mix of driving and activities else you stop really ‘seeing’ things; your eyes get used to simply scanning the road at 50 mph and our brain tunes out the rest. Oh – and your ass gets really sore. I got in touch with Ireland Walk Hike Bike, a local adventure operator along the Wild Atlantic Way, and I was able to get to places off the tourist map as well as learn an immense amount about the history and culture of the area. I went out with them in Killarney and on the Dingle Peninsula and it was so nice to be the passenger for a bit and just soak in knowledge. They took me…

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