August 6, 2014
When my daughter, Emily, announced she had one week off of work this summer when all kid activities are cancelled due to an annual sailing race, my mind immediately started working. “What will you do?” I asked casually.
“Annabel and I are thinking of going away somewhere”, she answered, referring to a friend she met three years earlier on a summer community service trip to Costa Rica.
Emily is leaving for college this fall. Knowing that this could be an ideal opportunity to spend quality time with her, I blurted out, “Would you and Annabel want to go away with me and Dad? Somewhere we could do some high adventure?”
I held my breath, and within seconds she said, “Yaaaa!” She texted Annabel who responded in kind. And that is how I lured my 18-year-old daughter to come away with us. Yes, we’d be sharing her with a friend, though it seemed the ideal strategy for getting her to travel with us and we happen to be very
fond of Annabel.
To make the package as attractive as possible, challenging outdoor activities would be key. Planning a trip for 5 days and 4 nights, Read More→
July 27, 2014
For much of the past 25 years, when I heard someone mention Puglia, I could only think back to the music-filled and pasta heavy restaurant in Manhattan’s Little Italy, where I once threw my husband a memorable and ruckus birthday party before we were married.
All that changed a few years ago when I met my friend Antonello Losito, founder of Southern Visions Travel, and heard him boast about the beauty and food of his native region, Puglia, situated in the heel of Italy’s boot. “You must come to Puglia to see for yourself”, he urged. He listed the reasons why, and I listened.
I can now say firsthand that Puglia is a trip worth making. With only six days to explore, my husband, Rich, and I made the most of our time, splitting our six days between the Adriatic coastline area south of Bari and the historic city of Lecce further the south.
With the help of Southern Visions, we spent our first two days bicycling, equipped with titanium bikes and self-guided directions that the company provided. Biking along the flat coastline – ideal for adapting to the new time zone – proved leisurely and scenic
beyond my expectations. Read More→
November 26, 2012
According to the Mayan calendar, the world will end on December 21, 2012. To mark the event, the Tour d’Afrique biking company has organized the first (and last?) ever Doomsday Ride on La Ruta Maya. The trip leaves San Jose (Costa Rica) on December 20th and will lead cyclists through Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and Belize. There will be 28 riding days and 7 rest days, during which travelers will visit Mayan ruins, cycle through cloud forests, small villages and markets, pedal by volcanoes and waterfalls, and learn more about the mysteries of the Mayan calendar.
I was introduced to Tour d’Afrique Ltd., a Toronto based company, at an ATTA adventure travel conference last October in Lucerne and was instantly intrigued by its long distance cycling adventures. Named for its flagship ride that annually traverses the African continent from Cairo to Cape Town, Tour d’Afrique has six additional epic cycling tours, including destinations such as the Silk Route, a trans-Asia expedition between Istanbul and Shanghai or Beijing; and the Orient Express, crossing Europe from Paris to Istanbul.
But next up, the Doomsday ride…
October 2, 2012
For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to stay on a gîte – the French word for a holiday vacation home, often on a farm or vineyard. When a colleague mentioned she knew someone who’d opened a gîte on a vineyard near France’s southwestern city of Carcassonne, I immediately inquired.
A few months later, there I was with my teenage daughters, Nicole and Emily, riding the three-hour train from Paris to Montpellier, where we picked up a rental car and drove an hour and a half to Chateau Cânet, a working wine and olive oil domaine in France’s Languedoc region.
Upon our arrival, we were greeted by a lovely summer intern named Anna, who gave us a tour of the grounds – the swimming pool, tennis court, ping pong table, barbeque – and showed us around our accommodation, a quaint cottage with two bedrooms, a kitchenette and a private outdoor patio.
Chateau Cânet is the dream project of its proprieters, Floris Lemstra and Victoria Lemstra-Bake. With their two children and two large dogs in tow, they manage every aspect of Cânet’s 250 acres, its wine and olive oil production and its nine gîtes which accommodate 42 guests. Read More→