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  • 15 Fun Facts about Curaçao

    1. Drinks with a view are one of the many specialties on the island of Curacao. Let your worries slip away as you bask in the warm sun with a refreshing drink in hand. Start your morning off with a swim before heading to the bar to enjoy a cocktail or smoothie made from locally grown fruits, including mango, coconut, and papaya. 2. What better place for a UNESCO site? Quietly tucked in the southern part of the Caribbean, Curacao is truly a hidden gem. The country's capital, Willemstad, is characterized by colorful Dutch architecture that dates back to the 17th century. Designated as a UNESCO world heritage site, Willemstad is a beautiful blend of an ancient European city and a lively island oasis. 3. One amazing place to unplug – remember electricity and water don’t mix – put away your cell phone when you come here! Pristine beaches, turquoise waters, and near-perfect year-round weather are just a few reasons to love Curacao. Disconnect from the stress of the everyday hustle and bustle and lose yourself in the tranquil sounds of the island. Walk barefoot on the beach or go for a swim in the crystal clear waters and discover the magic of the Caribbean. 4. My grandson would call Curacao “Muy colorful” – and he’s be right! Discover the most colorful island in the Caribbean. The vibrant streets of Curacao are sure to excite history buffs and delight your senses. Local legend has it that these buildings were once white, but the bright reflection of the sunlight caused the Governor-General at that time to have migraines. Allegedly he requested the buildings illustrate any color other than white giving Curacao the colorful reputation it has today! 5. At first glance, the building of Curacao might seem like a more colorful version of Amsterdam. That's because the island was colonized by the Dutch after gaining its independence from Spain in the 17th century. Look beyond the bright colors, and you'll see Dutch architecture, cobblestone streets, and open-air plazas that are all reminiscent of an old European city. 6. Wake up. Swim. Repeat. Waste no time traveling to the beach and book a room right on the water. The famous Willemstad lagoon is the perfect spot to call home during your stay on Curacao. Jump right in the clear turquoise water or take a boat directly out to the ocean for a cruise around the island. 7 How about a great place to spend some time with friends? You’ll never be far from the fun when you visit Curacao. Regardless of where you stay, everything is only a short drive away. This small Caribbean paradise is perfect for a long weekend getaway. Gather your friends for a weekend of fun and adventure or plan a solo trip to relax and disconnect. 8. Red Rover, Red Rover, I’ll send you right over! Have you ever ridden a pontoon bridge? The Queen Emma Pontoon bridge, also known as the Swinging Old Lady, spans the St. Anna Bay in Curacao. Connecting Punda and Otrabanda in the capital city of Willemstad, the bridge with its colorful arches is an iconic national treasure. Worried you might get stuck on one side? Never fear! Pedestrians are still allowed to cross the bridge with a little help from a ferry to finish the journey. 9. Polly Want a Cracker? Almost as colorful as the buildings themselves, the birds of Curacao blend in perfectly with the island's vibrant atmosphere. From the buildings to the fruits and the birds, the colors of Curacao are sure to brighten your stay. Surround yourself with color and excitement when you escape to this island paradise. 10 . Dance, dance, dance, all night long! The day isn't over when the sun goes down. The nightlife on Curacao is almost as famous as the beaches. Start the evening off at Hemingway for a sunset toast, then head to the nearby Mambo Beach and Wet & Wild for live music and dancing that goes well into the night. These well-known hot spots are favorites amongst locals and tourists alike. 11. What is your favorite color of cocktail or smoothie? No trip to Curacao is complete without trying Blue Curacao. This famous local liqueur produced from the dried peel of the Laraha citrus fruit, grown right on the island. Mimicking the bright blue shade of the water, Blue Curacao offers a little taste of paradise. Ask the bartender to make you a Turqa & Cocos or a Blue Lagoon and enjoy the tropical flavors while in this tropical paradise! 12. Welke talen spreedk jij? Que idiomas hablas? Multi-lingual impressive! Curacao is a nation full of natural beauty and rich history. Initially settled by the Spanish, Curacao quickly because a global trading hub when the Dutch West India Company took lead of the island in the early 1600s. Since then, the island has become a melting pot of European and Caribbean culture, with most natives speaking up to four languages! 13. Hammock, hammock, who has the hammock? Is it there? Start your day off slow and relax into the laid-back tempo of the island. Nap on the beach for a spell or have a lazy afternoon lying in a hammock. Let your worries be drift away with the tides while you do as much or as little as you'd like. When you are visiting Curacao, you are on island time. 14. Where can you go to Mardi Gras Caribbean style? Give yourself the chance to experience one of the most elaborate and longest-lasting festivals in the Caribbean. The Curacao Carnival takes this annual celebration to new levels with its vibrant and energetic festivities. The Carnival is a great time to visit the island if you're in the mood for music, dancing, and larger-than-life costumes parading through the streets. The festivities always end on Ash Wednesday, so it's time to get the party started! 15. Seafood – Fresh Extravaganza Curacao cuisine celebrates the island's history with a unique blend of Dutch and Caribbean inspired dishes. Seafood is the main staple in Curacao, and there's no shortage of fresh seafood caught daily around the island. If you're feeling adventurous try Keshi Yena, a cheesy signature dish of Curacao, or try a sweet treat, Poffertjes is a delicious Dutch pancake that is popular throughout the island. Among the many, many, many reasons to visit Curaçao - this is merely 15 great reasons. When you're ready to start planning your trip to Curaçao, let's get together to plan and make sure your plans are carried out seamlessly, with no stress. Your vacation is to relax and experience new destinations, not to worry about the intricate details aligning - that's my job! Schedule a chat now to get started - or email with any pre-planning questions you have. Vicky@GottaLuvTravel.com

  • Rüdesheim am Rhein -

    Rüdesheim is a winemaking town in the Rhine River Gorge, and part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Although it's commonly referred to as simply Rüdesheim, it's offical name is Rüdesheim am Rhein. The town hosts is wine festival annually, where you can enjoy the cool crisp Riesling of the area (usually around August). Rüdesheim Germany is one of the most beautiful wine regions in Germany. As you stroll among the half-timbered buildings of the old town, it's very common to see locals gathering about to share their stories of the day. What better place to stop for a Rüdesheim kaffee or a glass of local wine. So let's talk about a Rüdesheim kaffee - what is it you might ask? Well, let me tell you! One thing it is - delicious and warm (and alcoholic). The intriguing part of a genuine kaffee is that it is flambeéd. Due to the Asbach Uralt Brandy that is one of the ingredients, it lights perfectly (of course the sugar cubes added help). Then the coffee is added, and topped with thin vanilla cream. A perfect fit for a dessert or nightcap. Note the distinct cup it is served in. This cup was designed so the drink could be flambeéd. This is your indication that it is a true Rüdesheim kaffee. Rüdesheim was first mentioned in history in 864. Half-timber houses, narrow streets, and old inns give the town a medieval character. The Brömserburg was a castle of the archbishops of Mainz, and was rebuilt as a residence about 1200 and later belonged to the knights of Rüdesheim; It was lived in until about 1937 when it was bought by the town of Rüdesheim. Since 1950 it has housed historical collections and is a wine museum. Although you can visit Rüdesheim quickly (and I mean quickly) on a Rhine River cruise, you may discover that there just isn't enough time to truly enjoy the beautiful area and what it has to offer. You just might want to have me arrange a tour of Germany (and perhaps add in some France while you're there). Let me know when you're ready to start planning - it's never too early to plan (or too late) to experience the world your way! Give me call, DM, PM, email, or schedule a chat. Vicky@GottaLuvTravel.com

  • The A of the ABC's - Aruba

    As the most vibrant island in the Caribbean, Aruba is more than meets the eye. With untouched beaches and a ton of adventures awaiting, there's an endless amount of fun to be had. But what about the island's food? Well, that's just as good, maybe even better, especially after a long day of exploration. So, to help you prepare and plan for your trip to the island, here are 7 dishes (and a drink) you must sample in Aruba. 1. Seafood Perhaps the most apparent food to try while on the island is the fish and seafood. In the Caribbean Sea, some of the most amazingly fresh seafood can be found. Take your pick between mahi-mahi, grouper, lionfish, prawn, or red snapper if you're looking for a simple dish to try. However, the options go on forever. 2. Pan Bati This bread is usually on the side of every main dish served on the island, and with good reason. Pan Bati is a sweet flatbread that dissolves in your mouth. Although it is prepared with simple ingredients, it is far from being dull in flavor. 3. Stews and Soups Many of the local eateries and restaurants serve traditional Aruban stews and soups. Usually, the stews are full of chicken, fish, or goat meat, although you can still find soups and stews made with beef or lamb as we make it here in the states. 4. Ayaca Dried fruit and cashews adorn this delectable dish of steamed beef wrapped in a banana leaf. That's not all you get, though. There are a ton of ingredients used to create this unique, mouthwatering Venezuelan dish. 5. Authentic Aruban Desserts Pudding is a big deal in Aruba. You must order a helping of Pan Bollo (bread pudding with Ponche cream or rum, and ice cream) or Bolo di Banana (plantain pudding). 6. Hot Papaya Sauce Often served on the side of meals, hot papaya sauce is the perfect addition to a meal if you can stand the sweet heat of papaya fruit mashed with hot peppers. 7. Aruba Ariba and a Local Beer Although it isn't food, the local beer is worth a shot. Balashi is the most popular beer on the island, but there are a ton of delicious choices. It doesn't matter what restaurants or cafes you choose to visit while in Aruba, but make sure you don't leave without indulging in some of the foods mentioned on this list! They are by far some of the greatest, tastiest options on the island. If you would like more information on the most popular restaurants and places to go, please don't hesitate to send over an email with your inquiries. When you're ready to go, let me know (hey that rhymes)..... Vicky@gottaluvtravel.com

  • Croatia - and it's 1200 Islands

    The Republic of Croatia sits at the cross-roads of Central and Southeast Europe. It borders Slovenia and Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia, and Montenegro, and shares a maritime border with Italy. Croatia officially joined the European Union in 2013. So lets discover Croatia. One of the most famous desserts in Croatia is fritule. It is an integral part of the culture of the coastal region and is considered a must-serve, especially during holidays in Dalmatia. Fritule is made from a mixture of flour, eggs, dry yeast, and warm water, milk, or yogurt. The dough is formed in small balls, fried in oil and covered with powdered sugar. While they are similar in taste to doughnuts, fritule alsw abouo has the distinct flavor of the individual ingredients tossed into the mix, such as raisins, lemon zest, rum, or apples. Get a taste of it during your trip to Croatia. The Croatian coast has given life to several scenes from the hit HBO series Game of Thrones since 2012. Recent data shows that 244,000 tourists have visited Dubrovnik, just one of the locations where the series films. Fans are always eager to walk the streets of Qarth when in Trogir or stroll across Kings Landing in Dubrovnik. The natural beauty of the Croatian natural parks and their various flora and fauna will leave you mesmerized. Visit any or all of Croatia’s eight national parks: Brijuni, Kornati, Krka, Mljet, Paklenica, Plitvice Lakes, Risnjak, and Northern Velebit. Frequently referred to as heaven on earth, Brijuni has 14 small islands that are famous for their beautiful shapes, varied and distinct forms, and high cliffs. Meanwhile, Plitvice, which has 16 lakes that are connected by waterfalls as high as 78 meters, is just another one of the Croatian national parks that will truly captivate you with its natural beauty. Croatia boasts 1,100 miles of impressive mainland coastline and over 1,200 nearby islands. So why not explore Croatia by cruise? Croatia's cruise season generally runs from Mid-April to mid-October. Start with Dubrovnik, coined the pearl of the Adriatic. UNESCO lists Dubrovnik's old town center as a world heritage site. Equally as beautiful is Split, the main town of Dalmatia. Back in 305 AD, the city captivated the heart of the Roman emperor Diocletian, who decided to build a residence here. Do you love the beach? Visit Zadar, which is known for its wonderfully glassy sea. Six (6) Fun Facts about Dubrovnik: 1. The oldest, longest-operating pharmacy is in Dubrovnik. 2. One of the city’s famous attractions is its striking stone boundary. The walls were constructed between the 12th and 17th centuries. 3. The city is a familiar background on the silver screen. 4. Many tourists consider Dubrovnik as Kings Landing, the capital of Westeros. 5. Dubrovnik is cut off from the rest of Croatia. 6. Just north of the city, a 12-mile strip of Bosnia and Herzegovina cuts Croatia in two. Fun Facts About Croatia: 1. The smallest town in the world, Hum, is located in Croatia. 2. The Guinness World Record holder of the biggest white truffle is from Croatia. 3. Giancarlo Zigante of Pototoska found a giant truffle weighing 1.31 kg (2 lb. 8 oz.) in Eastern Croatia in 1999. 4. You can find the most famous beach in Croatia in Bol, on the island of Brac. 5. Zlatni Rat is a renowned beach because of the changes in its shape and color, depending on the wind. 6. Croatia gets 2,715 hours of sunshine a year. 7. According to Alfred Hitchcock, the seaside town of Zadar in Dalmatia has the most spectacular sunset in the world. Let me close this out by saying, Croatians are very friendly people, and appreciate a good sense of humor . They can be disappointed by visitors who eat too little or leave a full plate! If you visit their house, it's customary to bring a gift, and a big appetite. And lastly, address them the way they introduce themselves. When you're ready to plan your trip to Croatia, please message me or call me. I have some fantastic ideas that will make your trip stress-free and the memory of a lifetime Vicky@GottaLuvTravel.com

  • Pink sand and stingrays - Antigua AND Barbuda

    An undisturbed stretch of coastline, 17 Mile Beach is the perfect spot for a quiet and secluded stroll or a picnic on the beach. Accessible by boat or helicopter, the beach is great for getting away from it all because of its remote location. Dickenson Bay, Antigua Another beach is Dickenson Bay, where an array of water sports and excellent swimming are available to those seeking a beach day. In contrast to 17 Mile Beach, at Dickenson Bay, facilities and umbrellas are available for rent. St. John’s, Antigua The central port city for the nation of Antigua and Barbuda is St. John's. A mishmash of colorful colonial houses and market stalls weighed down with exotic fruits. St. John's Cathedral provides a break from the heat and a peek into the island's colonial past with its neo-Baroque architecture. Shopping is also a popular activity in St. John's, with duty-free shops and souvenir stalls dotting the markets and main streets. Nelson’s Dockyard National Park, Antigua This park is a magnet for tourists, with multiple attractions that explore the dockyard's history. Spend an afternoon wandering through restored warehouses and looking at fancy yachts to understand how the old and new mesh together in Antigua. Museum of Antigua and Barbuda If you want to dive into the history of these gorgeous islands, look no further than the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda. It’s small and features exhibits on the pottery and weaving history of the island, as well as geology, colonialism, and independence. Stingray City, Antigua A pool area ideal for meeting some marine friends, Stingray City allows you to swim or snorkel with majestic stingrays. Drawing in thousands of visitors annually, this is a fun hotspot to get up close and personal with some local marine life. Half Moon Bay, Antigua Providing the perfect location for one of the most stunning beaches in the Caribbean, the idyllic shore of Half Moon Bay is a bit out of the way, but once you find it, it'll all be worth it. With white, sandy shores sandwiched between greenery and dazzling water, Half Moon Bay is a great place for sunbathing and snorkeling. If you’re ready to experience the beaches of Antigua and Barbuda, contact today! We can make your dream getaway a reality. Vicky@GottaLuvTravel.com

  • The Dominican Republic - Not just resorts

    The Dominican Republic: More Than Just Resorts Have you been to the Dominican Republic? Well, I have, and I can tell you – as a Flight Attendant, I’ve had so many passengers going on to the DR on their honeymoons! Not to mention those that were going for their destination wedding. PRO TIP: Did you know, if you carry your wedding dress on the aircraft that the Flight Attendants will hang it in the closet? I always told the bride “don’t forget it otherwise someone will be walking around the DR looking might fine in your wedding dress.” It always got a laugh. Many times when people think of the Caribbean, they think of great resorts, Jamaica, and Cuba. But what they don't realize is that the most popular destination in the Caribbean is the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic is on an island that is shared with Hispaniola and Haiti, and it sees over 6 million visitors a year. This results in 2 million more than Cuba. This Caribbean destination has a lot more to offer visitors than your run-of-the-mill resort. The Dominican Republic has a lot more to offer than just resorts. Here are some great things to see on your trip to D.R. Scenic Locations And National Parks Lake Enriquillo- Lake Enriquillo is the only saltwater lake throughout the Antilles. It is located in the center of the Parque Nacional Isla Cabritos and is a haven for wildlife. It is one of the largest natural reserves for the American crocodile. Eastern National Park- This World Heritage Sites is one of the largest marine parks in the Caribbean. Rhinoceros iguanas, dolphins, sea turtles, and manatees are just some of the amazing wildlife that visitors will get to experience when they visit Eastern National Park. Bahia de las Aguilas and Jaragua National Park- The picturesque turquoise waters that line this 6-mile stretch of beach is best accessed by boat from the small village of La Cueva. Its' marine life and incredible views will make for memories that you couldn't possibly forget anytime soon. As always, we absolutely have to mention the food! Yep, those are french fries - but check out that rice and fish. Don't be surprised when you order fish it shows up intact like this. Don't be shy - give it a try! And this my friend is mofongo - don't leave the island without trying it. It comes in many different flavors - of which the ground plantains are stuffed with. My personal favorite is the garlic chicken! Yummy. Jarabacoa- Jarabacoa is best known as an area ripe for ecotourism and the location of the Dominican Republic's only whitewater river, the Rio Yaque del Norte. The terrain, rivers, and waterfalls make it perfect for adventurous activities like hiking, climbing, and mountain biking. Samana Peninsula and Bay- This peninsula and bay are lined with beautiful mangroves, caves, rock formations, and one of the most beautiful beaches in the Dominican Republic. It is also home to the Parque Nacional Los Haitises. Marine life is present in this area year-round, including mother humpback whales giving birth in January and February. Contact me today to get started on planning your Caribbean or European vacation. Is the DR on your bucket list? Vicky@GottaLuvTravel.com

  • Let's go to the Bahamas Baby

    The Bahamas are internationally known for their miles of soft, sandy beaches and laid-back lifestyle. It is the perfect destination for any traveler seeking a place to disconnect and soak up the sun. While it is easy to spend all day, every day on the beach, you might be surprised to learn that there is much more to this tropical paradise than meets the eye. Regardless of how you spend your time in the Bahamas, here are a few interesting facts to know before you go! The World’s Third-Largest Wine Cellar Is In Nassau Yes, you read that right. The third-largest wine cellar in the world is not in France, Italy, or California, but rather in the Bahamas. With more than 250,000 bottles from 400 winemakers in 15 countries, the collection at Graycliff includes some of the rarest, most expensive wines in the world. If you are torn between wanting to take a trip to paradise or a trip to wine country, Nassau is the place for you. The Bahamas Is Home To The Third Largest Barrier Reef Passionate scuba divers and snorkelers do not have to travel far to discover colorful and exotic fish. Stretching over 190 miles, the Andros Barrier Reef is the third-largest barrier reef in the world. Visitors can take guided trips out to the reef and explore the beautiful world that lies beneath the water’s surface. At Harbor Island, The Sand Is Actually Pink While the rest of the Bahamas may be known for their white sandy beaches, Harbor Islands' claim to fame is pink sand. The sand's pink hue comes from foraminifera, a microscopic organism with a reddish-pink shell, while the sand is a mix of coral, shells, and calcium carbonate. There Are Approximately 700 Islands In the Bahamas You've likely heard of Nassau, Harbor Island, and the Exumas, but the Bahamas is much larger than just those few islands. While only 30 of the 700 islands are inhabited, you can still spend your days island hopping and exploring the Bahamas' 2,000 beaches. I don't know about you, but I' READY for the beach! Let's work together to get you the best vacation ever. I will curate your every desire, and within your budget! Call or email me today. Or schedule a planning session below! Vicky@GottaLuvTravel.com

  • 5 Things you can't miss in Germany

    I recently visited Germany for the first time, and I have to say I absolutely fell ij love. Now mind you, I love Europe and there haven't been many places I wouldn't return to, but Germany is one where I plan to spend a lot more time. After all, it is my heritage! On my recent trip, I was only able to visit one of the cities listed - However, I do believe they are all beauty and history worthy. 1. Berlin The capital city of Germany offers an enormous amount of things to see and do. The UNESCO World Heritage Site Museum Island offers five different museums ranging from art to history. Those into history should visit the Memorial of the Murdered Jews as well as Checkpoint Charlie. The Berlin Zoo is one of the most popular zoos in Europe with over 1500 different species to see. For relaxation, try one of the thousands of swimming lakes surrounding the city. 2. Munich Though Munich might be best known for Oktoberfest, there is much more to explore in this city. Marienplatz is the center of the city, a social hotspot surrounded by beautiful, historical architecture. The massive Englisher Garten offers vast lawns and groves, and even surfing in the Eisbach River. Car lovers can also enjoy the BMW museum, which even houses Elvis Presley’s BMW. Another must-see is St. Peter’s Church, where you can enjoy an incredible view of the city from the top of the tower. 3. Cologne This historically significant city is situated on the Rhine River and is home to the Cologne Cathedral, the most visited landmark in all of Germany. Here you can view artifacts dating as far back as the 10th century. For more modern art, the Ludwig Museum features avant-garde and pop art. And no trip to Cologne is complete without visiting Old Town, where you can experience what the city was like before it was destroyed in World War II. 4. Hamburg This port city’s most popular spot is Speicherstadt, a warehouse district with plenty of visitor attractions. The oldest warehouse is home to the International Maritime Museum, which has artifacts dating back thousands of years. Another warehouse is filled with Minatur Wunderland, where those who love miniature trains can enjoy models of cities around the world. The city’s tallest building is the new Elbphilharmonie, which is not only a great place to enjoy music, but the architecture with curved windows is a wonder all its own. 5. Dusseldorf Another city situated on the Rhine river, Dusseldorf is the perfect place for those who love to dine out and shop. The Rheinuferpromenade is a highlight as a long, sunny strip lined with cafes and shops. For high-end shopping, visit Konigsallee, another strip that features premium shops. And if you’re into exciting nightlife, the old town Altstadt offers over 300 bars and nightclubs. But the city does offer museums of modern art such as the North Rhine Westphalia. I am here to help you plan your trip to Germany, or any other destination you desire. We will work together to ensure your trip is seamless as possible. You are in charge, but I do the leg work - and within your budget. Give me a call, or schedule a (no obligation) planning session now! Vicky@GottaLuvTravel.com (801) 699-5836

  • D&D - Danube and Durnstein

    There is something phenomenal about small towns, and Durnstein Austria isn’t an exception. With a population of barely 1000 residents, this town delivers a laidback relaxed vibe, rich culture, and unrivaled quaintness. Durnstein has vineyards, castles, and a historic character – perfect ingredients for an extraordinary tourist destination! Here are some of the best experiences to indulge in; 1. Durnstein Castle Ruins If you’re a history chauvinist you probably already know why Durnstein Castle ruins is one of the most popular attractions in the Wachau Valley. The Castle was constructed between 1140 and 1145. However, it’s an event that took place years later that has given this ruins unfading fame – one of the most acclaimed Kings of England, King Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned within its walls for almost a year. Today, the old ruins are perched on the rocky mountain top overlooking the valley and the Danube River. If you enjoy hiking and you’re in reasonable shape, the trail offers a steep hike that’s finally rewarded with spectacular views of the town as well as the surrounding areas. 2. Visit the Blue Tower of the Abbey Church Established in the 13th century, Dürnstein Abbey has gone through numerous alterations and renovations over the years. The tower of the church, which happens to be the most elegant part of the complex, was erected in the 17th century. With its distinctive blue and white colors, this tower has become a notable landmark in the region. 3. Stroll around the town The true allure of this town is exposed once you venture out to explore its compact pathways. Unlike most European river cruise docking locations, the streets of Durnstein aren’t overrun by tourists so winding through the charming narrow paths can be a great pursuit. Every street leads you to old, well-maintained historic complexes, murals, and interesting local eateries. Walking around the town is also one of the best ways to mingle with the friendly locals and have an authentic Durnstein experience. 4. Taste the local specialties Wachau region produces some of the best wines in Austria and what a better way to spend an afternoon in Durnstein than in a winery, sampling some of the finest drinks in Europe? There are lots of wineries along Unterloiben, which is just a short stroll away from the town. Here you’ll have the opportunity to learn the production process and you can also taste the wine directly from the source! There are also plenty of wine taverns dotted along the streets of Durnstein where you can just grab a bottle and leave, in case you’re not interested in a wine tour. Let's start to plan your trip to Durnstein, along the Danube! Send me an email, or schedule a chat below! Looking forward to talking to you and helping you plan the memories that you'll share forever. Vicky@GottaLuvTravel.com

  • Koblenz: A Small Tourist Guide

    Koblenz boasts a 5,000-year history, gorgeous surroundings with the romantic Rhine Gorge and the Moselle Valley, hills covered in vineyards, and attractions that speak of great empires and kings of the past. One of the most effective ways to see these things is to take an individual walking tour that includes everything from rich historic mansions to some of Germany's oldest church buildings. Also, make a point of visiting the city's various attractive public squares and market locations. The Jesuitenplatz and Gorresplatz are two of the most popular spots. The Electoral Palace comes up next. It was created in the 18th century and is considered one of the region's major palaces built in the French early neoclassicism style, and the on-site cafe is a great place to stop for refreshments and lunch if you are hungry. Explore the lovely gardens and the Rhine River all the way to Deutsches Eck (German corner). It's no wonder, then, that the Rhine is one of the best selections for first-time river cruisers! With almost 1200 kilometers of water running through six nations, the Rhine is one of Europe's greatest rivers and one of the world's major rivers, with a tremendously busy shipping flow! From the Lorelei Rock to castles on practically every bend, The Rhine is one of the most beautiful river cruises you can experience! It is vital to remember that the Rhine runs for more than 1200 kilometers from its source in the Swiss Alps through Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, France, and the Netherlands. There are numerous routes to choose from! As a result, to make your decision easier, select one that includes some of the Rhine's best attractions! If you have time left on your Koblenz schedule, don't miss out on the opportunity to take the cable car. What better way to see a castle than from a 360° cable car view? Also, you might want to visit the photography museum (Haus der Fotografie) and the archaeology museum (Haus der Archaologie). Both are housed in the same structure. There are a number of intriguing things to do there, such as participating in a Baroque eating experience and a large calendar of musical and dramatic acts, as well as English guided tours. When you're ready to plan your trip to Germany, Koblenz, or any Rhine or European river cruise - give me a call, or schedule a chat! Vicky@GottaLuvTravel.com

  • Jamaican Me Crazy

    Nestled between Hanover and Westmoreland parishes at the western-most edge of Jamaica, Negril is a true Caribbean paradise with its pearly white-sand shoreline, dramatic cliffs, as well as a laidback ambiance. 1. Seven Mile Beach The idyllic setting is perfect whether you want to take a scenic stroll along the beach, lie lazily on the soft sand and take in ocean views or venture out to try adrenaline-pumping activities such as Jet Ski rides – there’s something to impress every taste and preference. 2. Jamaica Cultural Tour Jamaicans are the most hospitable people in the world, and they’ll whole-heartedly give you a glimpse into their country’s history, culture, and local herbs with their medicinal uses. Also, they love their reggae music and dancing, so you won’t even know where the next entertaining performance will come from. 3. Put your adventure side to test at Rick’s Café If you don’t mind braving through the crowds, this place creates indelible memories for anyone who dares to overlook its popularity. Established in 1974, Rick’s Café is the oldest public Bar & restaurant, and among the favorite spots to watch magical sunsets in Negril. In addition, it’s perched on some of the most rugged seaside cliffs in the region, which gives it a leg up as an unrivaled cliff-diving locale. You can sit back and watch as avid as well amateur cliff divers take the plunge or if you’re a daredevil, join the show by launching yourself 35 –foot into the ocean. 4. Ivan’s Bar and restaurant Although there are plenty of superb waterfront eateries lined up on Negril’s coastline, you may want to consider Ivan’s Bar and restaurant for that special event. It’s a great place to sample out the most popular dishes on the island such as brown stew fish, jerk chicken, and curry goat. Even if you’re not a foodie, be sure to visit in late afternoon hours for a mesmerizing sunset. When you are ready to start planning your unique vacation, go ahead, and give me a shout! I can't wait to help you plan the trip of a lifetime. Vicky@GottaLuvTravel.com

  • 8 Authentic Jamaican Foods to Try

    I can tell you a few stories of me and Jamaica Jerk Chicken - but we'll have to do that face-to-face (lol). The tiny Caribbean gem of Jamaica has plenty to offer in the way of nature, music, and culture. But when it comes to cuisine, Jamaica takes things to a whole new level. Dive into our guide of top Jamaican foods you should try when you visit the island: Beef Patty This isn't your average lunchmeat. A beef patty is a seasoned meat wrapped in a buttery dough and then fried. Delicious! A must-try Jamaican staple, beef is the original patty, but you can find all kinds of different filling options these days. There are even veggie patties. Stews You can't come to Jamaica without trying a classic stew. Red pea soup and pumpkin soup are two options you're likely to find as menu starters. These soups may seem simple, but don't underestimate them. Jamaican food is always well-seasoned, and marinated stews can simmer in all their flavorful glory until mealtime. Ackee and Saltfish Jamaica's national dish is ackee and saltfish, making it a must-taste for tourists. Ackee is a fruit sauteed in spices and saltfish and served up alongside yams or bananas. Ackee and saltfish are usually served at breakfast but can be eaten at any hour of the day. Jamaican Jerk Chicken & Pork You didn't think we'd forgotten about Jamaica's most famous dish, did you? Jerk-style cooking dates back hundreds of years on the island, and jerk food is still abundant to this day. The beauty of this food is that it can be found at the cheapest street stalls and the most elite restaurants. Authentic Jamaican jerk is cooked over pimento chips, and chicken and pork are the most common jerks on offer. Jamaican Rice & Peas This dish is perfectly seasoned and usually served as a side dish to stew. However, it can be eaten with any protein and is an essential dish in Jamaican cuisine. Curry Goat Another classic Jamaican staple, curry goat, is spicier than the Indian variety. It is usually served with white rice and is common at Christmas and family gatherings. ESCOVITCH FISH The word escovitch refers to the practice of cooking meat in an acidic vinegar-based sauce. The origins of this method are Spanish, but Jamaicans have added their own twist to produce escovitch fish, served up with the day's fresh catch. Callaloo A locally grown green similar to spinach, callaloo is served as breakfast in Jamaica, alongside other staples. Jamaican breakfast can be a decadent affair, so take the opportunity to fill up on callaloo, one of the only light and healthy offerings. Ready to eat your way through Jamaica? Contact us today to learn how we can help you plan your Jamaican adventure!

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