Posts Tagged With: Tour

Telling the locals that you’re not a Guinness fan, is like telling Rudolph that you don’t believe in Santa.

On that note, off to the brewery we go!  
 Talk about Santa, Hayden was like a kid at Christmas getting the tickets.  I had more fun watching him than experiencing the actual tour! 

 
I’ll take you on the condensed version of this self guided maze through the brewery in Dublin. Grab a pint and enjoy the ride! 

    

    
    
    
   
Reaching the end of the tour meant for a spectacular view and a complementary pint! 
   
Thank you Hayden for helping me with my drink as I’m sure it’s against some unspoken law to leave a full pint at the Guinness brewery! 

 

Beer not your thing? Well, in courtesy of you I wanted to show the whiskey side of Dublin.  Come along during our lesson through the Jameson distillery!   

    
    
     

    

So there you have it, two of the most famous tours done inside the capital of Ireland.  Unfortunatly this was all the time we allowed for in Dublin as we were eager to spend the rest of our time in the country side.  Lace up, take a walk, cross your fingers and buckle up… 

 
Random thought for the day:

If you were offerred unlimited adult beverages for 10 years at no charge, but you had to drink the exact same thing every time, would you do it?  

Categories: Edibles!, Travel talk, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

We aren’t guaranteed “someday”.

So there I was skyping with my mom, making the usual wishful comments of what we would do if she was here in Barbados with me. “I would show you this place… have you try that food… take you there…” and so on. Although she’s traveled here before, it’s been years and since her last trip and I have explored the island a bit beyond her experience. Soon after several skyping sessions, I could feel her leaning farther into the reality of actually returning to this magical place someday. As most people will confirm (especially after surving a traumatic life experience) that we aren’t guaranteed someday so yes friends, you guessed it… she made it!  

 I’ll just jump right into the surprise I had been keeping from her since the moment I found out she was coming.  “Ok, I love you and just trust me (what every mom dreads hearing, right?) put your suit on, pack for the pool and hop in!”
Here’s a photo of us on the way to her (soon to find out) day of spoiling!

 
Welcome to Cool Runnings!

There are a few catamaran cruises here in Barbados, but only one (in my opinion) has the right to boast of their phenominal customer care. In years past, I’ve been able to experience Cool Runnings Barbados and since then shared the adventure with others. You can read those specific posts from my 2012 trip or last years Teaching a frog how to dive. 
Cool Runnings has now launched their new luxury cruise which is on a more intimate scale due to a smaller group and a range of high quality products. For me, there was a feeling of familiarity as the crew greeted us with a sincere smile and welcoming warmth (it wasn’t just the Barbados weather). “May I get you a beverage as you settle in?” Who wouldn’t want to hear that at the beginning of what is set to be a day of sailing, snorkeling, dining and optional dancing?

Before we left the dock, I took a quick loop to give you a photo tour of this stunning catamaran. 

  

    
    
   
Within moments of stepping on board you’re offered a beverage ranging from coffee and tea to juice and soda as well as a large selection of adult beverages. A serving (or 3) of homemade banana bread is passed around and then it’s time to depart! 

 
The crew for our day consisted of three outstanding men who seem to have mastered the ability of balancing a fun social energy with the upmost sense of professionalism. We were even lucky enough to have Robert aboard. He’s the king (more properly “the captain”) of this floating castle and made sure we all were having a brilliant time.   

 
The other two gentlemen were equally as accommodating making sure there wasn’t an empty glass in hand and that all needs were met. They were so on point with the passengers, you would of never guessed that Douglas and Kevin were also in control of the entire boat! 

 
Their capabilities went even further than that. Try stearing the boat while gripping a girl who’s randomly upside down next to you. Well done Douglas, thanks for being a trooper!  

 
While the gentlemen were hard at work, the guests were hard at… well, relaxing. Our only responsibility was to have a good time and judging from observation, we succeeded!    

     
      

   
     

The two stops we made allowed for some swimming with the turtles, an exploration of sea life and a piece of sunken wreckage. They give you the option of snorkleing gear and flotation devices depending on your preference. Ever witness a group of adults giddy like children? It’s silly to take yourself seriously with flippers on!
    
    

After the water play (that was so graciously guided by Kevin) everyone swam back to our home for the day. Before you had a moment to even consider hunger, they were offering appetizers. House made bruschetta and/or curried chicken on a crisp won ton. Another beverage? Of course. 

  
  The lunch menu served up mouth watering options for everyone. The plates were stacked and ready for all who desired the assortment of lamb, king fish, shrimp skewers, scalloped potatoes, roasted vegetables, fresh salad and sauces to top. I’m confident that everyone went back for seconds and if they didn’t, they stole a bite from their partner that did get another round.

  

After lunch, our empty plates magically disappeared into the world of “I don’t have to do dishes today” and we were encouraged to enjoy the catamaran as we headed back to the starting point. 
     

 

Robert, Annika, Douglas and Kevin…  you really have something special here and I’m so grateful to of been a part of this day. I was treated like royalty, met new friends (that I’m still in touch with) and got to watch my mum absorb the experience to the fullest. This is one happy girl, thank you!
  

For more information or to book your day of luxury, please visit www.coolrunningsbarbados.com or call them directly at 246-436-0911. I invite you to tell them that Erika sent you from herhappytrails!

  

Categories: Edibles!, Travel talk, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Foot, wheels, trams and boats, lets take a look at Amsterdam!

I’m so thankful for all of my travels to The Netherlands and the years of personal accommodations from dear friends that I’ve met abroad. This round, we get the keys to our friends empty apartment to come and go as we please! I would say “priceless”, but if you’ve ever done research, its definitely not priceless to stay the night in this popular city. So, a very big thank you to sweet Ioni for her open door and gracious hospitality.

Now, let me show you the magnetic energy that keeps me returning to the wonder world of Amsterdam!

Care for a stroll? So does most of the other people here! If you’re not feeling up for a walk, there’s also plenty of options with wheels to get you around.

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Need to pick up the pace? Add a motor to the wheels! For those who don’t want to be in the drivers seat, you can always hop on a tram for only 2.80€ one way. (It’s the blue and white train looking object in a few of the shots below).

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Yep, it’s for real.

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For a guided excursion there’s a walking tour, or a comfy seat in the brightly covered busses with a knowledgable person behind a microphone. Love water? You can always coast throughout the canals of the city with a friendly captain explaining the sights that surround you.

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Now since we’ve covered some options of how you might get around, lets take a look at what you may see as you explore the daytime streets of Amsterdam.

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The “Hot Yoga Studio” made me giggle simply because I grew up in North America in which “40 degrees” is nearly freezing.

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This sign stopped us in our tracks with a bit of confusion. What is it? A preventive new design that allows authorities to track thieves by a synthetic DNA code.

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This is a lost and found station. If you find an item on the street or in a nearby cafe, you simply clip it up here with hopes that the rightful owner will come collect it. It also seems to be used as an easy way to advertise personal business or upcoming events. Today, I donated a sticker from the talented band Heritage. Side note, it was gone when I returned from a 30 minute walk… I’m thinking it was this happy fella who claimed to be lost and found!

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Handstand shot!

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Here are some creative pictures taken in this unique city using effects from my camera.

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The next post will include but not be limited to food, friends and a smidge of the the nightlife!

Categories: Art, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Zip lining -aka- “The flying fox” in Montezuma!

One of the top tourist excursions in the tropical country of Costa Rica is zip lining, also known as an aerial runway, the flying fox or death slide. Doesn’t that last one make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside? Me too.

We decided to take the route that follows a river and crosses waterfalls giving you an opportunity to take a dive. With 11 platforms, a swimming hole and dreams of monkey filled trees, we were excited and ready by 8am. Instead of a greeting from the taxi driver, we got a call informing us that they were “repairing a cable” so our excursion was pushed back until 3pm. I’m not sure if we needed to know that we were the first and only to use the cable today, but I suppose it just adds more thrill to the adventure. Let the death slide begin!

Before the zip lining, let me give you a very quick tour of Montezuma. The main road has a market, a bar, several tour kiosks and a few restaurants.

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My favorite part of the town is how the main street literally drops off to the sandy beach. That’s it, no more driving from here on out!

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Ok, off we go to play in the trees! Safety first as they gear us up into these darling outfits.

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Instead of describing each individual platform (because they’re all similar) here is a fun group of photos as we fly through the jungle tree tops of Montezuma!

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A bit through the zip lining you can begin to hear the faint sound of rushing water splashing off of rocks. At this point in the hot day, it sounds so sweet and extremely inviting!

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As soon as I spotted the rope swing across the water hole, I was edge side ready to go. Can I just remind myself through this blog… “I’m waterfall jumping to a rope swing in Costa Rica on a Thursday afternoon!” Ok then, I wanted to embrace that for a second. Moving on to the photos!

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Carina’s turn! For her first jump, she went with the “frog” approach.

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…and for her second form, the “scared frog”.

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In my opinion, her rope swing technique was brilliant! Why wait to hit the refreshing water when you can simply drag your entire body throughout the swing?

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Instead of the frog, this friendly boy from Austria went for, what I would call, the “fish out of water”.

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For my second round, Carina complimented the perfect “starfish” dismount from the swing.

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After our hour in the water, we climb out like water soaked, happy kids and get ready for the short hike to the final flying fox.

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Flying through the green tops of Costa Rica… Check.
Jumping off waterfalls… Check.
Rope swing to a swimming hole… Check.
Carina finally seeing a real monkey? To be continued…

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Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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