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Archives for August 2012

Ocean Stories: An LSU Tiger Fan On Vacation

Many times I have pondered and asked what is a college football fan to do during off season? For us diehard fans it can be a bit depressing when the season is over. SO – in the spirit of college football kicking off this weekend (woo hoo!), Vacationista is highlighting our friend Brenda’s recent beach vacation.  What does that have to do with college football? Well, did we mention Brenda is also the biggest LSU Fan we know!

LSU Tigers

Where did you vacation? Resort? With whom?

Golden Parnassus Resort in Cancun – adults only – all inclusive, with my husband, Jerry (40th wedding anniversary)

Golden Paranassus Cancun

Golden Paranassus Cancun

What did you most enjoy about your vacation experience?

Being totally pampered the entire time. Wonderful customer service – everyone always smiling – from housekeeping to busboys, restaurant waiters, bartenders, front desk, etc.  Also, loved the fact that it was adults only – don’t get me wrong, I love children, but wanted this vacation to be totally about relaxation ! Loved that it was all inclusive- so no prices on menu! Resort was immaculate – including beach areas

The club level rooms also included a romantic dinner in your room – it was awesome ! Ordered from the French restaurant menu

Can you share any recommendations or travel tips?

There are more luxurious resorts in the area, I’m sure, but I cannot imagine any better service.

I would recommend paying a little extra and getting a “club level” room.  I booked a lagoon view room rather than an ocean view, however, on return trips; think I will do the ocean view. It was hot on our balcony, so we didn’t utilize it much – I’m sure the ocean side rooms had a breeze on the balcony.

Golden Paranassus Club Level Room

Golden Paranassus Club Level Room

What trip experiences are on your travel bucket list?

I would love to go to Hong Kong – mainly for the shopping!

What is the one thing you would not be without when traveling?

OTC medications – such as Advil, Benadryl, cold & sinus meds, anti-diarrheal meds, etc and band aids. Must be the nurse in me!

Tell us about you. What city do you live in?

Live in Benton, La – love to travel. Husband is retired airline pilot, so he is not too keen on traveling – he did it for a living for 30 + years, so doesn’t look at it as fun .

How do you unwind? Hobbies?

Unwind by shopping, reading, watching HGTV and attending LSU football games!

Click Below For LSU Opening Weekend Trailer

LSU vs. North Texas Opening Weekend Trailer Video

Thank you Brenda for sharing!

Our thoughts and prayers are with are Louisiana Friends & Family.

Enriching Experiences: Wine Friendly Travel

Wine is sunlight held together by water – Gallileo

You love wine.  You love travel.  Wine + Travel + You = Toasting Your Next Vacation!

Grab your glass of wine! This post is filled with wine, travel and an exciting, AFFORDABLE, MUST vacation package featuring Napa, specially designed by Vacationista Travel!

 Woman with wine

Custom Wine Vacation Package:  Includes roundtrip air & taxes from DFW (other airports available), airport transfers, 3 night boutique hotel accommodations in San Francisco – room with a bay view and fireplace, featuring complimentary breakfast daily, semi-private all-day limo wine tour to Napa, and Muir Woods/Sausailto day tour

Price Per Person:  $847 – based on double, subject to change based on availability, trip date: October 25- October 28, other dates and departure airports available

Napa Valley

San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge

Wine Education: visit  Includes how to host a wine tasting party kits! Each kit contains a description of a wine tasting theme, preparation materials and instructions, what you’ll need to buy including suggested wines, and ready to use handouts that can be used during the tasting.

Best Time to Travel to Wine Regions:   Typically in Spain, Italy, France and the U.S., ideally harvest time is September and October.  Argentina, located in the Southern Hemisphere, is typically February thru April.

Wine Aps:  Snooth Wine Pro – $4.99

Wow! I love this app when shopping at the store.  Simply take a photo of the wine label to match it to a vintner in the app’s enormous wine database. From there, you can read a description of the wine, as well as users’ reviews, without ever having to open the bottle. A free version of this app is available as well, but the image recognition capability is not available.

Wine App

How to Pack Wine: 

  • Buy a Wineskin (sleeve) – available at wine stores
  • Consider buying a wine suitcase
  • Ship it, if your state allows
  • OR use child Swim floats! Yep, blow up the float and insert wine bottle!

Wine Immersive Vacations:

  • Avalon Waterways River Cruise: Wine Appreciation Cruises – including The Legendary Danube and Windmills, Vineyards & Paris – April-Oct 2013
  • Celebrity Cruises:  “Immersive Wine Cruise” through Europe, September 2013
  • Tauck:  7 Day San Francisco, Sonoma, Napa Valley Tour including exclusive tours, May-Oct 2013
  • Viking River Cruises:  France’s Finest river cruise, March-Nov 2013
  •  Oceania Cruises:  Bon Appetit Food & Wine Festival Cruise, Oct 2012
Avalon River Cruise

Avalon River Cruise

America’s Best Wine Bars: courtesy of Travel + Leisure

  • Barcelona, Atlanta
  • Kazimierz World Wine Bar, Scottsdale
  • Bacchannal, New Orleans
  • Veritas, Dallas
  • Max’ s Wine Dive, Austin
  • D.O.C. Wine Bar, Chicago

Barcelona Wine Bar, Atlanta