Friday, February 10, 2012
Xunantunich Tour in Belize
The Mayans are getting much attention in 2012. Their Long Count Calendar predicted the end of the world to be December 21, 2012. I wouldn't head for the hills just yet....It is amazing that their architecture was so advanced. At one time, over a million Mayans lived in current day Belize (three times the present population), and only a small number of Mayan ruins have been excavated so far.
I arranged our Xunantunich tour through Royal Caribbean as our shore excursion while in Belize. The trip by bus from Belize City to Xunantunich near the Guatamalean border takes 2 hours. During this time our tour guide pointed out interesting aspects of daily life in Belize, the culture, and a history of the Mayans. I had a great time hiking up El Castillo and visiting the second tallest structure in Belize.
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On our tour bus heading out of Belize City towards our destination.
If anyone is going to Belize and would like to tour the country and Xuanantunich, our tour guide gave me his contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. His name is Eusebio Valdez, and contact phone is (00)501-601-4841. Great guy. Is working towards a degree in Archaeology, and gives a fascinating tour on the Maya ruin and his country.
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
Pearl Harbor Survivor Recounts Japanese AttackNational Museum of the Pacific War, Fredericksburg, Texas
Situated over 9 acres, this museum tells the riveting account of the Pacific War, it's hardships, and how we fought the Japanese: one island at a time.
The highlight of our tour when we last visited a few years ago was hearing two WWII veterans recount their experiences in battle who were volunteering their time to help teach our youth about this important time of our history. I talked with Quinton Pyle, who saw up close as the USS Arizona exploded as it was hit by Japanese torpedos 70 years ago today.
Mr. Pyle pointed on the Pearl Harbor photo where his ship, the USS Bagley, was nearby in the Navy Yard, and was the first ship to return fire and shoot down a Japanese plane. The crew were commended for fast thinking, especially since many of the crew had just entered service. He showed me his left arm where it had been injured during the Pearl Harbor attack while cutting gromets from 5" shells. Although walking with a cane, he appeared to be in good health, and remembered the fateful day clearly.
Mr. Pyle went on to serve aboard the Destroyer, including at Wake Island, Guadalcanal, Savo Island, and Saipan. I was fortunate to be able to meet and talk with him. As the WWII veterans dwindle rapidly in numbers, it is important that their stories be told.
Numerous exhibits include significant period artifacts and war memorabilia for the Allies and the Japanese. A portion of the museum is housed in the old Nimitz Hotel, which was owned by the Nimitz family, and commemorates Admiral Chester Nimitz who served over the naval operations in the Pacific. I recommend a visit to the museum when in the area. Plan to spend about 3 hours to have time to visit all the exhibits.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Natchez Eola Hotel - Feature Accommodation
Natchez has a rich history that few towns in America can match.
Overlooking the picturesque Mississippi River, the town offers a glimpse
into the past with antebellum mansion tours and antique shops aplenty.
Read more about our recent stay at the elegant Eola Hotel offering panoramic views of the downtown area.
Book a stay at the Natchez Eola Hotel now.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
9e Ranch B&B - Rustic Cabins & Country Views
On our visit to 9E Ranch Bed & Breakfast
in Smithville just 10 miles from the historic town of Bastrop, we were
impressed with the log cabins, the horses, donkeys, playful cats, and
don't forget Texas longhorns. The owners made us feel right at home.
Head with us to the ranch as we discover a great hideaway.
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
The exotic Omni Mandalay at Las Colinas
With an exotic interior Burmese charm, spacious rooms, highly rated spa and restaurant, free covered self parking, overlooking Lake Carolyn, and near most Dallas attractions, the Omni Mandalay at Las Colinas in Irving offers an attractive choice when visiting Dallas.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Omni Mandalay Sneak Peek Video
In 2009, Travel and Leisure Magazine added the Omni Mandalay to their World's Best Hotels for Families listing (one of three Omnis to receive the honor).
With an exotic interior Burmese charm, spacious rooms, highly rated spa and restaurant, free self parking, and overlooking Lake Carolyn, the Omni Mandalay at Las Colinas in Irving offers an attractive choice when visiting Dallas.
Monday, January 17, 2011
Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum
Recently we visited the Bob
Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin. With three floors of
interactive displays, exhibits, films, and the IMAX Theatre there is a
lot of history to absorb on the Lone Star State.
Read about in our new feature and view a video overview here courtesy of the Museum:
Thursday, January 06, 2011
Hotel ICON in Houston to be rebranded
Built in 1911 as a bank, many historic reminders remain including a huge bank vault at the hotel check-in desk.
Read our Hotel ICON feature and watch our video:
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Bear Creek Retreat near Austin
Looking for an ideal retreat near Austin where you can have a two story
house to yourself or either desire a reunion, wedding, or meeting in a
Texas hill country setting?
Besides the complimentary guest snacks and beverages, get your very own jar of out-of-this-world homemade hot fudge perfect when heated and drizzled over some ice cream to enjoy while you soak in the hot tub out back. Read about our visit and review of Bear Creek Retreat.
Sunday, June 06, 2010
Aboard the Durango & Silverton Steam Train
Thursday, June 03, 2010
Omni Hotel - San Antonio the Colonnade
A dominant fixture along I-10 as you approach the hotel, we were
pleasantly surprised by how friendly the staff was.
Read more in our new Omni Hotel San Antonio at The Colonnade travel feature.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Texas Stadium Implosion
In case you missed it, the home of America's team the Dallas Cowboys was
impoded early this morning. On a visit to Dallas last year we got a
final view of the old stadium in nearby Irving. Although it's sad to see
the old stadium go, the new one in Arlington is quite an improvement and
building parts of the old will be recycled.
Here's hoping that it lasts as long as the old one, which was built in 1971 for a paltry $35 million. The new Cowboys Stadium was built at a price tag of 1.3 billion.
The 11 year old kid who won an essay contest to flip the switch has an inspiring charity, CaseysHeart, which donates to the homeless in Dallas. He has been doing this since he was 8!
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
The bustling city of Houston
We will be featuring the contemporary hotel - Hotel Derek and the fine dining Italian restaurant Valentino. Both are located in the Galleria area and near the Uptown district.
There is plenty to do in this vibrant city, the 4th largest in the county.
Check out the Houston CityPass, offering a range of attractions including:
Space Center Houston
Houston Museum of Natural Science
Houston Zoo Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Thursday, January 07, 2010
Saying Goodbye to a New York City Landmark
For those who have traveled to New York City, a stop at the artist lined
walls of Tavern on the Green has been a must see. The famed restaurant
began serving customers back in 1934. The building itself goes back to
1870 and is a perfect example of architecture from that era. Up until
1934 it housed a shephard who had a shearing business for his 200 sheep
(believe it or not). The restaurant has impressed many patrons over the
years with opulent chandeliers, artwork, and interesting dishes. Read
more about in this WSJ
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Houston Restaurant Focus: Cullen's Upscale American Grille
To say that the new Cullen's restaurant is massive is an understatement.
At just under 40,000 square feet, Cullen's near Clear Lake offers an
upscale American dining experience indoors or outdoors, with bar,
billiards room, and live entertainment all under one roof. The cozy
decor is tastefully appointed with dark wood and casino style
Since opening in 2008, Cullen's has continued to expand their menu
selections, ranging from steaks, chicken, seafood, subs or pizza. The
menu includes a large wine list that includes over 100 Texas wines. For
special events, there is a circular ballroom that can accomodate up to
Cullen's, 11500 Space Center Blvd., Houston, TX 77059
Cullen's is open 7 days a week.