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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.

Join our page to see more photos and discuss travel.

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: jun.jun.360@hotmail.com. 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.
Posted by Carl Burnham at 11:48 PM
Edited on: Tuesday, March 06, 2012 10:57 PM
Categories: Attractions, Cruises, Destinations, Videos

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Pearl Harbor Survivor Recounts Japanese Attack

National 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.
Quinton Pyle WWII veteran
Quinton Pyle

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.
USS Bagley, the first ship to return enemy fire at Pearl Harbor
USS Bagley
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.
Posted by Carl Burnham at 12:35 PM
Categories: Attractions, Videos

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.
Natchez Eola Hotel
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.

Posted by Tommy Ford at 1:14 PM
Categories: Accommodations, Destinations, Videos

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

Situated in the upscale business center of Las Colinas, the Omni Mandalay offers panoramic views of Lake Carolyn and the downtown Dallas skyline. The Omni goes to great lengths to impress. For our feature, we stayed in the Presidential Suite on the 28th floor. To say that the suite is massive is an understatement. At 2,890 square feet, it's larger than our house. I kept wondering what it was like here just the week before as the Green Bay Packers coach and team celebrated their Super Bowl win while staying here at the Omni.
Inside the Presidential Suite on the 28th Floor Omni Dallas Las Colinas
Read about the Omni Mandalay in our new in-depth feature, and also Trevi's Restaurant (Psst, if you love seafood order the Cioppino. You will thank me.)

Omni Mandalay

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.

Posted by Carl Burnham at 1:06 AM
Edited on: Tuesday, March 08, 2011 1:09 AM
Categories: Accommodations, Destinations, Videos

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Omni Mandalay Sneak Peek Video

From our balcony at the Omni Mandalay with Dallas on the horizon in the distance Omni Dallas Las Colinas
View our sneak peak video of the Omni Mandalay in Irving, Texas, and watch for our new feature coming soon.

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).
Omni Mandalay

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.
Posted by Carl Burnham at 12:36 PM
Edited on: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 12:44 PM
Categories: Accommodations, Videos

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:

Watch a sneak peak of the upcoming movie Born To Be Wild showing soon at the IMAX Theatre in the Bob Bullock Museum:

If staying in Austin we recommend Bear Creek Retreat in Manchaca near Austin.
Best Rated Austin Hotels | Get Tickets to Austin Area Events
Posted by Carl Burnham at 12:06 PM
Categories: Attractions, Destinations, Videos

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Hotel ICON in Houston to be rebranded

The Hotel ICON has recently been purchased by Magic Johnson's joint venture company Canyon Johnson Urban Funds, with plans to have it become a part of a hotel chain to be announced. We wish the acquisition well and hope that the 135 room Houston hotel retains the special charm that we found throughout.
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:

Book a stay at the Hotel ICON in Houston.

Posted by Carl Burnham at 1:13 AM
Edited on: Monday, January 17, 2011 11:58 AM
Categories: Accommodations, Destinations, Travel News, Videos

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.
Bear Creek Retreat, Manchaca, Texas

Posted by Carl Burnham at 9:16 PM
Edited on: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 9:23 PM
Categories: Accommodations, Destinations, Videos

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Aboard the Durango & Silverton Steam Train

Recently came across some archived video. The whistle of the steam train is haunting, heralding back to a more rustic way of life. Enjoy.
Read our feature on the Durango & Silverton Railroad.
Durango & Silverton Railroad

Posted by Carl Burnham at 5:26 PM
Edited on: Sunday, June 06, 2010 5:28 PM
Categories: Attractions, Videos

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.

Reserve A Stay at the Omni in San Antonio.

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.
Texas Stadium Old and New
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!

Dallas, a city diverse in business opportunity and fun.
Best Rated Dallas Hotels | Get Tickets to Dallas Area Events
Posted by Carl Burnham at 10:47 AM
Categories: Videos

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The bustling city of Houston

Coming up, we return to the fastest growing city in the country.
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.
Hotel Derek
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
Downtown Aquarium
Houston Museum of Natural Science
Houston Zoo Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
and more!

Have a favorite stay, attraction, or restaurant in Houston?
Let us know where and why and we may feature it.

Top Hotels in Houston | Top Attractions in Houston
Posted by Carl Burnham at 6:33 PM
Edited on: Tuesday, January 26, 2010 9:52 PM
Categories: Accommodations, Destinations, Restaurants, Videos

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 article.

Posted by Carl Burnham at 1:19 PM
Edited on: Thursday, January 07, 2010 11:11 PM
Categories: Restaurants, Videos

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 surroundings.

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 200 guests.

Cullen's, 11500 Space Center Blvd., Houston, TX 77059
Cullen's is open 7 days a week.

Map Generator

Posted by Carl Burnham at 8:11 PM
Edited on: Wednesday, July 22, 2009 10:12 PM
Categories: Accommodations, Entertainment, Restaurants, Videos