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Gary Arndt Leaves Girona in Catalunya For Finland

Gary Arndt HeadshotGary chats with Paul and Elizabeth about what he’s experienced in Girona in Catalunya while on an extensive photography assignment. His next stop is a travel show in Finland. We talk about the Aland Islands and travel in Finland in the winter. Gary will be in Catalunya again at TBEX this year in the Spring.


General Packenham And The Battle of New Orleans

ontravel logoIn another of our ongoing Voices From The Past series, John Poimiroo and Paul talk with General Packenham on the eve of the Battle of New Orleans. Then actor  Timothy Pickles joins us to talk about modern day New Orleans.  General Edward Packenham, was the commanding general of the British troops at the Battle of New Orleans. He fought against General Andrew Jackson, who was victorious. Jackson wound up becoming president of the US; Packenham wound up dead on the battlefield.

This January marks the  200th anniversary and it’s a great story … for the Americans. A group of ragtag soldiers from a variety of cultures – including a gang of pirates – banded together to take on the British troops. The way the Brits had been trained to fight (very formally, which meant they were at a loss when their commanding officers went down) was one of the things that worked to the Americans’ advantage. At the end of the battle, very few Americans were killed or wounded, but the British didn’t fare so well. It’s a fascinating story about what a little pluck and ingenuity – and a lot less formality – will do when the going gets tough.  This interview gives us the opportunity to hear about the British strategy before the battle through Voices From The Past. This is a great time to visit this whole area including New Orleans along the Louisana Coast .

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Gary Arndt Talks About Travel in 2014 and 2015

EasterIsland Gary ArndtGary Arndt is on a photography assignment in Girona north of Barcelona in Cataluyna and is getting ready to embark on a series of new adventures for 2015. He talks with Paul about his upcoming travel schedule and they look back at some of the memorable trips in 2014.


Anne Banas Discovers Some Surprises In The Azores

2013 Anne Banas headshot - blue ORIGINAL backblur (3)Anne Banas, executive editor of SmarterTravel.com shares some of her discoveries from a recent trip to the Azores. There’s wine, cuisine and even some pastry to talk about as Anne shares highlights of the trip. She writes in Smarter Travel about the Azores:

Isolated in the North Atlantic Ocean, the Azores, a Portuguese island chain unknown to most Americans, feels remote but is actually closer to the U.S. than any other point in Europe. Each of the nine volcanic islands—from main island Sao Miguel to the tiny isle of Corvo (population: about 400)—exudes a distinct character. But all of the islands are rooted in Old World charm and offer plenty of ways to experience local culture and the outdoors. Feel the spray from the world’s biggest mammals on a whale watch, hike up calderas to pristine crater lakes, or go spelunking though extinct lava tubes. Just be sure to make time to savor the local cuisine, which prides itself on wine, artisan-made cheeses, and seafood from the islands’ rich ocean waters.

You can check out more of Anne’s impressions of the Azores and some great photos here.

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Denver Colorado Has Much To Offer Visitors Summer Or Winter

Image 2The horrible wildfires that have hit Colorado again are some 50 miles south of Denver and according to Rich Grant the damage while terrible and tragic hasn’t impacted the things visitors come to the state for. The scenery is still spectacular and Denver offers visitors some real surprises. Microbreweries, art museums, parks and bike trails along with dozens of outdoor cafes and restaurants that rival any city in the world have turned Denver into one of the fastest growing cities in America. Check out VisitDenver for the latest info and to plan a trip.

(Photo courtesy of Ron Ruscio and VISIT DENVER)

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Jeff Duggan Tackles The World Of Tea

IMG_4607Paul and Elizabeth chat with Jeff Duggan, the creative force behind Portola Coffee Lab. He is taking his same reverence for the integrity of fine coffee to the world of tea. His creation Seventh Tea Bar uses the latest in high tech brewing equipment to bring out nuances and flavors in great teas that few have actually experienced. Couple that with some exquisite pastries created to go with fine tea and you have a great place to spend an hour or two.

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Tom Adkinson Talks About What Makes Pigeon Forge Such A Window On Local Culture

Old Mill FireworksPigeonForgeTom Adkinson joins Paul to talk about the summer season in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Home to Dollywood the area retains a feeling of mountain culture while providing visitors with enough attractions to keep them busy for a week. He chats about the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and reveals why it is the nation’s most visited national park. He and Paul talk about the Titanic Museum. There is a branch in Pigeon Forge and another in Branson, Missouri. Either one is well worth a visit as the displays reflect a real learning experience. He also reveals that as a local resident he is partial to the grits at the old mill right in Pigeon Forge. Tom recommends checking out the website for Pigeon Forge for information on planning a visit.


Czech Republic Offers Some Real Travel Experiences And Memories Beyond Prague

Kuks_sochy_Ladislav_Renner smallVojtech Kacerovsky of the Czech Republic tourism office in Southern California sits down with Paul and Elizabeth to talk about travel in the Czech Republic beyond the well known destination of Prague. They talk about villages, great food, castles and castle hotels, more food, and Czech beer. The Czech Republic is a fascinating and affordable destination in Central Europe with some amazing attractions that make for great travel experiences and memories.

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Canyon Ranch Offers A Luxury Spa Experience Along With A Perspective On Lifestyle

Reggie Cooper - GM LenoxExperts always list Canyon Ranch among the world’s best spas and the reason Paul and Elizabeth found out is the quality of the program. They talk with Reggie Cooper the general manager of Canyon Ranch in Lenox, Massachusetts. The original is in Tucson, Arizona but over the years they have opened branches including a spa program at sea on Cunard. Perhaps what they say on their website best expresses the concept. Canyon Ranch is more than a place – it’s a state of mind and a way of life. For more than 30 years, Canyon Ranch has been empowering people to live healthier, longer, more joyful lives through fitness, nutrition, stress management and integrative wellness. Trendy facials and treatments may come and go and there is plenty of pampering at Canyon Ranch with the latest and best but it’s the classes and lectures that set it apart.

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Andy Newman Checks In On The Florida Keys

NewKeysRoad01_1237_4932Andy Newman chats with Paul about the latest deevlopments in the Florida Keys. Andy, who fishes in the Keys and perhaps knows more than any living person about what has become America’s Caribbean tells the inside story on how to make the most of a Keys vacation.  The website is one of the best and most comprehensive we have found on any destination and is packed with photos and videos of all the Florida Keys. Andy even knows the background of the legendary “Conch Republic” which has an anniversary this month. Andy even tells of the history of the amzaing road that connects all the islands of the Keys.

Check this out from the website. abot one of the quirkier episodes in the history of the Keys.

With activities ranging from a “drag” race for female impersonators to an exuberant sea “battle” featuring tall ships, the Conch Republic’s 10-day birthday party is set for Friday, April 19, through Sunday, April 28. Showcasing the republic’s eccentric spirit, the 31st annual Conch Republic Independence Celebration commemorates the Florida Keys’ secession from the United States following a 1982 U.S. Border Patrol blockade that virtually stopped traffic on the only road from the mainland. In protest, local officials staged the secession. After announcing the Conch Republic’s birth, they declared “war” on the mother country, pelted federal agents with stale Cuban bread, surrendered after 60 seconds and demanded $1 billion in foreign aid. Today patriots throughout the Keys fly the royal-blue flag of the republic, whose motto is “We Seceded Where Others Failed,” and celebrate the secession’s anniversary each year with a lively series of events. As well as the drag race and sea battle for sea dogs and wenches, festival highlights include the World’s Longest Parade, named because its sea-to-sea route down Key West’s Duval Street proceeds from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. The unique parade features the Second Time Arounders, an adult marching band made up of former high school, college and military band members ranging from age 18 to 85. The festival’s oldest event is the Conch Republic Red Ribbon Bed Race, a charity race of decorated beds on Duval Street. Starring racing teams of strange bedfellows, the quirky challenge is billed as “the most fun you can have in bed with your clothes on.”  The schedule also includes a pirates ball and pig roast, ukulele festival, Conch Crawl showcasing Duval Street watering holes from the gulf to the Atlantic, two-day arts and food marketplace saluting the Keys’ Caribbean island roots, Conch Republic military muster and sailing race commemorating the Keys’ historic shipwreck salvage tradition.