Amazing Arizona Wedding Venues

Indoor, outdoor, contemporary or funky, Arizona offers an amazing array of wedding venues to choose from.  Saying 'I do' is special no matter where the location but let's take a look at these venues sure to make your special day even more memorable...

  • Indoor Weddings - Phoenix: St. Mary's Basilica or the First Christian Church designed by Frank Lloyd Wright; in Tucson, St. Phillips in the Hills Episcopal Church
  • Dramatic Outdoor Weddings - South Rim of the Grand Canyon or the stunning red rocks of Sedona
  • Winery Weddings - Arizona offer numerous winery locations in the Verde Valley, Sonoita and Willcox regions to the south
  • Western Cowboy Weddings - straight from the Old West, Tombstone offers authentic rustic and rugged style weddings
  • Heritage Weddings - embrace the Spanish & Mexican heritage of Arizona through many B&B's, adobes and guest ranches near Tucson and the Santa Catalina Mountains
For more information, visit the Arizona Office of Tourism. Photo Credit: Sedona, Arizona, USA by puuikibeach

Best Price to the Cook Islands, only $998!

As avid travellers know, there are certain sales throughout the year that are just worth waiting for.  This is one of them - get the best price to the Cook Islands by flying with Air New Zealand from only $998! 

What a great discounted deal this is!  Return flights are being offered from Los Angeles, CA, to Rarotonga, Cook Islands, with Air New Zealand travelling between December 4, 2011, and returning by February 26, 2012.  The only catch is that you must book your Cook Islands ticket by August 31, 2011.  Don't miss the deadline!

For more information, visit Air New Zealand or Cook Islands Tourism.

Photo Courtesy of Cook Islands Tourism

Enjoying the Upcoming Labor Day Weekend in BC!

If you'd like to explore beautiful British Columbia during the upcoming Labor Day long weekend, here are some great ideas courtesy of Tourism B.C.

  • take a culinary adventure with a chef-led tour of Granville Island Market in Vancouver
  • after an exciting morning of whale watching, do the 'patio hop along' Victoria's inner harbour where visitors will find a wealth of quaint waterfront restaurants, shops, wine bars and brew pubs
  • follow the Corkscrew Drive wine & dine route near Penticton for the best in local wines and Okanagan cuisine
  • get out your cowboy hat, boots and saddle up at dude ranch in the Cariboo Chilcotin 
For more information, visit Tourism British Columbia and Pacific Northwest Travel. Photo Credit: Granville Island Berries by Fairview Condo

Best Water Parks Around the World

There's still plenty of time left to enjoy summer to the fullest.  But have you ever wondered where people go to cool off during these long lazy hot summer days?  Thanks to our friends over at CheapFlights, here are the Best Water Parks Around the World...
  • Chime Long Water Park, Guangzhou, China - Behemoth Bowl takes riders down a dizzying 65' drop into a spiraling centrifugal chute that splashes out into a pool below
  • Noah's Ark Waterpark, Wisconsin Dells, WI - the largest waterpark in the U.S. features 49 water rides, 2 huge wave pools, 2 endless rivers and 4 kid's water play areas
  • Las Cascadas Water Park, Aguadilla, PR - as the largest water park in the Caribbean, Las Cascadas offers a lazy river, wave pool, the Bomb speed water slide and more!
  • World Waterpark, Edmonton, AB - located inside the largest shopping mall in North America, West Edmonton Mall, World Waterpark is home to the world's largest wave pool plus 17 additional water rides
  • Water Country USA, Williamsburg, VA - this fun waterpark features more than 30 rides and attractions for the entire family to enjoy
  • Schlitterbahn Waterpark - this family favourite offers 4 locations in Kansas City, Galveston Island, South Padre Island and New Braunfels, TX, with tons of rides and fun for everyone
  • Sandcastle Waterpark, Blackpool, UK - boasting the longest indoor roller coaster in the world, Sandcastle offers 17 additional water rides and attractions
  • Sunway Lagoon, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - featuring five theme parks in one, Sunway Lagoon is part of an entertainment complex offering over 80 attractions and rides
  • Wet 'n' Wild Water World, Oxenford, Gold Coast, Australia - visitors can slide down spiralling water rides in the dark that boast names like Blackhole, Tornado and Kamikaze 
  • Wet 'n' Wild, Cancun, Mexico - this is a great alternative to the hot and crowded beaches of Cancun!  Cool off with wave pools, chute rides, bumper boats and more!

Student Travel - Top Ten Destinations

I've always found it awesome to hear about student travel - where they go, what they do and sometimes, how long they're able to do it for!  And yes, I am jealous ;)

Thanks to our friends over at for this list of Student Travel Top Ten Destinations:

  1. Niagara Falls, ON
  2. New River Gorge, WV
  3. San Juan, Puerto Rico
  4. Amsterdam, Holland
  5. Panama City Beach, FL
  6. Thailand
  7. Montreal, QC
  8. Australia
  9. Europe
  10. Iceland Photo Credit: Westmann Islands, Iceland by Pocius

Stay in a 16th Century Colonial Building!

It's always been my belief that if you're going to spend money on staying in a hotel, no matter what the price, you should be getting something of value in an interesting way - luxurious amenities, the perfect location, amazing views or in this case, the privilege of being able to stay in a 16th century colonial building!

As the oldest city in the New World, Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic offers some of the best examples of 16th century Spanish architecture, several of which are designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.  As part of Accord Hotels, Hostal Nicolas de Ovando is situated in the Colonial Zone and offers 104 luxury guest rooms while in contrast Hotel Frances offers only 19 intimate guest rooms and features a French cuisine restaurant.

For more information, visit the above links or Photo Credit:
Santo Domingo Cathedral by Russ Bowling

Travel Writer Battling Breast Cancer

I may be absent for awhile, but hopefully it won't be long - I'm fighting a battle with breast cancer and I intend to be strong.  

In the mean time I encourage each and every one of you to get involved in cancer fund raising, support of friends going through this terrible disease, or by taking better care of yourself - and yes, it's okay to be selfish, your life could depend upon it.

It's sad to know that 1 in 8 women will receive this unwanted gift while 1 in 5 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer.  Please visit a wonderful resource,, for more information on how to lower your risk of getting breast cancer.

A big thank you to my readers for following my Travel Writer blog everyday!  I'll try my best to keep interesting travel information coming your way at least twice per week while I venture along this most unexpected trip ;)

Take care & be well,
Connie Photo Credit:
Breast Cancer Fundraiser Cupcakes by Sugar Daze

The Charm of Savannah

Dating back to 1733, Savannah, GA, has just about seen it all ranging from its cotton plantation days to the Civil War to it's current stature as the most haunted city in the U.S.  Everywhere you look, Savannah is just one of those places that oozes southern charm through it's historical architecture, endless mouth-watering restaurants, and of course, the people of Savannah themselves.

One of the most interesting and inexpensive ways to explore the charm of Savannah (only $25 per adult, $11 per child) is by riding along on the narrated Historic On/Off trolley tour offered by Old Savannah Tours.  At their own leisure, visitors are able to discover historical points of interest, shopping, and restaurants along the 15-stop route.  Some of the highlights include:

  • 1883 Telfair Museum of Art
  • Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
  • Lucas Theatre
  • Franklin Square & City Market
  • Kehoe House
  • haunted Pirate's House
  • Davenport House
  • Bay Street & Factors Walk
  • haunted Sorrel-Weed House
For information on Savannah, Visit Savannah. Photo Credit: Savannah Riverfront by TheodoreWLee

Cruising Like a Celebrity

Have you ever wanted to explore your creative side?  Maybe you're interested in drawing, painting, beading, cooking or learning how to mix the perfect martini?  You can do that and more when you're cruising like a celebrity onboard the newest addition to the Celebrity Cruises fleet, the Celebrity Silhouette.

Celebrity Cruises has long been known for their onboard displays of artwork from both recognizable and emerging artists.  The Celebrity Silhouette has a wonderful contemporary selection for those who appreciate art.

As part of Celebrity Silhoette's outdoor grass covered Lawn Club located on the upper deck, The Art Studio has instructors ready to teach and encourage you in your new found craft - Leslie LaCombe is an accomplished silver jewelry designer and Armando Droulers is an artist and art historian.  

For more information on the Celebrity Silhouette, visit Celebrity Cruises.

PS. Happy Birthday, Jarrett! 
Have a great day - you deserve it!!  

Top Photographed Places in New Orleans

Thanks to our friends at the New Orleans Visitors & Convention Bureau for this great list of the Top Photographed Places in New Orleans.  Let's take a look!

  1. St. Louis Cathedral - suggestions for getting the best photo of this historic Jackson Square icon include shooting at dawn or dusk 
  2. Architecture of the French Quarter - photo tips include ensuring you capture the elaborate verandahs to be found on most buildings such as at the corner of St. Peter and Royal Street
  3. The Culture of Frenchmen Street - if possible, slow down your shutter speed to capture the essence of this vibrant cultural street full of artists and musicians
  4. New Orleans Swamp Country - when you venture out into the swamp lands of Louisiana, photo tips include taking a close up picture of the haunting cypress trees draped with moss or the beautiful lily pads
  5. Cemeteries & the Mansions of the Garden District - photograph suggestions include the George Washington Cable House on 8th Street or the Van Benthuysen-Elms Mansion on St. Charles Ave and the above ground tombs & beautiful marble statues
For more information on New Orleans, visit the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau. Photo Credit: New Orleans Cemetery by MargaretNapier

Cuba is hot, Hot, HOT!!

Until now, Cuba has always been an inaccessible country for most Americans due to travel restrictions and government regulations.  During 2011, three U.S. tour operators have been selected as approved U.S./Cuba travel partners - so get ready and pack your bags because Cuba is hot, Hot, HOT!!

Globus Tours
'Cuba: A Spiritual, Historical and Cultural Journey' is an 8-day journey that will take visitors on a wonderful learning experience in this unique country.  Tour dates available throughout the 2012 travel season from January to May and again from September to December.  Apply now to get your name on the waiting list - the first confirmations will be sent out on August 10, 2011.  Prices start at $2,899 not including airfare.

Abercrombie & Kent
With departures as early as September 30, 2011, you could be on your way to Cuba before you know it!  (if they haven't already sold out, that is!)  'Cuba: The Forbidden Isle' will take Americans into the capitol of Havana and then onto Trinidad in central Cuba where visitors can experience historical sites, cultural events including salsa dancing, dinners, and of course, those famous Cuban mojitos.  Departures continue into December with prices starting at $4,325 not including airfare.

Insight Cuba
During its inaugural trips to Cuba in 2011, Insight Cuba is offering six different 7 and 8-night tours to choose from - Havana & Trinidad, Cuban Music & Art, Bay of Pigs, Havana Jazz Experience, Havana & Pinar del Rio, and a 4-day/3-night Weekend in Havana.  

Direct Flights with ABC Charters
Weekly direct flights from Miami to Havana with ABC Charters are said to be starting as early as September 11, 2011, with return prices ranging from $399 to $429 not including taxes.  If all goes well, flights will start twice weekly in October.  

To start planning your first ever vacation to Cuba, visit the official website of the Cuban Tourist Board.  And yes, it's a Canadian-based website because the U.S. doesn't have a Cuban tourist office, yet.

Image: Cuba Tourist Board

Happy B.C. Day!

B.C. is one of the most beautiful provinces in all of Canada - and for those of us who live here, Happy B.C. Day!  Here's a sneak peek of what we're so proud of and if you'd like to learn more, visit Pacific Northwest Travel and Tourism British Columbia.  

Happy B.C. Day!! Photo Credits:
Bowron Lakes 2008 by mutrock
BC, Canada by Peter Macdonald Photo
Charismatic Megafauna 3 by Feet Wet
Canada - BC -08 Osoyoos in the Okanagan Valley by mckaysavage
Sicamous Lake, BC, Canada by jneilson23
Bowron Lakes 2008 by mutrock
Canada Place Sails by keepitsurreal
Spring in Victoria, BC, Parliament Buildings by Cindy Andrie