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If you saw my earlier blog about Lake Las Vegas, then you already know how “smitten” I was with the Loews Lake Las Vegas Resort.

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Now there’s a whole new reason to love this property!

They are offering a “Recessionista Diva” girlfriends’ getaway package that includes: a poolside cabana, a $50 food and beverage credit, a two-for-one drink offer, and 10 percent off at their onsite boutique. In addition, if you book a 50-minute Swedish massage or holistic facial, you receive your choice of a complimentary Moulay buff, waxing service, manicure, or blow-dry style.  Best of all, the package is priced at just $119 to $189 per night (double occupancy) from now through the end of the year.

Let’s see…a beautiful resort, great pricing, and all sorts of discounts on drinks, spa treatments and shopping?  What’s not to like!

US Airways just announced more frequent nonstops to Barbados this fall and winter, bringing this beautiful island a little bit closer to all of us here on the East Coast!

Starting October 1st, they will fly non-stop from Philadelphia to Barbados on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. For the winter season (starting December 1st) those non-stops will run every day, seven days per week.

What does this mean?

It means I can hop on a plane in Providence at 7 a.m. on a Tuesday morning and be in Bridgetown by 2:30 in the afternoon, with plenty of time to check into my hotel and go for a swim before dinner!

As a side note….since I mentioned dinner….dining in Barbados is a real treat. It’s the only Caribbean country to have its own Zagat guide, and has been called the “Culinary Capital of the Caribbean”

A recent survey found that the French are viewed as the world’s worst tourists. Why?  Little things like being impolite, demanding and tight-fisted.

This got me to thinking about how we Americans are viewed when we go abroad. To be honest, with the exception of being good tippers, I’m sure we’re not all that well thought of. We tend to be loud, we don’t dress very well, and we don’t usually speak the local language (every one around the world understands English, right?)

So, before your next trip, why not take a minute and think about how you want to present yourself (and represent your country) to the locals. Bring along a smile, some patience, your “Sunday best”, and at least a few key phrases in the local language (please, thank you and good morning are often enough.)

Let’s let the French stay at the top of this particular list!

Some clients who spent a long weekend in Montreal this spring  just sent me a trip report and photos. For the short version, click here. To see all the photos, click here, and then scroll all the way to the bottom.

Montreal is one of those cities that has been on my “to do” list for a long time, and I have yet to make it there. My husband has been there several times (too many partying weekends spent with friends at UVM), my mom lived there as a child, and my dad even worked there for a while (commuting back and forth to our home outside NYC on weekends), but I have not yet managed to get beyond Ontario in my Canadian explorations.

Now, based on this trip report, I have one more reason to move Montreal up on my list. Beavertail pastries!

If you — like me — are constantly revising and re-prioritizing your “Bucket List”, you need to read this article from National Geographic Traveler.  I know it gave me several new ideas for my list!

Every year, they publish a list of the Top Tours of a Lifetime. Some of them are definitely over the top (and expensive!), but this year they really tried to highlight the value that is provided by guided tours. The article says (and I agree) that there is no better time than now for that “trip of a lifetime” that you’ve been thinking about.

Will it be a hike to Machu Picchu….snorkeling with humpback whales….tasting your way through Tuscany…cruising down the Amazon…or maybe a photo tour in Alaska?

July 2009
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