Fall has dropped in the United States. I heard that in Denver, CO the temperature on the weekend was 101 and by three days later was to plunge to the 30s and snow. Where I am based, we are still dealing with the sauna bath known as Florida summer that sometimes seems like that last 10 pounds on a diet—nothing you do can make it disappear! For some reason, my husband keeps saying “It’s Fall… things should be cooling down from the humidity-soaking 100+ degrees we still face daily.” I remind him that I have worked Halloween gigs (as my alter ego, Natasha, The Psychic Lady) wearing sleeveless blouses because temperatures have barely taken a dip into the low 90s.
Book your meeting by December 22 and stay by December 31, 2020 at any of these participating Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, FL properties and receive a $3 room rebate per actualized room up to $5,000. Created by the Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB), the program for new bookings (only) will also cover destinations besides those in Lee County. Fort Myers venues include Crowne Plaza Fort Myers At Bell Tower Shops, Holiday Inn Fort Myers Airport at Town Center, Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa, Drury Inn & Suites, and the new Luminary Hotel & Co., Autograph Collection (which is slated to open in September). Captiva Island properties include South Seas Island Resort and ‘Tween Waters Inn Island Resort. Two Fort Myers Beach properties are Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina and DiamondHead Beach Resort. Other meetings properties are: Embassy Suites Hotel (Estero), Gasparilla Inn & Club (Boca Grande), Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa (Bonita Springs), The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village (Cape Coral), and Sundial Beach Resort & Spa (Sanibel Island).
I’m making myself sit at my computer and write this blog today. What motivated me is a hotel that is hosting a job fair and they wish to have qualified candidates attend. When so much of the world is in turmoil, it makes me feel good to share the good news I receive. As I hear from both meetings & events, hospitality and leisure travelers, there is still uncertainty about hopping on a plane, attending an event or attraction, or staying at a resort. I have been using this column to highlight safety protocols undertaken by individuals and companies. We all want to work, travel, and to feel safe while doing so.
Life as we knew it pre-COVID 19 is starting to reappear as far as travel, hotels, restaurants, gyms, hair salons etc go. As this blog is globally read, it makes no sense to tell you which places are reopen or will soon. What is of more value, is what they are doing to assure your safety as much is humanly possible, such as how the majority of theme parks worldwide will check temperatures at the entrance and anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will be denied entry (as well as their family). As you all may be aware, how to safely reopen differs from city to city, state to state, and country to country. For instance, I just heard from a woman that a particular airline is not requiring masks for staff or travelers and that people were packed in to all seats (thanks to fewer flights). I have seen pictures of businesses, including restaurants, not requiring masks or social distancing. What do you think? Is that something we should discuss?
Booking a cruise for your meetings or social group, or maybe for family members and friends? Check out the promotional packages being offered by AdventureSmith Expeditions. Booking dates vary, as do the promotional incentives. For a Feb. 28 deadline, many packages are available. 1* Save up to $350 per person on the Hawaiian Seascapes cruise aboard the luxurious 36-guest Safari Explorer small ship. Snorkel among coral gardens and a sea turtle habitat, stand-up paddleboard, kayak and sightsee on skiff tours. 2* Grandparents paying two full adult fares can save 25% on rates for grandchildren by booking Exploring the Sea of Cortez: A Living Sea & Desert Isles cruise. The ships are the 100-guest National Geographic Venture and National Geographic Quest. 3* Save $500 per person on Alaskan family cruises: Alaska’s Glacier Country, Alaska’s Glaciers & Whales, Alaska Fjords & Glaciers and Whales, Wildlife & Glaciers. The ships are 90-guest S.S. Legacy and 84-guest Safari Endeavour. 4* Save $400 per person on the Belize & Guatemala Wonders—Rivers, Reefs & Cultures aboard the 66-guest Safari Voyager. 5* Save $1,250 per person on an Inside Passage Sojourn small ship cruise aboard the sleek 76-guest Chichago Dream. This experience focuses on Alaska’s nature, history and First Nations culture.
Ever swim with a manatee? Have you even watched them from a heated boat as they lazily swim in waters ranging from 72-74 degrees? Now’s your chance to see the sea cows up close and personal with River Ventures in Homosassa, FL. Multiple packages available. Use promo code E N E W S 1 0.
I don’t ski. Way too clumsy and going up on a mountain atop a slim set of boards is riskier than when I thought I was a roller skater extraordinaire and slid the length of an elongated hill in my neighborhood, painfully removing most of the skin on my bared legs. However, I do recognize there are many of you far more agile and coordinated than me, so maybe you’ll be excited to know that Alpine Meadows/Squaw Valley (CA) has lift ticket packages ready. The company in charge says more than double the amount of snow from last year has already fallen, so the excitement has mounted (get my sly sense of pun-ish humor there?). There are multiple packages, so explore those options on your own.
Time is running out to book The Village at Squaw Valley Lodging (Olympic Village, CA) winter sale and save 25% for stays from Jan. 6 – May 31, based on availability and only for Sun-Thursday and non-holiday stays. The majority of room have private balconies, fireplaces and kitchens. Standard rooms do not have those amenities.
The Winter Escape Package being offered by Caribe Royale Orlando isn’t the luxury resorts only promotional package being offered. There’s one for Florida and Georgia residents and if you hurry, there’s a Fall program Read more
Romance in The Venetian Room whispers like butterfly wings across the white linen tables, ornately carved dark woods, dim lighting and the hushed tones of the tuxedoed wait staff. Yes, we could have been part of the post-convention corporate crowd meeting at the Caribe Royale Hotel (Orlando, FL) where The Venetian Room is secluded behind heavy wooden doors and a whimsical entry, but instead we were one of the many couples cuddled in plush booth seats, curtained from the other tables by etched glass and wood walls. We were there to recapture the romantic aura emitted by both the elegantly sophisticated décor and the artistically divine creations of Chef Khalid Benghallem that we had first experienced last September for our anniversary.
Our first visit to the Four Diamond restaurant– routinely voted the most romantic restaurant in Orlando in various foodie surveys and publications, was during the Visit Orlando-sponsored Magical Dining Month when the prix fixee’ 3-course meal was $35. We’ve tried to return many times, but each time they were already booked up, so we were thrilled to get this reservation. Imagine how significant my husband Russ and I felt when two head waiters who had served us six months prior greeted us warmly and remembered roughly where we had sat and when we had been there. It doesn’t matter if their “remembering” had anything to do with our being in their customer system now; we felt “special.” Our main server for the evening was Matsi, a well-spoken knowledgeable server who proffered wise meal suggestions.
Once again, the ambiance created the mood that we were in for a sensory treat. The meal began with an amuse bouche of a delicate pesto cream gently tucked into a tartlet and kissed by a balsamic reduction. Five Read more