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Month: June 2016

not just a holiday weekend..

Beach giphy

The July 4th holiday is always eventful no matter where you go or what you do.  It is also the unofficial start of summer even though official summer begins on June 23.  This holiday also celebrating our countries independence, greatly effects this countries travel industry. Hotels actually use the date as a benchmark for peak rates that remain high until Labor day , especially in seasonal areas. The ideal thing to do book right before or right after whether booking in The Hamptons, Myrtle Beach, Virginia Beach around this holiday, can get better hotel, and airfare. These are just a few but any seasonal beach area would apply to this tip on traveling around the holiday weekend.

Brexit hits travel hard!

brexit giphyJust 2 days before Brexit,there where rock bottom prices for flights from United States to Europe.  These drastic airfares where for major carriers to compete with the low cost carriers that exist within Europe today , such as  American and Delta  airlines.

But now Brexit (Britain’s exit from the European union) brings some uncertainty to European Travel. Even though, 51% of the voters voted for this historic referendum, that still leaves a lot of folks who wanted to stay in the union.  There is even an increase in British citizens looking for Irish passports, which they are entitled to if they are direct descendants of Irish born parents.  The fact that the current passports of all countries in the European Union display that and Britain is changing theirs makes things a little messy for a while.  Imagine the lines in the airport being worse than what they already are for flight travel everywhere.

What does this mean for American’s traveling to Britain or Europe ? It is still uncertain with the turmoil of financial markets , it will be day to day. But it highly possible that travel can get more expensive within Europe, but cheaper to get to specific countries.  This new policy can also effect tourism in the U.S. , see: Infinite Possibilities .

 

it’s hotter in July: Montreal or Montreaux ?

The summer starts  up with  great music festivals all over the world, including Europe and Canada .  In July, there are so many fabulous ones to choose from across continents! Since June 1967, the  Montreaux jazz Festival has been providing music in a small town overlooking Lake Geneva, Switzerland.  This festival was  started by native Claude Nobs, with the major assistance from Atlantic Records at that time.   The Montreaux festival has became the 2nd largest jazz festival in the world today .  Since his death from a skiing accident in 2013, event is now  headed by Quincy Jones,a long time  collaborator of Mr. Nobs. See:Montreaux Jazz Festivalmontreaux

In Canada,The Montreal Jazz festival was forming in  the 1970’s in Montreal . It started in 1980, and and now is in its 37th year . Every year it features as much as 3,000 artists from 30 or more countries, with over 650 concerts (including  free outdoor performances), and host  2.5 million visitors .  Montreal is the  fabulous city in Canada as its backdrop, where cars are not allowed  for several blocks in the festival area.   Well worth a  bus trip from New York or a plane ride from anywhere, Montreal Jazz festival is the largest festival in the  world.   Montreal Jazz FestivalFestival_International_de_Jazz_de_Montréal_2

Its easy to get the to confused , especially since they are both French and English speaking cities and of course names are familiar. Montreaux is part of beautiful small town  landscape while Montreal is a diverse, culturally enriched city. Both festivals have educational programs for new artist,  emphasize sharing the music with free concerts and have events through out the year.

Check out other music festivals.  This  an excellent site : fab festivals

 

There is more to New Orleans

One of my friends reminded that  I must mention  that folks love visiting New Orleans without some major event going on. The history alone of this great city would make you want to come at any time of the year. New Orleans is so full of character, with its historic mansions, beautiful courtyards ,art galleries food and music.

The hotels exhibit that cool character with some of the old fashioned traditional bed and breakfast (B&B’s) in the French Quarter, to luxury hotel chains on the riverfront. There are also B&B’s throughout many neighborhoods of New Orleans.The garden district with gorgeous  tree lined streets where many mansions have been around since the 1800’s . Treme , the African- American neighborhood , bigger then a TV show,  offers so much to learn and explore.  Bourbon Street is more than one block , it is a neighborhood ! No matter what you heard, Bourbon St means a lot of different things, not just drunk people with beads!

The antique shops have very elegant & historic  things, whether family heirlooms or just secondhand.

Getting around  on streetcars is a great scenic way to explore New Orleans, very inexpensive and reliable system.You can even download passes to your smartphone and order a unlimited pass for the day .

I must mention the food is always a reason to go to New Orleans. The food and music exist beyond Bourbon St, there are cafe’s as old as they are famous like Cafe Du Monde, which opened in 1862 . Cafe Du  Monde is a traditional coffee shop with a  menu consists of dark roasted Coffee and Chicory,and Beignets. Beignets are square French -style doughnuts,  covered with powdered sugar, always sumptuous with coffee or tea, is was imported with French in the 1800’s.  The Original Cafe Du Monde is a traditional coffee shop which is still there today in New Orleans , now there are 8 locations throughout New Orleans area , check it out here: Cafe Du Monde .

The different flavors that represent the complex history of this famous city are forever consistent . France influence is surreal, as well as Africans that where brought her by way of slavery an dso many other cultures . A great time to visit could be the off season ( after June) , January through May starts with Mardi Gras season , but as I say any time is a good season in New Orleans. 

Of course there is football! Don’t even think about the New Orlean Saints winning Superbowl before all the other football classic games.

who dat!

who dat!

Yes, there is a bayou classic, nicknamed the “turkey classic:…its held day after thanksgiving every year. A classic college game ! The Bayou Classic

There’s really no bad time to visit New Orleans.New Orleans Convention Bureau

music festivals in new orleans : the truth!

neworleans jazzWarm weather means music outdoors somewhere, whether you travel far for it or its in your own backyard.  New Orleans is city that has some of the most internationally recognized music festivals , which most celebrate the food New Orleans jazz &heritage festival that exist  in this fabulous city. Since early spring, there has already been a few key events that are considered to be the “jump off” for music festival season all over the world.  Probably the most famous festival  in in New Orleans  is  “Mardi Gras” .  When you attend this festival, you may call it religious, music or food festival , or even all three. It occurs right before the Christian practice of “lent” begins and end right before “Ash Wednesday” .giphy

The New Orleans Jazz &Heritage festival  is heaven for a wide variety of  music lovers, which is  usually held in April  since 1970. I  was fortunate to attend and loved the jazz festival because its a “purist heaven”.  If you want the purist form of whatever music you are into, the jazz festival is the place to be.  The Festival was the culmination of years of discussions and efforts by city leaders ho wanted to create an event worthy of the city’s legacy as the birthplace of jazz. New Orleans Jazz Festival

The music festival of the next season that  New Orleans host is the Essence Festival, which I have been to a few times since established in 1995.  It is so much more them as music festival now, with seminars on health & wellness, business and life enrichment. Essence festival has had everyone from Patti Labelle to Janet Jackson, the late Luthor Vandross and now the late Prince .  Essence is usually held around the 4th of July holiday ,so is easy to work in a quick 3-5 day trip. Essence Festival

The Voodoo  Festival is also a very true local music festival but is growing for out of town folks . The Voodoo Fest is a music & arts experience that occurs during the fall every year ,usually Halloween, and is rapidly growing in popularity. It is always referred as its  more than a festival, its an experience. Voodoo Festival

Whatever your taste in music is, you always be fed in New Orleans with food and culture to go along with it.

 

united states advises

As I consider planning a  trip abroad soon, I have taken notice of travel warnings and alerts  from the state department  of the United States . What is scary is so many cities have warnings of potential danger because of political , economic  unrest or  extreme terrorism. As much information that I have about planning an international trip, I am reminded that it may not always be fun & glamorous.   There are warnings  alerts as these tragic events occur worldwide , but check out the website that gives official updates on this subject . You can even sign up to receive emails as things are updated! Check out:  travel warnings

1 more week

I was recently out of work for 6 weeks to a strike (Verizon), and going back has really cut into my summer. I know summer just began but I just couldn’t prepare for it since I was so occupied with my situation of being on strike. I am grateful that we settled with a great contract but I could have used 1 more week!

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