Serve up the Fun

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Often times I blog about travel alternatives when time and money are not on your side. Staycations can be great, but sometimes with kids being in sports, work and all the appointments a whole weekend isn’t feasible either. No worries, vacation can still come to you.

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After I graduated high school I spent a year in Germany as an Au Pair, now I know what you’re thinking, how is spending a year in Germany the same as bringing vacation home. But just wait! Obviously there were many things about Germany that I loved, the culture, the language, the … FOOD. So this is what inspired me to give all of my wonderful readers options for when they are craving vacation, but can’t get away from their lives.

One of my favorite German foods is Reibekuchen, which is a potato pancake (much like a hash brown cake) served with applesauce. You don’t realize how much food can transport you to another time and place as much as making your favorite foods from various vacations. When I make Reibekuchen here at home I instantly feel nostalgic for the fatherland. If you’ve ever wondered how food can be so ingrained into one’s culture, try this little experiment. It’s a great way to enjoy a little slice of vacation just for a meal. We get so wrapped up in our lives that we don’t take the moments we need to relax. If you can set sail for just dinner, take that as a little victory.

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rom all of you. What are some of your favorite foods from vacations?

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Thursday Bloody Thursday?

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Sobelman’s, a local milwaukee hot spot, made headlines with their over the top bloody marys. So I decided to do a little research on what makes these bloodies some of the best Wisconsin has to offer. When I went to the Sobelman’s website I found that they not only make one giant over the top hangover cure, but four over the top hangover cures. The Masterpiece is the most well known, other options include: The Beast, the Baconator and the Crown Mary. These drinks come with sausage, cheeseburger sliders, an array of vegetables and sausage. They can be shared, or if youre up for the challenge drank solo.

The origin of the first bloody mary’s are unknown, but the first reference to one in history began in the 1920 at the New York Bar in Paris. The inventor, Fernand Petiot worked at this famous establishment frequented by Ernest Hemingway and many other members of the Literati (see what I did there). This bar has also claimed to invent the very popular whisky drink — the Sidecar.
Regardless of its origin, the damn things are delicious. They can be a great start to the day and an even better way to cap off a whole night of debauchery. One interesting thing is that Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan are some of the only places who do beer chasers with a bloody mary. My relatives were visiting from the East Coast and were so confused why we would need an alcohol chaser with our alcohol. By the time the weekend was over they were very much a fan of alcohol with a side of alcohol. I guess us Wisconsinites just do it better. Although I have had an amazing seafood bloody before and I can’t argue with how good that is. Do you know of some amazing bloodys that we need to try? Comment below or on our facebook page!

Travel Alternatives

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Now usually I only share articles on Friday, but I read this one the other day and I really enjoyed it. I think that it is such a cool way to look at traveling to Europe and all the alternative cities are places that I’ve never been. Me and my sister were talking about our next big trips we wanted to take and she said something about not wanting to visit anything touristy. This got me thinking about this article and how some people really do want the beauty and culture of Europe, but don’t need to stand in line for hours with a bunch of other tourists to enjoy it. We aren’t all Kim and Kanye, we don’t get private tours of Versailles by candle light. But visiting these less popular, but still beautiful and culturally rich places will give you that feel.

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I unfortunately have never been to any of the alternatives, but I have been to the places that this article is saying to skip. I don’t necessarily agree that skipping them altogether is the best advice, but I think if you have travelled in Europe and you have done the whole waiting in line to see the Mona Lisa and realized it wasn’t even very big thing, then this list is actually quite ideal. I have been to Europe dozens of times and for me this list is very appealing. It has now become my must travel list.

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http://www.mydomaine.com/alternative-european-destinations/

For more information on any of these destinations give one of our Europe experts a call at 920.236.7777 or visit our website ambassadortravelltd.com to schedule an appointment today!

I Like Big Hotel and I Cannot Lie

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The world’s largest hotel is in fact located in Las Vegas Nevada, which boasts the most hotel rooms in one city in the entire world. The Venetian Hotel along with Sands Expo Convention Center and the Palazzo Hotel and Casino is Vegas’ and the world’s largest hotel. This 36 story giant boasts 4049 rooms, 3068 suites and a 120,000 square foot casino.

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But what sets this hotel apart isn’t just its massive size, but what it offers. Vegas has turned from cheap buffets and Elvis impersonators to a very glamorous getaway for the rich, famous, and cultural lovers. The Venetian is home to the Guggenheim Hermitage museum, top of the line wedding chapel, the Blue Man group Theatre as well as a Paris Opera house.

It is host to Tao nightclub as well as Tao beach which hosts one of Vegas’ famous day parties and day clubs. The Venetian is also home to shopping, gondola rides, clubs, restaurants and much much more.

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I have been to the Venetian and it is massive, more massive than I probably even realized. You feel like you have been transported to Italy with the marble staircases and doric columns. It is a must see when going to Vegas. That is probably my favorite part about Vegas is that you can go into all the different hotels and stand in awe at their size and amazing air conditioning systems. They are all unique and offers something in their own unique ways. Even some of the smaller hotels like Harrah’s, located just next door to the Venetian come with their own style and party scene.

This Week’s trivia: 1 out of every ___ jobs in the U.S. depends on Travel and Tourism

For more information on the Venetian or any hotels in Vegas please give us a call 920.236.7777

How to Enter the Blogosphere

If you are a regular reader of our blog then you know that Mondays are our Makin Memories day. Here we share memories from our staff and readers about great trips, small excursions or just how they felt about working with Ambassador travel. We love to hear from our clients especially, so I thought today we would go over just how to share a testimonial with us.

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If you have never been to our website the web address is ambassadortravelltd.com. Once there you can find our Submit Testimonials tab in two places. The first is under our drop down resources tab. The second you can find by clicking on the About page. Here next to each consultant’s name you will find a Submit Testimonial page. These are not individual testimonial pages, so feel free to click on whichever link you want, they all go to the same place.Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 9.14.45 AM

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Once on the Testimonials page you will be asked a few questions and have the chance to give us some feedback on a recent trip. Please make sure to check the box if you would like us to use your testimonial in our blog or other social media. We don’t have to use your name, but if you would like us to we only ever use first names.

If there are any questions or if you would like to send a testimonial via email please contact our head of marketing Amber Cretens at amber@ambassadortravelltd.com. Thank you and we appreciate your continued business and comments about your favorite vacations and memories.

Thanks for the Tips

So this morning I decided to scour the internet in search of great travel hacks. I love Pinterest because it makes me feel completely incompetent for not thinking of these amazing ideas myself. I really truly do not understand how anyone knew how to do anything before the internet. And the fact that we can share our genius ideas with the world truly deserves a prize. Personally I believe the inventor of Pinterest deserves the next nobel prize. Honestly I mean making a website were people can find and share some brilliant ideas has helped humanity much more than diplomatic discussions. Now that we can move on from my political rant, let me share with you some of the best ideas.

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1. If you have ever arrived at your destination ready to put on your swim suit and head to the pool only to find shampoo exploded in your suitcase then this is the perfect hack for you. Unscrew the cap to your soaps and cover it with a small piece of saran wrap (ps. saran is a hard word to spell) and screw the cap back on. Now you are double protected from a soapy situation.

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2. silicone cupcake wrappers in your car’s cup holders. I don’t know if any of you are like me, but my cup holders are literally disgusting. Honestly I don’t even know how it happens. One day my car is spotless and then all the sudden its just sticky pennies at the bottom of my cup holder. These little babies make it much easier to just pop them out throw them in the dishwasher and put them back in.

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3. Clothes pins to hold up your toothbrush while you’re on vacation. Traveling is always stressful even on the most relaxing vacations. Not being in your own space means thinking ahead. No one wants to leave their toothbrush on the counter of a hotel bathroom sink. No matter how clean it is, who knows what has gone on, on that sink.

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4. Use a shower caddy to keep eating in the car as mess free as possible. The kind with dividers are great to stick between two kids. Its a place to keep the drinks and the food and avoid find fries on the floor 3 months later.

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5. Put your phone inside a plastic baggy and attach it to the airplane try for easy viewing. I know that when I travel I hate having to hold my phone up the whole time I watch my shows and movies. This is a brilliant idea.

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6. Use a contact case to empty small amounts of liquid. Sometimes we are just going away for the weekend and don’t need to bring the Costco size foundation we got such a great deal on. Empty lotions or chapstick or whatever into these easy little compartments and free up room for that fourth pair of shoes that you just need to bring.

Now that you can travel with ease, it’s time to give Ambassador Travel a call to plan your next great adventures 920.236.7777 or visit our website to schedule an appointment ambassadortravelltd.com

Mile of Music: What’s on the Drink Menu

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If you have been around the Fox Valley in the last few years then you know that it has grown exponentially, from business development, to festivals and so much more. As July fades away and we come into the last full month of Summer we know that Mile of Music is on the horizon. For those of you new to the area, or for those of you who just live under a rock and have lived here forever, Mile of Music is located in Appleton’s downtown. It is a music festival centered around Americana music such as: indie rock, roots, country, soul, R&B, jazz and folk. The festival itself provides both entertainment and education. People are given the opportunity to become more educated in music while still enjoying shopping, various food vendors and of courses drinks. Because what would a festival be without the drinks? Better yet, what would music be without the drinks.

635709329387268082-Americana-Pale-AleIn just 2 years Mile of Music has grown exponentially. This year it will feature 800 live performances, 200 artists at 65 different venues. As a sponsor of this event Appleton’s Stone Arch Brewery serves up a commemorative beer, which this year they have renamed “American Pale Ale”. The name, an obvious nod to the style of music present at the Mile of Music, is not only sold at the 3 day festival, but it can be purchased right now at Festival and Woodman’s grocery stores in Appleton.

So before you check out the Mile of Music this year August 6-9th, pick up one of their 1600 six packs sold at one of the local retailers listed above. You can also try a frothy pint at Stone Arch Brewery also located in Appleton.

For information on accommodations or questions please call 920.236.7777 and speak with one of our knowledgable consultants today.

Where in the World Wednesday: Cuba edition

cuba cultural toursNow that regulations have been lifted on travel to Cuba you may be ready to pack your bags and explore this mysterious paradise. One thing to remember though is that tourism, although now legal for American citizens, is not a free for all. There are rules set in place for traveling to Cuba from the United States that are necessary to your vacation experience. American’s need to be taking an educational tour to travel to Cuba. This means that traveling with a tour company, you will get to experience culture, food, art, traditions, but you won’t have a lot of free time. Your days will be mapped out in accordance to the travel laws set up by the American and Cuban governments. For people ready to dive head first into all the greatness Cuba has to offer, then this will be no problem. For those looking to relax on world class beaches for a week, this is not your vacation, not yet at least. Apple Vacations has set up a few different itineraries for their tours of Cuba, and the free time to lay on the beach is quite minimal. Tourists are required to be touring throughout the days while in the culture rich country.

travels-best-2015-ss-visit-cuba-011_596x334Other things to remember when traveling to Cuba: you can only use Cuban currency and there are no ATMs that will work. You need to exchange money right when you get to Cuba and take out the majority that you will need during the trip. If you are traveling with Apple, then you know your tips and tours are all prepaid, but you still will need money for shopping and what not. Around $100 a day is what is common for traveling here. There are ways to exchange money  throughout the trip, but they can be few and far between. Another item to remember is that your cell phone will not work here, even if you have an international plan. There are phones in the rooms at your hotels and internet cafes are available in some of the bigger cities, but it will not be a vacation where you will be instagramming your delicious food or the beautiful piece of homemade pottery you just picked up. It’s ok, you can instagram when you’re back in Miami.

Overall travel to Cuba is an exciting and new opportunity for Americans. It is a place held in time that provides cultural richness to the adventurous traveler. You will experience, arts, crafts, music, food and much more that will show you that this lost gem is worth the journey.
For more information about regulations and other questions regarding Cuban travel please call Ambassador Travel at 920.236.7777 or visit our website ambassadortravelltd.com to schedule an appointment.

United States of Airports

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Last week’s trivia: ⅓ of the world’s airports are located in one country, name that country.

It may seem strange that of all the large countries in the world the United States would have over ⅓ of all the airports in the entire world. Not only does the U.S. have that many airports, but they are exponentially leading other countries of similar size. Lets take a look at some facts.

The world houses about 44,000 airports throughout 190 countries. Over 15,000 of those airports are located here in the United States. Followed by Brazil with 4,072 airports, Mexico with 1,819, Canada with 1,404 and finally Russia with 1,213. Now it may not seem that weird that the U.S. would have around 11,000 more airports than that of Brazil, but when you take into account land area it seems strange. Of these 5 countries listed, Russia is the largest, Canada is the second largest, the U.S. is number 4, Brazil is 5 and Mexico is number 14 in the world. So for countries like Russia and Canada to be exponentially larger than the United States and only have a fraction of the airports the numbers become more important.

So why does the U.S. have such a large number of airports. Many factors contribute to this answer, but it all goes back to the 1930s-40s. In the time between WWI and WWII airfields were something that the U.S. believed every town should have. With road infastructures not what they are today, aviation was a reliable means of travelling long distances. Although lets be honest driving on Wisconsin roads today can’t be that much better. I kid I kid, but really. Also during this time air travel was not overly expensive, it was completely affordable for the upper middle class (aka rich farmers), so a lot of people could afford to use it. It also comes back to the media, but what doesn’t really. Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindberg and Howard Hughes made flying look glamourous. And one thing we all want is to be like celebrities, whether that was in the 30s or today. Celebrities influence the economy in great ways.

So overall America leads the world in number of airports and because of this me as well as my co workers have jobs. Flying was one of the most important inventions of all time (thanks wright brothers) and because of that we are able to see the world and don’t have to get scurvy on a rickety boat to get their.

This week’s trivia: What is the largest hotel in the world? 
If you would like to see some more of America’s airports, please give us a call 920.236.7777 or visit our website ambassadortravelltd.com to schedule an appointment.  I suggest Detroit, it’s my favorite U.S. airport, I like the fountain.

Windy City Weekend

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Living in Appleton gives great opportunities to visit many cities throughout the midwest within a few hours. This weekend I travel to Chicago for a fun filled sister weekend. Chicago is such a fun place to visit especially if you explore some of the different neighborhoods. My sister lives in Lincoln Park and if you’ve ever wanted to feel like you were in a small town while still being surrounded by the culture, food and shopping of a big city then this is the neighborhood for you. Lincoln park is located just a couple of miles from downtown Chicago. It houses DePaul University as well as hundreds of businesses, hotels, restaurants, and shopping areas.

Although I have visited her many many times this was a weekend of firsts. That’s the great thing about a big city like Chicago. You can live there or visit there dozens of times and never do the same thing twice. Friday night we had dinner at a tapas restaurant called Cafe Ba-Ba-Reba. It was amazing. Their classic sangria is on point and the food (all small plates) was incredible. We ordered 4 or 5 different things and everything that I tried got more and more delicious. I would highly recommend the chorizo wrapped dates stuffed with goat cheese. My mouth is literally watering thinking about them. Later that night we decided to go to the Hotel Lincoln. Lincoln Park has many hotels that are quaint and boast beautiful classical architecture. Hotel Lincoln mixes classic with modern on their rooftop deck. If you want amazing views of the city, this is where to find them. We sipped a couple of glasses of prosecco while enjoying the magnificent sky line.

Like posts I’ve done before Chicago is a great place to take in a concert. In a recent post I wrote about one of our consultants who took Amtrak to Chicago to see a U2 concert. Although I didn’t take Amtrak, I did take in a Taylor Swift concert this weekend. Soldier Field is such an incredible concert venue. This weekend was definitely a scorcher, but with soldier field’s very open design and its location on the water, the weather really couldn’t have been more perfect. Taylor Swift absolutely killed it and I am so glad that I was able to get down to Bear country (yuck) and enjoy such a fabulous weekend. My only tip for taking in a concert at Soldier field is to arrange transportation beforehand. Me and my sister ended up walking quite a ways to be able to get a taxi because of the large amount of people trying for the same thing.

Overall it was an incredible weekend and I can’t wait to see what my next trip will bring.
If the windy city interests you please call Ambassador Travel today to talk about concert or play options, hotel accommodations and everything in between.