River cruising solo

vkls_ext_bud.jpgIt’s Friday everyone! Time to celebrate, the weekend is upon us! In today’s blog I will be talking about an article that was sent to me recounting a solo traveler who decided to take a romantic river cruise alone. Now if you keep up with our blogs you know that I just enjoyed a wonderful river cruise for my honeymoon, but obviously this is a great perspective for someone looking to river cruise without a companion. That being said after reading this it is remarkable how similar our experiences were even though she was traveling alone and I was with my new husband. I think this is a great way for people to understand how wonderful of a vacation river cruising can be without worrying about having someone to share it with. With this in mind it also made me feel like the experience is such a shared thing with everyone on board that it almost doesn’t matter if you are traveling with a spouse, your family or as a single traveler because the end result is the same. I did, on my cruise, have the opportunity to meet one solo traveler and she was delightful. Her name was Noma and she was British but was retired and living in Spain. We ate with her several times and always enjoyed her company. Check out the article below and feel free to comment whether you have cruise before or not, I would love to hear more about other people’s experiences no matter how you traveled!

http://www.bonappetit.com/restaurants-travel/navigator/article/romantic-danube-river-cruise?mbid=social_facebook

Interested in river cruising? Give us a call today 920.236.7777 or visit our website ambassadortravelltd.com to schedule an appointment!

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When Life Hands you Lemons

shutterstock_84128584.jpgIf you haven’t booked your warm weather vacation yet, now is the time. Need a little inspiration? Keep reading! Today’s Thirsty Thursday will feature everyone’s favorite– the margarita. A traditional margarita is made with tequila, triple sec and lime or lemon juice. The rim is often trimmed with salt. The drink can either be shaken with ice and strained into a glass with ice. This type of margarita is known as on the rocks. It can be blended, often called a frozen margarita and lastly it can be without ice and this style is known as straight up. Margaritas are served in many different style of glasses, but traditionally they are served in what is known as a eponymous margarita glass, which just so happens to look like an upside down sombrero. Ole!

Now that we know how to make this deliciously refreshing cocktail, lets learn a little bit about it’s history. Of course like every drink there are several claims to fame. Some say it was invented in Acapulco, Mexico, Houston or Galveston Texas and a handful of other Mexican cities. I am just going to go over two of the most widely accepted origins of our vacation favorite. One account claims that in 1938 bartender Carlos Herrera created the drink at he Rancho La Gloria between Tijuana and Rosario Mexico. It was said that he made the drink for dancer Marjorie King who had sever allergies to almost all liquor except for tequila. This drink then made its way up to wpid-photo-20140618203227.jpgSan Diego and La Jolla through friends of Herrera.

A second account claims the drink wasn’t invented until October of 1941. Don Carlos Orozco bartender at the Hussong’s Cantina in Ensenada Mexico was experimenting with many different cocktails. One night Margarita Henkel the daughter of the German ambassador came into the cantina. Orozco had her try one of his newest creations and since she was the first to try his concoction he named it after her.

Regardless of what story you believe the most important thing is that the margarita was invented and we get to have them whenever we want. And sure you could make one at home or go to your favorite Mexican restaurant, but we all know a margarita tastes so much better when you’re lying on the beach under the warm Mexican sun.

Looking to book that Mexican getaway now? I know you are, so give us a call 920.236.7777 or visit our website ambassadortravelltd.com to schedule an appointment with one of our Mexico/Caribbean experts.

Wine not

b427fea788a6c7f657fe113856fa4e90.jpegLooking to take a family vacation in a non traditional family vacation destination? Have you considered Napa Valley, California? Before you think no way, my kids are young and we aren’t even big wine drinkers let me show you how much more this beautiful area of the country has to offer.

The Napa Valley is located just 90 miles north of exciting San Francisco. So even if you don’t want to spend a whole week in wine country it’s definitely worth a day or weekend trip. So you’ve decided to give me the benefit of the doubt, what can you do in the Napa Valley without going to wineries?

napa71.jpgFirst the Napa Valley is known for much more than just their vineyards. This area of the country produces some of the most delicious olive oils in the country. Here you can tour mills, learn about the process of cultivating the olives as well as harvesting and production. Sample some of the products and pick some up for yourself and your loved ones. Olive oil makes a great gift for the chef in your life. And speaking of chefs Napa Valley is known for its world class cuisine. Whether you are interested in cooking or just plain old eating you can’t go wrong. Take a family cooking class at the Silverado Cooking School and learn how to make some delicious meals. Or head out to one of several world class restaurants in the area.

oxbow-2.jpgNext stop of the day is shopping. Because this is a tourist destination there is a lot of great local and commercial shopping in the area. Hand made goods, local products and much more await your shopping trip in the Napa Valley. Make sure to check out the world famous Market.

Now if none of this has convinced you, what about a spa trip. Napa is home to hot springs as well as several world class spas. Between a good mud bath, hot spring scrub or facial you will be on a vacation from your vacation.

Top-10-Things-to-do-in-Napa-Valley-for-Food-Lovers-B-Cellars-1005x580.jpgNow I know I mentioned above that Napa is a trip for everyone and you don’t need to center it around wine, but lets be honest, you didn’t go all the way to Napa without having at least one glass. Lucky for you there are over 400 vineyards and wineries in the area. Each offering a unique experience whether you are interested in tours, tasting or learning how to pair certain wines with the delicious food you cooked earlier.

Although this trip may be more suited for a romantic getaway, or a fun girls weekend all of these fun actives just go to show that you can enjoy family fun in even the most unconventional cities. If you would like more information on the Napa Valley whether you are going adults only or want the kids to tag along we can help. Ambassador Travel Ltd. 920.236.7777 or ambassadortravelltd.com

Trivia Tuesday

Happy Tuesday everyone! Keep your week going by playing our fun trivia! Last week I asked you to match six fun facts with their corresponding states. Lets go over them again and see how you did!

1. This state houses the world’s first aquarium built in 1893 as well as the world’s first skyscraper build in 1885

2. The Original Barbie is from this state. Barbie’s full name is Barbie Millicent Roberts

3. Rhode Island could fit into this state 425 times

4. This state was the location of the first school in the United States. King Williams School opened in 1696

5. This state has the windiest city in the United States

6. The first subway system in the United States began in the capital of this state in 1897

Answers:
1. Illinois
2. Wisconsin, the original Barbie was from Willows Wisconsin
3. Alaska, WOW! That is one big State!
4. Maryland
5. Kansas, the windiest city is Dodge city, not to be confused with Chicago which is only known as the windy city after being dubbed so because of its long winded politicians.
6. Massachusetts

We have image trivia this week, tell me which two countries are divided by this famous waterfall?

IguazuFalls_CNT_14jul09_rex_426x284.jpg

For more travel trivia and to find out the answer to this week’s quiz make sure to check back each Tuesday and play along with us!

For more information on any of the locations featured here or in any of our blogs please feel free to contact us at 920.236.7777 or visit our website ambassadortravelltd.com to schedule an appointment!

 

Let’s Make Some Memories Together

Family-beach.jpgGood morning everyone, it’s the beginning of the week so that means it is time to set up your to do lists and get started on dominating this week. Is “plan spring break trip” on your list? If so we are here to help. It’s time to start making those memories with your loved ones. And we can customize a trip to whatever you are looking for.

Not only do we offer group trips, like our Cozumel Spring Break trip, but we can customize a vacation for whatever suits you best. Are you looking for a hot beach vacation 134762-mark-webber-teresa-palmer.jpgfor the whole family? Ready to escape to Europe on a romantic week away for two? How about taking the family to the mountains for a ski vacation that they will never forget? We have you covered. One great thing about using a travel agency is that we have many resources. Aside from our great contacts and opportunity to access exclusive pricing we also have a great group of consultants who have been all over the world. When you first call/email/text us we get information from you to find out what you are looking for. Once we have a conversation skiers.jpgwe match you with the consultant best suited for your needs. This way you are getting someone who has a wide range of experience in the vacation you are most interested in taking.

Want to take a cruise for Spring Break, Liz our cruise consultant cruises multiple times per year and has tried out several of the cruise companies. With her guidance she can help you find the best cruise and family.jpgitinerary for you and also share some of her inside information.

Anything you are interested in, we can help with. Looking to propose? We can help you with a car service, picturesque location as well as flowers and champagne in your hotel room afterward. When you use a travel agency you are not just getting someone to plan a trip for you, you are gaining an experience. We want you to feel taken care of from the moment you contact us until far after you return.

So let’s start Making those memories with you. Whether it is spring break, summer vacation, next fall or next year we are happy to start putting together your dream vacation. If you would like to talk with one of our experts or have any questions please feel free to give us a call 920.236.7777 or visit our website ambassadortravelltd.com and request information there! I am also always available amber@ambassadortravelltd.com for any questions.

Friday Fun

With the winter weather encouraging us all to make like a bird and fly towards that warmer weather the dilemma we all face is how do you dress and pack for two completely different climates. Often when we are headed for the sunny beach oasis that we all crave we are leaving behind the frozen tundra. What that means is that we have to dress to get to the airport in freezing temperatures, but get off the plane often with a 80 degree difference. So what is the best way to stay warm before and after the vacay without sweating our buns off the second we step into that humid wonderland? Luckily for you guys as I was researching earlier this week I came across an article by fashion website Who What Wear that did an article on this very issue. They provide great insight into how to handle the drastic change in climate and stay comfortable while you do it.

Article: http://www.whowhatwear.com/what-to-wear-for-travel-different-climates-2016/slide11

One thing I think that they seem to highlight is something I would suggest to anyone traveling is layers and accessories are the key. Have the option to take off a sweater or add a vest to make sure you are always comfortable wherever you are. That being said one thing they didn’t think to highlight was the necessity of having a great travel bag that is big enough for all these layers, but small enough that you don’t feel like you are carrying around your entire closet. For those of you who are like me, I would suggest a large purse rather than a carry on and a small purse. I don’t like lugging two bags around in the airport as well as on the plane and rushing through customs. I use the Longchamp Le Pliage bag which is big enough to carry a backup outfit, your books, magazines, headphones, wallet and passport. I don’t like to overpack my carry on, but I want to make sure I have a fresh outfit to change into in case my luggage is lost. That being said this bag is not only stylish but it is incredibly durable. I have had mine for going on 3 years and it’s still going strong. Longchamp’s nylon bags are great for traveling because they are easy to clean and carry a ton of stuff. Plus they have a variety of bathroom bags, garment bags and luggage.

Ready to make you way south? Then give us a call 920.236.7777 or visit our website ambassadortravelltd.com to schedule your appointment.

Valentini

With Valentines day right around the corner I thought that I would give a brief history of where the martini came from and provide a few Valentine’s themed martini recipes. These drinks will be great whether you are spending a romantic night in or having a party with all your girls. Lets learn a little bit about the origin of this classic cocktail

martini.jpgThe exact origin, like many drinks that I feature is a little unclear. Of course there are several accounts that say the martini was named after a specific person or place where it claims to be from. Lets look at a few here. Around 1863 an Italian spirits company branded their product Martini and with one of their hottest sellers being vermouth the drink came from one of the two ingredients. Another source claims the drink came from the name Martinez in the 1860s. Although this story has discrepancies within discrepancies. Martinez is an town off the coast of San Francisco. According to sources guests at the Occidental Hotel in S.F. would take the very to the town after a night of drinking what they would later name martini after their final destination. This story also claims that the drink was named after the town of Martinez because a bartender their invented it. No matter where the first account of this potent palliative came from it’s here to stay.

The martini saw its peak in popularity during the 1920s. While this was during prohibition the ease of producing bathtub gin made the liquor readily available. And although the martini was quite popular so were other gin based cocktails. At this time the martini was served with dry gin and dry vermouth at a 2:1 ratio. stirred in a mixing glass with ice and strained into a cocktail glass this drink is traditionally topped with a olive or lemon twist. As the drink has evolved the ratio has seen the biggest change. The 1930s saw a 3:1 ratio, while the 40s saw a 4:1, that being gin to vermouth. The biggest change came during the 21st century where we see 6:1, 8:1 even up to 100:1. Now thats a strong drink. To make a dirty martini you top your classic martini with a splash of olive juice.

Now today we have endless options when it comes to martinis: appletinis, peachtinis, chocolate martinis, rasbertinis, a favorite of mine being the fliritini. But the only reason these drinks are dubbed with the name “tini” is due to the glass they are served in. Martini’s in this capacity are generally served with vodka, making them not technically a martini. But that doesn’t mean they are just as delicious. With that being said I have found a couple of Valentine’s day inspirited “tini’s” that will make your heart and your taste buds flutter.

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 9.10.39 AM.pngValentines Day Chocolate Martini

2 oz. vodka, light rum or brandy
1/2 oz. chocolate liqueur
1/2 oz. white creme de cacao
chocolate syrup to coat the rim
mix in martini shaker, pour into chilled martini glass

Raspberry Martini

Muddle raspberries and grenadine in a cocktail shaker add vodka and lemon juice pour and enjoy.

DBC-place-pin-600x600.jpgWhether you have a hot date or no plans at all, Valentine’s Day is coming before you know it. No matter if you are married, single or somewhere in between you will love Appleton’s 13th annual Valentine’s Day Death By Chocolate.

Held each year from 1-430pm, this fun filled day will make the chocolate lover in you swoon. With treats from 17 different restaurants, bars and coffee houses you will enjoy desserts and drinks from local chefs. The cost is $20 per person and is a great way to get away for the holiday, while not having to plan a whole trip in under a month. Want to make a weekend out of it? Give us a call for help with hotel, restaurants and anything else that would make your Valentine’s Day full of love (and chocolate).

What I really like about this is that you can spend the day with your girls before heading out for your romantic dinner plans. Or take your date with you for all day fun. Plus for anyone in a new relationship this is a great way for a low pressure Valentine’s Day. No matter how you plan on spending the most romantic weekend of the year know we at Ambassador are here to help. Like I mentioned above we can expand this for the weekend of the night. On top of hotel and dinner we can also assist in getting a car to drive you, maybe a limo and anything else that would bring the romance to that special day.

For more information please give us a call 920.236.7777 or visit our website ambassadortravelltd.com to schedule an appointment with one of our excellent travel professionals.

For more information on Death By Chocolate or to purchase tickets please visit https://appletondowntown.org/product/death-by-chocolate/

Trivia Tuesday

Last week I asked you to identify 6 states with their respective flowers. Let see if you knew your flora:

Massachusetts: Mayflower
Illinois: Violet
Wisconsin: Wood Violet
Alaska: Forget-Me-Not
Maryland: Black eyed Susan
Kansas: Sunflower

So how did you do? Are you a master of state and flower? If so then you’ll definitely want to participate in this week’s Trivia Tuesday. I have decided to take these same 6 states and help you learn a little more about them. Below you will find a fun fact about each of these states that you will match just like you did last week. Just to review the 6 states are: Massachusetts, Illinois, Wisconsin, Alaska, Maryland and Kansas.

Fun Facts
1. This state houses the world’s first aquarium built in 1893 as well as the world’s first skyscraper build in 1885

2. The Original Barbie is from this state. Barbie’s full name is Barbie Millicent Roberts

3. Rhode Island could fit into this state 425 times

4. This state was the location of the first school in the United States. King Williams School opened in 1696

5. This state has the windiest city in the United States

6. The first subway system in the United States began in the capital of this state in 1897

Like last week feel free to leave your guesses in the comments below, on Facebook or email them in to me amber@ambassadortravelltd.com. Check back next week for the answer reveal as well as more fun travel trivia!

To travel to any of these interesting states please give us a call 920.236.7777 or visit our website ambassadortravelltd.com

From the Dairyland to Maryland

hx_baltimore1_18_425x303_FitToBoxSmallDimension_Center.jpgWith the way our world is right now travel is easier than ever. We have the option to see every bit of the world from Antartica to the North Pole, but sometimes we forget some of the best travel destinations are right here in our own country. Living in the United States gives us such a great advantage to travel to all types of climates without ever needing to use our passports. Whether you’re looking for tropical, desert, mountainous or a little midwestern temperate we have it all. One of my favorite travel destinations, which I have been visiting for years is Baltimore, Maryland.

baltimore-harbor.jpg.1920x810_0_302_10000.jpegI have been to Baltimore and Washington D.C. more times than I have visited any other location. Growing up my aunt and uncle lived there so my parents would take us to Maryland in the summer to enjoy the warmer weather and get a taste of bigger city life. One of my favorite memories is taking the light rail into the Inner Harbor, which is kind of like the city center of Baltimore. Here we would eat delicious sea food, crab cakes are my absolute favorite, visit the aquarium and do some shopping. The aquarium in Baltimore is such a fun thing to do for families of all ages. I haven’t been to Baltimore in a few years, but I know the next time I go back I will definitely be visiting the aquarium. The Inner Harbor has so many activities it is definitely fun to spend a day or two there. The great thing about Baltimore and really most cities on the East Coast is that they are so close to a lot of other cities. Baltimore specifically has Washington D.C. My aunt and uncle took us to D.C. often and we were able to spend a day touring the Smithsonian, walking through the monuments and getting a taste of our country’s history. I love this area of the country because you feel so patriotic. I am looking forward to my next trip to D.C., I would definitely recommend making it a spring or fall trip. Summers can be extremely hot and well the amount of tourists in D.C. is always high, but I would say definitely at it’s peak in the summer.

If you are looking for more information on travel to Baltimore or Washington D.C. please give us a call at 920.236.7777 or visit our website ambassadortravelltd.com to request an appointment.