Viva Las Vegas

Good morning everyone! It is Makin’ Memories Monday and I am here to serve you up a great dose of memories. Travel Planner Shauna just got back from a great weekend in Vegas, and is here to share her experience! Check it out below:

monte-carlo-hero-image.tif.image.1152.495.high.jpg“After returning from Vegas last week it reminded me again of why I love to travel!  Trying new foods, seeing great shows, people watching when relaxing with a cocktail, basking in the warm sun….it is truly my therapy!
 
My sister, Melissa, and I traveled to Vegas staying at the Monte Carlo, which is one of my favorite hotels.  I love the location on the strip as well as the rooms, the décor is very relaxing!  I had asked for an upgrade to a strip view room (always ask for an upgrade and if it is offered at no charge, bonus!) and loved our view.  I looked out every night to see the great lights of Vegas!  My cousin met us in Vegas and he stayed at the El Cortez, which is located downtown on Freemont Street.  The El Cortez is the oldest casino in Las Vegas, that has not had an update, and it sure has the charm of “Old Vegas”!  Not being a big gambler, it was perfect for me, I learned how to play Roulette there and it was only $1.00 to per play!  As easy as this game is to play, they were patient as I learned the ropes of the game not to mention I enjoyed their free drinks while playing!   
 
Speaking of Freemont Street, I had some eye opening experiences with locals who were looking for tips by being on neon-casino-signs-lit-up-at-dusk-el-cortez-fremont-street-the-strip-las-vegas-nevada-usa.jpgdisplay and having your picture taken with them.  I also found some amazing artists (spray paint artists, dancers, instrument players, etc).  Great talent!  We were on Freemont Street on Fat Tuesday, which led us to Labayou Casino, what a party!!  Lots of beads, great Cajun music and fun entertainers.  Of course we took in the “Freemont Street Experience,” which is the computer generated show over the top of the street. The night we were there the band, Heart, was featured. What great music and light show! 
 
My cousin introduced us to some new areas of Vegas that I had not yet ventured to, the first was an area of Vegas that had some great antique stores.  Lots of old Vegas memorabilia, old Vegas hotel equipment including the Riviera, that sadly just closed last May, and my favorite, which was a store dedicated to the what I would guess to be the 1950’s or 1960’s.  They had lots of old furniture including a complete kitchen set-up that reminded me of my Grandparents home, what great memories that store brought back for our family!  From there we traveled to an area called “Paradise Palms”, it is a subdivision that used to be occupied by entertainers such as Sammy Davis, Jr., Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Joey Bishop.  The current owners of these homes have restored them and you feel like you have been transformed back to the days of these entertainers being in Vegas, fun vibrant colors and interesting architecture.  Last we made a point of stopping at “The Container Park” located kiddie corner to the El Cortez.  It is a fun area that offers small shops and restaurants with the middle of the park for seating.  We ate at the Mexican restaurant, Pinches Tacos, AMAZING authentic food!  We all ordered different foods so we could share and try.  I suggest doing the same!  We ended our lunch with a “Halo Halo” at The Chillspot.  It was a delicious international dessert featuring unique fruit toppings when blended together was heaven!
 
Our last dinner was at The Golden Steer which is the oldest steakhouse in Las Vegas, the popular spot for entertainers to eat at “back in the day” after entertaining.  The restaurant has not changed much in years, still the large high booths and waiters in tuxedos.  It is truly an experience that you should take in at least once!  The tableside prepared caesar salad is absolutely delicious!!
 
Overall another fabulous trip to Vegas, one of my favorite spots to visit in the states!
If Shauna’s awesome experience mixing old an new Vegas has sparked your interest, then it’s time to give us a call 920.236.7777. Vegas is a great trip for bachelor/bachelorette parties, weekend getaways with friends or a fun couples trip of gambling and drinks in the sun.
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Post Vacation Cleanse

We have all felt that post vacation slump, whether is from drinking more than we usually do, long flights or just from eating things that aren’t part of our everyday diet. Get back on track after your latest vacay with these great tips above!

Plus once you’re back on track you will be ready to start planning your next getaway! 920.236.7777 or schedule and appointment at ambassadortravelltd.com

It’s all Greek to Me

water_and_ouzo.jpgThirsty Thursday is here again and you know what that means, time for the drink of the week. This week’s feature comes to us all the way from Greece–Ouzo. This anise flavored liqueur is the national beverage of Greece, but it can also be found in Cyprus. It became an exclusively Greek product in 2006, similar to Sangria of Spain and Portugal as well as Champagne to the Champagne region of France. Lets learn a little more about this cultural beverage.

First created by monks in the 14th century in Mt. Athos, Ouzo didn’t go into modern production until the 19th century. The first distillery was located in Tyrnavos in 1856 and owned by Nikolaus Katsaros, which is where one of the most popular brands of Ouzo comes from–Ouzo Tyrnavos. Unlike many Thirsty Thursday feature we don’t have any conflicting stories about Ouzo. Sorry no bar fights over a drink this week.

Generally taken as a shot, the drink can also be served with water on the rocks. It is known as an aperitif and if you have been an avid reader of the blog, you know that means a before dinner drink or part of happy hour. Generally served with appetizers such as fish, olives and feta cheese. Ouzo tastes similar to absinthe because of its anise flavor. But became much more popular with the banning of Absinthe during the 20th century.

To try your own Ouzo shot, give us a call at Ambassador Travel 920.236.7777 so we can start creating you Greece getaway today!

Where in the World: Scotland

Scotland-map.pngDo you love Europe, but are looking for a unique travel experience? Maybe you want to stay away from the crowds and enjoy an exiting adventure in the north. Scotland may be just what you’re looking for. Although this country is a part of Great Britain they stand out on their own in many ways. Rich in culture, history and whisky this a must see location.

Scotland became unified with England in 1707 with the formulation of Great Britain. Located on the northern part of the Island, Scotland boarders England to the south and the Atlantic Ocean on it’s eastern, western and northern sides. And although Scotland is located on the Island of Great Britain, it also has 790 islands of it’s own. With a population of 5.3 million people this country carries some weight in the world. Scotland’s largest city is Glasgow, but it’s capital city is Edinburgh. The county has 3 national languages: English, Scots and Scottish Gaelic.

p.php.jpegKnown for it’s rich culture and history throughout the world, Scotland has some of the most beautiful must see locations. The Royal and Ancient Golf Club located in St. Andrews, Scotland is the home and perhaps birthplace of golf. The club itself was established in 1750, but it’s many courses developed hundreds of years before. The club is internationally recognized as the ruling body of golf and holds the annual British Open. It’s most popular course is known as Links and runs along the jagged, yet picturesque coastline. Interestingly enough in 1457 James II of Scotland banned men from playing golf because he thought Scottish men were spending too much time on it, rather than archery. The ban was lifted by James IV in 1502 because James was a golfer himself.

loch-ness.jpgFor lovers of folklore Scotland is a rich treasure trove of myth and mystery. Staring with one of its most famous tales of lore–The Loch Ness Monster. Located in the Scottish Highland, Loch Ness is the 2nd largest Scottish Loch and largest by volume in the British Isles. Visit the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition to learn of the area’s natural history as well as the legend of Nessie. The Loch Ness Monster, is a large unknown animal, which supposedly inhabits the Loch Ness. The first sighting was in 1933 and continues to be a site for tourists and locals alike. If you are interested in lake monsters, no worries, these creatures are quite common in several other Scottish lakes.

edinburgh_castle_0.jpgNow I know I said this sort of vacation could pull you away from the crowds and let you experience a more picturesque quiet side of Europe, but if you’re looking for a great tourist attraction, then Edinburgh Castle is your next stop. The history of the castle dates back to the 12th century, but people have been living on the rock that is the foundation since the Iron Age. At least as far back as the 12th century David I of Scotland resided in the royal palace. It has gone through many transformations in the last 900 years, as many things do, when during the 17-20th centuries it was used as a military barracks. And although it has been involved in many historical conflicts today it is a symbol of Scottish heritage. It is the most popular tourist attraction in all of Scotland and is one of the few castles today with a military garrison. Although mostly symbolic, it is still an exciting and must see location.

Now that I have inspired you to pack your backs, don’t forget the kilt by the way, and head over the pond, give us a call 920.236.7777 or visit our website ambassadortravelltd.com to schedule an appointment today.

Trivia Tuesday: Modern Wonders

Last week I asked you what the 7 Modern Wonder’s of the world are. For some of you, you may not even have known there were modern wonders. I was told by one of my readers that as soon as he read last week’s post he immediately googled 7 Wonder’s of the World to see what they were. To me that is such a great compliment because it means that my readers are learning more about the world around us and hopefully I am inspiring that learning to become travel to see these places for yourself.

The 7 Modern Wonder’s of the World are as follows:1024px-Chichen-Itza-Castillo-Seen-From-East.JPG

Chichen Itza located in Yucatan, Mexico and was built in 600 A.D.

 

1_cristor_redentor_2014.jpgChrist the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil erected in1931 A.D.

 

 

The Great Wall of China, located throughout China built in 700 B.C.1280px-The_Great_Wall_of_China_at_Jinshanling.jpg

 

 

 

 

1280px-Machu_Picchu,_Peru.jpgMachu Picchu located in the Cuzco region of Peru, built in 1450 A.D.

 

 

 

Petra located in Jordan, built in 312 B.C.800px-Petra_Jordan_BW_21.JPG

1024px-Taj_Mahal_in_March_2004.jpgThe Taj Mahal built in 1543 A.D. in Agra, India

and the Colosseum built in 80 A.D. located in Rome Italy1280px-Colosseum_in_Rome,_Italy_-_April_2007.jpg

 

 

 

 

The last remaining of the original 7 Wonder’s of the World is the Great Pyramid of Giza, located in Giza, Egypt and built in 2560 B.C. This was actually given an honorable mention when the voting was done to establish the new Modern Wonders. The other 6 of the original include: The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Colossus or Rhodes and the Lighthouse of Alexandria. The vote for the Modern Wonder’s began in 2000, where over 100 million votes were cast via phone and online. The total came in 2001 when the list was established. Some notable runners up were: the Eiffel tower, Acropolis of Athens, and the Statue of Liberty.

This week’s trivia question: “All roads lead to _____________.”

For more information about any of the Modern Wonder’s of the world please give us a call 920.236.7777 or visit our website ambassadortravelltd.com

Door County Escape

One of my favorite things to do when life is just a little stressful is take a weekend trip somewhere where I know I can relax, do the things I love and just get away from it all. Living in Wisconsin we have a lot of great options within a few hours drive: Chicago, the Twin Cities, Milwaukee, the U.P, and of course Door County. To me Door County is the perfect escape from everyday life. There are a lot of great food options, always something to do whether thats festivals, or wine tastings or trolly rides throughout the peninsula. Plus its only about a 2 hour drive (from the Appleton/Oshkosh area), which means come Friday you can be there by dinner time and Sunday you can leisurely drive home as you stop along the way for last minute souvenirs.

newport-front-with-sign-490x367.jpgOne of my favorite trips I have ever taken to Door County was last Spring. I was in the process of planning my wedding and for anyone out there that has been involved in anyway with wedding plans you know it comes with a lot of stress. I was at a point where I just needed to get away and not think about white dresses, floral arrangements or cake tastings. So me and my, at the time, fiancé headed up for a weekend of wine and relaxation. Because I work here at Ambassador I of course reached out to my many resources, the lovely staff, and got some great recommendations for my getaway. I ended up staying at the Newport Resort in Egg Harbor and absolutely loved it. I was there before the busy season, which often times means a lot slower pace, which at the time I LOVED. Of course visiting D.C. in the summer is wonderful, but its a great place to visit all year long as well.

We started our weekend by checking into the hotel, which happens to feature apartment style rooms. We had a lovely bedroom and bathroom with jacuzzi tub, full kitchen as well as living room with working fireplace. The resort itself had indoor and outdoor pool (indoor was only open when we were there because it was still early spring). Sauna, hot tub and other great amenities. After checking in we headed to our dinner reservation at Chives in Baileys Harbor. One of my absolute favorite things about Door County is that all the cities are so close and each offer so much to do. If you’ve never heard of Chives it is time to check it out yourself. Even if you can’t make the journey up to D.C. they have several sister restaurants much closer (Chives in Ashwaubenon, Bleu in DePere and Rye in Appleton). After that we picked up some wine and headed back to the hotel for a relaxing evening in.

vineyard-painting.jpgThe next morning we were up early for breakfast at one of my all time favorite places in Door County–the White Gull Inn. For anyone who knows me, you know that I am an eggs benedict lover. And the first eggs benny I ever tried was here at the White Gull Inn when I was in Middle School. This cute little Inn is a hot spot for breakfast, especially during the busy season. It is also a great place to stay if you are interested. We then headed over to Peninsula state park and hiked for most of the day. After that it was time for wine and some lunch at the Cookery in Fish Creek. Of all the towns in Door County Fish Creek is definitely my favorite. I love all the shops, pubs and restaurants. It sits right on the water and has a great atmosphere. We spent the rest of the day driving around and stopping in at various wineries and breweries. My favorite is Stone’s Throw Winery in Baileys Harbor. Here you can do a 5 wine tasting for $12 a person and you get to keep the wine glass, so its a lot of fun.

Overall Door County is a great escape as well as fun trip no matter who you are traveling with. If you’re looking for a romantic getaway, or a fun filled girls weekend this is definitely the place to do it. Interested in learning more about traveling to Door County? Give us a call 920.236.7777 or visit our website ambassadortravelltd.com

Planes, Trains, and automobiles

trains-round-up-europe_20681_600x450.jpgIt’s Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday. It’s almost the weekend everyone! Our wonderful Support Staff Manager Brittany is always finding great articles about travel and I want to start sharing some of them with you all! The one I am featuring today is a great National Geographic article for anyone interested in train travel.

I have traveled by overnight train in both Egypt and Russia and it was definitely an experience I will remember for my whole life. Traveling by train almost transports you back in time. With the bar car and dining car you feel like you’re part of the Literati hanging out in 1920s Paris taking your weekend trips to Italy. Check out these great options here in the article.

http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/top-10/european-train-trips/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social&utm_content=link_fbt20160213eurotrain&utm_campaign=Content&sf20884923=1

Interested in train travel? Give us a call 920.236.7777 or visit our website ambassadortravelltd.com

My My Mai Tai

It’s Thirsty Thursday everyone!! That means the weekend is right around the corner. Get through the next few days by sipping on our featured drink of the week the Mai Tai. OneMock-Mai-Tai2.jpg thing this drink does is put you in the mood for a tropical vacation. Some of the best Mai Tai’s I’ve ever had were in the Bahamas and every time I sip one it brings me back to paradise. Let learn a little bit about this vacation style beverage.

A Mai Tai is made with white rum, dark rum, orange curaçao, Orgeat syrup and lime juice. They are typically garnished with a pineapple or a tropical flower. Shake your drink with ice and pour over ice for a refreshing cocktail that will transport you and your tastebuds to white sand beaches and crystal clear skies.

RoyalHawaiianMaiTai.JPGThe Mai Tai is claimed to be invented by two rival restaurants in L.A. Trader Vic’s owned by Victor Bergeron claimed to have made the drink in 1944. Vic had friends visiting from Tahiti so he created this cocktail. One of the friends yelled out “very good” in Tahitian, which in the native tongue translates to Mai Tai. The rival restaurant who stakes their claim to fame is Don the Beachcomber restaurant. This tinsel town eatery claimed to have invented the drink in 1933, 11 years before Vic and his Tahitian friends. Reports claim that the Mai Tai’s from both restaurants taste so different that you may not even know they are the same drink. Officially there are 11 different ways to make a Mai Tai, so the argument will still persist.

Looking to sip on a Mai Tai poolside? Give us a call 920.236.7777

To Huatulco we go

huatulco2.jpgAfter featuring Connie’s testimonial on Monday it got me really excited about Huatulco, Mexico. I figured I would expand on Monday’s post by featuring Huatulco as our Where in the World Wednesday location. So many people absolutely love Mexico, but still like to switch up where they travel within the picturesque and culture rich country. Huatulco is a great way to get breathtaking views as well amazing food, culture and shopping.

111_w.gifHuatulco is located in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. It lies along the bay of Oaxaca on the edge of the Sierra Madre mountains. This already has my mind drifting to the beautiful location. Whenever the mountains meet the sea you are guaranteed a rare form of beauty that everyone should experience in their lifetime. Huatulco sits on 9 bays, many coves as well as 36 sand beaches. This is definitely a relaxing place to experience some great water front property.

Moving away from resort row you can find the small town of Huatulco. Here you can find great culture, small town charm as well as beautiful architecture and amazing authentic Oaxacan cuisine. Oaxaca is known as the land of the 7 moles each for a unique mole created by the 7 regions of the state. Make sure to try Huatulco’s speciality mole while you are there on your visit. Another speciality is a dish consisting of iguana tail, tamales and of course the traditional spicy mole. If you’re an adventurous eater, or just want a good story, rota2.jpgthis is the meal for you!

Looking for a great adults only resort here in Huatulco? Well make sure to check out my Monday blog on Secrets Huatulco. This breathtaking location would make a great couples trip, romantic honeymoon or beautiful destination wedding. Interested in taking the whole family? Dreams Huatulco will be the perfect location and great for every member of the family. Relaxation, excitement and various activities will allow everyone to get what they want out of their vacation.

Once in Huatulco you’ll want to see and do a few things. I suggest the boat tour of Huatulco bay. This day trip will allow you to see the 9 bays, many coves as well as the 36 sand beaches. Another option is touring the town’s coffee plantation. Here is the growing site of the Puma bean, which is considered one of the best coffees in the entire world.

For more information on anything I have featured here please give us a call 920.236.7777 or visit our website ambassadortravelltd.com

 

Night at the Museum

smithsonian-castle.jpgHappy Tuesday everyone! We are finally back on track with our Trivia Tuesdays, so lets jump right into it. Last week I asked, “How many Smithsonian museums and galleries are there in Washington D.C.?” This may have been a trick question because there are 17 Smithsonian museums and galleries located in D.C. and two located in New York. Either way a lot of amazing places to discover history, art, aviation, as well as biology, and various other sciences.

Air_and_Space_Planes.jpgAside from Christmas Day the Smithsonian museums and galleries are open 7 days a week and are free to visit. I personally have visited the air and space museum countless times and I love it. My uncle loves airplanes and has always been our D.C. tour guide so I have seen the Wright brother’s plane several times. It’s an incredible place that you will appreciate as a child all the way up through adulthood.

Let’s learn a little bit about this massive establishment. The annual budget for the Smithsonian is $819.5 million. They have 28 million visitors annually and house 138 million pieces of art and specimens. The Smithsonian is affiliated with 195 other museums in 45 states as well as Puerto Rico and Panama. This means that a lot of the Smithsonian’s 128 PT_Popular_3_NMNH-rotunda-with-elephant.jpgpieces of art and specimens are out on loan to various other museums and galleries around the U.S.

Looking to take a trip to Washington D.C. to visit one or several of the Smithsonian museums and galleries? Make sure to contact us, we have U.S. travel experts that are just waiting to put your patriotic vacation together! 920.236.7777

 

This week’s trivia question: “Name all 7 of the MODERN wonders of the world.”