Archive for May, 2008

My favorite restaurants in Winter Park, Florida

May 13th, 2008

Right outside of Orlando Florida is the small town of Winter Park. This town has some of the best dinning in the area. Here are my personal favorite restaurants in Winter Park, Florida:


1449 Lee Rd
Winter Park, FL 32789

Fuji Sushi is the best Sushi restaurant in Winter Park. The sushi is fresh and the service is wonderful. Everything is delicious! I have been going for years and this inexpensive establishment is one of the popular restaurants in the area. The Spicy Tuna roll is out of this world.

Thai Place

501 N Orlando Ave Ste 319,
Winter Park, FL 32789

This Thai restaurant is as authentic as it gets. Service is great and friendly. I have been going for years and the owner Mr. Boone greets me every visit with a complimentary Thai appetizer. My favorite dishes are the Green Curry and Hot Basil. I often get them each with chicken but the seafood is great and fresh as well. On top of all this the prices are so reasonable that I always end up tipping a little extra! Try it, you’ll LOVE it!

310 Park South

501 N Orlando Ave Ste 319
Winter Park, FL 32789

This is one of my favorite places to go to people watch. After an afternoon shopping on park avenue you can sit at a sidewalk table and relax with a glass of wine from their great wine list and have an amazing meal. The menu has something for everyone and isn’t your typical American cuisine. Upon entering the restaurant, you’ll find a romantic atmosphere. This place features brunch and a full bar. This restaurant is open late.

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amiep Travel

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May 12th, 2008

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Mallorca, European paradise (The village of Valldemossa)

May 9th, 2008

Excellent, time to continue presenting the lovely Island of Mallorca as mentioned in previous blog. This time, we will looked more into detail in order to desmostrai that Mallorca is not only an Island of sea, sun and night life but an incredible Inland that offers a variety of activities to enjoy.

One of the major aspects that make Mallorca unique is without doubt his interior with amazing small villages. Starting with one of the most popular one, Valldemossa. It is a cool place and in the winter you get snow from time to time. It is well worth visiting this place, walk the streets and visit the museum.


Valldemossa lies 15km north of Palma situated North West coast of the island. It’s a pretty town surrounded by mountains though much of its charm is destroyed by the daily bus loads of visitors who arrive on coach trips to visit the genuine town.

In terms of food, Valldemossa has plenty eateries catering for the day trippers though little of note. One place worth a look even if only for the novelty of it is Costa Nord (Avgda Palma, 6). Heading a kilometer out of town you’ll come to a sign for Port de Valldemossa which takes you on a 6km drive of hairpin bends down to a little bay where you can have a seafood lunch at the Es Port restaurant. The wild sea is some sight down here on windy days

Another important thing to try is he ride from the harbor to the mountain village passes through olive and almond trees as the elevation increases from the coast. The village is quite charming, and the ancient monastery is well kept. In addition to the cells occupied by Chopin and Sand, the church and pharmacy are both interesting. Some of the drugs and potions in the pharmacy look much like they did a hundred or more years ago.

During next blog we will continue exploring other areas and attractions that this Island can offer to the visitors of Mallorca.

dgonzales Destinations, Travel, Travel Guide , , ,

Experience the True America: Travel ‘off the beaten path’

May 8th, 2008

Having a few international friends, I often consider where I would recommend they travel to have a TRUE American experience. With the current economic situation, some of these off-the-beaten-path destinations are looking better than ever. Here’s proof that the Mid-West should no longer be called the ‘fly-over-states.’

Madison, Wisconsin:

A gorgeous college town of 200,000+ situated between 2 lakes. Imagine a white capitol building and 5 blocks from its 3 and 9 o’clock positions are lakes and at the 6 o’clock position is State Street: a pedestrian-only street with bohemian shops (and the Gap), local bars and international restaurants (E. African, Afghani, etc). These 10 blocks lead straight to the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.

Experience America in Madison:

  1. Go in the Fall for colorful leaves and the amazingly large farmers market around the capitol square every Saturday.
  2. Madison Wisconsin

    Madison Wisconsin

  3. Get there in time for the Halloween bash (Saturday before the holiday). Voted the #1 Halloween party by Playboy several years, it’s not really a family-friendly event.
  4. Madison Wisconsin Halloween Bash

    Madison Wisconsin Halloween Bash

  5. In the summer, the capitol square hosts Concert on the Square (free) every Wednesday night, bring a blanket, picnic and wine.
  6. Check out the Kohl center for concerts and sporting events
  7. Eat and Drink! Around the capitol is typically more upscale then on State Street.
  1. State Street and Campus

i. The Memorial Union – that’s right, the student union. Sit on the famous Terrace and have a beer (you might have to have a student order for you from the Ratskeller as you need to be a member or student!)

ii. Himal Chuli – Great Nepalese food

iii. Chautra – Hole in the wall Himalayan food, don’t get scared off by the wild plants in the entrance.

iv. State Street Brats – so wisco! Have a brat and stay for the bar atmosphere. Be sure to try a ‘Spotted Cow,’ a great local brew.

Now drive around Madison:

  1. Visit the many wineries and breweries such as Capital Brewery ( or
  2. Head to the American Players Theatre in Spring Green for Shakespeare under the stars! (
  3. Also in Spring Green is Frank Llyod Wright’s famed home and studio, Taliesin (

Budget Travel ( had an article about Wisconsin in their May issue. Before you go, learn more about the Wisco-basics:

Chicago, Illinois

This is the city I recommend all foreigners visit (over New York) if they really want to experience the America not found in movies. Stay a few nights in the downtown area and a few in one of the neighborhoods like Wrigleyville or Lakeside. I will only add 2 notes about downtown as the sites are quite well known: try it before Christmas; cold yes, but also beautiful and, second, music lovers check out: Now, more on the neighborhoods:

  1. Go to a Cubs game at Wrigley Field (Wrigleyville)
  2. Before the game, have a few at one of the designated ‘Cubs bars’ near the stadium. (Wrigleyville)
  3. Every neighborhood has unique, local bars and restaurants. Some worth mentioning: Sheffield’s just off Belmont for a drink, Orange for amazing brunch, Joey’s Brickhouse for a great burger (all in Lakeshore)
  4. Go to the Weiner’s Circle late night (post bars), the busty lady behind the counter will verbally abuse you like its going out of style. (Lincoln Park)
  5. The shopping is great down town, but check out the boutique stores tucked inside the neighborhoods.

Louisville & Lexington, Kentucky

Known as the blue grass state, Kentucky is rich in history, beauty and Southern hospitality. All of Kentucky can get behind a 2 things – horses and basketball (if you are in Louisville cheer for the Cardinals, in Lexington, you are a UK fan!). The two cities are only 1.5 hours away by car.

  1. Lexington
    1. Keeneland – this small but beautiful horse track is only open in April and October. Although all walks of life are in attendance, I suggest dressing up (no hat required) and bringing $2 for a bet and $4 for a drink.
    2. Keeneland Horse Track

    3. Afterwards head to Murray’s ( for a drink on the patio and the food is great too (upscale southern food in an old Horse Manor). Go to Dudley’s downtown for brunch.
    4. Wineries – have lunch and a tasting at Chrisman Mill, then at night, head to Talon Winery for its Summer Concert Series (tickets in advance for dinner and a concert: 859-971-3214).
    5. Bourbon! You can order a glass anywhere or tour the many distilleries such as Makers Mark. Dip your own bottle in the famous red wax.
    6. Right outside of Lexington you can’t miss the Shaker Village.
    7. Visit the Liquor Barn (I would live there if I could) the only thing to rival its selection of booze is the selection of amazing foods.
    8. Liquor Barn

  2. Louisville
    1. The Kentucky Derby – start with Keeneland then finish with the Derby. Unless you are young and stupid (and drunk), don’t opt for the infield. Be sure to wear a hat and order a mint julep.
    2. Don’t miss the Mohammed Ali Center, is interactive and really more about life and about a boxer. There is also a Children’s museum in the area.
    3. Mohammed Ali Center

    1. 21c Museum Hotel – whether you stay here or just visit for an hour the art is too cool, and free. Visit the bathroom before you leave.
    2. Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory is a must for any sports fan. All these museums are within walking distance too each other too.
    3. Fourth Street Live – This is a street of bars and restaurants that is a lot of fun to eat during the day and drink during the night.

Before you leave this great state, be sure to ask someone what ‘corn hole’ is. Don’t worry, its not dirty. Your kids will even like it!

Traveling is all about your experiences, so whether you head off-the-beaten-path in Wisconsin, Illinois or Kentucky, you will be able to experience the beauty, culture, tradition . . . and various accents of the TRUE America.

i. Great Dane Pub- the best and most eclectic bar food and great beer! Get the beer sampler and sit in the outdoor beer garden. (

ii. Restaurant Muramoto is a favorite – atypical Asian fusion with a very unassuming entrance.

iii. Marigold for breakfast or brunch. Café Continental is solid too.

iv. Harvest and L’Etoile are fine dining but worth it - the seasonal menus use local foods from local farms.

lvolcheff Destinations, Dining Reviews, Events, Featured, Tips, Travel , , , , , , , ,

Weekend Getaway at The Peabody Orlando

May 7th, 2008

Everyone’s life can get a little hectic and things seem to pile up on us when we least expect it. We can not always plan a vacation for the times we need one the most. I found myself in this situation 2 months ago. I decided to escape right in my home town of Orlando. I took a long weekend at the Peabody and it felt like I was in a different country.

The hotel is absolutely gorgeous and the service is impeccable. They even had ducks inside the lobby. We ate dinner in the Capriccio grill and it was the best steak I ever had. Even the 24 B-Line Dinner has great food. I had buffalo for the first time, and the Sunday brunch is on point.

I even got my exercise in. It felt great to jump into their full size heated pool and get some laps done, then sit in the huge whirlpool and just relax.

If anyone is looking for a place to host their weekend getaway or a vacation The Peabody is the place to go!

danveenstra Hotels, Travel ,

Castle Hotel in Germany

May 6th, 2008

The following is an insider tip on traveling through Germany’s history. I already stayed at this small castle hotel twice which stands out from the crowd of other similar hotels mainly because of its casual atmosphere in a yet sophisticated environment: Lütgenhof Castle in Dassow, close to the German shore at the Baltic Sea, an hour east of Hamburg.


So if you want to see more than the major German cities and willing to see the countryside and some historical sites but you are allergic to flocks of scuffling Japanese tourists in Neuschwanstein castle (think Cinderella Castle at Disney World) then this might be a less spectacular but more personal alternative. You can spend time on a quiet piece of land with a small river next to the building and a nature-sanctuary around it. You can go to rough beaches, other mansions and little castles, small villages or towns like Wismar with farmer’s markets, cafés, shops and old churches or to Lübeck with its picturesque Old Town which is a world heritage site.

Lütgenhof was built in 1839 and extended over the years in a neo-classical style by an aristocratic family. After WWII it made its way through the decades and became a children’s home then a school and then barracks for the boarder guards as it was in 1961 suddenly located directly on a borderline between East and West-Germany! Luckily the company Jägermeister bought it after the reunification of Germany and redeveloped and renovated with care.


Today it offers 23 rooms and suites equipped with no thrilling features (small simple TV, no internet access) but in a reserved and comfortable style: high quality materials, fine linen, fresh, bright, no frills.

You will see precious furniture with a slight modern accent in the public rooms without the typical baroque castle arrangements. This is a fact which in combination with the attentive but casual service helps to feel very comfortable – no matter if you drive up in Jaguar or on a touring bike.

There is a small gourmet restaurant in a hall with an impressive wooden coffered ceiling and a view over reed fields where you can enjoy fine dining. Guests interested in running or cycling will have the choice between countless tours and may complete the day in the hotel’s bio sauna or on the terrace with a local beer.

Altogether an excellent place to relax in a historic, natural, fine and comfortable surrounding, supported by grown up, professional and personal hotel service.

carsteng Destinations, Hotels, Travel ,

Western Caribbean Cruises

May 5th, 2008

About Western Caribbean Cruises…


Experience an area where old world land and sea combine with some of premiere resort spots on earth. Hop on a Western Caribbean cruise line and let the journey begin. It’s easy to see why Western Caribbean cruises rank among travelers’ most popular cruising destinations. From swimming with sea turtles and stingrays in the Grand Cayman, walking among the ancient Mayan ruins and experiencing the Spanish influence on Mexico’s coast, or climbing the famous Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica, it’s all in a day’s fun when you sail on any of our cheap Western Caribbean cruises.

Each port of call in this region offers rich a history and culture all it’s own. Last minute cruises will ensure that your 4 to 5 day Western Caribbean cruise itinerary lets you discover the best of what each has to offer.

Depart year-round from Florida and all major ports on America’s gulf coast to voyage first-class at discount cruise prices. Check out our deals on cheap cruises to the Western Caribbean and choose from one of many Western Caribbean cruise ships ready to set sail at your earliest convenience.

Don’t Miss…

▪ Climb up spectacular Dunn’s River Falls.
▪ Snorkel with stingrays.
▪ Go horseback riding on the beach.
▪ Dive 800 feet below sea level in a research submarine.
▪ Discover the inhabitants of a coral reef on a glass-bottomed boat.
▪ Explore ancient civilizations as you climb mysterious Mayan pyramids.

Find a Western Caribbean Cruise Deal…

Looking for a deal on a Western Caribbean cruise? We have selected the best cruises - from weekend getaways to more extensive escapes, we have a deal that fits your budget. Find a cruise online or call 1(866) 836-6963 to speak with a cruise expert.

LMT Clock Cruises, Travel , , ,

Last Minute Cruises to the Caribbean…

May 2nd, 2008

Last Minute Cruises to the Caribbean…

Find yourself dreaming of island hopping to a variety of tropical locales? Last minute Caribbean cruises bring your dreams to life. Stretching from the southern tip of Florida to South America, it is easy to see why the Caribbean is such a draw for last minute cruises. This paradise offers azure blue waves teeming with aquatic wildlife. Scattered throughout the sea are thousands of miles of sunny shoreline waiting for your toes to meet the surf. As if sun, sand and surf weren’t enough, this region offers so much more. Whether your interests lie in water activities, unique cruise cuisine, duty-free shopping, or experiencing traces of lingering European culture, discount Caribbean cruises bring you countless opportunities. Choosing a Caribbean cruise line gives you the chance to see not one destination, but a handful, each boasting its own unique flair.

These island destinations are so diverse that three separate Caribbean cruise areas have been defined, each with its own distinct and exotic ports of call. Western Caribbean cruises, Eastern Caribbean cruises (including the Bahamas), and Southern Caribbean cruises each put forth a unique perspective on the history, culture and geography of this vast tropical region.

You are able to vary your itinerary by choosing from a quick 4 day Caribbean cruise, or take your time on a 7 day Caribbean cruise. No matter which you choose, you’re guaranteed several island stops, each of which opens the door to a different slice of paradise.

Don’t miss our hot cruise deals. Plan your getaway today on a royal Caribbean cruise ship or another Caribbean cruise line. The last minute cruise of your dreams is awaiting your discovery…book it today!

Don’t Miss…

▪ Climb Jamaica’s Dunn’s River Falls.
▪ Go mountain biking in Costa Rica’s rain forests.
▪ Snorkel with stingrays.
▪ Go horseback riding on the beach.
▪ Dive 800 feet below sea level in a research submarine.
▪ Discover the inhabitants of a coral reef on a glass-bottomed boat.
▪ Explore ancient civilizations as you climb mysterious Mayan pyramids

Find a Caribbean Cruise Deal…

Looking for a deal on a Caribbean cruise? We have selected the best cruises - from weekend getaways to more extensive escapes, we have a deal that fits your budget. Find a cruise online or call 1(866) 836-6963 to speak with a cruise expert.

LMT Clock Cruises, Tips, Travel , , , , , , ,

Dubai - The Transformation of a City

May 1st, 2008

Dubai …. Transformation of a City …

Dubai, the second largest of the seven emirates, occupies an area of approximately 3,900 kilometres, which includes a small enclave called Hatta, situated close to Oman, amongst the Hajar Mountains. Under the wise leadership of its rulers, Dubai’s focus on trade and industry transformed it into the leading trading port along the southern Gulf. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is the current ruler of Dubai.

Dubai in 1990

Dubai in 1990 prior to the developments

Dubai in 2003

The same street in 2003

Dubai at night

Same street at night

Dubai Waterfront

Dubai Waterfront. When completed it will become the largest waterfront development in the world.

The Al Burj

The Al Burj. This will be the centerpiece of the Dubai Waterfront. Once completed it will take over the title of the tallest structure in the world from the Burj Dubai.

The Burj Dubai

The Burj Dubai. Construction began in 2005 and is expected to be complete by 2008. At an estimated height of over 800 meters, it will easily be world’s tallest building when finished. It will be almost 40% taller than the the current tallest building, the Yaipei 101.

This is what downtown Dubai will look like around 2008-2009. More than 140 stories of the Burj Dubai have already been completed. It is already the worlds tallest man made structure and it is still not scheduled to be completed for at least another year.

Dubai Tower

Recently it was announced that the final height of this tower will be 1200 meters. That would make it more than 30% taller than the Burj Dubai and three times as tall as the Empire State Building.

The Palm Islands in Dubai

The Palm Islands in Dubai. New Dutch dredging technology was used to create these massive man made islands. They are the largest artificial islands in the world and can be seen from space. Three of these Palms will be made with the last one being the largest of them all.

Upon completion, the resort will have 2,000 villas, 40 luxury hotels, shopping centers, movie theaters, and many other facilities. It is expected to support a population of approximately 500,000 people. It is advertised as being visible from the moon.

The Dubai Mall

The Dubai Mall will be the largest shopping mall in the world with over 9 million square feet of shopping and around 1000 stores. It will be completed in 2008.

The World Islands

The World Islands . 300 artificially created islands in the shape of the world. Each island will have an estimated cost of $25-30 million.


Dubailand. Currently, the largest amusement park collection in the world is Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando , which is also the largest single-site employer in the United states with 58,000 employees. Dubailand will be twice the size.

Currently, the Walt Disney World Resort is the #1 tourist destination in the world. Once fully completed, Dubailand will easily take over that title since it is expected to attract 200,000 visitors daily.

The Dubai Metro system, once completed, will become the largest fully automated rail system in the world. The Dubai World Central International Airport will become the largest airport in size when it is completed. It will also eventually become the busiest airport in the world, based on passenger volume.

There are more construction workers in Dubai than there are actual citizens.

Images taken from:

shamt Destinations, Travel, Travel Guide ,