Monthly Archives: September 2014

Toronto is a Splendid Example of Many Cultures

By Mary Jo Plouf

Toronto is the largest city in Canada with over 2.6 million residents. Approximately 49% of the population was born outside of Canada, and as a result, much of Toronto consists of relatively small ethnic neighborhoods which have retained much of their original culture, language and foods. I find that one of the best and most fun ways to get to know a city is to become acquainted with the people where they live. Visit their shops and botiques, their bakeries, their churches and their restaurants.

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New Orleans, A City for All Seasons

By Mary Jo Plouf

New Orleans is like no other city in the world. It is a seamless and exquisite mixture of French, Spanish, Irish, Italian, African, Caribbean and even a touch of Native American. It is an old city which has incorporated the best of the European traditions and melded them with the time- honored  Southern hospitality of the plantation and sugar cane eras. But without a doubt, what defines the City of New Orleans best is the food and music that permeate the very foundations of the city.  Continue reading

Gainesville, Florida: A Family Destination

By Mary Jo Plouf

Gainsville is the county seat and largest city in Aluchua County, Florida. Many residents and visitors to Florida, myself included, have never considered Gainsville as a “vacation” destination. We were wrong. Gainsville can best be described as the perfect setting where nature and culture meet.  It is conveniently located in North Central Florida and has great year-round weather. For those searching for culture and history and the arts, they will find them in abundance at the University of Florida’s Cultural Plaza.  All in one location you will find the Butterfly Rainforest at the Florida Museum of Natural History, the 1700 seat Phillips Center for the performing arts, National Ballet, and the Harn Museum of Art. The Butterfly Rainforest is especially fascinating to children of all ages.

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La Cocotera Resort and Eco Lodge-El Salvadore

La Cocotera Resort and Eco Lodge

By Mary Jo Plouf

La Cocotera Resort and Edo Lodge in San Salvadore is one of Central America’s premier eco lodges.  They offer luxurious accommodations in a relaxing setting between the Pacific Ocean and a peaceful estatuary bordered by tropical mangrove forests on the other side.

The lodge, small and exclusive is located in the beautiful Salvadorian village of Barra de Santiago.  It is located only about two hours from San Salvadore, but it is a world away from the bustling city. Without a little inside information and a short trip on roads you might never discover, it is well worth the trip.  Once there, you are in for a unique vacation experience.

If you are looking for an eco- lodge far from the crowded beaches, but still directly on the ocean, this is the perfect escape.  You can take a swim in the sparkling ocean, rest in a hammock in the shade of countless coconut palms, swim in the pool, or gaze at the spectacular volcanic  peaks in the background.