Tag Archives: Accommodations

Montréal: A Glorious and Gracious Cosmopolitan City

By Charlene Mixa 

A Vibrant Exciting City with a Historical Legacy101_4107_resized

Royal defined as “befitting royalty, stately, or superior” and accurately describes the dynamic and exciting city of Montréal, Canada. Named after Mount Royal, a hill on Montréal Island in the St. Lawrence River, Montréal presents a majestic city. With over four hundred years of French and British heritage it is the only French speaking cosmopolitan city in the Americas. Today it is a major Canadian port as well as a cultural, commercial and industrial hub. A city that is alive with cultures from around the world all mingled in its rich past and exhilarating present. Always welcoming visitors to learn and experience the glorious and gracious, cosmopolitan Montréal. Continue reading

Cheyenne: A Vibrant Boot-Stompin’ Town

By Charlene & Richard Mixa
Get the Spirit of the Old West

The BIG BOOT at the Cheyenne Depot

The BIG BOOT at the Cheyenne Depot

Cheyenne – the name alone conjures up images of the old West with cowboys, rodeos, railroads and majestic plains. It’s a vibrant frontier town that celebrates its western roots as well as a fun lovin’ town that boasts Big Boots, Big Bison, Big Trains, Big Mansions, Big Western Stores and more. Join us on a trip through the past and experience the “Legend of Cheyenne.” Continue reading

Vail, Colorado: A Spectacular Summer Wonderland

By Charlene & Richard Mixa

Lion Square Lodge is a Rocky Mountain Retreat

The welcoming pool at Lion Square Lodge

The welcoming pool at Lion Square Lodge

Cool refreshing mountain air, clear blue skies, lush green mountains and temperatures between 65-85 degrees with no humidity! Mix in outdoor activities, plenty of shopping, amazing dining, cultural activities and resort treats and you’ve got the perfect formula for a spectacular summer retreat – Vail, Colorado. A refreshing and “cool” mountain resort. Continue reading

Discover Dublin: A Fascinating Capital City

By Charlene & Richard Mixa

There’s Plenty to Toast in Dublin!Slainte!

Dublin! Drinks! Guinness! Irish Whiskey! Rebellion! History! Famine! Where to start in exploring this amazing capital city of the Republic of Ireland? A pub- of course! Boasting or better toasting over 1,000 pubs they are plentiful. Cheers! O‘Neill’s Bar is the perfect place for a quiet pint on our first evening in Dublin. For over 300 years O’Neill’s has warmly welcomed visitors and residents. Sitting at the bar, a friendly Irish couple shares suggestions for sights to see. Ah, a true charming real Irish Pub in the heart of historic Dublin. Continue reading

Scotland: Experience the Richness of Golf’s Ancestral Home

By Charlene & Richard Mixa

From West to East a Taste of Scottish Golf

Scenic Western Gailes Golf Club

Scenic Western Gailes Golf Club

All true golfers dream of playing the great courses of Scotland, the ancestral home of golf. Scotland’s image is one of tartan, bagpipes, highlands and islands, haggis and golf. With over 400 courses golfers can easily experience the richness of Scotland today. On our self-planned six day whirlwind golf trip of Scotland we experience five amazing courses from the birthplace of The Open to newer courses in St. Andrews. The courses are spectacular and challenging surrounded by stunning scenery that is positively breathtaking. Join us on our treasured and truly memorable golf excursion. Continue reading

Magical Dromoland Castle: An Irish Fairytale Resort

By Charlene & Richard Mixa

The Charm of Old World Elegance with Contemporary Luxuries

Enchanting entrance to Dromoland Castle

Enchanting entrance to Dromoland Castle

With visions of a fairytale visit, we follow the meandering drive as it passes lush magnificent lawns and a glistening lake to a 5th Century mystical castle.   Approaching Dromoland Castle, we are transported to a time when Lords and Ladies graciously welcome and entertain guests at their massive estates. It’s a real castle! Dromoland was originally the ancestral home of one of the few families of Gaelic Royalty; direct descendants of Brian Boru, the High King of Ireland. Today, it is a 5 Star Castle Hotel where guests have a “royal and regal” experience. Beautifully updated the castle still retains its old-world charm and crisp service. Continue reading

Waterville Golf Links –Embrace Pure Irish Links Golf!

By Charlene & Richard Mixa

Thrill in the Lure of These Fabled Links

Cloudy skies greet us on this scenic courseAvenues of weathered sand dunes along rugged shores, tall fescue grasses rustling in the breeze, sunlight shimmering on the sea, and strong winds blowing across unprotected lands all mingle to create a perfect links golf course location. Add a sandy promontory jutting out into the Ballinskellig Bay at the tip of the Invereagh Peninsula in southern Ireland, and you find Waterville Golf Links. An almost natural golf course among the sand dunes, golf has been played on this mystical land since the 1870’s when Marconi engineers were laying the great transatlantic telegraph cables. With a recent Tom Fazio “make over” Waterville Golf Links lures even more golfers. Continue reading

The K Club: Superb Golf, A Luxurious Resort & More!

By Charlene Mixa

Thrill in the Lure of these Fabled Links

The K Club serves up 5-star service.

The K Club serves up 5-star service.

A traveler’s dream and a golfer’s paradise! Imagine a unique place where world class golf blends with a magical resort. Ireland! The K Club! Located on a 550-acre estate on the idyllic Kildare countryside is an outstanding resort that elegantly incorporates a 69 bedroom hotel, two Championship golf courses, a Resort Spa, and fabulous dining with a wide range of activities. The Kildare Hotel, Spa & Country Club is a luxurious five star Irish owned resort renowned for its superb golf and consistently recognized as one of Europe’s greatest golf destinations. Offering two Arnold Palmer designed courses, The Palmer Ryder Cup Course and The Palmer Smurfit Course promise to challenge and excite golfers with treacherous rough, water hazards in abundance, large greens and undulating fairways. Continue reading

The Mysteries and Delights of the Far East

By Mary Jo Plouf

photo credit: Mary Jo Plouf

photo credit: Mary Jo Plouf

Gate 1’s 17 day tour of Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, is presented not as a “walk in the park” but as a sensory, visual and physical immersion in the culture of the three countries. Our group of 17 walked among the people and viewed their homes, temples, schools and places of business. We ate their food, starting with noodle soup for breakfast, fried noodles for lunch and noodles and vegetables for dinner. It was soon apparent they did not eat much meat and most of us found the diet quite healthy.

We arrived in Bangkok at 11.30 p.m. after 17 hours of travel. Our Gate1 representative was waiting to bring us to our hotel. It is no small thing that after such a long journey, our hotel, The Chaophya Park, was a deluxe refuge and relaxing haven from the rigors of travel. After a refreshing sleep, we were ready for a full day of Thai culture.

Bangkok is the capital and most densely populated city in Thailand. Traffic is out of control. Boat service on the Chao Phraya River services approximately 50,000 people daily and helps to alleviate traffic in the city center. Taxi service includes cars, motorbikes and tuk-tuks.

Our first stop was Wat Pho, which is the largest temple complex in Bangkok. It is home to the gigantic golden reclining Buddha. The Buddha is 150 feet long and 40 feet high and takes up the entire building. It is covered in gold-leaf and shines like the sun. Along the sides of the temple are 108 small bronze bowls where visitors can buy coins to deposit in each bowl and make a wish. It is more than impressive, it is amazing. Visitors are reminded that it is an active temple and proper clothing must be worn. Shoulders and legs must be covered and shoes removed.

photo credit: Mary Jo Plouf

photo credit: Mary Jo Plouf

We spent about an hour roaming freely around the rest of the complex which includes 394 Golden Buddhas sitting in the lotus position, a school of Thai massage and numerous small buildings and statues in a park-like setting.

In the afternoon we had our choice of visiting the Grand Palace which houses the Emerald Buddah and is still used for cultural and government functions, but is no longer a royal residence, or wandering on our own through the maze of street venders and small shops.

Late in the afternoon we returned to our hotel and availed ourselves of the nearby Thai massage facility. The Thai massage is very different from our usual massage. It is invigorating instead of relaxing and uses yoga style postures to relieve and stress and improve blood circulation. The charge was $15 for an hour and we were definitely hooked.

Continue reading

Savvy Savannah

By Charlene & Richard Mixa An Alluring Southern City

Savannah's Historical River Street

Savannah’s Historical River Street

A vibrant city with a rich southern history and charm sits on the bluffs of the Savannah River. Georgia’s “First City” is dynamic as it entices and lures visitors to return again and again. Blending culture and heritage with the bizarre, Savannah is an exciting place to visit. Whether walking the beautiful squares, listening to music at Market Square, shopping in unique upscale shops in the Historic District, roaming large antique stores, strolling along River Street, taking a tour, or partaking of great southern food, Savannah is fascinating. Continue reading