Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Sailing into 2020


You don't think cruising is right for you? You might be right… but you might want to reconsider and look at cruising in a different light.  I do love a great Caribbean cruise with fun in the sun, delicious umbrella cocktails, and excellent entertainment... but cruising can be so much more than that!

Ships come in all shapes and sizes; from mega massive ships to very small intimate exploration ships that sail everywhere from Antarctica and the Galapagos.  Cruising is a fantastic way to travel with multi-generational families and friends because everybody can explore ports with their own interests and travel at their own pace but always reunite together for dinner.  

Recently, my family and friends journeyed on a sailing from Dover, England to amazing ports such as Copenhagen, Stavanger, and Amsterdam.  For this particular adventure, I  viewed my stateroom as a spacious ocean front bedroom where I got to explore Europe without having to unpack and re-pack over and over again. Through my local contacts, we explored these amazing cities in-depth and had a private hike in Norway which will never be forgotten.

Here are some highlights on my trip:

-Two nights in London exploring this fabulous city  
-Visiting the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam followed by a private tour and painting like "Van Gogh" experience
- Touring Copenhagen and playing all afternoon at the Tivoli Gardens
- Private hike up Lysefjord





Sailing Northern Europe was an amazing way to spend our summer vacation. If you think you are interested in a sailing for next year now is the time to consider for the best pricing and inventory. I am here to consult with you on the best cruise line, destination, and ship for you.  

Reach out to me at Jessica@mccabeworld.com or 703-762-5056. I am looking forward to planning your next adventure!

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Magical Munich

The Christmas tree is down and we are officially in the middle of winter. Instead of the winter blues, I wanted to take a moment to reflect back on my favorite 2018 holiday memory...the German Christmas Markets.

I took my family to Munich for three perfect nights to get us in the holiday spirit. I admit, a bit extreme for holiday shopping, but worth the flight and every moment.

Three perfect days in Munich:

Day 1 – After a direct flight we transferred to the hotel. We spent the night wandering the beautiful streets of Munich and had a great meal at Spatenhaus an der Oper for some local favorites. I highly recommend the potato soup.

Day 2 –

I enlisted the services of my favorite German supplier to provide us with a full day tour to Bavaria. Our guide met us in the lobby of our hotel and then we drove the scenic drive on the famous “Romantic Road” to visit the fairy take castle of Neuschwanstein. Fun fact: This castle was the inspiration for the castle at Disneyland.  How do you get to the castle? You take a horse and carriage, of course! After we toured this ornate castle, we visited the adorable of Oberammergau, home of the “Passion Play.” This charming village with many woodcarver stores is brilliant during the Christmas Season.

Our last stop was to Steingaden to see the Wieskirche (Pilgrimage Church of Wies), which became UNESCO Heritage site in 1983.

Day 3 –  We took the train to Salzburg, Austria, for another perspective of the Christmas Markets. This was a truly magical day to include a horse and carriage ride, ice skating, more Gluhwein and  shopping for treasures.


Day 4 – We spent our last morning back at the Munich markets taking in as much Gluhwein and last minute shopping as possible before we head to the airport.





It truly was a magical getaway for my family.  Yes it is a long way to go for three nights, but I would encourage everybody to take advantage of long weekend getaways. Three nights is a perfect amount of time to really explore a new city. 

If you have a few days to spend in December there is no better way to get in the holiday spirit. Contact me at jessica@mccabeworld.com for more details and ideas.  



Friday, November 2, 2018

Aspen!


I have found myself in Colorado for the second time this year.  This time I experienced the laid back and charming town of Aspen.  

Maroon Bells
Getting there, I would suggest flying right into Aspen and there are now more and more connecting flights with many more routes to come.   Once you land, you are just minutes away from this little piece of heaven.   You can also consider Eagle (about 70 miles away), Denver (220 miles away) or Grand Junction (130 miles away). 

Amazing biking! 



Aspen is a fantastic destination in the Spring, Summer, and Fall months – and of course Winter for amazing skiing and boarding.  With your ski pass you have access to four incredible mountains at all skill levels.  Because there are four mountains, skiers really get to spread out and, unlike other top ski destinations, you will rarely wait for a lift. Other winter activities include:  Alpine Coaster, Tubing, Snow Bike, Snowshoeing and Ice Skating in the Base Village. And getting to the slopes couldn't be easier.  Local transportation is convenient with free shuttle buses running continuously between all four mountains until 2:00 AM!   
Enjoying a local brew!

Outside of the winter months, there is no shortage of activities and there are loads of festivals and city events.  What to do? Give these activities a try - biking, hiking, climbing, fishing, horseback riding, hot air ballooning, paragliding, rafting & kayaking to name a few. 

Where to stay? Well you will just have to ask me what the right resort is for you.  I had the opportunity to see the Jerome, Little Nell, St. Regis and The Gant. Another fabulous option in the Viceroy Snowmass which is perfect for families.  Of course Virtuoso Amenities apply! 
John Denver Sanctuary



Top picks of what to do in Aspen:

Aspen Saturday Market - Enjoy local Colorado produce, crafts, live music and a food court Saturdays from 6/16 - 10/1.

John Denver Sanctuary - The Memorial features many of the singers' songs etched into the rocks.  Great place to pack a picnic! 

Maroon Bells -  The most photographed peaks in North America!   Absolutely stunning. 

Independence Pass - East of Aspen along the winding two lane Highway 82. Several stops along the way to include the 

Devil's Punchbowl, Independence Ghost Town and the Continental Divide at the top of the pass. 

Eat & Drink Outdoors - Apsen has an average of 300 days of sunshine annually  get outside and dine al fresco. I suggest trying a local brew! 

Want to travel to Aspen? Contact me - 703-762-5056 or jessica@mccabeworld.com. 

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Gateway Canyons - A Colorado Adventure


Every year I am trying to experience something new in the United States.  Our country is filled with amazing destinations and resorts to choose from. This summer for the Fourth of July Weekend my family ventured to Grand Junction Colorado to experience Gateway Canyons. Getting there we connected via Denver to Grand Junction Colorado and then you have about an hour drive to the resort. The ride is beautiful and worth the journey once you get there. I recommend at least a four night stay for travelers from the East Coast. If you live in the Denver area this is a wonderful long weekend getaway.



This is a great resort for both couples and families. You are able to relax in your spacious accommodations, some with outdoor hot tubs (highly recommended). The resort is equipped with complementary bike rentals for both adults and children to explore the resort. 

                                                      The activities are endless:

-Horseback Riding
-Clay Pigeon Shooting
-Archery Lessons
-UTV rides overlooking Rattlesnake Overlook
-Rock Climbing
-Dinosaur Tracks & Geology Tour

We had a blast with all of the activities, but my favorites had to be the Archery Lessons and the Dinosaur Tracks. Archery was a new sport for my family that we all got to experience together. It just might be my new favorite hobby. The Dinosaur Tracks was incredibly educational and interesting. It held the interests of even our youngest traveler.
Gateway is also home to an Auto Museum and home of the one of a kind 1954 Oldsmobile F-88. My husband and son are big into cars (me, not so much) yet I found it incredibly interesting. It's definitely worth checking out. 

Gateway is also a 2.5 hour drive to some of our most beautiful National Parks and a great day trip. Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre & Gunnison National Forests (1.5 hours away), Arches National Park
(2.5 hours away) and Canyonlands National Park (2.5 hours away). After you are done exploring come back and relax with a spa treatment and then experience the wonderful dining the resort has to offer.

Contact me for more information and enjoy these added values booking through McCabe World Travel:

-Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
-Full American breakfast daily, served in restaurant (shows as a credit of $60 on your folio – breakfast is amazing)
-One $100 USD per room/per day Adventure Credit that can be used for any activities booked directly with the Adventure Center. 
-Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
-Complimentary Wi-Fi

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Hawaii - The Big Island

I've been fortunate to visit Hawaii multiple times. On my last visit I traveled back to the Big Island as I think it is an island that is overlooked. Hawaii, the Big Island, is known for it's active volcano; however it offers so much more...and of course a day trip out to the Volcano is must.


On arrival and near the airport I stopped at the Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm.  This farm is in the only seahorse farm in the world dedicated to preserving the endangered seahorse. The tour was incredibly interesting and you too can bring home your own seahorse!  Believe it or not they ship. 

I spent the next day with my good friend Samantha who is a native to explore the wonders of the island.


On the Big Island you will find miles and miles of lava fields. The topography is so different and unique from the other islands. We spent the day driving northeast with incredible stops along the way to our final destination, the Hawaiian Vanilla Company. With every mile the scenery continued to change from lava fields to lush greenery...simply fascinating.

Waipio Valley Loo

On our drive the the Hawaiian Vanilla company we stopped at:

Waimea Coffee CompanyWaipio Valley Lookout
TexDrive Inn (known for their malasadas aka Portuguese donuts), KolekoleState Park, Umauma Botanical Garden and finally the 

Umauma Botanical Garden

The Hawaiian Vanilla company has been featured on the Food Network,  Discovery Channel and the Travel Channel.  They are the first commercial growers of vanilla in the US. Who know how interesting a tour of a vanilla farm could be!  After the tour we had an incredible lunch...with touches of vanilla of course.  






Contact me at jessica@mccabeworld.com on where to stay and more activities you can do! There are many outstanding resorts to choose from and I will work with you on the best option for your travel needs. I can also be reached at 703-762-5056. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

National Parks & Group Travel



I often receive requests for the National Parks – there are so many ways to explore these treasures. For this particular adventure I was traveling with my family, my sister’s family and my parents. We opted to take an organized group tour which worked out perfectly – I wouldn't have changed a thing. There are many different companies that offer these tours and I would be happy to discuss the differences with you. A group tour in this instance worked not only for our family dynamic, but for the destination.

I researched several different itineraries and chose an itinerary and tour company that would work for all of us. Our itinerary started in Sedona at the beautiful Enchantment Resort. Seeing the beauty of the Red Rocks has always been on my bucket list. A trip to Scottsdale and Sedona can be combined for a week-long trip without adding any other touring. From there we traveled to the Grand Canyon – words truly cannot describe its majesty. We then traveled to Monument Valley, led by a Navajo guide. I was really looking forward to Arches National Park and it completely exceeded my expectations. We had a choice of an “easy” hike or a longer hike to the crown jewel: The Delicate Arch. I could have sat there for hours. Our tour ended with Colorado River rafting which was perfect for all ages and activity levels. The scenery was absolutely stunning and it was a trip I will always remember.

Here are my top reasons why you may consider group travel: 

-You pay one price upfront and you know all of the inclusions
-Transportation is taken care of for you. Driving to various national parks involves a lot of time in the car. Being on a bus allows you to relax, chat, nap and most importantly, take in the scenery.
-Everything is thought of for you and you learn SO much more than you could ever research on your own.
-With National Parks, you don't have to wait in line and you get prime hotel locations. This is key in the Grand Canyon, where room availability within the Canyon is extremely limited.
-You have a sense of comradery and meet like-minded travelers. If you don't feel like being social it’s not necessary; though in this case it was wonderful to see our kids bond and make new friends.


I'm happy to share more of my expereinces with you.  Contact me at jessica@mccabeworld.com. Follow me on Instagram @jesstravels. 








Thursday, July 13, 2017

Flathead Lake Lodge - Family Camp!

Just yesterday my son asked “Mom, can we go back to Montana?” Even a few months since our return, this family experience is still fresh in his head. I asked him what his favorite part was and he said “everything.” 

I had the privilege to return to Montana Memorial Day weekend for a meeting with the FTA – Family Travel Association. The meeting was held at Flathead Lake Lodge and I was fortunate enough to get to bring my family... after all, it was a meeting about family travel!
  
To get to Flathead you fly to Kalispell Montana which is located near Glacier National Park. The best way to describe Flathead Lake Lodge is family camp. They are open seasonally from May through the Fall. Like “camp” you stay for a week – Saturday to Saturday. Each family will have their own lodging and unit.

What I found very intriguing and unique about this particular ranch is you have the typical ranch activities – horseback riding, lessons, trail rides, steak fry wagon dinners; but you also have all of the fun activities that a lake vacations offers you. You can spend your morning horseback riding and your afternoon in a kayak or canoe. The lake also offers fun activities like boat rides and water skiing. You can be as active has you would like to be or you can spend the day poolside with a great book.
 
All of your meals are included. There are fabulous local breweries and a cute town and do some shopping. For day trips you could go white water rafting or visit Glacier National Park. At night sip a glass of wine around the fire pit, enjoy a smore and take in the magic of the big Montana Sky. I was fortunate enough to see the Northern Lights – bucket list check!

 Flathead Lake Lodge is a special place. By day three all your worries are gone and it's just about good old fashioned family time. You feel so safe in this environment. Kids are kids and love their new found freedom of riding bikes together and just playing without screens. Joey's favorite part was building a fort with his new found best friends – and no girls were allowed!

I've always loved “outdoorsy” destination and this was no exception. If you need a week to reconnect with your family this is a very special destination to do so.

For more information contact me at jessica@mccabeworld.com or 703-762-5056.