Jasper National Park – Jessica Griscavage

We spent three nights at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge tucked within gorgeous Jasper National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage. The lodge is a scenic village of cabins with adventure and wildlife right outside your door.

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There is so much to do here – hiking, fishing, horseback riding, biking, golfing, paddleboats, canoeing – truly something for everyone. We got to experience a beautiful hike, challenging bike ride, white water rafting (brr!) and a host of other amenities that the lodge has to offer. Jason enjoyed a round of golf while Joey and I lounged at the pool and took a stroll around the lake.

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A highlight of our stay was a fabulous dinner on the lake, exclusive to Tauck guests. It reminded me a bit of having a bush breakfast while on safari. The kids had a ball playing ladder golf and soccer while the parents sat back with a cocktail. They even had a fire pit for all to enjoy s’mores!
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Virtuoso Amenities, compliments of McCabe World Travel, offered at The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge:
·         Daily full breakfast, for up to two in room guests
·         $100 USD Equivalent Resort or Hotel credit, to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
·         Early check-in/late check-out subject to availability

 

Oh Canada! – Jessica Griscavage

   For my family’s summer vacation, I elected to explore Canada with Tauck Bridges, a tour product that Tauck offers geared toward families. After landing in Calgary, we enjoyed a two hour drive to the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. The scenery is breathtaking – worth every minute of the drive. The Chateau sits on breathtaking Lake Louise which boasts colors that you’d expect to see in the Caribbean: combinations of blues and greens.  Insider’s Tip – Take time to sip one of the superb ice wines and enjoy the fondue specialties, including bison and the traditional Swiss cheese.

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On our first day, we enjoyed a wonderful hike with our guide who was great interacting with the kids to make the experience both educational and fun. A little Canadian Wildlife Trivia: We learned about a tiny animal called the shrew. In the winter, a shrew will shrink its body size and brain mass in order to survive with lower energy intake. Average body mass will decrease by 19%!

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After a fantastic first day at Lake Louise, we drove on the famed Icefields Parkway to Jasper National Park. This gorgeous stretch of highway is one of the most  scenic drives in the world. Every time we turned a corner, we were treated to another spectacular sight: majestic mountains, crystal clear lakes, massive glaciers and thundering waterfalls. You absolutely cannot miss this drive if you are in the Rockies!
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Another fun fact: the Canadian Mountain Peak feeds three different oceans – Pacific, Arctic, and Atlantic. They say the only other place in the world that this happens is Siberia!
Stay tuned for our adventures in Jasper!
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When you book the Fairmont Chateaux Lake Louise through McCabe World Travel, you will receive the following Virtuoso amenities:
-Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
-Daily full breakfast, for up to two in room guests in the restaurant
-Souvenir personal portrait session with professional photographer during your stay with a picture frame
-Early check-in/late check-out subject to availability

Istanbul – The Spice of Life – Jessica Griscavage

I recently returned from Istanbul and was blown away. I had always dreamed of visiting this enchanted city and it truly lived up to all of my expectations. The city boasts history, culture, cuisine and some of the kindest, most genuine people I have ever met.

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While I visited many of the must-see sites including Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and the Blue Mosque, it’s no surprise to those who know me that the highlight for me was a visit to the Spice Bazaar.

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This bazaar is the home to both locals and tourists who are in search of spices, dried herbs, nuts, teas, dried fruits, and plenty of souvenirs. I walked away with three types of tea and spices that will last me for many meals to come. I have already enjoyed a number of new recipes and flavors thanks to my various purchases!

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Fun facts about this beautiful city:

-Istanbul is the only city in the world that straddles two continents: Asia and Europe.
-Tulips, the symbol of Holland, originated in Istanbul and were sent from Istanbul to Netherlands.
-The Grand Bazaar is the largest covered bazaar in the world, with over 3,000 shops
-Istanbul was the European Cultural Capital City in 2010, but has never hosted the Olympics.

Istanbul is a fabulous city to visit on its own, in combination with a full land tour of Turkey, or pre/post cruise.  Please contact me at jessica@mccabeworld.com for more details.