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.

Tastes and Sights of Oahu – Jessica Griscavage

Our first four days in Hawaii were on the island of Oahu, often called “The Gathering Place.” This island offers a significant contrast between the ancient and modern. From the big city of Waikiki to the small towns of the North Shore, there is something for everybody and an island that shouldn’t be overlooked.

 
The island boasts some incredible hotels and resorts, including The Modern, Kahala, Halekulani, and Disney’s Aulani. We enjoyed hiking Diamond Head, boating with dolphins,  and of course experiencing the beach and resorts.
I must admit that one of my favorite reasons to visit Hawaii is the food. A long-term foodie dream of mine was to eat at Morimoto and I finally had the opportunity at The Modern in Waikiki. It was one of the best meals of my life. Somewhere between the tuna tartare and the Wagyu beef, I looked up and saw the legend himself… Morimoto! In his own restaurant! It was so exciting to see him and I must thank my friend and colleague Whitney for giving me a signed copy of his cookbook. I won’t bore you with every meal I’ve had so far, but between the brunch at the Halekulani and lunch at Rainbow Drive-In (featured in Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives), I’m in heaven. After all this food I just might have to hike Diamond Head again.
Jessica and Morimoto himself!

You can read more about Jessica’s adventures here: http://jessicagriscavagejourneys.blogspot.com/