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Vacations for Ghost Hunters

October 28, 2015
The Halloween season is a time for frights, be they on the big screen, the “trick” part of trick-or-treating or the unholy abomination that is budget candy corn. For people who are big into the holiday, though, it is also a time to get on the road and check out some of the spookiest sites in the world. Some of those attractions are manmade, like the events we profiled last year. But others stem from a combination of tragedy and a certain suspension of disbelief that can make people believe they are seeing ghosts.


Mitch-Stuart doesn’t feature any specific ghost-hunting trips in our catalog of non-profit fundraising auction travel packages. However, several of our Destinations of Excellence can also act as home bases for those looking for restless spirits. For those looking for the scariest of Halloweens, one of these places might be hospitable.

It was an opera house in Paris that once housed a phantom in its basement, so it should be no surprise that the City of Lights has its share of haunted tales. The city’s catacombs are one destination for ghost hunters, with the remains of more than six millions Parisians there, often arraigned into macabre art. The Red Man of the Tuileries, a notorious hitman for the royalty in the 16th century, is said to still patrol the Louvre, and even the Paris Opera, the setting for fictional “Phantom of the Opera,” has a “real-life” ghostly visitor in the form of a love-struck woman, just outside its doors.

A little closer to home, the spirit of Hollywood pervades much of Los Angeles. But the spirits of Hollywood can be found at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, across from the TCL Chinese Theater (and the famous sidewalk handprints). A mirror there that used to hang in the suite of Marilyn Monroe supposedly shows the reflection of a blonde woman in the background, while Montgomery Clift (of “From Here to Eternity” and “Judgment at Nuremberg” fame) is said to walk the ninth floor. The stories are so woven into the fabric of the building that the hotel’s website used to have a section devoted to the tales.

Even places considered to be bright slices of paradise can find themselves possessed by spirits. Honolulu doesn’t seem like the type of place that would be ghost-friendly, but residents claim that it has its own history with the supernatural, in locations like the Old Waialae Drive-In Theater (located close to a cemetery, and said to have been visited by a faceless woman haunting the restroom), the 16th Avenue bridge (site of a hit-and-run, the victim of which still appears to some) and even the Green Lady, an apparition who has been “spotted” everywhere from Scotland to New England.

Want to send your donors on a wild ghost chase? Reach out to a Mitch-Stuart travel expert today!
Louvre, Paris, France
 
Paris Opera House
 
TCL Chinese Theater
 
Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell at Chinese Theater


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Go Euro

October 07, 2014
There are plenty of reasons to head to Europe: The culture, the beaches, the history. For the first time in years, though, we can add an economic one, as the dollar is currently stronger against the Euro now than it has been in the last twenty three months. For American travelers, that means their money goes further now than almost ever before.

Paris
Paris
Paris
As of October 1, the American dollar is worth .79 Euros, while one Euro fetches $1.26 American. Those figures haven’t been this promising for American currency holders since November of 2012. The trend in 2014 has been promising, as well; the dollar has gained almost .05 Euros since the beginning of the year, with the growth being fairly steady since May.

How do these small numbers practically affect travelers? Even a .05 difference in Euro rates, when multiplied by a trip’s expenses, can pay off big. Take, for example, a trip to Paris. For a couple, let’s assume a 5,000 Euro budget. On October 1, that converts to around $6,300. Just one month earlier, those same 5,000 Euros would cost $6,560, and in March it could have been as much as $6,960. Over the course of the last six months, the cost of an identical vacation has dropped by $660 – that’s nearly 10 percent!

Do those numbers seem out of line? Light lunch at that gorgeous café you walked past on the way to the Eiffel Tower likely runs around 20 Euros. Dinner with a view? Le Jules Verne will seat you inside the Tower itself for a five-course dinner – at 185 Euros per diner. A trip through the Louvre: another 16 Euros per person. That’s more than 200 Euros spent in one day by one person. Double that for a couple, multiply it by five days, then consider that hotels don’t tend to be free (the Hotel Plaza Athenee, which just reopened in August, can run up to 1,000 Euro per night!). It’s easy to see how two people can hit 5,000 Euros in costs for five days in the City of Light.

What could saving an extra $660 get you while on vacation? In Paris, that could be two tickets in fantastic seats to see Paris Saint-Germain, one of Europe’s great soccer teams, live (with money left over for concessions). It could be two Eurail passes to head to Spain for a vacation-within-a-vacation. It could even be a shopping trip through the Faubourg Saint-Honore district, with its streets lined with designer shops.

Currency conversion rates aren’t always the most entertaining of reasons to head out of the country, but in addition to all of the fun and relaxation of vacationing in Europe, getting a good deal is a solid rationale to head over the Atlantic Ocean in the near future.


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Destination Spotlight: Paris

June 18, 2013
OOO-LA-LA!!!! From the exquisite culture and cuisine, to its rich art history and beautiful monuments, there’s plenty to do while in Paris—considered by many to be the most beautiful city in the world. Mitch-Stuart, Inc. offers several different experiences in the City of Light that caters to your heart’s desire.

Eiffel Tower in Paris
L'Atelier des Sens Cooking School
Louvre Museum in Paris
Notre Dame in Paris
Basilique du Sacre Coeur in Paris
Enjoy cooking—and dining? Your first option involves Paris’ culture and cuisine. The trip for two is a six day, five night stay at the Hotel Le Littre. Included in this package is a hands-on cooking class at L'Atelier Des Sens or La Cuisine Paris, a two-hour sightseeing tour of Paris, lunch at 58 Tour Eiffel at the Eiffel Tower, and a one-hour River Seine cruise.

Located on the Paris Left Bank, the Hotel Le Littre is peacefully located between Saint Germain des Pres and Montparnasse, the new areas for fashion designers and luxury shops. Food lovers won’t be disappointed as the L’Atelier Des Sens and La Cuisine Paris offer cooking classes led by skilled chefs who will impart their lessons on everything from macaroons and croissants to the quintessential French baguette.

Are you an art and history buff? The second option is the coup de grace!! This trip includes a six day, five night stay for two at the Hotel Le Littre. Half-day shared tours of the Louvre Museum, Musee d'Orsay, and the Centre George Pompidou are included in this package.

Visit the renowned Louvre, one of the world’s largest and most visited museums; then make your way to the Musee d’Orsay for the impressive collection of impressionist and post-impressionist art. End your trip at the Pompidou Center and explore the modern art “it” houses.

Looking for romance? Look no further. The third option is for the romanticist in all of us. This trip for two at the Hotel Le Littre includes a romantic Paris by night tour, a one hour Seine Cruise, which includes a full course dinner, and a private illuminations tour. The City of Light is sure to bring a spark to your life, from the fashion, culture, architectural heritage, gourmet cuisine, and romance! Come explore the capital of France and discover the magic that has beckoned visitors for millennia.

Get pampered with the proverbial “royal treatment”? Another Paris option is just that!! This trip for two is for seven days and six nights at the Le Royal Monceau and Raffles Paris. Included in this package is your choice of either a half-day private tour of the Louvre Museum or a half-day private tour of the Musee d'Orsay, both skip-the-line entrance tickets.

Le Royal Monceau offers the elegance, prestige, luxury, and hospitality that have been signs of high European culture. Only in Paris, France, steeped in history, passion, beauty, and "l’art de vivre", could this legendary hotel begin yet another life in a refined new design that recalls its origins as it appeals to the contemporary traveler, who desires not merely a place to stay but a place to feel truly welcome.

Whatever your age or interest, each month in Paris has its unique attractions and pleasures: cutting-edge fashion, food, and fun offered against a backdrop of 3,000 years worth of history! Take some time and come see Paris now.

Paris is THE place!!!!


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Oscar Goes Traveling

February 12, 2013
And the Oscar goes to… YOU!

Have you ever fantasized about going to the location of your favorite movie, walking the streets the characters walked, and pretending to be a part of their experience? Well, Mitch-Stuart, Inc. offers packages that give you the chance to do just that! Below are examples of some of our packages that serve as themes and locations for Oscar-nominated movies.


Silver Linings Poster Image Silver Linings Playbook — Silver Linings Playbook has been nominated for eight Oscars, including Best Picture. In the movie, the main character, Pat, attends a Philadelphia Eagles game that his father has bet a lot of money on, as his good luck charm. Mitch-Stuart offers a trip for two to any regular season NFL football game, such as a Philadelphia Eagles game.  Hopefully you can be a better good luck charm for your team than Pat was!


Les Misérables — Also nominated for Best Picture is Les Misérables, a film that takes place in early 19th century France. Mitch-Stuart offers six different French packages that include hotels all over Paris, including the Marriot Champs-Elysees and the Hotel Le Littre. One of our trips to Paris includes a trip for six days and five nights, including a cooking class at L'Atelier Des Sens or La Cuisine Paris, a Tour of Paris, Lunch at Altitude 95 at the Eiffel Tower, and a cruise down the River Seine. From learning how to make macaroons, croissants, and the quintessential French baguette, you’ll take home the best souvenir of all: French culinary savoir-faire! Les Misérables Poster Image
Snow White and The Huntsman Poster Image Snow White and The Huntsman — Colleen Atwood is nominated for Best Costume Design in Snow White and The Huntsman. Snow White and the Huntsman is a modern take on the classic story of Snow White. Although this film was not a children’s movie, a trip to Disney World is a great way to enjoy the Snow White we all know and love. Mitch-Stuart offers Disney fans a family trip for four to Orlando, Florida for five days & four nights at the Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, including three-day My Way Passes to Disney World.  At Disney World you’ll be sure to enjoy rides and attractions, and of course Snow White and all the Disney characters!

Beasts of the Southern Wild — Beasts of the Southern Wild is nominated for Best Picture, among other awards. The movie takes place in a fictional Louisiana town, Bathtub. Mitch-Stuart offers a trip for two to New Orleans, Louisiana for five days and four nights at the JW Marriott New Orleans, including a Dinner Jazz Cruise, a class at the New Orleans School of Cooking and a $200 Commander's Palace Gift Card. To get more of the feel of the film, visit Isle de Jean Charles, not far from New Orleans, which is where the film was shot. Beasts of the Southern Wild Poster Image

Life of Pi Poster Image Life of Pi — Life of Pi, which is nominated for Best Picture, tells the story of young Pi who sets sail to Canada with his family. After a storm hits the ship he is found on a rescue boat alone, but with the company of a Bengal tiger. Unlike Pi, you CAN make it to Canada on a Mitch-Stuart trip; we offer trips throughout the country! You can enjoy resorts and hotels in Alberta, British Columbia, Quebec and Vancouver. One of our trips to British Columbia includes a trip for two for five days & four nights at The Fairmont Chateau Whistler and a $600 Fairmont gift card for ski lift tickets. Chateau Whistler is a top-ranked ski area in North America, and was home of the 2010 Olympics.

Without a doubt, Oscar certainly logs his miles! These trips are a great way to reward a movie buff, or generate a standing ovation at your next auction; but we have more where they came from! Be sure to check out our catalog for the rest of our trip selection.


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