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On the Road, In Search of Unique Gifts

December 21, 2016
The pressure is on; with only days until both Hanukkah and Christmas, the malls are loaded with frantic shoppers, and online stores are keeping delivery services busy all the way up to the holidays. But the internet’s reach has meant that it can be difficult to find that one-of-a-kind present, the one that could only come from you and be given to a special someone. Every person everywhere has access to the world’s great stores.

At Mitch-Stuart, we believe that our non-profit fundraising auction travel packages make great gifts, of course. But for those looking to check off an even longer list of present recipients, we love the idea of travelling to a different locale in search of unique items, the ones not sold in department stores or on websites. Thankfully, even in this age of megamarts, there are still cities with great local markets, the types of places where artisans, antique dealers and craftspeople get together and sell their wares. And it’s at these exchanges that some of the most interesting gifts can be found.

If your donors are fortunate to find themselves in Provence, France on a Saturday morning, thanks to winning one of our non-profit fundraising travel packages, tell them to get up early. The market scene in the region gets going around 8 a.m., and it’s both a shopping and social destination. Vendors of all sorts can be found under awnings or in stalls in seemingly any village in the region, selling clothing, art, antiques and food to locals and tourists alike. Bring cash to the markets – and maybe extra luggage on the trip to get everything home.

With options around the corner from nearly every Tube stop, London has managed to maintain its market culture     through the years. Markets like Spitalfields can trace their history back centuries    , and many are in areas of general interest as well; a trip to Piccadilly Market, with its antiques and collectibles, can be folded into a day at the nearby Circus or an evening at a West End theater. Some of the markets are marvels themselves, like Covent Garden and its neo-classical architecture. To wander London’s bazaars and talk with the sellers is to live like a local, even if it’s just in between tourist stops.

Not all great bazaars are a trans-Atlantic flight away. Santa Fe’s open-air markets are so plentiful that Travel and Leisure once wrote that the city “feels more like it belongs in Europe or Latin America.” Whether it’s the once-yearly International Folk Art Market, the nearly-year-round Santa Fe Artists Market or the Railyard Artisan Market, open every Sunday, there’s plenty of chances to browse the works of local artisans. Everything from paintings to leatherworks, sculpture to hot sauces can be purchased here and brought home to give to an appreciative recipient.


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Mardi Gras Around the World

February 03, 2016
Its a funny reason for a Christian holiday: The night before the purging season of Lent, Mardi Gras celebrates binging, preparing for the relative austerity of the weeks pre-Easter by over-indulging for one night. For some, that means plenty of adult beverages, while for others its fatty and sugary foods. No matter the gluttony of choice, Mardi Gras is best observed by consuming too much of something that will put the celebrant in confession the next day. Of course, like other holidays, Fat Tuesday (as its known in some parts of the world) is only partially about religion anymore, as it has been adapted as a secular celebration for revelers of all (or no) faiths.

While New Orleans may be considered the holidays epicenter, Mardi Gras parties arent the sole domain of the Crescent City. In fact, with our fundraising auction travel packages, Mitch-Stuart can send one of your supporters to a celebration in any one of the great travel destinations around the world. Want to enjoy the day without a trip down Bourbon Street? You and your donors have options.

While New Orleans may be the city most associated with the holiday today, its origins are in French Catholic traditions. It should be no surprise, then, that France has nationwide celebrations of Carnival and Mardi Gras to this day. Parades in Nice, Paris and other cities mark the occasion, with large floats, ornate masks and confetti being the coins of the realm. Nice, in particular, is a special celebration; it attracts more than a million visitors to the city.

In Italy, Carnival is tied closely to Mardi Gras, as well; Fat Tuesday is the final day of the celebration that involves fireworks, special dinners and parties, and art. In 2016, the Venice festival is featuring almost 150 separate events, leading up to a best mask of Carnival contest, a closing ceremony and fireworks at the Arsenal of Venice.

Your donors dont have to leave the country to celebrate Mardi Gras, either. Universal Studios in Orlando celebrates the holiday on select dates between February and April, with parades and concerts in a family-friendly environment. Music is a major part of the fun here; 2016 features traditional New Orleans Zydeco bands in the French Quarter Courtyard and big name touring acts like Adam Lambert and Diana Ross on the Music Plaza stage.

And while New Orleans will always be the gold standard of Mardi Gras celebrations in America, most major cities in the country mark the day with some sort of event. In New York, the 2nd Avenue Mardi Gras Stroll enters its 19th year of libation-fueled fun, while the Mardi Gras Ball in Boston is into its third decade of existence. Mid-sized communities get into the act, as well; In North Carolina, Asheville has its own parade on the weekend preceding Fat Tuesday, and Snowmass, just miles outside of Aspen, kicks off the day itself with the Mother of All Ascensions, an uphill snowshoe race.
Carnival in Nice

Carnival in Venice

Mardi Gras at Universal Studios Florida

Mardi Gras at Snowmass


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Destination Spotlight: Hilton Head

January 06, 2015
Certain destinations are synonymous with their biggest attractions. Its nearly impossible to think about Orlando without conjuring images of Disney World. A visit to Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower is unimaginable. And when one thinks about Hilton Head Island, the resort community in South Carolina, golf is the first word to spring to mind. In the past, weve written about the amazing opportunities for golfers at Hilton Head. The town has one of the highest concentrations of course available in the world, with difficulty ranging from professional-level to links appropriate for amateur hackers.

Hilton Head
Hilton Head
Hilton Head
Hilton Head
But Mitch-Stuart, Inc.s charity auction travel packages to Hilton Head are about more than just putters and drivers. The city has plenty for the non-golfer, whether its natural beauty, culture or fine dining. Whether its waiting for a family member to finish up a round, or looking for a refueling stop after 18 holes, Hilton Head Island has a lot to offer.

For instance, not all sand in Hilton Head belongs to a formidable golf course hazard. Coligny Beach is a lovely oceanside walk, with public access and nearby shopping and dining, while the Mitchellville Freedom Park features hiking and a look at the interesting history of Hilton Head Island. Theres a beach for every type of vacationer on the island, and they each can make for a great post-golf relaxation spot, an easy way to forget about that hooked drive or terrible three-putt.

In addition, Hilton Head has a lively arts scene, especially for a city of less than 40,000 residents (according to the last Census report). Touring Broadway musicals come to the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina; shows like Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash and Gypsy are on their way to the ACC in the first half of 2015. The Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra is also highly rated, and features Maestro John Morris Russell, a Conductor Designate of the world-renowned Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. For a less-formal cultural experience, the annual Hilton Head Island Arts Festival and Craft Marketplace allows visitors to both see beautiful works and take home a memento of the trip.

After a day on the golf course, frolicking on the beach or checking out the local art scene, travelers can have their pick of the islands restaurants, spanning the world of cuisine. An eatery like A Lowcounty Backyard Restaurant replicates family cookouts convincingly, while Alexanders Seafood is a white tablecloth experience with a wine list in the triple digits and a surf-and-turf-inspired menu. And throughout the year, Hilton Head plays host to a tremendous number of food festivals, like the Seafood Festival (held March 1-7 this year), the Wine and Food Festival (March 9 through 14) and the Beer, Bacon and Music Festival in May.

Ready to send a lucky auction winner to Hilton Head? Reach out to one of our representatives today!


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Destination Spotlight: Bali

October 14, 2014
Many of the trips in the Mitch-Stuart catalog take donors on dream vacations, to the types of destinations that occupy the covers of travel magazines and the forefront of our travel thoughts. Sending contributors to New York City, Las Vegas or even Europe can fulfill wishes while also bringing in sizeable donations.

For some travelers, though, the expected may not be enough. Maybe they are seasoned travelers who have been all over the country. Perhaps theyre looking for a trip that can set them apart, one thatll get the attention of everyone to whom the bidder tells the story. Or maybe the donor is shopping for a younger family member, one who may be more interested in a trip that doubles as an adventure.

If thats the case, it may be time to talk about Bali.

An island in Indonesia, Bali has become a hot destination for travelers over the last few years. Prestigious travel magazine Travel and Leisure gave Bali its Best Island award in 2010, and it is regularly singled out for its stunning beaches in different guides. Being used as a setting in 2010s Eat Pray Love film adaptation certainly hasnt hurt its reputation, either.

Of course, as someone taking advantage of one of Mitch-Stuarts charity auction travel packages, though, its about the wow factor. So what is it about Bali that can get an audience to gasp?

The culture: Art galleries like the Agung Rai Museum of Art in Ubud and the more abstract art-minded Randelli Gallery in Seminyak feature tremendous collections of both local and international works, and Balinese music has an interesting diversity, from traditional gong compositions to jegog, played on large bamboo instruments. But a cultural tour of Bali has to include checking out a barong dance performance. A traditional, sacred ritual, the dance centers on the mythical Barong, a lion-like beast and represents all that is good, in battle against the evil Rangda.

The outdoors: Snorkeling and diving? Check out Pulau Menjangan, a neighboring island accessible from Bali that features a nearly-unparalleled (in the region) coral reef. Hiking? Get to the village of Munduk, where waterfalls and lakes are only a short walk (or long walk, if youd like) away. Want to run away from lava in slow motion like in an action movie? Dont do that! But you can climb to the top of one of the islands volcanos and pretend. There are plenty of ways for visitors to interact with nature in fun, active manners.

Its beauty: Its easy to describe almost anywhere in the world as beautiful; if one searches a country long enough, the land is sure to yield a stunning vista or two. But just look at the photos to the side, here. Between the lush green grasslands and the aqua blue Pacific Ocean drifting up on shore, postcard-worthy views are everywhere.

Want to hear more? Reach out to your Mitch-Stuart, Inc. representative today!
Bali
Bali
Bali
Bali


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Destination Spotlight: The Caribbean

September 10, 2014
The average high temperature in Aruba peaks at 91 degrees in September, and falls all the way to 80 degrees in January. In Bermuda, the highs run from 70 in the winter to 86 in the summer. Consistency is the norm for Caribbean weather, where any time of year is beach time.


No matter what style of vacation your donors seek, though, they can find it in the Caribbean. A consistent favorite for both travelers and auction organizers, travel packages for non-profit auctions that involve islands like the Bahamas, St. Croix and St. Thomas can fetch big money and really impress gala attendees. When a potential auction bidder sees the words Caribbean vacation on display, he or she may be thinking about several different types of trips.

Postcards sent home from Caribbean sojourns, of course, tend to emphasize beautiful beaches and with good reason. The sands of Aruba, the Bahamas, St. Thomas and the U.S. Virgin Islands, among others, are all welcoming to beachgoers of all ages and stripes. For those who want to interact with the environment rather than pull up a chair and relax, theres plenty of opportunities for everything from swimming with the dolphins to sailing or paddleboarding across the tops of the waves.

Theres more to island life than beaches, though. Head to Bermuda, for instance, for an adventure that includes art galleries and horseback rides. Tour the Cruzan Rum factory on St. Croix, or hike through the islands rain forest. Pull out the credit card on St. Thomas for what many describe as the duty-free shopping capital of the world. Hit the hot spots of Aruba, with restaurants and bars in the resorts that line the beach. Not every Caribbean expedition requires sunscreen and bathing suits.

For the island-goers interested in sampling the entire region, the Caribbean Sea has, at any individual moment, one of the highest concentrations of cruise ships in the world. Make stops at all of the above islands and more, with excursions for beach lounging, shopping and exploring. Along the way, enjoy the luxuries of cruise travel, from expansive staterooms to all-you-can-eat meals and on-board entertainment. Its like a Whitmans Sampler of some of the most gorgeous travel destinations on the globe.
The Buccaneer
The Buccaneer
Isla Mujeres Palace Resort
Celebrity Solstice, Virgin Islands


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Destination Spotlight: London Calling

April 23, 2014
Two years ago, London captured the attention of the world during the 2012 Summer Olympics. But the United Kingdoms largest city is not a tourist destination only in Olympiad years. Mitch-Stuart, Inc., offers several nonprofit travel auction packages that take donors to England to enjoy all that the city has to offer, and they are some of the most popular in the catalog. Here are some of the reasons why.

England has an unparalleled history in sport, including rugby and tennis, and London has been the epicenter. It is the only city to host three different Olympiads of the modern Games era. But the country may be best known for the Barclays Premier League, one of the top football (or soccer) leagues in the world. Some of the countrys best-known teams play in London, like Chelsea and Arsenal, and six teams overall competed in the top flights 2013-14 season. London is also the home of Wembley Stadium, the second-largest in Europe (with a capacity of 90,000 spectators) and home to the 2011 and 2013 UEFA Champions League (the highest honor in European club soccer) championship matches.

Those more interested in culture can make their way to the West End, one of the worlds foremost theater districts. Almost 15 million tickets were sold to productions there in 2013, including shows like The Mousetrap (the worlds longest-running show), Les Miserables, and The Phantom of the Opera. In all, more than 40 theaters make up the citys Theatreland, and many of those contain elements of classic Victorian architecture, making it a place to see works of art inside of works of art..

Of course, its hard to think about London without picturing the historical landmarks. The Tower of London, the famed castle along the River Thames, is more than a millennia old and today hosts tours, exhibits and historical reenactments. The Palace of Westminster, just up the river, is the home of the Elizabeth Tower, better known as Big Ben, along with being the meeting place of the Houses of Commons and Lords. Buckingham Palace, the official London residence of the monarchy, is less than a mile west of the Palace of Westminster.
London England
Shakespeares Globe
Changing of the Guard Buckingham Palace


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Keeping the Torch Lit

February 18, 2014
The 2014 Winter Olympics is days away from finishing, with the elaborate Closing Ceremony planned for February 23. Once the big show leaves town, though, Sochi will still have all of the infrastructure improvements, added attractions and other bells and whistles that come along with hosting an event the size of the Olympiad.

(It will also still have an uncomfortable number of
stray dogs and some mangled bathroom doors.)

While going to the actual Olympics can certainly be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, there are still remnants of the Olympic experience left behind in host cities and countries. Give your donors the chance to take advantage of all the perks of the Games without all of the hassles of an overstuffed host city by offering a trip to one of these former homes of the Winter or Summer Olympics.

Vancouver may have been the host of the 2010 Winter Olympics, but nearby Whistler was the home of many of the skiing events, thanks to the presence of Whistler Blackcomb. The resort, the largest in North America, already had its own Olympic history: It was conceived for Vancouvers bid for the 1968 Winter Olympics, then constructed anyway when the International Olympic Committee awarded the Games to Grenoble, France. Almost 50 years after those games, Blackcomb finally got to host its own Olympic races, including the alpine skiing series. But even if your donors are not the adrenaline junkie types, they can drive the Sea-to-Sky Highway, considered by many to be one of the worlds most beautiful road trips, or take the Peak 2 Peak Gondola that links the Blackcomb and Whistler mountains.

When the IOC brought the Games to London in 2012, it knew that the Olympics would be held in a modern city well-equipped to host the world. But the competition still needed a central home, a place that would live, breathe and pulse the spirit throughout those 16 summer days. With that in mind, what is now known as Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park was created. Visitors to the park will be able to get a birds-eye view starting in April, when the ArcelorMittal Orbit, an observation tower with two platforms that, combined, overlook the enormity of the space.

Its all well and good to see the Olympic sights, but experience is the key word when visiting Albertville, France, the host of the 1992 Winter Olympiad. At the La Plagne Bob Experience, visitors can take off down the same bobsled run used during the Games more than 20 years ago. Whether its with friends sitting behind a professional driver in a bobsled going 120 kilometers per hour or riding solo in a luge/sled hybrid, your donors can experience a taste of the Olympic spirit. Cheering crowds, gold medals and sponsorships not included.

Olympic Torche in Vancouver
Winter Olympics Whistler
Gondola at Whistler
London at Night
London Eye


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Autumn in Nevada

August 20, 2013
Ok, its not April in Paris, but there are some lovely advantages to offering vacation packages to the delightful desert oasis of Las Vegas especially when the temperature dips below 100 degrees as part of your charity auctions or fundraising events.
Las Vegas Strip
Exotic Car Racing
Cirque de Sole Beatles Love
Las Vegas Rodeo
Blue Man Group
Grand Canyon
Mitch-Stuart Inc. offers a decidedly different take on the Las Vegas experience combining luxury hotel ambience with extreme thrills of exotic auto racing and aerobatic flight simulation, helicopter rides, to unique entertainment options such as attending a rodeo.

If a different customer take on Vegas is what your organization is looking for, here are some examples of whats new under the (Las Vegas) sun!
  • A Trip for Two to Las Vegas, Nevada for Four Days & Three Nights at the Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas with Economy Class Air, Including an Exotic Car Racing Experience
  • A Trip for Two to Las Vegas, Nevada for Four Days & Three Nights at the Wynn Las Vegas with Economy Class Air, Including an Aerobatic Flight Simulator Experience
  • A Trip for Two to Las Vegas, Nevada for Four Days & Three Nights at The All-Suite Venetian Resort Hotel Casino with Economy Class Air, Including Round Trip Airport Transfers, Tickets to Your Choice of Cirque du Soleil: The Beatles or Mystre, and an Evening Helicopter Ride over the Strip
  • A Trip for Two to Las Vegas, Nevada for Three Days & Two Nights at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas Hotel, Marriott Autograph Collection with Economy Class Air, Including Show Tickets
  • A Trip for Two to The National Finals Rodeo Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada for Three Days & Two Nights at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Including Two Tickets to Your Choice of Any Session with Plaza Level Seating (December 2013) (Land Only)
And if you want still more adventuresome Vegas, there is no shortage of interesting day trips. The world famous Hoover Dam lies about an hour from Las Vegas. Right outside of the city is the beautiful Red Rock Canyon that offers plenty of either easy or more strenuous hiking and mountain biking trails and for a more extensive day trip, you can even visit the Grand Canyon. Closer to the strip but still a world away, visit the Mob Museum which showcases both sides of the notorious battle between organized crime and law enforcement, or the Neon Museum which is loaded with the huge signs that once beckoned you into casinos like the Silver Slipper, Stardust, and El Cortez. A trek to Lake Mead is beautiful as well.

But if all you really want to do is gamble, shop and then eat well dine like the locals at these palate-pleasers:
Anything we missed? Let us know your favorite Vegas visitor spots.



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Common Things People Forget When Traveling in the Summer

July 23, 2013
With August fast approaching, everyone is trying to fit in a vacation before the Labor Day holiday and back-to-school. While youre sure to remember to book the essentials, like a flight and hotel, you may forget to pack some key items. According to Michelle Cohen, President of Mitch-Stuart, Inc., Choosing the right travel package is the most important part of ones travel plans. While your destination is of great importance, use this checklist to make sure youre never without these travel items!
  • Chargers and batteries. Whether theyre for your smartphone, tablet, e-reader, or camera, you need your chargers and batteries. Batteries may come cheap, but chargers for smartphones and tablets dont. Make this one of the first items you pack.
  • Adapters for different electrical currents. If youre traveling internationally, you need to check out the different voltages in different countries. Pick up an adapter for your devices before you board the plane, this way you can plug in your camera or camcorder while you unpack for an extra charge.
  • Copies of your passport and documents. While the original is always the best form of any document, having a copy is a good backup. Accidents happen, so making copies of your passport, ticket and other important documents can come in handy. In the unfortunate scenario where you are robbed, having copies of these documents stored in your hotel safe doesnt hurt either. If applicable, download your boarding pass to your phone. Many airlines have apps that store your ticket on your phone.
  • Maps & Directions. Its always best to write down the information for the hotel you are staying at just in case you get lost and arent near your destination. You can store this information on a piece of paper or in your phone. If you have a smartphone, download a GPS app; however, a physical map is still the way to go just in case your cell phone dies or youre in an area without cell reception.
  • Photos of your belongings. Take pictures of your suitcase, expensive possessions, and anything else that you value should it become lost or stolen. Pictures provide proof and make negotiating with foreign police or airport staff easier.
  • A memory of your passwords. You may have to use a public computer when you travel, so the luxury of auto-memorized passwords doesnt apply here. Before leaving, make sure you know all your passwords. This will save you a lot of time, hassle and money.
  • An extra pair of glasses or contact lenses. If your sunglasses break, you buy another pair. If your glasses break or you lose a contact lens, youre in serious trouble. You may not be able to replace the broken or lost pair until you get home, so a spare will be essential for your holiday.
  • Duct Tape. This particular tape can fix and repair almost anything. You never know when a zipper on your suitcase might break.
  • Bonus: Call your credit card company and tell them youre traveling.
What items have you forgotten to pack when traveling? Leave a comment below!


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Home Is Where the Hotel Is

June 25, 2013
Not a phrase many would say upon entering their hotel room, but major hotel chains are trying to change that. Slowly but surely, more hotels are leaning towards home-like and family-friendly atmospheres. These brands are out to attract with the addition of kids clubs, teen programs and kids nights out. They also assist with planning family outings.

Many hotel brands have transformed standard hotel rooms into over-the-top bedroom sanctuaries. Gone are uncomfortable sheets. Now there are better linens, duvets, and pillows to make a hotel room feel more like your bedroom at home. Also, harsh lighting has been replaced by soft, natural light. To top things off, plug-ins and docking stations for all your electronic gadgets have been conveniently added to help you use your phones, tablets, e-readers, laptops and portable gaming devices from the comfort of your bed.

According to Michelle Cohen, President of Mitch-Stuart, Inc., Our clients are even reporting that room service has experienced an extreme makeover. Hotels know room service can be expensive and that many of their patrons seek food outside the establishment. Here are some solutions savvy establishments are implementing. Everything from Starbucks to all types of food options are now featured in the lobbies of many hotels.

Guests who felt like the mini bar offered the best meal, are now free to explore other options within the hotel. This has been great for guests who are on business trips, or for those who still need to work while on vacation. These guests no longer feel they have to work from their hotel desk, but rather they can take their laptops and iPads into the hotel lounge and coffee spots and work comfortably there.

So, what hotels are offering these home-like experiences? Heres a couple:

The Residence Inn by Marriott describes their hotels as places to enjoy, unwind and work. These rooms come fully equipped with in-suite kitchens, which feature a full-sized refrigerator, stove, microwave and coffee maker. Other amenities include:
  • Free daily hot breakfast with a variety of options
  • Free Wi-Fi in all suites and lobbies
  • Free grocery delivery
  • 24-hour market
  • Dry cleaning & on-site laundry
  • Private meeting spaces for events & family gatherings
  • Outdoor spaces with fire pits & barbeques
  • Complimentary evening socials
  • Business center services: free access to computers, printers and fax machines
HYATT recently underwent a reinvention. Part of the reinvention includes the HYATT Has It program. Theres always one, two, or sometimes three things that you forgot. Well the HYATT Has It program has a list of complimentary items as well as items to borrow or buy. They are stocked up on everything from curling irons to yoga mats.

What hotel made you feel like the most at home during your stay? LET US KNOW!


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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, theres plenty to do while in Parisconsidered 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 hearts 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 cookingand 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 wont be disappointed as the LAtelier 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 worlds largest and most visited museums; then make your way to the Musee dOrsay 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 "lart 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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Maximize your Memories (Creative Tools for Documenting your Trip)

March 12, 2013
Looking to upgrade the memories you make on your upcoming trip? Here are some creative tips to digitally and traditionally keep your vacations alive long after youve landed. Face it, plain vanilla photo albums are so 15 minutes ago!

If you like to take photos:
Use Flickr! Flickr is one of the most popular photo sharing applications. It allows you to upload photos through your phone, the web, or your email. You can add tags, your location, as well as people to your photos, to help remember the specific moment. Once you upload your photos to Flickr you can then easily share them on Facebook, Twitter, or your blog. While on Flickr you can see others photos that have been uploaded of the place youre visiting, which can give you ideas of where to see next.

If you like to write:
Keep a blog! You can create a free online blog using sites like WordPress and Blogger. This way you can document your daily activities while on the trip as well as your personal feelings and insights. Your blog can then be shared with your friends through Facebook or Twitter. Get into a routine of doing this as often as possible, maybe each night when you are back at your hotel before going to bed.

If you like to take a piece of the place with you:
Collect mementos! Keep everything you can from the place you are visiting. And not just the obvious things that you can get at the gift shop like post cards and mugs, but real stuff that represents your specific trip. These can be tickets from a show you went to, a brochure about the hotel, your bus or subway card, anything and everything that you want to remember. Take all of these things when you get home and put them in a scrapbook or make a collage!

If you want to do a combination of all of the above:
Use Trip Journal! Trip Journal is the perfect travel application for when you want to document your upcoming trip all in one place! With Google Earth integration, Trip Journal allows friends and family to easily see your traveling routes, waypoints for visited destinations including address and location, full screen photos, videos, comments and notes, as your journey unfolds. Once you return from your trip, you can always go back and access your memories in the archive.

Whats your favorite way to document your trips and vacations, so that you will always have the memories when you get home?


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