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Monday, June 13, 2016

Off to Europe! Rivercruising!

It's been months since my last blog post...but I'm going to give it another shot with my upcoming river cruise trip to Europe.

I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to travel to Europe along with several colleagues from my agency who have been selected to participate in an educational training experience made possible through AMA Waterways and TPI.

This is a first for me...I've booked a handful of my clients on similar river cruises, but now I'm THRILLED to experience it first hand!

We're starting our 7 day journey on June 16th from Luxembourg and sailing on the Main & Mosel rivers throughout Germany, disembarking on June 23rd in Nuremburg, Germany.  Some of us are extending post-cruise for an additional 3 days in Prague.  It's going to be a great trip!

My bags are packed..and repacked...and repacked...(for about the last 2 weeks)...I'm sure I'll have forgotten something, but the main items - passport and camera are in...for sure!  Anything else can be purchased or replaced when I get there! 

First order of business upon arrival will be to try to purchase a European hair that won't blow up or fry my hair...been there, done that on my last trip to Europe!

I will do my best to update my blog on a regular basis throughout the next 12 days - I hope you enjoy!

Below is the map of the itinerary we'll be on.  
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Friday, April 3, 2015

Saved the BEST for last on our Maui Study Tour!

Day 7 - What a full and amazing day of activities!

We started off the day with a unique sailing experience with Maui Sailing Canoe, a double hull canoe with room for 6 - 8 passengers.  The best way to get up close and personal with the sea life.  Check it out!  Rates are very reasonable and the experience is 10x better than that on a larger catamaran or larger vessel.

Our guides were amazing and brought us so close (15 feet away) from a hump back whale.
Check out my facebook page at and scroll down to March 31st posting for a video of my up close whale experience.

Next on the itinerary is a site inspection at the modern new Andaz Maui at Wailea, a property of the Hyatt hotel chain.  This was my favourite property on Maui.  I hope to return some day and to send my honeymoon couples here - it's a fabulous property!

several infinity pools, one above the other

the lead in room category at Andaz

the bathroom at Andaz

Our delicious, healthy lunch at Andaz - a foodies' paradise!

Next stop on our busy day - Maui Ocean Centre.  A great place to visit on your first day (before your room is ready) or your last day (before a red eye flight home)....very educational and a great place to educated the little ones of all the fishies on the island!

And as if we hadn't experienced enough of Maui's hospitality and beauty, we ended our tour with a fun afternoon and evening at Island Art Party a new studio located in Kihea, where the creative side in all of us came out in fine form.  A great activity to do when you want to get out of the sun and do an indoor activity.

My work in progress

Mine - almost finished....

Vicki's rendition - stunning!
Our gracious host, Chris performing a local dance

Sadly this was our farewell send off as well.  We said our goodbye's to our hosts Chris  Kaiaokamalie and Julie Biscoy from the Tourism boards and we shared some amazing experiences and memories throughout the week on Maui.

I am so grateful for this learning opportunity!  Mahao!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Snorkelling at Molokini

Day 6 Maui Study Tour -
Today is our easiest day so far on the busy itinerary.  After a hearty breakfast at the Fairmont's Cane and Canoe buffet, we departed for the Makena Golf and Beach resort to board the Kai Kanana snorkel boat for some amazing snorkelling and sea turtle sightings near the Molokina crater.

The bonus was the school of spinner dolphins who put on a show around our boat as we returned to shore.

The Kai Kanani Charter provided a great breakfast of muffins and fruit as well as a lovely lunch and alchoholic drinks after snorkelling.  This is a great excursion for anyone wanting to do some snorkelling on the island.  The variety and number of unique fish was amazing!

We spent a leisurely afternoon around the pools and on the beach at the Fairmont to work on our tans.  Dinner at the Monkeypod Kitchen in Wailea was hosted by the Maui Visitors Convention.
The beach at Fairmont Kea Lani

Lots of families - kids all having fun at the resort

One of the many pools at Fairmont Kea Lani

casual dining at Fairmont Kea Lani
Fairmont pools at night

It's hard to believe that our week is quickly coming to an end - only one more day of organized activities and then one free day at the end before taking red eye flights home on Tuesday evening.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Another early morning, day trip to Moloka'i

An early morning checkout from the beautiful Montage at 5:45 am and off to Lahaina Harbour to catch the ferry over to Molokia, the home of one of our beautiful hosts, Julie Bicoy.  The Saturday market in Kaunakakai was in full swing and we enjoyed shopping the local vendors, choosing our creative jewellry piece which would be hand made by a local artist while we toured the island.

hand painted coconut art
We enjoyed a leisurely hike in the Pala'au State Park where we enjoyed striking views of Moloka'i's North Shore and Kalaupapa Peninsula, where the Leprosy colony is located.  Another trail took us to Phallic Rock where legend has it that young girls would go and sit on a certain "rock" to become pregnant...

Phallic Rock

Above the Kalaupapa Lookout (where the Leprosy Colony is located)

After a delicious lunch and Iced Mocha from Essence of 'Ohana, we found our way to a couple of beautiful beaches almost untouched by the public, Kapukahehu Beach and Papohaku Beach Park - 3 miles long and 100 metres wide ...only a few locals here enjoying the surf....well that was until 9 Aloha Agents and their guides invaded!  This island would be a great place to go and "unplug" for a day or two.

quiet beach on Moloka'i

Late afternoon we checked in at the Moloka'i airport for our short island hopper flight on Molekule Air for a picturesque 25 minute flight back over to Maui where would would check into our 3rd host hotel, the Fairmont Kea Lani for the next 3 nights.

Advertised specials at the Moloka'i airport

Fairmont Kea Lani

Beautiful gardens at the Fairmont Kea Lani

A lovely dinner was hosted by the Fairmont and enjoyed under the stars in the Ko restaurant.  A great end to a lovely day of touring and exploring more of Hawaii's hidden treasures.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Zip & Dip on Maui

Today was all about activities and culture on Maui.  First stop Skyline Eco Adventures, voted #1 Maui adventure tour, for some ziplining.  Nine scenic ziplines, with the final one being at the pond for a cool dip at the end of the tour.  Check it out at for more info.

The evening was spent at the Maui Theatre enjoying the fantastic live production of Ulalena, an amazing theatrical experience for all ages presented in a multi-million dollar state of the art theatre unlike any in Hawai'i.

If you're looking for a casual dining experience with a beautiful ocean view check out Pi Artisan Pizzeria where we enjoyed some great appetizers and pizzas for dinner to finish Day 4 of our study tour.