Sailing through the British Virgin Islands provides a great way for a family to reconnect

A fancy resort? Not for the 20-somethings. Backpacking? Not for the elders. Sailing? Yes! All three of my kids grew up sailing at camp—the girls at Camp Kamaji in Minnesota and my son at Camp Nebagamon in Wisconsin. The girls have taught sailing and we’ve had some of our most memorable times sailing on charter boats in the Caribbean and in Tahiti. When it came time to decide on a family trip for my far flung gang—the …

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Grazing in New Zealand – Kiwi Food Terms

New Zealand (NZ) has some wonderful cuisine, but don’t feel embarrassed to ask for clarification about what you’re ordering.  Kiwi food terms may refer to very different items than someone from North American would expect. For instance, what American ordering in a 4 + star hotel would expect their hamburger to be made up of small chunks of tender steak, ham slices, beets, lettuce and tomato slices and a fried egg?  Yet still lacking the essential and  …

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Enjoying a spa day on the final day in Hong Kong

DAY 9–I’ve been to spas all around the world—tiny outdoor ones in Belize and fancy resort ones in ski country, on big ships and Hawaiian gardens in Mexico and Tahiti. But I don’t think I’ve ever indulged in a major city. Hong Kong has made me rethink that. Of course here massage is a part of the culture—locals hawk reflexology on street corners for as little as $10 US. But major hotels are getting into the act …

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Visiting an amazing GeoPark out side of Hong Kong

DAY 8–Sometimes the best is last. We’ve gone Northeast from Kowloon into the outer territories and are sitting outside at Chuen Kee Seafood Restaurant in Sai Kung, a small city of about 150,000 people as dish after dish of fresh seafood is brought to our table—lobster on top of noodles, fried squid, abalone, steamed fish, stir fried crab with ginger and scallions. The restaurant is packed because it is the weekend. Before we ate, we ogled some …

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San Cristobal Island is Lindblad Endeavour’s Final Stop

A day of contrasts To the west of us, Isabela Island is one of the Galapagos’ youngest islands and among the first we visited. San Cristobal Island, on the other hand, is the eastern most island in the entire archipelago and ranks among the oldest. San Cristobal also is the first island Charles Darwin visited on his Galapagos voyage but, for us, it’s the last stop on our seven-day journey aboard Lindblad’s National Geographic Endeavour. This morning …

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Day 7 means a Christmas spent visiting the waterfront and reflexology Hong Kong-style

DAY 7–My eyes are closed and soft music is playing as my feet are getting massaged. AAH…After four days of exploring Hong Kong, I can’t think of a better way to end the day—or a more unusual way to end Christmas afternoon. Of course in Hong Kong, there are reflexology shops; it seems, on every street. Employees hand out brochures in the street and prices vary widely from $10 to over $100. Our guide has suggested this …

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Galapagos Tortoises in the Santa Cruz Highlands

Photographing giant tortoises in the wild After our visit to the Los Gemelos craters, it’s back on the bus for what I hope is an exciting afternoon with giant Galapagos tortoises in the wild. Our Lindblad Endeavour naturalist for the afternoon, Walter Perez, doesn’t share my confidence as he continually cautions us “all we can guarantee you’ll see is lava rock and plenty of it.” Still, I’m optimistic we’ll find some giant tortoises without many problems. Walter …

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Day 6 includes a visit to the giant Buddha and and ancient monastery

DAY 6–I’m standing in front of a Giant Buddha making a wish—out loud. Monks, I’m told, stand in this very spot to pray because there seems to be an echo. And this isn’t just any Buddha but the largest outdoor sitting Buddha in the Po Lin Monastery on the island of Lantau. The Monastery was established in 1906—some 100 monks hidden from the tourists still live here—but the Tian Tan  Giant Buddha   -which took 10 years to …

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Enjoying a shoppers paradise on day 5 in Hong Kong

DAY 5–Think Times Square and the Vegas strip rolled into one. On Steroids. Think Black Friday and post Christmas sales and New Years Eve revelers at the same time. That only begins to describe Hong Kong Christmas Eve when hundreds of thousands take to the streets—no cars are permitted in the hotel district—to shop and shop some more until two in the morning (the subways run all night). They book crazy expensive tables at hotel restaurants and …

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SeaDream taps into The Hippocrates Health Institute’s “Life Transformation Program”

SeaDream Yacht Club introduces the first of its kind at sea, a “Raw Food” menu option. A once-radical form of vegetarianism called the “raw foods” or “living foods” movement is creeping into mainstream. Aboard the luxurious twin mega-yachts, SeaDream I and SeaDream II, gourmet raw food is now offered in addition to the regular menu.  “Raw” refers to a style of preparation in which all ingredients are raw, organic and vegan (no fish, meat, eggs or dairy), …

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