When I was 10, on my first trip to NYC, my parents took me to Radio City Music Hall. I was brought to tears when the organs came out the side walls and the orchestra rose up from the floor. To me it was magical. Radio City’s two Wurlitzer Organs are the only two of its kind in the world. Interestingly, the organ players crawl through a tiny door to get to their stools without being noticed.
Sandra Scott Travels
The most exciting Kentucky Derby for those of us who live in Upstate New York was in 2003 when Funny Cide from Sackets Harbor “Ran for the Roses.” He was the first New York bred horse to win the Derby. After Funny Cide won the Kentucky Derby the excitement continued when he went on to win the Preakness Stakes. Excitement reached a fever pitch when Funny Cide ran in the Belmont Stakes. A win at Belmont would mean Funny Cide would earn the coveted Triple Crown.
When I see the many articles listing the “Top Ten Beaches” it seemed to me that sooner later every great beach would make the list. So, I knew Ngapali Beach in Myanmar would be discovered. It finally made CNN’s list of “Best Beaches” in February 2016. John and I have been to Ngapali Beach nine times, staying each year at Amazing Resort. Ngapali Beach is truly a wonderful beach on the Bay of Bengal.
John and I are not fond of tour groups but a cruise accomplishes the same thing better without changing hotels. We flew Air Asia from Bangkok to Mandalay and stayed at the Amazing Hotel Mandalay. The Pandaw people picked us up at the hotel and transported us to the Pandaw Kindat. We chose a Pandaw cruise because the ships are built by the same company, the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company, which had hundreds of ships that plied the river during their British colonial days when their fleet numbered in the hundreds.
Many retired folks head to Florida to avoid the snow without realizing there are other options some of which are exciting and no more expensive. John and I discovered that long-staying at various hotels in Southeast Asia is more interesting. Before deciding on a second home away in sunny climes, consider the expenses: initial outlay to purchase, routine bills such as water, electricity, etc., maintenance costs or association fees, taxes and other miscellaneous expenses. The benefit of long-stays is that there is none of that.
Mui Ne is the kite boarding capital of Vietnam because of the strong on-shore winds. It may not be the best place to begin learning due to the strength of the wind, but there are many kite boarding schools. Typical lessons start with three hours or more on the beach learning to control a trainer kite. Then similar lessons take place in the water until kite control is mastered. Then, after a few more lessons, it is time for the board.
On our recent visit to Ho Chi Minh City, John and I stayed at the ParkRoyal Hotel where staying at Orchid Club Level was well worth it. Orchid Club level included free transportation to/from the airport, breakfast, afternoon tea, evening cocktails, and laundry for up to four garments per day. Our main reason for the stopover in Ho Chi Minh City, which many still call Saigon, was to revisit the Cao Dai Temple and Cu Chi Tunnels.
There are many interesting places to visit in Vietnam and one of the most colorful places is the Cao Dai temple not far from Saigon. Cao Dai is a religion that was founded in southern Vietnam in 1926 mixing ideas from many other religions. Cao Dai draws upon ideas from Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism and Christianity. Its saints includes such diverse figures as the Buddha, Confucius, Jesus Christ, Muhammad, Pericles, Julius Caesar, Joan of Arc, Victor Hugo and Sun Yat-sen.
Cookbooks are one of the most popular selling genres and now people can turn to the internet for recipes plus we all have family recipes. But, the best way to learn a new recipe is to take a cooking class. John and I have enjoyed cooking classes in several countries and we always learn more than something new to cook. When John and I were in Seoul, Korea, we took a cooking class at O’ngo Food Communications.
Nicaragua is the new Central American hot spot. Costa Rica has been done, so now people are looking for a new tropical adventure that is unspoiled. Nicaragua has a coast on the Atlantic and Pacific oceans offering visitors beaches, rainforest, history, colorful culture and adventure.