Author: Mary Chong

9 Tips when Travelling with Another Couple

You’re hanging out with a couple of friends enjoying a lovely dinner out and someone says, “Hey, we should go on vacation together!” Sound familiar? Travelling with another couple can be a ton of fun but it can also be a ton of heartache. We are fortunate that we know a few couples that we love as travel companions. On the flip side, we also know of a few couples with whom we could never travel with but they are great fun to hang out with for a few hours. There is nothing wrong with this and doesn’t make...

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The Ultimate Souvenir – Passport to your National Parks

To follow is an excerpt from an article I wrote for Mom’s and Munchkins. Souvenirs, trinkets, T-shirts and tourist trash; how many of these things have you purchased while on vacation for yourself or your family that ultimately ends up in the garbage or the donation pile? I’m not immune to the allure of the souvenir. I have magnets and key chains from various cities from around the world as well as a few Starbucks mugs from the “You are here” collection. Each mug has a pictorial graphic on the outside representing a city I’ve visited. I also have...

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Quick Travel Tip #3 – Book an Extra Day off Before and After a Trip

I’m sitting here getting a pedicure and I have a massage booked for this afternoon. Tomorrow, I’ll be on vacation in the Caribbean but today I’m skipping work and having a “me day”. Why do I book an Extra Day off Before and After a Trip? So I can start my vacation stress-free! Let’s face it; travelling is stressful with all the preparation and running around to get EVERYTHING completed at work AND home before the alarm goes off for the ride to the airport. If I can manage it, I always give myself one extra day before and...

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October: Plan a Cruise Month #CruiseSmile #Sweepstakes

I’m asleep at home in my bed, but my mind is deep in slumber dreaming. In my dreams, I’m also asleep but instead of my ordinary bed in suburbia; I’m on a cruise to Alaska. Nestled in amongst the luxury linens, I can feel the gentle rocking motion of the waves of the ocean, and I’m smiling as I think about my day spent on the promenade deck watching glaciers and wildlife go past me and then later, I wined and dined on the most exquisite cuisine… Do you have a dream cruise ? I know I have a...

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Start planning fall & winter vacations #WeVisitVallarta

There is a chill in the air, and the calendar is proclaiming the end of summer and the official beginning of the Fall season leading up to winter. Sigh, where does the time go? I can still remember the feeling of the heat of the summer sun and the warm water splashing on my feet from my recent trip to Puerto Vallarta Mexico! Truly a heavenly experience! In case you missed it here’s a link to the article about my delightful stay at the all-inclusive, exclusive, adults only resort – Villa Premiere Boutique Hotel & Romantic Getaway. Now is...

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A Pleasure House Oyster Tour in Lynnhaven Virginia

Pleasure House Oyster Tour — Let the Adventure Begin I’m not a lover of the oyster — especially oysters raw on the half shell. I know plenty of people love them, and they wax poetic of the nectar (the juice) and the terroir — oysters are often described the same way that fine wines are. I do like oysters Rockefeller however, the richness of the meat covered in garlic, cheese and herbs yummy! Today’s adventure was all about the raw oyster, and since they’ll be served fresh straight out of the water, I thought that I would challenge myself...

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Total Bliss at the Villa Premiere Boutique Hotel & Romantic Getaway Puerto Vallarta

I knew I was about to have the experience to last a lifetime when a welcome letter arrived via email from the Butler of the Villa Premiere Boutique Hotel & Romantic Getaway presenting me with a “pillow menu” and a “scent menu” that I could select from before my arrival. A pillow menu is quite typical in a resort of this calibre, but a scent menu is entirely foreign to me but proved to be a truly exclusive, luxury experience. With fragrance choices such as White Gardenias, Oriental Breeze, and Sage with Lemon Grass it was a tough decision...

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My (Almost) Private Tour of the Vatican with Walks of Italy

We are standing in the centre of the Sistine Chapel gazing up at the hands of God. There are less than 20 people in the room. It’s as if we are alone with Michelangelo and God. We aren’t of course, but our Walks of Italy Pristine Sistine tour group is so small (there are 7 of us in total) that it feels that way. We move to the side of the chapel to sit on the wooden benches and stare up in silence as our Walks of Italy guide whispers in our ear via a headset explaining the extraordinary...

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Sleepy Nights at Sheraton Tysons Hotel in Fairfax Virginia

Located in the Tysons Corner suburb of Fairfax Virginia the Sheraton Tysons Hotel provided a very comfortable stay in an upscale environment. With easy access to local tourist attractions, it proved to be a great home base for my visit to Virginia. About Tysons Corner Due in part to the government planning committee’s progressive 40-year vision for Tyson’s corner; the city is developing at a very rapid rate. Known as “America’s Next Great City ” and the urban centre of Fairfax County, many Fortune 500 Companies have their corporate headquarters in Tysons Corner as the city offers visitors, both...

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A Daring Date with the Bats of Austin Texas

Every summer evening at dusk the bats of Austin Texas leave their nest under the Congress Avenue Bridge to feed. A lot of planning and preparation goes into any trip that I plan (hence the calculated in Calculated Traveller). I usually seek out a few sources when doing my prep work — the tourist board website, travel blogs, and friends and family. Upon planning a road trip through Texas recently, all my sources exclaimed the need for me to see the bats of Austin Texas. But what all my sources didn’t explain is where, when, how and why I...

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