Why Golfing in Death Valley National Park (in July!) is Something That Should be on Every Golfers' Bucket Lists
There are a couple of things I must be doing wrong. Waking up at 5am and stepping outside into a 105 degree pressure cooker is not normally high on my agenda of pleasant summer activities. But this is no ordinary morning – I have a 6:00 am tee off time at the Furnace Creek Resort in Death Valley.
This course was rated as one of the 50 most difficult to play in the United States by Golf Digest, and it’s not hard to see why. By the time my round finishes on this clear July morning, the sun will be baking the 18th green with temperatures passing the 120 degree mark. Combined with the heavy, still air of the valley at 214 feet below sea level, this course certainly tests the resolve of any golfer who attempts it – and that’s the very reason why I have come to play. To play the world’s lowest elevation golf course, to dodge coyotes who are chasing road runners, and to sweat out a round that should be on everyone’s golf bucket list!
Let's all raise a glass to the Liegeois!
If you're a fickle, fussy foodie like me, you'll be sure to share my appreciation for the Liege food scene. A combination of hearty traditional Belgium fare like beef stews, tiny ethnic eateries which thrive thanks to the local student population, and tasty, affordable street eats means that there is truly something for everyone. And thrown into the mix are some very special tastes, unique to Liege, that could tempt even the most timid traveller.
Liege is often overlooked for many Belgium visitors - but it was the first place on our list.
The classic question posed by all travellers at one point or another is if you can ever really go back again. Is it ever a good idea to revisit a location from your past, a location that once meant so much to you? On our recent trip to Belgium, Ryan had the chance to confront these questions head on. As a Rotary Exchange student at the age of 17, Ryan completed his grade 12 studies in Liege. For a year, he soaked up local culture, polished his French speaking and beer drinking skills, and was introduced to a new world of travel. Fast forward 20 years, and he finally got his chance to return to Liege.
Ryan tells us what it's like to retrace your footsteps two decades after the fact.
Our trip to Liege is anything but ordinary.
I've never been to Liege before and I’m excited to visit a new European city. For Ryan, however, Liege is a special trip down memory lane. Ryan lived in Liege for a year as a Rotary Exchange Student when he was in high school and he hasn't been back since. Therefore, a visit to Liege is exciting for both of us!
We’re likely going to be going in different directions for the day. Ryan’s going to be retracing the footsteps of his 17 year old self, while I’m going to discover the city’s more classic sights and have lots of fun exploring. It’s no accident we’re in Liege on a Wednesday. This is the traditional day that exchange students gather together at a couple of the local pubs and we wanted Ryan to relive the real, authentic student experience one more time.
Ryan and Vanessa would like to wish all the readers of TurnipseedTravel a very Merry Christmas, a safe and happy holiday season, and all the very best for 2014. Travel will always have its ups and downs but no matter where we are or what we are doing, we always try to take the time to have a little fun and celebrate the everyday joys of life. Here are some of our biggest smiles from 2013!
Crepes, churros, and Place de la Concorde make for a perfect day in Paris.
What does it take to make a tour guide double back and change his plans? Apparently nothing more than 5 people who caught a glimpse of delicious Parisian crepes! As we cycled through the Place de la Concorde, the smell of crepes, waffles, and churros from the Christmas market was deliciously overwhelming and it wasn't long before the great crepe coup d’état was launched! Fortunately, tour guide Bill didn't take much persuading and promised we’d double back on our return trip to indulge in some yummy treats.
Can you find free chocolate in Bruges? Yes!
On my one and only visit to Bruges, over 12 years ago, it was pouring rain so I did what any sensible person would do – I found a restaurant! I still remember polishing off a plate of cherry crepes after eating a full lunch. It’s finally time to revisit the city and see it properly for the first time – hopefully in good weather!
We have just one day and night in Bruges, so we'll have to make the most of it. We’ll be arriving from Paris mid-morning and our plan is to drop our bags at the hotel and spend the day exploring on foot. Experience tells me on day three or four of any trip, the adrenaline starts to die down and while we think we've beaten the jet lag we crash by mid-afternoon. So I’m banking on a nap – and happily so!
None! But we have purchased a Rick Steves e-guidebook, which includes a detailed self-guided walking tour that we’ll use as our starting point.
48 hours in Paris? Here's how to make it count.
It’s been an unbelievable seven years since my last visit to Paris – and even longer for Ryan. When I realized that our round-the-world trip included a proper stopover in neighbouring Belgium, I lobbied for a quick jaunt to Paris. I just couldn't imagine being so close to a city I love so much and not stopping in to say hello!
We will arrive in Paris 11:00 am on Sunday and leave early Tuesday morning, giving us just under 48 hours in the City of Lights.
On Day 1, we’re looking forward to a guided tour of the Louvre with our partners My Parisian Tour in the afternoon. We've both been to the Louvre before, but it’s been a long time and we've never experienced it under expert guidance. In the evening, we’re proud to be partnering with Viator to do a coach tour to see the city illuminated at night, followed by a short cruise on the Seine, and ending with a group dinner at a Champs Elysees restaurant. After being away from the city for so long, we’re looking forward to having a recap of all the major sites and getting an overview of the city.
Confession time: We’re hoping that an evening activity on Day 1 will also help us beat jet lag – no sneaking off to bed early for us!
New York and movie stars - sign me up!
The sidewalk paint outside New York City’s Hook and Ladder 8 Firestation is now slightly peeling, but there is no mistaking that distinctive logo – this is THE firehouse from Ghostbusters movie. Further confirmation comes when I stand on my tippy toes and peer through the window – a huge Ghostbusters sign hangs inside. Sadly, this legendary ladder has a new legacy now, that of honoring Lt Vincent Halloran, who tragically died on Sept 11, 2001. It is this mix of joy and sorrow, of cheerful make-believe and heartbreaking reality, which really gives me my first taste of New York City, a city of inspiration, imagination, and indestructible spirit.
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