Stanley Hotel

FHPW PARKETTES HIT THE NATIONAL PARKS TRAILS – Part 2 A featured guest post

The following is a continuation of our Featured Guest post from Kay King. To read the earlier post click here.

Buffalo Bill and Billings. It was 30 degrees and snowing as we departed Yellowstone National Park for a stimulating drive of hairpin curves in a blizzard. Sylvan Pass is only open in the summer. We had not sighted many animals yet, so Insight Vacations gave each of us a box of “wild” animal cookies.

We visited the outstanding Buffalo Bill Historical Center (and superb gift shop), built in honor of one of America’s great Western legends. Bill claims to have killed 4280 Buffalo to feed railroad construction crews, hence his nickname. The Native American collections and displays were spectacular, especially the child’s dress embellished with enough elk’s teeth to trade for a fine horse.

Native American collections

On our way to the old cattle town of Billings, Montana (where we learned the meaning of big Montana skies) our guide gave each of us a Buffalo “meatball.” After everyone had eaten theirs, she told us we had just eaten Rocky Mountain Oysters. Everyone loved the story she told us about a man who was gathering his courage to order this delicacy in a restaurant next to a bullfight ring. For several nights he carefully observed other customers’ filled plates. The next night he ordered. When he saw his plate, he complained to the waiter that his “oysters” were so much smaller than those on the previous nights. The waiter responded, “Sometimes the bull wins!”

Deadwood, Custer State Park, Black Hills of South Dakota. We relived Custer’s Last Stand, learned all about Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse and the history of the Indian Wars at the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. Ranger Steve Adelson dramatically related every bloody detail. We finally saw pronghorn antelope as we crossed the great high plains into the Black Hills of South Dakota. With a local expert, we heard about the days of Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane, who made this town famous during the gold rush of the 1870’s.

Ranger Steve Adelson Antelope Little Bighorn

Buffalo Safari Jeep Rides

Finally we reached the magnificent Mount Rushmore National Memorial, where the gigantic heads of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt dominate the Black Hills. We were able to walk to the base with a park ranger.

FHPW at Mount Rushmore

The “Haunted” Stanley Hotel at Estes Park. We left South Dakota to travel across the grasslands and high plains of Wyoming. This area witnessed the sweeping saga of America’s western expansion during the 19th Century. Once over the Colorado border we headed for this historic hotel in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. Boasting spectacular views in every direction, our neoclassical heritage hotel is most famous for being the inspiration for the fictional ‘Overlook Hotel’ in Stephen King’s novel The Shining. The film played non-stop in our rooms. On our final evening, we experienced a delicious Celebration Dinner at this awesome hotel.

Stanley Hotel

The Rocky Mountains National Park – Denver. We travelled south climbing high into the breathtaking Rocky Mountain National Park, across the Continental Divide and over Trail Ridge Road where the snow banks were 8 to 10 feet high. Our tour ended on arrival in Denver, where we transferred to Denver International Airport for our afternoon flight home.

The following is a sample of Kay King’s Photo Story originally posted on the FHPW website. To read the full article click here.

For more information about the Federation of Houston Professional Women, visit www.fhpw.org.

To view details about the Insight Vacation American Parks Trail itinerary click here.

FHPW PARKETTES HIT THE NATIONAL PARKS TRAILS – Part 1 A featured guest post

Federation of Houston Professional Women
For over 31 years, the Federation of Houston Professional Women (FHPW) has served as a unifying organization for Houston area organizations, providing educational and professional development for women and their members. Each year Federation members are invited to join other members on a trip. FHPW Travel Director, Kay King organizes fantastic trips to various places around the world. This year is no different. Kay put together the 20th trip for the Federation choosing Insight Vacations as the tour operator.

Featured guest post is written by Kay King, Federation of Houston Professional Women, Travel Chair with comments from Alicia Torben. The FHPW group travelled on the American Parks Trail tour JUNE 13-21, 2014.

The FHPW travel group has traveled all over the world. When we realized that we had seen very little of the USA, I looked at US tours that had beautiful landscapes, stunning architecture and cultural awareness. Nothing could have been more perfect in meeting this criteria than Insight Vacation’s tour of America’s fabulous National Parks. I found the information on Insight at my local AAA store. Shan’nel Alexander was our agent at AAA and before we traveled, she left AAA to open her own travel agency; we were her first customers. It was the perfect situation because FHPW’s mission is to help women in business, and we helped Shan’nel get started.

America’s Parks will never be the same…

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Insight Moment of the week

New England spectacular fall foliage in Vermont #Insightmoments Posted by Insight Tour Director @Howie_Insight

oct 23

See other great photos and start getting inspiration for your next Insight Vacations tour at the Insight Community. We’ll be featuring our favourite photo every week!

Don’t forget you can join in on the conversation using the hashtag #InsightMoments on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Lemon Festival (Fete du Citron). Menton, France. Champagne

Special Dates & Festivals for 2015

Lemon Festival (Fete du Citron). Menton, France. Alsace region

Each year, thousands of travellers journey to Europe for the interesting array of enchanting festivals and special events that are hosted throughout the continent. For instance the La Fête du Citron in Menton, France, held from mid-February to the 5th of March is one of the most unique. Imagine a celebration similar to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, but that celebrates the fruits of the lemon and orange trees for three weeks with parades, incredible floats and gardens of lights that create fanciful fantasy worlds unlike any other.

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Insight Moment of the week

Light & fruity with a hint of pepper! Diana from Queensland enjoying #OliveOilTasting in #Provence. #insightmoments Posted by Insight Tour Director @InsightTim

 

TDTimIM

 

See other great photos and start getting inspiration for your next Insight Vacations tour at the Insight Community. We’ll be featuring our favourite photo every week!

Don’t forget you can join in on the conversation using the hashtag #InsightMoments on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Istanbul Cityview

THE EASTERN DISCOVERY Part 2 – A featured guest post

bio-circle-gilbert-ortiz

Gilbert Ortiz

Gilbert Ortiz is a 27 year travel industry veteran, Certified Travel Agent and Senior Travel Counselor for Affordable Tours.com. He currently resides in Katy, Texas. He specializes in escorted tours and river cruising plus loves everything about travel!

The following is a continuation of our Featured Guest post from Gilbert Ortiz about his experience on the Eastern Discovery tour. To read the earlier post click here.

On this very special day we experience what I call a Tri-Country Culinary Feast.
We had breakfast in Croatia, We had lunch in Montenegro and we had dinner in Albania.

Albania

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Not every place that we visited was as beautiful as Vienna, Split or Dubrovnik. Deep in the heart of Eastern Europe. In countries like Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania and Macedonia you can still see oppression in the eyes of its people, scars of war in the memory of their elders and hope for a better life in the thoughts of their young.

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Dubrovnik Harbour Old Town

THE EASTERN DISCOVERY – A featured guest post

bio-circle-gilbert-ortiz

Gilbert Ortiz

Gilbert Ortiz is a 27 year travel industry veteran, Certified Travel Agent and Senior Travel Counselor for Affordable Tours.com. He currently resides in Katy, Texas. He specializes in escorted tours and river cruising plus loves everything about travel!

The Eastern Discovery is a 16 day escorted tour, operated by Insight Vacations.

It covers 8 countries perfectly chosen in a way that the tour combines the beauty of cities like Vienna, Dubrovnik and Istanbul, with others like Tirana, Ohrid and Sofia that offer more history and insight into some of the former so called “Eastern Block” countries.  All of this plus a touch of nature in the UNESCO gem called Plitvice Lakes National Park.

The tour was expertly planned and operated to perfection by Insight Vacations.

The quality of the coach was second to none.  The hotel selection was right on target. The knowledge, sophistication and kindness of our tour director; Karin was unmatched.  The speed and smoothness of the rides as we covered 2,100 miles was all due to an excellent job of our driver; Zoran who made us feel safe every day, everywhere all the time.

The concert halls of Vienna; that saw men like Strauss, Motzart and Bethoven provided a beautiful backdrop to the start of a fabulous adventure. Listening to their music and exploring the streets that had seen them walk their way to immortality is exactly, how I started my “Eastern European Discovery Tour”.

Streets of ViennaVienna Strauss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I walked the streets of Vienna; it was as if I had been transformed into another time and dimension.

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Insight Moment of the week

Hmmmm, the sweet aroma of a traditional Greek coffee, excited to drink it, turn it upside down and have my fortune read by Claudia our Insight Tour Director/Fortune Teller! Another wonderful #insightmoments. Posted by Jon Abaquin @jon101md

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See other great photos and start getting inspiration for your next Insight Vacations tour at the Insight Community. We’ll be featuring our favourite photo every week!

Don’t forget you can join in on the conversation using the hashtag #InsightMoments on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

LisaRay Florence

Travel Recommendations for 2015 – Italy

Each time travellers visit Italy, they are bound to discover something new and exciting.   Whether one’s interest lies in the country’s historic significance, the sophisticated Italian dining enterprises, or in the haute couture fashion runways, it is all there, just waiting to be experienced.

Like a stay in the Kolbe hotel in Rome, a boutique and Insight Signature hotel and that was once a 15th century convent within walking distance of the Roman Forum.

 

 

While some people understandably prefer the fast-paced heartbeat of Rome’s modern amenities accented by its famous ancient ruins, other’s tastes are more in line with a visit to the majestic 14 stone towers in San Gimignano in North Central Tuscany.   These resplendent towers are situated on a hilltop and create a storybook skyline with their prominent medieval architecture.

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Insight Moment of the week

One last photo to end My 100th Tour. A great tour it was!  Insight Vacations Spanish Heritage #insightmoments from Insight TD Daniel @DangerousDanM

100TH TOUR

 

See other great photos and start getting inspiration for your next Insight Vacations tour at the Insight Community. We’ll be featuring our favourite photo every week!

Don’t forget you can join in on the conversation using the hashtag #InsightMoments on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.