Water Tips

What to these two lazy cats have to do with the travel tip for today? Absolutely nothing. They are just hanging around under some blankets watching me work.

We all know to buy bottled water when traveling, especially if you’re concerned about drinking the local water. Save a few sips to use when brushing your teeth. That way you won’t need to be concerned about the water coming from the tap in the bathroom.

If you’ve been on a long flight and want to brush your teeth before you land…use some of the bottled water you’ve been served. You won’t need to use the water in the plane’s lavatory.

The lazy cats approved this message.

Is it Spring yet?

Driving through the vineyards in Napa Valley one would think Spring has arrived.

Check out the blossoms.

Speaking of Spring…if you are getting ready to go on a Spring cruise, pack your swimsuit in your carry-on. This works for any warm weather destination. Why? Because as others are waiting for their checked luggage to be delivered to their rooms, you have your swimsuit handy. You can hit the pool before others even get their luggage.
Start working on that tan…or that margarita.

Restaurant in Yountville

Sometimes the best restaurants are not the most popular. Bottega in Yountville is an exception. This popular place has it all. Food, wine and service were excellent during lunch on Saturday. Reservations are a must as this new spot will soon be the place to be.

Ask for a table outdoors amid the fireplaces, awnings, and comfy sofas.

Even the tops of their awnings are decorated with the Bottega symbols.
Try it next time you are in the area. I don’t think you will be disappointed. If you’re not in a hurry, I’d suggest you tell your waiter. Otherwise, your food will arrive quickly.


Handy Websites

Do you really know what you can take in and out of Algeria, or Spain, or Argentina? Visit the all nations guide at http://www.excess-baggage.com.

Want to make or receive calls while traveling internationally? Check out http://www.howtocallinternational.com. This works for mobile phones, landlines, and Skype.

Need to know how to get a passport or visa in a hurry? These people have been in the business for over 20 years. http://www.traveldocs.com

Looking for information about world airports and terminals? Check out www.worldairportguide.com.

why do YOU travel?

These bottles are ready for tasting at a winery in Napa. Just below the large bottles are small plates of food, really delicious food, ready for pairing with excellent wines.

Wine humor.

Now back to the question…Why do YOU travel? I am writing an ebook on different reasons people travel, what their mindset is concerning travel, what expectations they have or don’t have about a trip or about travel, how much planning they do, different psychologies of travel (I’m not asking you to lie down on the couch and then charge you by the session)…

You get the picture. If you have any insights, email me at wvanhatten@travelsandescapes.com with your ideas, reasons, or ramblings about why YOU travel. You will get credit in the ebook and a free copy. Ya can’t beat that…

Wineries, Gardens and ??

rain drops on ornamental kale

fountains and lily pads

And these are what?

Wineries aren’t just for swirling, sipping, and tasting. Many have outdoor flower gardens or sculpture gardens. Keep your eyes open and your camera ready to capture anything and everything from flowers and birds to lily pads and toadstools. At least I think these are supposed to be toadstools. What do you think?

Time Zones

Decorative cabbage at Sterling Winery in Napa

Along the walkways at Sterling Winery in Napa

Girard Winery tasting room in Yountville

Ever wonder how to calculate a time zone? Is Pacific time ahead or behind East Coast time? How about Singapore? Is it day or night there? Take a look at http://www.time.gov/. You can pick an area of the US or check the world. It’s pretty handy.

Wine Can Stain

Spill wine on your carpet and you try…really try…to get it out.
On the other hand some people use wine to stain things on purpose. Take Ryan Hill of the Hill Family Estate, for example. Located in Yountville, California, this winery is one of over 400 wineries in the Napa Valley.
How do you make your winery different…march to a different drum…or guitar? You team up with Fender Guitars and stain some wood for them. And you use wine. Red wine. In fact Ryan and winemaker Doran used a special blend of red grapes to stain the wood samples. Fender produced 100 “Hill Harvest Red” stained limited edition 60th Anniversary Stratocasater Guitars.
This is one of them. And it is beautiful.

Exquisite Glassware

Over the weekend we had an opportunity to view some amazing Champagne flutes. Delicate wisps of glass so intricate they look as if they could break if you set them down too hard.
These flutes were found in a warehouse in East Germany, near the West German border in the 1980’s. What makes the find even more remarkable is that the warehouse was in operation only from 1890 to 1920. This means they survived two world wars and the Communist takeover of East Germany…all in a box.
European antique glass experts have verified their authenticity, confirming they were stone cut. To accomplish this type of special glass fabrication you would need two highly skilled people working simultaneously on each one.
Think of the stories they could tell.