A Very Happy New Year, From All of Us at Travel World Central.

Travel World Central is looking forward to many years of wonderful and exciting things.

From Linda and Willem, here at Travel World Central… along with our fabulous correspondents; Tom, Gavin and Nicki, we wish you all a very happy and safe New Year. May 2017 bring you health, happiness and awesome adventures.

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Montreal, A Beautiful City With So Much To Offer.

Are you looking for a fabulous vacation spot that offers history, music, world class dining, festivals etc…? Then Montreal, Quebec is just the spot for you!

Montreal is a beautiful city with so much to offer. They hold the largest number of festivalsmontreal(1) each year, than any other city. From the Just for Laughs comedy festival to the Jazz music festival and so much more. The calendar of events is always full and no matter what time of year that you visit, you are bound to find something exciting and fun to suit your interests.

History surrounds you when you visit Montreal, in 2017, the city will be celebrating its 375th anniversary! What a perfect time to visit and take a stroll around the Old Port, or maybe even a calèche (horse and buggy) ride.

victoria-express-entryThe dining experience in Montreal can be considered second to none. Restaurants and bistros offer choices from all over the world, and of course, local Quebec cuisine! You must of course give the smoked meat and poutine a try! You will not be disappointed!

While the Canadian dollar is on the lower end recently, Montreal makes for a very affordable trip for those American travelers looking for something new to see and do. You can also find many great deals for travel, lodging and dining.

Treat yourself, visit one of the most beautiful cities in North America. Enjoy the food, the Old_montreal_street_sceneculture and the history. You will love every minute of it!

We absolutely love Montreal.

Swim With the Dolphins With Neptune Charlie’s!

Are you looking for the adventure of a lifetime? Will you be visiting the Big Island of Hawaii? Do you want to have an experience that you will NEVER forget??? Then you MUST plan and book a trip with Neptune Charlie’s Ocean Safaris!

See how close the dolphins swam up to Willem!

See how close the dolphins swam up to Willem!

We were lucky enough to be hosted by this fantastic company again, on our most recent visit to the Big Island. They never fail to deliver on a wonderful time.

Everyone involved with this business is fantastic. From the owners to the office staff to the crew!

We had the best time. Our day trip consisted of swimming with pods of wild dolphins. We saw even more on this trip than on our last. These dolphins are not shy and swim right up to you! Time on board the boat is filled with laughter and information. The folks who work with Neptune Charlie’s Ocean Safaris are truly fabulous. So personable and so well informed!

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We also took a trip out for the manta ray swim one evening, but the weather wasn’t the most cooperative. We did see a few, but the water was murky this time around. We still had the best time! The sunset from on board, before the swim was beautiful, the conversation with the other guests and the crew was beyond enjoyable. And we laughed at too many bad jokes!DSC_0423

Neptune Charlie’s Ocean Safaris offers a variety of different trips. From swimming with the dolphins, to the manta ray dive, to whale watching. There is something for everyone. ScubDSC_0330a and snorkeling is offered. You can of course, bring your own equipment, but they are well equipped for everyone. They offer refreshments on board too.

 

I promise you, if you are making the trip to the Big Island, you must contact Neptune Charlie’s Ocean Safaris and book at least one trip with them while you are there. You will NOT be disappointed!

A Heavenly Gastronomic Experience: Roy’s Waikoloa.

Once again we were treated like royalty at the wonderful Roy’s Waikoloa.

You seriously will have a hard time trying to beat the quality of the food that is served here, as well as the awesome service.

From assistants, up to the general manager, you will be hard pressed to find a more professional team in food service.

The food itself is exquisite and flavourful. Prepared with such care and talent. A feast for both the eyes and the palate.

roys1We were served wonderful appetizers, seasoned edamame, grilled Szechuan spiced baby back ribs and bacon Caesar Brussel sprouts. These on their own could have very well been dinner. Each was fantastic. Accompanied by one of their famous mai tais, roys2they all made for the perfect beginning of a glorious evening.

For my main course, I chose one of the newer items on the menu; a dish of seared diver scallops served with thyme butter quinoa and macadamia vinaigrette. I must say this addition to the menu will have any seafood lover coming back for more. The scallops roys3were tender and delicious and the quinoa was beautifully prepared.

Willem’s main course consisted of an 8oz Hawaii rancher’s filet roys4Mignon with smoked onion puree … medium rare, tender, juicy and would definitely be a repeat order.

As we were chatting and discussing this amazing meal, I had a chocolate soufflé placed on the table in front of me. The best way to describe this dessert is sinful! Oh my, it was still hot, served roys5with French vanilla ice cream, you cut into it with your fork and a hot, rich chocolate sauce spills out. This was by far the best way to top off the meal.

Roy’s Waikoloa is one of my favourite stops when we are lucky enough to visit the Big Island of Hawaii….

Awesome food, first class service and great atmosphere. You really need to add them to your bucket list and pay them a visit. You will NOT be sorry.

The sinful chocolate soufflé .... I still dream about it!

The sinful chocolate soufflé …. I still dream about it!

Ladies! Are You Looking For a More Stylish Fitness Tracker? Then the LEAF by Bellabeat is For You!

Unlike most fitness trackers out today, which tend to either be a rubber bracelet or a clip on for your belt that looks similar to the old style pedometers, the LEAF is a beautiful piece of jewelry.

 
The LEAF can be worn in four different ways. A bracelet, necklace, a brooch on the collar of your shirt or clipped onto your waistband. It is a very versatile piece of jewelry and it also comes in three different tones. Silver, Rose and gold.

Photo provided by Bellabeat Inc

Photo provided by Bellabeat Inc

 
I will tell you that like any fitness tracker or other device out there, it has its pros and cons. I do find that for the woman on the go, who wants something to not only track her activity for her, but also wants it to look nice while wearing her business or dress attire, then the LEAF is the best fit.

Photo provided by Bellabeat Inc

Photo provided by Bellabeat Inc

The LEAF will help you track your steps, your activity (it won’t let you be idle for long), your cycle and your sleep patterns. It also has breathing exercises that you can use to help you relax. This is a feature that I love!

 
The App for your phone that is free to download is very easy to use. Once you have synced your LEAF you are ready to go. Keeping track of everything you need to stay fit and healthy.

 
I will tell you, I tried wearing it every way you can. The most accurate step readings are when it is worn on your waistband or as a brooch on your collar. The only problem I had is that when on the waist of your pants, it can slip off easily. As a brooch, there is no problem at all, you don’t even notice it is there.

Photo provided by Bellabeat Inc

Photo provided by Bellabeat Inc

 
As a bracelet it is far too sensitive and over counts your steps by a large margin. I also found it a bit bulky, as I have very small wrists. As a necklace it is beautiful, but doesn’t count steps very well.

 
So, try it every way and see which works best for you. If you want my advice, stick to wearing it on your collar!

Photo provided by Bellabeat Inc

Photo provided by Bellabeat Inc

 

 

One thing I really love about this tracker is the ability to use their breathing exercises to relax. Anyone who has ever had to run through and airport after being held up at security knows how badly you can sometimes need to just BREATHE! The LEAF has a few different exercises that you can do, all with music available to download.

I think the LEAF is a great addition to any woman’s wardrobe, so many of us are working on getting and staying fit, and this beautiful LEAF can help you do just that.

North Beach Bar & Grill, Tybee Island. What a Find!

The North Beach Bar & Grill was a fantastic find. It sits between the lighthouse and the beach on the North Shore of the Island and is the perfect setting on a peaceful evening.

We arrived and were greeted with beautiful live music being played by a fabulous couple. The staff was extremely friendly and took care of everything we could dream of.

Sitting outside on the patio, enjoying the warm evening after a big storm has passed through, it was perfect. We watched and listened as families and couples around us had a wonderful dinner with much chatter and laughter. This is a restaurant for everyone.

Ropa Vieja - so delicious!

Ropa Vieja – so delicious!

The menu ranges from your basic American faire to gourmet dining! You will have no trouble finding the right dish for you. Whether you want a hotdog or a seafood dinner, you will find what you’re looking for.

The bar itself was lively and everyone was having a great time.

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If you find yourself spending some time on Tybee Island, you really must take the time to enjoy a meal at the North Beach Bar & Grill. I promise you, you will not be disappointed.

From the appetizers, to entrées and then the desserts. Oh the desserts! You can’t beat homemade pies and cakes, can you? Do yourself a favour and order a slice of the coconut cake! So fresh and delicious!

I know we will be returning to the North Beach Bar & Grill on our next visit to Tybee.

Great Food, Beautiful Views and Awesome Staff – AJ’s Dockside Restaurant, Tybee Island, GA.

I have to say that AJ’s Dockside was a wonderful find.

DSC_0698Located on the shores of the Back River, you end up with a beautiful view of the water, the water fowl and if you’re there in time, the sunset.

The people there are so friendly and courteous. Service is fantastic. The food. Well, let’s just say that I ate until I could no DSC_0701longer eat! It was THAT good. I especially enjoyed the conch fritters! Not something that I get to have very often and they were fabulous. The homemade remoulade sauce was some of the best I have had. I also enjoyed the fried shrimp and scallops, which were so fresh and delicious. Willem had a fresh made burger and salad, which he truly enjoyed.

DSC_0700AJ’s Dockside is the place to be if you want to enjoy the sunset, but be forewarned. They do NOT take reservations and it gets very busy at that time of day. If you want a chance at a table for the sunset, go in early and give your name, then head back to your room to get washed up etc…they’ll have been able to tell you approximately how long your wait should be. Return and hopefully you’ll be lucky enough to get your seat at the right time.

AJ’s Dockside is a great place also if you’ve been spending your day out on the boat, as you DSC_0703can drive right up to their dock and enter the restaurant from the waterside. They also have kayak rentals for those interested.

DSC_0702It is a small family owned restaurant that prides itself on great service and amazing and fresh food. It caters to everyone…families are more than welcome.

We sat on the dock for our lunch and enjoyed the fresh air and views while we dined.

If you’re visiting Tybee Island anytime soon, you really must make a stop at AJ’s Dockside. Believe me, you will love every bite!

Our Mascot, Maurice the Moroccan Monkey, hanging out at AJ's Dockside Restaurant in Tybee Island, GA.

Our Mascot, Maurice the Moroccan Monkey, hanging out at AJ’s Dockside Restaurant in Tybee Island, GA.

Scenic and Informational Train Trip Through Quito to El Boliche Recreational Park

If you are in Quito, Ecuador and are looking for a wonderful way to enjoy the surrounding DSC_0231 (2)area and learn about the history, legends and landscape, then you really should take a day and book a trip on the Train. This extremely comfortable scenic viewing train will take you from Quito to El Boliche, with a couple of short stops along the way.

DSC_0241 (2)While on the train, you will be treated to fresh coffee, refreshments and breakfast. All the while, your guide will give you information about the area you are passing through, the volcanoes and some of the legends surrounding it all. Each car has a dedicated guide and service. Your guide is more than happy to answer all of your questions and they encourage you to get involved.

On this trip you will make a short stop at Tambillo, where you can enjoy something from DSC_0272 (2)the cafeteria and use restrooms…then after boarding again and heading off for more adventure, you will stop at Machachi, where there is a cultural demonstration with wonderful music and artisans. We are told before arrival that we all MUST dance when we stop there, and with as wonderful as the music is, everyone does end up dancing. You can’t resist!

DSC_0282 (2)This is such a beautiful way to experience and view the country, all while learning about it and the mountain range.

Your final stop is at El Boliche Recreational Area. With an elevation over 9,600 feet, I will warn you….bring a jacket! I forgot to pack mine and well, it was COLD! Your guide form the train will take you on a short hike. Showing you the flora and explaining details about it, the park and the fauna in the area. It isn’t a long hike, but be prepared if you have some breathing issues, due to the elevation, it can be rough for some.

DSC_0297 (2)It is a beautiful forest. This park also has other things to see and DSC_0300 (2)learn about. Your guide will show it all to you. From the alpacas to the dancers. This park also has cabins that you can rent and stay at. It really is quite a beautiful spot.

The train itself was fantastic. Comfortable and relaxing and really such a wonderful way to enjoy the countryside. I can guarantee you that you will enjoy this part of your visit to Quito if you decide to take it.

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Adult Fun and Romance Abound at Pocono Palace Resort in Pennsylvania.

Are you looking to have some adult time? Have a romantic getaway? Get away from children?!?! Then the Pocono Palace Resort is where you want to be.

An adult only resort set in the beautiful Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. This resort offers many amenities including breakfast and dinner. Activities, swimming pool, golf, a private lake for boating, swimming and fishing, nature trails and so much more.

This what it's all about.

This is what it’s all about.

Whether you are looking to have some quiet, romantic alone time…. or if you want to be active and have some grown up fun with others, this is the place for you.

DSC_0416A breakfast buffet that is well worth going up to the dining room for, although, if you’d like, you can order room service. And à la carte dinners that rival most restaurants. All with a view of the beautiful lake that sits on property. They also have a wonderful photographer available to take photos of you and your partner…whether at dinner, outside or in room.

There is always something going on at Pocono Palace Resort. Live entertainment in the form of comedians, magicians, live bands, live band karaoke and fun adult games. The resort animator is amazing and will definitely keep you laughing.

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So you choose. Do you want to spend time, just quietly enjoying each other, or do you want to get involved with other couples and have some laughs? It’s all up to you.

Take a walk by the lake, or take a boat out. Maybe rent one of the golf carts and explore the grounds. Maybe you will find the hidden item and win the prize!

DSC_0404Our most recent stay had us in one of the Fantasy Apple Suites, which boasts a balcony overlooking the lake. I must say that this is my favourite room by far. Having that balcony was very nice, a great place to enjoy your morning coffee.

The rooms are very different, all having something very special about them. Some will have the champagne glass Jacuzzi, some with massage tables, they have private indoor pools, fireplaces and more. You really never have to leave your room!

DSC_0402The gift shop offers many of the amenities that you may need, and also has a large variety of souvenirs. There is a café if you want to enjoy a lunch or snack without leaving the property. Horseback riding is nearby too.

Want a small intimate wedding in a beautiful setting? Then this can be arranged too!

They have also opened up a larger reception hall, which is great for conferences, weddings, parties. Catering is available.

I could go on for days, telling you everything about this amazing place…but I think you should really experience it for yourself.

I think everyone should visit at least once. We try to go at least once a year!

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Rock House – A Destination of its Own – Tybee Island, GA

Now if you are looking for great food, friendly service and a really fun time, Rock House is THEDSC_0694 place to be.

 
The story behind Rock House and its owner, is fantastic. This place is truly a family run business. This family actually has other businesses in the area also. They support each other and work extremely hard. They put their hearts into everything they do and love their community.

 
DSC_0696Rock House offers some really amazing choices of foods, from DSC_0697burgers to seafood, they’ve really got it all. I enjoyed a wonderful plateful of shark and chips, the shark is flown in fresh from Hawaii and let me tell you…it was the best I have ever had. Willem had a wonderful burger and salad…this all after we sampled some cheese quesadillas and chili. Later, we were treated to a slice of what may very well be the most decadent triple chocolate cake that exists on this planet!

 
The staff at Rock House are really wonderful too, all friendly and attentive. We never waited or wanted for anything.

 
DSC_0695Rock House is set up as a dining bar, they have a stage for karaoke and live bands. There is a gift shop which offers some fantastic souvenirs and collectibles. Then, there is a great lounge.
Karaoke is performed every night of the week. Most days on the main stage in the dining/bar area, but on nights when a live band is performing, they move it to the lounge. This is a place that is always hopping! There is always something fun and exciting going on.

 
We liked it so much, that we went back the following night. The people were so much fun DSC_0693and the food was just too good not to enjoy again.

 
When you visit Tybee Island, you really have to be sure to make Rock House one of your stops!