Author Archives: Steve

Halloween in Orlando

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Florida, and particularly Orlando, is always a fun trip and our 2017 version was no different…well, unless you were those unfortunates at a Kissimmee bus stop, but more on that later! Amanda and I were joined on this trip by the wider family; Andy, Harry, Chloe and Ryan. This meant renting a Ford Grand Caravan minivan for the week to ferry us all around. These minivans have automation galore and a big powerful engine that allows you to pull off some great wheel spins. Our base of operations this time was at the second Club La Costa resort to open in Kissimmee, called Regal Oaks. It was pretty much the same as the Encantada resort, with the same three-bedroom town houses, but with a better bar/restaurant in the clubhouse.

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Caribbean Chillout

Saint Lucia has been a dream destination of mine for as long as I can remember, probably dating back to junior school geography lessons. I’m not sure why this Caribbean island stood out for me, but having now been, I can thoroughly recommend it if you want a mix of relaxed 5* pampering as well as excellent sightseeing and a fun party vibe.

We stayed at the Royalton Saint Lucia in Smugglers Cove, at the Northern tip of the island. This is a new Royalton hotel, refurbished after purchasing the property from its former owners. It is a beautiful and top quality resort, akin to a Sandals resort. It never felt overly busy, getting a table at the various restaurants was always easy and the food quality was great. The only downside to this resort is the 2 hour transfer from Hewanorra Airport, which is at the Southern end of the island. Opt for a taxi rather than a coach transfer, it won’t be that much faster, but it will be a more comfortable journey. If they offer a boat transfer snap their hand off.

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Once Is Never Enough

If you fancy a few days away, with warm weather and a mix of chilled activities, party options, good food, drinks a plenty and a fabulous atmosphere, where is your favourite place? How about somewhere in the UK? No, the weather is far too unpredictable and only truly warm on a few days each year. How about Europe? There are some good places to visit, but there are the language and culture differences to contend with, plus the weather is pleasant rather than consistently warm. How about Cancun, Mexico? Getting warmer and this is certainly a location that ticks most of the boxes. However, there is a standout winner and that has to be Las Vegas, Nevada, USA! It is a crazy, vibrant, 24/7 city that has so much more to offer than dropping coins into a slot machine all day (you can do this in Cleethorpes if that’s all you want).

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A Long Walk To The Pub

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Category : Drink , Europe , United Kingdom

Traditionally in January or February each year we try to get away for a mini break and, in recent years, this means a trip up to the Duchally Country Estate on the outskirts of Auchterarder in Perthshire, Scotland. Duchally is part of the CLC World Hotels & Resorts and has hotel rooms as well as luxury lodges. We always stay in the latter, because it allows us to take family with us at no extra cost, is more relaxed and gives us the flexibility of self-catering accommodation. On this occasion, Amanda’s Dad came with us for a week of R&R, walking and whisky sampling. To be honest, Amanda and I had planned on having a very chilled week, but we ended up walking for miles.

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The Land of Fire & Ice

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Category : Europe , Explore , Iceland

amanda-and-steveA visit to Iceland (the country, not the retailer) is on most peoples bucket list and it’s no surprise as Iceland is a geological wonder. Our trip was scheduled as a direct result of having our Florida trip cancelled due to Hurricane Matthew. We picked up a deal from Wowcher (not recommended) and travelled to Reykjavík for 2 nights. The way the flights worked out we had virtually 3 full days, which to do the trips we wanted to do was perfect. An extra night would have been good, but as a very expensive country be careful when budgeting. The exchange rate was around 140 Icelandic Krona to 1 British Pound, which makes the mental conversion tricky (well, for me anyway), but most items you will be buying are 45-55% more expensive than in the UK.  For example, 500ml of domestic beer was a minimum of 1,000 Krona, which is over £7 and in some places it was nearer £10 a pint.

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