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Costa Rica!

Costa Rica!

COSTA RICA! September and October have proved to be quite busy! Tess had 8 healthy pups this month, but I am also very excited about this months newsletter! Costa Rica is such a beautiful country with so much to offer. I love sending clients to Costa Rica, because they always come back with wonderful stories. When I went to CR, it was not as a ‘vacation’ destination. I had the opportunity to go with a group of teens from our church on a missions trip several years ago. We got to visit the back country! At times we were on roads to nowhere it seemed like, and then we’d come to these tiny villages and meet the most awesome people! Our team hiked into the mountains to visit a village of Bribri Indians. When we arrived they looked at us quite inquisitively because as we hiked up the mountain it was very muddy in spots and we showed up looking like a bunch of dirty and tired people! They loved getting the toys and clothing that we brought to them though! Costa Rica is such a diverse climate, with rain forests, cloud forests, beaches etc. If you want a great way to get a wonderful overview of Costa Rica, I love this tour operator: http://www.caravan.com/tour/costa-rica. Not a perfect fit? Don’t worry, there is an abundance of tours or Independent travel I can build just for you! Guanacaste is one of the favorite areas for many of my clients. It has several all-inclusive properties situated on the beach. For those that are more adventuresome, we put together a variety of places within Costa Rica. Arenal, La Fortuna, Guanacaste, Quepos, Jaco, Corcovado National Park…the possibilities are endless… Intrested in knowing more? Check out what makes Costa Rica Unique: http://www.visitcostarica.com/ict/paginas/en_cr_facts.asp Pura Vida! Kina Palmer     Kina@travelhound.us     (303)902-8567   Costa Rica Facts Capital City: San José Population: Over 4 million people Climate: Tropical. Summer is lush, Winter is dry. Warm weather prevails throughout the year Size: 50 miles long, 150 miles wide (51,000 sq. km) Language: The official language of Costa Rica is Spanish. Native languages include Bribrí and as well as others spoken by thousands of Costa Ricans. English is the first foreign language and the second most taught language in Costa Rica, followed by French, German, Italian and Chinese. Currency: The colon Entry Requirements: Passport and return tickets are required to enter Costa Rica Taxes: a 13% tax and 10% service charge are added to checks in restaurants. Travelers may leave extra tip for good service. There is an airport departure tax of approximately $26.00.   Tortuguero A unique place to go if you like reptiles such as turtles and more…. Tortuguero which means ‘Region of Turtles’...

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Meet Chakel!

Meet Chakel!

Hello Travelers, I’d like to introduce myself. I’m Chakel, Kina’s daughter-in-law and her marketing assistant. For the last several months, I’ve had the privilege of editing the newsletter, contributing to the Travelhound Facebook and Twitter pages, and soon I will also be blogging on a regular basis. Now that you know what I do, I’ll tell you a little more about myself! On a probably cold, perhaps not too dreary March afternoon… Just kidding! I won’t bore you with all the details of my life but in short: I’m 23. I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in May of 2010 with a Bachelors in Business Administration (My major was Marketing). One week later, I married Kina’s son Otto; and now I’m enjoying the married life with all of it’s adventures. Please feel free to give feedback or suggestions on the Facebook, Twitter, and Blog. I’d love to hear from you! Till Next time… Happy Travels, Chakel Palmer   Top 5 Destinations I’ve Never Been But Want to Visit 1. Europe 2. Australia & New Zealand 3. New York 4. Africa 5. Israel   Top 5 Destinations I’ve Been 1.Colorado – Yes I live here. And I think it will always be my Favorite. When I was at school, I missed the mountains, the good water, the view of the stars, and being able to tell which way is West. 2. Pittsburgh – Four years of college later, and I now appreciate all of the city’s culture. From the delicious food, to the art, to the theater, to the museums and libraries, Pittsburgh is a great place to spend time. Perhaps not in the hot & humid summers though. 3. Costa Rica – It’s been a long time since I’ve been to Costa Rica, but I have many fond memories there. Mostly I remember all the green and bright colors. Definitely a place I plan to visit again when I get the chance. 4. Hawaii – If you’re looking for beauty and some of the nicest people you’ve ever met, Hawaii is definitely for you. A little pricey for my liking but overall, very wonderful place. 5. Detroit/Canada – Growing up, I’ve visited this area many times and it’s a great place. My wonderful granny took us to all the museums, lots of restaurants, old churches, and then over the border to Canada. I’ve visited more times than I can count on my hands and I’ve still never been...

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Tips on Trips

Tips on Trips

  Hard to believe we are heading into our 2nd  week of August already, and I haven’t gotten the Newsletter out! I have actually been in Minnesota with our dog Tess. We are breeding her with an awesome male dog! This has been an ‘adventure’ to say the least! We had to wait until Tess came into heat before we could make the drive to Minnesota, so of course our travels were based on her timing…not ours! The mating was a success after being in Minnesota for a week. Now we wait 28 days to find out if in fact Tess is pregnant. The puppies will be born around October 10th  if she is pregnant, which will begin our next adventure! Chasing little Wirehaired Pointing Griffons around for 2 months!!!! Now, on to better things, and the reason you read this newsletter in the first place….TRAVEL! This month instead of focusing on a destination,  I have decided to title the newsletter TIPS ON TRIPS! So read on, and enjoy…. Who knows, maybe you will even pick up some great pointers for your next vacation! I’d love to hear back from you on your own ‘tips’ too!    10 Things NOT to forget! Here’s our top 10 list of things we remember not to forget. Enjoy and share what you think should never be forgotten! Sunglasses –if you are getting on a plane at 6am, it’s easy to walk out of your house without sunglasses! Passport/Visa’s – also, make a copy of these to put in your luggage, in case your Passport gets lost or stolen Credit card – Call your CC company and let them know the dates and places you will be traveling, so they do not put a lock on your CC while you are traveling! I never take a debit card because if it gets ‘compromised’, your financial institution cannot protect you as well as your credit card company can. Small bills – I typically take $100 – $200 in ones, fives and tens, for tipping etc. Also, I do not carry it on me all together. I put it in different places i.e. purse, pants (front pocket), hotel safe… Medications – very important to NOT pack these in ‘checked’ luggage, in case luggage gets lost. Put them in a quart sized ziplock to show as you go through security. Electronics chargers – Nothing worse than getting to your destination and your phone battery dies, and you have forgotten to bring the charger! Reading materials – Great to have during your flights, and also during those dreaded flight delays! Snacks – Great to have during flights, since the airlines have cut back so much on giving anything FREE to us anymore! You cannot take opened...

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It’s Alaska!

It’s Alaska!

Happy July! Last month’s Newsletter featured the Islands of Hawaii. So this month we will go from glistening warm beaches to the Majestic Beauty of Alaska! While Cruising tends to be the most popular way to see Alaska, there are so many ways to enjoy the 49th State.  If you choose to ride on the Alaska Railroad you’ll travel magnificent routes that stem from Seward to Fairbanks. You can see the awesome wonder of Denali National Park, where wildlife abound. domain ip . On a clear day, you may even get to see the top of Mount McKinley.   Did you know that there are over 1500 Moose that actually live in Anchorage? You can see them walking around the streets, especially in the late winter/early spring months before they are able to go higher for their food supply.   On your visit to the islands of the Inside Passage, you’ll might find yourself in Juneau, Skagway, or Ketchikan. But, no matter which towns you visit, you’ll see that the area has a beauty all its own.   When cruising to the many towns throughout the inside passage, you will have the opportunity to see Glaciers, Whales, Eagles, Sea Otters, Puffins (my favorite bird!), Bears etc… I have had the joy of kayaking the smooth waters of the inside passage, and seen seals actually ‘pupping’ (giving birth) on icebergs! canadameds.com We had a seal pop up right next to our kayak, checking us out!   May is the least rainy month of the year, and the nice thing is that it tends to be the least expensive time to cruise too! Ketchikan measures Rainfall in FEET each year, not inches…   I recently received my certificate as an Anchorage Wild Expert (AWE certified).   This is another of my favorite destinations…. Enjoy this month’s Alaska focus, and feel free to email me with any questions!      Kina – Travelhound What? Get Married in Alaska?YES!!!! Alaska weddings are an absolutely memorable, unique, adventurous, and picturesque way to exchange vows with the one you love. What better place to get married than the top of Mount Alyeska or from the breathtaking expanse of an icy blue glacier? Helicopter to a mountaintop, hike to a gorgeous romantic viewpoint or tie the knot aboard a small cruise ship while passing glaciers and wildlife – the experience will be treasured for a lifetime! Monster Veggies! ‘Round these parts, one cabbage can fill a wheelbarrow. Visit the Alaska State Fair and feast your eyes on these weighty wonders. Current record holders: Broccoli – 39.50 lbs. Cabbage – 105.60 lbs. Celery – 63.30 lbs. Mushroom – 25.30 lbs. Pumpkin – 1019.00 lbs. Squash – 569.00 lbs. Watermelon – 168.60 lbs. Sunflower...

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Aloha from Travelhound

Aloha from Travelhound

Hi There! For those of you who have not heard from me lately. I am still full time in the travel industry and going strong. This is the start of a destination themed monthly newsletter, so I hope you get some enjoyment out of my first issue which features the beautiful Hawaiian Islands! I truly love visiting the islands of Hawaii! Each island has it’s own special character. I am an Oahu Master Specialist and a Hawaiian Islands Specialist! The Hawaiian chain of islands actually consists of 132 islands! But of course 6 of them are the most traveled to, and the majority of the rest are uninhabited.  In this newsletter, I’d just like to share a few Hawaii tidbits with you…. Do you think it’s ONLY beaches? Click here for stories of the islands! Mahalo for now! Kina Palmer Hawaiian Language 101 Hawaii’s two official languages are Hawaiian and English. The melodious Hawaiian language is a Polynesian dialect and only has 13 letters. Vowel sounds are generally pronounced as follows: A-  ah, as in “saw” E –  ay, as in “say” I  -ee, as in “see” O-  oh, as in “so” U- oo, as in “soon“ A few words you should know:  Aloha: A greeting with love, Hello, Good-bye and more Hula: traditional Hawaiian dance Mahalo: Thank you Lei: A flower garland given for an occasion Wahine: Woman Kane: Man Keiki: Child ‘Ohana: Family ‘Ono: delicious Pau: Finished Weather & Time  Anytime of year is a good time to visit Hawaii. Summer, between April and November, is warmer and drier (average temperature is 75˚-88˚ F) while winter, between December and March, is a bit cooler (68˚-80˚ F). Trade winds keep things comfortable year-round. www.weather.gov/hawaii The ocean temperature is 71-81˚F year round. Hawaii follows Hawaii Standard Time (GMT-10 hours), which is 5 hours behind Eastern Standard Time and 2 hours behind Pacific Standard Time. Hawaii does not observe Daylight Savings Time so add one extra hour to the time difference during this period (March through November). A Simple Hawaiian Recipe! MANGO BREAD Ingredients:      2 cups    flour      2 tsp.    baking soda      1 tsp.    salt      1 cup     sugar      1 tsp.    cinnamon      1/2 cup   raisins      3/4 cup   vegetable oil      3         eggs      2         chopped ripe mangos      1 tsp.    vanilla extract Procedure: Mix all ingredients well. Pour into greased pan. Bake at 325 degrees F. for one hour. Cool for 20 minutes. Travel Humor Love Music? Here are some events you may want to check out! BayFest Hawaii – (July 15-17, 2011) Roy Sakuma Ukulele Festival Hawaii – (July 17, 2011) Aloha Festivals – (Sept. 17 & 24,...

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