Wednesday, March 15, 2017

It’s a Colorful World of Wonder Out There

We recently shared some unique ways to experience nature at her most unique and finest. When you travel, getting in touch with the magic of nature is a sure way to enjoy the wonders of the world at large. With Spring right around the corner, it seemed like a great time to share some more of Nature’s Travel List, any of these ideas are worth traveling for, check them and be inspired.

Everyone knows about the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights. But have you planned a journey to see the in person? If not, this is a vacation worth every moment. Because the Aurora Borealis can be seen across the northern regions of the globe, there are plenty of places to choose from for viewing, including, Alaska, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and even Scotland to name a few destinations. The best times to view the lights are in the darker, colder months, from September through the early part of April. There are quite a few choices of amazing resorts or unique ‘hotels’ you can stay at, such as glass igloos at Hotel Kakslautten in Finland. CLICK HERE for an incredible video of the Aurora Borealis as seen from Iceland.

Looking for a scuba diving adventure like no other? You will want to plan a trip to Belize in Central America and dive The Great Blue Hole. Situated near the center of Lighthouse Reef, a small atoll, The Great Blue Hole is an enormous underwater sinkhole, almost 1,000 feet wide and over 400 feet deep. Under the surface, divers enter a whole new world filled with a wide range of fish, sharks and incredible stalactites, which are normally only found on dry land. You can learn about some diving experiences at Belize.com, a comprehensive site guide about all things Belize, one of the jewels of the Caribbean. CLICK HERE to see amazing video footage of The Great Blue Hole.

With most of the planet covered in water, it should come as no surprise that there are a wide range of incredible natural phenomenon to be found along our coastlines. For a spectacular, glowing view, check out the Blue Grotto in Capri, Italy. This is a famous cave along the coastline of the island of Capri in southern Italy. Within this sea cave the water glows a luminescent blue. This is due to two different openings within the cave and the way light refracts off the water. The only way into the cave is through one of these two openings, just barely large enough for a small row boat to fit in. The festive atmosphere which awaits visitors to the Blue Grotto makes it feel almost like an amusement park ride, only better for the unique experience waiting within. In fact, once inside, if you put your hand in the water, you will swear it is glowing! A visit to the Blue Grotto is the perfect, special addition to a tour of Italy’s beautiful coast and the islands around it. If you want to experience a unique Italian adventure you will want the Blue Grotto to be a part of it. CLICK HERE to see the cave for yourself.

Check back soon for more inspiring encounters you can experience with Nature’s Wonders. The agents of C.P. Trips are here to help you plan a vacation full of transformative memories. Enjoy a worry-free journey with the support and care of a local Travel Professional*. Visit our website, cptrips.com to explore the latest in travel ideas, promotions and more. Call us at (503) 658-5646 or email us at cptrips@aol.com today- Keep Calm and Travel On.

 *We are excited to have the chance to help you with your vacation plans! We understand that you have many options to choose from when it comes to travel. Our standard fee policy is noted below for your reference.
With the time and expertise we give in our researching travel options and destinations for clients and potential customers, along with our continuing education and training, we have non-refundable fees of $ 30.00 for domestic travel research & planning and $ 75.00 for International travel research & planning. This research fee is applied to your vacation package when purchased through C.P. Trips, Inc.
In addition to our research fee, there is an airline ticket/service fee: $30 per person/ticket for US flights, $65 per person/ticket for International flights. Other fees for certain additional requested bookings such as, but not limited to: lodgings, excursion activities, and destination specialty requests will be applied ($15.00 - $45.00) depending on type of booking completed.  

Initial Research/Planning fee due prior to trip planning; all other fees due at time of invoicing. Thank you, we look forward to helping you make your vacation dreams a reality!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Splendor of Victoria Will Transform You


When it comes to planning a getaway, the world is the limit, literally. There are so many incredible, magical places to visit and explore, that it would take many lifetimes over to experience them all. Certain destinations are not only must-see places, but are worth returning to over and over again. Victoria, British Columbia, is one such a place.

Victoria is not only the Capital of British Columbia, it is one of the oldest cities in all of the Pacific Northwest. Situated at the southern end of Vancouver Island, Victoria is just a stone’s throw away from the United States, making it an easy international destination to visit. Victoria’s past has been well preserved in the charming and classic architecture of the Victorian and Georgian eras.

The city was named in honor of Queen Victoria, and has become affectionately known as the Garden City, with the plethora of beautiful gardens to be found there. As a port city, Victoria has long attracted a wide range of people. From the Coast Salish First Nations People, who were in the area long before the settlement was begun, to students, retirees and artists, this gorgeous city truly has an international flavor as it has progressed into a top economic center for technology and tourism.

There are several “Must-Do” experiences to enjoy when you travel to Victoria BC. Among them are:

·         Butchart Gardens- A National Historical Site in Canada, with distinctive
floral gardens, a quaint Tea House and plenty of photo opportunities.
·         Victoria Butterfly Gardens- a popular indoor refuges for 75 species of butterflies, along with birds,
fish, amphibians and more.
·         Museums: Royal British Columbia Museum, Maritime Museum of British Columbia, British Columbia Aviation Museum- all of these provide a stellar experience, highlighting the history and culture of the region.
·         Beacon Hill Park- Acres and acres of beautiful parkland right in the city, including gorgeous garden landscapes.
·         Historical Buildings- British Columbia Parliament, Christ Church Cathedral Empress Hotel
·         Chinatown- the second oldest Chinese neighborhood in North America
·         Market Square- Shopping, eating and entertainment galore
·         Art Gallery of Greater Victoria- Featuring art from cultures around the world
·         Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre- on the Saanich Peninsula just north of Victoria
·         Fisgard Lighthouse- the oldest lighthouse on Canada’s Pacific Coast
·         Hatley Castle- Turn of the Century Tudor style Manor house and gardens

In addition to all these incredible places to visit in Victoria, BC, there are other activities and
experiences you may not be aware of, which are worth checking out during any adventure to Victoria. Some examples include:

·        The best way to arrive is via the Victoria Clipper, the daily ferry which travels between Seattle and Victoria. You will enjoy stunning views on the water, perhaps even some whales, and entering the harbor into Victoria is a must-see viewpoint.
·         Eat along Fisherman’s Warf. This area is home to many who live on houseboats, but there are top quality restaurants here too.
·         If you are a rugby fan, as the Headquarters for Rugby Canada, chances are you can find a game to watch.
·         Other sports you can enjoy include hockey, curling, rowing and motorsports.
·         Get in touch with the majestic natural beauty of the region with any of the following recreational activities: cycling (in town or on mountain trails), golf, hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, trekking.
·         Double Decker Buses are a Victoria BC icon, and make for a fun and easy way to tour the city. You can take the city bus or get a ‘Hop on- Hop off’ daily bus ticket for the 24-hour Grey Line double decker tour bus, ready to take where ever you want to go around Victoria.
·         Whale Watching- The waters off Victoria are home to both Humpback Whales and Orcas, along with 5 other species of dolphins. A special day on the water to catch a glimpse of these magical creates is highly recommended. Book your tickets before you go- these tours fill up fast throughout the year.

If you are ready to get away to Victoria BC for a relaxing weekend in a beautiful part of the Pacific Northwest, now is a great time to book your trip! You can also join a C.P. Trips agent on a hosted trip to Victoria BC, through our Classy Ladies Getaways (& Couples Too!) travel program.  Coming up, June 1st, June 4th, 2017, we will explore the Splendorsof Victoria. Space is limited for this small group tour, call or email us to reserve your spot.

The agents of C.P. Trips are here to help you plan a vacation full of transformative memories. Enjoy a worry-free journey with the support and care of a local Travel Professional*. Visit our website, cptrips.com to explore the latest in travel ideas, promotions and more. Call us at (503) 658-5646 or email us at cptrips@aol.com today- Keep Calm and Travel On.


 *We are excited to have the chance to help you with your vacation plans! We understand that you have many options to choose from when it comes to travel. Our standard fee policy is noted below for your reference.
With the time and expertise we give in our researching travel options and destinations for clients and potential customers, along with our continuing education and training, we have non-refundable fees of $ 30.00 for domestic travel research & planning and $ 75.00 for International travel research & planning. This research fee is applied to your vacation package when purchased through C.P. Trips, Inc.In addition to our research fee, there is an airline ticket/service fee: $30 per person/ticket for US flights, $65 per person/ticket for International flights. Other fees for certain additional requested bookings such as, but not limited to: lodgings, excursion activities, and destination specialty requests will be applied ($15.00 - $45.00) depending on type of booking completed.  Initial Research/Planning fee due prior to trip planning; all other fees due at time of invoicing. Thank you, we look forward to helping you make your vacation dreams a reality!


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Imagine the Possibilities of a Destination Wedding


If you have recently become engaged, congratulations! Finding that special someone is like finding the other half of yourself, and warrants a unique and special way to celebrate your love. If you have ever dreamed of a destination wedding, your dream can be a reality.

Whether you want to exchange vows on the shores of an island paradise, or be surrounded by the romance of Europe, or get married at sea on a ship; whatever your dream wedding may be, your special day will be that much more stunning and memorable at a unique location. With a destination wedding, not only do you get to enjoy a special wedding ceremony and celebration, but you get to experience a once in a lifetime journey as well.

Imagine, a traditional Balinese dance to welcome your guests at your villa resort in Bali.

Imagine meeting your bride or groom along the sweeping expanse of the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland.

Imagine, walking down a soft, sandy, Hawaiian beach for your aisle, with a conch shell announcing your arrival.

Imagine, feeling a gentle breeze off the Adriatic Sea, as you exchange vows in Croatia.


Imagine, the lush tranquility of a private lagoon in the Cook Islands when you first kiss as a married couple.

Imagine, your wedding receiving line outside a castle in Scotland while bagpipes are playing.


Imagine, toasting a glass of wine with your new spouse in a villa surrounded by the splendor of Tuscany, Italy.

Imagine a conga line poolside and beach side at a Caribbean resort, with all your friends and family.

Imagine, taking flight in a hot-air balloon in South Africa, straight off to your honeymoon safari.

Imagine, disembarking off a yacht in the Maldives or Bora Bora, onto your own secluded over-the-water villa.

These ideas, and many more, can be brought to life with a destination wedding. There is no limit to what you and your bride or groom can plan, there is just your imagination.


When it comes to planning, a destination wedding can actually be easier than you may think. There are resorts known around the world which cater to weddings and honeymoons. Their services make planning a wedding and reception easy with a variety of package options. Everything is prepared and ready for your arrival, so all you have to do, is get married and have a great time.

Beyond resorts, there are as many wedding options and services in any given destination, as there are flowers in your bouquet. This can also quickly overwhelm any bride or groom. You can save yourself a lot of time and stress by working with a travel professional who can put their expertise about destinations along with their knowledge of reliable, local contacts, to work for you. Think of your travel professional as your Destination Wedding planner, and imagine the possibilities.

There is a wide, world of options out there for planning the perfect, romantic destination wedding and/or honeymoon escape for you and your bride or groom. The agents of C.P. Trips are here to help you plan a vacation full of trans-formative memories. Enjoy a worry-free journey with the support and care of a local Travel Professional*. Visit our website, cptrips.com to explore the latest in travel ideas, promotions and more. Call us at (503) 658-5646 or email us at cptrips@aol.com today- Keep Calm and Travel On.


 *We are excited to have the chance to help you with your vacation plans! We understand that you have many options to choose from when it comes to travel. Our standard fee policy is noted below for your reference.
With the time and expertise we give in our researching travel options and destinations for clients and potential customers, along with our continuing education and training, we have non-refundable fees of $ 30.00 for domestic travel research & planning and $ 75.00 for International travel research & planning. This research fee is applied to your vacation package when purchased through C.P. Trips, Inc.
In addition to our research fee, there is an airline ticket/service fee: $30 per person/ticket for US flights, $65 per person/ticket for International flights. Other fees for certain additional requested bookings such as, but not limited to: lodgings, excursion activities, and destination specialty requests will be applied ($15.00 - $45.00) depending on type of booking completed.  
Initial Research/Planning fee due prior to trip planning; all other fees due at time of invoicing. Thank you, we look forward to helping you make your vacation dreams a reality!

  

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Nature’s Wonders, Travel to Inspire

We take vacations, and journey to new destinations for many reasons. No matter why, the core of how travel can transform us for the better, comes down to experiencing unique and special moments. With these moments, we create memories, expand our horizons, and connect with the incredible world, which is simply waiting for us to explore it more. When we visit a place, near or far, sometimes Mother Nature gives us a gift, a unique encounter if you will, such as witnessing the Aurora Borealis in Alaska or Norway, watching a lion pride on a hunt in Africa, or sailing with Dolphins along the bow of a ship in the Pacific. These are Nature’s Wonders, and anyone whom has ever had a first-hand encounter these stunning experiences, will understand just how profound and awe-inspiring these adventures can be.

There are more intimate experiences to be had as well, my daughter, Lana, for example was standing at the edge of the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland soon after we arrived there for trip around the island. The wind was strong, the view spectacular. A most unexpected thing occurred. As she was removing the lens cap off her camera (this was before the age of digital), she heard a CLINK, something had hit the lens. She took her hand away, only to see a small flake of stone, about the size of a quarter, had LANDED IN HER HAND. As Lana puts it, “Ireland literally gave me a gift, it was as though She was saying Welcome Home.” (We have Irish in our blood so this trip was already special to begin with.) You can’t replicate this experience, nor will it ever be forgotten.

While I can’t arrange for Mother Nature to give you such a gift, I can help you enjoy a natural adventure, and be a part of, or witness to some of nature’s most intriguing and exciting events and phenomenon. To help inspire the dreamer in you, here are some examples of Nature’s Experiences.

We’ll start close to home, right in Portland, Oregon. Animal lovers, birdwatchers, families, anyone who wants to see a Wonder in the sky, plan a stay in Portland during September, and spend an evening at Chapman Elementary School in NW Portland. Here you will see part of an annual migration of thousands of Vaux’s Swifts. Since the 1980’s the Swift Watch has seen anywhere between 4,000 and 15,000 birds swarming at dusk. Together they rush out from the Chapman Elementary School chimney. Some years have recorded as many as 35,000 at this one nesting site. CLICK HERE to watch a great video of the swifts from a couple years ago


If you have not seen a bio-luminescent beach or ocean before, this is a must do adventure.
Plankton (and sometimes bacteria) blooms throughout the world’s oceans sometimes include glowing swarms of these microscopic creatures, which make the water and beaches aglow. You can experience this spectacular phenomenon at a variety of places such as Puerto Rico, California or the Maldives Islands in the Indian Ocean. CLICK HERE to watch a video of bio-luminescent waters from a beach in the Maldives.


Travel to Bolivia for a one of a kind experience, where you can discover Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest, most expansive, purest slat flat. This high elevation salt flat is so vast and bright, that during the wet season, from January through March, the vista is turned into a panoramic reflection of the sky, often called “God’s Mirror. This is a once-in-a-lifetime journey, which can be made easy and comfortable with a Soft & High Adventure vacation plan, a great way to travel to remote locations and still enjoy some ‘creature comforts’, and more important, a top-quality guide to get you there. CLICK HERE to watch a video of the awe-inspiring reflections witnessed at Salar de Uyuni.

Check back soon for more inspiring encounters you can experience with Nature’s Wonders. The agents of C.P. Trips are here to help you plan a vacation full of transformative memories. Enjoy a worry-free journey with the support and care of a local Travel Professional*. Visit our website, cptrips.com to explore the latest in travel ideas, promotions and more. Call us at (503) 658-5646 or email us at cptrips@aol.com today- Keep Calm and Travel On.

 *We are excited to have the chance to help you with your vacation plans! We understand that you have many options to choose from when it comes to travel. Our standard fee policy is noted below for your reference.
With the time and expertise we give in our researching travel options and destinations for clients and potential customers, along with our continuing education and training, we have non-refundable fees of $ 30.00 for domestic travel research & planning and $ 75.00 for International travel research & planning. This research fee is applied to your vacation package when purchased through C.P. Trips, Inc.
In addition to our research fee, there is an airline ticket/service fee: $30 per person/ticket for US flights, $65 per person/ticket for International flights. Other fees for certain additional requested bookings such as, but not limited to: lodgings, excursion activities, and destination specialty requests will be applied ($15.00 - $45.00) depending on type of booking completed.  
Initial Research/Planning fee due prior to trip planning; all other fees due at time of invoicing. Thank you, we look forward to helping you make your vacation dreams a reality!



Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Chase Away Winter Blues with Inspirations in Paradise

Winter has really dug in deep this year. Here in the Portland-Metro area, we are just now coming out of a big freeze, which left many of us bundled up at home for far too many days. If you are ready to chase away winter blues and step out into warm sunshine, a tropical vacation is just the ticket. Check out the following photos of paradise from around the world. May they inspire your next getaway.

Caribbean Luxury
Phuket, Thailand
Belize, Central America

Mexican Resort

French Polynesia

Beach to No Where in Particular

Hawaiian Beach

Caribbean Water
Bora Bora, South Pacific

Tropical Resort
Laos, Southeast Asia
Bird of Paradise Flower
Princess Cay- Caribbean Cruise Island
Jungle Paradise, Cavernous Water
Serenity of the Maldives Islands
Sailing to the Middle of Nowhere
Veracruz, Mexico
How Many Miles from Winter Can We Go?
Luxury in the Maldives
Loving the Crystal Clear Reef
Are You Ready?
The agents of C.P. Trips are here to help you plan a vacation full of transformative memories. Enjoy a worry-free journey with the support and care of a local Travel Professional*. Visit our website, cptrips.com to explore the latest in travel ideas, promotions and more. Call us at (503) 658-5646 or email us at cptrips@aol.com today- Keep Calm and Travel On.


 *We are excited to have the chance to help you with your vacation plans! We understand that you have many options to choose from when it comes to travel. Our standard fee policy is noted below for your reference.
With the time and expertise we give in our researching travel options and destinations for clients and potential customers, along with our continuing education and training, we have non-refundable fees of $ 30.00 for domestic travel research & planning and $ 75.00 for International travel research & planning. This research fee is applied to your vacation package when purchased through C.P. Trips, Inc.In addition to our research fee, there is an airline ticket/service fee: $30 per person/ticket for US flights, $65 per person/ticket for International flights. Other fees for certain additional requested bookings such as, but not limited to: lodgings, excursion activities, and destination specialty requests will be applied ($15.00 - $45.00) depending on type of booking completed.  Initial Research/Planning fee due prior to trip planning; all other fees due at time of invoicing. Thank you, we look forward to helping you make your vacation dreams a reality! 


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Explore an Enchanted Land- New Mexico


When we travel, we are seeking to experience something new, something different. There are many ways to describe the affect travel can have on a person. Travel transforms, it creates life long memories, which make your life richer than was before. Travel transcends, it creates opportunities for different cultures and people to meet, gather and share. Travel expands, horizons, viewpoints, and mindsets. You needn’t journey to the far ends of the earth to experience travel which will change your life for the better. Unique destinations worth exploring range all across North America too. One place brings together a variety of cultures, history and natural beauty like no other, New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment.

New Mexico has a long and varied history, with strong cultural traditions from Native American, Spanish and Mexican communities, which are still thriving in amazing ways. The drier, mild climate of the region makes this an ideal location for anyone seeking the sun’s warmth during the winter. Many big festivals and events occur beginning in the fall, on into the cooler months as well. Deep canyons and high mountains traversed by rivers provide excellent river rafting escapes and recreational adventures throughout the spring and summer.

The major cities of the state, Albuquerque and Santa Fe are world-renown for their heritage museums and art galleries, award winning restaurants and golf clubs, and rejuvenating spa resorts. But if you want to experience the real New Mexico, the enchanted land which residents and visitors alike have come to love, you need to step off the paved road as you travel.

Several communities around the state offer a truly rare and unique opportunity to experience a piece of “living history”. While the Spanish brought their Roman Catholic influences to the region, one aspect has shifted to become an ongoing, annual practice embraced by Native American Tribes. PuebloFeast Days celebrate native ancestral traditions. Originally established to commemorate and honor Catholic Saints, in New Mexico, feast days are occasions for tribes to come together as a community, connecting with their culture, religion and ancestral languages. These tribes have managed to hold onto their traditions, and they are open to sharing them with visitors, a life-changing event to be sure.

These feast days occur throughout the year and are open to the public. Each one includes ceremonial dances, songs and storytelling, alongside traditional foods. Many family Pueblos are opened to welcome visitors and share in their celebrations. There are special etiquette guidelines to follow, showing proper respect for these amazing people who continue to strive to keep their culture alive. VisitAlbuquerque offers a detailed resource to educate visitors prior to attending.

Another amazing cultural experience not to be missed in New Mexico is Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead.  This is another Roman Catholic carryover from Spanish influences, in part. You may know how significant this festival is in Mexico, where communities everywhere gather at family gravesites to feast with their deceased loved ones. In New Mexico its import is just as big. There are towns and cities across the state which celebrate this annual remembrance of ancestors, an integral aspect to many cultures worldwide.

You will find parades, carnival festivities, community and family altars, dances and more. The
official date of Dia de los Muertos is November 2nd, a date which can be traced back to the Catholic Church of the 11th Century. The traditions of honoring the dead in the Americas however, are much older. Many aspects of these celebrations date back to the Aztecs. Over time the influence of the Catholic Church increased across Mexico and the South West, leading to what is now a three-day celebration of ancestors and loved ones, beginning with All Hallows Eve (Hallowe’en) on October 31st and ending with Dia de los Muertos on November 2nd.

New Mexico is not called “The Enchanted Land” without reason. Serenity is easily achieved when you explore the natural side of this state. Filled with breathtaking wonders, if you enjoy outdoor recreation, soft or high adventure, or are just seeking a new way to connect with Mother Nature, a trip to New Mexico is a must. Red River in Taos County offers an excellent getaway to the mountains where you can explore rugged vistas in an off-road jeep, camera and sunscreen are advised. The La Luz Trail takes hikers from base to peak at the north end of the Sandias Mountains. It is said to be an athlete’s paradise for training; the ever-changing scenery and panoramic views will awe and inspire.

For a unique stay in the wilds of New Mexico, with the comforts of home, check out the KokopelliCave Bed & Breakfast. Yes, it really is in a cave, on a cliff-side, where nature is right out your window, and the past comes alive in a grotto of stone thought to be 70 million years old. Another special place in New Mexico is best seen by moonlight. Hike or bike under the bright full moon as you explore the White Sands National Monument on a special Park RangerProgram tour. The stunning white gypsum sand dunes will glow under the light of the full moon, offering an ideal time to view the wildlife of the region in a exceptional way, a memorable experience to be sure.

Anyone who loves a photographic spectacle, or festive atmosphere, should plan to attend the Albuquerque InternationalBalloon Fiesta. Each year in early October hundreds of hot air balloons fill the expansive sky with thousands of spectators experiencing a site not to be missed. The best time to witness this festival of balloons is at dawn. For 8 days, each rising of the sun sees a mass ascension of colorful hot air balloons as they lift off.

This has become one of the most exciting aviation festivals in the world. It is the very location which has allowed for this festival to literally take off. Balloon Fiesta Park has what is known locally as the Albuquerque Box. This is where October weather patterns coupled with the geography of the park,
provides an ideal place for hot air ballooners to navigate their inflatable rides.


There are many ways to experience the Balloon Fiesta. C.P. Trips is excited to offer a special Classy Ladies (& Couples Too!) journey incorporating the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Not only will we be exhilarated by the experience of this visual wonder, we will also enjoy culinary delights Santa Fe style, be immersed in the cultural heritage and art of the region, and connect with our past on the Turquoise Trail, Route 66 and the Santa Fe Trail.


To find out more about this exciting, hosted itinerary, or any of the exciting experience to be found in New Mexico, contact me, Cindy Passannante, at cptrips@aol.com or by phone, 503-658-5646. Details including air fare, package rates, and excursion options will soon be posted on our Classy Ladies (& Couples Too!) web page as well. No matter how or when you are ready to experience the Enchanted Land of New Mexico, the agents of C.P. Trips are here to help you plan a vacation full of transformative memories. Enjoy a worry-free journey with the support and care of a local Travel Professional. Call or email us today!