Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Plan for a Thanksgiving Getaway

While many think of Thanksgiving as a day to fill the house with family and turkey with all the trimmings, that doesn’t always work for everyone. I happen to have a small family scattered around the country. I also know of others who have no family, or just prefer to get away from all the hassle and turn the four day weekend into an ideal vacation.

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Holiday travel can often be very expensive. This isn’t usually the case with Thanksgiving, especially if you look at places that don’t celebrate the holiday. I once took my mom and daughter to Paris for the long weekend and had no problem using points and miles, and getting bargains on the rest.

This year it will be Mom and me on a Seabourn cruise through the Caribbean. I can’t wait to check out this luxury line. I’ll be tweeting and doing social media along the way and writing lots of stories when I return.

Here are some other ideas for planning a Thanksgiving getaway….

If a cruise of your own sounds good, another one that I may squeeze in before the end of the year is a Viking River Cruise through the Christmas Markets of Europe. There are a number of different itineraries. I’m leaning toward the one that goes through Germany, Austria, Hungary and Slovakia. You’ll find some great deals on select cruises before and during the holidays.

 What could be better than Thanksgiving in a castle? AshfordCastle in Ireland, a five star property, is offering a chance to spend three nights for the price of two (and let someone else prepare the feast). This castle is on 350 acres along the shore of the River Cong and Lough Corrib. With only 83 guest rooms, you’ll received personalized attention.

New England is an obvious place for a Thanksgiving celebration. Check out the Hartstone Inn in Camden, Maine. This bed and breakfast has begun offering an “On the Rocks” package that includes welcome cocktails, an hors d’oeurves filled reception, a personalized glass blowing adventure, a five-course tasting dinner for two, deluxe accommodations and a gourmet breakfast for two. Details are available at HartstoneInn.com, or call (800) 788-4823.

If it’s Canadian Thanksgiving you are looking to celebrate, you should check out the Chefs on the Edge Thanksgiving Weekend” at the FogoIsland Inn. It takes place October 11-14. Chefs Todd Perrin, Jeremy Charles, Roary Macpherson, Michelle LeBlanc and Shaun Hussey will join Fogo Island Inn’s Chef Murray McDonald for a weekend that includes: a welcome reception and bonfire; guided hike; seven course gourmet dinner; brunch; dialogue with the chefs; artist-led drawing session; and a private film screening.

Friday, September 6, 2013

CANvitational, Golden Corks and a Masquerade Ball Contest

A few new and exciting events and offers came through my inbox recently that I thought were well worth passing along. Wish I had more free time to check them out myself.

Sun King Brewery, the first brewing in Indianapolis in fifty years, is hosting the inaugural CANvitational on September 28th. This is the first canned craft beer festival to be presented in the Midwest.  More than 30 craft breweries from 16 states will be participating in this street fest, which will also have food trucks lining Georgia Street.

For tickets and more information, visit http://www.canviational.com.

Wine lovers should check out the Golden Cork Contest Keel and Curley Winery is having to celebrate their 10th anniversary, which coincides with their millionth bottle. In the spirit of Willie Wonka’s Golden Ticket, customers will be looking for golden corks.

If you find a golden cork in any of the bottles from Keel and Curley, you will gather with other winners at the winery on October 10, 2013. There will then be a competition for a grand prize trip to San Francisco and Napa Valley that will include a steam train tour of California wineries.

Keel and Curley, the second largest winery in Florida, has more information on the contest on their website.

One of my favorite wineries in California’s Sonoma region has what looks like a fun event coming up, The Masquerade Ball at Francis Ford Coppola Winery. The October 26th event has been dubbed “Sleepy Hollow meets Gatsby.” There will be a DJ, costume contest, themed lounge and even a fortune teller. Most of all, there will be plenty of Francis Ford Coppola Diamond Collection Wines.
The Ball is for those 21 and over and will be held in Coppola’s Barrel Room. You can purchase advance tickets before they sell out at http://www.FrancisFordCoppolaWinery.com.