Luxury Adults-Only All-Inclusive Dude Ranch Experience now available

By | Adventure, All-Inclusive Resorts, Luxury, Romance, US Domestic | No Comments

Visit to Triple Creek Ranch in Montana

Recently I took the time to have a look around “Out West” checking out some Dude Ranches and Ski Resorts to get a better understanding of what is available closer to home so that I can best advise clients wanting to keep their 2021 vacation socially distanced and domestic, yet still desiring a luxury experience. One of my favorites was the Triple Creek Ranch

In short, this resort is impressive!

Surrounded by 4 Million acres of National Forests and protected lands, this 700 acre ranch offers 25 cabins nestled into a pristine pine forest in SW Montana. The accommodations are outstanding and perfect for a Honeymoon, an Anniversary celebration, a couples retreat or just some time away to relax and reconnect. Discriminating guests will immediately notice that it is a Relais and Chateaux property confirming that this is a truly excellent resort.

 

Accommodations

 

Each unique cabin is beyond comfortable, they are thoughtfully outfitted with every comfort that you can imagine, including a wood burning fireplace, outdoor deck , stocked wet-bar and tastefully appointed with curated original western art which sets the tone and never fails to bring a smile. Some feature private hot tubs as well.

enjoy your cabin in the spring, summer, fall or in winter………..

Culinary delights

Personally I believe that the all-inclusive resort experience is defined largely by the cuisine, and Triple Creek Ranch will not disappoint!

Executive Chef Jacob Leatherman has been crafting exquisite dining experiences at Triple Creek Ranch for over fifteen years, introducing a new Dinner menu each evening. His finely tuned and adventurous palate informs a diverse menu showcasing distinctive flavors and imaginative presentation. Chef Jake’s talented team of chefs incorporates the freshest ingredients to prepare uniquely refined dishes to please all palates. For many guests, the meals at Triple Creek Ranch are indisputably the highlight of their visit

 

Activities and Inclusions

Equally important to the cuisine is the array and quality of activities and experiences to enjoy. Obviously when you think Dude Ranch you think of horseback riding, and there are a number of options for daily rides, and you may even think of a cattle drive, which is possible as well,  or fly fishing (which is excellent) but you may not have thought of a Nature Safari to possibly see some of North America’s Big 5 such as Moose, Bear, Bison, and you will likely not miss the abundant Elk & Deer as well as plenty of other charming woodland creatures….

 

 

….but the list of activities does not end with wildlife interaction, there are myriad activities to enjoy seasonally such as hiking, nordic walking, trail running, mountain biking, rucking, snowshoe hiking, fat tire snow biking, cross country skiing, downhill skiing (at a nearby ski resort), sapphire panning, tennis, archery, horseshoes, axe throwing, bocce ball, and that’s a taste of what you can enjoy – with almost everything included in the nightly rate!

Not feeling adventurous? No worries, relax at the heated pool, take time to enjoy spa treatment, release your creative side with an art project or simply relax in the clean Montana air.

 

Location

The location of Triple Creek Ranch is ideal to add on a few days at Yellowstone or Glacier National Park, or if time is short then enjoy a breathtaking scenic flight over the nearby national treasures

 

There is so much more to share about this wonderful property.

When it’s time to plan your next great adventure – be it in the US or far, far away then contact “Your friends….in the travel business” at EZTravelPad – we’re here to help!

A Trip to Thailand – the Good, the Bad, and the Crazy

By | Adventure, Blog | No Comments

A Look Around Phuket

Earlier this spring, just as the Covid-19 pandemic was ramping up into full swing, my wife and I were rolling through week #3 of what was scheduled to be a 5 week trip through the South Pacific, Thailand & Hawaii (had to cut the Hawaii leg short due to closures in mid-March)

It was another “trip of a lifetime”, and just about everything went according to plan (of course there are always small surprises). But, so much about Covid – how was Thailand?

 

Well, you hear lots of things, many of which are true.

  • Would I recommend Phuket for a fun-loving group of party animals who feel right at home at 3am on Bourbon Street in New Orleans? Yes!
  • Would I recommend Phuket for an older couple who wants to relax, experience an affordable tropical paradise, a completely different culture, do some serious shopping and come home with a couple new Hand-tailored suites? Yes!
  • Would I recommend Phuket for a Honeymoon couple who wants something amazing and unforgettable on a secluded pristine beach? Yes!
  • Would I recommend Phuket for a wellness retreat, or just a traveler who appreciates a terrific 90 minute massage from a trained professional – and costs a fraction of what it does in the states? Yes!

But I would recommend different areas for the varying styles because there are completely different vibes from one neighborhood to the next.

Bangla Road

For the party crowd there is nothing quite like Bangla Road at Patong Beach – words cannot describe it fully, but it is party-on!

The street is lined with bars, clubs, restaurants shops & vibrant video displays. There are dozens and dozens of vendors selling tickets to the “ping pong show” (you’ll have to google that) as well as plenty of clubs with bands playing covers of Heart, Bon Jovi and Journey. The streets are packed with tourists from everywhere. It’s easy to wander down a back alley to find a toilet and thus see the real sights and smells of what’s cooking with the locals but you may just want to forgo that if you have a weak stomach. It is clearly a sight to see.

 

James Bond Island

A complete departure from the party and nightlife of Bangla Road is a day-long excursion to James Bond Island – an unforgettable little corner of this amazing world of ours…

Famous for a scene in the classic Bond film “Man with the Golden Gun”, this is but one of many such geological formations in  Phang Nga Bay. Is it  a bit of a tourist trap? Sure – you can buy some souvenirs, but it’s really more of a stop for a photo op, just one of several on the tour.

There are some caves to explore….

 

and a village to wander through at lunch…

Another of the coolest aspects of the day is sea cave canoeing around the bay – then later on there is a chance to chill at the beach for a swim. All in all it’s a terrific and unforgettable day.

Another terrific experience while visiting Phuket is the trip to Phi Phi Island – similarly epic scenery and fun in the sun!

 

Buddhas and Temples

A trip to Thailand would certainly not be complete without touring some of the country’s rich history and culture – and of course that means visiting temples and shrines to Buddha.

This “Big Buddha” smiles down on Phuket from high up on a hill overlooking much of the southern end of the island.

 

Several other temples and shrines exist in the area…all beautiful and lovingly cared for.

 

As with any similar church or temple, proper attire is required to enter and pay your respects. Both men and women should take a wrap to cover their knees and shoulders.

 

The Good-

The natural beauty is at every turn – you must only open your eyes….

 

Lodging

Terrific resort options exist in secluded areas – things you might not even imagine….for example imagine yourself in this room….

 

with your own private plunge pool

 

or as you relax at this pristine pool

in a “treehouse at this resort…..

Indeed, there are many good and great things about this destination

Wrapping it up-

For me, the Thai massage was something new and hopefully not the last time I will let a fully grown ninja turn me into pretzels in ways I thought I could no longer bend…..

Another cool experience was buying a custom tailored suit. It took a few days, and a few visits, but picking out the material, the style, being measured and fitted was a real treat that would be un-affordable to most in the US, but is possible for a small sum in Thailand!

But of course not everything is good….

A big disappointment was that there is a significant amount of trash that ends up in the ocean. Particularly disturbing when you take a boat to a nice reef that is polluted with human waste (plastics in particular).

Of course this is a foreign country and they have a different pace, a different style, and a bit less space per person than you may be accustomed to at home – and there are the smells in the cities…..but overall I look forward to returning again to visit some areas that we were not able to get to on this trip – areas such as the nearby Koh Samui (another popular beach area) and Chang Mai (a completely different area in the Northern Hills with jungles and elephants and a completely different feel.

When you are ready to kick off your own trip to Thailand, or other similar destination, then turn to “Your friends….in the travel business” at EZTravelPad for the best advice possible – because you deserve to make every moment..and every dollar count!

If you are going and planning excursions, or just want to check out some of the top options for Phuket see these top tours below-

 

RV Vacations are Popular in 2020 – EZTravelPad Can Help

By | Adventure, Family Travel, Sightseeing | No Comments

Rent a Motorhome and Find Your Own Way in your RV

It’s true – this is the year for the RV vacation. RVing has always been a popular option for American families, but this year especially, with Covid-19 raging and social distancing required, camping in the great outdoors is hugely popular.

RV sales have been through the roof, but that might be more of a commitment than you are willing to make right now. Fortunately there is an option. A trusted and reliable RV rental company such as CruiseAmerica can make the process simple, safe and a great value.

From less than $100 per day for the more compact variety, to a bit over $300 per night for the larger model that sleeps 7 can make for a terrific value (seasonal pricing does apply) – plus you can take along the family pets!

Whether you escape to a park not far from home, or take to the road of a long trip exploring some of the US National Parks, this could be a great option for your family.

See this blog post direct from CruiseAmerica for some additional info – and remember –

“Your friends….in the travel business” are here to help. When you think vacation, think EZTravelPad

Cruise with the 2 Virgin “Ladies” and EZTravelPad in 2021

By | Caribbean, Cruise, Europe | No Comments

EZTravelPad set to cruise Caribbean and Mediterranean in 2021

Scarlet Lady in Caribbean and Valiant Lady in Mediterranean

Bimini Beach Club on Virgin’s private island in Bahamas

 

Join us on either or both – each will be awesome and unique as we cruise-

  • Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady from Miami to Bimini Beach Club + Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic
  • Virgin Voyages’ Valiant Lady from Barcelona to Mallorca, Malaga. Gibralter & an overnight in Ibiza

In case you are not aware, Virgin Voyages is a new brand and a new style of cruising as imagined by Sir Richard Branson.  They brought in some of the world’s best designers to completely re-imagine what an open-ocean cruise is all about. Some of the unique differences include-

  • It is exclusive to adults-only (18+)
  • 20+ unique dining options All-included (and NO buffets!)
  • Unlimited Wifi is included!
  • Group workout classes are included!
  • Basic Bevvies (waters, sodas, juices & more) are included!
  • Gratuities are included!

See more about the Virgin Voyages brand at this link

2020 has been a long year already, and it’s only a little more than 1/2 over with at this point, but here are a couple reasons to look forward to 2021  I know I am!

Dominican Daze

On February 28, 2021 we will set sail from Miami on a 5 night trip to the Caribbean on board Scarlet Lady with this itinerary-

Without a doubt, the highlight is the Bimini Beach Club on Virgin’s private island – it’s all day and most of the evening enjoying an unspoiled beautiful Bahamian paradise

But the best part of this entire cruise experience is the price – starting at just $902 per person based on double occupancy ($1804 total) – complete!

That’s 30% off right now, but that price won’t last long…. so reach out now to EZTravelpad for details

OR

Spanish Obsession

Choose to join us on an epic journey from Barcelona through the Baleaeric Islands and even on to one of the most geographically significant places in human history -Gibraltar

The cruise begins on October 3, 2021 and extends for 7 nights aboard the newest ship in the Virgin fleet – Valiant Lady

The itinerary looks like this-

Amazingly, pricing on this 7 night itinerary starts at a total cruise fare of just $1044 per person based on double occupancy. It’s a steal! But again, it won’t last long. You’re not going to want to miss this….

But wait, there’s more!

Pre-pay your bar tab of $300 before departure (cocktails, beer, wine) and get $350 credit – so $50 more bonus beverage!!

There’s much more to relate….and plenty of questions to answer…like, what are we going to do on Palma de Mallorca for Scott’s 60th? Who is going to get a new tattoo at Squid Ink while on board? and what might we do post-cruise in Barcelona?

Join us on either – or BOTH – it’s gonna be fun!

As always – we are “Your friends….in the travel business”

 

 

Europe THIS Fall? Maybe?

By | Adventure, Europe, Family Travel, Honeymoons and Weddings, Luxury, Romance, Sightseeing | No Comments

Europe This Year? It May Be Awesome!

During this global pandemic especially, but really anytime- trusting experts to rely on vetted in-destination experts may be the key to most fully enjoying your experience.

Over the years I have built a reputation on knowing the destinations that I help people experience. Some of that is a result of direct, on the ground time spent in various destinations and resorts throughout the Caribbean – or on a variety of cruise ships both large and small….but I can’t go or know everywhere, and the other part of the equation that you may not realize is that I spend a significant amount of time at conferences networking with the top experts in destination to better understand what they offer, and who they are.

Going wide-open at a conference for 3 days can be fun, but it’s also hard work – and I do that to prepare to be able to better guide you when you want to experience a destination that I am less familiar with.

One of those destination experts is Titanium Tours specializing in Spain, Portugal and France. They may not be “the cheapest”, but I am not here to guide you to the cheapest experience possible – I am here to guide you to the BEST experience that you will long remember fondly. For that type of experience, Titanium is one of the best!

Below are some ideas from Titanium Tours – ideas that may inspire you to get a trip plan started – and maybe as soon as this fall, the best time of the year to go!

When to Go?

September – November are great months for travel to Spain, Portugal or France. The weather is still beautiful and autumn seasonal activities abound. According to the news coming from each country, we are confident that tourism will resume by then. As you can see above September and October are great months for travel in a typical year.

Furthermore, you can now find good fall airfares going to any of our airports. For example IND – BCN for well under $1000 ($600-700)  with one connection!

What to Book?

The beauty of custom independent tours and partnering with a company like Titanium Tours is that they can guide you to areas where COVID-19 is not present or has had little impact. They can help us help you to pick boutique hotels, less crowded routes, private experiences, etc where you will feel safe while traveling abroad. Their 3 countries in which they specialize have been impacted very differently and different areas of each country have been affected very differently. They can guide you to create an itinerary that’s both exciting and safe.

For instance, Portugal has had significantly less cases than France and Spain. If you want off the beaten path experiences, they can for example, take you 90 minutes north of Lisbon to our Castles and Wild Horses experience.

In France, you can avoid crowded areas to visit the Hill Top Villages of Luberon in Provence and go truffle hunting. Winter truffles are more aromatic and their season starts in November.

In Southern Spain, where COVID-19 has also had a much smaller impact, you can go to the private workshop of a silk shawl craftsman who’s family has been embroidering silk shawls, most typical in this region, for generations. Not only will you observe an artist at work, but you can even try your hand at it.

Or perhaps this is the year to go admire the beauty of the Azores….

The point is simply this – there is a big wonderful word of experience and the tourism industry is eager to help you discover them. In Europe it’s not all about cafes and museums – there are wonderful experiences to enjoy and still be safely guided!

EZTravelPad is here to guide you to the best tour operators with the best guides – who will help you have the best experience possible – custom designed for YOU!

We’re here to help when you are ready. Contact us today for more info

 

 

COVID-19 Pandemic…. Good Excuse for a Destination Wedding?

By | All-Inclusive Resorts, Caribbean, Honeymoons and Weddings, Romance, Uncategorized | No Comments

Availability to Re-Book Wedding in 2020 is Better at The Beach

One of the less reported but most upsetting aspects of this COVID-19 global pandemic is that so many weddings have been cancelled out of necessity. It’s beyond upsetting to consider how much time and effort so many couples poured into their dream wedding, only to see it undone in no time due to the necessities of social distancing. Just a quick outline reminds us of the work and time invested…..

  • Agreeing on an overall vision
  • Selection of the date
  • Working out the details
  • Contracting vendors
  • Inviting friends & relatives and so much more

And as you know, that’s just the outline of the tip of the iceberg!

If you are one of the very unlucky couples who became the victim of these circumstances then you have probably already begun (or are now considering) the rescheduling process – starting over, nearly from scratch, trying to coordinate schedules with booked-out vendors. It’s heartbreaking, and it’s such a puzzle!

In an additional complication of the calendar – SO MANY people were wanting a 2020 wedding date!

Untold numbers of couples put off what may have been a 2019 wedding in favor of a date ending in 2020. It seemed like a wonderful idea, but then it didn’t.

Since so many couples have booked 2020 weddings, the opportunity to reschedule later in 2020 for those who have had to cancel is greatly diminished, and the backlog for the best vendors is likely to extend deep into 2021 and perhaps beyond.

For some couples, there may exist a solution – and that is a Destination Wedding.

Here are a few reasons why Destination Weddings are so popular-

  1. Destination Weddings are super-easy to plan compared to traditional weddings – most good resorts have excellent weddings departments that specialize in and staff for give couples their “dream day” every day (not just once-a-week or less)
  2. You can combine the wedding and the Honeymoon in an amazing experience at a location in paradise with your loved ones (or just yourselves)
  3. Your wedding (the ceremony part) can be FREE – literally! (and if not entirely free, it can certainly save a ton of $$)
  4. The photo ops are outstanding (and the “trash-the’dress” photo possibilities are SO cool!)
  5. Get married mid-week because, who cares – you’re on vacation!

What Might That Look Like?

Here is a real wedding – at an amazing resort – and it could be a blueprint for your most special day….

 

A Destination Wedding certainly does not HAVE to be on the beach, but it is a really popular option with unlimited possibilities – just a few of which are…

Switching Gears

Since date availability for the remainder of 2020 is going to be at such a premium, and the backlog for venues (those that survive) will be ridiculous, and the vendor(s) that you fell in love with might not be available when you need them to be, THIS year, more than in the past, might be the year to consider a Destination Wedding as a solution to a problem that you could have never anticipated.

Here’s a possibility if you don’t want to put off the big day for too long (like a year or more) –

  1. Get married in paradise with those willing and able to attend
  2. Enjoy a much needed escape and create a memory to hold forever
  3. Plan a nice after-wedding party with those people not able to attend – and share in the joy that you experienced

It might not be for everyone, but for some couples this may be a really good solution.

This may just be the excuse your needed to have the beach dream wedding you always wanted!

If it’s a solution for you, (or you know a friend that it might work for) then contact “Your friends….in the travel business” who just happen to specialize in this type of trip.

When it comes to Destinations Weddings and Honeymoons EZTravelPad is one of the most recognized and respected travel agencies around.

Find out why by contacting us now at this link

 

 

Bora Bora & more on a Paul Gauguin Cruise

By | Adventure, Cruise, Honeymoons and Weddings, Romance, South Pacific, Uncategorized | No Comments

A Cruise on MS Paul Gauguin in French Polynesia’s Society Islands is Unforgettable and Completely Unique

Cruising with Paul Gauguin is unique and different in so many ways.

First, there is the size on the ship. With a maximum capacity of 334 passengers and a staff to guest ratio of 1 staff member to every 1.5 guests, the vibe, feel & level of service are a complete departure from what you may have experienced on a larger mass market ship.

The check-in experience was jaw-dropping. Literally, from the time that we arrived at the embarkation pier through the medical screening process** to the greetings, documents, getting a cabin key & making out way to our cabin where our luggage was already in room took approx 22 minutes.  We were enjoying what waited in no time!

 

Compared to a larger ship this is unheard of and a brilliant way to start the cruise off right.

The same convenience is to be enjoyed on a daily basis in catching the tender from ship to pier at each of the destinations experienced. It just couldn’t be more convenient.

True, you will give up a certain amount of diversity in cuisine and entertainment options vs a much larger ship, but the entertainment staff is engaging and authentic. They amplify the experience of the destination beyond just “putting on a show”. Beyond the entertainment staff known as “Le Gauguines”, the access to and the  ability to interact with the chef & other officers is truly a big plus!

Of particular interest while in Taha’a was the carving of the catch of the day – freshly caught Moon Fish was for dinner a couple hours after this video was shot…

As for the itinerary, it is iconic. Bucket List islands such as Tahiti, Bora Bora & Mo’orea as well as off the radar gems like Huahine and Taha’a were included in our itinerary which was the ever-popular Tahiti & Society islands for 7 Nights, but other itineraries a bit longer or incorporating the Cook Islands or the Tuamotus Islands or even Fiji are options as well.

One of the main reasons to choose MS Paul Gauguin is that it offers unmatched access to these iconic destinations. Other ships simply can’t get close enough, but this ship was built for the destination and even includes a watersports marina on the aft of the ship which allows for Stand-up Paddleboarding or Kayaking directly from the ship – and if you are a SCUBA diver then you’re in luck because not only is the team outstanding but the convenience of taking the zodiac from the marina to a dive site usually not more than a 5-10 minute ride is outstanding (as are the dives, with abundant sharks, sea turtles & of course…more!)

 

Beach Party on Private Motu off of Taha’a is an unforgettable Day in Paradise!

One of the highlights of the entire cruise is the beach day on the Paul Gauguin private motu (one of several small islands surrounding the main island) just off the coast of the island of Taha’a on the 2nd full day of the cruise. It’s like you and several dozen of your best new friends arrive at a comfortable paradise waiting with abundant beach chairs in the sun or the shade of hundreds of coconut palms. The cookout is terrific with lots of engagement with Les Gauguines including a demonstration on how to process a coconut by hand (there’s much more to it than you might imagine but it’s easier than you might think) and yes, there is a floating bar which could not be more relaxing…

On to Bora…

Then of course there’s THE most iconic island – Bora Bora. No island conjures up visions of an idyllic paradise quite like Bora Bora and there’s good reason why – it is simply one of, if not THE most beautiful island on the planet. If you enjoy dramatic mountain peaks, crystal blue lagoons and epic skyscapes it’s tough to beat. Whether it’s biking around the island, catching the food truck rodeo for dinner, paddle boarding on another small motu with private beach or simply enjoying the views as you sail away at sunset there are few destinations more memorable.

But Wait, There’s More!

A full day at Huahine followed up with a full day at Taha’a are then topped with 2 full days to experience Bora Bora, but there’s still 2 more full days to experience Mo’orea, which most people tend to agree tops even Bora Bora for sheer beauty on the island.  The view from the top of Magic Mountain is surreal – and the satisfaction of knowing that you hiked it from sea level is a reward in itself!

While the exhilaration of the 45-60 minute hike to the top is worthwhile, the entire thing can be avoided and still not miss a thing with an organized small group guided tour on an ATV or open back jeep with 8 passengers. The excursion stops at Magic Mountain as well as a few stops at Opanohu Bay, Cook Bay, a pineapple plantation (cooler than it sounds), a juice distillery for some tastings and the highlight of the day –  Belvedere Lookout- stunning!

One thing that a short blog post like this can do is to open your eyes to this type of bucket list experience, but one thing this blog post cannot do is come even remotely close to capturing the full experience. French Polynesia’s Society Islands feature unmatched beauty for sure, but the warmth and beauty of the crew and the people who call French Polynesia home is something that must just be experienced for yourself.

When it’s time for you to check this off of your Bucket list then reach out to “Your friends….in the travel business” at EZTravelPad.

Email us

We’re here to help – we have experience that a call center cannot match – we know people – and we work to help make your experiences as memorable as they are seamless.

A Day on Waiheke Island – Wine Tasting & More

By | Adventure, Dining, Family Travel, Honeymoons and Weddings, Luxury, Romance | No Comments

Waiheke Island in New Zealand is a Wine Lover’s Paradise

 

A day on New Zealand’s Waiheke Island is as relaxing as it is beautiful. The gorgeous scenery, combined with a diverse amount of vineyards and dining options along with the welcoming residents combine for a fantastic day trip  from Auckland via ferry, or opt to stay for a few days because 1 day just might not be enough!

On a recent visit to New Zealand we had the good fortune to experience a full day on the island. The day trip was booked with a reliable tour operator that we use for many clients in many destinations. The portal offers terrific access to all sorts of the best day tours & activities across the globe including this one.

Upon departure from Auckland’s main ferry terminal the 45 minute trip across the Hauraki Gulf can be a bit chilly and breezy so determining whether to opt for the very comfortable accommodation in the climate controlled main decks or enjoying the view from the top deck exposed to the elements is a decision to consider from the outset. We opted for the breeze (and breezy it was!). But it greatly enhances the arrival in Matiatia Bay.

Starting out from the ferry terminal it takes just a minute to disembark, then a couple more to find your group for the tour (unless opting for a completely private tour) then you are off to a terrific tour of some of the islands top vineyards for tastings and more.

Our group started out at Stonyridge Vineyards for a brief overview and history of the property courtesy of some of the staff as well as wine tastings along the way.

then is was on to a delightful lunch that far exceeded our expectations outdoors near the olive tree plantation.

Quiche, excellent cheeses & guacamole & homemade chips, more wine….(not pictured – we were hungry)

The exterior at Stonyridge Vineyard

As one of the first vineyards on the island it certainly set some of the standards and some high bars, which we were soon to find out would be exceeded!

After Stonyridge we enjoyed some additional tastings at a nearby olive orchard which featured not only some nice olive oils, but additionally some chutneys and other delights were available for sampling and purchase.

But it was wine that we came for!

So on to Casita Miro

To say that this place was memorable is such an understatement. It is quite obviously a labor of love created and curated by the owners Barnett & Cat Bond. Cat focuses on the award winning restaurant

 

 

While Barnett focuses on the wine. A quick overview of the vineyards and brief history of the property….

 

quickly led to tastings of some of the best wines that we experienced in destination – especially the Madame Rouge, which is both outstanding and unforgettable! (and that’s not easy for me to say, as someone who does not generally care for sweet wines)

 

The Spanish influences and Gaudi inspirations are everywhere beginning with the unmistakably Gaudi-esque retaining wall that greets you upon arrival, throughout the property and on to the tasting bar pictured below…

The visit to Casita Miro was excellent, and if ever I get the opportunity to return for a special dining experience this one is near the top to the to-do list for New Zealand, but as they say on television commercials all too often….but wait, there’s more!

The most talked about and highly regarded vineyards on Waiheke Island has to be Mudbrick.

It was recommended and name dropped by everyone who I spoke to regarding putting this New Zealand experience together, and it did not disappoint.

Well, to be honest there was a bit of disappointment involved, but the lovely staff at Mudbrick had nothing to do with it – it was the weather…gloomy, overcast, hazy, chilly & cool meant that spending an extra couple of hours on the patio to enjoy the sunset was not going to be terrific this day, but maybe next time because if it were clear I can only imagine that the view of the sunset across the bay with Auckland in the distance would be amazing!

Still, the overall ambiance is a cut above.

Mudbrick is not only a terrific place for a small group tour or Cellar Door tasting, and of course an excellent choice for a memorable lunch or special occasion dinner, but as well is a top choice for events such a weddings or corporate events.

Strolling the gardens….

Dining al fresco….

Enjoying a libation….

Mudbrick is a cut above. Next time it will be enjoyed “on the fly” after checking the accuweather forecast!

In the end though, Waiheke is not only about vineyards and wine tastings (although I would be equally happy with a few days here as a few days in Napa & Sonoma), there is more to the destination.

A chill little laid back beach town is how I would describe the primary community of Oneroa. A bit of shopping, a stroll along the beach,

along with hiking, biking, paddleboarding, horseback riding, zip lining & more can help you unwind in this pristine little gem.

When it’s time to talk about incorporating a stop at Waiheke Island into your larger adventure to New Zealand then get with “Your friends….in the travel business” at EZTravelPad for the help you deserve.

We specialize in unforgettable leisure vacations and we are here to help.

Email [email protected] for more

EZTravelPad’s 2019 Photo Contest in on – Now!

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Be a Winner in 2019!

It’s time for our 6th Annual EZTravelPad Photo Contest and you can win one of several prizes to be given away!

 

Based on participation we will be giving away some Starbucks gift cards and other swag for runners up, but the best 2 photos overall (see rules below) will win one of 2 Grand Prizes….each is a $50 Amazon Gift Card

 

We are looking for photos of your – 

 

  • Honeymoon
  • Destination Wedding (or a Destination Wedding that you attended)
  • Family Vacation
  • Friends Getaway
or any other great EZTravelPad vacation experience-
The rules are simple – and there are 2 Ways to Enter & Win- (and yes, 2 Grand Prize Winners)

 

Speed matters-

Method #1- 
Open to EZTravelPad clients traveling during the period from August 17, 2018 to September 14, 2019

Simply email your favorite photo(s) of your EZTravelPad trip with the subject “Photo Contest 2019
Quality matters- Make sure they are good ones – interesting – something you are proud of. We don’t need 50, just a couple of the best will do – photos with YOU, not just scenery or landscapes (although if you have a simply amazing photo of an iconic destination it will be considered this year)

Cut-off for submission is September 14th, 2019 so just a few weeks to get in on the action. Beginning on September 15th the EZTravelPad team will review submissions and pick the 10 best to submit to our professional photographer team for final decision on the 1st Grand Prize Winner

NOTE- By sending in your photos you agree that it is ok for EZTravelPad to use your photo(s) on our website and/or post to social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and also use your first names (no last names will be used)
Email photos to [email protected] with the following info

  • Who is pictured in the photo (main characters at least)
  • Where photo was taken
  • What sort of fun was taking place at the time

 

Method #2 –Open to ALL clients who have ever traveled with EZTravelPad, but the photo needs to have been taken during an EZTravelpad booked trip

Simply…

  • “Like” EZTravelPad on Facebook (if you haven’t already you should) and then
  • Post your photo(s) to the EZTravelPad timeline and then
  • Tell all of your friends to “Like” the page and “Like” YOUR photo(s) (plus write a brief comment about what they like about the photo(s))….)
Most “Likes” by September 30, 2018 wins the 2nd Grand Prize
Simple as that, we look forward to seeing your submissions-

 

Thanks in advance and
Best of Luck!!

Northern Lights by Train through Russia incl Moscow & St Petersburg

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Enjoy an Unforgettable Adventure through Russia

Of course you think of EZTravelPad when you think of All-inclusive vacations to the Caribbean – and cruises to just about anywhere, but remember that we help with all sorts of adventures from a few days at Disney/Universal in Orlando to a full-blown luxury Safari in Africa to biking across Portugal and so much more…here’s an amazing option that you might not even know existed

Imagine embarking on a 10 day tour through the most iconic parts parts of Russia including encountering reindeer nomads, husky dog sleds, and viewing of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) – and that’s not to mention spending a couple nights in Moscow and a couple of nights in St Petersburg + a couple of nights on a train

Tour includes all meals and tours

Sound interesting? Check out the video…

For more info, or to brainstorm your next big vacation you can trust “Your friends….in the travel business” at EZTravelPad to be there for you every step of the way – from conception to your safe return home – always with best service and best price!

[email protected]