Showing posts from July, 2014

Viking Cruises Heads to Austria with the Sound of Music

When I received my itinerary for my Viking River Cruise , this was the day I had highlighted. It was the day I was entering Austria, the birthplace of my maternal grandmother, for the first time. It was also where I would be able to see where the story of the Sound of Music actually took place. It’s always been one of my favorite films. My friend Tracy and I were up early and headed to the dining room for breakfast. She had an omelet and I chose the blueberry pancakes with some yogurt. We enjoyed talking with some other passengers before we headed outside for our 8:15 tour. It was a bit cold and very foggy when we got off the boat, but we were assured that it would pass as the day went on. The Viking River Cruise buses were waiting for us outside the boat to take us through the city of Linz and into Salzburg. The guide told us about how Linz, Austria , the birthplace of Adolph Hitler, was very industrial and even though it had become cleaner, it was still always f

Gingerbread in Germany with Viking Cruises

I’m not sure which my friend Tracy and I were more excited about, being on a Viking River Cruise along the Danube, or going to our first Christmas Market*, but it was clear from the start of our day in Passau, Germany, that it was going to be a magical one. We were up by 7:00 and had breakfast in the main dining room, enjoying the selection of fruit, cheese, pastries, omelets and yogurt. It was then time for our walking tour of Passau. The Viking Embla had been decorated for the holidays, but it didn’t begin to compare with what we would see in Passau. Tours are included on Viking River Cruises and while we had buses available to us at all ports, Passau was a place we could walk. We were divided into groups so that we could experience the sites and hear our guide along the river and through the cobblestone hills. She told us about the town’s flood the previous year and how this town fared during the war. Then we were off to a gingerbread demonstration at Sim

Cruising the Danube River with Viking

Christmas in July? Yes! I was running a bit behind and I decided to just save my Viking River Christmas Market Cruise report until July. After all it’s a perfect time to start thinking about booking one of your own while the prices are low! I’ll be honest… I was actually looking for an Asian cruise to write about when I was presented with the opportunity to do a European Christmas Market cruise instead. I’m not one to lie on a beach for days, but I try to stay away from cold weather trips. It’s just too much packing of sweaters and boots and gloves. I changed my mind, though, when I saw the itinerary for the Viking Embla. I had never even been to that part of Europe and I had never been on a river cruise. Sailing along the Danube through Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary became something a very quickly was excited about. My friend Tracy and I had traveled before, spending a glorious week in Sicily . This time we would be meeting up in Munich to share the week l

Concert Time at Horseshoe Hammond

I’ve had a lot of interesting opportunities over the years. I’m always on the lookout to write about things I don’t often get to, so when I was approached by DKC, the public relations firm that I’ve worked with on Caesars and Harrah’s properties, I was ready to listen. The offer was to not only check out the Horseshoe Hammond Casino just outside of Chicago, but to see a concert there – as a VIP. It’s an experience that is available to the public at reasonable prices (amount varies depending on the event). I had even more reason to look forward to the night since two bands I really enjoy were playing, Staind and Theory of a Deadman. John Uremovic, who handles marketing for the casino, met me at the entrance and gave me a tour of the property. I didn’t realize how big it was and how many different events they hold there, like the Brews at the 'Shoe beer festival in March. I also wasn’t aware that the casino had a large   Asian Gaming Room   which has Pai Gow Ti