South Africa for Children & Jungle Book

South Africa for Children, the Jungle Book, and Mommy who loves wine- how it all “Works”

By Amanda Vallone

So I just got done watching Jungle Book with my Two and a half year old baby girl Aurora the Explorer… (mommy side note, OMG I cannot believe she is almost  3 eeeeek) Anyway, Similar to my Tarzan movie experience I started jumping and getting all excited about going to Africa, specifically South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe on our September  22–October 2, 2017 departure next year with Salute Africa.

AfricaTour Flyer

The animals get me every time. By no means am I am  person to own a farm or ton of animals, though from these blogs you may think I am a total wildlife psycho. But something about traveling to a destination and seeing the wild roam free is literally tear-jerking to me. Yup… I used tear-jerking as a adjective because I am crying I am so excited. That’s Me!

I don’t know… I grew up with “different” types of pets when I was young. My dad had snakes, iguanas, turtles, mice (to feed to the snakes) and toads when I was young. I remember driving home (Dunkrik, New York) from Florida in a Pontiac Grand Am one year with a massive iguana separating my sister and I in the back seat (saved lots of fights).

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(Embarrassing photo alert! Who does this to their kids hair? MOM! This is me and my younger sister Jess who I lovingly call Buttmunch… literally. Hence, the fighting in the grand am story)

I digress, the wildlife does something to my soul… and I realize my daughter Aurora has the same type of soul- the kid LOVES animals. As we were watching Jungle Book she was rawring with the tigers and panthers, howling with the wolf pack, and trumpeting with the elephants it literally makes my heart smile 🙂

So I am going to South Africa in   2017 on this AMAZING Adventure which includes two full days on Safari PLUS other animal encounters…  (Penguins and Seals off Cape Town). When planning this adventure I knew I had to bring my kid. She will LOVE this trip. Plus she doesn’t get the nickname Aurora the Explorer because she never takes a trip… nope, this child has more frequent flyer miles than most adults do and she is a GOOD traveler. Seriously, as my clients and trip-goers who have traveled with us… they tell me all the time they would have never known she was on the trip with us.

 

Anyway, the whole point of my writing this blog was to tell you this trip is CHILD FRIENDLY! It is a huge deal. No, by no means is it a Disney theme park that your kid will be entertained 24/7… you have to have a good traveler to begin with because it is a long flight and then lots of travel and on the game drive the kid MUST stay in their seat and quiet for hours (many children cannot do this and it is okay, but for those who can they will get to see the best wildlife). Mom and Dad, if you have a child who you “think” can go on this trip but you are worried about the game drive part I just mentioned with hours of quiet time… NO PROBLEM!!! We will set you up, in advance a private game drive that your family can enjoy but then come back when the kids get antsy… you know what this means? No dirty looks from other passengers in your jeep, plus the game drive experience for your family… best of Both Worlds!2015-03-09 21.41.20

In closing, I if you cannot tell am extremely excited about traveling to South Africa with you! Or telling you all about it when I get home, either way, I am going.

I have already started talking to Aurora the Explorer about visiting South Africa as well as started my personal “tasting” experience on African Wines… yummmmmmmm

Want more information? Click here or give me a call at Roseborough Travel Agency 386-734-7245

 

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National Parks Celebrate 100 years #NPS100

National Parks Celebrate 100 years #NPS100

By Amanda Vallone

Happy birthday to you.. happy Birthday to you… Happy birthday NPS… Happy birthday to you.

So my birthday was just on Tuesday. I’ve heard the birthday song almost more times than I can bare.  I love celebrating, don’t get me wrong- But hate being serenaded. And believe me, no one in their right mind would have wanted to hear me sing that birthday song.

grandma and I

So today is the national park services 100 year birthday. That’s pretty spectacular. One true milestone I think we all can agree upon. Yellowstone national park was the first of the national parks within the system and possibly the world. Known for its wildlife and many geothermal features, especially for Old Faithful Geyser-one of the most popular features in the park, Yellowstone is a favorite park to many.

(Some of Amanda’s pics from her previous National Parks article)

Jean recently went on a Mayflower tour to the National Parks and this was her experience “Old Faithful- Our Yellowstone naturalist guide was like a walking guidebook and showed us all sorts of great information about Yellowstone that I didn’t know. Most important, he coordinated with our Mayflower tour manager to be sure we got to see Old Faithful go off after grabbing a bite to eat at the visitor’s center. The smell of Sulphur all around, we saw a little bubbling as we stood at a viewing platform all around. Then, all of a sudden- whoosh! The geyser shot up and it sounded like a heavy rain falling.”

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Continental Divide- this was a really cool spot where we had breakfast with a view of the Grand Tetons in the background. We had hot coffee, juice, flapjacks, French Toast, sausage and bacon which were delicious- but it was the view that made it spectacular!

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Devil’s Tower- according to Native American legend, the rock rose up to save seven little girls from a larger bear. It’s home to more than 20 Native American tribes and we’ve seen it in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Pretty awesome to be standing right in front of it!

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Custer State Park- up close with all sorts of beautiful creatures

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Float trip- our view of the Grand Tetons from the raft on the river was totally free of any cars or buildings blocking them. Our raft guide kept us safe on our soft adventure, while giving all sorts of insight about the birds, wildlife, history and stories of the area. And we even got to see a bald eagle! They say smelling the fresh pine is actually a stress relief…and I agree!

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Mt Rushmore- so pretty with the sun shining, but we also got to see a ceremony at night- what a patriotic way to experience this monument.Validation that it is great to be seeing such cool things right in the states!

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– Picture of the mountains- Pretty much sums up the natural beauty of this trip…this is going up on the wall!

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As the great John Muir said “The mountains are calling, and I must go!”

If you are interested in joining a tour like Jean or Amanda took check out this link It is our group going June 2017 to Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, and Mt. Rushmore…

Or give us a call at 386-734-7245 at Roseborough Travel and we will be happy to help you with planning your National Parks tour.

 

A Magical Disney Experience

A Magical Disney Experience

By Amanda Vallone

To see Disney through a two and three year olds eyes is truly magical!

art of animation aurora and maddi

This weekend I brought my daughter Aurora (not named after the princess, rather the Aurora Borealis- see Alaska) to visit her Gigi and her cousins in Orlando.

art of anuimation family

Sure Disney is only a hop, skip, and a jump from our office and home in DeLand, Florida… but we decided to get a hotel at Disney so we could make the most of the family experience and our time. Rather than driving to and fro on I-4 we crammed 6 of us in the family suite at the Art of Animation Resort on Disney Property.

art of animation entry

Art of Animation is the budget level accommodation on Disney property that is also the newest hotel on property. It is themed after the animators pallet. There are sketches everywhere and paintings. When you walk into the resort there are cast members who will teach your children how to draw famed characters like Nemo, one of the stars of the resort.

art lobby

Art of Animation is themed after Nemo, Little Mermaid, Lion King, and Cars. They have family style rooms and whole buildings and pools themed after each movie. We stayed in a Nemo Family suite. When you walked into our building ( building 4) you walked right under the seagulls known  to go “mine mine mine” well guess what? The said “mine mine mine” every 15 minutes. It wasn’t annoying, you could only hear it if you were right near them (and we had the first room in the hotel door entry- I promise they were not annoying).

The resort had one large Nemo/ mermaid under the sea style pool and one more small quiet “cozy cone” Cars themed pool.

Our family style suite was what I would consider to be related to a Holiday Inn style accommodation. It was a budget friendly accommodation. Not many frills or thrills.. Entry level. But totally Disney themed and did the trick!

Two totally cool things- We had 2 full baths in our room.

And 3 double beds or larger. So we were able to accommodate George and I plus Aurora in the Master bedroom (with a pack and play provided by the resort for Aurora).art of animation george

My sister in law, Stephanie stayed in the full size murphy bed in the  dining room, and my in laws, George & Joanne stayed in the family room on the pull-out couch.

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There was even a mini kitchenette

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Additional things at the resort were: Full food court, bar, fun bicycle experience around the lake (watch my youtube video here), and a huge Disney Store on property.

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For more information on Disney Vacation Packages including Disney Cruises Give us a call 386-734-7245 or visit our site. Click here

South Africa and Tarzan

By Amanda Vallone

It is Friday night… What does that mean? Movie night! So the Legend of Tarzan it is. Tiffany Clay has been going on about how great the new Tarzan movie is so George and I figured we would have to check it out. On a side note- I was a total True Blood fan, so the main actor in Tarzan,   Alexander Skarsgård, totally sold it for me before I ever saw the trailer.

So, what the heck does this blog post have to do about travel? Well, a lot! My normal day is just about as inconsistent as… let’s just say it is very inconsistent. Not because I cannot stay on task (though, I bet you are wondering if I can, after reading these first few sentences), but rather, what I do at Roseborough is wear a great many hats. One moment I will be blogging, the next moment I will be video posting, then there is flyers, facebook, newspapers, presentations, e-newsletters, group trips, website work… the list goes on. So, what was I doing today? Today I just so happened to be working on our 2017 South African Adventure.

I am so excited about this trip to South Africa including Botswana & Zimbabwe. As I was putting final details on the written portion of the flyer, and doing some additional research, my brain started reeling. Next year I will be going to my absolute numeral UNO destination on my live it list in the entire world. Eeeeeeeeeek!!!! Seriously, my heart is doing a little happy dance right now and I am literally giddy. Sure it is 11:30pm and I just had a cup of espresso (don’t ask me why). But the excitement is totally about Africa and not the caffeine!

So what will we be doing on this adventure you ask? Well let me tell you. We begin by flying into Cape Town which is a totally cool port city on the Southwest coast of South Africa. Cape Town is the second most populous urban area in South Africa and home to highlights including:

  • Table Mountain
  • Robben Island
  • V&A Waterfront
  • Camps Bay
  • Boulders Beach
  • Kirstenbosch Gardens
  • Wine Regions

I myself, am totally stoked about Table Mountain as well as Robben Island the former penal colony where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. Did you know the prison tours are actually now run my former political prisoners like Mr. Mandela whom have firsthand knowledge and experiences of the nearly 500 year system that Robben Island was built on. Our tour is actually going to end at his cell. I am not sure words can describe this. The only thing I can even relate this experience to (not having actually experienced Robben Island yet) is Alcatraz. When I went to San Francisco I was not overly excited about going to Alcatraz, rather it was a portion of a day tour to Muir Woods and Sausalito in which we chose the Alcatraz extension because my hubby George wanted to go. Well the tour was spoken in the words of the prisoners and the prison guards. It was spectacular! So I am only assuming that Robben Island would and should live up to that same odd historical prison experience I am somehow overly “excited” for. And if it for any reason does not live up to my dreams (which I highly doubt), we will be going to the winelands of South Africa for lunch and then a tour and tasting. Uh… SCORE!

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(Photo Credit: Poonam Jayarajan)

Yup, total wino and coffee addict am I… I think I may begin taste testing all of the South African Wines I can get my hands on to “prepare” for this trip. Its for educational value, isn’t it? Who wants to join me?

 Wine Tour

Anyway South Africa has amazing vineyards that are as if you stepped into the south of France- Dreams DO come TRUE!

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Ok ok, so where are all the animals? Well get this, I bet I will shock you with what animals we will see first.

Penguins! Yup, you read that right! We are going to see a colony of Penguins in Africa (my favorite)

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Next odd one up….

Seals!

 Elephant seal colony (mirounga angustirostris), California, 2007

OK, now for the Big Five- as we venture on to Chobe National Park this is where we will partake in not only game drives in those jeeps that you think of when people picture traveling through Africa. But we will also take a River Safari Ride. Remember, the animals come to the water to drink and cool down. So the river ride will give us the opportunity to see many bird species as well as animal drinking. My Salute Africa travel rep Bruce had a pack of Elephants cross in the water right in front of him (about 10 feet away). His wife got some great footage on her iPad. And they saw a bunch of hippopotamus up close and personal on this same river ride.

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So what are the Big Five? What does that term mean? The Big Five was a term coined back in the early 1900’s because it meant it was the most difficult and dangerous animals to kill/ hunt on foot. These animals include: the African lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, African leopard, and the rhinoceros. Today tour operators use this term to talk about the animals that would bring presidents and dignitaries to South Africa in years past. Now the only difference is, on our hunt we will be shooting them with our cameras and iPads.

After spending 2 nights in the Chobe National Park Lodge with game drives, boat rides, and hiking opportunities I am sure we will get our chance to see a ton of wildlife J

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And if all of that was not enough… we are going to see the AMAZING Victoria Falls. This magnificent wonder took over 500,000 years for nature to carve out and it is spectacular!

So how does that all relate to Tarzan? Watch the movie… the scenery alone will make you want to go to South Africa. Just about every 20 minutes I said “I cannot wait to go to Africa” from the animals to the beautiful landscape, the culture to the cuisine I literally cannot wait. My heart yearns to travel to South Africa, Zimbabwe, & Botswana on this trip. I am going next September and as soon as I have more details and a flyer posted I will definitely include it. In the meantime, I am going to have an event that will answer some questions about the trip. Join us Thursday, September 8th for our Let’s Talk Travel Series. It is themed Multi-generational Travel- but we are going to talk about this adventure because it is planned as a family friendly departure. That’s Right, Aurora the Explorer is coming along!

Let’s go to Africa!

Whirlwind of World Travelers

By Amanda Vallone

 

WOW WOW WOW! Some of you who read our blog know more about us than others. I am one of the owners of Roseborough Travel Agency and our marketing director. I get the unique opportunity to work in the travel industry and actually get to travel multiple times a year with groups of people worldwide. These clients are rightfully dubbed our #RoseboroughExplorers. Let me tell you, some of the people I have traveled with have had the most interesting, unique, and awe-inspiring experiences- they are true adventurers & explorers.

group

I have business partners, work wives- Cathy Blanchette & Tiffany Clay. Cathy and Tiffany are much more to me than just women I went into business with. They have been there for me in good times and bad. They are family. We are all one family at Roseborough. We work together, laugh together, cry together, fight with each other, and passionately strive for the same goals together (most of the time).

Group 5

Though we all have our own individual family, each of us are a member of one another’s family as well. We also live by the code that our clients and Roseborough Explorer’s are family to us. If you ever get the opportunity to go on a group departure with us you will soon realize what I mean by this.

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Example: Three years ago, my husband George and I were going through a medical procedure called IVF in order to start our family. While I was on a group trip through Alaska and the Yukon our Roseborough Explorers noticed every morning I would be up and out of the hotel or off the ship super early and at a medical facility. Then one of them walked in on George giving me an injection of my medicine in my back that I needed to take every day at 7pm – and we happened to be in the middle of a Tundra Wilderness Tour deep in the Denali National Park.

The group automatically became very concerned and started asking many questions. With so many people dealing with horrible conditions and diseases I think they were worried I was sick. So we had to tell them what was going on.

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While in Skagway, AK my nurse called me. One of those early morning doctors visits came back to the Orlando based clinic finally. My bloodwork was good. No, it was GREAT! I was pregnant. My trip to Alaska in 2013 my then unborn child instantly gained 21 #RoseboroughExplorer Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins- WE  ARE FAMILY!

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Jump ahead- My daughter Aurora (named after the Aurora Borealis  of Alaska) just turned two in April. We celebrated her birth with a party at home and do you know, I had so many of my Explorers reach out to me and wish my lil peanut a happy birthday and recall the day they found out we were having her? It is so touching to me to know she is so loved.

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So on we go… having a two year old at home is always a tad chaotic and add in a daddy who travels for work and myself who does events. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

So where in the world are our explorers going next? Well… Hawaii is our next stop! I cannot wait to cruise the Hawaiian Islands… We are under 60 days away– yippiee!

The next one I am super excited about is  our Iceland trip to see the Aurora Borealis aka Northern Lights in February– which we only have 4 seats left on.

And then onto Africa…

Our Explorers are going everywhere in the world. They are going to Europe for River Cruises, Israel for Holy Land Tours, and out West for the National Parks. It has been a whirlwind of travel experiences… kind of like this blog I suppose. I know I am be-bopping around all sorts of topics here. I guess in the end my point of the article is. Travel the world. Make memories. Experience life NOW while you can. Enjoy the whirlwind of emotions and experiences – TRAVEL! YOLO!

 

 

Elite Cruise & Tour Show Countdown Clock | CountingDownTo.com

WOW! I cannot believe the Elite Cruise & Tour Show is so close yet so far away. We have less than 2 month to prepare an amazing travel presentation for our clients. This is such an exciting event in our office and the suspense for whats new and amazing for 2013 and even 2014 in travel will blow you away! We have vendors including: Holland America Line, Viking River Cruises, NCL, Brendan Vacations, Discover Alaska, Pacific Delights, and Scenic Cruises– plus many more– who will all be offering you amazing booking promotions, travel tips, and a great time.

We hope to see you there!

Check out our Event Page and pre-register today: http://www.roseboroughtravel.com/default.asp?sid=36964&pid=59209

Elite Cruise & Tour Show Countdown Clock | CountingDownTo.com.

Are you a Foodie or Wino? Well do I have a Cruise for you!

Cuisine at Sea

When you go on vacation is one of your biggest concerns the food you will eat while you are there? Do you like to experience new types of foods? Enjoy the local flavors and hit the hot spots with the best meals?

Do you LOVE a good wine? Enjoy visiting wineries and learning about the process of wine-making?  Like exploring food pairings and enjoy where your taste buds bring you when you find that perfect Merlot, crisp Chardonnay, or savory Cabernet.

Whatever your taste may be- if you are a wino or a foodie you will fit right in on an Oceania Cruise. Recently, I went to a lunch and learn seminar to get better acquainted with the cruise line we love so much -Oceania- I came out mesmerized.

On a normal basis we tell our clients about taking the next step into an upper premium cruise like Oceania. This line is perfect for those seeking an escape from their high profile business careers and a way to relax in luxury, style, and comfort.But relax is not the only thing people want to do while on vacation. EXPERIENCE is another thing most want to do or have. How about taking a cooking class with a master chef? Well you can do this on an Oceania Cruise! And the foodie in you can experience love, relaxation, and a great vacation on Oceania too.