Province;Quebec (North America's France)

                                             Quebec City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
If you live on the North American continent and are yearning for a taste of France without the jet lag you'll find it in the beautiful province of Quebec in Canada. Quebec is a French speaking province with much to see and do. There's the exciting international city of Montreal, the peaceful Laurentian Mountains which are considered some of the oldest mountains in the world, Ile d' Orleans with its idyllic charm and Quebec City one of the oldest settlements in North America. Saguenay Fjord National Park is a gem as are many other national parks throughout Quebec.

Summer is a splendid time to visit the province of Quebec when the days are sunny and long but
the fall season has its own perks with the brilliant colorful foliage that brighten the already spectacular scenery and the crisp fresh air that makes one wish for fresh picked apples at one of the many farm orchards.

Quebec is a very large province and it happens to be the largest of Canada's ten provinces. It's a long trip from the south to the north of Quebec and vice versa. A good starting point for a tour of Quebec is the city of Quebec. With an array of lodging from quaint bed and breakfasts to roadside hotels to the iconic "Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac Hotel"finding a place of your choice is easy with advance or last minute booking through websites like booking. com.




                                               Spending time in Old Town Quebec is mesmerizing.

Old Quebec is the only walled city north of Mexico and the Old Town is a Unesco World Heritage site. The narrow cobblestone streets clustered with 17th and 18th century houses are a delight to the eyes. Horse drawn carriages are available for an authentic sightseeing experience. Try to visit as many sights as possible; Artillery Park,  Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, La Citadelle, Musee de la Civilisation, Petite-Champlain District with its boutiques and cafes, and Terrace Dufferin. Sailing on the Saint Lawrence River with Quebec City Historic Discoverers Cruise is a great option.


                                                       It feels like France in Quebec City.

Embrace the charms of Quebec City and linger for as long as you can in a region of Canada that feels so much like Europe. Enjoy the street performances by talented acrobats and musicians,
sip a cappuccino at an outdoor cafe, take a French class, tour a chocolate factory, explore Plains of Abraham "The Battlefield Park" a large urban park, and don't miss the spectacular Montmorency Falls Park.


                                       The crepes at "Le Billig Bistro"are authentic and tasty.
                                         
 Dining in and around Quebec City:

*Aux Anciens Canadiens is located in a historic home and serves traditional Quebec fare.
34 Rue Saint-Louis 

*Le Saint-Amour is an artful and exquisite French restaurant and one of Canada's top rated restaurants for dining and fine wines.
  48 Saint-Ursule Street


*Les Trois Garcons Bistro is popular for gourmet burgers and pommes frites. 
1084 Rue Saint-Jean 


*Le Billig Bistro with its cozy atmosphere is perfect for authentic French crepes.

481 Rue Saint-Jean

*Pub St-Alexandre is a traditional English tavern specializing in fish and chips.

1087 Rue Saint -Jean
                                           Fairmount Le Chateau Frontenac is a historic hotel.

SPOTLIGHT ON FAIRMONT LE CHATEAU FROTENAC HOTEL


Named after Louis du Buade, a French governor, Fairmount Le Chateau Frontenac Hotel was originally designed as a railway travel stopover. Built in the 19th century by Canadian Pacific Railway manager William Van Horne with the help of New York architect Bruce Price this iconic hotel represents the style of the "Middle Ages" Since its1893 opening many distinguished and famous guests have stayed at the castle like hotel.
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Midsommar (Midsummer) in Sweden

                                           
The Swedes most favorite holiday is Midsommar. (Midsummer).  It's a huge deal all around Sweden to gather outdoors and celebrate the longest day of the year when the darkness of night is replaced by twilight. This year Swedish Midsummer was held on Friday the 24th of June.

The countryside is often the preferred place for Swedes to celebrate because of the tranquility and array of wildflowers but parks and town squares are also popular spots to celebrate Midsummer. It's a tradition for Swedish women and men to wear floral crowns for Midsummer while they enjoy dancing, drinking, feasting, and singing on "summer solstice."

A popular drink for Swedish Midsummer is the "elderflower cordial cocktail. 

 Elderflower Cordial Cocktail:

Take 2 parts Bourbon, 1/2 part St. Germain, and 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters. Stir the ingredients in a glass and top with orange twist. 

June is a perfect time to visit Sweden when the days are extra long for exploring this beautiful Scandinavian country.


                                      Adrianna wearing her flower crown in Sweden                                  

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Cornwall, England...The Southwest Jewel

England is famous for The Queen and Royal Family, for Shakespeare, London, the countryside,
biscuits, crumpets, and tea, fish &chips, black cabs, driving on the left, Aston Martin, Big Ben, Harrods, the Beatles, Harry Potter, James Bond, cricket, Cambridge and Oxford Universities....one could carry on about the wonders of England.

On the southwest peninsula of the island of England lies "Cornwall" famous for being the birthplace of pasties. The "cornish pasty" a culinary heritage evolved in the 18th century when wives of Cornish tin miners prepared this simple meal made of a short crust pastry and filled with beef, potatoes, onions, and swede for their husbands who worked hard in the dark and damp mines.


                                         Cornish Pasties are famous in Cornwall

Today with its mind temperatures, lovely scenery, and relaxing seaside resorts Cornwall is a splendid vacation spot for those living in or visiting the United Kingdom. Popular places to enjoy in the Cornwall region are Bude, Falmouth, Newquay, Penzance, Perranporth, St Ives, and Truro. 

Be certain to enjoy an authentic crimped "Cornish Pasty" when in Cornwall.







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Reflecting on Nature in Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park: VIETNAM

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in Vietnam is designated a Unesco Heritage Site as of 2003. This national park contains the oldest Karst mountains in Asia and over 800 vertebrate species. Composed of 300 caves and grottos, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is a recreational outdoor paradise where reflecting on nature is what to do


Explore and reflect at the Botanic Garden, Hang Toi, Hang Va, Paradise Cove, Tu Lan Cave and much more. 

Where to stay:

Phong Nha Farm Stay 

phong-nha-cave.com/farmstay/rooms 

Phong Nha Mountain House

phongnhamountainhouse.com 

Where to eat:  
Bamboo Cafe
Tuan Ngoc Restaurant 
Vung Hue
Wild Boar Eco Farm 

What to Do:
danangexperience.com


Vietnam is world famous for it's creative and delicious cuisine. A popular beverage in Vietnam is the Sinh to Bo (Avocado Shake)


Sinh to Bo (Avocado Shake)

Blend together 1 cup of ice cubes, 1 ripe and scooped avocado, 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup condensed
milk. Blend at high speed until smooth.

Stir before pouring into small glasses.



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Brazil and the Acai Bowl



                                                     Acai Berry Tree

We have the Brazilians to thank for introducing the world to acai berries. Acai, pronounced (a-sa-EE) are nutritious berries that grow on a species of palm trees in Central and South America. They're a deep purple color and are best enjoyed as a frozen puree. It was in Brazil where the delicious "acai bowl" was created in the 1990's and enjoyed by Brazilian surfers. The recipe for "acai bowl" soon made it to Southern California where it became a smashing hit. No matter where you live in the world, once you  try an "acai bowl" you'll be hooked on this good for you meal that's loaded with antioxidants, and vitamins. An "acai bowl" is vegan and tastes terrific.
  

ACAI BOWL RECIPE

Sambazon is a big producer of pure unsweetened superfruit acai packs. These packs are often found in the freezer section of grocery stores and supermarkets. 


Acai Bowl Mixture

 2 packs of Sambazon Pure Unsweetened Superfruit Packs
1/2 a banana
1 cup of cashew or coconut milk
1/2 cup of frozen mixed berries

Blend the above ingredients in a blender and pour the thickened mixture into a bowl. You can also mix in two tablespoons of almond butter or peanut butter for added flavor.

Acai Bowl Toppings

cacao bits
granola
coconut flakes
sliced kiwi fruit
sliced banana
blackberries
blueberries
raspberries
strawberries

You can top your acai bowl with all of the above toppings or choose a few of your favorites.
                                   

                                You'll enjoy every spoonful of your ACAI BOWL
                                        







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Christmas Doughnuts in Southern Spain (A Tradition) Feliz Navidad

In Southern Spain it's a tradition during the Christmas season to eat doughnuts called
ROSCO'S NAVIDENOS. 


ROSCO'S NAVIDENOS

1 liter of olive oil
2 kg of flour
1/4 litro of Aguardiente
1/4 litro of orange juice
1/4 litro of white wine
1/4 kg of sugar
1 stick of cinnamon
150 grams of anis seeds
rind of one lemon and one orange
2 tablespoons of baking powder

Fry oil with half of the anise seeds along with lemon and orange rinds. Heat cinnamon stick in a pan and then grind it up. Add to the mixture. Strain the oil and add flour, Aguardiente, white wine, orange juice, baking powder and sugar. Once all the ingredients are mixed together knead the dough into a tight ball. Form the dough into doughnut circles. Place doughnuts on a baking sheet and bake 20-25 minutes at an oven temperature of 175 degrees.

Use the remaining anise seeds to add to hot water. The anise seeds and hot water should be like a herbal tea. Dip each doughnut into the tea then ice each doughnut with a powdered sugar icing.

Let the doughnuts cool and enjoy a true Spanish Christmas treat!






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Tarifa Espana es Hermoso! (Tarifa, Spain is beautiful)






                                      An "Ancient Castle" in Tarifa


We never know in our travels what lies ahead of us especially when we're traveling solo to a destination for the first time with no exact itinerary. For me Tarifa, Spain was supposed to just be a stopover before sailing across the Straits of Gibralter on my way to North Africa's Tangler, Morocco. However when the bus from Sevilla arrived in Tarifa it was too late for me to catch a ferry to Morocco. I was fortunate to find a cozy place to stay for only 26 Euro's and the apartment was right on the beach. (Thanks to an AIRBNB host).

Tarifa, Espana (Tarifa, Spain) is the kind of place that you want to call home. It's laid back, the people are friendly, the beaches are gorgeous, there's an abundance of bakeries, cafe's, shops, and restaurants to choose from, and the weather is glorious. 

In Tarifa, the Atlantic and Mediterranean meet together, the sun shines a lot, and it's the perfect place to enjoy the outdoors. Tarifa is situated in Andalusia the southernmost top of Spain and is famous for its winds all year long. 

The Foundation for Information and Research on Marine Mammals (FIRMM) offers a 2 hour boat trip (April-October) with researchers. Passengers can watch various dolphins and whales swimming in the Straits of Gibralter.

From Tarifa, Spain there are two ferry companies that sail over to Tangler, Morocco. You can leave early in the morning, spend the day in North Africa, and sail back to Tarifa in the evening of the same day. 

When you're longing for a holiday don't pass up on Tarifa, and it's surrounding area. This part of the world is a dream place to be. Tarifa Spain is beautiful….Tarifa Espana es Hermoso!

Activities

Tarifa Kite School has an international team of professional instructors who teach kitesurfing.

Firmm (Foundation for Information and Research on Marine Mammals) offers daily 2 hour boat trips with close views of dolphins and whales. (Sailings are from April-October)


Ferry Companies (Daily Ferry Service from Tarifa to Morocco)

FRS, Calle Alcalde, 11380 Tarifa, Cadiz

Inter-Shipping, Estacion, Maritima, 11380 Tarifa, Cadiz


Tapa's (A Spanish Tradition)

Bar Restaurant Morilla
In the heart of Old Town, this place serves quality tapas and seafood

Bodega La Casa Amarillo
Nice decor, one of the most popular places to eat in Tarifa

La Burla
A simple place known for great tapas and wine


                               Beach in Tarifa, Spain
                            







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