Cheap Air Fares to Europe

I just read a recent article in the Wall Street Journal about new sources of cheap air fares to Europe.  This summer, the fares to Europe have been very high.  In this article, New Sources of Cheap Fares to Europe,  the author talks about discount international airlines starting to fly from smaller U.S. airports for much less than the traditional airlines.  For example, a  flight out of T.F. Green to Frankfurt on Condor airlines costs $700 versus a flight from Boston to Lufthansa at $1743.  Business class on these flights can be several thousand dollars less as well.  Condor flies out of Portland, Oregon and will soon add flights out of Austin, Texas.  If you are planning a trip to Europe this summer, it is worth checking out flights from smaller regional airports for potential savings.

Best Lobster Rolls – July 4th and Summer in New England

beach plum lobster rollSummer in New England means the beaches and lobster rolls.  Yahoo has partnered with Yelp to come up with a list of the Best Lobster Rolls in New England for 2015. Check out the picture of the “foot long” lobster roll at the Beach Plum in Portsmouth on Route 1.  This place is my daughter’s favorite. I would personally add Ken’s in Scarborough, Maine for the best lobster chowder I have ever had.  Happy Summer and 4th of July!

Boston’s Fireworks Number 1 with Trip Advisor

fireworks

Trip Advisor just came out with a list of the top 10 fireworks displays across the country and Boston’s fireworks was number 1 on the list.  If you are in the area, check them out or just enjoy your local fireworks celebrations over the 4th. Trip Advisor Top 10 Firework Displays

Special Recipe for Father’s Day

Treat your Father to a delicious recipe that he will surely love. Steak with authentic Sauce Bordelaise.

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Thinking of a Trip to Aruba

Diane Bashaw, the owner of Making Memories Travel Company just returned from a 10-day visit to Aruba.  She toured many of the resorts and hotspots on the island, She learned of the many updates to the resorts and the island, and we can make some great recommendations if you are thinking of traveling to Aruba anytime soon.  Contact me to learn more. Here are some of her pictures:

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aruba church

This is the church on the island where weddings take place.

aruba wedding

You can have your wedding on the beach as well.

Grab Your Girlfriends and GO!

beaches turksThe best memories are made with best friends!  Experience a BFF Girls Getaway at Beaches Turks and Caicos September 24-28, 2015. Enjoy a Beach Bonfire Pajama Party, Private Catamaran Cruise, Jewelry and Wine Soiree, Seaside Yoga and Meditation, $200 Red Lane Spa Credit and MORE!  Contact me to learn more.

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My Favorite Easter Side Dish

With Easter coming this weekend, I wanted to share one of my favorite Easter Side dish recipes.  For larger groups, I use more potatoes, more of the cheeses,  increased the milk and reserved cooking liquid.

Two-Potato Gratin Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 medium baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 3 cups)
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 4 cups)
  • 2 quarts no-salt-added chicken stock (such as Swanson)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 ounces aged Gruyère cheese, shredded (about 3/4 cup)
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 ounce fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup)

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Place potatoes in a large stockpot; cover with stock. Bring mixture to a boil; cook 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Carefully remove potatoes from pot using a slotted spoon, reserving cooking liquid. Arrange potato slices in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan; set aside. Strain cooking liquid through a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl; reserve 1 cup cooking liquid. Discard solids and remaining cooking liquid.

3. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add oil to pan. Sprinkle flour over oil; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Combine milk and reserved 1 cup cooking liquid. Gradually pour milk mixture into flour mixture in pan, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add thyme sprigs to pan. Bring mixture to a boil; cook 4 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl, reserving sauce; discard solids. Stir 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and Gruyère cheese into sauce.

4. Spread 1/2 cup sauce in bottom of a broiler-safe 2-quart ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange a single, flat layer of sweet potato and then baking potato slices over sauce. Over flat layer, alternate baking potato and sweet potato slices, in shingle-like fashion. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon chives, and chopped thyme; pour remaining sauce over potato mixture. Sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife.

5. Remove gratin from oven. Preheat broiler to high.

6. Place gratin in oven. Broil gratin 3 minutes or until browned. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon chives.

The Best River Cruises of 2015

regent pic

River Cruising is becoming very popular and all river cruise lines are adding more ships and more itineraries.  Most river cruises are all-inclusive and you are basically on a floating hotel.  You can see cities and landscapes that cannot be viewed on ocean cruises.  The Best River Cruise Itineraries for 2015 are highlighted on Fodor’s.com.

Contact me if I can help you plan your river cruise for 2015!

The Best Day to Buy Airline Tickets

For some time, it has been thought that the best day to buy airline tickets is Tuesday.  A recent analysis by the Airline Reporting Corporation (ARC) that handles about 1/2 of all tickets sold looked at a 19 month period which ended in July of this year and found that the best day to book airline flights for the lowest price is actually Sunday and the second lowest prices are found on Saturday.  This is highlighted in a recent article in the Wall Street JournalThis is attributed in part to social media with airlines offering discounts to leisure travelers who will be looking to book travel on the weekends. Business travelers typically book their tickets during the work week and are not as concerned about the price of the tickets.  Airline executives say that they still send out emails, etc. with sales on Tuesdays after they have analyzed the weekend sales data so Tuesdays are the busiest time to book domestic flights and the cheapest day of the work week for fares.

The ARC analysis also showed that the best time to buy domestic trips was 57 days before the trip but this can vary by airline and is definitely impacted if the planned trip is during a holiday period.  For example, February vacation week for the Northeast is a very busy time to book travel to Florida so trips during this time period should be booked early.

 

28 Ways to Eat Apples

It is apple picking season and I liked this post – good ideas for all the apples you are picking. This is one of the 28 ways – Click on the picture for more.

apples