187 pages

Seabourn Odyssey in Venice

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Recently I’ve been in Venice for the 2015 Biennial. But also I have taken various photo’s of Cruise ships and find it interesting to do some research on the ships and the cruise companies and share it with my readers. Venice is one of the top Cruise destination. As far as I can tell it can have up to 10 large cruise ships moored. Usually they do Venice in one day and sail on. They dwarf the old city when they are heading to the Adriatic.

I’m not a cruising type myself, as I become claustrophobic with too many people on a ship. Especially embarking and debarking when they are anchored in stead of moored would make me crazy. I don’t like the passive way of traveling with huge ships. I’m rather my own captain on a smaller boat. My best cruises thus far were 2 tours with 10 friends on a sailing cruise from Bodrum, Turkey.

However I do like ships and I do like to take photo’s of them. The Cruise market is huge and booming again and a lot is happening. There are a couple of good blogs and sites about cruising and of course one of my interests is the design of such large ships and off course the operation which is basically a lot the same as a hotel operation, albeit in most instances in less space.

Seascanner says:

The Odyssey

On a length of 198 meters a crew of 330 persons takes care of up to 450 guests’ needs – an outstanding crew-guest-ratio! The Odyssey was completed in the summer of 2009 and features a built-in marina at the ship’s stern.

Staterooms

All staterooms on board the Odyssey are suites, starting with spacious 28m². 90% of all staterooms have private balconies with at least 6m². Every suite is equipped with a comfortable living area with writing desk, a personal refrigerator and bar stocked daily with your preferred spirits and sodas, sofa, entertainment center and wireless internet access.

Atmosphere on Board

Travellers on Seabourn ships enjoy perfect luxury combined with modern casualty. A smoking or dark suite with tie is not required, but formal nights are optionally offered for those who enjoy festive evenings. Nevertheless a pair of jeans is not welcome in the main restaurants. A good command of the English language is strongly recommended due to the international guests and English being official onboard language.

About Seabourn Cruise Line

Seabourn has been founded in Norway in 1986 with the “Seabourn Pride” entering service in 1988. Today, the cruise line is part of the Carnival Corporation and is – without a doubt – their most luxurious and prestigous brand. Seabourn stands for absolute perfection in service, great individuality due to the very small ships and modern, casual luxury.

It also gets high ratings from Cruise Critic

For an In Depth review go to Avid Cruiser

10 Questions for Carol Perehudoff – Interview 49

I have asked Carol Perehudoff of Wandering Carol, a real funny Luxury Travel Blog, my 10 questions:

WanderingCarol.com Terrace at Gritti Palace Hotel VeniceCarol and hubby at the Gritti Palace Hotel in Venice

1) Who Are you?

I’m Carol Perehudoff, aka Wandering Carol, at WanderingCarol.com – a luxury travel blog for those who love to laugh. A former freelance travel columnist with the Toronto Star, I’ve written for many publications such as the Chicago Tribune, Royal Wings and enRoute Magazine, and was voted a Top 10 Luxury Travel Blogger in USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards.

2) What do you like about what you do?

Traveling and writing! What could be a better combination? I once read on a postcard: “She was often gripped with a desire to be elsewhere,” and that pretty much sums up my life.

3) What don’t you like about what you do?

Jet lag is the perpetual curse of travel writers. I also have trouble with excruciatingly long dinners on press trips (a press trip is when a group of travel journalists are invited to explore a region, city or hotel and their trip itinerary is organized by their hosts), when all I really want to do is be back in my room processing what I’ve seen, keeping up with social media, blogging, etc. Oh, who am I kidding? After 12 hours with the same group of people I just want to have a bath and read a book. People need down time on trips, at least introverts like me do.

4) Please tell us all about your blog and your aims with it.

I want it to be fun. Also, I’m obsessed with researching historical details. Often those two things conflict. Over the last year or two I’ve been making my posts more info-filled so I can provide how-to’s as well as write in a narrative style. The primary goal of Wandering Carol is to entertain, to offer travel ideas and tips and to show people that luxury travel is more accessible than they think.

5) Your top 3 destination experiences you’ve ever stayed to date and why?

I get asked this a lot and I always say it’s like being asked to name my favourite child (except I don’t have children.) However, some adventures stand out. One memorable trip to Europe was when my husband and I rented an apartment in an old chateau in the wilds of the Cevennes region of France. It was so out of the way and romantic that I’ll never forget it. Hot springs spas in Tuscany are always a favourite of mine and snorkelling with beluga whales up in Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, had to be one of the most exciting experience I’ve ever had.

Brenners Park Hotel and Spa
Brenners Park Hotel and Spa

6) Your top 3 accommodations you’ve ever stayed to date and why?

Hm. Let me think. The restored Gritti Palace Hotel in Venice was like living in a doge’s palace – my top moment was having breakfast on the terrace overlooking the Grand Canal. (Mind you, it was my honeymoon so I was obligated to be happy.)
b) Brenners Park, an old world hotel in the spa town of Baden-Baden, Germany, has a gracious atmosphere, a lovely park setting and a high-end spa – and has hosted every celebrity from Bill Clinton to Heidi Klum. And since I like to imagine I move in these circles (though I definitely don’t), how could I not love Brenners?
c) The castle-like Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Banff, Canada, will always be high on my list. I grew up going to Banff almost every summer and the hotel looked like a fairytale to me.

7) Your top 3 most memorable food / wine experiences to date and why?

Well, eating chicken anus at a Japanese restaurant in Korea was pretty unforgettable. At the other end (pardon the pun) of the spectrum the tasting menu at Cuisinart Resort in Anguilla will be etched in my mind forever (along with their eco-friendly hydroponic garden). However, my absolute favourite restaurant in the entire world is La Colombe d’Or in the tiny town of St Paul de Vence in the South of France, because of the history (Picasso used to hang out there, along with a host of other starving artists), the art-cluttered walls and because it’s where I was introduced to black truffles.

8) Your 3 worst destination/ accommodation /food experiences to date and why?

Much as I love Thailand, the $6 room I had in Kanchanaburi Province was slightly terrifying. I was the only guest at the resort, although you couldn’t really call it a resort, and the only staff member at night was a security guard. The problem was that I didn’t realize I could turn off the light outside my room, so every creepy flying insect in the jungle was attracted to the light and buzzing and flapping outside my door – this made going to the bathroom, which was outside and down the hall, a perilous nocturnal adventure. It was much better once I got that light turned off, and strangely enough, after I befriended the local cat and let him sleep in my room, I ended up loving the place and even went back a second time. This restored my faith in myself as a traveler – I’d begun to think nothing but a 5-star hotel would satisfy me.
Another bad experience? I was watching an elderly man’s bags for him while he went to change money in a train station in Paris and the bag with his medications was stolen in front of my eyes. Oh, the guilt.
A third less than wonderful travel experience was when EasyJet cancelled our flight from Paris to Nice. After spending the entire day in the airport, we were finally given tickets for a flight late the next day. The problem was we’d rented an apartment in Nice and were supposed to be there that afternoon, and the owner had driven in from Grasse and was waiting for us. There was no phone in the apartment and he didn’t have a cell phone so there was no way to reach him until he’d given up and driven back to Grasse. To make it worse, EasyJet’s customer service was awful to us afterwards when we tried to get compensation, even though the employees at the time had assured us we’d get it. I’m still annoyed.

Ripley's Aquarium Toronto
Ripley’s Aquarium Toronto

9) Can you offer the readers 3 destination/ food / accommodation / things to do tips about the city you are currently living in?

Great question! Of course! Who doesn’t want to show off their city? I live in Toronto in the swishy (some would say snobby) area of Yorkville. But in the 60s it was the hippy hangout of choice, and there is so much more to the neighbourhood than high heels and pretentiousness. People can watch my Leopard Chicks Go to Yorkville Video to get an idea of what to see (and to be amazed by how stupid my friend and I look on video).
Toronto’s newest attraction is Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada. I recently went and found it a lot more educational than I’d expected to. I also had a love affair with a shark so maybe I’m biased.
Toronto has come a long way in the spa and 5-star hotel department lately, and as I am a wellness fanatic, I’d recommend checking out some of Toronto’s best spas. And if people have any more questions about Toronto they can contact me through my blog.

10) Any Question(s) you’d expected me to ask that you would like to answer?

My Take

Thank you for your contribution Carol. It’s always fun to see that the people I interview in this series, have similar preferences as I have. i love Venice and Tuscany and I love the Còte D’Azure around St Paul de Vence.

Monica Bonvicini

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At the Venice Biennial Monica Bonvicini, born in Venice, but living and working in Berlin, had a complete room in the Arsenale with chainsaw installations in concrete with dripping rubber.

The brochure says:

In Bonvicini’s hands, industrial materials are used to create a humorous critique of male power symbols.

It keeps me thinking.

Filed Under: Art

Lancia Appia

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And there I was in Senigallia, Italy, where the local classic car club had a meeting in front of the castle. I found this car which is very similar to my first car. I have owned it approximately two weeks. Then in the first shower it appeared that the back wheelarches where rotten. The prior owner had driven it approximately 15 years in those days (early 70ies). He was the best friend of my granddad. He stored the car in a garage and hadn’t noticed the wheelarches problems. He took the car back without a hassle and subsequently I bought my first Citroen, a 2CV. Not really sure anymore I have owned a series II Appia like this one or a series one…fond memories.

10 Questions for Chandler Tomayko of The Chef with Red Shoes – Interview 48

Happy to introduce you to a Real Chef: Chandler Tomayko.

Professional Portrait

1) Who Are you?

My name is Chandler Tomayko. I am 28 years old. I am a Chef, a Traveler and a freelance Photographer. I have spent the past several years participating in culinary workshops around the world, learning about different cultures, working in different restaurants, teaching and collaborating with professionals in different fields. I have two blogs: thechefwithredshoes.wordpress.com started out as a way for me to keep tabs on what I was doing while traveling and working. My second blog: chandlertomaykophotography.wordpress.com is my online photography portfolio.

2) What do you like about what you do?

I love that cooking allows me to be completely present. I have to use all 5 senses at all times, so there is not a part of me that isn’t involved. I sensory check myself constantly to see what it is that I am seeing, hearing, touching, smelling and tasting. I am in awe of how cooking brings people together. My travels have proven that regardless of language barriers, cultural differences and social inequalities, hungry people around a table can communicate and enjoy themselves.

3) What don’t you like about what you do?

Fortunately in my line of work I get to meet people from many countries and different cultural backgrounds. Many of these people are immigrants or ex-pats. The ugly underbelly of the culinary world is the exploitation you will find. Too many employees are overworked, underpaid and unappreciated. I see hardworking individuals who are tired and hungry, who still put forth their best effort to feed others who are tired and hungry. When was the last time you stopped to think how many hours the cook who made your dish has worked, or how much he is being paid or if he has had time to eat today? Kitchen families are unique. We miss our own family’s holidays, birthdays and special moments so we can provide those for other people. Most cooks will laugh at a 12 hour shift, because to us it is a thing of myth. I have been placed in situations where the only way for me to help, after exhausting all options, is to walk away to show my lack of support for the mistreatment of restaurant employees.

4) Please tell us all about your blog and your aims with it.

Recipe development and food styling 2
My first blog: thechefwithredshoes.wordpress.com has become a log of any culinary adventure, mistake, experiment, project or trip I undertake. I accept invitations, challenges and from time to time even a request or two. My main aim is to create a network of culinary oriented individuals who are generous with their knowledge. I am constantly seeking new participants who are willing to pass on a technique, host a traveling chef or share a useful tip.

My second blog: chandlertomaykophotography.wordpress.com serves as a portfolio for those interested in looking at my work for leisure or for those interested in hiring my services. I also accept photography subject/theme/project ideas to expand my repertoire. I like to be pushed of think outside of the box.

5) Your top 3 destination experiences you’ve ever stayed to date and why?

  • Every 2 years I attend Salone del Gusto. It is an international culinary festival that is just too awesome for words. Every time I visit amazing things happen, I meet the most interesting people and I sample some of the best food I have ever tasted. However on my first visit one of the coolest cultural things I have ever been a part of happened. At the end of each day, vendors, artisans, chefs, expositors and event staff pack up and set up things for the next day. They carry things out to their vehicles and clean their stands. This one evening there was a “traffic jam” of people carrying things and it came to a full halt in this open space right before an exit door. All festival visitors were already gone. The people from all different countries looked around at each other, kind of using body language to encourage each other to go first. This one guy while waiting set down his ice cooler and tapped out a beat like it was a drum. Another guy looked over at him, set down the box he was carrying and tapped out the same beat. In a matter of seconds an impromptu band was made with pots, pans, spoons, boxes, packages of rice and other random items. The song Guantanamera by Celia Cruz was being sung in multiple languages at once. I was pulled in by some random gentleman who tried to dance with me. We failed miserably and just swayed next to each other, laughing instead. As soon as the song was over, everyone picked up their things, smiled and filed out to their cars. It was a naturally occurring flash mob of sorts and it was incredible.

Meeting Miles in London

  • When I visited London I was walking across the courtyard for the Royal Guardsmen museum and overheard a frustrated tourist from Mexico trying to talk to a veteran in uniform. I offered to translate and was appalled when the tourist wanted me to ask the nice gentleman if he had served in the first world war, when he was obviously not a day over 70! William Miles was the guardsman’s name and he was so tickled with my unexpected assistance that he invited me out to join him for a private reception being held at the museum, treated me to lunch afterwards and we then attended a royal guardsmen concert. The following day I was invited to meet some of his friends at the Royal Chelsea Hospital and visit an art exhibit. I could not have had a better guide.
  • I worked and lived in the middle east for a short period. In Abu dhabi to be exact. It is not an experience I am fond of. During one of my lowest point towards the end of my trip I was scheduled to be on a stand by flight for a visa renewal trip. I had been sent by my employer over the border to Oman. They had guaranteed me that I would be able to get on the return flight they had scheduled. I was sick with the flu, suffering from headache, fever and chills. I was not provided with a means to get accommodation, I had packed only what I needed for the less than 24 hours I was supposed to be there. Of course, the flight was full, no space for stand bys. I had no phone to reach my employer, it was late and the next flight was over 5 hours later. Then I met Ahmed. An omani native that much to much luck worked for the airline and was on standby as well. He helped me reschedule my flight. We sat and talked at a coffee shop while waiting for the flight and asked each other all the uncensored questions we could think of regarding the other person’s culture. We became fast friends and during the remainder of my stay in the middle east, we played games, I taught him to cook and introduced him to s’mores. He was the highlight of my entire stay in Abu Dhabi. Wish I had met him sooner!

6) Your top 3 accommodations you’ve ever stayed to date and why?

  • I almost never travel somewhere new without using Couchsurfing. If you are unfamiliar with the movement, Couchsurfing is a volunteer-based worldwide network connecting travelers with members of local communities. Over the years I have been hosted by multiple people from the organization and each one has enriched my trips with their local insights, recommendations, how to’s and what not to do’s and above all their company!
  • Suites del Paradiso in Osara di Puglia, Italy. It is a place that was created by my good friend and colleague Peppe Zullo. The hotel is beautiful, simple and elegant but unpretentious. You wake up to mornig dew in a vineyard and a view of a town that dates back to the 1600’s. This place is the epitome of what you would imagine the Italian countryside to be like. The hospitality is very welcoming. Far enough from the little town to create an atmosphere of seclusion, but close enough where you can visit historic sites, meet Italian locals, sip an espresso in the afternoon overlooking the square or drive to a city or beach. To top it all off, Peppe is an incredible Chef with a farm to table concept that will make you appreciate seasonality.
  • Tempo Hotels & Residences was a little place I stayed at in Turkey. I originally picked it due to its low price, after I realized I would need a place to sleep during my layover. Each floor of the hotel has a different theme ranging from nature to comic book super heroes. They humored me when I requested to change floors because I wanted to see the other themes. Their breakfast that is included with the rate is wonderful. It is exactly what locals eat, there are a lot of options for such a small place and you can start your day off very well fed. Their customer service is exceptional. Noticing I had not come out of my room during the afternoon, the front desk clerk rang to see if I wanted him to order me something from the place he was getting lunch from!

7) Your top 3 most memorable food / wine experiences to date and why?

Recipe development and food styling

  • My colleague Peppe Zullo introduced me to Angelo from Pane e Salute. He is a baker with an oven from the year 1520 that he uses to bake bread for the town, because many of their homes are old and historic and not allowed to have modern ovens. He decided to unexpectedly make lunch and asked my travel companion and I to stay. I watched several elderly older Italian women stop by with pasta dishes and sweets to say thank you to Angelo for baking their bread that week. Lunch intended for 3 turned into a table for 5 when two travelers that had come all the way from Milan just to shake Angelo’s hand were also asked to join us. The meal was simple and homemade, but by far one of the best meals I have ever had! We feasted on uovo pomodoro, olive fritti and assorted sauteed vegetables, fresh wine and bread.
  • I spent a short amount of time in San Francisco and fell in love with a restaurant by the name of Namu Gaji. I had read about the owners and the story behind the restaurant. I was very impressed. I dined there on my first night in town and was so captivated by the meal that I promised to return the next morning for brunch. I did just that and ended up staying all the way until dinner time. The staff allowed me to pester them with questions so I could write an article for my blog. I ate to my heart’s content and ended the night with a round of drinks courtesy of one of the owners. The restaurant has flawless dishes, a hardworking staff, a cohesive ambiance and just a very welcoming vibe that made me want to just put on a an apron and help out if only they would let me stay. I am a Namu Groupie.
  • The Festa dei Frutti Dimenticati is a very obscure festival in Italy. It took two attempts, endless research and an unexpected travel companion for me to find it. Farmers in Casola Valsenio harvest fruits that date back hundreds of years and varieties of fruits that are hard to find anywhere else. Locals showcase their produce over a weekend of celebration. Stone streets, jazz quartets in the street, pop-up bistros, local artisans, culinary concoctions galore… It almost didn’t seem real. I cannot wait to visit the festival again.

8) Your 3 worst destination/ accommodation /food experiences to date and why?

  • When I traveled to Abu Dhabi I took a commercial flight departing from New York. I had the worst seat buddy ever! He was a very rude man from India. He took other passenger’s luggage out of the overhead cabin and placed it in the aisle so he could put his bag where he wanted to. He was very rude to the stewardess and insulted the passengers sitting in the rows in front of me and behind me. He flossed his teeth while sitting next to me with the plastic package that holds the blanket and pillows. He fell asleep and put his feet under my seat. He talked to himself and complained very loudly while people were trying to sleep on the very long flight. The worst thing was that many people though I was with him in the beginning. I was so embarrassed!
  • On one of my visits to Italy, a colleague went with me and we decided to rent a car and do a roadtrip. We were headed to Cinque Terre and got terribly lost. Our GPS kept telling us to get off of the highway, it sent us down a lot of dead end streets and sent us to the wrong town 5 times! We were lost for 5 hours which put us behind schedule and made us very frustrated. We later learned that whoever rented the car before us had programmed the GPS to avoid highways and that is why we couldn’t reach our destination!
  • One time when I was traveling I had a layover in Miami. It was AWFUL. My layover was 15 hours long and they wouldn’t allow me to check into my connecting flight for another 7 hours! I was not allowed into the airport because I didn’t have my next plane ticket. I didn’t have money to stay overnight at a hotel. The Miami airport shuts all their stores and restaurants down at night. So there was nothing to do, nothing to eat, I had nowhere to stay. I found a section of nice recliner chairs and couches where a few other travelers were also resting. I decided to try to take a nap and just wait until I could check into my next flight. All the travelers that were in that area were tired and frustrated with not being able to get into the airport. However there was a security guard who would come by every 30 minutes and shout at all of us “Remember Ladies and Gentleman, this is not a hotel, you cannot sleep here!” So no one got any sleep and by the time I checked into my flight I was exhausted!

9) Can you offer the readers 3 destination/ food / accommodation / things to do tips about the city you are currently living in?

Makapuu Lighthouse in Oahu

  • I currently live on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. My favorite restaurant is Yaki Yaki Miwa. It is a Japanese restaurant specializing in Osaka style cuisine located on King Street. The staff is very friendly and the chef, Takumi is awesome! i usually talk to him using a translator on my phone because his first language is Japanese and although he speaks English, we have some difficulties sometimes. The food is great, my favorite dish is the Okonomiyaki! The prices are affordable, there is parking next to the building, the only thing to keep in mind is they are closed on Mondays.
  • While you are on the island if you want to explore the outdoors I highly recommend the Makapuu lighthouse trail and tide pools. It has beautiful scenery, old military pillboxes, ancient tide pools, a blowhole and lighthouse landmark. You can choose to just hike and enjoy the terrain or you can even get into the water. If you are lucky you can sight whales at the right time of year..
  • The other activity I think is a must is visiting the USS Arizona Memorial. A homage to many of those lost in the Pearl Harbor tragedy, it is a very humbling experience. It is free to visit the museum and walk around the Pearl Harbor historic site. Get there early if you go during the weekend or at least by lunch during the week. Approximately 2000 free tickets are handed out daily for a ferry that will take you across the water to the memorial built over the sunken USS Arizona.

10) Any Question(s) you’d expected me to ask that you would like to answer?

What’s next?

Well to be honest, I never really know. I have a few things I would like to accomplish in the next couple years. I would love to collaborate with my colleagues in their places of business and do like a stage tour. I would also like to herd reindeer with the Saami natives that I have met at Salone del Gusto. I would also like the opportunity to learn more in the mixology and coffee related areas of my field. I am open to invitations to any new experiences! *hint hint

MyTake

It was a pleasuree having you here Chandler, a lady with many talents. Thank you!