Swimming with dolphins at Discovery Cove
You’d think swimming with dolphins was just for little kids wouldn’t you?
- Swimming with dolphins at Discovery Cove Florida
This big kid towered feet above the little kids as we waited in the waters of Discovery Cove in Florida for the dolphins to arrive. What excitement, and what an experience.
I couldn’t wait to be kissed by the dolphins; they all seemed to be smiling and loving what they did. I prefer seeing them in the wild I confess, but what a treat for a day out if you’re taking the family on a holiday in Florida.
Theme park family vacations at Universal Studios Orlando
Stay at Universal Studios Orlando - the theme park at Universal is AMAZING, the hotels are geared up to families of course, and now Harry Potter has come onto the scene. Take a day trip out of the resort to swim with the dolphins at Discovery Cove.
It’s not cheap but worth every penny… and every kiss.
Find out more about swimming with dolphins at Discovery Cove >>
Find out more about family holidays at Universal Studios Orlando >>
She looked mysterious and intriguing, her hair and face hidden from view by the burqa which many Omani women wear. Gold bracelets jingled on her wrists and her dark brown eyes smiled from behind the traditional black mask as she gently placed a similar one over my face hoping I would buy one.
Batgirl gone wrong?
Now I come to think about it – having seen the photograph – rather than giving me a demure smile I’m convinced she was trying hard to muffle a hearty laugh as, instead of looking mysterious and exciting, I looked like Batgirl gone wrong.
Silver Omani khanjars
Camel train, Wahiba Sands
How strange it is to mingle in the narrow streets of the ancient souk (market) with men in their long white dishdashas (long white robes worn by Muslim men) and walk alongside women draped in their jet black abbayas and shielding burqas (a long cloak-like garment and a mask that covers nose and mouth); to hear the dulcet tones of the muadhdhin calling worshippers to the mosque to pray, to listen to the bubble of sheesha pipes being puffed in quiet corners, and to smell burning frankincense wafting through the maze of alleyways.
Hotels are chic in Oman
Sophisticated piano bar
…And then to return to a modern sumptuous hotel oozing luxury from every nook and cranny – rich Persian carpets and shimmering marble under foot, twinkling crystal chandeliers above; to savour canapés and cocktails in the trendy Piano Bar, and to see bikini-clad women fooling around on the beach or laying prostrate on poolside sun-beds topping up tans which had overflowed days before.
Dhow boat building yard
But how enjoyable it is… to soak up the sun especially in January and February when it hibernates in the UK but is in full bloom in the Sultanate of Oman – a fascinating country which only opened its doors to the West after the present ruler, Qaboos bin Said Al Said, overthrew his tyrannical father in a bloodless palace coup in 1970.
Explore Oman… it’s a country so diverse it is likely to captivate you - as it has me.
For more information on Oman click here >>
For details of adventure holidays in Oman and adventure travel in Oman click here >>
Exploring the interior of Gran Canaria, the third largest of the seven major islands in the Canary Islands, is rather like finding yourself on a collection of assorted film sets. I love exploring this diverse island!
Some areas of Gran Canaria are lush, others lunar-like
Rural Gran Canaria, a photographer's Mecca
You’ll find a kaleidoscope of landscapes… volcanic craters, mountains, deep ravines, oddly shaped basalt rocks, desert features, dunes, and archaeological sites as well as 100-year old pine tree forests, thick palm groves, sub-tropical vegetation, exotic plants and fruits.
Miles of sand dunes at Maspolomas
Visit Gran Canaria for yourself and you’ll see exactly why it is called a “miniature continent”. You’ll also understand why UNESCO reckons it’s a “natural treasure of the world”. I’ll certainly vouch for that.
Agapanthus thrive in Gran Canaria
Colourful strata near Artenara
Lush ferns in Gran Canaria pine forest
Fortunately I discovered some stylish rural accommodation in Gran Canaria and was really lucky in finding an excellent English-speaking walking guide in Gran Canaria who is also a knowledgeable wildflower guide in Gran Canaria too. I’m not selfish – so I’ll share them with you….
… read on and you’ll also find some travel tips for your Gran Canaria rural holiday:
Read more »
If you’ve got children, read on… I just have to share this oh-so-family-friendly Caribbean resort with you. It’s an action-packed family resort – a little heaven made for children.
Meet lots of fun visitors at Beaches Turks & Caicos...
... and enjoy lots of fun in the water at Beaches Turks & Caicos
Clear turquoise waters that rank among the world’s top diving destinations, endless fun for kids and teens, an option of exclusive butler-service suites, and a twelve mile stretch of powder white sand beach is a dream all-inclusive family vacation waiting for families in the Caribbean at the Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa.
Lazy River in the Waterpark at Beaches Turks & Caicos
Water, water everywhere at Beaches Resort Turks & Caicos
Trust me, this all-inclusive family resort in the Caribbean will make your children’s holiday dreams come true.
Carnival parade at Beaches, Turks & Caicos, Caribbean
Beaches Turks & Caicos has the best beach ever... 12 miles of soft sand
Once your tots and teens discover the wide range of fun activities available to them at Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort (all included in the price) I guarantee you’ll be returning year-after-year. If you don’t, your kids will go without you! Read more »
I’ve recently returned to the UK from a three months’ stint in the Caribbean working on an editorial project for Sandals Resorts International – carrying out hotel and resort reviews in Jamaica, the Bahamas (including the Exumas), and the Turks & Caicos. And I’m missing the Caribbean sun, the laid-back attitude and, yes, even the rainy reason.
Looking through my Caribbean image library, I think it’s time I shared a few more Caribbean pictures with you, so… watch this space!
For more information on all-inclusive holidays in the Caribbean, all-inclusive honeymoons in the Caribbean, and Sandals Resorts visit www.sandals.com.
Chilling out in luxury accommodation in Jamaica
Italianate gardens in Jamaica
Where am I?
Wandering through the resort I could be in the USA, but there’s a sign to the French village and another to the Italian village.
Believe it or not I’m actually in the Caribbean… in Jamaica.
I’m in a massive estate full of blooms in every colour, an act only the Caribbean can stage. But it is Italianate.
Read more »
Spa wow-factor hits roof
The Barai - exotic & tranquil
We all know travel writers are lucky enough to stay in some fantastic hotels and resorts. This is one hotel in Thailand where chaining yourself to the bed warrants serious consideration.
Architecturally stunning, The Barai is an exclusive eight suite hotel and spa attached to the Hyatt Regency Hua Hin.
Set in lush tropical gardens with panoramic views of the Gulf of Thailand, the spa has 18 exotic treatment rooms. It’s a tranquil and luxurious hotel to stay in, ideally located beside the long sandy beach in Hua Hin, Thailand.
Bed big enough for six
My ground floor beautifully furnished suite has a private outdoor plunge pool. The suite is spacious, the bed big enough for six.
There’s an oversize bathtub and a relaxing massage platform in the bathroom. Mmm… and a private butler too. Makes me want to move in permanently. Read more »