Archive for October, 2012

October 24, 2012

Alaska …the beautiful!

The most immediate, and dramatic, impression Alaska is likely to make on you comes from its sheer size. Alaska has more than twice the area of Texas, and is rimmed by more coastline than all of the other states combined. No wonder the Aleutian people named it “the Great Land.” MountMcKinley — the tallest peak in North America, at more than 20,000 feet — looms over Denali National Park and Preserve. The park itself is larger than Massachusetts, helping to explain how Alaska contains more than two-thirds of the United States’ total national park acreage.

Not only is Alaska huge, it is magnificent. The unbelievable scenery is what first catches the eye. Row after row of glacier-garbed mountains stretch to the horizon. Some are reflected in the water of lakes dyed a bluish hue by the silt of melting ice and snow.

Braided rivers, which find new routes around ice dams that form during winter, meander through U-shaped valleys that were gouged out eons ago by advancing glaciers. Whether flying over, driving through, walking in, or viewing it from the deck of a ship, the sheer drama of Alaska’s scenery is difficult to express in words.

October 10, 2012

Speak just a little Italian

A few years ago I read a delightful book by Dianne Hales called La Bella Lingua: My Love Affair with Italian, the World’s Most Enchanting Language.  Recently I came across what Dianne thought was the briefest list of required Italian for anyone visiting Italy.  I thought it was worth sharing since many of my blog readers are clients whose Italian journeys I help plan.

  • Greetings. Know how to say “buongiorno” (bwohn-JOR-noh) for “Good morning” or “Good Day”; “buona sera” (BWOH-nah-SAY-ra) for “Good evening”; and “arrivederci” (ah-ree-vay-DEHR-chee) for goodbye (obligatory when you leave a shop or restaurant).
  • Disclosure. Say up front, “Non parlo italiano” (nohn PAR-loh ee-tah-leeAH-non) for “I don’t speak Italian.” A good follow-up question: Parla inglese? (PAR-lah een-GLAY-zay) Do you speak English?
  • Courtesy. Please, thank you, and you’re welcome are the most important phrases in any language. The Italian phrases are “per favore” (pehr fah-VOH-ray); grazie (GRAHT-zee-ay) and prego (PRAY-goh).
  • Personal preferences. Wherever you go, someone will ask, “Va bene?” (VAH BAY-ne): “Is it going well? Is everything okay?” If it is, you can reply “Si, bene!” (see BEHN-nay) for yes, all is well. “Mi piace” (mee pee-AH-chay) means “I like”; non mi piace, “I don’t like it.”
  • Prices. Bottom line, you’re going to be buying food, tickets, souvenirs and other irresistible things. Before you do, you’ll want to know, “Quanto costa?” (KWAHN-toh KOH-sta): How much does it cost?

Buon Viaggio My Friends !

October 5, 2012

Colleen Lamont Named A+ Travel Agent

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