From Australia to Amsterdam!
As the holidays approach, The Team at Admiral Travel International takes time to reflect on special memories of Holiday travel... along with some excitement for trips they are preparing to take this season! The Holidays are a time to get together with the ones we love most, and what better get together than a planned trip to somewhere spectacular? Read below for some of our personal travel memories.
Michelle: My travel highlight memory was 1999 – spending Christmas and watching 2000 ring in around the world! Y2K2 was huge news with all of us “protecting” our computers from the impending doom of a rumored possible virus which now seems so outdated! We spent our time visiting the San Diego Zoo, Watched the Battle of the Bands and enjoying all of the highlights that only a Rose Bowl can bring to an area!
A wake up call on New Year’s Day at 5AM to be on a bus to watch the Rose Bowl Parade was worth every moment of lost sleep. The Rose Bowl Parade is truly the Macdaddy of them all – nothing can top seeing all of those amazing floats come down Collins Blvd in Pasadena! I highly recommend a trip to view this New Year’s Day Extravaganza, fun for the entire family
Ryan: I have never visited any of the European capitals over the Christmas/New Year’s holidays so I am really looking forward to witnessing firsthand how it happens and feels. Cologne and Berlin are of particular interest to me this time as we always make a point of spending time on the historical content of each city or area when we are traveling with our children. We have a full itinerary of fun experiences, activities and special meals planned and knowing that the itinerary design and property selection was led by a world-class, internationally recognized, highly intelligent travel planner – Malaka Hilton – I am really looking forward to the warm hospitality of the virtuoso partner hotels and service providers.
Michael: There’s nothing like Manhattan during the holidays; it has its own energy and pulse that just seems to be amplified that time of the year. The city has a way of making anyone feel small, but it felt other worldly when I was a child. I remember feeling like an ant looking up at the Rockefeller Christmas Tree with ornaments that were bigger than me.
It’s one of those memories that I can revert back to and vividly remember and seeing it as a child only made the experience more spectacular.
Jolene: As I prepare to travel to France for the first time in just a few days, the excitement of the departure is beginning to mount! I am excited to see and experience the country at Christmas time with all the lights, sights and sounds! I can’t imagine a more beautiful time for a first trip to France.
The Christmas markets of Bordeaux, Reims and Paris look so festive with a fun atmosphere and yuletide cheer. What better way to spend an afternoon or evening than shopping the market for unique gifts and sampling local specialties all while listening to carolers and other performances!
Alexis: One of my favorite travel memories was when I spent Christmas Down Under. In Australia, the seasons are reversed, so Christmas is generally one of the warmest and most popular times of year to visit. I was in a little town in the Bellarine Peninsula just south of Melbourne called Barwon Heads, the type of town that only has one very small main street with just a handful of local shops. I was lucky enough to have been invited by a friend to celebrate Christmas with their family as my own family was back in the states. It was a warm sunny day and the local pub was bustling. There were people out and about all over the streets, socializing and enjoying the festivities of the day.
We had a pint in the early afternoon (as you do in Australia) and went home to get ready for presents & dinner. One of my favorite moments from the day was at dinner, when we popped open the Christmas crackers and the vast majority of us had crazy party hats in our crackers. Naturally, we proceeded to wear these ridiculous looking festive hats for the duration of the day and everywhere we went, we drew gazes but we didn’t care. It felt really special to be able to participate in another countries’ Christmas traditions.
Taryn: The first time I ever visited Amsterdam was over the Christmas Holiday of 1999. It was the first time I’d visited Europe at all, during my adult life, and it left an impact on me that affected the course of my life.
I remember arriving at Central Station and feeling almost overwhelmed at the city before me. Houseboats bobbing, bikes by the hundreds whizzing by me from all directions, flower sellers lay out their wares. The old merchants’ houses tilt at impossible angles, and it's easy to imagine an era when boats unloaded spices out the front.
Walking around the city, I felt as if I was in an advent calendar… or some fairy tale place that only exists in dreams and children’s books. While at many times of the year, the trees are filled with leaves which can make Amsterdam a very colorful city. But during the Christmas period the trees are bare, allowing a better view of the gingerbread-like houses lining the canals. I will always remember this initial visit and Amsterdam continues to hold a special place in my heart because of it.