Thursday, August 16, 2012
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Dave and I can not get tired of the beautiful Costa Rica sunset. After a day of business planning we watched the Sunset from the patio and are amazed by all that comes with it and it's amazing beauty. The birds are very excited about it to. A parrot decided he would take a couple of quick dips in the pool. Next the humming birds fluttered around all the flowers and trees and actually perched on the branches of the Cypress tree we have behind the house. I have never seen them still long enough. LOL The parakeets were chirping as if in unison and the parrots had squawked to let their presence be know. We didn't see the Toucan's tonight but normally they are not shy. The next site was a large blue butterfly flying by as if she had some place really important to go to.
Stay tuned! We have made important progress on our Spring Chicken Travel office in Costa Ballena, Costa Rica. We are almost there. Our tour director, Annie Drake and I visited with several Resorts and Villas in the area and we look forward to working with them for our groups and independent travelers.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Our Costa Rica, lifestyle is awesome. We have enjoyed working on our websites and posting on our blog. Catching up on things that need to be done and updated.
We arrived on the 24th of February and hit the ground running.
The house, the office, and the new business are all falling into place. This is a beautiful area of the country, and we look forward to showing it off to all of our friends, family and associates.
We have so far enjoyed a visit from Theresa, Kenny and Payton. We went swimming at the beach several times, a 40 waterfall, and went hiking at the National Park where we saw lots of monkeys and believe it or not a Slothe crossing the path. TOO CUTE!
Our next visit was from James and Carmen. We enjoyed tours of town, the neighborhood and enjoyed a great dinner with neighbors and our friend Annie. They are enjoying touring a few locations in Northern Panama and will return on Monday.
Days are going by fast. We can not get tired of our sunset views.
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Sandra and David www.springchicken.
Friday, March 18, 2011
David and I are enjoying setting up our new office in Southern Costa Rica. Yes, Spring Chicken Travel will have an agency here promoting Costa Ballena Travel. Stay tune for updates on tours and packages to our beautiful Coast of Whales.
This is the view from our Costa Rica office.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
for photo gallery and more details visit: Click Here
We stayed at the Four Points by Sheraton across the street from the Aquarium and (we discovered later) one block from the marina where several fabulous restaurants lined the dock. After checking in we took a very interesting ten minute cab ride the one block to the marina. Why we took a cab we are still not sure. After exploring the harbor area and some investigating we decided on a harbor dinner cruise. We choose the Showboat a large beautiful Riverboat that could accommodate two hundred for dinner. We boarded at 7:00 pm and were seated near stage. They had a wonderful dance group and a great magician that came to the table. Dinner was very good and drinks were included. Naturally we tried to drink all the wine. Before dinner we move outside on the deck while we sailed under the Harbor Bridge. At night the bridge is beautiful all lit up with colored lights. We could see Opera House just a short distance from the bridge. I have posted pictures.
After the wonderful dinner we walked back to the hotel to get a good nights rest.
Early the next morning Robert our driver arrived in a beautiful new Mercedes limo and our wonderful tour of the Blue Mountains began. Robert chauffeured us around Sydney for two days and we never saw another limo. There were so many people looking at us we felt like celebrities.
Our first stop was the Featherdale Wildlife Park to see the Koalas, and Kangaroos. That was a blast. When we first walked in we realize they had much more than that. They had many exotic birds, reptiles, crocodiles, Tasmanian devils, wallabies, very large flying bats and the list goes on. All but one of the Koalas was asleep; he was so cute and looked us in the eye as he walked around. Willie was getting her picture with one of the sleeping bears when he woke up and acknowledged her. I was able to get a picture of them (see the posting). The wallabies and kangaroos were all over the place and we were able to feed and pet them. Some of the kangaroos had cute babies in their pouches that would peak out from time to time (more pictures). We spent a lot of time there but it was worth every minute.
Our next stop was a great cliff-top café, the Conservation Hut in the Blue Mountains. The view was great and lunch was too. We set outside on the deck and dined on sandwiches made on homemade wheat bread. This was the perfect place to charge our batteries and get ready for the next stop. Still in the Blue Mountains, Robert took us to Echo Point. We could see for miles and had the best view of the Three Sisters (yes we took more pictures). That’s were met Jeff an Aborigines horn player, what an interesting guy. He was scary looking but very friendly. We have a great picture with him.
Just a short distance down the road to Scenic World, WOW! we took the train down to the great coal mine trails and walked over to catch the cable car back. Everywhere you looked the views were unbelievable. We got into the limo for our ride back to the Sheraton in Sydney. Just before the Harbor Bridge, Robert stopped next to the Olympic Pool to view the Opera House and the city, what a day.
But it was not over yet, that night we took a short cab ride to Star City the local Casino. We had a not so great dinner there, but had lots of fun at the tables I won a little more than David lost.
The next morning Robert picked us up for a beach and city tour. I was amazed at the beautiful beaches and houses along the shoreline. One house was completely made of glass. We stopped at the world famous Harry’s Café de Wheels at the Finger Wharfs for a mouth watering chili dog. We had a toast to Jimmy in the limo knowing he would have loved the hot dogs and especially the beach. We stopped at the hotel to pick up luggage and arrived at the pier where the impressive Diamond Princess was waiting for us. She is a beautiful ship and we had a wonderful time getting to know her. That evening there was a fantastic sail away party on the back of the ship just outside of Woody, Willie, Mom, and Susan’s cabins. This was the 28th of January back home so my Mom called home to wish Dad a happy Anniversary.
Next stop Melbourne where we will meet Marge and Rose our Aussie friends for our own personal city tour.
Melbourne and Tasmania: ( By the girls)
Melbourne: We loved meeting, Rose, Marge and Marge’s family. Marge and Rose are our Aussie friends that came to spend Thanksgiving with us. My Mom and I met Marge in England on a tour we took 5 years ago. Melbourne was having record heat but it did cool off a little the day we were there. While we were getting off the ship the cute immigration dogs came to sniff everyone’s bag to search for any smuggled food. Then we met our Aussie friends, We caught the talking tram around the city and went to the Observatory, which was 52 floors above the city. We could see everything from there. Then we proceeded to the casino. It was humongous, they had a mall attached with movie theaters, shops and restaurants. We did have a great lunch there. They only had 1 three card poker table. We lost Woody and Susan. Mom, Willie, Marge and Robert ending up finding us. It was quit an adventure. We set up a meeting place and met back at the sandwich shop later. Rose took Susie and Mom on a fast pace journey to shop for opals. We hated for the day to end with our friends but had to get back to the ship. It was wonderful meeting Marges’ family. They loved our accents especially Victoria, she giggled at all our sayings. Harry loved our 1 dollar bills. Victoria, was Marge and Robert’s 13 year old daughter and Harry is Marge and Robert’s 8 year old son. They are great kids.They next day we arrived at Hobart, Tasmania. We went through the dog screening, and caught the shuttle to the visitor’s center. We had a hard time finding a van. But we got a number from a nice man and found Kevin the perfect driver, to take us on our 4 hour vineyard tour. Woody stayed onboard to watch the Super Bowl and forgot to write down the quarter ending scores. We could be big winners. Our first Vineyard was Morilla, It was very extravagant. The owner was the Wealthiest man in Tasmania, he was a card counter and ban from every casino around. He now owns the Winery and is building a big art Gallery next door. Susie saw him and figure it was him by the conversation he was having with the glass supplier about the imperfection in the bottles. His reputation was at stake. David loved the labels which we figured out later why. If you would like know why you ask later. They did have beer tasting Willie and Susie figure out that all dark beer is not bitter. “Mo Brew” They also figure out the they liked wine, they got caught up in the moment and bought 2 bottles. We will use them to celebrate on the 8th for their 50th Anniversary. While driving out of the vineyard we noticed 2 dogs running underneath the nets that covered the vineyards, a man let them in the opening at the end. We commented and wondered what they were doing.
Kevin droved us through the town of Richmond were they had the oldest jail and the oldest bridge in Australia. They also sent the problem children to this town for discipline. Now it is full of B & B’s. We did see the most unusual site. A lady was walking her pet goat on a leash. David got a great picture we will post when we get a chance. Our next stop was Puddleduck Vineyard. Mom read an article about how you will not forget the name of that wine. The owners were a husband and wife team. She came into storefront from the vineyard to give us our wine tasting. They had already sold out of the sparkling wine which was there most famous. They mostly sell to orders and have a great following, but can’t keep up with a commercial demand. At the counter Mom and Willie, spotted the Postcard with a picture of “Bazil” after asking the owner about the postcard they discovered He was the most famous wine dog in the country. He was interviewed and photographed for the big book “Wine Dogs”. We did ask about the dogs and found out that they go under the nets to scare the birds out that managed to get in. We did meet Bazil on our way out, but did not get his autograph. Our next stop was Meadowbrook Vineyard another exceptional winery. They also had a fabulous restaurant. She warned us before we ordered that the servings were appetizer size but if we wanted more we could order it. Willie had 2 oysters with sorbet, very tasty but she was glad that she ordered something with that especially being used to getting a dozen per order. They had the best bread you could put in your mouth. It was served with olive oil, butter and an olive relish. “To die for” Mom and I ordered the seared “yellowfin tuna” perfect size and cooked perfectly. Willie and Dave ordered the chicken pasticcio, another perfect dish with fig salsa. Susie had the safe spaghetti, it was different but also good. It seams that every dish has green peas. We had Kevin drop Mom, Suzie, and Willie off to go shopping and Dave and I went to the Casino to get a chip. We collect casino chips from around the world. When we get a million chips we will go back to each casino to cash them in. They did not have 3 card poker but I played roulette and black jack.We are spending the afternoon in the pub working on our story. Tomorrow we will be on our scenic cruise through the Fjordland National Park and having a Champagne breakfast
Duneden New Zealand
Fjordland National Park
February 5th Thursday
We were told that the Fjordland can be cold and wet; but, it was a gorgeous day about 75 degrees and sunny. We have scene the fjords in Alaska with the Glaciers and they are beautiful, but these Fjordlands in New Zealand have cliffs straight up about 1500 feet covered with foliage and waterfalls that are absolutely breathtaking. We had a Champaign breakfast on Woody, Willies, Mom and Susan’s balconies and enjoyed the views from there. Afterwards, we stepped out the back door to the aft pool deck and enjoyed the afternoon in the sunshine. Everyone did get sunburned even though we were only there for a short while. We were told that the sunshine in New Zealand is the strongest in the world.
Later, we found a great table outside on deck 14. We had a great view of the fjords and played three card poker betting with sugar packets. It was a wonderful day.
We looked forward to New Zealand and it was not a disappointment.
We got off the ship and David found a great silver limo. After some negotiation we agreed on $ 40.00 each. We could have booked a lesser tour with 45 people in a bus for $ 90 US
Our driver’s name was Roy but he said everyone called him Parker. Apparently, there is a popular local TV show with a limo driver named Parker. In the show the driver is a rather good looking fellow and Roy like being called Parker. As we drove around, we had the same experience as ever where the ship stopped, we saw no other limos all day. And, we attracted a lot of attention. I’m beginning to like this.
Parker knows all the highlights and believe me some of the road were very high. Talk about breathtaking. Just stopping at the overlooks was an awesome sight to see. Parker took us to the steepest road in the world. His Limo did not have enough power to clime the steep hill so he drove up the hill backwards it felt a lot like being on a rollercoaster. The photos we have do not do this road justice it seamed like it was a 45 degree angle.
Our next stop was the railroad station. The atrium of the station was beautifully laid out with stain glass windows on each side with a train in the center and the mosaic tile in the center had a great layout of a train. Across from the train station was the beautiful courthouse building and the old prison next door. We could not help but notice how clean everything was and Dunedin was covered with many beautiful flowers. One flower we noticed in Australia and New Zealand was a beautiful large blue flower. Woody said it reminded him of a large Blue Bonnet. David said there were byroadiums it took everyone by surprise that David knew the name of flowers in New Zealand. As we drove on we noticed that according to David all the flowers we passed near the road are by-road-iums.
We drove to the Otaca University Campus and love the immaculate grounds and historical building.
Next we drove up to the top of the mountains overlooking the town to the Lancaster Castle. We did the ground and ballroom tour. Parker knows the castle well and gave us a great tour. Liquid Blue entertainers from the ship were there touring as well. They are a fun bunch and extremely entertaining. Last year David and I were on the Star Princess in South American when we first met them. It was great to see them gain. The castle had beautiful gardens and a great Inn to stay at when visiting. The stable accommodated backpackers and the motel had rooms with the most beautiful views. Each room had a different theme one of which was a wagon for a bed, and with walls painted like the sky. Another with all white linens, bedspread and décor I was thinking maybe the bridal suite. It would be the kind of place Dave and I would like to stay for a day or two. Parker suggested we wait at the castle entrance while he retrieved the limo to pick us up there. It was like a fairy tale as the carriage picked us up. I did not lose my shoe or anything.
Parker took us to a great restaurant for lunch Pumper Nickels for a wonderful fried Blue Cod. The view was fabulous and the food and wine were great. It was a family ran restaurant and the place mats were art from the local elementary kids. Mine was made by Conner Casey. It reminded me of Conner and Casey back home. It was another beautiful day with picture perfect weather.
Posted on Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009, 05:58 PM (UTC -5)
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
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