Sunday, December 13, 2009

Bus Trip from the Bronx to Lancaster, PA

I had forgotten how fun a bus trip for a group could be until I was on one over the Thanksgiving weekend. I was able to organize a 2 day bus trip to Lancaster Pennsylvania for a Bronx church.
Yes YTB Travel is very much alive and well in the Bronx!

I have the advantage of having some wonderful vendors. American Destinations Inc helped us build an exciting itinerary! The trip begain 7:30 AM on Black Friday when our bus arrived with the world’s friendliest bus driver ever. Boarding our Spacious motorcoach equipped with DVR and TVs, we watched a movie, did some laughing and even had some raffles.

After rest stop to stretch our legs we arrived at our location around 12 noon. Was Tanger Outlets and Rockvale Outlets ready for this Bronx group of savvy shoppers? Well I can say that we came, we saw and we conquered! After a day of Outlet shopping we were ready to check into our Hotel at the Hampton Inn Lancaster. Our tired and hungry group walked in the lobby with their arms brimming with their sales bounty of the day. We were greeted by the Hampton Inn staff with a welcome basket of goodies and piping hot coffee, tea and hot chocolate. I quickly remembered why Hampton Inn is one of my favorite hotel chains.

We checked in our rooms, freshened up and was ready for dinner at Good n Plenty Family Style Restaurant. The temperature had dropped and it got pretty cold but we were greeted by the warm hearts and hospitality of the Restaurant staff. One thing that intrigued me was the artwork on the walls. It was 3D wood carving/paintings. I have never seen anything like that! We had some home cooked style fried chicken, ham and a spread like you have never seen. I had Shew fly pie for the first time ever! After dinner it was back on the bus to the hotel in our comfortable beds to get some rest for the exciting day ahead of us.

One thing I like about Hampton Inn chain is their hot breakfasts! Well they did not disappoint at all! There was something for everyone and then some! We checked out at 9:30 AM and boarded our bus well fed and rested to head off to the Farmer’s Market. I had forgotten about this Farmer’s Market. Soon as I waled in the door., I was greeted with the familiar aroma of fresh meat, vegetables, pastries, breads, pies and more. Then I remembered, I use to come here with the church of my youth! The Farmer’s Market is an experience that you cannot describe but your senses just explain it all.

Next on our itinerary was a trip to Kitchen Kettle Village. This is an knick knack lovers village. There is something for everyone there. Performing there was an acapella choir singing hymns. They sounded like angels. Some of us just sat and enjoyed the free concert while others got more shopping.

Well, it was time for lunch, and it was at the Millers Smorgasbord. The best way to describe this restaurant is a Delectable food overdose! Everything there was good! An all you can eat buffet from Soup to nuts to desert!

After lunch we were back on the bus to our way to the climax of the trip. That was to t he Sight and Sound Millenium theatre to see “the Miracle of Christmas”. I am from New York, and I can tell you that Radio City Music Hall with its Christmas productions have nothing on the presentation we saw. It was jaw dropping to see Angels descending from the ceiling against a backdrop of a starry sky. The audience sat in the midst of a panoramic stage that surrounded us by 2 stages on the sides as well as in front, depicting a Bethlehem village of that time. The show stopper was seeing the live animals on the stage and coming down the aisles putting the audience right in the midst of the story. The Christmas story truly came alive. Afterwards we met and took a picture in front of the 30 foot Angel tree in the Theatre’s huge lobby! The grounds of the Sight and Sound are absolutely enchanting.

We boarded our motorcoach on our way back to Bronx,New York with memories that we will always cherish. A bus trip is a great way for a church, non-profit or any type of group to bond and fellowship together. Laughter could be heard throughout the bus. While I was dozing off in my seat and the movie playing in the DVR was watching me, I felt a tap on my shoulder and someone asking me “Ok when do we start planning the next trip”. That makes a Travel consultant very happy!

Gail is a YTB Travel Consultant located in Bronx, New York and is available to book Group trips for churches, religious organizations, Non-profits and families such.
Fill out the form on this page or email WLKRG5@GMAIL.COM OR CALL 917-476-7305
(Please no calls from solicitors, Thanks)
YTB Bronx

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Traveling Safely With Diabetes

Traveling Safely With Diabetes

Many of my clients have health issues that often pose challenges to enjoying their vacations. I often find myself providing health coaching to them, which is I am more than happy to do. Today I received a newsletter from John Hopkins Health alert that addressed Traveling Safely with Diabetes, that makes some great points.

So here is the Health Alert in its entirety from John Hopkins.

Having diabetes shouldn't get in the way if you want to see Paris, take a cruise, or simply spend time with your grandchildren in another state. Here’s practical advice to help you travel safely with diabetes.

First Stop: Your Doctor's Office: Schedule a visit with your physician some weeks before taking an extended trip. Be sure your regular vaccinations are up-to-date, and check on what medications or vaccinations are recommended before visiting certain parts of the world. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has the latest information on vaccination and medication recommendations; visit (The American Diabetes Association [] and the National Diabetes Education Program [] also have good information on traveling.) In addition:

*Get a signed letter from your doctor stating that you have diabetes and listing the medical supplies you require, such as insulin, syringes, pumps, or lancets. Carry this letter with you when you travel.

*If you don't already have a bracelet, necklace, or some other form of identification showing that you have diabetes, now is a good time to get one.
Be sure you have more than enough diabetes medication in case of an emergency.

*Ask your doctor how your travel plans will affect your diabetes medication requirements. With most pills, it is reasonable to gradually change the time you take them if you cross many time zones. If you take only one shot of long-acting insulin a day, you will have to gradually change the timing of that shot -- for instance, increasing the time between shots by three to six hours every 24 hours. Most people are on long-acting and short-acting insulin. Our recommendation is to test frequently and take the short-acting insulin before every meal, whatever time that may be, with adjustments made in the dose if your blood glucose is higher or lower than usual.

*If you are traveling to a country where English is not widely spoken, learn how to say, "I have diabetes" and "Please get me to a hospital" in the native language of each country you plan to visit.

*If you do need medical treatment while abroad, it's best to know ahead of time how to get it. One good source is the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers (IAMAT) website,, which features a directory of qualified, English-speaking physicians around the world.

Pack Right. If you are flying, your diabetes supplies should be in your carry-on bag. Here are diabetes essentials to pack:

Insulin and oral diabetes medication. Take twice as much insulin and oral medication as you would normally need for the duration of your trip. Insulin stays good for about a month at room temperature, but extreme temperatures will damage insulin and may make it entirely inactive. Don’t keep insulin in a suitcase that will be stowed in the cargo compartment of a plane that may freeze, and don't leave it in the glove compartment or trunk if you're in a car that may overheat. Be sure that all insulin and injectors are in their original packaging with their brand labels. Keeping all of your insulin, syringes, and other tools for diabetes management in a separate pouch can make security screening easier.

*Syringes, lancets, and test strips. As with diabetes medications, double up on syringes, lancets, and blood glucose and urine ketone test strips, too. You can bring an unlimited number of unused syringes in your carry-on bag as long as they are accompanied by insulin or other medication that requires injection. Bring some extra batteries for your equipment, since you never know when you'll need them.

*Emergency medical kit. Include such items as glucagon to treat hypoglycemia (make sure one of your travel partners knows how to administer it), other prescription medications, over-the-counter pain relievers, a first-aid manual, anti-diarrheal medicine, insect repellent, sunscreen, and talcum powder (to keep your feet dry if you're doing lots of walking).

And finally … Bring a diabetes identification card or a medical alert necklace or bracelet (if you're not already wearing one). If your insurance policy covers emergencies abroad, bring necessary insurance paperwork. You have to plan what to carry with you at all times, too. Never leave the hotel without some source of sugar you can use if your glucose drops. Be careful to take your insulin, pills, and testing supplies with you every day in case there is a delay getting back to your home base.

It is possible to travel safely with diabetes.

Edited to add:11/1/09- Since I originally posted this blog, many people have asked about what to do when you cross time lines and you are a diabetic taking insulin. Many doctors advise that the traveler Stay with the original schedule. That would mean wearing a watch with alarms and keeping the watch timed to your Home Time zone. Others suggest gradually adjusting your insulin schedule to match your vacation time zone. In either case it takes alot of careful planning.
It is important for the traveler to discuss this important decision with their doctor and work together to come up with a solution.

If you were interested in this blog you may be interested in an older blog I wrote called MEDICAL TRAVEL TIPS

Gail Walker aka "GailTravel is a Travel Consultant with her own online Travel site at She specializes in Group travel, Bus trips, Family reunions, Cruises, Resorts, and Fundraisers for Non-profit organizations, including churches.
Contact Gail for a travel consultation or a Web tour. through this site, or 917-476-7305 or email

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Airlines Will add a "Holiday Surcharge" Happy Holidays :-/

Airline passengers just seem to not be able to catch a break! It seems that airlines will be adding a $10 "holiday surcharge" on this year! Gone are the competitive pricings of Holiday season 2008! It seems that American, United, Delta and US Airways added" $10 each way" surcharge for travel on three busy days around the Thanksgiving and New Year's holidays. Can some body say "Bah humbug" ?

It is thought that the airlines added the charge because it was a quick, and easy way to charge more on peak travel days. The Sunday after Thanksgiving November 29, is one of the busiest travel days of the year, while January 2 and 3 are popular with holiday travelers as well.

Apparently the airlines are losing money on the Business Travel. With the advent of Phone conference lines and webinars, companies are opting to use these tools for virtual meetings. Many companiies have been forced to cut down on their Conference budgets as well.

You can be sure that the prices will increase even more the closer we get to the holdays.
So how can we be frugal during this holiday season?
* Book your airfare now before the fares go up even more.
*Travel light. Take carry on luggage and avoid the luggage fees.
*if you are taking gifts for the family, consider shipping them via UPS, Fedex or Post office. You will end up saving tons of money.
* College students coming home for the winter break? Encourage them to ship their items ahead. Book their one way fares home NOW. They can book another one way ticket back to school late in January.The prices are sure to come down by then.

So there you have it! To all the holiday Travelers, safe travels and Happy Holidays! To the Airline Scrooge..... Bah Humbug to you too!

Gail Walker aka "GailTravel is a Travel Consultant with her own online Travel site at She specializes in Group travel, Bus trips, Family reunions, Cruises, Resorts, and Fundraisers for Non-profit organizations, including churches.
Contact Gail for a travel consultation or a Web tour. through this site, or 917-476-7305 or email

Monday, September 21, 2009

Take Your Dream Vacation on the New State of the Art Carnival Dream

Your Dream Vacation on the New State of the Art, Carnival Dream

I got great news for anyone looking for that special Dream Vacation.
I was just informed this weekend that Carnival Cruise line took delivery of their new state of the Art ship named Carnival Dream.
Rather than write my own description I will just copy and paste whatI received in my correspondence from Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Dream represents a new class in the Carnival fleet! She combines a capacity to accommodate more than 3,600 guests with some brilliant new innovations, both inside and out. Our guest experience centers around creating fun, memorable moments in a social and friendly atmosphere. To that end, we’ve introduced two truly unique spaces – The Ocean Plaza, an indoor/outdoor cafĂ© with live music; and The Lanai, an outdoor area featuring a wrap-around promenade and whirlpools suspended over the ship’s side!

We also offer several new accommodation categories, including the Deluxe Ocean View staterooms – two-bath, five-berth cabins (perfect for families) and Cove Balconies located closer to the water line.
The innovations extend beyond brand new features to include the creation of the largest Cloud 9 spa in the fleet and, of course, Carnival’s own WaterWorks, featuring the longest water slide at sea.
Because we know that fun isn’t just about the actual ship features, we’ve produced exciting new entertainment choices, including a comedy club and outdoor laser shows on Lido Deck.
Also new is the “Fun Hub,” an intranet guest portal and the first-of-its-kind shipboard social network that provides a variety of helpful information onboard and allows guests to interact and connect with each other online.

Monday morning (9/21) the Carnival Dream departs from Rome (Civitavecchia) for its inaugural 12-day Grand Mediterranean cruise, for the first of three voyages. The ship will then sail a trans-Atlantic crossing from Rome to New York followed by a special two-day cruise and two eight-day Caribbean voyages. Carnival Dream will then reposition to Port Canaveral for a special one-time nine-day voyage December 3 before launching year-round seven-day Caribbean service December 12, 2009

Take the Virtual Tour of the Carnival Dream Here.

Those living in the the New York Tri state area are in for a special treat. A Cruise to Nowhere on the Carnival Dream , November 13 - 14. Leaving from New York. This is absolutely perfect for that special birthday party, or anniversary party. How about a Pre-Thanksgiving Party , or girlfriend getaway? Ideas are limitless. Contact me and I will be happy to accommodate you.

PRICING FOR THE CRUISE TO NOWHERE - November 13-14, 2009 Leaving from New York City.
Inside Cabin- Starting from $389 pp
OceanView from $404 pp
Balcony $469 pp

Look for the Carnival Dream on

Put your info in the form on the side --------------->
I will get in touch with you!
Happy Cruisn'

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Help Me Help You to Plan Your Dream Vacation

There is nothing better to see than the smiles on a person’s face or hear the glee in the voice of someone who has just booked their dream vacation. That is why I love my Travel biz! But to help you plan, crucial information is needed.

Often I am left a message on my phone or voicemail saying “Gail can you tell me how much it cost to go to(you fill in the blank). Now I am more than happy to grant such a request however much more information is needed. So I will like to provide a blueprint for travel requests.

What type of vacation are you thinking of ? Would you want a cruise? A Resort? Adventure vacation? Spa Vacation? Would a 18 hole PGA Golf green and resort interest you? Or maybe its time for that long awaited family vacation.

Where do you wish to vacation to and where would you be leaving from? This greatly affects the bottom line. The time of the year and even the day of the week you leave on can affect your bottom line sometimes even in the hundreds.
How many people are going? Is this a romantic getaway for you and your spouse, or is it a Girlfriend Getaway. I always need to know how many adults and how many children with their ages.

What do you want to do on this vacation? Relax on a beach? Go kayaking? Go sight seeing? Take a cooking class? Research genealogy ? What is it you specifically want to do? What are you excited about seeing and doing?
Consider what type of hotel you would want to stay in. How many stars? 2,3,4 stars?

Would you prefer a large hotel near the main strip or a smaller quieter intimate hotel off the beaten path? Must it have a swimming pool? Would you prefer a hotel that includes breakfast?

What is a budget you would like to work with? Do you have a limit, or do we throw caution to the wind.? These are just some of the questions that as a Travel consultant I would need to be answered to help you plan your dream vacation.

Happy Travels!

I am looking forward to helping you plan a fantastic vacation. Fill out the form to the right for more information.

Friday, July 3, 2009

A new Discount Airline in the' Hood- Jet America

There is a new discount Airline in the tri-state area. Jet begins flying out of Newark Airport on July 13. They boast of $9 one way fares but trust me there is a catch. This airline plans to go the way of RyanAir and charge fees for a lot of their services. They will charge a $5 convenience fee to book on their site.
Jet America will charge an additional $20 for a round-trip with an assigned seat, $20 to buy a ticket by phone and $10 to book on the Web site (

Baggage Fees
A first bag fee of $20 each way and a second bag fee of $20 each way.

The airlines will service New York City via Newark Airport, Toledo/Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Lansing/Michigan, South Bend/Indiana, Orlando/Melbourne Florida

I am all for saving money any way you can. This may be a good alternative to the higher priced airlines. Just remember to read all the fine print.

I always point my clients to affordable travel opportunites, including airfares. If you find one cheaper than my site, then I say "go for it". Is all about helping people!

Happy Traveling,

Planning a vacation? Email me

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Travel Requirements Changing June 1, 2009

Travel Requirements Changing June 1, 2009

As of June 1, 2009 there are new travel requirements to enter into the U.S. American citizens entering the United States at sea or land ports will have to have a passport, passport card, or other travel document, that is approved by the Department of Homeland Security. One of the acceptable forms is an enhanced Driver's License. Passports will continue to be required for air travel.

For more information Read about the new travel requirements

Need help with findig somewhere to go with your Passport? Contact Gailtravel by filling in the form to your right or emailing me at WLKRG@GMAIL.COM

Saturday, May 16, 2009

CDC says its Safe to Travel to Mexico

CDC says its Safe to Travel to Mexico

CDC has removed its recommendation that U.S. travelers avoid travel to Mexico because of the H1N1 (Swine Flu) virus. The previous health warning has been downgraded to a Health precaution.

Taken from the CDC site:
CDC recommends that travelers at high risk for complications from any form of influenza discuss with their physicians the risks and benefits of travel in the context of their planned itinerary to Mexico, and may want to consider postponing travel. Travelers at high risk for complications include:

Children less than 5 years old
Persons aged 65 years or older
Children and adolescents (less than 18 years) who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy and who might be at risk for experiencing Reye syndrome after influenza virus infection
Pregnant women
Adults and children who have chronic pulmonary, cardiovascular, hepatic, hematological, neurologic, neuromuscular, or metabolic disorders
Adults and children who have immunosuppression (including immunosuppression caused by medications or by HIV)
Residents of nursing homes and other chronic-care facilities

In addition Carnival cruiselines announced they are returning to their original Mexico itineraries as early as the end of May based on the CDC recommendations.
Expect the other major cruiselines to follow suit!

Read more from the CDC here.

Now that the warning has been lifted, and CDC says its safe to travel to Mexico I expect prices of cruises, resorts, and tours to plummet, making some good Vacation options for bargain hungry travelers!

Its great to see things are getting better for Mexico.


Go to for great prices to Mexico or anywhere in the world.
Fill out the form on this blog or email me WLKRG5@GMAIL.COM

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Medical Travel Trips

Medical Travel Tips

Nurses in the United States just comepleted yearly celebration of Nurses Week 2009. Its Celebrated each year from May 6-12. The last day of the celebration is the actual birthday of Florence Nightingale. The theme for this year is "Nurses building a Healthy America" which is exactly what we do.

I am no longer in the traditional hospital setting that many people envision most nurses as belong. The nursing profession has branched out in so many ways since Florence was around. I am a Nurse Case manager which involves alot of teaching. I absolutely love it.

What I like even better is combining my nursing expertise with my newest love of travel. For example many people flocked to my blog as they were seeking of information regarding the H1N1 virus (Swine Flu) and how it would affect their travel plans. Its remarkable how many misconceptions prevailed about that subject.

Recently I was speaking to one of my patients who I case manage, who was preparing to leave for vacation. I was providing her some medical travel trips. I realized that it’s a good idea to share with my readers. So here we go!

1- If you have a chronic illness or condition ( heart, diabetes, pregnancy etc) make sure you get clearance from your doctor to travel, especially if it’s a long trip or you are traveling by plane.

2- Please do not put your medications in your suitcase. Always Keep them in your carry on bag. If your plane is delayed or if your suitcases take a trip of their own to some exotic island without you, you don’t want your medications going along too. Last summer coming home from Convention my husband decided to pack his medication in one of the suitcases. Our flight kept being delayed and delayed and delayed. Finally it was canceled. For a while our bags were no where to be found. My husband had a fit and said my Medications were in there! Long story short, we were this close to having our bags shipped to Laguardia without us. We finally got our bags after hours and hours of waiting. He learned his lesson!

3- Keep your medications in their original bottles. – In case of emergency, your doctor’s name, dosage and name of pharmacy and is on it.

4- Make sure you have enough medications for the trip and a few extra days over. If your flight is delayed for some reason, or another unforeseen situation occurs you will be covered. I even suggest taking a week's worth.

5- Have a plan if you lose your medications. A friend or family member can ship a new prescription or new supply to you. A few of my patients have actually had to do this.

6- Keep a list of all your medical conditions, doctors’ names and telephone numbers, and list of medications in a small note book. This also stays in your carry on bag.

7- Carry a “First Aid" kit with you- medication for motion sickness, anti-diarrheal medication, antibiotic ointment, band-aids, , pain reliever, cold medicine. Custom tailor this kit to suit you and your family’s needs. Of course this is also in your carry on.

8- Very important! Always purchase Traveler’s insurance. you never know when you may need it. You or a family member may become ill. Or maybe a family emergency calls you home early., You will never regret it!

I'll be providing some more Medical travel tips in future blogs.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Swine Flu Causes Cruise line Changes

Swine Flu Causes Cruise Line Changes

As of today, April 28, 2009 Carnival, Princess Cruises, Holland America, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Carribean have all canceled their ports of call in Mexico due to the Swine flu outbreak. For today most of the ships just spent an extra day at sea.

For future cruises,check each cruise line website for the itinerary change.
Carnival Cruise Lines

Holland America Cruises

Princess Cruises

Royal Carribean

Norwegian Cruise Line

You can also call your travel Agent. If you booked a cruise with I will assist you.

For updates on the Swine Flu go to

For more information on the Swine flu, visit my post on Mexico, The Swine Flu and Travel.

It's amazing how a small virus like the Swine flu can cause such changes in the huge Cruise line itineraries!

Stay well!

Planning a Vacation? Let me help you!
Fill out the form on this blog and I will get back to you.
Or go to

Monday, April 27, 2009

Mexico, the Swine Flu and Travel

Mexico, the Swine Flu and Travel

The Swine Flu was a hot topic at work today with my co-workers and my patients. As I nurse I am doing double duty addressing the medical issues and the Travel side of this public health issue with friends and family.
There has been 103 confirmed deaths in Mexico as of this writing . There are 44 confirmed cases in the US, which are milder than the strain found in Mexico. 28 of them are in New York isolated to a school in Queens, NY. World Health Organization elevated the Pandemic alert to Phase 4 out of 6.
So of course everytime someone sneezed in our facility they came over to “Nurses’ Row” My office is in the Bronx which is just over the bridge from Queens. Ah.... Let the fun begin! .

Its important to note that this Swine flu operates as any other flu and the same precautions should be taken to prevent its spread. I have heard and read some interesting concepts about the flu. Like it came from eating Pork, or from people having un-natural relations with Pigs, which is also a myth.
So lets begin with:

What is the Swine Flu?
It is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by an influenza (flu) virus. Mopst people do not realize that animals get illnesses that are also common to humans, like diabetes, heart disease, cancer and Yes the flu. Human cases of Swine flu occur around people who are around pigs. It can also pass from person to person. This strain of Swine flu also has bird flu and human flu genes.

How do you catch swine flu and is it Contagious?

Swine flu is spread by contact with infected pigs or their surrounding area that has been contaminated with Swine flu viruses.. Also spread by contact with a person who has been infected with the Swine flu. It is considered contagious which simply means it can be spread from person to person.

How Can We Prevent spreading the Swine Flu

* Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
* Cough or sneeze in the bend of your el bow if you do not have a tissue available
* Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners , like Purel are also effective.
* Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
* stay home from work or school if you become ill with the Swine Flu. Pleeeeeese!!!!
* limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
*Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. That is how Germs are spread.
What should I do if I get sick?
If you are sick, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people as much as possible to keep from spreading your illness to others. Contact your doctor . You may be prescribed an anti-viral medication such as Tamiflu or Relenza which can lessen the severity of the flu.

I planned a Trip to Mexico, Should I cancel it?

Many people are asking if they should change their travel plans.
The US is planning on issuing a Travel Alert for non-essential travel to Mexico.

This is the perfect scenario to emphasize the importance of purchasing Travel Insurance. This is the type of situation that it is very useful in.

So far No cruises to Mexico have been canceled.

For example, Carnival Cruise line offered this on their site:

“Fortunately, there currently is no evidence of a swine flu pandemic and there have been no reports of guests exhibiting symptoms of swine flu on Carnival’s ships.
Carnival enforces the highest of standards for cleaning and sanitation on all of our ships to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We are monitoring the situation in Mexico and maintain regular contact with the Centers for Disease Control. We do not anticipate that our guests' cruise experience will be impacted by this type of illness and will not be making any adjustments to our itineraries.”

No Airline flights have been canceled. Some airlines are offering passengers to change their travel plans without penalty. Other airlines are offering to reschedule flights and/or travel plans at no extra charge. This may change day to day. Check with your airlines for their policy, or the travel agent you booked with.
Information is changing and evolving daily Check at the CDC.Gov site for the most up to date information on Travel to Mexico and the effect that the Swine Flu may have on it.

In the meantime, lets pray for Mexico. Its been a difficult year for our neighbors to the South.

Planning a Vacation? Let me help you?
Fill out the form on this blog and I will get back to you.
Or go to

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Susan Boyle, Pursuing her Dream

Susan Boyle- Pursuing her Dream

Recently a friend sent a YouTube Video of 47 year old unemployed Susan Boyle trying out for “Britains Got Talent” . I must admit I am a sucker for these reality talent shows. I love music but I also love the comedic aspect of these shows, especially during these turbulent economic times when all we hear is gloom and doom.
I watched the video and saw a frumpy Susan Boyle address the judges. I saw the look on Simon Cowell’s face when she expressed her desire t o be a singer, as he casually glanced over her resume. She explained how she always wanted to b e a singer. How she has never been married or even kissed by a guy. Simon went on to ask her what her dream was.
“I’m trying to be a professional singer,” she said.
“And why hasn’t it worked out so far?” Cowell asked.
“I’ve never been given the chance before,” she said. “But here’s hoping it’ll change.”

You can feel the jokes coming. And then “it” happened. She opened her mouth and what sounded like an Angelic serenade straight from heaven proceeded to come out! Singing “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables Susan Boyle cast aside all the doubts and negativity she has undoubtedly received in her life. Years of caring for her sick mother alone, of dashed dreams all vanished during that moment.
The look on Simon’s face as well as the jaw dropping expressions on the faces of the other judges was priceless! The preconceived perception they had in their minds was immediately shattered to bits like exploding glass. Susan Boyle sang with the confidence and assurance of a multi- million dollar professional!
What a lesson to learn from Susan Boyle. Les Brown has a saying “Don't let someone else's opinion of you become your reality.” Regardless of whether its pursing your education, your life’s dreams or a business. We should always keep Susan Boyle as a prime example of why we should never give up on the dreams that are in our hearts. No matter what any of the dream snatchers around us have to say.

Dream Vacations available for your family vacations! Prices are dropping on cruises, all inclusive resorts. Take advantage of Recession Buster prices Contact me WLKRG5@GMAIL.COM Or fill in your contact information in the form on the side of this blog.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Is it Safe to Travel to Mexico?

The U.S. State Department has issued a Travel Alert to Mexico. People are now wondering, is it safe to travel to Mexico? The Travel industry says absolutely yes, as long as precautions are taken.


The U.S. state dept issued this Travel Alert

This Travel Alert updates security information for U.S. citizens traveling and living in Mexico. It supersedes the Travel Alert for Mexico dated October 15, 2008, and expires on August 20, 2009.

“While millions of U.S. citizens safely visit Mexico each year (including thousands who cross the land border every day for study, tourism or business), violence in the country has increased recently. It is imperative that travelers understand the risks of travel to Mexico, how best to avoid dangerous situations, and whom to contact if one becomes a crime victim. Common-sense precautions such as visiting only legitimate business and tourist areas during daylight hours, and avoiding areas where prostitution and drug dealing might occur, can help ensure that travel to Mexico is safe and enjoyable”.

The State Department is advising travelers to avoid areas of prostitution and drug-dealing. The problem is increased violence near the U.S. borders due mostly to drug cartel wars. Americans have been kidnapped, injured or killed during violent attacks, mostly in non tourist areas. Its important to note that 20 million tourists and travelers visited Mexico last year, without a problem and had a wonderful experience. For the most part tourists have not been targeted.
However, When I hear clients say that they want to visit out of the area places when they travel to see “how the people really live” I want to SCREAM!!!! That is when tourists have the potential of encountering trouble.

Recently some colleges have issued warnings to students to avoid Mexico altogether during Spring Break. After all we know they usually do not go on organized tours.

Here are some suggestions for you to have a fantastic and safe trip to Mexico
~Travel on main roads and travel only during daylight hours
~Stay in known tourist areas
~Exercise caution in unfamiliar areas and always be aware of your surroundings.
~Avoid traveling alone
~Do not wear expensive looking jewelry
~Do not carry large amounts of cash or valuables
~Book excursions and tours directly from your cruise lines or Resort concierge – They will use legitimate vendors and the tours will be in safe areas.
~Leave an itinerary with family or friends who are not traveling with you
~Check and see if your cell phone carrier is capable of roaming or GSM or 3G international networks.
~Cooperate official checkpoints while traveling on Mexican highways

Following the above suggestions and using plain common sense will pretty much ensure you of having a flawless Mexican vacation
Are you looking to book a vacation or cruise to Mexico?
Go to

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Call 917-476-7305 (No solicitors please, thanks)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Celebrate Black History by Taking a Vacation

February is traditionally Black History Month. Black history is 365 days out of the year, not just one month out of the year. Why not turn this year’s family vacation into Black History learning experience?

It is so important for us to pass down the legacy of Black contributions to world history. So ofter our youth are not even aware of the sacrifices and contributions their elders and ancestors have made. I listed a few venues in this blog where
Black history can be celebrated and more learned about it.

One such venue is Washington D.C. Washington DC has a wealth of Black History that is available year round for the family, chock full of history. Did you know that DC was the first city to pass an Emancipation Act, freeing all slaves even before the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Lincoln? Interesting information. A favorite place to visit is the Frederick Douglass Historical Site. Visit the home of this great abolitionist . We went as a family and must say this was one of the highlights of our trip.

There is also the Anacostia Community Museum, one of the Smithsonian museums. They have a wonderful tour called Jubilee: African American Celebration where you can discover the rich history of African American celebration through artifacts, photographs, and videos.

Another Venue is Memphis Tennessee. If you love music like me then you will love Stax Museum of American Soul Music Otherwise known as Soulville USA Exhibits include an authentic replica of an old Mississippi Delta church demonstrating soul music’s roots in gospel, the Soul Train dance floor Isaac Hayes’ restored 1972 gold-trimmed, peacock-blue El Dorado Cadillac; and case after case of artist bios, costumes, performance footage and the actual Stax recording studio itself. Definitely a must see when visiting the city .

Also In Memphis there is Mason’s Temple the Headquarters of the Church of God in Christ, the largest African American Pentecostal denomination. This is the site where Dr. King gave his "I've Been to the Mountain Top" speech the night before he was assasinated.
No trip to Memphis is complete without going to the National Civil Rights Museum, at the Lorraine Hotel which is the former hotel where Dr. King was assassinated.

To the North of us in Canada there is a rich African Canadian presence.. a popular tourist attraction is the African Canadian Heritage Tour. Part of that tour includes the Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historical site the commemorates the life of Reverend Josiah Henson who worked with the UnderGround Railroad as as an abolitionist. His life inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel “Uncle tom’s Cabn.”
There is another great site in Ontario that was part of the Underground Railroad. The North American Black Historical Museum Explore a home of escaped slaves and the church where their lives of freedome began.

B lack History is not just one month out of the year. It is 365 days a year. What better way to celebrate Black History than to incorporate it in a family vacation!

Contact Gail to get your vacation boooked @
call 646-450-6255 *No soliciations please**

Monday, January 19, 2009

From Martin Luther King Dream to Barack Obama Reality

From Martin Luther King Dream to Barack Obama Reality

Rosa sat so Martin could march. Martin MArched so Barack could run. Barack ran so we all can all fly!

Just sitting here watching CNN and other stations and all through my head the worship song "How Great is our God" is going through my mind. No matter whether one is Republican or Democrat, Black or white, you cannot deny the electricity in t he air. One of the old songs we sing is "We've Come this Far by Faith, Leaning on the Lord". That is how I feel right now. Never, never, never in my lifetime did I dream that I would live to see a time like this. Proof that prayer's work. Prayers of our ancestors and elders.
The Civil Rights era was birthed in the Black church. Prayer meeting after prayer meeting. Chorus (what we now call Worship Songs) after chorus. Strengthening and building the faith of those embarking on change. Many do not realize that the "freedom" songs of the Civil Rights era were modifications of "Negro Spirituals" or Choruses.
We shall Overcome, This Little Light of Mine, I won't Let Nobody Turn Me Around, Keep Your Eyes on the Prize"

This is proof that praise is certainly a weapon in a time of spiritual warfare. I look at Dr. King's often criticized tactics back then. They had sit ins that started in prayer. Marches that started in prayer and praise. It shows me today that Praise and Worship is so important.

Today we are on the threshold of seeing the end of one battle. i just wanted to take the time to thank God for Rev. Martin Luther King and thank God for Barack Obama. I believe these are 2 men cut from the same cloth for "such a time as this".
My whole family is home and we are listening to CNN and speeches and King tributes. Its so important in their lives. I b less God for allowing one son to graduate from college and another to graduate High School and is now in college.
I thank God I can turn to my sons and look them in the face and say "NO MORE EXCUSES" you can achieve whatever you put your heart to do. You WILL experience obstacles. I will not always be smooth sailing. But with God's help you can make.

Don't Let Nobody Turn Your "Round

Well don't you let nobody turn you 'round
Turn you 'round, turn you 'round
Well don't you let nobody turn you 'round
You got to keep on walkin', keep on talkin'
Marchin' to the freedom land

Well don't you let nobody turn you 'round
Turn you 'round, turn you 'round
Well don't you let nobody turn you 'round
You got to keep on walkin', keep on talkin'
Marchin' to the freedom land

Well don't you let the policeman turn you 'round
Turn you 'round, turn you 'round
Well don't let the policeman turn you 'round
You got to keep on walkin', keep on talkin'
Marchin' to the freedom land

Well don't let the politician turn you 'round
Slow you down, slow you down
Well don't let the politician slow you down
You got to keep on walkin', keep on talkin'
Marchin' to the freedom land

Well don't you let the army general burn the world
Burn the world, burn the world
Well don't let the army general burn this world
You got to keep on walkin', keep on talkin'
Marchin' to the freedom land

Well don't you let nobody turn you 'round
Turn you 'round, turn you 'round
Well don't you let nobody turn you 'round
You got to keep on walkin', keep on talkin'
Marchin' to the freedom land

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Andria Hall Woman of Courage

January 12, 2009 was a very sad day for me. My family had to put our best friend, little brother, my baby, playmate down after a brief illness. It was a very emotional day for all of us. He would have been 15 years old next month and he brought so much joy into our family. I really felt it when I came home from work and didn't see my little fur-ball curled up on the couch. Smokey weasled himself in our lives one snowy day in March 1994 when my husband spotted him in the hallway of our building huddled next to the hallway radiator. He immediately spotted my husband and worked himself in our lives. My husband knocked on the door after leaving from work, with this charcoal gray sickly kitten on his shoulder and he said "can we keep him?" just like a little kid. We nursed him back to health from his respiratory infection, skin and eye infections. He showed his gratefulness for the next 15 years.

I got home from work, in mourning for our loss, then I sat down, and got hit by 2 calls informing me that Andria Hall, a former CNN and WNBC news anchor and New Jersey Director with my travel biz host company, passed away after her battle with cancer. I had the pleasure of being blessed by Andria's testimony this past August at our National Convention 2008. She came unto the stage sans the wig she had been previously wearing. Alot of people, including those in her downline had no idea that she was battling cancer, but she decided that she needed to make a statement. What a woman of strength! She talked about how our company's free insurance came in time when she was cut off her husband's insurance. She unashamedly shared her faith in the Lord. She gave encouragement to everyone in that building that may have been facing some sort of challenge. Let me tell you there was not one dry eye in the Edward's Dome when she finished.

Both Smokey and Andria Hall have left me with everlasting memories. I like to think that they are both up there in heaven, having arrived probably around the same time, and his tail is fondly brushing against her leg as they are making friends with each other.
RIP Andria, RIP Smokey as you dwell in God's eternal glory. You will be missed by your loved ones. Until we see you again on that other shore......So long

Read the Carib World News article about Andria here

Monday, January 12, 2009

Twitter by the Seas with Carnival Destiny

1st Twitter by the Sea Cruise
Themed Cruise For Bloggers, Social Media, WAHMS and Twitter Fanatics!



The Topics are Blogging, WAHM, Social Media & Network Marketing
There will be Motivational Speakers, experts in Social Media.
This is in addition to the normal
Carnival Cruise Itinerary

Carnival Destiny leaving from Miami, Florida

Going to Ocho Rios Jamaica, and Cayman Islands
Saturday Aug. 29, 2009 - Sept 3, 2009

Book now go to Groups tab.
or Fill in Contact Me form at

put Your contact info including your telephone number. name and number of people traveling and the cabin you are interested in. Make sure you put
Twitter by the Sea in the body of your message, with your preferences.

11 - Suite - $1030.73 per person
8B - Balcony - $610.73 per person
6B - Ocean View - $510.73 per person
4B - Inside - $440.73 per person

Prepaid gratuities of $50.00 per person are included in the above rates.
Insurance is optional but strongly recommended:
$99.00 per person - Suite
$79.00 per person - Balcony
$59.00 per person - Ocean View
$49.00 per person - Inside

A $25.00 per person deposit ($200.00 per person/Suite) is due January 23, 2009
A $200.00 per person payment is due April 29, 2009

Final payment is due June 23, 2009
It is the traveler's responsibility to be aware of required government documents necessary for travel.
We strongly recommend that all travelers obtain a passport.

In addition to the normal Cruise Itineray there will be
Motivational Speakers, experts in Social Media.

Imagine meeting Tweeples that are supportive, creative, and powerful key players on the internet.
Make it a family vacation and bring your family to take advantage of the low Group based prices.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Oprah Winfrey fell off the wagon...So did I

Watching Oprah Winfrey tell Bob Greene how and why she fell off the weight loss wagon! Now I already told you all what one of my goals are for this year! Yup! I'm right there with Oprah! I'm getting back on the getting healthy wagon!

"Money, fame and success don't mean anything if you can't control your own being." Says Oprah! That's the key "control". She said in 2005 when she was on the cover of her magazine with the midriff bearing outfit she thought she had "conquered the battle of the bulge".

Oprah's weight battle ( and mine too) gives way to some life lessons we all have to deal with.

1- We will never arrive- There will always be another obstacle to overcome in life.
Once we say to ourselves "I did it! Now I can relax" is when we start down that slippery slope of defeat.

2-We can't surrender to obstacles that seem unsurmountable. - Oprah resigned herself to being "fat" when she received the diagnosis of hypothyroidism. She admits to saying "everything I eat is going to make me fat anyway, and my metabolism isn't working, so I might as well just eat whatever I want. Okay. Fat wins,'"

3- We need balance in our lives. Oprah found she needs balance between work and play. She says "It's about extending yourself in so many different directions that you literally become unconscious. You're just trying to get through it all and not giving back to yourself. When you love yourself enough, you take care of yourself."

4- We must be organized- We need to plan. The key to getting back on the wagon is being organized. "You have to plan for your life," Oprah says.

That's the bottom line we have to take care of ourselves, physically,spiritually and emotionally.

Now Oprah is one of the world's richest women, actually richest people for that matter. She wasn't born into wealth. She WORKED hard to become wealthy. She is a businesswoman that anyone should emulate.

As I read the article on her site I realized more and more that the above principles apply to business as well.
We can't feel that we are successful and now can sit back and rest. We can't surrender to the dreamsnatchers that are jealous of what we achieve or just plain dislike us for having the initiative of helping ourselves. We also cannot succumb to the challenges placed in our lives. We need to seek balance in our lives. Leave time for family. It can't be about business building all the time. Lastly we need to be organized. We need to Plan out our day around our responsibilities as entrepreneurs, parents and community members.

I respect Oprah as she bared her soul and shared the weight challenges she is having. It shows that she is human. She may not know it but she is also a roll model.

So Oprah, I am getting back on the wagon along with you in 2009. In more ways than one! Hey can I book you a cruise?


Own your own Homebased Travel Business - Join Now while we have the 1/2 price Christmas Special

Join Me on the TwitterCruise "Twitter by the Sea" - A cruise dedicated to bloggers, Twitters and all social media types!

Join Gail at Black Business Builders and Learn how to grow your business. There is so much resources available for you at this site.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year Resolutions or Goals for 2009?

Every Year I am asked "what are your New Years Resolutions?" And every year those New Year resolutions are gone by the second week in January. The better plan should be to make Goals. Goals are more realistic. they are doable. they can be broken down into smaller steps. The african adage says "The best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.

I learned that Goals should be S.M.A.R.T.
Sspecific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.

This is my plan for 2009. I will write out my personal, family and business Goals.
This is what my plan of Goals will look like.
Objective: What I am going to do to work towards my goal
Strategy- My specific plans to reach the objective. How do I overcome the particular obstacles that may prevent me from reaching my objectives.
Evaluation- Re-evaluate my plans and the success or lack of it within a prescribed. How close am I to my success? How far am I way from the starting point? How close am I to the end point?

Here's an Example
Goal- to lose 50 lbs this year (yes I am putting it out there)
Objective- To become healthier, lessen my knee and back pain. to not become diabetic or hypertensive
Strategy- Go back on my Weight Watchers Plan, either the At work program or the Online program Get in more exercise. Take lunch and snacks to work. Journal what I eat. Wear a pedometer. Use my Exercise Walk at Home DVDs. I will set short goals for 5 lbs at a time.
Evaluation- Weekly weigh ins, Monthly measurements.
I actually can elaborate more on this, but you get the idea.

I have made similar plans for my Travel business as well. I have learned alot and I will be making changes to reflect those changes. In addition I will be sharing and assisting my Business Associates on my team to do the same.

When we fail to plan we plan to fail. I intend to make 2009 a year of success for me my famly and my business. Why not join me in making Goals for 2009 instead of New Year Resolutions.

Own your own Homebased Travel Business - Join Now while we have the 1/2 price Christmas Special

Join Me on the TwitterCruise "Twitter by the Sea" - A cruise dedicated to bloggers, Twitters and all social media types!

Join Gail at Black Business Builders and Learn how to grow your business. There is so much resources available for you at this site.