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Recommended Destinations

European Favorites

Paris, France: The City of Light

Romantic Must-Do’s: There is so much to name here and I wish we had more time! Paris is a fabulous city for walking and taking in the sites. Stroll along the Seine River to enjoy the scene, art, cafes and historical buildings on both the right and left bank. Cross the Pont Neuf Bridge, the oldest in Paris, see the Eiffel Tower, The Louvre Museum, the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Arc de Triomphe, shop and enjoy the cafes on the Champs – Elysees, and take a river dinner and dancing cruise at night on the River Seine (start here to get the lay of the land along the river).

We went on the Bateaux Parisiens, located at the foot of the Eiffel Tower (cocktail attire). See more on this dinner dance cruise under Cruises. Be sure to visit the many older towns tucked away from the beaten path, to see the smaller, quaint shops and really enjoy the people. Take in a Jazz club at night, or a disco/dance club – that plays sexy dance beats from around the world. The people of Paris were a delight! They were courteous, helpful, fun, patient with my French; and the food delicious where ever we ate! Be sure to visit Paris with someone you love!

Amsterdam, NL

Amsterdam has a series of concentric and bisecting canals known as the Grachtengordel (canal ring). Lined with centuries-old gabled canal houses, the area has remained beautifully intact to this day. And it’s not just a preserved open-air museum; it is still the functional and friendly heart of the city, where locals and visitors alike create a vibrant energy. This is an amazingly vibrant city, where the preferred method of travel is by bike, trolley or by the water canals. Many tiny roads with interesting one-of-a-kind shops and historic sites, lots of outdoor cafes, and the unusual coffee shops – where a menu that is served offers a variety of marijuana in all sizes and flavors! The people are wonderfully friendly, and all talk English – Thank Goodness, as their language is quite hard to learn!

There are many wonderful sites to see, but because we had a brief stay, we saw just a few. Amsterdam has three museums located in a large park area within walking distance of each other. We went to the Rijksmuseum, which is the Netherlands National museum. With about 200 rooms, you could easily spend the day here. If your time is limited, and you want to see many of Rembrandt’s most famous works, go to the Gallery of Honor on the top floor.

Near the Rijksmuseum is The Vincent van Gogh Museum, which includes 200 of his paintings and 500 drawings as well as works by other well known 19th century artists. This was my favorite to see. Next to the van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Modern Art Museum is filled with fun works by trendy contemporary artists. Modernism, pop art, action painting, and neo-realism are represented there.

Walk the Dam Square, which is the city center. This square was where the original dam was built across the Amstel River. Just east of the square is The Red Light District which has narrow streets, lots of canals, and very interesting architecture. There were many sex shops selling erotic items and a variety of ladies (and men looking like ladies) in the shop windows. I’m happy to say we emerged unscathed from the Red Light District, after a fascinating night enjoying the native people, music, sites and entertainment of a great little city! We recommend it for both Couples and Singles – who have an open mind.

Cities of the US

Fort Lauderdale, Florida:

Here are some fun places we recommend

Aruba on the Beach:

Commercial Blvd and the Ocean. Good beach bar for the day, fun casual dance club by night – best thing – music and dancing 7 days a week. Good food, bar, and restaurant. Cute, cozy, open-aired, outdoor seating on the beach. Good crowd a variety of ages. Music/band were good. Suggest upscale casual for night time. Parking a hassle in that area, have quarters for meters.

Los Olas Blvd:

Park one block off the strip and go walk the entire strip for shopping. Stores open until about 8:30 pm, then choose one of the great outdoor restaurant cafes for eating and people watching. Our two favorite shopping finds along here were: Objects D’Art & jewelry where I bought a beautiful ring, and a women’s clothing store where they had great swimsuits, clothes and sales!

The strip on AIA and the ocean

The strip starts on Los Olas and goes north. Great outside dining (some upscale cafes and others more casual), music, and shopping all along the strip. All places have drink specials at Happy Hour. Lots of people and activity over the weekend. Very updated from the days in the 70’s! Best prices for the stores/clothes was on Los Olas – 2 doors up from the corner. They will deal on prices too. Our favorite casual spot and the Best Mussels on earth are at LuLu’s Restaurant on the 2nd floor of the Beach Place Towers shopping complex. Great beach views in this open aired eatery. Music starts at 9 pm. We park in the Marriott garage, eat, then walk the strip. It’s romantic, fun, and a great atmosphere!

The best shopping finds:

The Festival Market in Pompano on Sample Road, west of the Turnpike. Rows and rows of small shops offering the best prices on practically everything! Jewelry, ladies clothes, shoes, handbags, belts, hats, lingerie – and some stores for men – shirts, shorts, shoes, belts, hats, swimsuits; perfumes, luggage, sunglasses, household items…..on and on! Plan one full day. You will see the trends and get the best prices – then go to Los Olas and see how much you saved! It’s ok to deal, offer cash – over credit – for a better price. Happy Shopping!

International

Cancun, Mexico

What is not to like? It’s Paradise! Turquoise waters, sugar-white sand, the nicest, most accommodating people (many who speak English and various languages), a great value for the money, fabulously healthy, fresh foods, and more.

We visited Cancun in September, normally known as the rainy or hurricane season, and we had just a half day of hard rain. Although a quieter time to go, the nightclubs were still full and great fun, but the hotels were quieter – yet super accommodating. There are many great deals in the hotel zone for a romantic stay, and the restaurants are more available for prime seating, views, and waiter attention.

See the individual areas under Clubs, Tours/Attractions, Hotels, Restaurants and shopping for great referrals and tips on visiting Cancun! If you haven’t been there for awhile, NOW is the time to go! Since their hurricane in 2005, the rebuilding is done, the beaches larger, whiter and bigger then ever, the deals incredible, and the upscale new malls, hotels, and restaurants are amazing and waiting for you!

Havana, Cuba

A Must see! What a fun, cool & fabulous adventure! I went with a best friend to Havana by way of Norwegian Cruise ship – we had 1 full day and night there. I decided to set up a private tour for us to get the MOST out of such a brief period of time; as well as booked the Tropicana Show (direct on their website). The Tropicana theater was breathtaking outside, and the cast was amazingly talented – dancers without one flaw; and was huge – I counted 65 dancers at one time. Ornate, beautiful costumes, you felt like you were in the 1940s when at this show – and yes, I got pulled up to dance at the end with one of the fabulous male dancers! This IS Havana – if you are there, you must see this show! To book the Tropicana show go to: https://www.cabaret-tropicana.com/en/

During the day, we took a 5-hour tour; 2 hours of walking Old Havana – the Colonial City, in the morning, and 3 hours in an old 1950s convertible. After writing 5 different tour companies, I selected The Megusta Company (Free Walking Tours) and selected Jaime Abel Ramon and his firm to give my best friend Robin & I an extensive tour of Cuba, in the little time we had (one full day) off our cruise ship Norwegian. Jaime was very patient with me and extremely thorough with details; as I had never been to Cuba before, nor used their money system, etc. I investigated through many sites the top spots to visit; shared these with Jaime, and he set up the ideal tour – and added a few “must see’s for us.” Our custom tour included: Revolution & San Francisco and Old Squares, Christ of Havana, Plaza de la Catedral, National Museum of Art, Museo Napoleonico,Chinatown, Colonial Harbour Fortress, Latin America Brotherhood Park, Cuba Libro, the Capitol of Havana, 5th Ave – Miramar District, The US Embassy, 23rd street, the Malecon, Parque Maceo, Callejon de Hamel and saw the University of Havana – and more. We could not see inside everything in one day of course, but we got the lay of the land, and saw a ton of Havana! (You will need an OFAC Compliance form – to state you are seeing Cuba for Educational Reasons – so keep an itinerary of your tour!)

We requested an English speaking tour guide, and we were blessed to have Frank de la Nuez – a wonderful young man and such a fine, educated gentleman! He even carried my tote bag after buying some Cuban dark rum and was very knowledgeable about his country’s history. After a 2-hour walking tour, ending in a great frozen Dacquiri at the Florida Hotel & Bar (Hemingways favorite stop), Frank suggested a lunch spot, then showed up with a convertible classic car, for the rest of a 3 – hour tour; which ended with more drinks at the famous National Hotel. (Learn about all the spots we saw in the Amazing Cities/County section). The entire day tour was only $95 CUC + Tip (about $100 US – half of what the cruise ship wanted for a group tour!) and was SO Totally Worth it! Thanks, Frank for making our day in Havana so special! I’ll be back, and contact you for more touring! To set up your custom tour, contact Jaime  by email at – themegustacompany@gmail.com