Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The #Travel Column Rewind with D.G. Kaye – Three Winter Sun Destinations – Kauai, Hawaii, Malta and Martinique


Welcome to the next of the posts in my Travel Column series. The world is opening up and in the coming posts I will be sharing destinations that are welcoming visitors.

Most countries now have very clear requirements for entry with regard to vaccinations, Covid tests and quarantine and it is important to check these before booking your holiday. Be aware too that these can change according to current status of the pandemic.

However, for any of us in the colder and wetter climates, a respite somewhere sunny is top of of most of our wish lists. Today three wonderful destinations where you will enjoy warm weather and an even warmer welcome from your hosts. I have selected islands where you can relax and even if it is for just two weeks, boost your tan and well-being before the real winter kicks in.

However, for those of you who crave the excitement and adventure of snow covered mountains and ski slopes, in my next post in two weeks, I will be sharing three top locations accessible to those in North America and Europe.

The first destination is Hawaii and the island of Kauai.

Here is an amazing video- Na Pali coast, Kauai, Hawaii courtesy of Amazing Planet

About the Island courtesy of The official island website

Kauai is Hawaii’s fourth largest island and is sometimes called the “Garden Island,” which is an entirely accurate description. The oldest and northernmost island in the Hawaiian chain is draped in emerald valleys, sharp mountain spires and jagged cliffs aged by time and the elements. Centuries of growth have formed tropical rainforests, forking rivers and cascading waterfalls! Some parts of Kauai are only accessible by sea or air, revealing views beyond your imagination. More than just dramatic beauty, the island is home to a variety of outdoor activities. You can kayak the Wailua River, snorkel on Poipu Beach, hike the trails of Kokee State Park, or go ziplining above Kauai’s lush valleys. But, it is the island’s laid-back atmosphere and rich culture found in its small towns that make it truly timeless. Explore the regions of Kauai and make your escape to discover the undeniable allure of the island.

Temperatures in November/December/January are between 25 C and 27 C.. with an average of 23C… so very pleasant.

Flight times

From UK: 15 hours, longer if changing planes in US.
From Toronto: 10 hours
From Vancouver: 6 hours
From New York: 10.5 hours
From Los Angeles – 5.5 hours

Where to stay: Hawaii Guide Kauai Accommodation
Things to do: Tours and activities

Now a European destination, which by all accounts is becoming very popular with North Americans and Canadians via Travel Daily News

The Island of Malta – Mediterranean

The Hon. Konrad Mizzi, Minister of Tourism for Malta, noted that the US was one of the fastest growing tourism markets for Malta, recording a dramatic increase of 31.9% from 2017 to 2018, with a total of 47,170 Americans visitors. The increase from Canada in 2018 was 6.6% (15,015 Canadians) bringing the total arrivals in 2018 from North America (US & Canada) to a record breaking 62,185. This sunny archipelago in the Mediterranean recorded an overall 2.6 million visitors (+14.3% between 2017 and 2018), bringing a record number of tourists to Malta from around the World.

About Malta courtesy of Visit Malta

Megaliths, medieval dungeons and Calypso’s Cave – The Maltese Islands are positively mythic. The narrow meandering streets of their towns and villages lead to the main square, which is invariably dominated by the huge baroque church. As the countryside is dotted with medieval towers, wayside chapels and the oldest known human structures in the world, the Islands have rightly been described as an open-air museum.

The Maltese archipelago lies virtually at the centre of the Mediterranean, 93 km south of Sicily and 288 km north of Africa. The archipelago consists of three islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino with a total population of over 400,000 inhabitants occupying an area of 316 square kilometers.

Malta is the largest island and the cultural, commercial and administrative centre. Gozo is the second largest island and is more rural, characterised by fishing, tourism, crafts and agriculture. Comino, the smallest of the trio, has one hotel and is largely uninhabited.

With superbly sunny weather, attractive beaches, a thriving nightlife and 7,000 years of intriguing history, there is a great deal to see and do.

Temperatures in November/December are between 18C and 22C.. with January cooler at 16C but still with five hours of sunshine a day.

Here is a video among many courtesy of Visit Malta

Flight times

From UK: 3 hours
From Toronto: 10 hours
From US East Coast: 9.5 hours
From US West Coast: 14 hours.

Official site: Visit Malta
Where to Stay: Accommodation Malta Trip Advisor
What to do: Malta.com activities

And for the final winter sun destination, I have chosen one of my favorite destinations.. the Caribbean and the island of Martinique.

About Martinique courtesy of Martinique.org

First sighted by Columbus on his initial expedition in 1493, Martinique played host to its first European “tourists” in 1502 when Columbus landed there during his fourth voyage. Dubbed Martinique by Columbus, the island was inhabited by Kalinago Indians who had driven away the Arawaks (both tribes had come to the island from South America). Martinique was claimed by France in 1635 and officially annexed in 1674. France and Britain fought over the island until 1815, when France prevailed. Slavery was abolished in 1848. In 1946, Martinique became a Department of France and in 1974 a Region of France, its current status.

Modern day Martinique is truly “a little bit of France in the Caribbean.” It exudes an alluring and distinctly French sensibility in the excellence of its cuisine and rhums, the chic sophistication of its fine resorts and hotels, its fashion and art scene, and more. Yet Martinique has a cachet all its own; an endearing West Indian warmth in its personality, a special spice in its music and dance, its local dishes, cultural heritage, and way of life. It is an island with style and so much more. A special place, to be sure, with so much to offer – Martinique c’est magnifique!

Temperatures in November/December/January are very warm between 29C to 31C – the island does have quite a bit of rain mainly through to November with the driest time between December and April.

Here is a short film courtesy of travelguruTV

Flight Times

From UK: 9 hours
From Toronto: 5 hours
From New York: 4.5 hours
From Los Angeles: 7.5 hours

As an overseas region of France the currency is the Euro

Where to stay: Martinique Hotels Trip Advisor
What to do: Martinque Trip Advisor Things to Do

Thanks for dropping and to Debby for putting together these travel destinations that offer something to look forward to if not now, in the near future..

A reminder that it is always important to check out every detail when traveling abroad with up to date recommendations and also government advisories on Covid.

About D.G. Kaye

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.

I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

Quotes:

“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

“For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

Books by D.G. Kaye

One of the reviews for Have Bags Will Travel

Lana B. 5.0 out of 5 stars Super fun travel reading Reviewed in the United States

“Have Bags, Will Travel” is a delightful read on the experiences of travel, fashion, the art of packing suitcases with the emphasis on having a good time. Author, D.G. Kaye details her days on board planes to many popular destinations and her vivacious antics with friends. She also relates her solo travels to exotic destinations with steep cliffs and too much baggage. I particularly enjoyed the details of the by-gone, romantic days aboard Wardair, and the exquisite details of vintage Las Vegas.

A consummate shopper, D.G. Kaye relates her rather humorous run-ins with customs officials. How does it feel to be singled out routinely by airline officials? A read through this humorous pages will give you the insight to these first-hand conflicts.

I would say this might be required reading for shoe connoisseurs and fashion mavens especially if they have a plane ticket in hand. Germ avoidance theory is also discussed, and it may never be possible to look at airplane bathrooms the same.

D.G. Kaye brings back the memories of best friends and blazing trips through the desert. Many readers will identify with the struggles of this stylish lady attempting to blend in to avoid a custom’s mishap. A short and super fun read, “Have Bags, Will Travel” is perfect for your next airplane ride.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – follow Debby: Goodreads

Connect to Debby Gies – Blog: D.G. Kaye Writer – About me: D.G. Kaye – Twitter: @pokercubster Linkedin: D.G. Kaye – Facebook: D.G. Kaye – Instagram: D.G. Kaye – Pinterest: D.G. Kaye

As always Debby loves to hear from you with comments and questions.

Smorgasbord Posts from the Archives 2021 – Pot Luck – #Hawaii – My Aloha experience by D.L. Finn


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Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1000 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience… mine. The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history, family and the most recent series was #PotLuck where I shared a random selection of different topics.

In this series I have shared posts from the last six months of 2020 and the series is now closed to new participants.

This is the second post from D.L. Finn and she shares her various visits to Hawaii over the years with highlights and memories.. This brought back my own of our two visits to the Islands.

My Aloha experience

Hawaii is a place I hold close in my heart. I heard many tales of this magical place growing up. My family had done business there, and my mother had been there many times during this. Although the family business had ended, I was lucky enough to see this place when I was in the fourth grade. Oahu was magical through a nine-year-old girl’s eyes. I spent hours swimming and exploring the island with my great grandparents. I remember touring the pineapple groves and sitting next to a very nice fourth-grade teacher.

Pineapples were a cornerstone of my diet there. We ate pineapple ice cream at Woolworths and fresh pineapple at the International Market. What I will remember most about this trip is the Brady Bunch (one of my favorite shows growing up) went to Hawaii the same year. We stayed in the same hotel they did, but not at the same time. Although I didn’t get cursed or learn how to surf, I got a hula lesson at the Kodiak show.

Then, when I was twelve years old, I went back again with my great grandparents. We stayed in a hut (that was torn down soon after to make way for more hotels) with a path to the beach. I found a Hawaiian lady who was making leis with plumeria flowers along the path. She took the time to show me how to make them, and then I got to keep my work. I spent hours swimming and ended up with the worst sunburn I ever had. For nights after I sprayed myself with water to cool it down and later my shoulders bore freckles of my Hawaiian journey. We picked up some souvenirs at the International Market (now gone) and went to the Polynesian Cultural Center, where we walked through villages while interacting and learning. Then a beautiful show floated by on the river.

My next trip back was on my honeymoon. We explored Oahu: Pearl Harbor, Polynesian Cultural Center, and a Luau. When we weren’t seeing the sights, we hung out on the Waikiki Beach and ate lots of crab Louie and pineapple. Another week was added, and we headed to Maui. Here we drove the famous Hana Drive that took us through all the waterfalls and an amazing black beach that we had to ourselves. Every night in paradise, we sat and watched the sunset.

It was almost 30 years before we went back to Hawaii for our second honeymoon. This time we focused on Kauai and Maui.

On Kauai, we made a point of doing things we’d never done before, including a helicopter tour over Kauai, which produced some amazing views and pictures but also left my husband with a queasy stomach. Next, we took a boat tour to snorkel (my second time ever), and the spinning dolphins and a couple of turtles entertained us. Then we rented a Harley and cruised the south shore of the island, including the spectacular little Grand Canyon. Kauai is an amazing garden island filled with roaming chickens.

We spent week two on Maui. We took the Hana drive again, where I was less brave than I had been on our honeymoon with the narrow road, but it was still just as beautiful as I had remembered it. We explored the town of Lahaina and the Hard Rock Cafe, and other wonderful restaurants. The thing that has the fondest memories was staying at the hotel and lounging around the pool— and snorkeling. We’d get up each morning and suit up for the ocean. There was usually a turtle greeting you at the shore, but we were warned not to touch them it could make them sick. However, the turtle seemed determined to touch me.

Hawaii is truly paradise, full of wonderful people, scenery, and memories. It has become my home away from home and has found its way in An Unusual Island, This Second Chance, and soon to be released, middle grade/ YA Dolphin’s Cave. I’m hoping for an early December release if all goes well.

The Aloha spirit has found residence in me and my work.

Embrace your inner child with the Aloha Spirit in your heart. D. L. Finn

©D.L. Finn 2020

About D.L. Finn

D.L. Finn is an independent California local who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 relocated with her husband, kids, dogs, and cats to the Sierra foothills in Nevada City, CA. She immersed herself in reading all types of books, but especially loved romance, horror, and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, being surrounded by towering pines, oaks, and cedars, her creativity was nurtured until it bloomed. Her creations vary from children’s books, young adult fantasy, and adult paranormal romance to an autobiography with poetry. She continues on her adventures with an open invitation for her readers to join her

A selection of books by D.L. Finn

One of the recent reviews for This Last Chance

Mark Bierman4.0 out of 5 stars You may need a few more sips of that Cabernet to ease the nerves. Reviewed in the United States on December 28, 2020

Unseen forces battle for the future of earth, while unsuspecting humans go about their daily lives. This novel is a unique spin on the classic tale of good versus evil.

Amber Dodges is a news reporter on the hunt for the killer of her twin sister, Iris. She unknowingly attracts the attention of the evildwels, the angels, and the killer.

Finn has created a strong female protagonist in Amber, who lives, quite literally, by the motto, “Never say die!”

A view of the supernatural and terrestrial worlds, are constantly interchanged throughout this story, providing a chilling premonition that something terrible is about to happen. You may need a few more sips of that Cabernet to ease the nerves.

As the story unfolds, Amber is threatened and grows leery of all, as she tries to determine who is a ‘friend or foe’. This fact is left for the reader to puzzle over, until the climax is reached.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who desires a peek beyond the veil of the spiritual/mortal realms. Anyone who relishes a decent thriller, without the gore of a typical slasher story, will be appreciate the strong plot and high stakes drama. I’m giving this one a Four-Star rating!

 Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow D.L. Finn: Goodreads – Connect to D.L. Finn – Website: D.L. Finn Author – Facebook: D.L. Finn Author – Twitter: @dlfinnauthor

 

My thanks to Denise for permitting me to share her posts and I do suggest you head over to enjoy her archives.