Showing posts with label Tourism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tourism. Show all posts

Monday, February 23, 2015

Find out how my #Travel Wanderlust could mean a trip to #Paris for YOU! #trafalgarinsider

This post is sponsored by:

I have battled both Snowmageddon 2015 and the Flu this brutal winter here in the North East and the only thing they have both stirred up in me is my never-ending battle with Travel Wander Lust! I want to escape, and I want to escape BAD! Having worked in the airline industry in the past my passion for travel has never waned.

With my birthday coming up in April I really want to go big, but quite frankly I'm not sure I am up for the planning involved in an Epic adventure you know - that 'once-in-a-lifetime' trip that you never forget! (My first trip to Vegas was one of those Epic trips that's for sure! Thankfully what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!) The only thing I'm sure of at this point is that I want it to be an international trip, Europe, Asia or somewhere Down Under are my top choices right now.

While stuck at home with the flu I have done some preliminary research, and come across some real contenders both in terms of destination AND who should plan it - with the same attention to detail that I would if I did it myself.  One of the forerunners is a family owned company who is one of the innovators in "Insider Experiences' - allowing travelers to dine with locals in their homes and more! I have always been an 'off-the-beaten-path' type of traveler, and like me, the folks at Trafalgar share a passion for all things travel.

I need a personal travel director/concierge for this upcoming birthday trip and with Trafalgar they arrange for every detail - think luxury coach transportation, hand-picked four-star accommodations, all baggage, hotel and restaurant gratuties! Now that's what I'm talking about!

I personally was snowed in with the Flu on Valentine's Day, but my research for one thing (my upcoming birthday trip) led to another that I just couldn't keep to myself and just had to share! How does an eight-night romantic trip to France - you know THE CITY OF LOVE - sound to you?

The Eiffel Tower
Photo Credit: Mayors & Cities - The Worldwide Municipalities Magazine
Not yet sold? The Wonderful France Trip Includes:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Visiting famous landmarks including: Eiffel Tower, Champs-Elysees, Palace of Versailles

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - St. Tropez and Monaco - the playground of the rich and famous

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Pristine Cote d'Azur Coastline

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Trafalgar unique insider experiences including a Be My Guest dinner in Provence cooked in a wood-fired oven in a family run restaurant

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Visit the world-renowned vineyards of Cote du Rhone and Burgundy Wine Regions

But HURRY! The contest runs until February 26th, that is also the deadline date for the Early Payment Discount allowing couples to save up to $1,200 on trips to Europe! Enter HERE for the contest, and if you can't wait to find out if you won and want to lock in that discount, call Trafalgar Travel Experts at 866-544-4434!


You know just how much brands that give back mean to me and I am happy to share that Trafalgar is a founder and active supporter of The TreadRight Foundation, a not-for-profit that works to ensure the environment and communities we visit remain vibrant and well preserved, TreadRight has donated $2.5 million to sustainable tourism projects worldwide!

If you are like me and like to 'lurk' a bit and get to know a brand before you commit, you can hang out with Trafalgar on Facebook and Twitter! And as a blogger I am literally bursting at the seams to share that if you fill out the form HERE and share your best photo taken during a Trafalgar Vacation, they will PAY YOU for it! And it is easy as one, two, three - (1) Enter your Details, (2) Upload your images and (3) Submit, note they will only accept hi-res images 710 x 710 pixels or larger!

Where is your next adventure? Where would you like Trafalgar to help you plan an epic adventure for? Did you enter the Wonderful France Competition Butterflies?

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FTC Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, however all opinions are 100% my own!  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR, Part 255 - Guides Concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising, you may check our Giveaway and Disclosure Page for additional information regarding Ascending Butterfly Disclosure.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Recap of 2014 New York Times Travel Show - Top Takeaways and #Travel News!

By the time you read this I will be well underway to somewhere fun to celebrate my birthday this weekend! Perfect how it fell on a Friday this year!

I love to travel and jumped at the chance to take in the New York Times Travel Show this year (at what is beginning to feel like my second home this year, The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City). I was born and raised in the North East US so I naturally gravitate to warmer climate travel options, but I also wanted to learn more about Destinations I haven't yet visited, and travel options like Cruising which I haven't yet tried.

It is super easy to get distracted with all the sights, sounds, color and excitement at the show that's for sure, so I highly suggest journalists (be it print or digital) take some time in the Press Area to get organized and solidify your plan of attack. If you have a general idea you can explore the Trade Show by zones and speaking to the representatives will give you a better idea of which destination and property are the best fit for you.

I wanted to recap the show both with Photos, as well as new news and top takeaways:

"Take 2" Shuttle Transfer Service

As someone who doesn't drive I was excited to learn about Universal Orlando's latest offering "Take 2" Shuttle Transfer Service. Vacationing in Central Florida and forgot to book a rental car or just don't even want to do all the driving? For only $39 per adult be sure to add on 'The Take 2 Shuttle Transfer Ticket' - then enjoy meet and greet transfer service provided by Quick Transportation from your Walt Disney World hotel to your Universal Orlando Resort on -site hotel and then to Orlando International Airport (MCO) via Taxi Sedan/Van.

Curacao,  Curacao Tourist Board, Dushi Hende
Her skirt reads 'Dushi Hende'  which is an interesting initiative by the Curaçao Tourist Board 

Tropical rhythms from the folks representing Antigua and Barbuda!

Ceylon Enterprises Group of SRI LANKA, Travel, Tourism
Ceylon Enterprises Group of SRI LANKA provided a moment of Zen!

Dominican Republic Tourism Display at New York Times Travel Show
Now you know butterflies will always catch my eye! I have yet to visit the Dominican Republic, but would like to!

of course I had to get a close up, the Dominican Republic Booth had handcrafted items available for sale at their display booth during the New York Times Travel Show

Tourism Malaysia display table at New York Times Travel Show
Tourism Malaysia had such an eye-catching display I just had to stop!

Sea World Display Area at 2014 New York Times Travel Show
Sea World had live animals in their display area so needless to say they drew quite a crowd! 

Sea World Display Area at 2014 New York Times Travel Show, Owl
Sea World Display Area at 2014 New York Times Travel Show

Sea World Display Area at 2014 New York Times Travel Show, Birds, Owl
I have to admit I have never visited Sea World!

Sea World Display Area at 2014 New York Times Travel Show, Bird
Sea World Display Area at 2014 New York Times Travel Show

Sea World Display Area at 2014 New York Times Travel Show, Bird, Owl
Everyone thought this little guy was some kind of animatronic robot but he is REAL! It was the smallest, cutest, sweetest bird ever! I so wanted to touch it.
Owl Above: In fact this sweet little guy is a rescue! Kudos to Sea World for taking care of him. His movements were slow and deliberate he really did look like a little robot, and it was only with trainer handling that the crowd was able to understand he is real. Those eyes were so soulful they drew everyone in!

I spent the most time speaking with 'Da Pineapple Guy' he truly embodied the 'Aloha Spirit'

Don't leave Hawaii without calling 'Da Pineapple Guy' so you can bring back the sweetest trip souvenir - Fresh Pineapple and Fresh Papayas!

I spent the most time speaking with 'Da Pineapple Guy', who offers an awesome Pineapple Delivery Service. I LOVE that! My most cherished memories of many of my warm weather vacations are actually fruit related in some way. In Puerto Rico it was eating Mangoes fresh from the tree from the Farm of a local while enjoying the view from the comfort of my Balcony for Breakfast one morning. On another trip it was the Breadfruit I ate in Barbados at The Round House Restaurant taking in the spectacular view of the rugged East Coast of Barbados. The Pineapple Guy can arrange to have the Tropical Gold variety of pineapples (which have been proven to be the sweetest and lowest acid pineapples available in Hawaii, grown on the north shore of Oahu) sent right to your door or your hotel the day before you leave. They are picked fresh daily, inspected & pre-certified making them airport ready and you can also arrange to have Papayas delivered as well. Out of all the vendors there he truly asked me genuine questions about what it is I do and the business side of blogging. He is a proud dad, and someone who showed me a taste of true Aloha Spirit. I have never visited Hawaii, but my time with him certainly bumped this beautiful destination up my travel wish list! There are even instructional videos on his site on how to cut a Pineapple. You can tell his heart is in his work, his family and his homeland. It was really cool to make a genuine connection with someone there that went beyond a sort of rote memory bullet points, someone who was just so in the moment, it brought me back into focus! I also left his booth with dark chocolate Macadamia Nuts, and Hershey's Macadamia covered kisses, both of which I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE and now I  need to arrange a trip to go get some more!

Zoetry - Paraiso De La Bonita - Riviera Maya

Zoetry also drew us in with the colorful and tropical displays.You can indulge yourself in The Art of Life at Zoetry Paraiso de la Bonita Riviera Maya, a luxurious, secluded retreat combining Endless Privileges with holistic wellness, tranquility, and romance. It is Perfectly situated along Cancun's famed Riviera Maya, this AAA Five Diamond resort offers magnificent ocean views, graciously appointed suites, gourmet dining, Bvlgari Bath Amenities (my personal faves!) and more. I love Mexico and I try to visit there as often as my schedule permits!

Grabbing those peaceful zen like moments wherever I could find them.

I wanted to sit there with the brochures on a cozy couch and day dream about these beautiful destinations. The Cruel, Cold Winter here in NYC has made me want to shake off that North East Cold and hop on a plane to somewhere super warm! Sunshine dear old friend, I MISS YOU!

Celebrity Cruises announced that their Black Car Service has been extended for Suite Guests until 04/30
Book a suite on any Bermuda or Europe cruise, 7 nights or longer and you'll receive round-trip black car service between your home and the port or Airport. Your modern, upscale vacation begins the moment you step out the door. Check out for more information and additional details.

Just had to snap a shot of the cow at Cabot's cute display!
Cabot Creamery is a 1,200 farm family dairy cooperative with members in New England and upstate NY producing all natural, award-winning cheddar cheese.

My Take:

The Travel Show was a wonderful way to get more information about Destinations on my Travel Wishlist which includes Greece, Italy, Hawaii, Tahiti, New Zealand, Australia, Paris, Asia and many more! It sent my incurable case of Wanderlust right through the roof! And is making me curious about this whole cruising thing. I'm going to have to try it one of these and report back to you! (Have any of our butterflies traveled aboard a Singles Cruise before? If so, did you enjoy it?)

What is your favorite travel destination butterfly? Why is it your favorite?

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FTC Disclosure: The New York Times Travel Show provided us with passes to the Show/Seminars/panels for editorial consideration. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR, Part 255 - Guides Concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising, you may check our Giveaway and Disclosure Page for additional information regarding Ascending Butterfly Disclosure. All opinions are 100% my own! No monetary compensation has been exchanged!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: I was a Lucky Dog in New Orleans #NOLA

Lucky Dogs Hot Dog Street Vendor in New Orleans, Louisiana

Happy Wordless Wednesday Butterflies! Bloggers be sure to comment here with a link to your Wordless Wednesday Post so we can check out your photos too!

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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: The Rockefeller Center Holidays 2012 Edition {#Photos} #NewYorkCity

All things in and around Rockefeller Center in New York City during Holidays 2012! It's one of the most famous holiday trees and I've been visiting the new tree every year since I was a kid!

Tracy from Ascending Butterfly pre Rockefeller Center WATERMARKED
Yours Truly, Ascending Butterfly just enjoying New York City during the Holidays on my way to Rockefeller Center!

mama butterfly pre rockefeller center WATERMARKED
It's Mama Butterfly!

Tree lit up with lights pre Rockefeller Center WATERMARKED
Mama Butterfly got inspired and took this creative shot of the tree. I only wish it had been at night so you could really see all the lights!

mama butterfly in front of trees WATERMARKED
Mama Butterfly!

Big Lights Pre Rockefeller Center WATERMARKED
Check out these cool big lights!

mama butterfly in front of big lights pre rockefeller WATERMARKED
Mama Butterfly loving the lights!

Tracy from Ascending Butterfly big lights pre rockefeller center 03 WATERMARKED
Ascending Butterfly striking a pose!

us in front of big lights pre rockefeller center 2012 WATERMARKED
Left: Mama Butterfly, Right: Ascending Butterfly on our way to Rockefeller Center to see the Tree!

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree 01 WATERMARKED 2012
The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in New York City! I really had to crouch to get the entire tree in the shot!

Ascending Butterfly in front of Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree 02 Holidays 2012 WATERMARKED
Ascending Butterfly striking her best 'Vanna White' pose and presenting the tree!

mama butterfly in front of rockefeller center christmas tree 03 holidays 2012 WATERMARKED
Mama Butterfly taking in the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree!

Us in front of The Holidays 2012 Rockefeller Christmas Tree 01 WATERMARKED
Left: Mama Butterfly, Right: Ascending Butterfly - Yay we got a shot together in front of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree! (This is not such as an easy feat with a heavy mix of locals and tourists all going for this same shot!)

Me looking over ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center Holidays 2012 WATERMARKED
Ascending Butterfly enjoying her view of both the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and the Ice Skating Rink!

mom overlooking ice skating rink at rockefeller center holidays 2012 WATERMARKED
Mama Butterfly enjoying the view of the Ice Skaters as well as the Tree too!

wisdom and knowledge sign 01 holidays 2012 WATERMARKED
I have passed this every time I've been in the Rockefeller Center area and never took a picture of it, so I thought I'd snap a pic of it, which I had to do in three shots, see below for what's alongside this on the left and the right! It reads: Wisdom and Knowledge Shall Be The Stability of Thy Times!

wisdom and knowledge sign 02 holidays 2012 WATERMARKED
Zoomed in a little closer!

left of wisdom and knowledge holidays 2012 WATERMARKED
I can't believe I've passed this every day and never really stopped to get a good look or a pic until this year!

right of wisdom and knowledge holidays 2012 WATERMARKED
Even though that's not the happiest face I wanted to get a picture of all three of them, I tried to get them into one shot but the detail would have gotten lost so I seperated them out!

Toy Soldier Rockefeller Center Holidays 2012 WATERMARKED
Nabbing this one wasn't easy because of all the foot traffic, but after a few tries, I finally got a shot that I absolutely LOVE!

Rockefeller Center Gold Statue 01 Holidays 2012 WATERMARKED
This statue of Prometheus at Rockefeller Center in New York City is one of the most photographed statues in New York City, especially at this time of year!

Look Up Rockefeller Center Holidays 2012 WATERMARKED
I wonder what Message Mercury brings today?

Rockefeller Center from my vantage point by the angels 01 WATERMARKED
After a long day in the city, a quick rest stop, I liked the perspective of the Angels in front of the tree so I took a shot. There is a special shot from this day I left out from this post for a reason, so there is one more picture from my Rockefeller Center Holiday Tree 2012 that is to come! Stay tuned!

Happy Wordless Wednesday Butterflies! Don't forget to post your WW posts as a comment on this thread so we can see your pictures too!

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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post. I have received no monetary compensation to share my experiences at Rockefeller Center. These are personal photos from a recent visit.

Friday, August 3, 2012

What does @BarackObama have to do with #BlogHer12 day one?

President Barack Obama Addresses Bloggers live during a webcast during BlogHer 2012

Butterflies, my apologies for the super brief post. There was so much to take in, and so much that I experienced just on day one, that I really don't know where to start!

BlogHer truly blew everyone away on August 2nd, when President Barack Obama addressed the bloggers in attendance via live webcast at the Hilton Hotel in NYC.

He gets it, the power behind our voices, how amazing our platforms are and the direct impact we have on our audience and our communities. I've attend a ton of conferences in general throughout my career in IT and now as a blogger, and I don't remember being addressed by a US President during a Conference, blogging or otherwise. For a moment it left many of us speechless. That's how high up blogging is being noticed! Ladies (and gentlemen too!), we have power with our words, our posts, our platforms, how do YOU want to use that power? How can you use that power to make your communities a better place?

Elisa Camahort Page, Lisa Stone BlogHer Founders

My day was a busy one as this year I'm working the conference from the inside, and I attended the Healthminder track today, I live Blogged, mic wrangled  and listened to some amazing speakers. I will provide real session recaps in a few days when I've fully had time to absorb the experience.

This year more bloggers are connecting with EACH other, and that makes me truly heart happy, those are the memories and ultimately relationships that last the longest. I'm so happy to see more bloggers make connections with fellow attendees, and go out of their comfort zones and not just talk to their friends all night long, but introduce themselves to someone they don't know. During the People's Party all the tables were already taken and a few of us just started camping out on the floor, there were exhibitors/brands, bloggers and PR folks too, just having a good old fashion camp out together. In those moments, breaking bread and talking while on the floor, we had amazing conversations, would those conversations come up at a table if we had been lucky enough to score one? maybe. But they were that much more fun in a mock campfire circle. While I will never forget Obama's webcast, I will also never forget the new people I met during The People's Party either!

And there were 3 specific online friends I wanted to meet in real life, and fate just put me in the right place at the right time to meet them ALL on day ONE, How cool is that?

I even met Nadia, from the Niche Mommy Conference I'm considering attending and wrote a great post about this week!

Now I hope the Favor Gods are smiling down upon me and I get picked for the #Windowstyle makeover too! I would be super stoked if I won!

I've received a few discount codes throughout the day, I'll compile the rest on Thursday and Friday and be sure to post about them all for you so you can nab some amazing deals even though you might not have been able to attend the conference in person this year!

I got to meet some super awesome PR folks I work with throughout the years and that was really cool, we could finally put faces with the names! I met some new PR folks and have some super fun collaborations coming down the pike that means super awesome giveaways for you! Who loves you Butterfly?

I'm having a blast, I'm exhausted as I'm writing this post, but it's a good kind of tired!

So far the conference collective voices are speaking, they are guiding, they are encouraging us to find our bliss. For me, it's my travel writing posts. I love to travel and that's the track I'd like pursue a bit more of in 2013. How do you feel about your butterfly flying all over the world sharing what inspired her, from deserted Sandy Beaches, to gorgeous architecture, to gourmet food, local wines, local art and dance? I think that's the perfect path for me in 2013, and I hope you do too! I hope you are ready to take this journey around the world with me!

TGI Friday Butterfly!

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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post. I am a BlogHer Conference Volunteer this year. I have received my conference pass in exchange for volunteer services during the conference. I am under no obligation to share my experiences about the conference on my personal blog.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

{Bump} Top 10 Family Friendly NYC Destinations + Live Tweets during #BlogHer12

Today is day one of BlogHer and while I'll be live blogging FOR BlogHer, I'm not entirely sure when my blogs will go live on their site, as soon as I know, I'll post the URL!

So in the meantime, I'm bumping Monday's post as you guys have given me great feedback on the Top 10 Family Friendly Destinations in New York City Post!

For those of you who mentioned that you can't make it to BlogHer this time but are planning a trip to NYC, feel free to email me and I'd be happy to send over additional recommendations that did not make this list!

I will be tweeting during the day and trying to recap my experiences in those 140 characters or less digital soundbites otherwise known as 'tweets', be sure you are following us at both accounts @Tracy_Iglesias AND @Ascending1 to stay up to date on BlogHer 2012!

Happy Thursday Butterfly!

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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I am on my way to #BlogHer12 so why are my thoughts on the @NicheMommy Conference?

Witchcraft, Voodoo Legends, and Vampire Folklore - OH MY!

This week the BlogHer Conference is coming back to my city, New York City! And I'm live blogging this year FOR BlogHer which I'm totally excited about. So why is my mind already on the Niche Mommy Conference?

I guess since I already live in New York City, and I'm not taking a plane to get there, I'm not getting that 'travel rush' I normally get before a conference, so my mind is drifting and wandering towards thoughts of new sites and sounds. A city I have never visited. A city with Vampire Lore (Hello, life long Horror and Vampire Movie lover here!), a city with a rich Jazz musical history and great restaurants, New Orleans!

I have been researching this city for years now, and according to the Haunted New Orleans Tours website, "New Orleans, (is) America's Most Haunted City" - It seems to me it's part haunted and part enchanted and that is a strong part of the draw for me. I don't know why none of my travels to date have yet to take me there, but I'm thinking the Niche Mommy Conference sounds like a perfect excuse, I mean ahem, a 2012 'business' trip! Yeah, that's the ticket! While I know most folks immediately think about Mardi Gras madness, I don't want to try push my way down crowded streets, I want to take leisurely strolls and get great pictures of local architecture, meet tons of locals and hit the restaurants on my wish/research list. Yes I have actually been compiling a list of must try restaurants, I'm such a hopeless foodie!

You know how I feel about Vision Boards, and how they help you put the power of attraction in action! I have been compiling info on New Orleans for awhile now, and here is an advertisement that I clipped from a  magazine that highlights some of the things I want to do while in NOLA!

My 'Big Easy' Vision Board:

Press on each picture to see them as a full page and then backspace and come back here to see the next one!

I was robbed of quite a bit of travel time in the last year (due to a medical nightmare I certainly didn't see coming), and I plan to make up for it! While there are all the obvious reasons of why I love conferences (connecting with online friends from across the miles in the real world, learning how to make my business grow stronger by blogging smarter not harder, meeting great brands and making new friends), I also love travel and I love exploring new cities. I'm totally excited that Niche Mommy will be held in New Orleans this year, and I totally hope to make it out there!

For all those coming in this week for BlogHer, please be sure to visit my post that outlines the top 10 family fun New York City sites and attractions, if you missed it, you can click HERE.

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FTC Disclosure: While this is NOT a sponsored post, this is a personal essay entry into a Britax Competition for an opportunity to win a sponsorship to the Niche Mommy Conference. This is a closed competition for members of their Latina Advisory Board - Hispanic Digital Outreach Blogger Brand Ambassadors. This post is my entry, all opinions are 100% my own. I have NO personal affiliation to the Niche Mommy Conference organizers or the New Orleans Tourism Board. I am however entirely fascinated by the supernatural and have always wanted to visit New Orleans!