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It's estimated that some 80 million people around the world claim Irish heritage. Of course, that number expands greatly around St. Paddy's day. I myself
have always touted that I am 50% Irish by descent and 100% by desire, or my middle name isn't FitzGerald! Actually, my bond with Ireland, other than by
descent, goes back to two formative years of my life in my middle teens, when we lived in Belfast. They were transformative years, a time when I discovered
the real me.
In what could have been something of a mob scene, my wife and I were shepherded through the throngs at the airport in Yangon, Myanmar's largest city, by
the very competent guides from Belmond who were waiting to greet us. They ushered us into an air-conditioned luxury van and handed us each a bottle of
chilled water--a seemingly small gesture, but just the kind of attention to detail we would come to expect from Belmond over the course of our Road to
Our five-day trip through Myanmar was the long-awaited fulfillment of a bucket-list dream and a chance to explore the temples and cultural riches of this
formerly closed country. Myanmar only recently started welcoming foreigners, and we wanted to visit while its veil of secrecy was just being lifted, before
it turns into another Cambodia in terms of tourist popularity.
Here's a little hint: If you're looking for an economical way to gather the entire family for an overdue reunion, or you simply want to experience what
it's like to live the local lifestyle, then a villa vacation is just the ticket for you. We've been touting the benefits of renting a private vacation home
for as many years as Hideaways has been around, and here are just a few reasons why.
Renting a villa can be a great value for several couples or multiple generations of a family traveling together, more so than staying in a hotel. Plus, you
can save on the cost of dining out by enjoying group meals cooked together over a few glasses of local wine--part of the fun!--and shared al fresco on your
When my brother from Arizona visited me in New Hampshire recently, he suggested we drive up to Canada's French province of Québec for a couple of
days. I figured we'd have hours and hours to catch up with each other in the car. Not so! It took a mere three-and-a-half hours to get to the
Vermont/Canadian border on I-91, and then just 30 minutes, give or take, to reach the picturesque rural city of Magog--itself another pleasant surprise!
For far too long, a discriminating visitor to Santa Barbara in search of five-star luxury had to be content with the oceanfrontFour Seasons Biltmore, a large, commercial, albeit satisfactorily run resort, or the small, very pretty, but hideously expensive San Ysidro Ranch, hidden in the Montecito foothills. Both of these properties are the playthings of Beanie Baby billionaire Ty Warner.