Archives for category: product review

Swim with the Manatees? It’s a popular package at Plantation on Crystal River, located on Florida’s Nature Coast.

BEGINNINGS AND FRESH LOOKS

Parents and business visitors to Gainesville, FL will have a new reason to yell “Go Gators” when the AC Hotel Gainesville (by Marriott) opens its doors early this year. This college town has always been known for rousing spirit and Read the rest of this entry »

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Jump into the foam ball pit at Planet Obstacle

What’s a nice safety-obsessive girl who doesn’t like heights and is a natural klutz doing in a place like Planet Obstacle, Lake Mary, Florida’s ode to extreme indoor sports?

Mostly just trying not to let my jaw keep dropping open as I gape at hundreds of kids flying through the air like ninja warriors, or playing dodgeball in a brightly-lit padded court, or bouncing about in a foam ball-filled pit. Above me, a ropes course had human monkeys disguised Read the rest of this entry »

Looking for fun ways to incentivize your attendees?

Clue. Candyland. Sorry. Battleship. Monopoly. Trivia Pursuit. The games people play while sitting around a board with one’s friends and family. Games can be competitive or just the catalyst for casual conversation, but they have always been a source for fun social interactions… at least before electronics fit in our pockets and playing an opponent didn’t Read the rest of this entry »

Lisa Jennings (L) and I feeding grapes to ring-tailed lemurs.

Ring-tailed lemurs hop from branch to branch before perching on a wooden railing, greedily grabbing the grapes from our hands with their soft paws and plopping the juicy morsels into their eager mouths. The water buffalo who rubbed up against the sides of our open-air canopied safari bus were nearly as gentle, even as their long, wet tongues curled around the offered tootsie roll-shaped treats.

Lemurs and water buffalo are just some of the 450 animals representing 55 species of mostly African and Asian hoof stock that roams the 260 acres of Safari Wilderness Ranch, Read the rest of this entry »

Caesars Forum will have a 550,000 sf conference center in Las Vegas, NV

It’s that time of year when everyone’s personal life clashes hard with business activities, no matter how much one strives for balance. With that in mind, I will respect your time and not regale you with tales of the cookies I’ve baked or the fun parties I’ve worked as Natasha, The Psychic Lady. Your time is precious, so here are some of the deals and promotions you may want to keep in mind going forward.

HELP REJEUVENATE PUERTO RICO’S MEETING AND TOURISM MARKET

Meet Puerto Rico (MPR), the Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) responsible for attracting meetings, conventions, trade shows, sporting events and incentive groups to Puerto Rico, is launching the “Check Off your Bucket List” promotion Read the rest of this entry »

Top Chef Santa. See the cleaver in his hand?

Edible centerpieces are 3-D works of artistic skill that can showcase an event’s theme, decorate a simply clad table, or in the case of the Orange County (FL) public high school and vocational tech students, it can be the recognition that their creativity, knife cuts, and timed artworks merited their focused concentration.

I’ve lost track of how many years I have had the privilege to judge Orange County (FL) Public School’s Annual Hospitality and Culinary Competition, hosted each December at the Orlando World Center Marriott, but I haven’t lost my enthusiasm for what each Read the rest of this entry »

Safari Wilderness in Lakeland, FL offers customized tours and facilities for private events.

FOR YOUR EYES ONLY—MEETING PLANNERS & TRAVEL SPECIALISTS

How many of London’s spectacular palaces have you visited or hosted an event in? One of the most unexpectedly incredible venues I’ve ever been to is the Banqueting Hall. I kept imagining myself in a Renaissance dress and hair garland of flowers dining at the long table under massive wooden chandeliers and low-lit wall sconces while the musicians played lilting melodies. This place is truly fit for a luxurious dining event. The Banqueting Hall and other sites such as Kensington Palace and the Hillsborough Castles are all included in the special edition of Historic Royal Palaces, a guidebook of venues and special offers only available to Meeting Planners and Travel Specialists. The book is available in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.

groupsandtraveltrade@hrp.org.uk.

ONE OF FODOR’S “TOP 10 SAFARIS IN THE U.S.” LIES IN THE HEART OF CENTRAL FLORIDA????

When I first learned about the 260-acre Safari Wilderness located halfway between Tampa and Orlando, my reaction was Read the rest of this entry »

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