Travelog

Where the Real Magic Is

By Alex Bisanz | Steamboat Springs For a lot of people, Steamboat Springs means skiing, hot chocolate, and winter fun. And in their defense, the skiing truly is fantastic – and kids ski for free! But for the select few that have had the privilege to experience the hot springs, that’s where the real magic is. The hot springs were actually what gave Steamboat Springs its name – before construction quieted the springs, they made noises like a steamboat coming down the river. We really wanted to take advantage of the Hot Springs during our stay in Steamboat, and had two very different options to take try while we were there. The larger of the two springs is the Old Town Hot Springs in the Steamboat Springs Health and Recreation Center. Located in the heart of downtown, the facility is open to the public and features eight hot springs pools. This is a great kid-friendly option, with water slides, climbing features, and more of a “water-park” feel. There is also a locker room, snack bar and fitness center, which makes it easy to change and store all of your stuff. My personal favorite, however, was the Strawberry Park Springs. About [...]

Release the Kraken!

By Mark Hoiland | Turks & Cacios If you’ve ever tried to go hunting for lobsters, you’ll quickly find that it isn’t as easy as reaching down and scooping them up. On my last trip to the Turks and Caicos, I was out snorkeling in the water behind our villa, and had discovered that there were tail lobsters hanging out after low tide. A number of years prior, on a trip to the Bahamas, I had learned from a local gentleman that the only way to catch lobsters was to hook them. If you aren’t careful, they will quickly bury themselves into whatever rock they were hanging out on, deep into a hole that may not be the smartest to stick your hand into. I decided that I would quickly run into the house and make a hook from a coat hanger, some tape and a stick. When I got back, my hook (quickly made and poorly constructed) promptly fell apart in my effort to hook the lobsters. During all the commotion, I managed to disturb an octopus that had been lolling about near the lobster’s rock. Curious, I hooked the octopus and brought him in to take a better [...]

Paris from a “Newbies” point of view

By Laurie Flum | Paris Paris in the spring….I’d heard so much about it; in the movies, from friends…well you know. So when my job sent me to Paris I can admit my slightly introverted personality was a bit anxious about the trip. How would I get around, EUROS instead of dollars? - Hmmm, and what about the language barrier when I’m standing lost in the middle of the city! Well from the moment we met the cab driver things were looking up. His English was excellent and he was so proud of his heritage as he told us all about Paris during the drive from the airport. Paris is LOVELY, from the consistency of the architect, to the beauty of the parks and the cleanliness of the city. The continuity of the cities ebb and flow relax you as you navigate your way through the city. You can walk for miles and never run out of old churches, statues, parks, museums and a never ending list of wonders. There are a lot of stairs and a lot of walking, but then that gives validity to the enormous amounts of food you eat. Foods that are so outrageously rich you [...]

The Ultimate Place to Play, Discover or Recharge

By Adrienne Clairmont | Los Cabos Ceviche. Deep-sea fishing. Horseback Riding. Jet skiing. Turquoise Jewelry. Amazing sunsets. Desert forest. Tequila. Golf.  Nightclubs. When asked what my favorite things about Los Cabos, Mexico are, I found myself struggling to narrow down the options to a concise list. Every time I visit Los Cabos, I find myself discovering new favorites, often in places I thought I had exhausted. Offering a myriad of entertainment options, Los Cabos is the perfect destination no matter how you are looking to spend your vacation. For fishing enthusiasts, charter an expedition into the Pacific and spend the day deep-sea fishing. We wound up in the battle of our lives and after almost three hours, pulled a four hundred pound Marlin out of the water. If you prefer to stay firmly on dry land, Los Cabos offers some of the world’s best golf courses, including Cabo Real, Cabo del Sol, and Campestre. In downtown Cabo, take a stroll along the Marina and stop at one of the many restaurants for some fresh ceviche and lobster tacos. Down the street from the Giggling Marlin, one of Cabo’s wildest nightclubs, is one of my favorite restaurants- El Coral. Solomon, the [...]

In Search of the French Johnny Depp

By Bill Bisanz | St. Bart’s During a recent trip to St. Barth’s, the French jewel of the Caribbean, we encountered at least two fellows that could have been the French incarnate version of the great American actor. The first, named Gael was reminiscent of Depp in Chocolat while Jacques was the spitting image of Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean, right down to the swashbuckling regalia. Ladies- beware, as either of these French look-alikes could steal your heart while on this romantic and beautiful island. Historically, St. Barth’s has had an eclectic history including acting as a staging base for pirates and as a trading port. It was too rocky and small to cultivate for agricultural exploitation, so it was never as highly contested as some Caribbean islands. It has been under the jurisdiction of Britain, Sweden, Knights of Malta and  most currently, France. It makes sense as you hear French spoken on the street, spend Euros, enjoy delicious pastries while admiring pretty women and paying entirely too much for drinks! Planes are not allowed to land after dark on St. Barth’s, as it has one of the world’s shortest commercial airstrips-tucked in between a hillside on [...]

Lime Squash Anyone?

By Bill Bisanz | Barbados English, preppy, exotic, Rihanna were just a few of the thoughts that came to my mind prior to visiting Barbados. Located at the southeastern end of the Lesser Antilles in the Atlantic Ocean, this independent state is one the most developed islands in the Caribbean and still has many ties to its former colonial past as part of the British Empire. Settled by the English in the 1600’s, Barbados was an important economic powerhouse for England, mainly due to its sugar cane plantations and sugar exports. Vast fortunes were made, unfortunately at the cost of many lives, setting the stage for Barbados as a place of wealth and privilege.eveloped islands in the Caribbean and still has many tiesto its former colonial past as part of the British Empire. Today, Barbados is still home to a privileged few, especially on its golden west coast, where several large estates dominate parts of the coastline. However, the country also has a healthy middle class and what appeared to be a well-integrated, vibrant society that, in my experience, was extremely welcoming during my first visit to their lovely island. We spent most of our time in the Holetown area, [...]

Goats, Reggae and Sandcastles

By Bill Bisanz | Anguilla Anyone who has driven around Anguilla has probably developed the underappreciated skill of maneuvering around the goats that freely roam the island. And as you're supposed to do this while driving on the 'wrong side' of the road in this British Overseas Territory, you may start to feel a little like James Bond -- even if you're not behind the wheel of an Aston Martin. Thankfully, these bearded billies are slow, friendly and happy to step out of the way (with a little encouragement). That pretty much captures the low-key, casual vibe of the island. On Anguilla, the locals are a wonderfully sunny blend of reggae music meets British colonial. These endearing Anguillan characteristics are great for visitors, as part of the adventure of Anguilla is asking for directions as you get lost exploring the numerous, pristine beaches that are tucked into the island's ruggedly beautiful coastline. Some of my Anguilla favorites include: Homemade Johnny Cakes and ribs at front-yard weekend BBQ stands Reggae music with my feet in the sand at Gwen's Reggae Grill Hungry's food truck in The Valley - Try the Kingfish Creole! Wild stingrays gliding next to us through the illuminated [...]

Setting Sail

By Edward Hoiland | Apostle Islands It only takes one good trip to catch the travel bug and once you got it there’s no stopping it! I caught the bug while sailing around the Apostle Islands in Lake Superior. The fresh air, crystal-clear water and the gentle rocking of the boat captured my heart and left me wanting more. Exploring islands, beach bonfires, shore lunches and freezing plunges into the lake. Nothing could beat sense of adventure of being somewhere new and the liberating feeling of leaving your problems behind. Since my first sailing trip when I was a little kid, I’ve been back to the Apostle Islands several more times. It is dear to me and always will be, but I have my sights set on something more. It’s high time that I experience something less cold and a little more tropical. The travel bug is calling me down to the Caribbean. While I have been working with Elite I’ve learned more and more about what those turquoise waters can offer. I want my feet in the sand, the sweet smell of the ocean air and the warm waters to wash worries away. Some day I’ll be exploring different islands [...]

Love, Light & Gastronomical Delight

By Adrienne Clairmont | Paris Paris is, without a doubt, one of the singularly most intoxicating places on earth. Without meaning to you can stumble into the world’s best Pâtisserie or Fromagerie and experience pure bliss with each bite that you take of the macaroon or triple-cream cheese. And of course, unless you are very careful, you will never be able to find that same corner shop again. In my opinion, however, that’s half the fun.  As a lifelong Francophile, and a Parisian at heart, I was the happiest person on earth when the opportunity was presented to me to study abroad in Paris while completing my undergrad. While I was there, I had some of the most unforgettable experiences of my life. Paris is a city best seen on foot, and one of my favorite walks is the famous Champs-Élysées. The glittering strip is home to the best shopping in the world, and beyond that, a window into the different eras of French history. I have always been attracted to the bohemian Paris that gave rise to the impressionist movement, as well as lending inspiration to writers such as Ernest Hemingway and Victor Hugo. One of my favorite things [...]

Taking it All In

By Jacob Semling | Los Cabos Posted 11/10/2011 I was lucky enough to visit Elite's Cabo homes for my first ever trip out of the country!  Having travelled during the Minnesota winter, the first thing I noticed upon stepping out off the plane was the warm sea air. My first couple nights were at Palmilla Retreat.  It was a very comfortable and luxurious stay.  The highlight was being able to take advantage of the guest membership at Club 96!  All of our guests at Palmilla Retreat receive free access to this wonderful resort with an infinity pool, lap pool and of course a hot tub.  After eating lunch poolside with my colleagues, we spent time on the private beach.  It was a blast! The next several nights were spent at Las Mananitas Penthouse.  My favorite memory would have to be enjoying an authentic Mexican meal that was prepared by a fantastic cook, the mother of our Cabo Concierge.  We dined at sunset on the terrace while overlooking the resort pools, the sandy beach and the pristine ocean. Lastly, I stayed at Casa Celina, which is located in the world-class resort at Las Ventanas.  As we got out of our car [...]