7 Places to Visit Europe in the Spring

Spring is a lovely reminder of how beautiful change can be. The cold winter weather is finally stripped away and people can finally feel like life's alive in everything. Spring is a great time to take a vacation to Europe and visit wonderful places. There are plenty of festivals to go to and blooming flowers to see that you shouldn't miss out on a European


Best Christmas Markets in Europe & Tips to Attend

You can almost hear those sleigh bells ringing in your ears as the Christmas season approaches your world. The sound of Santa Claus' “HO, HO, HO” can be heard on the radio, television, in social media, and even as you you shop on the city streets. So let me tell you, there is no better time to visit a European Christmas Market than like the


A Love Letter to Strasbourg, France for Christmas

  Strasbourg, France The wind was whirling around as I stepped off the bus, cold air striking my cheeks causing me to take a deep breath. I buttoned up my jacket around my neck and tucked in my scarf. Even though it was freezing cold, it was a day I had looked forward to my whole adult life, as I had always dreamed


Normandy Beach Tour: Visiting the D Day Landing Sites

I stepped onto the shores of the Normandy Beaches where I couldn't stop thinking about how World War II had finally ended in 1945. The end would have never happened if it was not for the bravery of the Allied Forces who landed on the beaches of Normandy in June of 1944, Codename Operation Overload. American, British, and Canadian soldiers, who sacrificed their lives for


Review: What it’s REALLY Like Aboard Viking River Cruises

What 's it REALLY like aboard a Viking River Cruises? Let's peek through the window with fascination and find out what it is like experiencing every detail of Viking Cruises. I had heard they were the "jewel of the sea" with their ever-changing views of the majestic scenery. I had heard about the "unpack once" scenario, but what are the nitty-gritty details I need to


Let the Romance Begin in the South of France

Bonjour! Won’t you come with me to Provence in the South of France? Let the Romance Begin in Southern France Don’t blame Southern France; they just can’t help themselves with their lavender-filled shops, hilltop villages, old churches, and their seductively gorgeous coastline. Heck, even the Vatican transplanted to Provence in southern France during the fourteenth century, as they decided they just might like this location


How to be a Queen for the Night

Sometimes I think about what it would be like if I were a Queen, and not just any old Queen, but the Queen of France!  How everything I could ever want would be at my beckoned call. How if I said it, it would just happen.  Now fast forward to today, when I am selecting a hotel for my upcoming trip to Paris.  I want


Best Things to do in Champagne, France

  A Toast to the Champagne Houses of France (Image by Points and Travel) French Wine Regions: Champagne Region of France Did you know that there are 10 major French wine regions in France? For hundreds of years, France has lead the way for being the world's greatest producer of wines. The ten main regions are Alsace, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Champagne, Côtes du Rhone,


Best Christmas Market Cruise

I had heard about the best Christmas markets in Europe (Christkindlmarket) for years but I wanted to find out for myself exactly what they were like. I had no idea what to expect. Now I know and I can share with you the best Christmas markets in Europe along the Rhine River. I took a Christmas Market Cruise on the Viking River Cruise ship TOR


Exploring Champagne Houses in Reims And The Nearby Region

The Champagne region of France is like no other wine region in the world. The nearest vineyards are only an hour from Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport (CDG) on the fast TGV train to Reims. Reims is a perfect justification for a tour of the Champagne Houses in Reims, but don’t forget to walk around the city and enjoy its Gothic Cathedral, a UNESCO world


French River Cruises: A Southern France Tour

French River Cruises - My Viking Journey This is my Viking journey. The Rhone River in Southern France has taken a long journey to get here. It started its prolonged journey as a glacier high up in the Swiss Alps before making its way down to the Chaîne des Alpilles, a small range of low mountains in Provence. It flowed through Lake Geneva before arriving in


Les Baux, France and the Carrieres de Lumieres

Entering the old stone quarry, I had no idea what to expect. The guide from the luxury Viking River Cruise ship only said to bring a sweater, as it can get cold inside (and he wanted to surprise us!). Little did I know it would be one of the highlights of my southern France tour onboard the Viking River Cruise. The entrance was through the


6 Must See Paris Attractions

You can find fantastic accommodations across the globe and Paris, France is no exception. There are few destinations that offer more in the way of romance, culture, and entertainment than gay Paree. Here are a few attractions and unusual things to do in Paris that you can't afford to miss. Photo by PointsandTravel 6 Must SEE Paris Attractions The Eiffel Tower Obvious? Sure,


Viking Star: Things to Know Before You Go

A typical objective when choosing a cruise is to get the best “bang for your buck” or to get the best value out of the cruise. I wrote earlier about “Nine Easy Reasons Why You Should Take a Viking Ocean Cruise” and ‘value and pricing" was, of course, the first thing mentioned. Most people want to think that they got a great deal and got


Fly Me To Paris Giveaway

By Cacinda Maloney Paris, Je T'aime My first rendezvous with Paris blossomed into a lasting love affair.  I will never forget walking those streets and staring up at that Eiffel for the very first time. Few cities are so amazing as to have celebrities, artists and writers try to capture her essence through their prose. Fly Me to Paris Fly me to Paris It had


Finding a Flea Market in South France

By Cacinda Maloney Somehow flea markets in South France seem to have all the flair! Pretty much the same as the French do when it comes to everything, like food, language and chic style. I ask myself, "How is this possible?" I have been to a few flea markets in my life, but I have never quite experienced such delight as when walking thru the French


4 Reasons to Stay at Carlson Hotels in France

By Cacinda Maloney When it comes to making a decision about where to stay when you are planning your trips to Europe, one thing that I always look for is consistency within the brand. I have traveled every six weeks of my life for over 20+ years and so I have stayed in my share of hotel rooms!  I was recently hired by Carlson Hotels


I’ve Got the French Blues

I’ve Got The French Blues By Cacinda Maloney “There is no blue without yellow and without orange.” — Vincent Van Gogh I dream in color, vivid dreams of French Blue that swirl around in my head. Imagine an artist’s brush, dipping first in the dark tones of blue and then in the lighter ones and smearing them onto a canvas. I look deeply at the


15 Photos To Make You Pack Your Bags For Southern France

Gliding down the Rhone River, I couldn't wait for my first stop in Southern France. A quick jaunt across the bridge and I had entered an ancient walled-city that at one time had been surrounded by a moat. The 'Old Town' area is filled with cobble-stoned streets, architectural treasures from the 13th century and the most fabulously painted, wooden and wrought doors I had set


Journey Through Champagne France

Journey through Champagne France I found that in only a quick jaunt from Paris, in the Champagne France region that borders Burgundy, there lies a tiny slice of heaven known as Essoyes. According to his son Jean Renoir, "There is no other place like it in the whole wide world. There I spent the best years of my childhood." And as I look around at


Champagne France and Its Tiny Bubbles

I spotted him as he came through the stone-white door carrying a giant, sparkling tuba (sousaphone) high upon his back. He was with his friends: the saxophone and the tenor sax. They were casually walking down the street as I entered the museum of Cogevi-Collet Champagne House in the champagne region of Ay, France. Little did I know, that hours later they would entice my


Embarking on a Journey to Europe and Myself!

I am about to embark on a journey.  Really, it is a 32-day voyage of my life.  As a mother, wife and business owner, I lose pieces of myself along my life path.  Pieces of myself swirl down the drain while I am washing the dishes for the umpteenth time.  I can see them in the washing machine spiraling around, as I mindlessly place another


Romancing the Stone – Paris in my Heart

AT FIRST This year has been a year of travel, a year of the constant pursuit of that thing that I say I love. Places that make my heart sing, make me blush and my palms sweaty.  That deep down passion that I constantly want to feel again and again.  As I peruse back through my photos of times past, I always feel as if