It's "Shark Week" again on the Discovery Channel! I can't say I watch all the shows. With titles like "Jaws of the Deep", "Air Jaws: Night Stalker", "Shark Bait" and "Deadliest Sharks", not sure how well I'd sleep after watching one of these episodes. But the intrigue is certainly there.
I do watch some, though, because I am fascinated by these creatures. Someday I'll check off that bucket list item of swimming with them. I got this idea in my head while in Tahiti a few years ago. The islands offer some fantastic opportunities to dive with sharks - black tipped reef sharks, lemon sharks - the "friendly" ones, mind you. Not like the big guy above.
Quebec City, with its fortified walls, stunning Chateau Frontenac and picturesque views of the Saint Lawrence River, has become an increasingly popular cruise destination, for large and small ships alike. The attraction? Inviting European charm, fascinating history dating back over 400 years, wonderful culinary delights and the surrounding natural beauty.
Did you know that Quebec City was established before the pilgrims arrived at Plymouth Rock? French explorer Samuel de Champlain had previously explored the area in 1603, including Niagara Falls and the Saint Lawrence River. He returned from France in 1608 to establish a fur trading post in what is now Quebec City. He continued to explore the region and write about his discoveries until 1620 when Louis XIII ordered him back to Quebec to oversee the administration and growth of New France, which he did until his death in 1635. Many places, streets and monuments in Canada and the US memorialize him, one of the most notable being Lake Champlain.
Quebec City today has a distinctly European, old world charm, with its stone buildings,
Whenever I think of Venice, I see gondolas, the Rialto Bridge, St. Mark's Square and of course the Grand Canal. Venice is on many a bucket list, and for good reason. It is a lovely city, vibrant, romantic and full of history. Venice is just plain fun - to explore, get lost in (" Hmmm, didn't we just cross that bridge? What vaporetto stop were we supposed to get off at? "), delicious cuisine. Yes, what a great city and experience!
It's been a few years since my last visit, but I still remember sailing out of Venice on my Mediterranean cruise. A beautiful, clear day, I was up on the top deck, taking in all of the stunning sites. As we passed by some of the islands, it reminded me that while there is so much to see and experience in Venice, we oftentimes don't leave the city itself.
Laurie Marschall - Owner and Founder