Category Archives: USA / JAV

NYC & Company Spotlights events in 2018 – Silvija Travel Tips

NYC & Company, New York City’s official destination marketing organisation, previews unique celebrations for global travellers to explore during the 2018/2019 holiday season. From the unofficial kick-off courtesy of the Rockettes and the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular in early November to the various New Year’s celebrations and everything in between, New York City is once again primed for a festive season that is like no other in the world.

“The holiday season in New York City is a spectacle unlike any other,” said NYC & Company President and CEO Fred Dixon “It is a time when the vibrant energy that makes up the very fabric of our city is magnified through the joy of dozens of multicultural celebrations among New Yorkers and global visitors who make the five boroughs a centrepiece of their annual festivities.”

Highlights include landmark events and first-time New York–style holiday celebrations of a nearly endless variety for travellers to enjoy this winter. Visitors will also find secular activities like historic new shopping destinations, world-famous department store window displays (Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue), unrivalled outdoor ice-skating rinks and more scattered all throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island. The five-borough-wide season wraps up in a fashion as dazzling as ever with various New Year’s Eve celebrations.

As always, three iconic events bookend the introduction and conclusion of the holiday season in New York City:

Rockefeller Centre Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Manhattan, November 28, 2018.  A line-up of live performers rivalled by few events all year will help light up New York City’s biggest and brightest home for Santa’s Christmas eve delivery again. The more than seven-story tree will spread holiday cheer to the millions of visitors it welcomes until the lights dim on January 7. rockefellercenter.com

New Year’s Eve Times Square Ball Drop

Manhattan, 31 December 2018– 1 January 2019.   In 1904, the former New York Times owner convinced the City to rename Longacre Square in honour of the world-famous publication. In addition to the name change and the opening of NYC’s first subway line, that year marked the inaugural Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration, and the “Crossroads of the World” has been the historic backdrop of the City’s New Year’s Eve celebration ever since. Approximately 1 million visitors are expected to gather to watch the ball drop in person again this year. timessquarenyc.org

 Outlined below are  more celebratory events, listed in alphabetical order, to be explored this holiday season in NYC.

23 Days of Flatiron Cheer

Manhattan, December 1–23, 2018.  The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership welcomes visitors this December to enjoy contests, performances, free neighborhood walking tours, giveaways from local businesses and an interactive installation in the North Public Plaza. Other unparalleled offerings can be found in the historic 103-block neighborhood stretching from 23rd to 28th Street, bordered by Third and Sixth Avenues. flatirondistrict.nyc 

A Slice of Brooklyn Christmas Lights Tour

Brooklyn, December 1–30, 2018.  Every holiday season, more than 100,000 visitors descend on Brooklyn’s Dyker Heights neighborhood to view the most extravagant Christmas displays in the New York City area. This tour, operated by born and raised Brooklynites, stops by the most over-the-top exhibits of the season while telling patrons the story of how “Dyker Lights” came to be nearly 40 years ago. asliceofbrooklyn.com

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre’s Holiday Engagement at New York City Centre

Manhattan, November 28–December 30, 2018. City Centre’s 75th Anniversary Season will feature a wide range of performances including new productions, annual favourites, live music and Alvin Ailey’s feature performance Revelations. A special show on December 11 celebrates City Centre’s opening performance in 1943. alvinailey.org

American Museum of Natural History’s Holiday Season

Manhattan, November 20, 2018–January 7, 2019. The museum’s cultural celebrations begin with the decoration of the Origami Holiday Tree—complete with more than 800 hand-folded paper models created by local artists—and continue through the New Year. On December 29, the AMNH will host its 40th annual Kwanzaa celebration. The festival of African-American heritage celebrates the seven core principles of Kwanzaa while exploring the rich history behind its traditions. Family-friendly activities, musical performances and an international marketplace are also included. amnh.org

Apollo Theatre Presents “Kwanzaa Celebration: Regeneration Night”

Manhattan, December 29, 2018. The legendary Harlem theatre is celebrating Kwanzaa with visitors for the 12th consecutive year with a night of music and dance that honors the principles of Kwanzaa—family, community and culture. apollotheater.org

Brooklyn Ballet’s Nutcracker

Brooklyn, December 14, 2018.  The hip-hop and ballet infused replication of the holiday classic, reimagined in various Brooklyn neighbourhoods, is hosted by the iconic Kings Theatre, in Flatbush, for the first time this year. brooklynballet.org

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical: Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden

Manhattan, December 13–30, 2018.   Dr. Seuss’ holiday classic is sure to cause audiences hearts to grow at least three sizes when they watch the story of the true meaning of Christmas come to life in this limited engagement at the world’s most famous arena. msg.com

Empire Outlets Grand Opening * Editor’s note, Empire Outlets opening has been delayed until the spring of 2019.

Staten Island, November 15–18, 2018.  The first shopping outlet to open in the five boroughs is just a free 25-minute ferry ride from Manhattan. One hundred popular brand outlet stores such as Brooks Brothers, H&M, Nordstrom Rack, Nike Factory and Polo, as well as a terrific collection of waterfront food and beverage concepts will open just in time for locals and visitors to get in their holiday shopping. empireoutletsnyc.com

Gingerbread Lane at New York Hall of Science

Queens, November 10, 2018–January 21, 2019.  Since 2013, the edible village at the New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, has set the Guinness World Record for the largest collection of gingerbread houses and structures with each new instalment. The record is sure to be challenged again this year. (nysci.org)

Grand Army Plaza, Largest Menorah Lighting

Brooklyn, December 2–10, 2018.  With the help of local synagogues, the plaza has hosted the nightly lighting of the 32-foot menorah since 1984. Visitors are invited to celebrate the holiday with concerts and gifts for children through each day of the Jewish Festival of Lights. largestmenorah.com

Holiday Workshop Weekend at Wave Hill

The Bronx, December 8–9, 2018.  At this holiday craft fair, in addition to creating the usual wreaths and treasure boxes, families are invited to work on the feature project: the hamsa, or hamesh, the multicultural symbol of an open hand. Guests explore the spiritual side of the holidays as they make the palm-shaped amulets. wavehill.org

New York Botanical Garden’s Holiday Train Show

The Bronx, November 1, 2018–January 21, 2019.  The annual exhibition of classical model trains moving through a hand-crafted display of New York City’s built environment is back for the 27th year. More than 175 miniature iconic city structures such as Yankee Stadium, The Brooklyn Bridge and The Statue of Liberty are replicated entirely out of plant parts and will coincide with other holiday celebrations such as a cappella performances, Bar Car Nights and more at the New York Botanical Garden. nybg.org

New York Philharmonic Presents “Home Alone in Concert”

Manhattan, December 20–21,2018.  The acclaimed New York Philharmonic will perform John Williams’ score live to the classic Christmas film Home Alone, for a 2018–19 holiday season special event—booby traps and lovable bandits not included. nyphil.org

New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex and Store at Grand Central Terminal Holiday Train Show

Manhattan, November 15, 2018–February 3, 2019.  A staple of Grand Central Terminal during the holiday season since 2001, the train show features a 34-foot-long track where vintage trains from the museum’s collection travel through a miniature New York City and countryside scene all the way to the North Pole. grandcentralterminal.com

Radio City Christmas Spectacular Starring the Rockettes

Manhattan, November 9, 2018–January 1, 2019  Everyone’s favourite high kickers dance their way from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve and champion the holiday spirit of New York City with their extravagant costumes and breath-taking state-of-the-art production. rockettes.com

 For more information regarding the most wonderful time of the year in the five boroughs, find NYC & Company’s official guide to the holidays in New York City at NYCgo.com/holiday

Silvija Travel Tips   silvijatraveltips.com

American Holidays ultimate Christmas shopping breaks – Silvija Travel Tips

The ultimate Christmas shopping breaks with American Holidays

‘Tis the season to start shopping…. Yes, though Halloween may not have even arrived yet, now is the time to start booking that Stateside shopping trip to ensure you’re well stocked up for the festive season!

For some, Christmas shopping is a chore, trying to pick the perfect gifts for loved ones whether naughty or nice. So why not brighten up your shopping spree – while also saving on amazing USA deals and exploring one of America’s wonderful cities while you’re at it?

Nothing beats New York at Christmas. Shopping on 5th Avenue,taking in the extra festive lights of Times Square, ice-skating at Rockefeller Center. It literally is a Winter Wonderland! Add in the amazing post-Thanksgiving bargains to the mix and it’s a no-brainer! This is the perfect choice for a girls’ weekend away – shop ’til you drop by day, take in a Broadway show by night and be dazzled by the incredible NYC nightlife! A perfect pre-Christmas treat.

Boston is a city that is beautiful year-round but seeing it under snow really is something special. Out in the crisp air, wrapped up warm in a down jacket as you meander your way through the streets, the city just feels like Christmas! With many shopping outlets to choose from that transform into festive hives where you’ll not only make your purchases but also enjoy the extensive decor, displays and possibly even a touch of snow along the way.

If you’re looking for some serious shopping then look no further than Chicago’s Magnificent Mile – which you can rest assured is aptly named! With a wealth of both international and national brands on offer you’ll be spoiled for choice. If you want something more authentic then be sure to check out the markets further downtown where you’ll pick up some truly special handmade gifts.

If you want to add a bit of culture to your trip, or if you’re a bit of a politics buff, then combine your shopping break with a trip to the centre of political power, history and activity in America – Washington DC! Washington DC’s unforgettable skyline is marked by some of the world’s most iconic landmarks including the White House, the Capitol Building and the National Mall. Looking for a gift that will remind you of your time in the nation’s capital? Look no further than the White House Historical Association for their annual Christmas ornament.

Give both your loved ones and yourself an early gift this Christmas with these fantastic value shopping breaks from American Holidays.

New York
Spend 4 nights in the 3* Beacon Hotel from only €609pp.
Price includes: Return direct flights ex. Dublin, 4 nights’ accommodation as stated, taxes and charges. Based on four adults sharing.
Travel: December 2018
Ref No: 1582238

Boston
Spend 4 nights in the 3* Midtown Hotel Boston from only €690pp.
Price includes: Return flights ex. Dublin, 4 nights’ accommodation as stated, taxes and charges. Based on two adults sharing.
Travel: December 2018
Ref No: 1576863

Chicago
Spend 4 nights in the 3* Felix Hotel Chicago from only €699pp.
Price includes: Return flights ex. Dublin, 4 nights’ accommodation as stated, taxes and charges. Based on two adults sharing.
Travel: December 2018
Ref No: 51228823

Washington
Spend 4 nights in 3* Fairfax at Embassy Row from only €671pp.
Price includes: Return flights ex. Dublin, 4 nights’ accommodation as stated, taxes and charges. Based on two adults sharing.
Travel: December 2018
Ref No: 2007647893

Call American Holidays to book on 01 673 3804 or drop into their office at 18- 19 Duke Street – just off Grafton Street – where the expert staff will help you plan your holiday of a lifetime. For more information visit www.americanholidays.com

Source: Press Release TravelMedia.ieAmerican Holidays

USA Summer Soirée 2018 – Silvija Travel Tips

At the invitation of TravelMedia.ie I attend the annual USA Summer Soirée 2018 event at The Shelbourne Dublin. Readers of my articles, Silvija Travel Tips online posts and my Twitter tweets will know I have a special place in my heart for the USA. Following a drinks reception the 200 members of the travel trade and media took there places in the ballroom for a fabulous dinner and interesting speeches.

The Acting U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, Reece Smyth, opened the event, speaking about the close links Ireland has with the USA. Claire Doherty, Visit USA Committee Ireland spoke about the organisation’s role to promote the USA as a tourist & business destination. Melanie Latham from VisitUSA showcased all America has to offer with a video promo called “America’s Musical Journey,” the film follows singer/songwriter Aloe Blacc as he explores the vast U.S. musical landscape.

Vincent Harrison from Dublin Airport spoke about developments at the airport and to the delight of all those present introduced a Brass Band with balloons and Dublin Airport Fast Track passes for everyone in attendance. Dave Cole from Universal Orlando Resort highlighted the new attractions and hotel accommodation at the resort. Kevin A. Dillon A.A.E from Bradley International Airport thanked Aer Lingus for their support with flights to Bradley and went on to outline what the airport has to offer for visitors to the USA. 

Greg Evans from Discover Philadelphia spoke about the city and the flight connections with Ireland. He was excited to announce the ITTA conference 2018 will take place in Philadelphia, USA, at the end of November. Bill Byrne from Aer Lingus gave an entertaining presentation on the airline’s routes to the USA and connectivity to Europe. Congratulations to Dee Burdock who won the prize draw and flights with Aer Lingus.  Once again thank you to TravelMedia.ie brilliant event.

My dining experience of the week with a taste of Santa Monica – Silvija Travel Tips

My food of the week was experienced in Fade Street Social during a taste of Santa Monica, California evening. Santa Monica Travel & Tourism were in Dublin with their partners Fairmount Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, Hotel Shangri-La and British Airways hosting an evening of presentations and food.

On the menu for Starters was a selection to share:
– Mini goat logs wrapped in ham brushed with balsamic and truffle honey.
– Salted popcorn with crispy free-range chicken cooked in tapioca flour, rolled in sumac with truffle butter.
– Cured salmon with truffle honey, yoghurt and lemon puree.

Mains was a selection to share of:
– Slow roast whole baby chicken with onion lyonnaise and peppered bacon.
– Point end steak with rosemary and bone marrow butter.
– Truffle pasta with charred asparagus and parmesan.

Sides, a selection to share:
– Potatoes cooked in beef dripping with hollandaise and herbs.
– Seasonal vegetables from the garden with chervil, hollandaise and truffle.
– Skinny fries with grated parmesan smoked bacon and brown onion puree.

To end the evening a selection of pastries and tea or coffee.

A very enjoyable evening. Thank You to Santa Monica Travel & Tourism and partners.

My Mountain Whitewater Rafting Adventure, Poudre River, Colorado – Silvija Travel Tips

MOUNTAIN WHITEWATER RAFTINGAS KALNŲ UPE POUDRE, KOLORADO VALSTIJA, JAV- TAI MANO EKSTREMALI PATIRTIS

Pasibaigus įspūdingai pasaulio turizmo konferencijai IPW 2018, kartu su viso pasaulio turizmo žiniasklaidos ir verslo atstovais turėjau galimybę 3 dienas keliauti po Kolorado valstiją, artimiau prisiliesti prie gamtos, kultūros, istorijos.

Vienas iš nepakartojamų nuotykių- tai raftingas , arba nusileidimas plaustais kalnų upe Poudre. Mes lėkėme pasitikdami didžiules bangas, šokinėjome bandydami apeiti sūkurius bei plaukti pasroviui. Mūsų plaustas kartu ne sykį buvo visiškai paniręs vandens pursluose. Ši tikrai ekstremali kelionė plaustais tęsėsi 2 val., mes įveikėme 12 mylių atstumą , įskaitant 3 ir 4 klasės slenksčius. Šniokščianti laukinė kalnų upė Poudre galinėjosi su mūsų plaustais, bet mes ją įveikėme sėkmingai . Nors ne visi.  Kai kas neatsilaikė bangų jėgai ir atsidūrė vandenyje, bet šalia plaukiančių profesionalių gelbėtojų buvo tuoj ištraukti iš vandens . O aš tai labai sušalau, nes nepaklusau gido patarimui užsimauti viską, ką Whitewater kompanija išdalino. Bet vis tiek ši kelionė paliko ko ne patį didžiausią įspūdį , visų nuotaika buvo puiki , buvo daug juoko, klegesio, bet ir išgąsčio šūksnių . IPW grupei vadovavo Ben Costello, turintis daugiau kaip 17 metų patirtį kaip Poudre upės gidas.

Jei norite raftingą šia upę apsilankykite “Mountain Whitewater Inc.” svetainėje www.raftmw.com

During IPW18 I participated in a FAM adventure with a group of travel media and travel trade professionals experiencing the wild waters of the Poudre River over a 12-mile section including Class 3 and 4 rapids. The IPW group was guided by Ben Costello, with over 17 years of experience as a Poudre River guide.

To experience the river for yourself visit the Mountain Whitewater Inc. website www.raftmw.com

The Home Ranch, Clark, Colorado – Silvija Travel Tips

Pasibaigus JAV kelionių asociacijos IPW 2018 Denveryje, vykau i triejų dienų pažintinę kelionę po Kolorado valstiją. Viena iš jų buvo
“Home Ranch”, Clark, įsikūrusi Šiaurės vakarų Kolorado valstijoje, 18 mylių į šiaurę nuo Steamboat Springs, vadinamame viršutiniame Elko upės slėnyje. Clark yra maža, retai apgyvendinta, vis dar klestinanti veislininkystės bendruomenė, visiškai apsupta vieno milijono hektarų neišvystytų viešųjų žemių.Tai įspūdinga vieta ne tik vasaros šeimos atostogoms , bet ir ištisus metus.


Atvykūs į Home Ranch ir pamačius gausybę žirgų užvaldė noras jais pajodinėti. Patyrusių kaubojų buvome pamokyti kaip elgtis jodinėjant ant žirgo.

Kiekvienas mūsų turėjome po žirgą , manojo vardas buvo Čili. Kiek padūkęs, neramus, sakyčiau linksmesnis išdaigininkas nei visi kiti- tai pakeliui žolę rupšnodavo, tai strimgalviais lėkti užsimanydavo. Buvo juoko visiems.
Teigiamos emocijos, malonus laikas, energijos antplūdis – visa tai mes patyrėme jodinėdami žirgais.

Grįžus į rančią mūsų laukė gardi vakarienė. Valgį , paruošta iš vaisių, daržovių ir mėsos iš savo gamtos ūkio patiekė išskirtinės virtuvės šefas Jonathon Gillespie ir jo talentinga kulinarijos komanda. Šiltas saulėtas pavakarys, gardus maistas, puikių žmonių kompanija- visa tai apvainikavo pažintį su Home Ranch.
Tikrai tai buvo nuostabi diena puikioje vietoje ir geroje draugijoje Elko upės slėnyje didingoje Rocky Mountain dykumoje.

The Home Ranch

 

 

 

 

 

 

Noel Irwin Hentschel, American Tours and Mike Gallagher, CityPass with Silvija Zalepugiene, Silvija Travel Tips at IPW 2018

It was a interesting to meet two Brand USA Board members with a wealth of travel industry experience at IPW 2018. Noel Irwin Hentschel, of American Tours International and Mike Gallagher from CityPass.

Noel Irwin Hentschel is Chairman, CEO, and Co-Founder of AmericanTours International (ATI), America’s largest privately held, American-owned, visit USA tourism and marketing organization. Dually headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif. and Orlando, Fla. with regional offices in New York City, N.Y., and Hawaii, ATI was founded in 1977 and today serves nearly one million visitors and generates over $3 billion into the U.S. economy annually.

Mike Gallagher is Co-Chairman and co-founder of City Pass, Inc., an innovative attractions marketing company that provides significant savings on ticket packages to the top attractions in 12 North American destinations. The idea sprang from the collaborative efforts of co-founders Mike Gallagher and Mike Morey. Beginning in 1996, the two combined their respective attraction marketing and industry research skills to launch a company whose products currently enjoy a 98 percent customer recommendation rating. From its initial 1997 debut in the cities of San Francisco, Calif. and Seattle, Wash. the CityPASS program has expanded to include New York City, N.Y; Southern Calif., Atlanta, Ga; Boston, Mass; Chicago, Ill.; Dallas, Texas; Houston, Texas; Philadelphia, Pa; Tampa Bay, Fla; Toronto; and Southern Calif. The Southern California CityPASS card includes prepaid admission to four family-friendly theme parks: Disneyland®, Disney California Adventure Park, SeaWorld San Diego, and LEGOLAND California.

Silvija Zalepugiene, Silvija Travel Tips

Noel Irwin Hentschel, American Tours International and Mike Gallagher, CityPass with Silvija Zalepugiene, Silvija Travel Tips at IPW 2018

B-52 performing at Brand USA Luncheon – Silvija Travel Tips

For the IPW 2018 Luncheon on Monday 21st May 2018 sponsored by Brand USA the band B-52 provided the lunchtime entertainment. Guest were treated to songs including “Tell It Like It T-I_Is”, “Roam”. “Rock Lobster” and “Love Shack”.