Category Archives: cuisine

Savor the ambiance, wine, history of Bordeaux

A port city on the Garonne River, Bordeaux is known for its cultural sites, great weather, proximity to Paris and, of course, the fact that it is the hub of France’s wine country. The city and the surrounding countryside are a fascinating destination even if you don’t have a sip of wine. Your travel advisors at GetAway Travel have been to Bordeaux and can set up a trip for you based on personal experience! 

 It’s wine country! 

 We’ll talk wine first. Bordeaux IS first and foremost, wine country. The only area that makes a bigger imprint on the world wine scene is in Italy. Bordeaux has great weather the year round and it’s actually where Paris residents like to visit. You can’t throw a stone without hitting a vineyard. Grapes, and wine lovers, love Bordeaux. It’s the soil, the water, the weather, the way the wind blows and years and years of experience that make the wine renowned around the world. The Left Bank is cabernet sauvignon and the Right is merlot with white and dessert wines interspersed into both areas. 

Even if you don’t go to Bordeaux because its the wine reputation, take at least one vineyard tour. You are visiting the second largest wine producing region on Earth, you owe it to yourself to take a vineyard tour. See the vat rooms and cellars, see how wine is made and stored. Be one of the people that experience tasting world-class wine on the grounds of a chateau. 

Chateau Lafite Rothschild

About the vineyard tours, you need an appointment. After all, making the best wine in the world is work and you are actually entering a workplace. Tours usually last an hour to an hour and a half and, of course, end with tasting. Your travel advisors can discuss vineyard tours with you when you book your vacation.  

GetAway group at Chateau Lafite Rothschild

You want to pace yourself and not book oh say five or six tours in a day. That’s not going to work because of the distance between vineyards and the tasting time. Tasting means sipping wine, not throwing down a glass like its last call.  

 Two wine museums 

 Two museums devoted to wine? Yes! The Musée du Vin et Du Négoce de Bordeaux or the Bordeaux wine and trade museum is located in the historic Chatrons district. Built in 1720, it was the former wine cellar of Louis XV. Trace the history of three centuries of wine including the background behind wine trade, the work of coopers — the makers of wine barrels — learn about the invention of the bottle, shop for souvenirs and wine and your visit will end with wine tasting. 

The Cite du Vin looks a little like a UFO. It is all things wine, in a world-wide context, as an immersive interactive experience. The world’s largest wine museum, it opened in 2016. It has eight floors of exhibits as well as a wine bar, wine library, permanent as well as temporary exhibits and it should not be missed! 

The Cite du Vin is set up to celebrate wine and its history. There are spectacular panoramic images of wine regions around the world, Videos, touch screens, a fun (yes, fun) explanation of fermentation. The portraits of wine are surrounded by wooden bottle sculptures. Touch the portrait and it will tell you about the wine. Aroma machines waft the fragrance of wine around and famous historical figures as well as present day chefs and winemaker give virtual chats about their favorite wine. 

 There’s a lot more than wine 

 The central area of Bordeaux has one of the world’s most amazing 18th century cityscapes. It has modern stores, theaters and retail establishments, but they are all in the framework of old century buildings. There are no glass-fronted office buildings and the tallest structures are cathedral towers and church spires 

The Musee de Beaux Arts is renowned for its extensive collections of French and Dutch art including works from Van Dyck, Ruebens, Titian, Chardin, Delacroix, Corot, Boudin, Bounard and Matisse. 

One of the most beautiful cathedrals in France is the Primatial Cathedral of St. Andrew of Bordeaux or the Bordeaux Cathedral. A stunning example of medieval gothic architecture, Eleanor of Aquitaine and Louis VII were married here. The cathedral’s north entrance is considered the royal entrance and a recessed area above the door shows images that appear to be the last supper. The Grand Theâtre de Bordeaux was built by architect Victor Louis and atop the 12 front columns are large statues of muses and goddesses. The facade is particularly striking at night because the front as well as the statues are lighted. 

St. Michael’s Basilica is constructed in a form of late gothic architecture. It is the largest church in Bordeaux and the second tallest church in France. 

The Miroir d’Eau is the largest reflective pool in the world. A UNESCO world heritage site, it was designed with the help of a fountain architect. 

Shopping? Oh yes, the Rue Sainte Catherine is the longest pedestrian street in Europe. And you can truly shop until you drop. Start at the north end and wander through clothing stores including major outlets and work your way to the south which features regional shops as well as restaurants and cafes. 

 If Bordeaux is your cup of tea, or idea of a wine paradise, GetAway Travel can help with your vacation. Reach us at:  (262) 538-2140, e-mail: or 

Sample Portuguese cuisine with petiscos

You can walk into a bar in Portugal and order tapas, and you’ll get something, but it’s not a tapa. You’ll likely get an eye roll from the wait staff and then you’ll order off the petisco menu. Both tapas and petiscos are smaller versions of what might be served as an entree, but get your tapas in Spain and your petiscos in Portugal. Get your travel plans in order with help from GetAway Travel! 

 What exactly are they? 

 Petiscos (pe-tea-sh-cos) are smaller plates of traditional dishes. They cost less than an entree and are made to be shared or “picked at” while you enjoy a beverage. They are small enough that you can have three or four before a meal and not feel stuffed. 

They let you try a variety of dishes at one setting. They differ by region which is also helpful when you are tasting your way across the country. You  will likely see more seafood options along the coast and petiscos in the central and east will likely be more meat and cheese oriented. 

Petisco bars are called petisqueiras. Their petiscos offerings can be widely different, from plain bread and olives to creative and tasty octopus salads. Bars, especially the bars in Porto, Portugal, have full menus of petisco options and they vary by establishment. Some of them are very rich, so a glass of beer or wine goes down easy! 

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Springtime in Paris

Paris in the spring — there’s songs and poems about it, it’s featured in movies from spy thrillers to romantic comedies — but nothing beats being there in person. If Paris in the spring is where you want to be, GetAway Travel can make that happen.  We can arrange your trip, book your tours and make that dream vacation in Paris a reality. 

 Paris in bloom 

Jardin des Plantes

 From March to May the city comes alive. It’s a great time to explore before it gets too hot. The street markets spring to life, the cafe terraces are perfect for people watching and the gardens burst into bloom. Marvel at the pale, pink cherry blossoms in Trocadero Gardens around the Eiffel Tower or in Square Jean XXIII by Notre Dame. The cherry orchard at Parc de Sceaux just outside Paris is gorgeous in the spring. Magnolia and wisteria start blooming in the parks in April, but the Luxembourg Gardens and Jardin des Plantes are filled with blooming daffodils, tulips and peonies earlier in the spring. 

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Copenhagen: One of the happiest places on earth

Sure, there are some theme parks that contend they are the happiest places on earth, but Copenhagen, the capital city of Denmark, has scored consistently as the happiest city in the world on the World Happiness Report. 

Really, there is such a thing! 

 At GetAway Travel we’ve got Copenhagen included in one of our upcoming group trips. We can help you plan a trip to just Copenhagen, or any place else you might consider your happy place.  

 Come on, get happy 


More than 400 cities in and around Europe are checked out as part of the World Happiness Report. The report’s focus is on the environment of a country — social, natural and urban. Through the respondents’ answers, it calculates happiness, well-being, sustainability and resilience. 

Finland is the happiest country, but Denmark is second with Copenhagen ranking as the happiest city. Danes celebrate what they call “hygge” which translates to comfort or coziness. How can you go wrong visiting a country that values comfort? It ranks high in the areas of health services, housing, utilities, social network, leisure activities, climate and personal safety.  Continue reading

Enjoy sun, sand, surf and swimming in Tahiti

If your vacation dream is relaxing on a beach with an exotic cocktail with one of those neat umbrellas, Tahiti is for you. You can swim, sun bath, snorkel, dive, surf and, well, just relax and let your worries slip away. GetAway Travel is in the business of making sure you have a worry-free vacation. We can help you with a weekend getaway or a bucket list vacation overseas. 

 Wonderful water activities 

Papeete is not only the capital of Tahiti, it’s also the capital of French Polynesia and it’s a perfect jumping off point for your activities. Sure, you may get bored with beaches after a couple of days, but start out your relaxing vacation by hitting the beach. Since much of Tahiti and the surrounding islands are part of a volcanic chain, the sand on the beaches, for the most part, is black. 

But one of the most popular beaches, La Plage de Maui, about 40 miles southeast of Papeete, has white sand. And it’s pretty spectacular white sand, too. Visitors describe it as “pearly white.” It’s a beautiful long stretch of sand that frames calm, clear, warm lagoon waters. The snack bar serves fresh seafood. 

Another sun bathing option that includes surfing, is Papenoo Beach about five miles east of Papeete.

The Plage du Taharuu beach is about 25 miles southeast of Papeete and it’s a nice, wide stretch of volcanic black sand so there’s plenty of room. Relax on the beach or under the nearby palm trees. The deep, blue water sometimes hits the beach hard enough to be accommodating to surfers. 

Before you hit the beach, find out if it’s a beach that usually is visited by food trucks, or has it’s own food stands. You may need to take a lunch and some beverages. Local taxis ferry visitors to the beaches. Remember to arrange a time for the driver to come pick you up! 

If you are interested in enjoying a little hiking, take a short trip to Fautaua Valley. The Fautaua Waterfall is fabulous with the water cascading into a large pool It looks even better shimmering in the rain so don’t let a cloudburst deter you. 

 Visit other islands, museums, markets 

The Museum of Tahiti and Her Islands showcases the attributes of Tahiti and her sister islands. It educates visitors about this popular tourist sport. Divided into four sections, the museum highlights geography, pre-European culture, colonization and natural wonders. Displays are labeled in French and English and don’t skip a visit to the gift shop. 

If black pearls intrigue you, you’ve come to the right place. Papeete is home to the Black Pearl Museum. Learn all about pearls, pearl harvesting and see all varieties, sizes and shapes of pearls from around the world as well as the largest Tahitian pearl in the world! 

The Vaipahi Gardens are on Tahiti’s southern coast in Mataiea. The lush gardens contain more than 75 plant species from all over the world. Enjoy the exotic flowers, a lily pond, small waterfalls and steams that wind through the gardens. 

Your GetAway Travel advisor can help arrange tours and trips, including diving trips, while you are on Tahiti so visit nearby Huahine and Moorea. Moorea, a sister island to Tahiti, is a bit more rugged so you can enjoy hiking or take an ATV tour. There are numerous beaches on the North side of the island including the popular Temae Beach. Try zip lining through the jungle. 

Bora Bora – so nice named it twice

Get up close and personal with the local aquatic residents at the Huahine Natural Aquarium. The natural lagoon aquarium lets you observe from a platform or go into the shallow waters with a guide. 

Papeete’s Municipal Market is a two-story enclosure with fresh vegetables, flowers, fruit, meat, fish as well as hand-crafted Tahitian quilts and wraps and black pearl jewelry. If you go close to lunch time, the local food trucks have a wide-variety of international cuisine to choose from. 

 Speaking of food…. 

Island food selections are varied and delicious. Poisson cru is raw fish, tuna a lot of the time but it could also be shrimp, crab, mussels, eel, octopus or prawns, marinated in coconut milk and lime juice mixed with diced vegetables. Chevreffes is freshwater shrimp cooked with coconut milk and vanilla. Poulet Fafa is chicken cooked the traditional way wrapped in taro leaves and put in a special oven or a heated pit. Onions, garlic, spices and coconut milk combine with the chicken for a flavorful dish. Traditional desserts include Po’e, a creamy taro pudding flavored with banana, vanilla, papaya or pumpkin and topped with a coconut sauce. Kato are coconut biscuits that go great with coffee and Firifiri are coconut-flavored doughnuts dipped in coffee. 

 If it’s the colder weather, stress or just the need to go somewhere — GetAway Travel is ready to help you take the trip you’ve dreamed of. Call (262) 538-2140, or e-mail: 

Dining on Virgin – Vote Now for your Chance to Win

Virgin Voyages is one of the world’s newest cruise lines

It promises to be different, with pop-up and immersive entertainment, experimental dining, unique parties and no kids!  It has all new ships and it’s own private beach to visit in the Bahamas.  

Now we figure the best way to check it out is to go on board ourselves in November to see which of our clients might appreciate it the most.  The Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady is currently sailing out of Miami.  We have our air tickets, our cabin and our dining reservations all set.  Let’s go have some fun!

Wait! Let’s talk dining 

This can be a travel challenge for us as Sue is gluten-free, grain-free and must also avoid seed oils.  You can envision how this provides certain challenges.  The Scarlet Lady has over 20 eateries.  A select number are reservation only, but all of them are included in your cruise fare.  The dining promises to be immersive and experimental – but will Sue like it?  To be fair, Paul eats everything (except for razor clams) so he can lead the way in adventurous eating onboard – but, will Sue follow?

You can follow 

First off – whenever we travel we post frequently to Facebook.  You can follow along to see and hear first hand about our travel, the ship and the onboard experience.  Please like us – we like you!

You can Vote 

Check out our first ever in the universe, amazing, and one of a kind voting options.  The person that correctly predicts how many stars Sue will give for our reserved dining meals will be deemed Grand Champion!  If you know Sue well you may have an advantage…or will you?  Really it’s up to the Scarlet Lady to deliver. 

The quiz will give you details on the dining options, a sample of what’s on the menu and then you just vote on how you think Sue will score it from 1 to 5 stars.  We won’t spam you – we don’t like spam…or razor clams.

Here’s the link to the quiz. Easy-peasey and lots of fun.

Our cruise is in Mid-November.  The winner will be announced just as soon as Paul tallies the scores, Sue scores her own and we find time to make Thanksgiving dinner for family after we get back.  Cheers!

Did you need a reason to go to Lyon France? OK, well here’s a few.

Lyon, France is one large UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a very large renaissance era old town and Roman ruins.   The city was founded 2,000 years where the Rhône and Saône Rivers meet. 

Lyon built its fortune on the silk trade.  During the 16th century it was estimated that there were at least 180,000 looms in the city.

The Fourvière Basilica is a magnificent church, ever visible on the hill to west of the city.  In December, the famous Fête des Lumières takes place in praise of the Virgin Mary, to whom the Basilica is dedicated, for protecting the city from the bubonic plague in the 17th century.

On the left bank of the Saône is the Ancient Theatre of Fourvière, which even after 2000 years is still being used as a performance venue.

At the Lyon Cathedral, many of the stain glassed windows you see are from the 1300’s.  They were taken down and packed away during WWII to save them from bomb damage.  

The word “FUN” is found in Funicular.  This one will take you from the river to the top of the Fourvière hill.

This is really just a small bit of highlights you’ll enjoy in Lyon.  

To see them all – why not join us in November of 2022 on our exclusive Spring City Wine House Burgundy & Provence River Cruise.  Lyon is just one of the many stops during our week that you will enjoy.

See our web page for more details

Here is how accessible the city is from a River Cruise – parked right in the heart of the old town area – amazing!  We look forward to seeing YOU in Lyon.

Cruising for Seafood


Certainly one of the great things about cruising is you are always close to destinations with amazing seafood.  Last month in Halifax, Nova Scotia we had lunch at McKelvie’s Restaurant – a short walk from the cruise pier and not very far from another favorite spot – Halifax Distilling Co.  You can tell from the photos below that we had a great lunch and would definitely go back on our next trip.

What’s your favorite food stop when cruising?

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