We use this blog to archive past trips and post information worth remembering. If you are a past traveler, you can login to our Snapfish account to see pictures. Contact one of the Group Leaders for login information.
Our trip to Europe in March 2016 began in Lucerne, Switzerland and finished up in Nice, France. More to come....
Our trip to the land of the Incas was an amazing journey. It was probably the trip with the most walking/hiking of any of the trips we've done. From the capital city of Lima with its modern amenities and crazy traffic to the remote jungles of the Amazon, we navigated a wide cross-section of this amazing country. In Cuzco, we toured the ruins of the Incas, including Saqsaywaman and Korikancha. In the Sacred Valley, we climbed the majestic temples at Ollantaytambo. The highlight of the trip was, of course, hiking Machu Picchu. Words and pictures cannot do the majestic peaks and structures justice. We were fortunate to visit a community school in Pumamarca and play with the children there. Our trip ended in the Amazon rainforest where we stayed in a lodge without hot water or electricity. Our nature hikes through the jungle introduced us to many new fauna and flora that we had never seen. We fed spider and capuchin monkeys, floated along the river looking for caiman, and hid from the peccaries roaming the jungle. What a great adventure!
Our June 2014 trip took us half way across the planet to New Zealand, Australia, and Fiji.
We started off in New Zealand learning about the thermal springs that are common around the north island. We visited several working villages of the native Maori people. Rotorua is an extreme sports enthusiast's dream. We enjoyed testing out Swoops, Zorbs, and OGOs.
We spent a few days touring the beautiful city of Sydney in Australia. Between ferry rides, walking tours of the old town, walking the Sydney Harbor Bridge and several visits to the harbor district, we hardly scratched the surface of what this amazing city has to offer. We took a day trip to the Blue Mountains and took a ride through the eucalyptus forest. One of the favorite stops in Sydney was Featherdale Zoo where we were able to pet koalas, llamas, Tasmanian devils, and wallabies.
The last leg of our trip brought us to Fiji. This was a delightful way to wrap up our trip. We took day cruise to an island for kayaking, snorkeling, massages, cookouts, swimming, and volleyball. Our beach-side cabanas were so relaxing.
-Mrs. Swanson and Ms. Taylor
Our tour of Northern Europe took us on a five-city journey beginning with Paris. We spent a few days hitting up the popular sites such as the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre, and a boat ride down the Seine. We then hit the road towards Brussels, Belgium. The fries and waffles were amazing and made for a great lunch. After our quick stop there, we set out for Amsterdam, Netherlands. Despite the freezing temperatures and snow, we spent a lot of time touring this amazing city. We took a canal tour, visited Anne Frank's house, and the village of Zaanse Schans, which had many functioning windmills. Our next stop was Hamburg, Germany. From there, we traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark. Copenhagen is home to Tivoli Gardens, the Royal Palace, and the Little Mermaid statue. We took a tour of Kronborg Castle, which was the inspiration for Elsinore in Shakespeare's Hamlet.
-Ms. Taylor, Mrs. Swanson, and Ms. Durham
The Grand Canyon was our first trip leading students outside of North Carolina. We had a small group of just nine. We were a small group but it was actually perfect because we had more flexibility with our schedule.
Our trip was based in Flagstaff, AZ which allowed us to not only tour the Canyon area, we also checked out some great locations around Northern Arizona. You can't go to the Grand Canyon without visiting the Hoover Dam and Lake Meade; both were very cool (hot actually, the temps were in the 90s-100s). We did a ropes course in Flagstaff and floated down Oak Creek at Slide Rock State Park. The sunset during dinner in Sedona was fantastic.
Our day in the Canyon included a hike down the Kaibab Trail with a local guide. We passed mule trains, rangers, and many other hikers. Later in the day we climbed the Desert View Watchtower and then hit up the Cameron Trading Post on the Navajo Reservation. One day was spent walking around the lava fields of Sunset Crater and then floating down the Colorado; we set in at the Glen Canyon Dam and finished up at Lee's Ferry. Our final day gave us some time to play at Circus Circus in Las Vegas. We finished up with dinner at Hard Rock Cafe, a tour of Caesars and the Bellagio resorts, and front-row viewing of the fountains at the Bellagio.
-Ms. Taylor and Ms. Durham
After a wonderful single-city stay in '08, I decided to take the group 26 to another European city that is considered by the inhabitants a country of its own - Barcelona. Even though Barcelona is officially part of Spain, the Catalans see themselves as a separate entity, so much that they speak their own language, elect their own government, and have recently banned bullfighting (unlike the rest of Spain).
On our trip we were able to see the Sagrada Familia up close, walk through Las Ramblas, visit the Park Guell and see the mosaics, and walk into buildings and apartments designed by the famous Goudi. We even had time to visit the Picasso Museum, Salvador Dali Museum, and FC Barcelona Arena for soccer.
I didn't know much about Barcelona going into the trip, but I certainly enjoyed my time there and would LOVE to visit again.
In the spring of 2008 I took a group of 32 travelers to London, England. While there, we saw the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus, the Crown Jewels, Tower Bridge, Big Ben, and even had time to take a ride on the London Eye. We were also able to take some trips outside of the London area and visit Stonehenge, Bath, and Windsor.
It was a little cold the entire trip, so I'd like to go again in the summer months. It's definitely a place that's fun to walk around, but the Underground transportation makes it easy to get to farther distances.
We are a travel club in the Triangle community of North Carolina that tours the United States and other places in the world. We have been in existence since 2007, and have been to 5 of the 7 continents.