WatchBoom.com's Travel Destinations of the Month
What’s the big draw to this spot in eastern China’s Yangtze River Delta? How about the world’s largest Sky Screen – even longer than the four-block-long Fremont Street canopy in Las Vegas? Then there’s Asia’s largest Ferris wheel. And a giant fountain and water curtain wider than two football fields. The list of eye-popping sights and thrills awaiting visitors to Suzhou (pronounced Sue-Joe) goes on and on.
I used to like Mexico, says Publisher Nancy Clark. Acapulco, Cancun, Cabo San Lucas, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo, Mazatlán, Cabo, Guadalajara, Chapultepec, Chichen Itza, Cabo, Mexico City, Cabo, Cabo—she’d been there and done that, more often than not in Cabo. This trip, though, was different. It was a destination wedding. Her daughter’s. And , she wanted it to be perfect.
Central Ireland’s horse country is as picturesque as it gets any place in the world. Ballyfin is as fine a luxury retreat as it gets. Travel journalist Anne Z Cooke and travel photographer Steve Haggerty got there to find the once private boy’s academy restored to boutique hotel status, one that is just like home—that is if your home is a rarified estate on a spread with its own 10 miles of roads and genuine Irish welcome.
Does the name Antipatros Sidonios mean anything to you? No, then how about
Antipator of Sidon, the more commonly used version of his name? Still a strikeout? His name might not ring a bell, but anyone who’s read a history book over the last 2,100 years surely knows about a famous list put together by this Greek bard.
I say To-bay-go, you say To-bah-go... However you say it, you’ll find there’s lot more to do on this little Caribbean island than flaking out on its powdery beaches. Like gettin’ groovy at Tobago’s annual jazz festival, set for April 18-26. (And while you’re there, keep an eye out for “mermen” – that’s right, male mermaids.)
The Spanish conquistadores tried and tried, but they couldn’t get the conquered people of Mexico to stop bathing – naked, and together of all ages and sexes – in their traditional temazcál steam huts. Today you’ll find such huts still in use not only in native villages but in a growing number of the country’s most luxurious resort hotels (but usually with a more conservative bathing ritual). Shown above is a temazcál at the Viceroy Riviera Maya.
ABOUT OUR CONTRIBUTORS
Each month, WatchBoom.com brings you travel notes by the worlds’ best known writers in the industry. What makes WatchBoom.com different than the next travel magazine is that our journalists can tell a compelling story and their material is authentic.
WatchBoom.com Contributing Writers
- Bob Schulman
- Robert W. Bone
- Rich Grant
- Bob Jenkins
- Ted Alan Stedman
- Linda DuVal
- Jimm Budd
- Patricia Alisau
- Nancy Clark
- Dawna Robertson
- Courtney Drake-McDonough
- Laura Ann Klein
- Maxine Albert
- Curtis Ellis
- Danielle Yuthas
- Gretchen Healey
- Christine Loomis
- Anne Z. Cooke
- Steve Haggerty
- Lisa TE Sonne
- Janna Graber
- Mark Chesnut
- Michelle da Silva Richmond
COOKE TAKES 1st in Catalonia competition
In December, 2014, the Catalonia’s G! Awards committee awarded Anne Z. Cooke First Prize for a pair of stories about cultural and adventure travel in Catalonia, or as the committee put it, “for the best tourism communication in print.” The stories, entitled “Hello Dali, and much more” and “Brava Costa Brava,” were distributed by Tribune News Service (then the McClatchy Tribune News Service) and subsequently printed in Sunday travel sections at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and 47 other publications in the U.S., including the Miami Herald and Chicago Tribune; and in 400 associated websites.
Watchboom.com Featured Writer: Patricia Alisau
So smitten with Mexico that she turned a one-week vacation into a 20-year sojourn, Patricia Alisau has traveled just about every inch of the country on assignment for U.S. publications. She’s traveled four continents into 40 different countries engaging her in exotic locales and attitudes, which she thoroughly enjoys. Her stories and photos have been published by The New York Times, Newsweek, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and global news agencies such as the Associated Press, United Press International and Reuters. She’s earned writing credits in Mexico’s Vogue and National Geographic plus Mexicana and Aeromexico in-flight magazines. Her byline has appeared in W, Successful Meetings, TravelAge West, Travel Weekly, Hotel & Motel Management and Fodor’s. German, French and British magazines also have featured her work. Now residing in San Antonio, Texas which she calls “Mexico north of the border,” she believes she lives in the best of both worlds with her frequent jaunts to Mexico to savor her favorite spicy salsas and chimichurri sauces.
Alisau is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and the Texas Writers League.
WatchBoom Writers Take Home Honors
A tip of the hat to two WatchBoom contributors who scored just-announced honors in this year’s North American Travel Journalist Association’s travel writing contest. Walking away with a Bronze award in the Cultural, Educational and Self-Improvement Travel category was Lisa TE Sonne for her story – in WatchBoom – called “Tasty Tangines in Morocco.” Sonne also won a Bronze for her piece, “Underwater Treasure off Cancun,” in the contest’s Destination Travel (International Newspaper) category. The article appeared in the prestigious Pique Newsmagazine.
Another of her stories in Pique, “Piranha Fishing in High Season,” rated Sonne as a finalist in the NATJA’s Sports and Recreation category.
Veteran WatchBoom contributor Rich Grant copped the honors in two categories, one in the Destination Travel (International Newspaper) category scoring a Silver award for his story, “Yosemite and the 150th Anniversary of National Parks.” His piece was featured in Global Village, the travel section of a daily print newspaper in Mexico City called The News.
Also featured in Global Village was Grant’s story, “Little Big Horn Redux,” which ranked him as a Finalist in the contest’s Historical or Hobby Travel category.