Passports with Purpose 2010 Prizes

Monday November 15, 2010 at 12:12 AM | 2 Comments

Help Passports with Purpose Build a Village in India

Passports with Purpose 2010

The power of community is strong. No more is this evident than in the vibrant travel blogging community.

Passports with Purpose is celebrating their third year of fund raising for a cause. I’m pleased to say that this What a Trip travel blogger has supported Passports with Purpose from the start and I continue to be involved in 2010.

Last year we raised nearly $30,000 to build and supply a school in rural Cambodia.  The Passports school opened in early October of 2010.

This year, more than 100 travel bloggers from around the world will participate in Passports with Purpose 2010.

Together, with your support, we are building a village in India. This year, we’re supporting Land for Tillers’ Freedom or LAFTI, an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of the Dalit (untouchable) population in India.  Raising $50,000, we will provide homes for those who have never had a roof over their heads!

Passport with Purpose Prizes

This week you will be able to see a list of prizes on the Passports With Purpose website. Each donated prize will link back to a full description of the prizes on the blogger’s website

Your purchase of a $10 raffle ticket will help support Passports with Purpose and ultimately build a village in India. For each $10 in donations that you make to LAFTI, you will will be entered to win a prize (or prizes) of your choice. The fundraiser begins on November 15th and closes on December 15, 2010. All proceeds go directly to LAFTI.

Hurtigruten, Norwegian Coastal Voyage, Nancy D. Brown, travel

Hurtigruten's MS Trollfjord on a Norwegian Coastal Voyage

What a Trip Passports with Purpose 2010 Prizes

Thank you to my generous sponsors and Passports with Purpose Platinum Sponsor BootsnAll.  This year I have prizes donated from Hurtigruten and Briggs & Riley.

Norwegian Coastal Voyage on Hurtigruten

Hurtigruten is donating a seven-day Norwegian Coastal Voyage or the six-day Southbound Voyage for two aboard one of Hurtigruten fourteen cruise ships.  The suggested retail value of this Hurtigruten cruise is $1,037 pp. Thank you Hurtigruten for your $2,074 donation.  Read my posts about the many ports we visit on this Norwegian Coastal cruise.

Briggs and Riley, 22" carry on, travel gear review, Nancy D. Brown, luggage

Briggs & Riley Explore 22" Upright Carry-on Luggage Review

Briggs & Riley Luggage Donation

Briggs & Riley, a second year sponsor for What a Trip, is donating their BRX Explore 22″ Carry-on bag. I reviewed this 7.5 lb. bag and highly endorse it. The suggested retail value of the upright is $290. For a $10 donation to Passports with Purpose, you may be able to own this piece of luggage.

Seasons Greetings from What a Trip

Check back often to see our progress for the 2010 Passports with Purpose and thank YOU for making a difference! Seasons Greetings.

Related Posts:

Discover Authentic Norway on Hurtigruten Coastal Voyage

Briggs & Riley BRX Explore Upright Carry-on Luggage Review

Travel Tips on raveable

Best Things to Do in Vancouver, British Columbia

Friday November 12, 2010 at 12:12 AM | 11 Comments

Vancouver Cityscape, Peter Andersen, Flickr, British Columbia, Canada, Nancy D. Brown

Vancouver, British Columbia Cityscape

Will you be visiting Vancouver, Canada soon? Here are some insider tips to Vancouver. The first place I take a visitor from out of town is to The Inukshuk statue (Vancouver’s Olympic logo) on English Bay at sunset – a great walk along the sea wall and stunning views of the city, Stanley Park and the ocean.

When I want to eat typical Vancouver cuisine, I turn to Sushi!  With some of the best authentic and dynamic Japanese restaurants outside of Japan and access to incredibly fresh seafood, sushi truly is the taste of Vancouver.

To escape work  go tubing on Seymour Mountain in the winter. In the summer  go to outdoor big-screen movies at Stanley Park. During a recent visit I walked Granville and Robson Streets and found this great Marimba band.

For complete quiet, hide away at Third Beach in Stanley Park.

If you come to Vancouver, Canada, get your picture taken by the Lions Gate Bridge in Stanley Park.

My favorite thing to order at Cibo Restaurant is the Black Pepper Tagliatelle with Golden Chanterelles. I had dinner at Cibo during a September visit. I can see why it was awarded Best Restaurant in Canada by Enroute Magazine.


Inukshuk statue, Vancouver, English Bay, John Sinal, Nancy D. Brown, Canada

Inukshuk statue -Vancouver’s Olympic logo- on English Bay at sunset

Vancouver is one of the best places to eat salmon. Nearby, Haida Gwaii is a mecca for fishermen and women from around the world.  Head to West Coast Fishing Club to guarantee the best catch on the coast! I promise that you will not regret a fishing trip to WCFC – the food, lodge, scenery and fishing are spectacular.

When I’m low on cash, I go to Roaming Dragon – a streetcar serving amazing pan-Asian cuisine from $5.

For a huge splurge, I go to Miku Restaurant– they offer a unique style of Aburi-Style sushi and get daily seafood shipments from Tskiji Fish Market in Japan.

Photo opportunities in Vancouver include Spanish Banks, a silky white sand beach with the city in the backdrop and Granville Island Market for organic vegetables and quirky shop attendants.

The best vantage points are taken by walking to the top of Grouse Mountain – the Grouse Grind is an impressive work out and the views of the city from the top are well-worth the effort.

Robonson Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, things to do, Canada, Nancy D. Brown

Things to do in Vancouver, BC – walk Robson and Granville Street

The most random thing about Vancouver is the Annual Celebration of Light Fireworks display during July.

In Vancouver, an active day outdoors could be kayaking in English Bay or exploring the seashore at Whytecliff Park, or hiking to the top of The Lions.

Looking to stretch your legs will you discover Vancouver? My favorite walking route is the Sea Wall – from the cobbled streets of Gastown to the sandy beaches of Jericho and Spanish Banks, it’s a great introduction to this BC city.

Vancouver’s best museum is Museum of Anthropology.

Looking to shake your booty? For a night of dancing, go to Republic or Pop Opera – world-class beats and a stylish crowd.

The Red Card Sports Bar + Eatery  is the spot for late night dining. They serve delicious, authentic Italian pizza until 1am.

To find out what’s going on a night or on weekends, read Georgia Straight or Westender.

Are you a hockey fan? You can tell a lot about Vancouver from watching the Vancouver Canucks – the city is intense during the hockey play offs!

Emery Barnes Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, things to do, Nancy D. Brown

Visit Emery Barnes Park, one of many public parks in Vancouver, BC

If you are visiting during the spring you should see Van Dusen Gardens for spring blooms.

In the summer you might want to check out car free festivals on Commercial Drive.

In the fall, visit Rogers Arena to watch the Vancouver Canucks in action.

For outdoor adventure in the winter go skiing or snow-boarding just moments from the city at Grouse Mountain.

There are so many great places to eat in Vancouver. A hidden gem in Vancouver is China Town – for unique restaurants, night markets and a real taste of China!

For a super breakfast or to grad a coffee, go to the Caffé Artigiano.

Just outside of Vancouver you can visit Whistler, just over an hour away on the breathe-taking Sea to Sky Highway.  Dine at Bearfoot Bistro.

The best way to see Vancouver is to walk.  The sea wall is a must for residents and holiday-makers alike!

Will you be traveling with kids? Don’t miss the Vancouver Aquarium.

What are your favorite things to do in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada?

Related Post:

On the Road with Nancy Brown: Autumn Adventures

For more information on Vancouver visit Tourism Vancouver. Thanks to Marisa Marsden and Hawksworth Communications for assistance with this post. Article, YouTube video and photos by Nancy D. Brown. Vancouver Cityscape photo courtesy of Peter Andersen. Inukshuk statue courtesy of Tourism Vancouver and John Sinal.

Things To Do on raveable

Best Things to Do in San Francisco, CA

Friday November 5, 2010 at 12:12 AM | 10 Comments

cable car, San Francisco, California, Nancy D. Brown, trolley

Hop on a cable car and go shopping in San Francisco’s Union Square

The first place I take a visitor from out of town is to The Ferry Building Farmer’s Market – especially on a Saturday morning.  As San Francisco is such a foodie town, I find that this is a great way to see the culture of the Bay Area.  Time for only a drink?  Go to the Burritt Tavern in Charlie Palmer’s Mystic Hotel for a cocktail.

When I crave San Francisco cuisine, I turn to  Californian/French cuisine.  My favorite unknown restaurant is Isa (located on Steiner between Chestnut and Lombard) – serving small tapas style plates with French Cuisine.  Sushi is always a go to in San Francisco. There are many little spots that offer fish such as Kiss Kiss or Sushi Ran in Sausalito.

To escape work go to Chrissy Field for a run along the water towards the Golden Gate Bridge.  Tune out to an iPod or the sound of the fog horns.  Lyon street stairs, a stroll down Chestnut Street or a bike ride to Sausalito are always good escapes. Or, get out of the city and hideaway in Sausalito, walking the docks.

For complete quiet, I can hide away at  the Japanese Tea Garden or rent a paddle boat at Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park.  Need to relax? Book a massage at Nob Hill Spa and spend the afternoon poolside in the Hotel Huntington’s famed relaxation haven. Why not take a book and head over to the beach at Chrissy Field?

If You Come to San Francisco

If you come to San Francisco, get your picture taken at the top of Mt. Tamalpais overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge and the city.  Take your picture on the Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower, ferrying to Sausalito, enjoying an Irish coffee at Buena Vista Café or hop on a cable car and go shopping in Union Square.

La Taqueria, San Francisco, tacos, Nancy D. Brown, things to do, insider tips

Insider tip: La Taqueria has the best tacos in San Francisco’s Mission District

If you have to order one thing off the menu at Restaurant Out the Door, get the Pork Belly to go, or if you want to really splurge, order the Mac Daddy Mac and Cheese at Fat Angel.

San Francisco is my one stop shop for sourdough bread. Acme makes the best bread and is located in the Ferry Building. If you are in Fisherman’s Wharf, Boudin is a close second.  Fresh produce at the farmer’s market is a San Francisco treat.

When I’m feeling cash-strapped, I go to Nopalito or La Taqueria on Mission Streeet for the best tacos.

For a huge splurge, I go to Spruce or the new Francis.  Of course there’s Gary Danko or Fleur de Lys.

Photo ops in San Francisco include the Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge (at night), Museum of Fine Arts, Lombard Street, and people watching on Haight Street.  There’s also Top of the Mark,  Bay to Breakers race,  the Pride Parade and the Blue Angels in October.

The best vantage points are taken by walking to the top of  Nob Hill.  You can see vantage points of the Bay Bridge, downtown, Portrero Hill, and Pacific Heights.  Not high enough?  Go to the top of the Mark for a full panorama.  Alternatively, walk to the top of Telegraph Hill overlooking the Bay Bridge at night – best for a full moon!

The most random thing about San Francisco is the Totally Illegal Big Wheels race down Vermont Street at 20th and the Gay Pride Parade. Bay to Breakers  is unique – watch the tortillas fly in the air at the start of the race.

San Francisco, Golden Gate Bridge, Insider Tips, Things to Do, Nancy D. Brown, travel

An active day in San Francisco involves walking across the Golden Gate Bridge

In San Francisco an active day outdoors involves walking, hiking or biking.  Walking the hills of San Francisco is most certainly an urban hiking experience.  Wander down (or up) the squiggly path of Lombard Street – beats being stuck in a car on Lombard Street.  Rent a bike and ride across the Golden Gate Bridge.

My favorite walking route is Chrissy Field in the Marina or Tennessee Valley in Marin.

San Francisco’s best museum is the DeYoung in Golden Gate Park – it has the largest collection.  SF MoMA is recommended for modern art and the Contemporary Jewish Museum offers a touch of culture that spans beyond Judaism.

For a night of dancing, go to Press Club San Francisco on the weekends for a high class wine tasting and dancing experience that spans beyond the grimy club scene.  Best part?  Top DJ’s spinning house, funk and jazz tunes.

The Press Club is the spot for late night dining.With a late night wine pairing menu with bites including Braised Artichoke and Panzanella Salad and Smoked Salmon and Caviar Blintz with crème fraiche pair expertly with premium wines from the six exclusive wineries located on premise, it is not to be beat.  For more casual fare, Caribbean Pulled Pork Sliders with house made orange fennel marmalade paired with Miner Family Tempranillo and Crispy Three Cheese Pizzetta with fresh mushrooms; fennel, pepperoncini and organic onion paired with Hanna Chardonnay.

To find out what’s going on at night or on weekends, read the San Francisco Chronicle, Daily Candy SF, Urban Daddy, Thrillist, Eater SF and Tablehopper.

You can tell a lot about the Bay Area from visiting Pt. Reyes and dining on oysters at Marshall.  Carried Away Tours can arrange a private, custom tour of this area with highlights including the Bovine Bakery, a local favorite, and even Pt. Reyes Blue Cheese. You can also go horseback riding to the beach in Olema.

In the spring you should attend Bay to Breakers race.

In the summer you should attend the Gay Pride Parade.

In the fall you should visit Sonoma and Napa Valley during the wine harvest.   This is a prolific time to be in the area, and also a major tourist attraction so plan wisely.  Visit Maisonry in Yountville for tastes of cult wines including Uvaggio.  Can’t make it to Napa?  Stop by the Press Club to experience the latest vintages of the wine bar’s exclusive brands including Chateau Montelena Winery- the Calistoga brand that placed California wines on the international stage during Napa Valley’s wine birth more than 30 years ago; Fritz Winery famed for its Dry Creek Valley and Russian River Valley grapes;  Hanna Winery & Vineyards, a 250 acre estate Sonoma vineyard; Miner Family Vineyards which produces its flagship Oracle – a Bordeaux-style blend; Mount Eden Vineyards, one of California’s first boutique wineries; and Saintsbury, whose California Pinot Noir placed the varietal firmly on the world’s wine map.

In the winter you should go to the outdoor ice skating rink at the Embarcadero Center.  Nothing beats the idea of ice skating under Palm trees.  Chilly?  Stop into Americano Restaurant for a nightcap in the Hotel Vitale only steps away from the rink.

San Francisco, California, Palace of Fine Arts, Exploratorium, Nancy D. Brown, things to do

Don’t miss the Exploratorium by San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts if you have kids

A hidden gem in San Francisco is Sacramento Street for shopping or the rooftop of JAQK Cellars’ headquarters for wine pairing  with a view of the bay.

For a great breakfast treat or espresso, go to Foreign Cinema for the famous Pop Tart!  Philz Coffee’s Philharmonic is the best coffee in town.

Just outside of San Francisco you can visit Tiburon. Have lunch (margaritas and guacamole) at Guaymas Restaurant overlooking the harbor and Angel Island with views of San Francisco.  Take the Ferry to add to the experience.

The best way to see San Francisco is to walk or take the cable car for a true San Francisco experience.

If you have kids, you won’t want to miss The Exploratorium near Pier 15/17 or Golden Gate Park’s buffalos.

What are your favorite things to do in San Francisco?

Article, YouTube video and photos by Nancy D. Brown

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Where to Eat Cheap in San Francisco