Posts Tagged ‘nancy d. brown’

Travel the Globe with Queen City Cookies, Scottie Dog Shortbread

Friday February 10, 2012 at 12:12 AM | 0 Comments

"Queen City Cookies Duchess of Roux"

Travel the globe with Queen City Cookies and regal elephants such as the Duchess of Roux

Food and travel

Food and travel go together like salt and pepper – the two should never stand alone in my mind. When I plan a trip, I look forward to eating the local food, as much as the travel experience itself. With that in mind, I walked the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco looking for foods with a travel theme. Dialing it down, I found two cookie companies that transport me; one to Africa and the other to Scotland.  Both companies make a butter-filled shortbread cookie; one in the shape of an elephant and one in the shape of a Scottie dog.

"Queen City Elephant cookies"

Travel on safari by elephant with Queen City Cookies

Queen City Cookies – Talisman to exotic worlds

“I think of Queen City Cookies as talismans to exotic worlds. Linger over our nautical variety pack and suddenly you’re in the South Seas, wind in your sails, mermaids shimmer as fish leap from the air. Relax, and feel the warmth of India. A cup of warm chai is the perfect guide to convene with our Ganesha, Mendhi Magic, Regal Elephant, Hindu Sun Wheel or Shakyamuni Buddha cookies. Next stop, Paris. Our Eiffel Tower cookie shimmers like the City of Lights. Each Queen City Cookie is a journey into memories past and longings for future travel. A little imagination, and the time to savor our edible artistry, and it’s possible to travel the globe with cookies that taste as good as they look,” says Peggy Shannon, owner of Queen City Cookies.

Walkers Shortbread Scottie Dogs

Walkers Shortbread has teamed up with the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) to raise funds for the non-profit organization’s animal welfare initiatives across the country. Throughout 2012, Walkers Shortbread will donate 10 cents from the sale of every package of its ‘Scottie Dog’ products sold in the U.S. – including its Scottie Dog cookies and tins – to the ASPCA with a minimum guaranteed donation of $25,000.

Walkers Scottie Dog cookies honor the Scottish Terrier, one of five breeds of the Skye terriers that originated in Scotland.

"Walkers Scottie Dogs"

Walkers Shortbread teams with the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®)

Walkers takes Scottie dog cookie for run

“The adorable Scottie Dog cookies convey our affinity for this beloved breed, and working with the ASPCA is a great way for us, as well as our customers, to show our appreciation for animals,” said Jim Walker, managing director of Walkers Shortbread. “Over the next year, Walkers is dedicated to helping the ASPCA raise awareness of the issues of animal cruelty and homelessness and will support the valuable work they do for animals across the U.S.”

Social media enthusiasts may follow Queen City Cookies on Twitter and  Walkers Shortbread on Facebook.  You may also follow Nancy D. Brown on Twitter for the latest travel news. Article and YouTube video  courtesy of Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown. Photos courtesy of Queen City Cookies and Walkers Shortbread.

"Queen City Cookie flowering tree Lisa Ballard"

Queen City Cookie flowering tree design by Lisa Ballard

Where to Buy

Queen City Cookies


Historic Findlay Market

124 West Elder Street

Cincinnati, OH 45202

Walkers Shortbread

Aberlour House
Aberlour on Spey,
Scotland, AB38 9LD

Walkers Shortbread Inc.,
170 Commerce Drive,
Hauppauge, New York,
N.Y. 11788, U.S.A.

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Things to See and Do in Missoula, Montana

Friday January 6, 2012 at 12:12 AM | 3 Comments

"Montana Cabin First Snowfall"

Cabin in Montana after the first snowfall.

Make Missoula, Montana your home base

Planning a trip to Missoula, Montana? I recently visited The Garden City for the first time and I plan to circle back in the summer for a second look – maybe a cattle drive?

Located approximately halfway between Glacier and Yellowstone, Missoula is the home base and the cultural capital of the state for experiencing the two best National Parks during the shoulder season.  With five ski hills within 100 miles, thousands of miles of snowmobiling terrain and groomed cross country trails within ten minutes of town, you will love Missoula in the winter.

Like most other Western towns, Missoula has embraced the Microbrew culture. In the spring time, beer lovers will want to attend the Garden City BrewFest. With four breweries and two pub houses, along with multiple stores to get your own home brew set-up, you better show up early to sample over 30 local microbrews while listening to local bands at the BrewFest. Flathead Lake Brewing Company of Missoula is a good example of the local cuisine.

When the weather warms up, check out the Summer Concert Series at Big Sky Brewery which saw acts such as Ray LaMontagne with Brandi Carlile, Modest Mouse, and the Decemberists in 2011.

"Council Grove State Park"

Council Grove State Park is where the Hellgate treaty was signed in 1855 between the United States and confederated tribes.

Historic Missoula

There is plenty of history to be uncovered in Missoula. Council Grove State Park is within 15 minutes of downtown Missoula. This historic area commemorates the signing of the Hellgate treaty of 1855 between the U.S. and confederated tribes of the Flathead, Kootenai, and Upper Pend d’Oreilles. It’s an ideal location for wildlife viewing, fishing and exploring the Clark Fork River.

While you are in Missoula, take a picture on the Blackfoot River – take your photo with a Cutthroat Trout, before you release it back into the water.

While folks know that Missoula excels in outdoor recreation activities, The Missoula Art Museum hosts more than 26 exhibitions from local and international artists every year. Currently it’s hosting over 130 gelatin silver prints by Ansel Adams. The museum also provides lectures, films and guided tours.

If you are a museum lover, Missoula’s best museum is The Historic Museum at Fort Missoula for western history. This fort is no longer active but has great exhibits such as “”The Road to Today: 250 Years of Missoula’s History” and “When The Mountains Roared: The Fire Of 1910.” Fort Missoula was also used by the Black Bicycle Cops of the 25th Infantry, and as an Alien Detention Center during WWII between 1941-1944 housing approximately 1200 people.

Missoula Dining

Chef-owned and inspired Scotty’s Table is an example of Missoula bistro dining in the historic Wilma theatre.   For the best wine bar in town, stop by The Red Bird in the historic Florence Building. Looking for affordable dining? The Dinosaur Café in Charlie B’s has southern comfort food that is filling on a snowy day.  Chicken in the Ruff from the Shack has been on the menu since the doors opened in 1949. Enjoy it with a local brew such as Cold Smoke scotch ale from the Kettle House Brewery.

Butterfly Herbs on Higgins Avenue is the place for whole bean coffee and a breakfast treat. Pizza on the Fly is a good choice for late night dining,  the new late night spot is Philly West where the owner flies in sandwich rolls and has authentic WHIZ.

Thinking about a night out on the town? For a night of dancing, The Top Hat has more live music than any venue in town, often featuring musical talent out of Portland and Seattle. Stop by for a mid-week show.

"Missoula Farmers Market"

Visit Missoula’s Farmers Market in the summer

Best Way to See Missoula

The best way to get around Missoula is to walk. The three farmers markets on Higgins Ave each highlight a different theme in raw foods, baked and homemade goods and handmade wares during the summer.  Cross the Clark Fork River on the bridge while you watch kayakers and surfers on Brennan’s Wave.  Then continue to the Hip Strip on South Higgins for restaurants and shopping.

Just outside of  Missoula you can visit Clearwater River Canoe Trail, a 3.5 mile float through a unique river corridor where you will see Montana’s flora and fauna. After the float it’s only a 1.5 mile walk back to the put in. Enjoy lunch in Seely Lake at any of the local restaurants.

Don’t miss the Carousel in Caras Park if you have kids traveling with you. The carousel is hand-carved and hand-painted, with over 100,000 volunteer hours being given to this great community treasure. This place is a special spot for the young and old alike.

During the summer a must-see is the Smoke Jumper center to view their gear, firefighting planes and maybe even meet a smokejumper.

"Missoula wildflowers"

Horseback ride through wildflowers in Missoula, Montana

What To Do in Missoula

In Missoula, outdoor enthusiasts are able to hike, bike, horseback ride and kayak. Missoula has more biking trails than your average-sized city, along with ever increasing bike and walking paths to connect all of Missoula. The Rattlesnake National Recreation Area is perfect to horseback ride for days or until you explore all 60,000 acres including the wilderness area.

Numerous trails in the Pattee Canyon Recreation area will take you to the top of University Mountain.  Pattee Canyon also boasts a Folf course, picnic tables and great wildlife viewing. If you get a chance, get your picture taken on the “M” trail. It’s a short ¼ mile uphill walk that gives you amazing views of the University District and the Missoula Valley.

The best vantage points are taken by walking to the top of Mt. Jumbo. View all three rivers that are around town along with two different mountain ranges and several national forests that surround Missoula.

This year will mark the 35th International Wildlife Film Festival which covers a week of wildlife and outdoor film screenings, art, and pre & post film events.

Missoula’s River City Roots Festival is a great place to watch people. It’s free and open to the public located in downtown Missoula.  Fall is Grizzly Football season. Grizzly Football fans set up the tail gates by 10:00 a.m. for all 25,000 fans.


For local news, the daily newspaper is the Missoulian, and the Independent is a weekly paper of people, arts and culture.

Insider Tip: Check out the often over-looked Pioneer League Osprey Baseball team. Games happen during the months of June-September. Games feature family friendly and kids’ activities as well as a few great firework shows during the season. The stadium also hosts large concerts during the summer, this year Willy Nelson along with Lyle Lovett and his large band will visit Missoula.

What are your favorite things to do in Missoula?

For more up-to-date happenings in Missoula, follow Destination Missoula on Twitter and like their page on Facebook. For all things travel related, follow Travel Expert Nancy D. Brown on Twitter.

Thanks to Troy Payton Destination Missoula for assistance with this post.  Photo of Council Grove courtesy of Troy Payton. Photo of Farmers Market courtesy of Lisa A. Choo. Wildflowers photo courtesy of  Jackie Corday. Article by  Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown.

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Expedia Hosts Travel Blogger Day in Seattle, WA

Saturday December 17, 2011 at 11:11 AM | 16 Comments

"Expedia Blogger Day"

Expedia Executives Host Blogger Day 2011

Expedia Blogger Day

While I’m not comparing Expedia President Scott Durchslag to Jerry Maguire, the sports agent in the 1996 film played by Tom Cruise, the phrase “help me, help you,” did come to mind during our Monday afternoon meeting at Expedia corporate headquarters this December.  Expedia executives brought together travel bloggers from the US and Canada, as well as Korea and Japan, to discuss Expedia initiatives and open the doors to joint ventures.

“There is an opportunity for the travel industry to be more innovative, really embracing technology,” said Durchslag during a recent PhoCusWright conference moderated by USA Today panelists. Continuing on that theme, Durchslag put his money where his mouth is by flying in bloggers who specialize in travel, social media and technology to open the lines of communication between bloggers and Expedia.

Durchslag, a world traveler and mountain climber, believes that, “travel is transformational. I’m a traveler first,” noted Expedia’s president. During our meeting, Durchslag outlined a five point plan:

*building a new booking engine

*providing a mobile experience

*adding a social element for travelers to share reviews

*creating a “place market”

*introducing a program that rewards loyalty

The future of travel is web 3.0 and web 3.0 is all about the power of place,” noted Durchslag.

"Expedia Scott Durchslag"

Expedia President Scott Durchslag shares his five point plan with travel bloggers

Adding the social element to travel

Travel blogger Spencer Spellman recently partnered with Expedia to launch a weekly Thursday Twitter chat called #Expchat to engage with the travel consumer. This is one way Expedia is branching out to the travel blogger world. Kim Mance appeared in a video for Expedia on the company’s Facebook page announcing their offers with Groupon. As I offer “Insider Tips” on this “What a Trip” blog,   I hope to partner with Expedia to promote their activities offered online. In fact, it wasn’t until I booked my airfare and hotel to Seattle, via Expedia, that I became aware that the world’s largest online travel agency even offered activities.

Kim Mance – A Message For Expedia’s Facebook Fans!


Travel writers and bloggers visit Expedia headquarters in Bellevue, Washington

Travel companies slow to embrace bloggers

I am excited to see Expedia’s enthusiasm toward travel bloggers, but I’m not naive in thinking that the travel blogger path is laden with gold. In a Tnooz guest post, Travel Blogger Gary Arndt noted that travel advertisers continue to avoid bloggers. “There are enormous economic potential waiting to be claimed by advertisers, but no one is picking up the ball,” said Arndt. ” I’d like to think that somewhere in a conference room there is a meeting being held where someone is deciding between advertising on blogs vs magazines and newspapers. The reality is, however, blogs aren’t even part of the conversation at this point.”

What’s your take on travel bloggers working with large companies? Will 2012 be the year of the travel blogger?

Expedia Blogger Day 2011 Participants

Justin Bachman, Bloomberg Business Week

Harriet Baskas, Stuck at the Airport

Dave Bouskill & Debra Corbeil, The Planet D

Nancy D. Brown, What a Trip & Writing Horseback – Your Guide to Horseback Riding Vacations

Julia Dimon, Travel Junkie Julia

Johnny Jet, Johnny Jet

Chris Gray Faust, Chris Around the World

George Hobica, Airfare Watchdog

Hitomi Kumasaka, Social Media Labs

Kim Mance, Galavating

Sherry Ott, Otts World

Spencer Spellman, The Traveling Philosopher

Rich Whitaker,

Article and photos courtesy of Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown.

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