Posts Tagged ‘washington’

Passports with Purpose: Alderbrook Resort helps Africa

Monday November 25, 2013 at 9:09 PM | 4 Comments

Alderbrook Resort

Alderbrook Resort & Spa

Imagine sitting on the deck, a glass of wine in hand, while watching and eagle catch thermals above the canal.

With your $10 donation, you could be kayaking on Washington’s Hood Canal, enjoying dinner at The Alderbrook Restaurant or relaxing at the Alderbrook Resort & Spa. This is just one of  the travel prizes up for grabs at this year’s Passports with Purpose.

Passports with Purpose is celebrating their sixth year of fund-raising for a cause. I’m pleased to say that this travel blogger has supported Passports with Purpose from the start and I continue to be involved in 2013.

Last year we raised $100,000 for to fund five water wells in Haiti.

This year, close to 150 travel bloggers from around the world will participate in Passports with Purpose 2013.

Together with your support, the money will fund buildOn to help construct three primary schools and fund three Adult Literary Programs in the Sikasso Region of Mali, Africa.


Building schools in Africa with buildOn

Passports with Purpose Prizes

To see a list of prizes on the Passports With Purpose website check here. 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 three primary schools and several Adult Literacy Programs in Mali, Africa. For each $10 in donations that you make to Passports with Purpose, you will be entered to win a prize (or prizes) of your choice. The fundraiser begins on November 26th and closes at midnight on December 9, 2013. On Monday, December 16, 2013 Passports with Purpose volunteers will notify prize winners. All proceeds go directly to buildOn.

Alderbrook Resort & Spa, located a convenient two hours from Seattle on Washington’s Hood Canal,  is donating a one night stay in a Canal View guestroom, a $50 dining credit at The Restaurant at Alderbrook and $50 spa credit at The Spa at Alderbrook.  The suggested retail value of this Alderbrook Resort & Spa package is $385. Thank you Alderbrook Resort & Spa  for your generous donation.

Certificate is based on availability
Valid Sunday through Friday
Not valid on holiday weekends
Certificate includes resort fee and applicable room tax
Promotional Certificates are not replaceable if lost or stolen

Article written by Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip

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Passports with Purpose 2009

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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Culinary Tour of Bellingham, Washington, What a Trip!

Sunday July 19, 2009 at 1:01 PM | 7 Comments

Dirty Dan Harris

Legendary Character Dirty Dan Harris

Are you visiting Bellingham for the first time? My favorite tips and locations for visitors to Bellingham, Washington. Thank you to Caroline Kinsman and Annette Bagley of Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism for their assistance with this post.

The first place I take a visitor from out of town is to Taylor Avenue Dock, a raised  board walk that sweeps across the edge of Bellingham Bay. The Taylor Dock trail leads to and from the Fairhaven Village Inn.

To escape work I take a long lunch or early dinner in Bellingham’s Fairhaven Village, offering six blocks of eclectic dining and shopping. Many of the historic red brick buildings were constructed more than a century ago, when Fairhaven was a frontier town originally owned by Dan Harris. Today the district’s artistic side prevails with shops that feature pottery, woodworking and glass.

When I’m interested in Bellingham cuisine, I turn to the Whatcom Food & Farm Finder. Here you can find 132 local forms, restaurants, cafes, bakeries and delis featuring locally grown products. The guide is produced by Sustainable Connections, a grass-roots organization committed to maintaining a local economy built on sustainable business practices. In typical Washington style, Bellingham restaurants have joined forces to present an Eat Local series on Thursday nights from May through October.


Raspberries from the Bellingham Farmers Market

Bellingham is my one stop shop for local raspberries. Surrounding farms in Lynden and Whatcom County produce more than 90 percent of all individually quick frozen (IQF) raspberries grown in the United States. More than 57 million pounds are harvested in Washington each July. Although many are gobbled up by locals, the vast majority become raspberry juice used by Ocean Spray and Smuckers. Here in California, Driscoll’s, based in Watsonville, produces about 90 percent of our fresh berries.

If you come to Bellingham, get your picture taken on a sailboat with the city’s skyline in the background. Bellingham was settled from the shoreline inward, so the best views of the city are from the water. Early pioneers arrived in this region by boat, as the original trees were too thick to travel between with a horse and wagon. Today, several charter companies operate out of Bellingham. Sail Away Custom Sailboat Charters is skippered by Captain Charlie DeWeese on his 50-foot wooden-hulled sailboat, Happy Talk.

If you have to order one thing off the menu at Fino, get the peppered pork tenderloin with mushroom polenta and chianti sauce. Keep in mind that the menu changes every couple of months to reflect whatever is fresh.

Silver Reef Steakhouse lava cake

Chocolate Rockettes Molten Lava Cake With Edible Chocolate Legs

For a huge splurge, go to Silver Reef Hotel for Caesar salad prepared tableside,  an enormous steak and save room for the molten Chocolate Rockettes or the Flaming Cherries Jubilee.

When I’m low on funds, I go to the Bellingham Farmers Market where I can discover new recipes from local chefs and hear live music for free.

Photo opportunities in Bellingham include the concrete “Welcome to Bellingham” sign set into the hillside on State Street. Although it appears to be in a random location today, this is where the original settlers landed by boat. They climbed a series of stairs to the mainland, which was covered in towering evergreens. Photo ops also include the Whatcom Museum and Mount Baker Theater buildings, as well as 10,778- foot Mount Baker to the east and the San Juan islands to the west.

For the best views, walk to the top of the lookout tower in the Sehome Arboretum, or ride the elevator to the 14th floor of the Bellingham Towers building. You can also check out the Nimbus restaurant, providing areal views and a dinner menu featuring in-season, local ingredients.

The most random thing about Bellingham is the piano races at Dirty Dan Harris Days in the Historic Fairhaven District.

Bellingham locals love to be outdoors; go biking on either the Interuban Trail or Galbraith Mountain in the morning and sea kayaking on Bellingham Bay in the afternoon.

If you like walking, start at Fairhaven to the downtown trial through Boulevard Park.

Bellingham’s best museum is the Whatcom Museum of History and Art in the  Lightcatcher Building, featuring art exhibitions, as well as a family interactive gallery  for young children.

If you enjoy dancing, go to the Wild Buffalo. Skylark’s Hidden Cafe is the spot for late night dining.

The Bellingham Herald or Cascadia Weekly newspapers will keep you posted on what’s happening in Whatcom County.

Downtown Bellingham offers an Art Walk event on the first Friday of the month from 6-10 p.m. The Downtown Bellingham Partnership also hosts Downtown Sounds summer concerts and the Bite of Bellingham with Allied Arts La Bella Strada Arts Festival in August.

In the spring you might enjoy the Ski to Sea Festival on Memorial Day weekend. Don’t miss the 90-mile relay race from the snow fields of Mt. Baker to the waters of Bellingham Bay. Seven legs include cross country ski, downhill ski/snowboarding, running, road bike, two-person canoe, mountain bike and sea kayak.

In the summer you should attend the Raspberry Festival in Lynden on the third weekend in July for raspberry sundaes in this Dutch-style farming hamlet. For something different, don’t miss the raspberry and blackberry wines at Samson Estates Winery, just east of Lynden on Van Dyk Road.

In the fall you should visit the Fall Fruit Festival at Cloud Mountain Farm, the first weekend in October. Taste 200 varieties of apples, pears, grapes and uncommon fruits, as well as cider, nuts, jellies and sauces.

In the winter you should go to the symphony, the Mount Baker Theatre and the independent Pickford Film Center.

Nature and art lovers will know that Bellingham is home to the Big Rock Sculpture Garden. This 2.5 acre wooded park includes more than 35 permanent sculptures by local and international artists.

Boulevard Park

Kids climb rocks at Boulevard Park in Bellingham, Washington

For a great breakfast treat or expresso, go to the Wood’s Coffee in Boulvard Park overlooking Bellingham Bay.

Just outside of Bellingham you can visit Mount Baker and have lunch at Everybody’s Store in Van Zandt. The 58-mile Mount Baker Scenic Bayway, also known as Washington State Route 542, reaches from Bellingham’s coastal city limits to snowy slopes of the mountain. In the summer months, the highway ends at a 5,140 foot parking lot known as Artists Point. Everybody’s Store is a short jog south on Highway 9 for a nice lunch break.

In you have kids, you won’t want to miss Chocolate Necessities or climbing on rocks and beach combing at Boulevard Park.

What are your favorite things to do in Bellingham, Washington?

Photos by Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown