Andrea & John were born for travel and entertainment.

Come watch what we do, what we've done, where we've been, and what we suggest you do, too. Everyone should have a bucket list. We only have one life to live, so go out there and find a way to enjoy it -- on any budget! Our motto has ALWAYS been: life's short, play hard! See our YouTube site!

Although we always had fun, we have now learned how to travel at wholesale or below or FREE HERE.

See for yourself ... We used to book on many travel sites, but now we save a LOT of money on all our online travel through this low-cost booking engine: SAVE $$$ (Hotels and Flights are LOWEST PRICE GUARANTEED or you get back 150% of the difference!)

Happy Travels!

Leisure Travel Consultants
WorldVentures Double-Directors and $100K LTE Earners
~Andrea Feldman Walen & John Walen

Vacation King and Queen helping you become a Vacation Ninja, too!


Cruise Tips

Taking a cruise?  Here are some tips for you!

To date, including our December 2015 cruise, Andrea will have been on 32 -- 36 total for John-- so we know our way around cruising.  

  • Bring a power strip.  On most ships, there's only one outlet in the whole room.  (Keep in mind that some ships are now cracking down on these, as it could be a possible fire hazard, so it could get confiscated!)
  • Don't forget your passport!  Some cruise lines don't require one, but should you "accidentally" get stuck in another country, you'd want to be able to get back home!  Accidents can happen!  (Should have at LEAST 6 months left on it to be considered "valid.")
  • You may want to drive or fly in the night before.  Cruises will NOT wait for you if you're late or forgot your ID.  (That goes for when you're in port, too.  If you miss the ship, you'll have to fly to the next port and could face big fines, too!)
  • Pack a small carry-on bag for the last day. On the last night of the cruise, you have to leave your luggage out in the hallway, so you'll need an overnight bag to walk off with the next day.
  • Check each cruise line's rules ... some of them allow you to bring on water, soda, and/or wine and champagne.  Carnival just started NOT allowing you to bring on water, but you can buy it in advance and have it shipped to your room for a good price.  That's easier, anyway!
  • The childcare is an awesome option for parents to be able to have some alone time.  The kids will love it!
  • If you want a good seat at the shows, you need to arrive at LEAST 30-45 minutes early.
  • If your ship doesn't offer freestyle/anytime dining, you'll have a choice of early or late dining.  Early dining is typically 6pm with shows at 8pm.  Late dining is typically 8:15pm with shows at 6pm.  (We prefer early dining, as it leaves the whole evening open for FUN!)
  • It's convenient to carry a large insulated mug with a lid.  Then you can enjoy carrying hot or cold drinks around with you, instead of using their little 8-ounce cups and mugs.
  • Men must have pants for some dining rooms.  Cruising has gotten more and more casual, but a few fine dining options have a dress code.  Some formal restaurants require a jacket for men.
  • If you want to sit with friends at dinner, make sure to arrange that AT LEAST a week BEFORE you sail.  You will need to send each of your booking numbers to your travel agent to link all your bookings together.   Seating changes are near to impossible to change after boarding.
  • If you want to leave some stuff home, the bathrooms are stocked with soaps, shampoo, and conditioner.  There is a blow-dryer "somewhere" in the room -- usually hidden in a drawer or desk in the main room near a mirror.  You can't use your own blowdryer anyway, as it will short out the electric!
  • Don't bring an iron or any sort of electric heater, as it WILL be confiscated.  There are laundry and ironing facilities on most, if not all, ships.  Carnival usually charges about $3 for laundry detergent and $3 for drying.  (You may want to bring your own small detergent, if laundry is important to you.)
  • Short cruises typically have 1 formal night; longer cruises (7 or more days) have 2 formal nights.  You can dress up as much as you want.  Anything goes ... business casual, right up to evening gowns and tuxes.  Many cruise lines are opting out of formal nights altogether.
  • Cruise lines now have you print your own luggage tags.  I suggest putting them on and/or inside EVERYTHING you own, in case you misplace a bag (put one in your purse, briefcase, beach bag, camera bag, iPad, etc.)
  • You now MUST check in online.  Once that's done, print and bring your boarding passes along with you.  Don't forget your passport!
  • Children do NOT travel free on cruises.  Makes no sense, but even infants count as passengers.  Almost all cruise lines have a 6-month-old minimum age restriction.  There are 4 people maximum to a cabin.  (Some inside cabins are only configured for a maximum of 2, so you can't even add a person later on if the cruise is sold out.)
  • Each night, you will receive a custom newsletter listing the next day's activities.  There's lots to do, so plan your day ahead so you don't miss anything.  Great tip:  If you carry your cell phone for picture-taking, circle all the things you want to do, and then take a picture of your itinerary, so it's always handy.
  • Turn your cell phones to "Airplane Mode" and "WiFi Only" so you don't get charged roaming fees.  Even though there is no cell service at sea, the second your phone "can" connect, you don't want to be charged.  It can easily and quickly run in the the hundreds of dollars if you forget!  (Many ports have free WiFi, so you can check Internet stuff like Facebook and email, but not texts, as that's the phone line.)
  • Plan your shows and excursions online before boarding.  Many events sell out.  (But ... if you choose your excursions first, you have to pay for them up front.  If you choose your excursions while on-board, you won't pay until you leave.)
  • You will be charged a per-day, per-person charge for gratuities.  Typically, $11-$12 per day will be added on to your bill at the end of the cruise.  These people work HARD for that little money.  Most of their income is tips.  Feel free to give your cabin steward and Maitre'd a little extra in an envelope at the end of your cruise.  (Envelopes are available at Guest Services in the main lobby.)
  • If you bring your own wine, open it in your room and bring it with you to dinner.  If you bring it to dinner, you will be charged a $15 "corking" fee -- even if it's a cheap screw-top.  Go figure!
  • The walls are made of metal, so you can bring magnetic hooks with you, if you want to hang your lanyards and hats, etc.
  • There's no clock in the room.  If you're still in the prehistoric ages and don't have a cell phone clock, bring a little clock and/or nightlight with you.
  • There are NEVER enough hangers in the closets.   It's easy and lightweight enough to pack your clothes ON the hangers.  Then just pull them out, and you're already unpacked!
  • The beds are raised so you can store your empty suitcases under your bed.  The rooms are TINY, so you need all the space you can get!
  • Make sure to call your credit card companies and banks to let them know all the States, Cities, and Countries you'll be traveling in so as not to have your cards denied for fraud.  Set up a "travel alert" with your banks.
  • Bring a credit card or debit card or cash (handed in before the cruise -- no cash onboard) to keep on file for all your charges.  You can then leave it in the room safe, as your room key will be your charge card, too.  (On that note, you may want to "turn off" charging abilities for kids in case they misplace their room key.)   
  • You need CASH for the islands and taxis and tips.  Bring lots of SMALL bills!  
  • You may opt to bring a lanyard/holder to wear around your neck to carry your room key/charge card for convenience. 
  • Many excursions are WAY cheaper (sometimes 50% or more) to book on your own versus booking through the cruise lines ... BUT keep in mind ... the cruise line is then NOT responsible for you ... AND if your excursion comes back late, they will NOT wait for you.  So, it's at your own risk (but, you DO save a LOT of money).  Some of your activities can be booked at a discount here: -- click on the "activities" button.
  • Towels easily blow away on lounge chairs on the decks and beaches.  You can find beach hooks or giant clips to hold them down. They sell some cute ones online, like ones that look like flip-flops or flamingos. 
  • Pack bug spray if you're going to go horseback riding or hiking or anywhere on grass. 
  • Take lots of pictures and HAVE FUN!  


Dolphin Cove; Ocho Rios, Jamaica

RATING: $+++++
Dolphin Cove Ecological Park
Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Carnival Dream 22-Day Cruise
October 22, 2015

Playing With Lovebirds

What an AMAZING day!  We were on a 22-day cruise, and Ocho Rios, Jamaica was one of the ports.  We were just looking for something fun to do that day that included snorkeling.  This excursion was so poorly advertised by Carnival.  I believe it was $42.99 per person, and that just included the entry pass and transportation.  The Shore Excursions desk really played this place down, saying it was a "little park with some snorkeling and an area to play with birds."  When she said, "play with birds," I was hooked. That's about all you have to tell me, and I'm ALL IN on that!

This happened to become one of my favorite days on Earth!  We played with animals ALL DAY!  When we first got there, we went straight to the love birds.  From there, we got to hang out with parrots and bunnies.  Then it was off to some snorkeling.

Southern Whiptail Stingray -- super friendly!
We were so surprised to find that for just an additional $5, they let us hang out in a gorgeous lagoon for as long as we wanted to snorkel with gorgeous fish and HUGE stingrays.  John said it was some of the best snorkeling he's ever done because it was a calm lagoon.  One stingray's name was Big Mama, and boy, was she HUGE!!!  (Not the one in the pic.)  After the lagoon area, we went into a small pool that housed two stingrays we could play with for as long as we wanted.  That turned into at least a half hour.  The black one pictured was a Southern Whiptail.  She was super friendly and loved to be petted.

After the stingrays, we were told about their nurse sharks.  They wanted just $25pp to swim with them, but we didn't want to spend another $50.  So once we said no, they said to John, "How about if you buy it, your wife can join you for free?"  Well, heck yeah, we were IN! So John and I BOTH got to swim with three nurse sharks.  They had us both get in the water and put one of them on our laps and gave us a blow-by-blow description of her whole body.  Her name was Lisa. After we fed her and touched her, then John swam with all three of them with a guide.  Wow, what a great forever memory!

John's First Time Touching a Snake!

To end a totally perfect day, we headed to pick up our professional photos.  The photographer took some great shots.  It was normally $30 per photo, but ... we're a sucker for good photos, so we took EVERY photo they had and they put them on a CD for us. They also gave us the entire video of us playing and swimming with the sharks.  They added that to a DVD, and we took the whole package for $89.  We didn't want to spend that, but we also wanted to go home with every photo (of course).   After getting the pics, we headed to visit the iguana and snake on the way out.

So all I can say is ... next time you visit Ocho Rios, Jamaica, DEFINITELY put Dolphin Cove at the top of your list ... if you love to snorkel and/or love animals.

What a great day!!

Happy Travels!
Andrea & John Walen


10-Day Thanksgiving Week Cruise 2011

RATING: $$$$+++++
10-Day Carnival Spirit Cruise
Ensenada, Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo
November 18-27, 2011

We love this time of year!  But this time, we were not only celebrating our annual Thanksgiving week vacation, but it was also John's 50th birthday.  This is a great way to celebrate.  We just LOVE cruising.   For us, it's cheaper to cruise than to stay home most of the time!  This was John's 23rd and my 18th cruise.  And we can't wait for the next one (in 42 days ... but who's counting?)

La Bufadora (Blowhole)
Sea Lions at the Pier
Our first port was Ensenada, Mexico.  I love when we stop here because as soon as you step off the ship, there are a bunch of barking sea lions.  This is a port that you have to search hard to find activities to do, because there's not much there.  So we found a taxi to take us about a half-hour away to La Bufadora (The Blowhole).  It was only $10pp, right off the pier.  Through the cruise, it's about $40pp or more.
ATV Riding around Ensenada
After our trek to La Bufadora, we went to go ATV Riding.  A few days before the cruise, we booked our ride for about 1/3 of the price found on Carnival.  The best (trusted) deals we found were at  The location to pick up the ATVs are only a short walk off the pier.  This was a 2-hour AWESOME tour.  We had a blast!  But it totally made me miss riding a motorcycle.

Famous Arch at Cabo San Lucas
After a day at sea, we stopped (for 2 days) at Cabo San Lucas.  This was an amazing port!  The beaches are absolutely BEAUTIFUL!  There are sea lions to go visit, chilling to do, and pelicans to see at Pelican & Lovers Beach.  There's plenty of snorkeling and great fish to go see. 

Right off the pier, you can easily book tours for snorkeling, beaches, and para-sailing.  They're about 1/3 of the price of the cruise excursions.

On the 2nd day at Cabo, we took another glass-bottom boat ride to the beach, but first we went para-sailing.  That was a blast!   Yes, it was a little scary at first (as you can see me screaming in the picture at the left), but then very cool.  It was only our second time doing this.  We just couldn't believe how soaked we got just by sitting on the boat ... constant waves splashing us ... so make sure it's a WARM day when you go, or you'll freeze!

We stopped in Puerto Vallarta next, but it was so hot and humid and not much we wanted to do there, so we just walked around for a while, picked up a few souvenirs, and went back on the ship to go chill in the pool for the first time ever.  The next day, we ported in Manzanillo.  We found a taxi driver to take us to a private beach and then drive all around, so it was an absolutely beautiful day.

Carnival Cruise awards we won!
We have such a great time on cruises!  Some people just love to chill and hang out by the pool, but John and I just run around non-stop from activity to activity, staying busy all day.  We usually start at 10am and don't finish until 10pm.  We love playing all the games, doing all the activities, and playing trivia.   Carnival always has the most activities to get involved in, has great food, and has great shows, which is why they're our favorite cruise line.  We love that we only have to unpack once, get to see a few new countries when you wake up, enjoy lots of free food (prepare to gain weight!), enjoy entertainment, and watch great evening shows.  We just cannot wait until our next one!  

If you have any questions about cruising (or any travel needs), please feel free to EMAIL ME!

Happy Travels!
Andrea & John Walen  
Leisure Travel Consultants
CLIA Accredited Cruise Counselor


Sharkarosa Ranch

RATING:   $+++++
Sharkarosa Ranch
Pilot Point, TX

Sharkarosa Ranch is a great way to have a little animal fun for a couple of hours.  Everyone there is very friendly and educational.  It's a private ranch that covers 126 acres in Pilot Point, TX (about 1 hour north of Dallas).

While there, you will get to interact with some of the animals, not just watch them through zoo bars.  It's a lot of fun to pet animals you can usually see at a zoo.  We got to see a bunch of animals today.  We got to pet a 5-day-old zebra, two 5-/6-week-old camels, giant horses, camels, deer, and zebras.  We got to watch bobcats, kangaroos, lemurs, monkeys, parrots, a two-toed sloth, a capybara, buffalo, deer, elk, porcupines, and a binturong.

They even hold little talks about all the animals so you get educated about who's there.  They have some bleachers set up so you can sit and comfortably watch.

We cannot wait to go back again very soon!

P.S.   They're only open to the public on Saturdays from about March to November, about 10am-6pm.  Plan to be there about 2 hours. 

Happy Travels!
Leisure Travel Consultants,
Andrea & John Walen


Grand Turk, BVI (British Virgin Islands)

RATING:  $$$$+++++
Grand Turk, BVI (British Virgin Islands)
via Holland America Line's Westerdam cruise

We spent my birthday in Grand Turk, BVI.  What a gorgeous place.  The first thing you notice is how clean it is and that there were no beggars all over the place.  Everyone was so friendly.

A great -- FREE -- place to enjoy the day is at Margaritaville.  They have the most beautiful pools and swim-up bar, and you can just hang and have some fun there.

We also did a snorkel and stingray swim excursion which was offered through the cruise line, which was $59pp and worth every penny.  John's favorite place to be is in the ocean with a snorkel or SCUBA mask ... I, on the other hand, was very happy walking up and down the beautiful white sand beach taking pictures of him ... but here's a PSA:  WEAR YOUR SUNSCREEN.  I definitely learned my lesson.  It was an overcast day, so I didn't cover up, and yes, I GOT FRIED!!
Swim-Up Bar at Margaritaville

The stingray excursion is always fun.  This one is especially good because you get to walk in from the beach, whereas most stingray excursions (like the best one in Grand Cayman's Stingray City) has you land in the middle of the ocean on a sandbar (which is only waist-deep, too).  So this one was kinda cool that you can walk in and out of water when you want.  Since we have a little stingray (a 10" female, Cortez stingray named Christmas) as a pet, it was especially fun to be able to play with the really huge ones and feel their suction power, stronger than a vacuum to pull the squid out from your hands (make sure to hide your thumb!)

Location of John Glenn's landing on return from the moon!!
Before our excursion, we took a tour of the whole (small) island, which was only $16 round-trip per person.  At the north tip, there is a lighthouse we got to visit and read about a little history.  We also learned that Grand Turk was the island where John Glenn wound up landing on his way back from his journey to the moon.   I was glad to have learned this.  I don't remember reading about that in a history book.  It's nice to learn history from where it happens, not just from a book.

All in all, this was a perfect, very happy birthday, especially after having an awesome special dinner with roses delivered to our table!
Happy Travels!
Leisure Travel Consultants,
Andrea & John Walen


Frank Marino's Divas - Imperial Palace Hotel, Las Vegas, NV

RATING: $$+++++
Frank Marino's Divas
Imperial Palace Hotel
Las Vegas, NV

Frank Marino's "Divas" show is AWESOME!  John and I lived in Las Vegas for about 5 1/2 years, and when we lived there, we saw this show about 20 times, and it's just as good as ever.   We have a 100% record of recommending this show to people and them LOVING it.  We brought 4 other people with us tonight, and they all LOVED it!

We were very disappointed with the major price hike, though.  This show used to be about $30ish per ticket.  We got excited that the tickets were available at the 2-for-1 tickets place, and even at 1/2 off, they were still $42.50 each.  That's a bit crazy.

Don't get me wrong, the show is definitely worth it.  You find yourself staring at the "women" in pure fascination that they're NOT, in fact, women.  Sad to say, but you wind up staring and thinking, "Where the heck do they put it?"  This exact show has been running now for 25 years!  It's a must see when you're in Las Vegas.  Enjoy!

To name a few impersonators (all awesome) who all lip sync, you'll see Joan Rivers, Liza Minnelli, Cher, "Beyonce," Dolly Parton, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Tina Turner, Bette Midler, Diana Ross, and at times, Michael Jackson (wasn't here tonight).

Happy Travels!
Leisure Travel Consultants,
Andrea & John Walen



RATING: $+++++

Buffalo Wild Wings, Denton, TX

Time for some football!  If you've never played QB1, you should try it.  It's one of those little blue boxes you get at some restaurants and bars that you can play trivia on.  In QB1, you need to predict every single play -- in detail -- before the snap of the ball.  People are playing around the country, and you get to keep score and rank your play by your personal score within the restaurant and your location's score compared to the rest of the country.  John has been playing QB1 for 24 years and has been National Champion 3 times.  He ranks in the top 10 of the country out of tens of thousands of players!!   QB1 used to be way more intense when we were playing for huge prizes like trips to Hawaii (which he won twice), and trips to the ProBowl in Hawaii (we went a few years ago when he won)!  He also won 2 trips to Las Vegas to compete for $10K and a National Title.  Even without the "big" prizes, we still have a lot of fun playing.  If you're in North Las Vegas during a football game, inbox us, join us, and we'll teach you how to play!

Buffalo Wild Wings in Denton is a neat place to watch sports, as there are big and little TV screens all around the entire restaurant.  In Denton, there is no smoking there, so that's one less thing to worry about.  We were disappointed with their food today.  We had grilled chicken salads, but the salad tasted like it came out of one of those bags you buy at the supermarket; the cheese was right out of a bag, too; and they served the salad dressing out of little pouches you get a fast-food joints.   It was not a very "restaurant-like" experience.  It was also freezing cold.  We had to wear our coats the entire time, as their corporate location controls the heat and A/C, not the location itself.  Not good.  The waiter, Asa, was a really cool guy and went out of his way to help us all afternoon.

Right from the game -- woo-hoo, the Bears won -- we went straight to a movie.  We saw "Dilemma," and it definitely was a dilemma.  We enjoyed it.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday night!!  Until next time ...

Happy Travels!
Leisure Travel Consultants,
Andrea & John Walen



RATING:  $ varies +++++
Aquatic Design Aquariums, 1629 N. Central Expy, Plano, TX
We were so pleasantly surprised today!  We went to go check out getting a custom-made fish tank and found a great fish store!  This place has a huge selection of saltwater fish at great prices.   Everyone there was so friendly.  One guy there, Trey, was awesome.  He was so knowledgeable!!!
Here's what our newest pet looks like, a Scissortail Dartfish Goby.  We can't wait to go back! 
Leisure Travel Consultants,
Andrea & John Walen




Grand Oaks Hotel
Hamner Barber Variety Show
Titanic Museum
Trail of Lights
Yakov Smirnoff's Moscow Circus Dinner Show
Legends in Concert
Mel's Hard Luck Diner
Branson Craft Mall

WOW!  What a surprising experience.  This was definitely a sleeper to us!  My DreamTrips vacation club offered a weekend getaway for 4 days, 3 nights, plus 3 shows, for only $139pp, so we decided to research, "What the heck is Branson?"  AND WE LOVED IT!!!  This will definitely be a repeated weekend getaway!

We stayed at the Grand Oaks Hotel, which is right in the heart of the strip of places to go.  On Rovia, for only $64 per night, we were able to get a beautiful, big room with a king-sized bed with a JACUZZI IN OUR ROOM!  Everyone was very so friendly there.   They have a really nice indoor pool with two hot tubs.  Every day, you can also get a FREE HOT BREAKFAST.  We would definitely stay here again.

It seems like shows are the "thing" to do in Branson.  So, when in Rome ... We saw one show each day we were there.  The Hamner Barber Variety Show was very enjoyable.  They do magic and illusions and comedy.  Of course, my favorite part was when they brought out their parrots ;-)

Yakov Smirnoff's Moscow Circus Dinner Show was FANTASTIC!!  This is where we celebrated New Year's Eve.  They brought out surprise after surprise after surprise.  It reminded us a little of Blue Man Group because some things are so "off the wall."  Everything they did was very unique and lots of neon glowing going on.  It's a fun night for all ages!  Because it was Christmas, Yakov himself wasn't there, but it was cleverly videoed in to seem like he was right there in the show.  Good stuff!  PHENOMENAL FOOD!

Legends in Concert is always a lot of fun.  Each time we go, we see mostly different performers.  This is always a great show.  This weekend, we saw their last show for the season.  It seems Branson pretty much SHUTS DOWN at the end of the year through about March.  We saw six impersonators who were all great:  The Temptations, Patsy Cline, The Blues Brothers, George Strait, Michael Jackson, and of course Elvis was in the house!  They sell photos when you go in, which we thought was a little pricey for a show.  They were $20 apiece.  But the food compensated for the prices.  We got a sandwich, soda, and potato salad for just TWO dollars.  I got to kiss Elvis himself!

We really enjoyed the Titanic Museum.  We have been to many "traveling" Titanic exhibits before, but NONE like this.  This is a permanent, two-story, authentic museum.  They tried to make it as realistic as possible -- with the outside looking like the ship, and parts of the inside looking like the ship.  You walk through and see lots and lots of artifacts.  You even get a passport when you walk in from someone who was really on the ship.  You find out at the end whether you survived or not.  The thing you MUST do is try out their 28-degree water exhibit, where you put in your finger or a hand and see how long you could last.  We could only "take" about 10 seconds.  WOW, is that cold!  We submerged our hand, and within just TEN seconds of wiggling, we couldn't move!  I don't know how ANYONE survived in that!

Mel's Hard Luck Diner was a great mistake we stumbled upon.  Because it was late, we couldn't find any "good" place to eat -- or so we thought -- so we "settled" on this little diner -- not knowing it was AWESOME!  They have singing wait-staff -- and great singers -- some were on American Idol at one time.  The food was the best diner food ever!  Crunchy, fresh, perfect, great prices.  We will definitely be going back there.  There so much to read on the walls, you need a second visit.

Because we were in Branson for New Year's Eve weekend, the Christmas display "Trail of Lights" was still up.  We would recommend that.  It was your typical drive-though exhibit, but VERY well done.  It gets better as you drive through it, and it was only $10.  The synchronized lighting was perfect!

Before heading home, we got to go the Branson Craft Mall.  It was a neat place to go with all hand-made craft items in there.  Again, because it was the last day of the season, the place was not hopping.  Typically, they will have artisans there doing their thing, but only one crafter was there -- someone carving wood, which was pretty cool.  But we did get an amazing price for 100% Egyptian Sheets, 1500 thread count, for only $40 bucks, so that was worth the trip.

So we will definitely be "doing" Branson again!  Great weekend getaway, lots to do and see!

Happy Travels!

Leisure Travel Consultants,
Andrea & John Walen




Embassy Suites San Antonio Airport
SeaWorld San Antonio
San Antonio Riverwalk

San Antonio, if you live within 7 hours, is a great weekend getaway.  We stayed at the Embassy Suites near the Airport.  This hotel is a fantastic "economy" hotel.  They have a great indoor pool and Jacuzzi with decent hours.  The hotel rooms are huge -- you get TWO bedrooms.  One with a king-sized bed and TV, and one living room area with a pull-out sofa and TV.  Every day, you even get to enjoy a hot buffet breakfast -- FOR FREE.  Every evening, you get to enjoy a cocktail reception with FREE DRINKS AND SNACKS!  We love Embassy Suites, especially when you're on a budget!  We booked on Rovia and saved about $14 per night.

We went during Christmas weekend, so everything was decorated beautifully.  For Christmas eve, we spent the day at SeaWorld San Antonio.  SeaWorld is a great place for all ages.  We have Platinum Passes there.  It's a great investment if you plan on going two or more times per year.  There's LOTS of walking involved, but wheelchairs (standard and electric) are available, if necessary.   You get to act like a child all day, our favorite thing to do.  See stingrays, sea lions, sharks, sea otters, killer whales, dolphins, fish, penguins, puffins, and so much more!  We highly recommend seeing every show; they're AWESOME!  Do NOT miss the "Clyde & Seamore Show" or any of the "Shamu" shows.   If you're going to have more than one drink, buy one of the plastic refill cups, and then your refills are only 99 cents each -- with an additional 20% off, if you're a Platinum Pass member!  The great thing is that you can bring that same cup back to the park year after year -- so lots of savings there!  Although, it's pricey, we love to do "Dine with Shamu," but it was closed for the winter :-(

The San Antonio Riverwalk is a must when you're in San Antonio.  It's so much fun just to walk around the river and check out the restaurants.  We took the Riverwalk Cruise -- another must!  It is open 365 days a year, and it's only $8.25 or less per person!  You will enjoy a great 30- to 45-minute tour around the Riverwalk.  You may want to do that before going anywhere so you can check out exactly where you want to go.

We can't wait to go to all these places again!

Happy Travels!

Leisure Travel Consultants,
Andrea & John Walen