travel, music, food

We all have passions. Mine are travel, music and food. I have traveled much of the World and invite you to join me on a upcoming Bradley Walters Journey. Follow my blog as I take you on my journeys around the World!

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Green Green Grass of Home

The “Bradley Walters Journeys Iceland Group” arrives back in Toronto on Sunday at 2pm and they will be surprised to see that their lawns at home are once again green .   Many  left brown grass due to our dry, hot summer.   We’ve sure had our share of heavy rains lately but its way too late in the season to save many of the farmers crops.  The clouds once again opened up this evening.  I was directing cars for tonight’s, Michael Twitty show at the Walters Theatre and got soaked even though I was wearing a heavy raincoat and rain pants.

When the Iceland Group sailed close to the Arctic Circle they hit some rougher waters.

They were mesmerized by the unique landscapes of Iceland – glaciers, lava fields, thundering waterfalls.  Iceland is near the top of the globe where the air is crisp and clean.  It’s population often triples with tourism but the locals don’t mind and are very friendly.  As you can imagine everything is extremely expensive in Iceland – it’s and isolated country – most products needs to be shipped in.

Many of our group were surrounded by nature when they took a relaxing dip in Iceland’s famous, geothermal spa,  Blue Lagoon.  The spa is located in a lava field in Grindavik on the Reykjanes Peninsula.

Most were very impressed by the undisputed gem of northeast Iceland, Myvatn Lake.  The area is starkly beautiful – spluttering mud pots, lava formations, steaming fumaroles and volcanic craters.  This is the Iceland one imagines – and it’s totally  different than anywhere else in the country.

The group has started their journey South and is currently visiting Norway – today many were on the scenic, “Path of the Trolls”.

CTV personality, Lloyd Robertson is a passenger on board the Koningsdam and many in our group have enjoyed spending time chatting with him.

Bradley Walters Journeys passengers make new friendships during their journeys with us.  I mentioned in a recent blog post if any of you get together, send me some pictures and I will publish them.  You might recognize these Bradley Walters Journeys passengers who enjoyed  Gord’s fish fry – that perch looks mighty fine!  Thank for sending me the pictures – hope you saved some of that fish for me.

 

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Oh, What A Beautiful Morning….

imageimageimageimageimageWhat a beautiful day – no humidity – a comfortable temperature – we better enjoy it because humid air arrives again tomorrow. Moms flower gardens are finally in full bloom but the Toronto CNE has started so we all know that summer is quickly coming to a close.

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Yesterday morning my brother Darren and I were up and at it very early because we both drove the Neil Diamond Tribute band to Toronto Pearson for their flight back to Los Angeles.  This band thrilled our audiences  with their amazing show.  It was truly a pleasure having them here.  They so enjoyed learning everything they could about Canada and they all love their music so much – fabulous musicians.  I’m quite sure my brother, Darren will be asking them back possibly for 2018.

It’s busy at the Walters Theatre with a sold-out week of 10 performances starting today. Country singer, Michael Twitty, (Conway’s son) is our guest entertainer. Last night was the band sound-check. Michael is singing as great as his Dad did. Michael’s wife made the journey to Canada with him. I look forward to meeting her.

Mom took me to see Conway Twitty in Concert at Hamilton Place when I was around 10 years old. My siblings were still too young to attend so I cherished those special concert evenings. I was so excited that I had no trouble staying awake even though the concerts finished way past my bed time. Back then there were always a number of artists on the bill.- do you remember country singer, Dickie Lee – I recall he was one of the entertainers that opened Conway’s show.

The Walters first saw Michael Twitty in Concert at Twitty City in Henderson, TN which is close to Nashville. What a wonderful tourist site that was. Conway’s mansion was on display along with the beautiful homes he built his 4 children, one was Michael’s. They lavishly decorated the property at Christmas so Nashville tourists and Twitty fans flocked there. After Conway passed, there was a family battle and sadly the courts ordered everything to be sold. Twitty City was purchased by a religious organization – they welcome visitors and show a film highlighting their beliefs.  They then allow guests a bit of time to take pictures of Conway’s mansion.

We look forward to welcoming Twitty fans to our theatre.  The cars are pulling in for today’s matinee as I draft this blog post.

A group of Bradley Walters Journeys Switzerland passengers gathered yesterday to get reacquainted and share wonderful stories about their time in beautiful Switzerland.

It’s not unusual for Bradley Walters Journeys passengers to meet up with new friends they’ve made during our tours so after your gatherings l’d be happy to post pictures of your event on Facebook or my blog – just email me your pictures.

Of course the biggest reunion is around the corner, a homecoming event, The Bradley Walters Journeys Travel Show, September 25 at 2pm – Sanderson Centre Theatre, Brantford – have you RSVP’d for your tickets?

I haven’t heard anything new from the Iceland Group. It’s often challenging getting WIFI service in that part of the World while on a cruise ship. I’ll update you when I hear some news from them.

Enjoy this splendid weather day!

The Journey Continues to Iceland

Here is the latest update from the “Bradley Walters Journeys Iceland Group”.  WIFI on board ship has been a challenge like on all cruise ships so I’ve just been receiving short spiratic messages from our group host, Ann.

The weather remains ideal and the seas have been very calm.  The Edinburgh Military Tattoo was outstanding – this years theme is in honor of the Queen’s 90th birthday.  They  enjoyed prime seats for this show which attracts 220, 000 people with 30% of those being world-wide ticket holders.  Our passengers won’t soon forget the unforgettable sight and sound of the Massed Pipes and Drums performing against the brooding backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.  This years spectacular production featured the New Zealand Army Band, the Lochiel Marching Drill Team, The King’s Guard from Norway, the Imps Motorcycle Display Team and the Royal Jordanian Armed Forces Band and Drill Team.

The cruise ship also docked in Inverness, Scotland which overflows in the summer with visitors in search of the monster, “Lock Ness”.  The beautiful River Ness runs through the heart of the city.  Inverness is one of Scotland’s seven cities and sit in the south of the Highlands.  It’s crowned by a castle and the community is lavishly decorated with flowers.

Our group was invited to a, “Bradley Walters Journey’s Cocktail Party” on board the Holland America Koningsdam and everyone had a great time.  Since Diane, one of our passengers was celebrating her birthday our  Cocktail Party turned into a birthday party especially for her.  Happy Birthday Diane.

As a Bradley Walters Journeys Surprise, we have provided all of our passengers with a special dinner in the Koningsdam, Pinnacle Grill Restaurant.  This is the ultimate date night spot.  This restaurant is known for serving juicy steaks and fresh seafood.  This lavish restaurant has been wowing our passengers.

When I hear more news from the group I’ll let you know.

 

 

 

 

 

The Dales of Northern England

20160816_124604.jpgFrom all reports the,  Bradley Walters Journeys Iceland Bound group are having a stellar time.

Today they enjoyed a beautiful weather day  in Northern England.

Some of our group traveled into the countryside, with a stop at the tranquil market town of, “Stanhope” – in the heart of the Durham Dales.

They bragged about their delicious, traditional English, “Fish n Chip take-out” lunch.  The first combined battered fish n chip shops opened back in the 1800’s.  Back then this was a popular meal for the working class and is still of one Britain’s favourite meals.  There are currently around 11,000 fish n chip shops in the UK but in the 1930’s there were around 35,000!

After lunch they toured through green valleys, wild moorland, lovely villages and were surrounded by …. thousands of sheep.

This picturesque area is a hidden gem, filled with magic.

Tomorrow the Holland America, Koningsdam docks in Edinburgh, Scotland.  The weatherman is predicting sunny weather – “perfect” conditions for those that are attending the famous, Edinburgh Military Tattoo tomorrow evening.

 

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ICELAND Bound!

The Bradley Walters Journeys Iceland passengers  were VERY excited when they gathered last night at Toronto Pearson. Their AC824 flight was late departing – I kept track of the flight by using a great iPad App called, “Plane Finder”. If you love airplanes as much as I do I highly recommend that you purchase this app. I was able to follow the Toronto to Amsterdam flight once it was in the air. It was great fun knowing that I knew many of the passengers.

Ann, their host said it felt like it took forever for the luggage to come off the Carousel after they landed at the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Their informative city tour and Bradley Walters Journey’s Surprise, “Canal Boat Ride” was enjoyed by all. Our included Welcome to Holland lunch and dinner was delicious and they are now all enjoying the comfortable accommodations at the 4 star Movenpick Hotel which is conveniently located at the cruise port.

I received an email from one of our passengers, Mary Margaret Braun from Innerkip who is also one of our wonderful volunteers at the Walters Theatre. She stated that her day in Amsterdam was an “exhilarating” experience. She wonders why we don’t use Windmill Power in Southern Ontario like they do in Holland.

Tomorrow everyone will enjoy a bountiful breakfast in the Movenpick Restaurant and afterwards at 10:45am they are going to meet Ann in the hotel lobby and they will walk across to the Cruise Terminal. It will take a while for our passengers to get adjusted to the new time zone so I expect many of them will wake up extra early tomorrow and might catch the Koningsdam sailing into port. If they are lucky they will see the ship from their hotel room window.

The Koningsdam is Holland America’s new flagship vessel. It’s received wonderful accolades from the critics and passengers are praising it. The group will sailing onboard her for 2 weeks – main destination ICELAND – one of the “hottest” destinations in the World – it’s also currently rated as the safest country in the World.

I wish them a fantastic journey – I am so excited for them and I admit a little jealous that I am not with them.  I know once they sail communication will be a little difficult but I will report any news that I hear via my blog and/or Facebook.

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I’m currently helping to direct traffic for tonight’s dinner theatre Neil Diamond performance. It’s a sold out show again – the rain is coming down and the thunder is booming so everyone is vying for a prime parking spot – as close as they can get to the theatre entrance.

This show from California has been thrilling our audiences. We have had some loyal Neil Diamond fans attend and many are saying that this impersonator is better than the real thing. He sounds and looks just like Neil. His band is superb – excellent musicians and they are all very personable. I’ve been helping with chauffeuring them around so I’m getting to know them quite well. It’s interesting hearing  what peaks their interest here in Southern Ontario – the crops, the sky, the weather, Canadian music and Tim Hortons! I think there still might be a “handful” of seats available for next weekend’s evening shows but other than that we are sold out.  It’s a fantastic show – highly recommend it!

Enjoy your weekend – it’s getting very busy here so I better get to work! The rain has stopped – at least for now –  it started again – the forecast says the humidity is going to vanish but it’s still very steamy – thank goodness for Air Conditioning – what an unusual HOT summer! Amsterdam temp was in the low 70’sF today – I could handle that about now!

One Of The Best Trips in 2016!

One of The Best Trips in 2016!  Which Canadian City Won The Honor?
The National Geographic Travelers Magazine has rated WINNIPEG as one of the 20 BEST trips in 2016!  This multicultural city was put on the international map when the Museum for Human Rights opened.
Winnipeg is also famous for Folklorama – the largest and longest running multicultural festival in the World.  This year the event is celebrating its 47th Anniversary and will
attract over 400,000 ticket holders.
Yesterday at our family theatre so many patrons were coming up to me asking “Where did the Mystery Tour Go”  or  “How Is Everyone Enjoying Winnipeg”.
Ann is hosting this journey and been giving me constant updates.
The group are staying at the beautiful Delta hotel.  The rooms are large and were recently updated so its just like a new property.  Everyone is commenting how much they like the heated floors in the bathrooms. This hotel features both an indoor and outdoor
pool.  Its located downtown convenient to Portage Avenue and walkable to the popular touristy “Forks” area.
Our group will attend 3 different multi-cultural villages every night of their stay.  They are on a VIP program so they have reserved excellent seats and don’t have
to wait in lines to enter.  A tour representative from Folklorama travels with them from pavilion to pavilion which are located all over the city.
Last night they were at one of the busiest villages – the Ukrainian where the crowds are massive and the show is excellent.  They really enjoyed the Russian Pavilion the night before where some of the entertainers were from Cirque du Soleil.
Folklorama is very much a community event which takes months of planning.
I think everyone is surprised what a wonderful city, Winnipeg is.  It might not be first on our radar of places to visit in Canada but its the Capital of Manitoba and has a great deal to offer.  The heart being the Forks, a very scenic historic site where warehouses have been
converted to shops and restaurants.  Here you can Taste, Explore, Meet, Shop and Play.
The 30 block Exchange district is well worth a short visit.  The perfect destination for a “Canadian Cracker Barrel Mystery Journey”.
This is the time of year to visit Winnipeg.  I’ve attended events here during the winer and the temperatures can often be frigid.
Winnipeg is one amazing Canadian city!
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Mr. LARRY GATLIN is in town!

I never thought that I would ever visit the Larry Gatlin web page (gatlinbrothers.com), click the tour page and see BRIGHT ON, CANADA – WALTERS DINNER THEATRE.
Yes, I have always been in awe of Larry Gatlin.   As teenagers my brother, sister and I couldn’t wait to see him in concert at the Amphitheatre, Ontario Place, Toronto.  We would
stand in line for HOURS in order to nab the best seats when they opened the gates.
Tickets for his 4 performances at our theatre sold out almost as quickly as they went on sale.  Seeing Larry perform in an intimate setting such as our theatre is a very unique
opportunity.  Its almost like having him perform in your living room.  He’ll leave our theatre and head back to Nashville for his performance next week at the Grand Ole Opry
in Nashville which holds 4400.  Our comfy theatre holds 160.
Fans of Larry Gatlin from all across North America have been calling continually to try to get tickets for his sold-out shows.  We’ve had to turn away so many disappointed people.
Larry was born in Seminole in Gaines County, Texas next to the New Mexico Border.  With Country Singer, Dottie West’s help Gatlin found work in in Nashville as a back up singer for Kris Kristofferson. The rest is history.  The Gatlin’s biggest years were throughout the 80’s when they recorded their biggest hits – Broken Lady, Houston and my favourite – All the Gold In California.
More recently Larry performed on Broadway in The Will Rogers Follies.  In 1994 he opened a 2000 seat theatre in Myrtle Beach.  I took groups to see him perform there.  Last year a large group of mine saw Larry perform in Branson, MO – it was the best show of the tour.
I tossed and turned last night – so excited – Larry Gatlin is in town – performing at the Walters Dinner Theatre!
I thought of my Dad, he would never of imagined that Larry
would be performing on the stage that we all worked so hard for.  I’m sure he will
be looking down on us smiling all day, humming along to Larrys songs.
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