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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Can It REALLY be 30 Years?!

Its been a whirlwind week. Yesterday, I warned a number of folks that our summer temps were going to vanish and sure enough the weather man was correct. Its a bit nippy out this evening and it sure feels and looks like Fall. I am writing this blog post between directing cars at our Walters Theatre and wish I had a pair of winter gloves to wear….

I was just a “little” stressed today. Between shows at the Walters Theatre I headed to Waterloo, ON in order to pick up a copy of the NEW Bradley Walters Journeys Travel brochure but much to my surprise they were stuck on a truck that was battling highway 401 Toronto traffic….

This gave Mom and I an excuse to enjoy an amazing lunch at the Belmont Restaurant while we waited. It was my first time dining here and I’ll be back SOON!   Thanks to Peter for recommending it.  I’ll attach some pictures of our scrumptious meals.

It wasn’t a leisurely lunch as we needed to rush back to the theatre.  When we finished our meal I had my fingers crossed that the brochures had finally made their way to Waterloo and my wish was granted. They look GREAT!  Hopefully those of you that are attending my travel show on Sunday at the Sanderson Theatre in Brantford, ON will be as impressed as I am with them.  Sonya, you did a terrific job with the graphics.

A team of hard working folks are now busy putting the new brochures in really nice cotton giveaway bags that ticket holders will receive at Sundays travel show.

Tomorrow I look forward to welcoming one of the show guest speakers who is flying in from London, England. Its Keith’s birthday so I’m treating him to dinner and the , “Oh What A Night” performance at the Walters Theatre.  I’m not going to tell him in advance that two of the cast members are from London, England!  He’ll be surprised for sure.

Barb, one of our theatre volunteers showed up tonight with Walters Family newspaper clippings from years ago – I’ll attach them to this post – admire those hairstyles.

On Sunday I’ll arrive at the Sanderson Theatre early for sound check.  My brother Darren is handling the production.  We’ve performed at the Sanderson many times but this is a “solo gig” for me!

Many folks attending Sunday’s sold-out show will be traveling for many hours. I so appreciate everyone that is making the journey. There is even a coach load coming from Owen Sound and Hanover, Ontario.

I am looking forward to a terrific day!  If your tickets did not arrive please register at the Platinum Desk in the Main Lobby of the Sanderson Centre and you will be looked after.  The show start time is 2pm.

30 years ago I started planning group journeys – time flies WAY too quickly. This week many congrats notes and gifts arrived from travel suppliers from all over the World.  Can’t wait to open the mystery box that arrived yesterday!

Travel is my passion – I am just so honored that you enjoy travelling with me.  Thanks, and I share this 30th anniversary with all of you!  I admit I am very humbled.  See you on Sunday!

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What a Summer!

When the lights are turned off at the Canadian National Exhibition its a sure sign that summer is over…. I think we can all agree that this summer has been an EPIC one!  The weather was hot with plenty of sunshine.

I recall my, “back to school jitters” and I am sure many students are experiencing the same feeling today.  The school buses were rolling along as I headed to the theatre early this morning.

We welcome, “The Florida Boys” to the Walters Theatre.  Their performances continue until Saturday night.  Its a sold-out week of shows.   This male vocal quartet of Southern Gospel Music was founded in 1947 and was originally named the Gospel Melody Quartet.  The Florida Boys appeared on the first quartet concert to be held at the prestigious Carnegie Hall in Nork City.  Twenty-Three year old Joshua Pope is the youngest member of this group.  He has been inducted into the Piano Roll of Honor.  Lead Vocalist, Charlie Waller has been inducted into the Gospel Hall of Fame and is one of the more colourful people in Southern Gospel Music.  FB Web pic 2015.jpg

Returning on September 19, back by popular demand, is a musical tribute to Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons, “Oh What A Night”.  This show is direct from Las Vegas and continues until October 1st.    There are a “handful” of seats currently available for 2 matinees and one evening performance but they won’t last long.  This show consistently sells out at our theatre with a large fan base of returning ticket holders.

I’m pleased to hear that the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto drew records crowds.  I was at the fair on Sunday with my nephew and brother-in-law especially to see the excellent airshow.   I was most impressed with the Breitling Jet Team from France and US Navy F/A 18 Super Hornet.  What a thrill to watch those planes fly.  When I was growing up we all looked forward to attending the CNE – it was a yearly family outing.  Soon afterwards we started performing at that fair and did so for many years.  I’d hate to see it disappear like many community fairs have.  Atending that fair brings back many wonderful memories.  One thing that has changed are the prices – $35.00 parking, $18.00 admission and the free samples in the Food Building have vanished.  We made a detour on our way home so we could enjoy some Pinkberry Ice Cream – what a treat!  We certainly enjoyed a wonderful day!

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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!