Tag Archives: Dreamworks

Thankful For – Loyal Clients, Poisonous Snakes, Bawdy Ladies of the Yukon, & Psychedelic Trees

vintage thanksgiving (11)
Hello everyone!
I’m so thankful for you, my loyal clients!

I’m also so thankful for travel!
Sit back with a cup of tea, beer, or wine and enjoy as you travel with me to strange and beautiful lands…

Take a little photo journey with me as I reflect on the places I’m grateful to have experienced this year. Click on the hyperlinks in the captions to get more information about why I chose the pictures and places I did. Nothing is random here, all have a back story and I have many more if you’re interested!
I’ve had some amazing experiences and I am THANKFUL!
Costa Rica, two weeks in Hawaii and two weeks in Alaska…
Next year, Ireland and then a river cruise through Europe.

All of these places will make you happy, trust me. How can I help?
Please let me know!

Gail Hummel
Burkhalter Travel

Royal Lahaina Luau
Me at the Royal Lahaina Myths of Maui Luau! The food and entertainment were wonderful! This is my home away from home. Get an ocean front room there during whale watching season and bring your binoculars. You’ll see many whales because they winter in the channel off the islands there.

Cabin in Fairbanks
That was one big polar bear! Outside of Anchorage, the Chena Indian Village had walking paths, living history cabins, reindeer, sled dogs, and presentations. The guides working with the Riverboat Discovery told a good story, but it was very much a tourist destination.

Skookum Jim’s cabin in Carcross, Yukon Territory. I would love to return! Skookum Jim and three others originally discovered gold on Bonanza Creek, thus creating the Gold Rush. The back story is very interesting!

Desserts Costa Rica
Fancy desserts in at Cafe Y Macadamia, Costa Rica. No, I didn’t eat either one of those, but I did buy some bee pollen there. To get from the Arenal area to Gunacaste, it is an hours long bus ride over roads not quite ready for prime time. Main roads are good, mountain roads not so much.

The psychedelic trees along the Road to Hana, more commonly known as Rainbow Eucalyptus.My headband matches. I bought it for the hike through the Bamboo Forest on the Pipiwa Trail. Have you been? This is in a different part of Haleakala National Park than people normally visit. If hiking is your thing, there is nowhere in the world like this Bamboo Forest.

Dinner at The Plantation
Dining at The Plantation House which overlooks the award winning Kapalua Golf Course. The food was incredible and so was the view. I also liked the Golf Shop and was disappointed it was closing as we arrived. Jordan Speith hangs out here. I’m impressed because he is awesome! If you like to golf and want the best Maui offers, let me send you here!

Building in Dawson City Yukon
A dusty street scene in Dawson, which is an incubator of history, talent, miners, and bawdy entertainment! Where else can you do a toe shot? No, didn’t do that either. Nope. I did find Dawson City to be one of the most interesting places I’ve ever been. Everyone is a character. I won’t tell you what that means. You have to let me send you and  find out for yourself.

Old Lahaina Luau guys getting the pig started
This is where the guys put the pig in traditional Imu at the Old Lahaina Luau. This is the most authentic luau on the island of Maui and also the hardest to get into. Make your reservations early! This is not just a luau, it is an award winning event and worth making the time for.

Dirty Gertie's in Dawson City
The ladies at Diamond Tooth Gertie’s are saucy and known to drag husbands up on the stage and make them cross dress. Once you’ve lost your dignity, head over to the nearest table and lose your poke. Miners still pay their tab with gold dust here.

Pods at Tabacon
If you stay at the Tabacon, you get to enter paradise, also known as the Shangri-La Gardens, this area is exclusive to resort guests. You will bask in the thermal pools, gazing up at Arenal. This place is a paradise that defies description. You need to go and I need to go back.

Kalaupapa Father Damien Settlment on Molokai
This view is overlooking Kalaupapa, the site of Father Damien’s colony that helped those ostracized by Hanson’s Disease (leprosy). To get there, it’s a mule ride down a steep hill. No, I didn’t do that either. I’m not fond of mule rides.But the view was incredible!

Here I had a tour with Jacamar Naturalist Tours at the Hanging Bridges area near Arenal,Costa Rica, I got in trouble for not wearing closed toe shoes that were specified in our travel documents. We saw two poisonous snakes, a poisonous frog, and Howler Monkeys trying to kidnap a baby Spider Monkey. This place was literally a jungle.

Boarding the plane on Molokai
This plane ride offered the opportunity to have your weight yelled out by the pilot that was flying the plane as you were waiting to board. Some chunky people got their own seat to balance the weight on the plane. Oh joy. On the upside, the flights between Molokai and Maui typically run at about $60 per person, one way and run twice a day.

Farmer's market on Molokai
The Farmer’s Market in Molokai is a very interesting place! It’s obvious you are not a local because everyone knows everyone. They are happy to have customers, with only 7,345 residents. I love that little island of heaven. I’d like to send you there, too!

Mark Ellman and I at Honu on Maui
Here I am trying to get some fame to rub off on me by hugging famous chef, Mark Ellman. I can’t even think about his crab sandwich right now because my mouth waters and I get a little mad that Honu is so far away. If you are ever on Maui and you don’t make it to one of his restaurants, you should probably have just stayed home. He runs the restaurants with the help of his wife and daughters- they are very busy and the food is very, very good. Mala Ocean Tavern, Frida’s Mexican Beach House. Honu Seafood and Pizza. All of these places deserve your attention and money. This guy is a phenomena for a reason.

Jilkaat Kwaan Heritage Center Alaska in Haines Alaska
Tribal dancers share their deep heritage at the Jilkaat Kwaan Cultural Heritage Center. I visited as an excursion from a Holland America Cruise when overnighting in the port of Skagway. This was an experience full of cultural treasures and guided by a native Alaskan that had some good bear stories.

Yukon gold rush paper
Tucked into the hillside in Dawson City is what is fondly referred to as Author’s Row. It consists of Robert Service Carrier’s Cabin and a little jaunt away, Jack London’s Cabin. These literary giants had tales to tell and stories told about them. I highly recommend reading some of their works before making the trip here.

Lahaina snorkeling trip with Trilogy excursions.
There’s nothing like snorkeling off an unspoiled beach off Lanai and then having a tour by local Aunties to show you all about the tiny island of Lanai. I long to return here. A special end to our excursion by Sail Trilogy Tours was locating a large passel of spinner dolphins that led us back to the harbor in Lahaina. I’ll never forget that day! Another special moment was when they unfurled the sails and cut the engines and we were sailing, take me away….
Klondike Dredge sign at Bonanza Creek Dawson City Yukon
To really understand the Gold Rush, take a tour of Gold Dredge Number Four. Our driver knew the old and new history of the mining operations that are still evident in the Dawson City area. We were taken right down to the bend in Bonanza Creek where the Gold Rush started. I was impressed, but then my grandpa’s brother was part of this Gold Rush, so I enjoyed imagining him with his stake, heading into the area and well, he actually struck it rich and went to Pomona, CA and bought land right downtown. That carried him the rest of his life.

Moody atmosphere as we arrive into Juneau     Me being welcomed to Juneau by a great wooden sign
Approaching Juneau, we were met with the eeriest of weather. Smoke trails enhanced the unusual atmosphere and it felt like we were entering a strange new land. Alaskans are not kidding when they refer to anyone from the lower 48 as outsiders. This is a different world, one I am grateful to have seen, and one I long to return to.

Banyan Tree Park - Lahaina

Banyon Tree Court Park in Lahaina on Maui is a favorite. I am a dendrophile (tree lover), so this is a spot that draws me. Local musicians and artists ply there trade here, tourists wander and wonder.. and the tree reigns. If you’ve never experienced a tree that can cover most of a city block, I can get you there. You’ll never forget it.

In all of my travels, the feeling I carry most is fresh of breath air gratitude to be able to experience the newness of a place I’ve never been, or dive deeper into everything a place I am returning to has to offer. I am thankful. I am grateful. I am hopeful that as 2018 approaches, you and I will be busy crafting new adventures that reinforce a deeper appreciation of all the world has to offer.

I am thankful for you because as we work together, you widen my world as we mark the path. I hope the memories made are ones you carry with you!

Warm regards,
Gail Hummel


If You Like A Boring Cruise- Avoid This Ship

Imagine a Coney Island feel at dusk with Olympic divers arcing through the sky to surreal music. How about a carousel ride next a seafood shack and Johnny Rockets flanking it? Welcome to the Boardwalk neighborhood of Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas!

Flow rider, zip lining, rock climbing, basketball, carousel ride- take your pick or do them all!!!
Flow rider, zip lining, rock climbing, basketball, carousel ride- take your pick or do them all!!!

One of seven onboard neighborhoods, this spot also features a candy store, cocktail area, donut shop and specialty photo store. The atmosphere truly Coney Island and once you’re ready to switch it up and relax, head out to a lush garden environment where relaxing music and sounds of nature take you to a different level of consciousness.

Set in between ‘high rise’ balcony rooms is Central Park. The winding paths take you through lush foliage and the world’s only ‘green walls’ at sea. Grab a cup of coffee and a legendary roast beef sandwich at the Park Café and then ponder which of the park’s specialty dining you want to enjoy for dinner. This is the spot for a romantic stroll, fine wine and classical guitar music by dim lights in the evening.  Ambience is all no matter what time of day and as many

This area is very romantic when the sun goes down but peaceful for breakfast, too!
This area is very romantic when the sun goes down but peaceful for breakfast, too!

people that are drawn to this area, it never seems full. Secluded enclaves with benches abound as does the New York style fine dining choices- Chops, Giovanni’s, Vintages and 150 Central Park all offer incredible culinary choices from steaks to small plate tapas. I had the best garlic scallops there ever. To shake off the lull, head to The Promenade for some entertainment Dreamworks style!

The sounds of a crowd being worked into a froth hit you when you enter The Promenade. Kung Fu Panda, Shrek, Fiona, and Alex from Madagascar and other Dreamworks characters parade past you to a throbbing beat. Grab a seat by Starbucks and get your camera ready as the parade moves past you. Sit in awe of the dazzle and the beat but mostly at how engaged the appreciative crowd is! The authentic

For someone who doesn't always love a parade, I really enjoyed this!
For someone who doesn’t always love a parade, I really enjoyed this!

costuming is fabulous and logic may make you wonder where they keep all of this stuff. The cruise director is a master at grabbing, massaging and then spinning the crowd into layers of joy. The only bad thing about this neighborhood parade is that it ends. However, on your way to the next shiny thing, notice the cupcake store, pizza place, a sports bar and on and on. After all of this excitement, why not a massage?

Entering the Vitality Spa transports one to a Zen-like atmosphere of calm renewal. The amenities and services are of a quality that satisfies even the most high end clientele. Interestingly, the gym wraps around the spa area and the machines are wrapped in floor to ceiling windows that induce a hypnotic effect while working out. After the work-out, you can head on to the spa for a massage and a

Luxurious and healthful focus in the Zen like spa.
Luxurious and healthful focus in the Zen like spa.

wrap for some pure bliss. To replenish the electrolytes and sooth the system, a healthy snack and juice bar is positioned at the entrance. Walk down a set of stairs and you’re on the enclosed running and walking track. Finally rejuvenated, you want more calm with a great view grab the elevator to the top. It’s cocktail time!

The Solarium Lounge overlooking to forward deck, out onto the beautiful ocean, is a perfect place to have cocktails at sunset.  The fading sunlight is offset by smooth jazz and mood lighting which hugs the deck.  It’s interestingly quiet now, with many people preparing for dinner and only a handful not even knowing what they’re missing! Grab your cocktail and wander the deck. Even

Great place to get away from it all! The prow of the ship view when entering port is always a thrill for me and this is a great place to watch!
Great place to get away from it all! The prow of the ship view when entering port is always a thrill for me and this is a great place to view it!

though the sun goes down, the other end of the ship is alive with activity! People are playing basketball, kids are getting private lessons in the surf rider and the mini-golf course is packed. And there goes someone on the zip-line! Peek into the windows of the teens only area to find them in a world of their own and grateful for it! This is the Sports & Pool Deck neighborhood perched high on the other aft of the ship, under the steam stack.

Dinner at the three story Opus Dining Room time settles you and transports you. A multi-million dollar investment in culinary choices is evident when your waiter hands you the menu. Chilled banana rum soup, Maryland blue crab ravioli, mango raspberry pudding, steak, salmon, cheesecake, oh my! This is also where you can get character dining for breakfast with Shrek, Fiona and others! The choices are varied and gratifying and upon leaving, heading to bed is

Olympic divers rule here at the Aqua Theater!
Olympic divers rule here at the Aqua Theater!

not an option when the entertainment neighborhood beckons outside the door. What will it be? A comedy club, ice show, smooth jazz, disco, or maybe a Broadway show (now featuring CATS!)? All of these choices are open to you. Live through it, soak in everything for the day will come to an end soon. Tomorrow you’ll be docking at a tropical island that has its own neighborhoods to beckon you. Honestly, if you thought the Oasis would be limiting or impede your choices, you were wrong. If you’re bored on this ship whether you hit the ports or not, you sadly may just be a boring person.

To avoid being boring, call me at Camelot World Travel and I will help you plan this cruise!

Zip a dee doo dah all across the Boardwalk. This ship would make a boring person very uncomfortable.
Zip a dee doo dah all across the Boardwalk. This ship would make a boring person very uncomfortable.