New York State of Mind

I recently made myself at home for a few days in NYC in one of the most sustainable hotels I’ve ever been to, with every rustic-chic touch imaginable. It is designed by local artists using native greenery and reclaimed materials and the views of the Brooklyn Bridge, East River and Manhattan skyline were spectacular. The industry conference I attended there started with a CSR feel-good, social wellbeing project which kicked off a positive networking buzz between attendees. We met with International suppliers in one-on-one appointments over two days; were inspired by two unique guest speakers both with targeted educational dialogue and how it relates to our industry; and spent a unique evening on Ellis Island. I’ve been to NYC several times and each time I’m in awe of how seeing one city so differently each time can be possible.

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So cool; SOCAL

Just had a group return from Newport Beach in California.  They had a great trip!  The weather was perfect; literally perfect!!!  And the agenda took advantage of that with an outdoor pool reception, outdoor dining, Segway tour, hiking, golf, bicycling.

But perhaps one of the most authentic of Newport Beach experiences was a dinner cruise onboard The Wild Goose.  The Wild Goose was a 136-ft. US Navy Minesweeper converted into a yacht that John Wayne (Duke) purchased in 1962.   The yacht has been described as “the central hub of John Wayne’s voracious social life” and became a powerful force in his life, for such a long time, that it remains famous today.  A small bit of fame and history that this area is renowned for.

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Kangaroos & Koala’s






Yep, I was there. Pictures to prove it!  A quick 6-night site inspection determined that our client is planning to bring a group of Canadian dealers to both Melbourne and Adelaide, with a side trip to the Barossa Valley, in 2019.

Stop One: Melbourne; now one of the 10 fastest growing large cities in the developed world. Stop Two:  the Barossa; one of the world’s great wine regions.  Stop Three: Adelaide; acclaimed the world’s 5th most liveable city and referred to as the “Festival City”.  What a great combination this will be!

And cross our fingers the group can see what I did!

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There’s just something about Vegas

We kicked off 2018 with a client program to Las Vegas and what a great way to start the year!  Besides escaping the bone chilling January cold, the three day meeting was the perfect blend of business and networking. For many of the group this was their first time to Vegas, so a relaxed welcome dinner at a popular eatery was planned for the first night.  It was the perfect setting after a long day of travel.   After conducting some important business and having time to explore the city at their own pace, we arranged for cocktails  high above the strip.  Just spectacular!   To wrap up the conference, the group enjoyed an evening of latin dancing, fresh rolled cigars and pulsating music that had everyone on the dance floor.   I get excited about doing programs in Vegas because it is an ever changing city that  always feel fresh and exciting.  Is it just me or  is there just something about Vegas?

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Monday Night Football – South Beach Style

It was off to Miami’s South Beach for a whirlwind incentive weekend that incorporated the best of SoBe with one of the most sought after sporting events in town. Combining iconic beachside accommodation, al fresco roof top dining, exclusive pool parties and the neighborhood’s renowned glittering nightlife with a custom tailgate party before the Monday Night “Kick Off” definitely made for a winning weekend!

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Let’s Meet in The Middle…in Reykjavik!

The well-known tagline promoting Iceland’s accessibility from both North America and Europe has always intrigued me.  The opportunity to experience it came up as I attended the Global Incentive Summit this past week.  A chance to network with international industry professionals while exploring this bucket list destination.

Iceland is not just a hype – it’s the real thing.  A five hour flight from Toronto or Montreal brings you to the land of  renewable energy system where geothermal plants serve the entire island.  Reykjavik is hip, it’s cool, it’s European, it’s small and offers everything that large cities do.  This island country where English is widely spoken has good hotels, great food, good nightlife & music and has the incredible nature only a few steps away from its capital.

During my four day stay, and despite shortening daylight,  I experienced many of what the destination offers to both leisure and meeting visitors.  Starting with Reykjavik walking tour, and continuing with ATV adventures, incredible hikes, Northern Lights hunt by Super Jeep, dip in the Blue Lagoon or hot springs, ice cave and lava tunnel explorations, riding trails on Icelandic horse, snowmobiling and fishing villages  – just to name a few.

I look forward to returning someday soon, perhaps to see the Midnight Sun!

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My first trip to Puerto Vallarta

SunsetI was invited on a FAM trip to Puerto Vallarta and jumped at the chance as I have never been to this part of Mexico. It was fabulous!  We stayed in Punta Mita and while there, ate dinner on the beach, released baby turtles into the ocean,  visited the adorable surfer town of Sayulita, took a surfing lesson and dined at amazing restaurants.  We then transferred to the other side of Puerto Vallarta for two more nights where we visited a few more hotels, swam with dolphins, dined and danced the night away in a private villa and witnessed incredible sunsets.  Needless to say it was a jam packed agenda but every bit worth it!  Would I recommend this destination….YES!  I can’t wait to go back on a personal vacation.

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