Seniors Are Working On Their Chinese…In Guangxi

Guangxi is a great place for seniors to visit, according to Gayot. Gayot chose the top 10 romantic destinations worldwide and this spot in China was one of them.  Of course places like Aspen, Kauai, Santorini, Tahiti, the Bahamas and Corsica rated very high. I sure do agree with Corsica, I spent a week there with a travel group.  We loved it.  But back to Guangxi.

Where is Guangxi?

Located in the south of China on the Golf of Tonkin, Guangxi, with 48 million inhabitants, shares a border with Vietnam. I loved that YouTube video. In Guangxi, you will enjoy a subtropical climate, lush landscapes and rugged mountains.  Sounds like something senior world travelers might be interested in.

You will want to check out the many colorful caves, pagodas and a former royal complex in the capital Guilin. Hopefully you will enjoy a good meal of rice and rice noodles. In China they mix in horse meat with chili sauce and fermented soybeans. Is that a taste one can get used to? Hmmm, not real sure.

So here’s a Travel Guide to get you started planning. Wikitravel is always a good resource and don’t miss the neat scenery on this site. It’s noted that while Guangxi is a relatively poor area it is highly scenic.

Here is some information from folks who made the voyage to Guangxi and they found that staying away from the country’s major attractions to be a good part of their trip. The Lijiang River is a major draw in the area… it is beautiful, full of life and is typical China.

Senior Travelers Discover Beautiful China

Let’s plug in a Guangxi Travel Guide to whet your appetite and interests. They have ranked several special sites that seniors will not want to miss and include over 70 visitor photos. I liked the part about “crystal clear rivers” because we have heard so much about China’s heavy pollution due to coal fired industries that have made Beijing almost uninhabitable.  But in Guangxi you will find a China to write home about.

Mapaholic Jim just had to include a few to give you more to consider. This was such a neat discovery and I could go on and on but will conclude with this link that I think you will enjoy reading. So bone up a bit with my Chinese website and enjoy  a few neat photos. Guangxi sounds like a great romantic destination that senior travelers will want to consider. jeb


Senior Dream Material: Chateaux For Sale

I recall on one of my tours to France, as a senior group leader, a lady in our group repeatedly asked me, ” is that chateau up there on the hill for sale?”  I always responded, “Je ne sais pas”… I didn’t know nor did I care.

Now I come across a site perfect for her. It has a whole series of châteaux for sale, in case you, like this other senior traveler several years ago, are seriously in the market for one.  And if you’re not, I hope this will do for you what it did for me, gave me good Sunday afternoon reading and dreaming material. I found the reference in Architectural Digest.

Let’s imagine that one of us senior citizens has just won the Power Ball drawing like a man did in Fountain Hills, AZ, walking away with $182 million. The first chateaux is listed for just $13.5M. Not bad:) Sarlat-La-Canada, set in the history-steeped region of Périgord Noir, was originally built in the 13th century. On the 170 acres of wooded grounds there are guesthouses and suites as well as equestrian facilities. Our Arabians could join us.  Moi, I just went for the kitchen.

In the Vaucluse

This is the part of France I love the most. Provence. From afar, this unique hillside structure appears to be an ancient Roman ruin, with tumbling tower walls and the remains of a drawbridge and moat. Yet this former 12th-century fortress is actually an exquisitely crafted contemporary home. You could go bowling in the living room. Oh yes, it was listed at only $5.8M.

Is 21,530 Sq Ft Enough?

Château d’Aubiry is a stunning example of Baroque design as conceived by the Danish architect Viggo Dorph-Petersen and is priced at a mere $26M. I found the dining room to be a “bit too much” but it is nice from the exterior. In Aix-en-Provence, my favorite city in France after Paris, you can settle in to 21,530 sq ft. for $12.3M. With a freestone exterior and a classical Louis XIV façade, this elegant 17th-century château is one of the most picturesque residences in Provence.

On 60 acres and with this salon, I just did not like “le look.” I’ve always loved round towers on any building and this one located just outside of Geneva is priced for only $37,500,000.  That’s a lot of zeros.

And, Seniors, Here’s a Real Steal

Called Le Petit Château with only 3,230 sq st. and priced at only $854,000 this one is has to be a steal. Of course you will be sleeping under a sort of attic, but it’s classy too. And here is a former feudal fortress from the 12th century with a rich military history priced at $4.2M. Just try furnishing this room.

The entire bunch is available for you to look at. Enjoy the tour and spending that Power Ball Jackpot. Don’t like spending that kind of cash for France? Then check out Sothebys listing of 136 pages of other realty that you may just find liking to your wallet.

Enjoy your day. jeb

Filed under : Editors Choice, Europe


Seniors Catch Up To Ketchikan

Ketchikan, Alaska is where seniors will find their lifestyle to be their reward. An island community accessible by air or by sea, Ketchikan is about 500 miles north of Seattle.  It’s found on the famed Inside Passage waterway and is a popular destination for cruise visitors, sport fishermen and adventurous senior visitors.

Ketchikan is not very large, 14,000, but nevertheless it ranks fifth in population for Alaska. Ketchikan, named after Ketchikan Creek, which flows through the town, derives its name from the Tlingit name for the creek, Kitschk-hin, the meaning of which is unclear. It may mean “the river belonging to Kitschk”; other accounts claim it means “Thundering Wings of an Eagle.”

Ketchikan Alaska

Ever seen a totem up close? Ketchikan boasts the world’s largest collection of Northwest totems. And this video highlights Ketchikan at its best.  You can enjoy a Float Plane Trip over the city, one thing I would personally make a priority. And hey, go catch your lunch on a Classic Alaska Charter.

Heart of the Tongass National Forest

The Tongass National Forest, the nation’s largest national forest, covers most of southeast Alaska, surrounding the famous Inside Passage. It offers senior visitors unique opportunities to view eagles, bears, spawning salmon, and the breath-taking vistas of “wild” Alaska. The ½-mile-wide channel called the Tongass Narrows separates Ketchikan from Gravina Island, where Ketchikan International Airport is located. Catch up on a little local history here along with a photographic past.

The “official website“has many scenic sites that attract folks from all over the world.  You’ll find Things to Do, a Traveler’s Directory, help getting there as well as an invitation to tour the town. If you enjoy videos like I enjoy videos, Ketchikan Videos provide a nice overview of the city as well as some great advice on fishing, which is a huge industry there. In fact is is known as the “Salmon Capital of the World .”

Our Good Travel Website Friends Invite Senior Readers

Frommers, TripAdvisor, (wow, look at those neat photos!), Lonely Planet and Fodors will more than fill your itinerary. An Alaska Travel Guide that focuses on Ketchikan proves to me to be helpful as well. I leave you today with a nice map. Do you see Ketchikan way down low?  There are several great photos as well, compliments of World Guide.

So senior travelers, fire up your interests in Alaska and check in on Ketchikan. Last Sunday’s blog on the 2013 travel predictions  included Alaska cruises selling fast.  Send for a free guide and have fun way up north. jeb


Seniors Jump From the East to West Coast

This senior likes to investigate towns with unusual names… like Islip and Snohomish.  Fascinating sounding names, both of them, thus this article. Islip is one of ten towns in Suffolk County, New York. Located on the south shore of Long Island, the town population was 335,543 at the 2010 census. Across the country to the state of Washington, we find Snohomish whose population is around 9,098.

Seniors Look at Islip…

Good old Mapquest locates the Town of Islip for us . The Bay Shore Marina seems to be a hotspot that comes up whenever Islip is mentioned. There’s always good news to be found by Newsday.

All around Islip and NY State senior visitors will find plenty to see and do. Trip Adviser can plan a super vacation. This Guide will fill in your itinerary with fun activities. The Sunken Forest is highly popular as well as the Boulton Center in Bay Shore, a nearby hamlet. Situated on the south shore of Long Island, Islip adjoins the Great South Bay. My oldest daughter used to be somewhat of a “light-house nut” and the Fire Island Lighthouse is one that she would certainly visit.

On to Snohomish

Snohomish, Washington prides itself for its historical downtown, and was once known as the “Antique Capital of the Northwest.”  It’s not that far from Seattle and Fodor’s will help you find some of those 400 stores, shops and vendors selling old treasures. It is architecture that makes Snohomish stand out from the surrounding communities.

The “Official Town Site“has lots of pertinent information for senior visitors. The town was originally known as Cadyville, and changed its name to Snohomish City in 1871. The name Snohomish is taken from the name of the dominant local Native American tribe “sdoh-doh-hohbsh“.

Snohomish (sno-HOH’-mish) County is located in northwest Washington State, nestled between the sparkling blue waters of Puget Sound and the rugged, snow-capped peaks of the Cascade Mountains.  The heart and soul of the City of Snohomish, Washington is nestled in the lush Snohomish River Valley, a showcase of breathtaking  Washington State grandeur.

In Snohomish they claim to have “the best coffee west of Italy”,  so senior coffee drinkers, be sure to check that out. All year-round there seems to be plenty to keep visitors busy. You will want to appease your appetite at The Hungary Pelican. And The Farmer’s Market draws in the locals en masse. The Brewfest takes in their share as well.

I was wooed by Islip and the Best of Snohomish.  So mark these towns on your US map and when you are in the northwest, or northeast, you can take that side trip to Islip or Snohomish.  Enjoy both.  jeb


Seniors Discover Gold in Juneau

Juneau, Alaska is known for its discovery of gold way back in 1880. Senior travelers will discover for yourselves all the glories of a visit upon your arrival in this amazing city.  Do you have any idea where Juneau is located? Here’s a map to show where the Inside Passage in the capital city is found. Here are three more helpful maps to pinpoint the city. This map was cool too so keep tapping the + sign and hone on in Juneau.

Senior visitors will discover a wealth of tours available on site… cruises, flights over glaciers, whale watching tours and a plethora of others. Many folks stateside think that Anchorage, the largest city, has to be the capital. But no, it’s Juneau and it’s one of the most beautiful cities in Alaska.

Downtown Juneau is a maze of narrow streets running past a mix of new structures, old storefronts and quaint houses featuring early 19th century architecture left over from the town’s early gold mining days. The waterfront bustles with cruise ships, fishing boats and floatplanes zipping in and out. Descending from the Coast Range Mountains are the frozen fingers of glaciers reaching for the sea. You’ll find package deals, things to do and places to stay during your visit.

Seniors Bone Up On a Little Juneau History

Harrisburg. That was Juneau’s name before Richard Harris fell out of favor with the locals, who turned their allegiance to his co-founder, Joe Juneau. In 1880, prospectors Harris and Juneau relied on Tlingit Chief Kowee to guide them to the mouth of Gold Creek, where they discovered gold. The state’s first major gold strike was on (starting the Alaska Gold Rush), and the timeline for modern Juneau history began. And the miners came searching for gold.

Searching for the single best Alaska destination? It’s Juneau, surrounded by  scenic wondersTripAdvisor finds not only some great hotels, restaurants and a free Juneau guide, but take a look at the 83 attractions that draw seniors to the city from all over the globe.

This vacation planner will help you fill out your itinerary and invites senior citizens to check out the opportunities for taking in museums, sightseeing, wildlife, fishing, hiking, biking, rafting, kayaking, bears, whales, eagles, shore excursions, trekking or dog sledding on the glacier, native culture, theater, shopping, dining and seasonal winter sports. Wikipedia will help you get there and provides information of every nature including temperatures during the year.

Virtual Tourist not only focuses on the Mendenall Glacier but has a listing of 161 things to see and do. Folks, head on up to Juneau and come face to face with a glacier, marvel at a huge humpback whale leaping out of the water and top this excitement off with a scrumptious meal featuring wild Alaskan salmon grilled over an alder wood fire.

Take the online Virtual Tour.  It is beautiful. Enjoy.  jeb


Seniors Check Out the Capital of SD

Pierre (pronounced peer) is the capital of South Dakota. Senior citizens, can you name the capital of its sister state North Dakota? Yes, Bismarck it is. Periodically I like to go through the list of state capitals and see if I can remember them. Since I taught French for over 38 years, I always remember PIERRE as the state capital. It means “stone” or “rock” in French.

Steve Martin said recently, “Those darn French. They have a different word for everything!” That’s true and to add to the confusion a bit, every noun is either masculine or feminine. Nose is masculine. Mouth is feminine. Chin is masculine. Leg is feminine. Now figure that all out. Many have tried and it really does not make a lot of sense. Steve Martin is right you know. That’s enough on the French language…for now anyway.

Back to Pierre…

The city, named after Pierre Choteau Jr of the American Fur Company, was founded in 1880 on the Missouri River, opposite Fort Pierre. He built Fort Pierre Chouteau just outside of the current city of Fort Pierre. Lewis and Clark passed through Pierre during their expedition.

Included in the listings on the National Register of Historic Places in Pierre are the South Dakota State Capitol and Governor’s House, the George McMillen House and the Soldiers & Sailors World War Memorial. About 13,500 folks live in Pierre.

If you take a look at a Mapquest rendition of SD, you’ll find that Pierre is located right in the center of the state with a huge lake just to the north of the city. Due to its central position in the state, Pierre is surrounded with history.

State capital buildings in any state always draw my attention. I loved them in Sacramento and Dallas. The state capital in Pierre, a stunning Greek Revival building completed in 1910, was at first modernized and later, in 1989, restored to its original magnificence. It’s the most fully restored capitol building in the U.S. There’s lots of history associated with the capital building that you will not want to miss.

Not your typical museum structure, the Cultural Heritage Center is built into the side of hill, and much of it is underground. A few pertinent facts on SD for your record book can be found here.

Seniors, Bring Your Fish Pole

Drive on up to the Oahe Dam, that looks to me like a bunch of grain silos stacked up.  Oahe is one of the largest man made lakes in the world and a very popular fishing destination for senior fishing fans… should be with 2,250 miles of shoreline. Lake Oahe and its sister Lake Sharpe form a fisherman’s nirvana with year-round catches of salmon, walleye, bass and trout. The  rumbling falls may be of interest to you if you like fast rushing water… it’s a whole lot of streaming water.

In and all around Pierre it is just beautiful with lots of scenery for senior visitors to enjoyjeb


The Ultimate California Experience?

Senior travelers, are you looking for the ultimate California experience with seashores, sunshine, spectacular views, incredible fresh cuisine, endless outdoor recreational activities and sporting events galore? The San Mateo County/Silicon Valley just might be your destination.

Located on a 60-mile peninsula immediately south of San Francisco, bordered on the east by San Francisco Bay, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean, the area encompasses over 450 square miles, sunshine and mild temperatures. This is a”one site fits all” with its great maps and travel guides for senior visitors. Check out this Cities of California site as well.

SM County is right amidst the action of San Francisco Bay and the entire area. If you have never been to Silicon Valley, it is home to many of the world’s largest technology corporations as well as thousands of small startups. There are endless reasons why the Valley area is the favorite place to stay when visiting San Francisco. Senior visitors find the pristine coastline on the Pacific Ocean, the gourmet creations featuring the fresh catch of the day and the many unique shopping experiences very worthwhile.

Seniors Enjoy Historical San Mateo

The city of San Mateo is loaded with history going back to the mid seventeenth century. It was undoubtedly the railroad that put San Mateo on the map. The opening of railroad service in San Mateo attracted many wealthy San Franciscans to the area. San Mateo became an ideal place for building summer and weekend homes for people who worked in San Francisco. These estates were built for some of the most powerful people in the West.

Tourists flock to the five star Japanese Tea Garden in town that includes a koi pond and a tea house. In addition I’ve got a few great tours and sites for you to consider while you are in the Valley.

Coyote Point Recreation Area rates high with senior visitors. You’ll find San Mateo County filled with parks and other organizations.  And take a look at Central Park where you can unwind and spend some time just enjoying the ambiance of the area.

The Ice Center is popular year round for folks of all ages and it centrally located in San Mateo. Sandra Scott is big on San Mateo County and here you’ll see why. Probably more information that you care to know but this link from can fill in all the blanks for any visitor.

The official website has a plethora of helpful visitor information. Order your SM Visitors Guide 2013 online right here and enjoy the Valley.  Jim Bruner will fill in the rest of your blanks.  Enjoy another California senior getaway destination.  jeb


Seniors Head North For a River Cruise Adventure

My latest AARP Magazine mentioned that many seniors are considering a Canada River Cruise over one in Europe. Well, why not?  It has to be cheaper than flying to France, Germany or another site.  Canada is our neighbor and they have lots of great rivers, the biggie of course is the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Canada’s copious system of rivers is more than a spectacular and integral part of its natural world, it has also been a major force in shaping the nation’s cultural heritage. The majority of riverboat cruises depart from the port in Old Montreal, a historically maintained neighborhood south of downtown.

St. Lawrence Cruise Lines

Choose this line and your ship will carry you through the very heart of central Canada’s most beautiful scenery on routes specifically selected for their history, natural beauty and modern vitality. They have four fall cruises including one on the Ottawa River, a beautiful river that seniors have found to be one of their favorite cruises in Canada.

USA River Cruises specializes in small ship cruises, ship sizes range from 28 persons to 600 persons, many of which cruise on such rivers as the Columbia, Snake, Mississippi, Tennessee, Ohio, Illinois, Hudson, St. Lawrence and many more. Their cruise agents are all certified in small ships and have extensive (over 20 yrs) experience in cruise sales.

More Cruise Lines For Seniors to Consider

USA Today has a listing of cruises that many seniors have taken and enjoy immensely. These include dinner cruises and paddle wheelers and a few cruises just for weekenders. Cruise Critic has some personal blogs of folks who have taken Canadian cruises plus some special prices up to 75% off.

Small Ship Cruises has a great site with the names of cruise lines and a description of those ships that can take seniors on Canada cruises. After looking over all this selection be sure to consider the Vancancier that leaves Montreal each Friday afternoon heading for the Gulf of St. Lawrence. An MSC Cruise may be to your liking to check out the brilliant colors of fall. notes that seniors can have an adventure that begins with a cruise through some of Canada’s rivers which have some of the most breath taking scenery. River Cruise Agent provides a host of choices for river cruising but highlights the fact that the St. Lawrence River in its most limited bounds, begins at the foot of Lake Ontario, opposite the city of Kingston and flows generally in a north-easterly direction about 775 miles.

Beyond the Gulf of St. Lawrence lies the vast Atlantic Ocean. The St. Lawrence River has its source in the largest body of freshwater on the globe plus you can visit Montreal and Quebec City on your route.

So grab your paddle, pack your bags and check out a Canada Cruise.  jeb


Seniors Look at Steve Glen’s Travel Predictions for 2013

Steve has a pretty good record going to date with 74% accuracy. He’s with a national travel newspaper of the travel industry called Travel Weekly. It’s a fun site for senior citizens to scan through to see what’s going on nationally with the travel industry. Some of Steve’s predictions may be just a little scary. A few are presently taking place as you as a seasoned traveler have experienced.

Let’s see how many you senior travelers agree with. Did you end up with more or less than his 74% accuracy. You may even want to add a few predictions to your own list.

So here they are:

Airlines will charge extra for using a credit card

More airlines will charge for carry-on bags

American Airlines and US Airways will merge

We will see the death of the $198 roundtrip airfare

Cigars anyone? Cuba will be opened to American travelers

The Internal Revenue Service will decrease the vehicle reimbursement rate to 50 cents a mile

A passport will soon be required to graduate from college

Four out of 10 hotel rooms will go empty

Missing a connecting flight could keep you stranded in an airport for up to four days

Companies will tell employees to “carry-on” and will stop reimbursing for baggage fees

Airlines will simply stop answering the phone during a blizzard

Business travelers will move back to the Marriott from the Hampton Inn

Airplanes will become shopping malls in the sky

All-inclusive resorts will be launched in Hawaii and the U.S.

Airfares to Europe will continue to shock you this summer

Alaska cruises will be selling fast

Juneau, Alaska

“Bleisure” trips offer two-for-one experiences

Italy, Ireland, Germany, France and Greece will continue to be top European destinations

European vacations will become longer

Credit cards will start charging a fee to convert points to miles

Frequent flyer miles will become almost impossible to redeem later this year

Comfort and safety will be king


The University of Nebraska’s football team will win the Big 10 football championship. The Cornhuskers will bring back the winning tradition that made us the “Big Red.” Well, hope springs eternal.

You can read the specifics here.

And life goes on.  Yes, we, senior citizens will continue to travel whether these predictions come to pass or not.  That is my prediction for 2013.  Happy planning and happy traveling my friends,  jeb

Filed under : Editors Choice


Senior Visitors Are BIG on Tiny Anguilla

Can you find Anguilla on a map?  It’s in the Caribbean (British West Indies) and is surrounded by many other islands that are much more famous, but Anguilla continues to attract senior tourists. Anguilla has unrivaled white beaches and beautiful azure waters.

Like several other islands, Anguilla has become a popular tax haven, with no capital gains, estate, profit or other forms of direct taxation on either individuals or corporations. The northern most island in the Leeward chain, Anguilla is just an hours flight from Puerto Rico and only a 20 minute ferry ride from St. Martin/Maarten to the south.

Small and Famed

The entire island is approximately 16 miles (26 km) long by 3 miles (5 km) at its widest point. It is said that the name Anguilla derives from the word for “eel” due to its eel-like shape. Some say that it was Columbus who actually named the island.

Is it the “best of all the caribbean islands?”  Some say ‘yes’, and this link gives us good reason to think that might be accurate. With its sunshine, warm hearted inhabitants, low crime rate and NO McDonalds, it rates very high as a senior winter destination.

So what makes Anguilla so unique? Lots of reasons, but mostly it is what one vacationer called the “little things.” Send for your free Anguilla guide online for additional information and view a few dozen images of the island of anguilla. Its surroundings all appear to have a nice, blue, serene background.

Destination Anguilla For Senior Citizens

Here’s a neat URL that includes a virtual travel guide for senior winter travel planners that overflows with the island’s culture, people, history economy and more.  Once a secret hideaway, Anguilla has come into its own as a Caribbean hot spot for Hollywood starlets and honeymooners alike.

But don’t let Anguilla’s popularity scare you away. It is certainly well-deserved, as proven by this island’s beautiful beaches, posh resorts and overall laid-back charm. There are 33 beaches on this 16-mile stretch of island, and the best part is that they are all open to the public.

Always a great place to check out things for senior visitors to see and do, TripAdvisor has some attractions listed that you will not want to miss. I don’t know how many amenities it would take to set senior sails for Anguilla, but here are five that are very popular. This is a pretty video that makes the place look deserted.

Lonely Planet will help you get there and back and Frommer’s is always just around the corner . Now check out some quality hotels, restaurants, beaches and more prior to your visit . There can be no doubt that Anguilla is a “Caribbean Gem“.  I’m thinking this could be an ideal senior winter getaway.  Enjoy the gem.  jeb

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