Books

Harry Potter in the UK | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Authors, Books, Family Travel, Theme Vacations, Travel, on 2 June 2017, by , 0 Comments

Though the last “true” Harry Potter book was published in 2007, and the final installment of the original film series came out in 2011, it’s safe to say that Harry Potter fandom won’t be dying down any time soon. J.K. Rowling has released several complementary books, the London Warner Bros. studio hosts daily tours, and there’s even a hotel that has opened in the U.K. with Harry Potter themed “Wizard Chambers.” If you too have a thing for Mr. Potter, below are just a few things you might want to consider adding to you Harry Potter itinerary through the U.K.

Tour the original studios where Harry Potter was filmed

For more than 10 years the Leavesden Warner Bros. Studio in London was home to the film series. After production “wrapped on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 in 2010, the production crew were left with a treasure trove of thousands of intricate and beautifully-made artifacts, many of which wouldn’t have been saved on a typical production.” What was left behind became part of the studio tour allowing fans of the movies to see costumes, props and sets, up-close and personal.

Continue Reading...

Posted in Authors, Books, Girlfriend Getaways, Theme Vacations, Travel, Uncategorized, Unique Getaways, on 9 October 2015, by , 0 Comments

Literary Destinations | Ingenious TravelIf you are a lover of classic novels, stories and tales and have always dreamt of being amongst the destinations that have helped to make each book noted throughout the literacy world, why not make your way to them on your next trip? With so many beautiful sights to explore and discover, you will find yourself taking a step into a unique and unforgettable experience of a lifetime.

Edinburgh – Scotland

With more than 500 novels inspired by the surroundings of Edinburgh including authors Robert Burns of the 18th-century and more modern authors like Ian Rankin and Alexander McCall Smith, this is a must-visit. Spend time at the Writers’ Museum, join in on two different pub crawls or take a walking tour through some of the more specific spots mentioned in literature.

London – England

Take advantage of one of the hundred or so weekly offers of the London Walks’ lively jaunts including Shakespeare’s and Dickens’ London and the Literary London Pub Walk. There are even opportunities for Sherlock Holmes fans to walk in the footsteps of sleuth’s or stop by Dukes Bar where the drinks helped to inspire Ian Fleming’s works.

Continue Reading...

Posted in Authors, Books, Gift Ideas, Girlfriend Getaways, Movies/Television, Seattle, Theme Vacations, Travel, Uncategorized, Unique Getaways, on 5 December 2014, by , 0 Comments

Christmas and the New Year are just around the corner! It’s the perfect time to plan your travel for 2015. Here are five travel gift ideas for the book lovers in your life (or you!).

50 Shades of Romance:

50 Shades of Romance | Ingnious TravelTravel to Seattle to join 16 erotic romance writers for a weekend of debauchery, including a private screening of the highly anticipated Fifty Shades of Grey movie. Some additional conference highlights include author panels, book signings, a pajama party, sexy shopping, and food! February 13-15, 2015

 

Downton Abbey VIP Private Tour with No RopesOxford | Ingenious Travel:

Travel to England: (Okay, I know, not a book, but close enough, right?) You’ve watched every episode of Downton Abbey and probably own boxed sets of each series. Next April you will be able to relive some of your favourite moments through this exclusive access visit to Highclere Castle, the family home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon. In addition, there are On Location visits to some of the Oxfordshire Cotswolds villages featured in the different episodes. Topped and tailed with time in London, the tour also includes leisurely visits to Hampton Court Palace, Blenheim Palace and the university city of Oxford. April 6 – 12, 2015

Continue Reading...

Posted in Authors, Books, Comic Con, Theme Vacations, Uncategorized, on 29 August 2014, by , 0 Comments

Dragon Con Logo | Ingenious TravelWhat is Dragon Con you ask? It’s an annual convention, held over Labor Day weekend in Atlanta, Georgia, that covers all things geek: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, gaming, comics, cosplay and more.

Dragon Con started in 1987, hosting 1,400 Sci-Fi/Fantasy devotees. Today, more than 50,000 fans congregate in Atlanta to participate in 45 areas of interest (including Anime/Manga, Brit Track, Fantasy Literature, Star Wars, Video Gaming, Writer’s Track, and many, many more), costume contests, the Dragon Con Parade, celebrity and author panels, and celebrity autographs and photo opportunities.

Dragon Con is spread out over five hotels: the Marriott Marquis Atlanta, Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Atlanta Hilton, Sheraton Hotel Atlanta and the Westin Peachtree Plaza, which have advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages:

  • Dragon Con doesn’t have to close down as early as conventions held at convention centers; therefore, activities start as early as 9 a.m. and end after 3 a. m.
  • Transportation – you don’t need a car. MARTA offers easy accessibility to the downtown area.
  • Lodging – Even if rooms sell out at the conference hotels, there are a number of options within a short walking distance
  • Food options – hotel restaurants, a food court, and local restaurants offer a variety of options
  • Fantastic people watching – it’s everywhere!

Disadvantages:

  • With the con being spread out over five hotels, you need to make sure you can get to your panel/workshop/activity in enough time.
  • Food options – be prepared to wait in line, especially at the food court
  • Weather – it’s known as Hotlanta for a reason! Be prepared for hot temperatures and high humidity.

Don’t forget to bring money! The number of vendors has grown over the years requiring them to be in their own space. You’ll find the vendors/exhibitors at The Atlanta Convention Center at Iceman |Dragon Con 2014| Ingenious TravelAmericasMart. Looking for a kilt or corset? You’ll find them there. Maybe you need a new light sabre or sonic screwdriver; you’ll find those there as well. Authors also have booths there, be sure to check to see when they’re doing book signings.

All in all, if you are a fan of Sci-Fi/Fantasy, comic books, video games, cosplay, or just want to get your geek on; this is the con for you! Memberships go on sale in September for the following year and are reasonably priced. Buy early as they do sell out.

Continue Reading...

Posted in Books, Movies/Television, Theme Vacations, Travel, Uncategorized, Unique Getaways, on 25 July 2014, by , 0 Comments

Entrance to Diagon AlleyDiagon Alley is now open!

Universal Studios Orlando opened the highly anticipated The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley on July 8, 2014. Opening day hosted thousands of guests and the wait time for the Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts ride was seven (7) hours!

Diagon Alley is a must see for Harry Potter fans. When you first enter the area you’ll see the Knight Bus and Grimmauld Place. (Tip: Be sure to pay attention to the windows of number 12.) Entering Diagon Alley looks like it did in the movie after Hagrid “knocked on the bricks” showing the entrance to the alley. Once inside, you’ll feel like you stepped into the pages of the books.

 

There is so much to see in this 20-acre alley!

Need a new broom, check out Quidditch Supplies.

Quidditch Supplies

Continue Reading...

Posted in Authors, Baseball, Books, Football, General Travel Information, Girlfriend Getaways, Seattle, Travel, Uncategorized, on 4 February 2014, by , 21 Comments

Seattle Skyline

Congratulations to the Seattle Seahawks, Super Bowl XLVIII champs!

Whether you’re a football fan or not, Seattle is a great place to visit. Not only is it the coffee capital of the US (Starbucks anyone?), home to Amazon, Microsoft, and Nordstrom, it also has some really great things to see and do.

Have you been? My first visit was in September 2012 and I was amazed at all there was to do and see in the city. Our four-day weekend was packed and we still didn’t get to see everything.

Here are just a few things to take in while in Seattle. Join as we walk down memory lane:

Day One:  Space Needle, EMP Museum, Science Center

Day Two:  Bainbridge Island, Underground Tour

Day Three:  Edgewater Hotel, Pike’s Place Market, Pioneer Square

Day Four:  Safeco Field, Agrosy Harbor Cruise, Seattle Aquarium

If you’ve been, where or what do you recommend visitors see or do? If you haven’t and wanted to visit, what is your “must see” while there?

Be sure to check out our Seattle Pinterest boards for more pictures of our visit!

Continue Reading...

Posted in Books, General Travel Information, Gift Ideas, Girlfriend Getaways, Recipes, Uncategorized, Unique Getaways, What's Up With Maria, on 14 January 2014, by , 26 Comments

Miss Mary Bobo's Boarding House SignWe stopped for lunch at the infamous Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House before heading to the Jack Daniel Distillery tour. And what a lunch it was!

Rooms in the boarding house have been converted into dining rooms, each holding a long table seating 8-14 guests. This is done purposely, allowing for interaction with those you’re eating with during your family style lunch. (My friends and I were seated with people from California, Tennessee, Alabama, London, and Russia!) The food is already on the table when you walk into your dining room. Keep in mind, there is no menu posted. Each day the chefs decide what they feel like making and all meals come from the Jack Daniel’s Cookbook (one day fried chicken, another day catfish, etc.). A Miss Mary Bobo’s Hostess also joins you for lunch, sharing the history of the boarding house and of those who once resided here.

Today’s lunch, southern fried chicken, meatloaf, fried okra, macaroni and Lunch at miss-mary-boboscheese, boiled potatoes, corn, butter beans, rolls, and apples seasoned with a splash (or ten) of Jack Daniels. Our hostess tasted the apples and told us the chefs were quite happy today and we would be as well after eating them. And for dessert, chocolate fudge pie with Jack Daniel’s whipped cream. (Definitely not the best meal for those who are gluten-free, like me. The meatloaf is gluten-free, made with oats, just ask for it without ketchup.)

I’m sure you noticed the use of Jack in some of the food. Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House is located in a dry county, meaning you can’t buy or sell alcohol. Miss Mary found a way around this by using the local product in her recipes.

This is a quaint restaurant sticking with the traditions and history of Lynchburgh, Tennessee. A definite must for lunch if you’re in the area. Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House offers two lunch time seating options, 11 AM or 1 PM. During peak seasons, you may find a third for 3 PM. No matter when you visit, remember reservations are required.

Continue Reading...

Posted in Books, Recipes, Uncategorized, on 11 December 2013, by , 44 Comments

Holiday BiscottiLooking for a holiday themed book to take with you on your holiday travels? I recommend Holiday Grind, first holiday themed book from the Coffeehouse Mystery series by Cleo Coyle.

After a holiday event at the Village Blend coffeehouse, Manager Clare Cosi goes looking for her customer and friend who never showed up.  Alfred Glockner, one of New York’s Traveling Santa never did arrive to play Santa this year. With concern for her friend Clare attempts to track him down only to discover him gunned down in a nearby alley. Knowing there is more to the crime than a mugging gone badly; Clare sets out, on her own to find out what happened to Alfred.  Clues and leads are discovered at every turn along with running the Village Blend.

This book is truly a fun read.  Including everything one would want to know about coffee and recipes for all of the goodies mentioned in the book.

Whether you are traveling near or far this holiday season consider sharing Clare’s Mini Red and Green Holiday Biscotti (featured in Holiday Grind) with your family and friends.

Enjoy the recipe!

Clare’s Mini Red and Green Holiday Biscotti

Makes 36-40 Mini Biscotti

1 cup dried cranberries, or “Craisins”

1 cup pistachios

2 large eggs

1 egg yolk (save the egg white for glaze)

2/3 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons Vanilla extract

½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted and cooled

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 cups white chocolate, chopped into small pieces or use chips

Continue Reading...

Posted in Authors, Books, Cruises, Girlfriend Getaways, Hockey, Olympics, Sports, Theme Vacations, Uncategorized, Unique Getaways, on 1 October 2013, by , 0 Comments

Do you have your cruise booked?

Hockey fans, how will you be spending February 2014’s Olympic break?

hockey_stick_and_a_puckHopefully you’ll be joining us and other hockey fans for the Hat Trick Cruise! We’ll be sailing the Western Caribbean on Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas, visiting Grorge Town, Grand Cayman;  Falmouth, Jamaica; and Labadee, Haiti, while celebrating all things hockey! Not only will be soaking up some rays, we’ll lacing up our skates, playing hockey trivia, and raising money for Hockey Fights Cancer. (This cruise is a great way to escape the winter blues!) Visit www.HatTrickCruise.com to find out what fundraising activities will be taking place onboard!

 

Romance readers, cruise with Jade Lee to kick off your 2014 Summer Vacation!

With Jade Lee at Ball-1You’re thinking, summer just ended and you want me to think of next summer already? Yes we do! We want you to start your summer sailing the Western Caribbean with USA Today Best Selling Author Jade Lee on Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas! This novel adventure at sea will depart from Galveston, TX and visit the ports of Falmouth, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico. For more details and to find out how you can reserve your cabin, visit www.noveladventuresatsea.com!

 

Hope to see you there! Be sure to check out our other upcoming trips at Ingenious Travel!

 

 

 

Continue Reading...

Posted in Authors, Books, Gift Ideas, Golf, Holiday, Uncategorized, on 19 December 2012, by , 0 Comments

Are you done with all your holiday shopping? I am, well almost! Here are five great gift ideas for your friends and family.

  1. Books – A no brainer, right? Well for those who like to read it is. Instead of giving just a book (or a few), partner them with a travel mug, the recipients favorite coffee or tea flavors and maybe some cookies or biscotti. (Click here for a yummy holiday biscotti recipe.) Package it up in a basket with a big bow and you’re set. Gift done!

 

  1. Garmin Approach S3 – the full-featured sports watch and golf GPS in one, perfect for the golfer in your life. This watch comes pre-loaded with over 14,000 USand Canadian courses and can measure individual shot distances along with calculating  the golfer’s exact distances to the front, back and middle of the greens – all in real time.
  2. Davidsbeenhere Travel Luggage Scale – never get charged for an overweight suitcase again. This handy little gadget has an easy to read LCD screen, will measure weight up to 110 lbs. and is powered by a 2032 lithium battery (not included, so don’t forget to purchase the battery).
  3. Innergie mCube Slim 9zzzz5 95 Watt Universal AC Adapter with USB – You can charge or plug in virtually anything from notebooks, to mobile devices, and whatever electronics that need power. It’s great for travel as it comes with a number of adapters (all in a carrying case), you may decide to leave your other chargers at home.
  4. National Geographic Talk Abroad SIMCard – The perfect gift for someone taking their next holiday abroad! This card allows you to roam seamlessly from country to country with one phone number while still enjoying excellent rates. You’ll definitely want this card if you’re traveling in Western Europe as it offers unlimited free incoming calls.

 

These are just a few holiday gift ideas for your loved ones. Contact us today if you’re in need of book recommendations or travel destination ideas! We’ve got some great trips coming up in 2013!

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading...