Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Getaway Girl Chats with Girlfriend We Gotta Talk

Did you miss my interview with Mary Foley and Susie Galvez from Girlfriend We Gotta Talk? You can tune in online at as we chat about all things Girl Getaways!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Creating Your Masterpiece Interview

Want to "Leave Your Baggage at Home®?" Listen to The Getaway Girl® chat with Jen and Leah from Creating Your Masterpiece about the trials in her life that lead to tribulations.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lobsterfest 2010

Anyone who knows me knows that the last week in July is always reserved for the opening of lobster season in the Florida Keys! Since I can remember, my family has made this annual trek south for the ultimate catch - the Florida Spiny Lobster (no claws). At least I made friends with the Coast Guard last year (just in case we get pulled over again). On Wednesday morning, we will continue the annual ritual of waking up at 4:00 a.m. to hover over our pre-determined “spot” and wait for the sun to come up. Once we can see, we send in the divers to catch our six lobsters/person/day. It’s difficult waking up so early, but I guarantee dinner that night is worth it! See ya in the Florida Keys!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Happy 27th Birthday Heather!

Every girl should be as lucky as I am to have an amazing best friend. Heather and I have been BFFs for about 12 years now. She is the sister I never had, the one person I can ALWAYS count on and my "rock" when things are both good and bad. She keeps me grounded, makes me laugh and is one of my favorite travel partners. She has been my cheerleader, psychologist and partner in crime. I cannot image my life without her, and I was thrilled to be in town on July 16 to help her celebrate her "27th" birthday!

Happy birthday Heather! You are the best friend The Getaway Girl could ever ask for!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Girls Getaway to Montreal - Day 4

We woke up Tuesday morning ready for our Jukari Fit to Fly workout at Club Sportif MAA. Jukari ( is the culmination of a Cirque du Soleil/Reebok partnership intent on making exercise more fun for women by injecting a touch of artistry into the workout (la Cirque du Soleil), alleviates boredom and makes for one tough workout. Plus, our instructor was Olympic Gold Medalist Speed Skater Nathalie Lambert from Canada...super cool!

We had a lovely lunch at Le Chateau Ramezay’s Restaurant Chasse et Peche, which features an outdoor seating area in the summer. I enjoyed the Asparagus Soup and Tuna Tataki, while Sharron and I had a conversation about who we “fancy” (I am working to incorporate British jargon into my all-American vocabulary). We all “fancied” our server, Maxim!

With our free time after lunch, Sharron, Jan and I shopped along St. Paul West Street and found some great stores. I love, love, love the Montreal-designed dress I purchased. Super fun and unique! Jan loved her dress so much that she wore it right out of the store.

We had so much fun shopping together that we were late for our dinner at Restaurant O’Thym, which is located in Montreal’s Village. It’s trendy and BYOW (Bring Your Own Wine) as most Montreal restaurants are so be sure to pick up a bottle (or a few) before you arrive. I loved my Carrot Soup, the bison we shared and my dinner entree, Halibut with Olive Tapanede.

After dinner we were off to our fourth and last show (and last evening of the trip). Le Cabaret Des 7 Doignets opened tonight to rave reviews. I especially enjoyed the girl who moonwalked while she juggled five balls and the girl who danced in the chains above our heads to a cabaret rendition of Roxanne (a la The Police). What an outstanding show!

After the show, we sadly said our goodbyes and started planning our next trips together. I must go visit Sharron and Carly in London. Jan and I have decided we are like circus performers and now must “perform” together and are an unseparable travel pair. Many thanks to Tourisme Montreal and the Circus Arts Festival for a spectacular Girls Getaway to Montreal! Au revoir Montreal...À la prochaine!!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Girls Getaway to Montreal - Day 3

The next morning, I took some time to explore Montreal’s shopping along St. Catherine Street, which was just a few blocks from the hotel. This street has everything you would want in big-city shopping (from H&M to Gucci to department stores). After finding several dresses that had to come home with me, we were off to the Circus Complex for our afternoon circus-learning sessions.

We started at the National Circus School Montreal ( where potential circus artists can come and train (as early as age 9 for part-time learning and 12-16 for full time students). They have 140 total students in total from various countries. I even met a girl who is from Florida while there. We watched students working out and also rehearse for performances, which was quite interesting. We also had our own “workout” as we couldn’t resist laying in the foam pool. As we left the building, a student was walking in carrying his bicycle...a unicycle....not something you se at your typical school.

Next stop: Cirque du Soleil headquarters that employs about 4,000 people from 40 different countries. We got an amazing behind-the-scenes tour of the various gyms, training rooms, make up room, costume department (wigs, shoes, headdresses, outfits) and the scheduling department (just the interpreters’ schedules alone were overwhelming). About 30 different people work with each circus artist, including a massage therapist, nutritionist, interpreter, coach, physical therapist, etc. Each performer is responsible for learning how to do his/her own make up. They also have three full sets of costumes for each performer. Cirque has 400 costume artists, produce each wig hair-by-hair and order 80% of their fabric in white (which means they custom dye most of the costumes you see on stage). This company is like nothing I have seen before!!!

After being completely blown away by the Cirque tour, we were ready for our own trapeze lessons by Carpe Diem at La Tohu ( We all practiced on the ground before getting harnessed up and climbing the big ladder. We were assured it was much harder to put your legs over the bar while on the ground than it would be in the air. However, there is a reason why trapeze artists are short and my long legs just didn’t want to cooperate! Although I didn’t follow directions very well and failed to hang upside down, Sharron named me Easy Trapeze and I was happy.

More eating please!!! Dinner at Restaurant Le Quartier General ( was next on our agenda. This neighborhood bistro offers regional dishes that change with the season and promote local farmers and ranchers from Quebec. My Canteloupe Soup and Entrecote de Beouf 1855 was delicious. Dominic was a huge help is assisting with our choices as Ben decided he looked like Simon LeBon from Duran Duran. Dominic said he prefers Jonathan Rhys-Meyers instead. Our game of Celebrity Cross Ups (courtesy of my friend Mandy L.) was successful and is now a huge hit in Montreal.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Girs Getaway to Montreal - Day 2

The next morning we met Annique Dufour for a tour of Montreal. Annique is an amazing tour guide and we covered so much ground that morning. We started with a tour of the underground (not all 20 miles) that has 69 subway stops, 7 shopping centers and 300 police cadets that patrol the underground daily. We also drove to the Island of Expo (named for when Montreal hosted the World’s Fair in 1967), which is now home to their Formula 1 racetrack, the Gilles-Villeneuve, that you can drive, walk or bike on (when there is no race in progress, of course). We went for a spin in the minivan and kept on driving. We also learned about their new BIXI ( system, which is a public bicycle sharing system Montreal has developed and has now been duplicated and sold to London, Boston, Toronto and Melbourne (Australia). For $5/day, you can find a bicycle at one of BIXI’s 600 stations throughout the city that houses about 4,000 bicycles. With nearly 250 miles of bike trails, Montreal is easily the top bicycle city in North America.

After working up quite an appetite, we were ready for lunch at the famous Schwartz’s Deli ( that has served some of the city’s best smoked meat since 1928. It was amazing, but bring cash. Schwartz’s doesn’t take plastic.

With our smoked meat intrigue “cured,” it was time to focus on the Circus Arts Festival. While many of us in the U.S. are familiar with Cirque du Soleil, (the largest and most branded of the modern circuses), there are other troops as well that are part of the festival, which has been planned for the past 18 months. There are three main sites for the festival: 1) Tohu, 2) Old Port of Montreal and 3) Downtown Montreal. There are also 15 different shows that portray the innovation and creativity that is unique to this “circus of tomorrow” performance.

Our first (and probably favorite) show was ID by Cirque Eloize ( (think Broadway’s Rent meets what you know about Cirque du Soleil and you may have some idea). It was refreshing to see the young performers incorporate new elements into the routines, such as the BMX bike.

After the show we stopped at Auberge du Vieux-Port for sangria (which we enjoyed while overlooking the Port and Cirque du Soleil tent) then it was off to see the closing night of Totem, Cirque du Soleil’s latest creation (, before it begins its traveling series. As with any Cirque show, it was incredible.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Bonjour: Welcome to Montreal

After just a three-hour direct flight from Orlando, I arrived at the Montreal-Trudeau International Airport ready to take on the island of Montreal. That’s right, Montreal is actually an island with more than 20 miles of “underground” that comprise the largest underground city in the world. It is also the second largest French speaking city (after Paris) in the world, the most bilingual city (most everyone speaks French and English) and the second largest Catholic city in North America (after Mexico City).

I was not only excited to explore North America’s most European city, but to also get a firsthand look at the city’s newest festival (Montreal is known for its many festivals held year round): the Circus Arts Festival, which is being held or the first time July 8-25, 2010 and is the only venue of this kind in North America (

I arrived at the Hotel Intercontinental Montreal (, which is conveniently located between Old Montreal and downtown and within walking distance to dining, shopping and entertainment. In addition, the hotel links directly to the underground pedestrian network. Location, location, is prefect.

I was joined by a few people from England, as well as representatives from Tourisme Montreal, and we made our way to Restaurant Bistro Le Fabrique where I had French Fries (or chips as they call them in England) that were fried in duck oil. My life will never be the same.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Girls Getaway to Montreal

Dear Mom and Dad, I ran away and joined the circus! Well, sort of. During our Girls Getaway to Montreal (July 11-14), we will enjoy this unique Euro-esque destination during its Circus Arts Festival. As home to Cirque du Soleil and La TOHU (the world's largest gathering places for circus arts), its only natural that Montréal is the venue for this summer's "Montréal Complètement Cirque." The city will play host to more than 100 circus artists from Belgium, Germany, Spain, Canada and Wales who will awe audiences with their most spectacular work. Plus, they told me I could try to trapeze! Follow my adventures on Twitter and Facebook!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Girlfriend We Gotta Talk

On Sunday, July 11 at 3:00 PM (EST), tune in to WLEE 990 AM Talk Radio or to hear my interview with Mary and Susie...can't wait to chat!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Did You Win Free Stuff?

Love to win free stuff? Be sure to visit the "Win Free Stuff" section of the Girls Getaway Guide website at to see if you won more than $2,000 in fun and travel-related prizes. Every few months we will post new and exciting prizes for Girls Getaway Guide fans, so be sure to check back regularly.

Prizes include:
- Café Tu Tu Tango ($50 value)
- Travel Perfume Gift Set ($54 value)
- Astrology/Psychic Consultation ($150 value)
- Dove® Visibly Smooth Travel Package ($200 value)
- Red Mountain Resort & Spa's Signature Package Stay for Two ($1,556 value)