Four Tips to get the Most out of Your Trip to Doha Cith, Qatar

When traveling overseas, organization is key, especially when going to an exciting, bustling place like Doha City, Qatar. Experiencing a strange city, exposing yourself to new cultures, and navigating a new place where few speak English can intimidate even the seasoned traveler. Do your research and follow these tips to get the most out of your trip to Qatar.

Pick a Hotel

fixedw_large_4xImage provided by Jan Venter via Trover.com.

Picking the right hotel can go a long way in dictating the type of experience you have while in Qatar. It may be common sense, but it’s the most important tip. A well-known hotel in a great location is the starting point for each day’s adventures. The InterConinental Doha is conveniently located in the heart of the city. The hotel staff is another valuable resource for tips on what attractions to see or the best places to eat. Traveling in Qatar is a culture shock for most people. A comfortable hotel will feel like an oasis: a place to relax and rejuvenate after a long day of seeing the sights.

Create an Itinerary, but Be Flexible

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No visit to Doha City is complete without spending a day in Sooq-Waqif. A fully restored marketplace, it boasts great shopping and dining. Plan to go early to see the merchants set up and make reservations at one of the many well-known restaurants for a traditional Qatar meal. While exploring, you might lose yourself in the labyrinth of vendor shops. This is where the flexibility comes in. When you need a break, take a seat at one of the outdoor cafe and observe the people and architecture. Not much of historical Qatar exist outside of Sooq-Waqif, so enjoy it.

Visit a Museum

I know what you’re going to say: museums are boring. But trust me. Put at least one culturally significant museum on your travel to-do list. In Doha City, the Qatar National Museum will give you an overview of what makes this city so unique all under one roof. A visit to a museum has another significant benefit in Qatar. Most are air conditioned, which provides a necessary reprieve from the desert-like temperatures outside.

Try Everything, but at Your Own Risk

kabsaImage provided by Jamal Tariq via Wikimedia Commons.

I’m an adventurous eater, but I won’t eat something too out there while on vacation. Nothing spoils a great adventure like an upset stomach. And you don’t want to spend your vacation in a hospital. Look at stuff, smell it. If you have an iron stomach or feel like the cuisine is part of experiencing the culture, then by all means, dive in and try some of the local delicacies like Machbous (mutton or chicken dish topped with basmati rice, pine nuts, and raisins) and Mathrooba (a chicken dish with creamy butter porridge). Stick to dishes served at popular restaurants and at the hotel; leave the street vendors to the locals.

Follow these tips, and enjoy your trip to the amazing country of Qatar. It only takes a little planning to have the vacation of a lifetime.

 

New Release – Spicy Christmas Kisses 2

Are your ready for Christmas? Here’s some sexy holiday inspiration!!!

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Amazon & Kindle Unlimited

Nine MORE Romances to Heat up Your Holidays!

Readers loved last year’s set so much, we decided to do it again and bring you NINE spicy romances set around the holidays. From bestselling, award-winning and multi-published authors come romances that include friends to lovers, doggie matchmakers, single dads, hero-in-hiding, maybe baby, reunited lovers and more!

So grab your romantic Christmas set today, settle in with a mug of something delish and feel the heat from Spicy Christmas Kisses 2!

Hope for Us All: A Hope Series Christmas Novella by Sydney Aaliyah Michelle Welcome to Carrington and Jackson’s first family Christmas, money, fame and family are supposed to be good things, right?

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Unfinished Business by Lyssa Layne Marine Theo Lindemann is hoping to avoid his family over the holidays, just like Tess Vargas. When the two cross paths, they help each other accomplish this goal only to find out that they’re both hiding from the same thing.

Maligned by Jade Kerrion A single dad. The pretty girl-next-door. First impressions can make or break a relationship. But what if they’re wrong?

Mistletoe Marathon, by Susan Ann Wall They’ll run 26.2 miles for just one kiss.

Invitation to Christmas by Bonnie Edwards Last Christmas Tom Fontaine kissed his soon-to-be step-sister and unleashed a mess of want. Can he convince Jordyn Bailey that their family can be blended in more ways than one?

All I Want For Christmas by Susan Oloier Charlotte missed her flight to Wisconsin and is looking for a quick way home before her sister’s Christmas Eve wedding. Ryan’s in search of a meandering adventure. When they’re forced together for a two-thousand-mile, cross-country trip, they discover a journey neither of them planned for.

Napa Christmas (The MacAllesters) by Dawn DeSousa Jennifer “JJ” Jones, has the life she has always wanted, dream job–check, dream man, check. Intrusive new sister-in-law-to-be, not so much. Can JJ juggle her own Christmas desires with the expectations of others?

Heating Up The Holidays by Marcia James When Chris Spencer returns home with his daughter, he’s not looking for a second chance with his first love. And the last thing Nicky Paxton needs at Christmas time is her high school heart-breaker. But thanks to a unique dog and a lonely child, they might get their Christmas desires.

Five Golden Rings: A Christmas Novella by K.L. Brady Girl trips over Boy…and Boy falls for Girl. Nick and Kristy’s unforgettable chance encounter at the National Tree Lighting takes a turn for the worst when they’re torn apart. Can a Missed Connection ad and little Christmas magic bring them back together?

Available for 99 cents. Get into the holiday spirit. Buy your copy today!

4 New York Locations that Inspire

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As a writer, I’m always looking for inspiration. Something outside of myself that gets the writing muse speaking. Every year, I fly to New York, book a hotel with easy access to the subway, and explore. I don’t have to go far to find several spots that offer inspiration.

The Park

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No matter the season, Central Park is inspiration overload. If you’re into nature, the park is the greenest spot in all of Manhattan. I get lost in the quiet winding trails, only a few feet away from the noise of the city. In the fall, the leaves change from a brilliant green to a pumpkin orange, a picturesque scene accented by the bright blue sky. Rent a boat and take a row around the Reservoir. Animal lovers can rent a horse at the stables or, if you prefer your horses stationary, take a ride on the merry-go-round. Walk your dog or join a pickup game of soccer on the Great Lawn. I usually find a bench or a rock, with my journal and a good book, and take it all in.

The Other Park

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I call Bryant Park the other park because while it’s not the second biggest, it’s the most inspiring. This 9-acre patch of land in Midtown Manhattan transforms itself depending on the time of year. In the winter, check out the craft vendors peddling their kiosks to the tourists looking to take a little part of Manhattan home with them. In February and September, designers, models, and fashion lovers take over the park for New York Fashion Week. Showing in Bryant Park means you have arrived in the fashion world, and what could be more inspiring than that. I love the springtime the best. I grab some food at one of the food kiosks, find a table, and settle in for an afternoon of people watching.

The Bridge

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The Brooklyn Bridge has been the setting of pivotal moments in not one, but two of my novels. It’s been used in movies and television shows as a metaphorical background to separate people and bring people together. Why is this bridge so inspiring? It connects two boroughs with vastly different vibes. While Manhattan is button up suits and intensity, Brooklyn is hipster skinny jeans and laid back comfort. Both offer their own inspiration, but standing in the middle of the bridge, taking in the tall, menacing buildings on one side and the shorter, historic structures on the other — the Brooklyn Bridge inspires.

The Building

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I’m not sure why the FlatIron Building speaks to me, but I’m not alone. Maybe it’s the location: Fifth Avenue, 22nd Street, and Broadway. It’s a convergence of creativity and money. Or maybe its triangular shape and the French and Italian Renaissance influences in the 22-story structure. What ever it is, it sparks my creative juices like no other building on the planet. If the outside isn’t inspiration enough, its tenants are creative types such as book publishers, literary agents, and some of the most famous fashion designers in the world.

Nothing like a change of scenery to jump-start inspiration. A quick trip to New York, immersing yourself into the city’s landscape, will give you inspiration in abundance for when you return home. 

4 Historical Must-See Sites During Your Visit to Nashville

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Image via Trover.com by Jim Nix

Nashville is not your typical Southern town. Located in the heart of Tennessee, this vibrant city became the subject of a major network television show. Full of beautiful settings and interesting characters, Nashville is more than what you see on the show. It’s full of historical and cultural significance that date back to the original settlements of America. Whether you stay downtown or in Bellevue or Old Hickory, you’re sure to find a convenient and relaxing family-friendly IHG hotel close to the many historic sites of Nashville.

The Parthenon

Who knew you could find a bit of ancient Greece in Tennessee? One of the most popular historic sites in Nashville is The Parthenon, which attests to the city’s nickname, the “Athens of the South.” Located west of the downtown area in Centennial Park, the life-size replica of the ancient Greek structure is a fitting tribute to the town’s moniker. Celebrating ancient Greek architecture, the site includes a 42-foot statue of the Greek goddess Athena and houses a permanent art collection.

The Grand Ole Opry

In 1925, The Grand Ole Opry broadcast its first show, “The WSB Barn Dance.” Ninety years later, the weekly show continues to air from the most sought after venue in country music. Over the years, country music’s newest and notorious, from Patsy Cline to Carrie Underwood, have performed on the famed stage.

Located on the banks of the Cumberland River, the history of country music is woven into the fabric of The Grand Ole Opry. Take a tour of the famous building during the day and come back at night and catch a show. You never know who will show up on the Opry stage.

Jack Daniel’s Distillery

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Image via Trover.com by Ronald Mason

Tennessee isn’t only a music mecca; it’s the whiskey capital of the world, too. No distillery is more famous than the Jack Daniel’s Distillery. Created in 1865, the history of the birth of this American staple is both fascinating and tragic.

Located 90 minutes from Nashville in Lynchburg, Tennessee, the site is worth the day trip. Book a guided tour and partake in a tasting. You can absorb the history of alcohol in America while listening to the tale of how Jack Daniel and eight other master distillers created the whiskey so many enjoy today.

Belle Meade Plantation

Built in 1820, the Belle Meade Plantation is a historic walk through the human condition. A short drive east of downtown Nashville, the former Indian hunting ground became the model for plantation life in the South. Even in the 1890s, tourist and dignitaries alike paid a visit to Belle Meade to see how a proper plantation should be run. With its immaculate grounds and perfectly restored buildings, you get an idea of life in the Old South. The Belle Meade is available for weddings and other events. During the summer, the plantation offers educational summer camps for kids.

Nashville has a rich and complex history — one you must see. Book a few nights at one of the city’s fabulous hotels and spend a few days visiting these historic sites that shaped our country’s history.

Experience New Orleans

I love New Orleans. It was my first high school Spring Break trip, my first college experience. It didn’t last long, but that’s another story. I visit New Orleans at least once per year and it never gets old. Whether you stay out near the airport or in the heart of party city, no two trips to New Orleans will ever be the same.

Airport Stay

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New Orleans is an easy city to get to and once you land, you are inundated with the feel of the landscape. Near the airport, check in to the Hilton Garden Inn New Orleans Airport. It’s about 15 minutes from downtown. Lake Pontchartrain is in your backyard. If you like bridges, water, or Guinness Book of World Records stuff, take a drive on the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, the 23.83-mile road over the lake.

Real World

If New Orleans is fantasy land, Metairie is the real world. Located 8 minutes outside of New Orleans, the Sheraton Metairie – New Orleans Hotel is a beautiful modern property and a great base to experience all the region has to offer. When the weather is good, check out the hotel’s rooftop pool. It’s close to shopping and dining and if you are a gambler, the casino is not far away.

Conventions and Meetings

Every year, hundreds of companies converge onto New Orleans under the guise of a convention or annual sales meeting. To further legitimize the company-wide “meeting,” they stay at hotels such as the Hilton Garden Inn New Orleans Convention Center. It even has it in the name. The hotel is reasonably priced for its location. It’s close to the St. Charles Street Car Line, the Aquarium and the famous River Walk with its views of the Mississippi River.

The Party

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If you show no qualms about getting your party on, book a stay in the French Quarter. The Hyatt French Quarter on Iberville Avenue is a block off Bourbon Street and close to jazz clubs, lounges, and restaurants, including my favorite, the Quarter, Acme Oyster Bar. The unique location pulses with the energy of the French Quarter and offers easy access to downtown and the Garden District. The historic hotel offers a modern and elegant decor. The courtyard is a beautiful space to hold an elegant wedding or host a cool party.

The Heart

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If southern Louisiana is a body, then the famous Bourbon Street is the heart. You haven’t partied unless you’ve partied on Bourbon Street. Bourbon Orleans Hotel is in the center of the action. The hotel looks and feels like New Orleans. If you’re lucky enough to visit New Orleans during Mardi Gras, make sure and get a room with a balcony. You can watch the craziness at a safe distance.

New Orleans remains one of my favorite places in the world. Each visit offers a new experience.

 

Have you been to New Orleans? What’s your favorite part of town?