Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

Christmas lightsWell… almost.

It’s not quite December 25th, yet, but we’re sure you’ll be too busy unwrapping gifts, drinking eggnog and being generally jolly to stumble across this post tomorrow. So we’re saying good tidings today and wishing everyone a happy and merry holiday.

Wherever you are in the world, and whomever you’re spending this day with, may it as bright as you could’ve ever imagined.

Merry Christmas! (more…)

Holiday Daze

Friday, December 6th, 2013

christmasHave you been to a Christmas festival yet? Most tree-lighting parties have already occurred and Hanukkah started on November 28th, so gift-giving season is definitely in full swing. The weekends might start to get a little dreamy, and (hopefully) your days are getting more cheery. Enjoy it! The time will pass sooner than you expect, and you’ll be trying to stick to those New Year’s resolutions in no time. Wherever you’ll be over the next few weeks, chances are there’s a sweet holiday activity waiting for you – even if you won’t be leaving your hometown. All of our festive options can be found here, and below are some of our picks.


Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from Reserve123

Friday, December 21st, 2012

Dra, our resident Santa.

The end of every year is always a bittersweet season. On one hand, every gathering place is decorated with garland, lights and festive figurines, and families are making preparations to spend time together for at least a few days. On the other hand, not everyone is able to connect with their loved ones, and for many residents of Newtown, Connecticut, along with the countless individuals who have lost loved ones this year, Christmas and New Year’s traditions may feel incomplete.

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We at Reserve123 would like to take a second to thank each and every one of you for making this year a great one, filled with outstanding travel stories, photos, trinkets and tips. Surely there will be more to share once everyone gets back from their December vacations, and we can’t wait to dig into the goodness. Until then, we hope everyone has a safe and satisfyingly wonderful holiday, filled with gut-wrenching laughter and sleep-inducing dinners.

Happy travels! 

An Old World Italian Christmas

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

Christmas in St Peter’s Square

The Italians know how to do a party! And Christmas in Italy is exactly that. They begin their celebrations 8 days before Christmas Day and it goes on afterwards until around the 6th of January. A full three weeks of merriment. These traditions fall along religious lines and are festive times of prayer, worship, gifts and food!

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December 8th begins with the Novena. It is a sacred church service that begins prayer services until Christmas Mass. This is the day of the Immacolata and is noted by the appearances of all the nativities and the Christmas Trees are lit.  In the evening families will gather round their nativity and pray and sing songs. Decorations are left up until the 6th of January. It’s very bad luck to leave them up any longer.

There is fun Italian proverb that goes: La vita è come un albero di natale, c’è sempre qualcuno che rompe le palle.

In English that’s: Life is like a Christmas tree, there’s always someone who breaks the balls.


Holiday Gift Giving Time

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Some of us wait until the last minute to gather our Christmas gifts, and by some of us, I mean most of us. That’s the only possible explanation for why the stores are so crowded in the few days leading up to December 25th.  Since tomorrow officially starts the 25-day countdown to Christmas, it’s time to start thinking about what to buy for your loved ones.  As a rule of thumb, you’ll want to steer clear of fuzzy decorated sweaters and useless gadgets, unless, of course, you genuinely put some thought into the purchase.

Gift cards tend to fly off the shelves around this time of year, and with good reason. It’s more personal than handing over an envelope of cash, and the recipient still gets to pick out something they’d actually like!

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Holiday Tour Season is Here

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

See the Holiday Lights of New York Tour by Minibus

The most wonderful time of the year is here. By now, you’ve likely already made booked your flights and/or rental cars, and all your holiday travel preparations are probably in order. The kids are getting excited. Everyone is getting a jump start on the grocery shopping. You’ve dug up those criminally decorative sweaters from the hidden depths of your closet, and the camera you received Christmas last year is charged, loaded and ready capture.  The local department stores have put up the lights,  holiday commercials have began to air on television, and depending on where you live, there may now be snow on the ground. In general, the atmosphere has shifted, and unless you’ve been bitten by the “bah, hum-bug,” you’re ready to spread and share the cheer.

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Holiday lights are always fun to explore. Which house has the most extravagant display in the neighborhood? How will the park top last year’s arrangement? If you keep your eyes peeled, you might even catch a live nativity demonstration somewhere. The music is merry and bright, Santa is on every other corner, and it’s perfectly acceptable to sip eggnog with breakfast, lunch and dinner. While you’re re-creating you’re favorite recipes in the kitchen, consider adding some spice to your leisure time as well. Take a holiday excursion of some sort! Cruises, coach tours, and trolley rides are all sure ways to see a town in all its magical glory. Here are some of our favorites

General Jackson Holiday Dinner Cruise & Show in Nashville (here): Everything takes place in a glittering two-story theater, where you will enjoy a delicious holiday dinner, and a heart-warming show, filled with holiday classics and contemporary songs of the season, with a country twist. Check it out, y’all!

See the Holiday Lights of New York Tour by Minibus (as pictured): Other tours might keep you on the bus the whole time, but on the Holiday Lights of New York Tour by Minibus, your guide will hop off the shuttle with you and show you Christmas the way New York does it. You’re guaranteed to see the best holiday lights NYC has to offer.

Holiday Lights Tour on the Waikiki Trolley in Honolulu (here): If you’re lucky enough to be spending the holidays in Hawaii, then you’ll definitely want to see downtown Honolulu. It comes alive in a veritable galaxy of festive holiday lights.

Classic Cable Car Holiday Lights Tour in San Francisco (here): The Classic Cable Car rides are already glamorous by themselves, but when you throw the holiday lights in the mix… well, there are no words. You’ll even get a complimentary Santa’s hat!

We’ve got plenty of other holiday touring options, so take a look and see how you can participate in making things festive this year. Even if you won’t be traveling this season, explore your own town! We hope you’re pleasantly surprised by the sights.

Happy travels!


Happy Christmas from Australia!

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011


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G’day Mates, and Happy Holidays from Reserve123 and Australia Tours! With Christmas and the Holidays right around the corner, we think there’s no better way to spend it than Down Under enjoying the warm summer sunshine with Kangaroos and Penguins! Give yourself the gift of awesome Ausie-style fun in the sun and some of the world’s most incredible sightseeing tours and activities.

Christmas Koala

Christmas Koala

Christmas in Australia is celebrated a little differently – instead of being snowed-in in a crowded house or cabin trapped with relatives you don’t even really like that much, imagine the warm summer weather, exotic sightseeing activities, and fantastic beach excursions! And yes, Australia does also celebrate with Christmas Trees, Father Christmas, Christmas Carols, and gifts shared with loved ones. But Christmas Dinner might be a lovely picnic on the beach, or a delicious barbecue in the backyard, or out on the town with family & friends. Champagne is the traditional beverage instead of eggnog. That sounds like a Very Merry Christmas to me!! :)

Carols by Candlelight

Carols By Candlelight is one of the biggest events of the season. This began in Melbourne in 1937 and are outside concerts in the evenings. Most towns have a concert and two major ones are televised across Australia from Sydney and Melbourne. Adding to the magic of the evening is the spectacular sight of the Sidney Myer Music Bowl transformed into a visual masterpiece, as thousands of candles light up the night sky. An array of top entertainers performing a mix of the season’s favourite contemporary and traditional carols is sure to delight the whole family!

Visit Hunter Valley Gardens

Hunter Valley Gardens

Some of our tours I would recommend are our Hunter Valley Wineries & Gardens Lunch Tour from Sydney Australia. World acclaimed Australian wines from the vineyards of the rolling hills and valleys of the Hunter region, delight both the palate and the eye in this green and fertile land dotted with villages and over fifty wineries. Enjoy a leisurely afternoon at the awe inspiring Hunter Valley Gardens and wander throughout 12 spectacular themed gardens spanning over 25 hectares. Experience a stimulating journey through the magnificent displays, colours and delicate scents.

Healesville Sanctuary

Healesville Sanctuary Wildlife Park

You might also enjoy visiting the Healesville Sanctuary Wildlife Park near Melbourne. Healesville Sanctuary, Australia’s premier wildlife park is nestled in the foothills of the Yarra Valley, just one hour from Melbourne. Showcasing over 200 species of Australian wildlife, the lovely park is renowned as the best place to view Australian wildlife in their natural habitat. The Sanctuary features large walk-through habitat exhibits, flight aviaries and nocturnal exhibits that are well displayed to show the wonderful natural behaviour of Australian wildlife. You can also see the Australian Wildlife Health Centre, a working veterinary hospital offering uninhibited views into the journey of animal rescue, rehabilitation and release.

Happy Christmas from Australia Tours & Reserve123!

Happy Holidays from Australia Tours & Reserve123!

Hop on over to Tours in Australia for the best tours and hotels Down Under! Reserve online or call us toll free for assistance at 800-610-1096 and one of our friendly agents would be happy to help you. Don’t have Hotel reservations yet? No worries, Mate – our Hotel Directory features a fantastic selection of hotels, exceptionally low rates, and the convenience of being able to book your hotels and tours in one place. Happy Holidays from Reserve123 and Australia Tours!

Rome for the Holidays & New Year’s in Venice

Friday, December 17th, 2010

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Spending the winter holidays in Italy is an experience you will never forget! While Italy does not boast all of the flashing multi-colored lights, the plastic Santa Claus & reindeer displays, and commercialization of the United States, you will treasure many other fond memories in Italy that cannot be duplicated anywhere else.

Rome Illuminated at Night

View Rome Illuminated at Night

In Rome’s famous Baroque square, visit the Piazza Navona Christmas Market where you will find stands selling all kinds of Christmas sweets, toys, nativity figures, decorations, and gifts. Kids can enjoy the merry-go-round and the chance to meet Father Christmas. Be sure to see the famous Christmas nativities of the Santa Maria Maggiore museum and the Church of Saints Cosma and Damiano. Get your picture next to the enormous Christmas trees of Saint Peter’s Square, Piazza Venezia, and next to the Colosseum. Rome’s main streets are decorated with lights and often have entertainment by traveling musicians and vendors selling delicious roasted chestnuts. Enjoy an outdoor ice skating rink that is set up near Castel Sant’Angelo. And on Christmas Eve, share in a special Midnight Mass with the Pope in Saint Peter’s Square! When in Rome, be sure to take the fantastic Rome Illuminated Evening Bus Tour to enjoy the magical atmosphere created by the romantic holiday lighting.

Enjoy a Gondola Ride in Venice

Enjoy a Gondola Ride in Venice

Then ring in the New Year with the charming bells of Venice! The architecture of the waterways and the open spaces promote a sensational experience as the sounds of the beautiful bells resonate on New Year’s Eve. The bells are sure to bring a smile to your face and send shivers through your spine as they ring out to announce the masses and the start of the New Year. Many restaurants in Venice have feasts on New Year’s Eve that continue through midnight. Saint Mark’s Square hosts a huge celebration with music, a giant fireworks display, bellini brindisi (toast), and lots of group kissing at midnight. On New Year’s Day, many bathers take a chilling dip in the waters of Venice’s Lido Beach! I would recommend the Grand Private Tour of Venice Italy to experience Venice off the beaten track to discover the Venetians. Navigate along the Grand Canal on a private boat with your guide. You will also visit a genuine Murano glass factory and visit St. Mark’s Square and the Basilica, entering without having to stand in the long tourist lines.

Visit Italy Tours to discover more of the rich culture, history, & beauty of Italy. Don’t forget the spirit of giving this holiday season – give the gift of travel! Reserve 123 gift cards (valid for 5 years) provide access to thousands of tours, activities and experiences around the world. Give the gift of travel to friends, family, coworkers, employees, and anybody else you wish to impress. From dinner cruises and sightseeing boat tours to city excursions and attraction tickets, the Reserve 123 gift card can be used in hundreds of global vacation destinations. Order your Reserve 123 Travel Gift Cards here!

PJ Party on the Polar Express!

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

Say Thank You with fresh fruit, bakery treats and towering sweets from - 468x60

This November and December, why not take the kids on the ride of the lifetime on the Polar Express? As featured in the animated movie starring Tom Hanks as the voice of the conductor, the Polar Express gives kids and adults the opportunity to feel the magic of Christmas while enjoying hot chocolate, cookies, caroling, and a visit from Santa.  The adventure begins and ends in Ely, Nevada – a historic mining town in White Pine County.

Kids are encouraged to get comfortable and wear their pajamas as they get cozy and listen to a reading of the story of the Polar Express.  Everyone on the train is given a silver bell, a special gift from Santa and his elves before they depart the train.  On the return trip to Ely, Nevada, the caroling begins so warm up your voices and get ready to belt out a Christmas tune.

This is not your typical train ride, so get in the Christmas spirit and bring along the little ones for a North Pole trip to remember! Visit for more details and to book tickets.

Beautiful Sights and Award-Winning Performances in Pigeon Forge

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

Dolly fans, car and truck enthusiasts, and music buffs in general come in droves to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and with good reason.  Pigeon Forge is the home of Dollywood, a theme park owned by Dolly Parton and the Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation as well as other shows and activities with a country twist.

Dollywood offers crafts, the music of the Smoky Mountains, and amusement park thrill rides.  Adjacent tothe park there is also a water park called Dollywood’s Splash Country and Dixie Stampede, which is a southern dinner theater with a live opening act playing country and bluegrass music and the main event,  a modern day Wild West type of production.  During the show, each side of the theater takes on an identity – one half as the North and the other as the South.  Both sides battle to win horse competitions, pig and ostrich races, and more.  At the end, guests can meet the animals who took part in the show at the Horse Walk, located right outside the complex.

In addition to the Dolly-themed activities in Pigeon Forge, there are other shows in the area that are sure to pique your interest.  The Country Tonite Show, which was voted the “Best Live Country Show in America,” is a music, comedy, and dance extravaganza.  New and old country favorites pulsate throughout the theater as the award-winning vocalists take the stage.  This show is highly-acclaimed in the music community and has been receiving accolades since its inception in the 1990s.

If you have finished enjoying your time in Pigeon Forge, or if you simply wish to get away for a little while, you can travel to nearby Asheville, North Carolina and check out the Biltmore Estate, the largest privately owned home in America.  Sitting on 8,000 acres, this mansion boasts 250 rooms and a winery that is the most visited in the country.  The house is also surrounded by 75 acres of perfectly manicured gardens and woodlands.  You can visit the estate at Christmastime and check out the 35-foot-tall tree in the Banquet Hall, as it is lit up and adorned with oversized ornaments and other decorations which can be seen throughout the house.

As you can see, there is much to see and do in Pigeon Forge, and these are just the events happening this winter.  During the summer and fall months, you can travel to Gatlinburg, Tennessee for a walking tour, some river rafting, and a show and you can also take advantage of a wide range of activities in Pigeon Forge, Asheville,  Chattanooga, and Bryson City that are designed for the warmer months.

Visit and discover all that Pigeon Forge and the surrounding area has to offer.

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