Ever been to Romania?

Written by Anca Echim

About a year ago, two Romanian backpackers launched www.spirit.ro (pronounced "The Spirit of Romania"), a travel guide with a twist, meant to show you that Romania means a bit more than Dracula or football. Well, tourism authorities and travelers from all overrepparttar world, watch out:repparttar 140596 site's summer-autumn 2005 version is alive and kicking for a couple of days now.

So, have you ever been to Romania?

Ifrepparttar 140597 answer is yes, then take a virtual trip to www.spirit.ro and lots of pleasant memories related to Romania will start flowing through your head. You’ll find there a place where you can brag with your travel experiences, whether they’re positive or negative, where you can sharerepparttar 140598 pictures you took in Romania and last but not least, a discussion board where you can share your knowledge with travelers that are about to visit places you’ve just returned from.

If Romania was indeed one of your memorable travel experiences thenrepparttar 140599 site will definitely grab you and turn you without even knowing it into a volunteer promoter of this country.

Old Fashion Romantic Adventure on Santa Catalina Island

Written by Carolyn Proctor

Old Fashion Romantic Adventure on Santa Catalina Island

Read Jetsetters Magazine at www.jetsettersmagazine.com

To read this entire feature FREE with photos cut and paste this link: http://www.jetsettersmagazine.com/archive/jetezine/globe02/usa02/CA/catalina/tour/catalina.html

Peering down fromrepparttar gangway ofrepparttar 140530 Catalina Express, I see fat orange Garibaldis,repparttar 140531 California State fish, nibbling amongrepparttar 140532 rocks. It’s early-afternoon on a sunny day and we’ve arrived at Avalon,repparttar 140533 little town on Santa Catalina Island offrepparttar 140534 coast of California.

Yes,repparttar 140535 island of “Twenty-six miles acrossrepparttar 140536 sea” fame,repparttar 140537 song made famous in 1958 byrepparttar 140538 Four Preps. But we didn’t swim here with “water wings and my guitar.” We tookrepparttar 140539 Catalina Express,repparttar 140540 modern ferry that crossesrepparttar 140541 water in one hour and five minutes—much easier to visualize than 26 miles.

Views ofrepparttar 140542 Long Beach skyline, Queen Mary, freighters, and cruise ships plyingrepparttar 140543 Mexican Riviera are to be had from topside aft,repparttar 140544 only outdoor seating. Inside, besides seating, there are tables and restrooms. There’s a full bar with snacks and onrepparttar 140545 top deck,repparttar 140546 Commodore Lounge―a private seating area for 50 people. For just $10 more onrepparttar 140547 ticket price (plus you get to pre-board) you can recline in leather seats and enjoy a free cocktail and snack. It’s a particularly popular place inrepparttar 140548 summer, whenrepparttar 140549 ferries are crowded.

A taxi takes my husband and I up torepparttar 140550 Zane Grey Pueblo Hotel, perched atop a green hillside overlookingrepparttar 140551 Bay of Avalon. Our handsome driver, Jorge Garcia, is a retired dancer who worked with Jose Greco. “I’ve been onrepparttar 140552 island since 1991,” he tells us. “I go home to Jalisco inrepparttar 140553 winter when island tourism slows down.”

After checking in we walk down and spendrepparttar 140554 rest ofrepparttar 140555 afternoon and evening exploringrepparttar 140556 town of Avalon.

The Channel House Restaurant facingrepparttar 140557 bay, with its paved brick enclosed patio shaded by green umbrellas and an enormous ficus tree, proves perfect for a mid-afternoon lunch. My husband orders a sensible Chinese Chicken salad and a cup of clam chowder; I devour a swordfish burger with fries.

Custom tile art welcomes you to Avalon.

Crescent Avenue, lined with eye-candy boutiques, is a pedestrian walkway only; no vehicles allowed. Its water fountain and stuccoed benches are dotted with colorful Catalina tiles. Every nook and cranny sprouts pansies, snap dragons, begonias. Hanging bare root baskets are home to fuschias and orchids. Here you can indulge in espresso, ice cream, salt water taffy, shrimp cocktails, waffles, oyster bars, or a cantina that boasts 70 different kinds of tequila.

We slurp oysters and beer outdoors onrepparttar 140558 patio at Armstrong’s Market & Seafood Restaurant.

At sunset, we find a table onrepparttar 140559 outdoor deck at Armstrong’s Fish Market and Seafood Restaurant. We order beer to wash down oysters onrepparttar 140560 half shell, which we consume underrepparttar 140561 watchful eye of a seagull, perched to dive for any crumb you might drop intorepparttar 140562 water.

The next morning we take Discovery Tours new off-roading adventure, its Cape Canyon Tour. We meet our Catalina Conservancy guide, Dave, inrepparttar 140563 Island Plaza, just one block fromrepparttar 140564 waterfront. He hands us each a free bottle of chilled water and introduces us torepparttar 140565 open-air, all-terrain 1968 Mercedes Unimog. Originally built for German military as a supply vehicle, this outback-looking vehicle with its jaunty canopy cover holds 12 people.

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