Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Goldring Travel's AMAWaterways' AmaLotus - Vietnam, Cambodia and The Mekong River Cruise- Part II

OK, so you want to know what I am going to be doing on this travel experience?

First, let me tell you want it is not going to be:  A Bubble.  You know what I mean.  The sanitized and homogenized ordeal where you "get on the bus" and then you "get off the bus". It is not going to be stop at temple A and then temple B.  If you want that sort of experience you can most certainly have it..and AMAWaterways has a promotional video that, to my mind, kind of gives that impression (for those that want that sort of thing), but that is not what an AMAWaterways experience need be...and it is great that AMAWaterways makes sure people like me can immerse myself.



Yes, there are some pretty beautiful things to look "at", but you know me and I look "in, around and about" and I get my hands dirty.  How?  Well, that is the beauty of travel.  If you plan it out too much you will miss the opportunities that are right in front of you.  My preparation is generally a framework and a couple of "must do's" and then I let things flow over me. 

Well, let's take a look at a few of the Griswald (err' Goldring) family preparations.  First, some background


If you have not seen the movie National Lampoon's Vacation you must in order to the the proper context.  Stuff happens and it isn't going to be perfect, but it will a great experience and a lot of fun.  (And, yes, I am the same person who has for the 2012 Goldring Travel Food & Wine Cruise on the Seabourn Pride arranged a tour and private tasting at Chateaux Margueax in Bordeaux, France and a cookery lesson at Ballymaloe organic Cookery School in Cork, Ireland...among other things).

My son has agreed that for $50.00 he will eat a Balut egg.  They are essentially chicken eggs that have been left to develop into rather complete fetuses.  He figures it must be OK to eat since the do it on television (see below) and it will be an experience.  (Beside the experience he needs money to pay off that new computer he - I - just bought.)

My daughter, who is a vegetarian, but who eats fish, has not yet agreed to anything.  I am trying to convince her that snake is close enough to fish to try and, if not that, dried scorpion....which is actually fairly closely related to lobster....will be on the menu.

Now, for me:  I am very excited to announce that just today I have been given the opportunity to do a review of  Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations Collection 7 DVD which, fortuitously (Anthony uses that word a lot!) includes his Cambodia journey.  He is, to me, one of the great modern travelers and an inspiration.



So, what I have to say is "Why yes, I will try _______".   Fill in the blank for me. Seriously.  It does not have to be food related.  Suggest something experiential and, if possible, and I do not risk too much (other than pride) I may just try to fit it in.  And if I do, you just may receive a Goldring Travel jacket.

An example of what I will not do:

And so you know that this journey will not just be about being extreme, I  do love my comforts and will be fully detailing not only the "free time" activities, but the tours, cuisine, service, etc.  and the ship from the top suites to the standard cabins.  I can assure you that my wife and the couple we are traveling with will enjoy the creature comforts, but they also enjoy letting me do what I do...but not necessarily join in.  There must be balance,  right?

Next up is a bit of discussion about the actual itinerary and schedule of events.