Houstonians don’t necessarily look for warmer weather during the holidays; after all, let’s all admit that we’re hoping our 90+ degree-days are over with. Also, while we are luck enough to live near the ocean, I think we can all honestly admit that we wish our beloved Galveston was a myriad of beautiful shades of blue, turquoise, aqua, and so on. Can you picture that clear blue water yet?
Thanks to direct flights from United Airlines to the beautiful U.S. Virgin Islands, days of daydreaming about sipping on a cocktail with toes in the sand, while gazing at amongst crystal clear water are over! With that being said, doesn’t ditching the chaos of the holidays and trading it, instead, for making some great memories with the family or even escaping it all for some beachside r&r sound like a great plan?
Yes, that means get on that laptop or smartphone and start planning your U.S. Virgin Islands getaway! Don’t worry, we have got the where to stay and what to do all planned out for you. And let’s not forget, No Passport Required!
Following up on our article from August, “US Virgin Islands: No Passport Required”, we suggested staying at the family friendly Bolongo Bay on the island of St. Thomas for those wanting the beautiful scenery and small hotel boutique feel without breaking the bank (we loved this place by the way). However, if you want luxury and have the means to splurge, then Caneel Bay Resort is definitely a must. Just a short scenic ferry ride from Red Hook (St. Thomas) will take you to the island of St John where the 166-room resort is located. Founded by Laurance Rockefeller, Caneel Bay’s tranquil setting which includes seven of the most beautiful pristine beaches offers its guest every possible amenity for relaxation and disconnect. If the resort is out of your budget, a day visit to the resort’s Honeymoon Beach is suggested.
With plenty of picturesque beaches, restaurants, bars, and unique boutique shopping, St. John should definitely be on your itinerary as a day trip if staying on one of the other of the U.S. Virgin Islands. For the historian type of traveler, a drive to the Annaberg Plantation while discovering many of the island’s beaches will paint a vivid picture about the labor and equipment used during the 18th century. (The views from the plantation are simply amazing!) Before heading off the island of St. Thomas, head over to Ocean 362 for a one-of-a-kind Caribbean dining experience. The chef-driven innovative menu offers the freshest ingredients combining local flavors with a modern twist.
Back on the island of St. Thomas, for those seeking the best views, take a skyride to Paradise Point. Experiencing a beautiful sunset while sipping on a Bushwacker (local drink) while 700ft above the town of Charlotte Amalie is definitely the perfect opportunity for a “selfie” moment. If heights are not your preference, perhaps an evening cocktail at the très chic Havana Blue restaurant will be a great way to wrap up your outing. From a glowing wall of water to the white linen illuminated by a soft blue radiating light and the soft whisper of beach waves, Havana Blue’s Latin Style is simply a grown and sexy feel. May we suggest the mango mojito?
To sum it up, the U.S. Virgin islands are simply stunning. Although, I do wish my words paint a vivid picture, when it comes to travel, words are just never enough. Direct flights, a plethera of lodging options, and plenty of sights to see (unless you are a complete beach bum like me) the beautiful islands are waiting for you to explore them. So, what are you waiting for?
For more information, visit www.vistiusvi.com
It’s official, tickets go on sale October 17 for the 36th annual Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market set for Nov. 10-13 at NRG Center. Due to tremendous popularity last year, general admission tickets will once again be available for purchase online through Ticketmaster in addition to Houston-area Randalls locations. For many in Houston, the Nutcracker Market is the Super Bowl of shopping events and marks the start of the holiday season.
“Our shoppers responded well to the convenience in being able to purchase tickets online last year, so we are bringing that option back in 2016,” said Patsy Chapman, CEO of the Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market. “Pre-purchasing general admission tickets through Ticketmaster or Randalls is the easiest way to avoid lines and gain the fastest entry to the Nutcracker Market.”
General admission tickets are $18 at Randalls locations throughout Houston, or $18 plus fees and surcharges through Ticketmaster.com. Tickets will be available for $20 at the door during Market hours.
From humble beginnings in a community church in 1981, the Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market has grown to become the second-largest charity event at NRG Park and this year will mark its 36th year. More than 300 merchants will travel from across the country to participate in the 2016 Nutcracker Market selling everything from unique gift items, home décor, to gourmet food, clothing, toys, jewelry and more! New vendors will join familiar favorites like the Texas Tamale Co. and the ever popular Donne Di Domani marinara sauce, plus home decorative accessories from Paul Michael Co., ornamental metal accessories from The Round Top Collection, and holiday decorations from Clutter Yule Love.
As is the tradition each year, the Market takes on a new theme and this year’s “The Twelve Days of Christmas” was carefully selected by Market chairman, Mary Alice Parmet. The theme celebrates the shopping spirit of the holiday season, and the camaraderie the Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market creates among shoppers and the Houston community.
Proceeds from each admission and special event ticket that you purchase, plus 10% of all the merchandise you buy, goes back to Houston Ballet Foundation, its Academy and Scholarship Programs.
Thursday – Friday, November 10 and 11, 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Saturday – Sunday, November 12 and 13, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
ONE DAY PASS
Tickets are good for one day admission only during November 10-13, 2016. No repeat admission.
– $20 each at Market
– $18 each at Houston-area Randalls beginning October 17
– $18 each (plus surcharge) online at Ticketmaster beginning October 17
– Half-price admission is available daily, three hours prior to closing
– Children under 5 are free
– Group Rate: Groups of 20 or more will receive a $2 discount off regular admission price (must purchase in advance)
FOUR DAY PASS
Tickets are good for repeat admission all four days and early 9:00 am admission Thursday and Friday.
– $50 each at Market or order over the phone by calling 713-535-3231 prior to November 4, 2016
Complimentary stroller, cart, rolling bag and wagon checkroom is provided as they are not permitted inside. Wheelchairs and walkers are permitted. Pets are not allowed.
Special Event tickets are good for repeat admission all four days and early 9:00 a.m. admission on Thursday and Friday.
Wells Fargo Preview Party
Wednesday, November 9, 7:00 – 10:30 p.m.
Tickets start at $250
Saks Fifth Avenue Fashion Show and Luncheon
Thursday, November 10, 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Tickets start at $135
Macy’s Fashion Show and Brunch
Friday, November 11, 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Tickets start at $135
For more information, call 713-535-3231 or visit www.NutcrackerMarket.com