Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Victoria Highland Games, Tour of Scotland & Ireland

May 2013, Vol 2, Issue 5 

         Travel & Cruise News and Items of interest
               A Newsletter from Rosswin Travel, Courtenay, Vancouver Island, BC
                       Business Opportunity:
Table of Contents:
Victoria Highland Games
Tour of Scotland & Ireland, 2014
10 Commandents on Cruising
Artist of the Month 


 Victoria Highland Games, Victoria, BC, May 18 & 19, 2013
I was presented with a trip to the Victoria Highland Games weekend for Mother’s Day. It was a first for us as the only highland games we had attended were in Maxville, Ont., for the Glengarry Highland Games which we will be attending again this August.
 Alex Fraser at UEL Booth
 Alex and I drive down to Victoria on the Friday afternoon arriving about 6 pm.  We did not attend the Friday night Clan event in downtown Victoria, but did get to both days of the Highland Games.

  Prince Andrew was in attendance and opened and closed the games. We had a good view of him and he is an excellent speaker. 

We enjoyed the events that took place in the Heritage Tent.  It was a mixed up day on Saturday, weather wise, so we were sheltered in the Heritage tent most of the time.  Sunday was a great sunny day and the crowd mushroomed from that of Saturday.
 Steve Ashton

The speakers we listened to were:
 - “Wearing the Kilt” by Steve Ashton,
- Highland Regiment Heritage in Canada “The 78th Fraser Highlanders” by Capt. Chris Hoskin.
- “The Mythology and History of the Highland Clans” by Dr. James Acken, who spoke for approximately 2 1/2 hours, ( in fact the games were over at 6 p.m. and our group were so captivated we were still in the tent and we had to be told to leave at near 6:30 pm.)  
- The -Victoria Genealogical Society spoke on “Tracing Your Scottish Ancestors”,
- The Victoria Gaelic Choir with “Songs of the Island” was also in attendance and sang some very enjoyable selections.
There were also other presentations in the Heritage Tent as well, one that was well attended was the,
“Scottish Weaponry & Sword Fighting” by F. Braun McAsh. 
See -

 There was also entertainment on the Entertainment Stage, we listened to several groups, some of which were Sarah Tradewell, The McGillicuddy’s, Ivan Hernandez and caught a bit of a couple of others.   There was also the Address to the ”Haggis”  and we had a taste as well.
 The McGillicuddy's

  There were about a dozen Clan Tents and other societies in “The Avenue of Clans” including the Vancouver Island Scottish Dance Society, as well as the United Empire Loyalist Tent and the Victoria Genealogical Society. 
MacLeod Clan at opening Ceremonies

There was also a Celtic Stage where other entertainment took place, The Victoria Irish Dancers, Greater Victoria Police Pipe Band, Scottish Country Dancers and the dance competitions etc. Around a dozen pipe bands were in attendance and of course all the 

athletic events took place. 
 Victoria Irish Dancers

Quite a few venders including “Wannawafel” who was featured on “Dragon’s Den”
and the usual venders selling Scottish goods and foods.

To top it all off, Alex won 2 tickets to the Pacific Tattoo in Victoria on July 13, 2013 at the “Save on Foods Memorial Centre” which we will certainly attend. Nice surprise to a vey enjoyable weekend.


 Group Tour of Scotland & Ireland May 2014

I am in the process of helping to organize a group tour to the British Isles for May 2014.  This group is from the Comox Valley and are all seniors. Scotland and Ireland are on the agenda and we have decided on a 3 week holiday. We have alotted free days as some of the group are visiting relatives while others have agendas of their own that they would like to do.  

While looking for tours that are reasonable and very flexible I came across “Rabbies Tours”.  They sound like the perfect tour company for our group.  We can pick our own type of lodging and they will book it for us and we can eat in our own choice of restaurants, the itineraries sound great as well. 

We can also plan our own itinerary and they will supply a bus and driver and we can make up our own tour. Prices sound reasonable as well. If you are planning a trip to the British Isles then check them out.

For an update on our trip or for more details or If you are planning a trip to the British Isles or desire to be part of this group contact me at or 250 338 6334 or 1-866-517-2113

Booking your own travel then check out my booking engine at 

 10 Commandments on Cruising
 I Am Too Embarrassed To Ask Blog
July 16, 2010 - John Heald

1. Thou shalt not kill………….. unless a passenger enters an elevator before you exit. Then you shalt be allowed to beat them over the head with a Fun Ship Special glass until they breathe no more.
2. Thou shalt not covet they neighbor’s cabin. Look, if there’s somebody on your deck staying in the penthouse and wearing loads of jewelry and bling they’re obviously involved in some sort of unspeakable internet-based “business.” Therefore thou shalt report them to United States Customs and Border Patrol.
3. Thou shalt not call Carnival “the Wal-Mart of the Seas.” Neither can you stereotype anyone for the cruise line they choose to spend their vacations on. Unless they are on the Norwegian Epic in which case they are obviously blind.
4. Thou shalt not bring a power strip on the ship. It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle then it is for a power strip to be smuggled past Carnival’s Chief of Security Ramesh Wouldyoulikemylatexgloveupyourbottom.
5. Thou shalt not slap a big ugly “X” on your smoke stack or paint graffiti on the bow. Not if you’re a grown-up. Oh and note to basketball stars……….thou shalt not put spinners on your Aston Martins.
6. Thou shalt not have rumpy pumpy on the balcony lest you fall overboard. Thou thinkist that no bugger can see you but thou givest a great show to Rocco and his mates on the bridge.
7. Thou shalt not attempt to justify building a 6,000-passenger ship just because thou is jealous that Micus Arisonus got Princess Cruises and thou did not.
8. Thou shalt say please and thank you when asking Bigus Johnus for a table for two, otherwise thou shalt be known on the blog as Rudos Bastardus.
9. Thou shalt not refer to the cabin steward as a cabin “stewart.” It is steward and not “stewart” and if thou uses the word “stewart” again thou shalt find a towel animal on thy bed in the shape of a thingy.
10. Thou will never ever ask the captain “If you are here, who is driving the ship?” Thou is not the first person to ask this question and the next one who does will enjoy a tour of the propellers.


Mary Osborne Reed
Mary was born and educated in England.  In 1965 she settled in the beautiful Comox Valley which has provided inspiration for most of her artwork.  She took her art training at North Island College. Over the years she ahs won several awards at juried shows around Vancouver Island.  Mary's work can be found in local gallery exhibits and in private collections in Canada, Germany, England and USA.


I will be glad of any comments or corrections or if you wish to see something that is of interest to you please let me know. Thanks, Rhoda
If you liked this please pass it on 

Rosswin Travel,  
1 250-338-6334 / 1 866-517-2113
420 Harmston Ave, Courtenay, BC, V9N 2X2

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Saturday, 11 May 2013

Book your Alaska Cruise

April Newsletter Vol. 2, issue 4

        Travel & Cruise News and Items of interest
               A Newsletter from Rosswin Travel, Courtenay, Vancouver Island, BC
                       Business Opportunity:
                       A Pictorial View of the Comox Valley Blog:
Table of Contents:
Alaska Cruise Season 
Discover Alaska
Retiring & Travel
CCRA Travel Tricks that Work
Artist of the Month

 Alaska Cruise Season Coming Up

Have you booked your Alaska Cruise yet, if you are planing an Alaska cruise this year then book soon, the Alaska cruise season is about to begin. May to Sept., is the usual months for the large cruise ships to sail to Alaska.  There are quite a few cruise lines offering sales for the Alaska season but the bargains will not last long, so book soon. 

I have added another cruise company to the list this season 

 "Discover Alaska" 
 "All- Inclusive Alaska Cruise/Tour Vacation"
I believe this is the only company that offers an all-inclusive cruise and tour to Alaska

Discover Alaska 
    DISCOVER ALASKA...America's Oldest, Largest and Most Reliable Tour Company to Alaska (featuring "All-Inclusive" Alaska Cruise/Tour vacations with Holland America).
     Now's the time to start booking the 2014 Alaska season...and it's not too late to book your last minute 2013 Alaska clients either.
     RSVP today and see why Discover Alaska is the perfect choice to Alaska!

Fully Customized 10/14/15/ Day Cruise and Land Tour Packages - The 2013 Alaskan Experience                                Contact: 899-624-7718

Price for cruise and tours are all inclusive. 
The cruise sips that are being used for this All-Inclusive cruise and tour

With Royal Caribbean Cruise lines - "Radiance of the Seas"  
14 Day Northbound and 14 Day southbound cruise and Tour Itinerary, 2013
Additional Programs: Denali Tundra and Wilderness Tour

With Holland America Cruise lines - "Statendam" or "Zaandam"
Fully Customized 14 Day Cruise and Land packages, 2013
Northbound Crise/Tour and Southbound Cruise/ tour
Additional Programs:
10 Day Cruise only
15 Day - Double Denali
Denali Tundra
Wilderness Tour

Note: if you just wanted to do the cruise portion of the tour then that can be arranged. 

Check out my Alaska Blog for the listing of cruise lines and their schedule for sailing's to Alaska, the blog also has other useful information relating to Alaska.

Are you Retiring, do you want to travel, 
then here are some tips from

Do you dream of travelling extensively during retirement but wonder whether you can afford it? It is possible: The key to efficient and frugal travel is finding ways to make the best use of your travel dollar without compromising on quality.
1. Consider house-sitting

Homeowners like having their homes taken care of while they’re away and many seniors like travelling to and living in new places — that’s a win-win recipe. Homeowners tend to prefer seniors as house-sitters because of their maturity level and sense of responsibility. House-sitting can be a great way to explore a new locale or enjoy experiences normally well beyond your means (such as a few weeks at a waterfront mansion). While short-term house-sitting is seldom paid, the accommodations are rent-free and in some cases you can negotiate for living expenses while you mind the house.

Long-term house-sitting can even provide a modest supplement to your income. Websites such as and are a good resource for matching yourself with homeowners who need houses tended. Expect a sign-up fee in the range of $20 to $30.

  • Bright idea: If the homeowner you’re sitting for has pets, you may even be able to bring your own pet along.

2. Embrace off-peak and last-minute travel
Now that you’re free of your workplace shackles you can take advantage of off-peak travel pricing and last-minute deals. Travelling during off-peak times is not only cheaper but also less crowded. Having the freedom to pack up and ship out at potentially short notice can be exciting, and flash-sale travel discount sites aren’t just for web-savvy youngsters — they’re also a perfect way for you to stretch your travel dollar in retirement.
  • Bright idea: Mid-week flights are often cheaper than those on the weekend.
3. Get travel and health insurance
Besides budget, the other major factor affecting your travel potential is your health. Good travel insurance can save you a lot of money if you get into trouble. Foreign hospitals can sometimes command a small fortune to treat you and a myriad of factors could pop up before your departure date that could force you to cancel your trip, so being insured will give you real peace of mind. These days travel insurance can get pretty sophisticated, from covering flight cancellations to refunding boat rental fees for your fishing trip. Make sure you look carefully at the fine print and pick the cancellation/travel health policy that best fits your needs.
  • Bright idea: If you have any pre-existing health conditions, be sure your policy covers any complications or cancellations that could result from them.
4. Plan your medications and treatment options
Make sure you have extra amounts of any medication you’ll need and pre-pack pillboxes ahead of time. Research what kind of medical facilities are available nearby to your chosen vacation spot or, if you’re not planning to be particularly close to civilization on your trip, find out what emergency services are available, particularly if you have serious health issues.
If you know you need health care within reach, you can still travel: Consider a cruise or a specialty resort. Cruises always have their own medical staff on board, and certain resorts geared towards retirees will have full hospital facilities on site. Find out about your specific health-related limitations (such as altitude, humidity or exertion), and get your doctor’s okay to travel before you book.
Always keep your medication in your carry-on luggage, not your checked luggage, but be sure to comply with the rules about original packaging, liquids and gels. Check this out in advance so you don’t have an unpleasant surprise or delay at the airport.
  • Bright idea: Watch out for changing time zones and medication schedules so you don’t skip doses accidentally.
5. Keep your health information handy
If you have a non-trivial medical condition, bring your medical history with you as well as spare prescriptions for any crucial meds — bags can be stolen or lost so it pays to have a back-up plan. Doctors will have an easier time treating you when illness strikes if they have your information.
  • Bright idea: Notify resort staff of any serious health conditions you have so they can respond quickly and appropriately in case of emergency.
Wherever your travels take you, remember that you don’t have to give up adventure just because you’re retired — in fact, with a little planning, you can find more adventure than ever before!

From CCRA Travel Solutions

Travel Tricks That Work

 By Heather Brewer on March 26th, 2013

The Huffington Post’s SmarterTravel has come up with 9 travel tricks that really work.  Here is what they have to say, “At SmarterTravel, we’re big fans of “lifehacks,” or MacGyver-like workarounds for common problems. From making the elevator go directly to your floor to fixing a broken zipper, these not-so-well-known tips make travel a little bit easier.”  Here are their tricks:
  1.  Expedite Your Elevator Trip – If you want to upgrade your elevator to VIP status, simply press the desired floor number and the “door close” buttons simultaneously for several seconds.
  1. Cancel for Free – If you missed the cancellation window for your hotel, restaurant, or car booking but can still change the reservation date free of charge, move your reservation back by several weeks or months. Then call back to cancel with a different representative.
  2. Defend Your Legroom – For those passengers sitting behind the reclining ones, we have some solutions to defend your legroom from encroachment. The first is the controversial Knee Defender ($19.95), a pocket-sized plastic device that locks onto your tray table and prevents the seat in front of you from reclining. It won’t win you any friends, but it is approved by the FAA for use. The second solution? Just ask. I’ve had good luck with politely asking the flyer in front of me if they would refrain from reclining while I ate or used my laptop.
  3. Fix a Broken Suitcase Zipper – It’s happened to everyone: Your suitcase zips just fine when you leave, but upon packing for your return trip, it fails to close. Rather than replace your luggage, consider these quick zipper hacks. If the zipper appears to be stuck, rub Vaseline, lip balm, or bar soap on the teeth to get it moving. Zipper teeth no longer staying closed? Usually a single tooth is bent out of shape. Feel along the length of the zipper until you find the one that sticks out, and then a quick adjustment with pliers will do the trick. And if the zipper handle has snapped off from the slider completely, replace it by looping a souvenir keychain through the slider, creating a makeshift zipper pull. (An eye-catching keychain will also help you identify your bag on the luggage carousel.)
  4. Find Free Wi-Fi (Really) – Our favorite (above-board) tip is to download a program such as NetStumbler, which goes above and beyond your computer’s built-in Wi-Fi detector by locating “hidden” Wi-Fi networks your PC might have missed. If you’re on a Bluetooth-enabled Mac, iStumbler will provide the same service. Smartphone users can get apps like JiWire’s Free Wi-Fi Finder, whose directory tracks the exact location of nearly 150,000 free networks worldwide.  If all else fails, find the inevitable Starbucks. Many locations offer free Wi-Fi (and you can usually perch right outside the entrance and secure a connection).
  5. Ask for a Free Phone Charger – Just landed, only to realize you forgot to pack your phone charger? Don’t run out to replace it just yet. We’ve recently discovered that the number-one most-common item left behind in hotels is the phone charger. So before you buy another, check with the hotel’s front desk for a spare.
  6. Check International Airline Websites for Deals – When booking international flights, don’t forget to compare fares to those on the airline’s foreign-language website. If the airline is running a sale in a different regional market, you may be able to score sizeable savings on your overseas flight. If your credit card has a low international-transaction fee, the savings could be well worth it.
  7. Avoid Commission Fees … with Coffee – Starbucks addicts, rejoice! SmarterTravel Editor Caroline Costello shares a clever way to avoid having to pay a commission fee to convert that last bit of foreign cash to US dollars at the end of a vacation. First, pick up a free reloadable Starbucks Card before your international trip. Then, Costello says, “If you have leftover money in the local currency when you’re on your way home, use it to reload your card at the Starbucks location in your international airport.”
  8. Smart Self-Defense Hacks – Purchase a second wallet or money clip to carry while traveling. “Pad the wallet with some small bills and make it look more real by slipping in one or two of those sample credit cards you get with offers in the mail,” recommends SmarterTravel Senior Editor Christine Sarkis. “In the scary and unlikely case of an actual mugging, it also gives you something to throw and run, buying you time to escape with your safety and your actual wallet.”
To read SmarterTravel’s complete article on The Huffington Post website, click here:


Artist of the Month


Debbie Reusch

Born and raised on the West Coast of Canada, Debbie has always had an interest in art. She took art in High school, some Graphic Design at Malaspina College and has been commissioned to paint windows, wall murals, portraits of people and animals as well as corporate scenes and signs. As her young family grows less dependant, Debbie has had more time to return to her art. After ‘submission and jury’ of her works, she has recently achieved active status as member of the Federation of Canadian Artists and the International Guild of Realism. Feel free to contact Debbie with your questions, comments or if you would like to commission a painting.


I will be glad of any comments or corrections or if you wish to see something that is of interest to you please let me know. Thanks, Rhoda
If you liked this please pass it on 

Rosswin Travel,  
1 250-338-6334 / 1 866-517-2113
420 Harmston Ave, Courtenay, BC, V9N 2X2

follow me on face book 
like my Rosswintravel fan page 
If you do not wish to receive these posts let me know by e-mail and you will be deleted from my mailing list. Please put in the subject line “delete"