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US: Fredericksburg, VA – Bourbon Barrel Regatta at Distillery’s Father’s Day Fest

Father’s Day is a special day, so why not treat Dad to a fun-filled day at A. Smith Bowman Distillery, the home of World’s Best Bourbon 2016 & 2017, for their 7th Annual Father’s Day Festival.Bourbon Father's Day Festival

Admission is FREE to the festival and entertaining for the whole family.  Highlights include: Distillery tours on the half hour, tastings & cocktails, local beer & wine, Live music, mouthwatering food, vendors, games, and the much anticipated Annual Barrel Regatta.

Bourbon Barrel Regatta FB Deep Run Regatta CoverThe Annual Barrel Regatta is an amusing watery tradition. Taking place from  noon – 1pm, individuals or teams from around the create their own boats made from used bourbon barrels and race them in Deep Run. There will be prizes and awards for the two fastest finishes, most spirited and best sinking. You don’t want to miss the race.

No pets with the exception of service animals are allowed in the festival areas.

Location: A. Smith Bowman Distillery, One Bowman Drive, At Deep Run, Fredericksburg, VA 22408
Date: Sat,  June 16th, 2018
Time: 11am – 5pm
Tel: 540-373-4555
asmithbowman.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitfred.com

US: Columbia, MD – Learn How to Prepare a Delicious Moroccan Meal

The cuisine of Casablanca, Morocco is made up of aromatic spices, careful and artistic food preparation, and delightful presentation. Join Chef Alba for the Enchanting Recipes of Casablanca cooking class at Secolari and impress your friends and family by learning how to prepare an authentic Moroccan meal. Cooking Morrocan alba_700

The custom of this country is always to please the guest so they feel welcomed. In this class, you will be making Braised Meatballs in Ras-El-Hanout Spice, Zaalouk (Eggplant and Tomato Cooked Salad), and Seffa Couscous.

cooking Moroccan 2 a8615075-b1bc-44d1-8f4a-7ac54e90f859Classes are held at Secolari in The Mall in Columbia 10300 Little Patuxent Pkwy, Columbia MD, 21044 Call to Reserve Your Spot: 443-367-0010 Bring Your Own Wine! Payment is required to reserve class space.

Location: Secolari Artisan Oils & Vinegar, 10300 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 3180, Columbia, MD 21044
Date: March 27, 2018
Time: 6:30 – 8:30pm
Tel: 800-946-2077 0r 443-367-0010
secolarievoo.com

For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions:visithowardcounty.com

US: Annapolis, MD – Support the USO and Honor the U.S. Military by Attending the Military Bowl

on’t miss the 10th Anniversary Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman Corporation, benefiting the USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore (USO-Metro), a military support organization. Kick off is on Thursday, Dec. 28 at 1:30 pm at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis matching a team from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) against an opponent from the American Athletic Conference (AAC) and will be televised nationally on ESPN. Military Bowl Stadium2017-11-21_9-57-53

Military Bowl Game2017-12-12_10-01-25The game day festivities kicks off  at 9:30 am with one of Annapolis’ newest traditions: the Military Bowl Parade, featuring The world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales.  They will lead the parade procession – along with Medal of Honor recipients, mascots, and team bands – from City Dock in downtown Annapolis to the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium as part of the many special events throughout the day.Military Bowl Clondykes2017-12-12_10-08-26The Official Military Bowl Tailgate kicks off in the Blue Lot on the west side of Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Admission to the tailgate is free and will feature music, games, food & beverages from fantastic Annapolis restaurants, and exciting giveaways for the first arrivals. In addition, there’s also the 3rd Annual Bud & Burger Battle (held from 10:30 am-12:30 pm) where you can sample some of Annapolis’ favorite burgers before voting for your favorite.

Fan Bowl Week in Annapolis:

Wednesday, December 27

Thursday, December 28

For more than 70 years, the USO (United Service Organizations) has been the way for the American people to say thank you to our nation’s service men and women and their families.

To purchase tickets: militarybowl.org/tickets/#!

Location: U.S. Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, 550 Taylor Avenue, Annapolis
Date: Thurs, December 28, 2017
Time: Kick off 1:30 (doors open at 12:00)
Tel: 202-776-2919
militarybowl.org
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitannapolis.org

US: Annapolis, MD – Celebrate and Bring Awareness to Clean Up Efforts in Spa Creek

The 2nd annual Clean Water PaddleFEST in Annapolis is to celebrate and bring awareness to clean up efforts in Spa Creek while enjoying a day full of fun.paddleFest2016_paddlers

Paddle at your own pace or take a guided on-water tour of Spa Creek. Guided tours available at 2pm. See educational stops along Spa Creek detailing conservation efforts which aim to make it again fishable and swimmable. Afterwards attend the Eco-Fest with informative exhibits from area environment groups with plenty of activities for kids.

All human powered paddlers and vessels are welcome to attend. Bring your own craft or use a stand up paddle board or kayak from Capital SUP. There will be a mass paddle and foot show of support for clean water in Spa Creek at 12 noon, on and in the water around the Spa Creek bridge.

Fun activities and prizes for all ages. Kid and dog friendly. All proceeds benefit Spa Creek Conservancy.paddleFESTposter

Your ticket includes:

On-water guided or self tour
Food BBQ beverages
Wine and beer
Event tee shirt
Admission to EcoFEST
Dry Bags to first 200 ticket holders
Live Music from 1-3pm

Location:Capital SUP on Spa Creek, 808 Boucher Avenue, Annapolis, MD 21403
Date: Sat, Sept 16, 2017
Time:  11  – 4pm
spacreek.net/index.php/events/special-events
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitannapolis.org

US: Kennedyville, MD – Have a Grape Stomping Good Time at CrowFest 2017

Located in the rural heart of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, the family-owned  Crow Vineyard & Winery will be holding their 3rd annual CrowFest. It celebrates the bounty of the Eastern Shore and the beginning of the harvesting of their grapes on Sunday, September 10, 2017 from 11 – 5PM.CrowFest Adults grapes2017-08-08_8-28-36

Spend the day enjoying the award winning Crow wines and the talents of additional Eastern Shore vendors.  The event includes wine tastings, live music provided by Phil Dutton and the Alligators, food samplings, local vendors, cooking demonstrations, seminars, grape stomping (who wouldn’t love to stomp on grapes), hayrides through the vineyards and  numerous children’s activities.

Local vendors will include: Painted Sky Alpaca Farm, Barrel Smith Designs, Beachin’ Glass, Melting Down Creations, Chainsaw Carving by Josh, and local food offerings from Haass’ Family Butcher Food Truck, Kilby Ice Cream MooTruck, Orchard Point Oyster Co., Chester River Aronia, Nolia Chocolates, Oksana’s Produce Farm, Red Acres Lettuce, and Lockbriar Farms.Alligator Band - CrowFest2017-08-08_8-25-28

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by clicking here. Crow Vineyard2017-08-08_8-27-08

Location: Crow Vineyard & Winery, 12441 Vansant Corner Rd, Kennedyville 21645
Date: Sun, Sept 10, 2017
Time: 11 – 5pm
Tel: 302-304-0551
crowvineyardandwinery.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: kentcounty.com

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US: St Augustine, FL- Delicious History of Chocolate with a Walking Tour of St. Augustine

Explore the decadent delights of the nation’s oldest city on this indulgent tour of St. Augustine’s finest chocolate creations. The VIP ‘ALL THINGS CHOCOLATE’ Tasting Tour is an especially delectable way to learn more about St. Augustine’s historic district, where you will get to experience the most unique chocolate selections that St Augustine has to offer.St Augustine Choc Tour-Choc Image

Guests will explore culinary venues, local fixtures, and off-the-beaten-path foodie hot spots to sample heavenly chocolate in all of its glorious adaptations. Samples will include wine, sauces, toppings, dips, desserts, and more.

Aside from the sheer decadence, you’ll discover how chocolate played a pivotal role in influencing the history and culture of the New World, while seeing unique points of interest along the way. Imagine taking in the delicious antiquity of the old city while indulging in one of man-kinds most beloved ancient tasting treasures along the way.St Augustine Chocolate Tour -Peppers 1

This 2+ hour tour departs from Tour St. Augustine Inc., located downtown at 4 Granada Street, on select weekend dates. Tour departs at 1 pm (check in 15 mins prior) and advance reservations are required. Visit here to book a tour.St Augustine Chocolate Tour - Desserts2

Location: The tour departs from Tour St. Augustine, 4 Granada Street, St. Augustine, FL 32084
Date and Time: The first Saturday of the month in 2017 at 1:00 pm (Aug 5, Sept 2, Oct 7, Nov 4, Dec2)
Tel: 904-825-0087
staugcitywalks.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: floridashistoriccoast.com

US: Annapolis, MD – Plunge In to the Boating Season at Annapolis Sailboat Show

Head to Annapolis City Dock at the end of April and catch the Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show.  Set in the historic seaport of Annapolis,  the sixth annual in-water sailboat show kicks off the boating season with displays: catamarans, mono hulls, racing boats, family cruisers, day sailors, and inflatables—a total of over 100 new and brokerage boatsAerial Annapolis Sailboat

The sailboat show is for experienced and novice sailors alike, showcasing every new model present in the market, on display in the water and on land, allowing you opportunity to talk to the industry experts about buying and owing a boat. Shop for the latest in marine equipment, electronics, clothing and boating accessories at more than one hundred on-land nautical exhibits.First-Sail-Workshop

Cruisers University features hands-on workshops providing lessons from professionals and firsthand experience. The event will also include in-water demos, and the 3rd Annual Annapolis Junior Keelboat Regatta, where on April 29th at noon regional high school sailing teams will compete for the traveling cup.SPRINGSAILSUNDAYLarge (2)

Take a break from touring boats to enjoy live music, continuous entertainment, free food and beer and wine tastings, prizes, plus magnificent water views.

This venue is a one of a kind opportunity for sailors to be with sailors. There are very few places where you will find so many sailors congregated; the Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show is one of them.

Location: City Dock, Annapolis, MD (GPS address: 1 Dock Street, Annapolis, MD 21401)
Date: April 28 – 30, 2017
Hours: Fri, Sat  10 – 6 pm, Sun 10 -5 pm
Tel: 410-268-8828
annapolisboatshows.com/annapolis-spring-sailboat-show
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitannapolis.org

US: Baltimore, MD – 200 Authors, Cooking Demos, Costume Parade at Baltimore’s Book Festival

logo-baltimore-book-festival

Don’t miss the mid-Atlantic’s premier celebration of the literary arts, The Baltimore Book Festival, featuring more than 200 celebrity and local authors appearances and book signings, non-stop readings on multiple stages, cooking demos by celebrity chefs, poetry readings and workshops, panel discussions, more than 100 exhibitors and booksellers, walking tours, storytellers and hands-on projects for kids, street theater, live music, and a delicious variety of food, beer and wine.

For the kids, or the kids at heart there’s a Pop Culture Parade where superheroes, storybook characters, BmoreFit Dancewalkers,  and special guests dress up in costume and march down the promenade, starting at Pratt & Light streets traveling down to the Geppi’s Entertainment Museum Comic Pavilion.

Some of the feature presentations include: Terry McMillan, author of “How Stella Got Her Groove Back“; NPR correspondent Glen Weldon, talking about his “The Caped Crusade: Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture“; and local pundit D. Watkins, who has an essay collection called “The Beast Side: Living (and Dying) While Black in America” and his memoir ‘The Cook Up,’ takes us deeper into his former life, and Comic writer Carl Hiaasen will read from his newest novel, “Razor Girl” to mention but a few.

Whether it’s Health & Wellness , Cooking (The Food for Thought), Science Fiction & Fantasy or Children’s with a Stage featuring interactive programs for the whole family, this FREE event highlights 13 stages offering something for everyone. Baltimore Book Festival

Location: Baltimore Inner Harbor, 201 E. Pratt Street,Baltimore, MD 21202
Date: Fri – Sun Sept 23-25, 2016
Hours: 11 – 7pm
Tel: 410-752-8632
baltimorebookfestival.org
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: baltimore.org

Phot0 Courtesy of The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts

Canada: Westmount, Quebec – Reception With The Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia

How special to be invited to a reception with The Honorable Terry McAuliffe, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, in the sumptuous Westmount, Quebec residence of the Consul General of the United States.Yes we met Consul General Nina Maria Fite there, too. Both were amazingly gracious and comfortable people to talk to. Virginia was showing off their Virginia wines and Virginia oysters. Quite a treat.

Governor of Virginia

Cosmos Tour: Prague Vienna Budapest – Halushka dumplings and Cimbalon

On the Cosmos Tour to Prague, Vienna and Budapest, the first optional excursion was a typical Slavic evening in the well-known U Marčanů restaurant, and included folk music with Bohemian, Moravian and Slovakian singing and dancing, plus gypsy music and dancing. The performers were fabulous at getting the audience involved, and great fun ensued. A musical instrument called a cimbalon was played; it’s a large, trapezoidal box with metal strings stretched across, and is played by striking two hammers against the strings.

Here’s a short video of the cimbalon in action:

 

The  3-course meal accompanied by unlimited drinks (wine/ beer/soft drinks) started with my favorite food of the whole trip – halushka , little dumpling bits topped with cheese and  fried bacon (probably called bryndza) which is one of the the Slovak national dishes. Now we know why. The main course was pork on a skewer with delicate Lyonnaise potatoes, green beans and roasted potatoes.PragueDinner

Everyone ate and laughed and enjoyed the evening.

www.cosmos.com/Product.aspx?trip=46050