Greetings from Las Vegas! We are meeting with resort hotels, tourist offices, and destination specialists from around the world at IMEX! These events are critical for us to us to network and stay on top of the pulse of the Incentive and meeting industry. This ensures we bring the best to your programs and be your trusted single source to orchestrate unique travel experiences for your guests.

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Passau Situated in Lower Bavaria, Passau, Germany is known as the “City of 3 Rivers” where the Danube is joined at Passau by the Inn from the South (which flows from Innsbruck) and the Ilz from the north. Salt from the salt mines in Salzburg were brought here and stored in towers and traded along the river. Salt became a mode of payment and trading. It is said that the word “salary” came from the word “salt”. St. Stephen’s Cathedral is a masterpiece of Italian Baroque architecture. It houses what was long held to be the largest pipe organ in the world (19,974 pipes and over 200 stops) and today is second in size only to the organ at first Congregational Church in Los Angeles. Organ concerts are held daily during the busy summer tourist season and we were fortunate to enjoy. It was brilliant! There are actually five (5) different organs of which the 5th is strategically placed behind the ceiling in the center. The beautiful frescoes (“fresh” – freshly painted artwork on fresh walls) depicted scenes of heaven and stories of the bible. Since many were illiterate, the pictures illustrated much of the bible to them. Transport yourself to the 1500-1600′s before people had electricity, heat, and the conveniences of modern day life and you will understand how the Church was truly a haven and “heaven on earth”. Liz

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While walking the tree lined streets of Budapest, I came upon the Opera House and was drawn to the music and crowds gathered this beautiful Sunday afternoon. There on the side was a large group of random couples waltzing on the steps and landing surrounded by bystanders.  I felt like I was in the midst of a flash mob on the side streets of Budapest. Fantastic! Liz

 

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Hello everyone! Today we begin sailing in the new Viking River Cruise longboat from Budapest to Nuremberg. The Viking River Cruise on the Romantic Danube begins with one of the smoothest lifeboat drills we have ever experienced. Guests are treated to an unexpected reward at the conclusion of the drill – a shot glass with a Bailey’s smoothie! Liz

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Budapest offers breathtaking Old World grandeur with a unique, youthful atmosphere, world-class classical music scene as well as a pulsating nightlife increasingly appreciated among European youth, and last but not least, an exceptional offer of natural thermal baths, Budapest is one of Europe’s most delightful and enjoyable cities. It is beautifully situated on both banks of the Danube River; the city unites the colorful hiss of Buda and the unexpected glimpses into the courtyard and cobblestone streets. Although some 30,000 buildings were destroyed during WWII, the past lingers on in the often-crumbling architectural details of the antique structures that remain. Due to the exceedingly scenic setting, and its architecture it is nicknamed “Paris of the East”. Budapest is a legendary capital and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stroll the numerous parks and courtyards of the castle districts and eat your fill of the savory Hungarian cuisine. Liz

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The new Atlanta New International Concourse welcomed us with a feeling of tranquility unbeknownst to it’s sister domestic terminals next door.  Although the terminals are connected by the tram system, there is an additional 10 minute drive when parking your car. The glass enclosed lobby is filled with natural light and according to our Delta attendant, is spectacular when it rains! Checking in and proceeding through security to the gate was a matter of minutes and less congested than it’s former home. The check-in area is downstairs in a large open area. Delta’s service for their Sky Priority guests (Medallion – all levels and Business Elite) was surprising.  Additional personnel to greet you and to assist while you are checking in. The upstairs area encompasses a variety of eateries and shops. You almost feel like you are in a glass enclosed mall. We are checking in for Business Class on Delta for an Air France flight to Budapest via Paris.  The eight hour flight is long enough for a dinner, movie, and a short rest. For those not fast asleep in the near 180 degree flat bed seat, a light continental breakfast is served prior to landing. The Paris airport is so incredibly congested and has not been renovated in a while.  I will choose to change planes in another city in the future for a more pleasant and relaxing experience. Renovations in one area seem to be forthcoming. A short two hour flight from Paris and we are in Budapest, Hungary!  Liz

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It will be great to be among the “best of the best” in the incentive travel industry to discuss latest trends and efficiencies to bring extraordinary experiences to our clients. It doesn’t hurt that this will be held at one of the finest golf resorts, Pinehurst Golf & Spa Resort. The property is a step back in time and offers that old world elegance with luxurious accommodations in a boutique hotel. The expansive spa, located in a separate building of its own, offers over 50 treatments and helps you to relax and rejuvenate your mind, body and soul! Many of you have heard of Pinehurst, as it offers eight unique golf courses, making it the largest golf resort in North America. Debbie

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Liz, along with Jerry Lopez, was recently named a Harbin Distinguished Service Award Winner for her volunteerism at the Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School. This distinguished award recognizes selfless individuals who have significantly served the school. Please read more by clicking on the following link:  http://montgomerycatholic.blogspot.com/2012/06/sutton-and-lopez-named-harbin.html

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Read what Liz had to say about the Incentive Research Foundation’s Invitational Incentive Event held in San Antonio recently: http://www.prevueonline.net/blog/departments/planners-pick/planner-liz-sutton-discusses-first-visit-irfs-incentive-invitational-event

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