To Travel or Not to Travel? A cause for concern question for many Mosquito Magnet Travelers

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post: “Mosquito Magnet! Yes, that would be me!”, I must add with all humor aside, the mention of some serious concerns that are increasingly circulating in the media regarding disease carrying Mosquitoes, specifically one being the Chikungunya Virus carried via Mosquitoes around many places including the Islands of the Caribbean.

As a self labeled “Mosquito Magnet” and for others like me, we are placed at a much higher risk for contracting one of these afflictions due to the fact that Mosquitoes, for whatever reason, are drawn to us at increased rates.  Our susceptibility to contracting these virus’ does not only occur when we travel, it’s a real situation for us in any warm climate destination where Mosquitoes habitate.  Of course, any place that has been classified as a serious outbreak area is a reason for pause and serious consideration that begs to question, “Do I really need to be traveling to that destination now?”.

 

CDC_Chikungunya

Speaking for myself personally, I love the Caribbean Islands and the thought of not going back to any one of my favs because of a mosquito, well, that’s just not going to happen! Travelers should heed to precautions while keeping themselves aware of any potential health risks for anywhere they want to travel to.  If/when the decision is made to travel to any specific high health risk area, I do recommend that you follow the CDC’s “Prevent Mosquito Bites” suggestions.
Understandably, the Caribbean Islands continue to be amongst some of the favorite places to vacation each year so travelers should be aware of growing concerns about Mosquitoes so be sure to thoroughly review Chikungunya in the Caribbean on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Website as well.

Protect Yourself_Mosquito Bites

 

Lot’s of research has been happening for a while now on this problem of Diseases carrying Mosquitoes that seems to be growing year after year,…. “So: Why haven’t we found a way to effectively kill mosquitos yet?”  – Great question to which the answer might be found in this TED talk!

via Hadyn Parry: Re-engineering mosquitos to fight disease | Talk Video | TED.com.

Re-Engineering Mosquitos to Fight Disease – TED Talks

 

 

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A Mosquito Magnet, Yes That Would Be Me!

Once again, I’ve been MAULED,… by Mosquitoes!! Just got off the plane late last night from a “3 Caribbean Islands in 3 Days” familiarization trip and I’m scratching and aching in freezing cold North Carolina with irritations from no less than 20 Mosquito bites starting at the top of my head down to the sides of my feet!  😦  After a lifetime of dealing with this problem, I really would like to know; “What is the deal with Mosquitos ??” Why do they fly right past and over some folks just to make a Bullseye shot on me?!?!  I get it, that I really am a Mosquito Magnet, but WHY?!  😦

Out of at least 180 Travel Professionals, only about 10% of us were talking "Mosquito Bites" problems.

Out of at least 180 Travel Professionals, only about 10% of us were talking “Mosquito Bites” problems. While I had numerous bites, most others had not even one!

Mosquitos are very particular little creatures! They like what they like, are immediately drawn to a specific type of Molecular biology that has yet to be defined, well, to my satisfaction anyway.  This affinity that the mosquito has for me, (and that would be any mosquito, anywhere, not just in the Caribbean), leaving me with a “Kryptonite” type of effect has been a #PITA in my life since childhood!  Very similar to a Potato Chip where “you can’t eat just one”, the Mosquito cannot stop at just one bite of me either!  I am their “Free for all Buffet” with a shout-out to all family and friends to feast on!  I have to just about bathe in Bug Spray to make them stop! It’s nice to be loved but I wish the Mosquito would take me off of their “Gotta have me some of her” list!

Early Morning, day #3; Smiling but irritated by at least 15 bites at this point!

Early Morning, day #3; Smiling but irritated by at least 15 bites at this point!

So, as I go about my next few days of unpacking (and scratching), reviewing the multitude of pictures I’ve taken from this, yet another, fabulous trip to the Caribbean (and scratching) and other daily tasks of life while rubbing with more scratching of mosquito bites to satisfy these itching calls from all over my body, I just want to say to the Mosquito population;   This long-term, one-sided love affair you have going on with me is not appreciated! This “thing” you have for me really is getting old and sitting on my “piss’n me off” nerves at this point in my life.  Please cross the street, take another flight path and just miss me with all that love the next time I’m inside or outside of warm weather climate anywhere around the world!  Sincerely and Thank-You, Tina Little-Coltrane of TLC Travels’ Tours and Cruises!

SN: In spite of them dang Tina loving Mosquitos, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Sandals Resorts over the last 3 days! I will be posting pics with reviews of my #3IslandsIn3Days trip on my photo blog soon so stay tuned! – #TLCTravels -aka- #NCTina

Back From New Orleans: TLC Travels’ Review

Just love when travel to a new destination comes together and turns out to be at least as good as expected or in the case of New Orleans, better!  From the French Quarter to the Riverfront, in and around the Garden District and the CBD-(Central Business District), and with little similarity to New York City in specific areas-(in my mind, anyway), New Orleans has proven itself to be a place to experience, if not again and again, at least once in your lifetime.

My stay at The Hilton New Orleans Riverside was enjoyable as well.  With it’s multi-faceted structure offering convenient enclosed access to Drago’s Seafood Restaurant, the Outlets at Riverwalk and the Cruise port terminal, Hilton Riverside rates high on my list.  Also, keeping in mind, while visiting New Orleans and depending on your agility, your Hotel stay location can mean everything and the Hilton Riverside gets high check marks for location, location, location!!!  Read more about and see pics of my stay at the Hilton here:-> Hilton New Orleans Riverside: TLC Travels Pics Review

There is so much to do and see in and around New Orleans and for a 1st time visiter, it can be a little much to try to take in at once.  We managed to make our way to and around different areas of the French Quarter everyday but I can’t and won’t detail a long day-by-day, hour-by-hour story here but just to highlight a couple of our daily activities:

Day 1: Our early morning flight from Charlotte NC put our arrival in New Orleans just prior to 10:30am.  Today being Hubby’s Birthday, we were extremely excited about combining this Travel familiarization work for #TLCTravels trip with his 60th Birthday weekend celebration.  As I had completed lots of pre-trip New Orleans research, I knew our 1st stop after check-in would be at Drago’s Seafood Restaurant which has a convenient location within the Hilton Riverside complex.  The food and service were great and yes, those Charbroiled Oysters are a must try!

Drago's Seafood Restaurant at The Hilton New Orleans Riverside.

Drago’s Seafood Restaurant at The Hilton New Orleans Riverside.

Day 2: Up early to try the “Hilton Breakfast” at Le Croissant only to find out that this Buffet is $21 per person.  We knew that we had lots of eating “to do” ahead of us so blowing thru $50 w/tax and tip right out the gate this morning for something that was not on my “to-eat in NOLA” list was a no-no.  “Omelette for him and Coffee and Beignets for me. That’s it! We’re good to go and Thanks!”

Today, Saturday’s agenda included getting up close and personal with and around the French Quarter by foot after breakfast and afternoon activities to include the Super City Tour with Gray Line Bus Tours and the Natchez Steamboat Lunch and Jazz Cruise.  Gray Line handles reservations for both which can be purchased as a combo tour package.  This day was cloudy, cool and drizzling rain periodically throughout the afternoon.  In spite of the threat of inclement weather, we found both activities to be very nice and interesting, something every 1st time visiter to New Orleans should do.  It will set the bar for your future visits.

Lunch and Dinner Jazz Cruises are available daily.

Lunch and Dinner Jazz Cruises are available daily.

Day 3: It’s Sunday and I have pre-arranged, a month ago, to complete a Ship Inspection on the Norwegian Dawn Cruise ship.  Since I am actively promoting Cruising from New Orleans, including and specifically on the Dawn ship, I really felt the need to get a “boots-on-deck”, “ass-in-cabin” feel of the ship since, to-date, I have never set foot on a NCL Cruise ship!  Well that was a complete bust with a huge disappointment! I arrived to the check-in office at the New Orleans Cruise Port Terminal only to be told that my name was not on the approved list for today! :-/  “What? You must be overlooking me on this list because I have been confirmed weeks ago and just re-confirmed a few days ago by my NCL Sales Rep.! :-/ ” Since my name is somewhat unique, the Port Agent actually remembered my name being on the approved list for two days prior when the Dawn sailed on a special 2-nighter Cruise to nowhere! She pulls out the Visitors Manifest from 2-days ago and confirms, “Yup! Here is your name on the 21st.  Sorry! There is nothing we can do about today, the 23rd. You don’t have pre-clearance for today!” Hands me back my Passport with a “you are now dismissed” feeling attached to it. 😦  Needless to say, this day did not end before a follow-up with our NCL Agent Support Rep. happened to report this disappointing debacle. I know crap happens but I’m certainly thinking,….”Damn! I really wanted to see the inside of that Cruise ship!”  Oh, and I didn’t make it to the Annual Po-Boy Festival either as originally planned to do after ship inspection!  Seemed to be a flow of disappointments this day and the rest of Sunday is now a blur!

Riverwalk Outlets Elevator down to access the Cruise Ship Terminal

Riverwalk Outlets Elevator down to access the Cruise Ship Terminal

Day 4: Boy, how time flies when you’re having fun is no joke! It’s now Monday, our last full day in NOLA and we have decided to try the City Sightseeing “Hop-On Hop-Off” Bus.  We didn’t want to waste any time trying to decide on where to eat breakfast before heading out on the HoHo Bus so we headed back to the Gumbo Spot as we had breakfast with them the day before and it was #DELISH!!  Their #ShrimpAndGrits though,….mmm, mmm #GOOD!  Again, I must recommend the HOHO Bus for New Orleans 1st timers.  Having the opportunity (as we did) to ride the entire route first to make note of where we wanted to get off on our 2nd loop around town so that we could explore neighborhoods of our specific interest was great.  Your daily HoHo Bus fare allows you to hop on and off all day, well, until the last bus runs about 4:30-5:30pm.

Hop On Hop Off

TLC Travels’ the City Sightseeing “Hop-on Hop-Off” Bus of New Orleans!

All in all, our 1st trip to New Orleans was a success.  From the Cruise Port Terminal to the Shops at Canal Place and so many points of interest in between, The Hilton New Orleans Riverside is a great Hotel choice and it’s location is one of the best!  I had the opportunity to experience the City of 2nd chances first hand while also gaining more knowledge about this intriguing and unique destination, New Orleans.  There is so much more to New Orleans that I couldn’t possibly fit into this one post and/or couldn’t possibly see it all in 4 short days so quite naturally, I’ve added the Big Easy to our places to visit again list.

To find out more information about visiting New Orleans, including cruises sailing from the Port of New Orleans, visit our photo blog:-> Hilton New Orleans Riverside: TLC Travels Pics Review

NOW is the time to inquire about Holiday 2015 Travel! Find out about Cruising from New Orleans for Thanksgiving 2015 here:-> Norwegian Dawn Thanksgiving 2015 Cruise from NOLA ~ #TLC -aka- #NCTina: Tina Little-Coltrane, Owner/Travel Promoter at TLC Travels’ Tours and Cruises!

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