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Smart Meetings: 
The Colors of Mexico help to design your company’s next meeting 
Mexico bursts with color – in its cuisine, its clothing, its handicrafts, and its faces. It’s no wonder that this vibrant, diverse, exciting culture is one of the world’s leaders in hosting meetings and conventions. With 12 million square feet of event space, almost 500,000 hotel rooms, 57 international airports and huge tax savings, the Mexican meetings and conventions industry generates some18 billion dollars per year. Visitors can choose from action-packed, glorious beach resort towns, incredibly verdant mountain villages, quiet colonial medium-sized cities and large metropolises with every modern sophistication imaginable. Wherever the venue, it will offer the classic Mexican hospitality, one of the world’s top-rated cuisines, and a myriad of pre and post activity options for meeting attendees.

A big plus is the financial benefit of holding meetings in Mexico. Besides lower prices, planners save money through the zero percent VAT (Value Added Tax) and other tax breaks. Your hotel meeting planners and CVBs will arrange for the exemption. VAT is a sales tax applied to meetings, exhibitions and conventions organized in Mexico by foreign companies. The VAT Exemption also eliminates the 16 percent tax throughout the country on lodging, airport and transfers. Also tax-free are related event services such as set-up, registration, masters of ceremonies and translators, hosts, audiovisual equipment, decorations, security, cleaning and food and beverage by the hotel or the convention center as part of the event. Conventions, seminars and meetings held in Mexico are fully deductible for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

Ladies Home Journal: Plan a Weekend Getaway You Can Afford 
 
Everybody loves a travel deal, and there are plenty to be had with a little bargain-hunting know-how. Make the most out of your mini trip with our trips for cheap, cheaper, and cheapest transportation, lodging and dining.

 Trailer Life: Loveland, Colorado: Romance, Culture and Wilderness

Just like children have been sending letters to Santa in the North Pole for decades, thousands of folks send their Valentine’s Day cards to Loveland, Colorado to be restamped with the Loveland postmark. Since 1946, this farming community-turned-arts center has been known as America’s “Sweetheart City, due to the postal program. Loveland’s annual Valentine Card program remails more than 160,000 valentines each year.

Visitors to Loveland can find hearts all year, all over town, with the town’s ‘Loveland: A City With HeArt’ project. The project’s 18 individually designed and painted colossal fiberglass hearts are five feet tall, and almost as wide.

There’s a lot more to Loveland than Valentines, however, including easy access to Rocky Mountain National Park and a wealth of recreational and scenic offerings, a surprising mix of artistic and cultural venues and best of all, a wide array of RV parks to choose from. Nestled at 4,982 feet against the foothills of the Rockies, 46 miles north of Denver on the I-25 corridor, some 30 minutes south of Fort Collins, Loveland’s 67,000 residents enjoy its peaceful small town ambiance mixed with big-city benefits.


TCD Traveler: Under the volcano in Costa Rica

Pura Vida – that’s Costa Rica. Loosely translated, it means “pure life,” but it is more – it’s like our “cool,” or the Jamaican “don’t worry, be happy.” It means “life is good,” and in Costa Rica, that’s usually the case. You’ll hear the words regularly, as a greeting, farewell, or just a friendly gesture.

The astonishingly lush Central American nation is an idyllic paradise, replete with meandering Pacific and Caribbean coastlines, emerald green mountainous and volcanic backdrops, impossibly dense jungles and rainforests. Its people, affectionately called Ticos, are generous with their smiles and joie de vivre – or in this case, pura vida.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram, C-D Traveler-United Kingdom: Imagine Israel

I never really wanted to travel to Israel. I am Jewish, but was raised in a nonreligious home and am not religious now. Even though I have always strongly identified with my Jewish heritage and culture, I felt like Israel would not welcome someone like me, and I was worried about the violence I had read about for years. Tonight, I realized just how wrong I was, after my visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem, standing among the astonishingly diverse, feverishly excited crowd, rushing together for Friday night Shabbat prayer.

Adventure Cyclist: Riding the old Rio Grande 

Living in Colorado ever since I was a hormonally-challenged middle-schooler, I thought I had a pretty good grasp of what my magnificent state had to offer. I’d done a great deal of horse-back riding, hiking and driving through the wilderness. Even taken a narrow-gauge railroad or two in the Rockies. Nothing compared, however, to the excitement I felt while cycling from Aspen to Glenwood Springs on the newly inaugurated Rio Grande Trail in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Breckenridge Magazine: Duncan Adams 

Halfpipe star Duncan Adams, at just 18, has had some amazing career highlights. In Breckenridge since 14, he grew up in Stowe, Vermont, and has been skiing since two. He’s been on the cover of Powder (February 2010) took third in that issue’s ranking of the top 20 skiers under 18, took third place in the Breck Dew Tour '08 (and was the youngest ever to place in the top three,) fourth place overall in the Dew Tour '08-09 season, fifth place at the X Games 2010, and sixth at the X Games 2009, where he was the youngest men's competitor when he made the skiing SuperPipe final .The lanky, tousle-haired athlete/writer/philosopher/Colorado Mountain College student recently joined the interviewer at funky, tiny Kava on Main Street for hot chocolate and just-made minidonuts.

Broadmoor Magazine: Idyllic Designs 

Spencer Penrose envisioned a set of traditionally American-style cottages at his beloved Broadmoor back at the turn of the last century, creating a painstakingly detailed set of blueprints and designs. While the dream never became reality during his lifetime, those involved with bringing the cottages to life took his plans and vision very seriously. Just two years ago, five cottage buildings opened to the public at the Broadmoor.

Colorado Expression: Olympic Hopeful 

It all started when he was two. Jeremy Abbott’s mother, Allison Scott, took him to the local rink in Aspen for a public session and the rosy-cheeked toddler was transfixed and transported. His life gradually became one that centered on ice-skating. Abbott won his first regional medal, a bronze, at the Southwestern Regionals when he was just ten, following that with a silver two years later. Indeed, when Abbott was twenty, his mother quipped, “for probably fourteen of the last twenty years, it seemed like the only thing I said when coming into or out of a rink was “Who died and made me a Sherpa?” Scott, now Director of Public Relations at the venerable Broadmoor Hotel, says those days began with wake-up calls at 4 a.m. in order to drive the young athlete 16 miles to the Aspen rink with a myriad of heavy bags filled with school books and supplies, 

Costco Connection: Meet the new Mexico

Think about taking a zipline canopy tour into the jungle, followed by some ATVing? Or maybe a visit to ancient Mesoamerican temple ruins, or an excursion to buy handpainted tiles directly from the artisan? Now, think about powdery white sand with an aquamarine ocean stretching beyond, flanked by a mile-long meandering swimming pool. There you are, lazily sipping on a mojito and munching on blissfully fresh tacos, made from the fish you caught yourself this morning. The youngsters are off in the kids’ club, happily hunting for turtle nests. Ahh…

Costco Connection: The Mediterranean Way 

Remember the trendy South Beach, Atkins, and Scarsdale Diets? Only too well, if you are like most people! Nowadays, what many people are excited about is the ancient Mediterranean Diet, which really isn’t a “diet” at all, but a way of life, an attitude, a celebration of food. Eat this way and enjoy pizza, pasta, cheese, nuts and wine. You won’t feel deprived, unless you crave store-bought cookies, processed meats and powdered sugary drinks. You also won’t find tedious measurements and prescribed menus, rather, you’ll learn a relaxed, simple way of eating and living, based on foods grown and consumed in the region surrounding the Mediterranean Sea for thousands of years. Get ready to feast!

Mountain Living: Home on The Range 

Last night I awoke to appalling sounds - police sirens, the milk truck barreling down the street with my dog barking after him and revving motorcycles. What a difference from the serenity and stillness of the week my family had just enjoyed at the Paradise Guest Ranch in northern Wyoming. There, nights consisted of inky skies glittering with stars, aspen leaves rustling gently and cool mountain air snuggling us into the soft blankets. The only sound was a whinny or two from the horses in the pasture below. It truly was paradise.

Home & Away: Turning Fifty on Safari

I've been called many things in my life – both good and bad. But never had I been called a male lion. Yet here I was on a warm Sunday morning, somewhere deep out in the Maasai Mara savannah, bending down with a throng of Maasai cattle-herding boys from about 5 to 15, all eager to touch my humidity-challenged “lion’s mane” hair. Some giggled, some shreaked, but none were too shy to give it a go. After all, when living in dung huts surrounded by wilderness in every direction, it's not every day one gets to touch a 'mzungu's' hair. That's what I was called in Kenya - a mzungu, Swahili for foreigner, or white person.

Oleshargegilololtoriroi (thankfully also known as Joseph,) the Maasai guide who escorted me on this nature walk, was decked out, as always, in his flashy traditional garb of red plaid wraparound blanket, infinite colorful beads and an exotic leather braided headgear that made him look positively royal. He carefully translated for us and told me that the boys were on a mission to collect branches for their teacher. Each politely shook my hand. Maybe I was the only ‘mzungu’ they had ever met. I’m sure I was the only one whose hair they had touched!

Creative Living: Top Guest Ranches

Last night I awoke to appalling sounds - police sirens, the milk truck barreling down the street with my dog barking after him and revving motorcycles. What a difference from the serenity and stillness of the week my family had just enjoyed at the Paradise Guest Ranch in northern Wyoming. There, nights consisted of inky skies glittering with stars, aspen leaves rustling gently and cool mountain air snuggling us into the soft blankets. The only sound was a whinny or two from the horses in the pasture below. It truly was paradise.

Pueblo Chieftain: Viva Puebla

A light drizzle started to fall just as my daughter and I stepped on to the narrow cobblestoned Callejón de los Sapos (Alley of the Toads), refreshing the warm air with its coolness. We ducked into the tiny folk art shop next to us to stay dry, and gazed at the impossibly vast array of wares on its narrow walls. A tap on my shoulder surprised us, as the handsome young clerk of our next-door hotel, Mesón Sacristía de la Compañía, had hunted us down on the street with an umbrella. “I thought you might need this,” he smiled. Not only did we need the umbrella, but his friendly and hospitable touch started us off on a delightful, if moist, afternoon in Puebla.

Vancouver Sun: Rhones-Alpes: Undiscovered riches just two hours from Paris

It’s pre-dawn in old Lyon. The antique streetlights cast a romantic peachy glow. The only sound is the clip-clop of my shoes on the cobblestones, echoing on the centuries-old walls just arms length from me on both sides. As I walk through the aged terra-cotta buildings, tiny ivy and geranium-bedecked passageways beckon me to explore their hidden courtyards. I seem to be the only one awake in this very Italian French city, until I reach the boulangerie. Here I buy a buttery almond croissant, fresh from the oven and a cup of steaming cafe au lait. I feel as though I’m on a movie set, but these 700-year-old streets are real, as are the sleepy folks around me calling friendly “Bon jour’s” to each other as they dash off to work with their morning pastries.

Wild Blue Yonder: A whole new Thanksgiving dinner – say “Cheers”with beers!

My 93-year-old dad was dubious, to say the least. “Thanksgiving with BEER?!,” he grumbled. “We’ll get full enough just with the food! Beer is for sausages and potato chips, not Thanksgiving turkey!” Ah, but Dad, I pleaded, just give it a try. Four courses later, he was more than ready to dive into the pumpkin pie and cranberry torte – both married to their perfect craft beer mates. What did my dad say then? “This was the best Thanksgiving I’ve ever had!”

Pumpkin pie is sublime served with a rich porter, and a sage-crusted roast turkey pairs beautifully with red ale. I’m not talking chugging a bloating brewski. I’m talking small sipping amounts of craft and microbrews matched to complement and enhance the tastes of the dishes with which they are served. The United States has more beer varieties than any other country in the world and the industry is growing exponentially – worth $3 billion. Why not jazz up your holiday meal this year, and serve it as a fun, classy beer pairing?

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