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Thursday, 26 November 2015

KEY WEST, Florida



DORIS VISITS KEY WEST, Florida
film box above, film link below for you to use and paste.


From the moment I stepped off the ship at Key West I knew I would absolutely love it. The sky was an amazing blue, the air so fresh and the people so friendly!

The Florida Keys are a necklace of sub tropical and coral islands that stretch for 150 miles. Key West is closer to Havana than Miami . It is only 4 miles from east to west and two miles wide. There are many ways to explore. You can simply wander, or hire a bike and helmet or a scooter.  I chose the Conch train. It was the most delightful trip. It really is Disneyland without the rides. The streets are spotlessly clean.

Many of the houses are restored to their original 19th century condition. Most of these houses were constructed by ships' carpenters with gingerbread railings and white verandas.  The roofs are made of tin. This was for two reasons to stop fire spreading as all the houses were made of wood, and in the early days there was no water system so water was collected in a cistern under the house. The Conch houses have arrays of shutters, cisterns and scuttles to let hot air out through the roof. The conch is the symbol of the Keys and the nickname of the native born people.

The driver of the Conch train was interesting, entertaining and informative. As it was hop on hop off, we got off at the beach. It did not disappoint. The sea was amazingly calm. The driver explained to us that this was due to a system of buoys. The sand has to be imported as there are no waves to break up the coral.. If we had had time I would have gone snorkelling. It is easy to hire equipment.


My next stop was to see Ernest  Hemmingway's house in Whitehead Street. It was where he lived with his second wife Pauline from 1931 to 1940. The house was in excellent condition and the guide was one of the most well informed I have ever listened to. I thoroughly enjoyed the visit.
Next stop was lunch. We sat upstairs in a restaurant overlooking the Main Street and had the wonderful coconut shrimp. Absolutely delicious! Also try the Key West Key lime pie which deserves its international reputation. We wandered down the street to Sloppy Joes but were drawn into another bar across the road because the singer there was so talented. There is live music everywhere. Interesting and original shops, beautiful houses . All in all one of my favourite places I have visited. I said to the official as I went back to the ship that I would love to stay. He laughed and told me everyone says that! I totally understand why!



For the full list of travel films as they appear click here. We would ask that you subscribe to our YouTube Channel because numbers count, you can either do that via the films or click here for the main page, the subscribe button is on the right at the bottom of the profile box. You have to be logged on to do that, the reason YouTube ask for you to log on is to ensure you are over 18 to get certain films.

I would appreciate you finding and following me on Facebook DORIS SHADES and on Twitter as DorisVisits.

Your numbers, clicks and likes are very important to me. I hope to see you on board a cruise ship very soon, but similarly (try) to stop me and say hi !!


If you are on holiday and love reading from your Kindle, and belong to the Kindle library, you might care to down load the book Shades Of Bad - WHO DIES TODAY which is the book covering the first 40 episodes of the dark comedy series Shades Of Bad, where Doris, me, deals with her husband leaving her by becoming a serial killer who works from home. The book is also available as a paperback.

The series can be viewed from the web site www.shadesofbad.com or YouTube.

A LIST OF LOCAL CONTACTS - also check in the comments sections here and of the films on YouTube for locals bars, restaurants, tours and amenities who have connected.



Wednesday, 25 November 2015

FIJI




DORIS VISITS FIJI
To make the movie Bula Quo starring Status Quo and her real life daughter Laura Aikman


To be honest, being a working actress, presenter and producer, I do get to see more than my fair share of places. I sometimes wonder why I have a house especially as my son Luke lives abroad and when home is in Bristol where his company is, and my daughter Laura is a very busy actress and often away. Last year she was bouncing between Glasgow and South Africa for the BBC. Both are married and it is easy for me to travel now with no worries.  Hence the addition of the travel show, Doris Visits.

However, Fiji was different. Our company made the Status Quo movie Bula Quo and the whole family was involved. Stuart (husband) knew Quo and their manager Simon Porter from the 1970's when he was a radio DJ. They re-met on Coronation Street in 2005 and agreed to do a movie. It was then to happen with Vinnie Jones but Rick Parfitt had a health scare and it got put off. Then it stumbled for other reasons before being mounted when we all had matching breaks in our calendar in 2012.

So as an advance party with a finance deal to shoot in Fiji we went with 4 weeks to find locations. Whilst most cruises currently go into Suva the capital, most tourists fly into Nadi. Then are separated by a poor road and a drive that can be anything from between 2 and a half hours, our best time with speeding ticket, took four hours. There are local buses, but I would find a car. We decided to base in Nadi as there was more to offer in the terms of flavour to a film, but Fiji is like the Maldives in that it is a collection of islands, most islands are a resort and the resorts are where most tourists will stay.

Day visitors to Suva can head for some of the hotels on the sea, or the Grand Pacific Hotel which is a renovated colonial building that has been modelled on Raffles in Singapore.

Visitors to Nadi have a wealth of resorts, and Denarau which hosts a number of themed restaurants and a Hard Rock Cafe. There are boat trips and the best golf course is at the Intercontinental which is a wonderful resort hotel on the coral coast between Nadi and Suva so a little out of the way.

If you are adventurous, and I mean adventurous, there is a waterfall. It is one of the few attractions on the island and the climb to it is as much a joy. If you ask how long it will take, the only answer is "you have to cross seven rivers". Depending on rainfall that can range from a doddle to an unnerving challenge.

Our story of Fiji is based around its biggest storm ever when roads were washed away, bridges destroyed and the band rang to ask if they should fly as they saw news stories of people being air lifted out. We will cut a travel film from our footage, again it has been thrown at the edit suit and they are likely to throw it back until 2016, but watch for updates. The film on the floods is very interesting. You will see what film makers have to deal with. In the mean time there are many films of Fiji on our Bula Quo channel which has had over a quarter of a million views.


Jean can be seen here with American star Jon Lovitz. The shot was taken in Denarau near Nadi.

Here we shot a fight scene in a restaurant, many of the restaurants are owned by the same family but the themes / franchises often change.

Denarau is the stop for boats to the islands and tours from the coast.





I would appreciate you finding and following me on Facebook DORIS SHADES and on Twitter as DorisVisits.

Your numbers, clicks and likes are very important to me. I hope to see you on board a cruise ship very soon, but similarly (try) to stop me and say hi !!


If you are on holiday and love reading from your Kindle, and belong to the Kindle library, you might care to down load the book Shades Of Bad - WHO DIES TODAY which is the book covering the first 40 episodes of the dark comedy series Shades Of Bad, where Doris, me, deals with her husband leaving her by becoming a serial killer who works from home. The book is also available as a paperback.

The series can be viewed from the web site www.shadesofbad.com or YouTube.



A LIST OF LOCAL CONTACTS - also check in the comments sections here and of the films on YouTube for locals bars, restaurants, tours and amenities who have connected.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

TORTOLA, in the British Virgin Island (2015)



https://youtu.be/YIUubAiFeno   

A second visit is planned March 22nd on P&O cruise A606 on the Azura when a new film will be made, a walking tour and a beach. 

Tortola is one of the prettiest islands in the Caribbean. From the moment I arrived in port I was thrilled with the beauty of the island. I decided to do a bus tour and was told to ask for Kitty by one of the other passengers who had visited the island previously and said I would be guaranteed a fun tour with her. Luckily by the time I found her her bus was nearly full and about to leave but we squeezed on. I was not disappointed! Kitty is fun and knowledgeable and seemed to know just about everyone we passed on the tour. 



The roads are narrow and twisting and at some points a little hairy but the drivers are courteous and give way to one another. We climbed quite high up Sage Mountain,but it was worth it as the views were breathtaking, Before tourism, the main source of income on the island was sugar cane, bananas, citrus fruits, coconuts and fishing. The vegetation is lush. Everywhere is emerald green. Twice as much rain falls there as on London. Luckily we didn't have any. We stopped at a lovely beach and had a little paddle in the crystal clear water. There were all sorts of water sports going on and a charming restaurant with wifi. We met a man from Essex who had a stall in a little market by the beach. He said he had decided to leave the rat race and had come to Tortola to live a few years ago and he has never been happier. It is worth noting that for those who do not like to sit in the sun all day there is plenty of shade available on the beaches. It is comfortable under the trees. Our next stop was at the Callwood  rum distillery at Cane Garden bay where rum is produced in much the same fashion as it was over two centuries ago. I am not much of a rum drinker but it tasted nice to me!
We didn't have time to stop everywhere. There is so much choice. We passed a small bar called Boba's bar where they have a festival each year, and apparently if you are worse for wear at the end of the evening they will drive you home. If you are feeling adventurous you can go zip lining, with the Original Virgin Canopy Tours, go sightseeing by helicopter with Antilles Helicopter or swim with the Dolphins at Dolphin discovery at Road Town.
Kitty did stop near here for us to try and spot the Dolphins but we didn't have time to wait so unfortunately we didn't see them, despite my best efforts at Flipper impersonations! Shopping is much the same as other Caribbean Islands, quite touristy but no hassle to buy anything. One bonus we had was that as we walked by the church in the main part of town they were rehearsing Christmas carols which sounded beautiful. Tortola is well worth a visit. I will be going back next year and this time I will do the walking tour. Or maybe the zip lining! 



Other places Doris has filmed.....

DORIS VISITS BEQUIA


DORIS VISITS ANTIGUA


DORIS VISITS MIAMI
Video - https://youtu.be/dpJV2-NYT6g


DORIS VISITS CANAVERAL



For the full list of travel films as they appear click here. We would ask that you subscribe to our YouTube Channel because numbers count, you can either do that via the films or click here for the main page, the subscribe button is on the right at the bottom of the profile box. You have to be logged on to do that, the reason YouTube ask for you to log on is to ensure you are over 18 to get certain films.

I would appreciate you finding and following me on Facebook DORIS SHADES and on Twitter as DorisVisits.

Your numbers, clicks and likes are very important to me. I hope to see you on board a cruise ship very soon, but similarly (try) to stop me and say hi !!


If you are on holiday and love reading from your Kindle, and belong to the Kindle library, you might care to down load the book Shades Of Bad - WHO DIES TODAY which is the book covering the first 40 episodes of the dark comedy series Shades Of Bad, where Doris, me, deals with her husband leaving her by becoming a serial killer who works from home. The book is also available as a paperback.

The series can be viewed from the web site www.shadesofbad.com or YouTube.


BARBADOS - An overnight stay in Barbados, meant Friday Night FISH NIGHT


DORIS VISITS BARBADOS
view here or use the link to paste in your playlist






I was very excited when we arrived in Barbados.

I have been twice before and love it. The only place to go on Friday night is Oistins. Oistins is a fishing village on the coast of Christchurch and on Fridays it comes alive with flame cooked fish everywhere.

There is a DJ on the stage. There is a profusion of outside cafes selling fresh caught fish, or if you are renting and are adventurous you can buy the fish very reasonably and cook it yourself. The portions are massive but you have to get there early because it is difficult to get a seat. Everyone sits on long tables and it is nice to meet new people while you wait. I met a family who were very excited. They had just seen some baby turtles hatch. The atmosphere is relaxed and happy. I saw an amazing sunset over the sea and I even bought a pair of handmade shoes and of course a fridge magnet. Something I do everywhere I go to remind myself of my travels. There were some great craft and jewellery stalls but no hassle to buy. Then of course there is the rum punch which flows everywhere.

I made the most of the next day. Travel is so easy in Barbados. The buses are very frequent and the fare anywhere is 2 Barbados dollars. Then there are the shared taxis that stop at bus stops or anywhere along the road. They are also just 2 Barbados dollars. You have to squeeze in but it adds to the fun. Carribbean music is played everywhere and it is impossible not to smile. I travelled up to Mullins Bay and had lunch in the famous Mullins bar. My favourite coconut shrimp. This brought back memories of when I have visited Barbados before with my children. The beach at Mullins is beautiful. There are lots of water sports available including a banana boat which is brilliant fun.

From Mullins I went to Holetown in St James where there are all the designer shops and great restaurants, and I even walked down to Sandy Lane, which was actually quite a long walk and had a drink in the famous Sandy Lane hotel where we saw another great sunset. Back on the bus again to Worthing where there is one of the longest boardwalks I have seen. I had a drink in the Tiki bar on the beach which promised live music that evening, and there was a tame monkey that someone was taking for a walk on a lead. He was very mischievous and reminded me of Ross' monkey in Friends. The beaches everywhere here along the coast are white sand, very clean and crystal clear water.


Back to Bridgetown with its departmental stores and markets. Bridgetown is very busy but if you want to relax there go down to the Boatyard which is a beach club on another lovely beach where you can go out on a glass bottom boat snorkel or just chill. All in all Barbados is one of my favourite places to stay and the memory of the crickets who sing so loudly in the evening has always remained with me and always makes me smile. I am definitely going back for another visit.


For the full list of travel films as they appear click here. We would ask that you subscribe to our YouTube Channel because numbers count, you can either do that via the films or click here for the main page, the subscribe button is on the right at the bottom of the profile box. You have to be logged on to do that, the reason YouTube ask for you to log on is to ensure you are over 18 to get certain films.

I would appreciate you finding and following me on Facebook DORIS SHADES and on Twitter as DorisVisits.

Your numbers, clicks and likes are very important to me. I hope to see you on board a cruise ship very soon, but similarly (try) to stop me and say hi !!


If you are on holiday and love reading from your Kindle, and belong to the Kindle library, you might care to down load the book Shades Of Bad - WHO DIES TODAY which is the book covering the first 40 episodes of the dark comedy series Shades Of Bad, where Doris, me, deals with her husband leaving her by becoming a serial killer who works from home. The book is also available as a paperback.

The series can be viewed from the web site www.shadesofbad.com or YouTube.




ANTIGUA - A day stop from a cruise ship.



DORIS VISITS ANTIGUA


ANTIGUA - view film above or use this link to past into your playlist

Antigua has 365 beaches, one for every day of the year, and if you love white sands, clear water, and gorgeous sunshine you will love it. I decided to take a local bus tour. It is only a small island. Afterwards I wished I had gone on a jeep. Despite our driver assuring us we would see the rain forest we only went on the edge of it, and he was not willing to wait to let us try the zip wire. There was a horrendous queue there so maybe time would have run out but I would have liked the option. That said our driver was friendly and obliging. He took us to the top of a hill so we could get a great view of Nelson's Dockyard which is the most famous attraction in Antigua. The view was spectacular.

He also took us to where the sugar plantation once used to be but there is now a cricket field but there is a van selling sugar cane to tourists so we tried it. Our driver also insisted we try a black pineapple which is very very sweet. We stopped at a beautiful beach which was completely empty and looked like something out of the old bounty advert.  There are also stunning resort beaches where you can go scuba, diving, snorkelling and most water sports are available.

The shopping is what you would expect, T shirts, straw goods, Batik, shell  jewellery etc. There are many cafes where wifi is available and I sat for quite a while doing my emails with just a drink of fizzy water and was put under no pressure to leave or buy something else. When I left the ship I was bombarded by people trying to get me to use their taxi and the prices were not cheap, but they were not aggressive and if I said no they just wished me a nice day. It was the same in the shops. They did try hard to sell but would take no for an answer. Antigua has the reputation of having some of the finest beaches in the Caribbean. If you just want to chill and relax, it's a great place to go.

Other places Doris has filmed.....

DORIS VISITS BEQUIA


DORIS VISITS MIAMI
Video - https://youtu.be/dpJV2-NYT6g


DORIS VISITS CANAVERAL


For the full list of travel films as they appear click here. We would ask that you subscribe to our YouTube Channel because numbers count, you can either do that via the films or click here for the main page, the subscribe button is on the right at the bottom of the profile box. You have to be logged on to do that, the reason YouTube ask for you to log on is to ensure you are over 18 to get certain films.

I would appreciate you finding and following me on Facebook DORIS SHADES and on Twitter as DorisVisits.

Your numbers, clicks and likes are very important to me. I hope to see you on board a cruise ship very soon, but similarly (try) to stop me and say hi !!


If you are on holiday and love reading from your Kindle, and belong to the Kindle library, you might care to down load the book Shades Of Bad - WHO DIES TODAY which is the book covering the first 40 episodes of the dark comedy series Shades Of Bad, where Doris, me, deals with her husband leaving her by becoming a serial killer who works from home. The book is also available as a paperback.

The series can be viewed from the web site www.shadesofbad.com or YouTube.









MIAMI in a day, but I needed more time
















View the film above or with this link - MIAMI
https://youtu.be/dpJV2-NYT6g

When I arrived in Miami I must admit I was in a bit of a panic. So much to see, so little time! I decided on the hop on hop off bus tour as the most efficient way to see as much as possible. There were three tours included in the ticket. The city tour, the beach tour and the art and culture tour. As it happens I only managed to complete the city tour and the beach tour because I ran out of time. Although the bus took a little while to get going, once we started I was very impressed with our tour guide. He was entertaining, knowledgeable and extremely enthusiastic The first thing that struck me was the skyline which was really dramatic! I started off with the beach tour. I wanted to see Ocean Drive and Miami beach and they did not disappoint . Luckily I had made a  good decision to start with the beach tour as after a certain time in the morning they do not let the buses down the road as there are just too many people. So the bus has to take a detour. The Art Deco was impressive as were the designer muscles on Miami Beach. 


I spent too much time enjoying the hustle and bustle of the cafes where they sell the most enormous ice creams and the white sands of the beach so at the end of the day I was rushing to get everything crammed in. I walked down Ocean Drive imagining scenes from Miami Vice. I expected to bump into Don Johnson but no luck! I saw many amazing houses and hotels from the bus. Money and opulence are visible everywhere. There is an artificial island where many of the Stars have their homes. The Cuban palms are everywhere. On the city tour, as well as seeing the heart of the city we went to the Beverley Hills of Miami where the lawns are practically manicured, but the tour guide told us that if you don't keep your house up to a certain standard or even if you leave your garage door open too long you will get a fine. No wonder it all looks so good. 
We went through an area called Little Havana where there are all things Cuban, cigar factories, bars playing Cuban music and Cuban art everywhere. In fact not just in Little Havana but all over Miami there is a tangible Cuban influence. We saw the saddest monument in Miami. The monument to the Holocaust. People walked around it with great respect. Bayside was lively and full of shops, restaurants, ice cream and smoothie stalls. The marina was full of expensive yachts. I wish there had been more time to explore Miami but I got the flavour of it. Top tips, don't forget the sun cream it is so hot and the wind on the top of the buses may make you forget that you are getting burnt! I burnt the back of my neck because I had to take my hat off in case it blew away.! You will definitely have fun in Miami, it has so much character and something for everyone.


some other places Doris has visited.....

DORIS VISITS BEQUIA


DORIS VISITS ANTIGUA


DORIS VISITS CANAVERAL


For the full list of travel films as they appear click here. We would ask that you subscribe to our YouTube Channel because numbers count, you can either do that via the films or click here for the main page, the subscribe button is on the right at the bottom of the profile box. You have to be logged on to do that, the reason YouTube ask for you to log on is to ensure you are over 18 to get certain films.

I would appreciate you finding and following me on Facebook DORIS SHADES and on Twitter as DorisVisits.

Your numbers, clicks and likes are very important to me. I hope to see you on board a cruise ship very soon, but similarly (try) to stop me and say hi !!





Sunday, 22 November 2015

BEQUIA - A Cruise ship stop in Bequia

Doris Visits Bequia in the Grenadine Islands for a day from P&O cruise ship Adonia.
Doris is the character from the dark comedy TV web drama series SHADES OF BAD now filming it's second season in Norway and Barcelona.



click here for film link or (box) above


If you ask your travel agent for Beckwee or Beckway, the chances are they will not have heard it, and will not be able to look it up. Those who are not local will pronounce it the wrong way, Bequia. The islands are also known as St.Vincent and the Grenadines, or St Vincent Bequia. So, you can use all versions to insist you get there and trust me it is worth it.
By landing on Bequia, you have actually landed on part of St Vincent, it is just that you haven't been on the mainland. Bequia is a most beautiful unspoilt lesser visited smaller island. It boasts being the second largest in the Grenadines, second to St Vincent, but it is still only seven square miles.

Doris, "When we arrived in Bequia I was blown away by the sheer beauty of the island. It was very unspoilt, and simple. We were not besieged by traders trying to sell their wares. There was a little market but they just stood back and let you look. There was also a small art gallery and a boutique selling batik clothing which was all hand painted and hand made. The lady in the shop was delightful, not at all pushy and seemed happy for us to browse and admire her work. It was expensive but well worth it when you think of the time and effort spent. Bequia has a Caribbean feel. The water is crystal clear. Ideal for snorkelling, and you can hire masks and snorkels in Port Elizabeth from Lulleys Tackle or Wallace and Co. I hope other companies will connect with the video and add their details in the comments, because if you have just a few hours there like I did, you need information.
There are water taxis readily available if you want to go island hopping. I was more than happy to wander around the island but there is a turtle sanctuary on the opposite side of the island from the harbour. It is quite expensive to get there in a taxi but there are local buses.
If like me you fancy a wander along the shoreline you will not be disappointed. The views are stunning. There are walkways under the trees so you are sheltered from the sun and you can't miss Jack’s bar which is right on the beach. The lobster there is so fresh that they show you it before they have killed it. That put me off a bit but it was the best lobster I have ever eaten. They also have good music and free wifi in Jack’s bar and they don't seem to mind how long you sit there.

Bequia is like a secret place that a lot of people haven't heard of. The lush vegetation is everywhere and the flowers smell absolutely gorgeous. It is the ideal place for a honeymoon, an anniversary or actually any excuse you can think of. I am so pleased I visited. Wish I could have stayed longer."

ENJOY A SAMPLE OF BEQUIA - click here or film link (box) above

other travel films include.


DORIS VISITS ANTIGUA


DORIS VISITS MIAMI
Video - https://youtu.be/dpJV2-NYT6g


DORIS VISITS CANAVERAL



For the full list of travel films as they appear click here. We would ask that you subscribe to our YouTube Channel because numbers count, you can either do that via the films or click here for the main page, the subscribe button is on the right at the bottom of the profile box. You have to be logged on to do that, the reason YouTube ask for you to log on is to ensure you are over 18 to get certain films.

I would appreciate you finding and following me on Facebook DORIS SHADES and on Twitter as DorisVisits.

Your numbers, clicks and likes are very important to me. I hope to see you on board a cruise ship very soon, but similarly (try) to stop me and say hi !!


The series can be viewed from the web site www.shadesofbad.com or YouTube.

LOCAL SUPPLIERS, HOTELS, BARS AND TOUR SUPPLIERS OFTEN LIST THEIR DETAILS IN THE YOUTUBE COMMENTS.

IF ASKED WE LIST THEM HERE.

THE OLD FORT -  www.theoldfort.com