Curaçao, ducks and more interesting animals in the Caribbean

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Curacao

Freedom to the max on the island: that's Ducks United! Ducks United Curacao is a very special car rental company, located on one of the best holiday islands in the Caribbean. It is a classic car rental where you can hire a vintage, nostalgic and unique car (2CV). Margré is used to driving this type of car at home in Amsterdam, so DDTS thought it would be nice to rent one on the island for one day. Riding in a 2CV gives you an experience you will never forget. Beside that you will be automatically a member of Ducks United and a membership card with nice discounts will be forever yours. A free entrance to some specific resorts or a free welcome drink at Karakter are some of the options for instance .

We went to Porto Marie, a very nice beach located near the village of Sint Willibrordus, at the Porto Marie Bay. We stopped at the Flamingo Sanctuary on our way to the beach and were lucky to see the Flamingos close by. What beautiful birds they are. A must do on your way to the beach! The beach of Porto Marie is used as a starting point for scuba diving and snorkeling and it has a white sandy beach. Porto Marie Beach is experimenting with artificial coral reefs in order to improve the reef's condition, having placed hundreds of artificial coral blocks. So take care of your feet and legs when you are swimming in the amazingly beautiful azur colored water. Because coral formations are rigid and sharp. Injury can occur after accidental contact, leaving a small amount of animal protein and calcareous material in the wound. Vice versa, you can ruin coral when you touch or step on it. Even an accidental touch from divers and snorkelers can significantly damage the delicate coral polyps. So be careful in two ways!

When we were relaxing on the beach of Porto Marie we had an unexpected visitor. An iguana popped on top of Desiré's lounge bed. There is no doubt that the iguana is king of Curaçao reptiles. Its impressive dragon-like dorsal crest gives a ferocious look, the animal is, in fact, quite shy. But not this time. The iguana was quite impressive and a lot of people tried to catch an image of it. It's a beautiful animal but scary in our opinion. It was certainly a nice photo opportunity. Just as the pelican who landed on the pier.

After we spent a couple of hours on the beach we drove to the West End. But our Duck wasn't doing okay and we couldn't drive further. We called Geert from Ducks United and he brought a new Duck. Good service! This time we got a gray Duck and we drove further to check out Kura Hulanda. Breathtaking coral cliffs surrounded by white coral beaches created the ideal setting for Curacao’s most luxurious resort. This side of the island has spectacular views. Having a drink in one of the nice restaurants with ocean view along the road will be a good option, especially during sunset.

...and dushi Duck will be waiting for you patiently!

Watch our vlog of Curacao, ducks and more interesting animals in the Caribbean!

Toronto, Casa Loma and cupcakes…a delicious mix!

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Toronto

Toronto has more to offer than only the landmark of the CN Tower! Another interesting building is Casa Loma (Spanish for Hill House), a castle up the hill of Toronto City. It was built as a residence for financier Sir Henry Mill Pellatt. The castle was constructed from 1911 to 1914. The architect was E.J. Lennox who designed several other city landmarks. It is situated at an altitude of 140 m. Due to its unique architectural character in Toronto, Casa Loma has been a popular filming location for movies and television. It is also a popular venue for wedding ceremonies and rites too.

But we, DDTS, as Europeans, are accustomed to a lot of very old buildings in the Netherlands which are more than 300 years old so this castle from 1911 is a very young building in our opinion. But the Canadians are very proud of this ancient castle. We thought it felt a little bit like Disneyworld but we understand that from the 'new world' prospective this is an interesting building. Sir Henry Pellatt and his wife Lady Mary lived in the castle for more than ten years. Casa Loma was also a hotel in early days. You can travel by subway to Dupont station and walk for 5 minutes to reach the castle. Especially nice to visit when it is great weather because you have a nice view over the city of Toronto.

Queen West is one of the trendiest shopping scenes in Toronto. Since the creative types moved in, it has reinvented itself as the city's art and design district. More than 300 galleries, design houses, shops, restaurants and boutique hotels now make up Toronto's creative heart. It’s a goldmine for the fashion-hungry! And also for the cupcake-hungry! Try Dlish on 833 Queens St. West. Dlish has a tradition of simple, scratch-baked cupcakes using the finest ingredients.

And one more thing: If you want to sound like a real Torontonian, don't pronounce the second t in Toronto!

Watch our vlog of Toronto, Casa Loma and cupcakes...a delicious mix!

Houston, DDTS has landed at DSW, Starbucks, Marshalls & The Container Store

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Houston

DDTS landed in Houston for a short layover. Sometimes we don't have the time to do a lot of things due to the time of arrival. We took a taxi and went to an outside shopping area near the Galleria Mall and had three hours to shop before closing. DSW is one of our favorite shops in the States, shoe lovers as we are ;-)! In this store all kinds of shoe-gems can be found, row after row. DSW offers a wide selection of current brand names and designer shoes and casual and athletic footwear for women and men. DSW carries some of the same styles found in department stores but with savings that range up to 50 percent below department store regular retail prices, everyday. We tried fashionable flip flops in all kinds of models and basically had a great time in the Designer Shoe Warehouse.

The Container Store is a favorite of Desiré. The Container Store is specialized in storage and organization solutions. We also visited Marshalls. This popular store offers current-season, brand-name and designer goods for men, women, teens and kids at incredible prices everyday. Marshalls traces its history to 1956, when Alfred Marshall gathered a band of innovative entrepreneurs on the East Coast to collectively start up the 'Brand Names For Less' concept. You can find all kinds of articles in this store. You have to search for the hidden gems but if you find them you are 'on top of the world'! 

Starbucks is the coffee shop to be in the States. Starbucks was founded in Seattle, Washington in 1971. Today it operates 23,768 locations worldwide. Do you use a fake Starbucks name when you order, to avoid confusion about your difficult real name? If not, it's time to start brainstorming. At Starbucks, the name misspelling is a very funny experience. No matter what your gender, religion or creed is, a barista will always get your name wrong. Even if you spel out each letter as slowly as possible (and several times over), you're going to get a surprise when you see your cup. So the Starbucks name of Margré in the States is Sophie, but they will spell it like Sofi, Soofie or Sofee...very funny!

It was a short commercial break in Houston. No musea, no culture, no tips for hip restaurants. But big American brand names of stores like Marshalls, Designer Shoe Warehouse, The Container Store and Starbucks were on the list this time! The all American way of shopping!

 

Watch our vlog of Houston, DDTS has landed at DSW, Starbucks, Marshalls & The Container Store!

Curaçao, relaxing to the max at Papagayo, Zanzibar and Zest

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Curaçao

Are you planning to do nothing active and you want to feel like a prince and/or princess, wind in your hair and your feet in soft white sand? Than we advise you to go to the beaches of Zest on Curaçao. Lie down with a nice drink and have a beautiful view all day long! Well, we were planning to do just that when we were on the island. We made necessary reservations for luxury lounge beds on the beach at Zest for the next day. The price includes a nice bottle of sparkling or plain water and you can order food and drinks all day long. If that doesn't make sense...

After sunset you can have a drink and a dance at Zanzibar. There is live music during the weekends. If you want to swim in a pool you have to go to Papagayo. They have a salty bassin in front of the sea and also offer drinks and food whenever you like. Papagayo became a large international hotspot in the heart of the Caribbean with an upscale design hotel on the beach, a trendy beach club and a versatile beach plaza, home to a classy casino, a contemporary spa, a state-of-the-art fitness centre, a supermarket and various shops and F&B facilities.

This 'relaxing, we don't do anything this trip' is exceptional for Don't Disturb The Sheep. But we enjoyed it to the max!

Watch our vlog of Curaçao, relaxing to the max at Papagayo, Zanzibar and Zest!