Cedar Travel - Owatonna, MN
Proudly serving Southern Minnesota for 22 years...
Recent Travels

Where in the world have we been?   

Laurie recently visited the Caribbean Island of St. Lucia where she spent 5 nights at the all-inclusive Sandals Regency LaToc and 2 nights at the Coco Palm Hotel. Located in the Lesser Antilles, St. Lucia is a volcanic island and is much more mountainous than most of the islands in the Caribbean. Most famous are the Pitons, twin volcanic peaks that are the symbol of the island. A year round tropical climate contributes to the idyllic lushness and laid back lifestyle on St. Lucia.  
While visiting the island Laurie enjoyed shopping, sightseeing, snorkeling, and a catamaran ride along the west coast of the island. There was also a special trip that took her right into one of the worlds only drive-in volcanos with its bubbling holes of sulphuric water. She also had the opportunityto visit a banana plantation. Always interested in bringing back destination knowledge for her clients, Laurie inspected 8 different hotels and now has a greater understanding of the varied options 
available for your stay.

Whether you enjoy an active vacation, or simply seek to escape to an exotic locale and do nothing, St. Lucia is the perfect place for a romantic getaway.  

And if a wedding is in the future, why not consider St. Lucia? Romantic, exotic, remote, tropical ~ St. Lucia is the perfect honeymoon destination! 


Ronda recently enjoyed a girlfriend’s weekend getaway to Chicago!  The ladies traveled to Chicago in the most relaxing way possible – by train.  They boarded Amtrak’s Empire Builder in La Crosse, Wisconsin mid-morning and arrived later that day in Chicago.  Along the way they toasted to the beauty of scenic Wisconsin, played games and caught up with each other's busy lives.  

They spent two nights at the luxury Drake Hotel located near Michigan Avenue.  The Drake Hotel is beautiful, historic, and elegant. The girlfriends indulged with dinner and merriment at Mike Ditka’s restaurant that evening.  In the morning everyone walked 3 blocks to the John Hancock Building and Observatory on the 94th floor for the view! Beautiful, but only on a clear day!  That afternoon, some ladies enjoyed world class shopping along the fabulous Magnificent Mile, while others took a narrated boat tour on the Chicago River through the city enjoying the view and historic architecture of Chicago's buildings, history and more. They floated through the lock and dam into Lake Michigan on this guided tour.  

An evening pub crawl was on the agenda for their last night as they walked/talked and hailed taxi's to some of the local areas.  It was a completely enjoyable and relaxing getaway weekend and a great way to spend uninterrupted time reconnecting with girlfriends.
Let Ronda help you plan your group's travel for a special celebration or memorable getaway! 


In April Laurie enjoyed her first train experience traveling on Amtrak. She rode the California Zephyr from Osceola, Iowa to Glenwood Springs, Colorado. The most memorable part of the journey was the breathtaking scenery between Denver and Glenwood Springs. The Zephyr traveled through some of the most gorgeous scenery 
Laurie has ever seen, including 37 tunnels cut through the Rocky Mountains. They traversed rivers, streams and canyons, and encountered sleet, snow, and blizzards. Upon arriving in Glenwood Springs Laurie stayed at the world famous Glenwood Springs Resort & Spa. The enormous outdoor hot springs pool is well known 
for its healing properties. Laurie enjoyed the 100 degree pool where it felt awesome to be in the warm pool as it was snowing, while being surrounded by mountains. After exploring the town of Glenwood Springs, it was time to get in the automobile and drive. Stops along the way included the world famous ski resorts of Aspen and Vail, which are as much a summer destination as a winter one. Their final destination was Manitou Springs, located near Colorado Springs. Laurie and her family attended her nephew’s outdoor wedding, surrounded by the majesty of the Rocky Mountains.

Amtrak is a relaxing and beautiful way to travel across the Rocky Mountains, 
and Colorado is a must see state. Whether you are a summer or winter enthusiast, it offers something for everyone!
In June of 2010, Colleen and Laurie attended a global conference held by American Marketing Group, parent company of the travel agency group known as TRAVELSAVERS. As members of TRAVELSAVERS Cedar Travel is able to take 
advantage of the programs offered by a global partner, yet retain the personal character and service that sets Cedar Travel apart from its competitors. Colleen and Laurie spent 3 nights at the famed Boca Raton Resort and Club located in sunny Boca Raton, Florida. Their days were filled with meetings and training sessions designed to help agents better tap into the programs and services offered by TRAVELSAVERS. Evenings were spent socializing and enjoying the beautiful outdoor venues at the resort. 
This hotel is one of the most famous in South Florida and has recently undergone 
a complete refurbishment. They are now a proud member of the esteemed Waldorf Astoria Collection.   
Cedar Travel continually strives to learn more and stay current on everything related to your travel needs. We are committed to being the home town source of knowledge for all your travel needs!

November 2010, Laurie visited Central Europe, sailing on the River Beatrice, one of the beautiful ships belonging to Uniworld Boutique River Cruises. The itinerary was called “Enchanting Danube”, and indeed it was! We flew to Munich, Germany and sailed the Danube, visiting Germany, Austria, and Hungary. Highlights of the cruise included visiting the beautiful city of Salzburg, Austria, where parts of the beloved musical “The Sound of Music” were filmed. Salzburg is located in the mountains and maintains the charm of a small village.  Shopping on the Getreidegasse was magical! Located here is the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

After departing Salzburg, the River Beatrice meandered down the Danube, stopping in the charming Austrian towns of Melk and Durnstein before arriving in the capital city of Vienna.   We were just in time for the opening of the Christmas Markets.  This is a long standing traditionin Europe with many outdoor vendors selling Christmas gifts as well as warm cider, coffee, and of course those fabulous Austrian pastries! 
The venue was beautiful and really got our group in the Christmas spirit! Vienna offers something for everyone: spectacular churches, amazing museums, enchanting music, world class shopping, and of course world famous coffee houses. 
After spending a day and a half in Vienna, we continued our journey down the Danube to our final destination, Budapest, Hungary. Our first glimpse of Budapest was from the upper deck of the River Beatrice. It is an incredibly beautiful city from the riverfront perspective! Budapest is an architectural dream, with a true mix of east & west, Medieval and modern. Budapest offers a lot of history and there are many 
sobering reminders of the past struggles these people have endured.  

Unfortunately, the cruise came to an end all too soon!  It was an inspiring experience!  Sailing on a river cruise offers you the comfort and convenience of a floating 5 star hotel.  There is no need to move from hotel to hotel to see Europe.  Uniworld provides transportation to the middle of the city and also includes a shore excursion in nearly every location.  Guides are well versed in English and are remarkably 
knowledgeable and entertaining!  Uniworld is also well known for its fine dining using fresh local ingredients and complimentary wine with dinner. 
Most impressive is that the price you pay upfront really does include everything!  This is my second experience onboard a river cruise and I musttell you, it is a wonderful way to see Europe! I can’t wait to tell you all about sailing the rivers of Europe!  


Last year, Ronda recently visited the lovely Caribbean island of Jamaica.  Her trip was sponsored by the Jamaican Tourist Board, who is committed to the ongoing education of the travel agent community.  They hosted 2000 travel agents over a one month span to restore confidence in Jamaica as a safe destination and tout its new inventory, attractions and accommodations.  Ronda's group inspected several hotels and resorts in Jamaica.  By seeing these venues in person, Ronda is able to help you decide what fits your desires for the perfect Jamaican vacation.  
Ronda also had the opportunity to experience a little of the adventure that makes Jamaica so special!  A swim with the dolphins at Discovery Cove, was quite an experience-don't forget your water shoes!  This familiarization trip was exciting and very educational.  Ronda is ready to help you plan your complete getaway to Jamaica!   

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