Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Western Reserve Academy - Confirmed Flight Schedule

Departure for Europe:
Monday, March 12, 2012 Continental Airlines 1543 leaves Cleveland (CLE) at 4:36 pm arrives in Newark (EWR) at 6:29 pm.
Continental Airlines CO 62 leaves Newark (EWR) at 8:15 pm arrives in Madrid (MAD) at 8:45 am on Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Return to US:
Thursday, March 22, 2012 Continental Airlines CO 65 leaves Lisbon (LIS) at 9:15 am arrives in Newark (EWR) at 1:32 pm.
Continental Airlines CO 51 leaves Newark (EWR) at 4:38 pm arrives in Cleveland (CLE) at 6:20 pm

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Gentle reminder: Do not forget to obtain travel insurance!

Dear WRA Travelers, 
As indicated on your registration form, it is mandatory for all tour participants to obtain travel insurance to protect your investment in case you have to cancel for a medical situation, loss of luggage or various other reasons.
Our recommended insurance option is described below along with an online link to Travel Guard. We highly recommend this company based on a long and excellent relationship. 
TravelGuard has a variety of policies including a family plan.
In order for us to keep track of travel insurance for your group, please sign up through these links connected with Incantato Tours.
Click here to get a Travel Guard Insurance quote.

Travel Insurance

Incantato Tours strongly recommends getting Travel Guard travel insurance for your upcoming journey as they have been a very reliable partner and provide excellent services, but we also know that you may have a different preferred supplier or are already covered under another policy. Again, travel insurance with trip cancellation coverage is mandatory for all Incantato Tours travelers. 
Not only are you covered medically should anything happen when traveling, but with TravelGuard's policies, you also protect your investment should you have to cancel or interrupt the trip.There is also coverage for delayed and lost luggage etc.
Here is a direct line to purchase travel insurance online and can you do so with your credit cards and also select the option that is best for you.

In the meantime, have a look at the most comprehensive coverage option The Protect Assist Gold below.

Protect Assist (Gold) -
Comprehensive Travel Protection for the World Traveler
  • Trip Cancellation
  • JUST ADDED! - Trip Cancellation due to employment loss or layoff
    if employed with the same employer 1 year or longer
  • Trip Interruption and Travel Delay
  • Emergency Medical and Emergency Medical Transportation
  • Baggage and Travel Document Protection
  • Baggage Delay and Lost Baggage Tracking
  • NEW - Cancel For Any Reason option now available
  • NEW - Cancel For Work Reasons option now available
  • NEW - Children age 17 and under covered at no additional cost
  • IMPROVED -Trip Cancellation limit increased to $100,000 (from $15,000),
  • IMPROVED - Trip Interruption coverage increased to 150% of Trip Cost
  • IMPROVED - Travel Delay required hours reduced to 5 hours (from 12)

ProtectAssist special features:
  • Best coverage for Weather Related Cancellations
  • Pre-existing Condition Exclusion Waiver*
  • Default/Bankruptcy Protection*
  • $50,000 Flight Accident Insurance*
  • 24-Hour "LiveTravel" Travel Agency
  • Emergency Cash Transfers
  • Identity Theft Restoration

* These additional benefits apply If you are purchasing within 15 days of making your initial trip deposit or payment, however, coverage may still be purchased at any time up to 24 hours prior to departure.
Increase your coverage with these valuable additions to your Protect Assist Plan:
Cancel For Any Reason – 50%
reimbursement of nonrefundable expenses if you cancel your trip for any reason, up to 48 hours prior to your departure. Only available when this plan is purchased within 15 days of initial trip payment.

Cancel For Work Reasons –
Offers additional work-related reasons for cancellation or interruption. Also includes our exclusive “Business Assistant” services if you have work obligations during your travels. Only available when this plan is purchased within 15 days of initial trip payment.

Umbrella Package – Medical Expense limits are doubled and coverage is upgraded to primary. Emergency Medical Transportation limits are doubled and benefits upgraded to take you home or to the hospital of your choice. $25,000 Accidental Death and Dismemberment coverage will be added

Optional coverages cannot be purchased separately. Must be purchased with base ProtectAssist plan.

Comprehensive non-insurance travel services* automatically included with plan!With the ProtectAssist plan, every customer also has access to these valuable travel services when they travel:
· Arrangements for last-minute flight changes
· Hotel finder and reservations
· Rental car reservations
· Emergency medical assistance
· BagTrak® -- lost baggage tracking
· Pre-trip health and safety advisories
· Live e-mail and phone messaging to family and friends
· Cash transfers
· Airport transportation
· Golf course reservations
· Event ticketing
· Floral services
· Identity Theft restoration

Business Assistant* (available when Optional Cancel for Work Reasons coverage is purchased)

*Non-Insurance services are provided by AIG Travel Assist.

Citizenship: All Nationalities
Residency: United States
New York, Oregon, and Washington residence please call to purchase
Some rider options are not available and other restrictions may apply
Destination: Worldwide
Ages: All Ages
Max Trip Length: 365 Days

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

6th January, Wise Men cake and end of Christmas

"Roscón de Reyes" is a traditional bread cake, served usually the morning of “Reyes” or Epiphany, January 6th. It is the last Christmas event.

"Dia de Reyes" is the day when children in Spain receive gifts in our Christmas time. The Three Wise Men, los Tres Reyes Magos, are the 3 kings who brought baby Jesus gifts. The brought gold, incense and myrrh to him, and now they bring presents to all of us. Even when nowadays most children get some Santa Klaus gift on December 25th, we mostly keep the tradition of the 3 Wise Men.

These very days, in each city or village of Spain you can join a parade of the Tres Reyes Magos, and many places offer a Reception of one of the 3 Kings – or their page-boys – so that the children can directly ask for their presents… but there is one condition:
If we were good during the year, we receive the presents. If we were bad… they leave just “coal” for us, which is a coal shaped black candy, pure sugar!

And on the very morning of the 6th, with the presents waiting on us, we eat the Roscón for breakfast all together. And not only this: the roscón has many surprises hidden inside: among others, usually a porcelain figure of a baby wrapped in foil and a dry bean are hidden in the dough. Whoever finds the baby will have good luck and be the king of the party, but if you find the bean - pay for the cake!

In case you want to enjoy a homemade roscón, we have included 2 recipes here: one easy and one difficult, for you to join the Wise Men day with some Spanish taste. We hope you enjoy them!

Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes
Basic ingredients:
  • 400g flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 100g butter
  • 100g sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 liter milk
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Dried mixed peel for decorating
  • Salt

  1. Mix the baking powder in a glass with 4 tbsp of the milk then add this to 100g of the flour and mix together until it forms a dough type mixture - cover with a clean tea towel and set aside until it doubles in size.
  2. Place the rest of the flour (300g) in a bowl and add the eggs, sugar, pinch of salt, the rest of the milk and zest of the lemon - mix well then add the butter and continue mixing for a further 2 mins then add the dough mixture - once a smooth dough has been achieved cover and set aside for 2 hour.
  3. After 2 hours knead the mixture a little before placing it on a greased baking tray in the form of a ring. Put some little figures wrapped up in foil inside the mixture and also a broad bean. Whoever finds the bean, according to tradition, can expect to receive coal rather than presents from the Kings. Brush with milk, decorate using the mixed peel, lightly sprinkle with sugar and place in a pre-heated oven (160 degrees) for 15 - 20 min.

Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes

  • 4 cups unbleached flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 oz yeast
  • 2/3 cup mixed lukewarm milk and water (of equal parts)
  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • 6 Tbsp sugar
  • Grated rind of 1 lemon
  • Grated rind of 1 orange
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp brandy
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • Candied fruit pieces, cherries, oranges, etc.

Serves 8-10.
  1. Sift flour and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Make a hole in the center of the flour.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, stir and dissolve the dry yeast in the lukewarm milk-water mixture. Once dissolved, pour the dissolved yeast into the center of the flour. Stir in just enough flour from around the bowl to make a thick batter.
  3. With your hand, grab about a teaspoon of the flour from the side of bowl and sprinkle it over the top of batter. Cover bowl with a kitchen towel and leave in a warm place, away from any draft. Allow batter to turn spongy, about 15 minutes.
  4. In a medium-size mixing bowl, use a hand mixer or whisk to beat together the butter and sugar. The mixture should be smooth and creamy. Set aside.
  5. Put grated orange and lemon rinds, eggs, brandy and water to the bowl with flour mixture. Mix all. The dough will be sticky.
  6. Beat flour mixture until it is elastic and smooth. Beat in butter-sugar mixture and mix until the dough is smooth. Dough should be formed into a ball, then covered with oiled plastic wrap. Cover bowl with a kitchen towel and leave it again in a warm place and allow to rise until doubled in size. This will take approximately 1.5 hours.
  7. While you are waiting for the dough to rise, grease a large baking sheet with vegetable shortening and set aside for use later. If you will use a baking stone, no need to grease it.
  8. Once dough has doubled, remove plastic wrap and punch dough down. Lightly flour a clean counter or cutting board and place dough on it. Knead for 2-3 minutes. Then, using a rolling pin, roll dough into a long rectangle, about 2 feet long and 5-6 inches wide.
  9. Roll the dough on the long side into a sausage shape. Carefully place the dough onto the large baking sheet or stone and connect the ends together, forming a ring. If you will hide a bean or a small foil-wrapped, ceramic figurine in the cake, now is the time to tuck it under the dough. Cover with oiled plastic wrap again. Leave in a warm place and allow to double in size. This will take about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  10. Heat oven to 350F degrees. Lightly beat the egg white in a bowl. Uncover the dough and brush the top of the cake. Decorate the ring with the candied fruit pieces. Push them into the dough slightly so that they do not fall off. 
  11. Place in oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool on a rack before serving.

In the last half of the 20th century, filling the roscón with whipped cream or thick custard became popular. Today about a third of the roscones sold in Spain are filled. If you want to fill yours, use a bread knife to slice the bread in half horizontally and carefully remove the top. Next, squeeze in the whipped cream or filling you've chosen and carefully replace the top. Keep refrigerated until serving if filled with cream or custard.

Recipies are taken from: