Travel Blog

Murielle Blanchard 2017 A-List

The entire Morris Murdock Travel family would like to congratulate our very own Murielle Blanchard for making the prestigious 2017 Travel + Leisure A-List for the sixth year in a row (2012-2017)!

Murielle Blanchard 2017 A-ListThe A-List is Travel + Leisure's annual selection of the world's best travel agents and destination specialists, as chosen by the editors. Each year Travel + Leisure combs through hundreds of applications and itineraries to compile this highly selective list. The recognition of being named to the A-List is a testament to Murielle's dedication to excellence, her expertise with her specific destination (France), and the fact that Murielle delivers the highest caliber experiences for clients from start to finish. Only the very best agents in the travel industry are considered.

“Murielle as an amazing travel consultant and her knowledge and expertise to Europe is unprecedented. Anyone lucky enough to work with Murielle in planning a vacation will be truly rewarded," said Brian Hollien, President of Morris Murdock Travel.

T+L sends applications to the travel agents and advisors their readers write rave about. These are the tried and true experts who have tailored perfect itineraries for clients, have logged years of experience, and nurture career-long relationships with all the right contacts and industry connections. Murielle can open doors to deliver customized experiences that fulfill travel bucket lists.

About Murielle: Of French descent, Murielle currently resides in Salt Lake City and considers herself a bridge between French and American cultures. She makes at least three trips to France each year to research new spots and look in on old favorites.

Best for: soft adventure, culture buffs, foodies/epicurean travelers.

Extras: Murielle’s Paris expertise includes shopping, especially one-of-a-kind boutiques.

To reach Murielle, please call 801.483.6533 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Murielle Blanchard
Black Pearl Luxury Services
A division of Morris Murdock Travel

We went to Albania, Kosovo, and Albania. The thing that are interesting about these places is they are cash only. You have to be able to get cash at the ATM or take enough with you. The local hotels are cash only as well. If you stay at bigger well known hotels then they should take a credit card. But no place else will take credit cards.

We started our trip out in Tirana. After the long flight that is the closest place to stay for the night and then go on from there. We stayed at the City Hotel. This is a basic hotel. With U.S. standard it would be about a 3 star property. All of the hotels we stayed at was very clean. In the small local hotels they don’t have any elevators and so you have to walk up the stairs. The rooms have anywhere from 1-4 beds. Sometimes they will have a queen and a twin in the room and some rooms might have 4 twin beds in them and so it just depends.

There are bigger hotels and more 4 star hotels as well. They have the International Hotel that is pretty close to the city center.

Read more ...

There is no better way to visit the amazing state of Alaska than doing a Cruise/Tour. Many travelers who visit Alaska do so only on a cruise ship along its’ coast, but there is so much more to see and experience. I recently had the opportunity to visit Alaska Cruise/tour destinations on a Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruise sponsored trip exploring Alaska’s major interior destinations: Fairbanks, Denali National Park, Talkeetna, Seward and Anchorage. The vast expanse of the state has varied and stunning scenery not to be found anywhere else in North America.

Fairbanks

After arriving in Fairbanks by air, we met our escort at the Pike’s Waterfront Lodge where we spent the next two nights. Pike’s Waterfront Lodge enjoys a terrific location on the Chena River, a mile from Fairbanks International airport, 2 miles from Pioneer Park and 4 miles from the University of Alaska. The hotel has rooms with flat-screen TVs, some with balconies overlooking the river, mini fridges and microwaves and most have free Wi-Fi. Rustic log cabins elsewhere on the property feature private decks, kitchenettes and sitting rooms.

After settling in, we met our motorcoach driver for the trip and drove to the Steamboat Landing where we boarded the “Discovery III”, an old fashioned paddle-wheeler, that took us on a 2 1/2 hour journey down the Chena River. We stopped by the Susan Butcher (a 4 time Iditarod champion) Kennels to see the dogs and witness a demonstration with the dogs in harness pulling an ATV. Further down the river we had the opportunity to see a bush pilot take off from the river and land on the river. There are a great many bush pilots in Alaska and for many it is the only form of transportation. We then stopped to visit a re-created Chena Indian fishing village where we enjoyed a demonstration of catching and smoking fish, how a cache is built to store food, a typical summer tent sleeping area, a typical cabin and a presentation of how the women made clothes out of furs and animal skins. That evening we went to a salmon BBQ . . .yum!

Read more ...

Watching Jake Sully enter the world of Pandora through his genetically engineered Na’vi body makes you wonder what it must be have been like. How did it feel to walk in the Pandora forest, run through the fields, or fall through the trees? How would it be to smell the air, to see the plants glow at night, to ride the Ikran, the predatory banshee that can fly? If you ever wished for that experience then your dreams have come true! You can now experience Pandora, The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World, Orlando Florida. It’s the perfect fit for Avatar fans, like me and my wife!

I had the most amazing opportunity to visit Pandora during its Grand Opening and walk around the Valley of Mo’ara. I was amazed at the mystery of its floating mountains alive with the sounds of life, drumming along like a beating heart. The flora and fauna glow both day and night, move and breathe like the native plants in Pandora. Many adventures wait for you here. Children and parents alike can paint their faces to resemble the Na’vi people. Take the look further with a souvenir T- shirt resembling the Na’vi skin color and war paint, or add a head band adorned with the ears of the Na’vi people. Complete the costume with Na’vi necklaces, bracelets and more. I had the chance to get my face painted at “Colors of Mo’ara” and bought the head band to match. But as soon as my wife saw it, she stole it from me and wore it for the remainder of our trip! People loved the look. We were met with curiosity all day as tourists and Disney Cast Members asked us where we got our Na’vi ears, wanting to know how much we loved Pandora! They wanted to share in our experience, even the face painting and ears! It was a thrill!

Read more ...

It is summer, it is hot. You are enjoying gardening, walking, swimming and barbecuing with friends, but when fall comes you will have an urge to travel and yes, indeed, it is the best time to travel!

In many places it is the shoulder season, which means fewer crowds. In addition the weather is optimal, in the northern hemisphere, the summer heat has passed, but it is still quite pleasant; in the southern hemisphere, spring flowers are blooming; and in Asia the monsoon rains have ended.

Here are some of my favorite trips for the fall:

Hiking in Vermont: If you have not seen Vermont in the fall, you don’t know what you are missing. The fall colors there are simply unbelievable! With forests covering three-quarters of the state, and the highest percentage of vibrant maple trees in the country, Vermont can’t help but explode into amazing colors once the leaves start to turn. Whether you are touring the state on the scenic byways, or enjoying a crisp autumn hike outdoors, almost everywhere you look in Vermont during the fall months is alive with bursting reds, oranges and yellows.

Adding to the natural beauty of autumn in Vermont are a variety of festivals, events and activities that help celebrate the season. Harvesting fruits and vegetables, visiting farms, pumpkin patches and corn mazes, and game hunting are among the host of outdoor things to do that make fall such a special time of year.

Plus, the elegant inns, hotels and bed and breakfasts are perfect places to stay during a fall visit to Vermont, but let's plan your fall trip and lodging early, because when the calendar turns to autumn, virtually no place in America is more desirable to visit than Vermont.

Read more ...

Blog Search