For Valentine’s Day, Why Not Create A Virtual Romantic Getaway for Two!

long term marriages

Does the idea of a virtual romantic getaway sound a little crazy, but fun?

After all, this is 2021, travel remains at a virtual standstill, and almost everything we do, even as ridiculous as it sounds – is virtual. Work, school, birthday parties, Thanksgiving, Christmas, cocktail hour, baby showers, wine tasting, cooking class, exercise class! Good grief! Why not enjoy a virtual romantic getaway for two? Let’s create everything you need to pretend to be at the destination of your dreams!

Valentine’s Day is around the corner, but we have a little time to plan. Why the heck not? As a travel writer, my work life was upended by the pandemic, which allowed me the freedom to try a few new ideas. One of which was to create a Virtual Maui Vacation. Brilliant, yes? 

romantic getaway
A virtual Maui could be fun!

After umpteen months of quarantine, a virtual Maui Vacation sounds kind of fun, doesn’t it? Maybe you want to create a weekend in Maui? Just check out the Vacation Guide, which has all of the details!

Maybe you need a little help with this virtual romantic getaway idea? I plan to give you a few tips to get your creative juices flowing.

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My Top Nine Reasons to Be Grateful for 2020

top nine

Reasons to be grateful for 2020

I have many reasons to be grateful for 2020. Actually, the list is pretty long and full of emotion. Fortunately for me, they help to counterbalance the challenges we have all faced this year.

First I must address my biggest and most impactful disappointment. Travel is my work, my passion, and the subject I focus on almost daily. As we know, the restrictions from COVID and the devastation of this industry was beyond our imaginations. I have traveled some, but mostly to check in on our pregnant with twins daughter, relocating to the Pacific Northwest, and a short anniversary getaway in October.

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An Anniversary Trip to Ventana Big Sur: A Luxury Hotel on the Pacific Coast

luxury hotel in Big Sur
We celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary at Ventana Big Sur

Ventana Big Sur – An extraordinary luxury hotel!

After seven months of quarantine, we were more than ready for an anniversary trip. At the time, restrictions from COVID had lifted enough where we could travel to the glorious California coast at Big Sur.

I needed this vacation so much! Tired of being cooped up with no trips planned, it was time. Travel is my passion, my occupation, and honestly, what lights me up inside. I love to create the plans, to experience new places, and find adventure. I’m not ready to settle into retirement yet; there are too many fabulous destinations to visit, too much out there to learn! Don’t you agree?

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25 Reasons to Be Thankful in This Year of All Years

reasons to be thankful

25 Reasons to Be Thankful Now

I wrote the post “25 Reasons to be Thankful for Time” exactly five years ago. I had just begun writing Adventures of Empty Nesters, and so many things were so different in my life. Who knew? One thing that hasn’t changed, I am still so grateful for time! However, we all have a lot more time than we ever did before.

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Family Adventures: When Four Generations Meet For the First Time

four generations of women
Four Generations of Women

New Family Adventures!

Since travel adventures are not currently a top priority, family adventures are just about all the adventures we can create. Some of us see our families often, while others have not been together since March or before. This lack of family interaction is heartbreaking, and uncertainty is commonplace.

In a million years, I never thought that I would not be writing about my exciting global travels and only focusing so close to home. I was in Japan just one year ago, and I still dream about travel. I have taken several trips during COVID between Washington and California. You can click HERE to read about my experiences.

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An Escape for the Weekend in Yosemite – Yes Please!

Tunnel View - Yosemite
Tunnel View – A beautiful view, earlier in the day

“Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space.” Ansel Adams

An escape for the weekend in Yosemite!

sunset view Yosemite
Tunnel View Yosemite – Sunset

Don’t we need a weekend away surrounded by granite walls, deep valleys, forest creatures, and sublime sunsets? Right now, most travel plans focus toward the direction of the outdoors with a priority of open-air, lots of space, and peaceful surroundings. California offers many scenic destinations where we can unwind and be one with nature.

We had grand plans to spend a weekend in Yosemite National Park, but COVID had other ideas. This year is overflowing with canceled or postponed vacations and weekend getaways. I am sure there are too many to count. 

Unfortunately, COVID restrictions pushed off our plan to hike and experience Yosemite, but our son Nick and new wife Kylie live much closer to this National Park and were able to enjoy a glorious weekend trip!

They graciously allowed me to live vicariously and provide me with their details to write this inspirational post! This month I am partnering with Hotels.com to help create a dreamy future weekend in Yosemite!

Now more than ever, careful planning is a necessity for every vacation or travel plan. We must do our homework to learn of any restrictions and closures and best understand our chosen destination.

Yosemite is an extremely popular destination all year round, and even if there were no extenuating circumstances, the weather can always provide challenges with road closures and snow.

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A Trip to Nashville Should Be On Your Adventure List!

trip to Nashville
Photo- Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

A Trip to Nashville

It’s official; we are starting to see some positive movement toward travel. Travelers are thinking about a possible road trip and trying to decide just where to go. Many have already taken the plunge back into the delightful world of travel. Today I am working with my friends at Hotels.com to talk about a tasty, fun-filled trip to Nashville, Tennessee.

Whether it is country music, the incredible food scene, fall colors, or a lively atmosphere, Nashville has become the place to be. Just writing this post reminds me of how at home I felt in this vibrant destination! This city has a big heart, is large enough to have everything you want, but still gets away with a small-town feel.

trip to Nashville
A must visit! Country Music Hall of Fame

Craig and I, along with two of our best friends, Troy and Brad, designed a fantastic road trip that went from the Kentucky Bourbon Trail to Nashville. We have been friends since we were kids, and this was our fourth recent trip together.

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Love, Anniversaries and Long Term Marriages – Is there a secret?

long term marriages
Our recent anniversary trip to Big Sur

Long term marriages – The joy of family!

It’s October! This month brings Fall leaves, pumpkin spice lattes, the World Series (Go Dodgers!), and is our anniversary month. For as long as I can remember, we have traveled somewhere to commemorate our anniversary. Maui was our usual celebratory destination, but this year it isn’t possible due to COVID restrictions. We are traveling to Carmel by the Sea and Big Sur, CA, and looking forward to it!

Always find adventure

Allow me to declare that all anniversaries should be celebrated! Any time a married couple begins another year together, it’s fantastic. Long term marriages and relationships are an essential milestone, and I wouldn’t be me unless I also said we need to find adventure in life too!

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Celebrating Life and Love in a Year That No One Could Imagine

celebrating life

Celebrating Life!

I vacillated back and forth as to how to write the introduction of this post. Do I recap how hard things have been this year? The sadness, despair, disappointment, and COVID? Or any of the other negative adjectives?

No, I am skipping the bad parts and going straight to the joyous part! Ok with you? Here we go!

Celebrating life in the craziest, most challenging year we can remember is the best way to look at 2020. Many people may want to erase this year, but I don’t want to forget any of it, because we have grown from it. And more importantly, as a family, we are rejoicing three very special additions to our family!

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A Visit to Joshua Tree National Park Should Be on Your Adventure List!

visit to Joshua Tree National Park

A Visit to Joshua Tree National Park

A visit to Joshua Tree National Park and the town of Joshua Tree will take you away from everyday stress and introduce you to a desert landscape that is so incredibly different from city life!

Recently I have written about finding adventure in woodsy, pine-smelling forests with vast lakes like Lake Tahoe and charming towns like Jackson Hole where the Grand Tetons impress and welcome you.  So today, along with my partner Hotels.com, I share one more destination inspiration! It is time to seek the sandy, rock-climbing terrain of Joshua Tree. We loved it!

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