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?

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

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.

Read moreAn Escape for the Weekend in Yosemite – Yes Please!

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.

Read moreA Trip to Nashville Should Be On Your Adventure List!

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!

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

Let’s Escape to Lake Tahoe For Our Next Getaway

escape to Lake Tahoe
Photo: L. Simone

An Escape to Lake Tahoe

Let’s go to the mountains where there are fewer people, fresh air, blue skies, exceptional deep blue water, and views to make you weep. Let’s escape to Lake Tahoe! I am once again working with my friends at Hotels.com to bring you more travel inspiration.

We started visiting Lake Tahoe when our children were little, we traveled there in the winter to ski and in the summer to hike, but with Fall around the corner, it’s time to plan for the leaf-peeping season! It is best to reach out to local hotels to learn about their new COVID protocols and safety guidelines. However, it is getting easier to travel every week that passes by. Fall in Lake Tahoe could be a wonderful first step back toward our love of travel.

Read moreLet’s Escape to Lake Tahoe For Our Next Getaway

Taste Your Virtual Vacation – A Delicious Maui Style Menu

Maui Style Menu

CHECK OUT OUR NEW EPISODE OF COCKTAIL ADVENTURES!

THE PIÑA COLADA – HERE!

A  Maui Style Menu

Are we dreaming of a tasty trip or virtual vacation Maui Style? We cannot travel across the vast Pacific Ocean to the island of Maui, but we can pretend like we are! Virtual Vacations can transport us to a place we can’t get to for one reason or another. This Maui Style Menu will help you bring all of the essential elements together!

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Get Everything You Need For Your Maui Staycation!

Maui staycation
We miss visiting Maui so much!

A  Maui Staycation – Yes, Please!

Last week, in my first post for How to Create a Virtual Vacation Maui Style, I introduced you to the general concept of creating a vacation at home. The Coronavirus has hijacked travel, and we need to have a way to at least pretend to be in a tropical destination. Don’t we?

Creating a path to explore a Maui Staycation was my way of getting past the indisputable travel obstacles we are facing.

 

Check out the new Guide!

Read moreGet Everything You Need For Your Maui Staycation!

How to Create Your Own Virtual Vacation – Maui Style!

multi-colored sunset in Maui
A Maui sunset will dazzle you daily!

A Virtual Vacation? What is that?

Imagine the cold-sweet sip of a tropical Mai Tai, Seared Ahi Tuna with Vegetable Fried Rice, and a mound of ice cream covered in chocolate fudge in a decadent slice of Hula Pie. Yes, please! Tell me more. This delicious list is just the beginning of an authentic and tasty Maui Style vacation you can create at home.

The COVID 19 pandemic has all but ruined our travel calendar and certainly curtailed any type of air travel over the blue Pacific. Many people have underlying health conditions that prevent any possibility of travel no matter what is happening in the world. Maybe a Maui vacation is not in the budget at all?

Well, my non-traveling friends, I have a solution. Disappointed by my lack of travel options during the Stay at Home mandate, I needed to change my thinking. I had to look at my current situation and determine just how to move forward when I could not write about future travel or plan any of our own adventures. Just like you, I couldn’t enjoy a Maui vacation if I wanted to!

Read moreHow to Create Your Own Virtual Vacation – Maui Style!

Three of Our Best Cocktail Recipes & Videos for Empty Nesters & Friends

        best cocktail recipes

More of our best cocktail recipes for you!

So the project continues.

Our little video Cocktail Adventure has been moving along and catching speed. You all have been so supportive with your comments and enthusiasm, and we aim to please! Even our non-drinking friends are enjoying this little escape as well!

We began this adventure six weeks ago to connect with everyone stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people are baking amazing new recipes, letting their creative juices flow, and investigating new personal talents. Also, liquor sales have gone up dramatically! Hello? You are making cocktails too!

Not exactly sure how we could contribute, we created Cocktail Adventures, where we film a short 4-5 minute video and offer a little cocktail history, our favorite recipes, and a travel memory that is enhanced by this drink.

My husband Craig does some research, we include our signature recipes, and I add my friendly spin on our travel memories.

Today you are in for a treat! A tasty trifecta of the perfect ingredients and stories as well as the three videos we filmed in one take. Yep, one take. Why waste time on perfection? There’s no such thing!

Read moreThree of Our Best Cocktail Recipes & Videos for Empty Nesters & Friends

A Road Trip to Nashville! There’s a Myriad of Delightful Choices

trip to Nashville

This road trip to Nashville was originally published the day of the recent tornado. Not the perfect time to be dreaming of a trip to this amazing city. So, I decided to re-publish in order to bring it to your attention. When a city deals with a natural disaster of this magnitude, it is up to the travelers to come to visit and flood the city with revenue!  Consider planning a trip to Nashville, Tennessee, you will love it, I promise!

A trip to Nashville should be on your adventure list!

It’s official. A trip to Nashville is a fun-filled, tasty tour of music history and fantastic live entertainment.

It seems like virtually everyone has been to Nashville, Tennessee, and then well, maybe not. I have done a little research and have found some intriguing information. Several other fantastic travel bloggers have been to Nashville, toured the city, dined at great places, and written entertaining and informative articles. But… it seems that on this trip we added some other places to experience as well. We had a blast in Nashville.

This only demonstrates that a destination can entertain its visitors in a myriad of ways. So with that being said, here is what we chose to do!

Read moreA Road Trip to Nashville! There’s a Myriad of Delightful Choices

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