Exciting Empty Nester Travel, A Podcast Interview & Tomatoes! What?

Cheers to Summer with an Aperol Spritz

Good Morning!

I just wanted to check in to see how your Summer was coming along? Have you taken any trips? Are you attempting to #findadventure? Enjoying the peace & quiet in the empty nest?

I think we land somewhere in the middle. My travel schedule is so hectic that staying home is a real treat. Last year at this time, I was in Italy on a multigenerational trip to see The Palio with our family and then on to a hosted Viking Cruise from Berlin to Prague. It was a very ambitious, yet satisfying adventure!

However, while I was traveling, my garden suffered from the high, summer temps and we lost several plants. That may not be so tragic to some of you, but we lovingly cared for this yard from conception to planting after our home renovation. This year, the vegetable garden is beginning to bear fruit and nothing has died. Yay! Read on my friends…

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My Visit to Medora North Dakota and Why You Should Go Too!

 

visit to Medora North Dakota

You may wonder why I decided to visit Medora, North Dakota. I am proud of my eclectic travel schedule and I believe that there is adventure to be found just about everywhere. Read on so you may understand a little more and also hear about an adorable place in the USA.

 

Adventures in North Dakota!

visit to Medora
Having some laughs with Teddy Roosevelt. This gentleman’s job is to help us understand more about the real Theodore Roosevelt (Did you know he did not like to be called “Teddy”?) and he is an entertaining addition to an already charming town.

 

During my visit to Medora, North Dakota, the most adorable little town you have never heard of, I was frequently asked, “Why are you here?’ Fair question. I will tell you why.

I traveled to see Medora, North Dakota, a small town on the western edge of North Dakota that no one I know was familiar with. I liked that. It’s fun to be the first in your crowd to see something new and report back. We have all heard of Fargo, but Medora? Not so much. My first impression was that it was teeny tiny and felt like Knott’s Berry Farm, but real. I will explain.

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Empty Nester Travel :: A Perfect Weekend in San Diego

 

weekend in San Diego
A view of the boats in the harbor and the Coronado Bridge in the distance

 

AARP Travel Center Powered by Expedia asked me to share my adventures in San Diego. All opinions, photographs and details are my own.

As Southern California locals, we have a long list of choices for an exciting weekend getaway. How do we choose to leave when DTLA (Downtown Los Angeles) is brimming with new restaurants, artsy shopping streets, new hotels, and any kind of food we want on the planet?

Sometimes it’s nice just to step out of your world and into something calmer, like the supremely beautiful San Diego, California. Whether you arrive by plane, train or auto, this is the perfect city to reinvigorate you from a long week at work.

You can find great hotel options in San Diego for all tastes on AARP Travel Center Powered by Expedia.

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An Epic Tour of Iceland You Need To See & Experience

tour of Iceland
Photo: Drew Romano

A Tour of Iceland with Collette

Where do I begin? Iceland is so unique and so insanely interesting that I have had a challenging time trying to organize how I am going to share this with you! This post is a long one but filled with interesting facts and engaging photos. You can always bookmark it for later or better yet start a new travel adventure file for a future trip! Here we go!

Iceland is called the land of fire and ice, but it should be considered the land of water as well. It is a watery wilderness with waterfalls so tall it is difficult to see the very top and others so enormous they would dwarf Niagara Falls. Around every bend in the road there is a new natural wonder to enjoy!

tour of Iceland
Photo – Danny Kern

 

The fire description is attributed to the fact that the island is covered in volcanic rock and volcanoes. There are 130 volcanoes and 30 active ones!  As you drive along the primary touring highway, the Golden Circle, the landscape changes from rocky mountains and meadows, to snow covered land, to a rocky volcanic surface which looks like you just landed on the moon.

The Northern Lights Tour by Collette manages to pack a great deal in to just seven days. Everyday another fascinating aspect of nature was ours to enjoy and photograph. In addition to traveling with the tour group, my husband Craig and I traveled with Dan and Drew, the professional photographers whose goal was to capture on film what it was really like on this extraordinary tour. I will describe this bonus experience in another upcoming post.

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The Most Romantic Dinner Ever – Mallorca, Spain

most romantic dinner ever
Here, we are up the hill from the restaurant earlier in the day.

 

Today I will take you to Mallorca, Spain where the Mediterranean Sea is so magical and so deeply blue, the sun is bright in the sky and the air is sweet with vacation vibes. A relaxing time for two was spent with my favorite person in the world, my husband.

My Most Romantic Dinner … Ever!

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and some of us may be in the beginning stages of making some romantic dinner plans? What really qualifies a meal as “the most romantic dinner ever”? This is certainly a very personal opinion and preference. Some couples enjoy snow-capped mountains and a picnic by the fire sipping champagne or some love watching the sunset at the beach, while others may enjoy a private dinner at their favorite restaurant.

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Eat, Drink & Discover – Culinary Travel to Northern Italy

Culinary travel to Venice

A Springtime Adventure! Venture to Veneto with me!

Come discover the sights, smells and tastes of the region of Veneto in Northern Italy on a culinary tour with Oldways. See the production of Prosecco (and taste yes please!) first hand and meet the artisans that make delicious cheese and local olive oil.

What better way to get to know a new region than to be introduced through culinary travel? I am joining a tour of travelers who share the same passion for food that I do. Another added bonus… Chefs Kevin O’Donnell and Michael Lombardi of the acclaimed SRV restaurant in Boston will be traveling with us sharing their knowledge and expertise as well. Oldways culinary tours takes small groups of travelers off the beaten path. Each tour is led in partnership with a culinary expert or chef, planned with a firm belief that the heart of any culture can be illuminated by exploring its food, wine, and culinary traditions.

culinary travel

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Incredible Iceland 10-Day Adventure, Part One

My waterproof jacket, rain pants and foldable cap kept me dry, warm and comfortable.

 

Please Welcome our newest Guest Adventurer! Debbee is a lifestyle blogger and Etsy shop owner who uses themes when decorating, entertaining and crafting. She typically posts twice a week; focusing on holidays, tablescapes, parties, DIY projects and travel. During the past year Debbee and her husband traveled throughout Spain, spent a magical holiday season in Quebec City, went on a 10-day adventure around Iceland, and just returned from two weeks sailing and touring Greece.

Incredible Iceland 10-Day Adventure, Part One

I’m really excited to share our recent family vacation — an incredible 10-day adventure to the land of the midnight sun.

Earlier this year, both my husband and I celebrated big-0 birthdays. Later this fall, we will also mark a big-5 wedding anniversary.

To honor these milestones, our sons arranged a 10-day family vacation. They presented the surprise Iceland trip, transportation details, travel route and accommodations to us in the late spring. That allowed plenty of time to plan and eagerly anticipate the July journey. And believe you me, traveling over 900 miles around the entire country of Iceland takes lots of pre-planning.

incredible Iceland
Gift package of maps and books.

 

Come along on the first day of our incredible Iceland trip in the land of fire and ice.

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Is a Visit to Mazatlán in Your Future? Empty Nesters are Flocking There!

a visit to Mazatlán

Please welcome my newest Guest Adventurer, my friend and travel journalist Stacey Wittig. Here is her quick bio:”I can’t stop exploring the world (I blame it on my father’s Viking blood) and write about my adventures – many as a solo woman traveler. Life isn’t always rosy; I lost my firecracker reasoning skill to head injury in a horrific rollover accident that should have taken my life. Brain injury hasn’t stopped me from traveling, although sometimes it makes for amusing travel anecdotes.” Follow along at www.UnstoppableStacey.com

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What is it like to take a Viking River Cruise? Truthfully, it is impressive!

 

What is it really like to take a Viking River Cruise?

So you want to take a Viking River Cruise ?

Like me, haven’t you always wondered what it was really like to take a Viking River Cruise? I have always been curious and actually never been on any kind of cruise. You may find that surprising, but it has never really been at the top of our travel adventure list. But that list has been re-written!

What is it like to take a Viking River Cruise?
Tam & Me

 

Recently, I was presented with the opportunity to travel with Viking River Cruises on the Elegant Elbe River Cruise that begins in Berlin, Germany and ends in Prague, Czech Republic. My friend and fellow travel writer Tam Minton of Travels with Tam, took this first (for both of us) river cruise with me as well.

Side note: On the first evening of the cruise, the Cruise Director, the fantastic Benne Bennison, asked for a show of hands who had been on a Viking Cruise before. Every single hand went up except Tam’s and mine. How is that for validation! They keep on coming back for more! 

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Have you seen our Empty Nester Video? It will make you smile.

empty nester video
Dinner at Kualoa Ranch, Oahu

 

Adventures of Empty Nesters: How did it all begin? The quick version.

Four years ago, I was having a bit of a struggle trying to decide what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Where did I belong exactly? Our son was in college, our daughter had graduated from the University of Washington in Seattle and never moved back to California. My husband Craig was often traveling for business and I no longer had to spend every waking moment focused on what the family required. Everyone was happily doing their own thing, I was truly an Empty Nester and it was my time now.

Created in 2014, AdventuresofEmptyNesters.com has evolved through the years, with the original emphasis on my life in the Empty Nest. I adored offering advice to others who were about to begin this new empty nester chapter or already living it. As time passed, I allowed the blog to carry me and my thoughts along with it toward new adventures.

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