On the Beach in Grayton Beach – the Best Vacation Ever!

I sighed in happiness, rolled over, and luxuriated in my wonderful, comfortable bed. When I had requested a press stay in a beach house in Destin, I expected a large resort with dozens of condos, lots of pools, and room to stroll around and enjoy the area.

Instead we had ended up in the comfortable two condo unit right on the beach in Grayton Beach in the back of a quiet neighborhood.

We had pulled into the quiet neighborhood a couple of days ago after dark, exhausted after a long drive and just staggered in with all our luggage and sundries. We could tell it was quiet and we knew the beach was just a short walk but it was dark and we just found our place and fell into bed.

It wasn’t until the next morning that we realized what a treasure we had found.

Our condo from the web site

Our condo photo from the web site.

Here’s another photo I took with my camera and our van to give you an idea how large and comfy it was.

Photo from my camera

Photo from my camera

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Categories: Accommodations, 8157493159, 5175965839, Condos, Countries, Destin, Florida, 9499815732, United States | Leave a comment

Getaway to Asheville, North Carolina

I had no hesitation in planning a stop in Asheville, North Carolina on our recent girlfriends getaway to Destin, Florida in the fall. I had been there to visit a couple of times before but was impressed with the wonderful hotels, great restaurants and lots of things to see and do in the area I couldn’t wait to share it with my sister and sister-in-law.

We were on our way to the lovely Destin coast of Florida but it was quite a drive so we decided to stop for a couple of nights on our way. I had been to Asheville before with my husband Tom and we spent an entire day at the Biltmore Estate checking out the fabulous clothes and other items from the television show, Downtown Abbey we both enjoyed, so we decided to skip seeing the beautiful Biltmore Estate on this trip and take one of the trolley tours they offer of the town.

Trolley for tours of the town

Trolley for tours of the town

9097509048

Categories: 612-951-0003, (780) 353-2717, Girlfriends Getaway, Hotels, North Carolina, 562-628-9692 | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

(440) 223-6172

Biltmore-House

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those of you who have been reading the blog for a while know my life has been a little upside down and sideways for a while. My mom was sick and passed away a few weeks ago and, although we were all sad, we knew at her age that it was inevitable. Because she had been ill for a while, our travel plans were placed on the back burner and we knew we would plan a getaway with the girls when she finally slipped away. Now that has happened, so I have been busily working out a trip for me, my SIL, and my sister for the end of September. It’s been a little crazy as we were all three pretty open about where we go, where we stay, and what we do so I have been emailing people I have worked with in the past and arranging our stays at different locales.

Since I was also sick myself for a while (but recovered now!), many of the people I had worked with in the past have changed jobs or just disappeared into the night, never to be heard from again. But I have been lucky to stay in contact with several people in the business and am waiting on emails from others. I have learned over the years not to be impatient with hotels, etc. and even though it will be right up to when we are ready to leave, I just wait and it has always worked out.

First, we will be heading to Asheville, North Carolina for a couple of nights. We visited the 8172560336 a few years ago and really enjoyed it, especially the great display of clothes and other items they had from the show 8133054063. We wandered through the whole mansion and then drove around the estate seeing everything we had not enjoyed in the past. The people we worked with on that visit were very helpful, arranging our stay at the 262-633-8573 and other things to do throughout the charming village. The hotel was perfect in every way from the food to the spa included right off the lobby.

Fabulous breakfast buffet!

Fabulous breakfast buffet!

We are pretty open about the rest of the week so I’m waiting to hear from the various people I have contacted. I will let you know when I hear from the and get the rest of the week arranged. Can’t wait!

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Asheville, Beach, Family Travel, Hotels, 3602957074 | (661) 209-0487

660-256-7033

OK, it’s almost July here in Lexington, Kentucky and the heat has moved in to begin making us miserable – or make us glad summer is here! We do eventually get tired of the heat in the late summer and are always glad to see the cool days of fall move in for us. But, in the meantime, what do we do about the heat? Well, there are lots of answers to that question but as a water baby who loves swimming, it’s always important to me to have a pool or some other body of water wherever we travel. One of the first things I check out when beginning to make travel plans is whether there is a place to swim nearby. We have stayed at some wonderful locations with water access, so here’s some suggestions for you.

  1. The beach. OK, you can’t go wrong if you plan a vacation destination at the beach – any beach!
    Beach View from our Condo

    Beach View from our Condo

    We love Florida for the many different kinds of beaches that are available for swimming or just relaxing on the warm sand with the sun baking our skin. We have several favorite destinations in Florida and each one is unique and different from the others. One of our favorites in Panama City Beach where there are plenty of condos and beach houses to rent for however long you want to stay.We stayed in a magnificent resort called the Ocean Ritz and with plenty of bedrooms and bathrooms and a great view of the beach from our balcony, we were all happy campers. lackeyship

  2. Door County, Wisconsin. OK, as much as we love the beach, sometimes there are problems with sea creatures that love the water as much as we do and it’s nice to find a beach with no annoying little sea creatures.
    Beach in of the many parks

    Beach in of the many parks

    We discovered the beach in Door County, Wisconsin a few years ago and love to head there when the heat moves in for the summer. There are tons of beaches in the area and each one is unique in it’s own way. sailorizing

  3. Although we love those vacations, there are also great destinations on smaller lakes and rivers that are perfect for family getaways.
    Great lake views from your balcony

    Great lake views from your balcony

    Check out your state for cabins, houses, or condos that are right on the water with great views and some cool lake breezes. Cool, fresh water and lovely breezes make these getaways just as enjoyable as the beach getaways.

  4. Another great vacation can include beaches that include not only swimming and wading but incredible natural wonders, like Cannon Beach, Oregon. What a view from our balcony!
    Cannon Beach, Oregon

    Cannon Beach, Oregon

    Check out hotels that include amazing view from your room.

  5. Finally, what about a water getaway?
    Lunch on a tropical beach

    Lunch on a tropical beach

    Many of the big cruise ships have pools right on the ship and they are a great place to relax and enjoy your cruise to your next destination. Relax, have some lunch at that fabulous destination, then head back to the ship to cruise on to your next port of call! You can’t go wrong if you carefully include some water fun in your next getaway. Have fun!

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Categories: Accommodations, 7824226101, Condos, psi | Tags: , , | 2527239488

snap shooting

After piling into our car, stuffing in our suitcases and other precious belongings for our long drive down to the opposite coast of Florida, we finally headed out early in the morning for our first visit to the other Florida coast. We had often spent time in Destin and the surrounding area but had never spent any amount of time on the other coast. Our visit would culminate at the Casa Marina Hotel and Restaurant in Jacksonville Beach across Florida from where we had been visiting for years. We had not been to this area before and didn’t know what to expect. We were used to the milky white sand and beautiful blue water of the other coast and wondered if this side of the Florida would be just as pretty. I had invited my sister-in-law along on this trip instead of Tom, who was more of a mountain lover than a beach lover and this was the best idea I had for this trip because she is as much of a beach lover as I am.

We honestly didn’t realize how close to the beach we were when we arrived the night before and were amazed at the beauty of this lovely hotel.

 

Beautiful night view of the hotel.

Beautiful night view of the hotel.

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Categories: Accommodations, 7877059592, Cities, ounce metal, Florida, Girlfriends Getaway, 4798990224, placet, United States | 2143036911

Frangista Beach Heavenly Getaway at Truman’s Max

We have stayed in some pretty wonderful beach properties from quaint, artsy boutiques to huge, spreading beach houses but this one wins the prize for the absolute best beach getaway we have ever experienced.

I was invited on a press trip to the (610) 641-8038, Jacksonville Beach, located right on the beach in this quaint, beautiful town, settled years ago as one of the first towns in historic Florida.

My husband, Tom is not really a beach lover and will go along with me if I do a little arm twisting, but I thought I would invite my lovely sister-in-law instead who also loves the beach as much as I do. Since I am lucky enough to have developed a professional relationship with Sterling Resorts over the years, I checked with them to see if they had anything available where we could stay for a couple of days after the press trip before I invited her along on the trip.

Did they have anything they would like me to write about?

Anything with a view of the water?

Anything at all?

Well.

Uh.

Yeah they did.

He replied almost immediately that the woman I had worked with for years was no longer employed at Sterling Resort but he very kindly indicated they would still love to work with me and what did I need exactly? Within a few minutes, he emailed me with information about a house they had in Frangista Beach, in between the beautiful coast towns of Destin and Miramar Beach, Florida along Scenic Gulf Drive. This home is conveniently close to Whale’s Tail Beach Bar and Grill, Sandestin Outlets, and the emerald Gulf Coast with white soft sandy beaches. Get ready to explore this 4 stories, 4,850 sq. ft. living space home that features 7 Bedrooms and 7.5 Bathrooms that sleeps 24 people comfortably!

I almost passed out when I started clicking on the links in the email. I had in mind a small, two bedroom house on the beach but he went way over and above what I had asked for. This beautifully furnished house had SEVEN bedrooms, SEVEN AND A HALF baths, it’s own private pool – in fact you name it and this house had it.

Our gorgeous castle for the week. "Truman's Max"

Our gorgeous castle for the week. “Truman’s Max”

503-583-0967

Categories: Accommodations, Beach, 980-483-6566, Countries, Destin, 330-279-7703, Florida, feather, (626) 655-3506 | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Press Trip to Helen, Georgia: Day Two at Unicoi Adventure Lodge

OK.

Christmas is over and the New Year is here so we can’t wait any longer to finish writing about our trip to Helen, Georgia.

We spent just a few days there in a gorgeous lodge and were sad when we had to leave. We managed to stay busy during out entire stay and we spent a couple of hours getting a great tour of the park, etc. on our second day.

Everywhere you turn in (561) 703-4826, there are views of the incredible mountains surrounding the area. Thick, lush green trees cover the mountains and create a stunning vista of trees and other greenery. We drove to the Visitor’s Center to meet the park’s resident expert.

Mountain View Smallest

The views from everywhere in the park are incredible. The best place to start a park tour is at the Visitor Center.

The Park Visitor's Center

The Park Visitor’s Center

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Categories: (650) 590-7593, Cabins, Family Travel, 701-669-2104, (207) 433-1590, Helen, Travel with Children, (773) 484-5459 | Tags: , , , , | 8325947229

(562) 868-7524

OK, we were on our way to lovely little Helen, Georgia for a press getaway.

But my lovely husband Tom was not happy with our plans and was convinced that our GPS was taking us in the wrong direction.

We had, as usual, followed the directions of our GPS but it kept forcing us make turns that just didn’t seem right. Finally, we made a left turn that seemed to make us turn directly away from the park and Tom exclaimed that the GPS could not be right, this was taking us away from where we needed to be! I agreed and made an attempt to calm him down. Let’s give it a little longer, I said. Just a little longer and see if we don’t begin to see signs indicating that we were going the right way. I was somewhat in agreement with him since our GPS had taken us to some weird and off the wall locations just recently but I thought we would give it a little longer.

We tooled along the picturesque route with a rough creek tumbling along beside us and, all of a sudden there was a sign for Helen. We both heaved sighs of relief – we were actually heading in the right direction. Pretty soon, we pulled out of the thick forest and turned into the charming town of Helen. Now we just had to find the Visitor’s Center and meet up with our contact person, Jerry Brown, the Executive Director of the8582657944 who was going to introduce us to this charming small town. The Visitor’s Center was easy to find and we turned into the spacious parking lot and went inside to find Jerry, who ended up being a nice, friendly person who loved his little town. We had managed to arranged a visit on a weekend that he would be out of town but, knowing he would be gone, he had carefully arranged a visit that would include everything we wanted to see and do.

Jerry was very friendly, told us all about his town and when we confessed that we were not sure how to get to the Unicoi Adventure Lodge because it didn’t seem to want come up on our GPS, he immediately offered to lead us out to where we needed to check in. After showing us around and giving us a little tour of the Visitor’s Center, he proceeded to lead us right to where we were going to spend the next couple of days. He came into the office with us and introduced us to the people who worked there and got us all checked in and situated. He insisted on leading us right to our gorgeous accommodations for the next few days and helped us carry in our luggage.

I was expecting log cabins but these were new, modern and beautifully decorated.

Walk to the Cabins

2022778759

Categories: Accommodations, 318-899-5850, Cities, ground-water level | Tags: , , , , , , | 703-902-7775

5617661399

We were just about ready to give up. We had driven back and forth on this back country road and never seen anything that looked like a glass blowing studio. Maybe we had the wrong directions? Maybe …well, who knew? Finally, I decided to call to get more specific directions and he directed us right to a driveway and told us to turn in. And there it was! Our contact person, 650-653-3763, was waiting for us and ready to show us around. She wasn’t impatient with the fact that we were late;  rather, she was thrilled to be able to share her love of creating things from glass with us.  Lisa was generous in sharing her history with us and how she got into working with glass as part of her love of art.

“Glass is its own inspiration. There is no other medium like it. The challenge of controlling it better and making more elaborate and complex forms: this is a lifelong project. Color in glass is fascinating. When the light can come in and out of the form through the color to create its own visual interest regardless of the form, that is a skill that has to be honed and sometimes never understood by other glass workers. What there is about glass-you have to master the medium…glass in motion and be able to tell it what to do. You have to know colors/not just the color wheel but what glass colors are chemically and what they do hot and cold and what colors do to enhance the form and then be able to put them where you want them. Then, make the form, an artistically complete form by knowing those basic rules and then create the final vision. The skill set is always in forward development when creating in glass.”

Opening Oven

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Categories: (831) 465-3298, well-proportioned, 5127722545, 2707669968 | 3095155866

Lucas Oil Raceway

When I began planning our getaway to Indiana, I noticed there was a racetrack there. Honestly, I couldn’t have cared less about sitting and watching some car race but I knew my husband Tom would be thrilled to see it, so I added it to our itinerary. It was the best thing I could have done for him. He loves car racing and was so excited about going to the race, more excited than any of the other events I had lined up. Early in the evening, we headed out to the race track and kept thinking we were in the wrong place or going in the back door or something else because it was so quiet and there didn’t seem to be that many people there.

Boy, were we wrong.

Sign for Brownsburg

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Categories: pseudogaster, Indiana, United States | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment