Although I am the ultimate beach fan, Tom is a big fan of cabins so I try to compromise sometimes and find him a mountain cabin. This is a pretty easy proposition in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee where I think the cabins must outnumber the residents of this mountain town located near the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains.
We were heading to Pigeon Forge to check out Wilderness Wildlife Week, a wonderful, completely free event, which offers a variety of classes, exhibits, and outings for anyone interested in the outdoors. It was the perfect cabin opportunity and, luckily, Eagles Ridge Resort had the perfect cabin for us. In fact, it seems like they have the perfect cabin for everyone! One bedroom to nine bedrooms, some pet friendly, most with internet access, and every single one beautifully designed, decorated, and located in gorgeous surroundings.
Because some of our family members were going to join us, we asked for a three bedroom cabin and they arranged a stay at Eagles on High which we loved so much, we truly hated to leave when our stay was over.
When we first pulled up to the cabin, we loved the way this two-level, three bedroom, three bathroom cabin was situated on the mountain with a view of the town and mountains in the distance.
You can’t really appreciate how large and roomy this cabin is until you see it from the rear, as we did when driving back from town.Pin It
Tom got this shot of a bighorn sheep casually drinking water as we jetboated through Hell’s Canyon.Pin It
Because our careers are now writing and photographing travel destinations, we spend a lot of time in a variety of accommodations. A comfortable, clean, and preferably unique and interesting location to stay is very important to us. So, when we make plans for a trip, we always read online reviews and try to find the least expensive (but nice) place to stay.
We have also learned that location is extremely important after paying for an expensive cab ride in both Seattle and Niagara Falls to get us either from the airport or where we needed to be in the city. We love to read actual reviews and travel blog posts from people who have stayed in the locations we are considering and have found that they are much more helpful than any PR from the location itself.
There are a number of sites where you can find information, reviews, and even book accommodations but they are not without controversy; some claim that accommodations even do their own reviews. But now there is a new player in town that provides not only some of the most reasonable rates online (which include taxes and fees) but also reviews from travel bloggers and writers who have actually visited many of the hotels. Yonderbound is a new web site where you can read reviews, book accommodations, and even access more detailed information about a location.
They have something pretty unique called Yonderboxes which can be written by anyone and can include specific hotels and even restaurants and activities they suggest for your destination. You can even make money from referrals if people book hotels after reading your reviews!
I will be writing for this web site and am very excited about the possibilities. You should check it out! Here’s a $10 credit towards your first booking – let me know what you think!Pin It
Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, intrepid explorers dispatched by President Thomas Jefferson in the early 1800s to find a route across the western United States, did not have an easy trip. Battling Native Americans, braving extreme heat and cold, making their way down treacherous rapids and starving, they gradually made their way to their ultimate goal: the Pacific Ocean. However, passengers on the luxurious S.S. Legacy with Un-Cruise Adventures are able to traverse part of the same route in ultimate comfort.
Un-Cruise Adventures is not a typical small ship cruise company by any means. Drawing on the combined experiences of their team with 80+ years in yacht and small ship cruising, Un-Cruise Adventures offers an alternative to any traditional cruises by taking their guests into remote areas and offering unconventional and quite amazing excursions.
Read the rest of this article on Luxe Beat Magazine HERE.Pin It
Three years ago, I visited the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina for the first time and was immediately struck by the similarity between the lifestyle epitomized by this sumptuous estate and the one depicted on the popular BBC television show “Downton Abbey”, even writing an article about the similarities.
Apparently, I was not the only one to notice the similarities to this new television show at the time which I’m sure astonished BBC with its popularity in the United States and the Biltmore Estate because the savvy folks who plan events have put on what I’m sure is an extraordinarily popular event called “Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times”.
The aristocratic British family, the Crawleys, abide in a huge home on a sprawling estate and have an entire echelon of servants to wait on them, much like the Vanderbilts of the Biltmore Estate. We “Downton Abbey” fans love each and every one of these unique individuals, wait breathlessly to find out who the writers will kill off next, and heave a sigh of relief to find it’s not our favorite. Read morePin It
Tom got this shot in the Smoky Mountains National Park when there was still snow on the ground.Pin It
Strewn along the emerald waters of the Georgia coast like a string of golden beads are the aptly named Golden Isles, several enchanting barrier islands including Jekyll Island, Sea Island, Little St. Simons Island, St. Simons Island and the mainland city of Brunswick.
The largest of the Golden Isles is St. Simons where visitors come year round to enjoy the temperate climate, miles of beautiful sandy beaches, golf courses, and plenty of interesting little shops and restaurants. Kayaking, fishing, and biking are also popular activities on the island. Located midway between Savannah, Georgia and Jacksonville, Florida, the location is easily accessible and popular for families, couples, and groups of friends.
I recently spent a few days on St. Simons Island on a girlfriends getaway at the gorgeous King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort. We spent our time strolling and relaxing on the beach, shopping, touring, and eating – lots and lots of eating!
Read the rest of this article on Epicurean Traveler HERE.Pin It
It’s ironic that we have discovered a love for casino hotels when we don’t even gamble. We first discovered casino hotels in Las Vegas (naturally!) and, aside from walking through the casino to access the outside doors, we never gambled once. Our record didn’t change when we visited the Firekeepers Casino Hotel in Battle Creek, Michigan on our last winter getaway.
Not having a desire to gamble is not an issue at this beautiful location where lovely rooms, fabulous gourmet restaurants, and an indoor pool and fitness center provide plenty of amenities to enhance your stay. They even have an event center with live concerts and all kinds of other performances.
Firekeepers also has plenty to offer professional visitors as well. With nine meeting rooms totaling 20,642 square feet, on-site audio and visual equipment, support staff, and a banquet kitchen and catering service, it’s a perfect venue for meetings. It’s also a great place for birthdays, graduation parties, anniversaries, or weddings – what a fun place for a wedding. Your guests would love it and, with room for up to 2,000 guests, you can invite everyone!Pin It
Cades Cove is a great place to drive around in the Smoky Mountains National Park. Tom got this shot of a stream and tunnel.Pin It