Photo Friday: Birds Flying after Fishing Boat

I got this shot of birds greedily following a fishing boat, waiting for scraps.

Birds Flying after boat

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Categories: Countries, Georgia, Islands, Photo Friday, St. Simons Island, United States | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Photo Friday: Hells Canyon Jetboat Ride

Hells Canyon jetboat ride – amazing!

Hells Canyon Jetboat View

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Weekend Getaway to the Gaylord Opryland Hotel

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The bad thing about our amazing girlfriends getaway to the Gaylord Opryland Hotel was that an epic snowstorm swept into the south just after we left Kentucky, which moved down into Nashville and quite literally locked down the city. This meant we could not even leave the hotel.

The good thing about our girlfriends getaway is that we were totally snowed in and could not leave the hotel.

Silver linings, y’all.

The Gaylord Opryland Hotel is truly one of my favorite hotels in the world. I will never forget the first time I visited and had a vague idea that it was a big hotel and had some trees in the middle but this is so far from the reality of this fabulous place, I can’t begin to tell you.

Gaylord Opryland Hotel

Gaylord Opryland Hotel

The hotel actually has 9 acres of lush indoor gardens, waterfalls, and a meandering river that runs through the entire area. They have a river inside their hotel. With a riverboat on it. Yep.

This is one unique hotel.

Koi in one of the ponds.

Koi in one of the ponds.

My sister, sister-in-law, and I were traveling South on a girlfriends getaway and decided that Nashville was the perfect place to stop. There were several area sights I wanted to share with them and the Gaylord Opryland Hotel seemed like the perfect place to stay for a couple of nights. We ended up never leaving the hotel as the roads were ice and snow-covered, but we were in the perfect place to be snowbound.

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Categories: Accommodations, Cities, Countries, Girlfriends Getaway, Hotels, Nashville, Tennessee, United States | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Why Stay at a Bed and Breakfast?

Bed and Breakfast SignHotels of all shapes, sizes, and price ranges exist all over the world and you can have privacy, room service, an amazing array of amenities, and the convenience of never having to clean the room yourself. Restaurants, shops, tours, transportation are all available right outside the lobby door, so why in the world would you choose to stay in a Bed and Breakfast?

Believe me; you want to stay in a Bed and Breakfast because they can also offer those very same amenities, along with a truly amazing and historical place to stay, not to mention that you will also have a fabulous breakfast included in your rate. I have stayed in Bed and Breakfast locations all over the United States and find that I often enjoy them much more than a conventional hotel stay. Here is an array of vastly different locations I have visited that you might want to add to your travel bucket list if you plan to visit any of these destinations.

The Villa D’Citta in Chicago, Illinois

A lovely, historic Greystone mansion located in the prestigious Chicago neighborhood of Lincoln Park, which has been remodeled and furnished like an elegant Italian villa, this Bed and Breakfast is truly one of the most luxurious places my husband and I have ever stayed. With a beautiful, outside grotto and large hot tub, they have plenty of room for relaxing and even host cookouts in the summer. The back door leads inside to a nicely furnished and very comfortable lounge area with a fireplace which adjoins the dining area and the huge, state of the art kitchen.

Read the rest of this article on Epicurean Traveler HERE.

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Photo Friday: Basalt Rock in Hells Canyon

The basalt rock in Hells Canyon was just fascinating.

Hells Canyon Basalt

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Segway Through Portland, Oregon with Segway Nation

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I was a little concerned about Tom. Even though I had already been on a Segway before and knew it didn’t require a huge amount of balance, this was a person who managed to capsize his kayak in approximately 12 inches of water.

But he was very excited about trying out a Segway for the first time on our Segway Nation tour in Portland, Oregon.

Portland was actually the perfect place to try a Segway for the first time – relatively flat, very bike-friendly so they are used to transportation options other than cars, and with a laid back vibe that is very conducive to tourists trying something unusual.

We checked into the tiny office where our friendly guide gave us simple directions, helped us fasten on our helmets, and then us both an introductory tour on the Segways. My reservations disappeared as Tom took to it instantly, grinning with delight as he zoomed up and down the sidewalk.

Tom getting his first lesson.

Tom getting his first lesson.

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Categories: Cities, Countries, Oregon, Portland, Tours, United States | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Carson Ridge Luxury Cabins, Carson, Washington

Cabin2Whenever anyone describes a location as very nice but “not really luxurious,” I immediately lose interest. I like things to be luxurious. In fact, I love luxurious things. Bring on the luxury!

This is absolutely not a problem with the completely fabulous Carson Ridge Luxury Cabins in the beautiful, wild Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area in Washington State, as they have all the luxury you could possibly want. And then some.

You might think the words luxury and cabin do not go together, but at this location they do. Believe me, they absolutely do.

When we planned a trip to the Oregon and Washington area, my husband and I  decided to include the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, after reading that it was truly an amazing and scenic place. Since my husband is a serious fan of cabins tucked away in the woods but I am a fan of luxury, when we happened upon the web site for Carson Ridge Luxury Cabins, we were hooked. We immediately arranged a stay in their perfectly exquisite Mt. Adams cabin, one of three new cabins the owners designed and built from the ground up after they purchased the property.

Read the rest of this article on Luxe Beat Magazine HERE.

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Photo Friday: Gulls on a Wire on the Lady Jane Shrimp Boat

I got this shot of the gulls eagerly awaiting a snack of seafood from the Lady Jane Shrimp Boat.

Gulls on a Wire

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Four Winds Casino Resort

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Even though the Four Winds Casino Resort is absolutely lovely in every way, we were really just thrilled to arrive at any location after braving the icy, snowy roads on the way to New Buffalo, Michigan. I’m a Southern girl used to driving on Southern roads where we only very occasionally have to worry about sliding off the road into snow above our knees.

Very occasionally.

In fact, hardly ever.

So when we realized on our girlfriends getaway to Michigan that cars and trucks were spinning off the road left and right, we began to feel a little nervous and slowed our speed down to a creeping crawl.

But we persevered and finally made it to the beautiful Four Winds Casino Resort where we were staying for the night. As a federally recognized tribe, the Pokagon Band of the Potawatomi Indians were able to develop and open the resort in 2007  in New Buffalo.

Four Winds Casino Resort. Photo courtesy of the resort.

Four Winds Casino Resort. Photo courtesy of the resort.

We unloaded, handed our car over to the valet for complimentary parking (always a nice plus), and took a deep, relaxing breath as we entered the beautiful lobby of this resort. We walked into a gorgeous rotunda with a vaulted ceiling and stone fireplaces on each end. The rotunda is built in the style of the Potawatomi people’s traditional lodges and the Native American influence is seen throughout the resort in design and artwork.

The beautiful rotunda at Four Winds Casino Resort.

The beautiful rotunda at Four Winds Casino Resort. Photo courtesy of the resort.

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Categories: Accommodations, Cities, Countries, Michigan, New Buffalo, Resorts, United States, Yonderbound | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Photo Friday: Sunset on St. Simons Island

St. Simons Island, Georgia is truly a lovely place – especially on the beach at sunset!

Sunset on St. Simons Island

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