Photo Friday: Perouges, France

We love fascinating little Perouges, a beautifully maintained medieval city in France.

Perouges

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Dining Our Way Around Savannah, Georgia

Po'Boy at Belford's of Savannah

Po’Boy at Belford’s of Savannah

There are a lot of things to like about beautiful, sultry, romantic Savannah, Georgia. The gorgeous, grassy parks with fountains, statues, walking paths, and an amazing history. The beautifully maintained historic homes surrounded by equally beautiful gardens and landscaping. The scenic Savannah River winding through the city with cobblestoned River Street, complete with interesting shops and restaurants.

But one of the best things by far in this lovely southern city is the food. Fabulous restaurants offering amazing food are on every corner, many complete with outdoor dining, and as many glasses of sweet iced tea chock full of ice as you desire. Savannah has plenty of culinary choices but the specialty is quite naturally southern cooking of all types. You can’t go wrong with any of the local restaurants but here are a few suggestions to get you started.

  1. The Forsyth Park Inn. Although this location is a Bed and Breakfast and not a restaurant, you won’t find a better breakfast anywhere in town. As you will need a place to stay while you sample all the culinary delights Savannah has to offer, you might as well stay in one of the most charming locations in the city while you do so. Overlooking Forsyth Park, this beautifully restored Queen Anne Victorian mansion is the perfect place. Each morning, a gourmet breakfast is served complete with a beginning buffet of homemade granola or oatmeal, an assortment of freshly baked breakfast breads, muffins, yogurt and juice, then a first course of seasonal fruit, and finally a full, hot breakfast. It’s the perfect way to start your day in Savannah.                                                                Read the rest of this article on Epicurean Traveler HERE.
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Wilderness Wildlife Week in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

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Deer grazing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

We hadn’t been to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee in years. Caught up in traveling all around the world, we had almost forgotten this charming town tucked away at the base of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, one of the most visited national parks in the United States.

We were in town to check outWilderness Wildlife Week, an annual event that brings together fans of nature with an astonishing variety of presenters, hikes, and bus tours of the area. What really amazed us about this event is that every single activity from the decorated entrance to the gorgeous displays in the beautiful LeConte Center to every single presentation, hike, and tour is totally free to anyone who would like to attend. Professional writers, park rangers, musicians, storytellers, wildlife experts, and others all provide their expertise for free in rooms full of fascinated spectators.

Read the rest of this article on Travelhoppers HERE.

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Kayaking, Zip Lining, and Gem Mining, Oh My! Adventures in Door County

MapLast summer, we planned a trip to Door County, Wisconsin thinking it would be the perfect summer getaway.

Lounging on the many beaches in the warm sun and swimming in the beautiful, clear water of Lake Michigan was a high priority, but unseasonably cold weather rolled in and we spent the week in jeans and jackets.

This, however, did not keep us from enjoying beautiful and charming Door County with its little villages, gorgeous water views, fabulous local cherries in everything from pie to pancakes, and many, many servings of fried cheese curds.

However, we are giving Door County another chance this summer to provide us with the warm summer experience we were seeking.

In July, we head back to our favorite place to stay, The Little Sister Resort, with big plans to enjoy everything the area has to offer. Last year, we didn’t make many plans for outdoor activities but this year will be different as we have big plans with both Gravity Trails and Door County Kayak Tours.

I am a huge fan of kayaking although Tom could not be less of a fan, and I plan to introduce this sport to our grandson, daughter, and son-in-law on this trip. It’s truly a great way to really experience the water and it’s easy enough for all ages. Door County Kayak Tours has several different kayaking tours, including one that explores caves and one that kayaks in the wetlands but we plan to experience the Bluff Kayak Tour.

I love kayaking!

I love kayaking!

This is one of the most picturesque and enjoyable tours offered and we will see plenty of Door county scenery while the rest of my family learns to love kayaking as I do. These kayaking tours are on stable, sit-on-top kayaks which are safe and easy to paddle. The guides will take photos of you so you don’t even have to balance your camera!

Because I know they will grow to love this fun and easy sport, we are also going kayaking with Gravity Trails, which offers not only kayaking but several other activities as well. We are very excited about the Clear Bottom Shipwreck and Wildlife Tour, which sounds amazing because the kayaks have clear bottoms which will allow us to see the area shipwrecks and fish.

The tour begins in North Bay, a sheltered and safe bay which is scattered with shipwrecks, many still visible in the clear, shallow water. I think our nine-year old grandson in particular will love this experience!

Kayaking is only of the activities Gravity Trails offers; they also have paddle board rental, zip lining, and Gem Mining. Just purchase pails of soil filled with gems, then sift through them in the mining flume to find some treasures to keep. I imagine we may have to purchase several pails of soil for our grandson! Gravity Trails is also located in the Egg Harbor Fun Park where they have Go-Karts, Batting Cages, Mini-Golf, Water Wars, Bounce Castles, Arcades, snacks, and plenty more. We may never get our grandson to leave!

Our outdoor activities are going to make this trip to Door County the best ever. We are hoping for warm weather on this trip, but if another cold front moves in, it won’t deter us at all. We can always wear jackets while experiencing one of our very favorite places!

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Interesting Cities Less Traveled: Exploring Verdi, Nevada

Verdi is a great place to stay if you are interested in Nevada outdoor adventures as there are a wide variety of activities available. The beautiful Truckee River is only about 20 minutes away and it’s the perfect place for a float experience. You can buy a large inner tube at one of the stores in the area or rent one from the Truckee River Raft Company. Pack drinks, snacks or lunch, sunscreen and spend the day floating along, enjoying the emerald waters, tall grassy areas, and sandy beaches. Busses are provided to shuttle you back where you started.

Photo by Jitka Siguenza via Trover.com

Photo by Jitka Siguenza via Trover.com

 

Canoeing the Truckee River

For a more active adventure on the river, try canoeing the river. A guided trip will begin at Timber Cove, paddling along the north shore of Lake Tahoe as the Truckee River is the sole outlet for the Lake. Navigating the shallow sandbars at the entrance to the Upper Truckee, paddlers will head upstream to view a variety of birds and wildflowers as they head into the quiet and protected marshland. You should dress comfortably in active clothes, bring a waterproof camera, bottled water, and sunblock.

Photo by Ryan Kirby via Trover.com

Photo by Ryan Kirby via Trover.com

Hiking to Mount Rose

When you are ready for an adventure that does not include water, try a hike to Mount Rose, the highest mountain in Washoe County located in the Mount Rose Wilderness of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. The trail is an easy one with zero elevation and great views of Lake Tahoe. With a total of 4.5 miles and only a few switchbacks the final 1700 feet, it’s a great way to spend an afternoon. Wear hiking shoes and fitness clothes, and take long sunblock, snacks, and plenty of water.

Photo by Chris Russell via Trover.com

Photo by Chris Russell via Trover.com

Mountain Biking

For those who want a more strenuous activity, try mountain-biking the Yogi trail just south of the Truckee River off highway 89. The area is rustic and the trails are not marked, so you might want to schedule a guided trip with a local bike shop like the Back Country store but be aware that this not an easy terrain, with table tops, gap jumps, logs, etc. so keep you speed in check. Be sure to take whatever gear you need for your bike, plenty of water, and some form of GPS, especially if you are by yourself.

Horseback Riding

If you want a ride through the country that is not quite so strenuous, try a horseback trail ride with Verdi Trails West. Wind through the beautiful and scenic foothills of the Sierrra Nevada Mountains on a fun adventure for ages seven and up.

Whatever adventure you choose, Verdi is a great place to enjoy the outdoors!

I am a writer for Hipmunk and this is an article for the #‎HipmunkCityLove Project.

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A Weekend in Charming Avignon, France

View of the Pont d'Avignon

View of the Pont d’Avignon.

My husband and I could not have chosen a better hotel for our weekend in charming Avignon, even if we had spent days researching the different locations and their amenities. Fortuitously, the lovely boutique Hotel de L’Horloge was interested in working with us and provided us with a two night stay for our introduction to this lovely, medieval, walled city, and we were also provided with complimentary access to the area tourist attractions. After a quick train ride from Marseilles to Avignon, we headed up the cobblestone streets to our hotel dragging our wheeled luggage in company with other tourists disembarking the train. There are taxis available right outside the train station, but don’t bother to pay for a ride as the hotel is just a short walk away.

We walked into the small lobby with hardwood floors and a small sitting area with freshly baked cinnamon rolls displayed on a plate, and were welcomed by the friendly staff who spoke fluent English. An elevator took us to our floor although we did have to navigate a few stairs to access our room so be aware you might have to carry your luggage a short distance.

Read the rest of this article on My Itchy Travel Feet HERE.

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Tips for Planning a Great Trip with Your Grandchildren

Xmas with WesOur grandson is one of my favorite people to travel with. He is the perfect companion on a kid-friendly vacation. He’s easy to please as long as some of those meals include a milkshake or some fried shrimp. He can travel for hours in the car without complaint as long as he has some form of electronic entertainment or books. He allows me to kiss and cuddle him to my heart’s content, although just recently this has to be carried out only when none of his friends are around.

Travel with grandchildren has been around as long as there have been grandparents and grandchildren, and these trips can be a complete joy, providing memories for years to come. They just require a little patience and a lot of planning. Here’s how to undertake the perfect trip with your grandchild.

Involve the parents. Whether the parents will be going on the trip and making it a family vacation or will let you take their precious darling on a getaway alone, the parents will want to be involved in planning. Make sure the dates and the location you are thinking about will work for them, talk about plans for activities while you are traveling, and ask for suggestions about everything from how long the trip should be to where they might like to have some meals to what activities sound like fun. Akid-friendly hotel should be one of your first considerations.

Read the rest of this article on Minitime.com HERE.

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Photo Friday: Sidewalk Cafe in Avignon, France

We were charmed by all the sidewalk cafes in France – they were everywhere! Especially loved this one on a corner in Avignon.

Sidewalk cafe in Avignon

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Multigeneratinal Learning Vacations This Summer

LlamasSummer family vacations are definitely about fun, but there’s no reason why those trips can’t incorporate a little learning at the same time. Plan a trip that will be interesting for all the different ages in your family and, for a better learning experience, spend time talking about the trip and the activities before you go. Reading books together and watching movies about the location and activities would be especially helpful. Check out these interesting locations for a family vacation you will be talking about for years.

Take a llama hike at the High Hampton Inn with kids. Llamas might be the last thing you would expect to see at this family friendly resort in the mountains of Cashiers in North Carolina, but they have been charming visitors for several years now and our grandson loved interacting with them. Schedule a llama hike for your entire family and spend an afternoon with these gentle and interesting animals. As you stroll around the beautiful grounds of the resort and hike up Rock Mountain and the Cherokee Campground leading your llama, your guides will tell you all about llama behavior and how they came to partner with the High Hampton Inn on this fun and educational activity.

Read the rest of this article on Minitime.com HERE.

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The Gorgeous Forsyth Park Inn

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We discovered Savannah, Georgia a few years ago and it was truly love at first sight. The live oak trees draped with Spanish moss, the beautiful, varied squares and parks, the busy river, the fabulous food – all combined to create an unforgettable, romantic atmosphere that we loved and have returned to again and again. In fact, I even wrote a book about Savannah and lovely Tybee Island.

So when I was planning a girlfriends getaway this spring, it was natural that I included a visit to Savannah in our plans. One of the best things about our visit, aside from fabulous, fresh seafood, delicious pralines, and some fascinating tours, was our stay at the gorgeous Forsyth Park Inn.

The beautiful Forsyth Park Inn.

The beautiful Forsyth Park Inn.

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