Hotel Review: CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort

CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta

Besides the airport, a hotel or resort often is the welcome to a destination for a traveler. If the hotel makes a great first impression then the trip is sure to be off to a great start. When I stayed at the CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa earlier this summer, it would be the lodging for my first-ever trip to Mexico. So, yeah, there was some pressure on this trip-opening experience when I stepped foot on the CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta property.

Continue reading

Yelapa Day Trip From Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Yelapa day trip

Imagine a morning snorkeling the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean followed by wading into a cold waterfall on a brutally hot day before sitting under an umbrella looking out at the near-perfect water of a quiet fishing village. Taking a Yelapa day trip with Vallarta Adventures from Puerto Vallarta made these experiences possible.

Continue reading

Discovering Kid-Friendly Tunica at Gold Strike Casino

kid-friendly Tunica

Writing the above headline makes me think of the line from “Sweet Home Alabama” when Reese Witherspoon’s character says to an old high school friend, “You have a baby … in a bar!” Yes, we visited a casino with our 7-year-old son. We decided to drive south of Memphis to the Mississippi gaming community to discover if kid-friendly Tunica really does exist. We were only in Tunica County for a night, but it was long enough to have a little family fun at Gold Strike at MGM Resort.

Continue reading

Discovering Puerto Vallarta’s Foodie Scene

Puerto Vallarta foodie scene

When it comes to travel, at the top of my list is almost always finding a destination with a local foodie scene. In Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, food is king in this Pacific Ocean getaway. On many street corners sit taco stands. Restaurants of all sizes line the streets. This is especially true in the city’s old town, and thanks to Vallarta Food Tours, I learned more about the Puerto Vallarta foodie scene.

Continue reading

Going Local in a New York City Apartment: MySuites Review

New York City apartment

Visiting New York City and enjoying the city like residents always has been our top priority when in the Big Apple. The neighborhoods are unique, and we prefer to find a New York City apartment to stay where we can enjoy the city like locals. On our most recent visit, we were able to experience a new neighborhood, Gramercy, when we stayed a couple nights in a MySuites apartment.

Continue reading

Thoughts From a KOA Campground

KOA campground

As I type this, it’s 12:34 a.m. on the first night of a two-night stay in a cabin at the KOA campground near Starkville, Miss. I’m the only one awake, and I like it that way. My son is sound asleep on the futon couch behind me. My wife has fallen asleep reading in the bedroom. I’m sitting at the kitchen table with one of the music channels on the satellite TV blaring music just above my line of sight. At 12:35 a.m., this Sierra Nevada is still cold and as refreshing as ever. Life is good on this “camping” trip.

Continue reading

Discovering Puerto Vallarta Adventure

Puerto Vallarta adventure

Imagine floating on a small inner-tube down a mountain river with gentle rapids. It’s in the middle of a rainforest on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, and it’s raining. The dream always includes a gentle rain falling. But this isn’t a dream. It’s the glorious finale to an unforgettable day in the rainforest-covered mountains above Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. This was an awesome time discovering Puerto Vallarta adventure.

Continue reading

My New York: A New York Insider’s Guide

New York Insiders guide

As we were preparing for our recent visit to New York City, I decided to ask a few of my friends who live in the area to recommend their favorite spots. Erin of The World Wanderer is one of my favorite travel bloggers. She’s a very sweet person who has a real passion for travel, while also living in the real world as a school teacher. As a former teacher myself, I can relate to her desire to escape those sweet little hellians to see the world. But since one of our favorite spots in this world is New York City, I went straight to the source to get the New York insider’s guide to the city.

Continue reading

Discovering Friendly Puerto Vallarta

Friendly Puerto Vallarta

During my recent five-day visit to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, I had a number of worthwhile experiences. I zip lined in the rainforest. I sat on one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen and had the best raw oysters I can recall eating. I was introduced to the wonderful world of real tacos, not the product I’ve eaten all my life in the U.S. I also learned how amazingly friendly, warm and genuine the people are. The best part about my time in Mexico was discovering friendly Puerto Vallarta.

Continue reading

My New York: New Yorker’s Guide to Upper East Side

 

Guide to Upper East Side

H&H Bagels (Photo Courtesy of: The Lazy Travelers)

Yes, Jay-Z told us all about the 8 million stories in New York City in “Empire State of Mind.” And while I’ve visited the city several times, I thought as we prepared for our most recent visit that I’d ask a few of my friends who call the Big Apple home to tell me about their New York stories. So a big welcome to Carolyn “the wino” Godfrey of The Lazy Travelers, who has her story in this guide to the Upper East Side.

Continue reading