Back on the bus to Fort Lauderdale, my eyes are still dry from sitting in the front of a Florida Everglades airboat. I couldn’t close my eyes; they had been peeled open for the past hour as I tried to catch a glimpse of an alligator in the pitch-black darkness of night. A ride that had started as the waning sun sat over the edge of the Florida Everglades, this had been an experience unlike a typical daytime journey into this majestic river of grass.
Getting to Orcas Island takes a little effort. Reachable only by air or ferry, the largest of the San Juan Islands in Washington State has a peacefulness and beauty all its own that makes spending time here worth the effort. A week probably makes more sense to realize the island’s full potential, but we had only 24 hours, just enough time to scratch the surface of the island’s potential. It was tough, but we found 24 hours in Orcas Island was enough time to discover this Pacific Northwest capital of nature, scenery and relaxation.
Our time in the Pacific Northwest centered on Seattle and Vancouver was filled with great adventures in the beautiful region. But our favorite moment was spending time on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands of Washington State. The colors were magnificent, and the views from our inn in Eastsound were superb. Here is just a sample.
This month we will spend a week in the Pacific Northwest, where we will get a taste of Seattle, Vancouver, the San Juan Islands and plenty of great food and drink. And if the weather cooperates, I’m looking forward to hiking, seeing the magnificent Pacific Ocean and get a taste of Olympic National Park. We will spend a week in the region, plenty of time to get a taste of the five best Pacific Northwest experiences.
Visitors to Scottsdale, Arizona have many options for enjoying a stay. For first-time visitors, Scottsdale provides a unique introduction to Arizona, with a mix of history, natural beauty, relaxation and fun, all in the Phoenix metro area. I left my first visit with five reasons I love Scottsdale and think you will, too.
One day at Legoland California can be just the right amount of time for even the most Lego-obsessed family. But planning is in order to make the most of that one day at Legoland. If the family only has a mild interest in the awesome building blocks, then one day at Legoland California is the perfect amount of time. Just plan to arrive before the gates open and plan to stay all day, because there is much to see.
Before visiting Santa Monica Pier I had some pretty basic ideas of what to expect. I’ve been to the Atlantic City Boardwalk, not to mention a couple of fun piers in England. I’ve seen a few movies that are tied into scenes at the Santa Monica Pier. And I knew this is where historic U.S. Route 66 ends.
The rooftop sunset with fabulous cocktails overlooking the Mississippi River or three creative chefs, competing to see who can prepare the best of three courses in the hotel restaurant below. This is the story of a night of exquisite competition at the Madison Hotel Memphis, one of the Bluff City’s great hotels. The chef of the hotel’s restaurant, eighty3, found himself competing against two visiting chefs, one from Las Vegas via Los Angeles and the other from the Northeast with a hint of Hawaii.
The alarm clock wakes me from a deep slumber, one that was induced by a long day and night in the summer heat. Only I begin to realize this alarm isn’t a clock but the curtains on our massive hotel room window being thrown open to let in the light reflecting up from the Mississippi River below. “Dad! Wake up! It’s time to order room service and play soccer hockey!” This “wake-up call” is from an 8-year-old boy imploring me to get going on this final day of our three-day father-son St. Louis baseball weekend. Continue reading
Surfers paddle through the break of the Pacific Ocean in the distance as I sit on a balcony with morning coffee in hand, observing it all. The Southern California experience is many things, and I imagine watching surfers paddle out from my hotel room balcony plays a central role, or at least in my experience. After a couple of whirlwind days in Santa Monica, finding a more relaxing vibe at the Cape Rey Carlsbad in North San Diego County brings us to what I discover to be the epicenter of SoCal fun.