travel tuesday: dreamin’ of the beach

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This was just 5 DAYS AGO! The view from our table at The Beach House on Bradenton Beach, Anna Maria Island, was as wonderful as the food. I keep clicking my heels together and chanting, “There’s no place like the beach, there’s no place like the beach, there’s no place like the beach.” But, unlike Dorothy, I have not been magically relocated. Watch for a long post or two about our trip coming soon. In the meantime, check out my post from our last trip there, Do’s and Don’ts when visiting Anna Maria Island.

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travel tuesday: jack london state historic park

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We explored this beautiful park three years ago this month during a trip to Napa and Sonoma. The park, Jack London’s former home and ranch, is spectacular. It was mud season, so we didn’t get to walk the trails and focused our time on the museum. His history, and that of his wife Charmian, is fascinating and beautifully represented there. Read more about the park and our day in Sonoma here.

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travel tuesday: carlsbad caverns

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Cue the music from Vacation! In 1969, my family left Oklahoma for sunny California in the family truckster for a typical family road trip from hell. Just kidding, kind of. I’m the youngest of three, so I had to sit on the hump in the back seat with our family poodle Petite Jean Jacques Rousseau. (Dad was a philosophy major before law school.) If you’ve never ridden 3,000+ miles sitting on the hump between your older brother and sister, don’t judge me for calling it hell.

The air conditioning broke in Death Valley. And, apparently, back then motels would charge extra for families with more than four people, so I had to hide on the back floorboard under a sleeping bag with Rousseau every time we checked in. I recall hiding in the shower with him as well when someone came to the motel room door. Perks of being the youngest, I guess.

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romantic getaway in ouray

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Month two of my year of getaways is a wrap! We almost always go somewhere for Valentine’s Day, and this year was no exception. We spent three Val Day weekends in a row in Arizona; five years ago it was Riviera Maya near Playa del Carmen and two years ago we were on Anna Maria Island.

We have a big trip coming up in March, so this time it was a quick, romantic night in Ouray. It’s one of our favorite spots in the state, but only our second visit during the winter. Last time, it was on the frigid side with snow blowing horizontally. This year, Mother Nature was on our side, which was good since I forgot to bring a coat.

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travel tuesday: camping on the flat tops

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Love where we live! This was one of our first camping trips with the Lance truck camper that we bought in 2017. We always try out our new campers close to home in case we forget something. This spot is in the Flat Tops Wilderness Area just an hour from our house. The Flat Tops are part of the White River Plateau with an average elevation of about 10,000 feet. Approximately 110 lakes and ponds, often unnamed, dot the country above and below numerous flat-topped cliffs. Roughly 100 miles of fishable streams are in the Wilderness.

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travel tuesday: north clear creek falls

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This came from the archives! We were camped just outside of Lake City, Colorado, in July 2005 and took a day trip to Creede. The falls are located within the Rio Grande National Forest. North Clear Creek is a tributary of, and not far from the headwaters of, the Rio Grande River. The scenery in this part of the state is spectacular.

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travel tuesday: riveria maya

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Five years ago, we spent a luxurious week at Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera near Playa del Carmen. It was our only visit to Mexico so far, but we hope to go back one day. The resort, the food, the entertainment, the service, we’d give everything 5 stars. Not a single complaint! The only time we left the resort was for a catamaran snorkeling trip to Isla Mujeres, which was a great experience. Highly recommend!

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travel tuesday: denver botanic gardens

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The Denver Botanic Gardens are a real Colorado treasure. This is the Monet Pool and it’s probably my favorite spot there. Our visit last July was to attend the wedding of our best friends’ daughter, who we’ve known since she was born. It was the perfect setting to celebrate their union.

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mini-staycation in palisade and grand junction

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If you read my post about 2022 Plan Your Vacation Day, and I hope you did, you know that I’ve resolved to go somewhere at least once a month this year. We hit the ground running in January with a mini-staycation, just one night away, that set the pace for the year. You know that I love traveling and wine, and this quick trip let me enjoy both. 

First stop, Palisade—the heart of Colorado’s Grand Valley AVA. According to Coloradowine.com, it’s 75,990 acres along the Colorado River, once called the Grand River, forty miles east of the Utah border— beginning in Palisade. Sheltered by the largest flattop mountain in the world, Grand Mesa, the AVA then spills up onto East Orchard Mesa and Orchard Mesa along the south bank of the river, and stretches right to the foot of the Colorado National Monument west of Grand Junction. (Map of wineries in the Grand Valley AVA)

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national plan for vacation day

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National Plan for Vacation Day

Tuesday, January 25, is National Plan for Vacation Day. According to USTravel.org, it’s celebrated the last Tuesday of January to encourager Americans to plan their vacation days for the whole year and to inspire them to travel within the U.S.

I’m certainly not going to discourage you from traveling abroad. If you can, go. If not, there’s no shortage of destinations right here in the ol’ U.S. of A. Many are right in your backyard.  USTravel.org reports that more than two-thirds of American workers feel at least moderately burned out after the last two years, and almost three-fourths are prioritizing a change of scenery in 2022.

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