desert vibes for march camping

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Spring fever and camping fever arrive at the same time at our house each year. This year was no exception. In fact, it might have been heightened by the fact that I redecorated our camper with a beach theme after our trip to Anna Maria Island in March!

We always spend one night in the camper in our back yard before heading anywhere, just to make sure everything is working properly. Always good advice. More good advice: Unplug the camper if you’ve had it plugged in all winter. We learned that the hard way this year. 

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travel tuesday: lobster on my mind

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Lobster Roll at Thurston's Lobster Pound

I brought home a great New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc last night, Lobster Reef, and have been craving lobster ever since. Or should I say “lobstah”? That brought to mind the best lobster roll I’ve ever had. We were spending a week at Bar Harbor in October 2014 during our big RV road trip, and a friend recommended Thurston’s Lobster Pound. Even though I ate lobster every day that week, this is the one I still dream about.

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travel tuesday: cider tasting in hotchkiss, co

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Delicious Farms in Hotchkiss, Colorado, is a must-visit when we do a daytrip on the Grand Mesa Loop. You can camp in the orchard, eat at the café, shop at the store, play like a kid on tree swings, listen to live music and pick your own fruit. You can also grab a stool at the Cider Bar and sample Big B’s Ciders. The food at the café is very good, so step up and order your meal. I recommend the tamales, and my husband likes the pulled pork. Then, order a flight of hard ciders and dig in.

Note: The website says they are not offering tastings due to COVID-19, but we were able to order this flight last summer. You can always choose a single cider in larger sizes. Be sure to take some home along with goodies from the store.

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where to eat on Anna Maria Island

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First of all, you should eat where you can view this sunset, which is at the Gulf Drive Café on Bradenton Beach. Two of my all-time favorite sunsets have been here; our first night on this trip and two years ago on Valentine’s Day. Both times, I had the shrimp tacos. I think that must be the good luck charm because this was the only real sunset we saw this year. Our days were mostly sunny, but low-lying clouds moved in around 5 the rest of the week.

Shrimp tacos at the Gulf Drive Café.
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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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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: 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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