Social Icons

Friday, August 29, 2014

The All-Inclusive MAIA Luxury Resort and Spa

MAIA Luxury Resort and Spa
MAIA Luxury Resort & Spa in the Seychelles Becomes “BEYOND All-Inclusive”!!!

Luxury Resort & Spa in Mahé, Seychelles introduces the new “BEYOND All-Inclusive” concept beginning November 1, 2014. This new approach includes a myriad of services such as a dedicated butler, high-speed Wi-Fi, complimentary laundry service, all daily meals, soft drinks and premium alcoholic beverages as well as food a la carte on a “Whatever, Wherever, Whenever” basis. Additional activities introduced include morning Yoga or Qi Gong, non-motorized sports plus unlimited scuba diving.
MAIA Luxury Resort and Spa

Located on 30 acres of award-winning gardens on the main island of Mahé, MAIA Luxury Resort & Spa features 30 private villas, all with 180-degree uninterrupted sea views. While staying at MAIA guests can choose between two villa categories, the “Ocean Panoramic” villas or the “MAIA Signature” villas. Designed by leading architect Bill Bensley, each villa offers guests the perfect escape while vacationing at MAIA. Dotting the hillside are the nineteen Ocean Panoramic villas, each offering guests exquisite views of MAIA’s lush gardens and the blue waters of the ocean below. Additionally, the eleven “MAIA Signature” villas are located closer to the shore and provide guests direct access to the surf and sand. Guests booking the “MAIA Signature” villa also enjoy additional inclusions like early check-in and late check-out, their choice of Champagne as well as in-villa offerings such as daily private yoga, one-time mani-pedi, and a specially prepared barbecue.
MAIA Luxury Resort and Spa

Other experiences available for guests to book at an additional cost include private fishing and scuba diving excursions or scenic flights from MAIA’s on-site helipad to the surrounding islands. Guests who prefer to relax at the spa can visit MAIA’s Balinese-style spa, which offers an array of exotic treatments and features world-class Omorovicza products. The Gold Apres Soleil Facial is exclusive to the resort, as is the “20 Dancing Fingers” massage delivered by two members of the highly-trained staff, accompanied by flautist.
MAIA Luxury Resort and Spa

Additional information can be found at

About MAIA Luxury Resort & Spa

MAIA Luxury Resort & Spa, a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, is a 30 villa property open to residents only. It stretches over 30 acres and is set on a private peninsula on the southwest coast of the island of Mahé in the Seychelles. Each of the spacious 250m² villas feature the latest facilities and have uninterrupted ocean views, a spacious gazebo area with kitchen bar, eating area and oversized day-bed, a 25ft infinity pool and outdoor sunken bath tub. The hotel’s service philosophy is delivered by MAIA’s expert personal butlers, each of whom is assigned to a specific villa. A recent addition to the hotel is its helipad.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Exciting and Fun Wildwood Boardwalk

The Exciting and Fun Wildwood Boardwalk in New Jersey
We have been visiting Wildwood at least twice a year since 2001 and love it! Out of all of the south jersey shore locations, North Wildwood, Wildwood and Wildwood Crest have the most to offer in regards to activities and fun! Matter of fact, in our opinion, it is the best boardwalk at the Jersey Shore!

The boardwalk starts in North Wildwood and ends in Wildwood Crest. The entire length of the boardwalk is 38 city blocks and sprinkled up and down the boardwalk are a ton of gift shops, home decor stores, a few craft stores, jewelry stores, arcades, restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, ice cream shops, miniature golf, amusement piers with rides, water parks for wet 'n wild fun and so much more!
Sightseer Tram Car on Wildwood Boardwalk in New Jersey
One of the things you will see running up and down the boardwalk is the world famous Sightseer Tram Car. This tram car costs $3.00 per person, per way or $6.00 per round trip. It is great for people who can't do a lot of walking or for people who want to get from one end to the other quickly. Sometimes we will take the tram car from North Wildwood down to Wildwood Crest and then walk & shop our way back....lot's of fun!

The Wildwood Boardwalk has your standard fare of all kinds of yummy things to eat. You can find soft-serve ice cream (our favorite is Kohr's), Polish ice, soft pretzels, cotton candy, saltwater taffy, creamy fudge, hot dogs, hamburgers, a slew of pizza parlors and so much more! There is good eat'in to be had at the Jersey Shore!
The Exciting and Fun Wildwood Boardwalk
If the kids are hankering to burn off some energy you can take them to the numerous arcades that are sprinkled up & down the boards! There are three amusement piers owned by Morey's that you can spend a lot of money and time at. Along with the amusement will find several water parks and a few fun go-kart courses too!

The boardwalk has a lot to offer and makes for a really fun vacation experience! Just be forewarned, during the "in-season" (July, August and early September) it can get pretty packed with visitors and tourists. If you want to avoid the crowds...visit during the months of April, March, June, late September and early October.
The Exciting and Fun Wildwood Boardwalk

If you are looking for some things to see and do while visiting the Stone Harbor, Wildwood, Diamond Beach and Cape May areas...check out the New Jersey section here on my travel blog. You will find a ton of very detailed blog posts giving you and your family all kinds of ideas! Enjoy your trip!

Note: You can click on each photo in this post. It will open in a new window and will automatically enlarge so that you can see all of the details up close.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Michael Franti with Spearhead & Slightly Stoopid at Snowshoe's 2nd Annual FreeFall Festival

It has been a few years since I have had to the pleasure of visiting the great state of West Virginia but I can tell you this...if you have never visited, you really should! Our favorite time of the year to visit is during the Fall season when all of the fall foliage is in full swing. Next year we will be heading back to West Virginia but in the meantime, I was asked to share the following information with all of my travel blog readers. Enjoy!
Michael Franti with Spearhead & Slightly Stoopid at Snowshoe's 2nd Annual FreeFall Festival

Snowshoe Mountain, the #1 mountain resort in the Mid-Atlantic region, announced along with live performances at The Mountaintop Village by Michael Franti with Spearhead (Friday) and Slightly Stoopid (Saturday) the resort has also added a hour long Yoga session with Franti. This unique experience requires a separate purchased ticket. The experience will include Michael Franti and Friends performing acoustic with a yoga class taught by great yogis. Classes are designed for people of all levels of experience and ability. Also slated to perform is G. Love and Special Sauce. Additional opening acts will be announced soon.

Snowshoe Mountain launched the FreeFall Weekend event last year as annual celebration of the area’s stunning fall colors, and the transition from summer mountain activities to the focus on the upcoming winter.

This year’s FreeFall concerts will be moved to the larger west view lot adjacent to the village. The new venue will provide guests with 180-degree sunset and fall foliage views, guaranteed to deliver dramatic evening and daytime backdrops to the festivities. Friday afternoon, this energetic site will be where a soulful flow class will be held for yogis of all experience levels, ages, shapes and sizes, led by Michael Franti.

Along with the concerts, the FreeFall weekend event will bring downhill and cross-country mountain bike races, a mountaintop brew fest celebration with a vast assortment of the nation’s finest craft beers and local BBQ, a Dock Dogs competition, a mountain bike movie premiere and a Saturday night fireworks display above the resort’s village. Guests can also participate in the Lifestyle Camp, which includes outdoor adventure activities and sporting events. The 2014 FreeFall Festival is open to the public, and will be the perfect weekend to take in the fall colors in West Virginia’s beautiful mountains.

The weekend schedule includes:

Thursday, September 25:
7 PM: Teton Gravity Research Premiere: Higher

12 – 5 PM DockDogs Competition on Skidder Slope
1 - 5 PM Interactive Outdoor Lifestyle Park in the Village
2 – 3 PM Yoga with Michael Franti on Mountain Lodge Lawn
5 – 6 PM Yoga- Slow Dynamic Flow on Mountain Lodge Lawn
6:00PM Gates Open For Concerts at Rimfire Lot
6:30 - 7:30 PM Opening act
8 – 10 PM Michael Franti & Spearhead at Rimfire Lot
10:00 PM After party at the Connection Nightclub

ALL DAY: Interactive Outdoor Lifestyle Park
ALL DAY: Snowshoe Bike Park Presents: Gravity Series Race #3
9 AM – 2:30PM DockDogs Competition on Skidder Slope
10:00 AM - Guided Hike Meeting at Shavers Lake Outpost
11 - 2 PM Registration for Microbrew Bonanza in the Village
12 - 4 PM Microbrew Bonanza
1 - 2 PM Yoga Is For Everyone on Mountain Lodge Lawn
6:00 PM Gates Open For Concerts at Rimfire Lot
7:00 PM G. Love & Special Sauce at Rimfire Lot
8:30 PM Slightly Stoopid at Rimfire Lot
10:00 PM After party at the Connection Nightclub
10:00 PM Mountaintop Fireworks Display on Skidder Slope

8 -11 AM Rise & Shine Pancake Breakfast at The Junction
ALL DAY: WVMBA XC Mountain Bike Championships
9 – 10 AM Yoga Rise & Shine on Mountain Lodge Lawn
9 – 4 PM Dock Dogs Competition on Skidder Slope
12 - 4 PM Interactive Outdoor Lifestyle Park in the Village
1 - 2 PM Yoga Is For Everyone on Mountain Lodge Lawn

Tickets are now on sale for this year’s headlining acts for the 2nd annual FreeFall Festival. For a single-day ticket if purchased prior to September 15 the price will be $25, and $35 if purchased after September 15. Tickets are $40 for the two-day event if purchased prior to September 15, and $60 if purchased after September 15. Two-day ticket purchases made before September 15 will also include a free single day adult lift ticket valid from opening day of the winter ski and snowboard season to December 25, 2014. There will also be a Franti yoga experience, which includes Michael Franti and Friends performing acoustic with a yoga class taught by great yogis. Classes are designed for people of all levels of experience and ability. Bring a mat, towel, sunscreen, and good vibes. Tickets for this experience will be sold for $20. A wide range of lodging options including first-time ever tent camping on the slopes at Snowshoe, will be available.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Family Fun at the Strasburg Rail Road

Strasburg Rail Road in Strasburg Lancaster County Pennsylvania
South central Pennsylvania is really a great choice for families who are looking for family-friendly activities to do with the kids. You can find hundreds of things to see and do all within a 90 minute drive from Harrisburg. The surrounding areas include York, Lancaster, Strasburg, Gettysburg and Camp Hill.

Recently while visiting the Lancaster area, we spent the afternoon down at the Strasburg Rail Road which is located at 301 Gap Road in Ronks, Pennsylvania. It is really easy to get to if you are visiting the Lancaster area and makes for a nice car ride with the family.

Admission varies according to age and the type of activities that you plan on enjoying. You can locate that information along with their hours of operation and event schedule by visiting the Strasburg Rail Road site online.
Strasburg Rail Road in Strasburg Lancaster County Pennsylvania

We decided to take the Steam Locomotive Train Ride through the Amish countryside which was absolutely GORGEOUS! The scenery was breath-taking as we passed by numerous working Amish farms. It was really cool to see the Amish out on the farms taking care of farm business. All of the children on the train were excited to see horses, cows and Amish buggies as we passed.

During certain times of the year, the Strasburg hosts different types of events. One popular event is the A Day Out With Thomas event that features Thomas the Tank Engine...every little kid's favorite blue train engine! They also host a Rolling Antique Car Event, The Great Train Robbery and many more. Some of the events are geared towards kids and others are for the adults.
Strasburg Rail Road in Strasburg Lancaster County Pennsylvania

We had a great time exploring the Strasburg Railroad and after our fun was done...we visited their gift shop and toy store to pick up a few souvenirs for the kids. While most items are on the pricey side, you can find some affordable trinkets too.

If you have a train buff or collector in your family, visiting the Strasburg Rail Road makes for a great family-friendly activity. When visiting, I do recommend that you allow at least 2 1/2 hours in your schedule so that you have enough time to do activities and to explore.
Strasburg Rail Road in Strasburg Lancaster County Pennsylvania

Note: You can click on each individual photo in this blog post which will enlarge the photo in your web browser so that you can easily see all of the details. Enjoy your trip!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Smithsonian Channel: Aerial America Southeast Collection DVD

Smithsonian Channel: Aerial America Southeast Collection DVD
Several weeks ago I had the chance to review a Smithsonian Channel travel DVD and today I am back with another one. We love to travel and traveling through the Southeast is one of our favorite travel destinations. It is a really beautiful are of the country.

Title: Aerial America: Southeast Collection
By: Smithsonian Channel
Release Date: August 19th, 2014

Take off for a first-class, window-seat view of the South's most-beautiful sceneries in this brand new DVD release from Inception Media Group.

Aerial America: Southeast Collection takes you soaring over the South's breathtaking landscapes and landmarks while exploring its compelling, complex role in American History.

In North Carolina, witness the barrier islands and learn about first in flight history. In South Carolina you can experience elegant charms and extraordinary past and in Georgia's hot cities and haunted graves. Flights over Mississippi and Alabama reveal where Civil War battles were lost and the civil rights movement was born. Florida shows off its stunning beaches, lavish lifestyles and what makes the state so magical.
Tybee Island in Georgia

My Thoughts: If you plan on visiting any of the Southeast states for the first time, this DVD is a must-have! You will learn about hot spots and spots off the beaten path that you never heard of before. Not only that, some of the areas they feature on the DVD will give you new travel destinations to check out, ones that you would of never considered visiting until you saw them on this DVD.

We are planning a big 2 week trip to North Carolina next spring so we really appreciated the North Carolina part of the DVD. The photography is just amazing from start to finish and we were amazed at all of the aerial views that we got to see.

Several times we have watched this collection and every time we watch it again we see something new or learn something new about each state that is featured. Thanks to this DVD...we are adding a trip to the great state of Alabama to our travel bucket list in 2015. We have never been there and thanks to this DVD...we will definitely be visiting!

Disclaimer: A free copy of this DVD was provided to me for this review. No monetary compensation has been received. My thoughts & opinions on this item are 100% my own and are unbiased. Your opinions & views may differ.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Meadows Mini Golf - Great Family Fun!

The Meadows Mini Golf in Harrisburg Pennsylvania
When you visit Harrisburg, Pennsylvania or live in the can always find something interesting and fun to do. The city is centrally located and within 1 hour of driving time you can reach Lancaster, York, Gettysburg and/or Hershey.
The Meadows Mini Golf in Harrisburg Pennsylvania

One of our favorite miniature golf courses in the city of Harrisburg happens to be The Meadows Miniature Golf. In addition to mini golf, they also have batting cages, a fun video arcade and the best frozen custard in the area. Visiting this family-friendly establishment is a whole lot of fun!
The Meadows Mini Golf in Harrisburg Pennsylvania

You can find The Meadows at 4636 Jonestown Road in Harrisburg. You can visit them online, on Facebook or give them a call at (717) 412-4095 for additional information. They are open year-round but hours vary depending on the season.

We took our little 5 year old grand daughter to The Meadows a few weeks ago for a round of mini golf and had a fantastic time! On the afternoon we visited, they weren't crowded at we could really take our time.
The Meadows Mini Golf in Harrisburg Pennsylvania

The miniature golf course is really landscaped and laid out nicely. You will find 18 holes with some of them being easy and others being more challenging. There are elevated landscapes and enough water obstacles to keep you well entertained!

After our fun on the golf course...we headed inside and enjoy some of the best frozen custard that we have ever had! This stuff is seriously good and they have a ton of different flavors for you to choose from. We will definitely be back!

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Vegas Diner in North Wildwood New Jersey

The Vegas Diner in North Wildwood New Jersey
When we are down at our beach house in North Wildwood New Jersey and looking for an affordable hot meal, we like to visit the Vegas Diner. Matter of fact, out of all of the diners on the Wildwood island, this is the one that my family prefers.

The Vegas Diner is located at the corner of 14th street and New Jersey Avenue. When driving down the main drag (New Jersey Avenue) you can't miss it and there is plenty of free parking. Matter of fact, this particular diner has been voted the BEST diner for the past 12 years! That tells you that they serve delicious food and we love their friendly customer service!
The Vegas Diner in North Wildwood New Jersey

They have a vast menu ranging from perfectly grilled steaks, seafood, salad, soups, wraps and more! Their kid's menu has something that every kid would enjoy and all of their portions are generously sized. You really get your money's worth when dining at the Vegas Diner.

You can find their menu on their web site along with a printable 10% off coupon. You can dine-in or you can call ahead and get takeout. If you prefer a salad bar, they have that too and one of our favorite things to enjoy is their freshly baked, decadent desserts!
The Vegas Diner in North Wildwood New Jersey

Just a few weeks ago my family headed there for a quick late-lunch and were promptly seated. Matter of fact, there were only a few people at the diner so we got our meals really quickly. I went for one of my favorites which is the chicken quesadilla and battered onion rings. My mother had chicken tenders and hubby went for a grilled burger. Everything was hot and delicious!
The Vegas Diner in North Wildwood New Jersey

The next time you are visiting the Jersey Shore or more specifically...the Wildwood island...make sure you stop into the Vegas Diner for a bite to eat. Visit their web site for daily specials, hours of operation and don't forget the printable coupon! Enjoy your meal!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

15 Things You Should Know About Shore Excursions

15 Things You Should Know About  Shore Excursions
Shore Excursions – The Ins & Outs of These Day Trips From A Private Archaeology and Art in Istanbul to Haleakala Sunsets

Family-Owned and Operated Since 1998, Cruises-N-More Offers Respected Expertise and Superior Deals, Prices & Amenities

The cruise travel experts at Cruises-N-More share the most interesting things about the shore excursions you purchase on a cruise vacation. Here are 15 things you should know about shore excursions offered through Cruises-N-More:

There are different shore excursion types.

* Scenic Shore Excursions provide up close and personal access to some of the most spectacular natural environments on Earth.

* Cultural Shore Excursions allow you to experience the customs, heritage and local flavor of the destinations.

* Active Shore Excursions offer a multitude of exciting and adventurous experiences.

* Water/Beach Shore Excursions provide unique ways to enjoy the ocean, beach and sea life.

* Cuisine Shore Excursions allow you to sample the local culinary delights.

Shore excursions come in different sizes.

* Private Shore Excursions allow you to travel with your party alone and, in many cases, to fully customize your tour. For groups of 4 or more, we can usually arrange a private shore excursion for less than the cost of a large cruise line tour.

* Small Group Shore Excursions generally range in size from 2-20 people, providing a more personalized experience than the large excursions offered by the cruise lines.

* Standard Shore Excursions typically range from 20-50 people. These tours are similar in size to those of the cruise lines. While these shore excursions are larger in size, our focus on quality remains extremely high.

There are 7 reasons to book your shore excursions with Cruises-N-More.

* The highest quality shore excursions are offered.
* Best quality shore excursions priced below market value, up to a 50% savings.
* Money Back Guarantee.
* Guaranteed return to the ship on time.
* 24/7 support.
* Bundled shore packages for even better pricing.
* An actual phone number to call and consult with a shore excursion expert.
15 Things You Should Know About  Shore Excursions

Haleakala Sunset – Is this heaven?

Tour Details

Your Maui Haleakala Volcano Sunset excursion begins with an once-in-a-lifetime trip through upcountry Maui on your way to the Haleakala Volcano. Take in the sights of the sugarcane plains and protea farms of Kula, as you travel beyond the tree line to where cacti and rare Hawaiian silver swords grow right up to the volcano’s crest. Priced from $66 per person.

A Private Archaeology and Art in Istanbul

Tour Details

After lunch, you will drive to the Hippodrome, which was once the scene of horse and chariot races and the center of Byzantine civic life. All that remains is an Egyptian Obelisk, a stone obelisk and the Serpentine Column, which were originally brought by the emperors and used for the decoration of the Hippodrome. You will end your tour with a trip to the exotic Grand Bazaar area. After free time in the Bazaar, you will be returned to the pier. Priced from $159 per person. More …

To see all shore excursions by ship and sailing date, click here:

If you would like to know more about our shore excursions, please call 800-733-2048 (toll-free USA/Canada), 0-808-189-1292 (toll-free U.K.), 800-076-002 (toll-free Australia) or +1-407-771-4454 direct-dial. Visit Cruises-N-More.

About Cruises-N-More:

Family-owned and operated since 1998, Cruises-N-More offers respected expertise and superior deals, prices and amenities. Cruises-N-More has been featured in USA Today and Frommer’s “Cruises for Dummies” as having great cruise prices and has been ranked by MSNBC as a top Web broker. The agency consistently ranks among the top producers with the major cruise lines.

Cruises-N-More has received many accolades from the cruise lines. The agency has received the following awards: Princess Gold I-Excel Agency; Royal Caribbean & Celebrity Online Agency of the Year/Key Account; Carnival Top Agency & Select Agency; NCL President's Club Agency; Holland America Centurion & Premium Preferred Agency; Disney, Silver Sea, Crystal & Cunard Agency Producer.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Family Fun and Smiles at Hersheypark

Sooper Dooper Looper at Hersheypark
A few weeks ago we took the entire family to Hersheypark for a fun-filled day of amusement park rides, games, splashes in the waterpark and of course...smiles! If you have never been to Hersheypark, it is one of the main attractions when you visit Hershey Pennsylvania.

If you are a fan of amusement parks I am sure you have probably heard of the Sooper-Dooper-Looper, SkyRush and the Comet roller coasters which are world famous! Let's not forget about the famous Kissing Tower where couples can enjoy a sweet kiss at the top of this fun ride while getting one of the best views of Hershey and the surrounding area.
Amusement Rides at Hersheypark in Hershey Pennsylvania

We have been visiting Hersheypark every year since the early 1980's and every year the park gets bigger & better than the previous year! I can remember being a teenager and one of my favorite rides was the Trailblazer and to this is still a favorite! Such great memories over the years!

This year we took our little 5 year old grand daughter and were pleasantly surprised that she wasn't afraid to get on anything! Matter of fact, she begged to get onto the rides that half of the adults would be scared of! On the SooperDooperLooper she was the only kid laughing and had her arms waving in the air. She loved it and rode it twice with her Pappy.

When visiting the park you want to dress comfortably and that includes your shoes! You and the kids will be doing a lot of walking so wear sneakers and not flip flops or sandals. In addition, make sure to pack a change of clothing & towels if you plan on spending any time on the water rides. You will get WET on most of them! One last thing...don't forget the sunblock too!

Hersheypark has something to offer everyone from the adults to the kids! One of the reason we love it is because of their wide variety of kiddie rides for the little ones. Unlike other places that only offer a handful, Hersheypark offers many great kiddie rides such as: Lady Bugs, Balloon Flite, Mini Pirate and the Helicopters to name just a few!

We spent an entire 8 hours at the park and still didn't get on all of the rides that we wanted to or do all of the things that we normally do while visiting. They were extremely packed on this particular day so we did have to stand in long lines most of the time.
Hershey's Candy Bar Character

If you're going as a family and want to remember your day, take along a small camera or use your smartphone to grab some photographs throughout the park. There are plenty of great picture-taking opportunities! We love grabbing photographs of our grandchildren standing beside some of the famous Hershey's Candy Bar Characters! Fun!!!

Connected to the park is the world famous ZooAmerica Wildlife Park (Zoo) and you can enter the small zoo when you want to take a slow down break from riding all of the rides. The admission into the zoo is included with your ticket price. It only takes about an 90 minutes to go through the entire zoo, less time if you hurry.

We had a great time and next year we will be returning again. You can visit the Hersheypark web site to see their current operating schedule, schedule of events, obtain directions and so forth. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter too.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Palladium Hotels & Resorts Stunning Wedding Packages

 Palladium Hotels & Resorts Stunning Wedding Packages
Our daughter is getting married next month and will be honeymooning in Mexico for one week and then heading to the Caribbean for their second week of fun in the sun. At the time they made their arrangements, we had never heard of the Palladium Hotels & Resorts. With that said, hubby and I plan on renewing our wedding vows for our 30th wedding anniversary which is swiftly approaching in 2016. Perhaps the Caribbean is on tap for us!

Today I was asked to share the following information with all of you about some stunning wedding packages being offered by Palladium Hotels & Resorts. Looks like a beautiful place to have a wedding and/or vacation! Information is below.

Through the expertise of popular wedding designer Karen Bussen, Palladium Hotels & Resorts is sharing Simple Stunning Weddings packages for its guests to love and celebrate.

The “Waves Of Love” package was designed with inspiration from both the sand and sea. The venues, all accented with starfish garland, range from a gazebo with gorgeous views of the Caribbean waters, a colonial chapel to present a religious element, an indoor site surrounded by lush vegetation, or an open alter outside on the warm sandy beach.

Float down a seashell path with a bouquet of hydrangeas toward your soon-to-be husband wearing a boutonniere of dendrobium orchids. Two arrangements of hydrangeas and dune grasses in blue, mixed white and green will perfectly accent the venue and your guests’ white garden chairs.

Once you say your “I Dos” head over to the reception to dance the night away. A white tablecloth and blue runner adorn your wedding bar as you propose a sparkling “something blue” toast to your new spouse. Enjoy a two-tiered wedding cake garnished with white shell accents and blue or green ribbon while your guests gaze at a beautiful centerpiece made of shells and floating candles.

Share a relaxing morning together for the first time as husband and wife as you rise with the sun and an oceanside honeymoon breakfast. Save the best for last and end your stay beneath the sunset as you enjoy complimentary wine and cheese.

There are a variety of additional amenities that can be added to make your big day even more special. Relax in wedding bliss at Zentropia Palladium Spa & Wellness with a One Love Package treatment as you enjoy exfoliations, facials and massages for two.

“Waves Of Love” wedding package rates start at USD $2,600 for 10 people.

Disclosure: Information & photograph is courtesy of Palladium Hotels & Resorts.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Great Shopping at the Washington Street Mall in Cape May

The Washington Street Mall in Cape May New Jersey
I love small town shopping and there is no better place to go shopping in Cape May than at the Washington Street Mall. This quaint mall is an outdoor mall comprising of 3 blocks. You won't find any big box stores or retail chain stores here! Nope, these are small businesses with most being mom and pop type of stores.

Since I love being outdoors...I love shopping here when I am visiting the Cape May and Wildwood area at the Jersey Shore. I love walking down the brick paved street and seeing all of the people strolling by. The mall is beautifully landscaped and you will find plenty of benches to sit on when visiting.
The Washington Street Mall in Cape May New Jersey
You will find gift shops, souvenir stores, candy shops, restaurants, a five & dime store, clothing boutiques, a kitchen shop and so much more! You will want to plan to spend an entire afternoon if you have never visited before.

When we go, hubby likes to stop in at the Ugly Mug Pub and grab a quick beer while I am doing my shopping. He loves that place and he said it is a "must see" when you are in the area. Personally, I am all about fudge and salt water taffy so he can have his beer and I will take the chocolate candy!
Cape May Town Clock in Cape May New Jersey

Shopping at the Washington Street Mall in Cape May New Jersey

The Washington Street Mall is open year round. During the holiday season they decorate the stores and streets which is really pretty to see during the Christmas season. They also hold various events and sales throughout the year and you can find those listed on their web site.

If you are looking to do some shopping while in the Cape May area...the Washington Street Mall is the place to be! You will find everything there like clothing, shoes, souvenirs, home decor, jewelry, candy, food, kitchen goods, toys for the kids, housewares and so much more!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Life's a Beach in Riviera Nayarit

Riviera Nayarit in Mexico
Summer days might be limited, but that doesn’t mean you have to put away those flip flops just yet - Riviera Nayarit still has a lot more beach (with serious creds) to offer! With 10 Certified Clean Beaches, a Blue Flag Certified Beach, beautiful desolate beaches and the longest beach in all of Latin America, you can look forward to scrunching your toes in the sand year-round.

On Riviera Nayarit’s 192 miles of Pacific Coast, you'll find not only tropical heat, but isolated stretches where palm trees are your only companions and waves without end create an inevitable invitation to surf. Listed below are some noteworthy under-the-radar, Instagram-worthy, beaches for those who crave sand and sea but not crowds:
Riviera Nayarit in Mexico
· Playa Novillero: Your eyes simply cannot take in the entire length of this unmarked beach, the longest not only in Nayarit but in all of Latin America. Located at the most northern point of the destination, Novillero stretches for almost 60 miles and measures almost a third of a mile wide. The fine sand beach is stunning with its tranquil waters, inviting you to walk out into open waters for almost 328 feet.

· Las Islitas: Once known as having the longest wave in the world by Guinness Book of Records, Las Islitas is located a mere 10 minutes from San Blas. It’s one of the area’s most beautiful beaches, ideal for some great R&R. The waves are consistent, the sand is a light gray color and it’s over a mile long by 18 miles wide. You’ll also find great food, like the famous pescado zarandeado (butterflied whole fish grilled over a smoky wood fire), shrimp turnovers, oyster soup, banana bread and many more seaside delicacies. Of course, served fresh from the sea, ready to eat right on the shore.

· Lo de Marcos: The wide expanse of this quiet beach is sandy and the blue ocean waters are always warm and inviting. The scenery along this almost mile-long beach is lush and green. There are a couple of informal beachfront restaurants that serve traditional Mexican fare. The menu frequently includes the fresh fish caught offshore, which patrons typically enjoy with an ice cold agua fresca, cerveza or a michelada. Doesn’t get more summer than that, right?

· Playa Los Venados: This small, secluded beach is located at the southernmost end of the town of Lo De Marcos. It offers day-trippers one family-run restaurant serving delicious fresh oysters, plucked from the rocks on the beach, and fresh fish caught right offshore that morning, prepared as you wish. On calm days during the winter months, the ocean waters are perfectly clear and suitable for swimming and snorkeling.
Riviera Nayarit in Mexico
This year, Riviera Nayarit considerably increased its number of Certified Clean Beaches from six to 10, thanks to the four new beaches that were certified on June 26th by the Instituto Mexicano de Normalización y Certificación. Within Mexico there are a total of 31 Certified Clean Beaches divided among nine states and these new recognitions make Riviera Nayarit the country’s leading destination with certified clean beaches.

The four new certified beaches include Palladium at Punta de Mita; Platanitos in Compostela, Costa Capomo Becerros in Compostela and El Borrego in San Blas. Los Muertos in Sayulita and Vallarta Norte II were also recertified during the event. The beaches at Nuevo Vallarta Sur, Nuevo Vallarta Norte I and Bucerías in Banderas Bay, as well as Chacala in Compostela, still retain their certification.

Pronatura Mexico also re-certified the beach at Nuevo Vallarta Norte with the Blue Flag, awarded by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). There are a total of 11 Blue Flag beaches in Mexico.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

5th Annual Weekend of Jazz at Kiawah Island Golf Resort

South Carolina is one of those states that I love to visit, particularly the South Carolina coastline. When it comes to a beautiful coastal area with stunning views of the southern Atlantic Ocean...this state has it going on! Besides being a very beautiful state, there are thousands of fun things to see and do in South Carolina.

This Fall is the perfect time to plan a trip, especially if you love Jazz music and will be visiting the state during the month of November. Check out the information below.
Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina

Earl Klugh’s 5th Annual Weekend of Jazz at Kiawah Island Golf Resort November 6-8, 2014!

Kiawah Island, SC – Since 2004, GRAMMY®-winning guitarist Earl Klugh has been bringing world-renowned artists together with jazz enthusiasts for his one-of-a-kind musically-driven lifestyle getaways. His Weekend of Jazz is now held at two Forbes Five-Star, AAA Five-Diamond properties each year; The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, and The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island, South Carolina.

Klugh’s 5th annual Weekend of Jazz at Kiawah Island will be held November 6-8, 2014 and features three incredible days of entertainment from multiple GRAMMY®-winning vocalist NATALIE COLE; versatile multi-instrumentalist, frontman and GRAMMY®-nominee TROMBONE SHORTY & his band, ORLEANS AVENUE; dynamic contemporary jazz duo R n R: RICK BRAUN & RICHARD ELLIOT; GRAMMY®-nominated guitarist CHUCK LOEB with Special Guest saxophonist ANDY SNITZER; contemporary jazz saxman MICHAEL LINGTON; local favorites THE EAST COAST PARTY BAND; your GRAMMY®-winning host EARL KLUGH with pianist and composer DAVID BENOIT; and more!

Earl Klugh's Weekend of Jazz is committed to bringing our guests one-of-a-kind experiences with the very best musical talent, unforgettable collaborations, surprise guests, exceptional culinary and wine experiences, Yogalates, golf and more – all within a Five-Star, Five-Diamond setting.

2-Night Weekend of Jazz Packages Include (Friday, 11/07 and Saturday 11/08):

Luxury accommodations for each night on the package
Tickets to main event concerts each night with priority seating
Admission to after-hours shows
Admission to VIP artist experience
Exclusive sign-up for Weekend of Jazz activities and experiences, including The Weekend of Jazz Golf Outing with PGA Tour Professional and golf commentator John Mahaffey, featuring contests, food and beverage and more on Saturday afternoon
Great discounts on suite/ocean view/villa upgrades
Great discounts on Sanctuary Spa treatments and select Kiawah Island golf courses
And more!
2-Night Packages start at $242* per person/per night in the Villas.

3-Night Packages and Sanctuary Rooms are currently sold out with wait list availability. To inquire, please call 800-654-2924. All two & three-night package guests will be automatically entered to win a VIP dinner with Earl Klugh at the event.


Located just south of Charleston, South Carolina, along 10 miles of pristine beach, Kiawah Island Golf Resort was recently named the No. 1 golf resort on the U.S. Mainland by readers of the prestigious Conde Nast Traveler magazine. The publication also named Kiawah as the No. 3 overall resort on the U.S. Mainland. Tennis magazine named it the No. 3 tennis resort in the U.S. Kiawah Island is also known as one of the top eco-friendly resorts in the U.S., and its beach was named one of the 10 best beaches in America by famed “beachologist,” Dr. Stephen Leatherman, aka Dr. Beach. It includes The Sanctuary – a AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five Star-rated, 255-room hotel and spa – and 600 private villas and luxury homes. The resort has five championship golf courses, including The Ocean Course – host of the 1991 Ryder Cup, the 2007 Senior PGA and 2012 PGA Championship.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

HASSLES Ice Cream Parlor in North Wildwood

HASSLES Ice Cream Parlor in North Wildwood
Every time we go down to Wildwood we enjoy all kinds of different activities and dining experiences. When we are on vacation, we do very little cooking and love dining at different types of places while there. Matter of fact, we actively seek out new places to try every time we are down there.

Just recently we stumbled upon HASSLES Ice Cream Parlor in North Wildwood. We had seen this place before but never went in to get any ice cream until recently. Not only that, they own a miniature golf course that sits right behind the ice cream parlor, so we enjoyed a round of mini golf and then enjoyed our ice cream.

We were amazed at how delicious their ice cream was and equally as important that it's very affordable! If you are tired of paying ridiculous prices for an ice cream cone up on the Wildwood boardwalk, you should check out HASSLES which sits right off the North Wildwood end of the boardwalk at 21st Street and Beach.
HASSLES Ice Cream Parlor in North Wildwood
We were waited on very quickly and our ice cream was fresh & delicious! We didn't have to wait in any long lines at all. I would imagine that might be different if you go during the July & August months when everything is typically crowded at the Jersey Shore. Our visit was in the middle of June.

This is a great place to take the family for some ice cream and/or to play a few rounds of miniature golf. We had a great time and will definitely be visiting them again! Enjoy your trip to the south Jersey Shore!

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Beautiful Hilton Garden Inn in Albany Georgia

Hilton Garden Inn in Albany Georgia
Years ago I had the great pleasure of spending a week in Albany Georgia and totally fell in-love with the area. There are a ton of things to see and do in that area that I would need to vacation there at least a month to do them all. Several years have passed since our visit but we are hoping to return some day soon.

Anyway, for those of you who may be planning a trip to Albany Georgia, I wanted to share this information with all of you about the beautiful Hilton Garden Inn. When looking for affordable lodging, this is one place you will want to consider. Here is the information.

Hilton Garden Inn Albany Georgia Recognized as one of the “Best of the Best” in North America
Hilton Garden Inn in Albany Georgia

Hilton Corporation has recently recognized the Hilton Garden Inn in Albany Georgia as one of its best performing hotels in North America for overall Product Quality, Service and Loyalty. In May this year, the hotel received its second consecutive Outstanding QA by Hilton’s Corporate Quality Assurance Department. The hotel now ranks in the Top 100 hotels out of 560 Hilton Garden Inns in North America in TQI – Total Quality Index.

“It’s quite a feat to get one Outstanding Quality Assurance rating now and then from Hilton, but achieving two in a row speaks volumes of the staffs commitment to service, cleanliness and product quality. I can’t be more proud of this team and the accomplishments they’ve achieved over the past year,” said Greg Winey, President and Principal of NorthPointe Hospitality Management, LLC. “We took over the management of this hotel in October 20012 and it’s been an incredible journey with the associates. It was a matter of believing in themselves; I think the staff just needed some encouragement, training, support and incentives to drive performance,” continued Winey.
Hilton Garden Inn in Albany Georgia

Shelia Bartow, Front Office Manager believes the million-dollar renovation the hotel underwent last year is paying off, especially in the eyes of the hotel guests.

“We’ve worked hard to get where we are today and it’s been extremely rewarding to see our results with great Guest Service Scores,” said Bartow.

“Our goal now is to get in the Top 50 and stay there,” said Vickie Thomas, Executive Housekeeper. “We know an immaculate hotel will keep our guest coming back.”

“We’ve cracked the Top 50 in North America a handful of times, and it takes complete and total commitment from the entire team every day to stay in that elite group. That’s the goal in our sites today,” Winey said.

The Hilton Garden Inn is a full service, convention hotel with 122 rooms and over 13,0000 sq. ft. of meeting and convention space – the largest hotel conference space in Albany. The meeting space includes a 6,500 square foot ballroom that provides meeting and full catering facilities for groups from 10 to 800 people. For information or reservations, call 229-878-4861 or visit online at