STORY LAND FINALIZES 2020 SCHEDULE, EXTENDS SEASON PASSES THROUGH 2021

storyland

NH’s best amusement park for kids will conclude 2020 season on Labor Day

Glen, NH – August 20, 2020 – A roller coaster of a season at Story Land will come to a close next month. The good news: there’s still time to enjoy some summer fun with family and friends! Labor Day, Monday, September 7 will be your last chance to visit the Land Where Fantasy Lives, and tickets are just $19.99 for the remainder of the season.

To thank Guests for their patience and support, Story Land will automatically extend all 2020 Standard and Premium Season Passes to include the entire 2021 Season. Guests who previously purchased a 2021 Season Pass extension for Standard or Premium Passes will automatically receive a credit equal to the price paid for the extension product.

“We are so grateful for our entire Team, as well as our Guests, for adapting to these extraordinary times. Without their efforts, this year would not have been possible,” said Story Land General Manager, Eric Dziedzic. “Our Team Members implemented enhanced health and safety measures with unmatched enthusiasm and care, and allowed us to create the cleanest and safest environment possible for every visitor in 2020. We’ll wrap up this season on a positive note on Labor Day, and start getting ready for 2021.”

Preparations for the 2021 season will begin immediately after the park closes on September 7. Story Land looks forward to the return of many of its beloved attractions in 2021, including live shows and characters, which were sorely missed in 2020 due to essential safety precautions. Popular events like Sensory Sensitive Weekends, Coasting for Kids, and Story Land’s adults-only Nostalgia Nights are all slated to return in 2021.

Story Land will continue to operate five days per week, Friday through Tuesday, through September 7, 2020. The park is open 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., and welcomes families to enjoy the last few weeks of summer in the Land Where Fantasy Lives!  Story Land continues to offer heavily discounted single-day admission at just $19.99 per person for the remainder of the summer. For more information, please visit www.StoryLandNH.com .

Flamingo Gardens Fort Lauderdale FL

Bird Watching Up Close and Personal at the Flamingo Gardens Botanical Gardens and Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary

Flamingo Gardens Bird Preserve Fort Lauderdale Florida

Anyone that has ever been attracted to bird watching and communing with nature needs to add the Flamingo Gardens in Fort Lauderdale Florida to their list of travel destinations.

Flamingo Gardens bird preserve large white birdThe gardens are in part a small zoo or sanctuary for animals that can’t live in the wild, while giving visitors a peek into the magic of the Everglades. With interesting local wildlife and the usual exhibits you might expect comes the unexpected surprise of real immersion.

There are owls you can view through the wire of their habitats, educational shows, and a tram ride to offer a look behind the scenes, but Flamingo Gardens Botanical Gardens and Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary has something that really stands out. An open habitat aviary that is home to a variety of indigenous fowl.

Seeing a pelican and some of the other large species is a little like coming face to face with a dinosaur. The smaller birds fly from tree to tree overhead while their larger cousins paddle in the water or waddle on land. Walking within a few feet of these magical creatures is a captivating way to understand why birds fascinate so many of us. My family has owned a few birds over the years so this was not my first time getting to study them up close, but the shear volume and variety was amazing. You will definitely be clicking away with your camera!

Birds nests at the Flamingo Gardens  BOTANICAL GARDENS & EVERGLADES WILDLIFE SANCTUARYBetween that level of interaction, the natural beauty of the trees and plants, you could not pick a more lovely place to spend the afternoon. If you want to get a real feel for the Everglades after this up close look at the wildlife that lives there you simply drive a few miles up the road and into the Everglades National Forest. Flamingo Gardens offers the opportunity to view all this wildlife up close right next-door  to National Forest where you see the grander and full scope of the environment these animals come from.

 

When planning a trip to Fort Lauderdale this is a top choice for destinations. Really getting a feel for local wildlife brings the whole experience to another level beyond just viewing animals at any of the zoos around the country. Their mission as a wildlife and botanical sanctuary is something we can support. Educating visitors about endangered plant and wildlife species in the Everglades and Southern Florida while enjoying a day out in nature is a winning combo.

Wildlife preserve at Flamingo Gardens Fort Lauderdale Florida red eyed bird and Everglades sign

To find out more or plan a visit to Flamingo Gardens Botanical Gardens and Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary visit their website Flamingogardens.org or follow them on Social Media – TwitterFacebookInstagram

Tentrr, A New Way to Camp

Are you camping-curious, but not sure you want to deal with all the tent and sleeping bag related hassle? Have a hesitant spouse? Or perhaps you love camping, as we do, but are ready to try something new and different with your friends and family this fall. We recently headed out with Tentrr, a new company that gives you the camping experience you are after, from the most basic and remote locations to the “glamping” end of things as you desire. The best part? No set up or breaking down, you just go. When you arrive, everything is ready for you, just like a hotel (but way cooler, since you are outdoors and get to spend some time in nature).

easy camping

There is no end to the benefits of spending time in nature, from *physical health benefits like improving your immune system as well as mental and emotional health and well being (boosting you mood and giving you a creativity boost for examples), your whole self will benefit from your time camping. It doesn’t matter if you choose to really “rough it” or not, just being outside with your family will give you a wonderful bonding experience and memories that you can keep forever.

(*These and other health benefits of spending time outdoors can be found at  https://www.health.harvard.edu)

camping with kids

In a similar manner to Airnbn, Tentrr works with private landowners to cater to the camping community. These landowners install a “fully-equipped campsite on their property. Each campsite comes with a canvas wall tent on an elevated platform, bed, wood stove, Adirondack chairs, fire pit, grill, picnic table, sun shower, and camp toilet. Tentrr is perfect for families who love the outdoors but don’t love all the work associated with camping like packing a car full of stuff or pitching a tent.” (Via Tentrr)

family campsites

There are no crowded campgrounds, no tents or campers parked just feet away from your site, so you and your family can truly enjoy the solitude and quiet of nature.  We camped in Tivoli Trails in Tivoli, NY. It was our first experience with Tentrr, and I have to say it was so much easier and thus more relaxing for me (the main packer and set up person) and gave me more time to enjoy rather then rush about that first and last day. It’s really an ideal situation for those looking for a quick weekend trip as well, since it removes the time it takes for setup and breakdown, which can be substantial.

best camping

Also similar to Airbnb, there is an App you can install that lets you keep in touch with your campkeeper, for any questions or last minute issues that might arise. Forget something, get lost, confused about anything? That’s cool, you can message anytime. The messages also come to your email inbox and you are able to reply and talk that way, which for me was helpful since I’m less on my phone then I am on my computer. I know, I’m old.

great family camping

You can opt in for “extras” as well, such as towels, sleeping bags, pillows, etc. You will have all sorts of options when you make your reservation. There is also the ever-useful “camp kitchen” that is already there, and has everything you need to cook and clean up. This was my personal favorite, since bringing your own takes up a lot of space. If yours is not pre-packed, it also takes a lot of time to pack up (and if you are like me, you always forget something).

At this time, Tentrr has nearly 700 fully-equipped campsites in the USA and they are always adding more. Visit https://www.tentrr.com to choose your next getaway.

Visit Barbados. Like, Right now.

I’ve been obsessed with Barbados since I was a kid, when I read the Newbery Medal winning book “The Witch of Blackbird Pond” by Elizabeth George Speare. For anyone who somehow managed to escape their summer reading, the book is about a fictional 17th Century young woman who, orphaned, must leave her home in Barbados and travel to New England. Now in Puritan Connecticut, she often reminisces about her home and her childhood growing up in beautiful Barbados.

Yes, as an adult, I now realize the colonizer themes that ran rampant in the book. However, the images left in my mind’s eye of the lush and balmy Barbados had impressed on me the desire to make my way over to the tiny island as soon as I was able.  No better time then the present, so we headed over to finally see the nation well known as the birthplace of rum.

Located in the lesser Antilles of the West Indies, in the Caribbean region of North America, Barbados is about a 5 hour flight from New York City.  Just 166 square miles in total, it dwarfs the smallest state in the USA by quite a bit (Rhode Island, at 1,034 square miles), it packs a lot into a small space.

Though she be but little, she is fierce. Alright, perhaps not exactly fierce, but definitely a force. On this wisp of an island, you will experience amazing food (yes, quite a lot of seafood, but vegans and  vegetarians rejoice, there are plenty of options on this very foodie-progressive island), blissful beaches, friendly people, and incredible scenery. No matter what you are interested in, you will find plenty to keep you occupied while you vacation in beautiful and diverse Barbados.

Not ones to lay about the beach and resort all day, we wanted to see as much as we were able to in our (much too short!) stay. Not that lying about has anything wrong with it- you couldn’t pick a more picturesque place to relax and take in the sun and sand. We did our share of lazing, but spent most of our time exploring the island.  The history of the island is as colorful as it’s gardens, and during our stay we enjoyed learning about the island’s first peoples through events in our current time period. Luckily for us, there are some fantastic tour guides who are gracious enough to share Barbadian culture and history with tourists, and they are very thorough. The best part is, the more you learn, the more you want to know.

The Arawaks and the Caribs were the first inhabitants of what became known as Barbados. English Captain John Powell arrived in 1625 and claimed the island for King James I of England. After returning to England and back again, the island was given the name “Los Barbados”, a variation of “Os Barbados”, used by the Portuguese sailors since 1536.  It was named after a tree that grew on the island, the “Bearded Fig Tree” aka  Shortleaf Fig (Ficus Citrifolia) that the sailors thought looked like a bushy beard. As Barbados was named for it’s magnificent foliage, you can rightly assume that the natural beauty surrounding is going to make it hard to put your camera away.

Regardless of what kind of touring or adventure you are after, you are bound to be excited by and admiring of the natural beauty that will envelop you. One of the first tours we opted to take was a walking tour of Historic Bridgetown. This 3 hour walking tour was the perfect introduction to the area, and was led by local professor and historian Morris Greenidge. Extremely passionate, knowledgeable, and just honestly impressive, Mr. Greenidge is “the” expert, called to discuss Barbados and topics that intertwine with the local history on panels and conferences worldwide.

When there was not enough history or information available, Mr. Greenidge just decided rather than lament it, he would research and write the histories himself. Almost all by himself, as well. Self taught, he has researched and written the history of the island from it’s founders to local legends and heroes as well as walking guides and more. (Side note, some of these books are hard to find outside of Barbados, so you may want to buy them while you are there if you like them. Bonus, he will be happy to sign them for you. I regretfully only bought two of his books at the time, and am having a rough time finding some of the others. Lesson learned, hopefully you can avoid my error.) There are not a ton of books out there on the history of Barbados, not many novels either, so they were a good find and give good insight from that of a lifelong inhabitant. As well, I have to admit that after having spent time with Mr. Greenidge, I hear the books in his voice and they are quite a fun and unique reminder of our time spent touring.

Meeting us in dress slacks, crisp shirt, and suspenders on a blisteringly hot day, Mr. Greenidge speaks slowly and deliberately, often pausing in thought, giving an incredibly thorough tour of a place you can see he loves dearly. We began the tour at Chamberlain Bridge in aptly named Bridgetown (the capitol and by far largest city in Barbados) under Independence Arch. The bridge connects Bridgetown over the Careenage aka Constitution River, which cuts the city in two parts. Formerly a swing bridge that was vital to the shipping industry as well as connecting one part of the city to it’s other half, it’s now rebuilt and designed for the current needs of the island- mostly pleasure boating and fishing. Not only one of the oldest cities in the Caribbean, but also a recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site, there is a lot to experience in Bridgetown.

We toured the “best of” and “must see” spots like the garrison, forts, and religiously important buildings, as well as some hidden gems, hearing interesting stories and about local characters, and of course important governmental sites like the Parliament building. We ended our tour in the shopping and restaurant district, which was perfect, as it was indeed lunchtime. Those outdoor cafes are delightful, but if it’s still too hot for you, head indoors and find some air conditioning. Many offer both options.

barbados rum tour

As mentioned, Barbados is the birthplace of rum, which Bajans are quite proud of. There are more rum tours and tastings then you can shake a stick at (because that’s something normal people do, anyway) so you will have to choose your tour(s) wisely. We really enjoyed out time at St. Nicholas Abbey, which is one of the smaller options in terms of distilleries, but the extraordinary house, gardens, and museum aspect more then made up for that. Located in Saint Peter parish, it gives visitors more then just rum. If it were not enough to be a plantation house, museum, and rum distillery in one, St. Nicholas Abbey is architecturally unique as well, as it is one of only three genuine Jacobean mansions in the entire Western Hemisphere. Built in 1658, it has never had anything to do with the Church despite it’s heavenly name, and was always a sugarcane plantation (until 1947). Barbados thinks enough of this location to name it one of the “Seven Wonders of Barbados“, and we agree. It’s absolutely lovely- and yes, you can indeed visit the distillery and taste the rum. 

rum tour barbados

Historical touring and gardens are a “must” in my book, but with the clear, always warm waters that stretch in nearly every direction you turn, I’m guessing at least part of why Barbados calls to you is it’s open ocean. There are as many ways as there are hours in the day to spend time in Bajan waters, narrowing it down might be the hardest thing you do while on your holiday. Of course, beach lounging has it’s place in the sun (so to speak? Pun intended? Sorry, I had to) but while you are here and escaping your ordinary, why not opt for some extraordinary as well? I highly recommend taking the time to go snorkeling or scuba diving. The water is warm and clear as day, the fish and underwater flora are varied and beautiful (and friendly! No fear of humans, and will swim in your oh-so-close proximity),  it’s both a relaxing as well as exciting day. About how many things can you say that? As well, I cannot, cannot recommend taking the Bliss Boat tours enough.  When you book, make sure you head out with Hayden and Emmanuel, they and their crew are the most excellent team. Experienced, fun, easygoing, and the best part- well prepared. Honestly just all around cool people. This was a standout portion of our time in Barbados, and the people made it so as much as the location and tour itself. Hayden and Emmanuel will get you to all the best spots in their glass-bottomed-boat, and while not crowded with other boats or catamarans.  This is important, since you don’t want to be swimming into other people (or have them endlessly crashing into you).

swim with turtles

Not only that, but it makes for better photos and wildlife spotting. There is an excellent chance you will not only see, but swim with turtles (who are treated with the respect and care they deserve). Hayden comes with you and your group, and takes underwater photos that he sends everyone in a Dropbox after the trip for no extra fees. These are beautiful, we cherish them. Visual keepsakes of this amazing time are priceless and quite special, some of the shots are amusing as well. Really- this excursion is one to top the list. Don’t forget to book with Hayden, you will be so thrilled that you did.

barbados boat tour

One rainy day, we decided the best use of our day would be to take surfing lessons. Water above, water below- it was such an interesting experience. We headed out to the deAction Beach Shop, owned and operated by world ranked windsurfer and “Bajan beach culture promoter” (as per self and personal site), Brian “deAction Man” Talma. The word I would use to best describe it would be “groovy”. It was a chill place with a relaxed vibe, covered in art mostly created by Talma himself (some available for purchase) as well as beach and surf paraphernalia. Located in the Silver Sands area, equipment rentals are available, as are lessons. Take your pick of equipment- starboard boards, surfboards, sail models, SUP/ stand up paddle boards, and more are available for rent. Wetsuits are also available if you would like.  After you have signed in, met your instructor, and chosen your equipment (or had it chosen for you), you will all head out to a local beach where there aren’t many swimmers. This is important, because you don’t then need to worry about hitting anyone as you flail about on your watercraft of choice. If you are new to the sport and anything like us, you might not be the most graceful as you learn. We ended up falling off the boards and “into the drink” more often then not, but by the end of the lesson we had each gotten up and stayed up at least a few times. I don’t mean to brag, but one time even making cleanly it to the shore (pinkies up, quite fancy). Clearly, headed for the pros. This was different than everything else we had done while in Barbados- it was physical, it was fun, it was at times silly, and something we had never tried before. It was letting yourself look foolish and perhaps act foolish as well. It made us a little closer by doing this new thing, where we looked goofy and were constantly coughing up ocean water, a good example of a lovely (loving) bonding experience we still talk about and won’t forget.

local art barbados

I could go on for ages about all there is to do and experience in Barbados, and that’s not even touching upon the amazing food (don’t even try to diet) or the laid back atmosphere, the gracious people we were lucky enough to meet and spend time with, the perfect weather (even during it’s bursts of rain, perfection), and of course, more food. I was ridiculous to wait 20 years to visit Barbados, I kept putting it off, because…well, you know. Life. I won’t be waiting 20 more to return. Don’t wait. Book the vacation you’ve been waiting on. Visit https://barbados.org to find exactly what’s calling your name.

national flower

Coconut Bay Resort, St. Lucia

No matter what kind of vacation you are looking for- family trip, a romantic couples retreat, girlfriends getaway- you can find what you are looking for on the diverse island of St. Lucia. Coconut Bay is located near the airport (in fact, just five minutes away), so you won’t have a long trek to your room once you arrive. That’s never a welcome surprise, is it? Once there, you are greeted by friendly staff with cool towels and cold drinks of your choice- water, rum punch, or champagne.

Coconut Bay

As you refresh and cool off, you and your entourage check into your room.  You can take your bags or have them taken to your room for your, and your vacation really begins. A recently renovated resort on 85 acres, the all inclusive Coconut Bay offers plenty to see, do, (eat!) and explore.  There are nine restaurants, seven bars, five pools, a fully functional and not all all lacking fitness center (lets face it, often “gyms” while vacationing are weak sauce) the largest waterpark on the island, and more. Did I mention it was all inclusive? Because that makes things so. much. easier. Also, the beach is just past the pools- no long hike to and fro.

best family vacation

We took my daughter for a long weekend, and there was definitely not enough time to see all that we wanted to on the resort, let along the island. So it’s a great spot for a quick getaway, but for sure even better for those who like a more immersive experience. If you are traveling as an adults only getaway, you will likely prefer to stay o the “Harmony” wing of the resort, which does not allow children. When you get a moment to get away from it all- your routine, the kids, the noise-  the last thing you want to hear is someone else’s kids screaming, and that’s totally fair and understandable- and other adults get that. It can be hard to find time to reconnect as a couple, and Coconut Bay makes sure you can have those quiet moments you are looking for, complete with hammocks and lounge chairs everywhere you look.

St Lucia Resort

Brining the kids? Totally cool. I usually do as well. The “Splash” wing is for families, and where you will find the waterpark, the only resort petting zoo on the island (and the only one I can remember seeing ever in my own experience), the Kidz Club, and even a paintball course.  It is for sure the louder side of the resort, and there are plenty of family friendly activities to keep everyone busy. Also, a note for those looking to keep active while traveling- they have really good fitness classes offered. Actual quality, that are both fun and challenging. You will be working up a sweat but enjoying yourself at the same time. Again, not something I see all the time. Places might have gyms and classes, but they are not usually anywhere near this intensity, and we were super impressed.

If you are getting away for a couples retreat for a girlfriends getaway, there are plenty of places that are kid free. Sometimes, you just need some quiet time. With separate pools, cabana area, and bar, the “Harmony” area has adults only peace and quiet in mind.  The rooms are luxurious and have evening turn down service, and there are quite a few options when it comes to views. Pool, ocean, or garden, they are all beautiful (and what tropical view would you turn down right now, really?)

There are great packages at the Kai Mer Spa, which you can receive indoors or outside, in your own private cabana, beachside. Nothing like a warm ocean breeze, is there? That’s like a double shot of relaxation. There are quite a few massage options to choose from, as well as other beauty options, like nail salon services and more. You can go on your own, or with your girlfriend, partner, daughter- whatever works for your party.

St Lucia vacation

There are also plenty of touring options, should you want to venture outside the resort. Head to the front desk and choose from a great variety of options. While most resorts offer some kind of tours, Coconut Bay has a really large variety to choose from. St. Lucia is a tiny island, but it has a lot to offer. Not many islands have active volcanoes, mountains, award winning scuba locations, several kinds of sandy beaches (including black sand), amazing vegetation and flora and fauna- it’s a one of a kind island.

amazing views

The watersports are plentiful, from water skiing to sailing to kite surfing and more. Snorkeling is amazing, the waters are beautiful and there are many kids of marine life to find. There is also a beautiful botanical garden with waterfall and thermal pools, ziplines, rainforest sky rides (a unique attraction) and more. There is also an active volcano, aforementioned, that creates a thermal bath and spring. Those willing can climb into the sulfuric smelling waters and coat themselves with the gray mud that is created by the ash. Wash it off in the warm waters below, and your skin glows for days. Really, your skin will look and feel amazing. Wear a bathing suit you don’t love or is dark, the mud will stain. Sulphur Springs is also the world’s only “drive in volcano”, where you can really drive right up and see steam rising, bubbling, and feel the heat. You can’t get too-too close, and you will be accompanied by a ranger who will make sure safety rules are followed and tell you about the volcano. DO NOT MISS THIS!

volcanic bath

 

For hikers and climbers, you will want to save a day for St. Lucia’s iconic Pitons, which technically can both be climbed, although only one is legally sanctioned. Gros Piton, the legal mountain, is steep and challenging. Taking you up roughly 2000 feet in an average of two hours (and two more hours to get back down), there are benches and areas to rest. Bring plenty of water, you will be glad you did.

tours in st lucia

 

A Unesco World Heritage site, nature lovers and hikers will not want to miss Gros Piton. You will  register at the base of the mountain, pay the fee of $50 per person (in US dollars), and hike with a guide. Guides are at the base of the mountain, and reservations are not required. As the hike is not a short one, tours are available from 7am until 2pm daily- last tour ends at 2. It is recommended to go early.

horse riding on beach

After your day out, head back to the hotel, relax, and grab something to eat before choosing which pool to lounge next to.

Relaxation AND adventure- sounds too good to be true? Visit https://cbayresort.com to choose a package that works for your next vacation.

Waterville Valley, New Hampshire

Looking for an all-season resort you can enjoy with the family? Look no further then the beautiful Waterville Valley Resort, set in the always stunning White Mountains of New Hampshire.

We are lovers of NH, it’s not hard to find a reason to get us to head up for a visit. If you have ever set foot in the small but stunning state, you likely are as well. Outdoors Enthusiasts will be hard pressed to be kept away, no matter what the sport(s) or recreational activities of their choice might be.

white mountains

With endless outdoor fun at your fingertips, and natural beauty as unspoiled as you can find without heading way, way out (and you can do that as well if you desire more solitude and untouched nature),  the hardest part of your vacation will be choosing what activities you have time for on this trip- and planning when you can make a return visit.

Everyone needs a comfortable spot to lie their heads at night, and choosing your “home away from home” can be stressful. No matter what the reviews say, it is always a crapshoot- you never really know what you are going to get. Personal experience is always the best, and from my own experience, I can tell you I’ll be heading back to Waterville Valley Resort. It was as advertised, comfortable (ad clean), with amenities and multiple (clean!) restaurants and stores within a stones throw from your room. Forgot something, lose something? Always, right? Not a problem, there is someplace that sells what you need in the resort.  And there’s not price gouging, either, which is both refreshing and oh-so rare. You can even souvenir shop while you meander about.

hiking in new hampshire

Truly a nature lovers paradise, you can enjoy the fall foliage, winter wonderland, spring blooms, and summer splendor all from the mountain valley with a 360 degree views.  The location is truly stunning. As Waterville Valley Resort is nestled deep within the White Mountain National Forest and hosts a wide selection of activities for everyone within it’s grounds. You can always venture off property as well, but if you wanted to stay in one general spot and still be able to see and do, this is a fantastic spot to be in. (Bonus? The staff is amazing. Nice, friendly, accommodating, helpful- honestly. Apparently, they are trained this way. Imagine! Training to put the guests experiences first. What a throwback, and a most welcome one.)

We love hiking, and if you do as well, you are going to be in paradise. There are many trails to choose from, with hundreds of miles that range from easy walking paths to steep ascents. Some popular choices are an leisurely ramble along Corcoran Pond at the center of Town Square, an easy walk through the woods and wildflowers on the valley floor, or a more challenging hike up the 4,315-ft. summit of Mount Osceola, where you will find yourself surrounded by stunning views of the 700,000 acres of the national forest.

There is also mountain biking and trail riding.  You can bring your own or rent a bike from the Adventure Center in Town Square. There is also the (very cool) option of taking the chair lift to the top of Snow’s Mountain and riding your bike down. (This is a hike option as well.) Other options include golf, tennis, swimming, the cultural center, tours, seasonal skiing, skating, and more.

There is also a gym on site, and it’s actually a really good one- high quality and we loved it. Usually when we are away, if there is a gym, it’s small and not anything much. This one had all the equipment you look for and want to use. Your workouts won’t suffer while you are away.

“The White Mountain Athletic Club has an indoor swimming pool, whirlpools, saunas, weight rooms and cardiovascular room. And the Waterville Valley Ice Arena, a popular year-round destination, provides open skating, rentals and lessons for all ages.” (As per Waterville Valley Resort)

The creators of the  Curious George books, H.A. and Margret Rey lived in the area part time in the 1950s. The Rey’s have left their legacy, and many personal items and sketches, at the Margret and H.A Rey Center within the property. The center hosts nature walks, writers workshops, discussion clubs, a monthly lecture series, art shows, and activities for children. We attended both a nature walk where we looked in vain for owls, as well as a discussion about moon cycles given by a NASA volunteer. They also had an arts and crafts portion for children.

There is a lot to see and do in Waterville Valley Resort- and that’s without even leaving the property. The White Mountains area leaves so much to be explored as well.  For more information For more information, call 800GO VALLEY or visit www.visitwatervillevalley.com or e-mail [email protected].

 

 

Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts in Riviera Maya, Mecico

It’s that time of year that feels like winter will never end. First, Winter. Then, “False Spring”, wild cold snap, at least one more blizzard that will lead to “second False Spring”, and then maybe we can finally start to melt. I’m thinking about a shortcut to getting warm.

Mexico is calling. It’s just a short plane ride away, and it’s beautiful beaches, resorts, and diverse entertainment are just the thing to help wipe away the winter blues. Not to mention the food….don’t even try to stay on your diet. Just GO with it.

riviara maya

Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts has beautiful options to fit all sorts of budgets and travel styles. What they call experiencing the ‘Mayan jungle without sacrificing luxury’ in Riviera Maya, you can visit Mexico and stay in a resort within a giant resort that you are free to move about in.

Bringing the whole family? That’s great, there are rooms and portions of the resort designed with you in mind. Events just for kids, treasure hunts, kid friendly foods and activities, and no adults who don’t want to be around kids glaring at you when your child has an inevitable meltdown. Hey, kids are kids, even on vacation, right?

mexico all inclusive resort

Running away from the kids? That’s fantastic- mom and dad need some time off sometimes. You are people, too, after all. Maybe all you want is some kid-free time. That’s totally doable at Bahia Principe, there are adults only beaches, pools, restaurants, and resort areas where you won’t have to see a single under 18 if you don’t want to.

No matter how you choose to travel or whom with, you will love the white sand beaches and lush natural scenery. If you are interested in Maya culture, this is the place to visit. The resort is located within close distances to iconic landmarks such as Chichen Itza and the ruins of Tulum that you won’t want to miss. While you are there, active travelers and nature lovers will want to take the time to visit the Sian Ka’an Biosphere, a natural reserve offering tropical flora, an equally impressive underwater world that is home to plenty of fish and coral formations, and Cenote Dos Ojos, which is part of the world’s largest underwater cave system- truly impressive. 

riviara maya mexico

There are quite a few ways to see these beautiful treasures, the front desk can offer you trip options that leave right from the hotel. These and other excursions will give you a better taste of the area and you will observe and experience more of what makes Mexico a top destination for travelers.

Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka’an portion of the property was designed with the adult guests in mind, offering up the best of the Mexican Caribbean and all the comfort of home (without the cold you left behind or the work of being at home- thank you, housekeeping!) Sian Ka’an boasts 420-rooms on it’s property, as well as four pools, four restaurants, five bars and sporting facilities including a soccer field, tennis courts and the brand’s Riviera Maya Golf Club. There are daily activities such as yoga and bocci, which are listed on the main board for you to see when and where things are located for that day.

riviara maya

The resort is all inclusive, has 24 hour WiFi, a snack bar open all day and night, room service as well as wait service at the pools, an hour per day free to use paddle surf, kayaks, tennis, catamarans for hire, or snorkeling, and much more.

If you are traveling with children, there are other options just as beautiful and accommodating-  Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal, Grand Bahia Principe Coba, and Grand Bahia Principe Tulum, all family-friendly properties as well as being home to the brand’s Bahia Scout program for younger travelers. The options for fun and relaxation are limitless.

mexico golf course

Love golf? You are in luck, because the beautiful course at Riviera Maya Golf Club was designed by the world-renowned Bobby Jones II, and was chosen as one of the top three golf courses in Mexico by Golf & Spa Magazine. The course also ranks in the top five of Golf Digest’s list of best courses in Mexico, so this will be a must putt for any golf enthusiasts.  Featuring an 18-hole course as well as a nine-hole executive course (which takes you through the Mayan jungle, surrounded by  cenotes and natural lakes), the beauty of the area and natural landscape are worked right into the course’s design, you won’t see another like it.

mexican food

With so many ways to relax and get away from it all, why spend another week in the cold? The next time you feel the urge to get away, visit https://www.bahia-principe.com to see what best fits your warm weather wishes.

Rhode Island Bound

rhode island

When planning your trip to Rhode Island you might not be thinking of horseback riding on the beach, but you should be. C and L Stables located in Goddard Memorial State Park and offer access to 18 miles of trails or beach rides along the East Greenwich Bay. Riders of all levels are welcome and the stables has even been awarded the North American Horseman Association “SAFETY AWARD” ten years in a row.

rhode island museum

If history is more your style visit the Cloud Hill Victorian House Museum. An authentic example of Victoriana and Rhode Island architecture designed by William Walker & Sons the house was originally a wedding gift and has remained in the family since then. One of these family members is Anne “Nancy” Allen Holst, whose history you can learn more about. She is an inspiration for her work fighting fire and became the world’s first female fire chief.

The Museum is staffed entirely by volunteers and is open for scheduled exhibits. Be sure to look at their site when planning a visit. This is your opportunity to take a look into the past with family items and furniture dating back to the 1870’s. Outside the grounds have a variety of trees and shrubs that have led to it being called the West Bay arboretum. Kids will also enjoy checking out the mid-1800s gypsy wagon and the fire truck used by the Cedar Hill Volunteer Fire Company. Their headquarters was located in a white shed on the property.

rhode island hotel

For your stay in Rhode Island check out (or rather into) Hotel Dolce Villa. Right on Federal hill and located in the “Little Italy” neighborhood in Providence, the hotel offers easy access to many local attractions. Within a mile of Waterplace Park & Riverwalk, Providence Performing Arts Center, and seven colleges and universities like Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design. Centrally located Hotel Dolce Villa is a great base for your visit.

rhode island restaurant