Fantasy Travel Friday – Southern Hospitality at the Inn at Palmetto Bluffs

Friday, February 17th, 2012 | Posted under Fantasy Travel Friday, Travel General

I’m a Northeast girl at heart, but even I am sometimes curious about experiencing the beauty and magic of the American South. I haven’t spent much time traveling through the South, but there are parts that definitely call to me, especially the South Carolina Lowcountry, South Carolina’s southern coast including the neighboring Sea Islands. The region is known for its distinct beauty, food and culture particularly that of the Gullah people.
I can’t imagine a more luxurious way to experience easygoing Southern hospitality than spending some time at the Inn at Palmetto Bluffs.

For a New Yorker like me, I would need to unwind and slow down a little. I could see myself sipping some lemonade on the screened porch.

or maybe outside

With its individual cottages, I might need some coaxing to leave these comfortable rooms.

Eventually, I’d have to leave the room to take in the Lowcountry beauty.

I’d definitely find some time to walk along the May River next to the inn.

Husband J would characteristically find the golf course.

I think I might try stand up paddle boarding?!
Okay, maybe not.

Then, I’d eat well. Really well.

I could definitely fall in love with Lowcountry living.

Have you been to South Carolina Lowcountry or another part of the Southeastern United States? What is your favorite part of the Southeast?

Happy Weekend!

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Fantasy Travel Friday – Snowy & Local at Lake Placid Lodge

Friday, February 3rd, 2012 | Posted under Fantasy Travel Friday, Travel General

Usually about this time during the winter I’m sick of the cold. This hasn’t been the coldest of winters here in New York City (It was 60 degrees Fahrenheit earlier this week!), so I guess I can manage another month. At the same time, I do love the fact that I live in a place which experiences all four seasons. I’d be sad if I couldn’t enjoy some wintry weather at some point.

During the winter, I think I prefer to stay relatively close to home for fun. Lake Placid, New York nestled in the Adirondack Mountains and a 5 hour drive away from New York City, would be a perfect LOCAL winter wonderland. The name may sound familiar because the area hosted the Winter Olympics in 1932 and 1980, so this might be the right time to get in some bobsledding (you know you want to try) in addition to all of the skiing and sleigh rides.
When I found the Lake Placid Lodge, I knew it would be the place to stay warm after all that cold, outdoor activity.
The individual cabins look so rustic.

I love that the rooms make you feel as if you are sleeping in nature but are really luxurious at the same time.
Check out the ceiling!

That bed is sooo cool.

The bed from a different angle

There’s nothing like a nice bubble bath while looking at the snow.

As for things to do at the Lake Placid Lodge, I think I’d just relax on the water if it’s not absolutely freezing (with lots and lots of blankets and something warm to drink, of course).

Learn how to ski (finally!)

Maybe I’d get Husband J onto a toboggan.

After a day of running around in the snow, the Lake Placid Lodge has two onsite restaurants that I’d enjoy.

I’m pretty surprised that such a fabulous winter getaway is so close by. Never forget that some of the best adventure can be found right around the corner.

Do you have any favorite winter getaway spots near you?

Happy Weekend!


Fantasy Travel Friday – Luxe Amazon River

Friday, January 13th, 2012 | Posted under Fantasy Travel Friday, Travel General

When I think of the Amazon River, I think of lots of bugs and deforestation. Not really the best mental images or assumptions, huh? It’s just not on my radar; and, for that, I feel bad.

Aqua Expeditions has totally changed my idea of what it means to explore the Amazon. Their 3, 4 and 7 day cruises sail down the second longest river in the world and epitomize river cruising with swagger. Aqua Expeditions’ cruises orignate in Iquitos, the largest city in the Peruvian Amazon (I usually don’t associate Peru with the Amazon. Do you?), and the boats make their way through its various tributaries and on the Amazon itself.

I can already tell from this picture that one’s sleeping quarters and bathrooms will not be shabby in the least. Not a bad way to wake up, right? Lying in bed and watching the Amazon go by isn’t a bad thing.

My first thought would immediately be lounging a fair bit. It’s a cruise, right?

Aqua Expeditions recently released a cookbook of dishes served on the ship, so I suppose they are not playing around when it comes to food either. The menu boasts gourmet Peruvian cuisine.

A sample dish from their menu
Eventually, I am sure that I would have to get off the boat and explore, but I think the deck chairs would be calling me.

I would finally be coaxed off of the boat to enjoy visiting local villages, fishing, bird watching or just observing the Amazon’s unique wildlife.

I think Aqua Expeditions cruises would be the right way to get an education about this ecologically important part of the world. Anyone want to come with me?

Has anyone been to the Amazon? What’s it like?

Happy Weekend!


Fantasy Travel Friday – Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

Friday, January 6th, 2012 | Posted under Fantasy Travel Friday, Travel General

Since it’s the start of a New Year, why not dream about pushing ourselves to the limit? I can’t think of anything else more challenging than setting out to climb one of the tallest mountains in the world. While I’m not a big hiker, climber or trekker, I could see why people would want to add climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania to their bucket list.

This trip isn’t about luxury. It’s about reaching the summit and pushing yourself. I tried to find a luxury option for this and couldn’t really come up with very much. You’ll be spending about five to six hours trekking per day, so it may not matter how spiffy your tent is. You might just want somewhere to sit down at the end of the day, right?

If I’m going to hike all day, I wouldn’t mind looking at that crater for motivation.

Lots of camping

A Kilimanjaro Camp Breakfast

I will say that if I ever manage the climb with all of its physical (and I presume mental) challenges that I will be as happy as these guys look.

If you have been to Mount Kilimanjaro, you MUST comment and tell us about your experience! Has hiking, mountain climbing or trekking been an integral part of any of your travels? Where did you go, and what was your favorite hike?
Happy Weekend!


Fantasy Travel Friday – The Orient Express

Friday, December 16th, 2011 | Posted under Fantasy Travel Friday, Travel Challenge

When I hear the words “Orient Express”, I think of elegance and Agatha Christie. How can you not? When I decided to write this Fantasy Travel Friday post, I was shocked that the Orient Express train still existed. When I think of the hey day of train travel, I think of the early to mid-20th century, and the fact that people slept and ate sumptuous meals in the comfort of a train. I take the train at least three to four times per year here in the Northeast U.S., but it pales in comparison to the luxury of the Orient Express (and it’s only for four hour rides).

Train travel is still a major part of travel in Europe, but I think the Orient Express (now called the Venice Simplon Orient Express) goes beyond getting you from Point A to Point B via the rails. I’m adding this to my “Wow! This pretty expensive, and I need to win the lottery list” of travel dreams.
The Orient Express has a variety of routes, but I would choose the Paris to Istanbul route leaving from Gare de l’Est and arriving at Sirkeci Station a week later with stops in Budapest and Bucharest.

I know that I’d be staring out of the window a lot like this woman.

Catching views like this….

A lazy afternoon of staring deserves some afternoon tea to go along with it.

Knowing me, even with all of the pretty scenery, I would go exploring through the train to discover as many of the public and private spaces as I could.
One of my first stops would have to be the dining car, of course.

In the early evening, I suspect people sip cocktails here in the lounge.

I will say that the Orient Express knows how to use space well. Each cabin has both a daytime and nighttime configuration. Your personal steward changes the room over while you are “out” for the evening.

I would love to lie in bed watching the world go by.

Maybe a bunk wouldn’t be so bad (I don’t see Husband J going for this)?

Do you think I could get Husband J to agree to splurge on a luxury cabin?

I can’t think of a more fun way to see Europe.

Have you ever been on an overnight sleeping train? What has been your most memorable train trip?

Happy Weekend!


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