The Grandeur of the Omni Grove Park Inn

An Enchanting Escape

By Charlene & Richard Mixa

Omni Grove Park Inn & Sunset Terrace

Omni Grove Park Inn & Sunset Terrace

Memories! A fall mountain vacation 20 years ago is my first memory of visiting the renowned Grove Park Inn.   One morning we hike Chimney Rock Park followed by an afternoon at the Biltmore Estate. Before sunset, we arrive at the Grove Park Inn. A massive unique stone structure on Sunset Mountain, the Inn exudes an enchantment with an aura of being in a Fairy Tale.  Continue reading

A North Carolina Vacation Headquarters-Black Mountain

By Charlene & Richard Mixa

A Welcoming “Front Porch” to Western North Carolina

Black Mountain's "Front Porch" Welcome

Black Mountain’s “Front Porch” Welcome

Where is your favorite vacation destination? As Travel Writers, we frequently hear this question. Our answer, “Each place has its own unique qualities.” Yet, when we seek a vacation get-a-way for a month, we consistently return to the North Carolina Mountains. Our vacation headquarters is Black Mountain, NC. Known as the “Front Porch” of Western North Carolina, it has a welcoming front porch, downhome charm. Serenity, fresh air, and magnificent mountain views are found in this quaint yet bustling small town in the Swannanoa Valley. Continue reading

Golfing the Blue Ridge Mountains

By Charlene & Richard Mixa

North Carolina Mountain Golf Offers Plenty of Excitement!

Scenic view #18 Grove Park Inn Golf Course

Scenic view #18 Grove Park Inn Golf Course

Cool mountain breezes, fantastic views, and challenging golf courses welcome golfers to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Mountain golf creates the excitement of standing at the tee box looking down to a postage stamp green, staring up a hill to a green high above, shots over gently flowing clear rivers, rolling terrain along the mountainsides or valley holes with majestic mountains surrounding you. Golf for all skill levels and southern hospitality abounds in the western North Carolina Mountains. Are you ready for a mountain golf vacation?  Continue reading

Eclectic Dining in Asheville’s Vibrant Restaurants!

By Charlene & Richard Mixa

From Southern Cooking to Upscale Cuisine

marketplace[1]

The Market Place -Superb Dining!!

Asheville presents a range of cuisine to satisfy any appetite. The city boasts a phenomenal and extraordinary restaurant scene from its traditional Southern cooking to vegetarian to four-star restaurants. This amazing mountain town, continues to expand and grow with new restaurants, eateries and unique venues. Today many restaurants promote their farm-to-table menus. So many restaurants and so little time!    Continue reading

Asheville Offers Unique Activities

By Charlene & Richard Mixa

Sample a Variety of “off the beaten path” Things to Do!

Salt CaveAsheville charms visitors with magical mountains, scenic views, a welcoming southern charm and a variety of activities. An eclectic town that attracts a diverse group of travelers while young and old alike relocate to this special place. Each visit to Asheville finds us seeking new or out-of-the-norm activities in this bustling town. On this visit we explore Asheville’s latest “off the beaten path” activities. Continue reading

Toronto is a Splendid Example of Many Cultures

By Mary Jo Plouf

Toronto is the largest city in Canada with over 2.6 million residents. Approximately 49% of the population was born outside of Canada, and as a result, much of Toronto consists of relatively small ethnic neighborhoods which have retained much of their original culture, language and foods. I find that one of the best and most fun ways to get to know a city is to become acquainted with the people where they live. Visit their shops and botiques, their bakeries, their churches and their restaurants.

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New Orleans, A City for All Seasons

By Mary Jo Plouf

New Orleans is like no other city in the world. It is a seamless and exquisite mixture of French, Spanish, Irish, Italian, African, Caribbean and even a touch of Native American. It is an old city which has incorporated the best of the European traditions and melded them with the time- honored  Southern hospitality of the plantation and sugar cane eras. But without a doubt, what defines the City of New Orleans best is the food and music that permeate the very foundations of the city.  Continue reading

Gainesville, Florida: A Family Destination

By Mary Jo Plouf

Gainsville is the county seat and largest city in Aluchua County, Florida. Many residents and visitors to Florida, myself included, have never considered Gainsville as a “vacation” destination. We were wrong. Gainsville can best be described as the perfect setting where nature and culture meet.  It is conveniently located in North Central Florida and has great year-round weather. For those searching for culture and history and the arts, they will find them in abundance at the University of Florida’s Cultural Plaza.  All in one location you will find the Butterfly Rainforest at the Florida Museum of Natural History, the 1700 seat Phillips Center for the performing arts, National Ballet, and the Harn Museum of Art. The Butterfly Rainforest is especially fascinating to children of all ages.

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La Cocotera Resort and Eco Lodge-El Salvadore

La Cocotera Resort and Eco Lodge

By Mary Jo Plouf

La Cocotera Resort and Edo Lodge in San Salvadore is one of Central America’s premier eco lodges.  They offer luxurious accommodations in a relaxing setting between the Pacific Ocean and a peaceful estatuary bordered by tropical mangrove forests on the other side.

The lodge, small and exclusive is located in the beautiful Salvadorian village of Barra de Santiago.  It is located only about two hours from San Salvadore, but it is a world away from the bustling city. Without a little inside information and a short trip on roads you might never discover, it is well worth the trip.  Once there, you are in for a unique vacation experience.

If you are looking for an eco- lodge far from the crowded beaches, but still directly on the ocean, this is the perfect escape.  You can take a swim in the sparkling ocean, rest in a hammock in the shade of countless coconut palms, swim in the pool, or gaze at the spectacular volcanic  peaks in the background.

Savvy Savannah

By Charlene & Richard Mixa

An Alluring Southern City

Savannah's Historical River Street

Savannah’s Historical River Street

A vibrant city with a rich southern history and charm sits on the bluffs of the Savannah River. Georgia’s “First City” is dynamic as it entices and lures visitors to return again and again. Blending culture and heritage with the bizarre, Savannah is an exciting place to visit. Whether walking the beautiful squares, listening to music at Market Square, shopping in unique upscale shops in the Historic District, roaming large antique stores, strolling along River Street, taking a tour, or partaking of great southern food, Savannah is fascinating. Continue reading