Author Archives: Charlene Mixa

About Charlene Mixa

Seeing new places, learning about cultures and seeing the sights has always been my dream. Growing up I was blessed with parents that enjoyed traveling and thought nothing of taking a family of seven on excursions. My career in Human Resources and later as a consultant for an international Human Resource firm offered some travel, but I knew as my husband and I approached retirement, my goal was to do more traveling and broader trips. The nine years since retirement has been filled with fantastic adventures from short local one day trips to several week excursions. Living in Florida, it is especially enjoyable to be away in the summer to cooler climates. Multi-week driving trips across the good ol' USA, settling in for a month in the mountains to explore the local area, or a combination of both fill much of our summer season. Our travels are predominantly self-orchestrated, bringing the fun and challenge of getting everything to click. It's all about doing and sharing! Experiencing a travel adventure is exciting. Reliving a special travel moment with a friend or family is exhilarating. I feel my heart race and pulse quicken, as I sharing that special moment. Thank you for joining in my travel adventures and allowing me to hear your stories.

Historic, Yet Hip Holland, Michigan

By Charlene S. Mixa

A great American Town with a Dutch Heritage

A little boy in Dutch Costume

A little boy in Dutch Costume

“Holland” the name conjures up visions of windmills, canals, tulips, and wooden shoes. Bringing a “touch” of the Netherlands to the United States, Holland, Michigan offers charm and history with its deep Dutch roots. A warm, welcoming town on Lake Macatawa, Holland began as a religious settlement and is a much more diverse city today. Yet, much of its original religious convictions continue with its traditional Dutch architecture and ambiance. A vast array of recreational activities, great beaches and a splendid downtown with eclectic shops, galleries and exceptional eateries invite visitors to relax and spend a day, a week or a lifetime. Continue reading

Great Golf in Michigan’s Coastal Towns

By Charlene S. Mixa

The Exciting Ravines and Dramatic Hawkshead Golf Courses on Michigan’s West Coast

Scenic lakeshore on Lake Michigan

Scenic lakeshore on Lake Michigan

Coastal quaint towns where life is simpler and the pace is slower are found along the shores of Lake Michigan. The delightful villages of Saugatuck/Douglas and charming town of South Haven, Michigan each offer visitors their own style of hospitality and charm. In addition to scenic lakeshores, top ranked beaches and unique shopping are plenty of recreational opportunities including exciting golf courses. Continue reading

Spectacular Savannah

By Charlene S. Mixa

A Stunning Southern City

Fountain in Forsyth Park

Fountain in Forsyth Park

A vibrant city with a rich southern history and charm sits on the bluffs of the Savannah River. Georgia’s first city is a dynamic town that entices and lures visitors to return again and again. Blending culture and heritage with the bizarre, Savannah is an exciting, fun place to visit. Continue reading

The Masters- Practice Round

By Charlene S. Mixa

A First Time Patrons Perspective

Richard & Charlene at The Masters

Richard & Charlene at The Masters

Unbelievable! We’re going to the Masters! We have tickets to this coveted event! Last minute tickets became available on Friday for the Monday practice round. After some quick packing and locating a hotel room, Sunday we make the 9 hour drive from Oldsmar, FL to Augusta, GA. Continue reading

Traveling California’s “Lesser Known” Coast


By Charlene S. Mixa

The dramatic coastline and seashore of Northern California Pacific Coast

Pt. Reyes National Seashore

Pt. Reyes National Seashore

Rolling hills, mighty redwoods, sandy beaches and bluffs high above the Pacific, create an exciting seascape along Route 1, the Pacific Coast Highway north of San Francisco. This infamous coastal road follows the Pacific coastline through Washington, Oregon and California. Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge Route 1 becomes a two-lane road winding through the hillsides of forest and redwoods, with very few towns along the way. Continue reading

Wine Tasting Tour: Santa Rosa & Sonoma County

By Charlene S. Mixa

An Awesome Tour in Sonoma’s Wine Country

Awesome Wine Tour - Playtypus!

Awesome Wine Tour – Playtypus!

Like the stem of a wine glass, Santa Rosa sits at the base of the wine appellations of Sonoma County. A central location for exploring and experiencing the American Viticulture Areas of Russian River, Dry Creek, Alexander and Green Valleys, Santa Rosa welcomes visitors to Sonoma County’s Premier Wine Country. With over 250 award-winning wineries of Sonoma County, its largest city, Santa Rosa offers shopping, an upscale active downtown area and the Historic Railroad Square featuring outstanding restaurants and shops. Continue reading

Northern Sonoma County’s Wine Country

By Charlene S. Mixa

Vineyards and Valleys of Dry Creek and Alexander Valleys

Scenic vineyards in Northern Sonoma

Scenic vineyards in Northern Sonoma

Magnificent vineyards, the captivating Mayacama Mountains and relaxing quality accommodations welcome visitors to the Geyserville Inn in northern Sonoma County. The Geyserville area is a perfect destination for relaxing and experiencing the serenity and charm of the Alexander and Dry Creek Valley wineries, plus, it is just a short drive to the Russian River and other appellations of the noted wine country. Continue reading

Teeing and Tasting in Livermore, California

Charlene S. Mixa

The Perfect Pairing – Great Wine and Great Golf!

Poppy Ridge and vineyards

Poppy Ridge and vineyards

Wine and golf the perfect pairing for a wonderful get away. Whether for a weekend or a day, Livermore, California is terrific for meeting each of these goals.   Initially, our visit to Livermore is for the golf but after some quick research, we learn this area has a lot more to offer. Over 40 wineries dot the landscape of this beautiful hillside country along with some great golf courses. A short drive east from the hustle and bustle of San Francisco, San Jose, Walnut Creek and Oakland the Livermore Valley Wine Country is a visitor’s haven. Continue reading

Traveling Oregon’s Dynamic Coast

By Charlene S. Mixa

Activities & Sights Along Oregon’s Pacific Coast Byway

Scenic Oregon Coast

Scenic Oregon Coast

Rugged mountains, secluded inlets, expansive sand dunes, picturesque sea stacks and the greenest of green forests line the Oregon Coast spotted with small quaint towns nestled just off the highway. The Pacific Coast Scenic Highway, US 101 skirts the coast sometimes just a few 100 yards from the water’s edge. My husband, Richard and I are traveling Oregon’s dramatic coastline starting at Astoria, OR, the northern most town on the Pacific Coast Highway, heading south ending at Bandon, OR. Continue reading

A Denali Wilderness Hike

By Charlene S. Mixa

An Exhilarating Trek into Alaska’s Wilderness

All decked out for a rainy day hike

All decked out for a rainy day hike

Early September in Alaska is a wonderful time to see fall foliage in this magnificent huge state. A paradise for hikers, the South Denali area has lakes, streams, woods, alpine ridges and wildlife. There are spectacular views of 23, 230 foot Denali (Mt. McKinley). A hike allows you to really enjoy the Alaskan landscape. The Denali Wilderness Hike touts: “Explore Alaska’s spectacular wilderness on an exhilarating trek with an experienced naturalist guide”. Continue reading