Category Archives: USA – The West

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

Getaway to the Gateway: St. Louis, Missouri

By Charlene S. Mixa

A Vibrant City Offering an Array of Activities

The Gateway Arch and St. Louis Riverfront

The Gateway Arch and St. Louis Riverfront

On the shores of the mighty and muddy Mississippi is a vibrant city that offers a rich past, an active present and an exciting future. St. Louis may have started with the Laclede fur traders, steamers and barges on the remarkable Mississippi River but it quickly grew to a major port city and became the Grand Dame of industry along with Continue reading

The El Rey Inn and Santa Fe, NM

By Charlene S. Mixa

Exploring the Historic Santa Fe Area

Plenty of beautiful flowers at the El Rey Inn

Plenty of beautiful flowers at the El Rey Inn

Charm, comfort, and a return to a different time welcomes you at the El Rey Inn in Santa Fe, NM. Off the infamous Route 66 the Inn’s history is over 70 years old. Starting with only 12 rooms in 1936 it expanded in the 1950’s and later to 86 rooms and suites on 5 acres just outside of Santa Fe. Continue reading

Big Sky Resort: Summer Thrills and Chills

By: Charlene & Richard Mixa

A Topnotch Resort Even Without the SnowHuntley Lodge at the Village

The name Big Sky brings images of glistening snow covered mountains with acres of ski slopes. With bragging rights as the Biggest Skiing in America, what’s the attraction for visiting when there’s “no snow.” Today Big Sky Resort is much more than just skiing. Chills and thrills greet summer visitors. Continue reading

Captivating Calistoga

By Charlene Mixa

“The wine country’s historic hot springs resort destination.”

A historic small town.

A historic small town.

Calistoga, named a Distinctive Destination by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, offers the healing benefits of its restorative spa treatments. Nestled at the top of the beautiful and serene northern tip of Napa Valley, Calistoga is a perfect destination for wine country travelers. The downtown offers unique shops, galleries, and several fine restaurants all within walking distance of hotels and inns. Relaxation and convenience are primary in this beautiful mountainous countryside town. Wineries are close by not only in Calistoga itself but the three major wine areas of Napa Valley, Sonoma County with the Alexander, Russian River and Dry Creek Valleys plus Lake County. Continue reading

Cheyenne: A Vibrant Boot-Stompin’ Town

By Charlene & Richard Mixa
Get the Spirit of the Old West

The BIG BOOT at the Cheyenne Depot

The BIG BOOT at the Cheyenne Depot

Cheyenne – the name alone conjures up images of the old West with cowboys, rodeos, railroads and majestic plains. It’s a vibrant frontier town that celebrates its western roots as well as a fun lovin’ town that boasts Big Boots, Big Bison, Big Trains, Big Mansions, Big Western Stores and more. Join us on a trip through the past and experience the “Legend of Cheyenne.” Continue reading