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North America

Learning to Sail in the Caribbean – From Landlubber to Sailor in 7 Days

Posted by on Mar 12, 2018 | 3 comments

Learning to Sail in the Caribbean – From Landlubber to Sailor in 7 Days

If pressed, I could not offer a reasonable explanation as to why my husband, Dave, and I decided to learn how to sail.

It sounded fun? Well, sure. But so does a spa holiday.

Sailing holidays are glamorous? Obviously! (But, as it turns out, sailing courses are decidedly not.)

We plan to buy a power boat? Nope, that would be a good reason to take a power boat course.

Dave and I are indeed in the market for a boat, but we have already decided to buy a power boat we can moor in Seattle’s Puget Sound area (his home town) and use as a home base for our regular visits.

So, I suppose the main reason we decided to learn how to sail is that we wanted to be educated buyers when purchasing any type of boat. Is it possible that a sailboat might be a good option for us? How would we know unless we tried it?

And if learning to sail sounded fun, then learning to sail in the Caribbean sounded even better!

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Giving Saint Lucia a Second Chance

Posted by on Mar 4, 2018 | 2 comments

Giving Saint Lucia a Second Chance

To be completely honest, I swore I would never visit Saint Lucia again.

My first visit (roughly 10 years ago) wasn’t exactly awe inspiring. It was a 7-day Caribbean cruise with my girlfriends, visiting half a dozen islands.

Our afternoon in Castries, Saint Lucia was marred by the aggressive vendors at the souvenir stands lining the path back to the ship. Despite our polite “no, thank you’s” as we passed by, more than one yelled insults after us because we wouldn’t stop to look.

It was such a different experience from the vendors on the other islands we had visited. And sadly, that lasting impression of Saint Lucia has stuck with me for more than a decade.

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Setting Sail on a New Adventure!

Posted by on Feb 5, 2018 | 0 comments

Setting Sail on a New Adventure!

The past few months have been incredibly busy with work and holiday fun; but tomorrow, it’s finally time to grab our passports and head off on a new adventure! We’re headed to the Caribbean and this time it’s more than just a relaxing holiday, it’s an education. A sailing education, that is.

Last December, my husband Dave and I took our first sailing course in San Diego. Over the course of a postcard-worthy California weekend, we fell in love with the sport. We’ve always had the desire to incorporate extended time at sea into our future travels and now the time has come to take our sailing education to the next level. And what better place for learning than the sparkling turquoise waters of the Caribbean?

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Summer in the San Juan Islands: A Travel Guide

Posted by on Jun 14, 2016 | 4 comments

Summer in the San Juan Islands: A Travel Guide

Made up of more than 400 islands and rocky outcrops, the San Juan Islands straddle the border between the US and Canada. Just 80 miles north of Seattle, the islands are part of the US state of Washington. Best known for their resident pods of orca whales, the San Juan Islands are also home to the greatest concentration of Bald Eagles in the continental United States.

The islands are a terrific spot for a family vacation or a romantic getaway. Full disclosure, San Juan Island was the site of my first vacation with my now husband and we consider it the place where we fell in love…so expect what follows to be a thorough San Juan Islands Travel Guide with perhaps a slight love-struck bias!

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Bucket List…Waco? A Visit to the Magnolia Market Silos

Posted by on May 11, 2016 | 2 comments

Bucket List…Waco? A Visit to the Magnolia Market Silos

I’m not usually one to geek-out over TV shows, after all, I spend a lot of my time out of the country without access to most US TV shows. But in the past year, during the process of selling my long-time “starter home” and buying a new house with my husband, I somehow developed a bit of an HGTV addiction. Of the many wonderful shows on HGTV, my favorite (and my husband’s too!) is Fixer Upper.

Set in Waco, Texas, the show stars talented married couple Chip and Joanna Gaines who help house-hunters find and renovate the home of their dreams. The show not only features Chip and Jo but also their adorable 4 children and many of the local artists and businesses they work with in the Waco area.

But the breakout star of the show has been Waco itself. Remarkably, during the past two seasons, this popular HGTV show has managed to put this sleepy central-Texas town on the map as a travel destination…and not just for Baylor football games. Of course, until recently, there wasn’t much of the show for Waco visitors to see, aside from Joanna’s small retail store.

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Photo of the Day – Dunn’s River Falls, Jamaica

Posted by on Feb 1, 2016 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – Dunn’s River Falls, Jamaica

Spanning a length of nearly 600 feet, Dunn’s River Falls is one of the Caribbean’s top attractions and a must-see for any visitor to Jamaica. From its summit at 180 feet, tiers of cascading limestone meander down to the Caribbean Sea forming a natural staircase. The falls plunge in some places and plateau in others creating natural pools shaded by lush green vegetation on all sides. At its base, Dunn’s River Falls flows across a beautiful beach and straight into the sea. Climbing the falls is a popular activity for visitors to Jamaica. Guides instruct groups of climbers to hold hands for balance and several human chains at a time make the ascent from the beach all the way to the top. While proper footwear is essential on the often slippery rocks, the climb itself is easily manageable for most visitors and takes about 90 minutes assuming a few stops for photos. But for those not up to the task of scaling the waterfall, there are numerous paths alongside it that allow anyone to enjoy the view.

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