Friday, September 28, 2012

Our Home State!

This month we decided to stay here and enjoy everything that our home state has to offer.  Then we decided that we would share it with you all in case you were thinking about planning a trip this way!!

Vermont is beautiful any time of year, but fall is an especially magical time because that’s when you can witness the most stunning foliage.  With vivid colors of bright reds, luxurious oranges and dazzling yellows among them, you won’t be disappointed we promise!  

Leaf peepers (not a term I have ever used before, but I figured I would try it out on this post) from all over the country will have the same idea you do, so book early to make sure you don’t have to settle for a less-than-desirable lodging location.   You don’t want to risk having a long trek to the best foliage-viewing spots.  Plus, the longer you wait, the higher the prices will rise.  

The peak foliage time can be anywhere from the last few days in September to the first couple of weeks in October.  Unfortunately it’s going to be different timing ever year, so its tough to say when the best time to come and enjoy the scenery is.  I will say that if you come early to mid October, you can’t go wrong!  Plan to stay for at least one week or more (if you can of course, we love visitors to the state!) so that you can catch the most brilliant color displays.  Staying longer will make for a more enjoyable and relaxing trip, allowing you to take day trips to the best scenic areas, take tours at a leisurely pace and stop to take as many photos as you want.  If you can’t stay for a week or two, come for a long weekend!  I promise that you will love the sights!!

Killington Peak
This is one of those things you simply must experience for the pure thrill of it.  The best way to see Killington Peak, the second highest summit in Vermont’s Green Mountains, is to take a sky ride called the K-1 Gondola ride.  You will glide over the most amazing landscape and take in a spectacular aerial view of the foliage.  Definitely bring your camera, and definitely bring a strap for your camera!  Its a long way down and the search and rescue mission will be challenging.  I’ve lost some sunglasses to Killington.  

Once you arrive at the Peak, you’ll be in for another treat.  There is an observation deck from which you can take in breathtaking views, made all the more so by the color-changing leaves.  After you’ve had your fill, you can relax and dine at the restaurant located right on the summit, knowing that another eye-pleasing event awaits your return trip on the K-1.

Jenne Farm

Located in the hills of Reading, Vermont, this is one of the most photographed farms in New England.  Fall is an especially popular time, as that’s when this already scenic farm becomes the site of color-changing splendor.   The farm hosts an annual Fall Photo Contest, so definitely bring your camera and take your best shot!  

Your fall excursion in Vermont is going to be a very aesthetic and memorable experience.  Remember to plan early and set aside enough time to capture the full magic of the season. In addition to long, scenic drives, a trip to Killington Peak and Jenne Farm are must-sees to complete your most colorful vacation ever!

Enjoy the visit here!!

-Cliff and Tiff

Monday, June 25, 2012


End of school year trip to Nantucket with Tiff and our son!!

Mild weather, pleasant sea breezes and plenty of things to do combine to make Nantucket one of the best vacation spot on the Eastern Seaboard.  You can enjoy the rich history of New England as well as modern water sports and luxurious accommodations during a stay here.  Of course, it helps to be prepared whenever you take a trip somewhere.  Try these tips to make your Nantucket holiday an overwhelming success:

Rent a bike, walk and use public transportation.  Do not try to drive.  Nantucket will be crowded in the summer, and trying to drive through unfamiliar and crowded streets can turn your seaside dream into a nightmare.  On top of that, biking, walking, or public transportation helps you be a responsible traveler, as we have been working to do so on all of our trips!

Be prepared for any type of weather.  While you aren’t likely to experience sweltering heat, flash floods and fog are common, at least thats what the locals said!  We lucked out and had great weather!  It might help to prepare some indoor activities in case your plans for hitting the beach get rained out. Before you leave to explore the island, check the weather forecast.  Be sure to bring an umbrella and a rain jacket just in case.

Research free and low-cost activities to enjoy during your stay.  Both food and lodging will be expensive, so finding inexpensive entertainment is the best way to get the most out of your stay in Nantucket.  Some popular free attractions in Nantucket include Surfside Beach for relaxing on the sand or participating in extreme water sports; Brant Point Light, one of the nation’s oldest lighthouses; and Jetties Beach for calm water and beachside dining along the bustling boardwalk.

Nantucket is full of great museums, recreational activities, top-notch performances and fresh seafood.  You can find guided tours to enjoy or explore on your own through the quaint cobblestoned streets of the island.  We would recommend that you decide what interests you most and create an itinerary that suits you and your family or travel companions.  There’s no way to enjoy everything in a single trip, but if you prioritize, you’ll be sure to catch most of the highlights (Believe me, there are many!).  Then maybe you’ll choose to return again soon to experience more of the life and culture of this great American getaway!


-Cliff and Tiffany

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Look at this Sunset!  Later last night on Lake Sammamish.  It didn't storm, don't let the clouds fool you.  Love this picture!!! -Comment from Tiff

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Beautiful Lake Sammamish, located just north of Cougar Mountain.  Absolutely gorgeous spring day on the lake!!!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Seattle, Washington in May

The month of May might be the perfect time to visit Washington state.  Of course, the entire state boasts of things to do and to see.  For beginners, I recommend starting in Seattle.  In May, the whole city is in bloom.  The weather will be temperate, and summer sun has not yet burnt off the cloudy days of spring, so you’ll still find waterfalls and slugs on local hiking trails.  For much of your adventure, you can avoid driving, so fly into Seattle and get ready for adventure.  Since this was our second long flight (Vermont to West Coast!) in the last two months, Tiffany and I decided to that we are going to start to get into green travel.  We felt that if we are going to be traveling around quite a bit, we better do our part to be eco-friendly!!  

To help get started with our family green initiative we picked accommodations near the city center of Seattle.  You can get around easily be remembering one silly phrase: “Jesus Christ made Seattle under protest.”  This will help you navigate the east-west streets in the central business district with ease.  From south to north, there are two streets that begin with the first letter of each word in this silly saying.  They are Jefferson, James, Cherry, Columbia, Marion, Madison, Spring, Seneca, University, Union, Pike and Pine. With this knowledge, you can explore the city on foot or by bike and never get lost!  Huge help for Tiff ;)

Take a day trip to Cougar Mountain.  You’ll probably need to rent a car for this excursion to one of the most beautiful parks in the Seattle suburbs unless you are up for a bike ride, but the trip is definitely worth it!  Enjoy hiking trails, lush scenery and gorgeous waterfalls.  You may even seen a little local wildlife.  This adventure only takes a couple of hours and offers a simpler alternative to hiking on Mount Rainer and great for the whole family!

From your headquarters in downtown Seattle, you can walk to Volunteer Park where you’ll want to spend at least a day, maybe two.  The conservatory here boasts a collection of 600 different varieties of orchids in addition to hundreds of other plants from around the world.  You also won’t want to miss the exhibits at Seattle Asian Art Museum located within the Park.  Super Educational!

If you’re traveling to Seattle, you’ve heard of Pike Place Market, and it is certainly worth a visit.  Don’t forget to head south from there and enjoy Pioneer Square as well.  The quaint area features several independent shops and eateries.  You can embark on a journey across Puget Sound from here as well and do some whale watching this time of year.  Great trip for couples or families of all ages!  We loved our stay in wonderful Seattle!

Washington state is beautiful and green in May. What better time could there be to explore the Pacific Northwest?  Enjoy!!!

-Cliff and Tiffany

Friday, April 20, 2012

Exciting Spring Trip to California

Visiting California in the spring brings numerous exciting options for singles, couples and families.  In our case, Tiffany and I had a great couples getaway.  California offers many breathtaking landscapes, endless beaches, Redwood Forests, as well as great shopping and dining options.  If you happen to be traveling with a group, you may want to consider asking about group discounts for hotel accommodations and tour packages while you visit the West Coast.  Skimming through the lists below will help you to plan an amazing trip to California in the spring!

•           San Francisco is home to the world-renowned Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz, Conservatory of Flowers and the Napa Valley Wine Train.  This area of the state is a particularly amazing area to visit in the spring.  You can spend a weekend in San Francisco and schedule a train tour of Napa Valley to take in the blooming buds of the vineyards before trying some wine and cheese samples.  The Conservatory of Flowers (Tiff’s Favorite!) will also be an ideal place to schedule a visit to during the spring months.

•           Visit the towering and scenic Redwood trees (personal favorite!) in Humboldt County.  If outdoors and nature are on the top of your list when it comes to exploring California, this is one county you do not want to skip.  RV rentals and campground sites nearby make visiting this area family-friendly and affordable.

•           If beach life is a major part of your wish list for visiting California, you have to go to the beautiful Santa Barbara, as it provides a small town atmosphere with endless shopping and dining options.  You can rent a sailboat during the day, take a guided mountain tour in the afternoon, and enjoy one of the city’s premier restaurants and shopping centers in the evening.  Santa Barbara is also known for exceptional spas and indulgent hotel amenities.  If you’re big into fitness and wellness, this city will please you to no end.  

We had a blast out there on our trip!!! Although it was far different from Vermont, it was a fantastic experience and getaway for us.  Planning the best trip possible for your spring visit to California should be done in advance to make the most of your time there.  If you are traveling with a family, asking hotels about family-friendly amenities such as kitchenettes can help to reduce the cost of dining out each day.  If you want to tour the countryside of California, RV rentals is a great way to save money on transportation and overnight accommodation expenses for a group.  If shopping is on your agenda, be sure to check out online options for printable coupons to your favorite California stores!  I hope this gave some good insight and enjoy your trip!