From the moment you get your tickets and get in line to board the boat you know this trip is going to be something special. It’s not your typical get on the boat, grab some snorkeling gear and looking at fish trip. This trip was about education. The staff was knowledgeable, not only about the fish in the sea, but the history of the Hawaiian Islands. They did a great presentation before we got to the snorkel spot going over the types of sea life and coral we would see, safety precautions and the environmental impacts we cause and how to avoid them.
About half way to the snorkel bay we came upon our first pod of spinner dolphins…there must have been over a hundred in the group. Jackie talked about how they live, hunt, play and why they were so attracted to the boat when we were stopped. Apparently the large boat gives off a pressure wave that their sonar senses. It was amazing scene to say the least.
When we arrived at the snorkel bay off the island of Lanai a brief safety talk was given and off we went…we opted to go off the waterslide into the water! The water was crystal clear, d eep and the colors of the fish and coral were breathtaking. They allowed us over an hour to explore then served a delicious lunch on board the boat.
The seas were a bit rough getting out the bay so I wouldn’t recommend this trip to anyone with an aversion to sea sickness. Along the trek back to Lahaina we came upon another pod of dolphins that the crew seemed to know from other outings. Apparently this was the pod they encountered almost daily. They all looked the same to me! As we made our way back to port in Lahaina the crew pointed out the surrounding islands and gave some informative history about each.
All in all it was a spectacular day spent at sea learning about ocean life, Hawaiian history and meeting some great people. Plus, proceeds from the trip go directly to the Pacific Whale Foundation.
We arrived early, so we thought, at the Hanauma Bay Wildlife preserve to go snorkeling and explore the area. The line for the tickets was long, but moved quicker than we anticipated. Once inside the preserve we had to wait about 15 minutes to be let into a small theater to watch a video going over the do’s and don’ts of the park such as not standing on the coral and not touching or feeding the animals. Once we were released we made our way down to the beach area and rented our snorkeling gear.
The bay was beautiful and the snorkeling was stellar. There were beautifully colored fish of all kinds, lots of corral and white sand beaches. I do have to say there was a LOT of people, which made snorkeling a bit hard at times. You were always bumping into people and being kicked by others, but it was well worth the trip.
I would recommend getting there by 8am to get a prime beach spot and avoid the lines. Keep in mind it costs $7.50 to enter the park, which is good for 365 days. It is also an additional $15 to rent snorkel gear. If you have your own bring it. Don’t pass up this gem just because of the crowds, it’s definitely worth a visit.
Take a step back in time and enjoy the finest Bourbon in Utah. When you walk in the door you are greeted with the friendly mountain service and a décor so authentic You’ll swear you hear spurs a jingling and horses clomping up and down the street. A great spot for dinner or just drinks but be sure to stop in while you are on vacation. My personal favorite is the American Prairie Reserve try it on the rocks or mixed in one of the High West signature cocktails. Be sure to relax and don’t forget the souvenirs a bottle or a tee shirt make great gifts. Cheers and have a great time!!!
Fall is a wonderful time to be in Park City. Main street is loaded with great dinner specials and sale prices at the shops. You won’t have to worry about a reservation either because it’s pretty relaxed this time of year. The perfect time to come up and enjoy the last of the warm sunshine and view the wonderful changing colors. While visiting and taking advantage of the slow season the Town Point Condominiums feature great properties. The Town Point is right down town within a short walk to all the great shops and restaurants, or in the winter walk to the town lift. For now whether you are out and about or up in the hills when you return to your condo at the town point you can relax on the deck or in your private hot tub you will have one of the best views in town.
Enjoy your stay.
“Colorful Colorado” is the state’s nickname because of its magnificent scenery of mountains, rivers and plains. Colorado also lives up to its nickname when it comes to ski resorts within the state. I had the opportunity to get to know four of its special resorts on a more intimate level over a week’s period this past August.
Keystone and Breckenridge
Keystone and Breckenridge are two fantastic ski resorts located just 12 miles apart from each other but both have their own unique mountain town feel.
Keystone, is a small and cozy mountain resort with expansive views and a family fun nature. I stayed in the Expedition Station building of River Run Village. The views from our spacious three bedroom condo were fantastic and the location was even better. Within a few minute’s walk, I had restaurants, shops and the ski lift right at my finger tips. I did not have a car and never even thought twice about having one as there is a free shuttle that runs throughout the area.
1) Enjoy the warm Colorado sun while paddle boarding or kayaking on Keystone Lake. Cool off and enjoy a drink or dinner at Bighorn Bistro and Bar just across the way.
2) Take the scenic Summit Express Chairlift ride to the top of the mountain to see the most expansive views out towards Breckenridge. Pack a lunch, hike down and finish your amazing day at Kickapoo Tavern.
Breckenridge, is a much larger resort town than Keystone and offers a wide variety of activities. From hiking, biking, eating, shopping, horseback riding and more, Breck has it all! I had the opportunity to experience the Breckenridge Fun Park at Peak 8. The Alpine Slide, Mountain Coaster, maze, rock climbing wall, miniature golf and more, your kid at heart will come alive in no time.
- Take your family to the Fun Park on Peak 8 for a full day of adventure. Lunch is served at Ski Hill grill with options like hamburgers, pizza, sandwiches and more. Head back down to your condo at Mountain Thunder Lodge via the Breck Connect Gondola and cool off in the fantastic on-site pool amongst the pines.
- Spend the day wondering Main Street where you will find shops for all likings and museums showcasing the rich mining history of Breckenridge. Finish your day off with a drink at Burke and Riley’s Irish Pub and dinner at Mi Casa.
Beaver Creek and Vail
Beaver Creek and Vail are another set of ski resorts just west of Keystone and Breckenridge. These two resorts are just a mere 10 miles from each other but once again display their own unique features.
Beaver Creek’s famous slogan is “Not exactly roughing it”. As soon as you exit off the highway you immediately get that sense. Beaver Creek boasts some of the best lodging in the area, from the Westin Riverfront, the Ritz Carlton – Bachelor Gulch, to the Osprey. Not one detail was left out when it comes to lodging in Beaver Creek.
- Start your day off with a light lunch at The Osprey and then take the Strawberry Park Express Lift up to the top of the mountain for a scenic overlook down over the valley. Take advantage of the Frisbee golf park as you hike your way down the mountain. Finish your day with shopping in the Beaver Creek village and happy hour at the Coyote Café.
- Relax by the pool at The Ritz Carlton – Bachelor Gulch and then make your way to the amazing spa where you can melt away any worry in world. Meet your loved one in the coed Jacuzzi grotto to end your spa experience.
Vail, a famous ski resort known around the world for its amazing skiing, shopping, restaurants and culture. Vail will not leave you disappointed. There are two main villages, Vail Village and Lionshead. Both villages are unique in their own way. If you are staying in one village and want to head over to the other, Vail offers a free shuttle that picks up between the two every 15 minutes or less.
- Take your family up the Eagle Bahn Gondola to the top of the mountain where you can enjoy the views and the many activities offered at Vail’s Adventure Ridge (Ziplining, mini golf, pony rides, a ropes course, and more). Take a break while you eat at Talon’s outdoor grill and await your pickup from your Mountain Tour guide. Vail’s Mountain Tour is in an open air vehicle (imagine safari!) on an 11-mile loop through Vail’s famous back bowls. You have the chance to take some of the most incredible pictures as well as see some of the local wildlife including some of the cutest Marmot’s!
- Spend the day wondering around Vail Village and Lionshead. Immerse yourself in all Vail has to offer. Shopping, dining, and more! Get dressed up and head to Montauk Seafood Grill for a fancy dinner while the sound of live jazz floats through the fresh mountain air. End your night in Vail Village at The Shakedown Bar for the best live music, drinks and dancing!
No matter what ski resort in Colorado you chose, you can assure yourself it will not disappoint! Call me to book your next trip to Colorado at 866-289-5320.
I LOVED going to the Fun Park in Breckenridge. Everything from the coaster to the alpine slide to the maze and rock climbing wall was top notch! I stayed at the Double-Tree Inn. Located in town and they were kind enough to shuttle me and my friends around which made it super easy to get to and from town after we had over shopped that day!
Chance here! A true Hillbilly at heart, but after living 15 years on the beach had thought that I had converted to a Beach Bum. However, I just went on a truly eye opening experience that I would recommend to any skier or non-skier like myself. It was my first time to Colorado, and I had the privilege of visiting several areas, such as Breckenridge, Beaver Creek, Keystone, and my favorite Vail (just amazing).
I didn’t realize how busy it would be in the summer with so many visitors and so many activities for every age level, ALL having just an amazing time together . This trip may have changed my mind from heading south this winter to heading back to the mountains of Colorado to see it covered in snow. We shall see? You have to see it at least once in your lifetime!