December 30, 2019

HOW TO PHOTOGRAPH SLOT CANYONS: THE PERMIT PROCESS AND RECOMMENDED NAVAJO TOUR COMPANIES IN PAGE, ARIZONA

SPECIAL UPDATE December 24, 2019 According to https://tinyurl.com/wxab7m4 traffic jams have led slot canyon tour operators to discontinue the popular photography-only tours of the slot canyon on the Navajo Reservation near Page in northern Arizona as of Dec. 20,  2019.  You can still take photos with your phone or camera on regular tours, but no tripods will be allowed. As the number of visitors increased, tour operators found it increasingly difficult to carve out the extra time professional photographers need to get that perfect shot. Tour operators thus voted to cancel photo-only tours, Antelope Canyon Tours posted on its website.   Head to Page, Arizona! Numerous Slot Canyons and Horseshoe Bend near Page are…

December 23, 2019

APPALACHIAN TRAIL HIKERS, RAFTERS & PADDLERS LOVE TINY HOT SPRINGS, North Carolina

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Pisgah National Forest and fronting the French Broad River lies tiny Hot Springs, North Carolina.   The first time we came across Hot Springs, it was by happenstance. We were exploring the area around Asheville, NC by driving Highways 208 and 209, both scenic byways in North Carolina.  Hot Springs is easy to miss, if you don’t know its rich history or current day importance to nature lovers and hikers. There are, after all, only 500 residents.      The second time we visited Hot Springs, it was on purpose. What a cool 2-block town! Certainly, not impressive architecturally, the quirky combination of…

December 16, 2019

HOW TO EXPLORE PENSACOLA, FLORIDA

updated 12/19     Explore Pensacola! White sugar sand beaches, emerald water and the architectural feel of a tiny New Orleans. Add them together (plus restaurants that would send foodies to heaven), and you have Pensacola, Florida! Who knew? Pensacola is one of those towns where people make you feel like family, the arts and deep sea fishing combine with sandy feet and a laid-back vibe. You have to visit!!       Park your car downtown and walk!     There isn’t heavy traffic and this city is made for strolling! The wrought iron details on the buildings and covered sidewalks beckon you past bakeries, restaurants and unique boutiques….

December 2, 2019

BEST GUIDE TO VISITING ZION NATIONAL PARK via SPRINGDALE, UTAH

updated 12/19     Zion National Park is perfect for senior travel and is my personal favorite of all the national parks. It doesn’t matter if you are in hiking shape or not!  Seniors, put Zion on your travel list! We have put together a guide to visiting Zion for those who stay in Springdale, Utah.   We stayed in Springdale to visit Zion National Park for 4 days. We wanted to stay even longer and cannot wait to go back!       HOW TO GET THERE     Utah’s Zion National Park is close to the Arizona and Nevada borders.   COMING FROM Las Vegas: Take Interstate 15 north…

November 11, 2019

THINGS TO SEE IN OCONEE COUNTY, South Carolina: the “LAND BESIDE WATER”

“How did they do that?” When we visit a place, a theme or question about the place usually pops into my mind. I know, weird.  In Oconee County, South Carolina, the question was, “how did they do that?”    Oconee County is the westernmost county in South Carolina and couldn’t be more different from how you picture the coastal areas in the state. The Cherokee word, “Ae-quo-nee,” means “land beside water.” Here, three huge man-made lakes (Keowee, Jocassee, and Lake Hartwell) dot the hills. Oconee County is also home to 67 summits, ridges, ranges and mountain trails.      Picture 90,000 acres of protected forests, historical sites, hikes, fishing and small southern towns….

October 28, 2019

ALABAMA’S FORT MORGAN

Damn the torpedos, full speed ahead” –Admiral David Farragut   Stu surprised me with a trip to Alabama, a place where he lived for many years. I’d never visited Alabama and am now a big fan!   The quote above is something we heard a lot growing up and in war movies, but do you know where that phrase originated?   Union Admiral David Farragut was leading ships into Mobile Bay in Alabama in an effort to capture Fort Morgan during the Civil War when he yelled to his naval comrades, “Damn the torpedos, full speed ahead!” The Battle of Mobile Bay began on August 5, 1864 and lasted two-weeks. The battle ended…

October 21, 2019

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO N.C.’S BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY

Can you picture 469 miles of natural splendor? Splendor that runs from Virginia through North Carolina and connects the Shenandoah National Park with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park? If you can, chances are you have explored the Blue Ridge Parkway!   Stunning long-range views and more than 100 trails comprise “America’s Favorite Drive.” The Parkway is more than a visual treasure! There are campgrounds, biking, musical events, arts and crafts (the Folk Art Center), hiking, historic as well as interpretive sites (including Revolutionary War sites and the Museum of North Carolina Minerals).    What is the best part? The Blue Ridge Parkway is free and open all year, depending on winter weather. In North…

September 30, 2019

3 HAUNTED SITES IN BEAUFORT COUNTY, South Carolina

The low country of  South Carolina is one of those places where you walk through time. Different periods of American history are stacked one on another everywhere you turn. Paranormal activity is reported throughout this beautiful state, including hauntings at a fort and two sets of church ruins we visited.    OLD SHELDON CHURCH in YEMASSEE, South Carolina   The Old Sheldon Church Ruins is an historic site 17 miles north of Beaufort, South Carolina in Yemassee, SC.   The church was originally known was Prince William’s Parish Church and was built between 1745 and 1753.  The church was burned by the British in 1779 during the Revolutionary War. The church was rebuilt…

September 23, 2019

8 LESSONS I LEARNED TRAVELING SOLO AS AN OLDER WOMAN

Readers write us and say they would love to travel more but they are divorced or widowed. Most are women.      Stu is a fabulous travel partner, but I am here to tell you that I love, love, love traveling alone. It is true that I have been on my own quite awhile and traveled for work.  Over time, I got used to eating in restaurants by myself (I always took a book at first), and have experience hailing cabs and negotiating airports. But I am an introvert. I am also about to be 70.     I want to share what I’ve learned by traveling alone in hopes…