We loaded up the SUV with the family one early Friday morning over Labor Day weekend and began our journey from Las Vegas for our first Southern Utah vacation. As we wound our way up through SR 14, just outside of Cedar City, we came upon these towering bright red, pink, and orange rock formations of Cedar Breaks National Monument. The Indians called this millions of years old formation the "Circle of Painted Cliffs." After taking in the beautiful rocks, we continued our journey up to the peak of the mountain pass. Once we reached the summit I checked my altitude smartphone app and it read 10,020 ft. We rolled down the windows to inhale the crystal clear air and the aroma of subtle pine – and you can definitely feel the thin air at that altitude. As we began our descent from the peak, we viewed the diversity of the Southern Utah landscapes as we passed by giant volcanic fields, birch and aspen trees, as well as alpine lakes and streams. We made a quick stop just before Duck Creek Village to watch a fly fisherman reel in a beautiful rainbow trout. As we made our way to our [...]
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By Kathryn Lynden | Travelog Well, I just returned from Cabo san Lucas, Mexico and what is so amazing about off-season travel is the access to everything. No Line at Customs To start there are no lines at Customs, you walk right through. Access to Everything Second, you can actually wake up in the morning and figure out what you may want to do that day! Everything is available to you from fishing expeditions, to zip lines, to horseback riding on the beach, to surf lessons and boat rides to picnic on secluded beaches. No need to decide beforehand, just call the day of and off you go! Local Host Spends Time with You The Concierge Team at Palmilla Retreat, Paul & Evelyn, had time to spend with us. He offered to take us to a local restaurant for dinner. I mean local. We agreed! I had never been in Los Cabo during a storm and that night it decided to rain -- sideways, with the winds whipping. Paul arrived to pick us up and I asked him if the restaurant had an inside area. He looked at me funny and said, “Of course not.” I ran back into my [...]
By Kathryn Lynden | Travelog I recently have discovered the beauty of weekend get-aways. I pack up my bag on Friday night and leave town for just a few days. I come back to work on Monday full of stories and refreshed from getting out of the normal weekend routine. Okay, I will admit, I am a little tired…but it is worth it! By doing these weekend trips, I am finally crossing off some of the items on my bucket list. Take a look. Riding a mechanical bull I actually did it! As the professional bull rider hoisted me up onto the bull he was rattling off a myriad of tips with the final one being “If you put your legs around it’s neck… you might stay on longer.” So, I wrapped my legs around it’s neck, put one hand over my head… and….. well…. by 30 seconds in, I was hugging that bull with every single thing I possibly could and by 45 seconds my head whipped around so fast, my entire body flew off! Once I realized I was still in one piece – I got up – brushed myself off and made a decision that that was [...]
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By Bill Bisanz | Los Cabos, Mexico Those were the words my companion uttered from the edge of the infinity pool at Las Ventanas mere hours after we arrived in Cabo. I followed her gaze past the white sand beach and into the glistening Sea of Cortez in time to catch a glimpse of a glossy blue whale breach and slip back into the ocean. It is wonderful, but it’s not a dream, I thought. Then I pinched her just to prove it. Paul picked us up at the airport and kept a running commentary on the landscape and history of this end of the Baja peninsula. He included restaurant and club recommendations and when he delivered us down the majestic drive-way to the stone gates of Las Ventanas, unloaded our luggage, and explained that our rental car would shortly arrive at our villa, my hard-to-impress friend winked and smiled at me. She was pleased, and over the course of the next hour, from the fresh limeade we were offered as we stepped across the threshold of the incredible resort, to the personal butler who guided us on a tour of the pools, restaurants, and spa as we made our [...]
By Adrienne Clairmont | Los Cabos Ceviche. Deep-sea fishing. Horseback Riding. Jet skiing. Turquoise Jewelry. Amazing sunsets. Desert forest. Tequila. Golf. Nightclubs. When asked what my favorite things about Los Cabos, Mexico are, I found myself struggling to narrow down the options to a concise list. Every time I visit Los Cabos, I find myself discovering new favorites, often in places I thought I had exhausted. Offering a myriad of entertainment options, Los Cabos is the perfect destination no matter how you are looking to spend your vacation. For fishing enthusiasts, charter an expedition into the Pacific and spend the day deep-sea fishing. We wound up in the battle of our lives and after almost three hours, pulled a four hundred pound Marlin out of the water. If you prefer to stay firmly on dry land, Los Cabos offers some of the world’s best golf courses, including Cabo Real, Cabo del Sol, and Campestre. In downtown Cabo, take a stroll along the Marina and stop at one of the many restaurants for some fresh ceviche and lobster tacos. Down the street from the Giggling Marlin, one of Cabo’s wildest nightclubs, is one of my favorite restaurants- El Coral. Solomon, the [...]
By Bill Bisanz | St. Bart’s During a recent trip to St. Barth’s, the French jewel of the Caribbean, we encountered at least two fellows that could have been the French incarnate version of the great American actor. The first, named Gael was reminiscent of Depp in Chocolat while Jacques was the spitting image of Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean, right down to the swashbuckling regalia. Ladies- beware, as either of these French look-alikes could steal your heart while on this romantic and beautiful island. Historically, St. Barth’s has had an eclectic history including acting as a staging base for pirates and as a trading port. It was too rocky and small to cultivate for agricultural exploitation, so it was never as highly contested as some Caribbean islands. It has been under the jurisdiction of Britain, Sweden, Knights of Malta and most currently, France. It makes sense as you hear French spoken on the street, spend Euros, enjoy delicious pastries while admiring pretty women and paying entirely too much for drinks! Planes are not allowed to land after dark on St. Barth’s, as it has one of the world’s shortest commercial airstrips-tucked in between a hillside on [...]
By Bill Bisanz | Barbados English, preppy, exotic, Rihanna were just a few of the thoughts that came to my mind prior to visiting Barbados. Located at the southeastern end of the Lesser Antilles in the Atlantic Ocean, this independent state is one the most developed islands in the Caribbean and still has many ties to its former colonial past as part of the British Empire. Settled by the English in the 1600’s, Barbados was an important economic powerhouse for England, mainly due to its sugar cane plantations and sugar exports. Vast fortunes were made, unfortunately at the cost of many lives, setting the stage for Barbados as a place of wealth and privilege.eveloped islands in the Caribbean and still has many tiesto its former colonial past as part of the British Empire. Today, Barbados is still home to a privileged few, especially on its golden west coast, where several large estates dominate parts of the coastline. However, the country also has a healthy middle class and what appeared to be a well-integrated, vibrant society that, in my experience, was extremely welcoming during my first visit to their lovely island. We spent most of our time in the Holetown area, [...]
By Bill Bisanz | Anguilla Anyone who has driven around Anguilla has probably developed the underappreciated skill of maneuvering around the goats that freely roam the island. And as you're supposed to do this while driving on the 'wrong side' of the road in this British Overseas Territory, you may start to feel a little like James Bond -- even if you're not behind the wheel of an Aston Martin. Thankfully, these bearded billies are slow, friendly and happy to step out of the way (with a little encouragement). That pretty much captures the low-key, casual vibe of the island. On Anguilla, the locals are a wonderfully sunny blend of reggae music meets British colonial. These endearing Anguillan characteristics are great for visitors, as part of the adventure of Anguilla is asking for directions as you get lost exploring the numerous, pristine beaches that are tucked into the island's ruggedly beautiful coastline. Some of my Anguilla favorites include: Homemade Johnny Cakes and ribs at front-yard weekend BBQ stands Reggae music with my feet in the sand at Gwen's Reggae Grill Hungry's food truck in The Valley - Try the Kingfish Creole! Wild stingrays gliding next to us through the illuminated [...]
By Edward Hoiland | Apostle Islands It only takes one good trip to catch the travel bug and once you got it there’s no stopping it! I caught the bug while sailing around the Apostle Islands in Lake Superior. The fresh air, crystal-clear water and the gentle rocking of the boat captured my heart and left me wanting more. Exploring islands, beach bonfires, shore lunches and freezing plunges into the lake. Nothing could beat sense of adventure of being somewhere new and the liberating feeling of leaving your problems behind. Since my first sailing trip when I was a little kid, I’ve been back to the Apostle Islands several more times. It is dear to me and always will be, but I have my sights set on something more. It’s high time that I experience something less cold and a little more tropical. The travel bug is calling me down to the Caribbean. While I have been working with Elite I’ve learned more and more about what those turquoise waters can offer. I want my feet in the sand, the sweet smell of the ocean air and the warm waters to wash worries away. Some day I’ll be exploring different islands [...]