How to Create the Perfect Multnomah Falls Day

Multnomah Falls, OR
A beautiful spring day at Multnomah Falls, OR

It was a sunny spring day in the great PNW (Pacific Northwest). Our adventure to Multnomah Falls, OR was about to begin. We had stayed the night in a lovely hotel near by to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Getting away at least once a year in the crazy first years of marriage was always one of our priorities. We never went far or for long but just far enough away and long enough to refill our relationship bucket. So that year we decided to go to Oregon, a short 3 hr drive for us. As we contemplated things to do the next day we were encouraged to explore Multnomah Falls. It wasn’t very far from where we were and it sounded just perfect.

The falls are just a 30 min drive from Portland. They cascade down from a drop of 611 feet. The water is icy cold. The whole experience is powerful as well as enchanting.

Multnomah Falls, OR
Lush and green in the dense woods of the area

To create the perfect Multnomah Falls day here are a few suggestions:

  • The falls are spectacular during all 4 seasons, but it is a cooler climate at the falls. During the summer bring a light jacket or sweater, in the winter bring a coat.
  • Pets are allowed but must be kept on a leash.
  • During the summer months vendors offer quick snacks, but otherwise you can bring in your own
  • Treat yourself to a wonderful PNW meal at the historic Multnomah Falls Lodge restaurant.
  • You can get a few more ideas by exploring HERE
View from the Multnomah Falls trail
View from the trail

A perfect day at the falls for us included a mellow drive, a leisurely pace up the trail, lot’s of stops for pics and yummy food at the restaurant which included more fantastic views.

Views from Multomah Falls trail
Scenic view from the trail

A perfect day anywhere is being with your loved ones and sharing the memories later. One place we like to make memories is while visiting the Vidanta resorts in Mexico. Soon we’ll be able to travel the world again so start planning your next trip now! We would love to share our incredible resort with you and your family. Click HERE to get started!

Fast Get Away From New York-Bermuda (when it’s safe to travel again!)

Bermuda Island
Bermuda Island

Bermuda was never on my “bucket list”, I’ll just say that right off the bat! But when your husband says, “I want to take you away to a warm island in the middle of blue, blue waters”, you don’t say no!

Now for us, this was not a “quick trip” as the title of this post implies, because we happen to live on the West Coast. However, if you live on the East Coast, this is a very short 2hr plane ride for you!

From JFK and LaGuardia airports it is a 2hr and 15 min plane ride. Your plane lands at Bermuda LF Wade International Airport. From there you have lots of transportation options to get you around the island. You can go by bus, ferry, bikes, scooters, taxi or electric cars! Read more about transportation options HERE.

Accommodations on the island are plentiful as well! So setting up a fast weekend trip is so easy, why wouldn’t you! Start your accommodation search HERE

Why would you want to go to Bermuda you ask? Well let me tell you what I liked about it.

  1. The Pink Beaches! Did you know there was such a thing as a pink beach? Well there is! And I was able to enjoy it on our last day there. We visited one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, called Horseshoe Bay. The pink sand, turquoise waters and blue skies that never end is one reason to jump on a plane right now!
Pink sand beaches of Bermuda
Pink sand beach of Bermuda

2. The People– Bermuda is one of the friendliest places on the planet. And this is no tall tale. An instant welcome as soon as you arrive on the island, Bermudians sure know how to make you feel like you’re visiting your home away from home. No wonder the island has so many repeat visitors.

Friendly Bermudians
Some of the friendliest people on Earth!

3. The Culture– While most islands find their influence from the British, French, Spanish, and even Dutch who were squabbling over territories in the West Indies, Bermuda was left to its own devices as a British colony. And if you know anything about Bermuda, then you know its culture is almost an exact replication of British culture. Everything from language to sports is done the British way on Bermuda. Even driving! We surly enjoyed learning how to drive on the “wrong side of the road”! We also loved the pink-and-yellow Bermudian beach houses. I found myself wishing I could have a house that color!

Colorful homes of Bermuda
Colorful homes of Bermuda

4. The Local Flavors– Thanks to its mid-Atlantic location, Bermudian cuisine blends flavors and culinary techniques from England, the Caribbean, the U.S. and South America into a delicious mixture. What better combination of delectable cuisine could you ever want? And if you haven’t heard about its island staple, then you’ve officially been living under a rock. No trip to the island is complete without trying the Bermuda fish sandwich. Often time’s tourists are on the hunt for the best fish sandwich the island has to offer. If you want a head start, head to: Art Mels Spicey Dicy, Rosa’s, Seaside Grill, Swizzle Inn, Tribe Road Kitchen and The Black Horse Tavern.  Our favorite was at Art Mels. I have never had a fish sandwich quite like it! I tried to duplicate it when I got home, but wasn’t even close!

Art Mel's fish sandwich
Art Mel’s Fish Sandwich

To sum up our stay in Bermuda in one word-“perfection”! We had a wonderful time and would highly recommend it. But how we got there is a topic for another time!

Bermuda
We loved Bermuda!

Can’t decide where to go on your next vacation? Try staying at a resort in Mexico! We have access to 1 week stays in 6 different luxurious Vidanta resorts! Read all about it here . Then when your ready to book CLICK HERE!

The Essential Guide to Visiting Merchants Millpond In Eastern North Carolina

Merchants Mill Pond, NC
Merchants Millpond, North Carolina

We have some deep roots in North Carolina. My husbands family has lived in North Carolina for many generations, dating back to before the civil war! They were farmers and some of them are still farming today!

When I married my husband the furthest east I had ever been was Rock Springs, Wyoming! What an adventure for me to travel across the United States by car and live in North Carolina for a time.

As the years have gone by we still enjoy visiting the area and one of the places we love to visit is Merchants Millpond State Park. This park is located in Gates County and is open year round. It’s a great place to take the family.

Merchants Millpond was essentially built by some early settlers who wanted a place of commerce for the area. They dammed up a portion of the creek so they could create a grist mill and a sawmill among other businesses. There is not much commerce happening around the area now but what it has become is a wonderful place to get a away, slow down and view life through a different lens. To read more about the history click HERE

This areas most popular way to be viewed is by canoe. You can rent them or bring your own. While paddling through the murky waters, make sure you keep your eyes peeled for turtles, alligators, and wading birds such as herons and egrets. Also notice the beautiful trees, the towering bald cypress and the tupelo gum trees, decorated with wispy Spanish moss. You’ll notice the base of the trees are much thicker. That’s to give the trees more space as their roots are mostly covered in water.

Merchants Mill Pond, NC
The family pushing off into the waters of Merchants Millpond in our rented canoes

There are other ways to enjoy the park too. If you want to view the area on foot there are 9 miles of hiking trails to explore. A couple of the trails are even open to bicyclists. Trekking tip: there are ticks in the area so wear long pants, long sleeve shirts and tuck pants into socks. Check for ticks often. More tips can be found HERE

Thinking of camping? You can do that too! They offer tent and trailer camping, group camping, backpack camping, and paddle in camping. There is a variety of settings that should please just about everybody! You can find all camping details HERE. Trekking tip: remember what you bring in must be taken back out!

Picnic Time at Merchants Millpond
After several hours of paddling we were ready for lunch!

There are no food vendors on site so remember to pack plenty of water, snacks and maybe even a picnic!

Hope this was helpful in determining if your next adventure includes a trip to Merchants Millpond in North Carolina. But wait, maybe your next adventure you want to take is in Mexico! We have access to 6 beautiful Vidanta resorts that can be rented out 1 week at a time. To start your planning CLICK HERE! And thanks for reading!

Like Looking Through Ruins? Then You’ll Love This Tour!

Tulum Ruins
Ruins found in Tulum, Mexico

Generally speaking, we like to do self-guided tours. However, the Tulum, Mexico ruins tour came highly recommended so we gave it a try! The tour company we used was Alma Tours and we caught the tour in Cozumel. There is so much history there and the ruins are pretty well preserved. To read more about the history of the sight click here.

One of the favorite spots for us was the beautiful beach under the ruins. Remember your swimming gear so you can enjoy this secluded beach! I’m glad we did! Trecky tip: the climb down to the beach is along some narrow stairs and that is the only way back up! Not for the faint of heart!

Beach at the Tulum Ruins
Mike and I enjoying the beach under the ruins of Tulum
The ruins are home to lots of iguana's
Iguana’s love sunning themselves in the ruins of Tulum

We had a wonderful day exploring the Tulum ruins and I hope you will too!

If you haven’t checked out our vacation resort, this would be a great time! Mexico is a beautiful country and there is so much to explore. Start with a stay at the beautiful Vidanta Resort in San Jose del Cabo. Click here to book now!

Crystal blue waters
Relax by the pool!

The Practical Guide to beach strolling in Cabo San Lucas

Beach in Cabo San Lucas
Gorgeous beach in Cabo San Lucas

One of our favorite things to do when visiting the ocean is strolling on the beach barefoot. We’ve been to several beaches, including Nags Head in North Carolina along the Atlantic ocean, Ocean Shores in the state of Washington on the Pacific side and the Sea of Cortez/Pacific Ocean at the tip of the Baja peninsula of Cabo San Lucas. In this post I’ll specifically focus on the beaches of the Cabo area. Not all beaches in the Cabo area are barefoot strolling compatible. I’m going to give you some tips so you can avoid the “strolling” snafus that happened to us!

All the beaches in Cabo were beautiful but not all of them can be strolled on barefoot as we found out on our first visit. On some beaches the sand was full of coral and small sharp rocks, not very pleasant to walk on. If we had only brought some shoes down with us, we would have enjoyed our walk so much better! “Note to self”- Always carry a pair of water shoes/beach shoes with you so you’ll be prepared for any type of beach walk.

Beach in front of Fiesta Americana Resort
Beach in front of Fiesta Americana

The first beach we tried to stroll on was in front of the Fiesta Americana in San Jose del Cabo. The waters are to rough to swim in and the sand is the coral/small pebbly rock kind that is very hard on the feet. I really wish we would have had some beach shoes with us. It would have been a lot more fun!

Beach in front of Grand Mayan Los Cabos
Beach in front of Grand Mayan Los Cabos

A barefoot strolling beach can actually be found a little way up the road in San Jose del Cabo in front of the Vidanta Grand Mayan. We actually own a timeshare there and I’m really glad because the sand is so soft under the toes! The sandy beach goes for miles. The waves roll in just up the sand to cool you off on a warm day. The beach area is pristine and the waters are a glorious color of blue.

After we had walked quite a ways down this beach we noticed we were walking along side the San Jose del Cabo wildlife estuary. Here you will want to pull out your walking shoes! So many different birds were flying in the air, swimming in the water and enjoying their side of the beach! It was a little smelly though, and the beach area was a bit messy because that’s where the birds hang out! Some of the bird species we saw were falcon’s, pelicans, vultures, and white herons.

San Jose del Cabo wildlife estuary
San Jose del Cabo wildlife estuary

We ventured out a little further one day to visit a town called Todos Santos. It was about an hours drive from Los Cabos. The beaches were a bit more “rustic”, meaning there were no services and the roads into the beaches were dirt. The peace and quiet though was priceless! The sand was soft under the toes! We got caught by a few rogue waves though so be careful. We dried out pretty quickly as we sat on the beach and admired the sunset.

Beach at Todos Santos
Beach at Todos Santos

Ready to plan your Cabo beach vacation? CLICK HERE for spetacular rates on a weeks stay at the Vidanta Grand Mayan in San Jose del Cabo.

5 Ideas to add to your Cabo “Bucket list”

There is so much to do in the Los Cabos area. But if you only had a few days, I would suggest hitting these places.

  1. The first must do is to eat dinner at Metate restaurant. It is authentic, fresh Mexican/Latin food. Kind of like a “farm to table” type of place. It doesn’t open until 6pm so keep that in mind and they do take credit cards and speak English. The restaurant is an open air type concept, even the food was cooked outdoors! We could watch them prepare our whole meal. The waiter was very excited to learn that this was our first visit and that we would love to try anything he recommended. The ambiance was wonderful. Even in November I didn’t need a sweater. We sat under the trees, with soft lighting bringing a glow to the fun table settings, which included ceramic pigs! A few friendly dogs wandered through as well. Music was playing in the background and we just relaxed and enjoyed!
Metate Restaurant
This is place is great for some amazing food!
Colorful decor at Metate
Fun and colorful decor at Metate
Our appetizers
Delicious appetizers to start off with

2. The next thing I would recommend is a Sunset Dinner Cruise to visit the Arch of Cabo San Lucas. (Here is one example) There are so many to choose from. The one we choose included drinks and live music plus a wonderful dinner. We left the dock about 5:00pm, just as the sun was starting to set. We traveled toward the Arch and saw pelicans and sea lions, even more as we got closer. So one side of the Arch is facing the Pacific Ocean and the other side is surrounded by the Sea of Cortez. Hence the name “Lovers Beach” for the calm side and Divorce Beach for the rougher side! Other folks were out as well. Kayakers, smaller boats, larger boats, all enjoying the sunset. Definitely a must do in Cabo!

The Arch of Cabo
Mike and I enjoying views of the Arch of Cabo
The calm side called "Lover's Beach"
The calm side called “Lover’s Beach”. Through the rocks is “Divorce Beach” the rougher side

3. Definitely visit the town of San Jose del Cabo! More of the artsy section of Cabo is the sister city of Los Cabos, San Jose del Cabo. There is a beautiful downtown area with shops, restaurants, a town square and a charming church which just happened to be hosting a wedding! Lot’s of folks dressed in their wedding best! We had a great time people watching! We found a recommended place to eat some tacos and enjoyed the wonderful atmosphere of the place. Later we found a vendor selling churo’s. Wow, so good!

Mission Church is San Jose del Cabo
The Mission Church in San Jose del Cabo

4. Another town I would highly recommend for a visit is Todos Santos, the home of the famous “Hotel California”! It’s about an hours drive by car from Cabo San Lucas through the countryside. The day we arrived they had just finished up a bike race. The town was full of people, vendors and cyclists. It was a fun atmosphere from the get go! We found a small bakery that was serving up yummy pastries. The local community center featured a step into the past. We explored a school class room set back in time along with what a typical home would have looked like back in the day. We continued along the coast exploring several beaches. These beaches had soft sand and mountain peaks. Waves were crashing up onto the beach. Sometimes a rogue wave caught us by surprise! We watched the sun set in the peaceful surroundings.

Rustic beach at Todos Santos
This is a public beach in Todos Santos. The beach was very soft to walk on but there are no facilities. Keep that in mind when planning your visit.

5. And last, but not least, take a visit to the Glass Factory in Cabo San Lucas. While you are there take in a glass blowing demonstration, look at all the beautiful blown glass and take home a unique souvenir!

Glass Factory in Cabos San Lucas
One of the amazing displays of glass at the Glass Factory

Hope this article gives you some ideas about what to add to your “bucket list” when visiting the Cabo area. And of course we hope you will stay in our favorite resort, the Vidanta Grand Mayan. We have member access to all of the Vidanta resorts through out Mexico and can arrange your stay at one of these beautiful resorts. Visit our page HERE to get started!

Vidanta
Beautiful master room at Vidanta