NJ + Wine

NJ + Wine

When one thinks of New Jersey, lots of things may (hopefully) come to mind…we have great beaches, parks, historical sites, tomatoes, pizza (ok, you get it) but probably not wine, right?

Well, maybe think again…The fact is, NJ has over 40 wineries in some of the most beautiful countryside, most with tasting rooms that provide unique experiences, music, food, festivals and a variety of really fun events throughout the year. For a complete listing, and all the info you need, visit the Garden State Wine growers Association at www.newjerseywines.com for lots of great info.

It was at one such event that we first discovered Cava Winery and Vineyard (www.cavawinery.com). We enjoyed the wines so much, we decided to look them up. Here’s what we found…

Florence

Florence

The city is as much a masterpiece as the works of art that reside there.
The narrow streets of the Centro Storico, lively Piazzas, and views from across the Arno of seemingly endless red tile roofs stay in your memory forever. To walk in the footsteps of the great Renaissance artists is an inspiration for all who are fortunate enough to visit.
Depending upon how much time you have there, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the museums to cover. Our advice, pick a few, there are the obvious must-sees, and leave enough time to do what is so magical about Italy. Wander. Explore. And take time to just stop and smell the roses.
Venice

Venice

Another daunting task, to offer some new perspective on a destination written about in countless blogs, travel guides, magazines…everywhere!

Well, what we offer you here is quite simply what we learned and experienced, and what made it magical for us. We hope you’ll enjoy reading our story, seeing the beautiful images, and find it useful if you or someone you know is going…or if you’ve been, rekindle the memories you cherish…and as always, please comment on what we may have missed.

Prior to our trip we heard all the negative stories. Venice is overrun with selfie-stick tourists. It can be dirty, smelly, hot…sound like most other big cities in the world? But we found a magic unlike any other city in the world. And with that here is our list of Magical Moments.

Long Live Rock

Long Live Rock

A music lover’s guide to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Our great road trip: Memphis to Louisville to Cleveland finally culminates at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We came to pay tribute to our heroes and the music we grew up with…and will grow old with. I’ve played guitar in garage bands from the age of 13 and still play today with a fantastic group of talented musicians who play because we love it. Some things never change, and never should. So, here’s our take on the Rock Hall.

It should be noted that Memphis natives argue (with much conviction) that the Hall of Fame belongs there. If you haven’t seen our Memphis blog, please check it out. It starts with the birth of the Blues from the cotton fields to Beale Street. Then to Sam Phillips vision at Sun records and the birth of Rock and Roll. The first inductees came from there! Well…we’ll let you all decide, please comment below!
           
Set on the shore of Lake Erie, the massive glass pyramids are home to original musical instruments, song lyrics, stage props and wardrobe from the artists that gave us their heart and soul. To bring the Rock Hall’s exhibits to life, you’re immersed in film, video, interactive kiosks, reading material and, of course, the music. Here are the experiences that moved us.
St. John, USVI

St. John, USVI

We are thrilled to feature our first post from our dear friend and world traveller, Pam Lach

St. John, USVI is the perfect location for my husband and I and our family. There are so many options for every age range: swimming, snorkeling, sailing, paddle board, horseback riding, fishing, hiking, etc. We often wake up to see the magnificent sunrise, visit one or two beaches every day.

Here are a few reasons why the island is a coveted travel destination and why so many visitors come back every year.

Louisville, KY

Louisville, KY

What can you do with 24 hours in Louisville KY? Bourbon, Baseball and a whole lot more!

Part 2 of our great road trip: Memphis to Louisville to Cleveland.

With limited time in a new city you need to choose wisely, and we did! Recommendation: if you’re traveling with your significant other, each pick the one can’t miss destination and you’ll both be happy. Anything else you get to do is a plus!

Phuket

Phuket

Our trip to Thailand was very special and personal for us. Our daughter went there to teach English, and we hadn’t seen her in seven months. We’re so proud of her courage and determination to set off on such an adventure. She had her ups and downs for sure, but as usual, proved to everyone that whatever you set your mind to can be accomplished.

So, this post will have several chapters, since we did and saw so much on this trip of a lifetime…let’s start with where to stay in Phuket.

img_7077img_7213

 

Memphis

Memphis

One of the coolest road trips we’ve ever taken – a musical pilgrimage that begins in Memphis, Tennessee, passes through Louisville, Kentucky, and culminates in Cleveland, Ohio and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 2,270 miles in 7 days, we covered a lot of ground, heard amazing music, experienced musical, cultural and architectural history, and ate and drank our way around a very special part of the USA. It’s a lot take in, so let’s focus here on part 1 of our journey.

Memphis has an authenticity about it, and it comes through in the welcoming warmth of the people who live there. We can’t recall a shuttle driver, bartender, Uber driver, waiter or waitress that didn’t serve as an ambassador to their beloved city. Every person we encountered had favorites, recommendations and stories to share, and made us feel right at home. It is a special place.

There was simply too much to see and do in the 3 days we had…but we did fit in a lot! Listed below, in no particular order, are the must-see, must-experience choices we made, and highly recommend to anyone and everyone who enjoys (what we consider) the good things in life.

Pensacola

Pensacola

It started with out our great tour of the south. To celebrate 30 amazing years of marriage, we wanted to begin in one of our favorite places on earth, the always happy and happening New Orleans. Second on our list was Nashville (a blog to come), where we wanted our fill of BBQ, Bourbon (I know its really Kentucky, but go with me on the alliteration) and Blues (of the Country sort).

OK, anyway, we knew a stop in between would be a must. Carla isn’t happy in the car that long. So, we’d detour to Memphis. We have a plan! I’m thinking, great, everything we want (the three B’s), and a lot of nights to get it all in.

But as we started Google mapping the route, it occurred to us that without adding much distance we could add an additional ‘B’ – Beach ! After the New Orleans nights and before the Nashville scene, we could get in some R & R for few days (and dry out a bit…LOL). The gulf shore would fit in perfectly, just head east before North. And through all the great choices, one stood out: Pensacola.

So here are the reasons we went, the reasons we loved it, the reasons to go back, and the reasons why you should consider it as well!

Prague

Prague

We’re thrilled to feature our first guest blogger, our dear friend Jean Devlin…sharing her travel adventures and stunning photography.

When it comes to foreign travel, I try to familiarize myself with basic words and phrases of the native language. My language acquisition hit some serious roadblocks when it came to Czech and the only word I could remember was pivo, which means beer. Fortunately, that really came in handy and better yet, most merchants and waitstaff speak decent English in the city.

Prague is a beautiful city that deserves a visit. Most of the main attractions are within walking distance of each other, which is good because though the metro system is simple to navigate, trying to figure out how to pay for a ticket is extremely difficult. Personally, I’d rather be above ground, soaking in the sites instead of riding on a subway anyway. The Vlatva River divides Prague, with the Little Quarter and the Prague castle on one side of the river and the Old Town and New Town on the other.

The Charles Bridge is a beauty and not to be missed and we crossed over it many, many times during our visit. I’ll get into my observations on that later.

Connect with us for ideas, inspiration and resources to make your travel dreams a reality!
* = required field

powered by MailChimp!
Carla is standing by with travel advice, ideas, recommendations and the best deals you'll find anywhere. Reach out now to make your travel dreams a reality! Email Carla@vacationkids.com or call 973-370-5584
  • Yes, it was a business trip, but had to take an evening stroll down Lower Broadway. Gotta love Nashville!
  • 'Over every mountain there is a path, although it may not be seen from the valley.'-Theodore Roethke
  • A long ride through New England on a sunny Fall day. Rowell's Covered Bridge in West Hopkinton, New Hampshire, over the Contoocook River. The Long truss bridge was completed in 1853.
  • A great day to be out exploring. Along the Appalachian Trail climbing the ' Stairway to Heaven'. It was a challenge, but Gracie and I knocked it out!
  • 'Sometimes it takes a wrong turn to get you to the right place.'-Mandy Hale
  • 'Above the cloud with its shadow is the star with its light. Above all things reverence thyself.-'Pythagoras
  • Quote from my favorite author!!
'My escape is to just get in a boat and disappear on the water.'-Carl Hiaasen
  • The sun will come out tomorrow...🎶
  • A great day to explore the Manasquan Reservoir. A five mile hike in our beautiful garden state. These submerged trees gave a cool, eerie feeling under a grey sky. Highly recommended!