Monday, June 4, 2018

2018-May 31- June 3   Savannah-Edisto long weekend with Angie, Josh and Layla:

Time to use some more of our Wyndham points and hit the beach!

5-31-2018 to Savannah

6-1-2018  Savannah and on to Edisto

6-2-2018  Edisto Beach

6-3-2018 Botany Bay

Wyndham Ocean Ridge: The Village; 674A&B (2 bedroom lockoff)

Only 3 nights, but we all had a great time!  Been way too long since we've been to the beach!

Monday, March 19, 2018

2018 March Knoxville, St. Louis trip

Time to head back to St. Louis, by way of Knoxville.  Time to dog and cat sit for the kids for the weekend, then continue to St. Louis to pick up our tax papers so Ken can get our taxes filed.   

 

 3-8-2018  heading up to Knoxville

 

3-9-2018  ride up into the Smoky's to Cades Cove: 

 

3-12-2018  Knoxville - St. Louis in a snow storm: 

 

3-13-2018 a disappointing trip to the Social Security Office! 

 

 3-15-2018  dinner and dominoes with the Wilkes:

 

 3-17-2018  STL - Knoxville:  St. Patty's day!

 

3-18-18  a walk through Carl Cowen park with Tim and Faith and Jesse: 

 

 3-19-2018  a rainy cold drive back to Atlanta.

 

All in all, we had a good time.  I do enjoy St. Louis a lot more now that we don't live there!  But I don't want to move back.   

Saturday, February 24, 2018

2018 Maui --- 28 night vacation: Jan. 25th-Feb. 22nd (Fischers)

2018-1-25  through 2-22  Maui trip:

4 weeks in Maui!!!!  Longest we've ever vacationed in one spot.  I'm so anxious, I'm starting my blog a couple days early.  I'll get all the mundane stuff stuff out of the way:

Flights:  ATL-OGG
We're using award miles again.  This time we're using Alaska Airlines for our flights to OGG and AA for our flights back.  I booked the flights about 300 days out, knowing there would probably be changes before Jan. 25.  First one came while we were on vacation in S. Florida in May.  AA decided to eliminate our red eye flight out of OGG to LAX.  So they moved us up to a 2:30pm flight and changed our LAX - ATL flight to LAX - Charlotte (CLT) - ATL.  With an 8 hour layover in CLT!  I had to call twice before I got someone who could or would change the CLT flight to one with "just" a 1 1/2 hour layover.  Then in Nov.---while on an 11 night Caribbean cruise---our Alaska Airlines flight ATL - SEA got eliminated and we got an email telling us to call them.   So I called and they put us on a flight to SEA a day earlier and said they'll put us up in a hotel that night.  Then we would take our 10:30am SEA - OGG flight on the 25th.  So our really LONG travel day becomes 2 long travel days, but at least we don't have to get to the Atlanta airport by 4am!  As always, I kept checking our flights for better itineraries and/or seats.  On Jan. 20 AA put their non-stop LAX-ATL red eye on mile-saver award travel, so I was able to called and got us switched to that flight instead of LAX-CLT-ATL.  Now we'll get back into ATL about 7:30 am instead of noonish----just in time for the lovely Atlantic rush hour traffic!  As we're driving through the city to get to the north side I'll just keep reminding myself it's better then sitting in the Charlotte airport waiting for another flight!

Accommodations --- Kahana Villas Resort and Worldmark Kihei

Car rental --- Nissan Pathfinder

Cameras this trip:  My Canon 60D DSLR with a Tamron 17-300mm zoom lens and a Tamron 150-600zoom lens; and a TG-4 Olympus underwater camera. 

For our day to day fun, click on the links:

1-24-2018  Day -1 --- off to Seattle:

1-25-2-18  Day 2---SEA - OGG and settling in: 

1-26-2018  Day 3---snorkel Kahekili and Lahaina for sunset: 

1-27-2018  Day 4---snorkel Kapalua and Lahaina for sunset

1-28-2018  Day 5---Sea House breakfast, Napili bay, Kapalua snorkel, Kahana sunset, Lahaina 

1-29-2018  Day 6---the Fischers arrive!

1-30-2018  Day 7---trip up to the North/West side and the Super Blue Blood Moon:

1-31-2018  Day 8---snorkeling Kapalua with newbies

2-1-2018  Day 9---whale watching tour out of Lahaina 

2-2-2018  Day 10---move to the South side by way of Haleakala: 

2-3-2018  Day 11---checking out the high surf on the South side

2-4-2018  Day 12---half the road to Hana

2-5-2018  Day 13---RAIN and Fischers leave

2-6-2018  Day 14---Oneuli whale watching and walking the Hoapili trail

2-7-2018  Day 15---a walk along the Wailea Walking Path 

2-8-2018  Day 16---snorkeling!  Kapalua and MM14

2-9-2018  Day 17---snorkeling Makena Landing 

2-10-2018 Day 18---snorkeling Ahihi and a walk along the path by Maluaka

2-11-2018 Day 19---snorkeling MM14 and sunset at Kam 1-2 

2-12-2018 Day 20---snorkeling Kam 3 and Po'olenalena

2-13-2018  Day 21---snorkeling Po'olenalena and The Dumps!

2-14-2018  Day 22---Valentine's Day Trilogy whale watching tour 

2-15-2018  Day 23---A rainy day, but a great sunset  

2-16-2018  Day 24---Kula Gardens, Hookipa turtles, Kam 1 sunset 

2-17-2018 Day 25---Snorkel Honolua!!!  and Kapalua, then off to Lahaina 

2-18-2018 Day 26---Water spout!  walking north of Kam 1 

2-19-2018 Day 27---Walk along the Kam beaches and disappearing ring

2-20-2018 Day 28---Snorkel Maluaka and Wailea

2-21-2018  Day 29---last day!!! So sad!

2-22 and 23-2018---heading home to ATL

Highlights and lowlights of this trip:  The biggest highlight was sharing vacation time with good friends for a week.  Biggest lowlight is apparently having my wedding ring stolen!  Another lowlight is my glasses disappearing in the ocean and having to get new ones made at LensCrafters.  Speaking of things disappearing---so did my hat!  Definitely too many lowlights!  Our trip ended with another highlight!---finding my assumed "stolen" ring! 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

2017  Nov. 28 - Dec. 12:  11 night HAL Koningsdam sunfarer cruise (St. Kitt's, St. Lucia, Barbados, Martinique, Antigua, St. Thomas, Half Moon Cay) and 3 night S. Florida stay:


When Southwest offered some insane airfares to FLL from ATL for $37@ way, I decided it was time for another trip!  So I chose Nov. 28 - Dec. 10----the week after Thanksgiving until a couple weeks before Christmas.  Now all I had to do was find accommodations and wait for Nov. 28th.  We were able to find a good deal for an 11 night Caribbean cruise of Holland America's newest ship, the Koningsdam, for $899@.  We were on her last year and really liked it.  But we still needed a night before the cruise and 2 nights after the cruise.  Having a bunch of Wyndham points, I was able to book the Wyndham Palm Aire.  I was even able to get the 4 bedroom penthouse for half the points of a 2 bedroom unit with our VIP status for the night before our cruise.

But before Nov. 28th came around, a little storm called Irma decided to pay a visit to the whole state of Florida and even up to us in Atlanta!   2 weeks before the trip, we got an email from Wyndham saying they were cancelling our pre cruise reservation---and might still cancel our post cruise 2 night reservation.  Dang!!!!  I did call them closer to our trip and confirmed that they were not going to cancel our 2 bedroom unit for the 2 nights after the cruise.  Yea!!!

I had thought about cancelling our trip, but since it was past the cancellation period for the cruise, we decided to go anyway.  We'd stay in a Ramada Inn and pay $85 for the pre cruise night.

11-28 :  Travel day

The Koningsdam:  VA 8065 and around the ship

11-29 :  Koningsdam 11 night Embarkation day

11-30 :  Sea day

12-1   :  Sea day

12-2   :  St. Kitt's

12-3   :  St. Lucia

12-4   :  Barbados

12-5   :  Martinique

12-6   :  Antigua

12-7   :  St. Thomas

12-8   :  Sea day

12-9   :  Half Moon Cay

12-10 :  Debarkation Day-Green Cay

12-11  :  Wakodahatchee Wetlands

12-12 we headed back to the airport and flew back to ATL.  Another long travel day, but our daughter did pick us up at ATL so we didn't have to go to the car rental building off site.
It was another great trip that went way too quickly!  The snorkeling wasn't the greatest this time, but the weather was pretty darn nice.  Even were welcomed several mornings by a rainbow!  The Koningsdam was as nice as we remembered, maybe even nicer.  It was another great trip! 

Friday, November 10, 2017

2017 Nov. Mother/Daughter trip to Sapphire, North Carolina

 Nov. 7-9 mother/daughter trip into the Southern North Carolina mountains:

It was time to get back up into the mountains and see the leaves in fall colors!  So I booked a couple nights at another Wyndham that we hadn't been to, Wyndham Resort at Fairfield Sapphire Valley.  I was able to use our VIP status and get it at 50% fewer points and upgraded to a 2 bedroom unit.  So I asked Angie if she'd like to go.  She did.  So Ken decided to stay home and let us girls go on another mother/daughter trip.  We did and we had a great time!

11-7-17   on our way to the Wyndham at Sapphire Resort

11-7-17  Wyndham Resort at Fairfield Sapphire Valley

11-7-17  on to Whitewater Falls

11-8-17  on our way to The Biltmore, by way of more waterfalls and the Blue Ridge Parkway

11-8-17  The Biltmore decorated for the holidays

11-9-17  traveling back to Buford, Ga, by way of more waterfalls: Bridal Veil Falls and Dry Falls

As Angie said---this was a perfect little get-away!  It was only a couple hours away and there is so much to do in the area!  We were only gone for 2 nights, but it was like having 3 full days to explore the area.  They like to advertise that there are over 250 waterfalls in the area.  We're going to have to take a lot more little get-aways to see them all!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

2017 Aug. 3 night trip to Lake Lure, North Carolina

Aug. 22-25 trip to Lake Lure with Ken:

After spending 2 nights here last month with Angie and Faith, I was excited to pick up another 3 nights here for Ken and me.


8-22-17  To Lake Lure


8-23-17  off to some waterfalls, the Pisgah Mountains, and the Biltmore


8-24-17 Hickory Nut Falls and kicking around Lake Lure


8-25-17 scenic ride back to Atlanta


Lake Lure is appropriately named---it keeps luring us back!   I'm sure this will be one of our go to places for a short get away from Atlanta!  Such a beautiful area and beautiful ride there!


 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

2017 July 21-23: girls' weekend to North Carolina!

Since I had a $500 gift certificate to use at the Biltmore Estate, I decided it would be fun to take the "girls" out for a weekend trip.  So we decided to go to the nearest Wyndham resort to the Biltmore for a weekend and go to the Biltmore for one of those days.  Turned out to be great decision!  Angie had bragged about theWyndham Fairfield Mountain Resort at Lake Lure, N. Carolina every since she and Josh went there last year.   She was right---it's a pretty awesome place!  And it was only about a 3 1/2 hour ride for Angie and me; about 2 1/2 hours for Faith.  But it's a gorgeous ride, so the time went fast.  Not just the ride, but the whole weekend!

7-21-17 Lake Lure and Wyndham Fairfield Mountain resort

7-22-17 A day at the Biltmore!

7-23-17 boat ride on Lake Lure

It was a great weekend.  Only spent about $350 of the $500, so maybe there will be another girls' trip including the Biltmore in the not too distant future!