Tag Archives: travel

Kauai, what a place

Took a trip to Kauai recently, it’s the second time we’ve been to Hawaii. The first time was Maui and it was great to get back, made even better by visiting another island. We were there just over 6 days and went hiking 4 of those. The weather was great, as was the water, people, and the whole experience. Even though I enjoy the snow and my ski trips in the winter you can’t really complain about this.

Kauai Beach
Kauai Beach

More picks in this Kauai Flickr Album.

Tahoe in June

At the end of June we took a trip to Tahoe, would have been better if it was ski season but summer is better than nothing. We flew into Sacramento and took a quick detour up to Chico, that’s where the Sierra Nevada Brewery is, Kay’s favorite. We took the tour, which was excellent. I would have never guessed they used solar power and recycled most all of their waste. They even grow some of their own hops. Once the tour was over we stopped by the tap room for a bite to eat and a beverage. Before leaving we picked up a growler of the Ovila Saison for later that week. Chico to South Lake Tahoe is about three hours depending on how many stops you make. We decided to not go back through Sacramento and take 80 east to 267 and come down on the Nevada side. Before getting to 267 we stopped and took a couple pictures at Donner Lake. The drive was excellent and we got to the house around 6:00pm, our friends and their kids were already there. On the schedule for tomorrow, hiking.

We drove up Emerald Bay Road to Inspiration Point Vista and took a few pictures, after that it was off to the Bayview Trailhead. The trail heads along a hill side for good bit until you make it to flat rock. From there you can go about anywhere. There is a water fall off the flat rock and you can look out over the lake or head up. It will take a few hours out and back plenty of great scenery and a good workout. Good thing there’s a hot tube back at the house.

Day two was more hiking, this time to Angora Lakes Resort. This is a hike for anyone, young or old. It’s about a half mile from the parking lot and the resort is made up of cabins on two lakes. There’s kayaking, paddle boarding, a beach and general store. The cabins have electricity and running water but no internet or TV, cell reception is spotty too. If I remember correctly a cabin rents for a week at a time so if you really want to get a way but stay close to civilization this could be the place.

For day three we still went hiking but did it a little differently. We drove in to town and got on the Heavenly Gondola for a ride up the mountain. They have an observation deck about 3/4 the way up that has ridiculous views of the city and lake. After some time there we rode up to the top and walked around the lodge. You can hike up and down the runs, even take a lift up to the top of some if you want. That was going to be a little much for the kids so we roamed around a bit and then headed back. On the ride down we saw a few folks walking down, that was impressive.

Day four was the last day our friends would be there before leaving the following morning. We didn’t do any hiking, instead opted for the beach. The beach was about a mile walk from our house through a spectacular meadow. It was a relaxing afternoon, we saw a number of people on kayaks and paddle boards. I even caught a couple paddle boarders with dogs on the boards as they paddled along. The only thing that would have made it better is if the water was warmer. But it’s June and it’s Tahoe.

Day five and the trip is almost over. Our friends are heading out and the weather has turned, it’s raining. Kay and I drove around a little but were not prepared to be out in the inclement conditions. As luck would have it game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals was scheduled so all we had to do was find a place to watch it. Mo’s Place on the same property as the Super 8 was it with plenty of TV’s, good food and a family atmosphere.

We did get a chance to head to the upper and lower falls behind Fallen Leaf Lake, but I don’t remember which day that was. The drive along Fallen Leaf Lake is crazy, would have been cool to take in on a motor bike but I would not recommend anything bigger than a mini van. It’s pretty much a one lane road with spots to pull to the side so anyone coming the other way can pass. It’s lined with beautiful homes but only a few on the lake side of the road.

Lake Tahoe was a great time, we’d love to go back and do more hiking and see more sites. I’d like to get there in the winter once and check out the skiing too. It was a good getaway, if you haven’t been go!

A few days in Anaheim, CA

Last week I was in Anaheim, CA on business and had an opportunity to play some golf during a little down time. Not knowing the area a coworker and I got with another Supplier that had been wanting to play Oak Quarry for a number of years, it was the perfect opportunity so we tagged along.

Created from an abandoned rock quarry in 2001 it is a site worth visiting and a course anyone would enjoy playing. We had a blast, even though I played like crap! The views are breath taking and the holes are challenging. Bring a few balls cause beyond the rough it’s unkept and you’re not going to wander into the weeds and brush wildlife, stickers and thorns will keep you on the course. If you play from the black tees you’ll be hitting driver from all the par 4’s, don’t let the first hole fool you. It’s better to stick with the blues or whites, that 20 yards will help a ton.

Hopefully I’ll get back there and can play it again, regardless it was a great experence. If you’re ever in the area and looking for a place to play I’d recommend it.

Summertime in Jamaica

Last week six of us headed south to Jamaica for a week on the beach at the Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton, about a half our outside of Montego Bay. For Kay and I it was a welcomed summer vacation, for the others is was the last chance to get away before school started. We booked through Vacation Express and were on the last Sun Wing charter direct from Nashville.

The Grand Palladium is the largest resort in Montego Bay and it has a lot to offer. There are two ‘sides’ to the resort, the Jamaica side which is more for families and the Lady Hamilton which is more for adults or couples. They’re connected by an enormous pool, with swim up bar, and main building that has resturants, shops, casino, disco, and common areas. The resturaunts will fit any pallet with two buffets and a sports bar that’s open 22 hours a day.

In addition to the main pool there’s an adult only pool with a bar that’s open till 10:30pm and another pool with a Spa and ‘lazy river’ that’s shaded. If you’d rather be on the beach there’s three to choose from. I’d recommend Sunset Beach as it has the most shade. It’s in a cove and is where the included water sports (snorkeling, kayaking, paddel boats, wind surfing, catamaran) are located. It also has ‘the jerk hut’, which you need to visit at least once and The Poseidon resturaunt.

You really have everything you need at the resort but if you want to go on an excursion that’s ‘no problem mon’. We took a taxi to Negril for an afternoon and stopped by Margaritaville, did some shopping, got to see a still working light house that’s a few hundered years old and visited Rick’s Cafe. Rick’s is known to be a good place to see the sunset, on the day we were there it cloudy. But you will have some entertainment from the locals cliff diving.

Our other trip was to Dunn’s River Falls, the most visited attraction in Ocho Rios if not the whole Island. It is a must if you’re there for any length of time but before booking ask when the cruise ships doc. If your schedule allows avoid a day when they’re in port, lines will be shorter and you’ll have more time on the falls.

The other days were spent at the resort on the beach. I did get Parmy Olson’s ‘We are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency’ to pass the time. It was a interesting read. We sprinkled in a little volleyball and tennis, but no running. Some others in the group did a little but walking was enough for Kay and I. And yes it is a big place so be prepared to take a stroll if you need to get somewhere.

We had a great time and would recommend the resort if you’re looking for a place to hang out in Jamaica.

Thanksgiving in Chicago

For Thanksgiving this year we headed up to Chicago to visit family. We left early Thursday morning and got into Midway around 8:30am. My sister and her husband picked us up and we headed down town to take in the sights. It was cool and overcast but there were plenty of people out for the parade on State St.

We stopped at the Magnolia Bakery to get some coffee and cookies before stepping out to watch a bit of the parade. The Magnolia Bakery is a nice little shop with tasty treats, excellent drinks, and great people. Everyone had a smile on their face or a welcoming comment.

We then walked down to the river past the Trump Tower and on to Michigan Avenue. None of the shops were open, accept Starbucks and a few others. From there we headed back to Millennium Park and walked around the Ice Rink and “the Bean”. There were a lot of families out skating, kids taking pictures at the Bean and even a few workers cleaning up leaves.

It has been years since I’ve been on Lake Shore Drive and Michigan Avenue and have never been to Millennium Park. Despite the weather it was a great few hours in a the windy city. The rest of the day we spent with family celebrating Thanksgiving. An excellent holiday.