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Showing posts from 2015

Enjoying a Winter Wonderland at Boyne Highlands

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I had arrived at Boyne Highlands Resort in Michigan the previous evening with my brother, Mark, and my nephew and niece, Jacob and Moriah. Everyone was excited about a weekend full of activities. Well, almost everyone. I had broken my arm just two weeks before and wouldn’t be doing anything adventurous.  I have to admit I was a bit bummed before I arrived, but once I settled into Boyne Highlands Resort , the views and other things I could do had eliminated my gloomy outlook. We were up early for breakfast in the Dining Room of the Main Lodge. I was impressed by the huge buffet. There was an omelet station, as well as hot and cold dishes, fruits, muffins, pancakes, and more. We were all full when we left to head outside, where the temperature was hovering around zero degrees. It was, after all, Michigan in the winter, I reminded my Californian family. I followed everyone along to the Snow Sports Academy Desk in the Day Lodge, where they were checked in and f

Back to Michigan: Traverse City to Harbor Springs for Boyne Highlands

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I was really excited about my first trip to Boyne Highlands Resort  in Michigan. I was especially thrilled that my brother, Mark, was coming with my niece and nephew (although I wished my oldest niece could come too). The plan was to all fly into Traverse City Airport, have lunch, and then make a visit to Bowers Harbor Vineyards before leaving town. This was my third trip to Traverse City and while I didn’t have a lot of time, I wanted to at least get one more of their fabulous wineries covered. My friend Mike Norton, Media Relations Manager at Traverse City Tourism, thought Bowers was not only a great winery, but as family friendly as a winery can be. You know what they say about the best laid plans. I arrived in Traverse City to find out the family had missed their connection. I knew immediately I where I was when I was looking for a cup of coffee. After all, where else would the coffee machine offer “Cherry Pie Cappuccino” other than in Cherry Capital Airp

Zagreb Stopover Before Heading Home from Croatia

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Lynn and I left Split for Zagreb in the late afternoon. The drive was a fairly easy one as highways of Croatia are new and very well kept up. Zagreb was unlike any city we saw in Istria, Rijeka, or Split. It was filled with tall buildings and contemporary designs. We arrived at the Doubletree by Hilton Zagreb . It was a beautiful hotel and had a comfortable lobby. It was evening and we had an early flight in the morning so the only thing we had planned was dinner and then an early bedtime. We checked out the restaurant, but didn’t really want a meal. We were both craving pizza and were curious to see if it was as good as it had been in Istria . The staff at the front desk unanimously told us to go into the building next door to Al Metro. The building was modern and filled with restaurants, but we followed the smell to the pizzeria. We picked up a pie and took it back to the room. It had been a once in a lifetime experience in Croatia, especially the first

Beach Time and Relaxation in Split, Croatia

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Travel days where I have nothing to do are few and far between, but this one was especially wonderful since I had a beautiful beach and a spa to enjoy for the day. Lynn and I had been traveling through Croatia for nine days. Although I wouldn’t have done anything different, we were still exhausted. The Hotel Split was on a breathtaking beach and, since it was during the week, pretty quiet. We had every intention of taking advantage of that time in  Split . We enjoyed breakfast at the hotel with an amazing view. It was a pretty typical European breakfast for me of yogurt, fruit, cheese, and a croissant.  It’s odd how I like variety so much at home, but always seem to stick to this in Europe. After breakfast, we spent the morning walking and lounging on the beach. The Adriatic Sea was especially beautiful from Split and just gazing at it from different angles was a treat. When we arrived at  Hotel Split , I saw the spa specials and noticed that the H

From Rijeka to Split and the Game of Thrones

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After an exciting week with our Share Istria group , my friend Lynn and I were off on our own to explore more of Croatia. Our first stop was in Rijeka and we had a great first day there. In the morning, we had another great and filling Croatia breakfast after a good night’s sleep at the Grand Hotel Bonavia in Rijeka.  Before we headed back on the road we also had a chance to spend a bit of time in the Grand Hotel Bonavia Wellness Centre. I was extremely impressed with this spa that was complimentary to all guests. It included a relaxation area with chromo therapy, themed aromatherapy showers, a Finish Sauna, a Turkish Sauna, and a spa area where they offered massages. By the time we left there we were very relaxed and we hit the road to Split. Alenka, our guide the previous day , had told us a lot about the beach town of Krk so we made a short detour to check it out. It was indeed filled with beaches and a quaint downtown area along the water with a ma

Hitting the Road to Rijeka

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Lynn and I woke up in Istria for the last time. We had breakfast with the group and said as our rental car pulled up to the front of Hotel Lone in Rovinj. The Croatia Tourism Board had arranged for us to have this Audi as we hit the road to check out two more areas of the country neither of us had ever been: Rijeka and Split. Rijeka was first and we had a scenic ride along the Mediterranean Sea to our destination. It definitely looked more city-like than anywhere we had been in Istria, and Rijeka was in fact filled with plenty to. This has made it a very popular cruise port in the last few years. We would be staying overnight at the Hotel Bonavia . It was centrally located and looked quite “grand.” It was raining when Dominik Damis of the Rijeka Tourist Board and guide Alenka Šuljić Petrc picked us up to tour Rijeka, but we weren’t deterred from seeing the sites. As we went through the city, we saw the cruise terminal, and heard about how inexpensi