Saturday, November 19, 2011

Where Are You Thankful For?

I've traveled to some fabulous locations over the last couple of years.  Here are the five I'm most thankful for.

1. L'auberge de Sedona, Arizona- Nestled among the red rocks of Sedona is a romantic hideaway bordering Oak Creek.  Here the weather is cooler than most of Arizona and the landscape truly transcends the ordinary.  I woke up to morning yoga, coffee and fresh baked scones, and spent my days hiking the magnificent red landscape. This place is not for kids, so save it for that special getaway with your one and only.

2. Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada - I visit Vegas every year and have stayed at most of the places on the strip. (I refuse to stay at Circus Circus because I'm afraid of clowns *shiver*) Hands down my favorite place to stay is Caesars. Aside from the luxurious accommodations, the service in the casino is excellent. Although Caesars is conveniently located near the center of the strip, you will never want to leave. The pool area, called Garden of the Gods is a great way to spend an afternoon. The food is fabulous and the shows are some of the best in the world.  Don't miss Absinthe  but if you do wander, take in O at the Bellagio. There is something in Vegas for everyone...accept kids.  Don't bring your kids. Save this trip for an exciting vaca with your best pals.

3. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Orlando, Florida- The best family vacation we've ever taken was to Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.  This is one of those rare places where everyone, young and old, comes away happy. We spent four full days in the two parks but the highlight of the trip was the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  The place is nothing less than magical.  Don't miss Olivanders. (I recommend getting in line for this first) or Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride.  Lunch at the Three Broomsticks is worth waiting for.  Your kids will love the butterbeer and pumpkin juice.  The rest of Universal is lots of fun, too, when you've had enough of Hogwarts.

4. Turtle Bay Resort, North Shore Hawaii- My favorite place to stay when visiting my husbands birthplace of Oahu, Hawaii is the Turtle Bay resort.  It was featured in the film Forgetting Sarah Marshall and let me tell you, you could forget a lot watching the waves wash toward this island paradise. When you've had enough of sand and sun, go snorkeling, surfing or horseback riding or try the restaurant on the beach.  You'll never forget a stay at Turtle Bay and of course, if you visit North Shore, don't forget to have a shave ice at Matsumotos.

5. Washington D.C - For something completely different, visit Washington D.C with your family. We took the train from Union Station, Chicago on a seventeen hour ride to the capitol. Stay on Dupont Circle and you are walking distance from most attractions.  We visited the Washington Monument, toured the White House and the House of Representatives, visited the Library of Congress, and spent whole days wandering through Smithsonian museums for free.  I don't consider myself a history buff but the multi-cultural population and political intrigue that surrounds the place is beyond interesting.  It's an affordable place to take the whole family and it will change the way you think about the United States.

Where are you thankful for?

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