Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Stay in Greve Chianti near Florence Italy

Thankyou Travelin' Pat for sharing your adventure in Chianti.
The place is a little bit beat up but its huge and the views from every window are stunning.  I feel lucky (Especially when bits of the ceiling come crashing down intermittently and don’t hit me on the head).  Apparently Emma Thompson and Kenneth Brannah stayed here for 4 months while filming Much Ado about Nothing.  That’s gotta say something…. I think.  Because of the time of year we are here, the mozzies are rampant and the little buggers those no seeums are biting barb like Barb like crazy.  Everyday she creams up like mad and yesterday to top it all off  she got bitten by a bee!

 We are in Greve in Chianti, about 40 K give or take from Florence and it is a sweet little place choko block with wine shops (enotecas) cool boutiques and pizzerias. Last weekend there was a wine festival in the piazza that has been going on for 43 years.  Totally fun.  There is a lot of money walking around this place!

 So far we are bumbling along ok with the language as it is similar to Spanish although the other day Barb was horrified when as we were entering the wine shop below Carlo our host asked her if she saw the bat dung….Actually he had said did you see that the beds were done!!  Language alert!

 Driving is interesting.  I am the sole driver on these teeny narrow roads, battling round the curves with all the Audis, Mercedes and BMW Sterling Moss types..  On Wednesday Barb and I jumped into the car to head to Deruta , a place where they make most of Italy’s famous ceramics.  Armed with our GPS system (aka Mimi”) AND our goggle map on our phone we felt confident that we could get there.  First, before we even got to the end of the driveway GPS Mimi is spouting out “lost satellite reception” lost satellite reception.   We drive a bit further down the road and Mimi is back saying “in 250 meters turn right.  GPS map girl says turn left…..Oh dear, what to do?  After awhile the girls start getting along and we now shut off Google girl (to save data) and go with Mimi who irritatingly went in and out of losing satellite reception the whole way.

 We entered the Autostrada at one point and naturally went in the wrong line up.  We had to back up and go in another one, and this one had an open gate so we were a bit flummoxed.  We pressed the red help button but no help appeared so we just drove through.  50 Kilometers later when we exited there was a big hoopla and we were presented with a 46Euro bill for entering the Autostrada illegally.  Finally after going into the office they took pity on us and let us go with the regular 4 E toll. 

 Anyway, we are walking most days even though it has been smoking hot.  Donna and Denis and Barb and I take turns cooking dinner.  We all hate it when it is our turn….Plus we have tasted all kinds of great wines and had a few pizzas to boot.  I think some Italian ice cream is next!

 If you are planning a trip to the Florence area or other places in Italy take a look at these Italy Vacation Rentals.  It's best to book early because vacation rentals are very popular.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Merida Mexico on the Yucatan Peninsula - Gulf of Mexico

Thankyou Travelin' Pat for sharing this with us.

Here we are on the road again.  We sold our house in Tucson and are taking some time to unwind from it all. I’m a little bit sad because even with its gun toting culture, illegal immigrant problems and copious amounts of rattle snakes we really love Arizona!

This time it’s Merida Mexico. For those of you who may be a little foggy on its whereabouts, it’s in the Yucatan, on the Gulf of Mexico and as far east as you can go and still be in Mexico.

There are somewhere around a million people here and it is the oldest continuously occupied city in the Americas. Around the turn of the century Merida had more millionaires than any place in the world! The Spanish Conquistadors founded it in 1542. They took over a Mayan city Ichacaaniziho (try saying that fast!) so consequently there was trouble ahead. They then had to wall it all off to fend off revolts from the Mayan people. Sadly today the Mayans seem to be second- class citizens who were at one point almost on the verge of losing their language.

Our B &B is wonderful…a graceful colonial mansion right in the heart of El Centro. No other guests but us, … just Serjio the proprietor his 3 dogs and 6 cats. Good grief. And of course the dogs…this time it’s Labradors and these guys want a toy lobbed into the swimming pool constantly. They lunge into the pool after it and reward us by coming out and shaking water all over our books and us!

Merida is such a vibrant city, with Music and dancing all part of everyday life. Yesterday as we were exploring, we stopped at one of the plazas to listen to some live music. The minute the band struck up a tune the stage was flooded with couples dancing. Apparently there is music and dancing in the plazas all year long. On Sunday’s, streets in el Centro are closed to traffic and the locals don on their best Sunday go to meetin’ clothes and head into town for entertainment.

Strolling in an elegant neighborhood that speaks to the old Colonial Days when life was a bit grander…well for the rich people anyway, we happened on…ready for this?? A STARBUCKS!! Nothing like a chai tea latte to draw all the ex pats together…that pretty much is what we do all day long. Walk. Oh yes and a wee bit of shopping… Aaron purchased a Panama hat and looks rather dapper in it if I do say so.

Sejio told us that Mayan people used to be tall then they started sleeping in hammocks and became much shorter. Now the young people are sleeping in beds and getting taller again. Who knew?

We have rented a car and are off to the beach and some exploring for the next 9 days. Onward and Upwards!

The church in the main square at night
Find Yucatan Vacation Rentals

Friday, December 2, 2011

Florida Clearwater Vacation Condo

Our latest video is of a lovely condo in the Clearwater/St. Petersburg area of Florida.

If you would like a video made of your vacation rental, all we need are 20 still photos and we do the rest, including adding Royalty Free Music. Read about our special offer.  Video Creation Service.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Steak Pit Restaurant Bragg Creek Alberta Celebrates 50th Anniversary

The STEAK PIT is 50 Years Old!!!

To our knowledge, it is the only restaurant in Alberta (if not CANADA!!) to have attained this milestone, with the same ownership.
Yes, back in 1961, builder/visionary, Gordon Shoults, then a young army band sergeant, spent his spare time building this unique structure, opening it that summer as a take-out burger bar, with a 30-seat restaurant.
Soon to become a destination spot for adventurous city diners, the STEAK PIT expanded twice, and also added three A-frame chalets to accommodate travellers and get-away seekers.

The STEAK PIT has become an icon in the restaurant industry, for its cozy atmosphere signature steaks and salad dressing, and for the ubiquitous personalized wooden signs that dot the landscape, literally around the world.
Having weathered the many economic swings of the past 50 years, the STEAK PIT is READY TO CELEBRATE!!!!
Gordon, along with Operator, Marisa Rosati, and Head Chef, Scottie, are pleased TO INVITE YOU to join in the fun over the weekend of July 15, 16, 17, 2011.
There will be special menus, with anniversary food and drink items, lots of entertainment (with some
celebrity alumni surprises), and memorabilia to recall times past, celebrated at this unique spot.

As a special incentive, we invite you to bring along one of the following:
--your personalized reservation sign (the older the better!),
--proof of past employment at "The Pit",
--proof of your "949" telephone prefix,
--this invitation
.....for "deeper discounts" and special offers.

Please call Marisa at (403)949-3633 for more information and reservations.

Entertainment lineup is as follows
Fri. 15th: Brock & Merry Jo (entertainers from late 70's) 6 p.m.

Sat. 16th: Peter Clark (12:30 - 2:30)
Michelle Boudreau (3-5 p.m.) (Gord's grand-daughter, CBC entertainer)
Joyce and Gord (and Bob) 6 - 10

Sun. 17th: Brunch 11 a.m. - ??? Joyce & Gord 11 - 1 p.m.
Dixieland Band 2-5
Cowboy Poetry with Jesse Colt 5:30 - 6:30 (give or take)
Peter Clark & Courtney Faber 6:30 - 9-ish

Joyce and Gord will be "on site" all through the week-end to meet & greet old friends and customers
who happen to stop by. Reservations recommended for the 3 evenings, and for Sunday Brunch.
Special feature of Beer & a Burger for $10 on "off hours", and several dinner entrees, and Sunday Brunch for

Make us a part of YOUR 2011 Summertime Memories.

Need accommodation? Try this Calgary Vacation Home

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Memories of Disneyland Vacation

As a child and one of seven children, we didn't take many holidays, and going to Disneyland was always an unfulfilled dream.

My husband was just like me and had always yearned of going to this magical place.

The dream was finally realized when our twins were 9 years old.

We will never forget the thrill of walking though the parking lot towards the entrance. I am sure we were more excited than the kids.

Once inside, our son was determined to get an autograph from each Disney character.

So it was Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, Snow White, and running here and there madly trying to meet them and so wanting to believe they were real.

We were staggered by the technology of the place, not to mention the amazing rides. Small World was delightful, and probably our favourite was the boat ride that took us to the Pirates of the Caribbean. This was back in the 80s and I know that many more exciting rides have been added since that time.
Today Disneyland is still a major tourist destination for not only families but people of all ages. The one great thing this place does is bring out the child in us all.

Another great memory of that trip was staying in a vacation rental that was steps from the Disneyland entrance. We were able to cook most of our meals and avoid the expense of eating out. The accommodations were spacious and comfortable and we were so grateful that we didn't have to cram in a small hotel room for our special holiday.

There are still many Orlando Vacation Rentals to be found that are very close to Disneyland. After our experience I would strongly recommend renting from an owner for your Disney vacation. We look forward to renewing our Disneyland memories but this time with our grandchildren.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Kihei Maui Vacation Rentals

Charley Young Beach
Kihei is located in South Maui and is popular for its fine beaches and a vacation rental for every budget. As you make your way down South Kihei Road there are many privately owned condos in great locations for your special Hawaii holiday. You can even get oceanfront properties in Kihei at affordable rates. There are also many family oriented rentals with green areas for your children to run and play on.
Kihei has a wide choice of restaurants from fast food to fine dining and to suit every pocket book. The shopping areas in Kihei are not confined to one district and you can find craft fairs, farmer's markets, factory outlet stores, clothing stores, sports stores, Longs Drugs ( a great place to buy wine etc at fantastic prices) Hawaiian Moons health food store and many other interesting shops. The Piilani Village Centre has Safeway,Hilo Hatties, ABC Store, Dairy Queen and Starbucks, where incidentally I saw Santa the other day on vacation, enjoying a cup of coffee . No kidding. Read More.

Wailea is not far away with wonderful golf courses, the lovely Shops of Wailea and higher end condos. It is a treat just to drive through this lovely district and if you are located in a Kihei vacation rental it is not far.

There is a wonderful walk you can do if you park at Ulua Beach. The walkway takes you along the ocean in front of all the Wailea Hotels. If you feel like a special treat you may want to stop off at one of the hotels for a lovely buffet breakfast, but just remember you are paying for the fantastic setting. Our favourite Happy Hour place in Wailea is Gannons on the Gold (golf) course. Experience fantastic sunsets from here, and suprisingly in such a classy place, drinks and pupus( appetizers) during happy hour are affordable for anyone.

All of these amenities combined make Kihei Vacation Rentals an excellent choice for your holiday in beautiful Hawaii.
 Here are some very nice Kihei vacation condos that you can rent directly from the owners.

Maui Oasis Rental - Designer's two bedroom two bath vacation condo with lots of extra amenities. Close to beach, shopping, restaurants, parks etc. Great central location! Lovely tropical grounds with pool, hot tub and outdoor kitchen.

Maui Kihei Vacation Rental - The Maui Garden House is a two bedroom/2 bath vacation home nestled in a beautiful tropical garden setting overlooking the grounds and pool. Close to beach, shops, church, restaurants etc.

Maui Kihei Vacation Condo - Vacation in Paradise at our updated two bedroom, two bath condo located in a peaceful garden setting, just steps to the beach and close to shops and restaurants.

One Bedroom Kihei Vacation Condo - spacious and beautifully furnished condo in a great complex right across the road from well known Kamaole 3 beach. Free internet, two pools, tennis court and BBQs. Sleeps 4
Beachfront Vacation Condo - large one bedroom condo centrally located on Maui's sunshine coast of Kihei. Enjoy awesome sunsets from your own private lanai. Pool, hot tub, child's wading pool, BBQs, picnic areas, shuffleboard and a great ocean front setting. Sleeps 4

Oceanfront Vacation Rental - large one bedroom condo with ocean view. Close to shopping, restaurants, craft fair and many great Kihei beaches. Oceanfront property with pool, BBQs, shuffleboard and lovely grounds. Sleeps 4

Two Bedroom Ocean View Condo - wall to wall, ceiling to floor windows in the living room and master suite which open onto private lanais, offering views of the West Maui mountain and the ocean. Comfortably sleeps 7 people.

Maui Sun Fun - South Kihei Vacation Condo - spacious 2 bedroom/2 bath condo in great location. Pool View. Close to beach, shopping, restaurants.
Mana Kai
Magnificent Beachfront Maui vacation rental condominium is located on the top floor of Mana Kai, Wailea,Maui.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Choose Mt. Baker Lodgings for Your Winter Ski Vacation

Mt. Baker Washington
Conveniently located just 2 hours north of Seattle, and 1.5 hours south of Vancouver BC, Mt. Baker ski lodgings include private, self-catering, fully equipped Mt. Baker area cabins, cottages, condos, chalets, and executive vacation home rental accommodations, located in the mountain villages of Glacier and Maple Falls, at the magnificent gateway to the Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest, and the adjacent Mount Baker Ski Area!
There are many reasons that you should consider Mt Baker ski chalet or vacation home but the main one is that the Mount Baker recreation Area is a year-round playground! SUMMER guests enjoy great hiking, mountain biking, mountain climbing, rock climbing, backpacking, freshwater fishing (lake and river), small game hunting, white water rafting, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, nature viewing, tennis, and golf. WINTER guests enjoy spectacular downhill and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, and sledding. Don't forget your camera.....the photography is unsurpassed year-round!

Mt. Baker Ski Lodging
The special feature of the Mt Baker area is that if you choose Mt Baker Ski Accommodations or vacation homes you will have your own home away from home no matter what the season. Renting from an owner will give you closer access to the ski resort and the many activities that Mt. Baker has to offer. You will also be experience a more affordable vacation when you share expenses with family and friends.