Friday, December 31, 2010

I Remember ... My Favorite Trips to Other Local Regions During Off Season

It is December 31, 2010. Many people write about their journey to other regions (plane delays, crowds in airports, flight time). It is what I discover in the different local regions which create the memories we keep with us ... forever.  Sometimes going to a favorite region during off seasons will bring unusual experiences. 

I, too, am thinking about my great moments of 2010, and look forward to more meeting planning, writing, & adventures in 2011! And I welcome all my new friends from around the world talking with me through this blog, twitter, other social networks, and trips. I find everyone so fascinating. It is local people in communities – around the world – examples of Australia, Canada, USA, Germany, Africa – communities I watch through their eyes and words now. We listen to stories, laugh, share ... together online and on trips.

This year I am grateful to have spent much of my time in local northern California. I am also grateful to find my readers increase 500% this year because of technology; through my virtual networks like Sacramento Connect and Suite101.com (& more).  Thank you!  Even though people may not always comment, you are reading.

Now, on with some amazing discoveries in other regions which I found during December holidays in previous years with some planning and flexibility. My favorite 4 adventures:

Victoria, Canada

After flying to Seattle, I planned to take a sea plane from Seattle to Victoria. Unfortunately, because of the weather and fog, I had to adjust my plans during the trip. Arriving by Horizon Air the next day, this Canadian adventure was created.

Red&White Flag Flying? Got to be in Canada
 
Staying at the distinguished Empress Hotel right before Christmas in Victoria, Canada is always memorable and with plenty attractions to keep one active around the island – even in wintertime.  
 
What fog?
 
My favorite find was the Buchart Gardens; at night.  Imagine yourself sipping hot chocolate while meandering through this fantasy land of lights and magical wonderland in these gardens.    


St. Maarten or St. Martin



A friend’s wedding on New Year’s Eve is what brought me to  discover this island during the December holiday week. Although we stayed in town on the Dutch side of the island, I recommend renting a car and drive around the island, shopping on the French side, and snorkeling in the clear waters of the bay.  

My finale was a gorgeous sunset on New Year’s Eve during the wedding ceremony.  Don't forget my several walks everyday on the beach!

Photo Taken by ME

It was my return trip which brought a challenge because of the east coast (USA) snowstorms. Returning flights into Miami, FL were delayed, missed connections, and with an additional overnight stay for me. I barely remember this part – I had the Caribbean sunset in my mind.

Country Club Plaza, Kansas City, Missouri

Courtesy of Kansas City CVB

Many people ask me, why is Kansas City, Missouri on your holiday adventure list?  It is because of the historical Country Club Plaza. This is the one of the first USA outdoor shopping districts and is famous for their spectacular holiday lights every year. 

 
Courtesy of Kansas City CVB





And if you are lucky, as you cannot plan what type of weather there might be, you will experience their “White Christmas” with horse-lead carriages, steaming hot chocolate, and walking around the snowy sidewalks while shopping in the midst of their wonderful holiday ceremonies. Love this hometown feeling!

 A Miner's Christmas in California

From my holiday post last year, don't forget our historical gold rush towns in California are always fun with holiday adventures like in Columbia, CA. 


 
Even though there may be a challenge before or after your journey, remember some unusual adventures a favorite region might bring during the off season.   

What is ahead in 2011?  Post yours here too!  The Fun Tour Guru

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