Friday, March 7, 2014
It was a Pink Jeep Adventure!
The story of how this company came to be called the Pink Jeep Company is interesting in itself.
The owner, after visiting a resort in Hawaii, was persuaded by his wife to change the name because of a similar branding exercise incorporated on the resort they visited.
And so it would become the largest tour company of its kind in the Sedona area with more than a dozen vehicles working all the time, noted by passerby tourists who cannot avoid seeing the bold pink vehicles pass them by.
They offer a variety of tours.
I took the one entitled Old Indian Ruins. It proved to be a fascinating journey through time as the history of the first natives was told to us by an excellent driver and guide.
While the area today is covered with trees the reason it became the settling ground was for the agricultural lands that product food abundantly for the tribe.
It is noteworthy that when the white men came and brought literally thousands of head of cattle the grasslands disappeared, trees grew and forever after it became abandoned land for whites and natives.
Like in so many areas the white settlers drove out the natives from the best lands and only recently have they achieved a small measure of compensation of sorts.
The natives, during their time left signs of an interesting society that is worth exploring today.
posted by That Travel Guy @ 7:00 PM
And Then Came Sedona!
So many had told me that Sedona was an interesting place to visit.
It had to be on my list for this trip even though I thought the reasons given for the enthusiasm about the area seemed sketchy.
Sedona is a long way up there. I don't mean in driving distance although the journey is an interesting one driving along at 75 mph plus on winding up and down roads, some of which are not the best in the state.
But the altitude of Sedona is 4500 feet above sea level with some of the surrounding communities like Flagstaff are 7000 feet above that same sea base.
As a result the weather we have had, while hot during the day is somewhat cooler than in the Phoenix area. I imagine during the other winter months the range could be even more with some pretty frosty nights.
What strikes you as you get closer to Sedona is the majesty of the red rocks, or should I say mountains that appear before you with every curve and hill you pass.
They really are majestic.
The centre of Sedona truly is a major tourist attraction with every shop and restaurant clearly catering to the tourist crowds.
We are staying at the L'Auberge de Sedona. This I am sure must be the best if not one of the best in the entire region.
Our accommodations are in one of the single units that dot the hillside looking down into a valley and winding river or creek and looking up into the majestic red rocks of the region.
Watching the effects of the color changes with the sun's movement has been captivating.
These units each have a large balcony, a living room style area in addition to the bedroom and a sauna room in addition to the great bathroom amenities.
This is a fascinating place that offer a wide range of daily complimentary activities from Mind/Body/ Spirit lectures to stargazing, and Yoga stretch classes.
On this trip Rae and I both brought our brand new rust TravelPro Magna
suitcases, and I also am travelling with my 4 wheel business case from Samsonite, which I really love.
I have been wearing my Tilley hat
as the sun has been very strong, and Rae keeps taking along both her rolling Lug carry-on
and her old Ameribag.
I noticed she also switches to a small Derek Alexander carry purse
when we go for dinner or similar outings.
If you have travel comments or travel questions email me at firstname.lastname@example.org You can see previous questions and httpanswers at http://www.journeystravelgear.com/AskJourneys.cfm
See our wide range of travel products at www.journeystravelgear.com
posted by That Travel Guy @ 8:02 AM
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
A Taste of Old Town Scottsdale
|The Rusty Spur.|
Another unique experience today!
The company is Arizona Food Tours and what they do is take visitors for a sampling of 5-6 different restaurants.
Believe me after the tour you will not be hungry. Each stop serves a different plate and each one was quite fantastic.
Our tour guide was a young man and part owner of the organization whose name is Zach Egedy.
He was totally organized and the people at the restaurants were always ready for us as we arrived.
All of the restaurants were in old town Scottsdale within easy walking distance of each other.
The company does both lunch and dinner tours with the dinner tours only taking place outside of weekend nights.
We were on the lunch tour and it was indeed a tasty and filling series of treats.
Today our first stop was at the Rusty Spur Saloon. A very casual atmosphere where their own version of hamburgers with their special toppings was a great way to start. You would think a hamburger might not be much to get excited at but this was a really excellent burger, not at all what you get at any drive through.
Next was Malee's on Main, a Thai restaurant that we are determined to go back to before we leave. Their Tom Ka Gai soup was as good as any we have tasted anywhere.
Then some great tastes at The House Brasserie served by chef Matt Carter in a wonderful outdoor patio connected to the main house and kitchen.
Then we sampled some excellent Olive Oils at Outrageous Olive Oils and learned a heck of a lot about quality and what you need to look for when you want to ensure you are buying quality oils.
Finally Distrito the restaurant in the hotel we are staying at the Saguaro, which is right on the edge of old town Scottsdale.
The chef is Jose Garces of Iron Chef fame and his Mexican fusion tastes are so good we went back to dine there again.
We wondered up and down the art streets of old Scottsdale and then wound up the day with another fine meal at the Cafe Zuzu in the famous Valley Ho hotel. The Valley Ho, built in the mid 1950's and upgraded a number of times within the parameters of a historical building constantly entertained the rich and famous of that era.
It is where Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood got married. Jimmy Durante was a regular as were Zsa Zsa Gabor and so many other greats of that day.
With all of the renovations it is still the place to go for many celebrities.
|View from Valley Ho of Scottsdale!|
If you have travel questions or comments email me at email@example.com
posted by That Travel Guy @ 9:56 PM
One of Best Museums You Will Ever Visit! MIM.
After landing and acquiring our auto rental at the Phoenix airport we headed straight for the Musical Instruments Museum, only because we could not check into our hotel until later yesterday afternoon.
While the idea for the visit held some curiosity for me it would not likely have been my first choice for a museum visit but for the persuasion of the people at the Arizona Tourist Board.
Highly rated by Tripadvisor and the major tourist magazines they said. Loads of instruments from all countries going back hundreds of years.
OK, I said with limited enthusiasm.
All of what they said is true. There are a lot of music playing machines from all over the place and they are very interesting. But the real attraction is the placement of videos at most locations with a sound touring equipment that triggers itself as you approach each and every video stand.
You will hear Don Messer and the Islanders in the Canadian section. You will see the Red River Jig and other numbers that originate in other parts of Canada.
You will find and entire Elvis section with much of his memorabilia as a result of the close alliance they have established with the Graceland foundation after they were able to repair an old broken down Elvis guitar.
You will see the instruments of the greats in all genres of music from rock and roll, to blues to country and even bandstand.
There is a display of hand crafted instruments created from the daily cans and boxes found around players who loved music but could not afford to buy instruments from stores.
And unique one of a kind creations that have withstood the test of time. Or have been made as show piece for a particular musician.
From the nations of the world you will see there and hear these instruments played by those who used them from the beginning of the days when film was first invented into modern times.
Each countries sound is not only on display but there is even a section where visitors, and children especially can try their hand at creating the sounds of nations.
We only spent about 3 hours here. We could have spent 3 more and not experienced half of what there is to hold rapt attention because of the education, sounds of the music and the talent that created them.
If you are going to Phoenix do not pass up the opportunity to experience this attraction. You will be glad you did.
If you have travel comments or travel questions email me at firstname.lastname@example.org You will also find wonderful travel products at www.journeystravelgear.com
posted by That Travel Guy @ 5:03 PM
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
The golf gods were thirsty today!
It was our final day on Sanibel Island. I had set up a 7:30 Tee time at the Dunes Golf Club on the island so Rae could have a bit of a sleep in and I would be back for checking out on time.
We had a late check-out from the nice people at The Island Inn so I was not too concerned it the game went a little long.
The Dunes course really is a beautiful one to play. But perhaps I should have treated the nature of the driving range as a warning of things to come.
|200 yd marker of water driving range.|
It is the only driving range I know of anywhere that you drive the balls into the water. The balls float and the flow of the waters washes them to a collection area where they are gathered every night..
There really is water on every hole and it comes into play quickly and fiercely just around the area you would normally play your first shot.
Now I am not a good golfer at the best of times but my recent lessons turned into mush early in the game. I am trying to recall if I have ever put so many balls in the water.
I bought a few after nine so as not to embarrass myself begging my golf partner for a loaner or three.
But it is an excellent course to play and I would love to go back.
We checked out of The Island Inn and went back to Captiva so Rae could do a bit more shopping in a really nice store (Cluoe's) that she had found.
Since I had not eaten and was after two, we stopped at the Greenflash Restaurant in Captiva and had yet one more seafood platter with a mixture of fish, mussels, clams, calamari, shrimp, and whatever other swimming delicacy they could put in it.
Back at the Holiday Inn Express in Naples we were lucky to get the same room so were able to make ourselves at home quickly.
Tonight we are resting and may just order in a pizza as we are both a little tired.
We truly have made use of our many journeys products including Eagle Creek Packing cubes, Tilley Hats, PacSafe RFID products and a whole lot more from www.journeystravelgear.comhttp://www.journeystravelgear.com/
posted by That Travel Guy @ 6:09 PM
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
What Do Thomas Edison and Henry Ford have in Common? Fort Myers, Florida!
Even though Ford was 16 years younger than Edison after their first meeting they formed a fast friendship. So much so that the automobile industrialist purchased a summer home right next to the property that Edison owned and loved to visit in Fort Myers.
It is about a 35 minute drive from The Island Inn where we are staying in Sanibel Island to get to the Edison and Ford winter estates, but it is a very interesting visit.
While there are only four vintage automobiles on display in the museum portions of the grounds, there are loads of samples of the 1093 patents that Edison invented, many of which he developed.
It was a fascinating sidebar story to learn that Edison himself was nearly deaf. How could have he created the phonograph and other sound devices he invented.
Apparently he would bite into the wood frame surrounding them and essentially hear through his teeth.
One of his 'bitten' frames is on display and it is fascinating.
On the grounds stands what is purportedly the largest Banyan tree in America, under which a statue of the great inventor was erected.
After the tour we had lunch at a stately old mansion converted to a restaurant call Edison's.
The grounds of the estates are immaculate and the homes are kept in pristine condition. This is one of the most visited sites in Fort Myers and worth the time spent wondering around the grounds and the laboratory that Edison worked in while in the Fort Meyers area.
Tonight, our last on Sanibel Island, we dined at The Jacaranda restaurant with friends from Winnipeg who are wintering in the area.
Really and exceptional seafood restaurant only about 15 minutes from the resort. All round satisfaction to this meal.
posted by That Travel Guy @ 8:51 PM
Monday, January 13, 2014
Sanibel and Captiva Islands.
We wake up to a quiet ocean from our ground floor room here at the Island Inn on Sanibel Island. It looks like another day in paradise as we head down to the main dining room for the continental breakfast that is included.
We get a little lost trying to get to the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge for a 90 minute tram ride.
We miss out 10 am departure but they are very kind and place us on the 11 departure.
It is a fascinating preserve that houses all nature of birds and wildlife. In point of fact I don't think I would be exaggerating when I estimate that over have of the people on our tram were avid 'birders'.
After this trip where we head over the the Shell Museum only a couple of kilometres away. It is an interesting side not that former Canadian TV star Raymond Burr was a major factor in getting the museum establish.
An avid shell collector himself he worked with the team in Sanibel to make it happen. So Perry Mason investigated more than criminals.
It would end up being a busy day.
We drove to Captiva Island where we shared yet another seafood platter before going on the Captiva Cruises Dolphin and Wildlife excursion.
We managed to get a number of dolphins to chase us and frolic in the wake of the boat.
The beach at Captiva by the way, is nothing short of spectacular.
Tonight we will sleep but a dinner at the Traditions Restaurant here at the Island Inn will be welcome about now as it is getting a bit late and we are both feeling a little hungry.
I will not have yet another seafood meal. Will I???????
posted by That Travel Guy @ 6:23 PM