Columbia River Gorge, Oregon USA

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Breaking my travel habit of staying off the Interstate this day I gave in to the straight and narrow of I84 east of Portland because of the magnificent mountain and river view.
Thank goodness for the rain, traffic moved slow enough to take in the incredible sights of the river gorge. My destination was set to have lunch at the  https://fullsailbrewing.com in Hood River.

My first  unplanned stop was at Multnomah Falls a national scenic area, and a good rest stop for travelers. The elegant cascade of flowing water from over 600 feet above the ground is relaxing and has a refreshing mist. Parking area, restrooms, a full service restaurant, and a gift shop are at the site and the exit is an easy “on” and “off”, offering all around convenience.

With my unexpected tour of the Falls I cut my time short at Hood River. It is a small port city on the Columbia River, with robust waterfront.  I did not get a chance to venture out of the area close to the restaurant but with just a glimpse I could sense a community of small businesses welcoming locals and visitors.

On the way back to Portland, another unexpected stop at the Viento State Park. A word of advise “hold on to your hats” Windsurfers know this spot, so I’m giving you the “heads up”.  I didn’t think I would have a  photo clear enough to post because I was shaking just trying to hold on to my camera.  It is a wind tunnel, and no surprise all that the pet sign said  “leashes required”

So that was my day out in the beautiful Pacific Northwest…..Oregon is never disappointing, and the beer float with wild Alaskan salmon, well…that was just  yum, yum , yum

Happy travels 🙂

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1830’s coastal South Carolina community tops the list for relocation choices

 

Something old something new, the town of Bluffton located in Beaufort County on the bluff of the May River.  An short twelve miles west of Hilton Head and twenty miles northeast of Savannah Georgia, the “Old Town” area has become a popular tourist attraction.  Offering visitors a casual feel of a true coastal community with the preservation of many of it’s local landmarks.  The  spanish moss draped over the limbs of the old oak trees clearly says “you are in the south”.

 

The May River offers an abundance of fish, shrimp, blue crab, fiddlers crab and oysters  all embraced by the beauty of the salt marsh.

 

To get up up close,  kayaking and fishing excursions are offered by: http://mayriverexcursions.com

After admiring all the beauty and historic homes take time to visit some of the unique boutiques and get a bite to eat.  The choice of local restaurants  finds something for everyone.  Of course, seafood is high up the list with fresh catch readily available.

 

Winters are mild, summers are hot and humid. “Old Town”  is a place for the gathering of family and friends.  Thursday afternoon Calhoun street closes to host a farmers market.  Festivals are scheduled throughout the year.  Bluffton now leads the state as being the fasted growing town, attractive to retires for the mild climate and all others who desire  easy living.  New home communities are popping up, as well as retail, restaurants, and services to meet the growing demand.

 

So if you stay for a day or for a lifetime, you’ll grab a piece of the past of this cozy small town on the river side.

 

Happy travels 🙂  From I95 take South Carolina exit 8 (hwy 278) east, go 17 miles and you will be there….

Okeefenokee Swamp, natures treasure chest

Okeefenokee swamp is a treasure chest of natures beauty and wildlife. 90 year old alligators greet you at the entrance located in Waycross Georgia

The Okeefenokee swamp is located in south Georgia and Florida.
The area is approximately 700 square miles and is the largest swamp in North America.

You can easily spend a full day or more in the park capturing a glimpse of the many species of birds, reptiles, plants, mammals, fish, and amphibians.
We entered the park in Waycross, Georgia 59 miles west of I 95 at the US 82 exit in Brunswick Georgia.
The park is very accommodating with a gift shop, information center, restrooms, boat tours, a train tour, 92’ observation tower, snack and gift shop, and a reptile show.

The signs throughout are a constant reminder that the animals can be dangerous, I understand the frequent postings because the setting is so serene that it would be easy to let your guard down.

As we approached the welcome center two alligators, one huge and the other medium size sat out in the open. They sit so still that I questioned whether or not they were real.

There is an admission fee, with several discounts offered including the senior discount. We passed on the boat tour because we did not allot enough time. The park closes before dark unless they are hosting a night event or light show.

The signs throughout are a constant reminder that the animals can be dangerous, I understand the frequent postings because the setting is so serene that it would be easy to let your guard down.

As we approached the welcome center two alligators, one huge and the other medium size sat out in the open. They sit so still that I questioned whether or not they were real or part of the attraction.

I was excited about the observation tower but it offered me a challenge. It is accessible by boat or walking through the swamp…yikes…they have a walkway that is about 6 inches above the water.  Of course, the release of liability required to be signed was only the beginning of my apprehension. My first time out there i just couldn’t do it.

Most of the boardwalk is high enough to feel comfortable and the animals mostly come out at night , but you never know..I doubt they follow a rule book

My second try at the low board I looked straight ahead and walked quickly. I was so relieved to see the steps going up at the end. On our way back I walked in front of my husband. When I got halfway I thought this is it, I did it, and then I heard the splash! I ran and then I heard a big splash! When I jumped up on the steps, I forgot all about Hubby. I called out for him and he didn’t answer because he was standing real still and quiet. Anyways, he finally came up a few minutes later and said “I think it was a small gator or a snake”…So folks if I go back again I’ll take the boat. Children under 18 are not permitted on the walkway and should not go on it..I ‘m usually not a scare-dy cat but this is the real deal, there are no mechanical animals here.

The observation tower is a treat for birdwatchers at 60 feet, but to take photos and see the view of the 25 mile radius on a clear day I made my way to 92 feet. You can see the blackwater winding creeks and way down upon the Suwannee River🎶

The tour guide on the train was very informative, and had a personal relationship with the wildlife. The dominant alligators have names and their behavior is monitored and studied. Mating season is in late March.

The reptile show was very interesting and I would suggest it for school age children.

Temperature was 65 degrees, and sunny. No bugs bothered us, and best of all there were no “litter bugs” the water was sparkling and only the habitants were floating around..

Happy travels 🙂 through America the beautiful…Share the good advise from the swamp

 

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Niagara Falls…up close

The maid of the mist offers the best view of both the American side of Niagara Falls and the Canadian Horseshoe of the Niagara River.

 

One of my favorite vacation destinations is Niagara Falls. The weather is touch and go in the spring and fall, but summers are pleasant. To see the falls up close and experience the force of this wonder of nature I would suggest the attraction “The Maid of the Mist” You can board from either the American or Canadian side of the Falls. I would rate it cautiously family friendly. The rocking of the boat can be rattling and I had to hold on tight. My grandchildren had a big time and we were mesmerized by the beauty.

Just when you feel like you’re getting too close the current assists the captain in getting the boat turned around quite easily.

 

Dress for the occasion, regardless of how warm and dry the weather is you will get cool and wet. The park will provide you with a poncho, before you board the boat in the gorge so getting there can be a bit of a challenge. You can expect to feel strong wind gusts, hear the seagulls,  see fish jumping , and smell the fresh cold water with a fishy scent.

 

For more information please visit: https://www.niagarafallsstatepark.com/attractions-and-tours/maid-of-the-mist

Be prepared to “fall in love” Happy travels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.niagarafallsstatepark.com/attractions-and-tours/maid-of-the-mist

Old city offers new beginnings

 

I made a quick unexpected trip this week  to Reading Pennsylvania, located about one hour west of Philadelphia.   For many years the city has gone through changes from it’s early German influence to being a welcoming community of cultural diversity today.  With a full agenda on my three day visit I did squeeze in a break to get few photos, working around the rain, traffic and school buses.  Most folks will recognize the name from the “Reading Railroad” on the Monopoly game board.

 

Like its neighboring cities of Philadelphia and Baltimore the city favors a variety of styles of “row houses”.

 

As you make your way through the narrow one way streets there are reminders of the thriving past history of this city.

 

 

 

After admiring this very old city you may as well enjoy a cold beer from America’s oldest brewery with a soft pretzel, ring bologna, and maybe a slice of tomato pie…..

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For more information about the history of this city: https://www.readingpa.gov/content/history-reading

Reading is located off US route 422 and 5 miles from the Pennsylvania turnpike I76 take the Morgantown exit.

Happy travels 🙂 much  to see in the USA when you exit the interstates….

New Ebenezer…Historical Site 25 miles NW of Savannah Georgia — EffinghamMoves

Twenty five miles northwest of Savannah Georgia in Effingham County is New Ebenezer one of the first five settlements in Georgia USA. In 1741 the colonists who originated in the Province of Salzburg known today as Austria made this their home. Bring a lunch and plan to spend the day. Situated on the banks of […]

via New Ebenezer…Historical Site 25 miles NW of Savannah Georgia — EffinghamMoves

Savannah Ga to Pensacola Florida via Portland Oregon for lunch and sweets

That’s  not exactly how the trip was planned back in April, but the unexpected came up and instead of cancelling our week in Portland Oregon we just rerouted our trip back home to the event in Pensacola.

The typically rainy day in October worked well for me as long as I had my umbrella, and if I do it again I will wear rubber shoes because my feet did get wet.

Lunch at Jake’s Grill was fantastic with a cozy atmosphere and easy location to the rail system.  Our booth added privacy and the service was very good.

http://mccormickandschmicks.com/locations/portland-oregon/portland-oregon/swtenthave.aspx

After lunch we walked around the city even with the rain because most businesses had awnings to slip under, I just had to make a stop at Blue Star  to try the Blueberry bourbon basil donut, and I’ll confess I ate two.  http://www.bluestardonuts.com

The seasonal change is apparent beautiful colors everywhere…Fall in Love with Portland

Happy travels and order the donuts!!!