A Schmidt family trip to Aspen to celebrate our son’s 1st birthday, why not? After all, he only turns one once! We wanted to go BIG for our ONE and only! Even though it was considered “off season” in early October we felt like we got the best of both worlds! Our first few days we caught the Fall golden foliage… then it snowed! It’s like Fall and Winter all packaged in one week! We stayed at the Hyatt Grand Aspen which was centrally located….a perfectly walkable spot and convenient to everything! We felt blessed! Our three bedroom unit had a balcony facing the pool, it had a cozy fireplace in our living room and bedrooms, plus the kitchen / dining / living room was spacious. And, travelling with a kid we were very grateful for the washer and dryer. No joke, out little one blew through 3 outfits just from Houston to Aspen! We made the mistake of renting a car and driving though Independence Pass….that very narrow, winding, high elevation route made our son VERY car sick. Oops…we won’t make that same mistake twice! Gorgeous scenic view, but it was NOT fun.
A treasure in my family for generations is the opportunity to visit Priest Lake, Idaho. My father, keeping tradition alive, rents cabins at Hills Resort during July and again in September and shares this sweet spot with our family and his special guests. From Houston we fly to Denver then to Spokane, Washington then take a 2.5 hour scenic drive to Idaho. Nestled near cities you might be more familiar such as Sand Point and Coeur d’Alene, consider Priest Lake the “Crown Jewel” of the Idaho Panhandle! The history of Priest Lake dates back almost 10,000 years at the end of the ice age. Glaciers once covered this area. Jesuit Priests would eventually settle the lake in the 1840’s and the rest is history! Literally, I tell anyone I know that this is the only lake that I trust!! Ha Ha. The water is crystal clear. I grew up on this lake water skiing, jet skiing, boating, and swimming. I never once felt a fish nibble on my toes. Besides boating, the area lends itself to outdoors seekers for hiking, fishing, motorbiking, skiing, and snowmobiling.
I love Independence Day. It ‘s a time where Americans remember the birth of the United States of America, pay respect to our forefathers, and remember our great patriots and the amazing scarifies they continue to make to keep our country home of the free and the brave. This year was extra special as we got to enjoy July 4th with our +1 , as we like to refer to him as “TOS – The Boss!” Life is truly so much more fulfilling with our little guy in the picture. This year we joined the festivities at the Royal Oaks Country Club and it did not disappoint! The club actually set a record year in attendance with over 400 patrons. On the great lawn they had food stations, cash bar, table set ups, plus exciting games and rides for the kiddos. And my favorite being face painting, because I have limited time in my son’s life to dress him up like my little doll! They even had an area fire department bring their big red truck, which was a true hit for the kiddos.
My husband and I joined the club exactly one year ago and it was fun to see our friends out enjoying the evening with their families and loved ones. I admit, I loved all of the red, white, and blue and patriotic preppy fashion! Also, I have sold some properties in this community too so my extra bonus was to cross paths with my clients who live and love the community! It is such a happy place and the people here are very welcoming and nice.
Enter the trance of exotic Sedona, Arizona. A flight to Phoenix then a few hours drive, you will enter this fire-like magical wonderland. A peaceful place, many come to meditate, hike, retreat, and heal. There are magical powers we hear coming from the five area vortexes. A many “psychics” call this place home too. They must know something? I really wanted to find out, but it will have to be a reading on another trip!
My husband just celebrated a “round” birthday. So, we decided to take a nice vacation to a place we have never been. So, Sedona here we came! And, somewhere not like Vegas I might add! It did not take us long to agree on Sedona, and the Hyatt Vacation Club Pinon Pointe was perfect for us and our +1! Located in the heart of the city, walkable to restaurants and attractions, we could not have landed in a better place. Breakfast and Starbucks coffee at 7am, then a dip in the pool, then exploring the beautiful town and surroundings. Not a bad view anywhere, including the gas station! Also, the property had an activities center which included ping pong, pool table, free internet, grilles, and a fire pit.
Since we have an 8-month old son, we knew this trip was more of a test than a full on eventful adventure. We used our days to discover what we can do in the future! Hiking is definitely an attraction, including their “pink jeep” tours, helicopter tours, river rafting, etc. We very much enjoyed just driving our rental car anywhere and everywhere. Popular sites include Maroon Mountain, Thunder Mountain, Coffee Pot Rock, Cathedral Rock, Snoopy Rock, and Bell Rock.
Our trip to Carmel By The Sea would certainly not be complete unless we did some wine tasting! California does produce some of my favorite wines. I was born in CA so perhaps their grapes are in my bloodline? LOL.
There are wine rooms on every block in this town. We took a stroll into the Galante Vineyards tasting room. There was a good social echo coming out of their propped open door. It sounded inviting, so we literally followed the vibe thinking, we’ll just pop in for a minute. Well, that minute lasted more than an hour and before we knew it, we tasted all kinds of wines from their extensive library, nibbling on cheese and snacks, chatting up the locals, and hanging out with wine guru Jack Galante himself! His family is some of the original founders of Carmel. They have a deep history here and it was fun to hear his stories. Did you know that a woman’s high heels is banned in this town? A funny local law that is still in place but not enforced. LOL! Ok, back to the wine. Our tasting only cost $30 by the way. Not a bad deal at all!
My recent trip to Carmel, California was a real sea breeze treat! Besides losing power at our highlands resort for 1.5 days due to bad weather, the stunning scenery was magical. We even caught a glimpse of a rainbow a time or two!
The realtor in me had to take a road trip to Carmel By The Sea to check out some Pacific Coast real estate! Sotheby’s has an office in Carmel and Monterrey so I can help you with your RE needs here if you are looking, just an FYI! Alongside Carmel Bay on Scenic Road we drove our rental car up and down and weaved in and out of the adjoining streets. Look at this house as my main photo for this story!!! This was by far my favorite. Unobstructed views for miles out Continue reading Carmel By The Sea: “Name That House”
You do not need to travel to the Big Apple to experience real life Broadway musicals these days. Houston is blessed to be home to the Theater Under The Stars at the Hobby Center. Amazing productions come through the Bayou City. In fact, my husband and I just recently saw The Secret Garden. I actually read this book and I love the story-line. I couldn’t wait to see it and it sure did not disappoint!
A little history, The Secret Garden is a musical based on the 1911 novel of the same name by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The musical’s script and lyrics are by Marsha Norman, with music by Lucy Simon. It premiered on Broadway in 1991 and ran for 709 performances.
The story is set in the early years of the 20th century. Mary Lennox, a young English girl born and raised in the British Raj, is orphaned by a cholera outbreak when she is ten years old. She is sent away from India to Yorkshire, England, to live with relatives whom she has never met. Her own personality blossoms as she and a young gardener bring new life to a neglected garden, as well as to her sickly cousin and uncle.