Sunday, March 16, 2014

Gatlinburg Gals

For our annual trip, my sisters and I picked Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  A brother-in-law had graciously loaned us the use of his timeshare for a week for a very minimal cost.  Four women stayed in a Studio Apartment at Gatlinburg Town Square for a whole week, and we were still talking to each other by the end of it! Lol.  One bath, one double bed, one sofa/sleeper and a small kitchenette.  It was actually very cozy. 

 The location of the resort was a little bit of a walk uphill from the main street of Gatlinburg, but thankfully there were trolley stops along the way.  Just like any vacation, by the end of the week, we finally had the trolley schedule all figured out.
Waiting for the next trolley

 Speaking of trolleys, there is also one line that will take you to Pigeon Forge for $1.00.  It was so nice leaving the driving to someone else.  We took it one day to Dollywood, and another day to check out some of the other sights and a winery trail.  (It is a given that we will find the wineries wherever we are vacationing). 
There is plenty to do in downtown Gatlinburg. 
Highly recommend the Space Needle, Ripley's Aquarium, and the Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery.

View from the Space Needle

 Many great places to eat including Bubba Gump's and our favorite, Blaines Grill and Bar.

We were lucky enough to be there over July 4th, and Gatlinburg is known for having the first 4th of July parade in the nation. Midnight!  Definitely worth seeing.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Playa Del Carmen 2014

With the crazy weather this winter it was time for a much needed break to someplace warm.  Although I don't like making travel plans this time of year due, in fact, to the weather.  I'm afraid of travelling in it or afraid that we will lose money due to having to cancel. 
Since plans are set up by the seed company we purchase from we have to travel about 3 hours to Indianapolis for the flight (that is where they are based).   We had beautiful weather going down, but coming home.....another winter storm.  Took us an extra hour. 

We stayed at Paradisus Resort which consists of 2 sides:  La Perla (adults only) and La Esmerelda (family).    We were put on La Esmerelda side which wasn't too bad because there were less people so it was quieter and we didn't always have to fight to get a lounge chair.

Was lucky enough to claim a bed for one of the days, but the lounge chairs were just as comfortable.

I am embarrassed to say that I actually only walked on the beach one day.

It was a little bit of a walk, albeit a pretty one, to get there.  I was content to sit poolside and use the same sun to get some color.


And who doesn't love a swim-up bar? lol

The rooms were superb with a huge private balcony.  Ours didn't have a great view, the entrance and tennis court, but it was fantastic just to be able to sit outside and watch the world go by.

This is about the 4th all-inclusive resort that I have been to and the only thing I didn't like about it was that for dinner, reservations were required in almost all of the restaurants.  Seriously, I'm on vacation, I'm not going to be on a time clock.  Besides, they didn't even have a clock/alarm clock in the rooms!  Plus I wasn't impressed with the limited selection of food choices.  Needless to say we ate at the Sunset Grill most days (by the pool).