Press One to Vote Now

As I touched on briefly yesterday, we’re in the first stages of planning our 2018 Winter Escape. We usually go at the end of February into March but are open to March into April if weather is better or options are better (translation = cheaper). Feel free to add your suggestions and comments.

Out: Jamaica and Bali. Jamaica just didn’t work for us last year and Bali is about ready to get a tad dusty when the volcano there goes boom! Also Out is renting a house like we did in St. Lucia and found it was way more trouble than it was worth. Resort living is for us, with others doing all the cooking and cleaning. Sybarites we are and proud to claim the title.

1. California Dreamin‘ – fly out to LA, see the Reagan Library in Simi Valley then flip a coin from there….do we hang a Louie and head to San Diego or head north to SFO etc? We’ve done Carmel and Monterey enough times to skip it this trip. Done Pasadena too. Kid lived in Santa Barbara so we’ve been there and about often. Montecito. Carpenteria. Done. But not been to Lake Tahoe in ages. Nor Yosemite. Or really really Northern California, like Guy Fieri’s hometown Ferndale. I got a “meh” from Mr. EOS on this itinerary. I believe his words were “what else ya got?” 😀

2. Petit Saint Vincent – Idea compliments of reader Miranda, the tiny island resort of PSV, gorgeous in every way shape and form. The one bedroom cottage, holy cow, take me there today. While the weekly price isn’t horrendous because it includes 3 meals/day, the small print is 21% tax, booze is extra (and gee, that might add up!), and getting there via Barbados and boat isn’t cheap. Plus, I’m not sure we fit the profile of the PSV guest, who I suspect will be lithe blondes in string bikinis with a titan hedge fund husband who shows his black American Express card with entitlement. There’s no TV, no problem, but also no internet, which would mean no blogging. Why would I go anywhere where I couldn’t show off where we are and you aren’t?! 😀😀 So we’re thinking no, despite its beauty.

3. A Cunard Queen voyage – With a Queen Mary2 voyage under our belt, we’re aiming for a Three Queen goal. Try the Queen Victoria or Elizabeth.

The Cunard website shows lots of voyages in February, March and April but the manageable length ones are already Sold Out and the mega length ones 35 days+ are unrealistic and unaffordable.


There’s a trip in February we think is doable, but alas, it’s Sold Out too, unless we want an inside room. No. We’re spoiled with a Princess Grill room.


And do I really want to see Bora Bora from a cruise ship? I’m not sure. I think I’d rather take a trip to the South Seas and see each island for a few days, not hopping off a cruise ship, even one as nice as a Cunard Queen.

4. Canada, cold and snow. Mont Tremblant maybe, or Lake Louise and Banff. Vancouver? We’ve done Montreal and Quebec City so that’s out. Do we want snow and cold is the larger question. I like the winter snows but traveling in it is a bear. Train across Canada?

5. Secaucus and Bayonne – When in doubt, stay home and see New York and New Jersey up close and personal. Nah, just kidding.

No easy winner. No one destination adds up yet to being the right place and the right price.

Vote early and often. Share your favorite places. I think Europe is out but if there’s someplace you think is special, we’ll reconsider. Hawaii, been there done that too many times. Mexico? Central America? A Caribbean island not impossible to get to?

The Suggestion Box is open.


37 thoughts on “Press One to Vote Now

  1. While not terribly exotic, the train across Canada has been on our potential vacation trips for a while now. My son and I took the AutoTrain from Virginia to FL several years ago, with overnight accommodations in a private cabin, and was fascinated by the view outside the bar car (of course) windows as we traveled through what was largely Southern poverty-stricken territory.

    1. I love the thought of train rides across any country. Agree it’s a fascinating view. I have a cousin who just did a Road Scholar trip across Canada that included a length of the double decker train. She loved every aspect.

      There’s the Trans Siberian train and a train through India and a train through Ireland all on my bucket list. I think most are best done in the summer though.

      1. Have you seen this? Our whole family loves all of them, but we started with the train ride. Not nearly finished with any of them, but a wonderful way to wind down a day

        South of France is lovely in spring. I have some amazing restaurants and inns down there, if you’re interested. Another wonderful spot near Baden Baden, and you definitely fit the profile market, but maybe save it for summer

        And, actually, who cares about the typical clientele—do what YOU want!❤️

        1. Norway and Finland are on my bucket list. That ride looks gorgeous.
          We’re very conflicted about what to do. It’s usually an easy peasy click be done go. For whatever reason, this year we can’t decide if we want to be beach slugs or find an active interesting itinerary.


        This has been saved in my inbox for I guess 3 years now. I think the Orient Express is mentioned here and that has always intrigued me, though BI is now a stickler about ad blockers.

        I’d think twice about long distance Amtrak trips. Articles I’ve read say they are often late due to right of way issues and become tedious over time. Though I’ve always been a get there fast and then take it slow type myself.

        But I thought you were coming to visit me in Sarasota? Feb-March is delightful here, except for the snowbird related crowds. Stay at the Aloft Hotel, walk to everything downtown and the tiki bar at the marina across the street.

        1. I would take every one of those train trips RDW. Every one. There’s also the Belmond series of train trips. Too rich for our pocketbook but luxury tines 100.

          I can’t get Mr. EOS excited about Florida no matter where I suggest going. So you’re safe this winter from having us over for drinks.

        2. BTW, one of my favorite all time experiences was being at the Anegada Reef Hotel restaurant near a large, somewhat obnoxious group and hearing the fawning from members of said group when the host produced a black Amex to pay the bill. I think this was when the black Amex was new, as I had to look it up to see what this was about. A couple minutes later, the server came back and told him the charge was declined. If I heard this a couple of tables away, the whole group hear it. Priceless! All hat and no cattle.

        3. Oh, Anegada. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone else who’s been there. We didn’t sleep on the island, it went ashore for a lobster roast. It was excellent. My little brothers wouldn’t eat the lobster and made the cook on the boat make them pizza before hand. However, they ended up tasting it and becoming lobster lovers.

          Eos, how about Santa Fe? I have an itch to move out there lately.

        4. I love lobster except the Caribbean variety that to my tastes is bitter and mealy.

          Ha, Santa Fe. Have sister in law who lived there for decades. My two cents is SF is great the first and second visits. Taos. Mexican Food. Silver jewelry. Arts scene. But too many crunchy peeps for my tastes and I didn’t like the weather.

        5. We have vacationed a lot in St John, USVI. We branched out to the BVI and enjoyed it more, as the British somehow made sure that the locals ran all the tourist related businesses and as such made a good living, unlike the USVI where US expats came in and run all the tourism (doing a good job at it) but the locals became marginalized, which produces problems and resentment. As such, there is a much better vibe in the BVI for tourists, in my opinion. The locals want you to be there and enjoy yourself, as it benefits them.

          We like Virgin Gorda and have visited Anegada, the northernmost island in the BVI a couple of times, the last time for a week. We don’t get on well in Tortola, the largest BVI island, not quite sure why. We’ve been there briefly a couple of times.

          Anegada’s highest point is 7 feet above sea level and is surrounded by reefs. It is hard to get to. Given that you like the all inclusive resorts, I don’t think it is for you, although it is a very chill place. You may like Necker Island, which says it now takes individual room reservations, but while beautiful, I’m sure is crazy expensive.

        6. Been a fairly regular visitor to all the islands in and around St. John, Tortola and Virgin Gorda. Had a blast vacation when the kids were all still around at Bitter End, which I believe got seriously damaged in the hurricane.

          As kids, my parents took us to the US Virgin Islands because there were some great golf courses they wanted to play. Haven’t been to any US Virgin Island un decades.

          I’m not a big fan of Branson so Necker would be out on that basis alone, not to mention we could never afford it! I thought Branson reported Necker was severely damaged too.

    1. That’ll happen but the youngest grand isn’t quite old enough to get much out of it. Another year. We spent Mr. EOS’s 50th there with the kids, who were not all quite adult, but not little either. It was a great vacation. The first time we took the kids the youngest was 4 I think. Went the first weekend after Thanksgiving. No crowds. Went down Friday morning. Had all afternoon Friday, all day Saturday, and most of Sunday. Plenty.

  2. Your assessment is fairly accurate in the PSV clientele. Lots of googly-eyed honeymooners, all well-heeled folks. Nice group though because they like the nature of being cut off so you don’t tend to get the titan of Wall Street.

  3. PSV is a dream. I don’t know from first-hand knowledge but my best friends went there a couple of years back. There’s not a lot to do other than sun, eat, and be merry, but they loved it. I’d second Anon2’s assessment of the clientele – less titan, more old money who appreciate being disconnected. I vote PSV, if no other reason than I want to live vicariously.

  4. One of my all-time favorite vacays: Sunsetkey Guest Cottages in Key West. Located on a tiny private island that’s about a five minute boat shuttle from Key West itself.
    Best of both worlds. All the funkiness of Key West (crazy fun place), coupled with quiet, understated luxury of the cottages.
    Like the Caribbean without the hassle. Or the sad, stray dogs wandering around all over the place. Or the poverty.

    1. Very very pretty. I can see why you liked it so much. I clicked the Reservations Book Now tab and only get two and three bedroom cottages. I presume that’s what most people want since it seems like a family destination.

  5. I like the California itinerary. You wanted to add another presidential library anyway. I’d hang a Louie for San Diego, LaJolla. Lots of good beaches.

  6. Friends just got married at the Ventana in Big Sur. The resort is part rustic lodge part spalike part glam. Expensive I hear but aces. That’s north though.

  7. One drawback to Northern California in the winter is the potential for rain – lots of it. I’d love to go back to Singapore as it was just a 1 day stop on a cruise and there was just so much more to see. Getting there & back by air, however, is a very long nightmare. I think the trip back home was something like 32 hrs. Key West is good for a day but you could easily use it as a base & work your way around the rest of the Keys. The trip out to Fort Jefferson (civil war prison) should not be missed. You can take a plane or high speed catamaran from Key West & kill a day there. Lunch or dinner at Little Palm Island on Little Torch Key is a treat. Forget swimming. The water is too cold – I never go in unless the water temp. is at least 80.

    Have you been to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico? If not, check it out. Lots to do & see with very nice hotels & restaurants.

    1. The friends who’ve been to Singapore agree with you – it requires a lot of seeing. I think the worst flight home we’ve ever taken was from Bangkok. If money were no object (and yes it is an object) I’d kill to take an Emirates Air first class pod flight. To Anywhere.
      One of the Cunard voyages at the top of my list starts or ends in Singapore. I’d go a few days early, catch up in time change, sightsee, then sail away. The itinerary includes Oman. Man Oman is higher in my list than India. A must for me.

      I might have to take a girls vacation to Florida, the Keys and around. Your suggestions all sound great to me, not to “others”. 😀

      San Miguel was just highlighted on a Mexican Food Network show. I’ll check it out. Thanks.

  8. Re Anegada: Past tense. On BVI. was hammered by Irma. Not sure it can be rebuilt. Was a fabulous resort. Was.

    1. Yikes, Highway 1. That’s bigger than a mess. It’s like what happened to all the businesses on Second Avenue during the newest subway dig. So many went out of business with doors blockaded and sidewalks ripped up.
      One and done is how Mr. EOS likes winter vacations. PSV may be a winner. Or something similar.

      1. Until that bridge opened in September, you had to hike in to get to half the places. The county set up a shuttle, but, it wasn’t optimum. I missed my big opportunity because my friends said it was great with no tourists and the restaurants (that were open) happy to see you.

        1. I can’t imagine trying to survive in a big tourist area without the tourists to pay the electric bill and pay the employees. I bet some had to close doors.

  9. Mill Reef Club, Antigua. Need a member invite but trust you can find one in your circles. Old school resort, think you fit the bill perfectly. Accommodation is not super luxurious but comfortable, staff if spectacular.
    We spent thanksgiving at Amanera, DR. Spectacular in every way. Easy to get to with jetblue. Pricey but worth it. Ocean can be rough, we were lucky and swam every day. But there is always the resort pool and your casita’s pool. Golf course took hurricane damage and will only open in June.

    1. Been to Mill Reef a few times. Have the hat and tie. One of the best obscure logos for such things. 😀

      I’m going with you next Thanksgiving. The Aman resorts are exceptional. Great idea. DR can be hit or miss. Rented a house at Casa de Campo and played those golf courses. Have a few friends with houses there but the beaches aren’t great. We had a meh experience one year trying an all inclusive. I didn’t like the crowd at all. Win some. Lose some.

    1. All good ideas. I’ve never been to the San Diego zoo. Zoos in general bother me. I know they do good to preserve and procreate endangered species but I hate to see elephants and tigers cooped up.
      An old friend of mine made her fortune by buying and selling houses in LaJolla. She’d flip for huge profits. Don’t know if she’s still doing it. I lost touch with her about 5-6 years ago.

      1. No, no, WILD animal park, no cages. Huge areas of roaming wild animals.
        Divided into sections where animals live in harmony together.
        There is a monorail that takes you thru the park. BUT the best is to book the tour that takes you right into the enclosures in the flatbed of a truck.
        After seeing the Wild Animal Park, it is no longer fun to visit caged animals.

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