Today’s Trip

First Myron ventured outside. After all the birds were singing in the bush a few feet away.

Next came Mable…after checking things out carefully. These are brave cats…yeah right.
Point is…your next adventurous trip may be just outside your door.

More Fun Wine Facts

Rain continues to come to northern California…and the grapes are glad it does this time of year. Napa Now has provided some more wine trivia…
There are anywhere from 500 to 1300 vines per acre.
Eight to 12 pounds of grapes are produced by one vine.
About 120 gallons of wine will come from a ton of grapes. And barrels per acre…13.5.
You will get about 4 to 6 bottles per vine, 500 to 700 bottles per ton, 4,000 bottles per acre. That equates to 16,000 glasses per acre. And there is no fat in a 5 ounce glass of dry wine.
There are approximately 400 wineries in Napa Valley. 1838 was the first year grapes were planted in Napa Valley with the first large winery built after Prohibition by Robert Mondavi.
What was the biggest Napa Valley crop before grapes? Prunes.

Flight Info

I just read about a site that allows users to scan an entire month for airfares to find the least expensive rate. Haven’t tried it yet, but I did look at it and it appears easy to use.
Go to www.itasoftware.com and log in as a guest. You have to actually book your flights on a site of your choice, but it is interesting to see if certain days could be cheaper for you.

Non Stop Caribbean

When looking to get away to the Caribbean this winter, think about some of these great escapes.
Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao: Just 18 miles off the coast of Venezuela these islands are outside the hurricane belt. Hike the trails in Aruba’s Arikok National Park. Dive one of the island’s 86 dive sites off the western shore of Bonaire. Marvel at the vibrant Dutch architecture and have fun shopping on Curacao.
Cayman Islands: Grand Cayman provides divers with a glimpse of the Cayman Trench, an underwater canyon that plunges nearly 25,000 feet deep. Or snorkel with the rays at Stingray City, a string of sandbars in the North Sound.
Barbados: Even though Barbados is an independent nation, the British flavor is still present. Cars drive on the left and cricket is the national sport.
Grenada: This island has a law stating that buildings cannot be taller than a coconut palm tree! Take a hike through the rain forest in Grand Etang Forest Reserve…then swim in one of the cascade pools at Concord Falls.
Guadeloupe: This archipelago has a land area of more than 580 square miles, all on adjoining islands. Plant lovers should not miss the Jardin Botanique de Deshaies with more than 900 plant species.
St. Lucia: Boasting long stretches of beaches with white, golden and volcanic sand this island’s verdant interior has some of the best hiking in the region. Pitons, St. Lucia’s twin volcanic peaks, overlook Soufriere harbor. You can climb to Gros Piton.
Many flights are now non-stop to these destinations. Be aware when booking your flight that “direct flights” are not the same as “non stop flights”. Check more than just the flight number.

Rainy Day

Grey skies overhead doesn’t have to limit your photos, as my professional photographer daughter-in-law will tell you. Sometimes no sun gives an interesting quality to your photos.
Now if it would just stop raining long enough to take more shots…
I know…I know…we need the rain. And the Robins are here, flowers are starting to bloom and I’ve been talking to my favorite garden nursery lady. Not a bad way to start Spring 2010.

Ski Vacations

Pack your skis and hit the slopes.
Did you know that adult day passes range from $34 at Lost Trail Powder Mountain, Montana to $97 at Vail, Colorado? This might make a difference which resort you head off to. Check with local grocery store chains or ski rental places for discounts.
Many times the best discounts are on packs of four or more tickets. Online check out www.skicoupons.com, www.liftopia.com and www.discountlifttickets.net for other discounted tickets.

Rain Tip

Ever travel or prepare to travel during rainy season? Umbrellas are great to travel with but I like my raincoat that folds up into its own pocket. Its hood also folds into its own space. And it is long enough to cover my shoulder strap purse. Plus it doesn’t take up much room in my carry-on or in my suitcase. Best of all, it doesn’t wrinkle when I unfold it!
What do you use?

Wine Trivia

According to Napa Now here are some fun wine facts…
Vines are around 3 years old before they begin producing useful grapes.
Vines will be 5 years old before they are at full production.
The productive lifetime of a vine is 30 to 35 years. The quality can remain good after that but the yield begins to decrease.
more later…bet you can’t wait

Travel Question

If you could name five places you want to visit this year…what would they be?
They don’t have to be far away…unless you want them to be. They don’t even have to be new places…just ones you want to visit.
My list starts with…Yosemite and Disneyland and goes on from there. I’ll fill you in later. What are yours?