Postcard Plans

Curated Travel Inspiration and Musings

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May 7, 2015
by rblackney
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Hiking the Deschutes River in Bend, OR

While driving to Mt. Bachelor, Ms. Siri on our iphone took us to the Mt. Bachelor Village Resort instead of the actual mountain on our first try.  Mt. Bachelor is a national park and so there is much less development on the mountain, including resorts.  So, most of the accommodations are about 20-30 minutes from the mountain.  It is necessary to rent a car.

But, thanks to this very minor mishap, we discovered an access point for the Deschutes River Trail. The trail system is very extensive and can lead to all kinds of wilderness, but we opted for an urban route that was close to town.  There is a 2.5 mile loop that can easily be accomplished by using […] Continue Reading…

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April 14, 2015
by rblackney
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Snowshoe Tour in Bend, OR

I had my mind set on a snow vacation this year and after much research and debate, my husband and I decided on Bend, OR.  Bend was a great fit for us for a few reasons.

First, we did not want to have a long drive in the snow.  Many ski resorts require flying into a major airport and then taking a long trek by car.  We decided that we would rather do two easy flights than drive.  The Bend airport, actually Redmond to be precise, is an adorable, small, clean airport.  Not only that, but United offered great mileage deals into the city.

The other factor that we strongly considered was the craft beer community.  The independent, small batch brews […] Continue Reading…

casa

January 30, 2015
by rblackney
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Staying at Casa Madrona in Sausalito, CA

Finishing up the hotels from our 2014 visit to the Bay Area, I finalize reviews from the trip with our stay at Casa Madrona in Sausalito, CA.

Postcard Plans to San Francisco, CA

This was a very different stay for us because we decided to ride our bikes over the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco to get to Sausalito.  You can read my earlier article on biking the bridge to learn about that experience. But, we were excited for the adventure as we have stayed in town before and really enjoyed the quiet charm of the scene.  While San Francisco offers more options for activities, Sausalito offers the chance to rest and relax.

Postcard Plans to San Francisco, CA

For this visit, I decided to try Casa Madrona which had a nice […] Continue Reading…

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January 30, 2015
by rblackney
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Staying at the Harbor Court Hotel San Francisco, a Kimpton Hotel

When booking San Francisco hotel stays, I was determined to stay one night by the Ferry Building for easy access to the Saturday Farmers Market. We have stayed in the Financial District several times and I always enjoy waking up to have breakfast and lunch at the market. It is the highlight of our visits over the years and something that I will not miss.

Postcard Plans to San Francisco, CA

After much research, I was impressed to find the Harbor Court Hotel which was reasonably priced, located right across from the market and had views of the Bay Bridge too.

Postcard Plans to San Francisco, CA

Postcard Plans to San Francisco, CA

In addition to the lovely price tag, they also offer a lot of extras. The front lobby during the day is stocked with ice waters and […] Continue Reading…

Eater Charleston

January 30, 2015
by rblackney
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Blog share: “Five Knock-Out Meals in Food World Destination Charleston” – Eater

I am a huge fan of Eater and try to take notes from many of their lists.  On my dream destination list for this year, I am hoping to take a road trip between Charleston and Savannah in a cooler month.  So, this article jumped out to me as something to share and keep close.

Of these, the Hominy Grill really stands out to me. What do you think?  Any look good to you?  Have any other suggestions?

Five Knock-Out Meals in Food World Destination Charleston – Eater.

Shrimp and grits Charleston Navy biscuit Buttermilk Pie
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December 7, 2014
by rblackney
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The Cove in Eleuthera, Bahamas

I have never really considered myself a resort-style traveler. I like nice places to stay. I like luxury too. But, in general, I am not a fan of having everything taken care of for me and I do not like controlled environments where everything feels perfectly planned and the personality of a destination is contained to the perimeter. But maybe I got it all wrong.

After staying at The Cove Resort in Eleuthera, I just might have found an ideal resort destination for me.

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There is no getting around the price tag. It is not an affordable place to stay. This was a splurge for us, and even with a generous budget going in, we still went over on expenses. But […] Continue Reading…

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December 7, 2014
by rblackney
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Planning for Eleuthera, Bahamas

You should choose Eleuthera, Bahamas for your next vacation. There is a saying in Eleuthera that it is “not for everyone.” Maybe that was the case some time ago, or perhaps it is a way to make visitors feel special, part of the in-crowd that “gets it,” but based on my Thanksgiving 2014 vacation it sure seems like it is an ideal destination for all. We loved Eleuthera and I feel very confident that you will too.

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It all started after our vacation to Vieques, Puerto Rico when we flew over the Bahamas. I was mesmerized by the islands and their rainbow of blue-hued waters. Plus, it was closer to the states which was appealing to reduce travel time (or […] Continue Reading…

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November 2, 2014
by rblackney
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Sampling the Mission District in San Francisco, CA

Dave and I have been lucky enough to be regular visitors to the great city of San Francisco, CA.  In our visits, we usually lean toward being near the water.  But on our most recent visit, I created a Pinterest board of new places that I wanted to try.  Through that process, I noticed that some of the better casual restaurants of the city were located in the Mission District.

Postcard Plans to San Francisco, CA

The Mission District is located in the Central part of the city with the main thoroughfare being Mission Street. Known for the mission buildings that still stand today, the area has been a home for a diverse population that has brought their delicious food into the community.  Probably most famous […] Continue Reading…

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November 2, 2014
by rblackney
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Staying at The Belmont Hotel in Dallas, TX

When my husband’s job bid him to Dallas for a working weekend, I jumped at the chance to learn more about the city but also tempered my expectations of what I would find. And in my initial research for hotels, I was a little disappointed with how few affordable options had the personality that I was hoping to find.  Until, I came across the Belmont Hotel.

Visit to Dallas, TX

Visit to Dallas, TX

Visit to Dallas, TX

Nestled on a North Oak Cliff hilltop, the Belmont Hotel is a historic motor court hotel with a vintage flair.  With only 64 rooms, the hotel offers cool comfort in a design-inspired destination.  While your parents might have avoided this area growing up*, the Oak Cliff neighborhood is now an ideal location just outside […] Continue Reading…

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October 11, 2014
by rblackney
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Biking the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA

I am not sure that I would do it again, but I can tell you that I am proud I did it. My experience biking the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco came with a thumb sprain, broken brakes, sun burn and a good cough. Let’s just say it was an adventure from the get-go, but it was well worth all the drama for the unbelievable views.

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My husband and I have rented bikes in San Francisco several times before, though they have been simple bikes, a cruiser one visit and an electric bike another. The cruiser was perfect for a basic ride from the Fisherman’s Wharf to the base of the bridge where the terrain is fairly flat, and […] Continue Reading…

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September 13, 2014
by rblackney
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Blog share: “50 things to eat and sip at New Orleans restaurants and bars” | NOLA.com

I am excited to start the planning for a Christmas visit to New Orleans. Though we always like to stop at our tried and true favorites, I am always on the lookout for new places too.  The city’s vibrant food and cocktail scene makes it very easy to have a fresh itinerary each trip, and still leave with a satisfied belly.  This list from NOLA.com has some interesting leads that I hope to add to my list of new stops at some point.  And by starting off with the fried chicken from Jacque Imo’s and also including the roasted cauliflower from Domenica, two of our absolutely favorite dishes, this list looks legit.

50 things to eat and sip at New […] Continue Reading…

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September 6, 2014
by rblackney
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Hotel Drisco in San Francisco, CA

Sometimes hotel stays serve a purpose, like overnight accommodations by a convention center, or perhaps the goal is to house a large party as economically as possible, but there are times when you want to splurge. And sometimes you come across a travel lodging experience that exceeds every expectation and is worth every dime. Hotel Drisco in San Francisco is the perfect example of an above and beyond stay in my opinion.  Though titled a hotel, it feels like a bed and breakfast with the luxury service of a five-star resort.

Postcard Plans to San Francisco, CA

Built in 1903, the hotel has preserved all the original architectural charm while integrating in modern necessities and adorable details.  Upon arrival, we were greeted with warm hand towels […] Continue Reading…

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September 6, 2014
by rblackney
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Farmers’ Market at the Ferry Building in San Francisco, CA

I was so excited to bring along a new toy for our recent visit to San Francisco, CA.  I got a new GoPro camera and this trip was my first time using it.  Though I have room for improvement, I am overall very pleased with how my video from the Saturday Farmer’s Market at the Ferry Building came out.  I like the idea of capturing the sights and sounds of a site to give a glimpse of what we are experiencing.

Take a look and let me know what you think!

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September 6, 2014
by rblackney
0 comments

The Tremont House, A Wyndham Grand Hotel, in Galveston, TX

In general, we have been very happy with the vacation rental options in Galveston, TX for weekend getaways from Houston. However, I have had my eye on one hotel for some time, The Tremont House. Part of the Wyndham family of hotels, the reviews for this grand hotel are generally outstanding – and the price tag is double the nightly rate of our vacation rental favorites.  Galveston offers lodging options with a focus on family and beach bum party accommodations throughout most of the city, but The Tremont House is an exceptional option for a romantic, luxury getaway for two.

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Even before our first stay, we had visited some of their on-site entertainment and dining businesses, including jazz night at […] Continue Reading…

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June 20, 2014
by rblackney
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A Long Weekend in Cape Cod, MA

I have been lost in thoughts of future travel again and wanderlust has me planning a trip that I have not even booked yet.  Visions of cool summer temperatures, water adventures, and delicious seafood have me daydreaming about a visit away from the Houston heat and into the North, specifically Cape Cod.  Honestly I have not even booked this trip, but as I am already deep into research and always seeking suggestions, I thought that I would share some of my Pinterest map plans.

With July 4th approaching there will be many who will partake in the lobster roll, maritime charm and ample beach loving destination.  So here are some of the top to-dos that I have been researching for […] Continue Reading…

navigator_seas

June 9, 2014
by rblackney
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To Cruise or Not To Cruise : The Cons

While cruise connoisseurs adore them, a cruise vacation is not the right fit for every person.  And with a recent outbreak of bad PR, lately it seems that cruise ships have been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.  That won’t help anyone who is on the fence about the prospect. Cruise vacations certainly have some very valid pros (read my article here), but people have different travel styles and the cruise industry reputation has some blemishes that might be a turn-off too.

Here are the reasons why a cruise might not be right for you:

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From the crowded elevators to the compact showers, there is a feeling of confinement that can leave you running to the upper decks or […] Continue Reading…

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June 9, 2014
by rblackney
1 Comment

To Cruise Or Not To Cruise : The Pros

The subject of cruise vacations is polarizing.  Generally people tend to be pro-cruise or anti-cruise and, until recently, I had no opinion as I had never been on a cruise. Even now, my only experience is a one-night promotional cruise (Read about Navigator of the Seas here), though it did give me a taste for the experience.  There are definitely benefits to a cruise vacation, and I hope that I get another opportunity for a normal cruise vacation that includes a destination.  I want to better understand and appreciate the cruise craze.

So from my first cruise experience and from talking with cruise fans, I have come up with a few reasons why cruising might be right for you:

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PAMPERED AND […] Continue Reading…

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May 23, 2014
by rblackney
1 Comment

First Look at Remodeled Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas

Royal Caribbean invited my husband and me to be guests on board their remodeled Navigator of the Seas ship.  The 3,114 guest ship is based out of the Texas port city of Galveston with Caribbean itineraries leaving year-round.  From what I understand, this is currently the largest and most advanced ship yet based on the island. Dave and I could not have been more excited to explore it and to have our first cruise!

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Being a promotional one-night cruise, our experience was rather unique.  With it being our first cruise experience, I learned a lot.  As there is so much to share, I plan to have more than one article. For this article, I will stick to the facts and […] Continue Reading…