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Virtual Honeymoon Award 2016

DreamAlongTravel has a new, wonderful tool and website for romance travel!  This is a Must-Go-To if you are considering travel to the sun and sand but not sure where you want to go.  Visit my site.   It won first place award with Travelage West Trendsetter award for “Best Targeted Marketing Idea”!  I am honored to be the first associate site for this romance travel wedsite.  Be sure to Check it Out!!!

dreamalongtravelvirtual honeymoon

What does Trendsetter awards mean? Each year, the TravelAge West Trendsetter Awards recognize travel agency leaders who make an impact on the industry and the community. Two finalists in each category are invited to and honored at the WAVE Awards as guests of their sponsor.

Entries are reviewed and voted on by the sponsors and editorial staff of TravelAge West. Furthermore, suppliers who sponsor the Trendsetter Awards do so not just for publicity – they support the travel agent community and wish to honor those who are making significant strides in the industry.

See the Trendsetter winners in all categories below and check out the July issue of Travelage West Magazine honoring all the recipients held at The Ritz Carlton in Marina Del Ray, California
TravelAge West 2016 Trendsetter Award Recipients

Best Targeted Marketing Idea
Winner: Robin Hawkey, Virtual Honeymoon (see my personal story- page 20)
Runner Up: Alexis Lee, Avenues of the World Travel

Best Group Booking Sales Effort:
Winner: April Schmitt, Divine Destination Weddings
Runner Up: Montrose Travel

Upward Bound, Rock Star Agent Under 40
Winner: Melissa Varela, Modern Romance Travel
Runner Up: Jason Olson, True Vacation Travel

Best Use of Social Media
Winner: David & Carol Porter, The Roaming Boomers
Runner Up: Tom Chongruk & Lora Chow, Travel 4 Food Fun


Aruba Honeymoon Destination

Aruba, located in the Southern Caribbean Sea are blessed with some world famous beaches, along with dry tropical climate, welcoming trade winds, pristine landscapes and beautiful historic sites to explore. They are also located just outside the hurricane belt, have more sunny days than any other Caribbean island, making Aruba a ideal honeymoon destination anytime of year.

A snorkeler and divers paradise, with 40 dive sites where visitors can meet the local marine life or explore World War II wrecks, the surrounding waters are populated by colorful creatures such as parrot fish splashed with teal and gold, as well as stunning coral formations, bountiful marine life and sunken ships, visitors can enjoy excellent visibility in Aruba’s crystalline waters.

For the shoppers, this is your place, as a free zone, duty on most items in Aruba is so low that shopping here can have obvious advantages, carrying goods from all parts of the world, plus a range of locally made handicrafts. Aloe grows in abundance on Aruba, and skin care products are made locally.

Nightlife here is your paradise with casinos, open from until early morning, with some over 24 hours!
Hotel bars usually offer live entertainment, also there are several cocktail bars and nightclubs or join one of the party buses for a lively pub tour. Another option is one of the party cruises, usually offering dinner, drinks and entertainment.

Speaking of entertainment, Aruba hosts monthly events such as the Music festival in May, International film festival in June, Jazz festival in October and Grand Carnival in February.

Aruba Honeymoon

Lots of reasons to visit this beautiful Caribbean island, but one the best is the people, they are so friendly and welcoming, that’s why they are known as one happy island.




Costa Rica Deal

Even if you are flying from other cities, this is a good deal.

Even if you are flying from other cities, this is a good deal.

Sandals Negril, Jamaica

Anne Del Vecchio, Your Personal Travel Consultant (208) 964-3578

Call me today so you can start walking on that seven mile beach very soon!

Hello Dear Travel Friends,

I just got back from Jamaica and let me tell you, once again, I was overjoyed with the pampering, dining and luxury of the Sandals resorts.  Sandals Negril was an absolute favorite of mine.   Can’t wait to share my pictures with you.

What I loved was the beautiful white sand beach that went on forever.  You can walk as far as you wish along the water past other resorts to little beach bars.  Dine on the beach while watching amazing sunsets.  Or be pampered in the Red Lane Spa with tropical inspired treatments.  Gorgeous, luxurious, relaxing…Oh my!  I’m going back!

Sandals Fam 204??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????Spanning Negril’s famed Seven-Mile Beach, Sandals’ Negril vacations conjure up tropical vibrations with a casual, understated elegance. Stroll through walkways dotted with swaying palms and sea breezes, while listening to the hypnotic sound of waves. Experience romantic moments created by the most amazing sunsets at the Caribbean’s ultimate beach resort. Savor world-class cuisine at breathtaking, oceanfront restaurants. Relax and enjoy luxurious accommodations, just steps from the beach, including some of the most unique suites in the world with butler service where you can swim-up to your private patio. ??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????

??????????????????????????????? We stayed here and I loved every minute of it.  If I were returning to the Negril area, this is the resort I would choose.

There are so many reasons to recommend Sandals Negril.  Here are my top 10.

Reason for recommending this resort:

1.        Incredible beach, luxurious resort.

2.       Fun beach party night

3.       Free wedding with magenta orchids, cake, champagne

4.       Premium wines are standard

5.       Has a country cottage feel rather than high rise.

6.       Romantic Candlelight dinners in exquisite gazebos

7.      Waterfront locations to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner

8.  Perfect location for amazing sunsets

9.  Trees that fall are carved into fun art work

10. Snorkeling trips included and many non-motorized water toys

OK…How about the top 11.       Some rooms that walk right out onto the beach




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What could be more beautiful than a wedding dinner in this lovely gazebo by the blue water? ???????????????????????????????



Check out some of these very special rooms that have their own pools or walk out onto the beach…





Carry your sweetheart away to Sandals Negril because this table is reserved for you!  Or maybe me and my HoneyBear if I get there first.


Call me for reservations…I guarantee the best price!  

Anne Del Vecchio, Your Personal Travel Agent   (208) 964-3578







El Dorado Casitas Royale, Riviera Maya, Mexico

Ever seeking to discover the most wonderful resorts for my clients, the lure of sun and sand drew me to the Riviera Maya, Mexico for a fantastic experience at the El Dorado Royale.  If you are longing for a ROMANTIC CELEBRATION FOR JUST THE TWO OF YOU, this is the place.  I stayed in the Casitas Suite which was like my own little bungalow (palapa) with a private pool and poolside bar for the little courtyard of suites.

One of Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Top 100 Hotels in the World and a AAA Four Diamond Resort, El Dorado Casitas Royale  is the top of romantic seaside luxury.

Here I am with a travel agent friend being welcomed at the resort with a glass of champagne.  (I’m the one on the left.)

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Snuggled along the beach in a separate, private area on Mexico’s Riviera Maya, El Dorado Casitas Royale is an adults-only resort made for romance. An impressive selection of amenities and services make this an unmatchable destination for romantic escapades, weddings, honeymoons, and anniversaries.

Unwind in your private, picturesque Casita on the beach and enjoy the luxurious space with an in-suite Jacuzzi. Enjoy gourmet dining at seven different delicious restaurants. Cater in rejuvenating Spa services, including the popular couples massage lessons. Delight on 13 swimming pools by day, and participate in the exciting nightlife.

Click on the slippers to watch my video when I first entered my room: ( Then click the back arrow to return to this blog for more pictures.)

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More pictures….so you can imagine yourself lounging in your own Casita or out by your pool or beach….

My Casita



Jacuzzi Bath

Day Bed on the Veranda

Shower Grotto
Table for Two

Table for Two

Shower Grotto

Now let’s go outside… the temperature is marvelous, the sand is soft white, the sea aqua blue, my pool a step away…Ahh!karisma fam 168

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Wander down the path to the El Dorado Royale proper to visit the SWIM UP SUITES, just in case that type of room is your preference.

karisma fam 147 karisma fam 151 karisma fam 195 karisma fam 209Could resist a sip by the pool!

ROMANCE IS THE FOCUS OF THE EL DORADO so embrace a wedding, anniversary, candle light dinner or fine dining.  The options are many for lovers to share.

 karisma fam 149 karisma fam 156 karisma fam 157  karisma fam 167 karisma fam 170 karisma fam 179karisma fam 162 karisma fam 181 karisma fam 183 karisma fam 186 karisma fam 191karisma fam 143karisma fam 128 karisma fam 153 karisma fam 172  karisma fam 175 karisma fam 185

Fine food a la carte made every meal a pleasure!

Now please excuse me while I relax on a swing waiting for my marquerita!  Adios!

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Comfort On Long Airplane Flights

It is exciting to head off on that long-awaited vacation or honeymoon.  The first moment in the car leaving home, I consider my vacation has begun and am filled with delightful anticipation of a good trip.  With a little preparation, my self-pampering begins at the airport.  So let’s discuss how to make the first leg of the journey, the airplane ride, comfortable and enjoyable.


Pack into carry-on to be placed under the seat in front of you on the plane:

Important medicines

Consider taking: Baby aspirin, sea sickness medicine, sleep aid, immune system boost supplements, eye drops.

Ear plugs or noise reducer ear phones

Eye mask

Thick socks or slippers

Reading material or electronic entertainment that does not need the internet

Neck pillow and thin blanket

Lip and skin moisturizer

Toothbrush and toothpaste

Comb, deodorant

Moist toilettes

Food Favorites

Gum or mints

Empty water bottle (fill it up once you are past security at the airport)

WHEN BOOKING YOUR FLIGHT – Comfort starts here:

  1. 1.       Be sure your name on the ticket is absolutely to the letter correct. Security at the airport requires it to be correct.  However, you most likely will still be able to board if a mistake has been made, it will take longer and require extra measures.
  2. Select your seat, if possible, when you book your flight. Aisle seats allow more freedom of movement, window seats provide a view and a place to lean your head.  Avoid the middle seat if possible. Within five rows from an exit or towards the rear is safest in an emergency.  Over the wing limits your view from the window.  Avoid the seats at the end of the aircraft and those near the wings and toilets if you want minimal distraction, noise and movement. Sit up front for best air quality. A recently released Harvard study found air quality in aircraft cabins didn’t meet minimum standards for office buildings. You’ll find less carbon dioxide in forward seats.
  3. Use www.seatguru.com to find out the most comfortable seats on your particular airplane.
  4. Two people flying together on a flight with three seats in a row, may consider reserving the aisle and window seat.  Just maybe the middle will remain empty giving you extra room.  If not, the middle seat traveler will inevitably be happy to exchange for your isle or window seat.
  5. Here are the top rated airlines for economy class comfortable seats:

Jet Blue – extra leg room and Direct TV plus endless snacks

Southwest – still as of this publishing date offers blankets, pillows and in flight snack.  Be sure to go online 24 hours in advance to get “A” boarding or purchase “A” boarding for $5.00 by going to Boardfirst.com.

Virgin Atlantic – provides earplugs, slippers and eyemasks

Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific – In flight entertainment, comfortable seats and leg room.  Best economy seats if you are flying these two airlines are seats 61A and 61K on Singapore and seats 66A and 66K on Cathay.  They are the only twosome in a 3-4-3 configuration with extra room around them.

  1. Consider the bulkhead or exit row aisles.  Advantages are you will have extra leg room, no one can recline their seat into your face, and no children will be seated next to you.  Disadvantages are, your plane comfort bag will need to be stored overhead and you will need to be able to open the emergency door if needed.  Some airlines charge an extra fee for bulkhead seats.


  1.  Do the electronic check-in to avoid waiting in line and to get a better seat assignment if not previously selected.
  2. Pack your bags.
  3. Search for a discount coupon online if parking your car at an airport parking lot.
  4. Plan the time you need to get ready in the morning and drive to the airport arriving a minimum of 2 hours prior to your flight.  Minimize the stress at the start of your trip by not needing to rush.
  5. Double check to be sure you have: Driver’s license, passport, flight tickets (e-tickets), itinerary, money, medicines, glasses.
  6. Lay out your clothes to wear on the airplane.


Layer Up.  Dress for fashion when you get there, on a long flight, dress for comfort.  That means layers of loose – no pinching or pulling or unzipping required to be comfortable. You have three temperatures you need to consider here – the temperature in your country, the temperature on the plane, and the temperature when you arrive at your holiday destination. What makes life tricky on the plane too is that it’s very hard to predict the temperature and this is largely because of the sporadic use of air conditioning. Some planes will have none and you’ll be boiling hot, while others will have the air conditioning on full blast and aimed right at your feet – and this can get freezing cold. The solution then is to wear layers so that you can put more on if you’re cold or take more off if you’re hot. You should also wear soft and comfortable clothes though so that you can essentially pad yourself into your seat. Think nice wooly jumpers and t-shirts that are made from soft neoprene, nothing silky as silky tends to be cold. Don’t wear anything too tight. . Bring a jacket

My Layer List: Short sleeved t-shirt, Long sleeved t-shirt, sweater or sweatshirt, jacket.  Shorts in my comfort carry-on bag. Long loose fit pants.  Wearing my short-sleeved t-shirt, I can layer on or off as needed and change into my shorts right before the plane lands if the weather is hot.



Your feet will naturally swell during the flight due to the pressure in the cabin. They will also tend to get both cold and hot.

  • The best shoes to wear on the flight are flexible shoes      that you can dislodge easily from your feet (slip-ons, loafers) and do not      require tying when you need to put them back on (like for that long      postponed trip to the lavatory).
  • Next best are any flexible shoe (sneakers, walking      shoes, etc).
  • Dress shoes, especially heels, do not adjust for      swelling and would be a hazard in an emergency.
  • Flight socks (any heavy, loose-fitting socks) are more      comfortable than shoes, keep your feet warm, and serve to walk around the      plane, at least anyplace but the lavatory.
  • Slipper socks are great for comfort, warmth and also      for the lavatory because they have soles.
  • For an extra luxurious comfort treat yourself to some      cashmere socks and slip on slippers for your in-flight feet pampering.


Most airlines no longer provide blankets and pillows.  If they do, grab on as you walk to your seat because there are not enough to go around.  In a pinch, your coat will act as your blanket but  taking your own blanket will make the cold flight infinitely more comfortable.

Any thin car blanket will do but is hard to squeeze into your flight comfort bag.  Purchasing a pashima might be worth it for a long trip.  A Pashmina shawl is a fine cashmere wool from a special breed of goat.  It is soft and warm, takes less room than a blanket and can easily pack into a small bag.  It multi tasks as a scarf, shawl, blanket or lumbar support.  If you don’t need it to keep warm, roll it up and put it behind your back, which helps significantly to increase your comfort level.  These shawls come in muted colors so gentlemen can enjoy one tucked into their comfort bag as well.


  1. Instead of drinking soda or coffee, opt for water if you are wanting to sleep.  Save sugary treats for when you wake up.
  2. Take off your shoes and cuddle your feet in warm socks.
  3. Use your neck pillow.
  4. Wear compression socks if your feet tend to swell.
  5. Listen to soft music
  6. Use an eye mask
  7. Take the wallet out of your back pocket and store in your under seat bag.
  8. Put a lumbar pillow or your rolled up sweatshirt between your low back and the seat to alleviate spinal compression.
  9. Consider a light sleep medication if your flight is over 8 hours and if OK with your doctor.


For Noise Reduction – Crying babies, etc.

  1. Consider buying EarPlanes Earplugs – Relieves inflight ear discomfort with the exclusive CeramX™ Filter that regulates air pressure and reduces harsh noise naturally.
  2. Ear plugs from any drug store
  3. Bose noise-canceling headphones
  4. Down load a white noise app on your phone and use with headphones
  5. Listen to an audio book on your mp3player
  6. Listen to your favorite music or video


WATER, WATER, WATER – Flying is dehydrating.

Eat a good meal before you get on the airplane incorporating plenty of water and fruit juice to hydrate yourself.  Go to a deli at home before your flight and treat yourself to whatever deli foods tickle your fancy. You can purchase many of these items at the airport but the cost will be double. Remember, no liquids and that includes apple sauce or liquid type foods.  The minute you leave home, your vacation begins so plan your airplane picnic with gusto.  Be sure it will pack well and not smash easily.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Cut up fruit or veggie dip plate
  • Hunk of salame and cheese, sour dough bread, specialty olives
  • Specialty salads
  • Raison cinnamon bagel and cream cheese
  • Deli Sandwich or buy meat, cheeses and a roll and put a sandwich together on the plane
  • Jerky, protein bar, trail mix, chocolate bar.
  • Add  on moist toilettes and napkins.  An empty water bottle to fill up after security.
  • Drink lots of fluids on the plane to stay hydrated.  Alcohol doesn’t count.  Try to drink down your full bottle of water plus whatever the flight attendants provide.
  • If you have a long layover, this it the time to have a nice meal in an airport restaurant.  After you eat walk around a good deal to get your circulation going before the next flight.


Of course you need to pack your personal medicine requirements but in addition consider the following suggestions.  Ask your doctor about taking baby aspirin for the prevention of deep vein thrombosis and blood clots caused by physical inactivity.  You may also want compression socks.  For those who get motion sickness, consider taking sea sickness pills or ginger capsules.  If sleeping on an airplane is an issue for you, over the counter sleep aids can be of assistance.  Though be sure to take it early in your flight or right before you get on board so that you are fully awake when the flight arrive at your destination. If you have a cold or allergies, ask your doctor about taking a decongestants before the flight to help clear your ears. Many supplements to boost your immune system are available. We seldom get colds any longer after breathing the recycled air on a plane since we started fortifying our immune system with “Airborne” about half an hour before the flight.

Just a precaution, wipe your table top on the plane down with a moist toilette when you first sit down.  Who knows what hands with a snotty infectious nose have been sitting there just before you.


  1.  Get up and walk up and down the aisle
  2. Wiggle toes and ankles
  3. Stretch your arms and back
  4. Put your feet up on your  under seat bag






Sandals Royal Bahamian

Hello Wanderer,

Today, I am posting my visit several weeks ago to the Sandals Royal Bahamian in the Bahamas on the island of Grand Bahama, near the town of Nassau.  This is a perfect location for couples, brides and honeymooners who would like a smaller, more intimate resorts.  It has a charming British ambiance, with tea served in the afternoon everyday.  Come with me on a tour of the Sandals Royal Bahamian.


Dreaming of a wedding, wouldn’t it be just perfect in this garden gazebo. 

To complete the English ambiance, a guard in the “tropical whites” iconic to the Bahamas, stands at attention.  Think the British have it hard, these guys are standing motionless in 80 something degree weather.

The Wine Bar has tasting lessons for those of us who enjoy a fine glass of wine.  Then we can amble on into one of the fine dining establishments to sup.

     A night cap in the pub and a bit of English style pool will do.

After and evening of fine food and drink, a good night’s sleep in Sandals premium beds, the butler will make our coffee and bring us breakfast.  Then imaging you and your honey wandering down to the pool for a quick dip, then off to the private island to laze away the day.



    Here I am with my travel agent friends partying on the island.  Take me back…

Cheers from Anne!

If Airlines Sold Paint

This is an amusing story I thought you might enjoy.  On Wednesday of this week for one day, I bought a flight for $65 that ususally costs $134.  It is wonderful when one can grab a deal like that but frustrating all of the rest of the time.  We are so used to it, we don’t even blink but look at it through renewed eyes.  What if it was paint?

If you were to buy paint from your local harware store the conversation might go something like this:
Customer:  “Hi, how much is your paint?”
Clerk: “We have regular quality for $23 a gallon and premium for $32.  How many gallons would you like?”
Customer: “Five gallons of regular quality, please.”
Clerk: “Great!  That will be $115 plus tax.”

However, if airlines were in the business of selling paint the conversation would go like this:
Customer: “Hi, how much is your paint?”
Clerk: “Well, sir, that all depends.”
Customer: “Depends on what?”
Clerk: “Actually, a lot of things.”
Customer: “How about giving me an average price?”
Clerk: “Wow, that’s too hard a question.  The lowest price is $9 a gallon and we have 150 different prices up to $200 a gallon.”
Customer: “What’s the difference in the paint?”
Clerk: “Oh, there isn’t any difference, it’s all the same paint.”
Customer: “Well, then, I’d like some of that $9 paint.”
Clerk: “Well, first I need to ask you a few
questions.  When do you intend to use it?”
Customer: “I want to paint tomorrow, on my day off.”
Clerk: “Sir, the paint for tomorrow is the $200 paint.”
Customer: “What?  When would I have to paint in order to get $9 paint?”
Clerk:  “That would be in three weeks, but you will also have to agree to start painting before Friday of that week and continue painting until at least Sunday.”
Customer: “You’ve got to be kidding!”
Clerk: “Sir, we don’t kid around here.  Of course, I’ll have to check to see if you are elegible to buy paint.”
Customer: “What, all I want to do is buy some paint!”
Clerk: “Sir, there is no point in getting upset; that is just the way it is. By the way the price just went up to $12.
Customer: “This is crazy!  I will just go somewhere else to buy paint.”
Clerk: “That won’t do you any good, sir.  The other paint stores have the same policies.  You might as well just buy it here while the price is $17.50.

Thank you for flying – I mean painting – with our airline!

Deception Pass State Park, Washington

He was turning two, so we wanted to celebrate by going camping with our grandson and daughter somewhere near Seattle.  I googled “great camping with a toddler near Seattle”.  Deception Pass State Park came up the winner due to the beaches and toddler friendly trails.  We headed out with our 1965 Chevy wagon and 1965 tent trailer (we are into vintage).  The park was two hours north of Seattle on Hwy I5 then west on Hwy 20 to Whidby Island.  Our first glimpse of Deception Pass came when we crossed the bridge high above the water spanning the cliffs.  It was spectacular with fall color just beginning to burst forth.  The recommendations suggested not walking across the bridge with a toddler but in the future we will definitely want to catch that vista on foot.


The campsites are a walk from the beach but most everyone is excellent (I did a lot of walking about the campground with a stroller.) My favorite was #170 which was up a little hill and no RV connections but felt as if you were in hobbit land.  From the campground you can walk to Cranberry Lake on one side of the inlet, then walk a dozen yards to the beach on the bay.  Two parks in one!  Cranberry Lake has a protected sandy beach open in the summer with life guards and a snack shack.

Liam, being just two, enjoys throwing things so “No, don’t throw,” is a frequently heard phrase.  Deception Pass was the perfect place for him as he found throwing rocks into the water was a grandparent approved activity.  Plenty of rocks and hours to do it until a worn little boy was ready for nap. (Scroll over the pictures to see the narrative.)


On Sunday, we took a ride to the little artist town of LaConner on the mainland a few minutes south of Hwy 20.  We visited two delightful art galleries.  “Cattails and Dragonflies” run by Gil and “The Artist Remarque” run by Gil’s wife, Rebecca.  They are both warm and friendly folks with many works of art to feast your eyes on.  If you get to LaConner, stop in for a chat.  After a wine tasting and a snack, we headed back to camp for Liam’s first campfire.

  We decided to return to Tacoma by driving south through Whidby Island and take the Port Townsen Ferry.  I would not recommend this with a toddler.  Though the scenery was pleasant rural hills and small towns, the traffic was stop and go.  The ferry ride was short and cost us $46.  The price is determined by measuring the length of the car plus tent trailer.  Liam did not want to return to his car seat after the ferry boat ride and was cranky the rest of the way.  Instead of the two and a half hour trip we had coming in, going back to Tacoma took us five hours.

As many of you know, I specialize in water, sun and sand to Mexico, the Caribbean, Hawaii and Costa Rica.  Deception Pass has now made my list of exceptional water, sun and sand places to go.  Yes, I know, it was September and rain was predicted yet we had many glorious moments of brilliant sunshine.  When not traveling to hot sunny sandy places or on cruise ship, you just can’t beat camping along the entire west coast, my home.

See you on the beach,


California Wine Country Backroads Getaway

      Heading north from San Francisco for a few days in the California Wine Country, I was eagar to relive my very favorite backroads wine country outing.  Even though I spent eleven years leading groups on this same exact route (and would do it again in a minute if any of my readers want to put together a group), I am thrilled to return again (especially now that I live in Idaho) with my cousins in tow. 

     From Petaluma, take Bodega Ave (get yourself a map) to Valley Ford Road, destination the village of Freestone. You will wind through gently rolling hills and emerald meadows reminecent of the English countryside resplendent with flocks of sheep and spring lambs.  Stop for a few few minutes in Freestone a blink-and-you-missed it rustic little town.  Save some tummy room for a sticky bun at the Wild Flour Bakery.  Spa enthusiasts must not miss an osmosis enzyme bath at the Osmosis world class spa hidden away in this tiny town. 

     Having totally indulged yourself, drift north again through wooded lanes to the quaint welcoming town of Occidental.  Lost in time with no expansion for decades, I always envision ladies of the 1920’s coming by train from San Francisco with broods of kids for their summer lodgings.  My mother, in fact was one of those children who learned to swim on the Russian River during summers in a cabin named “Don’t Worry”.  Her Dad came up for weekends while Grandma and six little ones played away the summer at Camp Meeker just down the road from Occidental. 

   Enjoy an Italian meal family style at Negris.   Walk around the town visiting the little shops for folk art.  Rest for the night in Occidental at The Inn At Occidental.  This is an exquisite bed and breakfast with all the romance , ambiance and delight to the eyes of a country home.  I personally recommend selecting The Inn at Occidental if you are celebrating a special occasion.  

     Next, we meandered up the redwood line roads towards Camp Meeker.  Just beyond we swerved left into the Alliance Redwoods.  My children went to school in the lodge here for three years long ago.  Now it is a bussling center for nature study classes and retreats.  More exciting, today though is the “Canopy Tours!  ZIP THE REDWOODS!!  7 adrenaline-pumping zip lines-one over 800′ long.”  My cousins purchased a gift certificate for their son’s anniversary package.   www.sonomacanopytours.com

     Still having a grand time, we continued past Alliance Redwoods to Monte Rio and Guerneville to Armstrong Redwoods.  I always feel as if hobbits are watching me from under dewy ferns in this enchanted forest of giant redwoods.  Cool and peaceful for an afternoon walk, my heart is filled with joy at the beauty of God’s creation.    Another way to tour Armstrong Redwoods is on a segway.  To set that up contact http://segwayofhealdsburg.com/.  Ask for my son, Michael Del Vecchio, to be your guide!

     Do you like champagne?  We are in the wine country so you must visit the Korbel Champagne Cellars.  Tasting and tours are free.  My favorite is the “Natural”.  Here is our darling wine server and my grinning husband.  The tour includes a facinating story about the Korbell family history so be sure to catch it. 

   Of course, a stop in Sebastopol at the Fosters Freeze for a soft-serve icecream is a must.  This was my husband’s restaurant for 22 years and boy do I miss my daily dipped cone.  Thanks for coming along on my favorite Sonoma County tour.  We didn’t visit many wineries or take a side trip to the coast but you can on your trip. 

Have fun travel dreaming,