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Bucketlist Travel

Bucket List Dreams- The Florida Keys

Bucket List Dreams Come True In The Florida Keys

 

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The Florida Keys offers world-class attractions and entertainment among some of the most breathtaking natural scenery you’ve ever laid eyes on. The Keys consist of The Upper Keys, The Middle Keys, and The Lower Keys. The Florida Keys are made up of five major islands– Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon, Big Pine Key, and Key West- totaling 1,700 neighboring islands in the vicinity. The Keys offer once in a lifetime snorkeling amongst living coral reefs, dive sites with tropical fish, glass-bottom boat tours, dolphin expeditions, sports fishing, marine animal encounters and so much more!

We began our trip in Florida City The Gateway to the Keys. We spent a couple nights in  Miami, a night in Florida city and a night in Homestead during this epic road trip adventure. We passed by the Everglades National Park and was then onward to the keys. We had a 4-hour drive across the open water with the Gulf on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other! Some of  Florida’s kitschiest and most peculiar things can be seen in The Keys!

The Overseas Hwy

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Embarking on an exciting trip to the beautiful and tropical Florida Keys islands is a dream come true! The Keys are made up of 1700+ living coral and limestone islands across the scenic coastal Overseas Highway and you get to cross the famous 7-mile bridge! The Keys takes you through Key Largo to the Key West islands. There are 43 islands across the 113-mile chain of islands connected by 42 bridges that we have to cross! The Overseas Highway offers the most scenic drive straight through the magnificent ocean.

Upper Keys

Key Largo

(Mile Marker 108-90)

Key Largo has gorgeous pastel seascapes you can dream up. Key Largo is known for being the Diving Capital of the World. In Key Largo, there are world-famous diving and dive sites for snorkeling with the living coral reef.

Key Largo is the largest island on the keys. There are many fun attractions in Key Largo. A stop at the visitors center is a good starting point. They have coupons for hotels and local attractions, Florida Keys souvenirs, and Key Lime pie.

The islands, marine life, and living coral are all protected by the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary also protects the remains of shipwrecks.

That swoon-worthy feeling when you’ve left the mainland and officially reached the first island! *le sigh* We began on the Overseas Hwy and through the famous 7-mile bridge which is 35,867 feet long. I loved being able to see the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean at the same time! We’re officially on island time. You will definitely want to stop off to explore each major island city on the keys.

Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail

The Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail offers gorgeous, dreamy scenery.  The water is like a sunset and it is so beautiful- it’s aquamarine in color with hints of pink. You can fish off here, walk the little trail or just relax by the water. You must pull off the Overseas Hwy and stop off here to see this beautiful water. It is breathtaking!

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The Laura Quinn Wild Bird Sanctuary

The Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center is near Key Largo, located Tavernier, is a safe-haven to hundreds of injured and endangered bird species. The sanctuary cares for injured, orphaned and rescue birds and rehabilitates them so they can be protected and gain strength at the same time.

The wild bird sanctuary is a natural habitat which includes birds of prey, tropical birds, and seabirds. There are many varieties of rescue birds that have been rehomed here. The Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center is an oasis for so many beautiful wild birds such as owls, hawks, pelicans and more.

There is also a little walkway behind the bird oasis that has beautiful grounds and views which highlights the Mangroves, scenic waters, and more little birds and ducks walking about. The center is free to visit but they do have a little donation box set up at the front. This is a great stop for all ages. We had a really enjoyable visit here.

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Other things to do in Key Largo and The Upper Keys:

Everglades National Park is the perfect getaway for outdoor enthusiasts. Park visitors can explore the marshes, swamps, mangroves, and take air-boat rides through alligator and crocodile-infested waterways.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is an underwater park and affords visitors the perfect family trip.You can take a boat tour, snorkel, swim and more.

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary encompasses the Florida Bay, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Gulf of Mexico. Families can boat here and there is also a museum.

Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park is great for outdoor lovers who enjoy nature walks and taking in all of the sights and sounds of nature.

Jules Undersea Lodge is the worlds only underwater hotel. They offer dive classes on site and an underwater hotel adventure where guests can stay a few hours or even overnight!

Islamorada

(Mile Marker 90-70)

Islamorada, or purple island, is made up of 6 islands and popular islands?? Islamorada is the Sports Fishing Capital of the Florida Keys. The major islands here are Windley Key, Upper Matecumbe Key, and Lower Matecumbe Key.

The Islamorada Visitors Center should be your first stop. We were road tripping through the Florida Keys and saw this bright and inviting visitors center and decided to stop in. The visitors center is located directly in front of the Founders park. Islamorada is known for its coral reefs.

Other things to do in Islamorada and The Upper Keys:

Theater of the Sea is perfect for families on vacation to visit together. The theater of the Sea offers sea lion and dolphin shows and marine life encounters.

History of Diving Museum takes visitors on an under the sea experience with mementos and artifacts dating back 4,000 years encompassing the history of diving, shipwrecks and deep sea treasures.

Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park showcases unique fossilized coral and limestone formations. For the outdoor lovers, this is a nice park to visit for exploring trails and nature walks.

Middle Keys

Marathon

(Mile Marker 70-35)

The Middle Keys consist of the islands of Marathon/ Key colony. The major islands located nearby are Marathon, Deer Keys, Long Pine and Grassy Keys and Pigeon Key.

Marathon and surrounding islands offer tons of tons of water activities and family-friendly attractions. Visitors can engage in sports fishing and can charter boats and fish either Gulf-side or Atlantic-side.

The 7 Mile Bridge

The world-famous 7 Mile Bridge connects the middle keys to the lower keys, from Knights Key to Little Duck Key. Driving across the ocean is a surreal and unforgettable experience.

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I loved seeing all of the natural formations on our drive. There are a terrific amount of points of interest to discover and explore. I especially liked seeing island after island lined up. It is a true oasis.

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Other things to do in Marathon and The Middle Keys:

 The Dolphin Research Center in Grassy Pine offers dolphin and sea lion shows. This is a great fun-filled and educational experience for all age groups.

The Turtle Hospital in Marathon cares for endangered and wounded sea turtles. The hospital offers tours and educational opportunities to learn about the sea turtles and nesting preservation projects.

Sombrero Beach is a public beach in Marathon. This beach is one of the more popular beaches in the Keys.

Long Key State Park offers campground sites for guests who wish to swim, snorkel, kayak or fish.

Lower Keys

Big Pine Key and the Lower Keys

(Mile Marker 35-25)

Big Pine Key offers more of the beautiful sights and points of interest you’ve come to love about the keys. In Big Pine Key you will likely see deer crossing the street! These spotted deer can usually be seen in plain sight and often darting across the roads.

 

Other things to do in Big Pine Key and The Lower Keys:

Key Deer Refuge is home to endangered Key Deer species. Visitors can walk the grounds and search for deer.

Bahia Honda State Park in Big Pine Key offers more water play with their public beach access. There are water sports rentals and leisure water activities including snorkeling, kayaking, and canoeing.

Now, once you reach the end of the lower Keys, you have made it to the tropical paradise of Key West!

 

Key West

(Mile Marker 25-0)

 Key West is the Southernmost city in the continental U.S.  Once you arrive in  Key West you are only 90 miles to Cuba! Key West is truly a beautiful destination with sunsets bright and vivid as an artists palette!

 

Key West is quirky and fun, also full of chickens from Cuba walking down the streets, huge iguanas crawling everywhere and restaurants boasting “the best key lime pie” ever served here. So yea, it’s pretty awesome.

Mallory Square is the place to be to catch one of those famous Key West sunsets. The views are spectacular as far as the eye can see. There are plenty of entertainment options, especially from the varying street performers. There are ample boutique shops and dining establishments. No trip to Key West is complete without a sunset evening spent at Mallory Square.

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The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum is one of the top reasons I just had to come to Key West. The home is in immaculate condition, the guided tours are informative and entertaining, and the grounds are inspiring! I love Hemingways’ writings so to visit his home was certainly one of my bucket list dreams. Hemingway Home and Museum is a must-see, must-visit.

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Other things to do in Key West:

Duval Street is where it all happens. There are street performers, restaurants, bars, art stores and much much more. The liveliness on Duvall Street is infectious.

Key West Museum of Art and History, or Custom House, holds historical significance to the city of Key West. The bold red structure showcases unique sculptures in the front entrance. The Custom House was once operated as a government building and was both previously the courthouse and post office. The Custom House displays art and architecture.

Harry S Truman Little White House offers tours for history enthusiasts to visit the old Winter White House of the 33rd president of the United States.

With it’s South Florida climate and close proximity to Cuba, The Keys offer a tropical Caribbean atmosphere which is second to none. If you come to Key West for nothing more than a slice of Key Lime pie then do just that!

 

And my bucket list dreams just keep coming true!

With All My Love,
The Vintage Gypsy

 

“I was always an unusual girl. My mother told me I had a chameleon soul, no moral compass pointing due north, no fixed personality; just an inner indecisiveness that was as wide and as wavering as the ocean.”-Lana Del Rey

Categories
Bucketlist Musings Photography Travel Uncategorized

Bucket List Dreams- Eureka Springs

Eureka Springs, AR

The beautiful Victorian village of Eureka Springs is situated in the heart of the Ozark mountains. Eureka Springs is known for its picturesque Victorian houses and Hot Springs. Eureka sits high atop the mountains and many of the stunning and unique architecture of buildings and homes sit hillside. I imagine a time here when women wore Victorian gowns, donned parasols and had afternoon tea and tea cakes. It’s like something within a great novel coming alive.

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Downtown:

Downtown Eureka Springs and Basin Spring Park is the heart of the city. I had so much fun embracing all of the eccentricities and oddities. Eureka Springs is magical, enchanting, colorful and quirky. I also secretly adored all of the kitschy garden gnomes displayed throughout the city.

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Basin Spring Park is the bright and lively heart of Eureka Springs. Basin Spring Park is located in downtown Eureka and is a colorful and magical place to visit. Basin Spring Park showcases talented street performers and musicians playing live music. You can even grab some sweet and savory treats. We walked up the cliff area and to the Basin Spring.

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Hot Springs:

Eureka Springs has several hot springs that have been restored. Native American legend tells us that the natural spring water from the mountains contains healing properties. Many people still visit hot springs to soak and to sip the water for therapeutic benefits. These natural healing springs are revered by people from all walks of life. The healing mineral waters and natural springs are believed to be flowing life waters. There are many unique hot springs gracing Eureka Springs.

The famed springs in Eureka are Basin Spring Park, Magnetic Springs, Crescent Springs, and Grotto Spring.

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Top Places to visit:

Eureka Springs has many fantastic landmarks and points of interest. You’ll want to visit as many of these places as you can!

Thorncrown Chapel is a gorgeous glass chapel in the middle of the woods. Thorncrown Chapel has a tremendous architectural design that is truly inspiring. The drive to get to the Thorncrown chapel is very woodsy and beautiful. The Thorncrown Chapel is a glass and wooden structure situated in the woodlands. The Thorncrown Chapel has 425 stunning glass windows and 6,000 sq. ft. of glass. The ceiling has a cross-over stitching design and it’s arched so beautifully. This chapel is inspiring and a good place for reflection on life and purpose.

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St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church is tucked away on the hillside by the 1886 Crescent Hotel. St. Elizabeth was constructed in 1904 and showcases stunning Italian marble, limestone, rotunda architectural style and stained glass. Saint Elizabeth is the only church known that you enter through the bell tower. The dome shape is truly remarkable. The beautiful gardens and grounds offer pure serenity. The church also has a chapel room for prayer and reflection.

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Christ of the Ozark’s stands tall overlooking the great Ozark mountains. The Christ of the Ozark’s statue is housed at The Great Passion Play and Holy Land experience. The Christ statue has been here for over fifty years and stands 7 stories tall! It is truly a magnificent sight to behold.

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The Great Passion Play puts on the world-famous biblical passion play. The play is held in a large outdoor amphitheater and features a large cast and live animals. The Great Passion Play is said to be America’s number one outdoor drama. The Passion Play is held in a beautiful setting overlooking the Ozark’s and Christ of the Ozark’s statue. The Passion Play provides you with a window to the past complete with an interactive reenactment of the bible.

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Holy Land Tour brings you back into time with a replicated grounds of old Jerusalem. Here you can watch as The Holy Bible comes alive before your eyes. The cast and grounds at The Holy Land Tour are all reminiscent of biblical times as they share stories from The Holy Book.

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The Bible Museum and History Museum feature over 6,000 bibles and 3,000 artifacts from different eras and cultures. There are two museums located here where you can see Christian paintings, statues, and ancient bibles. There is also a gift shop where you can purchase religious items, bibles, and Holy Land souvenirs.

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Carry Nation House, Hatchet Hall is an interesting house built on the side of a cliff. During the Temperance movement and before the Prohibition Era Carry was known to go to taverns and break up the alcohol and beer kegs by way of an ax. The area her home is located in is nice and quaint. I loved all of the eccentric cottages along the winding road. The house is right on top of the street and the back of the house has a drop off a cliff.

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Pivot Rock and Natural Bridge is a good spot to check out some natural formations. The Pivot rock is actually the largest freestanding rock! The rock is so unique and it actually looks upside down. Also, The Natural Bridge was actually formed from the pure rock in the shape of a bridge.

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More things to do:

Onyx Cave offers self-guided tours of the underground onyx formations. The cave which was discovered in 1893 is popular for tourists and locals alike. Interestingly the cave stays at 57 degrees year round.

Blue Spring Heritage Center has a botanical garden, Blue Springs, and Native American history and artifacts. Here you can visit the gardens and grounds, admire the lagoon and spring, and take a walk down the Cherokee Trail of Tears.

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge offers up-close safari encounters with rescued big cats.  Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge provides Safari Lodges to guests looking for a more natural and authentic wildlife experience. The Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge is home to 100 species of animals namely lions, tigers and bears.

Lodging:

In Eureka Springs you can stay in haunted hotels, quaint cabins, mysterious caves, unique treehouses, and magical hobbit holes!

Treehouses and Hobbit Caves:

Eureka Springs Treehouses will help make your fairytale dreams come true. At The Eureka Springs Treehouses, you can have an underground adventure in The Hobbit Caves, or have a dreamy night in The Magical Castle Treehouse, or a romantic night in the mesmerizing stoned underground Grottos caves! There are ten unique treehouses and themed accommodations at The Eureka Springs Treehouses.

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Historic Hotels:

The 1886 Crescent Hotel is America’s Most Haunted Hotel for good reason. I love the history of this spooky and beautiful hotel. The Crescent Hotel Ghost Tour has nightly tours and seances. The delightfully renowned 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa offers guests an experience you will be talking about for years to come.

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1905 Basin Park Hotel is the sister hotel of the 1886 Crescent Hotel. The Basin Hotel is also regarded as haunted and there are The Spirits of the Basin ghost and cave tours. This grand Basin Park hotel fits perfectly in the quirky heart of Eureka Springs.

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Eureka Springs is a magical place with its native healing waters and enchanting well-preserved historic Victorian houses and buildings. Eureka Springs is perched high into the Ozark’s surrounded by mountains, forests, and lakes. Eureka Springs is such an inspiring city and especially perfect for lovers, artists, and all free-spirited folks.

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And my bucket list dreams just keep coming true!

With All My Love,
The Vintage Gypsy

“So, I love you because the entire universe conspired to help me find you.”- Paulo Coelho

Categories
Bucketlist Photography Travel Uncategorized

1886 Crescent Hotel- America’s Most Haunted Hotel

1886 Crescent Hotel -America’s Most Haunted Hotel

The beautiful Victorian historic Ozark mountaintop resort, 1886 Crescent Hotel.

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The Crescent Hotel  is hailed as Americas’s Most Haunted Hotel 

The Victorian village of Eureka Springs sits hilltop overlooking the beautiful Ozark mountains. Eureka Springs is famed for their Hot Springs and Historic Bathhouse District. The 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa has a rich history and deep roots to Eureka.

The 1886 Crescent Hotel is a beautiful old Victorian historic mountaintop hotel set against the beautiful Victorian village of Eureka Springs. With one look you can picture a time of dames and dapper gentlemen riding carriages in the Victorian period. With another glance you can understand the stories of paranormal sightings of Dr. Norman Baker, his nurse, and the patients who checked in and never checked out. Guests report seeing ghostly apparitions from the Victorian era dancing in the grand Crystal ballroom.

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History:

In 1886 The Crescent Hotel operated as a resort Carriage Set during the Victorian era. The hotel catered to distingished travelers who were visiting Eureka Springs in search of the healing waters in the Ozark mountains. The Crescent Hotel offered guests luxury accommodations, including carriage rides and access to the 100 horses and stables! Over time the hotel would close its doors to guests.

In 1908, The Crescent Hotel emerged as The Crescent College and Conservatory for Young Women. The students attending this prestigious college would learn the arts of being a well-versed young lady. The Women’s College would later become a Junior College. The hotel eventually closed again.

In 1937, The Crescent Hotel was turned into a health reort and cancer hospital. The quirky Dr. Norman Baker had patients believe he was curing them from a multitude of ailments. The guests poured into Bakers Hospital without realizing the good doctor was in fact a fraud making nothing more than potions and concoctions. He pleged to his sick patients that with the healing waters and his magical potions he could cure all.

Dr. Baker was an eccentric man and he loved the color purple. Its said that he would parade around in purple threads, drive a purple car and painted hospital wings purple.  It was later found out that Dr. Norman Baker had never attened medical school a day in his life. The good doctor  was eventually arrested and once again the hotel would close. Many guests died here at the hands of Dr. Baker, and his morgue remains. The eerie hospital was later converted back to a hotel.

In 1946, The Crescent Hotel regained its vitality and opened its doors once again to welcome new guests. The hotel still operates today as a luxurious resort catering to eager folks from all over. The Crescent Hotel offers guests a unique and memorable experience that they will share with generations to come. The hotel is a hub for history lovers, paranormal investigators and more!

Sightings:

Dr. Norman Baker, is seen wearing purple in the basement.

Dr. Bakers nurse, is seen wearing all white pushing a hospital gurney in the hallway.

Michael, The Irishman craftsman who helped build the hotel, and later fell from room 218, which is one of the most active rooms.

Theodora, one of the cancer patients of Dr. Baker who is searching for her room key.

And many more!

You can go on the supernatural Spirit of the Crescent tour. There are nightly ghost tours at The Crescent Hotel and they also hold seances. Guests report feeling, hearing and seeing ghostly apparitions in their rooms and in the hallways. This hotel has been filmed for many supernatural shows.

We are staying at the most haunted hotel in America tonight! Guests check in and some don’t check out!

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Upon arrival I didn’t know what to expect. I knew this would be an adventure that is both exciting and terrifying. The hotel is spooky looking and checking in at 3 am doesn’t do much to settle the nerves. The lobby of the hotel has an older look to it and you can certainly tell the period in which this hotel was constructed. I got my keys and went up to room 330. I had previously asked to please not put me in a room that was notorious for ghost activity. I love that the keys are real keys.

I love how everything here stays true to character and nothing is modern. I noticed a big cat sleeping on the bellman’s luggage cart and I thought this to be strange especially in the middle of night. There were several little idiosyncrasies that I just knew I was in a ghostly place.  I took the old elevator up and I was looking around nervous yet curious. I was apprehensive but ready to have a paranormal experience and see these spirits.

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It’s 3 am and we are officially checked into America’s Most Haunted Hotel!

My room was very vintage and retro. The walls were red. I loved the antiques. I was apprehensive to fall asleep. The room was peculiar. Everything was beautiful, and terrifying. My night was thrilling. I tossed and turned wondering how close to my bed would the spirits stand. Sleep continued to elude me. I don’t know when my eyes closed or when they opened. I wasn’t sure what exactly happened. I just knew it was morning.

I rolled out of bed to go for a walk. The gardens are inspiring. I had breakfast in the Grand Crystal Ballroom. I had a full day of adventuring ahead. I’ll never forget my time at the The 1886 Crescent Hotel. Those kind of experiences just stay with you. Who doesn’t want to ghost hunt in an old 130 year-old elegant Victorian hotel?

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I got to stay at the most haunted hotel in America. I made it through the night. You know they said the guests check in and they don’t check out! You can really appreciate this hotel for the beauty and for the history. I love the charm and grandeur of stepping into times past. Whisk away.

With All My Love,
The Vintage Gypsy

“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary.”- Edgar Allen Poe

Categories
Bucketlist Photography Travel Uncategorized

Bucket List Dreams- Winter Wonderland in Snoqualmie, Washington

Snoqualmie- A Winter Wonderland
Soul Work and a Journey of Self-Discovery

[38 + driving hours, 5 days, 2500+ miles cross-country, 7 states]

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My third epic 2,500+ mile cross country trip would take me through the Pacific Northwest to the Southwest regions. I would get to witness the beauty of nature in all of its elements. My travels would immerse me in a great blue ocean, snowy white mountains and unforgettable vast deserts. I would get to see the sunrise each dawn and the sun set each evening at dusk. My journey would carry me through the Cascades and the Rockies and to many hidden gems far and in between.

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Ah, Washington, the splendid Pacific Northwest. I began my travels making my way through Seattle, Tacoma, Snoqualmie, Yakima, Kennewick and Cle Elum. Snoqualmie and Snoqualmie Pass is the epitome of a White Winter Wonderland. I can not completely fathom the way it made me feel, other than feeling intensely that it was otherworldly. Snoqalmie radiates pure solace and solitude.

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Wenatchee National Forest is a place for true reflection. Wenatchee National Forest exudes boundless grace beneath its towering white-tipped trees and snow-capped mountains. We were driving around the mountains and as far as they eyes could see was pure white everything. I turned on some soft folk music and let the scenery and lyrics carry me away.

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I stood mystified of the snow fields in Cle Elum. I remember how the euphoria swirled in my mind: my life is a storybook coming alive, my life is a travel movie, my life is opera at the theater. I thanked the universe for making me the alchemist of my life. In that moment, I was but a girl-child again, running through the soft white fields and throwing snowballs. Life is sweet and beautiful in these moments and all.

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Washington is one big beautiful playground. My winter wonderland memories will stay with me always. I am eternally thankful for life directing my footsteps to witness so much beauty and splendor.

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And my bucket list dreams just keep coming true! In love and light. Namaste.

With All my Love,
~The Vintage Gypsy

“Courage, dear heart.” -C.S. Lewis

Categories
Bucketlist Photography Roadtrip Travel Uncategorized

Bucket List Dreams- Beautiful Utah

Utah: Bucket List Dreams and Road Trip Adventures

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Utah has so many wanderlust worthy locations that will absolutely take your breath away. I began my trip going through Tremento, Salt Lake City, Price and Monticello. The natural beauty of Utah sweeps across the rolling hills and sky-high mountains. The Rockies are vast and majestic. Our girls trip was in full swing, and took us through the Rocky mountains, en route to Colorado, blaring the musical, Moulin Rouge.

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We went through Downtown Salt Lake and it is vibrant and bustling. You must see the stunning LDS Mormon Temple dating back to 1853! The Salt Lake Temple took 40 years to construct this massive structure. The high spheres and Gothic architecture is nothing less than awe-inspiring. Downtown Salt Lake offers great views with its phenominal skyline over the city. While the state capital of Utah is impressive, it’s the countryside of Utah that is undoubtedly captivating.

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Utah offers many outdoor activities and points of interest. Utah is known for its outdoor activities and gorgeous mountainous landscapes. In Utah you can visit many national monuments, forests and parks including the world-class, Zion National Park. In Utah there are a multitude of state parks, ski resorts and outdoor water adventures. You can also hike, rock climb, mountain bike and so much more.

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Utah is known for their The Great Outdoors with its iconic redrock canyons, incredible jagged cliffs and picturesque snowy mountains. Utah is grand and magnificent; I am completely floored! From towering skyscrapers to towering mountains Utah has it all! The natural beauty of Utah’s backcountry is utterly remarkable! Don’t close your eyes in this beautiful state!

 

And my bucket list dreams just keep coming true!

 

With All My Love,

The Vintage Gypsy

 

“And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.”- Kahlil Gibran

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
Bucketlist Photography Travel Uncategorized

Bucket List Dreams- San Diego and Coronado Island

San Diego and Coronado Island

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Coronado Island is home to the gorgeous and iconic Hotel Del Coronado. Hotel Del is a picture-perfect vintage masterpiece dating back to 1888! The elegant wooden architecture of the historic Hotel Del is inspired from the Victorian era, and exudes the classic beauty of The Old Hollywood Glam atmosphere. The renowned Hotel Del was featured in the 1959 film, Some Like it Hot, starring Marilyn Monroe. The legendary beachfront Hotel Del Coronado is not to be missed.

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The Pacific Ocean is undeniably vast and beautiful. At Coronado Island there are many water activities such as swimming, surfing, boating, or even whale-watching! I didn’t realize how cold the water really is here, or just how windy it is! I also thought it would be sunnier in Cali, yet it is often pretty gray out. I really loved all of the rocks and stones lining up the beach.

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The views of downtown San Diego, The San Diego Bay and across Coronado Island are quite lovely! The Coronado Bridge is a massive 200 ft. tall, and 11,000+ ft. long curved bridge pouring out into the peninsula. The San Diego-Coronado Bridge sweeps you across into the seaside military Navy town of Coronado Island. You can see some facets of naval activities and many stunning ships and vessels from up above.

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I love how many different elements and landscapes California has. Cali has beaches, mountains, deserts and even ski resorts. San Diego is really close to the border of Tijuana Mexico. I love the melting pot of culture that makes San Diego so special and diverse.

I also recommend visiting the Hillcrest area. Hillcrest is the very LGBT friendly neighborhood and also where pride takes place. I enjoyed the restaurants and cozy coffee shops in this neighborhood. Admittedly, I stayed at Starbucks a lot, and I drunk copious amounts of coffee and tea religiously. I also had some of the most unique vegetarian Thai food at Plumeria. I also really love Balboa Park! Balboa Park is enormous and offers so many activities for park visitors.

Some of my favorite views were the Imperial Sand Dunes located outside of Yuma, AZ en route to San Diego, CA. The sunset over the massive sand dunes is superb. Also, there are nice views of the Jacumba Mountains near the Mexico and U.S. border!

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And my bucketlist dreams just keep coming true!

With All My Love,

The Vintage Gypsy

 

“Respond to every call that excites your spirit.”-Rumi

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Bucketlist Photography Travel Travel Blogger Uncategorized

Bucket List Dreams- Red Rock Canyon

Bucket list dreaming!

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Red Springs, Red Rock

Red Rock Natural Conservation Area is miles and miles of natural beauty, and has the most tremendous views you could ever dream of. If you love the outdoors you’ll definitely want to add Red Rock to your bucket list and itinerary.

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Red Springs, Red Rock

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is definitely top of the bucket list. Red Rock Canyon is located within The Mojave desert and is one of the most scenic and glorious natural conservation areas I have ever witnessed.

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Sandstone Quarry, Red Rock
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Sandstone Quarry, Red Rock
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Sandstone Quarry, Red Rock

Did you know Red Rock dates back 180 million years during the Jurassic era? Red Rock was once covered by the sea that receded over time and turned into sand dunes, and eventually mountains and canyons. At Red Rock, you can immerse yourself in nature, hike canyons and climb cliffs. Red Rock is also a photographers dream. There is so much natural beauty at Red Rock you can explore and discover.

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Sandstone Quarry, Red Rock
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Sandstone Quarry, Red Rock

Red Rock has many canyons, trails and rock formations. And red Aztec Sandstone and Joshua trees are gorgeous. The canyons are actually swirls of colorful marble rock formations and both pastel and vivid colored sandstone.

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Calico Basin, Red Rock
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Calico Basin, Red Rock

At Red Rock, you will immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. Red Rock offers the most incredible panoramic and scenic views of the canyons and desert vegetation. Red Rock is the perfect wanderlust and bucket-list adventure!

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Willow Spring, Red Rock
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Willow Spring, Red Rock

Full-time explorer of all things interesting.

With All My Love,

~The Vintage Gypsy

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” –Susan Sontag

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Blogger Bucketlist Photography Roadtrip Travel Writer

Bucket List Dreams – Little Colorado River Gorge

Litte Colorado River Gorge Overlook

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The Little Colorado River Gorge is a beautiful scenic outlook in the Navajo Nation. We began our drive passing the enticing Navajo Tacos, and abundant Native American souvenir shops just taking in all of the sights and local culture. All of the landscapes are tremendous and aesthetically pleasing on this stretch. You can really appreciate natures candy to the fullest.

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Along the way you may see many wonders including The Grand Canyon, The Painted Desert, Wupatki National Monument, Sunset Volcano National Crater and The Petrified Forest. I am ecstatic that my bucket list dreams brought me to explore both The Little Colorado River Gorge and the Grand Canyon.

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The Little Colorado River Navajo Tribal Park offers mighty views of the sandstone and limestone gorge and canyons. The Little Colorado River Gorge is alluring and marvelous. I was instantly drawn to the serene and natural beauty of the grand rock formations and also its massive, steep and jagged canyon. The rocky ravine was captivating as it was unnerving. The vistas and cliffs offer captivating viewpoints.

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We stopped at The Little Colorado River Gorge to explore the area on our way to The Grand Canyon, South Rim. They have many artisans and vendors from the Navajo Native American tribe selling handmade jewelry, pottery and decor at the Cameron Trading Post.

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We walked down to the canyon and witnessed some of the most massive and incredible landscapes you could imagine. I couldn’t quite fathom just how beautiful and inspiring the panoramic terrains were.  You will see several posted signs to watch for desert snakes and scorpions as you make your way throughout the gorge.

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The Little Colorado River Gorge offers multiple vantage points and offers information about the Navajo Nation and Little Colorado River. The colorful desertscapes and ravine  are worth being on everyone’s bucketlist. Happy travels!

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And my bucketlist dreams just keep coming true!

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With All My Love,

The Vintage Gypsy

“And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself?”– Rumi

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Bucketlist Photography Travel Travel Writer Uncategorized

Bucket List Dreams- The Hoover Dam

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The Hoover Dam was completed in 1935 and is one of the greatest man-made engineering marvels of all time. The Hoover Dam is a concrete gravity-arch dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River and created Lake Mead. It is the worlds largest power plant, and it is so massive it lies on the Nevada/Arizona line which is two states and two different time zones! It’s also said that one hundred workers perished during construction of the dam.

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The Hoover Dam is another one of those bucket-list destinations you must-see, must-visit. We waited in huge traffic congestion for about an hour and a half plus, just to get into the entrance of The Hoover Dam. We had to go through a check-point where the guards asked us if we were American or Mexican. Afterward, they checked the trunk and car out, and we were on our way.

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Our first stop was the Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge. This was our very first views of The Hoover Dam. I’d definitely recommend everyone stop at the Hoover Dam bridge and walk the walkway first because the pictures from this side are monumental! I am afraid of heights, but I braved walking the bypass bridge that overlooks the extraordinary Hoover Dam. The views from here were some of my favorite and most memorable aspects of the dam.

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We drove over the Nevada state line unto the Arizona state line and parked. Parking is free if you park in Arizona (which is right over the border of Nevada.) We didn’t do the tour of the power plant, but we spent the entire time walking the dam and seeing all of the different views. We went at the end of December, and it was freezing. Anytime you’re by such a large body of water like that it gets pretty cold.

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I loved the two big clock towers on the border of each state. It doesn’t even take but half a minute to hop, skip and jump from one state to the next. One clock tower is in Arizona, and the other clock tower is in Nevada. It was so neat to be in two different states, and with two different time zones, and at the exact same time!

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The Hoover Dam is truly an extraordinary architectural wonder! We also were there for dusk, and we got to watch the most glorious sunset over The Hoover Dam at both Nevada and Arizona!

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Bucket list dreams and Travel adventures!

 

With All My Love,

~The Vintage Gypsy

“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” –T.S. Eliot