Elevate and Celebrate—Join Us for Our Static Balloon Glow Event Featuring Plum Fired Up on March 1st, 2019



Elevate and Celebrate—Join Us for Our Static Balloon Glow Event Featuring Plum Fired Up on March 1st, 2019
See Deal

Static Balloon Glow Event on Friday, March 1st, 2019
Claim Coupon
What We’re Offering
Over the years, we’re brought the fun to new and exciting heights and you’ve been by our side for the whole ride. In celebration of our 25th anniversary, we’re proud to invite you to float by for a very special event at Hinkle Family Fun Center on Friday, March 1st!

Our 25th Anniversary Special Event:

Static Balloon Glow featuring Plum Fired Up
Friday, March 1st, 2019 from 6-7:30pm (weather permitting)

Details: Celebrate with us as we salute 25 years of making memories that matter with an exclusive Balloon Glow show featuring Plum Fired Up!

In celebration of of Hinkle Family Fun Center’s 25 years of caring campaign, Plum Fired Up has designated Doberman Rescue of NM as their non profit of choice. They will be onsite with an information booth!
Hinkle Family Fun Center
12931 Indian School Rd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87112

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Happy New Year


Image | Posted on by | Leave a comment

Attention fellow bloggers…

Attention fellow bloggers…
Family Travel Host USA would like to hear from you. We’ve included several questions below to help you get started. We’d like to publish your responses on our website at https://familytravelhostusa.com/.
Send your answers to Family Travel Host USA editor at marcies1960@aol.com.
1) What’s your favorite city in the world or your favorite vacation spot? What makes this place different from any other place?
2) What would travelers do when they get there and why?
3) What is there for families with children to do when they get there?
4) What is the best places to eat and drink?
5) If our readers decided to travel to this place, what would be your number one recommendation for them to see or do while they are there?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Eat, Play, and Be Merry—Book a Holiday Party by Dec 16th and Each Guest Gets $5 in Game Room Credits On Us

Eat, Play, and Be Merry—Book a Holiday Party by Dec 16th and Each Guest Gets $5 in Game Room Credits On Us

See Deal
Book a Holiday Party by Dec 16th and Each Guest Gets $5 in Free Game Room Credits
Claim Coupon
What We’re Offering
The holiday season has all the makings of a mistletoe infused gift-giving extravaganza of festive events and parties punctuated with prime photo opportunities. Get on the good list this year by bringing your whole group to Hinkle Family Fun Center for a jolly time complete with all kinds of reindeer games!

Our Holiday Party Special:

Book a Holiday Party by Dec 16th and Each Guest Gets $5 in Free Game Room Credits

Party designed for company or group holiday parties.
Party must be booked by December 16th, 2018.
Party must have a minimum of ten guests.
Holiday celebrations just got a little more FUN! Book your company or group Holiday Party by December 16th and every member of your group will receive $5 in FREE game room credits to our game rooms! Making holiday party memories that matter.

Hinkle Family Fun Center
12931 Indian School Rd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87112

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

4th Annual Salida Holiday Festival

4th Annual Salida Holiday Festival
Thursday, December 20th from 4-7pm ***Save the Date***
This holiday event is brought to you by the Salida Business Alliance, Salida Chamber of Commerce, Brady’s West and Monarch Mountain. Shops will be open late that evening, with festive happenings including old fashioned caroling, marshmallow roasting, sleigh rides, Santa Claus, plus chances to win one of two vacation packages. We hope to see you there and remember to support your local shop keepers by doing a little bit of Christmas shopping that evening!

Compliments: Salida, Colorado Chamber Of Commerce 


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa

Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa

P.O. Box 1268, 994 Mountain Harbor Road, Mount Ida, AR 71957

Happy Thanksgiving_


Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Black Friday Holiday Bonanza—Get Prepared for 50% Off Gift Card and More See Deal


Black Friday Holiday Bonanza—Get Prepared for 50% Off Gift Card and More
See Deal
Watch for Our Email on Friday for 50% Off Gift Cards and More!
Claim Coupon
What We’re Offering
Black Friday brings the pitter-patter of countless shoppers ready to pounce in the perfect picture of consumer craziness. Sounds exhausting—right? Opt for a more family-friendly approach to getting the season of giving started off in style with special savings from Hinkle Family Fun Center today.

Our Black Friday Specials:

$10 for a $20 Gift Card
Note: Gift Cards may not be used to purchase gift cards or Paintball merchandise.

$20 for an Unlimited Play Pass (Reg $31.99)
Unlimited Play Valid on Ten Attractions:

Go Karts
Miniature Golf
Lazer Tag
Bumper Boats
Rock Climbing
Bumper Cars
Bungee Jump Trampoline
Lazer Frenzy
Light Space
Game Room Credits, Immersive Virtual Reality and paintballs a little extra.

Hinkle Family Fun Center
12931 Indian School Rd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87112

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

When Choosing A Campground

When Choosing A Campground
By Marcella S Meeks

Choosing a campground can be frustrating for some of us because we all want different things and have different expectations although we all have one thing in common: camping. Some of us have pop-up campers, travel trailers (RV’s), and motor homes while others camp the traditional way (tents). But we all have different ideas when it comes to choosing the right campground to fit our needs.

I talked with several people who love to camp and asked them what were the top 3 things that were most important to them when choosing a campground, and this is the response from nine different campers.

1. Dog friendly, Price, Full hook-ups

2. Cheap, clean and not to close to neighbors

3. No kid area, pull through, fire pit

4. Large area between RV’s, read reviews…, level sites, WiFi

5. Kids playground, beach front, spacious campsites

6. Friendly and happy campers! Pool in the summer, a good kayak or boat launch within the park

7. Nice views, shady, quiet zone

8. Picnic tables, grill, bait store/marina near by

9. Pine-cone free, pebbled tent pads, garbage bins near by, bathrooms/showers near sites

These are important things to consider when you make your selection. Make a list of what is important to you and don’t be shy to ask before you book so you’ll know exactly what you are getting. Request a website and read reviews, if available.

A satisfied camper is a happy camper!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

For Your Traveling Pleasures


The 9 Most Haunted Hotels in the World! Click Here for Full Story

18 Bone-Chilling Ghost Stories About One of Europe’s Creepiest CapitalsClick Here for Full Story

Just When You Thought This State Couldn’t Get Scarier: 12 Unexpected Florida Haunted Attractions You Have to SeeClick Here for Full Story

18 Structures As Fascinating As the Artists Who Built ThemClick Here for Full Story

Autumn and Winter Escapes: Get Your Free 2018 California Visitor’s GuideClick Here for Full Story


5 Great Places to See Autumn Leaves in California Click Here for Full Story

10 Halloween Happenings in CaliforniaClick Here for Full Story

20 Fabulous November Events in California Click Here for Full Story

How to Drink Like a LocalClick Here for Full Story

The Ultimate Eastern European Road Trip Click Here for Full Story

And the #1 beach of 2018 is… … Click Here for Full Story

Road trip on a coastal food trailClick Here for Full

Go List ’18: Find Dracula in the Land Beyond the Forest Click Here for Full Story

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Escape… to Great Holiday Lodging and Packages

MHR Logo

Happy Holidays from your friends and family at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa! As we gather together to give thanks for all the blessings of 2018, we are reminded of just how lucky we are to serve our wonderful guests year after year. Thank you for entrusting us with something so precious… your memories!

Happy Holidays from your Harbor Family!

Escape… to Great Holiday Lodging and Packages

Couple by fireplace

Thanksgiving Holiday Lake Package

Enjoy a decadent Thanksgiving Buffet for two, a gorgeous Christmas Lighting party with hayrides and lodging for three nights in a two bedroom, two bath condo with fireplace!

Celebrate Thanksgiving and the start of the Holiday Season at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa! You’ll love digging into Harbor’s lavish Thanksgiving Buffet with all your holiday favorites! Harbor is beautifully decorated for Thanksgiving for the buffet and then the day after, everything becomes Christmas with over two million Christmas lights hung throughout the resort. Celebrate with Santa at Harbor’s huge Christmas Lighting Ceremony with free refreshments, live music, face painting, photo booth and hayrides! It’s a Holiday event you will always remember.

Package includes
Three nights in a two bedroom, two bath condominium with fully equipped kitchen and cozy fireplace.
Reservations for two at Harbor’s Thanksgiving Buffet
Enjoy our Christmas Lighting Ceremony on Friday night!

* Does not include tax on lodging or buffet and an automatic 20% gratuity and charge for drinks for the buffet is not included. You will receive a separate billing for these.

Visit our website
Escape… to the Holidays at Harbor

Thanksgiving 1

Mountain of Freshly Baked Breads at Harbor’s Thanksgiving Buffet
Thursday, November 22
Mountain Harbor’s Thanksgiving Family Feast!
$43.99 (12 and older)
$19.99 (5-12 years)
Free (0-5 years)
*pricing does not include drinks, tax, or gratuity

Tis’ the season for Mountain Harbor’s delicious Thanksgiving Buffet. Savory casseroles, freshly baked rolls, traditional turkey, dressing, ham and gravy, served alongside our homemade sensational desserts.

Let Chris and the fantastic Lodge Restaurant crew take care of all of cooking and baking this year for you and the family.

Three seating times are available (11:30, 1:15, and 3 p.m.) on Thanksgiving.

To make reservations, please call our main number at 870-867-2191 and any of our receptionists would be happy to help you.

Plan your Holiday Family Get-a-Way today!
Visit our website

Christmas balls _2_.png

Friday, November 23
Harbor’s Lighting Ceremony

Join us the day after Thanksgiving as we officially begin the start of Christmas at Harbor. Our fun and festive lighting ceremony includes live music on the stage, free hayrides to view the Christmas lights of Harbor, free cookies and hot cocoa and cider, Christmas story reading by Mrs. Claus and the arrival of Santa, himself via hayride wagon to turn on all the lights of Harbor!

Open to the public and of course, there’s no charge! It’s Harbor’s Christmas gift to the community! The fun starts at 6 p.m. at Mountain Harbor Lodge and runs ’till the last hayride is over!
Visit our website
Santa Turns on the Lights at Harbor’s Lighting Ceremony
Pati and Bill

Saturday, November 24th
Ol’ Timey Spaghetti Supper

The Joplin Fire Department holds their annual fundraiser the day after the lighting ceremony at the fire station and everyone is invited!!

The volunteer firemen serve up pots and crocks of homemade spaghetti sauces with pasta, salad and garlic bread. There’s always a big game on the big flat-screen TV! Join us for a fun live auction and silent auction with great gifts for the holidays!

Proceeds benefit the Joplin Volunteer Fire Department. Call 870-867-2191 to donate items for the auction or for more information!

jollyholiday _1_.png

MHR Logo

994 Mountain Harbor Road
Mount Ida, AR 71957



Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Stunning Botanical Gardens You Won’t Believe Are Free

Spend a few hours or a whole day exploring America’s most beautiful gardens that welcome visitors free of charge.

With wisteria-draped pergolas to flower-lined pools, a visit to a botanical garden is romantic and relaxing. … Click Here For Full Story

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fall Fun for Everyone

Hot Springs Family Fun Guide

By Zoie Clift… Though fishing in Arkansas is available year-round, fall is a beautiful time to cast a line and enjoy the favorable temperatures and colorful fall foliage of the season. The Ouachita River… Click Here For Full Story

By Kim Williams… October in the Lower Delta region means cooler temperatures…but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun outside. … Click Here For Full Story

By Zoie Clift… It is no secret that fall is a special time in Arkansas. The season is filled with camping, biking, live music, fall color, farm tours, festivals… the list can go on and on. In light of this, we decided to share Ten Reasons to Visit Southwest Arkansas in the Fall. … Click Here For Full Story

View original post

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Experience the beauty of Arkansas’s fall foliage

Experience the beauty of Arkansas’s fall foliage

Arkansas Family Travel Host

DSC_7622ps7Experience the beauty of Arkansas’s fall foliage
Fall is one of the most popular times of the year to visit Arkansas because of its excellent fall foliage. Every autumn, nature paints the mountains and valleys of The Natural State with gorgeous hues of gold, red and orange. Many of Arkansas’s visitors travel here for special fall vacations to catch a glimpse (and take some incredible photos) of the season. Scenic drives showcase autumn’s finest while allowing you to explore the state’s varied topography on a fun-filled road trip.

Fall colors begin to appear in the Ozarks and other northern sections of the state by the second week in October and continue slowly southward. Mid to late October generally provides peak fall color in the northern portions of Arkansas. October and November are two of the most popular months for visitors due to the beautiful fall colors and favorable weather.


View original post 84 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment



Colorado Family Fun Guide


(DENVER) – Few destinations can upstage the variety of Colorado’s arts and cultural experiences. In fact, Colorado ranks number one in the nation for the percentage of adults engaged in creative pursuits — a whopping 68 percent. Colorado hosts 22 Certified Creative Districts, is home to more than 300 music festivals each year including this September’s inaugural Grandoozy from the creators of Bonnaroo, and presents world-class art and cultural exhibits across the state including this November’s U.S. debut of the renowned exhibition, Dior: From Paris to the World. For more information, visit: https://www.colorado.com/arts-culture

Unique Performance Venues
Creede Repertory Theatre (Creede)
Toasted as “One of 10 great places to see the lights off Broadway” by USA Today, the Creede Repertory Theatre has been entertaining theatre-goers for more than 50 years at 9,000 feet above sea level. The Theatre is a…

View original post 698 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fall is in the air

via Fall is in the air

Quote | Posted on by | Leave a comment

Travel Bloggers Welcome

Attention fellow bloggers…

Family Travel Host USA would like to hear from you. We’ve included several questions below to help you get started. We’d like to publish your responses on our website at https://familytravelhostusa.com/.

Send your answers to Family Travel Host USA editor at marcies1960@aol.com.

1) What’s your favorite city in the world or your favorite vacation spot? What makes this place different from any other place?

2) What would travelers do when they get there and why?

3) What is there for families with children to do when they get there?

4) What is the best places to eat and drink?

5) If our readers decided to travel to this place, what would be your number one recommendation for them to see or do while they are there?

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Celebrate National Miniature Golf Day With Us

Hinkle Family Fun Center

national min golf day
Celebrate National Miniature Golf Day With Us—Get a FREE $5 Game Card with a Round of Miniature Golf

See Deal

What We’re Offering
From the first swing to your last hole-in-one, miniature golf is the one game that’s always a hit every time out! Join us as we pay tribute to teeing off by grabbing a FREE $5 game card with the purchase of a round of Miniature Golf. Limited time offer available to purchase only with this offer September 21st -28th, 2018!

Our National Miniature Golf Day Special:

Purchase a Round of Miniature Golf for $8.49 per person, Get a $5 Game Card for Free ($13.49 Value)
Miniature Golf: Two 18-hole miniature golf courses featuring tree houses, waterfalls, bridges, streams, fountains, trees and gazebos. Play leisurely amid beautiful flowers while weaving around the water on our Stream Course or by the waterfalls and ponds on our Lake Course. Play by sunlight or starlight under beautiful fiber optic lights on our scenic golf courses.

Hinkle Family Fun Center’s Game Rooms: Featuring over 135 redemption, merchandise, video and quick coin games that bring power to the players!

Hinkle Family Fun Center’s redemption games dispense tickets that can be redeemed for prizes at our Prize Centers! Our Prize Centers feature many exciting prizes such as candy, bouncy balls, collectible memorabilia, stuffed animals of all shapes and sizes, watches, sports memorabilia, the latest trends in electronics—something for every age


This National Miniature Golf Day promotional special available for purchase only with this offer September 21st through 28th.

Hinkle Family Fun Center

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

My Love For Travel…

I was born to ramble!

Ramblin' Camper Travel Times

My Love For Travel…
By Marcella Simmons

Traveling is one of my favorite hobbies in addition to writing and spending time with my family. Now that all my children are grown (I think they are! lol), I spend as much time with their children as I did with them or at least I try to.

Several times a year, we take a trip somewhere. My love and passion for traveling didn’t just start when I got grown. Somewhere in the growing up process, my yearning for traveling just grew with me and one day, budded into a fulltime hobby.

Because of my love for travel I purchased a popup camper to pull behind so that we can travel in style. To get a feel for it would be like, I spent the weekend in it in the backyard. My three grandsons spent the night with me and we experienced…

View original post 237 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Game on—Purchase a $25 Game Card, Get a $25 Game Card On Us

See Deal
View Offer
What We’re Offering

For games that test your mind as well as your might, get started on the road to racking up some major points is as easy as pressing play. Get ready to take the controls, smack all the buttons, and maybe even shoot straight up the leaderboards when you double down on game cards at Hinkle Family Fun Center today.

Our Buy One, Get One Game Card Specials:

  • Buy a $25 Game Card, Get an Additional $25 Game Card for Free ($50 Value)

Hinkle Family Fun Center’s Game Rooms: Featuring over 135 redemption, merchandise, video and quick coin games that bring power to the players!

Hinkle Family Fun Center’s redemption games dispense tickets that can be redeemed for prizes at our Prize Centers! Our Prize Centers feature many exciting prizes such as candy, bouncy balls, collectible memorabilia, stuffed animals of all shapes and sizes, watches, sports memorabilia, the latest trends in electronics—something for every age!

Hinkle Family Fun Center
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

La Paloma Hot Springs & Spa

Kendray,  Nicolas  and Tristin having a ball in Truth or Consequences NM at La Paloma Hot Springs & Spa… the nourishing living water is 107 degrees…



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Colorado Gators – A Hit With The Kids

We went out to see the gators! Had a blast… this is one place that is a hit with kids of all ages – even mamaws!

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Great Sand Dunes

Dunes Among Diversity

The tallest dunes in North America are the centerpiece in a diverse landscape of grasslands, wetlands, conifer and aspen forests, alpine lakes, and tundra. Red Full Story Here

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Spring Creek Fire, Colorado


Spring Creek Fire, Colorado

Incident Overview

Spring Creek Fire Information Map - July 9


The fire started on June 27, 2018 at 3:57 p.m. It was thoroughly investigated by law enforcement and was determined to be human caused, the suspect has been arrested. Initial attack involved several agencies, including Bureau of Land Management, USDA Forest Service, Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control, and local Volunteer Fire Departments. Due to rapid fire growth and values at risk… Read Full Story Here



Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Summer Print Edition Now Available

If you’d like to receive a copy, send $5 to FAMILY TRAVEL HOST USA, 2413 BETHEL RD., LOGANSPORT, LA 71049 USA along with mailing address today… The Family Traveler is printed 4 times a year $20 for a subscription.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Heading West

Heading West

by Marcella Simmons


It has been a busy week here at The Family Traveler household… our bags are packed and we are ready to go. Our plan is to leave this coming Sunday after church—we’re heading West again this year.

We’ll stop somewhere on the road for the night, probably Wichita Falls or Amarillo.

At daybreak on Monday we’ll be on the road again to Fort Garland, Colorado where we’ll be for the next 3 nights. We’re staying at the Mountain View Motor Inn in Fort Garland. We’re about thirty miles form the Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve and you know what we’ll be doing for the next 3 days! We’ll rent sand sleds and sand boards and soak up as much sun as we can!

While we’re in Fort Garland, we’re going to check out the UFO WATCHTOWER. Have you ever wondered what a real UFO looks like? Come find out at the UFO WATCHTOWER, located 2¹/² miles N .of Hooper, CO on HWY 17. For more information, check out their website at http://ufowatchtower.com/  719-378-2296.


When our time is up at Fort Garland, we’re driving over to Lake City, Colorado! We’re staying at The Texan Resort. This is our fifth year in Lake City at The Texan and it certainly won’t be our last. We’ve always had a wonderful stay and Arlan and all the gang there make it a priority in making sure their guests are comfortable and satisfied. They even go as far as hanging their towels and linen out to dry for that down-home country smell and touch. We’ll be there for the next five nights! Check out The Texan Resort website at http://www.texanresort.com/new/index.html.

After our five nights is up there, we’re heading a little farther north to a little town called Naturita. We’ll be staying at the High Country RV & Park for the next 5 nights. Lloyd has been trying to get us up to his mountain for the last four or five years and this will be our first visit! Yeah, we are a little excited! Well, a lot!

After we leave Naturita, we’ll spend the entire day driving to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico before heading home.

We’re staying at the La Paloma Hot Springs & Spa, located at 311 Marr Street -it is home to the “living” water with natural flow artesian hot springs in Truth or Consequences, NM. This will be our first time to visit but we’re going to soak in the hot springs as much as we can for the next five nights! I will never want to leave! My body is craving a little relaxation and you can bet I can find it here. Visit their website for more information at http://www.lapalomahotspringsandspa.com/.

Around the twenty-sixth of the month, we’ll be making our way across New Mexico into Texas and heading home. Check our website for daily updates and our travel photos as we take our journey this summer. You can always join us! https://familytravelhostusa.com/











Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment



Grand Lake, Colo. – As of 1PM on Saturday July 31, Grand Lake, Colorado Town Trustees came to the unanimous decision (6-0) to cancel the 4th of July Grand Lake Fireworks Extravaganza.  In the wake of the Golf Course Fire, 45 Grand Lake business owners also signed a petition for the cancellation of the show.  The motion stated that the show is cancelled “for the safety and wellbeing of the community and to protect the resources of the town of Grand Lake.”  Mayor Peterson stated “it is with a heavy heart but a clear conscience that the Town made the decision to cancel fireworks this year.  This decision was not taken lightly, and the town looks forward to celebrating the 4thwith a variety of activities.”

Family fun and entertainment is still scheduled in town and Grand Lake looks forward to providing an amazing experience to all of our guests over the next holiday week. New activities are being added throughout the day and old favorites, like the Rotary Pancake Breakfast will continue.  Please follow the Grand Lake Chamber Facebook page for updates and watch for new events.

Please feel free to keep guests informed about fire activity in Grand County with Grand County Office of Emergency Management and CodeRed.  www.gcemergency.com.
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Like Father, Like Son—With Any Attraction Package Pass, Dad Gets One Too On Us


Dads are the best!—Purchase Any Attraction Package and Dad Gets One Too On Us
See Deal
Purchase any Attraction Package and Dad Receives the Same Pass for Free
Claim Coupon
What We’re Offering
He may be more suited for a tie than a cape, and perhaps leaping tall buildings is totally out of the question—but that doesn’t mean that Dad is anything less than a true hero. Pay tribute to the super(man) in your life with a day of adventure and awesome attractions at Hinkle Family Fun Center on Father’s Day!

Our Father’s Day Special:

Purchase any Attraction Package Pass and Dad Receives the Same Pass for Free (up to a $31.99 value)
Attractions Include:

Go Karts
Lazer Tag
Miniature Golf
Bumper Boats
Bumper Cars
The Rock
Bungee Jump Trampoline
Lazer Frenzy
Light Space

Valid on Sunday, June 17, 2018 only.

Hinkle Family Fun Center
12931 Indian School Rd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87112

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Birthday Blast— Enjoy 50 Game Room Credits When You Sign Up for Our Email Club



Ready for even more FUN? Update your info and receive personalized VIP emails and 50 free Game Room Credits
Share with Us
Celebrate your special occasions with Hinkle Family Fun Center! Share the date, and we’ll send you a special offer.

Hinkle Family Fun Center
12931 Indian School Rd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87112

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Rafting in 2017

Rafting in 2017

Last year, we went to Colorado but I got sick and we had to cut our trip short – it was downhill all the way for me, needless to say. But after beating Stage 4 mouth cancer and finally starting to get on my feet a little more everyday, I felt it necessary to do a write up for several people including our rafting expedition and others that I promised to do a write up for but never did due to illness.

I did go rafting though I was sick – never dreamed I had cancer – thought I had an abscess tooth causing my dilemma. Not so. It was oral mouth cancer.

Back to the rafting… Our first rafting trip started out with Acquired Tastes Rafting located in Buenna Vista, Colorado. When we arrived, we were greeted by several very friendly people including our guide who gave us instructions before we went out on the river. I felt confident that we were in good hands.

The trip down Brown’s Canyon on the Arkansas River was exciting, especially after the guide pointed out Justin Beaver’s summer home. My granddaughter wanted to pull in for a tour, in hopes of meeting the famous movie star. The rapids were pretty swift as the river was up a bit that week. Almost at the end of the trip, wet and shivering from the cold water, we were taken on a quick adventure like never before – when we went down that 6 foot water fall (at least it felt like it to me), it was all we could do to stay on the raft, even with our feet secured to the foot holders in the bottom of the raft. My six year old grandson flew off his seat and I managed to hold him on along with my paddle! One of the kids at the back of the raft lost their paddle so we were short one for the rest of the journey.

I don’t think I ever rafted with an experience such as this. That little waterfall/rapid was clearly unexpected but worth the wait as we floated along. If you have never been rafting before and you are planning a vacation to Colorado, you simply have to look for Acquired Tastes Rafting in Buenna Vista. Tell them, you want to go down Brown’s Canyon half day trip …  you get 2 extra miles and 2 extra rapids.

And be sure to let them know we sent you…

We’re headed back to Colorado in July so we’ll see you there.

family adventures

Acquired Tastes Rafting

Buena Vista Rafting Office

12918 Highway 24/285
Buena Vista, CO 81211


Email: atraft@gmail.com


We went rafting a second time last year before heading home because of my tooth ache issues that turned out to be cancer – this time with Noah’s Ark… ‘enjoy’ is not quite the word I want to use when it comes to rafting but an ‘experience of a lifetime’ is more like it.

When it comes to the different rafting companies there only a few slight differences in how it’s done or where you’re rafting at. But there is a difference in the quality of each expedition but we’d like you to be the judge of that. Both expeditions we went on were great and everything we expected and more.

In Buena Vista, we rafted the Arkansas River both times at Brown’s Canyon.

So there are two that we highly recommend if you’re in the Buena Vista area – Acquired Taste Rafting and Noah’s Ark.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Our Mini Vacation at Mountain Harbor Resort

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Gallery | 1 Comment



DENVER  – In Colorado, nearly 40 percent of the state is comprised of federal public land, including four National Parks and eight National Monuments, 41 state parks, as well as hundreds of regional parks and open spaces. Public land is part of what makes the state’s landscape so breathtaking and lifestyle so rich offering outdoor recreation, wildlife habitats, clean air and water. Outdoor recreation, much of which takes place on public lands, accounts for more than $13 billion in economic activity in Colorado and supports some 125,000 jobs, according to the Boulder-based Outdoor Industry Association. From organizations providing voluntourism opportunities to improve and preserve public lands such as the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative and Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, to one-of-a-kind outdoor experiences and communities such as Buena Vista and Palisade embracing their public lands for outdoor recreation activities, there are a variety of ways to get involved in celebrating Colorado’s outdoors for everyone to enjoy. For more information, visit https://www.colorado.com/articles/care-colorado-voluntourism-opportunities.

Give Back With Voluntourism Opportunities:

Colorado Public Lands Day (May 19, 2018). Colorado was the first state in the nation to designate a state holiday celebrating public lands, Colorado Public Lands Day. Passed by bipartisan margins in the state legislature in 2016, the holiday will take place on May 19 this year. The state holiday is intended to encourage all Coloradans and visitors to the state to get outside and enjoy Colorado’s unparalleled public lands. Several voluntourism events take place across the state in celebration of the day including river cleanup, trash pickup and more.
Colorado Fourteeners Initiative (Golden). Colorado boasts 58 peaks towering above 14,000 feet, and these mountains are popular for locals and visitors to climb. In an effort to preserve and protect the natural integrity of the state’s fourteeners, the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative began in 1994. Visitors wanting to explore these peaks while also giving back can get involved with the initiative by volunteering on trail construction, maintenance and restoration projects from mid June through early October.
Trails 2000 (Durango). Trails 2000 is a non-profit that plans, builds and maintains Durango’s more than 300 miles of trails. In the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado, trails are the number one access point to public lands, offering hundreds of miles of trails within minutes of town. Offerings available to visitors include volunteering at maintenance projects, helping remove deadfall and trail education along with a host of ongoing Public Land Trailwork days occurring throughout the season, which runs March through October.
Vail Nature Center (Vail). Operated by the Walking Mountains Science Center, the Vail Nature Center is a 1940s homestead perched between a mountain meadow and the forested banks of Gore Creek. On top of offering programs such as nature walks and hikes, wildflower walks, art in nature and more, Vail Nature Center hosts a weekly outdoor volunteer project. These projects include invasive species removal, planting native vegetation, trail restoration and more.
Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (Denver). Established in 1984, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) has been active in motivating thousands of people annually to provide volunteer work for their outdoor stewardship projects from April through October. These projects take place across Colorado and include trail restoration, gardening, ecological restoration, invasive species management and more.

Unique Ways to Experience Colorado’s Public Lands:

Experience a canyoneering adventure in the Uncompahgre National Forest.  Local outfitter, Canyoning Colorado, offers canyoning/canyoneering descents and trainings in the quaint mountain town of Ouray, which has been frequented by seasoned canyoners for years due to its abundance of canyons and waterfalls. Adventurers have the chance to explore eight canyons in the Uncompahgre National Forest outside of Ouray on these expeditions. The tours and trainings are available to persons with no prior experience. Experienced climbers can take on more challenging tours or join a course to learn to canyoneer on their own.
Catch a glimpse of wildlife on the Colorado Birding Trail. The Colorado Birding Trail is comprised of outdoor recreation sites, hiking or walking paths, both public and private, along a designated driving route across the state. Each driving route offers unique trail names and is composed of several watchable wildlife sites including the Bobolink Trailhead in Boulder, a reliable nesting site for species along the Front Range or the Prairie Canyons Trail just south of La Junta, where visitors can see horned lizards, Cassin’s Kingbirds, roadrunners and more.
Cool off in the brisk water at Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve. Medano Creek in Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is something of a mystery. Each spring it emerges from the mountains behind the sand dunes to form a wide, shallow and gently flowing stream. Visitors wade into it to cool hot feet after tromping around the dunes, build sandcastles, boogie board and splash around in its rhythmic waves before it retreats back into the mountains just as quickly. The ideal combination of sultry desert and refreshing water is not the Alamosa-area park’s only charm — the dunes themselves are quite bewitching as well.
Marvel at the masonry of Colorado’s ancient people at Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. So adept were the construction skills of the ancient Ancestral Puebloans who lived in southwest Colorado, that parts of their structures still stand more than 700 years later. Those who tour the area’s mesas and canyons today are left to speculate about the purpose of the multistory brick towers. Archeologists think they could have been homes, storage silos for crops, defensive forts or ceremonial structures. Canyons of the Ancients National Monument near Cortez, contains the highest known archaeological site density in the United States, with rich, well-preserved evidence of native cultures.
Utilize new tech toolkits from Colorado Parks & Wildlife. Colorado Parks & Wildlife has launched a fishing App for smart phones that enables anglers to check out mapping information for over 2,000 locations in the state, along with the most up-to-date regulations, details on fish species, seasonal flies, weather and more. A new State Park Pass Online Purchasing System allows travelers to purchase state park passes, make state park camping reservations and buy wildlife licenses online and with their mobile devices.
Raft the tumbling rapids of the Cache la Poudre River. Colorado’s only nationally designated Wild and Scenic River, the Cache la Poudre carves down Poudre Canyon through narrow sections flanked by alpine mountainsides and natural rock cliffs west of Fort Collins. The triumph of paddling over a rapid named Devil’s Staircase is second only to the views and the chance to spot bighorn sheep and deer scampering along its rocky hills. Rafting outfitters guide groups to rapids of all difficulty levels, so everyone gets just the right amount of adventure.
Walk in dinosaur footprints in Comanche National Grassland. Standing in Picketwire Canyon with your foot swallowed by a three-toed impression left in the bedrock by a brontosaurus 150 million years ago, one’s imagination runs wild picturing what it might have looked like when dinosaurs inhabited the area. The canyon was home to a lake during the Jurassic period, and the brontosaurus you’re tracking now used to frolic along its shores. The footprints are reached after a flat five-mile hike, bike or horse ride. Stop at the Comanche National Grassland Office in La Junta for directions to the tracks and to get tips for safely navigating this remote area.

Public Land Community Initiatives:

Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks 50th Anniversary. City staff celebrated the institution of the Open Space tax last November, but there will be events to celebrate most of the year. This tax was put in place in 1967 and has helped the city of Boulder residents to preserve the beautiful mountain backdrop. Boulder is located where the mountains meet the plains and it allows for both mountain and plains recreation. Perhaps the most iconic landmark are the flatirons located at Chautauqua trailhead, but, that’s only a small part of the trail system and 45,000 acres of open space.
Palisade Plunge (Grand Valley). Slated to begin construction in 2019 in the Grand Valley’s east end as part of Governor John Hickenlooper’s Colorado the Beautiful Initiative, the Palisade Plunge Trail will allow visitors to mountain bike down a 32-mile trail that starts atop Grand Mesa in alpine tundra and ends up in the high-desert town of Palisade known for its wine and peaches, an elevation drop of 6,000 feet.
Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund (Steamboat Springs). Resident riders and trail-focused guests to Steamboat Springs continue to benefit from new trails created using public funding from initiative 2A. Another notable result is the Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund. This permanent funding source supports specific non-motorized trail and trailhead maintenance projects on public lands within Routt and Moffat Counties. A diverse board determines trail maintenance priorities annually, and land managers use funds to fuel projects.
Whitewater Park (Buena Vista). With the Arkansas River flowing right through the heart of Buena Vista, the quaint mountain town is a hotbed for water sports and boasts one of the finest whitewater parks in Colorado. A brother and sister, who donated the land to the city of Buena Vista as permanent public parkland, saved the property that now holds the Whitewater Park from development. Through state grants, construction began on five water features from 2005 to the present. The park now draws recreational boaters and professional whitewater athletes from around the country.


Colorado is a four-season destination offering unparalleled adventure and recreational pursuits, a thriving arts scene, a rich cultural heritage, flavorful cuisine, and 27 renowned ski areas and resorts. The state’s breathtaking scenic landscape boasts natural hot springs, the headwaters of seven major rivers, many peaceful lakes and reservoirs, 12 national parks and monuments and 58 mountain peaks that top 14,000 feet.  For more information or a copy of the 2018 Colorado Official State Vacation Guide, visit www.COLORADO.com or call 1-800 COLORADO.
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment



Denver – Though Colorado may be a landlocked state, it offers an abundance of lakes, rivers and reservoirs for residents and visitors to explore. From repelling down waterfalls in Ouray to casting a line during a women’s fly fishing clinic in Breckenridge, Colorado does not fall short on activities for one to cool off and enjoy the water this summer. For more information, visit https://www.colorado.com/articles/summer-cool-downs-colorado-water-parks-lakes-more

70th Anniversary of Fibark Whitewater Festival (Salida): For those with a competitive edge, join in on the 70th anniversary of Fibark, a whitewater festival June 14-17. Contestants have the choice to participate in several river events including Raft Rodeo, downriver race and slalom race. This three-day event will also be accompanied by live music, lineup to be announced in April.
ATV and Rafting Blast with Mile Hi Rafting (Dumont): Clear Creek is the steepest rafted river in Colorado and conveniently located just 30 miles west of Denver. Mile Hi Rafting is offering a scenic one-hour ATV tour with lunch riverside, followed by a ‘Blast’ intermediate whitewater raft trip on Clear Creek. Starting mid-May through August, guests can enjoy this multi-activity offering for $149.
Canyoning with Canyoning Colorado (Ouray): Ouray, Colorado is known for its ice climbing in the winter, but in the summer months, the same waterfalls can be explored through canyoning. Canyoning entails repelling down waterfalls and exploring river canyons, and Canyoning Colorado is offering new half day and full day tours and trainings for all abilities this summer.
Fishing at Badger Creek Ranch (Cañon City): For those who love to fish and appreciate the comfort of a warm bed and good food, Badger Creek Ranch is just the place. The ranch is nestled in the high country of Colorado’s central Rocky Mountains.  By the nature of the landscape, many fishing opportunities are available within easy reach of the ranch including fly fishing on area rivers and streams as well as fishing in high mountain lakes and reservoirs.
Jet-Boating with Jet Boat Colorado (Grand Junction): Visitors can satisfy their need for speed on a jet-boating excursion with Jet Boat Colorado, the first company in the state to offer jet-propelled boating experiences of this magnitude. Launched in summer 2017, the company’s Wild Mustang jet boat — also equipped with a 420-horsepower, fuel-injected engine — takes passengers on exhilarating Colorado River adventures featuring fishtails, speed runs and “cowboy spins.”
Water Adventures at John Martin Reservoir State Park (Las Animas): Called the sapphire on the plains, the John Martin Reservoir is one for people and wildlife to enjoy with its peaceful surroundings. The reservoir provides visitors with uncrowded boating, fishing, wind water sports and amazing conditions for a wide variety of wind water sports.
New Belgium Timberline Cruiser Regatta at Frisco Bay Marina (Frisco): The Town of Frisco is known to celebrate several unique events at the Frisco Bay Marina. On June 23, Frisco Bay Marina will host the 11th annual New Belgium Timberline Cruiser Regatta, a fun sailing race open to anyone with a sailboat. Costumes and creativity are encouraged.
New Whitewater Park on the Eagle River (Eagle): The town of Eagle has announced The Eagle River Park will open summer 2018. The world-class whitewater park will feature an in-stream design optimizing the river’s natural morphology, which will also offer riverside recreation areas. Welcoming all athletes and visitors, its proximity to I-70 will make it an easy trip for people to visit.
Playing on the Beach at Medano Creek (Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve): Medano Creek in Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is something of a mystery. Each spring it emerges from the mountains behind the sand dunes to form a wide, shallow and gently flowing stream. Visitors wade into it to cool hot feet after tromping around the dunes, build sandcastles, boogie board and splash around in its rhythmic waves before it retreats back into the mountains just as quickly. The peak of the creek’s annual flow is late May.
Scenic Tour with Twin Lakes & Interlaken Boat Tours (Twin Lakes): Twin Lakes and Interlaken Boat Tours provides narrated boat tours of Twin Lakes, located among the highest peaks in Colorado. The tours include both the upper and lower glacially formed lakes and the historic Interlaken resort, established in the late 1800’s as a getaway for wealthy mining tycoons. Tours run daily from May through September. Tickets start at $20 for adults, $10 for children.
Soaking in Hot Springs at Iron Mountain Hot Springs (Glenwood Springs): The Iron Mountain Hot Springs caters to all who appreciate relaxing with a warm soak surrounded by mountain views. Glenwood Springs’ newest hot spot offers 16 natural mineral hot springs soaking pools and a freshwater family pool with a jetted spa. All are located alongside the Colorado River with Rocky Mountain views that soothe and inspire.
Stand-Up Paddleboarding and Kayaking Adventures with Limelight Hotel Aspen (Aspen): Guests of the modern luxury Limelight Hotel will get the chance to go on a guided lesson with Charlie MacArthur, founder of Aspen Kayak Academy. This three-hour lesson is accompanied with a picturesque tour of the Nature Preserve located on the east side of Aspen. The paddle boarding and kayaking package will be offered every other Wednesday in May through September.
Stand-Up Paddleboard Rentals and Lessons with Rocky Mountain Paddleboard (Denver, Boulder and Longmont): Rocky Mountain Paddleboard is offering stand-up paddleboard rentals, adventure trips, full-moon paddles, and paddleboard rentals starting at $20 for one hour and $30 for two hours. Beginner lessons are also offered.
Water Activities in Grand Lake (Grand Lake): Colorado’s deepest and largest natural lake, Grand Lake lies just one mile from the western entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. From swimming at the beach, fishing or sightseeing at Cascade Falls, activities in Grand Lake won’t fall short on the list of water activities this summer. Nearby Lake Granby also offers delightfully cool water and boating opportunities.
Waterfalls at Rifle Falls State Park (Rifle): On a hot summer day, the mist that drifts from the exhilarating gush of water over 70-foot-high limestone cliffs and the dark caves below them in Rifle Falls State Park are a sublime natural air conditioner. These geologic attractions near Rifle draw photographers, spelunkers, fishers and campers to this singular state park.
Women’s Fly Fishing Clinic with Breckenridge Outfitters (Breckenridge): Breckenridge Outfitters, a local fly fishing adventure shop, is offering clinics this summer that are focused on getting women anglers out in the white waters with tight lines. The 2018 Women’s Fly Fishing Clinic class schedule has four scheduled clinics that will take place from May through August. Rates start at $129 per angler.
ABOUT COLORADO: Colorado is a four-season destination offering unparalleled adventure and recreational pursuits, a thriving arts scene, a rich cultural heritage, flavorful cuisine, and 28 renowned ski areas and resorts. The state’s breathtaking scenic landscape boasts natural hot springs, the headwaters of seven major rivers, many peaceful lakes and reservoirs, 12 national parks and monuments and 58 mountain peaks that top 14,000 feet. For more information or a copy of the 2018 Colorado Official State Vacation Guide, visit www.COLORADO.com or call 1-800 COLORADO.
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment



Denver, CO  – In this part of the universe, Coloradoans are fools for camping — and nothing elevates a night under the stars like a fireside feast. Consider one of the state’s favorite campsites below, conveniently paired with ideas on where to pick up Colorado-made ingredients to prepare tasty eats.

Crow Valley Recreation Area, Briggsdale. Cradled by Pawnee National Grassland’s sun-kissed prairie, Crow Valley’s dark skies delight Milky Way chasers and solitude seekers. Choose from 10 spacious sites, and capture Insta-worthy views of the Pawnee Buttes — twin castle-like mesas that rise above the plains — from the nearby Pawnee Pioneer Trails Scenic and Historic Byway. Supply stop: stock up on cans of Denver-based The Infinite Monkey Theorem wine at Pringle’s Fine Wine & Spirits in Fort Collins, then pick up some house made garlic brats to char over the campfire from Beavers’ Market, also in Fort Collins.

Pearl Lake State Park, Clark. Pearl Lake’s placid waters beckon travelers to answer the call of the wild, and nearly all of the park’s 36 campsites afford knockout vistas of the lake and surrounding peaks. Activities include kayaking, Gold Medal trout-fishing and frolicking in the surrounding forest via out-of-the-way trails. Supply stop: collect cured meats, cheeses and lovingly prepared chocolate bark (for extra-special s’mores) at Steamboat Springs’ The Homesteader, adored for its inventory of locally produced goods.

Ute Campground, near Pagosa Springs. This 26-site locale near Chimney Rock National Monument boasts glimpses of the monument’s archeological ruins, home to more than 200 seemingly frozen-in-time homes and structures built by ancestors of the modern Pueblo Indians. Choose a site shaded by soaring pines, and take a guided walking tour of the monument. Supply stop: dazzle the campers brood with picks from specialty food shop The Choke Cherry Tree in Pagosa Springs. Made onsite, delicious homemade fruit syrups in flavors like the namesake wild chokecherry or boysenberry are a perfect topping for campfire pancakes in the a.m., while Grandpa Bill’s Caramels make an excellent evening treat.

Mosca Campground, near Hooper. Tucked in the shadow of always-pretty Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, San Luis State Park’s 51-site campground is an ideal base for spying on shorebirds, songbirds and raptors, and hiking or biking amid the lower sand dunes as the Sangre de Cristo Mountains tower above. Supply stop: grab snack items like Salazar Meats smokehouse sausages (the small-scale livestock and meat-processing operation is family-run in nearby Manassa) and Blue Moose of Boulder dips at Alamosa’s Valley Food Co-Op. Though members can join the cooperative, it’s open to anyone for shopping.

Island Lake Campground near Delta & Cedaredge. Colorado’s Grand Mesa, the world’s largest flat-topped mountain, is the holy grail of outdoor playgrounds. Island Lake Campground’s 39 sites are situated at 10,000 feet, offering primo access to Grand Mesa’s 300 fishing lakes, 3,000 miles of trails and wildflower shrouded meadows. Supply stop: whip up a coveted cheeseburger supper with provisions from Homestead Natural Meats in Delta: patties made from their own expertly raised beef and a selection of Rocking W Cheese, an export from nearby Olathe.

More camping tips can be found at www.colorado.com/campingbasics

For more information on the Colorado Tourism Office Destination Development Program, please contact: Sarah-Jane Johnson, 310 854-2408, media@sjpr.net


Colorado is a four-season destination offering unparalleled adventure and recreational pursuits, a thriving arts scene, a rich cultural heritage, flavorful cuisine, and 28 renowned ski areas and resorts. The state’s breathtaking scenic landscape boasts natural hot springs, the headwaters of seven major rivers, many peaceful lakes and reservoirs, 12 national parks and monuments and 58 mountain peaks that top 14,000 feet.  For more information or a copy of the 2018 Colorado Official State Vacation Guide, visit www.COLORADO.com orcall 1-800 COLORADO.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Ready for the Summer? Come to Estes Park for Horseback Riding

via SK Horses, Ltd.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Trivia Question Challenge

TRIVIA QUESTION CHALLENGE: Win 2 adult tickets and 2 children tickets to the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center in Colorado Springs, Co

Here’s your chance to win 2 adult tickets and 2 children tickets to the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center in Colorado Springs, Co.

Email your answer about the following trivia question to Family Traveler at marcies1960@aol.com. We will draw the entry winner on Monday! Be sure to include email address, complete name and mailing address with your entry.

Contest Ends Monday May 21st at Noon!

Trivia question

What year was the oldest military post established in Colorado; what city, and by whom was it established?

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment


via Limited Time Offer—$5 Attractions When You Buy Five


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What To Pack For A Weekend Getaway

By Marcella Simmons

Deciding what to bring along on any outing whether it be for the weekend or the entire week depends on a number of things such as who all will be with you, if you’re going solo, or with a friend or mate, how long you will be staying and what is on your itinerary. If you’re off to the beach, the mountains, camping or just a weekend to a nearby city to take in a show or museum, there a few items that you can take along that makes traveling a little easier. No matter where you go, always carry your ID with you at all times.

If you are going on a rafting expedition or a boating trip, you’ll need waterproof bags for your camera, wallet, and other valuables.

If you’re going to a museum or movie, you want need much except money and your wallet. The less you carry, the easier for you.

If it’s summertime, bring along cool, comfortable clothes and walking shoes if you plan to walk around museums or gift shops. For the ladies, a light and festive dress with matching sandals might be appropriate for an evening on the town. A comfortable swimsuit with spandex for the best comfortable fit is ideal for swimming at the beach or swimming pool.

For beach goers, be sure to bring along plenty of sunscreen, sun glasses, an extra beach towel or two, a large canvas tote bag to carry your beach items in, a small tote size umbrella just in case you need a bit of shade, an extra pair of inexpensive flip flops in your bag (in case you break a strap!), pony tail holders or ‘scrunchies’ for your hair, and a small dispenser of disposable hand wipes for fast clean-ups and little messes. These come in handy with or without the kids. Hand sanitizer is also a good thing to carry in your purse or bag.

Carry a bottle of water to stay hydrated. A granola bar will make for a handy snack while you’re taking in the mid morning sun and scenery before lunch. Don’t forget the hat!

Bring along your camera, an extra battery pack or batteries, extra memory cards and a gallon size box of zip-lock bags for storage of smaller items. These come in handy when you need to keep something safe and dry.

Bring along breath fresheners for between brushing – you never know who you may want to talk to.

A backpack for the hike in the woods or the country made of water-resistant, coated nylon fabrics is your best bet for carrying stuff for this type of getaway. Always carry a long sleeve shirt, a of bottle of water, chewing gum, nuts, beef jerky and perhaps a few granola bars for your hike in the woods or up a mountain. Mosquito repellent and sun block are essential for this type of trip, as well.

If you take medication, always carry it with you. If you have to have it with you, put it in a water-proof bag and tuck it with your valuables.

Always let someone know where you are going and when you might be back. If you carry a cell phone, text someone close to you and let them know where you are going, when you are leaving and when you are expected to return.

Have a safe and fun trip where ever you go!

If you’re planning a weekend getaway, planning what to and what not to carry will ensure that you have exactly what you need on your trip.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Our Summer Vacation in Lake City, Colorado

By Marcella Simmons

This past summer, we drove up to Lake City, Colorado where we spent five days at the Texan Resort. We had a two-story three bedroom cabin large enough we could all spread out and stretch without bumping into each other at every turn. With all the comforts of home at our fingertips, we rested and enjoyed ourselves.

While we were in Lake City, we had a picnic downtown at the park while the little ones played with the other kids.

In the evenings, back at the cabin we grilled hamburgers while the kids played horseshoes with some of the other guests at the resort. The kids were fortunate enough to meet up with some children who lived there year round who showed our clan some fun and adventure while we were there.

The mornings were rather cool but sitting on the front porch wrapped in a cozy blanket and sipping hot coffee while the family slept soothed my nerves. At the end of our journey, it was me who cried because we had to leave. Staying at The Texan Resort was an experience of a lifetime. This was one time I wanted to stay the entire summer.

The Texan Resort has cabins to fit every group size and budget. They wash their linen and towels everyday and hang them out in the sun to dry. It reminds me of when I was a kid and my mother did the laundry. Fresh air-dried towels and linen are the best.

While we were in Lake City, we eased up the mountain to the Hard Tack Mine Tours & Museum. The tour into the mine shaft was cool and educational, but the gift shop caught their eye immediately. Fortunately for them, I had rolls of quarters on hand for them to spend at the gift shop! If you go up to the mine, wear shoes and take a light jacket. It is cold inside the tunnel.

Later in the week on Friday, we went to the Mountaineer Theatre downtown and saw Finding Dora. The theater is a one-of-a-kind gem nestled out at the corner of town, and the family running it are down-home good people.

Lake City is a relaxed, laid back little town. There are a few horseback outfitters in the area and backpacking, and rafting if you’re into that kind of thing.

For me, just relaxing and enjoying my week at the cabin is all I needed. We will be at the Texan Resort for many years to come.

Lake City, Colorado, a laid back quiet oasis in the Rocky Mountains is a perfect place to vacation with or without the kids. The Texan Resort is highly recommended by our family, kid-tested and kid approved. The Rocky Mountains is full of wonderful places to visit but if you’re looking for peace and quiet, Lake City has it all.

Marcella is the publisher of several travel websites for families such as The Family Travel Host USA at https://familytravelhostusa.com/

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Traveling – Good Times On A Budget

By Marcella Simmons

I love to travel with my family as much as I love to eat! But sometimes finances (and lack there of) puts a damper on travel plans to some extent. Every year, we take off somewhere during the summer months and stay gone three or four weeks at a time. Yet we have a shoe string budget (no spending money at all except for money for essentials like food, gas and lodging.) We have been traveling as a family for many years. We seldom travel solo as some people do. There are always two or three car loads of kids, grand kids and friends and family and their kids who come along for a little fun! But we have a good time no matter where we end up. Let me tell you our little secret for a traveling good time on a budget.

While you’re traveling too and fro, find the cheapest gas available. Sometimes driving away from the Interstate you may be able to find gas as much as 12 or 15 cents cheaper, give or take. It pays to shop around.

#1: Book your rooms several months early or in advance to save money. Remember too that room rates are usually cheaper during the first part of the week and the prices go up on weekends. Every few dollars saved can be used for other things. Depending on what time of year it is, consider this: a motel with an inside or heated pool during the winter months is a good idea because the kids can swim. Even in the summer, an inside pool is ideal in case it rains. Have a little fun yourself. Grab your swim toys and hop in!

#2: If you plan on taking the family someplace fun and exciting, it’s best to plan ahead. Know where you are going. Let the Internet be your next best friend. Get familiar with your destination. Contact the Chamber of Commerce and Tourist Bureau and request brochures, travel guides and maps. Don’t be shy – ask questions. Find out all about the free festivities going on in town for the week of your planned stay. Remember your budget. If you are taking kids and other family members on the trip, the more you have to do the better. Sometimes the freebies is more fun than you think.

Next, decide on one or two paid activities (remember to stay within your budget) such as the zoo or an amusement park and book online. Some zoos/aquariums offers a combo package which can save about $10 or 12 a person – usually you can find some great deals online but be careful when buying tickets online – be sure to read the fine print.

If you have a question about what you are buying, call the number given and ask before you buy. If it’s unclear what you are purchasing online then it’s unclear what you’re getting.

A free adventure tip: If you are running out of things to do, and the kids are bored, take them to visit a local pet shop. It’s free to look. A domestic mini zoo! Sometimes pet shops have activities going on, sometimes not.

#3: Months before the trip, set aside at least two rolls of quarters per person for spending allowance. Tell each person how much money they have for the duration of the trip and stick to it. It’s hard giving in when the little ones spend all their allowance and whine for more. When you’re a budget sometimes you have to sacrifice a few little things to stay within your means.

Quarters spend as easily as dollars. They may seem a little bulkier but this a great way to keep your hands off the credit cards and out of your wallet every where you stop.

#4: Set aside several rolls of quarters to wash clothes every evening. It makes sense to start saving early. Shop at local dollar stores for laundry detergent. Buy a container that will last the duration of the trip. Whatever’s left over you can always take home.

Bring the kids a beach towel and swim suit. When they’re done at the pool hang the wet items over the shower stall for the next time they want to swim.

When we first started vacationing with the grand kids, I brought the towels and swim wear but they would go swimming several times a day and not wear the wet swim suit again because they were wet and cold. I’d have at least 4 washers full of wet clothes every day. Not happening now. It may be a little inconvenient for them and a bit cold but they’re going swimming and are going to be soaked in a matter of minutes.

Washing clothes is expensive if you’re budgeting your funds. Save the money for something else.

#5: Stay away from coffee shops. Starbucks is expensive. Why pay $4 or 5 for one cup of coffee when you bring along your own coffee pot and can of coffee. Bring the sugar and creamer too. Like tea? Bring your own. You can drink as little or as much as you want and you’re not spending a fortune on one single cup.

Bring a thermos on the trip. During the drive in and drove home, you can fill a large thermos for less than what a medium cup of coffee costs, usually around $1.59 per thermos. And it holds several cups.

#6: Carry the coolers. Stock them with plenty of water and your favorite drinks for the road trip ahead.

#7: If you are planning your trip months in advance, this is good. Remember though that you will have to eat. We eat out everyday, once a day usually at a fast food restaurant because of the Value Menus. But one way we do it and not have to take away from our trip budget is simple really. Restaurant gift cards. Every week, several months before our trip, I fudge $10 – $15 out of my grocery money and buy a gift card for Burger King, Wendy’s, Sonic, Dairy Queen, Little Caesar’s Pizza, Applebee’s, Denny’s or I-Hop. Cracker Barrel has cards available, too. There may be others but these are some of our favorites. You can find these gift cards at dollar stores or Walmart and they are redeemable any time.

Buying a card once a week isn’t as bad as it seems. You’ll probably never miss the $10 or $15 dollars you spend out of your grocery money any way.

I do this every week and when it’s time for the trip, I usually have enough gift cards for our family and we eat out in the evenings every day of the trip. It doesn’t come out of our living expense budget set aside for our trip.

I usually book motels that offer a deluxe breakfast (waffles, eggs, the works… ) so we don’t worry much about that. Besides, some assorted fruit, breakfast bars, a few boxes of cereal and milk kept in the room takes care of that and in between snacks during the day. Lunch is usually sandwiches and chips or a bowl of soup from a can.

It might seem like a little more work to be prepared but if you limited with spending money for eating out, this is the only way to go. I know. If you have a bunch of hungry kids and no money set aside to feed them a burger once in awhile, you will end up wishing you’d stay home. If they are ungrateful and think you’re cheap, so what? They will forget it and remember only the good times they had with you when it’s all over. Been there, done that!

#8: Take a few minutes for yourself while you are gone. Let someone watch the little ones while you take a dip in the pool, or a relaxing hour in the hot tub by yourself. Or stroll along the beach with your significant other and just enjoy some alone time with your favorite person or alone, whichever you prefer. It’s free, and good for the soul and it’s good for what ails you. Just because you are on a budget doesn’t man you can’t enjoy your trip. I’ve been doing this for over twenty years and each trip we take just gets better and better.

Enjoy a movie in the room while everyone else is down at the pool. Take a hot bubble bath and sip a glass of wine. Relaxation is free and revives the spirit!

That’s my tips for today, Guys! Traveling is fun and exciting and expensive but you can enjoy it on a budget. You just have to learn what works best for you.

Marcella is the publisher of several travel websites for families such as The Family Travel Host USA at https://familytravelhostusa.com/

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Our Vacation Experience in Albuquerque, New Mexico

By Marcella Simmons
It was hot the afternoon we got into town. We had been driving all day – we were hot and tired and the A/C had quit in the front of the van. To make matters worse, somewhere between Blanding, Utah and Albuquerque, I had lost several hundred dollars out of my purse. It was a nightmare because we hadn’t eat anything since lunch and the kids were hungry. I didn’t want to put anything else on a credit card until we got to our motel. Money was already getting tight, especially since we had just spent three weeks in Colorado and Utah.

The first three nights we were supposed to stay at Hotel Cascada in Albuquerque but when we arrived, the lobby was dark and they had evacuated everyone, including the employees because of a transformer explosion that not only affected the electricity – it also blew out a water main or valve. To make matters worse, they had no computers up and running and couldn’t refund our money until a later date. By this time I was crying. There was no extra money to rent another motel for the next three nights so in a moment of nervousness and tears I asked to speak to a manager in charge. Some new arrivals were upset because they had driven for hours with their families, but things happen. There was one woman that came in and threw a fit and started cursing the handful of staff left handling the evacuation. A security officer was summoned and escorted her off the property.

It’s bad enough that the motel was in darkness – it was the weekend and both the power and water had been shut off, not to mention that it was already getting late in the evening.

The kids had their mind set on staying at the Hotel Cascada and had water park tickets for each day of our stay. But things happen and sometimes, you just have to make the best of any situation. That’s what we did.

The manager from the Hotel Cascada immediately made arrangements for us at Home2 Suites on University Blvd.

We spent the next three nights at Home2 Suites and let me tell you, they had the best beds I have ever slept on. The breakfast was super. The staff made sure we were comfortable. There was even a dishwasher and kitchenette with dishes in each room. The only complaint I had was that the pool was rather small. Other than that all was good and our stay was excellent. The rooms were large and spacious and bright. I wanted to stay longer but we already had four nights left at the Hyatt Place Albuquerque/Uptown on Arvada Ave paid for in advance so we moved on day four.

The pool Hyatt Place was awesome. The staff went out of their way to see to it we had a wonderful stay. Breakfast was not only good but everything was served fresh.

Hinkle Family Fun Center located at the northwest corner of Tramway and Indian School is one of our favorite places for fun. The good thing is, you can’t spend just one day there. We try to go as much as we can afford to.

We ride the bumper boats, the go-karts, and spend endless hours inside playing the arcade games. This place is awesome and it’s not just for kids. They have a spin wheel that is my favorite! Taking home the prizes afterwards is a lot of fun.

While we were in Albuquerque, we ventured out to the Albuquerque Zoo and Botanical Gardens one day; Cliff’s Amusement Park the next; we visited the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science on Mountain Road.

We walked around Old Town and ventured in the local shops. We ate at the Hacienda del Rio Restaurant & Cantina in Old Town section of Albuquerque.

Our trip home was long but not boring. The kids were already making plans for the next year and believe me, this ma-maw is ready to go! As I say, have grand children, will travel!!! We’ll see you there…

Albuquerque, New Mexico is a wonderful place to bring your family for a vacation of a lifetime. There are so many things to see and do – the kids will want to come back year after year.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment