Help Two Sisters Looking For Adventure

Freezing Cold

The telephone rang early yesterday morning.

Me: “Hmrrr….mrmmrh….mellow?”
Wendy:  “I c-c-c-can’t handle this any…more!”
Me: “Hmmmm?” 
Wendy: “It’s 11 degrees below zero….”

Her teeth were chattering so loudly, I had to move the phone away from my ear.

It has been a very cold winter in Denver just like most areas of the country. We’re 11 degrees below zero while Sochi, Russia, home of the Winter Olympics, is in the 40’s.

After I finally woke up enough to have a semi-intelligent discussion with my sister, we decided we needed to take a trip someplace fun in the next four or five months….some place we can look forward to during this freezing weather. But…where?

There are so many incredible places to go that we don’t even know exist. How do we make the most of our travel budget and still experience a great adventure? We decided to ask the experts…all of you. Can you help us?

Here are the parameters:

  • Budget of $1,000 or $500 each
  • Five day trip
  • Someplace off the beaten path (Wendy)
  • No strict agenda (Wendy and Jennifer)
  • Someplace that is or has an unexpected surprise (Wendy)
  • Things to do besides sit on the beach (Jennifer)
  • Wonderful places and people to photograph (Jennifer)

Airfare and souvenir shopping will be considered extra, so those costs will be in addition to our $1,000 budget. Other than that, everything will be included: meals, rental car (if needed), lodging, tolls, etc.

Not only will we be selecting a place out of those you suggest, we’ll be blogging about our trip, including budget updates and photographs, so you can follow us every step of the way. We plan to travel in late June or early July. Please comment and leave any links you think will be helpful for us to see. Each week, we’ll summarize the suggestions and let you know how things are going.

In April, we’ll narrow the list down to the final three. Then, everyone can vote later in the month and we’ll travel to the destination chosen by all of you. We’ll even send a postcard to everyone who suggested a viable destination and a souvenir to the person who recommended the location we visit. (excludes spammers)

Wendy and I know of a few places, but all of you know thousands. We are eagerly looking forward to your ideas. Please help us expand our search for the perfect sister’s trip destination by sharing this post with friends who may have great recommendations, too.

Shelley Dennis

What a great idea, Jennifer! I’m jealous! Have you spent any time in the Southeastern US, namely North Carolina? I have two favorite places – one in the mountains and one on the ocean. If I had to pick (especially if you’re looking to escape the cold), I’d suggest Southport, North Carolina. It’s 30 minutes south of Wilmington, where the Cape Fear River meets the Atlantic Ocean, and the area is full of history dating back to the late 1600’s. There are plantations, Civil War forts, ferry boats and islands where all you can drive are bicycles. Many movies have been filmed there (my personal favorite: Crimes of the Heart) and there are lots of Victorian homes, NC acquarium, crocodiles, swamps, and yes, there are a few beaches! I used to set up my tent on Oak Island as an HQ and set out each day on a photo adventure. Good luck with whatever you guys select. I’ll look forward to seeing the pics!

jasteck

Thanks for the great ideas, Shelly. I’ve been to Raleigh, but no place else in North Carolina. I’ll add it to our list.

jasteck

I think you’re right, Mike. It is cold all over. But we aren’t traveling until summer, so we should be good. If we find the right place and it’s not a well know tourist location, I think we can stay within budget.

jasteck

It’s on my list of must places to go, Michelle. I don’t think it will fit in our budget unless we can sleep on your couch. 🙂

Kristi Campbell

OOH. Well, when I lived in Denver, we went to Mexico a lot (usually Puerto Vallarta) because it was cheap to get there, to stay there, and to have fun there. I LOVE Mexico, so much. If you want to stay in the US, we really love going to the Outer Banks (NC). It’s not too crowded, there are awesome beaches, and I just really love it. There’s something amazingly relaxing about being there. I can’t wait to read about where you choose! And I’m a tiny bit jealous, too…

jasteck

You can join us, Kristi. We are always open to add a new sister to our family. Mexico is definitely an option and the outer banks of NC? I haven’t searched that as an option. I love the fact that there isn’t a crowd and beaches…sounds like a perfect cure for winter blues.

Mike

Excellent idea to plan a trip or plan SOMETHING warm right now to look forward to, Jennifer! Brilliant idea. I’m still wanting my bucket list dream of my cruise through Tahiti. No takers yet 🙂

jasteck

A cruise to Tahiti sounds wonderful, Mike. I’ve never been to that area of the world. Is your speedo ready? 🙂

clark

cool idea (for a blog and a ‘contest’ and a trip)… 2 words:
roadtrip!

Put me down for recommending coastal New England. From Maine to New York plenty of things to see and things to do and even a couple of islands (Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket and Block Island) Boston and Newport of sightseeing and such. Controllable on costs variety for everyone!

jasteck

Alaska for $540.00? That’s amazing, Diane. I would never have guessed. That would make our trip planning easy.

jasteck

We love road trips, Clark. I remember one time we went from Denver to Flagstaff to Anaheim and back. The car I rented had about 25 miles on it when I picked it up and the rental car company was a bit surprised when I returned it with over 2,000 miles a week later. I’ve never been to the New England area and have always wanted to go. So, you think we could do it on our budget or at least close?

Dana

How about one of the little towns in Southern Maine? It’s an easy drive from Boston. We stayed in Wells, Maine a few summers ago. Cute towns to visit, lighthouses, the beach – lots to do or you can do nothing at all.

jasteck

Thanks, Dana. i can’t tell you how much I appreciate your input and that of everyone else. I’ve never been to any of these places and they all sound fabulous!

Chris Carter

Well- I would pick something totally different- somewhere over seas, but I don’t think that would be in your budget!! So….

How about a cool cruise for you two sissies??

Caribbean would do just fine. Bring an under water camera and take pictures snorkeling or scuba diving, so we can live vicariously through you!!! 😉

jasteck

I had no idea that we could get on a cruise within our budget, Chris. I’m learning so much through all of you. We’ll definitely add that to our list. 🙂

Aussa Lorens

Oh my gosh, Guatemala!!!! You absolutely must! Don’t listen to anyone who tells you it’s dangerous. I mean, technically maybe there is some crime but good lord there is danger everywhere! My friend Shleisel and I went while we were in college (just skipped classes for about a week).
There is…
Beautiful scenery– jungles, volcanoes, gorgeous lakes
Amazing history– the mayans
Old ruins– you can actually climb up Mayan Ziggurats (for some reason I can’t think of what they call them)
Monkeys!
Delicious margaritas and other beverages for like $3
Cheeeaaaap flights
Beautiful Colonial Cities– antigua
You can hike an active volcano and roast marshmallows in lava
and on
and on
you must go.

jasteck

Guatemala has never even come to mind, Aussa, even for my big trips. It sound fabulous! I’ll add it to our list. I’ll start doing more research on all the suggested trips in the next week or two and figure out if we can do it on our budget.

Kirsten

At first, I was going to suggest Arizona, but then I read the fine print that said, “late June, early July”, so that’s out. Unless you like a dry heat. Or maybe you would like the red rocks of Sedona or the mountains of Flagstaff.
But I was going to suggest Puerto Rico. I don’t know where you are flying from, but San Juan is amazing with it’s history, people and food. Then there is the rain forest, El Yunque, and a bioluminescent bay near Vieques. Great for photos.
It’s been a few years since we’ve been, but I think it’s relatively inexpensive.
Good luck with your trip planning and have fun!

Carol Cassara

From South Florida, drive down to the Florida Keys. You can explore several of them in five days…swim with dolphins, explore a butterfly conservatory, visit Hemingway House, visit a seabird rehab center, eat conch fritters, watch the sun set at Mallory Square among jugglers and other buskers. So much fun stuff to do!Accommodations can be found at a reasonable price.

jasteck

Kirstin- We may look at September instead, so Arizona might be perfect. My older sister Mary lives in Flagstaff, but I haven’t visited much of the rest of the state. I’ve never thought about Puerto Rico. I love all the options. 🙂

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