Tag Archives: Trip

Las Vegas Travel Deals – Find Deals in the Most Sought After Destination

Everyone needs to get away from time to time to be able to cope with everyday life, and those thinking about traveling to a place of great fun and entertainment might be looking for Las Vegas travel deals. Who wouldn’t want to take a trip to one of the most sought after destinations? There is something for everyone to do, whether or not one chooses to gamble.

Finding great travel deals can only serve to add to the pleasure of this fun time trip. If you are one of the many who are considering travel or vacation destination, then this article will give you a little something to think about.

Las Vegas was built around gambling, and it at one time had a somewhat seedy reputation. This is not the case today though. It has reinvented itself in the hopes to gain more tourist and family dollars. Las Vegas travel deals are not just for the “players” anymore. As the marketing of Las Vegas has changed, so has the clientele to whom it caters.

Sure there are casinos and plenty of opportunities for gambling, as this is Las Vegas’ claim to fame, but one will likely be able to find just about anything to suit his or her fancy.

In the present day, there are travel deals to be found for family vacations, business trips, conferences, as well as the seasoned gamblers. One need only search the Internet for the many deals that are out there, but it would good for one to use the Internet to be sure what he or she would like to expect from his or her trip.

For instance, one should check out the accommodations that are available that will suit his or her needs. If one is there for the shows, there are resorts that are better known for that. If one is looking for a family event, there are resorts to cater to that as well. By knowing what one is looking for before seeking any particular Las Vegas travel deals, he or she will be a step ahead.

Getting down to the business of travel deals, one will find this particular destination most accommodating. Many resorts offer travel and hotel plans in their Las Vegas travel deals, and cheap airfare aside from packages abounds for the savvy traveler. There are numerous travel sites on the Web for one to get a start. There are sites particularly for deals for Las Vegas, as well as those that market travel deals to just about any destination; one only needs to start looking for what is right for him or her.

Finding a deal in one of the most desired travel destinations need not be difficult.

It pays to know what one is looking for in his or her travel plan. With a little leg work and just a little background knowledge finding great Las Vegas travel deals is a safe bet.


Road Trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina – Banner Elk and Grandfather Mountain

One hot, sweltering day last summer in the flat lands of North Carolina, me and my biker buddy thought it was about time to plan for a weekend road trip. Not wanting to spend too much time getting there, but definitely wanting a change of scenery and to escape the stifling summer heat, we decided to check out the Grandfather Mountain area in the North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains, just about an hour and half drive from home in Mooresville N.C.

That Friday we took off work two hours early, packed our saddlebags and hopped on our hogs heading up 77 to I 40, destination Banner Elk, North Carolina. We turned off the Interstate in the foothills at Morganton, and after some cruising through the small Mayberry like town, soon found ourselves leaning into the curves, past Table Rock and numerous mountain vistas, the summer heat already melting away. Occasionally getting trapped behind a local, never in a hurry to get anywhere, we soon encountered a passing lane and sped on our way.

We got on 105 in Linville and we knew we were almost there. Cruising the next 7 miles in the shadow of Grandfather Mountain, we arrived at the stone buildings of Tynecastle, turned left heading down the valley past Sugar Mountain and into the town of Banner Elk. We had made reservations at the Banner Elk Inn Bed & Breakfast, so we turned right at the only stoplight and were soon checking in.

Being the cocktail hour, we stretched our legs with a nice cool walk into town and visited some local bistros, then crossed the street and headed to Stonewalls were we enjoyed an excellent steak dinner.

Saturday was to be a day to cruise the area. After a hearty breakfast at the Inn, we saddled up and headed back to Linville Falls, were we caught up with the Blue Ridge Parkway. Heading north towards Blowing Rock, the Blue Ridge Parkway is chocked full of winding roads and beautiful mountain views, one of the best ways to tour the mountains of North Carolina.

Shortly after hitting the Parkway we came upon the Linn Cove Viaduct. An engineering marvel, the viaduct is an elevated bridge that wraps around Grandfather Mountain for some eight miles, and has some of the best mountain views on the Parkway. Designed to blend in, the bridge is a fine example of Mother Nature and the man made coexisting. We stopped to take a hike on the trail that goes underneath the Linn Cove Viaduct to get a better view of some truly impressive architecture.

Julian Price Park was the next stop on the Parkway, with a primitive campground and a beautiful lake that offers some excellent trout fishing. The park covers over 4000 acres and has 25 miles of hiking trails. An amphitheater, picnic grounds, and canoe rentals make Julian Price an excellent place to spend the day. We spent a couple of hours, then moved on towards Blowing Rock.

We exited the Blue Ridge Parkway at the Moses Cone Memorial Park, checked out the Crafts Center, and moved on to Blowing Rock for lunch. On the way back, we took the road to Boone, home of Appalachian State University, and turned up 105 back to Banner Elk.

Back at the Inn, there was plenty of daylight left so we took a little break, hopped back on our bikes and headed up the mountain to Valle Crucis. A really fun narrow winding mountain road with one really mean switchback at the top, the ride down the mountain had some great mountain views as we passed farm houses, retreats, horse farms, and some quant little bed and breakfasts tucked away in there own mountain nooks.

Valle Crucis is a very rural community, its hub being the Mast General Store were we stopped for a look see. The Mast family has a large presence here with two stores and the Mast Inn, one of the best of the many Bed and Breakfast Inns in the area. This is where you come when you really want to get away from it all. A mountain retreat with 2 quality horse farms for those who like to ride the live things.

On the way back to Banner Elk via 105, we were having so much fun on these tight little roads that we decided to head on up to Seven Devils, a vacation resort area with the Hawksnest Ski Resort and Golf Coarse at the top of the mountain.

After a full day of riding, back in Banner Elk we headed to happy hour at the Bayou Smokehouse and Grill and stayed all night, scarfing down brewskis, Texas style Bar-B-Que, and some great Louisiana Cajun Cuisine.

Sunday was the day to conquer the big daddy of them all, Grandfather Mountain. Having been on the road all day Saturday, today we were going to do some serious hiking.

With the tallest peak in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Grandfather Mountain sits on the eastern continental divide and is host to the annual gathering of Scottish clans, and the Highland Games. We passed McRae Meadows and paid the $14 per person to enter the privately owned mountain. We parked briefly at the nature museum and took a quick tour of the wildlife habitat, which features animals native to the region on display in their natural habitat.

As we headed up to the mile high swinging bridge, we could see the clouds racing through the gaps between the peaks. It was a cool, foggy overcast type of day as it so often is in the mountains of North Carolina, and visibility was patchy at best. But we were here for a hike, and hiking is what we did.

We started the trek towards Calloway Peak, and being in the middle of the summer, we had plenty of company. The well marked trail led us through some easy to difficult terrain with ropes and wooden ladders to aid us in climbing the rock faces, and several open vistas where we could recognize Mt. Mitchell on the horizon, and the Sugar Top condos at Sugar Mountain as we viewed the cloud cover below us.

We never made it to the very top of Calloway Peak, the higher you go the harder it gets, but we did wind up getting a good workout, and the hike down was just about as hard as going up. We got back to the swinging bridge parking lot, caught our breath, then mounted our bikes for the trip back home. It was good to have the vibration of the road under us again, and by the time we left the foothills of Morganton, the cool mountain breezes were already becoming a fond memory.

Whether by motorcycle, car, or truck, a road trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina is a great way to beat the heat. The area surrounding Banner Elk and Grandfather Mountain is peppered with vacation homes of people from all over the south east, a large proportion escaping the hot, humid summers of Florida.

Outdoor activities abound all year round with skiing and snowboarding in the winter, and hiking, fishing, kayaking, white water rafting, tennis and golf, camping, or just plain cruising the roads in the spring, summer and fall.

Whatever your pleasure, Banner Elk and Grandfather Mountain in the Blue Ridge Mountains is a great destination for the great American road trip.

High School Camping Trip

School arranged a week long camping trip for the class of ’73. I was a teenager at the time and had not been away from home. I was excited and anxious to finally be part of a group that could share stories experienced together. The trip was an opportunity for teenagers to spend time in the wilderness, no parents in sight from miles around at Camp “I don’t know.” Our counselor Mrs.Thompson supervised us to the Northern Ontario campsite.

Arriving late that afternoon, Mrs.Thompson and the camp counselor met with us for a brief information session explaining the week’s activities and campsite rules. The girls and I were assigned to a spartan cabin furnished with bunk beds, table and chairs. The boys however, ended up roughing it, they setup tents close to our cabin.

We paired up with each other, my friend chose the lower bunk; the first night at camp we made ourselves comfortable. It didn’t take me long to hurt myself; I attempted to climb to the top bunk, I slipped and fell to the floor injuring my foot: I saw stars–ouch! It was painful to remove my shoe Oh no! I fractured my toe! Stupid me–I wore dress shoes; wrong footwear for camping that’s for sure! As I showed Mrs.Thompson my injury explaining what had happened, as she examined me, she said “which toe hurts? they all look fractured to me”. As a child I always preferred roomy shoes, my toes spread out as they grew. Well, the camp nurse bandaged up my toes and advised me to rest for the day. That first day I can truthfully say was rather uneventful for me. For the remainder of the trip I ended up limping..no fun that’s for sure!

Anyway, the first night the boys scared us out of our beds; they made noises outside the cabin; whipping a water hose around among the dried leaves it sounded like a snake or someone lurking outside. You could hear the boys snickering as they ran back to their tents waking a group of us in the cabin screaming like a pack of banshees; taking a long time to return to our beds.

The next day we hiked the rough terrain studying nature, wild flora, fauna, trees, birds and more. That night the boys learned how to build a campfire and we toasted marshmallows while singing campfire songs. Later that week, under the supervision of Mrs.Thompson, we all went swimming in a nearby lake and were taught some basic first aid. The following the day was warm and sunny, we went for a long hayride, made crafts from hay, sticks and stones we had collected along the way. That afternoon we had lunch at a picnic site near the river. The boys went exploring–climbing nearby trees to view the riverbank . A half an hour later the boys ran back to the site telling us about a raccoon and its family they saw while climbing the trees.

As we arrived back to camp “I don’t know” a native Indian member and his family were waiting near the totem pole to give us a history lesson; how each section was carved and painted representing ancestral and religious worship. That night we all packed up, had one last marshmallow toasting before we headed back to reality. I walked home dragging my bag of stuff behind me with a tiresome limp; mom greeted me at the door exclaiming “what happened to you?” I ended up staying home from school the next day. Every once in awhile as I take out the beaded necklace souvenir; memories come flooding back of  the first camping experience from Camp “I don’t know”. And ever since then I wear proper shoes for camping!