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Sunday, January 5, 2014

2013 Year in Review

Seemed like a slow travel year for us but we still managed to get in quite a few trips and even stepped out of the country a tiny bit. We've now hit 40 (43 for me) out of the 50 states and made it back to the Caribbean, too, without stepping out of the country. Look below to see our activity for the year and click on the links to visit our reports for each item...


We started with a trip south of the border into Ensenada, Mexico, which has been the recipient of a lot of bad press and cruise cancellations lately due to drug cartel activity, to see if it was really that bad or dangerous. Conclusion?  Not even remotely...can't wait to go back.

Cocktail Hour suggestion: Margarita Madness.


Barely averting a traveler's nightmare...getting the wrong date down in your hotel booking...we managed to squeak out a parent's getaway to the Danish-themed town of Solvang, California where we spent a few days with hundreds of greyhounds.

Cocktail Hour suggestion: Chilled Chardonnay.

Unfortunately, this year we didn't get to add any new stadiums to our list of accessible ballparks in our Fields of Dreams reports.





We found a new contender for our best hotel chain of the year, Hyatt, with great hotels, easy accessible reservations, and an awesome loyalty program. Then, Marriott, not wanting to give up the title so easy stepped up with the best rooms we had in Tennessee and a really outstanding suite in Arizona..although they did dilute their loyalty program last year.  We'll just say that both chains top our list at the end of 2013.


Spring found us back on the beach in the Caribbean, this time on the lovely U.S. territory of St. Croix in the Virgin Islands at one of the world's great independent hotels, the Buccaneer.

Cocktail Hour suggestion: A St. Croix Drinking Tour.


Just like John Fogerty, we really did get a little stuck in Lodi, California, which instead turned into a nice trip to Sacramento, the Gold Country, and great wine tasting in the Sierra foothills.

Cocktail Hour suggestion: Sierra Foothills Wine Taste Off.

A lot of my travel friends say American Airlines is no fun anymore, and they have dropped quite a bit in their service, we still had good flights for St. Croix on them but we still have to say Southwest is the best as they flew us with great spirits and comfort to Nashville, Tennessee.  Still our favorite airline as we enter the New Year.


Summer found us in a dispute with a festival operator in Monrovia, California, which turned into an opportunity to document the steps to take in an ADA dispute. Complaint resolved, we still visit the festival regularly.


We added some new video to a couple of old trips, a night time helicopter flight over Las Vegas and some newly found footage of our time in Puerto Vallarta back in the 90's.


On a more somber note, Tim and I took a trip to Palm Springs to say goodbye to my aunt, who had her funeral there in the fall.


While we started working on a new foodie video this year, we have yet to finish it (gives you something to look forward to this year) but we did start a new mid-week series when we figured out our home of the San Gabriel Valley has around 40 different types of ethnic foods being served here. We're still going strong with our series, The Ethnic Foods of the San Gabriel Valley, but will be wrapping that up soon.


Finally, this fall had us checking off items on our bucket list as we headed out on the grand Tennessee Tour and the Elvis Trail.

Cocktail Hour suggestion: Beale Street Pub Crawl.


Thanks for making us your stop for accessible travel in 2013, I hope you'll stick around to see what's in store for 2014.


Darryl
Copyright 2014 - Darryl Musick
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