Tag Archives: vacation

A Luxury Houseboat on Lake Powell

A Luxury Houseboat on Lake Powell

Spending a week aboard a posh houseboat off the shores of Lake Powell is an exceptionally distinctive vacation option. My temporary “ownership” of a luxurious floating-condo made me feel like Leonardo DiCaprio stretching out on the Titanic as “king of the world.”

The jagged shoreline of the massive 186 mile-long reservoir, adjacent to Utah/Arizona border, exceeds that of  the entire western coast of the continental United States. Imagine sailing on brilliant turquoise water surrounded by shimmering red rocks, layered terracotta cliffs, salmon colored beaches and postcard views from every angle. The Glen Canyon National Recreation Area epitomizes the desert southwest– bursting with hundreds of side trails, Indian ruins and awe-inspiring natural wonders.

Lake Powell came into existence following years of bitter controversy. In 1956 workers began pouring concrete for the arch dam and didn’t stop the round the clock labors for more than three years. Seven years after groundbreaking, Lake Powell was generating power and opened its gates for recreational activities.  However, it would be seventeen years before the reservoirs water-level reached “full pool.” Today some three million people visit annually for memorable boating, skiing, kayaking and fishing adventures.

During the off-season, five-star air-conditioned houseboats can be rented by the night, throughout the summertime a minimum weekly contract is required.  Extended families or multiple couples adopt the immense, up to 75 feet long, boats as extraordinary floating-homes. Each of the four or five generously appointed bedrooms is fitted with double sized, lavish bedding and a flat screen TV positioned at the foot of the bed. Granite and chrome kitchens, worthy of Bobby Flay, sit adjacent to the combination family room/dining room –anchored around a theatre-style entertainment hub.

Complimentary transport along with a driving lesson for guests who desire assistance is provided by Forever Resorts, the premier firm offering the opulent aquatic-abodes. Many houseboats set their mooring lines in a romantic cove serving as home base for the duration. Others prefer to pull up anchor and cruise to a new beach or cove every day. Adult vacationers enjoy setting up folding tables and chairs for sunset al fresco dining while kids beg for beach campfires to share marshmallows and stories under starry skies.

Let the self-indulgence continue: lounging in a hotel-sized hot tub, playing bartender on the upper deck or slipping onto the curved sliding board and make a grand entrance into the crisp cool water.

Renting a smaller powerboat offers added mobility and swift exploration of the waterways– think bobbing through the pages of National Geographic. Dawn and dusk outings challenge photographers with dramatic dancing shadows. Surrounding canyons shrink sinuously, the soaring walls caressing the bold adventurer.

Poweboating on Lake Powell

My one-night stay aboard a luxury houseboat on this jet-set playground could fill an entire episode of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Powell’s saffron colored landscapes with their stunning and dramatic formations contrast sharply with my East Coast background, where trees boldly border the shoreline. The simplicity and sereneness of the wind-swept southwest was tranquilizing to my eye. The forces of nature etched into my soul like grooves in the canyon floor.

Rainbow Bridge, Utah

In the afternoon, a rocket-fast speedboat journey to Rainbow Bridge interrupted my tranquility only to give way to an inland excursion ashore and the chance to peer at the vast natural archway– eternity personified. The stone bridge powerfully rises, draws a bold arc across the sky, then descends earthward with grace–a glorious natural wonder worth a once in a lifetime wander.

Next morning, I rose before dawn to watch the glinting sunrays dabble and paint the sandstone temples. While the ritual has repeated over millions of years, for me, this sunrise was profound. I ran back and forth around the top deck not knowing where to look because every direction was equally tantalizing. It would be unimaginable to ever tire of this sunsational way to start a day, truly life on Golden Pond.

Golden Pond

 For rental information



Take a Boston City Break

Old North Church

My brother and sister-in-law are planning a Boston City Break with the help of my daughter, who lives in nearby, Sudbury.  Boston makes one terrific destination for history buffs.

My favorite site is Old North Church, place where Paul Revere hung the famous lantern–one if my land, and two if by sea--the phrase, combined with my last name, that lead to the name of this website.

While in the North End, I always stop for dinner at one of the small Italian restaurants. No chain eateries here, these are Mom and Pop establishments handed down over generations. The homemade pasta delights the palate and the budget.

Consider a walk along the Freedom Trail, tour of Faneuil Hal marketplacel or the Paul Revere House. Kids love to step aboard the Boston Tea Party ship and participate in a reenactment of the historic protest.

Further out in the suburbs, the neighboring towns of Lexington and Concord beckon with an authentic colonial era look and feel.  Every April the famous battle that officially started the Revolutionary War is played out at dawn for spectators. A stop at The Wayside Inn for lunch will make you think you have stepped back in time.

The Boston area offers so much to see and do, a quick break doesn’t suffice. Plan to stay a week for a true taste of New England’s heritage.

Interior of Faneuil Hall

Springtime in the Gardens of Savannah and Tybee Island

Savannah's Forsyth Fountain
Savannah’s Forsyth Fountain

Seductive Savannah, Georgia’s first city, beckons with sophisticated stature: iron fences and balconies adorn stately antebellum mansions; renovated townhouses abut cobblestone streets; green squares blossom and aged live oaks drip with Spanish moss. She flaunts mystery with tales of murder and ghosts.

Neighboring Tybee Island, a 20-minute drive, bespeaks an altogether different aura; she tempts visitors to tiny raised cottages, marsh grass, tidal beaches and sea breezes. Where Savannah oozes Southern charm and elegance, Tybee prefers laid back relaxation. Both vacation spots offer ideal springtime getaways.

Savannah‘s historic district is divided into a grid. Walk or hop on a tour bus to review her past and visit high-end antique shops, quirky boutiques or art museums. Fans of John Berendt’s, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, will enjoy touring sites from the book, including the Mercer Williams House and serene Bonaventure Cemetery.

Mercer House
Mercer House

Make sure to dine at Paula Deen’s The Lady & Son’s Restaurant, probably the most sought out reservation in town or Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room, a former boardinghouse that dishes a lunch that lasts all day. Another favorite, The Pink House, serves elegant southern cuisine. If you want to splurge on lodging, check into The Mansion on Forsyth Park or consider numerous bed-and-breakfast inns at www.historicinnsofsavannah.com.

Cross the causeway and let your hair fly. Tybee Island’s claim to fame is Fort Pulaski, where a famous Civil War battle occurred, and Tybee Lighthouse, the tallest lighthouse in Georgia. Sign-on for deep-sea fishing charters, perhaps a dolphin cruise, rent a bike or kayak, bird-watch, surf or simply rest on her shores. The beach is perfect for weddings and many couples choose to wed along the five miles of sandy dunes

Island shopping offers beach-themed kitsch, bait and tackle shops, and art exhibits. May 15th is the date for the 21st annual Beach Bum Parade. Spectators line the parade route armed with buckets, squirt guns and hoses. What results is an all-out water war.

The Savannah Beach Inn on Tybee, offers lodging in a restored 1898 Victorian house. The owners prepare a luscious gourmet breakfast, featuring Bananas Foster French Toast, host daily wine and cheese receptions and leave bedtime, milk and cookies.

For dinner try the famous Crab Shack for seafood low-country boil or catch a sunset meal at a local’s favorite, A.J’s Dockside Restaurant.

Give yourself a springtime fling in one of America’s loveliest cities or interesting islands.

For more information on Savannah’s events, please visit www.SavannahVisit.com, for Tybee Island: www.tybeevisit.com.