There’s nothing like dreamin’ and armchair travel. It was cool this morning, the screen porch beckoned-coffee in hand, I was pondering where to go on our winter family vacation. October is not too early to plan it. I’ve been schemin’ and coming up with plans I hope will be fun, in cold climes or warm. The porch seemed like a good place to think about it; the leaves haven’t turned, some leaves have just curled up and died. That’s the South for you.We like travelling in the United States, there’s nothing like America, y’all! Last summer was the first time I planned a Mystery Vacation, no one knew except me, where we were going! I’ve added a few destinations for the Winter Holidays. I thought I’d let you in on it; maybe you can help me plan another Mystery Vacation, this time from Santa!
- Seattle: There’s the City Tour by bus. Seattle seems to come alive at night during the holidays with Snowflake Lane at Bellevue Square; fake snowflakes fall and crazy elves climb up platforms all around the shops. Then there is the Space Needle, the Pike Place Market where they throw fish, Dale Chihuly’s blown glass, Winterfest at Seattle Center, the house boat village where ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ was filmed, not to mention all of those lovely coffee shops! Add a day trip to Victoria or Vancouver by Ferry, perhaps go to Butchart Gardens which looks amazing even in Winter.
- Charleston: A vastly different place-though chilly to us, it is still just jacket weather during the holidays. There are carriage rides and wonderful food, fountains, historic churches and plantations, like Middleton. Just a little over two hours away, by car, we could take a day trip to Savannah, for sure stopping by Gretsch® Guitar Shop to see our friend Fred Gretsch, then passing through Beaufort on our way back.
- Los Angeles: There’s a Hollywood studio tour, the Walk of Stars, all those Movie Star Mansions, Venice Beach with a ride on the iconic Ferris Wheel, a Whale Watching Tour from the harbor, not to mention Santa Monica pier, beautiful Santa Barbara and more…
- Louisville is a city I’ve been musing about- with a day trip to Lexington, taking in the gorgeous countryside of the Bourbon Trail, going out to Churchill Downs and eating a Hot Brown at the beautiful Brown Hotel.
- Williamsburg is always on my Christmas travel list- the historic Inn is where Queen Elizabeth and other heads of state have stayed, the Village Homes and Governor’s Palace is decked out for Christmas. Over by William and Mary there is a small French restaurant where waiters walk around with a huge terrines ladling out Chocolate Mousse. Who could pass up the Trellis restaurant where Julia Child worked with the pastry chef to come up with the famous ‘Death by Chocolate’? Then, top off the trip with a day tour of Monticello in holiday dress.
- Philadelphia is another great place for a family trip. It looks very interesting and fun during the holidays. There is a very large exhibit in Reading Terminal Market of model trains, the iconic Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and as I understand it, the little cobblestone street where Betsy Ross lived comes alive during the holidays; best of all, eating the famous Phillie Cheesesteaks!
- And finally, I have looked longingly at Fort Myers, we could visit the Winter Mansion of Henry Ford and the Laboratory and Winter Estate of Thomas Edison. The warm beauty of Captiva Island and Sanibel’s shell strewn beaches,the gorgeous homes of Naples would be terrific day trips from Fort Myers which is warm and beautiful during Christmas.
So, which would you choose? I’m open for suggestions, there may other places better to explore. Where would you want to go? But shh…this is a Secret Santa Surprise! October is not too early to plan a Winter Mystery Vacation! As soon as the destination is decided, I’ll just give them hints bit by bit and see if they can guess…I know we’ll have fun wherever we go!
Love y’all, Camellia
*Images used were marked- Public Domain from AOL images