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Snowbirds Flock South for Winter Migration

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By Diana Andrews

In elementary school we learn about great migrations south. Some of the lessons come straight from our text books. If we’re lucky, they come from craning our necks skyward and witnessing a cloud of birds making their way across the crisp blue skies of Autumn as they pass over on their way to warmer parts of the world. Perhaps you’ve even been so lucky to find yourself in a swarm of migrating monarchs while visiting a favorite garden spot.

Migration is the regular seasonal movement of animals from one place to another. Even the USGS Western Ecological Research Center admits not fully understanding “migratory connectivity, or the links between breeding and nonbreeding areas.” They are examining such things as advanced telemetry, chemical isotopes and molecular genetic markers for more insight into this mystery of connectivity.

There’s another great migration that happens, and it, too, involves a kind of ‘bird.’ Snowbird, that is. A snowbird is someone who migrates from their main residence to spend a large portion of winter in a warmer locale. There’s really no mystery here to why there is connectivity between snowbirds of the north and a Gulf Shores snowbird escape like such ones offered at Martinique on the Gulf.

Snowbirds (chemical isotopes of a more mature kind) are apt enough to know to utilize advanced telemetry, aka automated communications, such as email, social media and online reservation portals to make sure they have a comfortable place to nest for the winter. They may also rely on past migrations to hone their sites on desirable winter locations such as Alabama’s Gulf Shores.

Snowbirds are easily identified by their molecular genetic markers like silvering hair and more weathered skin than their younger fledglings. Like other migratory animals, they head south to warmer climates for winter. However, the only ‘breeding’ likely to happen is the ever growing population of such creatures to places such as the glorious Gulf Shores beaches! Join the flock and experience the wonderful snowbird migration south for yourself.


Oktoberfest Fredericksburg Texas Style

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By Diana Andrews

Are you a reveler looking to experience as many Oktoberfest Festivals as you possibly can this season?GastehausBier

Are you finding there are many events that call themselves an Oktoberfest Festival?

Are you finding that not all Oktoberfest Festivals represent the expected German Heritage equally?

Well, chances are you should be putting the Oktoberfest of Fredericksburg, Texas high on your must do list! Why, do you ask, is this Oktoberfest so special? Could the fact that they advertise future Oktoberfest dates until the year 2020 and countdown to 2013’s festivities to the microsecond provide ample enough clues!

GastehausCottageIf that doesn’t convince you, perhaps the OkTUBAfest, Chicken Dancing or Domino Tourney will. And let’s not forget the delicious German food and beverages with which to consume in great quantities. With so many tempting treats, you might as well make yourself comfortable and take advantage of special offers for lodging in Fredericksburg, Texas.

After imbibing all that bier and strudel who wouldn’t want to return to an in-town or rural cottage with all the comforts of home – perhaps even more!  With so many lodging options making it possible for any size group on any size budget to find accommodations makes staying in Texas Hill Country even more attractive than just coming to experience Oktoberfest. Sounds like they have it all, and we should head their soon so as not to miss out on any of it!


Martha’s Vineyard Lighthouses; No Complaints Here

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by Diana Andrews

On a recent drive home from work the local news came on the radio highlighting a headline about what 1st World citizens complain about the most.  Admittedly, the complaints were pretty trivial when compared to, oh I don’t know, 3rd world countries?!

A common complaint that made the list (and is heard often in our workplace) is the complaint ‘it’s so hot out I can hardly stand it’ followed by ‘why am I always freezing in this office?’ There were others that I’m sure most people would have to admit (myself included) that they, too, have similarly complained about at some point in time.

MansionHouseLighthouseWell, imagine if you will what kind of complaints about the weather our nation’s poor lighthouses could legitimately make? Take for instance the five lighthouses of Martha’s Vineyard. These lighthouses have been moved, destroyed, rebuilt and/or saved from destruction on numerous occasions. Here is just a brief overview of their trials and tribulations:

Gay Head Lighthouse was established in 1799 and is the first ever lighthouse constructed on Martha’s Vineyard. It was struck multiple times by lightning and has been moved once.  After being retrofitted with new apparatus, the government approved construction of a new brick tower with the better Fresnel lens. (The mystery remains on its installation.) It was then earmarked for destruction (Doomsday List) and saved through a federal petition and a 35 year license to remain as is.

Cape Poge Lighthouse was established in 1801. A total of four towers have been built over time. The current tower has been moved four times; once by helicopter!

The West Chop Lighthouse was established in 1817 and has been moved two times.

The Edgartown Lighthouse was established in 1828. The first lighthouse was destroyed by hurricane. The second one was built in a new location at the mouth of the harbor. The Edgartown Light was also listed for destruction and is now being saved through the same federal petition as the Gay Head and East Chop.MansionHousePier2

The East Chop Lighthouse was established in 1877. First it burnt down.  Then this second one was torn down and reconstructed. It was then earmarked for destruction and is also saved through a federal petition.

If you’re interested in learning more about the lighthouses of Martha’s Vineyard or you’re simply exhausted from all this rebuilding and relocating, take advantage of a midweek bonus, stay for awhile and soak in all the history of this wonderful island. There’s so much to see, do and learn, you’ll be glad you took the extra time.


Foooooore Great Golf Come to South Carolina

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by Diana Andrews

So, you know someone who has decided to have a South Carolina beach wedding. No worries. You needed a vacation and an excuse to get away from it all. Why not South Carolina? After all, there are mountains, beaches and a history dating back to the original 13 colonies to immerse yourself in.

FrippWeddingDoes the problem lie in the fact that your plans are also supposed to include some quality time on the links, and your game is a little rusty? Again, no worries.

Lucky for you South Carolina has some of the best golf courses in North America! Take for instance the Ocean Point Course – one of South Carolina’s oceanfront  golf courses.



Having opened in 1964 with its original design created by George Cobb (who also consulted on the Augusta National), Ocean Point has earned accolades and awards over the years.

The course is situated so that golfers have a built in excuse if their game goes awry – majestic views on no fewer than SIX holes that distract you from your aim!

Unfortunately, good ol’ George knew the wind would be a factor to one’s game. So he designed the course so that golfers could run the ball up on to most of the greens thus removing ‘wind’ from your excuse bag. (Every good golf bag comes with one, but you know that!)

So pack everything but your worries. You’ll enjoy a memorable time with friends and family while getting some time to play some great golf courses. Whether your game is a hit or a miss, you’ll need to return to either revisit a course that treated you well or to try to beat it yet again. Happy hitting.


Sailing Off Into the Key West Sunset

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by Diana Andrews

So here I am, it’s Monday morning and after only a few hours at work, I’m already dreaming of sailing off into the sunset far, far away.

View of an open sea with a cloud on Corfu islandI’ve never visited the Florida Keys and that seems like a glorious place to lay back and let some buff, sea-faring captain take me away. You won’t mind if I let the fantasy continue…

When travelling through unfamiliar territory or scenic drives, it’s sometimes nice to have someone else driving so you can enjoy the ‘thrill’ of the ride or the beauty that surrounds you. Despite the fact that I grew up on the Mississippi river, I would never entertain the idea of sailing the waterways off the Keys without a knowledgeable, skilled staff of mateys.

Besides, with opportunities like Danger’s Wind & Wine sunset sails, I don’t want to be drinking and ‘driving’! What better reason to hire a designated driver than this!?

  • winesunsetAn array of fine wines
  • Your choice of upscale beers
  • Plenty of delectable hors d’oeuvres
  • The view
  • Peacefulness of the water
  • Someone skilled at the helm
  • Someone else doing all the work
  • A loved one by your side

Sign me up!

If the lull of the evening water, the sunset’s hypnotic colors, or the effect of the alcohol doesn’t relax me enough to ensure a peaceful night’s rest, at least I know where to find Key West accommodations where I can lay my head and let the effect of the moving waters and the sway of the trees outside my room rock me into a gentle but deep sleep.


Can you feel that tropical island breeze from the opened windows wafting over you as you slumber under crisp, white linens?

Can you just imagine yourself enjoying a relaxing get-away that leaves you fresh and refreshed?

Can you find anyone you’d want to share this fantasy with?

I can, and I can’t wait!

The only problem is that I’m still at work, just awakened from this glorious fantasy by the ringing of the phone and the persistent requests for help from my peers. Guess my virtual fantasy is over, and I need to start actual vacation planning….