Planning Fees May Apply
I give my grandfather credit for defining my destiny in travel. From the time I was five, every summer we headed out for two months of discovery travel. Always off the beaten path, always involving nature, wildlife and local lifestyles. Today I experience that same feel and enjoyment with river cruising. I've discovered curiosity to be a big part of my DNA, so when I hit these ports, I'm out to discover the quality of the excursions offered, but also to find the hidden jewels on my own. I'm trained, certified, and I've cruised most of the river cruise lines personally. My mission is to strategically evaluate and find the best river and the best ship to fulfill your vision of river cruising.
Birds singing, white swans swimming, magical mist rising with the sun—enjoy your typical morning wake-up call on a river cruise!
For me, when I think of Wyoming, I think of Grand Tetons National Park first. I recall as a child stopping on a highway with the high peaks in the distance and the sun coming up, making it mystical and strikingly beautiful. Even today, when I travel to the Teton’s, I always make that stop along the side of the road to embrace that memory. It's only from a distance that you can appreciate their size. Jackson Hole is so well -known for its skiing in the winter but is a wonderful year-round resort. I was there last winter, not to ski, but to explore other fun options of winter travel. Its the best time to see the massive moose as they come down and hang out in the fields just outside town. I stood in snow to my knees in the heart of winter weather, but I had the best moose experience! The National Elk Refuge is also located in Jackson Hole, and it fills with elk in the winter months, making for amazing photos with the snow. They even offer sleigh rides through the refuge in the winter season. Also, home to Yellowstone National Park Wyoming is an incredible vacation destination. Cowboy attitude, along with breathtaking landscapes, and open spaces...it is truly a feeling of the “Wild West” and is home to a rich and diverse history. I look forward to helping you plan your own Western adventure!
Visit Figs Restaurant located in the Hotel Jackson, Jackson Hole, and ask for a side of their secret garlic sauce, by request only!
I spent a lot of time in Arizona growing up with my favorite great uncle. He taught me the beauty of the desert, how mountains made of rocks create a canvas of color, and how to explore so much of what Arizona has to offer. Yes, the Grand Canyon is there in all its glory, and it should be a bucket list item, because it is breathtaking, especially at sunrise and sunset. Maybe stay on a houseboat on one of the magnificent lakes, or a stay at some of the top spa resorts in the country. I have done it all, and I’m most passionate about the area surrounding Sedona. The hiking is beautiful, and the rock formations are just stunning. My favorite sunset view in the state is in Sedona. There is an area near the small airport where you can park, take a blanket and snack of choice, and just wait for it to unfold. The lighting on the rocks is spectacular. Stargazing is magnificent here also, especially in the Flagstaff area. I look forward to sharing my knowledge to plan your Arizona adventure.
Maybe consider glamping in Williams, AZ, where the luxury tents offer sky view windows for some of the best stargazing in the country.
I have lived in California for the past thirty years, and during that time explored the state from top to bottom. It truly is a vacation destination, and a great opportunity for a road trip. One of my personal favorites is to start at the Oregon border, driving south down the coast. Did you know that if you are driving in a truck or a jeep, you can drive the original Oregon Trail? It was crazy imagining how wagons ever made it through. We met two cars on our journey, which was a bit of a challenge to pass on the path, but overall a memory-making experience through the massive Redwood trees. The northern coast is much quieter than Southern California which is a world of its own. Quiet beaches, special restaurants, beautiful boutique lodges, and wildlife -- California has no shortage of outdoor space to enjoy, and it is the only state you can spend your morning in the mountains and the afternoon at the beach! If we plan a road trip, I might suggest adding in a stop at Yosemite National Park, filled with hiking trails for all skill levels, breathtaking scenery, and, yes, bears. It makes for an incredibly special couple of days! As you make your way towards Los Angeles, how much time do you have? Beverly Hills, Hollywood, and I can keep you shopping for days!
Croce’s Restaurant and Jazz Bar in San Diego is a tribute to the late Jim Croce, owned by his wife, and one of my favorite discoveries.
Traveling to Africa often, I have my expectations when visiting a new country. The first time I visited Rwanda, I was only focused on one thing: Silverback Mountain Gorillas. But I was so surprised by the enchanting beauty of the country! The terrain is lush rainforest and mountainous. The people, having gone through so much suffering as a country, have amazing attitudes. They take so much pride in their cities, so clean and colorful flowers everywhere. You know immediately that this experience is going to be special from the moment you arrive. I love staying at Virunga Lodge, described as the best view in the world, and I think it was in front of my bungalow! Parc National Des Volcans is the destination for gorilla tracking. It’s very controlled in order to protect the gorillas, allowing a limited number of people on the mountains each day via permit, so purchase well in advance. I’m often thinking about the difficulty of the hike to find the gorillas. There is a level for everyone, and we can discuss that in detail. I can tell you it is something you will never forget. I feel that way every time I see them and I’m going again next year. Nothing prepares you for those big brown eyes staring into yours. I’ve never felt unsafe, just the feeling of adrenaline rushing through my veins because the experience is so surreal. There is so much to talk about with planning this trip; please reach out to me to discuss details.
I always take my clients on a side trip to see the Golden Monkeys, in the bamboo forest on their way out of town!
Massive mountains, endless blue sky, streams, and rivers everywhere you look...Montana is magical. It offers me a sense of peace, a connection so close with nature, it takes my breath away. It can be the “Wild West” filled with cowboys and rodeos, and great food like Huckleberry Jam. I love the fact that you do not have to enjoy camping to experience this untamed part of our country. There are amazing resorts, luxury ranches, and glamping opportunities in Montana. I have tried them all, and the glamping may be my personal favorite. Do you want to learn how to fly fish while floating down a stream where you may not see another human other than your guide? Ride horses, or maybe just drive and enjoy the view? Do you want to hike and explore Glacier National Park or Yellowstone National Park? I highly recommend both: Glacier for its overwhelming beauty, and Yellowstone for the full nature experience, including wildlife. The northern part of the park stays open in the winter and is known as the Serengeti of the US. I enjoyed a Winter Yellowstone Safari in December, and we had an amazing wolf pack encounter. That was a memory-making moment! Magnificent elk and deer, and of course, a lot of bear action, including grizzlies in the summer! There could not be a better destination for wanting to get away from the stress of “real” life, and I look forward to helping you plan your Montana adventure.
Summertime brings many cherry stands along U.S. 93, around Flathead Lake, selling delicious local Flathead Cherries.
When I turned five years old, my grandfather started a journey with me. Every summer, my grandparents and I would pack the car and cross a few more states off our list. We did this for ten years and managed to visit all fifty states in that time. If there was a national park(s) in the state, we made a point to visit and explore. I was taught early on that national parks are preserving not just our past, but the land’s past. This provides an opportunity for generations to come to understand our country and landscape without change or development impacting the natural state of the park. Visiting a national park during a vacation can enhance the journey, making it feel more personal. In some cases, we can build a vacation around a park, like the Grand Canyon or the Smokey Mountains. Two parks that have always been special to me that are maybe not as well known. First, Crater Lake in southern Oregon has the deepest lake in the US, with the prettiest blue color you will ever experience. Second, Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota houses the one of the longest and most complex caves in the world. The history surrounding the cave is fascinating. This is a great stop combined with the Badlands and Mt Rushmore National Park. Tours are available that visit multiple parks in one adventure, or I can help you plan them one at a time.
I have had great bear action multiple times at Glacier Point, in Yosemite, and a beautiful view of Half Dome, plus restrooms and snacks are available!
Botswana is one of my top favorite African destinations. Why do I love it and want to share it with you? It is a very personal safari experience, a chance to be on safari out of the jeep. The locals are amazing people, and my favorite lodges have guides that have grown up in local villages, so they know the land and the behavior of the animals, so it enriches the experience. With about 40-50% of all the elephants in Africa living in Botswana, it adds to the excitement! On my last visit, I was late to dinner because a mother elephant and her baby decided their dinner was the tree at the end of my bungalow path! The Chobe River region and the Okavango Delta are the two most visited areas, and with good reason: both different experiences, equally wonderful. Imagine floating down the river with elephants on both sides or sometimes playing in the water as you approach. Hundreds of zebras drinking from the river at sunset. Wild dogs and baboon action everywhere! The Okavango Delta has provided me with some of the best leopard sightings in all regions of Africa. In the Delta, I love the Mokoro, a dugout canoe that takes you through the small canals. You hear nothing but the boat gently going the water, and the sounds of the animal kingdom. I’m traveling back to Botswana in the summer of 2021, and I can't wait to help you plan this true trip of a lifetime!
Gomoti Plains Camp has an outstanding chef that makes delicious gluten-free pastries and breads!
I give my grandfather credit for defining my destiny in travel. From the time I was five, every summer we headed out for two months of discovery travel. Always off the beaten path, always involving nature, wildlife and local lifestyles. I had visited all fifty states by the time I was thirteen. I've continued that pursuit of learning about the world through expeditions to the Galapagos Islands, multiple African and South American countries, India and beyond. I'm excited to be hosting a group of my clients to Rwanda for Gorilla Trekking, followed by our next trip to Antarctica, my final continent.
Expedition travel is driven by the desire and need to explore your passion. Let's find yours.
If I told you a week at a luxury ranch could be one of your most memorable vacations ever, you might question me. Prior to my first ranch stay, I had ridden a horse, but had zero skill level. I convinced my husband to join the cattle roundup one afternoon. Maybe it was the Montana air or the excitement of chasing down the strays, but at the end, they told us we were allowed to run the horses back to the stables. I looked at the beautiful valley, the sun setting, and then to my husband, to whom I said, “Honey, hold my hat.” I took off across that valley, and the freedom was intoxicating! Luxury ranches have taught me to fly fish, shoot clay pigeons, snow mobile, ice fish, pan for sapphires, round up cattle, and so much more. Luxury ranches today rival five-star resorts. Beautiful accommodations range from glamping tents to large luxury log homes. The service and food is outstanding, and did I mention there are nightly campfires with s’mores and wine? I recently had a group of well-traveled CEOs at a luxury ranch in Montana. After their week, I heard from every single one of them, thanking me for one of their best trips ever. Ranches are year-round destinations. I have visited during all seasons, and they are each special. The winter holidays are magical, partnered with horse-drawn sleighs. I have my favorite lodging choices at each ranch I would love to share with you.
Planning fees may apply. American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc., when acting solely as a sales agent for travel suppliers, is not responsible for the actions or inactions of such suppliers. We want you to be aware that certain suppliers pay us commissions and other incentives for reaching sales targets or other goals, and may also provide incentives to our travel counselors. For more information please visit americanexpress.com/travelterms California CST#1022318, Washington UBI#600-469-694, Iowa TA#669.