A Serendipitous Encounter in Vermont


Dan C. - Food and Travel Tips and InfoSix years ago, my then fiancé (now my wife) and I decided to take a road trip to Vermont. It was our first time to New England and we were looking forward to seeing the beautiful fall colors. We drove from New Jersey, up through the Catskills and Adirondacks of New York, and finally into Vermont. We stayed off the interstates and drove along Vermont’s local highways through many charming and quaint small towns.

 

We stayed at Smugglers’ Notch Resort, located on Vermont’s scenic highway VT 108 just north of Stowe, a popular ski town. As we drove into Stowe, we were enchanted by the beauty and serenity of the covered bridges, mountain views, and the small-town charm. As a foodie, I really appreciated the wide array of quality restaurants in Stowe. I also appreciated the farm-to-table food culture of Vermont’s residents – sourcing locally grown, sustainable, and organic produce and meats from local farms and purveyors.

 

My wife and I fell in love with Vermont on our first visit and we’ve been going back ever since. A few weeks ago, we celebrated our two year wedding anniversary, also our 4th  fall-foliage trip to Vermont. In a serendipitous moment, my wife and I bumped into fellow RCI subscribing members Larry and Mary Whitney. They are happy RCI members since the mid-90s. They saw my picture in the RCI Directory of Affiliated Resorts, along with my recommendation to visit Vermont during fall – and they recognized me! I was humbled that the Whitneys decided to plan their vacation based on my recommendation. It was a truly serendipitous encounter.

 

A Serendipitous Encounter in Vermont - The Whitneys and me

The Whitneys and me

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RCI® subscribing membership benefits that you might not know about


Catherine S. - Cruise Stories and RCI NewsWe love helping to send you, our RCI subscribing members, on vacation!  In order to provide you with even better vacation options and enhancements to your overall membership, we have an established alliance with International Cruise and Excursions (ICE) – which is sometimes referred to as Our Vacation Center.

 

Through this alliance, we’re able to provide you with many benefits that you may already be familiar with:

 

  • The RCI Cruise program gives you the option to purchase a cruise at a reduced price with exchange, or purchase a cruise without exchange (sometimes referred to as “Cruise Extra VacationsSM getaways”) both with the Best Rate Guarantee.

 

  • RCI Cruise & Resort Vacations* offers you the opportunity to receive up to two weeks of vacations in one convenient and flexible package.  You can spend one week cruising to great destinations like Mexico, Alaska or Hawaii, and the second week in an awesome resort destination like Las Vegas or Florida.

 

  • With RCI Vacations*, you can save up to 70% off at select preferred hotels in popular destinations worldwide. Our members can purchase up to five hotel savings certificates which can be used to book hotels and save hundreds of dollars on each stay compared to popular online travel sites.  In addition to the hotel savings certificates, every RCI Vacations package includes a choice of a prepaid cruise, resort or hotel vacation. 

 

  • RCI Platinum® Lifestyle Benefits, including golf discounts, spa getaways and gift certificates, ski packages, an online wine store, tickets to movies, concerts and sporting events, and online shopping. 

 

  • RCI Travel, which allows you to get the best pricing on air, rental car, and hotels, making your vacation planning more convenient!

 

Our alliance with ICE helps us provide you with even greater enhancements to your RCI membership.

 

Have you taken advantage of any of these benefits yet? Let us know what you think by commenting below!

 

 

*Not available to all members

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McDonald Lake - Glacier National Park


A perfect mirror image on a perfect day in this park full of spectacular images. In mid-September, the road that crosses the park is closed midway so it is necessary to drive around the park to get to the opposite entrance. Meadow Lake Golf and Ski Resort is very, very lovely in itself with mountain views and a golf course out the door.

 

A perfect mirror image on a perfect day in this park full of spectacular images. In mid-September, the road that crosses the park is closed midway so it is necessary to drive around the park to get to the opposite entrance. Meadow Lake Golf and Ski Resort is very, very lovely in itself with mountain views and a golf course out the door.

 

- Rae B. from Kingston, NY

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Glacier National Park


We stayed at Meadow Lake Golf and Ski Resort in a one-bedroom on a golf course. Every day we had breakfast in our condo, packed our lunches, and then drove 15 miles to the entrance of Glacier National Park, where we hiked different hikes with park rangers and on our own. it was a very memorable vacation.

 

We stayed at Meadow Lake Golf and Ski Resort in a one-bedroom on a golf course. Every day we had breakfast in our condo, packed our lunches, and then drove 15 miles to the entrance of Glacier National Park, where we hiked different hikes with park rangers and on our own. it was a very memorable vacation.

 

- Judith F. from Delmar, NY

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Glacier National Park – The Last Paradise


Manju S. -  Vacation Stories from an RCI AssociateGlacier National Park has a beautiful alpine landscape, green glacial waters, and clear night skies. A paradise right in the backyard of America!

 

A unique location that fits diverse travel needs, the park is small enough to cover in a day but large enough to keep you active for a week. You can go rustic or indulge in five-star luxury. You can sit back or go horseback riding into the deep valleys revered by Blackfeet Indians. You can fly fish on clear waters or hike up to Triple Divide Peak, where waters from the peak flow in three directions, into three oceans – Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic, with the Hudson Bay considered a tributary for the Arctic.

 

On my trip to Glacier National Park, we started very early in the morning (to watch wildlife as well as avoid mid-day traffic) from the west side. The views of the mountains from the base of McDonald Lake are beautiful. We started our drive through the "must see” Going-to-the-Sun Road. Avalanche Creek was the first pit stop with small streams and solitude. Further up on the mountains we had great views of the glaciers, alpine lakes and wildlife. The short hike from the summit to Hidden Lake took us to a different world. After three hours, we descended to the east side of the Continental Divide. A lunch at Many Glacier Hotel in Glacier National Park was delicious. After, we took a quiet boat ride on Lake Josephine, followed by a short walk through the forest to Grinnell Lake. The visit left us with a once-in-a-lifetime memory, but loads of photos and videos on our camera!

 

What are you waiting for? Get to Glacier National Park and see what you’ve been missing!

 

Come back to the RCI Blog this week to check out some amazing photos of the beautiful scenery of Glacier National Park taken by RCI subscribing members. Have a photo of your own? Share it here.

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Cervinia, Italy


Cervinia, Italy - Skiing in Italy

 

Skiing in Italy

 

- Daniel B. from Katy, TX

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Christel House – my guardian angel


Angel K, a Christel House student

I’m Angel and I have been part of Christel House for the past 8 years. My brother joined Christel  House before me and everyday he would come back home and tell me all the interesting things that he used to do at school.  Eventually, I fell in love with Christel House. Later, when I enrolled in Christel House, I knew that this was the place where I can make my dreams come true. Christel House has provided me with all that is required to make my life better. Right from education to food, clothing to medical care, I’m given everything.

 

Christel House provides a platform to showcase our talents whether it be in the field of sports, art, dance, or music. Here, we are helped by a lot of people to realize our dreams. We are given opportunities every now and then. I personally have benefited a lot. I have been taking part in all the academic Olympiads and competitions which have helped me to improve my thinking skills.

 

In my life, I have dreamt of a lot of things like going on an aircraft, visiting the US, buying my favorite car, studying for the entrance exams for Indian Administrative Services and so on. Christel House magically makes everything come true.

 

The best opportunity was when I was sent to the US for three consecutive summers to attend the Culver Summer Leadership Camp.  Culver is the world’s best leadership camp and students from more than 40 countries come to take part. Along with leadership skills, Culver is also known for its military activities, sports, and team spirit. I learnt a lot of new things like water skiing, ceramics, forensic science and most importantly swimming. I made a lot of friends and learnt a little bit about their countries. I felt so good sharing about India. Visiting the US, I have also met my Christel House cousins from other countries. I spent a lot of time with the Christel House staff and their families. When we were in the camp, they talked to us on the phone everyday and made us feel at home. My visit was complete when I met Ms. Christel DeHaan personally. She has been my role model and always will be.

 

Christel House has changed my life dramatically. It has helped me to face obstacles boldly and to face things with confidence. The person I am today, it’s all because of my teachers and all the staff at Christel House.

 

 All the good things that have happened to me are through Christel House.  My family and I are very grateful to Christel House and Christel ma’am who started it all.

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Margaret Glacier


Cruising Glacier Bay Alaska, July 2011. Blue Skies, turquoise glacial waters and breathtaking views of many glaciers. The most amazing was Margaret Glacier at the center of the bay. This was a fantastic cruise vacation through RCI.

 

Cruising Glacier Bay Alaska, July 2011. Blue Skies, turquoise glacial waters and breathtaking views of many glaciers. The most amazing was Margaret Glacier at the center of the bay. This was a fantastic cruise vacation through RCI.

 

- Deborah S. from Oakville, Ontario, Canada

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Like Father, Like Son


 

Last year, after our birth children were grown and gone, my husband and I adopted two little boys from foster care. The brothers, ages 6 and 8, had never been on a vacation when we took them to Lake Marion, SC. They both picked up water-skiing immediately and love to challenge Dad!

 

- Submitted by: partymom
 

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The Dragon of the Castle


It was a ski trip to Martin B. Lofer in Austria. We booked our resort unaware of the unusual place. Struggling off of the bus with our suitcases and ski boots we asked a gal getting off the bus for directions. Over there in the field she said. We walked across the road and couldn't believe the resort. It was a hunting lodge of the King of Bavaria from 1314. There were animal heads on the outside of the building and when we entered we gasped at the sites. Vibrant pink paint, exquisite antique furniture, animals stuffed on display in the hallways. The ceilings were painted with murals of cupids, beautiful women and knights in action scenes. The arches in the massive hallways were held up by muscular greek gods. Our room had carved angels in the corner of the 12 foot ceiling with a canopied bed. We felt we had been transported into the past where noblemen and gracious women would arrive in horse-drawn carriages. Gawking is the only word to describe our reaction as we explored the many rooms and hallways. Dreams were easy to come by in such a fascinating place. Skiing was fun and the bonus was returning each night to sleep in our castle, or at least ours for a week.

 

- Submitted by: Whaletail

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A first vacation for Mother & Son


My son was a missing child for 15 years. I last saw him at 3 years old. When he was almost 18, I searched through a paid service and found his father. Afraid he would run again, I put an ad in the local newspaper. Days later, he answered the ad. I was finally reunited with my son. A year later we took a vacation. It was the most joyous time. The kid in all of us came out that week. All the things I missed with him growing up, was concentrated in this glorious week in Tahoe. The thrill of watching my child ski for the first time, sledding, the joy on his face doing things together again. It was life changing for both of us to reconnect after all these years in such a spectacular setting as Tahoe. The Ridge was fantastic, rooms were large, quiet, and luxurious. We kept so busy with all the amenities. This week at the Ridge began the journey of healing between a mother and her son! A week neither of us will never forget!

 

- Submitted by: Dispatcher

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Hawaii


Using our exchange we stayed on Oahu and "the Big Island" of Hawaii. We attended a church service on Waikiki Beach and visited Pearl Harbor and the Mighty Mo. We explored the island, driving along the coast in our rented convertible. Beautiful blue ocean, rugged velvet green mountain cliffs, sunny blue skies, wind blowing through your hair, and the fragrance of pineapples while driving through the middle of the island. On the Big Island we visited Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, the City of Refuge, and many beautiful beaches, including a black sand beach...It was also so beautiful. Each island is so different. We look forward to returning one day. It is on our Vacation Bucket List. We recommend to anyone, who has not gone yet, to visit the beautiful islands of Hawaii...

 

- Cheryl F. from Battle Creek, MI

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Freeport, Bahamas -2006


What a great family vacation we had taking 13 members of our immediate family to the island for a week of fun. We enjoyed celebrating a birthday with the help of our great resort friends; from decorating, to food, to Karaoke. Our days were filled with biking, banana boat rides, jet skis, scooters and shopping. Weather was fantastic and our bonding as a family was unforgettable. They are very special to my husband and I and we have enjoyed sharing our vacation time with each of them. We have had travels through RCI that we could have never experienced on our own. Thanks RCI.

 

- Nancy G. from Millersburg, OH

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Colorado Vacations - Wyndham Pagosa


Bordered by 2.3 million acres of the San Juan National Forest, Wyndham Pagosa is a complete recreational community located in the mountains of southwestern Colorado. Tennis courts; a golf course; and a recreational center, featuring an indoor pool, a weight room, games room, and racquetball courts, are all nearby. In winter, a daily shuttle to the Wolf Creek ski area is offered. Cross-country skiing with rental equipment is also available. Please note: The resort is at high altitude. Learn about high-altitude sickness to prevent the problems associated with this illness.

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Pagosa Springs, Colorado is Picture Perfect


Vacation Travels with RCI TV's Dan "The RCI

I've been lucky enough to travel to all 50 states in the U.S. - I've lived on both coasts and my work has allowed me to spend plenty of time abroad as well. So when my family decided that we were going to have a reunion in Southwestern Colorado, well... let's just say it wasn't the first place I thought of. Now...I am soooo glad that's where we went. And in the heart of it all was one of the quaintest towns I’d ever visited...Pagosa Springs.

 

Pagosa Springs is nestled amid some of the most beautiful scenery I've seen. The rugged mountains surrounding this city are the backdrop to beautiful rivers and streams that flow in and around this mountain paradise. Pagosa Springs sits at about 7,000 feet above sea level and that means clean air with crisp mountain mornings year round. The air seems cleaner and sweeter up here and you're invigorated for adventure every day!

 

This charming city is your own launch pad to play in the mountains and discover year round fun - from skiing and snowmobiling in the winter to fly-fishing, hiking and mountain biking in the summer, Pagosa Springs has something for everyone. But no matter what you want to do...don't forget your camera! Seriously, it seems like every bend around every trail, or every time you drive around another corner, there's a picture just waiting to be taken. As an amateur photographer, I instantly fell in love with this place! Pagosa Springs is nature at its best combined with the romantic history of the old west - it’s wild and beautiful and rugged and charming all at the same time... basically, it's perfect!

 

If you haven't had a chance to check out Pagosa Springs, put it down on your "must-see" list... and if you're anything like me, you won't leave disappointed!

 

Come back to the blog this week to read stories and see pictures about Pagosa Springs from RCI subscribing members!

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Massanutten


View from the top of Massanutten Mt. in Virginia with all its peace and tranquility. Spectacular ski lift rides, plus all the fun and challenging activities the resort offers. A great family vacation destination, as well as for all. My husband and I enjoyed every minute of our time at Massanutten. Don't just take my word for it, go check it out for yourself!

View from the top of Massanutten Mt. in Virginia with all its peace and tranquility. Spectacular ski lift rides, plus all the fun and challenging activities the resort offers. A great family vacation destination, as well as for all. My husband and I enjoyed every minute of our time at Massanutten. Don't just take my word for it, go check it out for yourself!

- Linda G. from Sykesville, MD
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Massanutten


My family trip to Massanutten: This was one of the best trips I have ever been on. We had so much to do there. The family loved it. We did things we had never done before. We tried skiing, snow boarding, horse back riding, and surfing. I bet you are wondering how we did all of that at one place, well we did! Oh yeah we also did crafts I mean the whole family...This was one of the best affiliated resorts we have been to!

- Sheila R. from Grandy, NC
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Massanutten Trip


For the last 10 years, my family and I have made several trips to Massanutten. It is a great family resort that has year round attractions. We usually go during ski season where we can enjoy the family friendly short slopes. The green (easy) slope is great for beginners and those new to snowboarding. We also enjoy the enclosed water park when we need a break from the skiing. Each time we have visited the resort we have stayed in different units. Even the small units were larger than most of the units that we visited in other states or locations. I look forward to our next trip to Massanutten this year. I haven't booked it yet...but will be working on it this week!

- Chris R. from Wilmington, NC
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25th anniversary trip to Banff, Alberta


My husband and I spent our honeymoon in Banff, Alberta in November of 1982. We returned 25 years later for our silver anniversary. We were so happy to have an RCI affiliated resort available to us there. The resort was wonderful, the clubhouse enjoyable, and the unit was clean, well stocked and beautifully decorated. We went cross-country skiing, on the gondola ski lift ride, and sight seeing around Banff. It was a fantastic way to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. Thank you, RCI! We've been members since 1983.

- Michelle S. from Wooster, OH
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Smugglers' Notch


Smugglers' Notch is our home resort. We return every chance we get - both summer and winter. In this photo (2009) family and friends are gathered at the top of Sterling Mountain ready for a day of skiing.

Smugglers' Notch is our home resort. We return every chance we get - both summer and winter. In this photo (2009) family and friends are gathered at the top of Sterling Mountain ready for a day of skiing.

- Rob & Karen W. from Embro, Ontario

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