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.
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!
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...
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
Our family trip to Smugglers' Notch, Vermont was very memorable because the people we met along the way were very helpful and friendly. We went in November (the in- between season, too late for fall foliage and too early for snow skiing) all the town businesses were over accommodating and allowed us privileges. We really enjoyed driving to the notch, visiting the Apple Cider Farm, horseback riding and of course witnessing the first snowfall of the year... which forced the closure of the notch. A much adventuresome time!
My family visited Smugglers' Notch Resort in January 2007. Our ages ranged from 7-50 years old and there was something available for all to do! We all had a wonderful time. My husband, our 7 year old grandson, and I took the beginners ski lessons. It was about negative 5 degrees out and we had ice on our eyelashes but the really unbelievable thing was that we weren't cold at all! We did have on about 3 layers of clothes though! The resort had everything on site and there was always something to do for all ages. Needless to say that we all stayed entertained and were thoroughly exhausted by the end of each day. And the scenery was just breathtaking. I highly recommend "Smuggs" to all my winter loving friends.
I had a wonderful family reunion with my three sisters and one brother-in-law near Stowe, VT. We got to visit our cousins and friends. My parents moved when I was 12 years old, so we went to visit where we used to live and got to visit with old friends. We all had a wonderful time - don't think I have laughed so hard in years. It was off-season - but that did not matter to us, as we did not ski or skate... My two sisters and I live in Florida and my other sister in Georgia. You can not replace good memories - so we are planning get-togethers every year, thanks to RCI.
I’ve been traveling to Vermont for almost 20 years now and I have so many fantastic memories of my times there. I first started my relationship with the Green Mountain state as a teenager when I used to trek up North in an attempt to find the most rigorous and challenging ski trails. With more than 15 different mountains and resorts, Vermont offers a wide variety of options for all kinds of skiers and snowboarders, no matter what your skill level.
While the winter may be my favorite time to visit Vermont, I’ve also had the opportunity to experience it in the autumn and summer. I can honestly say that New England during the height of fall foliage is something that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. The views of the rolling mountains and hills, filled with different hues of yellow, orange and red, are quite breathtaking. Vermont is also a great place to visit in the summer. One of my favorite memories was when I visited my sister in July and we spent the afternoon walking the streets of Burlington before ending the day relaxing in a park that overlooked Lake Champlain.
This week on the blog, we’ll be featuring stories and pictures about Vermont from RCI subscribing members. Be sure to check back throughout the week to get some great ideas and information that can help you plan a trip to the Green Mountain state.
My husband, my 16 year old daughter and I were staying in the Poconos at an RCI affiliated resort after Christmas. We had a lovely and generous size two bedroom on the golf course at The Villas at Fairway. Our activities included skiing, swimming, playing arcade games and tubing. New Years Eve morning we boarded a local transit bus to New York City. We toured the city, ate a fantastic meal in a restaurant on a street off Times Squares and then found a spot in Times Square to stand in to ring in the New Year! One of the items on my to-do list: to bring in the New Year at Times Square! After the event was over we went to the bus station and took the two hour trip back to the Poconos.
I’ve been to the Poconos for more weekend getaways than I can count (I live close-by in New Jersey) and I can honestly say that it’s one of my favorite places to escape to. There’s something to do all year-round, and no matter the season, you’re almost guaranteed gorgeous scenery.
If you like to ski but aren’t quite a master of slopes, I would recommend staying near Shawnee Mountain in Shawnee, PA. The mountain is beginner-friendly and the area itself is home to many great shops and restaurants (I highly recommend The Stone Bar Inn in nearby Stroudsburg, PA for some fine dining).
Or, if skiing isn’t your thing, there’s still plenty of outdoor adventure in the Poconos! The summertime offers perfect weather for hiking, camping, canoeing, and my personal favorite… fishing! I’ve spent many summers on my uncle’s boat out on Lake Wallenpaupack, an area that offers plenty of fun for families. If you’ve got little ones, you should plan to visit Claws “N” Paws Animal Park near Hamlin, PA (http://www.clawsnpaws.com/). Callie's Candy Kitchen and Callie's Pretzel Factory are also two stops that are well worth the trip.
There’s so much adventure in the Pocono Mountains that I’m hoping to escape there for more than just a weekend this year!
Come back to the RCI Blog this week for stories from RCI subscribing members who have visited the Poconos. If you have a story or photo of your own that you would like to share, click here. We may post yours at the end of the week!
This spring my extended family and I did an exchange through RCI to Park City, Utah. It was May and the ski season was over, however we had a wonderful time. The town was unique and well worth the visit. We visited Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, Bonneville Salt Flats and Yellowstone National Park. Park City was our base and it allowed us to cross the state to see attractions and return to wonderful accommodations each night.
Our trip to Park City (actually, the Canyon's area) is my favorite RCI story, because we had family vacationing with us. It was our first time to the area and although we didn't travel for snow skiing, we loved the area and were blessed with a beautiful snowfall in mid-October. Our 3, 2 and 1 year olds loved swimming in the very well-heated outdoor pool with snow all around at the Miners Club, where we stayed. My mother and father, youngest sister and her family were with us, and at first, we thought the trip might be bittersweet, as my mother's mother had passed away the week before our trip. Turns out the trip couldn't have been better. We took a wonderfully scenic train ride into one of the nearby towns, enjoyed downtown Park City, played bingo with other guests, and spent quality family time each evening around a warm, crackling fire from the fireplace in the living room. This vacation will always be one of, if not my favorite exchanges with RCI.
I've been lucky over the years... I've lived in some of the most beautiful states in the country. When I was young I lived in Northern California, then we moved to Alaska. I've also lived in Colorado and Connecticut and I've had a job that has taken me to all 50 states... numerous times. Having said that, I think I now live in the best state of all...Utah! You can literally go skiing in the morning and play golf that same afternoon. I love it! And while there are cool cities and towns everywhere in Utah, you have to visit Park City!
Park City is the perfect place - there are three ski resorts within just a few miles of each other - The Canyons, Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley. Each has won their share of International awards. One of the things I love about Park City is its easy access. There is a 6 lane freeway (I-80) that runs right past it and you can actually fly into Salt Lake City International airport and be at any of these resorts within 45 minutes.
Park City has just the right mix of locals and tourists. If you like to shop there is a huge outlet mall out by the freeway exit as well and another shopping center less than a mile away that has new cinemas, the latest stores and good restaurants, too. But the best part of Park City is "Historic Main Street". Park City was built up during the 19th century as a mining town and many of the earliest original buildings are still a part of Main Street. Main Street has a little bit of everything... really unique shops and stores selling everything from your typical souvenirs to high-end furs. There are great art galleries and lots of really quaint, local restaurants, diners, coffee shops and ice cream stores. The one thing you won't find on Main Street is any kind of a chain store or restaurant - I absolutely love it.
Park City is a true, four season destination. I live about 45 minutes away and we play in Park City year round. I grew up in Alaska so I definitely like to hit the slopes during the winter. But I also love photography and, during the spring, the mountains and meadows burst with color as a result of all the spring flowers. During the summer we've enjoyed everything from hot air balloon rides to great rounds of golf and lots of outdoor concerts. Fall in Park City is amazing as all the leaves change colors and everything is blazing in oranges, reds, yellows and greens. This is the time of year that we typically use some of our Points and exchange through RCI to stay at any of their affiliated resorts - we really like The Miners Club at The Canyons.
If you like amazing natural beauty with the fun and sophistication of a classy resort town proud of its history and heritage, you will LOVE Park City. And besides...it seems like the air is always clean and crisp and the sun a little brighter up here. If you haven't been to Park City you really should check it out... and if you have been here, well... I know you'll be back!
This week on the RCI Blog, we’ll be sharing stories and photos from RCI subscribing members who have visited Park City. Be sure to come back to read about their adventures!
We received thousands of stories from our subscribing members and want to share them with you. Although we've corrected some spelling and technical errors, the stories are otherwise unchanged (you'll notice that the tone differs from story to story). We don't mean for these stories to inform you about resorts, destinations or even about RCI products and services. For example, some stories talk about unusual exceptions made or circumstances that may not be typical for most vacationers. As usual, we recommend that you do your own research about resorts, destinations, etc. when making travel arrangements. However, these stories are actual accounts that we've received and we think you'll find it as enjoyable as we did to find out about the different experiences other RCI vacationers have had through our programs.