Posted in Authors, Books, Gift Ideas, Girlfriend Getaways, Movies/Television, Seattle, Theme Vacations, Travel, Uncategorized, Unique Getaways, on 5 December 2014, by , 0 Comments

Christmas and the New Year are just around the corner! It’s the perfect time to plan your travel for 2015. Here are five travel gift ideas for the book lovers in your life (or you!).

50 Shades of Romance:

50 Shades of Romance | Ingnious TravelTravel to Seattle to join 16 erotic romance writers for a weekend of debauchery, including a private screening of the highly anticipated Fifty Shades of Grey movie. Some additional conference highlights include author panels, book signings, a pajama party, sexy shopping, and food! February 13-15, 2015


Downton Abbey VIP Private Tour with No RopesOxford | Ingenious Travel:

Travel to England: (Okay, I know, not a book, but close enough, right?) You’ve watched every episode of Downton Abbey and probably own boxed sets of each series. Next April you will be able to relive some of your favourite moments through this exclusive access visit to Highclere Castle, the family home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon. In addition, there are On Location visits to some of the Oxfordshire Cotswolds villages featured in the different episodes. Topped and tailed with time in London, the tour also includes leisurely visits to Hampton Court Palace, Blenheim Palace and the university city of Oxford. April 6 – 12, 2015

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Posted in General Travel Information, Seattle, Uncategorized, on 26 September 2014, by , 0 Comments

Seattle | Ingenious TravelSeattle is known as “The Emerald City”. It’s the cultural center of the Pacific Northwest. Water defines this city. It sits on an isthmus between Puget Sound (an arm of the Pacific Ocean) and Lake Washington.

Rain makes it the Emerald City, and it does have plenty of rain, but despite its reputation, it is more often cloudy than it is rainy…. In fact, it receives less rain that New York City and most east coast cities! There many nice days for exploring.

Seattle is the home of industries and entrepreneurs from Boeing Aircraft Corporation to Bill Gates and Microsoft to Starbucks coffee. And don’t forget!

Pioneer Square is the city’s very first neighborhood, covering about 20 square blocks of Victorian type architecture. How do you want to see it? There are guided walking tours, horse drawn buggy tours, or you can explore on your own. There are fine art galleries and boutique stores for shopping. It is a great area for nightlife.

There is an underground city beneath Pioneer Square. After the Great Fire of 1889, the city was rebuilt over the top of the ashes. Take a guided tour UNDER the city’s sidewalks and streets…. through the hidden subterranean passages that once were the main roadways and storefronts of old downtown.

Take the waterfront streetcar from Pioneer Square along the waterfront to Pike Place Market. These vintage streetcars take you to destinations in and near Pioneer Square.

Pike Place Market is the oldest continually operating farmers market in the U.S. It’s a high energy bazaar offering regional produce and seafood popular with tourists and locals alike. Watch fish fly at the Pike Place Fish Market…. and if you don’t know what we mean by that, you need to experience it.

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Posted in Authors, Baseball, Books, Football, General Travel Information, Girlfriend Getaways, Seattle, Travel, Uncategorized, on 4 February 2014, by , 21 Comments

Seattle Skyline

Congratulations to the Seattle Seahawks, Super Bowl XLVIII champs!

Whether you’re a football fan or not, Seattle is a great place to visit. Not only is it the coffee capital of the US (Starbucks anyone?), home to Amazon, Microsoft, and Nordstrom, it also has some really great things to see and do.

Have you been? My first visit was in September 2012 and I was amazed at all there was to do and see in the city. Our four-day weekend was packed and we still didn’t get to see everything.

Here are just a few things to take in while in Seattle. Join as we walk down memory lane:

Day One:  Space Needle, EMP Museum, Science Center

Day Two:  Bainbridge Island, Underground Tour

Day Three:  Edgewater Hotel, Pike’s Place Market, Pioneer Square

Day Four:  Safeco Field, Agrosy Harbor Cruise, Seattle Aquarium

If you’ve been, where or what do you recommend visitors see or do? If you haven’t and wanted to visit, what is your “must see” while there?

Be sure to check out our Seattle Pinterest boards for more pictures of our visit!

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Posted in Baseball, General Travel Information, Seattle, Uncategorized, Unique Getaways, What's Up With Maria, on 11 October 2012, by , 0 Comments

It’s our last day in Seattle and there is still so much to see and do! Since our flight was scheduled for late afternoon, we had the opportunity to visit three more attractions before leaving for the airport.

Safeco Field

First stop on our last day was a tour of Safeco Field, home of the Seattle Mariners Major League Baseball team. I love sports, so doing a stadium or park tour is always fun. For my sister, who’s not a sports fan, not so much, but she was quite a trooper!

These tours provide a behind the scenes look at the goings on in professional baseball. We walked through the tunnel outside the visitor’s locker room then out to the field. (How else can you make it onto the field and not be arrested?) After our short stop on the field, our tour continued to the Key Bank Diamond Club, the press box, and then we spent some time in the owner’s suite. (One thing that stands Safeco Field apart from other stadiums is its retractable roof. It can open or close in seven (7) minutes!)

View from the Press Box

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Posted in General Travel Information, Hotel, Seattle, Shopping, Theme Vacations, Uncategorized, Unique Getaways, What's Up With Maria, on 4 October 2012, by , 34 Comments

Today we decided to start with the Grey Line Seattle Sightseeing Hop-On-Hop-Off City Tour. These tours are a great way to become familiar with a city by taking a guided tour that supplies you with history and allows flexibility for exploring the sights.

While on the tour, our guide pointed out several notable locations between stops. One of the most noteworthy was the Edgewater Hotel, built on Pier 67. It was originally constructed for the World’s Fair in 1962, but wasn’t completed until five days after the fair ended. It has a unique history nonetheless. The design of this hotel is quite distinctive, as it was built on and in such a way guests could fish from their hotel room windows. Over the years many famous musicians have stayed at this hotel, from The Beatles to Led Zeppelin. In fact a famous photograph of the Beatles was taken here as they fished from their hotel room window.

Edgewater Hotel on Pier 67

Our first stop of the day was Pike Place Market. It’s home to over 200 commercial businesses, from bakeries to restaurants and has been in operation now for over 100 years. It’s even home to the original Starbucks, hence the name of their Pikes Place coffee.

Pike Place Market

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Posted in Football, Seattle, Sports, Uncategorized, What's Up With Maria, on 26 September 2012, by , 11 Comments

As I said in my last post, there is so much to do and see in Seattle, Washington!  Day 2, Sunday, was a bit more sedate. We knew the downtown area would be crazy with Seahawks and Cowboys fans, so we decided to take the ferry and head over to Bainbridge Island. (Unfortunately, my sister isn’t a sports fan.) While waiting for our ferry, we saw a number of Seahawks fans disembarking the one that had just arrived.

Seahawks fans disembarking the ferry from Bainbridge Island.

The ferry to Baingridge Island was a short 35 minute ride and very inexpensive. Luckily the weather was gorgeous and the views of the Seattle skyline and the port area of the island were incredible. Bainbridge Island has a quaint downtown with a number of restaurants and specialty shops.

Seattle Skyline

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Posted in Authors, General Travel Information, Movies/Television, Seattle, Uncategorized, What's Up With Maria, on 20 September 2012, by , 6 Comments

Like with any other big city, there is so much to do and see in Seattle, Washington, also known as the Emerald City.  My sister and I have wanted to visit the Pacific Northwest for quite some time, Seattle especially, and were finally able to do so! Why Seattle? It’s the home of many great musical acts (Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Alice in Chains) and writers (Richelle Mead and Yasmine Galenorn).

Most of Day 1 was spent in the area known as Seattle Center, which is home to the Space Needle, the Pacific Science Center, the Experience Music Project and many other attractions. With only so much time in the day, we focused on the these three:

Space Needle

The Space Needle was constructed to be the main attraction at the 1962 World’s Fair. (Americans who attended witnessed the debut of white chocolate, touch-tone phones and microwave ovens. It’s also where Belgian Waffles were first introduced to the American public.) Today, the Space Needle receives more than 500 visitors a day. It’s only a short 45 second elevator ride up the 520 feet to visit the observation deck for some spectacular views of the city. A definite must do! Avoid going mid-day if you can, the Space Needle is busiest between 11am and 5pm.

The Seattle Space Needle

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