Having been raised in the travel business, I’ve had the opportunity to see a great deal of this amazing world. People have asked me over the years, “what is your favorite vacation of all time?”, and I can’t answer because I have so many! Here are my top five vacations, in no particular order, that have been the most memorable:
Golfing in Scotland
In 2007, I golfed Scotland with my brother Steve and 6 other friends. We played 8 rounds of golf in 6 days at courses such as Old St. Andrews, Carnoustie, Royal Troon, and Western Gales. I played my best golf and my worst golf shooting 2 rounds in the 70’s, three in the 80’s, and 3 in the 90’s. I did win some money, though! We stayed at the Rusacks Hotel on the 18th fairway at St. Andrews, and teed off on July 4th at 1:25 PM after toasting with a shot of scotch to my father, Cliff. The photo above is my brother, Steve, and I standing on the Swilcan Burn Bridge, originally built 700 years ago to herd sheep out to pasture.
For many years, my family and one or two other families would go on a one week house boat adventure on Lake Powell, Shasta or Lake Mead. We always had a wonderful time water skiing, reading, napping, or playing in the water with my children. Now that my kids are grown and beginning their own families, I am looking forward to starting that tradition again.
My wife and I celebrated our 30th anniversary a couple years ago in Paris, London, and Bruges, Belgium. We married on January 23rd, so our trip to Europe was cold, wet – and wonderful. We visited museums, went to a Burlesque show, toured the cities into the wee hours of the morning, ate Profiteroles, and drank wine at 11 in the morning. We also had our anniversary dinner at the Jules Vern Restaurant mid way up the Eiffel Tower – what a meal! Europe in the winter is amazing and there are no tourist lines. We spent hours just meandering around these wonderful cities.
Tijuana to Cabo
In 1997, five of my best friends and I rode our dirt bikes from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas during a 10 day adventure. As a lifelong desert motorcycle rider, it was a dream come true to “Ride Baja” this world famous motorcycle Mecca. We spent a week riding the back country and eating in the most amazing local restaurants and food stands. We stayed in many places you just can’t make reservations at, and they were amazing. After we reached Cabo, we stayed for three nights and acted like drunken teenagers. At the end of our trip, we rode our motorcycles to La Paz and loaded our bikes into the belly of a Boeing 737 and flew back to Tijuana. Imagine the look on the cargo workers when those showed up at Tijuana International
Many years ago, my wife and I took a driving trip in my Firebird Trans Am for our 5th Anniversary. We got in the car, and I looked at Jill and I said, “we can go north, south, or east. If we go west, it’s only 35 miles to the Pacific Ocean, so that will be a short trip.” My wife hates traveling without reservations, so reluctantly she said, “north.” The first night we drove to Santa Barbara, day two we drove to San Simeon, and day three to Carmel via the famous CA1 Big Sur route. We talked for hours on end, ate like royalty, and just had a wonderful adventure. On night four, we stopped at a motel in Lake Tahoe and stayed in the “Velour Suite”. The bed was round, the bathroom had a jacuzzi tub, and the walls were covered with blood red velour. We then stayed our last night in a friend’s condo in Mammoth and relaxed by the fire. What a wonderful trip – I have always wanted to do it again!
These are my 5 most memorable adventures, but I could list at least a dozen more. I have become very passionate about all things travel. I am most fortunate to be born into the industry. I tell everyone who will listen to get out there and make your own adventures. Big or small, every adventure will bring you memories for a lifetime. And for those of you who hate planning, just go without an itinerary and see what the world brings you! Happy travels.