Thursday, July 30, 2009

Real Fun with Reelin in the Keys

I had an absolute blast today with Capt. Matt Bellinger (host of the Reelin in the Keys TV Show) and Capt. Scott Meyer from the Saltwater Experience. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to co-host this show with these two captains who are excellent fishing guides.

We started in the mangroves (back country) fishing for young tarpon onthe Atlantic Ocean side. After chasing a few schools of these fish, we finally got hooked on one. It was very cool to see how acrobatic these fish are as they jump into the air and fight hard against the line. It was my first tarpon, and it was a whole lot of fun!

Later that day, we drove to the Gulf of Mexico for some shark fishing....that's right SHARK fishing! I was VERY excited about this, since I've never done anything like it before. Once the bait and chum were out, we started seeing sharks swim all around the boat but none we biting. After almost an hour in that spot, we started packing up and calling in a day. Just as we were about to pull the lines in from the water, we heard the sharp buzzing sound that anglers like to hear. We had a fish on the line and he was pulling away. We jumped up and grabbed the rod, and I started reeling. After about a 10-15 minute fight, my 100 lb nurse shark was within our sights. Once close enough to the boat, we took some photos and released the fish. What a day! The actual show will air on Keys TV Channel 5 in a few weeks.

Many thanks to Reelin in the Keys Capt. Host Matt Bellinger & Producer Fernando Barta, as well as Capt. Scott Meyer from the Saltwater Experience. What a great crew. I cannot wait to go out again.

For insider secrets on fishing the Keys, visit http://www.secretsoffishingthekeys.com/.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Nothing Mini About Lobstering

With a late start of 5:00 a.m., we all boarded the boat and headed out to the Gulf of Mexico for a fabulous day of lobstering during Florida's Annual Mini Lobster Season. After several hours of snorkeling and SCUBA diving for these delectable creatures, we reached our limit of 60 "bugs" (six/person) and headed home.
On our way in, we were randomly pulled over by the Coast Guard. The officers boarded our boat and reviewed our catch for the day. Good thing we are law abiding citizens! They let us continue the ride in, but not without some photos with The Getaway Girl to document the event.
After showers and naps, we re-convened for a huge Lobster Feast. The best part of catching the spiny fellows is the eating part, especially when they are fresh from the ocean.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Today in Key West...

Who knew the Today Show was filming live from Key West this morning? I didn't until last night when some of the girls told me. Despite being beyond tired, I decided to join the crew and head to Key West at 5:30 a.m. We arrived just in time to see Al Roker doing the weather. One of the girls in our group knows the band that was playing (Mile Marker 24), so we headed to the band area and chatted with the guys.

Once filming in that area started, we watched both Al and Matt Lauer host their segments, Mile Marker 24 play a few songs, and a margarita made by a boat motor prop. Good times were had by all and the girls really enjoyed seeing the show. We think you could see us during the Hemingway interviews, but I am not sure.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Welcome to Paradise!

Just arrived in Key West this morning after a red eye flight from Vegas. Although I am very tired, it is hard to ignore the fact that your entire attitude changes once you land on America's Southernmost property. This "Conch Republic" hosts some of the elaborate and unique events, including the wild and crazy Fantasy Fest. I'm here for Mini Lobster Season!

Every year, hundreds of people descend on the Florida Keys for mini lobster season, which is the last Wednesday and Thursday in July. For these two days, SCUBA and snorkel divers head out in Gulf waters to gather their lobsters (6 per person per day). We typically wake up around 4 or 5 a.m. and drive out to our spot in the dark. Once the sun comes up, we start diving. The lobsters have to be a certain length and must be measured in the water prior to removing the lobsters from the water. Stay tuned to see how we do.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh Delivers Happiness

What a wonderful presentation on "Delivering Happiness" from Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh today (www.zappos.com)! Tony spoke about the incredible corporate culture at Zappos and the science behind happiness, both personal and professional. Many thanks to James Malinchak for inviting Tony, and thank you to Tony for taking the time on a Sunday to chat with us. I learned so much and was completely inspired.

PHOTO: Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh & Casey Wohl.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Palms Place Rocks!

Thursday got off to a great start. I met with people from the Palms Resort & Palms Place (http://www.palms.com/). This staff is amazing! From Internet Marketing to Public Relations to the Senior VP, everyone was so hospitable and so nice. Above and beyond your average resort.


After a tour of Palms Place and the great accommodations and amenities (including Sunset Tan), we walked over to the Palms Resort for a full tour of the Fantasy Suites (Barbie Suite & Erotic Suite), as well as the Sky Villas, where many celebs host parties in 4,000 square feet of luxury. After the tour and several photos, I went to dinner at Simon at Palms Place (http://www.simonatpalmsplace.com/), where celebrity Chef Kerry Simon hosts the who’s who of Vegas. I joined Chilean winemaker Emeric Montignac for a delicious dinner complete with pairings of his delectable wines. It was wonderful to chat with both the winemaker and Chef Kerry himself about the pairing decisions and learn more about why each wine complimented the food exceptionally.
Apparently, Simon at Palms Place is the place to be for Sunday brunch. Guests are encouraged to dine in their pajamas, and it is not uncommon to see celebs like Holly Madison and Slash there.

Thank you Alex, Jen, Carrie, Chris, Scott, Kerry & Emeric!
PHOTOS: Casey & Celebrity Chef Kerry Simon; Casey Wohl at the Palms Resort Sky Villa.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Coaching with James Malinchak

WOW! What an amazing trip to Las Vegas already! Our first day started with a personal coaching session at James Malinchak’s house (http://www.malinchak.com/). James was gracious enough to invite us to his house and spend several hours reviewing our businesses. He is a master marketer and a super nice guy! If anyone is considering business marketing assistance, James is your guy. Thank you James!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Free Suite Upgrade for Girlfriend Getaways at Saddlebrook Resort!

Saddlebrook Resort encourages Getaway Girls to enjoy our fun in the sun! Our 480 acres of paradise are nestled within an upscale gated residential community. You’ll find two Arnold Palmer signature 18-hole golf courses, 45 tennis courts, world class Spa, exceptional dining, half-million gallon Superpool, and much more. Our suite accommodations provide all the comforts of home…bedroom(s), bathroom(s), living room, dining area, full kitchen and private patio or balcony. As a special introductory offer, reference Girl’s Getaway to receive a One-Bedroom suite at our Deluxe Guest Room rate (valid through December 15, 2009).

For more details or to make a reservation, visit http://www.girlsgetawayguide.net/saddlebrooktampa.html.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Saddle Up Partner at Sylvan Dale Ranch Loveland, CO

Enjoy cowgirl bliss - riding, horseback games, cattle work, yoga, massages - while having fun and making new friends! Cowgirl Round-Up is an all-inclusive stay of 5 days/4 nights at our historic ranch - a perfect getaway for mothers and daughters, girlfriends, sisters, college roommates and single travelers.
Relax, ride and rejuvenate yourself at our 3,200 acre ranch nestled in a wooded valley beside the Big Thompson River. Only an hour from Denver, but you'll feel worlds away from the big city in our scenic setting, Sylvan Dale Ranch is located in Loveland, near Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park.
Cowgirl Round-Up brightens every cowgirl's life each Spring and Fall, and the next scheduled dates are October 11-15, 2009.

For more details or to make a reservation, visit http://www.girlsgetawayguide.net/sylvandale.html

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Foreign Airlines Increase Fuel Surcharges: U.S. Next?

Several foreign airlines are increasing fuel surcharges on passengers, raising the prospect that U.S. carriers could follow suit. Lufthansa German Airlines, Thai Airways, India's Jet Airways and Kingfisher, and airlines in Taiwan have announced surcharge increases for domestic and international routes in recent weeks, citing higher costs and lackluster revenue because of the low demand for air travel.
The increases — with Lufthansa raising its charge on domestic German and European flights by $4 to $34 a flight leg, but leaving it at $116 for trips to the USA — come as crude oil prices have crept back up 43% this year after dropping from record highs last July. Crude settled at $63.56 a barrel in New York on Friday.
U.S. airlines haven't followed their international competitors in raising surcharges on domestic routes, though they have on most international routes. What U.S. carriers spend on fuel began inching up this spring, according to Department of Transportation figures.

Click here to read full story. Source: Roger Yu, USA Today

Monday, July 20, 2009

All About Me Girlfriends Getaway at Reunion Resort

Alright ladies, it’s time for you to take a quick break from the men and get your relaxation on! So, grab the girls and head over to Reunion Resort in beautiful Orlando, Florida for some time all to yourself. And while you are here, enjoy access to our world-class amenities including 54 holes of Signature golf, boutique spa, tennis, five-acre water park, exquisite dining and so much more!
Package includes:
2 nights of luxury accommodations in one of our two-bedroom villas
A relaxing spa experience including facial & massage
A spa amenity for each of you upon arrival
Breakfast each morning**
*Package inclusions are subject to availability. No substitutions on offerings. **Not valid on arrival day.
So, what are you waiting for? Treat yourself and head over to Reunion Resort today for a Girlfriends Getaway you won't forget.

For more details or to make a reservation, visit http://www.girlsgetawayguide.net/reunionresortorlando.html.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Beauties and the Beach at Kingston Plantation Myrtle Beach, SC

Grab your girlfriends and head for Myrtle Beach to the luxurious Kingston Plantation.
This Beauties and the Beach vacation package includes everything you need for an intense female bonding session from wine and facial scrubs to shopping deals. Enjoy luxury accommodations, breakfast, and a welcome basket. Two nights stay minimum.

For more details or to make a reservation, visit http://www.girlsgetawayguide.net/kingstonplantation.html.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Car Rental Tips for Your Next Getaway

We’re always being warned about buying a lemon. You wouldn’t buy a car without checking it out thoroughly first. And you wouldn’t buy a car without shopping around first either, right? And yet, when it comes to renting a car, we usually blindly stumble on to a website, click ‘ok’ a few times, and before you know it you’ve rented a double-decker bus with five child seats, no air conditioning, and no insurance. And by the time you’ve realized you’ve done that, it’s too late and you’ve probably just parted with the better part of your holiday savings.

Well there are a few tips that can save you a lot of time, money, and downright agony when it comes to renting a car.

How Many Are Travelling?
First and foremost, think about how many people are travelling and how far you’re going. Yes, you may think a hatch will be fine for four people, but if you’ve got three weeks of travel ahead you may need more space for luggage. And to get as far away from each other as possible.

Automatic or Stick-Shift?
Next, always double-check to make sure the car you want to rent has the transmission you’re after. There’s nothing more embarrassing than bunny hopping down the main strip of Vegas, simply because you didn’t realize you weren’t getting an automatic.

Insurance?
Always check out the insurance costs. If you think this vacation might be a good chance to let your 17-year-old son learn to drive, you might want to think again. As with hormones, insurance costs skyrocket when there are teenagers involved. You really want to save that extra cash for bail money after they’ve escaped the hotel and are found drinking in a nearby bar instead.
Baby on Board?
Need a child seat? Always find out how much extra it’s going to be, whether or not they’re up to code, and if there are any cleaning costs involved. Speaking of cleaning, are you going to be liable for cleaning costs at the end of your trip? Better find out just to make sure. Otherwise you’ll be charged an arm and a leg for every McDonald’s wrapper the company has to scrape off the carpet.

Shop Around
And always remember to shop around! There’s a lot of companies out there after your business, but are you really being offered the best deal? Ask about the possibility of an upgrade, you just never know your luck! Just remember to check to see if the car you’re offered covers all the bases.

Okay, so that’s a lot to think about right? But it need not be difficult! If you have a decent, easy-to-use website at your fingertips it can only take a few minutes. Just check out http://www.vroomvroomvroom.com/ for instance. Instead of shopping around all the different car rental companies’ websites, it combines all their prices and deals into one service. That’s right, they do all the hard work for you, searching around for the best deals and finding the one that’s right for you. Not only that, but the good people at Vroom pride themselves on top-notch customer service, so if you need help, they’re just an email or phone call away. So all you need to worry about now is how to survive a holiday with your teenaged children, or screaming toddlers! They’ll take care of the rest.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Airline Customer Satisfaction Survey

Airline customer satisfaction has declined for a third consecutive year to a four-year low in 2009, according to J.D. Power and Associates. The survey, which queried nearly 13,000 travelers, measured airlines in seven categories: cost and fees; flight crew; in-flight services; aircraft; boarding/deplaning/baggage; check-in; and reservation.

For a fourth consecutive year, JetBlue ranked highest in the low-cost carrier segment. J.D. Power says it performed well in two of seven categories measured – aircraft and in-flight services. Southwest Airlines and WestJet followed, in a tie.Alaska Airlines topped in the latest J.D. Power and Associates 2009 North America Airline Satisfaction survey of traditional network carriers.

According to the survey, Alaska performed well in five of the seven categories: flight crew; aircraft; boarding/deplaning/baggage; check-in; and reservation.On a positive note, the customer-reported length of flight delays was down by eight minutes, to an average 72 minutes. And average wait times at the ticketing/baggage check counter dipped from 14 minutes to 12 minutes over the past year.

Source: Eye for Travel

Monday, July 13, 2009

Take a Girls Getaway to the Brandywine Valley

The Fairville Inn Bed & Breakfast offers elegant accommodations in the heart of the Brandywine Valley, just minutes from Longwood Gardens, the Winterthur Estate, and the Brandywine River ("Wyeth") Museum.
Situated on several acres of gardens and meadows, the Fairville Inn offers 13 rooms and 2 suites in the Main House (circa 1837), the Carriage House and the Springhouse. Each room is individually decorated, with private bath, satellite TV, separate heating and airconditioning controls, telephone with voice mail, fresh flowers, and high-speed wireless Internet. Most rooms have a private balcony or deck and a fireplace (in season).
A full breakfast with a changing selection of hot entrees, together with a continental buffet that includes Inn-baked goods, are served daily. Afternoon tea, including a selection of cheeses and Inn-baked goods is also served daily.
The Fairville Inn is the perfect place to stay when touring the Brandywine Valley. The Inn is only minutes from Longwood Gardens, Winterthur, the Brandywine River Museum, as well as local wineries and a wide range of fine restaurants.
The Inn is a member of the Select Registry of Distinguished Inns of North America and is Featured in Karen Brown's Guide, "Exceptional Places to Stay" in the Mid-Atlantic.

For more information or to make a reservation, visit http://www.girlsgetawayguide.net/fairvilleinn.html.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Check out The Islander Resort in Islamorada!

Between the saltwater wilderness of Everglades National Park, North America's only coral barrier reef and the deep blue waters of the Florida Straits, Islander Resort is located on the Atlantic Ocean at mile marker 82.1 in Islamorada, the sports fishing capital of the world.
Nestled among the palms on more than 25 oceanfront acres, pet-friendly Islander offers spacious lanai villas with vintage Florida 1950s flair and renovated cottage-style d├ęcor. The “Beach House” features oceanfront accommodations with direct beach access.
Islander’s oceanfront suites and lanai villas feature the following amenities: full kitchens, screened-in lanais with patio furniture, AC, high-speed wired and wireless Internet access, living room, cable TV, dining table with chairs, dinnerware and cookware, coffee maker, telephones with data port, iron and ironing board, hairdryer, in-room safe and alarm clock/radios.
Guests enjoy Islander’s complimentary Continental breakfast daily, coral sand beach, lighted fishing pier, Bluewater Tiki Bar, exercise room, gift shop, ample parking, coin-operated laundry facilities, heated pools (one oasis-style, one saltwater), hot tub, volleyball, basketball and shuffleboard areas, picnic tables and outdoor grills.
At Islander Resort, you can rent bicycles for exploring the island, watercrafts for exploring the sea – and everything you need for a great day on the beach.

For more details or to make a reservations, visit http://www.girlsgetawayguide.net/islanderresort.html.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Find Southern Hospitality and Victorian Ambiance at Girls B&B Getaway

Enjoy a Pajama Day... or Two!! Call your gal pals, pack your PJ's and prepare to be pampered! Have an old fashioned slumber party and spend the day getting spa services in the privacy of your own suite! Blessings On State B&B will tailor a package to your specific needs. Step back in time in our century old Victorian style home. Gather the girls and sit and visit on our front wraparound porch. Take a walk down the street to Duncan Park. Spin over to Springfield to tour the Lincoln sites.

Located in the historic district of Jacksonville, IL, this B&B offers many charming architectural details, including five original fireplaces, a carved Victorian staircase and chandeliers in every room! Chocolate is always in abundance, and you'll be treated to a four-course gourmet breakfast, afternoon appetizers and cookies and milk. Step back in time as you dine on bone china, fine crystal and sterling silver. Come experience Southern Hospitality in the heart of the Midwest!
For more information or to make a reservation, visit Blessings On State at http://www.getawaygirltravel.com/.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Best Places for Girls (and Dogs) Getaways

After our Girls (and Dogs) Getaway to Miami, we had several requests for recommendations to the best pet-friendly hotel packages in the U.S. Here is what we found for every type of pet owner, pet and destination imaginable!

Super Hero Pet Getaway at EPIC Hotel in Miami
Where the Miami River meets Biscayne Bay, the EPIC Hotel (www.EPICHotel.com), a Kimpton property, is located in one of Miami's most flourishing neighborhoods. There is an energizing buzz to the physically beautiful and culturally thriving environment here. Yet the surrounding waterways soothe the soul. This dynamic contrast helps define the area, giving it a unique and vibrant atmosphere. With attention to every detail, the EPIC has not forgotten about our four-legged friends with their fantastic pet getaway with no additional charge to bring your pet. This two night package includes:
Sleeping accommodations, pet bed and food and water bowl for use during stay, pet toys, Super Hero Pet welcome gift, complimentary Paw Treat Hour, continental breakfast for two in Area 31 daily for humans ($25.00 credit).
Choice of two pet services:
Pawdicure and shampoo from spa service
One hour daily dog play time
One hour daily dog walk at Flamingo Bark park
90 minute massages for two humans

BONE Appetit at Firesky Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, AZ
It's reigning cats and dogs at the FireSky Resort & Spa (www.FireskyResort.com). Bosco, Director of Pet Relations, is a three-year-old Cocker Spaniel that frequented the FireSky Resort & Spa before being offered this elite position. Bosco enjoys serving as a host alongside his Pet Ambassador, Wendy Zane. Enjoy the pampering you both deserve with this package, which includes:
Beautifully appointed accommodations (either patio or courtyard); arrival treat, including Bosco's Brew (a pet-friendly beer), gourmet doggie treats, a top-quality chew toy and a logo leash; use of our desert doggie bed and water bowl during your stay; human companions enjoy morning coffee and tea service in living room, daily newspaper delivered to room, hosted evening wine reception, 24-hour access to in-house fitness room, standard high speed wired and wireless Internet access, and of course, enjoyment of the pool and gardens
All pets welcomed: Welcome board with pets' names arriving that day, dog walking/sitting services available, exercise area within walking distance, complimentary goldfish upon request, no additional charge for pets, no deposit required, list of nearby veterinarians upon request, pooper Scooper bag and walking map, in room bowl for food and water, Doggie Bed for use during your stay.

Su'Ruff Camp – Loews Coronado Bay Hotel, San Diego
Teach your dog to ride the waves like a pro at Coronado Dog Beach! Then, enjoy deluxe accommodations, a Surf & Turf room service pet meal, plus board shorts and bandana for your dog. Rates start at $449/night. Loews Coronado Bay is the San Diego choice of every pet lover. Put simply: Loews loves pets. As part of the Loews Loves Pets program, your VIP (Very Important Pet) will be waited on hand and paw, traveling in first-class comfort. At Loews Coronado Bay, you have everything you need to feel right at home with your four-legged friend:
Gourmet room service menus for cats and dogs, prepared by our award-winning Master Chef Creature comforts like specialized bedding, leashes, collars, litter boxes (and litter), pooper scoopers and more; Tail-wagging amenities such as dog-walking routes, pet placemats, water bowls, treats, doggie poop bags and more; Purr-fect indulgences like rawhide bones, catnip and scratch poles; Pet-walking and pet-sitting services; and Loews Surf Dog Competition.

You can also see Spot surf during the Loews Surf Dog Competition, the first of its kind. There's no dog paddling for these surf dogs-they are invited to hang 20. If your pooch is a surfing champion, you could win a getaway at Loews Coronado Bay Hotel…and endless bragging rights that come with owning the waves of San Diego. For more information, visit http://www.loewshotels.com/.

Pets in the City…for a Good Cause in Chicago
Pets need to get away and enjoy a little pampering too. Bring yours with you—Hotel Monaco (www.Monaco-Chicago.com) is a pet-friendly hotel. Package includes:
Overnight accommodations
Pet bowl and bed for the evening
Pet massage book
Pet goodie bag with bottled water, snacks and a Kimpton leash for those long sightseeing walks
$5 of proceeds donated to PAWS (Pets Are Worth Saving), a non-profit no-kill humane organization in Chicago
Package must be booked 5 days prior to arrival. Guest is responsible for any damages or pet items taken from the room during stay.

Dog Go Grrreeen in Orlando
As part of its commitment to the environment, Loews Hotels (http://www.loewshotels.com/) encourages even its furriest guests to do their part in promoting responsible, sustainable consumption (literally). The new Loews “Grrreen Dog” package features a specially created “Dog Gone Green” room service meal, a veterinarian approved healthy feast which mixes locally grown ingredients from neighborhood farms with a lot of love. The “Grrreen Dog” package launched on Earth Day (April 22, 2009) and features several additional earth-friendly components. Available April 22 – September 5, 2009, “Grrreen Dog” package rates vary by hotel, starting at $119 per night. The package includes:
·A one-night stay at one of Loews Hotels for guests and their pet; Orlando options include Loews Portofino Bay Hotel and Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando
·“Dog Gone Green” room service meal with local ingredients (see recipe below)
·A Loews Hotels 100 % organic cotton bandana made by Go Doggie Go Green™
·A Zogoflex™ Huck, an environmentally-friendly toy by West Paw Design ®

Pet Massages at the Loews Don CeSar Beach Hotel is the St. Pete Beach
As part of the Loews Loves Pets program, your VIP (Very Important Pet) will be waited on hand and paw, traveling in first-class comfort. At Loews Don CeSar Beach Hotel, you have everything you need to feel right at home with your four-legged friend:
Gourmet room service menus for cats and dogs, prepared by our award-winning Master Chef
Creature comforts like specialized bedding, leashes, collars, litter boxes (and litter), pooper scoopers and more; Tail-wagging amenities such as dog-walking routes, pet placemats, water bowls, treats, doggie poop bags and more; Purr-fect indulgences like rawhide bones, catnip and scratch poles; Pet-walking and pet-sitting services; Dog massages by a professional canine massage therapist, who works closely with you in the comfort of your room to design personalized treatment for your special "family member." For more details, visit http://www.loewshotels.com/.
PHOTO: Hanging "paws" at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort's Su'Ruff Camp in San Diego, CA.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Memory Log Captures Montana Getaways

Girls Getaway to Montana hostess Lisa Celantano asked everyone to write on the large log that is in the middle of her living room as a way to capture all the memories shared by visitors to the Flatpenny Inn. What a great idea!!! As I relived our adventures here the past few days, I decided the leave the following words on the Memory Log:

The Getaway Girl will never forget this fabulous Girls Getaway to Montana at Flatpenny Inn. Thank you for your hospitality, generosity and inspiration as you help women “Leave Your Baggage at Home.”

What a wonderful trip with a wonderful hostess!

For more details about the Flatpenny Inn, visit www.vacationrentals.com/vacation-rentals/34602.html.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Row Row Row Your Boat!


Grab a paddle and let’s row! We were all very excited about today’s All-American rafting trip down the Yellowstone River. What a way to celebrate the Fourth of July! We arrived at Rubber Ducky River Rentals to pick up our large blue raft, paddles and life jackets. With the raft loaded, we were ready to hit the rapids. We unloaded our equipment, got a quick rowing lesson from our guide Jeff and we were on our way. It was a gorgeous day with the sun shining! During our trip, we saw a lot of wildlife such as deer, Canadian geese and white pelicans. We stopped for a picnic lunch and to collect colored stones. As soon as we got back in the raft, it seemed that the weather had changed. After a few small rapids (large enough for some of us to get wet), we started to realize how cold we were. “How much further Jeff?” we asked. “About two hours,” he replied. As we sang songs (or at least parts of them) and played a very long game of “I’m going on a picnic” we forgot how cold we were. We were very excited to see Carter’s Bridge, and we quickly landed the raft and looked forward to getting home soon for some hot showers.

As we waited for Audrey’s car to be opened, Audrey came around the corner to tell us she left her car keys in the truck, which was parked up the river where we launched. We were all stunned and amazed that none of us thought reminding her so we could have avoided this glitch. So, our 3-hour float turned into a much longer trip. Lisa and I agreed…next time the rafting trip can be much shorter and we won’t leave keys in the wrong car.
After some hot (and not so hot showers), we went to the neighbors house for a great BBQ cookout to celebrate the Fourth of July. Angela and Bruce were amazing hosts, and Bruce kept bringing more and more food to us. I thought I was going to explode J! It was a very nice dinner, and a wonderful way to end our fabulous Girls Getaway to Montana. We left there very full and read to pack our things and prepare for our early morning flights home.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Rodeo Wine Cowboys and More!


We woke up Friday morning to a cool breeze and warm sun shining on us. We did a quick run/walk down and then up the mountain and returned to the Flatpenny Inn for some pushups overlooking the Absaroka Mountains of Southwest Montana. After our workout, we drove to Bozeman for some more shopping and our massages at Summit Chiropractic & Massage. Many thanks to Alicia for working the kinks out and massaging our sore “front calves.” My favorite store, Ruby Slippers (117 E. Main Street), featured some super cute shoes, jewelry and clothing items. With our bodies totally relaxed, we drove back to Flatpenny for a late lunch and to rest up for the evening’s rodeo festivities.

We all had fun getting “gussied” up for the rodeo. After some group photos, we drove to town to see some of the world’s best cowboys and cowgirls strut their stuff in Livingston. We watched cowboys get bucked off horses and bulls, which proved to be fully entertaining for the two-hour show. Tatiana and I were thrilled to find some “Rodeo Wine” that was served in Pabst Blue Ribbon cups…gotta love it! At 10 p.m., they turned off the arena lights and started the fireworks show. After the fireworks, we hit the Livingston nightlife with stops at The Sport (to see our friend Chuck) and at the Hiatt House (to listen to our friends “The Max” play). Many thanks to The Max for re-naming “Mustang Sally” to “Mustang Casey.” You guys are the best!

At 2 a.m. it was time to head home. Tanya needed to use the restroom but we convinced her to wait for the quick trip home. Just as we were pulling up to the Flatpenny, we got stopped by the world’s longest train. As we laughed uncontrollably (and for no real reason), Tanya got out of the truck for a quick dance/squirmish and photo opp with the train. Good times!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Going Topless in Livingston at the Round Up Parade


Our Thursday began with pilates on the porch, which was a great way to wake us up and take in the beautiful scenery. After homemade waffles for breakfast, we drive to downtown Livingston to meet the Yellow Bus for a tour of the town (the girls opted to go topless). We learned a lot about the history and the role Sacajewea and the Lewis and Clark Expedition played in developing Livingston, as well as the role the town plays as the “gateway to Yellowstone.” It was interesting to note that Livingston had a Red Light District area that was “operating” until 1948, and residential lots originally sold here for $25. Thank you Jack and Vern for an excellent tour.

After the tour we got settled in for the big Round Up Parade, which celebrates the beginning of the Livingston Rodeo this weekend. Ted Turner served as the Grand Marshall and rode a dappled gray horse through the streets of Livingston and right in front of us. The parade was fully entertaining and full of celeb sightings. Margot Kidder (Superman) rode a bicycle dressed as the Statue of Liberty (she is a resident here). We also saw Greg Germann (Ally McBeal) and Missy Pyle (Dodgeball) who was nice enough to take photos with us. The parade was also full of bag pipe bands, outfitters, and local celebrities who all dressed to the parade theme “Like A Rhinestone Cowboy.” Once the parade ended, we drove back to Flatpenny Inn for some R&R.

After some downtime, I went for a ATV ride up the mountain where I saw deer and a grouse (bird I had never seen before). Then it was time for Lisa’s special dinner of make your own pizza, which Tatiana said was like Italian Quesadillas. We loved the pear, tomato & provolone cheese…YUM! And just when we thought we couldn’t eat anymore, the campfire lit up and the ingredients for smores were passed around the campfire. To avoid overeating, I think I am going to bed.
PHOTOS: Girls Gone Topless on the Yellow Bus Tour. Casey Wohl & actress Missy Pyle at the Livingston Round Up Parade.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Rise and Shine Mountain Mamas!

We woke up thrilled to see the incredible view outside the Flatpenny Inn of the Abrasoka Mountains. It is absolutely beautiful here. Despite our long day yesterday, we were ready for our early, four-mile mountain hike. Lisa’s energy is contagious and almost infuses you (I will stress “almost”). I felt really out of shape when I got winded after the first mile, but Lisa assured us it was mostly the altitude.

After showers and a delish pasta lunch of Sun Dried & Artichoke Hearts over Angel Hair (thanks Lisa), we drove to downtown Livingston for some shopping, sightseeing and bar investigation…with one brief stop at the famous Paradise Valley Pop Stand for the renowned Huckleberry ice cream…YUM!

Livingston is a very cute town, and when roaming the streets, you feel as if you have gone back in time about 50 years. We made purchases at Wild West Clothing and the Livingston Merchantile (http://www.livingstonmerchantile.com/), and then stopped at The Office Lounge & Liquor Store for a drink. After their power went out, we re-located to The Sport, where Chuck Tanner has just re-modeled this great local hangout. Chuck’s hospitality and the great low-key vibe kept us here for hours! After a few $1 beers many of us started to think we were pool sharks. After a ton of fun here, we once again re-located to the Hiatt House for a sneek peek at the band playing there all weekend, The Max. After taking a few of our requests so we could sport our moves, we ordered a pizza at the bar, ate it in 5 minutes and headed home completely exhausted after a grand Girls Night Out.

PHOTO: Mission accomplished. We made it to the top of our four-mile hike to enjoy the gorgeous view.