Wednesday, September 26, 2018

USA Series: The Greenbrier Sulpher Springs, West Virginia


As part of our USA Series, Katy, the Trips with Angie concierge, reviewed her stay that The Greenbrier in Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. 



The Greenbrier is a beautiful resort located in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia, near White Sulphur Springs of which I had the privilege to stay at recently. This place is filled with some amazing history, it has hosted 26 presidents, and countless celebrities.



The property dates back to 1778, when a local woman visited the area to get relief from her chronic rheumatism from the spring of sulphur water that runs through the middle of the property. For the first 125 years the resort, then known as White Sulphur Springs, was a destination for people to escape the coastal heat and diseases in the summer.



The current hotel was built in 1913 by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway. In 1942 the hotel was commandeered by the U.S. Army for use as a hospital during the World War II. In 1946 the hospital closed and the railroad bought the property back. The railroad then hired internationally renowned interior designer Dorothy Draper to completely redecorate and restore the property. Draper was known for her use of bright, exuberant colors and large prints that would encompass whole walls. She incorporated black and white tiles, rocco scrollwork, and baroque plasterwork. She also combined different colors, fabrics, and patterns together, combining stripes with floral patterns. The hotel is still decorated in her design style today.



The hotel is also the site of a massive underground bunker meant to serve as an emergency shelter for Congress during the Cold War. The bunker is now available for tours.



There are 10 restaurants on the property ranging from casual establishments to tie and jacket required. Casual establishments include the Coffee shop, Draper’s, Tree Tops Cafe (located poolside), and The Pizza Shoppe. Business Casual or Resort attire is required at The Forum, Prime 44 West, Sam Snead’s (overlooking the golf course), and Slammin’ Sammy’s (also overlooking the golf course). Tie and Jacket is required in the Main Dining Room, and at In-Fusion.




The resort has an indoor pool, an outdoor infinity pool, and two fitness centers. 



There are also indoor and outdoor tennis courts and a tennis pro shop. The resort will soon have 5 golf courses. The original four, including The Old White TPC where the Greenbrier Classic is played as part of the PGA Tour each year, and a new 3 par course opening late summer 2018. The Mineral Spa offers guests a wide variety of services to choose from including services utilizing the healing properties of the native sulphur waters. A Casino was added to the property in 2010 offering slots and traditional table games. Jackets are required for men in the Casino after 10 pm.



In addition to golf, tennis, swimming, and the spa guests can also enjoy horseback riding, falconry, bowling, bocce ball, fishing, fitness classes, glass blowing, jewelry making, kayaking, laser tag, shuffleboard, white water rafting, cooking classes, history tours, Segway tours, hiking, ice skating in the winter, shopping, and an escape room experience. There is also a kids club available for children ages 3-12. Complimentary coffee is available each morning in the Upper Lobby as is tea and cookies in the afternoon.




Tours of the resort are offered daily with outdoor tours and indoors tours offered on alternating days. Tours last just over an hour and I highly recommend them if you are interested in learning more about the history of the property and the area.

Kid Friendly Hawaii: Excursions in Oahu





All Ages

Tour: Authentic Ali’i Luau & Spectacular Show- After a 45 minute narrated coach ride arrive at the Luau with a lei greeting. Explore the grounds and see presentations depicting different Pacific cultures. Join in for the “imu” ceremony, the traditional roasting of the pig. After words enjoy the feast of pork, chicken, fish, and poi. Following dinner is the spectacular Polynesian show, HA: Breath of Life.

Duration: 11 hours



Tour: Pearl Harbor- Full and Half Day Tours available- Gain insight into the events surrounding Oahu/Pearl Harbor and WWII with a tour of the Road to War Museum at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. Also visit the USS Arizona and the USS Missouri.

Duration: Varies



Tour: Learn to Surf- Your surfing adventure begins with a 15-minute safety briefing in which you'll learn basic surfing fundamentals such as proper paddling, standing, turning, maneuvering over waves, and water safety. To ensure personalized attention, each instructor is limited to 3-4 students at a time. Then spend almost 2 hours in the water as the instructor assists you with catching and riding the waves. Children 14 and over can be part of a small group lesson. Children under 14 will need a private instructor for safety reasons.

Duration: 2 hours



Tour: Polynesian Cultural Center- From the ship take a scenic drive to Pali Lookup before getting an inside visit to the Dole Pineapple Plantation. Then head to the Polynesian Cultural Center for a guided tour and demonstrations of Tongan drumming, fire making, coconut tree climbing and traditional dances of Fiji, Hawaii, the Marquesas, New Zealand, Samoa, Tahiti and Tongo. Island-style BBQ lunch included.

Duration: 8.5 hours



Ages 8 and up

Tour: Hollywood Movie Sites, Ancient Fish Pond & Tropical Garden- Enjoy a full day tour of some of the best attractions in Oahu. Start out by visiting the sites of some of your favorite movie and TV shows including, Jurassic Park, LOST, Hawaii 5-0, Pearl Harbor, Windtalkers and much more. Next you will visit an 800 year old fishpond and learn about the sailing traditions of early Hawaiian settlers. Finish your tour in a beautiful tropical garden overflowing with tropical fruit, trees and exotic flowers. A buffet lunch is included.

Duration: 6 hours








Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Cocos Hotel Antigua



Coco's Hotel is 35 cottages built into the cliff between Jolly Beach and Valley Church beach Lots of stairs. Lots of privacy. Pool cottages are amazing. It's all inclusive with one a la carte restaurant plus two beach bars. The resort is adults only. 

Thanks to the Aruba and Barbuda Tourism Authority for sponsoring my visit. 

Take a peek: 



If this looks like the right hotel for you, click here to request a quote. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Family Friendly Hawaii: Excursions in Hilo




Ages 5 and up

Tour: Zipline through Paradise- Traverse nearly 2 miles over beautiful tropical gorges across 8 different ziplines. The last line is a half mile long and goes directly down the middle of a river.

Duration: 4.5 hours


Ages 6 and up

Tour: Hilo Beach Snorkel- A great tour for beginners and experienced snorkelers alike. Spend 2 hours snorkeling in calm, clear waters teeming with wildlife. If you get tired of snorkeling check out the tide pools or simply go for a swim.

Duration: 2 hours





Ages 8 and up

Tour: Waterfall, Cave & Black Sand Cove- This is a great small group half-day adventure to see waterfalls, walk through a lava tube, and search for the endangered Green Sea Turtle on a black sand beach.

Duration: 4 hours



Ages 10 and up

Tour: Hilo Bay Kayak & Waterfall Adventure- Kayak along Hilo’s shoreline and across the Bay one mile to Wailuku River, then paddle under the “Singing Bridge” and up the river to a beautiful waterfall where you can cool off. Watch for a glimpse of Mauna Kea Summit during your journey.

Duration: 2.5 hours



Ages 12 and up

Tour: Kilauea Volcano Biking- Pedal your 21-speed mountain bike eight miles to the crater rim of Kilauea. After the ride hike through the forest, and through a lava tube. Stop at the Jaggar Museum and see real time seismographs and eruption footage.

Duration: 6 hours

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Carlisle Bay Antigua



Carlisle Bay is a family resort with meal plans available. The resort is very laid back. The guest relations director described it as shabby chic. No dress codes. Yoga, snorkeling, and non-motorized water sports are included. Kids club programming is available for ages 3-12 years old. The two and three bedroom suites are fantastic. This is a great fit if you don't want to pack pants for dinner.


Take a peek: 




If this looks like the right resort for you, click here to request a quote.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Family Friendly Hawaii: Excursions in Kauai



All Ages

Tour: Waimea Canyon & Wailua River- This is a great tour that covers it all in Kauai. Drive up 3,400 feet for an amazing view of the canyon, see Sprouting Horn and Opaeka’a Falls. Then board a riverboat for a trip long the Wailua River Valley. Arrive at Fern Grotto and enjoy a performance by local musicians. Stop at a local restaurant before returning to the ship.

Duration: 8 hours



Kauai Garden Luau- The evening begins with the Imu Ceremony - the unearthing of the traditional pig, cooked in an underground oven. Listen to traditional Hawaiian songs and chants as you participate in a feast of kalua pork, beef teriyaki, chicken adobo, and sweet-n-sour mahimahi. After dinner join the dancers for a hula lesson. Afterwards sit back and relax and enjoy the show.

Duration: 4 hours



Tour: Waterfall Hike and Kayak- Enjoy a guided paddle to a secluded spot and then hike to a secret waterfall. Enjoy a picnic lunch and swim near the water fall. All participants should be of moderate physical ability.

Duration: 4.5 hours



Ages 5 and up

Tour: Mudbug Waterfall Off-Road Adventure- Arrive by mini-van to the Old Koloa Sugar Mill where experienced guides greet you and give you your protective mud clothing, a helmet and goggles. Board your all terrain fully automatic Mudbug for a dirty adventure that takes you down back road trails, cane fields and through streams, offering amazing views of the ocean and the south shore. Picnic lunch is included and weather permitting swimming in a secluded pool.

Duration: 5.5 hours



Ages 7 and up

Tour: Zip and Splash-Enjoy Kauai as you traverse across a series of suspension bridges and six ziplines. Four of the six lines are tandem so you can go with a friend. Afterwards take a short hike through a bamboo forest and have a picnic lunch by Blue Pool and Water Zip.

Duration: 4 hours



Ages 8 and up

Tour: Horseback Riding Adventure- Explore beautiful Kauai from horseback. Along your journey guides will share the ancient history of the area and local lore.

Duration: 3.5 hours


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Tips for Traveling during hurricane season


If you are scheduled to fly during a time when a hurricane is brewing - be sure to check your airline's website for advisories. This is even more important than checking your flight status. Most airlines have a banner across the top of the page with updates. 

Airlines will often issue "waivers". This means you can change your flights without paying the change fee and, potentially, not paying the change in fare. Pay careful attention the dates the airlines are using. These are the airlines best estimates for when their operations will be impacted by the storm. 

If I am traveling and trying to get home, I rent a car from the departure airport now. You can always cancel without penalty. This is a great back up plan in case flights get cancelled and gives you an option. I also check with the hotel to see if they will hold a room for me for a couple nights in case flights are cancelled.

Sandals Royal Bahamian Adults Only All Inclusive



Sandals Royal Bahamian is an adults only all inclusive resort in Nassau, Bahamas.  One of the biggest draws is the offshore island, variety of restaurants and crystal clear water. 

Take a peek: 


Heading to an all inclusive resort?  Text ALLINC to 22828 for my ten tips to make the most of your all inclusive resort stay.



Overwhelmed planning a trip? I am here to help. You'll get the same prices you find online plus my expert help choosing the best resort for you. It's just a $99 deposit to get started. Email Angie@TripswithAngie.com

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Family Friendly Hawaii: Excursions in Maui




All Ages

Tour: Maui Whale Watch- Join a certified marine naturalist for an opportunity to see Pacific humpback whales up close. See them surface, slap their tails and spout water into the air,  then listen to their haunting songs through underwater headphones. Tour is only available December through April. Whale sightings are not guaranteed.

Duration: 3 hours



Tour: Haleakala Crater- Visit Maui’s massive dormant Haleakala volcano, travel from sea level to 10,000 feet above. At the summit is a crater 7.5 miles long by 2.5 miles wide, and 3,000 feet deep. If the day is clear you may be able to make out Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea on the Big Island.

Duration: 4 hours

Note: Sunrise and Sunset tours are also available. Temperatures at the top of the crater can range between 40-65 degrees Fahrenheit. Please dress accordingly.



Tour: Maui Ocean Center- Enjoy 2 hours to explore the park. The center hosts many amazing exhibits including the Living Reef, a Marine Mammal Discovery Center, a Touch Pool and the Living Journey where you can walk through a 54-foot underwater transparent tube surrounded by Marine life.

Duration: 3 hours



Tour: Atlantis Submarine Adventure- Descend to depths of up to 125 feet and see vibrant tropical fish, thriving coral gardens and giant moray eels, as well as a sunken vessel: the Brig Carthaginian.

Duration: 2 hours

Note: While there is no minimum age for this excursion, children must be at least 3 feet tall and able to navigate a vertical 12-foot step ladder.



Ages 5 and up

Tour: Maui Pineapple Plantation- Tour the pineapple fields and learn about how the pineapples are harvested packed and shipped. Taste pineapples during their various stages of growth and learn the history and facts of this fruit. Finish the tour with lunch on the slopes of the Haleakala Volcano.

Duration: 4.5 hours



Ages 6 and up

Tour: Lanai Snorkel Sail-Board a luxury catamaran for a trip 7 miles out from Maui and spend the day snorkeling among the vibrant reefs full of marine wildlife. Your guides will fit with your snorkeling gear and if you choose take a guided reef tour with a naturalist. Continental breakfast and lunch included.

Duration: 8.5 hours



Ages 10 and up

Tour: Rappel Waterfalls- Drive along the famed Hana Highway to a botanical garden. Upon arrival get suited up and learn the ropes of rappelling. After a dry rappel, move on to the waterfalls. Afterwards swim in the pools beneath the falls before hiking through he jungle. Enjoy lunch before heading back.

Duration: 6 hours

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Galley Bay Resort and Spa Antigua



Galley Bay is an adults only all inclusive resort. You have the option of a beachfront suite or a cottage with a private plunge pool. The beach is great with snorkeling right from the beach. The resort even puts snorkel sets in the rooms. I absolutely loved this resort. The staff is incredible. The resort has bikes you can ride to explore the 42 acres or take a challenging ride to a nearby fort. Tennis is included for an hour a day. 

Thank you to the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority for selecting me to participate in a Familiarization trip that included a 5 night stay at this resort. 


Take a peek:

If this looks like the right resort for you, click to request a quote.