When you picture yourself with your toes in the sand, does it look something like this? Hollywood beach is located between Fort Lauderdale and Miami and doesn't really resemble either. It's a throwback to a time when you could stay at a little place on the beach and get a meal, drink or ice cream all while never leaving the broadwalk.
There are so many places to grab a bite to eat but a few of the ones I enjoyed where LE TUB, TACO SPOT and OCEAN ALLEY.
The best way to start the morning is grab a coffee or mimosa and a camera and watch the sunrise on the broadwalk, it's something not to be missed and the best deal on the beach.
Take a stroll down the broad walk in Hollywood Florida and before you know it, there is a place that was created from a frame of mind and now has spun into a wonderful distraction from those activities that we call life.
It is truly a full service resort that doesn't disappoint with something around every corner. Start in the lobby and you begin to feel like you have been transported to the Caribbean,
After leaving the aww of the lobby and starting to develop a thirst for what's next, head out the front door across the street to the 5 o'clock somewhere bar on the intercoastal. It has a sandy area with adirondack chairs as well as a bar on the water. You can sit back and watch the boats, paddleboards, kayaks or wait for the next water taxi to unload the hoards of tourists.
When you have enjoyed a few cold ones of your choice and the boats have sailed on by, time to wander around the grounds to see what else margaritaville has to offer. Head back across the street towards to half shell and take a right. You can hang poolside, have a drink at the 2nd floor bar and grill, watch people tackle to the flow rider or just walk along the water and take it all in.
When you are looking to go where the weather suits your clothes, or have a cheeseburger in paradise Margaritaville on the Broadwalk wont disappoint.
While it was always the trip that my dad and brother would always take together at least once a year for 15 years, I was able to make the one that will make sure he will be there for many years to come.
One thing he always loved no matter whether he was at home or away was a beautiful sunset. We had just that on the way to the game,
We were given great seats and a chance to once again pay tribute to a beloved man, father, husband and friend to so many.
Next summer if you are walking out front of the Carmelo Anthony Athletic Center at Syracuse, you will be able to see the engraved brick with the name we are all so proud to share.
To the last minute scramble of gathering the toiletries, to setting the alarm clock, and the anticipation of the dreaded traffic and security lines at the airport, there is beauty to be seen if you can take the time to see it.
While most of you reading this know my love of beaches and palm trees, I do appreciate beauty in all its forms and so share some from my latest travel.
To me there is a certain energy I get from travel and love to just be apart of the buzz that envelops the airport. It always fun to watch as some sleep at the gate, others have awkwardly loud phone conversations, to others trying to finish packing while others are trying to juggle two bags, a full meal and their phone onto the plane.
So I turn in my room key and bid farewell until next time
Sometimes one island just wont do.
On my last trip to paradise Island in the Bahamas, we had the chance to take a day trip with friends to another island, Rose Island. The ride took us around the Atlantis Resort, by the cruise ships and under the bridge to Paradise island.
The clear water, the sun and the ocean breezes continued to relax us as we sat back and watched everything begin to fade into the horizon. About thirty minutes later, our Gilligan island experience was coming into sight.
There isn't a dock, so its grab anything you want above your head and go to shore. As you make your way to shore, you see a great big deck that faces the water and a hill of stairs made of stone.
Once you make it to the top, you are anything but disappointed, its more like AHHHH!!! It has many areas in which to take in the view.
You can settle in at the bar and grab some food drinks and watch a game, if you can tear yourself away from the incredible vistas.
On the way back to your boat, you could always take a quick dip and enjoy the warm clear waters and all the wildlife that abounds.
Its one of those scenarios when you meet friends thru friends and the next thing you are looking around thinking to yourself, " How did I get lucky enough to end up here"? Well the boat ride was just the beginning of the adventure. From there we beached the boat on a sandbar and let the day unfold with food, friends,drinks, and corn hole. Hope you enjoy the view as much as we did.
Have you ever been to a place that just feels like your home away from home. Its a place that rarely changes and knowing what to expect is part of the reason of your many returns. Well Nantucket is this place for me and while it only changes slightly year to year, it also presents new things by just taking the time to see them. I recently returned and spent a lot of time just watching the world happen around me.
One of the best and most inexpensive activities on the island is to pick a harbor side beach, bring a chair and a cooler and watch some of the biggest yachts cruise on by.
Another great way to spend a Sunday morning in the middle of August, is to head down to Brant point around 930 am and settle in for the Rainbow Fleet. It signals the beginning of the Opera Cup.
For those that enjoy some libations during their vacation, there is one place in particular that will scratch that itch for something cold while enjoying music, food and people watching, Cisco Brewers.
You can take the Nantucket shuttle service, taxi, moped or bike, but if you can hold out til 1230pm and wander to the visitors center in town, a free shuttle awaits to whisk you away to an oasis several miles from town. It is an actual brewery that has turned their grounds into a daily party. It consists of little buildings for all the alcohol they produce. They also have live music, food trucks and corn hole.
If you get the chance to take a four wheel drive on the beach for a afternoon, don't hesitate. Its one of the opportunities that affirms you are not at home deep into a list of chores. One of the best beaches to spend the day at is Madaket beach. Its the other side of the island, about seven miles from downtown Nantucket. While you can ride on most beaches and none are a bad choice, this one in particular is both scenic and known for some of the best sunsets on the island.
There are so many things that make Nantucket a beautiful and special place, but nothing seems to make it shine like the setting sun. Watching it from your front window, on the beach or in town, it presents a sense of calm wrapped up in a warm summer hug.
I cannot pin point one particular instance when I fell in love with travel, but it has been a life long adventure ever since.
As i kid, I remember sitting for hours reading encyclopedias, looking at maps and looking forward to social studies class. I have always been fascinated with different places, cultures and their customs. Other boys at my age had posters of athletes on their walls and I had world maps.
I remember in the late 70's early 80's, riding in the backseat of an old datsun with no air conditioning from Pittsburgh to Florida. I would be sweltering in the back but also so memorized by all the signs, building and all that was around us as we continued down the road. It was something as simple as a day trip to another town for a fair or the summers i spent working on my grandparents farm in upstate NY, that started my life of travel.
I was about Ten years old when I flew to Florida by myself. It was the thrill of my life and I haven't looked back. I had a ticket and a seat and had so much attention of all those around me. The beauty of childhood is that you haven't yet been jaded by the experiences of others and take things at face value.
To this day, I love walking around airports. The energy, people, smells still make me feel a little child like. I like to wander around the newsstands and watch people and wonder where they are going and why. Walking past the arrival and departure boards is like being a kid in the candy store. I think of all the places i have been and how many more are awaiting my arrival.
"Its about the journey not the destination," while it may be cliche, I think it holds true to me.
My first trip "overseas" was to Jamaica when I was fifteen for a missions trip. I had to raise my own support money and helped to build a school for two weeks in the sweltering heat. It was amazing experience to be with other teenagers from around the country and to be able to work along side people from another culture. I saw a lot of the good and bad in humanity and while I wouldn't say it made me jaded, i felt like i was on the road to personal growth.
Another memorable experience was 3 weeks i spent in Costa rica in college. Originally it was presented as a way to avoid a semester of a foreign language. While we did have time to be tourists, it ended up to be so much more. I spent a week of the trip living with a family in the suburbs of San Jose, Costa rica. It was one of the first times I was exposed to people that "had less" than some in the United states and yet they were still happy. It was a lesson that has stayed with me into my forties, as I have been working my way thru the Caribbean for the past twenty years.
The summer after my sophomore year in college, a high school friend and I took an 87 jeep wrangler, a bag phone, some cash and drove from NY to San Francisco. We spent three weeks popping in and out of over 21 states. We drove thru little Mississippi towns to nights under desert skies. We slept at rest areas, ate at truck stops and saw places like the grand canyon, Vegas, sequoia national park and drove up the Pacific coast Highway.
The summer after graduating high school, was our first family trip to England. What a thrill to be 18 and off across the pond. My mom still talks about how I navigated the underground and Piccadilly circus for an afternoon by myself.
These days my time away consists of places that are warm and laid back, I still enjoy the entire journey. The romance of it comes from the packing, the travel itself and the people I meet along the way.
The person who dies with the least regrets, wins.
After landing in the capital city of Nassau, I recommend hailing a taxi and take the 30 minute ride over the bridge to Paradise island. Once you pay your one dollar toll, and take your pictures of the Atlantis, I suggest you keep going another two miles to the Paradise Island beach club.
While the Paradise Island beach club is a primarily a timeshare resort, if you know someone or could score a week, its a beautiful spot to unwind. Its about two miles or so down the beach from Atlantis and gives you plenty of tranquility while being close to the action. It has several restaurants, swim up bar, and its own stretch of chairs and umbrellas on the beautiful Cabbage beach. While it might not be the five star, One and Only ocean club next door, it has plenty of places to relax and enjoy the view.
In between the copious amounts of sitting, swimming, walking the beach, there are a few other things I recommend during your time on Paradise Island.
Less than a half mile walk from the resort, are the Versailles Gardens and French Cloister. It is a beautiful place to walk around and enjoy not only the flowers, statutes but it is right on the water.
After you have enjoyed the peace and tranquility of the gardens, its time to continue the walk down to Atlantis, If you aren't a guest, you are restricted to the harbor, casino, shops and some of the outside overlooks of the pools etc. If you cant find availability at the Paradise island beach club and you cant quite swing Atlantis, try Comfort suites next door to Atlantis. They were grandfathered in so you get full access to Atlantis while getting a free breakfast at the Comfort Inn.
The harbor side has a great selection of shops and restaurants and a fun place to wander around for while working up an appetite for some lunch or dinner. Depending on what season, you could see a harbor full of amazing yachts docked behind the resort. If you need some relief from the heat, you can always go inside and try your hand at the casino or meander the shops inside the resort.
One place I recommend for a quick bite and or a cold one, is across the street on the water. Its called the Green Parrot. Its a open aired bar on the water that has shirts and other signed items stapled to the thatched roof from past visitors. If you go, order the conch fritters and a sands. Its a great combo while you enjoy the breezes and passing boats.
If after all that you are feeling like you need more, why not try another island. Go down to just past the Green Parrot and book a day trip to Rose Island. The boat ride over to the island is breathtaking and worth the price of the excursion. Upon arrival, be prepared to get wet as there isn't a dock. You will need to jump out and wade to shore. There is one restaurant/ bar where you can recharge after your Gilligan island adventure. Its a simple place to just unwind from all the hustle and bustle of vacationing on Paradise island. (sarcasm anyone)
Once you return back to the Paradise Island Beach club, you will be treated some of the most beautiful sunsets with the Atlantis resort as the back drop.
Whatever you choose to do or not do while staying at the Paradise island Beach club, remember one thing: