Share Your Travel Adventures

January 13 2010 by BW Innsider
Comments (56)

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Travel is exciting! We want to hear about your best travel adventures. Whether it is simply a destination or when you discovered someplace new, had a travel mishap or simply had an unforgettable travel experience, share them with us. It doesn't matter if they are brief or detailed--we just love to hear about travel!

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    56 Comments

    By Micah on January 13, 2010 10:32 PM

    One of my best travel adventures was nearly a year and a half ago. A couple of buddies and I took a motorcycle, a scooter, and a Dodge coupe along the west coast of Lower Michigan.

    We rode for 4 days and covered one thousand miles. We left home in NW Ohio and headed to the northwest towards Luddington. We encountered rain during the second half of the day, and were about frozen when we arrived at the hotel in Frankfort.

    When we travel, we depend on the locals to tell us where the best restaurants are located. After asking the hotel clerk where to try, we walked to the bar that she suggested and ate the best fried perch sandwich that I've ever had.

    On the second day, we rode from Frankfort to Charlevoix. Along the way, we visited a lighthouse and a winery. However, the most surprising sight of the day was the Sleeping Bear Dunes. If I wouldn't have known better, I would have thought that I was looking at the Caribbean. The water of Lake Michigan was a beautiful aqua blue.

    Day three was the most exciting and semi-terrifying day. The exciting part was rolling over the Straits of Mackinac on the Mackinac Bridge. The semi-terrifying part for my buddy on the scooter was rolling over the grating on the Mackinac Bridge with his skinny rear tire.

    We checked into the hotel and decided to climb Castle Rock. It was quite sad how winded we got before we even got to the stairs!

    As night started to fall, we rode down to the lakeside part in St. Ignace to view the bridge as the sun set behind us.

    The fourth day wasn't very exciting overall. We essentially burned pavement on the highway all day to get home. The ride home gave me time to reflect on how great of a trip that it had been and to start planning the next trip.

    We recorded videos of our trip and posted them online at http://lcchoppers.com/michigan-trip.html. (If you only watch one, Day 3 is my favorite.)

    We're planning our next trip for later this Summer. Hopefully, it will be as good or better than this trip. However, the bar has been set very, very high!

    By Marsha Wheatley on January 14, 2010 10:00 AM

    One moment in our travel history which will stay with me forever was visiting Key West. Driving down Duval Street in a vintage convertible pink Cadillac was a gaggle of, ummm, transvestites throwing us prophylactics and singing! A sight we'll never forget nut that's what makes Key West ...KEY WEST!

    By Michelle Webber on January 14, 2010 10:20 AM

    When you think travel adventure you probably imagine adrenaline filled activities and exotic locations, but for home bodies like myself adventure is just as likely in Petaluma as in some far away jungle.

    Last year my family and I spent a weekend in Petaluma, about one and half hours from our home. We visited an amazing sticker factory that delighted and inspired our creativity. We ate in restaurants that served locally grown food. We spent time with relatives and enjoying the adorable downtown. We found handmade clothes and vintage stores with some of the best kitch I've ever come across and locals who were happy to share stories of Petaluma's history.

    But the most amazing experience for me was in a cemetary where five generations of my ancestors are laid to rest. My cousin and I spent time cleaning off the family plot and imaging what life was like for them in Petaluma way back when. We visited the house my great-great grandfather built, in which my grandfather grew up.

    The Best Western in Petaluma was the perfect place for us to stay. It was centrally located to all of our adventures and I can trust Best Western to be both clean and free of chemical scenting agents, to which I am allergic. Thank you Best Western!

    Living in a state where most people moved here from somewhere else, it was a truly unique experience to spend a weekend steeped in such personal local history.

    By Jen on January 14, 2010 12:26 PM

    One weekend back in 2002, my mom and I took a road trip to Reno. I had driven 2 hours to and from home from college tons of times, but this trip was a 4 hour drive one way. Not too bad, though it was April and there was still a touch of snow on the ground. After a few hours my mom started coming down with a cold and felt terrible. We had lunch and went to the casinos for some fun and then she headed back to the hotel. She began to feel worse and developed a sinus infection. We stayed only one night (instead of our two) and unfortunately had to forfeit our second night to get home. As it turned out, that next morning there was a storm. A SNOW storm that we got trapped in. We were in a 2 seater car that did NOT have snow tires or chains and this storm came out of nowhere. Coming home from the Sierras in near whiteout conditions was scary to say the least. My mom was completely sick and could not drive, let alone in this weather. After hours in the snow, we finally came into Sacramento and were faced with wind and rain like you wouldn't believe. Only wanting to get home to get to bed with some medicine was what we had in our minds, so we never stopped. What was normally a 4 hour ride home ended up taking us 8 hours and tons of stress. To this day my mom brings up that horrible trip and lets me know she owes me one! PHEW!

    By Mike Poole on January 14, 2010 4:49 PM

    Attending Mardi Gras in New Orleans was on my bucket list. Last year, we went. We flew in Thursday evening. We were staying at the Best Western on Magazine and Canal. Because of the parades, it took us three hours of driving around to finally get to the hotel. It meant driving through barracades, going the wrong way on one way streets, and finally driving in reverse up magazine, but we got there. it was fantastic! We could come right out of our hotel and get into the French Quarter, see the parades, hop on the trolly. It was a wonderful experience!

    By Nicole Wilson-Chin on January 14, 2010 7:33 PM

    Every year my husband & I go down part of the Oregon Coast for a few days for our anniversary. We usually stop in Seaside, Cannon Beach & Lincoln City. The beaches are beautiful & the restaurants are fantastic. The shops offer everything from freshly made candy & treats to local artwork as well as some outlet shopping. We never get tired of making this little trip year after year.

    By Chuck Mottern on January 14, 2010 7:52 PM

    I have lived in California since my mid twenties, moving from Buffalo New York to escape the harsh winters, and to find the California girl that I had speculated was out there for me. In 2001 I had planned a Christmas time trip to introduce my new fiance, Rhonda to my parents. Rhonda grew up on the edge of the Mojave near Lancaster, and thus had never experienced winter in the way that someone from Buffalo had. We flew into Buffalo on Christmas Eve and despite the cold there was not a spot of snow on the ground. As Rhonda got in my parents car she said, innocently enough, "I thought there would be snow on the ground". Everyone in the car jokingly shushed her and we went to check in the hotel and start our visit. The next morning I woke up and looked out the hotel window and said "well, you've got your wish for snow". However, Rhonda's wish came in spades as by the time we left a week later she got to see about twelve feet of snow pile, and had her vacation was extended by two days due to travel restrictions. She stated often during the visit that she didn't realize that it was possible to actually snow that much. The visit went well and the engagement took and despite the initial cold the family warmly embraced her.

    By Masayuki Kurota on January 14, 2010 8:15 PM

    I am Japanese and loves to travel around south west of U.S. My favorite trip route is arriving Los Angeles Int'l Airport and rent a car. Drive down to the San Diego via I-5 by watching beautiful beaches and stay SD couple days. Then, use Highway 78 from Escondido to the eastbound and drive in the desert and hot temperature area. Then, cross Colorado River into Phoenix, Arizona. After spent night @ PHX, drive northbound to Flagstaff via Sedona. Nextday, go to Grand Canyon and drive along the mother road 66 westbound then pass the Hoover Dam and into Las Vegas. After couple days in Las Vegas, take 1-15 south and go to huge outlet shopping center near the Palm Springs and spend a night. Then, go to Disney Land in Anaheim and spend fun time. Finally back to LAX and back to Japan. I and my friends like to travel this route again and again!! Ocean, beach, desert, cactus, canyon, casino, outlet and theme park! What a nice place!! Love to go NOW!

    By Dara Dillon on January 19, 2010 5:01 PM

    Living in Oregon gives us many opportunities to travel to different places that are not far from home. Yesterday we decided to travel to Corvallis area to take photos of the covered bridges that we could find. I googled "covered bridges of Oregon" and found 50 of them. Corvallis is about 2 hours from our house and a beautiful ride with no rain and sunshine, so we were blessed. We also stopped in Brownsville, Oregon for lunch. This is the city where "Stand by Me" was filmed. A quaint little town with a great little cafe where there is good food. We went east from there and found 4 covered bridges. Then headed west to Corvallis and spent the night in the Best Western Grand Manor, of course! This morning we found another 3 bridges and took lots of photos. Along the way we found some really interesting barns and one church and took photos of those too. It was a wonderful day to spend with my best friend touring the countryside with our cameras.

    By Joan Miller on January 19, 2010 5:03 PM

    We go to Santee Calif Bestwestern all the time, but this time it was Christmas and we were really excited to have christmas with our family. This year it was to be at my son's house and he asked if I could make my green bean casorol and my deviled eggs because everyone loves the way I make them. Well being in a hotel room make it a little difficult but I pulled it off with the help of a very friendly staff. I had a electric egg cooker but forgot the bowl and the spoons and forks, I also needed a can opener and a sharp knife. So I went to the front desk and the girl there was very helpful. She rummaged around and forund everything I needed to make this work I was so grapful to her. The day turned out great and the meal went off with everyting it needed to have. I think there couldn't be a better place to stay than Santee Bestwestern with it great staff. Thanks for everything.

    By Beverly Burmeier on January 19, 2010 5:05 PM

    My husband and I took a driving trip last fall from Texas to southern Utah to visit several national and state parks. The scenery was outstanding, and we enjoyed hiking almost every day of our three weeks on the road. Getting out and walking among all the fabulous rock formations, viewing archeological history close-up, and enjoying new experiences of many kinds made this a truly special trip. Everyone should visit as many of our national parks--our national treasures--as they can.

    By Lorraine Karmonocky on January 19, 2010 5:16 PM

    My family went to visit my sister and her family in Arizona one Christmas. We traveled by car from North Carolina. The weather was fine when we left until we came to Oklahoma when we were hit by freezing rain. The ice on the trees was fabulous. When we got to New Mexico it was snowing but not heavy. About 30 miles from the Grand Canyon traffic stopped completely at 3 PM. We were about 500 yards from the exit and there was no place to go except back as there were not motels in the area at all. We talked with several truck drivers and they said if we didn't start moving we would be sleeping in our cars. So my husband dug our way on the shoulder of the highway to the exit and we turned around. There was nothing on the radio about the snow storm or traffic. We traveled 40 miles back to the nearest motel and got the last room. We watched the news on TV and still no comment about the storm. The next morning we again listened to the radio and TV news no mention whether the roads were open. So we ventured out and drove until we cam near the Grand Canyon on covered packed ice and snow. My husband wanted to see the Grand Canyon but it was closed so we travel to my sister's house with the beautiful snow scenery on the mountains and trees. This was the best Christmas ever. The first time our families were together in 30 years.

    By MEg Sarazine on January 19, 2010 5:42 PM

    My late husband took me to the Rockies for our honeymoon! It was a fantastic 2 weeks spent hiking, swimming in creeks, camping under the stars, and taking in breathtaking vistas! I wouldn't trade those wonderful memories for anything in the world.

    By Edlyn on January 19, 2010 6:24 PM

    Our most amazing adventure was the 2 month road trip we took in the mini-van last summer with our 4 year old son, 7 year old daughter and fluffy dog. We drove from our home in North Carolina to California and visited all the Laura Ingalls Wilder sites, from Missouri to Kansas, Iowa to Wisconsin, South Dakota to Minnesota.

    After visiting with family in San Francisco we headed to the national parks...Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Devils Monument, Mt. Rushmore, Wind Cave, Badlands and various state parks and monuments. Our children participated in a mammoth dig and became junior paleontologists, and completed Jr. Ranger programs at 21 different parks and battlefields around the country.

    We finished our trip by visiting Abraham Lincoln sites in Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky. Our son celebrated his 5th birthday in a hotel in Evanston Indiana (near the Lincoln Boyhood homesite) and we all have memories to last a lifetime. On returning home my first words to my husband were "let's sell the house and live in an RV for a year!" Still waiting for an answer to that.

    See you on the road this summer!

    By Danny Oliver on January 19, 2010 6:57 PM

    I am a 55 year old male and I bought my first motorcycle 4 years ago. When I was young my dad forebid me to have a motorcycle calling them "Death Machines" so while being young and wanting one, I respected my dads desires. In my late 40's I begin to get the urge for a motorcycle but never really thought I would fulfil that desire. The more I thought about it the more I wanted one. I took a drivers safety course and I was hooked. I now had my Motorcycle Drivers License but no Motercycle. I few months later I bought a bike big enough for both my wife and myself. The first year I rode alone, getting use to the bike. The second year my wife started riding with me and we both were hooked. There is not 1 trip that stands out, but each trip we take just seems to top the last trip we took. So far we have riden all over Tennessee and parts of Kentucky. We are currently planning our summer vacation that includes riding approximately 200 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway as well as serveral TN and KY backroads getting there and back. Staying at Best Western for my work, I use my Best Western points and plan our weekend trips around a Best Western and so far we have never been disappointed. So while this is no 1 special trip, it is truely a new adventure each and every trip we take.

    By Beverly on January 19, 2010 7:11 PM

    Best ever travel adventure was snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef. No matter how many pictures you've seen, the experience of being there and seeing the incredible beauty and variety of sea life was magical.

    By David on January 19, 2010 7:21 PM

    Last years vacation was the best. My wife and I leave Mountain View Wyoming on our Harley Davidson Road King, and ride to Grand Junction Colorado. We try to ride 200-300 miles a day. On the next day, we head south via the million dollar highway, to Durango Colorado. What a beautiful ride! On the next day, we head west, via Grand Mesa National Park, to Page Arizona. What a long hot day. The next morning, we head south, via Lee's Ferry on the Colorado river, to the north rim of the Grand Canyon. Our day ends in Mt. Carmel, Utah. The next morning, we head west thru Zion National Park, turn around, head north via highway 12 thru Bryce Canyon National Park, Escalante, and end the day in Torrey Utah. The next morning finds us in Capital Reef National Park, and then north to
    Sandy Utah. We head home to Wyoming the next morning. This is just a brief summary of our trip. But, oh what a trip! The best thing about the trip, was that we stayed free every night of the trip. Thank you Best Western Rewards Points!

    By Michelle on January 19, 2010 7:31 PM

    I love flying out to Los Angeles to see my best guy. He always takes me to great restaurants that i can't get here in Michigan. We just chill and spend time with each other which is so much better than any crazy adventure and i wouldnt give up anything to just lay on the couch with him and talk

    By Lori on January 19, 2010 7:56 PM

    My most memorable trip was to Northern California in 2005 (my second solo trip). I stayed at the Tides Inn in Bodega Bay where they had very cozy cabins, a complementary bottle of wine, saw deer in the parking lot and across the street was the famous Tides Inn restaurant whcih had the best clam chowder !! I enjoyed the scenery of the Sonoma Coast with the rocky edges and beaches and shopped around in Occidental. Upon arriving I spent time in San Francisco and Sausalito before my 2 hr drive up the coast. I also took a day trip to Point Reye's Lighthouse (OMG over 300 steps down to the lighthouse and 300 back up) and Muir Woods which was so serene, peaceful and quier. Before leaving, I took my first hot air balloon ride over Hidden Valley, and the entire experience from waking up very early, to inflating the balloon, to the ride itself and back down, and the champagne toast afterwards was amazing !!

    By Patrick Soto on January 19, 2010 11:38 PM

    I travel with my job, and I stay at Best Western almost 150 nights a year. The best part is that I can earn points and then take my wife to her favorite spot. Monterey CA. We were so excited that in Oct of this past year, we were able to share Monterey Beach Inn with my daughter and her husband and our 3 1/2 year old grand daughter, Calli. She loved being right on the beach, we built sand castles and played in the water all afternoon...Enjoyed a wonderful dinner at the Hotel overlooking the ocean. She was so excited. The next day we spent all day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, it was her first visit there and watching the joy and excitement in her eyes as she saw all the sea animals was worth everything...

    My daughter is in the Police Academy and my Son in law is a firefighter, so for them it was a wonderful, relaxing time. They rode there bikes from the Hotel all the way to the wharf and loved it so much...

    It is a wonderful thrill that as a father and grandfather you can share a time like this with your family...Thank you Best Western....

    By Joe on January 20, 2010 3:59 AM

    The 3 Amigos ride was a little late this year due to circumstances beyond our control. After much thought and planning with weather being our major consideration, we elected to make Big Bend National Park in Southwest Texas our destination. On Thursday October 29th I rode from Torrance, CA to my younger brother, Roberts, house in Escondido, CA for the night. I traveled 112 miles today.

    We left early Friday morning for a long ride to Willcox, AZ via Tucson, AZ. Our original plan was to meet our older brother Mike in Tucson; however we changed our plans due to snow and cold temperatures at his home in Gallup, NM. Mike will start a day later than he planned (today) and meet us at a yet to be determined place subject to the weather. We started our ride a little before dawn to avoid the normal workday traffic. We found the freeways very well illuminated so it was a nice ride out of town. Riding East on I8 we observed a pretty sunrise and a sense of freedom as we left the congested area of San Diego. Our first fuel stop was El Centro, CA. As we passed through Yuma, AZ I checked my GPS and told Robert that we should have enough fuel to make Gila Bend, AZ. The sky was clear and the morning air a little brisk. It was a great day for riding. About thirty miles from Gila Bend Robert told me that his low fuel light had illuminated (we communicate with radios while riding). We reduced our speed to 65MPH, the speed limit is 75MPH, and waited for the sputter of our engines as we ran out of fuel. I counted down the miles as we approached Gila Bend. We rolled into the first gas station somewhat elated that we actually made it there. I put 5.03 gallons in my tank that is rated at 5 gallons. I am sure that I arrived running on fumes. After lunch we headed for Tucson and on to Willcox arriving a little after 3PM. After checking in to our the Best Western Plaza Inn we decided to ride to the Chiricahua National Monument. The Monument is located in the Chiricahua Mountains about 37 miles from Willcox. There is much history here with wonderful rock formations and many hiking opportunities. Much of the area is sacred to the Indians that inhabited the area many years ago. We returned to Willcox for a nice dinner at the hotel restaurant. Mike called and let us know that he was in Las Cruces, NM getting his motorcycle serviced and would meet us in El Paso, TX tomorrow in the afternoon. Rob & I traveled 611 miles today. Mike rode 338 miles today.

    Rob and I both slept well. We had breakfast, cleaned our bikes prior to heading to Columbus, NM. As we were preparing our bikes I could not find my iPod. (I connect the iPod to the bike stereo system for some entertainment while riding.) Rob and I checked everywhere. No iPod. I finally realized that I probably left it on the bike and somebody took it. Oh well, nothing I can do now. We rode out of Willcox enjoying a brisk morning and clear skies. As we rode I just happened to check my vest pocket. Oops, my iPod was snuggly resting there. This getting old is getting a bit bothersome! Just after crossing the New Mexico border we stopped at the old town of Steins. Steins is an old railroad watering place in the day of steam engines. The property was purchased a few years ago by a couple. They restored some of the buildings and have kept the others in a state of repair. Steins is a nice place to visit, however it is easy to miss. From Steins we rode to Columbus, NM via Animas and Hatchita, NM. Columbus is about three miles north of the Mexican border and is where General ‘Black Jack’ Pershing assembled his army to chase Poncho Villa after he attacked the United States at Columbus. We visited the museum that captures the history of the area very nicely. From Columbus we rode along the US/Mexican border on a very nice road to El Paso, TX. Mike was waiting for us at the Best Western Sunland Park Inn. This is the ‘official’ beginning of the 2009 3 Amigos ride. We put the bikes to bed, enjoyed ‘happy hour’ and took a cab to the nearby casino for dinner and a little luck. We enjoyed a nice evening at the casino. Robert won $150.00, Mike won $450.00 on his last pull of the slots. I did not win a cent. Well, actually I did not lose as Robert bought drinks and dinner and Mike paid for our hotel. So, all of the Amigos were winners! Tomorrow we head for Big Bend National Park. Rob and I rode 268 miles today. Mike rode 48 miles today.


    We were up at 5AM looking forward to a great day of riding. The hotel opened the breakfast area a little early so that we could get on our way. We left El Paso about 7AM and rode Interstate 10 to Van Horn, TX. At Van Horn we turned south heading to Marfa, TX. We passed pecan orchards and miles and miles of open dry fields. Marfa, TX is where the movie ‘Giant’ was filmed in 1956 with James Dean, Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor. Marfa remains a central service town for the area. Heading southwest out of Marfa we rode through rolling foothills to the town of Presidio, TX which is situated on the border with Mexico. Presidio is a small town in comparison to Manuel Ojinaga, MX which is across the Rio Grande River. From Presidio we rode east along the Rio Grande river. This road is adjacent to Big Bend State Park and rises and falls with twists and turns through very pretty country. There is a great deal of wildlife in this area. We rode with caution as we observed a few ‘less fortunate’ animals that had met there fate on this stretch of road. We passed through the small resort town of Lajitas, TX. Lajitas provides the ‘high end’ accommodations for this relatively remote area with many amenities including the rare opportunity to play golf. We arrived in our destination town of Terlingua, TX a little after 3PM. Terlingua is a former ‘ghost town’ that was revived several years ago when the ‘Annual Texas Chili Cook-off’ was set for this site. This event is held in November every year and draws hundreds of participants and chili lovers. The event will take place the week-end after we depart. Our accommodations in Terlingua are at the Chisos Mining Company motel. At check-in there was no computer as the lady thumbed though her ledger to find our reservation. We were given # 19 ‘The Rock House’. This accommodation is very quaint and funky to say the least. No telephone, no radio, no television. There are two rooms with four beds, a table, a refrigerator, a small kitchen and one amenity, a clock. Access is via a dirt road. This was the perfect accommodation for the 3 Amigos for the two days that we will be there. We rode to the gas station, a short distance away, and then found the Chili Pepper Café’ for our dinner. We returned to our ‘suite’ to enjoy the evening. As we were sitting outside enjoying the sunset and twilight and watching the full moon rise, the coyotes began to howl. There on top of a close ridge was the profile of ‘Wiley Coyote’ howling to the moon with other coyotes responding. Although we had all spent much time in the desert and heard the howl of the coyotes, we had never actually seen the profile of the coyote raising and lowering his head as he howled to the moon. The evening was brisk and pleasant with the silence only broken by the coyotes howl. We rode 331 miles today.

    Up early, as usual. We rode to the Ghost Town Café for breakfast. The food was great and we had a nice time with Paula who took good care of us. We fueled our bikes and headed for the entrance to Big Bend National Park four miles away. After entering the park we rode for several miles on the main road gaining altitude and then turned into a beautiful canyon that leads to the Chisos Mountain Lodge and the main visitor center. The ride through this area was spectacular with mountains surrounding us, many trees, awesome rock formations and beautiful desert flora. This location is known to have many mountain lions and bears. These animals are rarely seen except by the hikers in the early mornings or at dusk. We did see many Roadrunners, Kangaroo Rats, Javalina (wild pigs), hawks and an occasional Golden Eagle. Leaving the visitors center we rode back to the main road and headed for the farthest point in the park that is on a paved road. At the Rio Grande Visitor Center we received advice on the best places to view the Rio Grande River and the Mexican Village of Boquillas del Carmen across the river. Prior to 9-11 there was a border crossing here and people were allowed to cross the river to enjoy this remote and quaint Mexican village. After 9-11 the border crossing was closed and the villagers suffered greatly. It is now illegal to cross the river here. As we approached the scenic overlook we spotted native crafts displayed on the rocks for sale. The villagers across the river leave carved walking sticks and handmade items with a price list and a jar to put your money in if you purchase something. While we were there two villagers appeared from across the river. We had a nice time visiting with them. If the Park Rangers come, the villagers go back across the river in their small boat or on horseback. They must take all of their items with them or the rangers will confiscate them. We left the area and rode a short distance to a trail that leads to a magnificent view of the river and village. We hiked to the top and Robert hiked down the other side to the river and the entrance to a large gorge. When Mike and I returned to the parking lot two villagers appeared on horseback. They then disappeared on the trail. What a unique experience for us. As we waited for Robert to return three men rode in on matching motorcycles. We found that they were also brothers and did a ride together every year. They mentioned that they would be the Tres Amigos and have vests made like ours. It is, indeed, a small world. Our last adventure of the day was riding 60 miles to the Castolon Visitors Center and Santa Elena Canyon River Access. Here we observed 1500 foot cliffs where the river flowed out of a gorge. The Rio Grande River is described as an arcing oasis, a ribbon of green that cuts across the dry desert and carves deep canyons. Riding out of this marvelous place we saw Javalina, Roadrunners and other desert creatures. Returning to Terlingua we passed the cemetery where a ‘Day of the Dead’ event was forming. We arrived at the old ghost town where folks were enjoying happy hour. Many folks were sitting or walking the boardwalk enjoying their libations. We ordered our food to go from the Starlight Theater (café) and headed back to our ‘Rock House’ for our happy hour and dinner while enjoying yet another spectacular sunset. We rode 178 miles today.

    Today is a brisk beautiful day. We rode to Fort Davis, TX via Alpine, TX. We enjoyed breakfast at a nice hometown café. We then rode the scenic loop to the observatory and around the mountains back to Fort Davis. We observed several Javalina and other wildlife. The leaves were turning their bright autumn colors and blowing in the slight breeze as the season was changing. From Fort Davis we headed to Pecos, TX. We stopped early today and checked into the Best Western Swiss Chalet and Suites. This is a new property and a very upscale Best Western Hotel. Today is laundry day for us so we put our clothes in the washers and spent some time in the hot tub and indoor pool. Robert needs a new rear tire. There are no motorcycle shops close by so he arranged to have the tire replaced tomorrow in Alamogordo, NM. We rode 254 miles today.

    We enjoyed a very nice ‘cooked o order’ breakfast at the hotel. The owners of this hotel emigrated from Switzerland. The breakfast selection included Birchermüesli which was developed as a healthy food for the Swiss Army. All of the ingredients are from Switzerland. This was a special treat. As we rode out of Pecos we observed many boarded up buildings. The town appeared to be quite depressed. We chose a route to Carlsbad Caverns that took us on an old farm road. We, again, observed Javalina and many domestic animals as we passed field after field of Alfalfa. Carlsbad Caverns was a great experience. We arrived early and enjoyed a walk through the ‘Big Room’. Very few people were in the room. We nearly had this popular place all to ourselves to enjoy the silence and nature’s beauty. Leaving Carlsbad Caverns we rode north to Artesia, NM and then west over the mountains to Alamogordo, NM. The ride over the mountains was pleasant and spectacular. There were patches of snow in the higher elevations. Arriving in Alamogordo we checked into the Best Western Desert Aire hotel and took Robert’s bike to the shop for a new rear tire. After retrieving the bike from the shop we enjoyed ‘happy hour’ and walked to a restaurant for dinner. Alamogordo was unusually warm for this time of year. We would have enjoyed a dip in the pool; however, since they had already experienced their first freeze, it had been drained. We rode 289 miles today.

    We left the hotel after our continental breakfast and rode to White Sands National Monument about thirteen miles southwest. Since we were early we had White Sands all to ourselves. We spent some time at the visitor center and then rode the scenic drive through the monument. The white sand dunes were quite impressive. It was a bit of a challenge riding through the sand for a short distance after the paved road ended. Leaving the monument we rode to Truth or Consequences, NM via Las Cruces, NM. We fueled our bikes and headed south for about ten miles then turned west to cross the mountains toward Silver City, NM. The Mimbres Mountains offer a beautiful and challenging ride. We rode over Emory Pass at 8228 Ft. Just prior to Silver City we turned south to Deming, NM and checked in at the Best western Mimbres Valley Inn. This will be the final stop for the 3 Amigos this trip. In the morning Mike will head home to Gallup, NM via Hatch, NM and Robert and I will head west. We rode 298 miles today.

    Rising early today we had a nice breakfast at the hotel and we all got an early start with Mike heading home to Gallup and Robert and I heading for Wellton, AZ. Just prior to reaching Tucson, AZ we left Interstate 10 and turned west to ride through the Tohono O’odham Indian Reservation. We stopped for fuel at Why, AZ. Why, AZ is about 27 miles north of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and the Mexican border crossing at Lukeville, AZ. We found that the annual International Motorcycle Rally was taking place this week-end at Rocky Point Mexico. Rocky Point is about 95 miles south of Why, AZ. We observed many motorcycles heading south as we rode north to intersect Interstate 8 at Gila Bend, AZ. We expected it to be a hot day as we rode through this area. We were pleasantly surprised with a nice cloud cover (the first time this trip) that presented us with a pleasant cool ride. We arrived in Wellton, AZ, about 35 miles east of Yuma, AZ, in the late afternoon. We fueled and cleaned our bikes, enjoyed a nice dinner and prepared for our trip home tomorrow. We rode 476 miles today. Mike rode 372 miles today.

    We departed Wellton about 7AM with clear skies and a brisk chill. We stopped for fuel at the Golden Acorn Casino about 35 miles west of El Centro, CA, paid our dues at the casino, and rode on. As we approached San Diego Robert turned north on Interstate 15 to his home and I headed to Interstate 5 and home. I rode 317 miles today. Robert rode 229 miles today. Mike arrived home yesterday.

    Epilogue: We were blessed with wonderful weather during this trip. I (Joe) rode for 10 days and 3134 miles. Robert rode for 9 days and 2934 miles. Mike rode for 9 days and 2108 miles.
    The 3 Amigos (Brothers – Mike 68, Joe 66 and Robert 63) look forward to 2010

    By Walt on January 20, 2010 5:00 AM

    The home base for my best travel adventure was the Hotel Obermuhle, Garmisch, Germany. Garmisch is a wonderful little resort town in the Bavarian Alps, an easy train ride from Munich and a great place to stay when tromping around southern Germany. We had a delightful time, and our hosts could not have been more accomodating, and the complimentary breakfasts were simply outstanding!

    By mattroach on January 20, 2010 5:33 AM

    Another great adventure at a Best Western! We traveled to Tempe, Arizona to attend the 2009 Insight Bowl, featuring the Iowa State University and University of Minnesota football teams. Leaving the tundra behind (-21 degrees and 2 feet of snow) , we were welcomed at the Iowa State Alumni pregame party by hundreds of fellow Cyclones. A pep rally, food, and good cheer got us all in the mood to watch the Cyclones defeat Minnesota by 1 point. This team had only 5 wins in the last two years! Thanks to a great new coach, Paul Rhoads, great players and support staff, a winning season in 2009 was the result!
    Our daughter is an student Athletic Trainer for the football team, so we witnessed first hand, the excellent work provided by the support staff! We invited the student Athletic Trainers to the Best Western of Tempe after the game! Only a few blocks from the Sun Devil Stadium the Best Western was home to many fellow ISU alumni! The New Years Eve Block party sponsored by Tempe was crowded with many Cyclones sporting the red and gold, to celebrate the win and arrival of 2010.

    By Bette Cochefski on January 20, 2010 6:08 AM

    Our dream trip was to drive cross country, going to national parks, various halls of fame, and famous landmarks. Now retired we felt we could take our time and relax along the way. Our decision to focus on staying at Best Westerns was the greatest of all. Free breakfast, high speed internet so we could check in with folks, pay bills, send photos, met our every expectation. Earning points and free nights made it better. At Yellowstone we were at a BW right at the main gate. Driving behind bison hogging the road in the early morning was a grand event. Geysers shooting high, deer,
    eagles, all for us to observe. We drove 8300 miles, through 28 states, for 5 weeks. California to Connecticut for a grand child's graduations, then back to Arizona. Can't wait to go again, thanks BW for making the trip manageable.

    By John K on January 20, 2010 6:24 AM

    One of my greatest adventures was riding my Harley Davidson Road King to the Crowsnest Highway in Canada. We rode 4035 miles in 8 days. We rode through Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Alberta Canada, BC Canada, Washington, Oregon and back to California. It was a fantastic trip. A lot of back road riding. We rode in September and did not hit any rain. We met alot of nice people. The Crowsnest Highway parallels the Canadian/US border. It was great.

    By Denver Dan Mayfield on January 20, 2010 9:00 AM

    My greatest travel adventure, and there have been many...was my trip to Israel in 1991. I was working for a major airline, that had just acquired another major airline, and they sent me there for 13 days! I was amazed at the sights I saw in the "Holy Land" and I would like to share all of it, but space is limited! In Tel Aviv, it was like being in Florida, the beach, the warm weather (late October, early November) was beautiful! I also had the chance to visit Jerusalem (and the weather there was much like Denver, Colorado) and take a tour of the city. The last city I visited was the best...Bethlehem, and the site of the Manger! I would highly recommend a trip there to anyone, and I am planning to go back this year, and see some of the things I missed last time! I can only tell you, although I was working every day (except one) that was the absolute ultimate trip of my life...so far! Thanks. Daniel (Denver Dan) Mayfield.

    By Lauren Majewski on January 20, 2010 9:09 AM

    I guess you can say that I am a roadtrip eccentric. All it took was the green light of approval from my parents at age 18 and I was off. With the goal of seeing all 50 states before age 30, I plan a detailed roadtrip adventure to embark on each year.

    One of my most memorable roadtrip adventures was the Buffalo Roundup of 2006. Going to school in Minneapolis, MN during the bitter winter left me with little to do. Since weekend travel was out of the question, I turned to a more virtual experience. After work I would drive to the public library and rent travel DVD's on distant countries or neighboring states. Little did I know that the DVD on South Dakota would become the catalyst for one of the most amazing roadtrips of my life.

    I have to admit, I didn't expect anything to capture my attention when I decided to watch an informational movie on South Dakota. All it took was a little dramatic inflection from a narrator and thousands of "cowpeople" (cow girls and boys) to secure a place in my eccentric heart.

    Six months after the viewing, it was time to go. With four girls, homemade Buffalo Roundup t-shirts, recorders and harmonicas, and an 8-passenger Safari van we set out on the open road headed for Custer State Park in South Dakota.

    Tip: Even though vans aren't very "green" they sure are roomy enough for recreating the Phantom of the Opera en route to your destination.


    Custer State Park was like a wonderland for all things "western" and wildlife. We drove around the park at night with the side sliding door open and the inner dome lights off searching for sets of glowing eyes. We were determined to find as many buffalo as possible before the actual roundup. There wasn't really a goal or objective, just the thrill of spotting a massive creature that could completely pulverize you was enough.

    On the day of the actual roundup we waited in line to park at 4:30 am. Let's just say I was the captain of a pretty unhappy ship. After parking we raced to the fence in order to get perfect spots for the actual roundup. We found our spots, positioned our sleeping bags on the ground and put on our "more than creepy" plastic buffalo masks.

    People were so excited to see such young enthusiasts that a picture line started forming. We were asked to pose with people of all ages above 40. I think it was a combination of our buffalo t-shirts, masks, youth, and good looks.

    After the paparazzi left it was time for the roundup. It was exactly how I imagined! You see dark spots in a grouping off to the distance and then a few minutes goes by and a dust cloud is visibly trailing the grouping. More time passes and you start hearing the grunts and the blanks being shot into the air from wrangling cowboys. Then finally, you can feel a rumbling coming from the ground like thousands of hooves are slamming into the earth beneath you.

    Ten thousand people are watching as a heard of 1500 bison stampede over the hills of Custer State Park. I think we all realized this was a sight that was rarely seen, especially through the small slits of our buffalo masks.

    The beauty, wildlife, hotpot mac & cheese, and the sheer freedom of taking an obscure or not so obscure roadtrip with your friends is worth more than any possession.

    This roadtrip was one of several that I have taken and will be taking in the near future. Believe it, or take it as strategic flattery, I stay at Best Western hotels on every single roadtrip. I am almost 25 years old and I have been to 40 states through these adventures. See you in March in Louisiana Best Western, I've got another roadtrip!

    By j lawless on January 20, 2010 10:26 AM

    This will be to the point......Scheduled a full transit 14 day Panama Canal Cruise Thanksgiving 09, on Celebrity Infinity...........SAN to FLL......( via Los Cabos...puerto Vallarta..Hutalco....Mexico......then to Costa Rica...through canal....stopping in Cartegena Colombia before FLL)

    Best Western Yacht Harbor was pre embarcation point for us as well as many other "panamaniacs"..........great location, and Adrianna and Gen Manager Richard Beck made certain because of BW loyalty program that we were upgraded to "ocean front delux" room, so we could see the beautiful Infinity enter the port.

    While staying at BW pre cruise.....was contacted by Celebrity and was asked if we had any interest in staying on ship as our Suite was not sold for next cruise, was another 14 days back through P Canal and ending up in Valparaiso Chile

    Spur of the moment we decided to stay on ship 0n 12 5 until 12 21....as had never seen that part of South America and why not go through P Canal from the east?......the trip and beauty of Puerto Limon.....back through canal....Callao Peru...Arica Chile ..La Serena Chile...Valparaiso and Santiago were one of our best trips so far...
    the most bizzare pary was as we headed south the days became longer and longer............on last night at sea...sunset was almost 10 pm......
    ........an unexpected trip of around 16000 miles.......and it all started with a couple enjoyable nights at BW Yacht Harbor....

    By Ken Bishop on January 20, 2010 11:37 AM

    I guess the most adventurous trip was one when I was in the military and got an assignment to the Philippines. The family was going with me and we needed a car to ship overseas because it was such a hassle at that time to get the bank to release the one we had for shipment, so my brother in law had a Ford Escort for sale at that time and I knew that he had been taking care of it and bought it off him. Now granted it was not a large car like today, and there were five of us in this vehicle with all our luggage and we had a u-haul car top carrier on it also. So things were a little tight in the back seat where the kids sat. We lived in Ohio and had our route planned out. Stop in Kentucky and say good bye to our parents and then to Tennessee to see my sister before heading out to the long adventure. Our destination was Oakland California where we had to drop the car off and then fly out of there to the Philippines.

    At that time we used the old fashioned Rand-McNally map. We didn't even own a computer at that time and didn't know what mapquest was or even a GPS. We took the long route to get there through Ohio, Kentucky,Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona and finally California where we had some friends who lived at Vandenberg AFB and we were going to stay with them a couple of days before heading to Alameda. This was going to be a trip cross-country that we could all sit back and laugh about when we talked about our trips. Our trip was going well, we saw some really beautiful country.

    The old car was doing okay, taking those mountains like it was nothing. We stopped in New Mexico at a gas station and we all got out and the kids went inside while I pumped the gas. We all loaded back in the car or I thought we all had gotten in, when I looked in my rear view mirror and my younger son was running after us yelling at us to stop the car. I looked back there at the other two kids sitting there real innocent looking and said why didn't you say something. They just started laughing of course, they didn't know any better and said we wanted more room.

    Of course my son still lets them know about it when the conversation comes up about our trips. Well from then on we did a head count when we stopped anywhere else. Our trip was a success, we finally made it to Vandenberg and saw our friends and drove on to the Oakland Alameda area and dropped the car off and flew to the Philippines.

    By Ruthie Harper on January 20, 2010 1:38 PM

    One of my most memorable trips, was a year ago, with a repeat trip to the same area a week ago.

    I am a member of a Cluster Headache Support Group.. The CH Support Group had a mid-term Meet & Greet in Bridgeton, MO, two years in a row, because we enjoy the area and the treatment we receive from the Best Western Employees..

    While in St. Louis many of us go sight seeing. St. Louis have some of the most beautiful sights in America.. There were visits to the Arch, visits to two of the best restaurants I've ever encountered, Rigazzi's and Sweetie Pie's.

    I can think of no words that would adequately describe Cathedral Basilica... that is one of the most beautiful churches I've ever encountered. Visiting Basilica is worth the trip alone.

    Peace & Blessings

    By S Rader on January 20, 2010 1:45 PM

    Remembering the best time I had was when my current husband (at the time boyfriend) and I went on vacation together down in Eureka Springs, April 2007 Before we entered into town we found a fun tower to climb. We put our money in to the slot and tried to enter and I got stuck in the gate, we laughed so hard I cried. We finally figured out how to get through and we climbed the over one hundred steps to the top. What a beautiful view we saw. Rolling hills and over in the distance Christ of the Ozarks. We traveled around the streets of the beautiful city. We just enjoyed each others company. We ate at the road kill cafe and I asked him if he was ready to get married and he said "right now?" I said I mean just in general. He said I guess so. I told him, I would be with him though the good, the bad and the ugly. We then continued to eat.
    We then headed back towards Marshfield, and we were both tired and so we stopped at Roaring River State Park and found a room for the night. The next morning I was awakened by my boyfriend who climbed out of his bed and jumped on to my bed and asked me are you ready to get married? I said Yes! He said do you want to go back and plan something or just do it? I said let's do it! So we packed and headed back to Eureka Springs and quickly found out that we couldn't get married on Sunday because we didn't have a marriage license. So we would have to wait until Monday. So we picked out some rings and then found us a place to stay for the night-it was a Best Western in Eureka. The pool was supposed to be heated; this was in April mind you. Well let me tell you, I found out very quickly that your heart can seem like it was stopping from the cold water. The pool was beautiful to look at but not to be in. Only good for a polar bear or penguin. The next day we got everything in order and were married by Judge Roy Beans. Old time photos were taken and we were on our way to exploring the state of Arkansas, Missouri and Iowa. That truly was the best adventure I ever had. Go on vacation and come back married, and not ever thinking that is what would happen-Awesome memories

    By Pam Mancuso on January 20, 2010 6:13 PM

    All of my vacations are to our National Parks. My best trip was to Glacier National Park. Our first day in the park we took a tour in the famous red jammer in the early morning with the hood down. We sat in the back freezing under the blanket laughing the entire time. Then we had a personal tour by Curly Bear Wagner into parts of his Indian life where tourist are not allowed. He took us to the top of their Sacred Mountain where we blew smoke and prayed to the spirit. It was a moving moment and a honor I will forever treasure. At the Many Glacier Hotel area we took a 10 mile hike to my surprise (just finishing up back therapy). Wheh we left Many Glacier it was snowing heavy but when we got to Lake McDonald Lodge we were wearing shorts. Best National Park I ever went to so far.

    By James Rose on January 22, 2010 5:56 AM

    One time, a long time ago, in Venice Italy, I jumped out of a moving train.

    After many weeks of travel through Greece, my girlfriend (now wife) and I were heading back to Germany and out of money. We made it to Venice and panhandled enough for train tickets out just before the last train of the night left. We ran for the train and I got on but the conducter did not allow my girl friend to get on.

    She was distraught and being comforted by the crowd that witness the event when I emerged from the gloom, walking back along the tracks...having jumped off as soon as the conductor had left me alone.

    The only damage from jumping as an oil stain in my jacket as an olive oil bottle had broken during the fall!

    By Carrie Nermo on January 22, 2010 2:16 PM

    This is my favorite story that never fails to get a laugh. When I was 18 I told my Mom and Dad I was going to be backpacking through Europe for the summer between first and second year university (Chuck and Di were getting married afterall and I couldn't miss that, could I?). I, of course, had to make all the obligatory stops at relatives we hadn't ever seen and check in every week. When I was in Stockholm I walked to where I thought the Youth Hostel was and suddenly from big City I was in complete wilderness. The skies were pink and there were woodland creatures - I kid you not. It was about 1 o'clock in the morning when finally I flagged down a passing car to get directions. In the car was a guy who looked a little like Colonel Klink from Hogan's Heroes. After I asked him if he spoke English and where the Youth Hostel was, he didn't say a word but held up his finger as if to indicate "one moment" and reached into the back of his car. At this moment I thought "He's gotta gun and I'm gonna die in Sweden and they won't be able to mail my body back to Canada because of the blasted postal strike!" I cleaned up my language quite a bit here haha Anyway, he reached into the back seat and pulled out a notepad and wrote that he had larengitis and that if I head back through the University and over the hill there would be the Youth Hostel. And although he offered to drive me there I laughed and thanked him and set out on my way. I love that story.

    By Anita Ross on January 22, 2010 3:42 PM

    Family Holiday July 2009- we traveled by Planes, trains, and automobile, and a wonderfull boat cruise.

    we drove from Prince George BC, to Bellingham WA. stayed over night at the Best Western. The next morning, 4am we were driven by a very friendly shuttle bus driver to the airport. We flew from Bellingham to San Diego Ca. There we enjoyed 7 days sightseeing the Zoo, Seaworld, swam with the dolphins, had breakfast with Shamu. Seen the sights of the harbour by boat. LOVED San Diego. we then took the Amtrak to Anaheim CA. where we once again stayed at a Best Western(7days) enjoying Disneyland, Universal Studio, Hollywood, and Huntington Beach. Our adventure was not over yet... we rented a mini-van and drove to Las Vegas NV. for 5 nights, We stayed at the Excalaber Hotel, which has the best outdoor pools in Vegas! we took a drive to see Hover Dam and the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, what a a beautiful drive!
    Our Holiday was almost over, we flew back to Bellingham from Vegas, picked up our vehicle and drove to 108mile Resort , BC, spend a night there enjoying the pool and a beautiful sunset, the next day we had a relaxing drive back to Prince George.
    My husband, children and I had planned this trip for a long time, and
    we had the time of our lives!

    By Lloyd Hillier on January 22, 2010 3:47 PM

    My best adventure yet was the summer of 2009. My best friend and I decided to ride our motorcycles from Winnipeg Manitoba to Laughlin Nevada before heading to Sturgis South Dakota for the Motorcycle rally.

    Our summer in Winnipeg was dreadful and we could not wait to hit the road. You departed July 25th and headed to Sioux Falls SD. The weather was cool in the morning and by the time we arrived in Sioux Falls it was 80 degrees and we finally got to enjoy the weather. We stayed at the local Best Western.

    July 26th we headed to Witchita Kanas, what a ride, beautiful scenery, first time in Nebraska for both of us, the hospiatllity was awesome and the best western in Witchita was great.

    On day three we headed to Sana Rosa New Mexico, what a ride and boy was it hot. It was 98 degrees most of the day and boy did we get a tan, we are very the east coast of Canada and we never get these temperatures on th east coast or in Winnipeg. The scenery through northern Texas was awesome and the town of Sana Rosa was beautiful.

    On day three we rode to Flagstaff Arizona, the temperature was cool in the morning as we start our days early and finish early but as the day prgress it got hoter. We hit 100 degrees that. As we drove through New Mexico we could not believe the scenery. Albourquee New Mexico was a larger city then we expected.

    Day four we head to Laughlin Nevada but not before we visited the Grand Canyon. I have been there three times before but everytime I see something new, my friend it was his first time and he was shocked with the beauty. As we left the grand canyon the temperature was climbing, as we approached Kingman AZ we were baking, it was 112 degrees and our rear tires were burning. My friend had to replace his tire before we headed to Laughlin 40 minutes away. As we approached Laughlin and were stopped at the lights we could smell rubber burning again, this time it wa sminf but thankfully not enough to replace yet. We arrived, checked in changed our closed, grabed a six pack of bud and headed directly to teh colorado river to cool off. We laid in the river for two hours cooling off from our adventure of the day. We remained in Laughlin relaxing for two full days before headed to Sturgis for the rally.

    On July 31 we headed to Sturgis, but before we arrived we were stopping in Evanston Wyoming. As we left Laughlin I told me friend the police are always on the main highway and will be watching for anything especally motorcycist without helmets sinc eit is the law. My friend had no helmet so we proceeded. Sure enough we get pulled over twenty minutes into our ride. I am laughing as the offic eis giving my friend an earful. He lets him off with a warning but could not guaranteed the next officer would do the same.

    We rode through Las Vegas, St Georges, Mesquite then headed to Provo Utah. We rode through Provo Canyon, it was breath taking and I cannot wait to rid ethrough again. We finally arrived in Evanston 7 pm that night.

    August 1 we head to Sturgis and expected a long ride, the weather was good as it was the entire trip. We had rode through breath takinbg scenery in Wyoming, small scenic towns and landscapes. We were getting close to Sturgis when we started to run into thousand od motorcycists. Everyone headign the same direction. We finaaly arrived at 7 pm and we wexhaust. We checked in, got a shower, pick up some beverages and relaxed for the night. I think we passed out around 10 pm with exhaustion.

    On August 2 we spent the day downtown sturgis enjoying the festivities of the motorcycle rally, in the evening we went to the legendary Full Throttle Sallon. That was awesome.

    On August 3 we headed back to Winnipeg, we rode to Jamestown ND but was unsuccessfull in finding a room. We headed to Fargo but were to tired so we stopped in a small town. Relaxed, had a bite to eat then went to bed.

    We arrived home on August 4th after a long two weeks of enjoyable riding, awesome scenery and great people. We stayed in five best westerns on our trip and everyone of them was awesome.

    Cannot wait for this years adventer another ride to Laughlin for the motorcycle rally in April. Hopefully the weather will co-operate with me as it did last summer. This was my adventure.

    By Pat Robinson on January 22, 2010 5:31 PM


    I would have to say my most satifying trip was in 2008 when my wife and I traveled to California. We had a goal of visiting all 21 of the California Missions, we started in 1969 and finally 39 years and many visits later we achieved that goal. Some of the missions we had visited more than once but our last three were, Santa Clara, San Fernando, and San Luis Rey. We had a fabulous three week road trip down through Washington and the Oregan coast, perfect weather and stayed in Best Westerns every night. I would certainly recommend the Missions to anyone interested in early California history and culture, some are a little off the beaten path but all are worth a visit.

    By Terry Walsh on January 22, 2010 8:44 PM

    Our best trip is always the last one. Nearly every year for the last seven years we travel to Europe and use either rail or our bicycles during our trip.
    We always travel from our home to the Toronto Pearson airport with our bicycles loaded as would travelling during the trip. Its so unique, the bicycle is one peice of checked luggage and the other peice is our main panniers combines into one bag. The rest of our gear becomes carry on.

    Last year we flew to Frankfurt, Germany and took a regional express to Kassel, Germany. The german rail has a unique daily rail pass for 50 euro travel as far you want to go and its good for five people with their bikes. Reaching Kassel, we stayed at the Best Western Wilhemshole hotel.
    It was just right time reaching there to check in at 2 pm.
    The next day we are on our way following the Fulda river, the bicycle paths are excellent, some gravel along the way forces us onto the road for a little while. Our destination is Holzminden, and when we reach 100 km, we are taking a regional express into Hannover. The next four days we travel from Hannover along the Weser, then going overland to the Ems river before ending up on the border with Holland. The next day is a treat, riding across Holland. The joke is if you jump up you might see Amsterdam's tall buildings from afar. It was flat ride, but not too windy. After travelling 500 km in five days on our bicycles loaded with our luggage, we head to the Stuttgart onboard Germany's fastest train that takes a reservation to carry bicycles at between 160 and 200 km/h. We split the tour into two parts
    and use 9 days to do day trips around the Stuttgart region. Over the past three years we have rode every direction in around Stuttgart. After 9 days of day trips, we take the fast train back to Kassel and stay at the Wilhemshole Best Western the second time. This time we have more time to tour around Wilhelmshole and walk up to the Hercules giganitc statue at the top of a cascading waterfalls that is lined with stairways. The next four days we travel with our loaded bikes back to Frankfurt crossing the Vogelberg hills. On the second last day, it nearly rains all afternoon.
    The last night in Frankfurt we have enough Best Western points to have a free stay the Best Western Plaza hotel. We have stayed at this hotel 3 times since 2001. The next day is the day of our flight, and we ride to the airport knowing our trip is coming to an end again. 1350 km travelled by bicycle

    By janine Bonin on January 23, 2010 1:35 PM

    Favorite travel spots do not have to so far from home. I have travelled 40 minutes from hoem to spend some quality time in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. For the last 4 summers I have time at the Berkshire Theater Festival in Stockbridge, MA> I subscribe and atrend opening nights. I have met the most incredible and extraordinary people. My circle of friends has grown. I have spent time exploring new plays, learning about playwrights abd characters they have written about. I have hobknobbed with directors and actors and other attendees of the theater. I have spent some quality time with so many and have become friends with them. I have spent time with them at Rumpy's Tavern in Lenox and Mo's Tavern in Lee, MA. The Berkshires are one of the greatest areas in Western Massachusetts. There are so many other venues to explore that you could a month of Sundays travelling through there. It has gioven me so much pleasure and my life has been enriched.

    By Sherryann Carlson on January 23, 2010 2:05 PM

    For New Years Eve this year we went to San Fransisco.
    We left late night on the 30th and toke our Nissan Sentra Sherry that's me my boyfriend Anthony and our pup Zimmy who just had turned 2 years old!

    8 hours on the road the traffic was horrific. Finally around 12am we rolled into San Fransisco. Dragging ourselves and Zimmy to the hotel.

    We stayed in a nice Victorian hotel just off of Haynes st. we were put on the second floor and there weren't any elevators so we pulled our stuff up 3 flits of stairs got some exercise while we were there!

    The bathrooms were 2 to a floor and the shower was one to a floor oddly enough most of the time we had to trouble having use. They served free breakfast in the morning and had a nice reading room where you could watch tv or look over the paper and read a book.

    The hotel was dog friendly and everyone loved Zimmy. There was a little dog park not, but a block away where we could go for Zimmy; we met many dogs and nice people.

    We came to San Fransisco to see a concert: "Bob Weir and Phil Lesh former Grateful Dead members" the show was amazing 6 hours of pure acid music buzzing around our heads until the count down they had Miss 2010 on top of big skull that moved across the whole arena while Beatles played "All you need is Love."

    We awoke the next morning with memories of Dead Bears in our head and music all day for a long trip home, but not before stopping in Golden Gate park and shopping all day in haight and ashbury.

    We love the city and go there often until our next trip.
    Signing off Sherryann~

    By James Shand on January 23, 2010 2:54 PM

    My favorite adventure was a spring break trip with my daughter to Arizona. We had a fun and relaxing trip out and back on Amtrak.. While in Arizona we enjoyed cool spring weather while visiting the Flagstaff area, had a warm and sunny time in Sedona, then experienced snow showers at the Grand Canyon. We experienced 3 beautiful areas in 3 types of weather on one trip.

    By Marc on January 24, 2010 12:49 PM

    Last year I took my family on a road trip. We began our journey in Southern Arizona, our first night was spent at The Best Western Arizonan Inn in Holbrook. We drove through The Painted Desert & Petrified Forest.
    We also took the time to visit "The Standin' on The Corner" tourist attraction in Winslow. Then it was on to tour The Meteror Crater. Next, we drove to Utah to vist Bryce Canyon & stay at the brand new Best Western Bryce Canyon Inn, which was beautiful! Our next adventure was to vist the amazing Zion National Park. We stayed for two nights at The Best Western Zion Park Inn. We found the Inn to be well kept including the property & the views were unbelievable! Best Western helped to make our vacation more comfortable & enjoyable. We made some very special family memories that will last a lifetime!

    By Gail Wheaton on January 24, 2010 1:00 PM

    July 2008, my husband - an amateur photographer - and I took a photography cruise to the Arctic Circle. Several times, we would bundle up in our cold weather and waterproof clothing and board a zodiac that would take us from the boat to various islands to photograph wildlife. One such trip we went to an island that had a pod of about 50 walrus. The photographers lined up on the beach with their camera gear and tripods to take pictures of the walrus out a ways in the water. Our guide suggested I get into the water. I waded into the frigid water up to my knees, crouched down and moved the water with my gloved hands. Soon a very large male walrus - with good sized tusks - came within three feet of me. Close enough so I could see his whiskers moving and his eyelashes fluttering. "What kind of a walrus is that", I'm sure he wondered. After a few minutes he submerged and disappeared. All the photographers got some good closeups of the walrus and me? I got an adventure I will never forget! By the way, I am in my late 60's - you are never too old for a memorable adventure!

    By wendy cox on January 24, 2010 11:34 PM

    SINCE 2005 I HAVE DRIVEN BACK AND FORTH FROM MONTREAL TO VANCOUVER AND STAYED AT BEST WESTERN IN THUNDER BAY AND BANIFF. MY HUSBAND WHO PASSED AWAY IN 2005 AFTER HIS TRIP FROM VANCOUVER TO MONTREAL REMARKED THAT THE BEST WESTERN HAD THE BEST PILLOWS . I LAUGHED AS HE WAS SO ILL FROM HIS LUNG CANCER THAT I DIDNT THINK HE WOULD BE THINKING ABOUT THE PILLOWS . SINCE THEN I HAVE TRAVELLED BACK AND FORTH ALMOST ONCE PER YEAR AND STAYED AT THE SAME BEST WESTERNS . EACH TIME I HAVE TRAVELLED WITH A DIFFERENT PARTNER AND MY GIRLFRIEND ARRIVED IN VANCOUVER AND SAID TO MY SON "THE BEST WESTERN HAS THE BEST PILLOWS" I LAUGHED REMEMBERING HOW MY SICK HUSBAND HAD SAID THE SAME WORDS. IT IS FUNNY HOW SUCH A SMALL THING CAN GIVE PLEASURE WHEN SUCH BEAUTY IS ALL AROUND ON THIS TRIP , MOUNTAINS , SKY , AMIMALS AND ALL HE CARED ABOUT WAS THAT THE BEST WESTERN PILLOWS WERE SO COMFORTABLE. I AM SO GRATEFUL FOR THAT. MY ADVENTURE WAS NOT .AS MOST ARE BUT HE LIVED TO GET TO MONTREAL AND TRAVELLING WAS AN ADVENTURE THAT I WILL REMEMBER FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. THANKYOU BEST WESTERN FOR GIVING MY LOVING HUSBAND SUCH PLEASURE AT SUCH A STRESSFUL TIME .

    By wendy cox on January 24, 2010 11:36 PM

    SINCE 2005 I HAVE DRIVEN BACK AND FORTH FROM MONTREAL TO VANCOUVER AND STAYED AT BEST WESTERN IN THUNDER BAY AND BANIFF. MY HUSBAND WHO PASSED AWAY IN 2005 AFTER HIS TRIP FROM VANCOUVER TO MONTREAL REMARKED THAT THE BEST WESTERN HAD THE BEST PILLOWS . I LAUGHED AS HE WAS SO ILL FROM HIS LUNG CANCER THAT I DIDNT THINK HE WOULD BE THINKING ABOUT THE PILLOWS . SINCE THEN I HAVE TRAVELLED BACK AND FORTH ALMOST ONCE PER YEAR AND STAYED AT THE SAME BEST WESTERNS . EACH TIME I HAVE TRAVELLED WITH A DIFFERENT PARTNER AND MY GIRLFRIEND ARRIVED IN VANCOUVER AND SAID TO MY SON "THE BEST WESTERN HAS THE BEST PILLOWS" I LAUGHED REMEMBERING HOW MY SICK HUSBAND HAD SAID THE SAME WORDS. IT IS FUNNY HOW SUCH A SMALL THING CAN GIVE PLEASURE WHEN SUCH BEAUTY IS ALL AROUND ON THIS TRIP , MOUNTAINS , SKY , AMIMALS AND ALL HE CARED ABOUT WAS THAT THE BEST WESTERN PILLOWS WERE SO COMFORTABLE. I AM SO GRATEFUL FOR THAT. MY ADVENTURE WAS NOT .AS MOST ARE BUT HE LIVED TO GET TO MONTREAL AND TRAVELLING WAS AN ADVENTURE THAT I WILL REMEMBER FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. THANKYOU BEST WESTERN FOR GIVING MY LOVING HUSBAND SUCH PLEASURE AT SUCH A STRESSFUL TIME .

    By Camille on January 25, 2010 6:41 AM

    My most memorable travel experience was the five-month stint I took as a nanny in Belgium at the age of twenty. I was terrified to go, having never met the family I was working for (except on Skype), but I was even more afraid of missing out on the adventure of a lifetime---I was right to go!

    The first day I arrived, the family picked me up from Charles de Gaulles, gave me my first week's pay, dropped me off at the apartment they owned in Paris, and headed off for a week of family vacationing that they hadn't planned on me arriving in time for. So right off the bat, I was given 200 Euros, a map of Paris in a language I didn't know, and free roam of the most fascinating city I have ever visited.

    TALK ABOUT ADVENTURE! I played the game just right---figured out which museums had student discounts when, bought all my food from grocery stores instead of cafes, and even picked up a bit of french along the way. I will never forget that first week of my job as a nanny (the ensuing months were equally amazing); I will be forever grateful to myself for not chickening out at the last minute.

    By Irma on January 25, 2010 6:16 PM

    I want to share about an amazing, spur-of- the moment trip to Mexico that I took many years ago. At that time I was working for a large corporation in San Antonio, Texas. One of my co-workers was a woman who was kind-hearted and acted like a big sister to me. One day at about 9 a.m. while I was sitting at my desk doing my usual work, the telephone rang and this co-worker/friend was calling from Mexico City. She and her boyfriend had gone down there to go sight-seeing and wanted me to join them. She said that because of my Hispanic heritage, she knew that I would enjoy this trip immensely. I was flabbergasted and told her there was no way I could afford this trip and anyway I was at work! She insisted that her boyfriend would pick up the entire tab to include airline tickets and a hotel room and that money was no issue. Having never done anything so adventuresome like this, I thought, “why not!” I quickly asked my boss for the day off, rushed home to pick up a few things, and caught a flight out by noon. When I arrived at the Mexico City airport, my friend and her boyfriend picked me up and from there we went outside the city to the pyramids at the ancient city of Teotihuacan. What an exciting time that was to visit this archaeological site and see the Pyramid of the Sun (the third largest pyramid in the world) and the Calle de los Muertos (Street of the Dead) which was flanked by temples, palaces and platforms. When darkness fell, we headed back to Mexico City, changed clothes at our hotel and went to a fabulous, trendy night club where we ate supper and danced until the wee hours of the morning. I had only a couple of hours of sleep before we headed back to the airport where they put me on a plane back to the states. Upon my arrival back, I headed straight to my office and I was back at my desk mid-day. I was quite exhausted but couldn’t wait for someone to ask me what I had done the night before!

    By Michelle Smith on January 26, 2010 9:32 AM

    I have been blessed to travel to about a dozen different countries and I have seen many different things. I was amazed to find out that the experience of a lifetime was only an eight hour drive from my home. I found out from reading a travel book that there is one place in the world that you can swim with the manatee. I also found out that the Best Western Hotel in Crystal River had a dive and snorkel shop right on their premises that could faciliate this experience. We drove to Florida on Thursday and Friday morning we walked across the parking lot from our room to the dive shop. We were taken by boat to see the manatee. What an amazing experience to interact with these beautiful, gentle creatures! It has definitely raised my awareness of the need to protect this endangered species. I recommend this experience to anyone of any age. Thanks Best Western for everything you and your staff did to help make this happen!
    Michelle

    By Michelle Smith on January 26, 2010 10:48 AM

    I have been blessed to travel to about a dozen different countries and I have seen many different things. I was amazed to find out that the experience of a lifetime was only an eight hour drive from my home. I found out from reading a travel book that there is one place in the world that you can swim with the manatee. I also found out that the Best Western Hotel in Crystal River had a dive and snorkel shop right on their premises that could faciliate this experience. We drove to Florida on Thursday and Friday morning we walked across the parking lot from our room to the dive shop. We were taken by boat to see the manatee. What an amazing experience to interact with these beautiful, gentle creatures! It has definitely raised my awareness of the need to protect this endangered species. I recommend this experience to anyone of any age. Thanks Best Western for everything you and your staff did to help make this happen!
    Michelle

    By Stacey on January 29, 2010 12:21 PM

    This past August my husband and son drove to New Brunswick from Montreal. Every other year we take a Canadian trip because our country is so beautiful and there is so much to see.
    We stayed at the Best Western Moncton. It was our first time staying at a Best Westen and we felt welcomed. We ended up getting a smoking room because there were no non-smoking ones available which I was disappointed with for literally 20 minutes because one of the employees at the front desk took care of it for us. She went out of her way to get Febreeze from her car and spray all the room. She brought us an air purifier and within 20 minutes the room smelled great.
    Daily we asked for advice from the front desk on where we should eat, visit and which beach to go see and we followed all their tips. They were spot on!
    The beaches were gorgeous, we visited Hopewell Rocks that was amazing, the Bay of Fundy National Park was breathtaking, Magnetic Hill was a hoot and Gagetown was a thrill for my son.
    We will definitely continue our tour of Canada and Best Western will be a part of it.

    By Susan on January 30, 2010 10:58 AM

    We just returned from a trip to Monterey, California where we stayed at the Best Western. We watched gray whales migrating, went to the famous aquarium on the bay and toured from Santa Cruz in the north to Big Sur in the south. The coastal scenery is spectacular! Cypress trees, rocky cliffs, pounding surf!

    By MARILYNN D'ANTONIO on January 31, 2010 6:56 AM

    This past Christmas, I took a cross country driving trip from Tucson,
    Arizona to Raleigh , North Carolina to see my family. It was such an incredible experience and I feel very blessed to have missed any bad weather while driving. After I got home, the mid-south became very cold and icy - so good thing I missed that. I even got to use a Best Western
    gift certificate for a free room in Shreveport , Louisiana which
    was much appreciated.
    I saw such wonderful sites off the interstates with a lot of help from
    my newly purchased GPS. Some of these places were Granberry , Texas - a wonderful little idyllic town with an old fashioned town square and a lovely lake. Another place was Tuscaloosa , Alabama where I took a side trip to see the University of Alabama campus and their
    wonderful football stadium - they since won a big football game after the holidays. Also in that city I saw a historic, beautiful building which was originally a bar ? very lovely to see. In Dallas , I got off
    the interstate to stop by and see where the show, Dallas , was filmed
    - Southfork. It was so much fun to see the house I had seen for years
    on TV and have Texas barbeque in Miss Ellie's restaurant. While in
    Dallas , I shopped at the American Girl Doll Store at the Dallas Galleria. I have a niece in Raleigh who treasures her American Girl dolls and I wanted to see what this was all about - it was certainly worth the trip to see the delight on the little girl's faces and their parents. My GPS took me about 20 miles off the freeway to see the
    historic part of a town called Seneca , South Carolina where they
    had a wonderful local artist's craft store. In Vicksburg ,
    Mississippi , I crossed the mighty Mississippi and stopped to see
    some of the historic Civil War sites. In Clinton , Mississippi ,
    outside of Jackson , I ended up in a lovely historic area that had a
    beautiful antique store - these towns really bring you back in time. Oh
    and let's not forget staying near Anniston , Alabama and seeing
    where the Taladega Motor Speedway is and the Motor Sports Hall of Fame.
    I could just hear the crowd roar in my mind when a Nascar race was on -
    how exciting. A nice break was in Shreveport , Louisiana where
    they had several casinos. In beautiful, historic Wake Forest , North
    Carolina where my family lives it was wonderful to be a few minutes
    from seeing all of the historic beauitiful old southern mansions that invited you to get out of the car and just walk.

    I am highly recommending getting away from the hassle of the airports, especially at Christmas, and get in the car and drive. You realize that we are all so united in this country and what a wonderful place it is.
    My friends think I am nuts to do this trip alone but I will until my health tells me I can't. It is definitely worth the time to do it.

    By Tamika Wilks on January 31, 2010 4:41 PM

    My Greatest and most Exciting Trip was this past November to Riviera Nayarit, Mexico. It was to beautiful, calm and relaxing.
    My boyfriend and I stayed at the lovely Hotel De Artistes, Boutique Hotel. It was so quiant and personal and the service was Excellent. The fine dining was also very good. We rented a fishing boat and went fishing, walked the long white beach and enjoyed the Mexican Cuisine at so many of the beach front restaurants.
    It was surely a Trip to Remember and a Place to Return To!

    By Ron Miller on February 9, 2010 3:46 PM

    Fishing trip to Costa Rica, two days out for Marlin, 8 sales reps that won the trip each put $100 in the pot for biggest fish caught. The guy who won, was eating lunch at the front of the boat with a rod in the water and caught a sea bass 15 lbs. Here we were fishing for two days straight and that's all that was caught the entire time.

    By Tom Burke on February 9, 2010 8:43 PM

    Once I had a layover in Paris, coming back to NY from Cologne, Germany. My flight got cancelled and I had to wait 6 hours to go home, I got to have dinner in Paris and visit it the Eiffel Tower, it was a wonderful day, all because of an error.

    By Arlene Andrews on February 10, 2010 9:37 AM

    One of the best travel experiences that I have had was with a group of students. We went up to the State Capitol in Sacramento, California in Feb. of 2009 and the weather was absolutely beautiful. I took a group of economically disadvantaged kids from LA to Sacramento on the Greyhound bus. It was their first time taking a long trip and also their first time going to Sacramento. Thank God that 3 warm, comfortable rooms at The Best Western Sutter Place in Sacramento awaited us when we arrived! The kids saw squirrels running up the hundreds of Tall Majestic California Oaks; flowers were blooming, the sun was shining and they learned all that they ever wanted to know about the Legislative Process in our State. Afterwards, I took them to Old Sacramento, where they absolutely had a great time being tourists, eating ice cream, pizza, and visiting the Railroad Museum. We all took photos by the River, and of course, we took an obligatory trip through the Mall on our way back to the bus station..Of course, they are teenagers! Thank God for the Best Western and the excellent rate that they gave us and for treating the young people like celebrities. It was an unforgettable experience.


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