Archives for Adventure Living

Virginia’s Mountain Magic: Music, Crafts, Lodging

The Crooked Road

The Crooked Road
photo Virginia Tourism Corp

by Candyce Stapen, BellaOnline.com

In Virginia’s southwest and its Blue Ridge Highlands, toe-tapping fiddle and banjo tunes as well as blends of folk and popular music ring out against the mountains. Along the region’s back roads and main streets, discover the other kind of mountain magic: handmade quilts and pottery plus contemporary glass, fiber and wood creations.

To let visitors discover what locals always knew and loved, the area created the Crooked Road, a music heritage trail. The path zigzags and meanders for 253-miles through ten counties of the Appalachian Mountains.   In The Crooked Road, a Music Heritage Trail, Joe Wilson details the venues from local country stores to festivals more than 40-years-old.

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Kiteboarding, Puerto Rico

Kiteboarding, Puerto Rico

Kiteboarding, Puerto Rico
photo C. Stapen

by Candyce Stapen, BellaOnline.com

Kiteboarding: can a middle-aged woman of average athletic ability and no previous experience snowboarding or surfing fly through the waves on a kiteboard?  Absolutely. I discover this in San Juan on Puerto Rico’s Isla Verde Beach during a  two-hour lesson with 15 Knots.

Forget-about requiring bulging muscles. “That’s one of the biggest myths about the sport,” my instructor Felix Cuadrado, tells me.  “You don’t rely on strength to control the kite and you won’t be blown out to sea,” another concern for never-evers.

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Lancaster, PA, Surprises

Traditional Lancaster PA

Traditional Lancaster, PA
photo C. Stapen

by Candyce Stapen, BellaOnline.com

In Lancaster, PA, on a recent weekend getaway, we enjoyed a mix of urban sophistication plus comforting rural landscapes. We expected—and looked forward to– the farmlands since Lancaster County beats as the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country. What surprised us: the galleries, vintage shops, boutiques and good restaurants.

 In fact Lancaster city ranks among the U.S.’s top 25 metropolitan areas with vibrant local (non-chain) retail, according to Civic Economics and the American Booksellers Association’s 2011 survey. Our strolls along North Prince and Queen streets revealed an interesting diversity.

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Adventure Living and Travel

Namibia Etosha Giraffe

Namibia Etosha Giraffe
photo A. Kempler

by Candyce Stapen, BellaOnline.com

Adventures aren’t superfluous; these special experiences, whether high-end dream trips in Kenya tracking elephants and wildebeest or budget sleepovers exploring sea wonders at your local science museum, create important family bonds and bring more bonuses than the same old trips.

Unusual outings, whether day trips or dream adventures, deliver much joy. First, adults and kids look forward to the out-of-the-ordinary activity. Then, they revel in the event’s excitement and afterwards, they cherish the memories. More and more high-end outfitters are putting family-oriented vacations, including trips targeted to multigenerational groups.

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Washington, DC, Winter Fun

Washington DC Harbour Ice Rink

Washington DC Harbour Ice Rink
photo C. Stapen

by Candyce Stapen, BellaOnline.com

Washington, D.C., is in the spotlight as the city readies for President Obama’s second inauguration, January 21, 2013. Whether you plan be in the District for the festivities or visit the city later this winter, there’s much that’s new and interesting.

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FamilyiTrips Apps

DC with Kids app
With more than 250 entries, hundreds of photos, illustrations and maps, FamilyiTrips’ DC With Kids is the most comprehensive family travel app on the nation’s capital.
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Great Family Vacations

Highly respected family travel expert, Candyce Stapen has authored 30 travel guide books—including two for National Geographic-- appeared on the TODAY Show and written 2,300+ travel articles for a variety of outlets.
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Adventure Living

Adventures aren’t superfluous; these special experiences, whether high-end dream trips in Kenya tracking elephants and wildebeest or budget sleepovers exploring sea wonders at your local science museum, create important family bonds and bring more bonuses than the same old trips.
Find out more...

 

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