Friday, April 30, 2010

Where's Seymour Contest Update

So we have a winner for my Where's Seymour contest. Sandra correctly identified Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson, as my location in April. For being the first correct answer, chosen at random, she wins a membership. Congratulations Sandra, and thank you to everyone who submitted an answer.

Be sure to check out the new Where's Seymour contest for May. This month's prize is a great, full grain leather luggage tag from Saddleback Leather Company. Good luck!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Thank God I'm a Country Boy

I guess I'm actually more of a city slicker, but when you find yourself in Music City U.S.A. (a.k.a. Nashville) you just gotta hunker down and cowboy up! And if you think Nashville is just for country music fans, think again. Tennessee's capital is home to NFL football, NHL hockey, the Hermitage (Andrew Jackson's home), many Civil War sites, the Tennessee Museum, the Nashville Zoo, Vanderbilt University, Cheekwood Botanical Gardens, and so much more. You know they even have a full-scale replica of the Parthenon here? I thought I'd taken a seriously wrong turn when I ran across that thing.

And talk about good eatin', the Nashville's restaurant scene is as varied as its music. From sushi to tapas, barbecue to fusion, they've got it all here. But by far, the "meat and threes" are the most popular. That's meat and three sides for you greenhorns out there. And if you haven't had southern sides, you are in for a treat: collard greens, black-eyed peas, succotash, sweet potatoes, grits, hush puppies, baked beans, okra, and many more. And if it can be held down long enough to be battered and fried, you can bet you'll find it here. You know they even deep-fry pickles? Are you kidding me?! Good thing you can do lots of walking in the historic downtown area.

But if music is your thing, they've got it coming out of the cracks in the sidewalks in this town. And if country and western doesn't butter your biscuit, don't fret. They've got jazz, blues, rock and roll, bluegrass, and a fantastic genre-bending scene that culminates annually in the Bonnaroo festival. But really, no trip to Nashville is complete without hitting the Country Music Hall of Fame, The Ryman Auditorium, and the Grand Ole Opry. From Hank to Willie, Dolly to Loretta, Nashville and the Opry has played home at one time or another to nearly every performer in the history of "American Music". Ya'll come!

I am renting a lovely two bedroom, two bathroom timeshare unit at the Wyndham Nashville. If you plan on hitting the Opry, Opry Mills Mall, or the Gardens at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel, they are all directly across the street. You will have to take a short drive to downtown Nashville. The resort itself features both indoor and outdoor pools, and is nearby golfing, hiking, horseback riding, tennis and more. Looks like you can get a timeshare rental on here for just $70/night. We even have a unit for sale for just $100. Our members give the resort 4 stars and seem to like its proximity to the great attractions, and the reputation Wyndham has earned among seasoned timeshare travelers. I'd have to agree on both accounts.

Well, I am off to take a wild and crazy tour of Nashville with the Juggs sisters and their hot-pink school bus called the Nash Trash Tour. It's a BYOB, bawdy affair, where the gals serve up cheez-whiz hors d'oeuvres, and dish out dirt on the local music celebrities. I hope we see Mylie Cyrus, or maybe Hannah Montana. I can never keep those two straight.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Ye Olde Union Oyster HouseNo, not Cheers (although that's here too), I'm talking about Beantown, the city on a hill. In other words, Boston! No city in America can match the rich history of this delightful and vibrant city: Paul Revere's Ride, the Boston Massacre, the Battle of Bunker Hill, the Boston Tea Party, Bird vs. Magic, and so much more.

Hey, did you know that the oldest continually operating restaurant in America is in Boston? Yep, Ye Olde Union Oyster House has been a favorite of locals and tourists, statesmen and commoners, since 1826. They say that Daniel Webster, a regular, frequently consumed six brandies and 36 oysters in a single sitting. Are you kidding me?! Talk about a power lunch. And if professional sports is your thing, look out, these folks are serious. What other city can boast a world famous marathon, 17 NBA championships, 3 Super Bowls, 5 Stanley Cups, and 7 World Series Championships? But I would caution you against any mention of the New York Yankees, Babe Ruth, or a certain ball going through Bill Buckner's legs. But maybe that's just Seymour being Seymour.

While in the "Athens of America" I am renting a timeshare at Marriott's Custom House. Located in Boston's first skyscraper (1849), Marriott's Custom House is the perfect blend of rich cultural history and modern luxury. Located on Boston Harbor, it features a museum, many original details, an owner's lounge, concierge service, exercise room, and a 360-degree view of the city from the 26th floor open-air observation deck. All of the rooms are spacious, one bedroom suites with a king bed, 1.5 baths, and a queen-sized sleeper sofa. You won't be doing any real cooking in the kitchenette, but there are literally hundreds of restaurants and eateries just outside the front door. Right now on, we have timeshare rentals at Marriott's Custom House starting at $143/night. Currently there are no timeshare resales, and I would expect that is because owners absolutely love this place (4.5 stars from our members). I suggest signing up for a posting alert to be notified of new resale postings.

A word to the wise from the locals: "It's wicked ha'd to pa'k ya ca' in Baston," and truer words have never been spoken. Parking in this part of town is scarce, and expensive. But don't fret, The Custom House is located right across the street from the "T" Blue Line (America's first subway system, by the way), and they don't call Boston "The Walking City" for nothing. So leave your car behind and experience this great city on foot.

Well, I am off to Newbury St. to check out some of the finest shopping and restaurants Boston has to offer, and then a walking tour of Havard Yard. I'm going to have to try a bowl of this "chowdah" everyone keeps recommending, and maybe even some oysters. I think I'll probably skip the six brandies, but you never know, the day is still young, and I'm not driving!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Birth of a Nation

Jamestown FortAnd I don't mean that crazy klan flick from the silent movie era... I'm talking the Old Dominion here. The tidewater region of Virginia is home to America's Historic Triangle: Jamestown - the first permanent English Settlement in the New World; Colonial Williamsburg - Virginia's first capital and home to the College of William and Mary; and Yorktown - where the British finally called it quits in the American Revolution, are all within minutes of one another. This is where it all got started and, unlike the malaria, Indian attacks, and starvation the colonials experienced, today you'll find living history, fantastic museums, retail outlets, and timeshare rentals.

In Colonial Williamsburg, the restored section of the city, you can meet and greet with talented history interpreters playing the roles of residents from our colonial days. You might even run into George Washington or Thomas Jefferson, if you're lucky. I saw this one fellow confined to "the stocks" for having too much to drink the night before. I told him to try some aspirin and lots of water next time, but he didn't seem to know what I was talking about. Did you know the normal penalty for most misdemeanors was a simple fine, but that if you didn't pay it they publicly lashed you with a whip? Are you kidding me?! Needless to say, I was on my best behavior during my visit.

While in the Williamsburg area, I am staying at the Wyndham Kingsgate. From here I can easily get to all of the main attractions, while enjoying the amenities of this family-friendly resort. It features indoor and outdoor pools (including one just for adults), miniature golf, tennis courts, an onsite restaurant, and more. Looks like you can rent a 2 Bed/1 Bath unit on right now for just $111/night. And if you think you might like to own here, there's a 3 Bed/3 Bath for just $2000.

Well, I am going to get back to some living history down at the Jamestown landing site. Maybe I'll see Pocahontas or Capt. John Smith. I sure hope he sings better than Mel Gibson did in the Disney version.