Cumberland Gap

Cumberland Gap jpg

I love integrating history in with vacations! I have found my kids love it too.

Here’s a memorable walking tour that incites learning, discussion and spiritual empress.

It’s hard for us to understand how humble the origin is of the United States. After the American Revolution, settlers began to pour across the Appalachian Mountains to the new land of Kentucky. Their technology consisted of the axe and the long rifle and they relied on themselves for a better life.

They crossed the Appalachians through the Cumberland Gap. The Cumberland Gap National Park lies on the borders of Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. It had been used as a passageway for centuries by the buffalo and Indians. Daniel Boone was the first to clear the way through the Cumberland Gap in 1775, creating the Wilderness Road, and established Boonesborough in Kentucky. Crossing was usually done in the winter so that spring planting could commence upon arrival.

Abraham Lincoln’s grandfather crossed through that same Gap on his way west.

Today you can walk the 14 miles along the Wilderness Road, which has been restored to the way it looked in 1775. You can literally follow the same footsteps of Daniel Boone and those first settlers, see the Road as it looked to them, and feel the soul of America.


Shangri-La Kauai

Once in the land of Puff the Magic Dragon, hitting the shores on a beach so private I’ve promised not to reveal it here, Shangri-La Kauai becomes a peaceful private paradise on 11 acres just for clients. Pause Hawaii is the vision of owner Michael Solberg, of the Solberg Center for Structural Integration. Spiritual awakenings and yoga in the morning combined with exuberant outdoor explorations in the afternoons, whilst chefs using superior fresh bounty serve delicious meals in a tree house so spacious you’ll breathe in every moment, waiting for the next gift of beauty for which you are about to receive! Contact Michael  972-740-7939.  They have a trip planned for August! 

Shangri-La bridge pic.jpg

South Africa Winelands

An African safari was on my To Do list, my bucket list if you will, even before I had a bucket! I highly recommend and will take my children on the next one. Whale watching and the sardine run will be one you won’t forget either! But for a not so off the beaten path trek, the Winelands wine tour will enlighten you in new ways! Promised to see and be ”scened” like no other wine land in the US. And the South Africans’ etiquette and kindness will melt your heart!

Pre Catalan

Ah, Paris! The destination of a lifetime? Maybe, but if you are one of those that needs to plan everything ahead, be prepared to toddle off the beaten path when plans don’t fall perfectly into place… they did with us! Fear not to stroll down unsure streets just to happen across an otherwise undiscovered community outdoor market, a quaint café, or boutique. The views along the way will be memorable no matter what! And at least you have GPS in your phone….I did not!
When I was there, most of the museums were on strike for a couple of day. Our meanderings took us to the beautiful Bois de Boulogne in the west end of Paris. Not only is it one of the largest parks in the world, …approx 2.5 times larger than Central Park in NYC: it envelops horse tracks, chateaus, waterfalls, amusement parks and is traditional in that you may see wedding parties, romantics strolling, and vast gardens. Additionally, for the culture lover, it’s home to the Louis Vuitton Foundation‘s stunning exhibition space dedicated to contemporary art.
But if you wish for a dining experience of a life time, please cross your fingers the stars and moon align so that you can dine at Pre-Catelan!
Bon appetite!

The London Stone

london stoneWe run to London, whether for business of pleasure, and we see the London Tower and Westminster Abbey and we are impressed. And well we should be, for we feel the centuries past roll into the present, and feel they will continue forever. All this is good but how many of us have visited the London Stone?

“And here, sitting upon London-stone, I charge and command that, of the city’s cost, the pissing-conduit run nothing but claret wine this first year of our reign. And now henceforward it shall be treason for any that calls me other than Lord Mortimer.”

Shakespeare: Henry VI, Part II, Act VI, Scene 6. London, Cannon Street

While the London Stone has been moved several times, it always seems to have been in the same stretch of Cannon Street opposite St Swithin’s church. No one really knows what it is but it seems to have been around since the beginnings of London. It has survived the Anglo Saxon invasion, the London fire of 1666, and the Nazi bombers of World War II. Some think it was a Roman mile market but no one really knows. Jack Cade, in the English revolution of 1450 is said to have sat on the London Stone while he proclaiming himself Lord Mayor of London and the eyeglass makers guide used to break faulty eyeglasses against it in the 1700’s. There are rumors that while the London Stone stands, so will London.

The next time you are in London, come see the London Stone. It has seen more history than just about everything else in London.

The Adobe Walls

Adobe Walls pic
Quanah Parker

I am a small percentage Crow Indian. A picture of my half-blood grandmother and quarter-blood father would be enough proof right there! How many of you are aware if you have American Indian roots?

Everyone in Texas knows about the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto. How many people know about the Adobe Walls?

 If battle deaths make a ground scared, then the grounds around Adobe Walls are as sacred as any place in Texas. It is in what is now called Hutchison County in the Texas Panhandle.

The settlement was a center for the white man buffalo hunters. It became a center for battle because the Indians saw it as their center of major food source, tools, and shelter. 

The first big battle was in 1864. Kit Carson led 372 army troops against about 3,000 Kiowa, Comanche and Plains Apache. Kit Carson was a brilliant leader but he couldn’t overcome 10 to 1 odds and so backed off.  

The second big battle was in 1874. This time 28 hunters were behind the Walls and included Bat Masterson and Billy Dixon. About 700 Comanche attacked, led by Quanah Parker and another chief. In the first rush, they got close enough to bang on the doors and windows but were held off by pistols and Winchesters. That was their best chance. After that, the hunters were alert and held off the Comanche with their long range buffalo rifles. It was the sight of one of the largest Indian battles in the current US.