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Favorite Vacation Spots?

Posted by Kevin on February 02 at 04:03 pm

I need a vacation. Not just a weekend getaway — a no cell phone, no laptop, no worries, walking on the beach, napping in a hammock, sipping a less-than-manly tropical cocktail kind of vacation.

On the ferris wheel, Navy Pier, Chicago, 2004.

On the ferris wheel, Navy Pier, Chicago, 2004.

5 years ago this June, Ali and I were married. Our wedding was in northern Michigan in a town called Sutton’s Bay. We only had time for a short 4 day honeymoon in nearby Chicago. On the way from our wedding to Chicago, we came through Ann Arbor to stop by our apartment and pack up the few Lima Beads orders that had come in over the previous 2 days. We drove them to Chicago with us and mailed them from a downtown post office. This was our last real vacation and we feel like we still need to go on a proper honeymoon.

We haven’t taken a vacation since then. It’s been 5 long years filled with hard work, home remodeling, and having a baby. All of those things are wonderful and we’re very thankful for them, but now we’re ready for a nice vacation! I don’t even know where to begin. Lima Beads is still a pretty small company, so we can’t be away for too long, but I think we could manage 10-12 days. Living in Michigan, we would love to go somewhere tropical during the winter months. During the summer months, we’d like to visit a place where we can be surrounded by nature and hike, camp, and bike.

What are you favorite vacation spots? Any suggestions for us? Photos to share?

We haven’t made any solid plans yet, but we need to do something in the next year or I think we just might go a bit crazy.

Read the comments (or add your own)

  1. Anita QoG Funny Chick
    Anita QoG Funny Chick says:

    Hi Kevin,(winter) My daughter & her husband love the private resorts in Mexico. They did alot of sight-seeing, Aztec ruins and such, but, they have beautiful private beaches to relax on.
    Have you had a chance to see much of our beautiful country? There’s Yellowstone- Grand Canyon- both offer alot of hiking & camping. I thought they both were beautiful.

  2. CAS
    CAS says:

    Kevin – It may sound kind of cheesy but I’ve had great vacations at Club Meds in the Carribean (Martinique, Turks & Cacios) and Mexico (Hautulco). They really are family resorts now, with some having services geared for babies and children as well as adults. They have so many activities to do if you want to be active, or you can laze by the pool or on the beach, whatever. Being all-inclusive is a benefit too, because you get all meals included, so no deciding where to go to eat unless you want too. I would go to one again in a shot.

    I also had a super vacation at a “dude” ranch in Telluride Colorado. Again a very homey family atmosphere, and lots of fun things to do (horseback riding, mountain biking, fishing, scenic jeep trips, hiking). A place where the owners, for five years after I went, sent me a Christmas card every year.

    I hope that you, Ali & Payton have fun wherever you decide to go.

  3. No Photo
    Bonnie D says:

    10-12 days. Hmm. I was married over 20 years ago and we went to Disney World, then drove down the West Coast of Florida, across to Miami and then down to Key West. We had a fabulous time. Also, 10-12 days is great to go to Maui, HI. Relaxing and beautiful. (See pic)

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  4. Serena P
    Serena P says:

    We had a great time on our honeymoon in Cancun at th Moon Palace…the all-inclusive resorts can be the most relaxing (to me) no worries about where to eat, how much to spend (to a degree)

    My brother and his wife also enjoyed that particular resort :D

  5. LoriEllen
    LoriEllen says:

    The only suggestion I have is to take me with you. haha

  6. No Photo
    Sara Jane says:

    If you like to hike and love the outdoors, you should go to the Grand Canyon! It is the most amazing place, ever! Photos cannot do it justice. You absolutely have to see it with your own eyes to truly know how beautiful it is. If you go in the summer it is very hot and you will need LOTS of water, but it is totally worth it! The picture is of my husband looking out over the South Rim! (My favorite picture in the world!)

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  7. clemcat28
    clemcat28 says:

    Hey Kevin! I’m big on daytrips and love them even more if they happen to be roadtrips! I live in L.A. and love to see what everything else Southern California has to offer me, a native Angeleno. So my boyfriend and I drove up to Cambria (on a recommendation of a few of his co-workers) and absoulutely fell in love with that city! It’s a small beach-side city that’s just past Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo and I tell you, it’s beautiful! You get the beach and the forest all in one stop. I’m dying to get back up there and experience their beach (Moonstone Beach) during the summer! It’s got to be the cleanest beach I’ve ever set foot on. Oh, I could just go on and on and on…

  8. kcdesigns AKA sporty
    kcdesigns AKA sporty says:

    Kevin- we have been around the carribean and of course there are lots of places that are wonderful. 2 of my favorites were Cozumel Mexico- an island off of Cancun. Nice and private- the carribean side is undeveloped and very lovely to visit. Some big hotel-all inclusives.
    we just got back from Veiques- an island off of Puerto Rico. Although I heard PR is great, Vieques is very laid back and very private. We often didn’t see people on our beach- there are a ton of small beaches that you can go to. The military owned this part of this island and are openning more to the public. There is hiking as well- one end is very rainforesty and the other end more arid. There are wild horses all over the place. The alantic side is reefy and good snorkeling, the carribean side is just beautiful. We stayed at Casa Lachinta which was right on the water. The Bravos Boys-Not the hotel- has some nice places too. Actually there really isn’t a lot of hotels but guest houses. It is pretty rustic- we just went to beaches everyday- a different one each day. Also the BioBay is there- there are only 4 in the world. It is really cool- look it up. No cells phones, tv, modern world. we cooked alot but went out a few times and had great food- Island steak house is great.
    last pic is Cozemel- others Veiques

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  9. kcdesigns AKA sporty
    kcdesigns AKA sporty says:

    oops first picture is Cozemel- other 2 are Veiques.

  10. No Photo
    kohl says:

    10-12 days is a good vacation!
    In July/ August my favorite is coastal California. Water is too cold for swimming but many places to camp and hike. (You need a sweater in S.F.)
    and if you tire of cool and fog it is a short drive to hot and dry inland or mountains.
    May/June is a nice time to visit Northern Arizona, NM, UT.
    CAS, I have friends with children that would agree with you on Club Med.

  11. No Photo
    Sherrie B says:

    Okay two thoughts here. This time of year, I would suggest Delray Beach, FL. It’s not as touristy (is that a word?) as a lot of other places in FL. There are a lot of really wonderful restaurants around that you can sit outside and just enjoy the scenery. The beaches are really nice and when I have been there not crowded. Of course, if you want ‘sparkle’ you can head over to nearby Palm Beach for a day.
    Now for summer, I can’t stress a Michigan vacation enough!! Of course, I’m a former Michigander. Try the National Park service campground at Platt River. Beautiful beach! Canoe the Betsy river for a nice afternoon trip. Go into Leland to catch the ferry to South Manitou for a day trip. Or just roam thorugh Leland’s Fish town and have lunch there. Visit the numerous wineries in the area. Spend the day at Sleeping Bear Dunes. You can easily spend two weeks in the area (I have) and not run out of things to do.

  12. Cuban Queen Crazy Chick
    Cuban Queen Crazy Chick says:

    Ha ha ha! I second that, Tab!! :)

  13. kcdesigns AKA sporty
    kcdesigns AKA sporty says:

    Oh I just put down winter escape places. For summer head to Vermont- we have SO many great things to do and Vermont Teddy bear, Ben and Jerrys, Cabot Cheese and Green Mountain Coffee. STowe is a great place to go or Smugglers Notch. There is hiking, biking, you are near Lake Champlain and Montreal- have to go there at least for a day. The biodome, insectarium, musuems, Old Montreal(my fav) and St Catherine street is all in walking distance. That would be my suggestion for a summer vacation but I am biased.

  14. Atomic Toad
    Atomic Toad says:

    Our family has enjoyed Yellowstone/Grand Tetons, Pigeon River Country in northern LP, Tequamenon Falls(sp?), Whitefish Point, Pictured Rocks, and the Keewenaw Peninsula in UP. I hear you can do some rock and copper mining around Keewenaw. Whitefish Point is a rock hound’s dream. Plenty of good stuff for making jewelry!
    Not much into the tropics, but I like to snorkel the tide pools and coral reefs, wherever.

  15. No Photo
    Mary S - Sweet Chick says:

    May I suggest a cruise? My husband and I did a Royal Caribbean cruise several years ago. We visited Haiti, Jamaica, Cozumel and Grand Caiman. I loved it! You have everything you need taken care of for you, meals, your own room attendant, excursions etc…
    If you bring the kids they also have child care on board for all ages so you two can choose the excursions on the islands that you like and feel secure leaving the little ones in good hands.
    You can get as adventurous as you like; hiking, horsebackriding, scuba diving, swim with dolphins or rays (my favorite), visit ruins, glide over the canopy of a rain forest or pick a day to lay on the beach.
    We chose a seven day cruise and if you decide to stay on board and extend your stay they usually give really good deals. It sounds like you would have the time to do that.
    Enjoy what ever you choose to do and let us all know how it goes!

  16. No Photo
    Donna F says:

    I have 2 Egypt, it has everything, ruins, friendly people, wonderful shopping, yet at the hotels you have the pool so you can enjoy the weather. Other place, the lakes outside of Milan like Largo Maggiore jor Como. The little towns on the lake are wonderful and you are very close to the Swiss Alps. Canot lose with either place.

  17. No Photo
    Allison H says:

    I’m more of a cabin in the woods type than a hammock on the beach type myself, but the best vacay I’ve had in years was in San Francisco. It was our delayed honeymoon, and besides the city we rented a car and went to the wine country and took a balloon ride over the vineyards. Have a great time, whereever you go!

  18. No Photo
    Cesily C says:

    If you want to go somewhere unusual and breathtakingly beautiful, try Iceland.
    My husband and I went in September. It was a great time of year to go, and it’s not like any place else on Earth. We can’t wait to go back with our kids.

  19. Sali Jo GemsChica Chick
    Sali Jo GemsChica Chick says:

    Spain Spain Spain! I love it there! The people are friendly with lots to see and learn about history and culture…not to mention the tapas! You’ve got to go. I can recommend some really charming places to stay in several neat places.

  20. Carola
    Carola says:

    I highly recommend MAINE…its motto…”The Way Life Should Be”.

    Need one say more ?? But, here it is:

    ACADIA NATIONAL PARK… would provide gorgeous scenery by car, hiking trails, and bicycling, and winter sports. Has sandy beach (water is cold), wildlife, and can stay nearby on a bay or coast. Great seafood, too. Peace and tranquility….be sure to see Thunder Hole…best at certain levels of the tide.

    Want to relax in a peaceful setting, just sit on the rocks/boulders/cliffs and watch the lobster boats or people scaling the rock cliffs, and the waves of course.

    Get the week pass for the park to save a few bucks.

    And, if fly into Boston for example, plenty of nice things to see once cross the Maine line and drive north to Acadia.

    Be sure to visit Perkins Cove (Ogunquit) and could do for a boat tour or deep sea fishing. Walkable drawbrige and some shops. Gotta have picture of the Ugly Anne…boat.

    Great walk on the Marginal Way, rocky coast walk, which goes from town (Ogunquit to Perkins Cove) and has benches to rest or watch the waves.

    Great Lindt Chocolate outlet in the Kittery, Maine outlets.

    In York, just off Maine Pike, stop by Stonewall Kitchens (do have cafe) for some of the best Wild Maine blueberry jam — out of this world, great souvenir or gift for yourself or others.

    Some great beaches in southern Maine….if want long walks…and not worry about private property restrictions.

    On Route one in Wells, southern Maine….Big Daddy’s homemade ice cream…the Bull and Claw restaurant…head northeast…to drive by the Wedding Cake house…ornate molding outside.

    In/near Thomaston, is the Maine State Prison Store. Has many nice woodcrafts and other items for reasonable prices. When there, we always got some nice small wooden boxes and small handcrafted boats.

    LL Bean store….above Portland and another one further up.

    Too much to list…just a great state.

    Get a AAA guidebook or call Maine for books.

    Short distance into Maine, on Pike, is a great rest stop….also approachable from Route One…has plenty of booklets and such….and personnel to help….and clean restrooms.

  21. Carola
    Carola says:

    Agree with above comments…..the Grand Canyon is a sight to experience firsthand.

    Oh, do not miss Sedona, red rock country.

    Have time….go up to Zion or the other national parks.

    From Phoenix heading north, what a change in scenery and plantlife, etc.

  22. No Photo
    Rhonda R says:

    Last summer I took the ferry from Ketchikan, AK to Bellingham, WA. Ketchikan is on an island in Southeast Alaska. I spent the weekend cleaning out a storage unit (hadn’t used the stuff in 8 years why keep it), then spent a week with my daughter and her family and then embarked on a great adventure back to Ketchikan on the ferry with 3 grandchildren. WE all had a blast. Especially the grandchildren, aged 5, 6 and 7. They stayed with us for a month and then their mom came up and they all flew home. My favorite vacation is with my husband of 33 years however, if he’s too busy with work, I go for 2 weeks of the grandchildren immersion program. They tend to keep me young. And they love the bead store just as much as their grandmama and their mom. Alaska is a wonderful vacation spot tons of wildlife and lots of really cool characters to get to know.

  23. No Photo
    E Sweeney says:

    My favorite vacation spot is a recently discovered one by me and my husband. Crystal Grove Village Diamond Mines near St. Johnsville NY. I went there last year for a weekend and will be going back again for a week this year. No cellphones, no laptops, no noise, just the mountains, a slew of dairy farms, and the mines, the beautiful mines where I will mine for Herkimer Diamonds in ancient shallow seabeds that are now quarries loaded with these beautiful crystals. These crystals are over 495 MILLION years old! Just walking the mines, where surely some massive beasts and creatures once roamed takes my breath away! My kids love being able to bang crackhammers and not get into trouble for making too much noise! My vacation there was life altering and I have a whole new life ahead of me because of it.
    So, if you have the chance, try a whole different type of vacation, one where “girly drinks” are exchanged for a bottle of wine by the fire at night, and days of discovery on Cambrian seabeds!

  24. Alice P
    Alice P says:

    I didn’t take the time to read all the above suggestions, so pardon if there is a duplicate. We travel every year (it has become an addiction), and we always encourage others to see the good ole USA first. There is so much to see and do! We have been nearly everywhere, but our favorites are (not in any order): Redwoods/Northern California coast, Arches National Park and surrounding area, Yellowstone, South Dakota (Mount Rushmore and surrounding area), San Antonio, Grand Canyon. We always drive so we can see more of this country,and plan to see at least one historical sight, one natural wonder, a zoo,garden or butterfly conservatory, and one fun place. We always take the kids so they learn how to travel. Besides, it’s a great cultural education for them as well! I could name many small attractions, but that would be overkill. I could be your guide, if you need one!!!!! Alice

    Alice

  25. Alice P
    Alice P says:

    Oh, I forgot, San Diego and St. Louis are also great places! Alice

  26. Carole V
    Carole V says:

    You can’t beat the Pacific Coast, Cambria and Hearst Castle, Carmel, Monterey, Russian Gulch for CA; Brookings, Florence, Lincoln City, Oceanside, Tillamook for OR, and the entire WA coastline clear up to Buchart (sp?) Gardens in BC. My husband and I are partial to the Carmel, CA area as we were married on the beach. We go back as often as we can–not as much as we’d like cause now we live in UT. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the Napa-Sonoma Valley in CA–great for wine-tasting. Closer to your area is Door County Wisconsin–really pretty. The most important thing is to relax, enjoy yourselves, and have a wonderful time!

  27. Carola
    Carola says:

    AGREE WITH ALICE P….

    BEEN YEARS SINCE WENT, HOWEVER.

    SAN DIEGO IS NICE.

    THE ZOO IS GREAT.

    SO IS BALBOA PARK.

    DON’T MISS ..THE WILD ANIMAL PARK — FEELS LIKE ON SAFARI, EITHER WALKING OR THE TRAIN TOUR ON PERIMETER.

    ON WAY BACK, THE BUS STOPPED AT A ROADSTAND ….GOT THE MOST DELICIOUS FRESH FRUIT EVER….PLUMS, STRAWBERRIES, ETC.

    LAJOLLA HAS THE SCRIPTS AQUARIUM.

    EASY BUS ROUTES, WITHIN SAN DIEGO. DID NOT RENT CAR, TOOK PUBLIC BUS OR THE GRAY LINE FOR ALL SIGHTSEEING.

    EVEN EXPERIENCE A MILD EARTHQUAKE, WHILE THERE !!

    AND SAW SOMEONE CATCH A SAND SHARK…LAST AFTERNOON THERE.

  28. Kevin
    Kevin says:

    What a great variety of suggestions! Now we just have to choose one.

    Thanks everyone. When we actually get to go on the vacation, we’ll be sure to take lots of photos.

  29. No Photo
    trinkets says:

    The Cayman Islands Definitely!!!

    Just sitting on 5 Mile Beach enjoing the colors, sights and the wonderful people you will meet!

    You will forget about home as soon as you step off the plane!

  30. No Photo
    khoy says:

    Me and my wife had our 2nd honeymoon in Bohol, Philippines. It’s beautiful and lot’s of things to see like Tarsier, Chocolate Hills, Dolphin watching, etc. Please visit http://unforgettableplaces.blogspot.com/ to see some pictures I took from there.

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