SENIORS VISIT PUERTO VALLARTA



Why is Puerto Vallarta So Popular?

Puerto Vallarta is one neat city in Mexico. I recall well the many cobble stone streets and the fact that it is right on the water with a beach that runs all along the city.  Puerto Vallarta has been a favorite destination for senior tourists for a number of years.  The locals and many tourists just call it Vallarta; some folks up north refer to it as P.V.  Regardless, it is a highly popular vacation resort on the Pacific Coast of Mexico with about a quarter of a million inhabitants.

A Balneario Resort

This Mexican balneario resort city is situated on the Pacific Ocean’s Bahía de Banderas.  Around the Bay, beautiful beaches, lush jungles and sparkling waterfalls offer many opportunities for the adventurous traveler, while five star resorts, world-class shopping and gourmet restaurants satisfy the most sophisticated senior traveler. Stretching from the south end of Old Town to central downtown, a newly extended and refurbished boardwalk along the ocean called the Malecon passes by any number of shops, restaurants, and hotels, and often plays host to mimes, break-dancers, clowns and artists.  Senior citizens will love walking along the shore especially in the evening enjoying the wonderful climate.

Clean and Friendly Destination for Senior Travelers

There are many cultural events and exhibits, exciting day trips to the jungle, relaxing days at the beach and countless romantic hideaways. Seniors visitors seeking adventure will find it from zip lines to swimming with dolphins, whale watching to snorkeling, scuba diving to award winning dinner shows.  If you’ve come to eat and drink, you are in the right spot there as well.  And nightlife will keep you going until the wee hours of the AM.

Puerto Vallarta Defies Description

I remember  Our Lady of Guadalupe Church with its bells ringing and the unusual crown on its tower.  Fodor’s features that church in its website. Then it was the magnificent sea horse sculpture along the beach and then all the cobble stone streets.  It is colonial with modern amenities and majestic mountains jutting into the aquamarine waters of the Pacific.

TripAdvisor lists its favorite restaurants and attractions and fills your bag with 93 things to take in. I’d not seen an ocean until I was 21, so I find the Pacific is awesome and it brings seniors from all over the world to take in the beautiful aqua waters.  Puerto Vallarta is, without a doubt, one of the friendliest and cleanest beach destinations in all of Mexico.  The “Official Guidebook” has great information that will enhance your visit.

I’ve been to Mexico many times and Puerto Vallarta rates right up there at the top with me even though I was there for only a couple of days. I think that you will love it too.  jeb


Filed under : Adventure Travel, Mexico

SENIORS, JUST FOR SUNDAY…



Seniors, Enjoy Our Great Country Today

I met a senior couple recently who were on their third week on the road touring the US.  They were from the East Coast and had just returned from Yosemite. They said that the highlight of their tour included the Grand Canyon, Glacier National Park, all those great Parks in Utah and more.

The US is pretty huge.  I mean really really huge.  We have friends from France who came to visit the States.  They just had to visit New York and take in Disneyland.  They had no idea of the vast expanse between those two sites and in a rental car, they were in for a lot more “exposure” to our country than they had planned. So much to learn and so little time. I invite seniors to enjoy exploring our great country state by state today.

How Many State Capitals Can You Name?

I started our early this AM lying in bed to see if I could remember my high school US Geography and History and all those pesky state capitals.  Just try going through the list starting with Washington State and swinging all the way east up to Maine. Well here’s the list in case you need it.

Do You Know the State Nicknames?

Here’s the whole shebang… you can look them up and add to your state knowledge.  What’s nice about this list of nicknames is the fact that they include an explanation of why it is called The “Yellowhammer State” or “The Last Frontier.”

Seniors if you found the above somewhat interesting, let me invite you to check out 50 facts about all 50 states. The pecan is the Alabama’s official nut. I’m almost willing to bet that you didn’t know that.  Maybe you just didn’t care, that’s ok too.

States By Size

Most senior citizens can probably guess the three largest states, but what comes after Alaska, Texas and California?  Surprised me too. It’s Montana, then New Mexico and Arizona. And the three smallest states?  Yes, Rhode Island and maybe Delaware, but what’s the next smallest?  Try Connecticut then surprisingly enough…Hawaii. Here’s the list. Where does your state fit in?

Any idea of the two or three smallest state capitals by population? Well, it’s Montpelier followed by Pierre, Augusta, Frankfort, Helena, Juneau and Dover. Here’s the rest of the ten smallest.

Now senior student, go back across the country starting in Washington State and try to name the largest city in those states. Here’s the list.  Can you name the state flower and state bird of your state or any other?

Now For the Rest of This Lazy Sunday Afternoon…

Wikipedia is a great resource for information. Most times, just too darn much information. There’s always more learn. It’s kind of like contemplating the universe or considering all that is inside the National Library of Congress or the New York City Library.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed today’s journey.  Come back tomorrow.  You just never know what you might discover.  jeb


SENIOR WOMEN TRAVEL



Senior Women’s Travel Choices

More and more travel firms are catering to senior women…that can mean anyone 50 and over. As women choose to travel either alone or with other women in a group, more and more options are becoming available.  Rio Grande Travel is one example. They advertise…”Why travel alone when you can connect with like-minded women on a trip led by knowledgeable, local guides? Whether you want to join a pre-planned trip, are interested in a travel group for senior women or would like to embark on a journey with a bunch of your friends, Rio Grands Travel will make sure you have a good time on a trip tailored to your interests!”

Senior Women’s Travel Tours

Five highly popular travel choices cater to the more mature crowd.  Eldertreks, Walking the World, 50Plus Expeditions, Senior Women’s Travel Tours and Smithsonian Journeys are fine examples of travel organizations that provide senior women a wonderful opportunity to find travel fun and safe.

The Adventurous Wench features Cool Trips for Women. Women-Only Trips fits the need for many seniors who prefer to travel with other active senior women.  Some travel organizations do not specifically note that they cater only to seniors but they do ONLY women in their groups.  Women Traveling is a fine example.  No men, ladies. Their trips seem perfect for solo or singles who prefer to travel alone or in escorted small groups. You may wish to pair up with a senior meet-up group that has many offerings. Transitions Abroad  also fulfills a need for women to enjoy tours with other women.

Best Senior Travel Websites

So take your pick here that includes advice from Frommer’s, Journey Woman, Smarter Living’s Senior Travel and several others.  Journey Woman has a section entitled “The largest collection of women-centered travel classifieds on the internet.”

I’ll depart today with Solo Travel Portal and their Over 50 Travel URL.  No, I lied.  Just one more. The National Association of Dynamic Senior Women has to fit in here somewhere. The association is an online membership community of like-minded women over 55 who choose to focus on living longer by living younger.

Whether working or retired, 55-plus community members remain joyful, active, and involved in all aspects of life. Members lead exciting and fulfilling lives, travel frequently, and, at all times, want to look and feel their best. So, isn’t it time to finally indulge in your lifelong travel dreams?

Maybe be like Mary Jo who is a pied piper for 55+ year old women who refuse to give up on life just because of their age. She invites you to join her on these uniquely creative small group cultural discoveries.

Enjoy exploring with these sites above and consider joining one of the groups.  jeb


SENIORS VISIT LE MONT SAINT-MICHEL



A Senior Pilgrimage ?

This senior citizen can’t think of many places that I have visited on four continents that stick out in my mind like Le Mont Saint Michel.  Through the ages, Mont St. Michel has been among the top pilgrimage sites in all Christendom. The different stages of its construction have created a unique architectural ensemble which was classified as a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1979.

Called “The Wonder of the Western World,” the island has held strategic fortifications since ancient times. Le Mont-Saint-Michel is an old Normandy Benedictine Abbey, and since the 8th century, the seat of the monastery from which it draws its name.  It is one of the most remarkable examples of medieval architecture in the whole world.

Once In A Lifetime Moment

A midnight tour will be memorable and for this person in their blog it was “a once in a lifetime moment.” It was for me and my family as well.  Today senior travelers are among the more than 3,000,000 people who visit Le Mont saint Michel each year.

Mont Saint-Michel is located approximately one kilometer (just over half a mile) off France’s north-western coast. The population of the island is 44, as of 2009. Once a year there is a “Grande Marée” (Big Tide) that comes in like galloping horses.  This video shows the force and speed of the tide and that cars have been flooded.

Rick Steves is my travel hero and has been just about everywhere on the planet. Here is his view of Le Mont Saint Michel which he says is located on a “mud flat.” The original monks who lived there were able to cross those mud flats, dotted with quick sand, because they knew “where to step” and “where not to step.”  And a second film he made while climbing to the top of the monastery.

Seniors Enjoy Famous Omlettes

La Mère Poulard, a well known restaurant serves their popular omelets that are made over an open fire in a solid copper kettle. Senior visitors will want to join the thousands who trek up the long narrow street to the top.  There you’ll find a wonderful view, a beautiful old church and the refectory where the monks ate.

TripAdvisor as per usual will provide lots of additional tips and suggestions during your visit.  This “One Stop” link will keep you busy for well over an hour.  Le Mont Saint Michel is a senior “bucket list” site.  I leave you with a nice selection of photos that hopefully will whet your appetite for a personal encounter.

Enjoy your visit to Le Mont. jeb


Filed under : Adventure Travel, Europe

SENIORS VISIT 360 CITIES



I Will Be Brief.  Don’t Miss This!

360 Cities is an awesome site, senior citizen traveler.

You’re looking at 360 panoramas. They could be also be called by a variety of other names, for example, 360° panoramas, omniviews,  virtual reality panoramas, among others, but 360Cities calls them simply 360 Cities.  I really enjoyed what is called the “Editor’s Pick” that features many of the world famous sites all over the globe. And how about a “Gigapixel Panorama“using their Events Gallery as samples.

Panoramic photography of some kind has existed for more than a century. Senior historians can see many examples of 360 degree photos from 100 years ago.

Nowadays you can see a boom in this kind of visualization technology due to the ever-reducing cost of the technology, availability of software, abundance of publishing tools. One of the most important aspects is that the broadband internet made it possible to easily share this kind of photography with others. 360 Panoramas are the new way of showing places, events and businesses on the internet.

Now join me senior travelers and let’s take in London just using your mouse.  How about the London Eye?  St. Paul’s Cathedral?  Big Ben? The Thames? Gee whiz.  What did I discover here?  We can travel the world sitting in our comfortable chairs.  I just love it.  Wow!

Enjoy the show. jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL TO MONTANA



Seniors Discover Cooke City and Smile

Cooke City, Montana (population 75 – Wikipedia says 140).  Would senior travelers consider taking a side trip to that town, city, village, wide spot in the road?  Well, Budget Travel did and found out that it rated to be called one of the Coolest Small Towns they could find!  So please join me seniors, for a visit to Cooke City and let’s find out what’s so cool about this quaint little town positioned in the great Beartooth Mountains, near Yellowstone National Park. It’s kinda like sneaking into MT from Wyoming, but that’s okay too.

These scenic mountains are dotted with many lakes and are noted for their excellent hiking trails, snowmobiling and skiing.  Pretty gutsy drivers here. Just stay out of the way here or you might get run over. These guys seem to be full of “no fear”.

Don’t Turn Back

Right next door to Cooke City, senior travelers can visit Froze-to-Death Lake or take a bouncy ride up Hellroaring  Plateau.  Don’t let that deter you,  this town has a friendly, welcome atmosphere. The pace is slow. Maybe journey up the Beaten Path…loved that name too.  Cooke City’s summer population is made up of young folks from all over the country who descend on this small mountain town to provide services to the tourists.

 

Be On the Lookout Seniors

This area has one of the highest concentration of grizzly bears and wolves in the lower 48 states.  Shoot your photos out the window and roll it back up again quickly and then be on your way. Roy Wilson, owner of the Cooke City Store, notes that Cooke City is…”The last place I know in the West that still the West.”

When I saw the sign “Buns and Beds”  I had to find out about that site. Well here it is with a Deli, BBQ and Cabins just for you seniors. Leo and Jan are waiting for your arrival.

Wow, Two Things for Seniors To Do in Cooke City!

So here they are folks…”Two Things To Do In Cooke City.”…both of them. I searched and found a resource with THREE THINGS to do, so that you can extend your visit. Don’t overlook the Beartooth Cafe, the Bearclaw Bakery and Miners Saloon. They make the place shine. Looks pretty “folksy” to me.

I loved it when I discovered that the town’s trash and recycling station doubles as a the local library and art museum filled with books, painting, and even cuckoo clocks rescued from the ‘rescues bins’. There can be only ONE Cooke City.

This is one of those places that I am putting in my back pocket and if ever my wife and I find ourselves near Cooke City, we will take the time for a side trip visit.   jeb


HEALTHY SENIOR TRAVEL



A Healthy Senior is a Ready-To-Go Traveler

The retirement years can be an exciting time to see the world, and senior travel is easier and safer than ever before. With a little planning and some caution, the elderly can safely visit almost any destination, however, there are several steps you can take to ensure that you stay as healthy as possible while traveling.

Health concerns are an integral part of trip planning. If you have a health condition that requires medication or special assistance, you can plan an enjoyable trip that accommodates your needs. Senior travel basics need to be reviewed before you leave home. Here are some  great tips follow.  Suddenly Senior also has suggestions for senior travelers that you may find helpful.

The Fit Senior – Travel Edition

Kari Eide and her co-author, Lissa Mueller, have created a travel fitness program for seniors that is portable, compact, adaptable and easy to use. Their travel exercise kit, The Fit Traveler – Senior Edition, uses an exercise band to tone and strengthen the entire body. Combining the short daily exercise band workout with Eide and Mueller’s diet and fitness tips can help senior travelers stay fit while on the road. Kari Eide kindly agreed to describe her senior travel fitness program for About.com’s readers.

Here are some things to consider when traveling with prescription drugs.  MD Travel Health is a complete travel health information for seniors that is updated daily and good travel tips just might cover something you’d not yet thought about.

Seniors Prepared for Emergencies

You may want to get a list of English-speaking doctors from the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers  www.iamat.org. IAMAT can be reached at 716-754 4883. If an emergency occurs while you’re traveling and you don’t have such a list, contact the American Consulate, American Express, or local medical schools for a list of doctors.

Senior diabetics, no matter where you go, wear a medical ID bracelet or necklace that shows you have diabetes. If you’re leaving the country, also learn how to say “I have diabetes” and “sugar or orange juice, please” in the language or languages of the countries you’ll visit.

Vive le Canada

Canada has some great tips and suggestions for seniors concerned about contracting a disease while abroad. Their Fact Sheet may be helpful if you are traveling to places like Africa. Peter Greenberg, has some travel news that senior travelers can use as well.

Safe and Healthy Travel for Senior Citizens

Senior travelers should see a doctor for a pre-travel visit.  Consider your physical limitations when planning a trip. Senior citizens with heart disease, for example, might choose an itinerary that does not involve strenuous activities. Jet lag and motion sickness may affect some seniors, so take these factors into account when planning a trip.

Lastly I will depart today with a one-stop website for senior travel complete with travel tips, travel articles and a travel guide.  Enjoy your trip, wherever you are headed and stay healthy on the way. jeb


MORE FOR SENIOR BIRDERS



Some Say 14 and Others Say 18

The are somewhere between 14 and 18 different varieties of hummingbirds that senior citizens will find in Arizona. Southeast Arizona is a premier location for sighting hummingbirds. And a one-day record for the most hummingbird species seen in a day in the United States – fourteen – was set in the Sierra Vista, Arizona area.

Historically, these tiny flying jewels begin to arrive in mid-March and leave by early October. Peak months for the greatest number of hummingbirds and species sighted are May and August.

When I was in Ecuador I could not believe the size of hummingbirds. You will not believe this, but they actually were the size of a full-grown robin. HUGE! Over 330 species are known to science. All are found only in the Western Hemisphere, and the vast majority live in the tropical forests of Central and South America. Almost half of the known species have been reported from Ecuador.

Senior Birder’s Premier Destination

If senior travelers have a particular place in their heart for hummingbirds, southern Arizona harbors an ideal getaway. The Nature Conservancy’s Ramsey Canyon Preserve is a pristine sanctuary tucked in the foothills of the Huachuca Mountains of southeastern Arizona. The preserve is home to nearly all of the hummingbird species known to visit the United States, fourteen of them in all and among them the Anna’s: magnificent, black-chinned, long billed, white-eared, and rufous varieties.

No other public spot in the country offers such a wealth of hummingbirds, as well as 150 other species of birds, making it one of the country’s premier birding destinations. The World of Hummingbirds will provide interested seniors with information on the feeding, life, babies and more.   This site is also over flowing with interesting facts on hummers.

Why southeast  Arizona? Here’s why.  Southern AZ Bird Observatory has additional information on hummingbirds noting guided bird walks, tours and educational workshops.  You can learn about banding hummers as well as SABO recommendations. On your way to southern AZ, pick up this book (A Field Guide to Hummingbirds of North America). This site features a hummer survey in Arizona.

 Where to “bird” in AZ will be helpful for seniors who want to know where all the other species can be found.  And these sites offer more information for senior birders: bird watching toursbird watching destinationsbird watching vacations.

So take a senior birding vacation in Sierra Vista Bring your binoculars and get ready to enjoy thousands of hummers.  jeb

 


SENIOR BIRDERS VISIT ARIZONA



Senior Birders are Buzzing to Arizona

 Senior Birders will love Sierra Vista, Arizona. Located at the center of one of the finest birding areas in the United States, Sierra Vista is often referred to as “The Hummingbird Capital of the U.S.” We know that hummingbirds are small and interesting but beyond that, many people have limited information, so I wanted to provide some of the most fascinating hummingbird facts.  In truth, the hummingbird is an amazing creature.

The mild climate, proximity to Mexico and diverse habitats, including 9,000-foot mountains and the magnificent San Pedro River Valley, make southeastern Arizona a major hot spot for rare and unusual species of birds.

What Senior Doesn’t Love Hummers?

Can you think of a single individual who does not love Hummers.  Many of us senior citizens hang out our little red feeders full of red sugared water just to watch the birds come in to feed.  Tiny as they are, hummers don’t seem to fear humans, making them fun to watch and highly addictive.  Baby hummers have to eat too and mama is there to do it.

In Sierra Vista you will find White-eared, Costas, Annas, Roufous, Magnificent and more. There are at least fourteen varieties that inhabit the Sonoran Dessert in Arizona. I recently heard an Arizona desert specialist who was giving a talk ask the audience, “What do rattlesnakes and hummingbirds have in common?”  No one knew the answer.  “They live in Arizona!” he responded.

Hummingbirds are found only in the Western Hemisphere. They are fierce and fearless despite their diminutive size. When it comes to defending their nectar or sugar water feeders, you can expect the males to pursue any interlopers right out of your yard. They will not hesitate to collide with another bird. They can fly backwards and upside down if they have to.

Hummingbird Banding

When I read about banding hummingbirds, I asked myself…”How in the heck to they catch them and band them?” But they do. Researchers conduct hummingbird banding to collect study data on the migratory patterns, breeding habits and other behaviors of these incandescently colorful birds.

The two Sierra Vista locations encourage senior citizens to visit and observe researchers and licensed hummingbird banders carefully do their work.  When the summer migration of hummingbirds has begun, it is a perfect time to witness the rare treat of hummingbird banding.

Two locations in the Sierra Vista area offer senior birders the unique opportunity to see the tiniest of birds being weighed, banded, fed and released. Banding is conducted on Fort Huachuca and at the San Pedro House through the migratory season. The AZ Game and Fish Dept. has a short video with information on hummingbirds.

The good folks down in Tucson have a hummingbird project ongoing for seniors interested in increasing hummer diversity.  So buzz on down to Arizona and enjoy the thousands of hummers that are just waiting for you to come and see them.  jeb

SENIORS VISIT SANTA MARIA VALLEY, CALIFORNIA



Seniors Discover a Beautiful California Valley

Seniors could spend an entire summer in California just visiting a city with the name Santa or Valley in it. Santa Maria Valley is nestled in the foothills of Santa Barbara County wine country.  Located in the heart of California’s Central Coast where seniors will discover outstanding scenery, championship golf courses, nationally recognized live theater, bird watching, pristine beaches, performing arts centers, succulent strawberries, nearby missions, hiking, festivals and family events.  Senior visitors will also enjoy award winning wineries located along the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail.  

The city is approximately 120 miles northwest of the Los Angeles limits, Woodland Hills, and approximately 150 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. The 2010 census population was 100,062, putting it ahead of Santa Barbara,the county seat, for the first time and making it the largest city in the county.

Santa Maria Valley Vineyard

 

Seniors, It’s Wine and Strawberries Galore

Santa Maria Valley, California = vineyards and strawberries. Visitor information of all kinds including a mileage chart to get you there is found on this site. It seems like almost every valley that I have discovered in California abounds with wineries and Santa Maria is no exception.

The Santa Maria Valley’s vast agricultural heritage is represented by many crops, the most colorful of which are strawberries. The region’s uniquely moderate coastal climate is a perfect match for this succulent berry, with warm winters and cool summers that supports an extended growing season of up to 10 months per year.

Santa Maria produces over 20 million trays of strawberries annually which are distributed both domestically and internationally. Santa Maria Valley strawberries are renowned for their juicy, flavorful character and there is nothing like enjoying them fresh out of the field. Available April through June, senior visitors will find them at local grocery stores, fruit stands, restaurants and farmer’s markets.

Things for Seniors to See and Do

TripAdvisor lists 3 quality B&Bs in the area plus hotels, top-rated restaurants and several top-rated things to doThe Foxen Canyon Wine Trail is home to some of the most accomplished winemakers in California, where senior travelers will find a diverse selection of world class wines.

Uptake.com rates several activities for seniors, from museums and golf courses to art centers and Boomers Park.  What a neat area.  Hope you enjoy all those strawberries too.  jeb

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