Sun City Delight

Normally, we wait until the last day to do a review of our AirBnB, but between the cuteness of the house and the fact that this Florida girl doesn’t do well in the cold and wet, we figured today would be a good day to tell you all about Sun City Delight.

Upon arrival, we were greeted by our hostess, Genie, who lives on the other side of the duplex.  Parking is right by the front door and since it is a single story, it is easy to get everything in and out.  It is a two bedroom/two bath residence with tile flooring.  The living area is well situated with plenty of seating (and area for our crocheting).

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Genie had the place already decorated for Christmas.  In the corner of the living space is a desk with information about the area and space for a laptop.

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Just after the entryway, there is a dining area, that had snacks waiting for us.  Yes, most of the snacks are gone.  Yum.

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The kitchen is well equipped with stove, microwave, refrigerator, dishwasher and all the dishware and cookware you could need.  Genie even had everything we could need for coffee and full size coffeemaker.

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The master bedroom has an ensuite bathroom and lots of room with a queen bed and walk in closet.  The second bedroom is right next to the second bathroom and has two twin beds and plenty of room.  Mom keeps saying she could live here.

There is a private patio with solar lights and seating under a permanent awning out the back.

There is lots of space and the location is near I-10, which means its easy to get everywhere.  If you’re looking for a clean, well-stocked, well-placed location in El Paso, Sun City Delight is the place to stay.  If we are ever in El Paso again, we’d stay here.

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Sunsets and Solitude near Ojo Caliente Spa

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A couple miles outside of the small town of Ojo Caliente in Northern New Mexico, you will find Humming Bird Haven, the large tiny house that is nestled on the edge of the Carson National Forest.

The house has 2 bedrooms and one bathroom.  A full kitchen and living room with recliners and a large TV fill up the rest of the space.

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There are some other houses in view, but you can’t hear them.  You can barely hear the cars going by on the main road.  You are in the center of quiet solitude.

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The front porch is the perfect place to sit and watch the sunset over Mesa Vibora, which means viper.  Yes, you are in rattlesnake country, but we never saw one.

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The sunsets were, for the most part, spectacular.  We only missed one, because of rain, but here are 2 examples of the stunning colors.

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I even slipped out and attempted to take a picture of the stars at night, but I haven’t quite got the hang of that.  Probably would have helped if I had actually focused the camera.

It is a drive from some of the places we went while here, but the view made up for that.  A lovely place for some peace and quiet and as a base for adventure.

Casa Blanca de Las Cruces

This week, we’ve been staying in a wonderful AirBnB called Casa Blanca de Las Cruces.

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This three bedroom, two bath is very spacious and located on a corner lot near the New Mexico State University and very close to I-25 and not too far from I-10.

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From the tiled entryway with its welcome mat and assortment of items from local vendors that are available (the soaps on the trunk smell amazing and the photo cards are perfect for a note home), you can either go left, into the large living room with its comfortable couches and dining area, or right towards the 3 bedrooms.

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If you opt to head straight ahead, you’ll find yourself in a fully stocked kitchen.  And when I say fully stocked, I mean they had it stocked not just with utensils and appliances, but also with breakfast items, baking ingredients, and spices galore.  We couldn’t find one thing that wasn’t there, which is a first, as we’ve normally found one or two items that might be useful (strainers, pizza cutters, minor items like those) missing.

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Just off the kitchen is the laundry room, with a full washer/dryer, which we were particularly thankful for, having been in hotels for the last two weeks.  They also supplied detergent and dryer sheets.  See what I mean when I say we couldn’t think of anything missing?

At the back of the house is a sun room that opens to the back yard.

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The back patio has a very nice shade tree and a gas grill, as well as a lovely green lawn.  To add to the wonder of this place, there were fresh strawberries and tomatoes available for picking.  Our hosts, Todd and Beth, came by while we were here to give us ideas of where to go, both for activities and dining.  They also informed us that there were several herbs growing in the backyard garden.  Unfortunately, I wouldn’t know cilantro from oregano, so we didn’t get to try those, but we did enjoy the tomatoes and strawberries.

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If you come to Las Cruces, definitely try and stay here.  The house is comfortable and safe, the community is friendly and the views are spectacular.  We’d stay here again in a heartbeat!

Alabama Gulf Coast

Though this particular AirBnB is listed as Alabama Gulf Coast, we’re actually still in Florida, on the outskirts of Pensacola.  Located near Naval Air Station Pensacola, throughout the day, you can hear the jets flying overhead.  And when you turn on the tv, the stations come from both Florida and Alabama.  This might be a bit confusing, but nothing can take away from the view.

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There’s a nice balcony that looks out over Big Lagoon and beyond to the Gulf of Mexico.  Since it is South facing, the patio doesn’t get inundated with sun, making it easy to sit out and sip coffee while watching the boats go by.

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Then, when you’re done with the outside, you can continue your view from inside with the air conditioning.

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Two bedroom and one bath, it could easily sleep 3 adults and could stretch to a 4th if they sleep on the couch.  Its a nice, cozy, safe location that is a perfect place to stay if you don’t want to be smack in the middle of the tourist strip, but still close enough to enjoy all that Pensacola has to offer.

Tomorrow, we’re headed north around the places currently experiencing and recovering from Hurricane Harvey.  We’ll spend one day in Jackson, MS before heading out towards the Hot Springs of Arkansas.

My Hometown Through Visitor Eyes

This week, Mom and I are back in our hometown of Dunedin, Florida.  We’re still staying in an AirBnB at the Beso Del Sol resort, right up the road from where we used to live.

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Dunedin is a delightful little town, sitting right next to Clearwater and Clearwater Beach and only a handful of minutes from St. Petersburg and Tampa.  We’ve lived in this area for 14 years and as residents, barely saw some of it.  We made it over to Caladesi Island once and went to Clearwater to see the beach when we first moved down, but there is so much we haven’t seen.  It will be interesting to see the sights that the locals know about, but don’t always enjoy.

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We’re only here for a week, then it is back on the road, since we’ve decided we enjoy the nomadic life and will keep it up as long as we can.

Happy Acres Ranch

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Set in the horse country of Central Florida, about an hour and a half northwest of Orlando and less than a hour from the West Coast of Florida, the ranch is spread out over 50+ acres and has 2 barns, the main house and several fields that are normally dotted with horses, chickens or guinea fowl at any given moment.

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Our current AirBnB is an apartment in Barn B at Happy Acres Ranch, known as Happy Trails Lodge. From a door in our kitchen, we can walk into the stables and see the horses who call Happy Acres home.

During the day and sometimes at night, you can hear a horse neigh or whiny softly.  You can also hear the guinea fowl cackling during the evening.

The apartment is a one bedroom, one bath, though there is a second king bed separated off from the living room by a desk and shelving.  A large flat screen tv faces the couch, which is also a sleeper sofa.  Only the two windows in the apartment, but they let in plenty of light and face out at the paddocks.  Full kitchen with washer and dryer complete the apartment.

They give trail rides and lessons.

Dunnellon is close to Ocala, another major city in Florida, and close to the coast, giving us plenty to do while we’re here.

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Too Darn Hot

Cole Porter said it best: “It’s too darn hot!”  Yesterday, we left hotels behind and returned to the comfort of AirBnBs, this time in Corinth, Mississippi.  We picked Corinth because it is close to the Shiloh National Battlefield.  Though, when we picked it, we weren’t thinking it would be in the middle of a heat wave with temperatures in the triple digits and heat indexes over 117+.

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After a week of hotels and eating out constantly, we’ve decided that we’ll take the next few days to get back into a normal routine, making meals instead of eating out, getting some sleep and other normal things.  We went grocery shopping earlier and nearly melted.  They’re calling for rain over the weekend, so we’re hoping the temperatures go down a bit.  Once we’re able to go out without bursting into flames, we’ll let y’all know.  Stay cool, my friends.

Our (Temporary) Kentucky Home

This week’s AirBnB is in Nicholasville, Kentucky, just down the road from Lexington, the second largest city in Kentucky. The area is mostly suburban, but drive in any direction for more than a few minutes and you’ll see farmland.  This house is in a subdivision just off Main Street.  A two story house with garage and back yard, this is definitely a family home, which our host, Don, told us was indeed the case.  While he and his wife travel half the year, they AirBnB the family homestead to travelers like myself and Mom.

The living area is nice and roomy, with plenty of seating.  Large TV with a ROKU system is available, though no cable.  Still, they had the primary channels and that’s really all we need.

The ceiling over the living area goes all the way up to the roof, giving it an airy feeling.  Downstairs is one bedroom and a bathroom, along with the kitchen and washer/dryer area.

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Upstairs is the master bedroom with it’s own bathroom and a second office/bedroom with a single bed.  Mom took the downstairs and I tackled the upstairs.

Close to shopping, food and all the major traffic roadways, this clean and comfortable house was more than perfect for our stay in Kentucky.  I would definitely recommend it for a family.  There’s even a treadmill and exercise bike for those who feel inclined to work out.  Tomorrow starts out a full week without an AirBnB.  We’re on our way to Branson, with a overnight stop in St. Louis.  Here’s to some good, old fashion, wholesome fun!

Pennsylvania Dutch Country AirBnB

For the past 5 days, we’ve been staying in a lovely home situated in an area that’s part rural Pennsylvanian Dutch farms and suburban middle class houses.

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The neighbors are either hidden by hedges or pastureland.  Wide open spaces out the back picture window allow for some spectacular natural views.

Inside, the house is split in two.  There are two bedrooms, one on each side, and two bathrooms.  A spacious living room melds with the dining area and kitchen.  Plenty of seating is available.  There is no TV or radio in the house, but the views make up for it and allows for another level of relaxation.

It is also fun when the neighbors stop by.

Beyond the fence of the big back yard, there is a crystal clear creek that winds between the farmland behind and the slightly suburban area in front.  The children in the surrounding farms have been known to play in the creek, perhaps swinging from a rope hanging out over the creek from the big tree.  At night, you can go out and watch the fireflies and listen to nature.

All in all, a lovely, peaceful place to unwind.  Tomorrow, we pack up again, spending one night on the road before checking in to our new AirBnB in Kentucky.

Kitchen Kettle Village

This morning, Mom and I decided to check out the Kitchen Kettle Village, a shopping district in Intercourse, PA.  *Waits patiently for the giggling to stop*  Only a scant 3 miles as the crow flies from our AirBnB in New Holland, we still had to drive for a bit to get around different corn and wheat fields.  It seems that either Sunday night or Monday morning is wash day, as we passed several houses with line after line of clothing hung out to dry.

Upon arrival, we noted that many others had decided the day before the 4th would be the perfect time to find some authentic Amish goods.  We lucked into a parking spot close to the main entrance into the open aired shopping center.

Our first stop was at Deerskin Leather goods, as they had a sign advertising Minnetonka moccasins.  Mom has just about every color, but she was delighted to find out there were two new colors.  I was able to find a nice new wallet, as well.

Our next stop was a shop near and dear to my own heart.  Aged and Dried sold meat and cheese products.  Mom made sure I didn’t just move in, but we got a couple things for ourselves.  Mmmm, cheeeeeeese.

A little more wandering found us in the Yarn Shop.  The yarns here aren’t the ones you’ll find in major craft stores or places like Wal-Mart or Target.  These are hand made, hand dyed yarns made from wool or alpaca or even a silk mix.  And the colors were amazing.  We both picked out some yarn, with various ideas of what we could use it for bouncing around in our heads.

Finally, we noticed that it was really starting to get busy, so we packed up Red Rover with our loot and headed back to our AirBnB to admire our goodies.

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A pretty good haul, if I do say so myself.  Time to get to crafting.