For over a year, I have been planning a trip to China and Indonesia for my family. Probably being the most complicated trip I have ever planned for myself personally; between Visas, 4 internal flights, 2 ferry rides, 7 hotels, and the where-when-and how, I reached out to Tour Company Remote Lands, which specializes in Bespoke Travel to Asia.
The trip is now less than two weeks away and I am so excited to embark on this amazing journey. I can’t say enough about how amazing it has been to work with Remote Lands and really excited to experience their tours and report back.
Thing I am most excited about on this trip? Visiting a local family for a cooking class and lunch followed by a visit to a local school in Yangshou. Getting out of the major cities and into the countryside to meet local people is probably my most favorite thing to do while traveling. But don’t get me wrong, I cannot wait to see Hong Kong!
While I’m away, I will be posting tons of tips, tricks, and photos on my Instagram account, @KaleighKirkpatrickTravel. Please follow me and travel along!
Love the leather document folder and the beautiful box it came in!
Maps included of each destination
Details with photos inside
Love that they also include the cars we will be using. Great detail!
Last weekend my husband and I decided to take an impromptu “Stay-Cation” in Glen Rose at Rough Creek Lodge. This is a hunter’s paradise, so to speak, and with neither my husband nor I avid hunters, we still found plenty to do and explore on this 11,000 acre ranch just a little over an hour from the metroplex.
Rough Creek Lodge offers a variety of activities such as a driving range, fishing, horseback riding, paintball, ATVing, a spa (hooray!), zip lining and ropes course, and a fine dining restaurant. You can check out all of the activities offered here.
An all-inclusive resort; it is meant for guests to stay and play for the weekend. The perfect set up for a family where dad and maybe kids want to hunt and mom and wants to enjoy the spa then after hunting the whole family can enjoy the grounds together. I love that they offer a kids club every evening during dinner so that parents can enjoy their 3 course dinner while children are entertained.
To me, this is a 4-star resort, rooms are nice, but weren’t a WOW factor by any means. I love that they offer so many different bedding configurations to sleep everyone comfortably. And although this is the perfect stay-cation from DFW, they do not allow pets in the main lodge, which I found a bit odd. Because of this, we rented a small cabin about a half a mile from the main lodge. Cabins were fine for the night and fun if you want some outdoor space and privacy, but the rooms in the main lodge are roughly the same price and better appointed.
For just a little extra, I would recommend bringing a friend (or a few) and renting the George W. Bush Presidential Suite. On the night we arrived, the price difference between a standard room ($653/night including meals and activities for 2 adults and 1 child) and the Presidential Suite was only about $400 ($1,089/night including meals and activities for 2 adults and 1 child). Children under the age of 15 stay for free. Over 15 are priced at the adult rate of $130 per night.
Have you visited Rough Creek Lodge before?
Twin Bed in Coyote Cabin
Pool Table that converts to a dining table in the Presidential Suite.
I had the great privilege of visiting Myanmar (Burma) on a Study Tour with Abercrombie and Kent in April of 2017. I honestly can’t say enough how visiting this amazing country changed my life– the culture, the beauty, the people who live there and the people I met traveling with me.
Our journey began in Yangon, the country’s capital, where we stayed at the amazing Belmond Governor’s Residence; which was my favorite hotel we visited in Myanmar. The pool and the rooms were like a dream (and don’t miss the breakfast on in the gardens).
On to Inle Lake, which is a short flight from Yangon. Inle is known for its floating gardens. It truly spectacular to see how the villagers weed, fertilize, and harvest their fruits and vegetables from boats . After Inle, we took another short flight to famous Bagan- known for its 1000s of Pagodas and temples. It was here that I so wished I had invested in a better camera; generally I use my iPhone out of convenience, but Bagan is so spectacular I would recommend buying or borrowing a DSLR.
While visiting the land of 10,000 temples, Abercrombie and Kent arranged for our group to visit a novitiation ceremony. This was one of the biggest highlights of the trip for me and I would encourage anyone traveling to Southeast Asia to add this to their list.
In Bagan we boarded the Sanctuary Ananda to cruise the Road to Mandalay. This was my first River Cruise experience and after sailing on the Ananda, I think I may be a bit spoiled to river cruising. The chef onboard was formerly a chef at the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok and I had some of the most delicious food onboard that I have ever tasted. The rooms were very well appointed and the onboard activities were perfect for this short 3 night cruise.
The cruise ended in Mandalay where we spent one night before returning to Yangon. Although many regard Mandalay as Myanmar’s prettiest city, I preferred Bagan and Inle to Mandalay. No trip to Myanmar would be complete without a visit to the Shwedagon Pagoda, which is where we ended our trip.
My take away from Myanmar was the kindness of the people, the beauty of the country, and (to my surprise!) the amazing food. Burmese food isn’t something that it easy to come by in Texas and I find myself craving it often!
Disneyland offers a unique opportunity to enjoy the Magic of Disney in a less stressful, more nostalgic, and a little different way.
If you have boys (or girls!) who like the Cars Movies or Monster’s Inc, Disneyland offers a lot of fun that isn’t available at Walt Disney World. Radiator Springs Racers is one of my most favorite rides in all of the Disney Parks! Some of the rides we remember as children only remain at Disneyland Park like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and Snow White’s Scary Adventures. The proximity of the parks to each other and the hotels makes for an easy day, or as I suggest, long weekend, at Disney Parks.
Anyways, I had the honor of being invited to our Gold Key Advisor meeting at Disneyland in October. Favorite thing from the trip? Dinner at Club 33, which was truly a bucket list item for me! I took away so much from the short visit and wanted to share a few of my favorite tips and tricks–
DO: Visit during the Fall! Great Weather, perfect decor, and the Nightmare Before Christmas layover on Haunted Mansion is worth a visit in itself.
DO: Make sure to get great seats for World of Color– it is truly magical!
DO: Spend more than a day, Disneyland is a 3 day trip in my opinion!
As always with any Disney Park, if you can splurge on a Disney VIP guide, do so. It makes all the difference in a trip and I strongly encourage them for anyone who can only visit the parks for a day or two!
Where to Stay: Being recently remodeled and in the heart of everything, the Grand Californian is always a great option. I also recommend the Resort at Pelican Hill for those looking for a little more pampering, huge accommodations, an amazing pool and kids club, and more. Just a 20 minute drive from all of the action in Anaheim, it makes for a perfect place to stay for those who don’t mind the short drive or a great addition to any vacation.
Aspen is one of my favorite cities in the world. Very few places in the world offer the arts, culture, shopping, and dining quality on par with New York, Paris, or London all bundled within a small mountain town. Plus, what isn’t to love about the picturesque Maroon Bells, world class skiing, and summer weather that can’t be beat.
The St. Regis Hotel is iconic within the city. Situated at the base of Ajax Mountain, just a block from the gondola and two blocks to the famous “Walking Mall,” the location is perfect both in winter and summer. As the largest 5-star hotel in the city, it offers a variety of room types, all of which are well appointed with Ralph Lauren sleigh beds and marble bathroom vanities. I love the Deluxe Patio rooms for summer time, which offer ample outdoor space for viewing the mountains. Suite level and above comes with the Signature St. Regis Butler Service, which, if you are traveling with pets, I would say is definitely worth the splurge (even if you don’t have pets, I was incredibly spoiled by the Butler service).
My daughter and I embarked on our annual Mother Daughter Disney trip this year in July, and as any good Travel Advisor would do, we experienced new things and stayed at a resort which we had visited but never stayed at.
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is located in the Magic Kingdom Area of the Walt Disney World property and is the only deluxe resort in that area that is not on the monorail. This makes the price point significantly lower, generally speaking, but still has easy boat access to Magic Kingdom, so it is a great value for a lot of families.
Favorite things about this property:
The Restaurants- Whispering Canyon (casual dining option) is a really great time and Artist’s Point (signature dining option) is truly amazing
Location and Price Point- For a Deluxe Disney Resort in Magic Kingdom, it’s hard to beat the price point of Wilderness Lodge.
The new Copper Creek Villas and Cabins- the newly renovated Copper Creek Villas and Cabins are located within Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and the new decor does not disappoint.
Standard rooms are smaller at this property than many of the other deluxe resorts.
Not being on the monorail, should you want to dine outside of the parks it is difficult to visit restaurants other than those on property.
The pool area was a disappointment to me. The water features and even small size of the main pool would make me shy away from this resort during the summer months.
Have you stayed at this Disney property? Would love to hear your thoughts!
Aspen Food and Wine Festival is one of the biggest summer attractions for the Roaring Fork Valley. Amazing weather, wine, incredible food, wine, Celebrity attendees, wine, fabulous parties, more wine; what’s not to love?
Wine at The Mine has quickly become one of the hottest parties of the weekend. Hosted by Infinite Monkey Theorem (IMT), an Urban Winery based in Denver (second location is in Austin), this fun and fabulous party just celebrated its sixth successful event. Thousands flock from downtown to Smuggler Mine to taste “culinary delights,” listen to great music, and drink surprisingly delicious canned wine. IMT holds many awards for its wine in a can, my favorite being the new Sauvignon Blanc. Stick around until after 10PM for the Silent Disco.
Official Sponsor Tesla gave stylish rides to party goers. I was lucky enough to ride in their X Model.
If you think all airlines are created equal, think again. Emirates Business and First Class air offer chauffeur service to and from your house and the airport, lounge access while at the airport, complimentary hotel stay for extended layovers (again, with chauffeur), and amazing service to top it all off.
The Viceroy in Riviera Maya will not dissappoint. From it’s incredibly secluded, spacious, and well appointed casitas (with private heated pools) to its amazing gastronomy, this property has romance written all over it. Don’t forget to enjoy the complimentary daily sunglass cleaning.
Booking this property through a Virtuoso advisor rewards clients with a $100 resort credit, Daily Breakfast for Two, and a complimentary room upgrade upon arrival, based upon availability.