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Catching up with the sun on Summer Solstice for a bit of sun worshipping at the Summer Solstice Festival and Parade at Santa Barbara, CA, the “American Riviera”, with colorful floats, dances and a drum circle you can participate in. Friday 4-9 p.m., Saturday noon-8 p.m., Sunday noon-6 p.m. (805) 965-3396, www.solsticeparade.com.

In Arizona, visit Kitts Peak National Observatory Visitor Center and Museum (90 minute drive from Tucson) where the largest solar telescope is located. Take their guided tour daily at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 1:30 p.m.. (520) 318-8726, www.noao.edu/outreach/kpvc.


Of course, why not visit the sunniest place in the United States ~ Yuma, AZ, where it's sunny and clear 90 percent of total daylight hours. Yuma is located along the banks of the Colorado River on the border of Mexico and California. Visit the sand dunes in the surrounding area which for off-road drivers and sand vehicles. (800) 293-0071, see all the things there are to do at www.visityuma.com.

Find your place in the sun, make sure you stay hydrated, use plenty of sunscreen, and enjoy your day. Happy Summer Solstice everyone!

 
 
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After the busy weekend, I began to think about how to be inspired to another long work week? How to find a place to start where I would feel renewed and refreshed and to give me that extra push into the week? I decided to start with a little inspiration from http://moodturn.com a free site that lets you select your theme and your background all while listening to serene sounds of nature.

So now I am in a relaxed state, but how to find the renewal of time? With busy schedules, chores to be done, commitments, work, running and too many more to list, how do you find time for you? Sometimes a vacation isn’t necessarily always packing your bag, but finding a place where you can renew yourself on a day-to-day basis, a respite from your repetitive duties.

We all need a break, but too often we say “I’m too busy” ~ even more reason to schedule some “you” time. We’ve all heard about Staycations; vacationing at home. What about Daily Staycations? Here are some ideas to recharge and renew yourself on a daily basis. Learn to take a break by taking a long, relaxing bath ~ turn off your phone, light some candles, put on some music and just soak your stress away. Give yourself an at home facial, a pedicure or a manicure. Read a book. Go for a walk, a run, a bike ride, or any type of exercise. Wake-up before everyone and have some quiet time without the daily news or radio and just listen to the silence. Treat yourself to lunch out with or without friends, pack up a picnic, go sit at the park and enjoy the sights around you. Fly a kite. Go fishing. Pick up a new hobby and let yourself enjoy a little bit of creative time. On those lazy days, put in your favorite old movie, grab a blanket, some favorite indulgences to munch on and just relish in the moment. Go walk around your town and be your own tourist. Take your camera and see your world through a different angle.

Without taking time for yourself, we often burnout and find ourselves stressed and overwhelmed. Too often we deny ourselves little indulgences because it may seem selfish or too time consuming. Sometimes just that little bit of time is what we need. I like to have a glass of wine, sit under the stars on a quiet summers night and just listen. This is my time. I find that in our busy world, these moments of nothingness is restful and it relaxes the soul.

When I do get the opportunity to take longer me time, there are so many options to chose from. A day at the spa, a little retail therapy, a drive to the lake, an overnight trip to a neighboring town, visiting a Farmer’s Market, buying flowers just for me, just because. Go for a horseback ride, visit your local museum or art galleries. Treat yourself to a self-indulgent road trip; traveling to places you’ve yearned to visit.

Sometimes taking time for yourself doesn’t always mean you have to be by yourself. Enjoy time with your spouse, your friends, but just remember it’s about you and not accommodating everyone else. Relish, renew and relax. It’s a guarantee that if you let yourself enjoy, you just may find a new sense of being.

 
 
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It's not pretty as you drive past the gas station these days.  Yes, the price of gas only seems to be rising while our money seems to be disappearing faster.   Does this change a lot of travel plans?  Of course it does, but it still doesn't mean you can't have a vacation ~ just a little fine tuning to your travel plans.   

Springtime brings those dreary days of rain showers that make our flowers bloom, adds color to our trees and the eventful puddle jumping with some umbrella and rain gear in need. 

With the two variables of gas and rain, some might throw up their hands and just say "Forget it!  No travel!".   Well, Twig Travel is here to give you some great ideas that may not be at the top of your list, but a short mini-break out of the house just may be what the doctor ordered while we await Summertime.

Many hotels are offering travel incentives ranging from lower nightly fares, gas cards, food, drink, free in-room movies and more. This is a great way to travel close to home and yet not spend a lot on fuel. 

Here is just a sampling of some online companies with offers: 

http://www.hotels.com/deals offers lower nightly fares in their "Deals" 

Bookit at http://www.bookit.com/ is giving away $25.00 gas rebates for those who stay at least two nights at select properities.  At the Barefoot Yacht Club & Resort in North Myrtle Beach, the room rate has been slashed to $69.00 a night, with a $25.00 gas rebate.  Book by May 2 and travel by May 25.

In the Midwest, the indoor waterpark Kalahari Resorts at Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin and Sandusky, Ohio locations has has brought back last year’s Fuel for Fun promotion.  During May, the package starts at $149.95 a night in Wisconsin ($169.95 a night in Ohio), and includes accommodations and waterpark passes for up to four people, plus a $40.00 gas card. 

Sterling Resorts at http://www.sterlingresorts.com/ has many Gulf Coast vacation home resorts in Northwest Florida,and  is giving a $100.00 gas card for week-long stays with its “Tanks for Staying” promo. If you stay three nights, you’ll receive a $50.00 credit. To claim your gas credit, just present a gas receipt upon check-in showing a fill-up during your trip to the beach.  Promo code TANKS. 

Even Expedia is offering deep discounts of up to 50% on hotel reservations and prepaid gas cards to encourage travelers to make summer vacation plans.  More than 125 hotels of the 400 participating in Expedia’s program are offering vacationers half-off their usual booking rates for stays of four nights or more. Other participating hotels are giving discounts of at least 30% off on room rates. Reservations must be booked online at www.expedia.com.

For those that are looking for less overnight travel, here are some great things to do and visit on a rainy day:  aquarium, botanical gardens, bowling, broadway show/play/live performance, dance in the rain, dinner by a roaring fire, floral center, indoor batting cages or activity center, indoor skating, library, mega-mall or shopping center, movie theater, museums, picnic under a pavallion, spa day pampering, waterpark (you're going to get wet anyway - as long as their's no lightening, or better yet, go to an indoor waterpark), wine tasting tour, zoo (umbrella and gear still may be needed). 

I hope you're busy making your travel plans and remember to visit our travel planning packages for all your needs.