Best Irish Soda Bread Recipe from the Top Baker in Ireland

Widely acknowledged as the finest baker in Ireland, North or South, here is Robert Ditty’s prized soda bread recipe for your St. Patrick’s Day table. His shop is located in the village of Castledown in Derry, just outside of Belfast.

Robert Ditty’s Irish soda bread recipe:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Sift together:

4 cups white flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

Add 2 cups of buttermilk

currants, raisons or other dried fruit are optional

Knead for two minutes on lightly floured board

Shape into a round loaf
Place on a well-buttered, 8-inch pie pan and cut a cross along the 

Bake 35-40 minutes.

Enjoy warm with butter.

John Paulson Continues Puerto Rico expansion with the latest acquisition

After covering the story several months ago when John Paulson and his company (Paulson & Co.) acquired a majority interest in The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico and the Bahia Beach Resort & Golf Club, it’s interesting to see this additional acquisition become official as of March 10, 2014.

With one of the most successful investment management firms today, with approximately $21 billion in assets, putting this much emphases in Puerto Rico, one can’t help but explore personal investment opportunities on this island destination.

In this most recent announcement, it was confirmed that Paulson & Co. has “acquired a majority interest in the Condado Vanderbilt and La Concha Renaissance Hotel and Tower, and the accompanying Condado Vanderbilt condominium towers in San Juan, Puerto Rico for $260 million, including costs to complete construction of the Vanderbilt.” (WalekPeppercomm)

Between the former acquisition at Bahia Beach and this newest venture in San Juan, Paulson & Co. has invested a great deal into the future of Puerto Rico. A long-time believer in doing business in Puerto Rico for those looking at business opportunities, Paulson also understands the reality of the ever-growing influx of international tourists who look to Puerto Rico to be a perfect getaway.

“These two properties are at the epicenter of luxury in San Juan. When completed, the oceanfront, 5- star Vanderbilt will be the most luxurious hotel in San Juan and a global destination spot,” said John Paulson, Founder and President of Paulson & Co. “We believe the Puerto Rican economy is at the cusp of recovery and both these hotels will benefit from future growth in Puerto Rico.”

This newest property is sure to be a huge success for those families, couples and meeting groups looking to be in a prime area of San Juan, while having all the desired luxuries on-property, such as restaurants, spas, beach/pool butlers and more. These two oceanfront resorts are located in the heart of the Condado district in San Juan, totaling 802 hotel rooms, are completed with the high-end retails stores, numerous restaurants and the additional luxury condominium developments. Partnered with Paulson & Co. in this investment is International Hospitality Enterprises (“IHE”), a highly regarded owner and operator of hotels in Puerto Rico.

“We are excited to partner with Paulson & Co. and look forward to a prosperous relationship and to the successful completion of the Condado Vanderbilt,” said Hugh Andrews, Founder and CEO of IHE.

With all the attention Puerto Rico seems to be receiving, perhaps it’s time to also look to the island for more than merely a quick weekend getaway, but also explore the opportunity to invest in the future of one of the island destinations that is fortunately part of the United States. Perhaps, like the Puerto Rico Tourism Bureau, you’ll also find that it’s “the happiest place on earth.”

Not Driving All The Way: Cheap Air Travel To Canada

When it comes to finding one of the most beautiful countries that you could enjoy and explore, with the friendly faces and immersing yourself with the multicultural atmosphere that a place could offer, the best country that you should visit is Canada. Though some people would often just drive all the way from the US to Canada, there are those who would rather skip the long periods of driving and the hassles of having to stay focused on the road and would just opt to book for a reservation for a flight.

But on the other hand, when in terms of having to travel through an airplane, one of the issues that are often raised is the expense and that is why it is best if you would find cheap air travel deals to Canada to make your trip more fun and cost effective. And if you are interested in booking for a cheap air travel to visit Canada, here is one great website that you must check out in order for you to find the best deals that would suit your need and your budget.

Book Your Reservation Now

If doing a long drive is not your thing, then the best option that you should look for is to have a cheap air travel to Canada that most travel websites are happy to obliged to and give you the best deals that they could offer. On the other hand, though there are many kinds of travel websites where you could find hot deals of travel in Canada, what stand out most among the rest is the Group travels where they are specializing in cheap airline tickets, hotels, cars, cruises, and other prearranged vacation packages that you could instantly avail.

Whether you may be looking forward for a cheap air travel to Canada or anywhere else in the world, you are sure to find something that would fit your budget and your lifestyle at Group travels. With Group travels, you are sure to find you cheap prices on any aspect of your travel including short breaks, hotels, cheap flights and scheduled airline tickets from any airport around the world.

Canada Vacation Tips: 12 Must Know Terms to Make Your Life Easier While Traveling in Canada

Americans and Canadians speak the same language – right?

Well, not quite and if you want to make the most of your vacation in the beautiful and rugged north, you probably want to brush up on a few local terms to feel right at home.

Of course, you will see labels and signs all over in Canada in both French and English. But, through my extensive travels I’ve learned that some Canadian words just don’t translate into American English, and vice versa.

So, here is a handy glossary of 12 Terms You Need To Know When You Visit Canada:

  1. Loonies and Toonies – These cutesy words are far weightier than they sound. They mean money. Loonies are gold colored $1 coins. Where does this term come from? Well the Loon is the national bird appearing on the front of the $1 coin. The lonesome call of the Loon is a familiar sound in the Canadian wilderness.
  2. Toonies -Yes, you guessed it. Toonies are the Loonies $2 cousin.
  3. Tuque – The quintessential winter accessory in Canada. We hear that these winter hats are called “ski hats” or “beanies” elsewhere. But Canadians will keep their tuques, thank you very much.
  4. Tim Hortons – Canada’s favorite coffee and donut shop. Located throughout the country and often referred to as “Timmies”, it’s a staple in the Canadian diet.
  5. Double-double – Often heard at Tim Horton’s, this is the way the “pros” order a coffee with two creams and two sugars
  6. Pop The common word for a soft drink, deriving from “soda pop”. Up here, soda is the fizzy water that’s good for getting pop stains out of clothes.
  7. Washroom – A synonym for bathroom, restroom or toilet. Don’t waste precious time looking for the bathroom when all signs point to the washroom.
  8. Poutine – With all the multi-cultural foods peppering Canada, be sure to try this homegrown favorite on your vacation. This dish of French fries, cheese curds and gravy originated in Quebec has won fans across the country. Trust me, it tastes better than it sounds!
  9. Canuck -This is a term of endearment for “Canadian” as in the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks, who can be seen on Hockey Night in Canada. Hockey Night in Canada is a must see TV event for hockey lovers…meaning most of Canada. Ask any Canadian on your vacation to hum the theme song – it’s a catchy one!
  10. Runners – These are casual sports shoes, otherwise called sneakers or tennis shoes. “Runners” can join “sneakers” on my unofficial list of oddly named items.
  11. Click/Kilometer – Kilometer is such a cumbersome word for measuring distance. The slang “click” is a much faster way to share how many kilometers you’ve traveled on your Canadian vacation.
  12. Bill – Although you may run into a few friendly Canucks named Bill, chances are you’ll meet bill more often. In Canada, a bill is what you pay at a restaurant.

So, next time you’re in Canada, counting your loonies and toonies while enjoying your double-double after walking 10 clicks in runners and thinking about asking for the bill …you’ll feel right at home.

Hawaii Food and Wine Festival –Eat, Stay and Play Hawaiian

Whether you are planning your first trip or are a loyal repeat visitor to the Aloha State, The Hawaii Food and Wine Festival is yet another reason to stay, eat and return to Hawaii.

What sets The Hawaii Food and Wine Festival apart from all the rest and deserves to be on your must- do list is the fact that virtually all the ingredients served are grown, raised or caught in Hawaii.

This year, the festivities kicked off in Maui, just after the Kaanapali Fresh Festival, which is reason alone to plan a Maui visit before going on to Honolulu for the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival.

Both festivals will impress you with the transformation of Hawaii from a consuming to a producing Mecca. Where once almost every food item was imported, the state now grows much of what it eats.

Farmers and fishers are consulted, embraced and revered for their magic in producing and catching some of the tastiest home grown products available on the planet. The two days of events at the Kaanapali Fresh Festival serve to introduce locals and guests to the pleasures of this “locavore” haven and salute the farmers, fishers, and chefs who delight us with every bite.

If you start in Maui at the Kaanapali Fresh Festival plan to attend the Friday evening “Progressive Kaanapali Dinner.” Guests started at the Westin Maui Resort and Spa where they enjoyed savory tastes infused with coffee created by the resorts culinary team, then everyone moves on to live music and desserts provided by the team at the Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa.

Saturday starts with a trip to the local market to revel in local bounty. Then there is a tour and lunch at a coffee plantation to celebrate the 200 years of coffee production in Hawaii. The Saturday evening signature event boasts a tasting of farm-to-table cuisine with carefully selected wines highlighting the artistry of local chefs and farmers and a silent auction dedicated to supporting Maui agriculture. The level of cuisine and the wines provided by Southern Wine and Spirits is a stellar examples of the quality found on the island paradise of Maui.

Having tempted your taste buds with the celebration of Kaanapali Fresh, you will be ready to knowledgeably indulge in the pleasures of the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival, which stages its opening event, “Malama Maui,” at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa on Sunday evening. The kickoff features sunset cocktails overlooking the Pacific, palm trees swaying to smooth jazz, and six global luminary chefs collaborating on a dinner extravaganza using Maui’s finest ingredients paired with international wines selected by Southern Wine and Spirits.

The remainder of the festival takes place in Honolulu four days later giving you plenty of time to relax, work up an appetite and enjoy the resort before taking the short flight to Oahu.

The Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa’s many features offer you an ideal location to start your festival experience. It is centrally located to all the tourist areas, and is a destination onto itself. Covering 40 acres, this property offers something for everyone. Among its most coveted highlights are the Swan Court and the Penguin Cove. The lush landscape, pool extravaganza complete with slides, caves and waterfalls, extensive shopping arcade, fine art collection and superb selection of restaurants makes this a one stop stay and play option for families and couples alike.

For a unique experience, sign up for Sushi School and a Tour of the Stars where the director of astronomy will show you the night sky from atop the roof. Treat yourself to Regency status for customized service and amenities to please the most discriminating guests and enjoy a meal at Japengo where locally grown products and Pacific Rim influences entice and delight the palate. .

After enjoying marvelous Maui, it’s time to hop over to Honolulu to continue the excitement of the world class Hawaii Food and Wine Festival where over 70 renowned chefs from around the globe have gathered to utilize only Hawaiian products in their gourmet offerings. The culinary team is anchored by the festival’s founders, Allan Wong and Roy Yamaguchi, both of whom are Honolulu-based James Beard Award-Winners.

Besides five signature evening events, there are a series of educational experiences and seminars lead by four master sommeliers and top flight winemakers. The impressive array of culinary talent includes Ricardo Zarate of Mo-Chica in Los Angeles, Celestino Drago (Drago Restaurant Group).

Check in at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa, one of the venues for the many festival activities. Centrally located to take advantage of shopping and beach, this aloha-spirited welcoming resort offers daily activities through its cultural center to enhance your understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of the Hawaiian culture.

Learn lei making, hula, ukulele and much more. The Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa is home to world class Na Ho’ola Spa, where the breathtaking ocean view meets the spa. Select one of their many signature Hawaiian treatments and enjoy the sights and sounds of the spectacular views as you await your pampering.

Before the festival begins, dine at Japengo where Pacific Rim cuisine is at its most authentic. Executive Chef Sven spares no expense in selecting the finest ingredients to prepare each succulent item with the utmost concern for genuine regional flair.

Ever vigilant about honoring the traditions of each dish, chefs from Beijing taught the kitchen staff to make their authentic fried rice, and it took weeks to perfect!

And perfect it they did, as your taste buds will attest. That is just one example of the care that goes into each dish. The hip décor, intimate spaces for private parties and beautifully presented cuisine make Japengo “a must” on your culinary tour of Waikiki.

The Hawaii Food and Wine Festival signature event is sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines: “Under the Modern Moon: Morimoto & Friends at The Modern Honolulu.” This event includes 15 world class chefs from Asia and the Pacific— each offering succulent morsels to tease your taste buds, stellar wines presented by the winemakers themselves, including Jim Clendenen, whose Au Bon Climat label is world renown,, and you will also meet mixology magicians offering creative sips in a cool, hip, environment that wowed even the most sophisticated palates.

Try one of Honolulu’s favorite chefs, Chef Chai’s Restaurant, before you leave the city. As a TV personality and executive chef of Hawaiian Airlines, the only domestic airline to still serve complimentary meals even in economy class, his Pacific fusion cuisine is a soul satisfying blend of Hawaii’s finest ingredients with Asian influences, European technique and a pinch of health food savvy for good measure. That makes for unique items such as lobster bisque without the butter and cream, healthy stir fry and a lighter version of coconut cheesecake, all full flavored, delicious and ever so good for you!

Culinary demonstrations and wine seminars add to the daytime activities sprinkled in between the evening’s other special events. Saturday’s “Rooftop Garden at Hawaii’s Convention Center” and Sunday’s “Savory Ever After at Ko Olina Resort,” showcase the talents of countless luminary chefs from the Islands, Mainland, and Pacific Rim— all designed to thrill and delight the attendees who also come from near and far to experience the culinary excellence that is Hawaii.

Mark these two event— Kaanapali Fresh in Maui and The Hawaii Food and Wine Festival in Honolulu— on your gourmet calendar, and make this a culinary destination vacation to savor!

Where the boys of summer spend the winter

I am not a baseball fan, in part because of a ten-year bout with “bleacher butt” acquired while cheering three kids through Little League. My song of summer is “Take me out of the Ball Game” and, for the record, I hate peanuts and cracker jacks. If I root root root for anything it is for my dog to escape the village dog catcher so I won’t have to pay yet another fine to Animal Control.

I did not become a Chicago Cubs fan until the day I barely made it out of a Chicago blizzard to the warm breezes of Mesa, Arizona. The fine Mexican food and light-sweater evenings were expected, and I luxuriated in them. But wait. Why was I hearing “Cubs” every where I went? Even I know there are no Arizona Cubs, no Mesa Cubs.

Mesa is where the Chicago Cubs go for spring training, and the Cubs are so important to Mesa that the town built them an $84 million training facility with six fan-accessible practice fields and a 15,000-seat stadium. This is all part of a 140-acre community park and pond so Mesa Cub fans who footed the bill can picnic and watch the kids run around while watching practice games and getting a sun tan,

Mesa’s Cubs Park may look like Wrigley Field with light standards and cantilevered roofs matching those in Chicago and a replica of the Wrigley Field marquee, but there is no snow during spring training season. There are plenty of activities for the Chicago-weary, both travelers and ball players, to forget about the “s” words: snow, sleet, slush, slips, slides, and expletives deleted.

I came for the sun and the food, and I left with a Cubs hat. Baseball still strikes me as kinda dumb and dull, but the Cubs are a savvy team to winter in Mesa. I’ll buy a ticket for that. See you at Wrigley in June. I’ll even eat a hot dog. Hold the cracker jacks and keep your mitts off my Cubs hat.

Orlando's top 10 hotel pools

Orlando is famous for its exciting theme parks, but there is yet another reason to make Orlando your vacation destination. Orlando has some of the most outrageous and fun hotel pools and water parks around. These hotel pools are perfect for a day away from the theme parks, or for an evening dip after a long, hot day at the parks. Here are 10 of Orlando’s top hotel pools (in no particular order).

Reunion Resort and Club, A Wyndham Grand Resort – With a choice of a Resort Water Park that includes twisting water slides, a float on the lazy river, or a dip in one of 10 pools, the Reunion Resort and Club is a water lover’s dream destination.
The Nickelodeon Suites Resort – Not one, but two water parks reside at the Nickelodeon Suites Resort. There are 13 water slides and flumes, live Nickelodeon entertainment (including getting slimmed), a 400 gallon dump tank, and character meet and greets.
Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando – Orlando’s Hard Rock Hotel has a 12,000 sq. ft. pool complete with a sand beach, 2 hot tubs, a sand volleyball court, interactive play area for the kids with fountains, and a 260-ft. pool slide.
Gaylord Palms Hotel and Convention Center – The Gaylord Palms offers a South Beach Adult Pool and the Cypress Springs Family Fun Water Park. Cypress Springs is a zero-entry pool that features 4 water slides, a multi-level water playground, a lagoon, splash n screen movies, and pool parties.
Coco Key Hotel and Water Resort – The water park at Coco Key Hotel is 54,000 sq. ft. of fun that includes 14 water slides, some other water rides and 4 heated pools.
Orlando World Center Marriott Resort – The world’s largest Marriott has 6 pools, including 2 children’s pools, a 106 ft. waterslide and organized daily poolside fun.
Omni Resort at Champions Gate – Three pools offer something for everyone in the family. There is also a lazy river, a water playground and a 125 ft. corkscrew waterslide.
Liki Tiki Village – Liki Tiki Village offers 3 pool complexes, including the Liki Tiki Lagoon water park. The Lagoon features a wave pool, 5 water slides, a waterfall, spouting tiki heads, and a dancing fountain.
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort – The largest resort on Disney property, Disney’ Caribbean Beach Resort offers 7 pools. The main pool, Fuentes del Morro, features waterfalls, water slides, water canons, and a large children’s play area.
Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott Orlando – If you’re into lazy rivers, you’ll love the one that runs between these two resorts. The 24,000 square foot lazy river is heated year-round, surrounded by lush plants and waterfalls to make you feel like you’re in a rainforest, and there is even piped in music.

B.C. bars open extended hours for men's gold medal hockey game (4 a.m. Feb 23)

The B.C. government has done hockey fans a favour and allowed pubs and bars to extend their opening hours so fans can watch the Olympic men’s hockey medal games live from their favourite bar stools. There’s just one catch: No beer.

The bronze medal game starts at 7 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22. Bars and pubs can open as early as 6 a.m., but they can’t serve alcohol until 9.

The puck drops for the gold medal game at 4 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23. Bars will be able to stay open all night long on Saturday through to the end of the game on Sunday morning, but they’ll have to stop serving liquor at the usual time. And if you’re thinking you’ll just load up at last call, think again – staff will be required to take any unfinished alcohol away from you 30 minutes after the end of liquor service hours.

So, will the games be the same with a seltzer water instead of a beer? As long as Canada’s playing for the gold, you can bet there will be plenty of fans decked out in Canada hockey jerseys who settle in for a long night (and early morning) of cheering on the boys in red. Go Canada Go!

Bavarian charm awaits you at the Hofsas House in Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

Driving up from Southern California to Northern California is always a treat. As you pass through the Grapevine and leave Los Angeles County behind, California’s Central Valley opens up with aromas of fresh produce wafting in the air from the acres and acres of farmland and trucks with trailers of garlic, onions, and tomatoes – the main ingredients for a great marinara sauce. As you emerge from the Central Valley, the southern end of Northern California becomes apparent with forest areas and cooler temperatures. As you drive closer to the coast, fog and the scent of the sea invite you. Carmel-by-the-Sea is a charming town by the sea. The interior of the town reminds me of Big Bear, CA – very quiet in the morning and night. In the morning, you can hear the beautiful sound of birds chirping, woodpeckers pecking, and the sound of the waves crashing on the beach.

Being my first time visiting Carmel-by-the-Sea, I had the pleasure of staying at Hofsas House. This 60-year old inn has a great history. It all began when Donna Hofsas and Fred Theis moved from Los Angeles to Carmel in the late 1940s. They bought a few cottages and rented them out, thus the Hofsas House was born. In 1957, the main hotel building and a pool were added. Unfortunately, Fred and Donna divorced but Donna kept the Hofsas House. In the mid-1960s, she added on a north wing and meeting room. Donna’s friend, Maxine Albro, was commissioned to paint the Bavarian-themed welcome mural on the driveway next to the front office. Donna passed away in 1981 and the reins were passed on to her son, Jack Theis, and ran the inn until he passed away in 1996. His wife, Doris, and his son, Scott, ran the property from 1996 to 2000. In 2000, Doris’ daughter, Carrie Theis, became the General Manager and carries on her grandmother’s legacy of great service and hospitality. Carrie and her staff make you feel like you’re at home – very welcoming and helpful to new and returning guests, whether it’s where to eat for dinner or activities to do during your stay.

The rooms are homey. We stayed in Room 41 which was a great size for a family. The living area had two day beds with a 4-seat dining table, small television, small kitchenette (small refrigerator, sink, dishes, microwave), fireplace, and glass-sliding door to an outdoor deck with views of the ocean. There was even a rustic BBQ in case you wanted to grill up some steaks. Next to the living area, is a guest full bathroom. Down a short hallway is the master bedroom complete with a master full bathroom. After a couple of hours, we started our activities with a scenic drive to the Big Sur Foragers Festival in Big Sur, CA.

Upon our return, we enjoyed some Ventana Chardonnay and cheese from The Cheese Shop on the deck which can be ordered from the front office. After a couple of hours of relaxing, we decided to head down to the beach to find a spot to enjoy a beautiful sunset. Everyone else had the same idea and we were stuck in a bit of traffic. The sun started to set while we were trying to find a place to park. But, we were able to enjoy and photograph the sunset from the car. When we finally found a parking spot, we grabbed our S’mores Kit (from Cypress Concierge which can be ordered from the front office) and booked it to the beach. The sun was quickly becoming a memory in the sky with just the very top peaking over the horizon. But there was still enough ambient light to find a spot on the beach and start our fire. The S’more Kit included everything you needed: newspaper for kindling, wood for the fire, wire skewers, lighter, graham crackers, chocolate bars, and marshmallows. The fire started up quickly and the wood crackled as with excitement. We readied our graham crackers with pieces of chocolate and started to slowly roast our marshmallows. The slow roasting gets the core of the marshmallow warm enough to melt the chocolate on the graham cracker making the perfect s’mores. After a few of these, we needed to stop to save room for our dinner reservation at Mundaka. We enjoyed the relaxing sound of the ocean and brisk ocean air, carefully put out our fire, and donated the last of our firewood to a neighboring group. Hofsas House also loaned us flashlights, which came in handy as it was very dark getting back to our car.

As we settled in for the night, we decided to keep the window open so we could experience the nature sounds of the night and ocean. The air got a little chilly, but the comforter on the bed kept us warm. The bed was comfortable and floated off to dreamland. The next morning we awoke to birds chirping. A blue jay perched on a tree across from our window and I heard a woodpecker pecking away. We got dressed and headed downstairs to check out the continental breakfast in the front office. The continental breakfast includes fresh fruit, yogurt, fresh pastries, juice, and coffee. You can eat in the parlor or grab a basket and take it back to your room. We decided to take it back to the room and enjoy the beautiful morning. As we sat on the deck, we enjoyed nature and watched an elderly woman playing with a cat in the neighborhood street below.

We were sad that our stay ended so soon, but definitely would like to come back to walk around town, window shop, and head over to the beach a little earlier for a front row seat for another beautiful sunset.


Lovin’ Long Weekends
Tail Wagging Package

For more information:
Hofsas House
Between 3rd & 4th Ave on San Carlos Street.
P.O. Box 1195
Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921

Hofsas House is dog-friendly so bring your four-legged family members with you!

A skier’s guide to eight top Colorado body soothing après slopes hot springs

After spending a day on the slopes skiing or snowboarding nothing feels better than a long soak in a hot tub (or a massage). And Colorado’s winter resort areas others both. But here we are concentrating just on the top hot springs where you can relax and soothe the soul.

Here are eight of the top choices for soaking away the sorrows of the slopes:

Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs–natural springs that offer a happy ending to a day full of winter sports. The odorless and soothing tubs provide 360-degree views of the San Juan Mountains and are used to heat the motel during winter.
Dunton Hot Springs–tucked in the mountains, the luxurious and beautifully restored 19th century ghost town and mineral hot springs offer various ways to take to the waters including inside the restored Bathhouse, under the stars or out on the river.
Glenwood Hot Springs–home to the world’s largest hot springs pool, the landmark allows visitors the chance to soak in the bathwater-warm, large and small therapy pools, as well as visit the award-winning spa.
Mount Princeton Hot Springs–a natural oasis with a variety of hot springs pools and pampering spa treatments. The resort is the perfect getaway for visitors to experience top amenities, outdoor recreation and tranquil pools.
Sand Dunes Swimming Pool–a family-owned site with a large pool and a 25-person therapy pool all kept between 98 to 107 degrees.
Strawberry Park Hot Springs—snuggled against Hot Springs Creek, this naturally fed and geothermally warmed springs nourish the spirit.
The Springs Resort and Spa—features 23 mineral-rich soaking pools, including the world’s deepest, surrounded by the scenic peaks of the San Juan Mountains.
Waunita Hot Springs Ranch—a remote lodge boasting one of the largest private swimming pools in Colorado fed by natural hot springs.

Before you die . . .

Possibly one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s finest achievements is Fallingwater on route 381 in southwestern Pennsylvania. It has been acclaimed by the American Institute of Architects, designated as a National Historic Landmark and listed on Smithsonian’s Life List of 28 places to visit before you die.

Its unique construction of reinforced concrete and native stone dramatically cantilevered over a waterfall blending within mountainside terrain cause it to appear as if it grows out of the site. The multi-leveled house has over 100 steps from its first level to the guesthouse atop the hill.

Frank Lloyd Wright has a reputation as a renowned architect. He was architect of many types of buildings, including churches, hotels, offices, museums, residences and skyscrapers. They are located in states including New York and Pennsylvania.

Fallingwater sells a ground pass, guided house tour and In depth tour. Special tours of a landscape hike, a brunch and Sunset Tour are also given. To avoid disappointment purchase tickets in advance. Comfortable shoes are encouraged with the walking tours.

The unique residence was built at 1491 Mill Run Road, Mill Run, PA 15464. It is 69 miles southeast of Pittsburgh 100 miles southwest of Altoona PA, 8 miles north of Ohiopyle State Park and 20 miles north of the West Virginia border. It is partly over a waterfall on Bear Run in Allegheny Mountains Laurel Highlands.

Fallingwater was built for Edgar Kaufmann Sr. a successful Pittsburgh businessman and president of Kaufmann’s Department Store. It was built at a total cost of $155,000 in 1937, and valued at $2.6 million in 2013.

Tour Hours

January and February tours closed
Thursday – Tuesday 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM mid March through Thanksgiving weekend
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
Tour prices
Ground pass – $8
Guided House Tour
Adult @ $27
Youth 6-12 @ $20

Bear Run is a 5-mile long tributary of the Youghiogheny River, a 134-mile branch of the Monongahela River in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland. The river is well known for Ohiopyle a center of whitewater rafting.
Fifteen miles southwest of Fallingwater is another of Frank Lloyd Wright’s creative works at Chalkhill PA, known as Kentuck Knob. It is also known as Hagan House.

Fallingwater is a 5 ½ hour drive of 350 miles from Rochester NY. Drive west on I-90 Thruway to Erie PA then US 79 south toward Pittsburgh, and US 76 south passing Donegal to route 381 south. Follow signs to Fallingwater.

There is much that can be written about this impressive creation but mere words are a poor substitute for a visit. Here is one reviews of their visit.
“Some places don’t live up to the hype and fall short of your expectation. This is not one of them.”