12 Days 'til Christmas Winners Announced
To help people continue to enjoy the gift of travel, the Girls Getaway Guide hosted its third-annual "12 Days 'til Christmas" holiday promotion. Travel lovers from across the country visited the Girls Getaway Guide online at www.GirlsGetawayGuide.net and signed up to win more than $7,000 in fabulous giveaways. The winners and their fabulous prizes are listed at www.GirlsGetawayGuide.net, so be sure to see if you or any of your friends won.
January 15-19: Girls Getaway to Miami
Nothing like a birthday celebration SoBe style, which is what we have planned for Liz. Follow our adventures on Twitter (@GetawayGirl) and Facebook...there's no telling where we will end up or who we will meet!
January 23: ARC's Afternoon Tea, Sebring, FL
Join me from 2:00-4:00 p.m. at the Ridge Area ARC's After Tea where I will serve as guest for this important fundraising event. The tea will be held at the Tea Room at the Sebring Lakeside Resort. Tickets are $30 per person and include sandwiches, pastries, teas and raffle prizes. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Rhonda Beckman at (863) 452-1295 x112.
January 27-31: Girls Getaway to Boulder, CO
The girls are heading west to celebrate Donna's birthday! We are ready for our adventures (and ski slope spills) in this beautiful part of the country. Follow our travels on Twitter (@GetawayGirl) or via Facebook (Fan Page: Girls Getaway Guide).
February 8-9: Florida Farm Bureau's Women's Leadership Conference, St. Augustine
Florida Farm Bureau's 2010 State Women's Leadership Conference, themed "Farm Bureau Women... Stepping Up To The Plate," will be held in St. Augustine February 8-10. Join me as I serve as presenter. For more information, call Shaun Fulford (352) 378-8100, ext. 1030.
February 10-14: Girls Getaway to Santa Fe, NM
February 25-28: Girls Getaway to St. Petersburg Beach
For a weekend of rest and relaxation, we are heading to the Tradewinds Resort (www.TradewindsResort.com) and "getting away" to beautiful St. Petersburg Beach. Follow our travels on Twitter (@GetawayGirl) or via Facebook (Fan Page: Girls Getaway Guide).
March 4-7: Girls Getaway to Atlanta
May 28: Sex and the City II Movie Premiere, Orlando
If you joined us at the first movie premiere, you know how much fun we had with a special VIP Reception at Neiman Marcus, complete with martinis, makeovers and Manolo Blahniks! Not to mention our very own movie theater with cocktails! Put this on your calendar as more details about this exciting night will be coming soon!
Thank You "12 Days" Partners
Thank you to the wonderful partnering businesses that donated prizes for the "12 Days 'til Christmas":
33 Group, LLC (Las Vegas) www.ThirtyThreeGroup.com
Arizona Biltmore (Phoenix) www.ArizonaBiltmore.com
AVIA Hotels (Savannah or Napa) www.AVIAHotels.com
Charming Inns (Charleston) www.CharmingInns.com
Cranwell Resort (Lenox, MA) www.Cranwell.com
Edgartown Residence Club (Martha's Vineyard) www.EdgartownResidenceClub.com
Flatpenny Inn (Montana) www.FlatpennyInn.com
Gaylord Palms Resort (Orlando) www.GaylordPalms.com/ice
Hotel Palomar Philadelphia www.HotelPalomar-Philadelphia.com
Hotel Urbano (Miami) www.HotelUrbano.com
Neiman Marcus Last Call, Prime Outlets www.PrimeOutlets.com/Orlando
Orlando Premium Outlets & Floridays Resort Orlando www.PremiumOutlets.com/Orlando
Pinehurst Resort (North Carolina) www.Pinehurst.com
|Where To Purchase Merchandise |
Barnes & Noble (select stores)
Gift Basket Boutique, Lakeland
Cat's On Main, Wauchula
Highlands Art League, Sebring
Key West Art Bar, Key West
Peppers of Key West, Key West
Red Geranium, Winter Haven
Urban Think! Bookstore, Orlando
Submit Your Girls Getaway Photos
This month's Girls Getaway photo is submitted by Suzanne Beville of Temple Terrace, FL who writes:
"My best friend, Becky, and I go away for almost a week every year - the past 5 years have fallen around Memorial Day, which is perfect for creating memories! This year we stuck to our Southern roots and went to Charleston. Our week included our usual spa appointments (Stella Nova), shopping (King Street rocks!!!), day trips (Summerville) and cupcakes (The Cupcake), but this year we also threw in a sunset sail in the Charleston Harbor and, courtesy of a friend also found ourselves on the set of Army Wives watching the five main cast members film for a morning. I am a photographer, and Charleston was fabulous for finding great new letters for my alphabet photo collections. But Bec and I also take a ton of self portraits and pictures of everything, especially with food, menus, and signs (ie, "Ladies" - and then we do something improper and silly). We cherish these trips and are already planning next year ... Martha's Vineyard is calling!"
To submit your girls getaway photos, email
Happy New Year everyone! I'm so excited about 2010 and all of the fantastic getaways and events we have planned. More "Win Free Stuff" coming soon at www.GirlsGetawayGuide.net.
Girls Getaway to the Turks & Caicos
www.SunCharters.tc). Many thanks to David (a fellow Rollins College alum) and Isabelle as they showed us the magnificent underwater world and beautiful islands that surround the Turks & Caicos. We saw magnificent purple fish, hunted shells and sand dollars on deserted islands, and enjoyed snacking on lobster rolls and wine during the sail. At the end of the sail, our one male traveler dove overboard to fetch his shoes...making this now a true "Girls Getaway."
When I told fans I was going to the Turks & Caicos, the most frequent questions I received was, "What and where are the Turks & Caicos?" The Turks & Caicos Islands consist of 40 islands and cays, eight of which are inhabited. The islands are located 550 miles southeast of Miami, just south of the Bahamas, east of Cuba and north of Haiti. Technically, the Turks & Caicos are located in the Atlantic Ocean, not the Caribbean Sea.
The islands are home to about 30,000 full time residents, and welcome more than 200,000 tourists annually. The islands are well known for their love of shellfish, particularly conch, which is available in abundance to this day, thanks to the work of the Caicos Conch farm, the only commercial conch farm in the world.
Turks & Caicos is a British Crown colony; however, it was not until the early 1980s when the islands started to become a viable tourist destination. Since then, increasingly more development has taken shape, and the small, salt raking island country of Turks & Caicos has grown into what is quickly becoming recognized as one of the world's premier beach destinations.
After a 75-minute plane ride from Miami, I arrived in Providenciales (or known as Provo) and was transported by van (thank you Tina) to Ocean Club West Resort (www.OceanClubResorts.com), which was just a 15 ride away. Upon arriving at Ocean Club West, I checked in to my King One-Bedroom Suite complete with a lovely balcony overlooking the pool and ocean, full kitchen, dining room and comfortable living area. I made my way down to the Seaside Café and ordered their award-winning Conch Burger, which was every bit as good as it sounds. After re-fueling at the Café, it was time to check out the beautiful Grace Bay beach and get some R&R under one of the resort's signature pink umbrellas.
Dinner that night was at the resort's second property, Ocean Club, where they treated us like kings at their fine dining restaurant, Opus. Everything on the menu sounded wonderful, from steaks to lamb to seafood, there was something for everyone. I opted for the Whole Roasted Red Snapper with Lemon Caper Butter and got a lesson on how to eat a fish when it is served head, skin and all.
The next morning I was anxious to get a massage at Spa Tropique, which was just a few steps away from my room. After a relaxing, 50-minute "Naughty but Nice" massage, I met the group for lunch where we were all very impressed by the resort's Beet Mojitos...yes, Beet Mojitos that tasted as good as they looked!
We left the resort and were off to our snorkel and sunset cruise aboard the Atabeyra (
That night, we spiced things up with a tapas-style, Moroccan dinner at Lemon Café (www.LemonCafe.tc). Proprietor Mark Dillon's Moroccan mother-in-law inspired the great food and atmosphere found at Lemon. Everything from the décor, utensils and chairs were imported and add a sophisticated flair to the restaurant. Grace and I even tried our belly dancing skills on stage...we thought we were good, but that was probably due to the wine.
After breakfast the next day (it sounds like all we did was eat), a few girls walked across the street to do some shopping. We found a fabulous boutique, Rumeurs, which has furniture, home décor, clothing, jewelry and more all imported from places like Paris and Bali. We all left with shopping bags full of goodies, which is an indication of how great the store really is.
Next, we headed to the Caicos Conch Farm, which is the only conch farm in the world. Denver taught us all about the conch, how fast they grow, where they export to and how they grow the baby conchs in a nursery. The highlight of the tour was meeting Sally and Jerry, two tame conchs that Denver used to show us how to tell the difference between female and male conchs. It was all downhill from there with this group, and the "Conch Weenie" was born (stay tuned for more details). We took a quick drive to Turtle Cove Marina, where many large boats and yachts are stored. They also have good restaurants and shopping in this area.
Our last dinner was at Coco Bistro (www.CocoBistro.tc), which featured my favorite dish of the whole trip...Herb Ravioli of Conch and Flame Grilled Sweet Peppers with a White Wine Cream Sauce, Light Tomato Vinaigrette, Pan Grilled Artichoke Hearts, Pecan Basil Pesto and Fresh Shaved Parmesan...all with delightful cocktails. It was amazing! As we dined under the palms, we relived our adventures in the Turks & Caicos and realized we made several new friends for life.
After a quick stop at Casablanca Casino, where we all watched Paul lose $20 in 30 seconds, we headed to Infiniti Bar, which is the Caribbean's longest bar, for one last toast to the gorgeous Turks & Caicos.
Many thanks to Julia Maximo and Ian McLeod with Ocean Club Resorts for their fantastic hospitality. Also, thank you to Cheryl Andrews and Grace Salisbury with Cheryl Andrews Marketing Communications for organizing such a wonderful trip with great people.
|Thanks for reading and happy 2010! Wishing you safe travels and fabulous getaways!
Casey Wohl, Author/The Getaway Girl
Girls Getaway Guide series