Fall 2019 for Along Comes Mary

Fall is coming! While I do love the light nights and warmer days (sometimes) of summer, there’s something about the arrival of pumpkin spice everything and those fall colors. Another reason I’m looking forward to the season are all of the amazing opportunities that are coming on behalf of Along Comes Mary and my travel writing.

While several stories are sure to emerge, I couldn’t wait to share some of the adventures coming up. Some you can join me, too. Read on and hopefully you’ll feel inspired to get out and head to one of these terrific destinations. Cheers!

Gig Harbor, Washington

Remember when I visited Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula? Or that overnight in the secluded cabin on Cama Beach? Clearly, those visits ignited my love for the Pacific Northwest and I’m thrilled to be headed for a stay at the beautiful Maritime Inn in Gig Harbor.

With cozy, stylish suites (some overlooking the water), Maritime Inn is an award-winning hotel that’s been hosting visitors for over 20 years. A warm welcome and glass of wine awaits you when you check in, and your room will have so much to keep you occupied (like 400 cable TV channels) that make sure to remember to go outside and take in the beauty.

It’ll be my first time in Gig Harbor and from what I hear, it’s my type of town. A seaside village with eclectic flare and beautiful art galleries to explore in between delicious cafes, Gig Harbor is an ideal place for visitors close and far to escape and enjoy the Pacific Coast beauty of Washington state.

Photo: Maritime Inn.
Photo: T-Mobile Park.
Take me out to the (Mariners) Ballgame

I’ve been to one ballgame in my life and every year say I want to go back. Although it’s been awhile, I’m thrilled to be attending a Mariners game at the gorgeous T-Mobile park during my time in Washington.

One of the things I hear is great at T-Mobile is the ability to roam around to the many open areas and take in the views. If you’re in search of some great food and drinks (and who isn’t at a ballgame?), the park has several options no matter what your mood. The most unique? Toasted grasshoppers. I don’t know if I’ll be trying that one.

What I am excited to check out is The Natural, offering a menu of gluten-free and vegetarian/vegan items. If you”re a beer lover,  the stadium also has one of the biggest (and best) selections of beer with about 70% of all taps being craft/local brews.

What’s taking me to Washington, you ask? Well, it just so happens my great friends from England are coming over once again for a visit. When childhood pen pals turn into lifelong friends, as I’ve written about on Along Comes Mary, it’s the absolute best.

Rancho Mirage, California

After a California life of always looking for the next beach, the desert has been calling me as of late. Following a fantastic trip last spring to Palm Springs and day excursions to Glen Ivy Hot Springs, I’ll be returning to Riverside County to check out the soon-to-be-unveiled Enzo’s Bistro and Bar and enjoy Omni Resort in Rancho Mirage. As far as visiting Rancho Mirage for my first time, I’ll be honest: It’s a city I’d never heard of

Italian restaurant Enzo’s Bistro & Bar, will on October 16 and be just under 10 miles from Palm Springs. One of the things that intrigues me most about Palm Springs are the slew of old Hollywood stars that frequented the desert getaway (as it was under three hours from Hollywood and where they had to live their public persona and life). Enzo’s will be housed in the space that was formerly Dominick’s, an iconic Italian spot where the likes of  Lucille Ball and Frank Sinatra often enjoyed.

Enzo’s pays homage to these classic A-listers with an extensive cocktail list and lively bar scene. Craft cocktails like a Sicilian Caddy, an inspired take on a classic margarita, is something we all know I cannot wait to be sipping. 

Since I plan to enjoy my sipping, I’ll be staying nearby at the luxurious Omni Resort and look forward to see all they have to offer.

Photo: Omni Resort, Rancho Mirage.
Santa Fe, NM. IFWTWA’s next stop for the annual conference!
The IFWTWA Conference in New Mexico

How have I been so fortunate to get opportunities for Along Comes Mary that enable me to live the travel writing dream? I owe quite a bit to my involvement with the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA). After a few press trips on behalf of my blog, I at last felt I’d found my “niche” for Along Comes Mary. Not so much entertainment or recipes, but travel. With some food, wine and events sprinkled in. Then, I found IFWTWA.

IFWTWA is filled with incredible, accomplished and talented travel journalists. I continue to feel so humbled and honored that I was welcomed into the tight-knit group of members. Since my membership began, more opportunities that allow me to fulfill my dream of traveling on behalf of my writing have happened. I would love to introduce you to all our association has to offer, and this fall I can.

The 2019 IFWTWA Conference will take us to Santa Fe, New Mexico. There will be two days of workshops, panels and speakers, in addition to pre- and post trips and several day excursions throughout Santa Fe during the conference. A lot of my friends have said how fun it would be to see me in action during a blogger’s trip. Well, here’s your chance!

I will be teaming up with my dear friend, FWT Magazine Editor and IFWTWA Board Member, Christine Cutler, for a social media workshop. Not only will you have the opportunity to meet and connect with an incredible group of writers, but also the chance to learn more about working in the travel writing industry. IFWTWA is also a fantastic resource for photographers, radio broadcast and podcasts, wine sommeliers and educators, winemakers, visitors bureaus and food and wine writers.

Remember that I love margaritas? Well, I hear Santa Fe has some of the very best around. Come have one (or two) with me and we can chat about social media.

And, Next Year….

Would you believe I’m already thinking about trips for 2020? I have my first one secured when I head to Yuma, Arizona, to enjoy their 2nd annual Bird, Nature and History in January.

With dozens of activities including field trips and seminars, the 2nd Annual Yuma Bird, Nature and History Festival will immerse you in all of the natural beauty in Yuma. Held January 10-12, 2020, the festival features a variety of field trips, activities and presentations. Explore regional wildlife refuges, the Colorado River wetlands, local gardens, museums and historic sites, and go star-gazing, hiking, canoeing, bird and wildlife watching. Experience talks on presentations covering birds, bugs, butterflies, native plants, aviation and southwest history and hiking.

Where else will the rest of the year take me? I hope you’ll come along with me. xo

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