rafe gomez (7)


After arriving at the superb Bethany Beach Ocean Suites by Marriott in Bethany Beach, DE (read about our excellent adventure here), the fam (two teen pups + my wife Sue) and I thought that it would be wise to dine in the hotel on our first night rather than venture out to explore the town’s eateries.  Not that there weren’t lots of great choices in the area, but after driving for almost four hours from northern New Jersey and then unwinding for the rest of the day in our awesome rooms, we prefer

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The fam and I wanted to make a weekend getaway to an awesome East Coast beachfront hotel, but we had a troika of conditions:

  • We wanted to stay in a laid back locale that was...
  • Outside of New Jersey (we live 12 miles west of New York City in the Garden State and we were pining for a non-Joisey Shore destination), and...
  • We didn’t want to spend too much time driving to get there.

Looking at a map, the mid-Atlantic region of Delaware or Maryland met our travel math needs (less than a four-hour journ

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My tween daughter Diz loves outdoor action:  skiing, theme parks, water parks - anything that’s fast and furious.  I figured that a rapid-battling river adventure would also give her a thrill, so I aimed to track down a company that offered high quality whitewater excursions in the nearby Pocono mountains of eastern Pennsylvania.

There were lots of choices, but Pocono Whitewater in Jim Thorpe, PA - a 38 year-old, family-owned rafting outfitter - stood out for a number of reasons:

  • They’re a short,

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My heavily scheduled fam and I had an open August weekend, so I looked for a resort destination in Pennsylvania's Poconos (which is only a one-hour-plus drive from our home in northern New Jersey) where I, my wife Sue, our tween daughter, and teen son could all kick back and enjoy the area’s beautiful surroundings.

After some strategic Binging, I found that our choices included:

  • Skytop Lodge (Skytop, PA) - very nice, but we had already been there.

  • Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort (Shawnee on Delaware, PA

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While planning a recent visit to the Pocono Mountains of eastern Pennsylvania, I was on the hunt for a unique, super casual, and customer-approved restaurant where the fam could grab a tasty dinner.

After some searching, I found Barley Creek Brewery in Tannersville, within spitting distance of where we were planning to set up base.  My wife Sue, who appreciates a well-executed brew, would definitely be in the mood for a tall, frosty one after our scheduled day of water parking in the July heat.  

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For the third and final leg of my Southern business trip, I pulled in to charming Charlottesville, Virginia and was eager to sample one of the town’s premier lodging offerings.

While the popular Boar’s Head Inn, Omni Charlottesville Hotel, and Keswick Hall all seemed interesting, each – IMHO - had its downside (too big, way too big, too stodgy, respectively). Digging a bit deeper, I found the elegant Oakhurst Inn, and judging from the ebullient reviews on TripAdvisor (4.5 stars), Yelp (5 stars)

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I had some business meetings scheduled in downtown Atlanta, and I wanted to find a top rated hotel in the area that offered character, class, and quality.

The Glenn, part of the Marriott Autograph Collection chain, promotes a boutique-ish vibe and looked appealing.  Ditto the upscale Courtyard by Marriott and swank Ritz Carlton.  While all were within walking distance of my confabs and appeared to be perfectly fine choices, I hesitated on the chain thing:  given the uniqueness of Atlanta, my pre

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