A Day in Gig Harbor?


Have you been to Gig Harbor lately?

It’s a fun place to spend a sunny day or two.  There really is a lot to see and do in this charming little town.  You can stroll along the waterfront exploring the interesting shops and art galleries.  They have their Art Walk on the first Saturday of every month with spotlighted artists in the galleries.  You can spend most of the day just poking around, from the antique mall, to Java & Clay. to looking at the boats in the marina. to checking out the Harbor History Museum and much more.

If you want to get out on the water you might want to take a tour with Destiny Harbor Tours.  Captain Tom Drohan is an expert on the history of the area, and makes it fun and entertaining.  You will go out of Gig Harbor, under the Narrows Bridge.  Narrows Bridge - Close UpYou’ll also cruise by the interesting community of Salmon Beach and past Point Defiance Park before turning around and heading back to Gig Harbor.  If you’re lucky you might see some eagles Bald Eagleor harbor seals.

Back on land, you’re probably getting hungry.  If you’ve brought the kids, Kelly’s Espresso and Café is a great place to eat.  It’s bright and friendly with a varied menu so there’s something for everyone.  If you like Mexican food, El Pueblito is right across from the water on Harborside Avenue.  If it’s just the grownups, you will definitely want to go to The Tides and sit out on the deck of this historic eatery.  You might also want to venture up the hill away from downtown and check out The Wine Studio – a charming, warm and inviting wine bar and shop.  They have tastings on Friday night and Saturday afternoons.  You might also check out Gig Harbor’s own 7 Seas Brewery.  Both of these are located next to The Inn at Gig Harbor, a good choice if you decide to stay the night (which after tasting wine and beer might be a good idea).  You can book this hotel as well as the Best Western Plus Wesley Inn and Suites on my website.

There is a lot more to do here.  There are parks and beaches, which are always fun for the family.  You can drive out to Key Peninsula to visit Blue Willow Lavendar Farm. There is the Maritime Gig Festival in June, the Gig Harbor Food and Wine Festival in July and more.  Outdoor music in the park on Tuesdays and Movies in the Park on Fridays and Saturdays during the summer.  A good place to find all the happenings is at www.gigharborguide.com.

So get out and play tourist in your own Pacific Northwest.  I love to explore out area.  We are so blessed to live in such a beautiful place with so many exciting places to see and things to do.

Cancun with the Girls???


A few months after my trip to Puerto Vallarta, another friend, MA, suggested a girls week to Cancun.  She put together a group of 4 of her friends – we didn’t know each other before this, but she felt we would all get along well. 


Our first meeting was at Sandra’s for a group craft day.  I can’t remember what we were doing as far as crafts went, it turned into a wine drinking day.  During the day, Sandra brought out her mom’s RCI book and someone started thumbing through it and saw Jamaica.  Everyone squealed “Jamaica”, maybe we should go there instead.  Well, I was all for that.  Cancun has never held a lot of appeal to me – I enjoy the beach and sun, but I’m not really into the big mega-resorts.

 

A couple of weeks later we had a planning session at my house.  The girls were throwing out other island ideas and I said that anywhere in the Caribbean would be great – sun, sand, clear blue water, and relaxation!  After a little more investigating we decided on Negril, Jamaica because it would be easier to get to than some of the other destinations.  This was all before I got into the travel business.

As time went on we settled on a week in January, 2004 and started contacting travel agents.  It was this experience, along with a timely ad in the paper for a local agency, that moved me towards my travel career.  Out of 6 agencies we called, only one called us back. 

I’m one of those people who loves details and research so I had been designated to work with the TA.  I told her when we wanted to go, that we wanted two rooms – we needed a refrigeration or kitchen in at least one, and what our budget was.

She came back to me with a list of 4 resorts that fit our budget – beyond that she did not give us any information.  We started investigating and found that one got horrible reviews on Tripadvisor so we crossed that one off.  One was an all-inclusive which might have been alright, but we didn’t like the location.  I called the agent again and asked if they all had refrigerators.  She said “oh, I don’t know, let me check.”  The ONE requirement that we had she had not even checked.

She came back and only 2 of the resorts had the possibility of refrigerators, one of which had some 1 bedroom units with full kitchens.  We decided to go with this property, White Sands. 

We kept researching and found a great tour guide recommended by numerous people on Jamaicans.com.  They are Sienna and Solomon of Talk of the Town Tours.  I wrote back and forth for several months – the other girls would only agree to leave the beach for one day so we booked a great one day tour with them.  We also checked out restaurants and entertainment so we would be ready when we got there. 

The travel agent we had used did not offer any suggestions of tours, restaurants or anything else.  By the time we left I had arranged to start training with the agency I had found.  I was looking forward to it because I knew that I could offer better customer service, starting with returning phone calls from prospective clients.