Sedona helicopter tour-2

This year, I turned 50 in style on an Arizona adventure with my dear husband. Add to that a few favourite memories closer to home and 2013 made for a great year of travel.

As December winds down, I’ve again culled my favourite travel moments from the past year. In no particular order, they are:

Yukon Aurora Borealis 4_7_2013-1
[A breathtaking moment in the middle of the night: Yukon’s Aurora Borealis]

1. Aurora Borealis Spotting in The Yukon

Easily topping the bucket list of many nature lovers, an Aurora sighting – anywhere in the world – is something to behold. I was lucky to capture nature’s majestic and mysterious show close to home in Whitehorse, Yukon.

Adobe Grand Villas, Sedona
[Adobe Grand Villas, Sedona, Arizona]

2. Adobe Grand Villas, Sedona, Arizona

Soon after checking into this deluxe B&B, we knew we’d be spoiled here, with fabulous cuisine by chef Michael Merilli, gorgeous detail-rich villas, and an easy base to explore Red Rock Canyon’s beauty while travelling through Arizona last May.

Adobe Grand Villas counts celebrities Lenny Kravitz, Olivia Newton-John, Melissa Etheridge and Siegfried & Roy amongst its past guests. Condé Nast has crowned Adobe Grand Villas with “One of the World’s Best Hotels” for the past two years running.

Route 66: Winslow
[Route 66: Winslow, Arizona]

3. Driving and Lodging Along Route 66

Standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona was something of a larger-than-life moment for us, but driving along parts of the now-defunct old Route 66, while taking in the scenery of both Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park was a huge travel highlight this year.

Hastings House-12
[Hastings House Country House Hotel, Salt Spring Island]

4. Hastings House Country House Hotel, Salt Spring Island

Solitude, gourmet cuisine, views, and natural beauty can all be found at this corner of Salt Spring Island, close enough to walk into downtown Ganges for shopping and art galleries, yet far enough to be serene amongst the gorgeous landscape of this historic country house hotel. I stayed at the Post Cottage, the first Hudson’s Bay Trading Post on Salt Spring!

Hotel Grand Pacific-12
[Hotel Grand Pacific, Victoria]

5. Victoria’s Hotel Grand Pacific

From its commanding location right on Victoria Harbour, to a full-service gym and spa, plus dining and high tea, this is a very comfortable spot to call home for any Victoria stay.

The staff takes pride in the beautiful property, and with both Four Green Keys and AAA 4 Diamond awards bestowed on the Hotel Grand Pacific, the bar’s definitely been raised on Victoria’s hotel scene.

I’ve lots of destinations on the horizon and hope to discover a few new gems in my upcoming travels. Happy travels to you in 2014!

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