Friday Fantasy Vacation: Sliding House, Nova Scotia

I’ve never been to Nova Scotia, and maybe October isn’t the ideal time to go there, but then again maybe it is. I’m picturing blustery afternoons curled up by the window with mugs of tea and playing cards with my family while the wind blows sea spray up on to the porch. This area looks beautiful and when you’ve got the option of being holed up in a great vacation house like this, who cares if you go outside or not.












Available through Boutique Homes

Friday Fantasy Vacation: Imnaha

Anyone who knows me personally knows that I rave about my visits to the tiny townlet of Imnaha in the northeastern corner of Oregon state. The main reason for that is because of the Imnaha River House. It must be, because there’s not a whole lot else in Imnaha besides the post office, the general store and one the most beautiful and deepest canyons in the country. I hear there is great hiking and fishing, and Hell’s Canyon is close by as well, not that I’ve ever experienced any of those things while vacationing here as I’ve never managed to leave the property. It is so relaxing and restorative to just sit by the river, walk through the garden (with the best strawberries and cherries I’ve ever eaten!) and play cards on the porch that I have yet to find a reason to leave. Take my advice and load up on groceries in Joseph, don’t forget to stop for beer at Terminal Gravity in Enterprise, and then do what you can never do at home: nothing. Your cell phone will not work here. There is no way to get on the internet. There is no large screen television. Life here is simple and slow and thoroughly rejuvenating.

Inside the general store

River house as seen from the river

Friday Fantasy Vacation: Color!

Happy Summer everyone! It’s officially here and that makes me want to be surrounded by sun and color. Enough with the gray, the dark, the indoors. Here’s two places, one a hotel and one a vacation rental, to welcome in the bright season.

Domina Home Zagarella, Sicily

Photos courtesy of Domina Home Zagarella

Casa dos Chicos, Sayulito, Mexico

Photos courtesy Casa dos Chicos and Welcome Beyond
Welcome Beyond – Luxury vacation rentals

Friday Fantasy Vacation: The Old Fox Cottage

There was one cottage that I didn’t squeeze in to my Thatched Cottage post last week. It was just too lovely to share the attention with other cottages. The Old Fox Cottage is in Worcestershire, England sleeps four and is perfect for a small family. It’s seriously adorable and what’s even better is that it is practically stumbling distance to the 13th century pub, The Fleece Inn which is owned by the National Trust. Perfect summer vacation? I’d say so!

Photos curtesy of Unique Home Stays +44 (0) 1637 881947

English Thatched Cottages

Olympic fever seems to be heating up in earnest and while everyone is (rightfully) focused on London at the moment, let’s not forget the unique sorts of places you can vacation outside of the city. As an American I’ve been conditioned to look at historic structures with a mixture of awe and disbelief, if only because they are so rare in my home country. The thing that actually amazes me, though, is that they still exist, like these thatched cottages in England. Did you know that over 250 roofs in Britain have base coats of thatch that are 500 years old? This blows my mind. What might blow your mind is a holiday in one of these amazing structures. The perfect way to experience the English countryside to its fullest would be in one of the following cottages.

Spring Cottage, Wroxton, Oxfordshire

Photos curtesy of Hideaways UK

Legers Cottage, Near Exeter, Devon

Photos curtesy of Classic Cottages

White Cottage, Iken, Suffolk

Photos curtesy of Best of Suffolk

Old Manor Cottage, Halford, Warickshire

Photos curtesy of Old Manor Cottage

Love Lane Cottage, Near Coverack, Cornwall

Photos curtesy of Unique Home Stays +44 (0) 1637 881947

Friday Fantasy Vacation: Bijou Cottage, Nonards, France

Ok, so just so my American audience is clear, the “d” is silent. That said, the town of Nonards is a village next to a village east of Bordeaux and north of Toulouse. So, really how could a vacation not be fantasy-worthy in those environs? Not to mention that if you stay here, you’ll be sleeping in a 15th century gatehouse well suited to a small family or four friends looking to escape the modern world. And isn’t that what a good vacation is all about?

Photos  © Unique Home Stays +44 (0) 1637 881947

Hudson Valley Mill House, New York

This is the time of year that I start to get excited about getting into the woods. Either camping or a cabin rental is how I usually achieve that but that’s only because I don’t live near an old re-imagined mill like this one in the Hudson Valley. It’s a perfect getaway for a large family or a couple of families. It’s rustic and old and surrounded by beautiful trees but modern and sleek inside. You’re close to farmer’s markets and some wineries which make perfect day trips, obviously. This is exactly the sort of place I could while away a week with friends.

All images courtesy of:

Welcome Beyond – Luxury vacation rentals

Friday Fantasy Vacation: Oia Villa I & II, Santorini, Greece

It’s hard to look at pictures of Santorini and not feel relaxed and in a vacation mind-set immediately. The contrast of deep blue sea and ancient white washed walls is instantaneously calming. That feeling of well-being is even better achieved when you’ve got a great vacation rental like one of these refurbished, centuries old cave houses. Each house sleeps two and is simple in design, yet far from boring. There’s nothing here to interfere with your enjoyment of the stunning surroundings, and no one will blame you if you never venture out except for fresh bottles of wine.

Oia Villa I

Oia Villa II


Photos curtesy of:

Welcome Beyond – Luxury vacation rentals.

Friday Fantasy Vacation: Scudamore Court, Wiltshire

Every summer my family meets with another family who lives in a different state and we rent a cottage or house together. It’s something I look forward to all year and someday I’d like to take a few more friends to a large manor house like this one. I can hardly think of a more quaint and pleasant place to spend a week with friends than in the Cotswolds during spring. This 14th century manor house sleeps up to 12 and has a large kitchen, grill, and dining room. Set on an acre of gardens with a pond and near the village, it’s perfect for families. Maybe next year…

All photos © Unique Home Stays

Properties are available through Unique Home Stays +44 (0) 1637 881947

Nearby Westbury and Warminster

Cornwall Vacation Homes

I have a love of fishing villages. Maybe it’s due to the fact that I’ve always lived on a coast and near the water. Maybe it’s because I love eating seafood. It’s certainly not because I like boating as I can get motion sickness in an elevator, but there’s something so relaxing and exciting about small fishing towns to me. The smell of the seawater and the constant coming and going of the boats combined just wake me up in a way that other places don’t. While there are fishing villages of great beauty all over the world, there is something special about those in Cornwall, England. They give new definition to the word quaint, I believe, and it’s hard not to love a vacation that includes boats, beaches AND sheep. I’ve compiled some spectacular spaces to call home base while you explore this gorgeous region. All of these (and many more) can be reserved through Unique Home Stays, a fabulous resource for vacation rentals throughout Britain and beyond.

Rosewastis Manor, Near Watergate Bay

The Sea Barn, Roseland Penninsula

Waters Reach, Lerryn

Mawgan, Near Watergate Bay

Worthyvale Mill, Near Tintagel

All photos © Unique Home Stays

Properties are available through Unique Home Stays +44 (0) 1637 881947

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