Come on in!
Written by Dan & Carol Martino
Welcome to Good Life Destinations!
We’re sitting along the San Antonio River Walk, sipping margaritas, listening to mariachi music, and marveling at this tropical paradise. Set a full level below the city’s busy streets, it’s a nether world with a three-mile stretch of lush landscapes, dramatic waterfalls, rock walls, and quaint footbridges along the winding river.
Deep in the heart of Texas, San Antonio is among our favorite destinations. It’s a vibrant mix of history, southwestern culture, and colorful traditions. Add the River Walk’s enchanting atmosphere, fine dining, and luxurious hotels, and the city serves up a huge slice of the good life! Even a short stay left us revitalized.
For Dan and me, the common thread woven among our good-life adventures seems to be the wine we’ve shared along the way. Actually, we’re no veterans of this scintillating business of wine tasting. We uncorked our first bottle just 10 years ago, and it was pure joy to the palate. Since that grand pour, we’ve pursued wine with a passion and have had the opportunity to taste more than 1,000 new wines worldwide.
Many times, sharing a nice bottle of wine in our own dining room is a Good Life Destination unto itself. Sometimes the journey doesn’t even begin until after we’ve arrived – like the time we opened a 1986 Fontanafredda Barolo in 1999. We didn’t know much about wine at the time, but we recognized it was a great find as the earthy aroma gave way to a symphony of ripe fruits and spices. And we were aware of it filling the room like music – an Andrew Lloyd Webber masterpiece. We soon developed a taste for fine food which eventually led Dan into the kitchen. Some of his culinary creations are among the best I've tasted!
In recent years, Dan and I have found that one destination often leads to another. This was especially true of our travels during the few years we spent living in the shires of England. Actually, that’s how we stumbled upon Scrooby, a tiny village nestled in Nottinghamshire, after a weekend getaway in Edinburgh, Scotland. What a delightful discovery! Scrooby is a hidden jewel in the crown of America’s religious freedom. But I’m getting ahead of myself … back to Edinburgh.
Dan had been fascinated with this city since seeing the film, "Journey to the Center of the Earth." So, while living in the United Kingdom, the city topped our "must see" destinations. One Friday afternoon, we caught the train to Edinburgh which stopped briefly at Durham in northeast England. There, from the train’s window, we had a breathtaking view of the city’s castle and cathedral. We vowed to return to Durham someday.
Several months later, we did. While searching for a nice B&B along the way, we discovered The Old George & Dragon, an 18th-century cottage in Scrooby. We learned that this picturesque village was home to William Brewster, a leader of the Separatists movement who emigrated to America with other Pilgrim Fathers on the Mayflower. We were thrilled to spend time in a village that linked us to our own backyard.
As we share some of our favorite destinations here, we hope they spark memories of your own good-life journeys and inspire a few more.
Dan and Carol Martino