Saturday, January 22, 2011

Looking for a unique Valentine's day idea?

I used to dread traveling on buses travel and viewed it as just a mode of transportation until I took a trip that would forever change the way I felt about bus travel. It was on a Green Tortoise "Western Trail" trip that went from San Francisco, down the coast to Los Angeles, over to Las Vegas and back to San Francisco.

The insides of the Tortoise buses have all been custom built and instead of conventional bus seating there are couches, dinettes and even overhead bunks to sleep in. The style of travel is different - it's social, activity oriented, alternative . . .and incredible fun! You share a trip on a bus where you can sit next to and across from other travelers . . .well, that creates a unique group dynamic - in a very short amount of time you feel like you've been hanging out with your new friends for ages.

Since it's not a "point a to b" type of trip you end up in "off the beaten track" areas that you've never heard of. Camping and cooking outdoors are the norm in beautiful settings by the ocean . . . in the mountains . . . in a national park. And when we stop there are choices of optional activities like backpacking, horseback riding, hiking, whitewater rafting, jeep tours, kayaking . . . or just plain ol' relaxing!

On the Western Trail trip we toured the gorgeous coastline of California, got serenaded by the bus driver who sang and played blues guitar by the campfire, kayaked in San Simeon cove, watched the bronzed beach bunnies in Santa Monica, scrambled rocks in Joshua Tree National Park, then hiked in Zion after partying all night in Las Vegas. WOW. My muscles (and liver) still ache from the memory of it all!

The trips are nothing short of amazing - the camaraderie, exotic and stunning scenery, the physical exertion of a hike in a magical setting . . . somehow it all feels like I'm home when I'm on a trip, like I was meant to be there traveling among my new friends. And yes, in a magical moment that was created 7 years ago on a Green Tortoise trip . . . I met the love of my life! (who happens to be snoring right now as I romantically envision our meeting) In the travels I've done on these trips, I've met many people who I now consider to be lifelong friends - and I have met couples who have fallen deeply in love, become engaged, gotten married and some who have had children - all after meeting on a Green Tortoise bus!

Of course there are the spontaneous "vacation romances" that are pretty regular, too. . .

Over the Valentine's day weekend, the budget-priced adventure will be from San Francisco to Death Valley (and back of course!) It's a perfect alternative for single folks and couples alike . . . where else can you be guaranteed to sleep with someone on the first night, after all!

The Green Tortoise is based in San Francisco, California and has been in business for over 35 years. They operate 9 full size, customized coaches on budget adventure camping trips to Alaska, all through the United States, in Mexico and Central America.

415 956 7500 ext 1

Call and get on the next adventure!

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