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VRBO Bear Stay property reviews

Read about vacation rentals where VRBO employees have stayed.

At HomeAway and VRBO, we love vacation rentals—and we love to stay in them, too! Since 2003, our employees have been enjoying the amazing properties listed on our site with their families, friends--and the VRBO bear. When they get back from their vacations, they love to tell us all about their stay. Read on to get the inside scoop from employees who share your love of travel.

How to invite me to stay

# 258772 Private Homes, Palm Springs, North, Palm Springs, Deserts, California, USA, 4 BR, 3 BA, HOUSE

A One of a Kind Estate!! Voted #1 Vacation and Event Home in Palm Springs!!

Amazing backyard paradise at this resort-like estate

Amazing backyard paradise at this resort-like estate

03/17/2010 - When I arrived at this sprawling Palm Springs estate, I knew that I was in for a “beary” relaxing weekend. I took one step inside and I was greeted by the trickling sounds of a lovely wall fountain— just like my home in the woods! Ahhhh, peace at last.

The home is 4 bedroom, 3 ½ bathroom house so it’s plenty big for you and your cubs in tow. Everyone can find something to enjoy, whether it’s cooking up a feast in the chef’s kitchen, sitting by the fireplace in the living room, or exploring the backyard wonderland. I personally went straight to the back and enjoyed a game of beach volleyball with the family.

After the game, the cubs jumped into the gorgeous freshwater pool and that was my cue to hibernate. ‘Bear’ in mind, we had an extremely long flight, so I was quite jetlagged! I sank into the king size bed and the surround sound system lulled me to sleep. What astounded me most about this house was how cozy and warm it is considering its size— the cubs could be on one side playing while the rest of us were on the other side enjoying the fireplace.

This property truly has something for everyone and we couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

The VRBO Bear

# 174490 San Luis Obispo, Central Coast, California, USA, 5 BR, 3 BA, HOUSE

Century Old Farmhouse at the Flying Caballos Ranch

Relaxing on the porch of the restored ranch house in San Luis Obispo

Relaxing on the porch of the restored ranch house in San Luis Obispo

03/15/2010 - Why hibernate when you can escape to San Luis Obispo’s lush landscape for the winter? To escape my “cabin fever,” I decided to gather some friends and head to California’s Central Coast. The Flying Caballos Ranch House was perfectly suited for our weekend getaway. From the moment we ambled through the white picket fence, the bright yellow exterior greeted us like a burst of sunshine.

The turn-of-the-century ranch house was enchanting while its modern appliances offered all the creature comforts. The architectural details, renovations, wall colors, furniture, and linens gave us the feeling of being transported back-in-time without getting stuck in a time warp. From bright and cheery to soft and dim, the room’s lighting options were adjustable creating a warm, glowing ambience akin to oil lamps. Each of the five bedrooms was fitted with crisp white linens under plush comforters. We were grateful that one room provided a toddler bed to keep our little one nearby. The home was casual in its décor, allowing us to truly kick our feet up and relax.

Within minutes of arriving, we were all eager to get outside and explore. A lush green manicured lawn with plenty of seating and a beautiful view, offered a relaxing spot to linger and catch up. An outdoor grill complete with a large table for dining provided the perfect place to cook and socialize outdoors. Beyond the picket fence, we discovered a scenic natural landscape with tall willowy grasses, a covered bridge (reminiscent of those in Bridges of Madison County) and a pasture of horses. By ringing the large iron bell, you could signal the horses to come over and visit. A long leisurely walk led to the bottom of a hill with a hiking trail leading up. It was perfect for anyone desiring a physical challenge.

Although there were many attractions in the surrounding towns, the desire to stay put and enjoy this comfortable home kept us on the property for most of our stay. It was the perfect opportunity to reconnect!

The VRBO Bear

# 197087 Adams Morgan, Washington, District of Columbia, USA, 1 BR, 1 BA, CONDO

Penthouse with Lush Garden in the Sky!

Scenes of DC from the rooftop terrace

Scenes of DC from the rooftop terrace

03/12/2010 - Washington DC is a city with a long history and lots of sightseeing opportunities. This apartment was the perfect home base for exploring our nation's capitol.

Adams Morgan is a fun neighborhood, kind of classy for a bear like me. The apartment is on a quiet street, yet within walking distance of a Metro station, so that we could easily get all over the city. Back home, coming through the front door truly felt like coming home, with many welcoming touches, including fresh flowers, fun knick-knacks, and cozy furnishings.

Waking up in the morning, we all felt eager for the day. The apartment is sunny and bright, filled with light from the many windows. I could hardly wait to brew some coffee, and take my mug out onto the rooftop deck. Filled with plants and flowers, a BBQ grill, and comfortable patio furniture, it was a delightful way to begin the day. A large pond is filled with hungry fish that beg to be fed.

A view of the National Cathedral from the deck reminded me that it was time to head out for the day. There is so much to see and do in Washington DC! This trip we toured the White House and the Capitol, visited our congressman's office, and saw some monuments, including the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial and the Korean War Memorial.

There are many wonderful restaurants to eat at, or pick up food to bring home and enjoy on the deck. DC offers everything from Lebanese to Ethopian restaurants and gave us the opportunity to try all sorts of new foods. Our hostess had a book with lots of recommendations. We also fixed a few meals at the apartment, since the kitchen was well stocked and very convenient.

All in all, we had the perfect vacation, with the perfect place to stay!

The VRBO Bear

# 146034 Woodmoor, Baldy Mountain, Breckenridge, Northwest, Colorado, USA, 5 BR, 5 BA, HOUSE

'View Manor' - Five Master Suites!!

What a view from this great deck...every season!

What a view from this great deck...every season!

03/11/2010 - The Bear family and I were looking to get away for the weekend in Summit County, Colorado. We wanted to stay at a nice home that could hold all of our family plus some friends we wanted to bring along. We were seeking a place we could relax, play, and spend time together. We found all of this, and more, at Breckenridge’s View Manor.

Upon arrival, we enjoyed parking in the heated garage to unload our belongings. Once inside, we were thrilled to find so much space for our group! The two downstairs bedrooms provided ample space for the cubs and their buddies to spread out. The game room offered hours of entertainment for the little ones; they loved the big screen TV, the PlayStation video game console and the pool table.

Upstairs, we found three big, beautifully-decorated bedrooms, a spacious and well-stocked kitchen, and a very nice family room. With so much room, the whole family could spread out during and after each mealtime. Though, everyone’s favorite spot was the ultra-comfy couch. We all loved getting to rest our bear paws on such a relaxing sofa.

From the deck, there was a fantastic view of the Breckenridge ski slopes. The majestic snow-capped peaks were an awesome sight! The view was a nice bonus for this quiet, serene location and these bears sure felt at home.

The whole group got to do so many activities in the nearby Breckenridge area. Some of us went snowshoeing. Others went skiing and snowmobiling while the cubs thoroughly enjoyed sledding down the hill. And at the end of each day, we relaxed and soaked away our aches in the bubbly hot tub.

We truly enjoyed our time in this beautiful mountain home and we know you will, too!

The VRBO Bear

# 137656 Mountain House, Autumn Brook, Keystone, Northwest, Colorado, USA, 4 BR, 5 BA, TOWNHOME

4BR/5bth-Walk to Lift-Luxury Home-Private Hottub-Free Internet

Enjoying the beautiful decor in this great luxury mountain house

Enjoying the beautiful decor in this great luxury mountain house

03/10/2010 - This trip I visited Keystone, CO for a long weekend of winter fun and skiing. Jack Frost was kind enough to pay a visit to Keystone on Friday night, bringing fresh powder for a perfect skiing day on Saturday.

Once I arrived, I was excited to see how close the home was to Keystone Village, the mountain gondola and the ski lifts. The home was within walking distance of a variety of ski rental stores, restaurants, fun bars and very chic boutiques.

The townhouse had a gourmet kitchen equipped with all the appliances, dishes, cooking utensils and other kitchen needs to feed a hungry crew. The friends I came with gathered around the large dining room table with me to enjoy a few very nice meals and play some cards and board games. While sitting in front of the warm fireplace, we watched some classic and new movies in the cozy living room and gazed at the skiers skiing down the slopes. This beautifully decorated, luxury townhome had three levels. All 4 bedrooms had large, warm and cozy sleeping spaces as well as full private bathrooms. There was even a fifth full bathroom on the main level. The big kids in our group loved the loft area which featured a PlayStation, tons more movies and games. The loft also included an extra bed with a trundle.

During the day, our group enjoyed the sunny deck which was a great vantage point to watch skiers swoosh down the mountain. We took the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors and prepared some wonderful steaks on the large BBQ grill. The second deck included a large, relaxing hot tub that everyone enjoyed after a long day of skiing.

This is a great place for any size family or group of friends. I highly recommend you take advantage of everything this luxury townhome has to offer!

The VRBO Bear

# 217809 Tampa, Florida Central West, Florida, USA, 6 BR, 3 BA, HOUSE

Newer Luxury Waterfront Home on Tampa Bay-Infinity Pool/Spa

Spectacular waterfront views of Tampa Bay by the pool and hot tub

Spectacular waterfront views of Tampa Bay by the pool and hot tub

03/09/2010 - This beautiful home was located in a quiet, gated community in Apollo Beach. I entered this “tropical paradise” through the main front walkway decked out in green palm trees and flowers, under a massive archway, and through glass double doors. Upon arrival, I was greeted by the owner, who was very pleasant and professional. The owner gave me a tour of the home and explained all the features. Plus, the owner provided a concierge service for an effortless vacation stay. Services included having the kitchen stocked with groceries, restaurant recommendations and ticket reservations. Wireless internet and long-distance service were included at no extra charge.

Like staying in a model home, this home was immaculate and exceptionally decorated. Designer touches all throughout the home made it especially outstanding. The most incredible feature of this home was its location directly on Tampa Bay. There were amazing views of the bay from the master bedroom balcony and the family room opening to the back of the house. The family room had floor-to-ceiling windows to enjoy the view from this spectacular location!

The large back patio area had cushioned lounge chairs and seating, overlooking a spectacular drop-off pool into the ocean view. One night, I soaked in the hot tub after a busy day at Busch Gardens while gazing at the ocean just a few feet away and the stars overhead.

The master bedroom upstairs was very spacious, with a walk-in closet and 5-piece bath. The king-sized bed had a soft, extra deep pillow top mattress that just enveloped this bear’s body. There was a huge, over-sized shower in the bathroom, with a large double sink area to get ready in the morning. I woke up each morning to view the ocean from the private balcony and watch the ships and birds fly over the water. I even saw a Manatee glide slowly past the docks.

The kitchen was open and spacious, with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. A center island contained the gas range and all the small appliances I needed during my stay. There was also a double-oven in the wall and an outside grill off the back patio. There was seating for 10 in the dining room, with a smaller table in the kitchen nook and three tall stool seats to eat at the counter by the sink. In this ideal kitchen, everything but the food is provided to enjoy all the meals you care to cook.

This home will comfortably accommodate multiple members from the bear clan with plenty of privacy. The queen bedroom downstairs had a bath with a shower, in addition to the master bedroom upstairs. Other guests can choose from three additional bedrooms upstairs, which share another bathroom with shower and tub. Besides the master bedroom, my favorite room upstairs was the den with the pull-out sleeper couch. It was very large and comfortable, with an extra large TV! All the bedrooms have their own TV’s, to wind down with a favorite show before going to bed.

This vacation home had all the comforts of home that made my stay so enjoyable. The towels for the bath and pool were the plushest, thickest towels this fur has ever felt! There were hooks behind every bedroom door, and a convenient towel rack on the back patio after exiting the pool. There were games and books to occupy leisure time, and thick cushions for the back deck seating area.

I truly felt at home in this exceptional vacation rental and wish it was my own home. I recommend this home to anyone and everyone – you will love this house and truly enjoy your stay!

The VRBO Bear

# 162804 Estes Park, Front Range, Colorado, USA, 5 BR, 3 BA, HOUSE

Stunning Rocky Mountain View - Mont Blanc Chalet lic#278-P

Enjoying the beautiful mountain views of Estes Park

Enjoying the beautiful mountain views of Estes Park

02/26/2010 - I decided to take the Bear family up to Estes Park, CO for a weekend of winter fun. Jack Frost decided to pay a visit to Estes Park, bringing along a foot of new snow and I was fortunate to have picked such a wonderful house to enjoy the snowy weekend. On the map, the Mont Blanc Chalet appears to be practically on the main road from Estes Park to Rocky Mountain National Park, but don’t be fooled – the road to the chalet requires a short drive up a winding mountain road. Once you’re there, you’d never realize that you’re so close to town. The wow factor at Mont Blanc is high; you enter the house from the driveway and walk up to the first floor and are greeted by a large living area with huge windows overlooking the Estes Valley. The whole bear family spent the first 10 minutes “oohing” and “aahing” over the house before we could even unload the Bearmobile.

The Mont Blanc Chalet is a comfortable home on three levels. The cubs loved the loft area with its bunk beds and immediately made themselves at home, while the grown ups appreciated the kid friendly touches like gates for the stairs and bed railings for the upper bunks. The large kitchen features granite tile countertops and all the appliances and cooking utensils you need to create your own meals, which were enhanced by the amazing view right from the dining room table. If there’s a restaurant in Estes Park with a better view, this bear hasn’t found it yet. The bear family enjoyed the sunny deck, complete with hot tub, and one highlight of the stay came when a family of mule deer made their way down the driveway and spent a good half hour browsing for their dinner right below the deck.

The wonderful thing about Mont Blanc is that even though it feels isolated, you’re only a short drive to everything Estes Park has to offer. The Fun City Amusement Park, the downtown area itself and the YMCA are all within 10 minutes, and Rocky Mountain National Park is just up the road. The YMCA was a highlight of the trip, and is a real hidden gem in Estes Park, offering all kinds of activities including roller skating, ice skating, and the new craft room, which provides an opportunity to make your own one-of-a-kind souvenirs and keepsakes.

I heartily enjoyed my vacation at the Mont Blanc Chalet and recommend that you take advantage of everything it has to offer!

The VRBO Bear

# 286070 Hahns Peak, Steamboat Lake, Northwest, Colorado, USA, 3 BR, 2 BA, CABIN

The Angler Cabin at Midnight Ranch

Enjoying the comfy, handmade log bed!

Enjoying the comfy, handmade log bed!

02/24/2010 - The "Angler" was all I hoped for and more. Even before setting my paws in the door, I had fallen in love with the cabin and the beautiful valley! I started my day listening to the fire crack and pop while I watched the sunrise slowly transform the snow-covered mountains from blue to pink to acres of sparkling diamonds. Take a moment and imagine yourself being surrounded by such a scenic vista.

The mix of primitive, antique and woodsy elements blended together in a charming way, creating a "homey" atmosphere that had a way of instantly setting us "at ease". I claimed the bedroom with the beautiful handcrafted log bed (as a bear, it was the obvious choice and most comfortable tree I ever slept in!).

Bears like the sweet stuff and we ate well. The kitchen’s Maytag appliances worked great and the gas stove and oven were a dream. Having a dishwasher was also very much appreciated.

We came to ride snowmobiles and the trailhead to the many Forest Service trails were just outside the front door. It was so nice to just get on and ride without the need to load them back on the trailer at the end of the day. We explored the Hahns Peak, Colorado area and even, rode to Wyoming. We experienced awesome riding in fresh powder, day after day. We wish we could have stayed longer with so many more trails to ride and meadows to discover. This summer, we hope to return to explore by ATV or mountain bike.

Our host was exceptional and very eager to make sure we had a perfect stay- and it was!

The VRBO Bear

# 235871 Grand Lake, Northwest, Colorado, USA, 4 BR, 3 BA, HOUSE

Stay Where the VRBO Bear Stayed in Grand Lake!

Surrounded by exquisite custom accents

Surrounded by exquisite custom accents

02/19/2010 - This custom built home located in The Shores of Shadow Mountain subdivision could be considered the perfect “home away from home”. It is only a 10 minute drive to town and just a short walk to the lake. Could it get any better?

When I arrived with my traveling companions, John, the homeowner greeted us and gave us a complete tour of this spectacular home. At one point, we gazed out the “crow’s nest” windows in awe of the lake and mountain views. We were blessed to see the amazing flight of a bald eagle (where was my camera when I really needed it- still packed).

The air was cold and crisp while the snow was sparkly and fresh. The lake views were breathtaking, especially one morning when the fog rolled off the lake. You could see the crystal trees that had been coated by frost as the fog moved across the lake and land.

This home featured exquisite furnishings and custom accents from top-to-bottom. Each bedroom was warm and welcoming. The master bedroom had a great breakfast/reading deck (which a furry bear like me can enjoy this time of year), and the master bathroom truly made me feel like royalty. The kitchen was beautiful and very well equipped with everything you could imagine to cook a meal. While we ate and played games, the fireplace located between the kitchen and the living room kept everyone nice and toasty. My favorite feature was the radiant floor heating; it was so wonderful to pad across the warm, cozy floors. I could have hibernated just resting on the radiant, warm floor.

Some of my companions enjoyed a morning of snowmobiling up on the trails and others took snowboarding lessons at Sol-Vista Ski Resort, which was only a 30 minute drive. We went bowling at the Grand Lake Bowling Alley and went sledding on the nearby sledding hill. However, the best part of the trip was hanging out and laughing together, in the warmth of this amazing “home away from home.”

Grand Lake was a very quaint small town, but still offered a couple of small grocery stores and several different restaurants. On our final night in Grand Lake, we went to town and dined at a Mexican restaurant called Poncho and Lefty’s. The food was very yummy.

You will not be disappointed with a stay in this exquisite home!

The VRBO Bear

# 50220 Private Homes, Fraser, Winter Park Area, Northwest, Colorado, USA, 5 BR, 4 BA, TOWNHOME

4 Bedroom Mountain Home

Getting ready to enjoy the hot tub

Getting ready to enjoy the hot tub

02/19/2010 - My latest adventure began with a scenic drive over Berthoud Pass where I and my travel-mates enjoyed beautiful views of pine-treed mountain peaks into the Fraser Valley town of Winter Park.

As it was snowing upon our arrival, we were thankful for the convenience of the garage. Entering the duplex, we were quite impressed by the spacious four bedroom floor plan. The large closets in the foyer surved well for all our winter gear. The two master suites on the main floor, both equipped with TV and DVD players, provided privacy away from the two living areas on the upper and lower floors. The two living areas were ideal for our clan of all ages. While the adults enjoyed the main living area, playing board games and munching on snacks at the large table while watching the Olympics on the large flat screen TV, the teen cubs found the lower level living room a perfect retreat where they could play foosball and video games.

The spacious kitchen was on the main level. The cook was “beary” happy preparing most of our meals at home as the kitchen provided all the necessities. Additional sleeping arrangements were convenient on the lower level, with an adjacent bedroom having two bunk beds and a den with an additional twin bed. Don’t forget to take in the view off the patio in the private hot tub!

Winter Park offered excellent downhill skiing and snowboarding in addition to cross country skiing, snowshoeing and a terrific tubing hill only a few minutes away. There was a shuttle bus to take us wherever we needed to go. We enjoyed access to the neighborhood recreation center, which featured an outdoor pool, hot tub and fitness facility- all within walking distance of the duplex. I can’t wait to come back in the summertime for hiking, biking and wildlife sightings. You'll find this Fraser Valley mountain home is the perfect retreat to rejuvenate!

The VRBO Bear

# 95937 Lionshead Arcade, Lionshead Village, Vail, Northwest, Colorado, USA, 2 BR, 2 BA, CONDO

Heart of Lionshead Village best location steps to gondola, shops & dining

Relaxing in the living room of this great Vail condo

Relaxing in the living room of this great Vail condo

02/04/2010 - Driving into Vail as the sun was setting was a great way to start off my stay. My fur could barely keep me warm, but the scenic views were worth it! Luckily, there were lots of logs waiting for me to start a cozy fire in the condo’s fireplace. I loved my condo in Lionshead Arcade. There was plenty of room for a bear family of 4. The kitchen had everything a chef needed, but the dinner suggestion my friend Jon gave me for “Sweet Basil’s “ restaurant sounded too good to pass up. I bundled up and headed to Vail Village for a magical evening. The holiday lights and cold mountain air took my breath away.

In the morning, the smell of hot coffee and good food brought me down the stairs to a little café called “Les Delices de France“. Don’t pass this up this little gem! It’s a great place to fuel up before hitting the slopes. While Vail Village is a short 5 minutes away, you don’t need to leave this little nook. Shops, restaurants, parking, shuttle and ski lifts are all outside your door. The owner arranges for Jon and his friends to take care of all your needs, which they do with first class service. I can’t wait to come back!

The VRBO Bear

# 30016 Beaver Creek, Northwest, Colorado, USA, 4 BR, 4 BA, CONDO

The Exception - No Fees to Book Now!

Enjoying the view from the porch

Enjoying the view from the porch

01/14/2010 - The scenic drive to Eagle-Vail was breathtaking. The Rocky Mountains, dusted with fresh snow, was a scenic sneak peek of a glorious weekend getaway. I was equally impressed by the ideal location of this lovely home. It was perfectly nestled in a charming neighborhood on the outskirt of Beaver Creek, surrounded by majestic pine trees.

My stay in “The Exception” provided the ideal winter wonderland retreat! Each room featured large windows with fabulous mountain views. This exclusive home was spaciously spread out on four levels, perfect for accommodating large families or groups. Each of the three bedrooms on the third floor had its own full bathroom, including a steam shower and Jacuzzi tub in the master bath (what a treat!). Additional bedrooms were available in the upper loft and on the lower level, both providing adequate privacy. The well-equipped kitchen and a roomy dining room made cooking and eating in enjoyable. To have a perfect end to a perfect day, I soaked in the luxurious, private “Hot Springs” spa.

There are many activities guests can enjoy during their stay. Hit the slopes at one of the prestigious ski resorts just minutes away, explore the open terrain on cross county skis or snowshoes, or ice skate at the local rink. If outdoor adventure is not your forte, you will be content inside this delightful home. Read a good book by the beautiful stone wood fireplace, play a game of pool or watch a movie on the comfy couches in the recreation room. There is even a computer and a WiFi connection for those who need to connect with the outside world!

This home is also perfect for a summer getaway. There’s a garage equipped with mountain bikes, a “Burley” bike trailer to pull the little ones, tennis rackets as well as towels for drying off after a refreshing dip in the outdoor community pool. Plus, hiking and biking the Eagle Creek trail is a fabulous way to enjoy the Colorado Rockies!

You will enjoy your stay at “The Exception” as I did on this trip to Beaver Creek. There are plenty of activities to enjoy or if you come to relax, you are guaranteed to feel rejuvenated when you leave!

The VRBO Bear

# 3055 Private Homes, South Breckenridge, Breckenridge, Northwest, Colorado, USA, 5 BR, 3 BA, HOUSE

On the Blue River, Hot Tub, Wi-Fi, Wooded, Quiet, 3 miles to Breckenridge

Relaxing in Master Bedroom at the great Cabin in the Woods

Relaxing in Master Bedroom at the great Cabin in the Woods

01/12/2010 - Driving into Breckenridge with the holiday lights still illuminated set the mood for a great stay at this VRBO property. Just three miles past downtown Breckenridge heading south, we arrived at a winter wonderland. The setting for this VRBO mountain cabin was wonderful. The location offered gorgeous views; it was so peaceful and serene.

This vacation home was very cozy. I and my family enjoyed the relaxed living area with gas fireplace, TV, eating area and kitchen all together in one great room. The kitchen was well equipped with everything we needed for family meals. I sat in the comfy chair by the fireplace, watching TV and ‘surfing’ my laptop. The wireless high speed Internet had a lot of bandwidth which allowed me to get some work done. The bedrooms were plentiful with comfortable beds and enough bathrooms for everyone in our family. We loved the main-level master bedroom’s Jacuzzi tub. This was our private getaway while upstairs the cubs each had a room of their very own.

One of my favorite activities was the outside hot tub. The soothing warm waters were relaxing after a day of activity around Breckenridge. With expansive open spaces and beautiful trees, the Blue River area was an ideal place for snowshoeing and other winter activities.

This Bear and family would highly recommend the South Breckenridge Blue River area. It’s close to town, yet peaceful and secluded as the Blue River runs directly behind the cabin. We loved our winter holiday stay but any season would be a great time to visit. Summer would be a wonderful time to return for hiking, star gazing and fly fishing. The owner has arranged for Carrie to assist you with your booking as well as anything you need during your stay. As the owner says, staying at Blue River really gives you the ‘cabin in the woods’ feeling.

The VRBO Bear

# 250419 Millrace, Cascade Village, Vail, Northwest, Colorado, USA, 5 BR, 4 BA, HOUSE

LUXURY HOME/5BD & BUNK RM/SLEEP15+/ ON CREEK & CHAIR #20 or SKI-IN&OUT AT HOTEL

Enjoying the holidays in Vail

Enjoying the holidays in Vail

01/07/2010 - I had the pleasure of staying in this Cascade Village home in Vail, Colorado over the Christmas 2009 holiday. The beautiful setting overlooking Gore Creek was the perfect winter wonderland.

The sprawling, three-level residence had every amenity possible. Upon entering the front hall, one is treated to an incredible mountain view out of the giant windows in the great room down below. On this entry level, there were two bedrooms with a full bath. The larger of the bedrooms had a desk with a computer to access the Internet. As I descended the steps into the living area, I was surrounded with views out of every window and a magnificent fireplace complemented by a large Christmas tree. I knew I had found the perfect place to celebrate the holiday with family and friends. The great room contained furnishings fit for a king. Every chair offered comfort and warmth with pillows and throws. The surround sound throughout this living area made us feel like we were at a concert as we listened to music or watched television.

The kitchen was unbelievably stocked with utensils and equipment to satisfy any great chef. It was truly something for the “Galloping Gourmet.” There was a comfortable corner table to sit and enjoy morning coffee while we took in the great views and enjoyed watching “the cooks” prepare breakfast. The dining room housed a grand square table that comfortably seats twelve. Alternatively, you can enjoy your meal outside on the deck which overlooks Gore Creek. The deck came with a heat lamp to ward of the chilly mountain air. The main level also had a bunk room behind the kitchen which comfortably slept three.

The next level down was a walkout basement with three additional bedrooms. The master bedroom is a residence all of its own. The furnishings were fantastic and warm - again fit for a king. All the linens throughout the home were top of the line with down pillows, comforters and mattresses. The master suite opened onto a large wrap around deck that housed a hot tub. There were extra large towels furnished for everyone who wants to enjoy the quiet of the mountains while enjoying some soaking time in the hot tub. The master bath had both a large shower and a jetted tub. His-and-her sinks kept us from getting in each other’s way. The oversized king bed was so comfortable and warm it was tough to get up in the mornings. The other two bedrooms were beautifully decorated and also furnished with only the best. All the linens were top of the line and the room was complimented with down accessories. Each of these large bedrooms has its own full bath. The large laundry room is on this floor, also. It was equipped with two dryers and a large washer and plenty of laundry baskets to hold all of the towels from the hot tub.

This home was very well equipped and situated in a perfect location surrounded by mountains. It was a fantastic residence that could easily make one want to hibernate here for the entire winter.

The VRBO Bear

# 163081 Denver, Denver Metro, Denver Area, Colorado, USA, 4 BR, 2 BA, HOUSE

Downtown~Upscale & Affordable~1899 Elegant Victorian 1-4 Bdrm

VRBO Bear in the Mile High City!

VRBO Bear in the Mile High City!

12/08/2009 - This lovely tri-level, 4 bedroom, 2 bath Victorian home (built in 1899) was the home base for our “Mile High City” vacation. Located in the historic Capitol Hill District, this duplex offers all the modern conveniences in beautifully restored comfort. The entrance to the house is on the main level, which features gorgeous hardwood floors in the living and dining rooms. The kitchen and breakfast area bring together the spirit of the home, with the original natural exposed brick, period tiles and modern, high-end appliances. It’s the perfect combination to cook a fantastic meal and afterwards, sit down and enjoy the ambiance. The cozy back yard has a deck for enjoying the quiet of the neighborhood or space for a barbeque and entertaining friends! There is a private garage, so no need to worry about parking on the street.

The three upstairs bedrooms, the bathroom and private office can be found at the top of the lovely oak staircase. The lower level master bedroom with its nostalgic western feel is tastefully decorated. There is also a private bathroom, which is updated and very modern.

Just down the street from this Pearl Street home, you’ll encounter the rich history of downtown Denver. Close by are several museums such as The Denver Art Museum, The Children’s Museum of Denver, The Molly Brown Museum, Wings over the Rockies, and the Museum of Nature and Science. Kids will love discovering how money is made on a free tour of the U.S. Mint. Close to the 16th Street Pedestrian Mall, you can ride the free trolley and enjoy the shops, restaurants and street side entertainment – day or night! Denver has over 200 parks and 850 miles of off-street bike paths and trails to enjoy the great outdoors. If you’re looking for a centrally located place to stay in Denver, this home is in the heart of it all!

The VRBO Bear

# 14873 Beaver Creek, Northwest, Colorado, USA, 9 BR, 11 BA, HOUSE

Luxury Beaver Creek Home: 9-11 BR for 16-20 Guests: Vail Lodging Platinum-Rated

Great setting for ski vacation, summer golf, or retreats

Great setting for ski vacation, summer golf, or retreats

12/03/2009 - I was lucky enough to stay in this incredible and truly unique property for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. This spectacular home is located in the heart of the Beaver Creek Resort right on the golf course. Outside, the beautiful Beaver Ceek runs behind the home and the peaceful sound of running water fills the air. The surrounding mountains and landscape offer the true Colorado Rocky Mountain experience.

This large home is a great fit for a big group. With 9 available bedrooms and 10 1/2 bathrooms, there is plenty of privacy to be found. The home is adorned with eclectic Western decor. There is something new to look at and enjoy around every corner. The massive wood burning fireplace brings a special warmth and glow to the main living area. The handcrafted wine cellar is second to none and you will enjoy relaxing in this beautiful room after a day on the slopes. This home is the only home in the entire Vail Valley that has a dining room that can seat 22 people. The kitchen is fully equipped to handle cooking for and serving 22 guests, also.

The master suite is a home in itself. It includes a fantastic king size bed with a Swedish Tempurpedic mattress, a 2-way fireplace, sitting room with flat screen TV and a bathroom fit for royalty with its large jetted tub, steam shower and sauna.

The wrap around deck and large hot tub for 8 makes enjoying the outdoors a truly remarkable experience! You will find yourself in awe of the majestic mountain setting. The Beaver Creek Village transportation is available to you at no charge. The personal chauffer will come right to the home to pick you up and take you to the Village and to the slopes, all of which are only a few minutes away.

This home is clean, comfortable and an amazing mountain property that is like no other. You will love working with the owners, as it is their goal to provide you with the best ski/mountain vacation possible.

The VRBO Bear

# 980 Los Pinos, Peak 9, Breckenridge, Northwest, Colorado, USA, 2 BR, 2 BA, CONDO

Luxury Breckenridge Condo – Convenient to Ski Lifts

Setting up the table for dinner

Setting up the table for dinner

12/03/2009 - I felt right at home when we stepped through the doorway of this Los Pinos condo. All the comfy furniture was arranged to resemble a cute “great outdoors” theme. I thoroughly enjoyed the well thought out appointments of various appliances and amenities- everything from an iron box and ironing board to extra pillows and magazines! I especially liked the kitchen with the shining granite tile countertop, fully equipped with everything needed to whip up some delicious munchies.

We went skiing for most of the stay. It was literally a ski-out condo with the Snowflake Lifts just steps away from the front door. From the little cubs to Mama and Papa Bear to Grams and Gramps, it was fun for everyone.

From the condo, it is a very easy walk to the Main Street or you can take the free shuttle that stops in front of the condo complex. Plus, there are plenty of casual and fine-dining choices nearby.

If you are ready for a wonderful, luxurious condo and a relaxing yet exciting getaway, I recommend going to Breckenridge and staying at this superb condominium unit!

The VRBO Bear

# 57630 Point Loma, San Diego, San Diego County, California, USA, 3 BR, 2 BA, HOUSE

Point Loma Charmer! Centrally located, SD Zoo, Gas Lamp District, Beach, Boating

Enjoying views of nicely landscaped yard

Enjoying views of nicely landscaped yard

11/30/2009 - This Point Loma charmer of a home was the perfect location for my fall trip to San Diego. Located on in a quiet wooded Point Loma neighborhood, this comfortable casual home offers everything a little bear could hope for, yet is less than 10 minutes from San Diego's Lindbergh field (how convenient is that?). This home is close to EVERYTHING that San Diego has to offer - the lights of the Gaslamp District and downtown San Diego, Sea World, the San Diego Zoo, the USS Midway (a must for WWII History buffs), watching the sunset from Sunset Cliffs, or the nearby beach communities of Ocean Beach, Mission/Pacific Beach, La Jolla. And after a day of sightseeing, what more could a little bear desire than my own little place of solitude? That's what this home offers, and so much more...

Upon arriving at the home, you will take note of the quiet dead end street location (very little traffic) complete with a fenced front and rear yard. Upon entering, you'll appreciate the comfortable living and dining areas and hardwood floors throughout. The sunny equipped kitchen, and the large deck area off the kitchen is perfect for both small or large groups, complete with BBQ, Hot Tub and even your own private basketball court. When the sun goes down, and it's time for a little hibernation, the comfortable master bedroom suite is a great place to retire and dream about all the exciting things in store for tomorrow.

The VRBO Bear

P.S. As an added bonus, for those visiting Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU), this home is just a few short blocks from the school, making it perfect for visiting alumni or parents of current students who prefer a real home, rather than a small hotel room.

# 183873 Private Homes, Austin, Hill Country, Texas, USA, 8 BR, 4 BA, HOUSE

Oasis near downtown Austin - 8 bedroom house on 30 acres with pool, party barn.

Relaxing on the front porch

Relaxing on the front porch

11/19/2009 - Austin is a beautiful city with lots of events happening year-round. On my recent trip to central Texas, I went with a large group and stayed at the Rockin’ Y Ranch. Upon our arrival, Eric, the owner was on hand to give us a tour of the property and answer any questions we had during our stay.

The house sits on 30 acres and although you’ll feel like you’re in the country, it’s just a short drive to downtown. Lovely old trees and stone walls surround this farmhouse making it a wonderful secluded retreat. Walk to the ‘barn’ and you’ll find a party space for entertaining. Amenities include a pool table, ping pong table, foosball and lots of couches for comfortable seating. Outside are large fire pits, a beautiful pool and a stainless steel barbeque complete with an oven. It’s a spacious area and perfect for a large family or group reunion.

Inside, you’ll experience an ambience that takes you back-in-time. It reminded me of going to Grandma’s house. You’ll feel right at home, where you can put your feet up, relax and be carefree. You can be a kid again and run wild, enjoy the tire swing, jump in the pool, chase the chickens and play – nobody will yell at you for jumping on the beds either.

The furnishings are comfortable with an antique flair. There’s quite a variety of collections to explore just like Grandma’s house. You’ll find a rock collection, knickknacks from the Far East, a quilt from India, Mexican pottery - all mixed in with cowboy and American Indian artifacts. It’s a delightful combination of eclectic treasures! No snobby designer home or sterile hotel-like rooms, here. This place is the real thing- a well lived-in ranch farmhouse lovingly designed for comfort.

Come experience a slice of authentic Americana from the days when life was simpler. Bring the whole family – no matter what your age is, each guest can feel like a kid again. Then, gather round the large kitchen table and share stories of your adventures. Whether reminiscing on the good old days or recent escapades, your kids will love it and want to come back with their own kids someday.

The VRBO Bear

# 192541 Buena Vista, South Central, Colorado, USA, 4 BR, 2 BA, HOUSE

Journey's End Ranch: Colorado Mountain Vacation Rental Estate

What a view!

What a view!

11/12/2009 - Imagine driving through the beautiful Rocky Mountains to a house in the middle of 100 acres with breathtaking views, wildlife just grazing right outside your door, and the peace and solitude you’ve always dreamed of. That’s what you’ll discover when you stay at Journey’s End.

We arrived at Journey’s End just in time to catch an amazing sunset cascading off the surrounding mountains. It was truly a sight to see! We knew right away that our journey had only begun. This was our 3rd annual hunting trip to Buena Vista, Colorado. The Papa Bears went out hunting while the Mama Bears stayed back with the cubs. The house was very spacious and fit both our families very comfortably. The stunning kitchen had absolutely everything we needed. The cubs spent most of their time sitting at the bar stools coloring pictures. Every morning, the sunlight gleaming through the large open windows heated the house and every evening, we loved sitting around the large gas fireplace to reminisce about the day’s adventures. At night, we watched movies from the large video library. Then, we fell asleep to the moonlight shining over the brilliant white snow and dreamed our vacation would never end.

In addition to the Papa Bears shooting an elk, the highlight to our trip was sledding down the hill nearby the house. The cubs had a blast! If you prefer to get away for the day, Mt. Princeton Hot Springs is conveniently within driving distance. We spent an entire day relaxing in the soothing thermal waters. Even if you visit during the summer, there’s so much to do and see outside that you’ll never get bored. Biking, fishing, hiking and skiing are a few of the other seasonal adventures to be enjoyed.

The property manager went above and beyond to ensure a comfortable stay. This will be a trip that we will never forget. Journey’s End really is not an end at all, but a beginning to some wonderful memories!

The VRBO Bear

# 40381 Beaver Creek, Northwest, Colorado, USA, 3 BR, 3 BA, TOWNHOME

Must See - Million $$$ Townhouse - ~Ski-In~ / Ski-Out Location

Relaxing by the fire!

Relaxing by the fire!

11/12/2009 - Welcome to the beautiful mountains of Colorado and the Arrowhead Resort at Beaver Creek! This amazing mountain property combines modern luxury with all the conveniences of home. Located in a gated community in the beautiful hills of Beaver Creek, this great townhome is only a short minute walk to the Arrowbahn lift at Arrowhead Ski Resort. Your stay includes access to amenities such as the restaurant at the Country Club of the Rockies, pool and hot tub complex, tennis courts, fly fishing and numerous hiking trails.

From the moment you pick up your keys, you will feel welcomed in every way. Not only is this townhome absolutely gorgeous on the inside, but it is immaculately clean! No need to bring any of your own supplies, as this home is very well equipped with everything you need. The furnishings are tasteful and very comfortable.

The alder wood cabinetry, doors and trim are top-of-the-line and bring an elegant yet rustic mountain feel to the home’s decor. The gas fireplaces will warm you right up on a cold Colorado night. The quality construction of the building provides a peaceful and quiet vacation experience. The private, heated underground parking provides easy access to the townhome unit along with peace of mind for your vehicle.

You will hurry back to the property from your day outdoors just to be able to relax in the luxurious master bath. The steam shower and the jetted tub provide the perfect end to a long day of hitting the slopes.

The property is centrally located near shopping, restaurants and many mountain resort towns including Avon, Edwards and Vail. The owners of this property were great to work with and very professional. It is evident they love their home and ensure all their guests have a wonderful visit.

If you are looking for a wonderful mountain getaway, then you must stay at this incredible townhome. The Bear and his friends very much enjoyed their stay and hope you will, too!

The VRBO Bear

# 109581 Private Homes, West End, Aspen, Northwest, Colorado, USA, 4 BR, 4 BA, HOUSE

Aspen Vacation Rentals - Beautiful West End Home - Great Location on vrbo.com

Elegantly furnished dining area

Elegantly furnished dining area

11/03/2009 - Ahhh…Aspen in the fall and the beautiful changing colors! I arrived just in time to enjoy the close of this wonderful autumn season.

On our arrival, we drove right into the garage and unloaded. The mudroom entrance from the garage is perfect for all your ski gear . There’s a washer and dryer right in the mudroom for you to peel off those wet winter clothes and get them dry if you’ve just come from a day of outdoor winter activities. From the mudroom, you enter the large kitchen. There’s plenty of workspace to prepare and cook for a big gathering. The kitchen opens to a family room with fireplace and roomy dining area. From the kitchen, family room and dining area to all the bedrooms and bathrooms, there was plenty of space to spread out.

Downstairs, we found more amenities for entertaining including a large flat screen TV, spacious sitting areas and a pool table. There’s no arguing over what to watch; there are TVs in nearly every room. It’s a perfect home to entertain and even celebrate a family reunion, so you can bring along the whole gang. Best of all, the master suite occupies the 2nd floor and has its own private balcony. From there, the views of the mountain are spectacular!

Of course, I had to explore the wonderful town of Aspen and check out the art galleries, shops and restaurants- all just a few blocks away. I found the locals to be very welcoming and friendly folks. I think they’re used to seeing lots of bears in the area. They even had a likeness of one bear all made out of nails and it was over seven feet tall!

No matter what time of year, you’ll enjoy this spacious Aspen home. It’s located in a lovely quite neighborhood, but conveniently close to all the shops and dining that makes Aspen famous.

The VRBO Bear

# 50691 Kailua, East Oahu, Oahu, Hawaii, USA, 3 BR, 2 BA, HOUSE

Your Island Home Away from Home!

Showering outdoors is a perk of paradise.

Showering outdoors is a perk of paradise.

11/03/2009 - After visiting the Kalama Beach House, I decided that hibernation is for the birds. Why sleep away the winter when you can experience a healthy dose of sunny paradise on Oahu? The property was steps away (less than a block) from beautiful Kailua beach and minutes away from delicious local dining. This bear did sleep, but only after days filled with Polynesian culture, sightseeing, boogie boarding, swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, hiking, and island cuisine. Speaking of food, I feasted on the delicious island treats of exotic fruits, meats, and sweets during my visit. This bear just so happens to love Spam, a local favorite.

Although the Kalama Beach House was totally comfortable and featured a refreshing salt water pool, my favorite thing about the property was the outdoor master bath. Resembling a tiki hut and hosting a rain forest shower, the master bath was a relaxing getaway that made me feel as if I were living in the jungle (without those pesky lions and tigers, of course).

I was genuinely sad to leave Oahu’s tropical setting and return to my wintery home. I will most definitely return to Hawaii and may even consider trading in my snow skis for a surf board.

The VRBO Bear

# 214115 Boston, Greater Boston, Massachusetts, USA, 4 BR, 2 BA, CONDO

Impeccably Renovated 3 Story Home w/ 4 Bedrooms in Vibrant Hip Neighborhood

Enjoying the beauty and serenity of Jamaica Pond

Enjoying the beauty and serenity of Jamaica Pond

10/29/2009 - This home, centrally located in Jamaica Plain, is the ideal place to stay if you are planning a visit to Boston. Jamaica Plain or “JP” as the locals call it is a very green, friendly and artsy neighborhood. This home has a fabulous remodeled kitchen that opens to a great patio which is perfect for outdoor entertaining or dining. Here, you can experience how the real Bostonians live!

The comfortable four bedroom, two bath home is situated right on Centre Street, the main street running through JP. Almost everything is in walking distance of the home. Along Centre Street there are some fantastic restaurants, eateries, pubs, shopping, art galleries, and bakeries. The street is also home to the famous JP Licks, which offers some of the best coffee and all-natural ice cream in Boston (one of the Bear’s favorite stops). Another claim to fame of Jamaica Plain is the historical Samuel Adams Brewery. Stop by for a free tour and tasting.

You’ll discover Jamaica Pond within a couple of blocks of this home. The pond is surrounded by very lush trees and landscaping. The 1.5 mile path that meanders through beautiful foliage draws runners and walkers galore. There are lovely benches to stop and take in the sheer beauty of this gorgeous setting. During the summer months, you can even rent sail boats and row boats. Breathtaking historical homes, some dating back to the early 17th century, surround the pond. Much of the architecture has withstood the test of time and has been painstakingly restored both inside and out. The Jamaica Pond and the very near Arnold Arboretum end what is commonly referred to as the Emerald Necklace. It’s a series of parks and waterways designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, an 1860’s landscape architect.

While in Boston be sure to take in as many of the historical sites as possible. Be sure to check out the Freedom Trail, the Boston Harbor, the Old North Church, and the Boston Commons (oldest park in the country). You really don’t need a car when staying here. Public transportation is right outside the front door and that will get you to the “T” (rail system) which takes you into downtown Boston or any of the surrounding areas. Once in the heart of downtown Boston, you can take an informative trolley tour around the town which permits you to jump off and on at any of the sites that interest you. The Bear highly recommends the narrative trolley tour!

After a long day of sightseeing, I especially liked curling up in front of the fireplace and pondering what my next Boston adventure would be…

The VRBO Bear

# 95799 Fanore, County Clare, Ireland, Europe, 2 BR, 2 BA, HOUSE

Extraordinary Holiday Retreat

Enjoying the outdoors in Fanore, Ireland

Enjoying the outdoors in Fanore, Ireland

10/22/2009 - This home in Fanore was simply stunning. While the outside was made of stone to mimic the area’s historic old stone houses, the inside was very modern, comfortable, and very well decorated. The views of the ocean from the upstairs living room were absolutely gorgeous. The living room was an amazing place to sit and enjoy a nice cup of hot tea while gazing out onto the ocean. The beds were also amazingly comfortable with their many pillows and cozy down comforters to keep us warm on chilly nights.

It was unbelievable how much there is to see and do in this area of Ireland. There were many great restaurants, quaint pubs, old castle ruins a few miles up the road and in the next town over, Ireland’s most visited tourist attraction- The Cliffs of Moher. Plus, the beach was just a short walk down the road. The beach alone with its unique limestone rock formations and tide pools with many fascinating creatures, kept us entertained for hours. The sunset (which was also viewable from the home’s private balcony) was truly incredible. Needless to say, I did not want to leave this beautiful home.

The VRBO Bear

# 28318 South Bristol, Mid-Coast & Islands, Maine, USA, 5 BR, 2 BA, COTTAGE

Spectacular Oceanfront House - Deep Water Dock

Relaxing and taking in the fabulous view of McFarland Cove

Relaxing and taking in the fabulous view of McFarland Cove

10/21/2009 - When the Bear, his family and friends arrived at this quaint cottage home in South Bristol, Maine, we were immediately charmed by its idyllic location. The cottage was nestled above McFarland’s Cove, a secluded and tranquil cove which led out to the Atlantic Ocean. Surrounded by gorgeous trees dappled in autumn colors and a view of the bay that was postcard-perfect, the cottage was a real hidden gem! The cove and its calm turquoise waters were absolutely perfect for canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and swimming. We truly enjoyed watching the local lobstermen coming in and out of the bay as they pulled up their catch of the day. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to flag down a boat for some fresh Maine lobster straight from the sea!

The cottage has a terrific deck overlooking the cove complete with plenty of comfy seating for relaxing and taking in the breathtaking views. We especially enjoyed watching the sunrise over the bay as there’s simply nothing as serene and as peaceful as an East Coast sunrise. The cottage’s interior was very cozy, with a great cabin feel and a warm fireplace to gather around with the family. The dining room boasted perfect bay views and was ideal for nightly dinner feasts as well as fun and games with family and friends. The rustic charm of the home included a fully stocked country kitchen and hotel grade beds… what more can a bear ask for?! The Bear had to pry himself from the luxuriousness of his bed to begin exploring Southern Maine.

We walked the leaf-strewn roads, explored the beautiful coves and frolicked in the leaves. We enjoyed the local fare of “lobsta”, “clam chowda”, steamed and fried clams. We stopped at a few wineries in the Maine area for tastings. Plus, we toured a few of the neighboring towns of Boothbay Harbor, Damariscotta, Camden, Rockland, and Pemaquid. Whether it’s autumn, winter, spring or summer, a scenic drive is best for photographing the area’s vivid landscape. There was so much beauty to be seen in Maine, you cannot take a bad photo of the region’s ponds, rivers and hidden coves.

Overall, we enjoyed the beauty and history of the Pemaquid Lighthouse, historical homes, shops, and harbors. Maine’s motto tells it all… “Maine, the way life is supposed to be!”

The VRBO Bear

# 82301 Marblehead, North of Boston & Greater Merrimack Valley, Massachusetts, USA, 4 BR, 2 BA, HOUSE

Charming, beloved house sleeps 8, with huge deck over pond & close to the ocean

Relaxing by the pond!

Relaxing by the pond!

10/21/2009 - On our East Coast quest for New England adventure and autumn beauty (commonly known as “Leaf Peeping”), we were drawn to the town of Marblehead, MA. Marblehead was rich in seafaring history, colonial enchantment and coastal beauty. Our host - truly a bear lover- graciously received our company and provided a charming home complete with honey!

Nestled in a beautiful and quiet neighborhood, “The Pond House” provided a warm and cozy atmosphere during our vacation. Four bedrooms offered ample space for our needs. Living up to its name, the home’s location overlooking a pond filled us with peace and serenity. One can view the pond from both inside the home, as well as on the outside, expansive deck. Wishing to experience more of this charming neighborhood and its proximity to the sea, a two-minute walk brought us down to the shoreline. The diversity of rocky outcroppings and sandy shores was absolutely breathtaking!

Located just 40 minutes from Boston, this home is an ideal place to experience all that northern Massachusetts had to offer. The owners provided great suggestions for local restaurants and points of interest. They lived nearby and were available to answer any questions during our stay. During our visit, we drove to Salem to experience the Haunted Happenings Halloween Festival. Salem is only a short drive from Marblehead and offered plenty of local festivities and fun.

We fell in love with the local cuisine, the friendly people, and the colonial architecture during our Massachusetts trip. Marblehead is beautiful and recommended for anyone wanting to enjoy the history, beauty, and diversity of the New England coast.

The VRBO Bear

# 362 Maravilla, Scenic Gulf Drive Central West, Destin Area, Florida North West, Florida, USA, 2 BR, 2 BA, CONDO

Now Booking Spring! Beachfront Family Resort- Heated Pool-Dogs OK

Enjoying the sun and majestic views

Enjoying the sun and majestic views

10/19/2009 - During a recent cross-country trek, I stopped in Panama City Beach where I stayed in a terrific gulf-front condo rental at the Majestic Beach Towers Resort. The resort is in a central location on Front Beach Road near a number of restaurants and just down the road from the Pier Park shopping district. In addition to being right on the beach, Majestic Beach Towers also offers all of the amenities you could ask for during your beach vacation: An onsite restaurant, a movie theater, both indoor and outdoor pools, and a sundries shop (in case you forget your toothbrush).

Inside the condo unit itself, you’ll find brightly-colored walls, beachy décor, and all of the comforts of home. The best part of the condo is easily its view. Pulling back the curtains in the living area reveals a large window with a clear view of the gulf and the beaches below.

The unit’s master bedroom boasts a roomy king-size bed and a private bathroom, as well as a big cable tv with a wide selection of channels. The condo also has a smaller, bunk room with a private bathroom that is perfect for your cubs.

While I didn’t have much time to take in the sights during my time in Panama City Beach, I do think that September just might be the best time of year to visit. The weather was still very warm, traffic was light, and the beaches were not crowded at all-- plenty of room to wiggle my furry toes.

The VRBO Bear

# 110924 Nashville, Middle, Tennessee, USA, 1 BR, 1 BA, COTTAGE

Upscale Private Guest Cottage in the Heart of Nashville

Breakfast in the garden patio

Breakfast in the garden patio

10/06/2009 - This 19th century restored carriage house had old-fashioned charm, but all the modern conveniences a bear could ask for! Within minutes of downtown Nashville, all that Music City had to offer was right at my fingertips. By day, I enjoyed the history and culture of the city and by night, I returned to the tranquil cottage to relax and get a good night’s rest on my plush bed.

The Mulberry House cottage was within minutes of downtown Nashville, where I visited the Grand Ole Opry and the Music City Hall of Fame. In addition to enjoying some local country and jazz music, I visited historic sites such as President Andrew Jackson’s estate.

Rumor has it that music stars and dignitaries from around the world have stayed at Mulberry House! Royalty, music and art lovers alike will thoroughly enjoy their stay at this cottage. The owners have decorated the house with art from around the world. Some pieces of the art and antique collection are available for purchase and guest receive preferred pricing.

I enjoyed seclusion and tranquility on my private patio where I could listen to the rain on the chimes on a misty morning or relax on the gazebo and enjoy the fall foliage. The owners left me treats galore, including locally made artisan bread, cheese, berries, drinks, jam, cookies and honey! I soaked in a lavender bubble bath in the claw foot tub and enjoyed listening to music on the state-of-the-art surround sound system

I had everything I needed during my visit. I had wireless internet access to find out reviews on local restaurants and also had the opportunity to visit with the homeowners nearby to ask them for suggestions on local hotspots. From plush linens to colorful textiles to delicious snacks, private parking and relaxing scenery, I was truly rejuvenated at this high end guest cottage called the Mulberry House!

The VRBO Bear

# 83699 Flagstaff, Canyon Country & Northeast, Arizona, USA, 4 BR, 2 BA, HOUSE

Flagstaff Peak View Rental- 4 Bedroom House with Amazing Views

Bear gets a Peak View

Bear gets a Peak View

10/06/2009 - This roomy, two-story "Peak View" home was the perfect “home away from home” for this bear’s Flagstaff vacation!

It was a “beary” comfortable home with a large kitchen and dining area. There was a spacious deck off the kitchen for outdoor dining. Both the deck and back yard had a spectacular view of the Peaks and the fully fenced yard included a wonderful play area for the little bear cubs in our clan.

The downstairs living room had space for relaxing, a game closet, many books and a flat screen TV. The room’s giant windows overlooked majestic views of the Peaks mountain range. Downstairs featured a large master bedroom, spacious closet, and full bath. Upstairs, there were three bedrooms and an extra bathroom with a futon in the loft for additional sleeping or playing.

Peak View was just off of Historic Route 66 and less than 10 minutes from NAU - Northern Arizona University. It’s perfect for any family who wishes to visit the campus and a good base for Northern Arizona sightseeing. The home is also a few short minutes from the Snowbowl ski area, biking & hiking trails, downtown Flagstaff and only an hour’s drive to the Grand Canyon.

The VRBO Bear

# 63821 Woodland Park, South Central, Colorado, USA, 5 BR, 2 BA, HOUSE

Mountain lodge sleeps 14 - hot tub, billiards, ping pong, playground....

I found a reading buddy at the top of the stairs

I found a reading buddy at the top of the stairs

10/02/2009 - Sun Mountain Retreat is a delightful family getaway, especially when you have a passel of cubs to entertain. We had bearly parked before the entire brood was racing for the enormous play structure, tree house, game room and hot tub. The house is warm and inviting, and we immediately felt welcome and at home. The comfortable beds are perfect for hibernating. But you won’t want to spend all your time indoors, or you would miss out on the gorgeous vistas waiting just outside the door, including the deer that greeted us through our window one morning. Don’t pass up the kid-friendly comfort and adventure awaiting you at Sun Mountain Retreat.

# 247506 Boston, Greater Boston, Massachusetts, USA, 2 BR, 1 BA, TOWNHOME

Historic Townhouse (the 'Skinny House') on the Freedom Trail

I had my own top bunk!

I had my own top bunk!

09/30/2009 - “Wow,” is all that I can say. If you are a history buff, this is the place for you! Not only were we in the middle of the place that so many amazing Revolutionary War events occurred, but our vacation rental home was in the heart of it all. The owners have taken a compact space and made it a wonderful retreat which allowed us to savor everything around us as well as experience the architecture of the 1700’s. I was “beary” amazed to learn so much in just a few days.

The house dates all the way back to colonial times and has some interesting tales to tell. I learned all about it on the VRBO website. Phew – those family feuds go way back! I’m glad I’m a bear. I learned that the house was once called the Skinny House. Standing four stories tall, the house’s height makes it feel roomy. Each floor is one room and the owners have done an exceptional job in upgrading the home to feel very contemporary while still retaining its history. The original wood floors are polished to shine. The kitchen, bathroom and bedroom amenities are very modern. I even had my own top bunk!! My traveling companions enjoyed the queen bed and slept soundly.

Since the house was actually on the “Freedom Trail,” we could look out the front window and see the famous Copps Hill burial ground. From the front door, we were within walking distance to most of the historical sites and followed the red line through the downtown area. Right up the street was Old North Church, the place where Paul Revere rode through the town. There were restaurants galore and plenty of shopping at the Quincy Market. Riding on the shoulder of my companion I got a great “bear’s eye view.” The convenient location made this vacation home a perfect place to stay while enjoying the history of this great country.

The VRBO Bear

# 138908 Estes Park, Front Range, Colorado, USA, 3 BR, 2 BA, HOUSE

HISTORIC, PRIVATE, BY RIVER , HOT TUB, WALK TO TOWN, VIEWS, WOOD FIREPLACE

Beautiful Wildlife in Your Own Front Yard

Beautiful Wildlife in Your Own Front Yard

09/25/2009 - The “Whispering Pines Cabin in the Woods” was truly a perfect retreat for a family reunion. Sue, the owner, was a delight to work with- from the first time we spoke to her to after we returned home. The location offers the best of both worlds. It offers solitude, but is close to Estes Park’s wonderful shops, restaurants and “Fun City." During our stay we visited the art fair and walked through the town, taking in all the little shops to get souvenirs.

The moment we arrived, we realized the cabin was bigger than it looked in the photos. After walking in the front door, there’s a large combination dining area/living room, with a huge stone fireplace and hearth. The living room features a flat screen television VHS/DVD player with an assortment of videos and DVDs. Readers enjoyed browsing a nice collection of books. The Wi-Fi connection was great and we used it to research local activities and restaurants. The dining room had a large table that comfortably sat everyone in our group (ten people) for meals and board game evenings. There was a gas fireplace that keeps the place warm and toasty. The cabin’s craftsman style décor and lodge furnishings made the interior feel very cozy and quaint. The kitchen included all the dishes and utensils one needed for cooking and cleaning up. There was even a washer and dryer, which made it convenient for doing a load of our dirty clothes.

The cabin had lots of room to spread out. The bedrooms were comfortable with rustic décor. There was another bedroom called the “Maid’s Room.” It boasted a futon, half bath, and TV/DVD player. The cubs enjoyed watching their shows and videos in the Maid’s Room. However, the claw foot bathtub was a favorite for all. The claw foot bathtub bathroom served three bedrooms. There was another bathroom with tub and shower off the kitchen. There were plenty of towels, soaps, lotions, hair dryers and toiletries for everyone in our group.

We all loved the glassed-in front porch for reading and drinking a cup of coffee. One morning, we had the pleasure of watching a huge bull elk scraping his antlers on a tree in the front yard. The front porch was a great place for relaxing and watching the cubs playing on the swing in the front yard or having fun with a game of horseshoes. Our group enjoyed many games together in the front yard and will treasure the memories. It was a weekend we will always cherish and hope to return to again and again. During our visit, we celebrated two birthdays and we couldn’t have imagined a better place to pass the good times. You will love this cozy and warm “Cabin in the Woods.” I know this Bear had a wonderful time!

The VRBO Bear

# 183993 Private Homes, Silverthorne, Northwest, Colorado, USA, 4 BR, 4 BA, TOWNHOME

Don't Share the Hot Tub! Get Your Own Hot Tub!

Saddle up, move ‘em out ...

Saddle up, move ‘em out ...

09/23/2009 - A 1 hour and 15 minute drive from Denver puts you in the heart of Summit County. If you’re a ski buff, Silverthorne is the place for you since it’s convenient to 3 popular ski resorts. It’s only 10 minutes to Keystone, 15 minutes to Copper Mountain and 25 minutes to Breckenridge.

Tucked into the wooded hills of Silverthorne, this lovely townhome was a delightful retreat. Each of the 4 bedrooms included a large flat screen TV. With many cable programs to choose from, the kids enjoyed their programs in their own room while the adults watched their favorite shows. Best of all, the townhome featured comfy king size beds and private baths. So bring the entire family- there’s room for everyone!

We felt right at home with the well-crafted log furniture such as dining chairs and log hewn beds. Plus, we got a kick out of the leather saddle bar stools at the kitchen counter. Everything is well built and sturdy enough for even Goldilocks and don’t forget to bring Baby Bear. He’ll have his very own crib to sleep in. From hairdryers in every bathroom to plenty of kitchen appliances and cookware, this place has everything for the perfect family mountain getaway.

Come enjoy the Colorado Rockies – you’ll feel like a native in this cozy home away from home.

The VRBO Bear

# 221320 Bainbridge Island, Puget Sound North, Puget Sound, Washington State, USA, 1 BR, 1 BA, COTTAGE

Island Guest Cottage on Bainbridge Island Waterfront Property

Relaxing dockside after a kayak ride

Relaxing dockside after a kayak ride

09/04/2009 - “Beary”convenient to Seattle’s Pike Place Market city sights, but a world away from the tourist hustle-and-bustle you’ll discover idyllic Bainbridge Island. To reach Fletcher Bay Landing from Seattle, simply hop on the 35 minute ferry to Bainbridge Island from Pier 52. Enjoy the panoramic city skyline views from the ferry’s open-air top viewing deck as you make your way to the island. Arriving at Bainbridge Island’s Eagle Harbor ferry landing, it’s a scenic five minute drive to Fletcher Bay Landing through fragrant pine tree forests with peek-a-boo views of Puget Sound.

From the moment I stepped through front door, the cottage was breath of fresh air. Through the spacious bay windows, light bathed the living room in warmth and the dining room table featured a glass vase of hand-cut flowers. Thoughtful and personal touches make this vacation rental truly standout. There’s a worldwide map on the wall and guests are invited to pinpoint their hometown with a push pin. To experience the island through a local’s point of view, owners Larry & Sandy provide a custom map highlighting their favorite sights and restaurants. On the coffee table, there’s plenty of area magazines, a book of the island’s history and a big white binder of activity brochures for added inspiration on things to see and do.

The cottage’s interior was designed with comfort-in-mind. Lounging is encouraged on the living room’s brown leather sofa. The master bedroom’s cozy cotton sheets and extra soft blankets are great for snuggling with that someone special. The bathroom features amenities you’d find at luxury boutique hotel- an abundant supply of plush towels, an Aveda shampoo/conditioner dispenser in the shower and organic hand lotion sink side.

Fletcher Bay Landing’s serene sheltered cove location set the mood for relaxation, romance and recreation. A beautifully landscaped stone path led to two separate terraces overlooking the waterfront. It was the perfect place for a leisurely afternoon of reading and sipping a glass of wine by moonlight around the outdoor gas fireplace. The ramp leading down to an on-site private dock was bordered by seasonal blackberry bushes (ripe for the picking). Guests are welcome to use four kayaks and a canoe (free of charge) to explore the island’s coastline with breathtaking views of the Olympic Mountain range. During a sunset kayak outing, I spotted brightly colorful starfish, a family of otters swimming out to sea and blue herons soaring above the shore.

You can buy the “bear essentials” for cooking up a homemade dinner at nearby Town & Country Market, a local grocery store that’s well-stocked with a wide variety of wine, produce and organic food. If you prefer to dine out, try Four Swallows, a fine dining seafood bistro. Don’t forget to swing by Blackbird Bakery for lavender caramel tarts and a café latte to start off your morning.

Whether you’re seeking a romantic weekend for two or small family getaway to reconnect with nature, Fletcher Bay Landing is the perfect vacation prescription!

The VRBO Bear

# 156356 Other Telluride Properties, Telluride, Telluride Area, Southwest, Colorado, USA, 1 BR, 2 BA, CONDO

Stunning 1 Bdrm, 2 Bath Condo, Downtown Near Gondola, Best Location, Wi-Fi

The is much better than home!

The is much better than home!

09/02/2009 - The “Heart of Telluride” is certainly descriptive of this luxury condo located in the middle of Main Street in Telluride. Restaurants, shopping, and the quaint town of Telluride are just steps away from the front door.

Upon arriving, we were surprised at the beauty of our vacation rental. You feel like you just stepped into a “show home”. The attention to detail in the design and decorations was spectacular. From the stone walls, original artwork, and unique lighting, there was much to admire and enjoy. To our surprise, we were also welcomed with a beautiful gift basket.

The bedroom featured a stone wall, fireplace, flat screen TV, and luxurious linens. The curtains provided complete darkness for a very restful night of sleep. We had our choice of either bathroom to use for getting ready in the morning. Both were beautifully decorated with glass tile, richly-colored painted walls, and granite countertops. Included were organic, handmade soaps, shampoo and lotions by a local business in Telluride. The steam shower was certainly enjoyable after a long day of playing in the mountains.

While in Telluride we had plenty to keep us busy. Our hosts provided us with a list of recommended restaurants and activities when we made the reservation. If you are looking for additional advice, the on-site caretaker is always nearby. Telluride is tucked away in the spectacular, towering San Juan Mountains and offers a wide range of activities: hiking, mountain biking, golf, art, shopping, and dining. The gondola, which takes you up the mountain and to Mountain Village, is a short walk from the property. It is free and runs from early morning until midnight.

We would certainly choose this vacation rental again. It was so relaxing and enjoyable!! It’s a great place to stay anytime of year and the hosts ensure you love your stay.

The VRBO Bear

# 197737 Kona Coast Resort (Keauhou Gardens), Keauhou, Kona Coast, Big Island, Hawaii, USA, 3 BR, 3 BA, CONDO

The most private Luxury 3 Bedroom 3 Bath Heated Pool Hot Tub -Na Hale O Keauhou

Surrounded by gorgeous Hawaiian landscaping

Surrounded by gorgeous Hawaiian landscaping

08/27/2009 - Ideally located in the south Kona area of Keauhou, we arrived at our vacation rental within minutes after landing in Kona. Driving into this gated resort, we were welcomed by the beautifully landscaped grounds. The flowers, trees and grass area were very well manicured, a setting you would expect to find at a high-end resort. We loved the nice pool and big hot tub area, as well as the shallow pool for the kids.

This unit is located at the end of the complex, providing quiet and privacy. It’s secluded with both ocean views and a natural preserve area behind the townhome. We enjoyed our morning cup of Kona coffee on the balcony off of our master suite, with a view of the ocean. The covered patio was a great spot for our dinner cookout, with a nice grill and patio furniture.

Our stay at this spacious two story townhouse gave everyone their own room to relax. All three bedrooms (king, king and two singles) had their own flat screen tv and private bathroom. Air conditioning was a big plus for the warmer Hawaiian days. Our ipod sounded great on this impressive sound system. Wireless internet kept us as connected as we wanted to be! And Carol, our host, made sure we had everything we needed for our stay. The comforts of this home made us think about coming back and staying for an extended period of time.

We frequented the snorkeling beach just down the street from the townhouse, where we saw sea turtles each time we snorkeled there! We found this townhouse was the perfect place to come back to after our days of exploring the Big Island of Hawaii.

The VRBO Bear

# 205608 Aloha Villas, Central Kihei, Kihei, South Maui, Maui, Hawaii, USA, 3 BR, 3 BA, VILLA

South Maui Beachfront Vacation Rental, 20 Yards to Beach

Watching the sunset from the lanai

Watching the sunset from the lanai

08/27/2009 - This oceanfront villa is one of the premier properties in Maui. It is right on the beach and enjoys some of the best panoramic views on the island. We were immediately captivated with the views of the ocean windsurfers who were 20 feet or higher in the air right behind the house!

This home is a most luxurious and sophisticated property in Kihei - from the hardwood floors to the granite countertops. Top of the line amenities have been included. Right outside your front door there is a beautiful private salt water pool .

You will feel safe and sound with 2 security gates around the property; one for your car - then another when you enter the property.

The owner has provided all the comforts of home and included additional well-appointed touches everywhere. The beds are so comfortable, and of course the Egyptian cotton sheets and lots of pillows on every bed give it that extra special touch. Since the 3 bedrooms each have their own bathroom, traveling with a larger group is possible and very comfortable.

The last night of our trip we were pleased to end the evening with a glorious sunset view from the comfort of the lounge chairs on the back porch!

The VRBO Bear

# 168910 Private Homes, Keystone, Northwest, Colorado, USA, 8 BR, 6 BA, HOUSE

Stand-alone Home w/High End Finishes, Huge Decks, Hot Tub, Sleeps 27

Your own mountain right in the backyard!

Your own mountain right in the backyard!

08/21/2009 - This bear never gets tired of the Colorado Mountains! I was overwhelmed at the all the extra special touches this Keystone house offers its guests. The owners of this magnificent house have made every effort to make you feel like you are at home.

There were 4 master bedrooms with the most comfortable king sized beds. Each master bedroom had a private bath- a truly nice feature when adults are traveling together. The owners took extra care in choosing beautiful tile and fixtures for all of the bathrooms. There were additional rooms upstairs for the kids and bunks in the basement, also. With so many beds it was easy for everyone to have their own space and privacy.

The kitchen was packed with top-of-the-line amenities such as a huge stainless steel gas stove and refrigerator. There were two dishwashers, which turned out to be a big help with all the cooking we did! Plus, granite counter tops made after-dinner clean up easy.

This house backed up to a mountainside and when we sat on the porch or relaxed in the hot tub at night, we felt like we were the only ones around. Stargazing was our favorite pastime at night and there were plenty of shooting stars and constellations to see in Keystone. At 9,000 feet, the sky was so much bigger and brighter.

During our stay, we made time to shop at the Silverthorne Outlet Mall and found some amazing deals. The Oulet Mall was only a 7 minute drive from the home.

We thoroughly enjoyed our summer stay in Keystone and plan to go back for some skiing in the winter. The home’s mud room provided plenty of space to hold ski and snowboard gear and the location can’t be beat. It’s only a short drive to 3 major ski areas!

The VRBO Bear

# 204010 Casa del Mar Resort, Los Cabos Corridor, Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico, 2 BR, 2 BA, CONDO

2 Bedroom Ocean Front Luxury at Casa Del Mar!

Enjoying views of the Sea of Cortez

Enjoying views of the Sea of Cortez

08/17/2009 - When I arrived at Casa Del Mar, I couldn’t believe my eyes. You can see straight through from the open-air lobby to the ocean and mountains just beyond the pools. I could hardly wait to explore!

Once I could tear myself away from the incredible view from the spacious balcony at our condo, I headed poolside. My favorite pool was the one built right into the sand. Bear in mind, my fur keeps me pretty warm so I certainly appreciated the ocean breezes that kept me cool while I relaxed in a lounge chair shaded by a colorful umbrella. I have to confess I’m not much of a drinker, but I thoroughly enjoyed my pina colada at the swim-up bar. What a refreshing treat!

The condo also offered some great amenities that I was “beary” excited to take advantage of. I don’t speak much Spanish, but I was able to keep up with all my favorite shows thanks to the TV satellite that broadcast US channels. I loved the iPod docking stations in the bedrooms and I listened to my favorite songs as I got ready for a night on the town.

Cabo San Lucas offers plenty of entertainment for social bears. With all the restaurants and bars along the marina, it was hard to decide where to go each night. We also enjoyed renting jet skis at Medano Beach and snorkeling to Santa Maria Cove. Although I was a bit scared of the waves at first, I decided to grin and bear it and I was truly glad I did. The views from the jet skis and the catamaran for our snorkeling trip were too good to miss!

My trip to Cabo was one of my favorite vacations. I would recommend it to any bear looking to practice his golf swing, test out his snorkel gear or just work on his tan!

The VRBO Bear

# 18977 Pacific Beach, San Diego County, California, USA, 1 BR, 1 BA, CONDO

Beautiful Bayfront Views, Boardwalk, Bikes

Just a few steps from the water’s edge

Just a few steps from the water’s edge

07/30/2009 - Greetings from sunny San Diego, California! I was looking for a great place to stay and had a lovely time at Nancy’s Mission Bay condo.

This property couldn’t have been in a better location. It overlooks beautiful Sail Bay and is situated right on the sand—just a few steps from the water’s edge. The views from the large condo windows facing the beautiful Bay were simply amazing! When the slider doors were fully open (up to 8 feet!), I felt like I was right outside on the water. This was especially enjoyable in the evenings after catching the sunset.

There’s so much to do on the Bay and the condo was only a short walk to the ocean! I especially had fun riding around the Bay bike paths with the bicycles Nancy provided. Plus, there were beach chairs, sand toys, a beach umbrella and beach towels for use during my stay. The Bay was perfect for swimming, sun bathing and for play. Who wouldn’t love to relax in front of the fire place, watch multiple flat screen TVs or enjoy the use of the Wi-Fi after a day of fun?

With all the conveniences of home and many added luxuries, I had such a lovely vacation staying in Nancy’s condo. You would be missing out if you didn’t visit Mission Bay, and specifically this condo right off Sail Bay. If this one is already booked, you’ll be sure to enjoy professional, quality service when you stay at one of Nancy’s many other properties!

The VRBO Bear

# 170825 Hali'i Kai, Waikoloa Beach Resort, Kohala Coast, Big Island, Hawaii, USA, 2 BR, 2 BA, CONDO

Luxury Condo, Ocean-Golf View - Quiet and clean

Hangin’ Loose on the Big Island!

Hangin’ Loose on the Big Island!

07/17/2009 - Aloha from the Big Island of Hawaii!

The fragrance of plumeria drifted across our lanai as I listened to the palm trees rustled by the trade winds. This Bear adventure brought us to the Hali’i Kai neighborhood located in Waikoloa Beach Resort on the Kohala Coast.

The moment we stepped inside this beautiful condo, my Bear family and friends felt the luxurious comforts of our “home away from home”. There were two full bedrooms and bathrooms (plus, extra sleeping on the pull-out sofa). The beds in this home were so comfortable, this bear wanted to sleep in most days! Each room had fans, but the cross winds kept everything at very comfortable temperatures. The kitchen was fully appointed to allow cooking a large meal, a quick snack, or just enjoying early morning coffee out on the lanai. Also, each room featured a flat screen TV for entertainment. However, with so many things to do in this incredible location, we found ourselves enjoying the outdoors most of the day.

The owners provided a closet of beach towels, chairs and coolers. Simply bring your snorkel gear and head north to one of the islands greatest snorkel spots at “Hapuna Beach” for a day of boogie boarding, snorkeling and frolicking in the crystal clear water. My bear family and friends did much sightseeing during our vacation. We snorkeled at several beaches and recommend Kealakekua Bay, kayaking to Cooks Monument and the black sand beaches of Punalu’u. We drove around the Island to Hilo, explored the Volcano Park, walked through the giant lava tube, & hiked a few of the many trails. Enjoy golfing and tennis? There are 3 Waikoloa golf courses and tennis courts located right near Hali’i Kai! Plus, a wide variety of great restaurants and shops were located right in the Hali’i Kai resort area. We ventured out a few nights to sample some authentic Hawaiian cuisine.

This condo combined the true elegance of Hawaiian style and convenience of modern life. It had everything we needed for the “beary” best vacation. There was so much history, culture and adventure nearby and this condo was the perfect place to start from for all we wanted to see!

The VRBO Bear

# 48330 Ekahi Village, Wailea, South Maui, Maui, Hawaii, USA, 1 BR, 2 BA, CONDO

Ekahi 1BR/2BA In Bldg Closest to the Beach!

Maui noka‘oi"  - Maui is the Best!

Maui noka‘oi" - Maui is the Best!

07/17/2009 - The living area was very comfortable with the flavor of Hawaiian furnishings, which provided a welcome, relaxing end to action-packed days! The bedroom, (with king bed) also had a private lanai for reading or just relaxing.

The condo was just a few steps from one of the pools within the Wailea Ekahi Village, making an energizing early morning (or a refreshing late afternoon) swim very convenient! Additionally, this property was a quick 5 minute walk right out the front door to “Keawakapu Beach”, one of Maui’s most beautiful beaches. A 3 minute stroll to “Mokapu Beach” or “Ulua Beach” brought us to some of the very best snorkeling spots Maui has to offer. No need to drive to the beach, when the ocean is literally right there! If you want to get in a few rounds of golf, check out the gorgeous courses nearby the village.

About 15 miles from the airport but worlds away from the city, the condo was truly a great location for Maui sightseeing and some “beary” good day trips. While staying in this condo, getting to all of Maui’s wonderful places was a breeze! While I relaxed on the beach, my friends drove up to Lahaina to explore the sights. The historic “Iao Needle” was just 16 miles away. You can drive 44 miles to see the sunrise at Haleakala or enjoy an amazingly beautiful 63 mile drive on the “Road to Hana” highway. For a great stroll along the shoreline, don’t forget to check out the beachside path- just down the beach from the condo!

The VRBO Bear

# 179390 Gold Coast, Near North, Chicago, Illinois, USA, 1 BR, 1 BA, APARTMENT

(2) Mag Mile!- Gold Coast Brownstone- between Rush and Lake Shore Drive.

Enjoying the city view at Navy Pier

Enjoying the city view at Navy Pier

07/06/2009 - Just off Lake Shore Drive on East Cedar Street, this Bear discovered a sophisticated city den in the heart of Chicago. I was impressed when we stepped inside this 1 bedroom, 1 bath brownstone historical landmark national treasure. The interior featured warm gold colors and rich red walls that combined classical 19th century décor with modern day touches. Why settle for a hotel mini bar fridge when you can have stainless steel kitchen appliances and custom cabinetry? The living room was well-lit by big, beautiful bay windows and provided ample seating with two club chairs and a leather convertible sofa you could sink into after a long day of sightseeing. We watched a movie on the luxury HD flat screen TV in true comfort.

The brownstone’s location offers variety no matter what brings you to the city. Bring your suit and visit Oak Street Beach, only a block away. Comfortable shoes will take you along a pedestrian walkway to Navy Pier, a local tourist attraction, where you will find shops, rides and fun for all ages. Dining nearby is plentiful, from elegant to casual (for Chicago-style deep dish pizza, check out Gino's East Pizzeria). We dined in with family and our bear friends a few times during our visit and we were “beary” glad that Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods were a short distance away for picking up ingredients for brunch.

Extravagant shopping is found only two blocks away along the legendary Magnificent Mile. Shop till you drop but not before enjoying chocolate at Ghirardelli's (try the World Famous Hot Fudge Sundae!). A variety of museums and theaters attract those fond of the arts (the Harry Potter Exhibition is fascinating). City streets host historical churches and parks galore. And if you’re feeling romantic, you can take a horse-drawn carriage for a ride through the city’s moonlit leafy-treed avenues.

To accommodate our bear family and friends, we were able to experience two bedroom apartments #2 (Listing #179390) and #3 (Listing #177026) in this brownstone, each with its own originality and flair. If you’re staying in the city for pleasure or business, look no further than this charming brownstone a few blocks away from the Lake Michigan shoreline and all of Chicago’s best attractions.

The VRBO Bear

# 177026 Gold Coast, Near North, Chicago, Illinois, USA, 1 BR, 1 BA, CONDO

(3) Amazing Location - Gold Coast 1 bedroom & 1 bathroom (Unit 3)

Beautiful stained glass windows in the living room

Beautiful stained glass windows in the living room

07/01/2009 - Our recent bear travels brought us to the lovely Gold Coast neighborhood on Chicago’s North Side. We experienced the culture firsthand in this beautiful Victorian Brownstone, amidst a quiet tree-lined picturesque street. What a delight!

This prime location offers an array of activities within close proximity. The famous Magnificent Mile can be found a few blocks away, where you will find every kind of shop imaginable for the seasoned shopper to the shopping browser. Elegant and casual dining can be found within a short scenic walk. Enjoy the historical churches and buildings that align the perfectly manicured Michigan Avenue. Stroll along the paved pedestrian walkway to Navy Pier where you will find shops, rides and fun for all ages at this local tourist attraction. An assortment of elegant and casual dining can be found a few scenic blocks away. Attend a variety of theaters and museums throughout the city, which are easily accessible by public transportation.

The owners were accommodating and hospitable, creating an enjoyable stay from the start. We loved the brownstone’s ideal location and the brownstone’s interior was equally charming. We were impressed with a private entryway and winding staircase leading us up to the third floor apartment. We found it roomy and sophisticated yet it was comfortably equipped with all the necessities of home. The stained glass windows in the living room added to the tasteful décor. Beautiful hardwood and granite flooring throughout, an updated kitchen and an elegant bedroom gave us the Victorian ambiance and antique charm we were hoping to experience!

We were delighted to experience Chicago by staying in this fabulous brownstone apartment nestled in a quaint neighborhood and are sure you will as well!

The VRBO Bear

# 113264 Wailea Beach Villas, Wailea, South Maui, Maui, Hawaii, USA, 2 BR, 2 BA, CONDO

Luxurious 2.5 Bedroom Paradise

Enjoying beautiful views at Wailea Beach Villas

Enjoying beautiful views at Wailea Beach Villas

06/11/2009 - If you want to be pampered, stay at this beautifully furnished "penthouse villa" at Wailea Beach Villas, located right on Wailea Beach in heart of Wailea. This villa comes equipped with everything a bear needs for serious relaxing!

After a traditional lei greeting when we arrived, the staff took care of getting our bear luggage to our villa and parked the car for us. Speaking of parking, you will love the cool underground parking featuring an elevator that takes you within a few steps of the villa front door.

The fully equipped kitchen is fabulous and has everything a bear might need to whip up a gourmet meal. However, I confess that most evenings we just took a leisurely bear stroll to one of the many fine restaurants nearby. Dining was so convenient; I didn’t have to use the car.

My human friends enjoyed the nearby shopping too. As for me, I spent most of my time soaking in the sun by the pool or on the beach. While snorkeling, I saw four of the biggest sea turtles I've ever seen on the reef area just to the right of the resort. According to the resort staff, during migration season (winter months), whales are visible right from the shore every day!

There are numerous amenities that make this place so convenient. Features included big flat panel TVs, free Wi-Fi, a private lanai with stainless steel BBQ, washer and dryer in the villa as well as cooling A/C and ceiling fans. Plus, the villa was an easy walk to the workout room, pool and hot tub. There's even a pool table in the clubhouse room upstairs.

I could “bearly” get my human friends to start packing when our stay was over. They didn't want to leave, and neither did I!

The VRBO Bear

# 138084 Capistrano Beach, Orange County, California, USA, 4 BR, 3 BA, HOUSE

Deluxe Oceanfront Beach House with Hot Tub & Game Room on the Sand

Soaking up the Sun in Capo Beach!

Soaking up the Sun in Capo Beach!

06/08/2009 - The Blue Eyed Bear Soaks up the Sun!

My most recent vacation adventure brought me to beautiful Capistrano Beach in Southern California’s Orange County. When I stepped out onto the vacation home’s very private beach to soak up the sun, I discovered the delightful sand under my paws.

My human friends cooked up a fabulous dinner in the fully equipped kitchen while I sat out on the upper deck to watch the sunset. As the sun sank into the ocean, my companions built a bonfire on our private beach. We roasted marshmallows and counted the stars under the bright moonlit sky.

There were two large bedrooms on the lower level of this home offering plenty of accommodations for my whole clan (the house sleeps 12!). The garage had surf toys, including games to keep everyone in my party occupied. We played air hockey, foosball and ping pong!

In addition to the two downstairs bedrooms, the upstairs of this beach house featured a large room for relaxing, fixing a snack, playing games, watching TV, or just listening to the sound of the surf only a stones throw away. This room was absolutely fantastic!

Each morning we enjoyed our freshly brewed coffee out on the sand, as we made our plans for the day. There were so many local activities within a short drive - the only question was… what aren’t we going to do?

Ideally located between Dana Point Harbor and beautiful San Clemente, the home was convenient to movie theaters, shopping, and wine tasting. Just 10 minutes north, we visited The Historic Mission and quaint town of San Juan Capistrano where the “famous “ swallows return each year!

If you’re seeking Southern California sunshine, beachfront bliss, and culture, this is the perfect vacation home for you.

The VRBO Bear

# 229319 Kaanapali, West Maui, Maui, Hawaii, USA, 3 BR, 3 BA, CONDO

Beautiful 3Br/3Ba at Honua Kai!

A picture perfect view from the lanai.

A picture perfect view from the lanai.

06/08/2009 - When you come to this beautiful vacation rental located in the newly developed Houna Kai Resort, be sure to pack your swimsuit and be prepared to enjoy the perfect Maui weather. If you are looking for the privacy and comfort of a vacation rental combined with the luxuries of an upscale resort (i.e. cocktail service at the pool), then look no further.

The Honua Kai Resort was ideally located along the shore of Kaanapali Beach. As you can see from my photo, we enjoyed the picture-perfect view of the ocean from the lanai. The location created the ideal environment - not too hot, not too cool, but just right. The folding glass wall feature was just plain cool. First thing in the morning, we'd open the glass wall to enjoy the Maui salt-water breezes inside the rental.

Speaking of the rental - WOW! The owners spared no expense finishing and furnishing their property. The kitchen was fit for a professional chef with high-end Viking appliances. The bedrooms were spacious and the beds were not too soft, not too hard, but offered the perfect level of comfort. To top it off, the bathrooms were incredibly spacious and featured spa-like luxuries.

Although the comforts of the rental made it difficult to leave, we managed to make it out the front door. The pool didn't let us down. There was a large infinity pool with an attached kiddie pool and two hot tubs. The water temp was not too hot, not too... (you know where I'm headed)... but, perfect. If you find yourself getting thirsty, don't fear- every 15 minutes the wait staff comes to take your order, so there's no need to leave the comfort of the pool. If you seek even more pampering, private cabanas are available to rent. Plus, they are building an additional pool that will have a slide and water features for the whole family to enjoy!

The beach was footsteps away from the pool. The kids enjoyed building sand castles and playing in the water. Papa enjoyed burying the kids and mama in the sand. After wearing ourselves out, we washed off in the showers and headed back to the pool and BBQ'd some lunch.

Given the rental's prime location, we took advantage of sightseeing around Maui. Lahania was a convenient 5-10 minute drive down the coast where we took a boat tour, enjoyed shopping and went out to dinner. We also visited the "Baby Beach" which is ideal for toddlers because it has no waves. Mama and Papa managed to slip away from the kids for a day and enjoyed the adventure of zip-lining through the hills of Maui.

We wish we could have enjoyed all the activities Maui had to offer (golfing, surfing, helicopter tours, volcanos, waterfalls, etc.), but we ran out of time. If you stay at this rental, you’re central to everything. Best of all, the gracious hosts ensure you are comfortable and help you plan to get the most out of your Maui vacation.

The VRBO Bear

# 227111 Private Homes, Poipu, South Shore, Kauai, Hawaii, USA, 4 BR, 3 BA, HOUSE

Poipu Beach, Kauai - Excellent Location - 4 Bedroom House!

Aloha from the sunny south shores of Kauai!

Aloha from the sunny south shores of Kauai!

05/29/2009 - This home was uniquely architected by the owner’s father to take full advantage of the incredible ocean views. You can hear the waves crashing upon the shore from every room throughout the home. The open living room features lots of windows and a large seating capacity to comfortably admire the awe-inspiring surroundings.

Whether you’re traveling as a bear family of four or with a larger group, this home features four bedrooms to accommodate eight guests. The three full bathrooms gave everyone in our group privacy they needed in the mornings while getting ready.

If you’re traveling with a gourmet chef bear or simply someone who has a passion for cooking, the fully-equipped kitchen has everything you’d need. The large table and benches made of “monkeypod” wood in the spacious dining area were perfect for entertaining during the evenings we opted to dine in. Plus, the outdoor gas grill was great for cooking up a Hawaiian-style BBQ.

The beauty of this home is evident inside and out. Both the lanai and luxurious hot tub on the deck overlook the blue Pacific Ocean. After an active day of sightseeing, this bear relaxed in the hot tub which had a soothing underwater light show with changing colors. The beautiful landscaped yard lush with tropical flowers featured a refreshing outdoor shower. It was perfect after a long soak in the hot tub or a swim in the ocean.

Did I mention this home is located just a stone’s throw away from the beach? While playing at the beach, VRBO’s bear friends saw sea turtles and dolphins! The home is also in close proximity to fine and casual dining, golf, shopping, snorkeling, etc. Just a block away from the home we discovered “Brenecke’s”, one of our favorite restaurants on the island!

Kauai, the “garden island” is not as touristy as some of the other Hawaiian Islands yet there are so many attractions to see! We enjoyed a train ride around the sugar cane plantation, a bird-eye’s view of the island by helicopter, a round of golf at the Kiahuna Golf Course and an evening luau.

The VRBO bear and his friends loved their stay at Hale Hali'a and hope to make our Hawaii vacation a tradition for years to come!

Aloha and Mahalo,
The VRBO Bear

# 53580 Seagrove Beach West, Seagrove Beach, Beaches of South Walton, Florida North West, Florida, USA, 7 BR, 6 BA, HOUSE

SEAGROVE Luxury Gulf Front - 7 BR, Heated Pool & Hot Tub. 1 mile From Seaside.

The front entrance was so inviting!

The front entrance was so inviting!

05/14/2009 - A little sea bird told me about this great place! The home is perfectly situated on the beach and within walking distance of the much desired town of Seaside. Upon arrival, it was love at first sight. I entered through the wrought iron gate, framed by a vine covered, lattice arch, which led me to this beautiful Seagrove Beach home. I knew my stay here would be enchanting!

I was eager to explore all the amenities I had read about prior to my arrival - from the exceptionally well-equipped, modern kitchen to the entertainment room with a pool table and jukebox. An eclectic mix of furnishings and personalized décor gave this home a distinctive “at home” feeling. The large, glass dining table was perfectly placed for enjoying the ocean views and the company of family and friends.

Upstairs , the huge master retreat is comparable to none other. Floor-to-ceiling windows from one end of the room to the other frame the breathtaking views of the Gulf. The room is complete with a king-sized, four-poster canopied bed, and a seating area including a couch, chairs and ottomans. There are two master baths and one features a steam shower! Mix up your favorite drink right there in the room at your own mini bar and watch your favorite movie on the ceiling mounted wide screen plasma TV.

The back patio offers an oceanfront, saltwater pool and a hot tub - another ideal location to relax and unwind. To complete the ambiance, an outdoor sound system is wired to listen to your favorite tunes. Grill “the catch of the day” and enjoy your meal under the pergola, while watching a beautiful sunset. If you prefer beach bathing, there are beach chairs and towels available for your use. To cool off, row out in the waves aboard the two person kayak or take a dip in the beautiful, crystal blue water. There are miles of bike paths so make sure and take advantage of the bicycles to explore the area’s scenery and attractions. You'll find many shops and cafes in nearby Seaside.

After spending your vacation in Seagrove Beach, I'll guarantee you’ll leave having a deep connection to this beachfront home and you’ll wish to return time and time again.

The VRBO Bear



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