Tag Archives: Sue Frause

My Favorite Trips of 2013

My friend and fellow travel writer, Sue Frause, wrote a summary of where she went in 2013 and what she recommended for the Examiner.com. I thought it was such a good idea that I’m doing it, too. All these trips came about because of writing assignments so most of my lodging and meals were complimentary, but that has not influenced my opinion. Here are some of the places I visited this year:

Alderbrook Resort & Spa (www.alderbrookresort.com)
Union, Washington

As I sat in the lobby by the blazing fire, I couldn’t help but think “what a great place to set a murder mystery.” Probably because I have read ones that have similar scenes. The setting in Union, Washington, is rural, yet serene. The lodge snuggles up against Hood Canal and the experience was almost surreal, it was so pleasant.

An Oregon reporter called Alderbrook the best lodge on the west side of Puget Sound. It’s outfitted with a wonderful spa, a gourmet restaurant and even has its own boat. If you want to rent a cottage, you can. They also have pet-friendly rooms. Whatever you choose to do, I hope you’ll have as memorable a time as I did.

White Pass

White Pass is one of our smaller places to engage in snow sports, but still beautiful with that crisp, clear mountain air and lots of snow. I attended the White Pass Winter Carnival with two other travel writers and wrote about it here for Northwest Travel Magazine. This event has been going on for years and even though I’m a native Washingtonian, I’d never heard of it before. The centerpiece of the event is a life-sized snow castle you can tour. At night a torchlight parade and fireworks light up the sky.

I also got to snowshoe for the first time on this trip. That’s now my new favorite snow sport. I’m not a skier or a snowboarder, but I do love just being in the mountains.

Sun Valley

I had no idea what I’d been missing until this first visit. Sun Valley encompasses all my favorites in a compact little bundle – Lots of boutiques, many of which fall into the thrift category like the Gold Mine; all kinds of restaurants, snow and a Film Festival. Most of it is walkable, but if you’re tired or your destination seems a little far, the bus service is all free. Benches line the streets so you can sit and rest whenever you like.

I got to stay in the beautiful boutique hotel, Knob Hill Inn, a great location just on the edge of town. I woke up each morning to a panoramic view of the mountains. It was also next door to a cemetery, but Ernest Hemingway was buried there making that parcel of land another highlight of the trip.
Vancouver Island
British Columbia

Oh my gosh, I had no idea how gorgeous this locale could be. I’d only set foot in Victoria, the capitol, previously. This time, an individual press trip for a couple of stories I’d been assigned for Northwest Travel, had me taking the B.C. Ferry from Tsawwassen to Nanaimo. Those vessels don’t have far to go to become cruise-ship size. They even have a gift shop onboard.

The first night I had the rare and unique pleasure of staying in one of the Free Spirit Spheres in Qualicum Beach. These spheres, suspended between trees, literally give you a taste of heaven because you’re right up there next to it. The next day I fell in love with the small seaside town of Cowichan Bay and returned there two more times on this trip.

On my last night I got to sleep in a very well furnished yurt at Merridale Ciderworks. It had a large clawfoot tub not that far from the bed. And the restaurant at Merridale had fantastic food and of course, very tasty cider. I’d return in a heartbeat.

More on my 2013 trips next time.

Travel and Words: An Excellent Conference

I’ve gone to the Travel & Words Conference for the past two years. Not only is it set in an appealing Northwest location every time, but the opportunities to speak with local Convention & Visitor Bureau representatives, other writers and editors makes it so worthwhile. Writers need to leave their desks once in awhile and socialize. If you’re already a travel writer or would like to dip your toe into this genre, I urge you to consider attending.

Here are the details:  Pacific Northwest Travel Writers Conference runs from April 29-30, at Fort Worden State Park Conference Center in historic Port Townsend, Washington. This year’s theme is “Go! Pitch. Write. Publish.” Some of my colleagues will be speaking on topics that will help all of us with our travel writing.


JASON BRICK, of Portland, Oregon, will share his strategies for writing full time as well as being a house-dad and using his experience from the business world as a springboard for gaining paying gigs online and in print

MICHAEL FAGIN, from Redmond, Wash., writes, blogs and forecast the weather. He will disclose tips on how to cast a wider net with your freelancing endeavors.

SUE FRAUSE, who lives on Whidbey Island, writes, blogs, posts on Facebook and Twitter, hosts a culinary theatre show and also is on the road constantly. You must ask her what her time management secrets are. She reveals what the travel writing lifestyle entails.

KAREN GILB, of Vancouver, Wash., writes fiction as well as travel and blogs. She’ll share her new strategy for expanding her Northwest writer’s brand in 2012-13.

MARTY WINGATE, from Seattle, writes mysteries (“The Garden Plot” and the “Potting Shed Mystery” series) and about gardens plus develops garden tours.  Her topic for the conference will be how she’s marketing her writing and traveling interests.

CARRIE UFFINDELL, who lives in Portland, blogs, writes fiction and specializes in writing about family travel in the Northwest and in the country of Wales.

See the Event Schedule, Travel and Tourism Exhibitors, and Registration details. I hope to see you April 29-30 in Port Townsend!

Travel Tips from Sue Frause

Sue celebrating her wedding anniversary on Lummi Island. Her husband is there taking the photo.

My friend Sue Frause, a Freelance Travel Writer and Photographer, who lives on Whidbey Island, shares some secrets she learned through her travels here. After traveling frequently both for her work and for personal pleasure, she’s gotten the process down to a science.

What works for you when packing for a trip?

Sue:  This is going to sound scary to many of you, but I don’t pack until about an hour before I leave. But I’ve sort of worked it out in my head as to what I’ll need, and then I simply put it all into my bag.  Plus I have my standard travel “uniforms” that I rely on, depending on the season.

What do you never leave home without?

Sue:  My passport, MacBook Air, Canon PowerShot G12, Droid, chargers, card reader for camera, notebook and pen.

How do you use your camera phone as a memory tool?

Sue:  I take a photo of my hotel room number. (If you travel a lot and stay in many different hotels, this can come in really handy.) I also photograph my license plate if I’m driving, so I can fill out the hotel’s guest registration correctly and if it’s a rental car, then I can find the right one in the parking lot.

Do you recommend using a credit card, debit card or cash when traveling?

Sue:  I generally use a credit or debit card, but depending on what country you’re in, cash may be a necessity.

What is the best way to approach airport security?

Sue:  Breathe deeply, wear shoes that slip off easily and enjoy it because soon you will be squished into an uncomfortable economy seat on the plane that seems to have shrunk since the last time you flew.

What would you like readers to know about Washington State?

Sue:  It has everything, from mountains and islands and beaches to wine and seafood and coffee. I could go to a different destination in my home state every week and never see it all. Your own backyard can be fun.

If you want to catch Sue’s new show, “Kitsch ‘n Bitch,” it’s one Wednesday night a month at the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts. It’s a “live” TVesque show about food, folks and fun. Complete with a house band! She’s the hostess and runs through June 2012.