If it’s Tuesday, this must be…*

You guessed it, our Real Estate Blog -Travel edition – featuring Nancy Coughlin and the gang at Pinnacle Travel!

I realize when I mentioned travel (agency) that some of you may have flashed back to dial-up internet, phone booths and boy bands, but stay with me.) While some things are best relegated to the past, (dial-up, phone booths and boy bands) today there’s even more reason you

should use a travel agency than there was back then.

With the morass of digital “deals” and alluring vacation spots that might just rely on clever photography and copywriting, you could wind up wishing you had Dorothy’s red slippers to whisk you home, especially if you miscalculated the time changes across the international date line and you’re stuck overnight in some forsaken corner of the world that has no Starbucks. (hey, it could happen!)


But fear not, Nancy Coughlin, Adrienne Velardi,and Kathy Bardo, with over 25 collective years in the business have assembled their experiences and know-how and are armed with the information you need. For you, they’ve cruised Alaskan glaciers as orca breached the icy waters, surveyed groves of olive trees from a Tuscan villa at day’s end, soared high above the Netherlands in a variegated hot-air balloon, threaded the steep mountain trails of the Swiss Alps in lederhosen and a backpack, run with the bulls in Pamplona … what?  Too much? Well, alright. It was the bulls that did it, wasn’t it?

That may have been a slight exaggeration, but suffice it to say, they can talk from experience on many destinations and will work toward creating the best possible experience for you.  Have kids?  Ask them about the kid-friendly vacations and memorable excursions that will leave your family talking about their trip for years to come.

I realize about now, that some of you may doubt what I’m saying, assured that you can get a better deal booking that trip on your own.  If so, you’ve already fallen prey to the digital sirens, and there is no hope for you, save sitting in your pajamas, days on end, bleary-eyed and weary-fingered, a slave to “Trivago,” “Cheap Tickets,” or the myriad of other sites, as they flash their tawdry discount fares like a snake charmer in front of a cobra.

But, use Pinnacle Travel, with so much to offer, and you’ll clear up those blood-shot eyes, put on some regular clothes and use your fingers for something more creative — like pounding out Chop Sticks on grandma’s upright. And don’t forget, you will probably SAVE money!  You see travel agents work out all sorts of deals with all sorts of travel related providers and they will actually share them with you! Who knew?

So, call them, they are wonderful, friendly people, who are more than willing to tell you where to go!


(Actually, We tell you where to go, is NOT their slogan, although I suggested it but they shot me down. I apologize for any misconception, it’s really “Pinnacle Travel, taking your vacation to new heights.”)


*(For those of you too young to recognize the reference, If it’s Tuesday, this must be…in the 60s there was a movie called “if it’s Tuesday, this must be Belgium,” alluding to the whirlwind, 7 countries in 7 days bus excursions that left you wondering whether you should be using Marks, Guilders, Francs, or Pesetas (now Euros, Euros, Euros, or Euros). 

What am I doing talking about travel on a real estate blog??? I grew up with parents who owned a travel agency, so, not only do I have ridiculous numbers of travel posters, and never want to look at another macadamia nut again (the preferred foil wrapped delicacy of American and other airlines when I was a kid,) but I have a genuine fondness for the business.

Secondly, those who travel, sooner or later will come home – (another version of what goes up…) and when they do, they sometimes realize that maybe downsizing their home would be a good idea, SO THEY CAN TRAVEL SOME MORE! Or, maybe, after spending a week at that beautiful Italian Villa in Positano, they realize they’d like a little more space, some breathtaking seaside cliffs and a view of the ocean (forget I mentioned breathtaking seaside cliffs, if you’re in Florida). Glad to have cleared that up. 



Have some questions about health insurance?

bananna-peel-and-footYou probably remember when Mom (or Grandma) would reminisce about walking 10 miles to school, uphill – both ways, in a blizzard (for those of you born in Fl. maybe walking to school 10 miles in August, dodging alligators, to arrive at a school with no AC?) I don’t know about you, but I was convinced by the time I was 8 that my generation were all wimps and softies spoiled by privilege and modernity!  Continue reading

A few tips to ensure your house isn’t broken into when your away at Dollywood – or the grocery store.

burglarI thought I’d step a bit out of my Real Estate advice “lane” today (since I’ve already been swerving all over the road on this blog anyway), and suggest a few things I recently learned, that could greatly improve the safety of your home and belongings.

What inspired these tidbits of advice, was a presentation by the STATEWIDE Crime Prevention Task Force (cue the Dragnet music) to a business group I’m part of.  While I had been content in the bliss of not having been recently assaulted, robbed or otherwise violated, I did know there were probably many out there who had not been so lucky, so here you go… Continue reading

Just who is the “Bird Whisperer?”

parrot on toyI will be the first to admit that when I hung up the phone and readied myself for the journey out to Zaksee bird sanctuary I WAS NOT THINKING!  No, I was simply going to check out “Magic” the bird whisperer, and his beautiful Macaws and Cockatoos, for our event in the park. His story intrigued me and, being an animal lover, I thought his sanctuary might be something we could support and that would also provide some “spokes-birds” for our event.  Continue reading

The One Box You Don’t Want to Open…

There are many wonderful goodies that come in boxes, to name a few:  chocolates (especially chocolate covered cherries), smoked paprika, new computers, anything from Nordstroms – stop me if I break into a version of “my favorite things, but there is one thing you don’t want in the box, and that’s a hurricane!

Say what?  Continue reading

What would you do with another room?

A little cramped? …… Been dreaming about more space?

Now may be the perfect time to move! 

Certainly, one of the more popular reasons people want a larger home is for the coveted “extra room,” either to accommodate additional children, additional stuff, or for that “special” activity they always wanted to pursue, but never had the room to do so (pun intended). I thought it would be interesting to do a little survey so I asked a number of you what you would do with an additional room. Here’s what you said: Continue reading

Know Anyone That wants To Buy A House With No Money?


home_6Got your attention with that one, didn’t I!  Well, it’s not quite as simple as “Have no money, Get a house.”  But there’s definitely help for many first-time home buyers who qualify right now.

Florida, the state that brought you alligators, retirement communities and humidity (I can say that, I’m a Floridian), is now offering an AMAZING down-payment assistance program for first time home buyers. Right now, in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties you can receive up to $15,000. to go toward your down-payment and closing costs on the purchase of a new home (or a used one, for that matter) Pasco you can get up to $7,500  (what’s up with that, Pasco?)  Continue reading