to amazing places

Escape From Paradise

My husband and I are snowbirds, some of these fortunate retirees that are able to fly south as soon as it gets colder in the northern hemisphere. We think of our home locations as paradise, as we are spending our summers in the mountains of West Virginia, our winters on the ocean in Palm Coast, Florida and then in between we are visiting my beautiful hometown of Montauk on the East End of Long Island, New York. As much as we love the places where we live, Marcus and I are adventures and we are always looking forward to another exciting "Escape from Paradise”. Life is short and the bucket list long ;) ….

Let’s travel together! Follow us through my blog, on Facebook #EscapeFromParadise, on Instagram or look for my column in The Montauk Sun
Ps: The handsome guy featured in my cover photo is my husband. Marcus, the mountain man.


The Mermaids of Weeki Wachee

Escape from Paradise with Ingrid Lemme-Chalut The Mermaids of Weeki Wachee and the History of Chinsegut Hill. First published in The Montauk Sun December Issue 2021 Edited by John Lomitola To be honest, all we thought we’d come for was to see the mermaids that ‘roam’ in the crystal clear springs of Weeki Wachee’s State park, but we also got to discover other close-by historic and fun places that make Florida’s Adventure Coast an interesting place to visit. When we swam with m

Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney!

Visiting Phil in Punxsutawney -- with Ingrid Lemme-Chalut First Published in The Montauk Sun November issue 2021 Edited by Paul Monte I don’t think there are too many who haven’t watched the movie “Groundhog Day” with Bill Murray, the ever beautiful Andie MacDowell, and Chris Elliott. “Groundhog Day” was considered a box-office success on its release, earning over $105 million to become one of the highest-grossing films of 1993 and is in my opinion one of the greatest America

Blowing Rock & Grandfather Mountain

Escape from Paradise with Ingrid Lemme-Chalut First published in The Montauk Sun October issue 2021 Mind-blowing Blowing Rock and Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina Let me say from the start that we’ve found another destination that really belongs on everyone’s bucket list and that we hope to visit next year once again as there is so much more for us to do and experience in and around the historic, charming, beautiful mountain town of Blowing Rock. The famous Rock, less t

Seven Springs & Fallingwater

Seven Springs Mountain Resort & Fallingwater, in Pennsylvania By Ingrid Lemme-Chalut First published in The Montauk Sun, September issues 2021 While most travelers will probably associate Seven Springs in Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands region with winter sport (no surprise as it’s been voted Ski Magazine’s #1 Ski Resort in the Mid-Atlantic region) let us assure you that these picturesque mountains offer many more interesting as well as fun year-round attractions to travelers

Moonshine and Whitewater Rafting in Cocke County, Tennessee

Escape from Paradise with Ingrid Lemme-Chalut First published in The Montauk Sun, August 2021 To be honest, the only thing I have ever personally affiliated with Tennessee was Nashville, country music city of the world (we visited last summer), and Dollywood in Gatlinburg, the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Little did I know that during my visit to this great state I’d get to face one of my greatest fears when it comes to outdoor sports! We’d started off

The Caverns of Luray and The Mimslyn

Escape from Paradise with Ingrid Lemme-Chalut The Caverns of Luray and The Mimslyn Inn. First published in The Montauk Sun August Issue, 2021 Just when you’d thought you’ve seen it all there comes along another place that will blow your mind. The natural wonders Caverns of Luray, in Virginia, which is located just 90 miles west of Washington, D.C. is one of those places. I have to admit that years ago during our frequent trips from Montauk to the Outer Banks, with my late hus

Stonewall Resort & Lunatic Asylum

Escape from Paradise with Ingrid Lemme-Chalut First published in The Montauk Sun Memorial Day issue, June 2021 We finally got to visit the first state park in the nation to be developed, constructed, financed and operated by a private developer in partnership with the state. Still heralded today as a national model for public/private development, Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park in West Virginia was completed in 1990. The park and associated lake were a project of the U.S. A

Sebring, in the Heart of Florida’s Highlands!

First published in The Montauk Sun, May Issue 2021 Escape from Paradise with Ingrid Lemme-Chalut Sebring and The Inn on the Lakes in the Heart of Florida’s Highlands! Florida is one of the most successful states even during these trying times and since we stay away from politics, we attribute it to sunshine and the beaches. There’s more to Florida than the ocean, gulf regions and theme parks. We visited the charming city of Sebring located in Highlands County, about 90 minute

Airboating Florida’s Everglades & Lazy River Gliding at the Omni!

First featured in The Montauk Sun April 2021 issue! As much as we love Montauk, Marcus and I are adventurous and we are always looking forward to another exciting “Escape from Paradise.” The beach girl from Montauk and Marcus the mountain man, found each other on a dating site and got married five years ago and we were going to celebrate our anniversary with an air-boat ride on the Everglades and a stay at a special place. Life is short, and the bucket list long. We were told

Key West!

Key Largo and Key West, Via Sebring! First published in The Montauk Sun March 2021 issue! Key West had been on our bucket list for a while. After all most of our traveling friends had either visited, returned frequently, or like us dreamt about discovering the southernmost point in the contiguous United States and the westernmost island connected by highway of the Florida Keys. Key West is a port of call for many passenger cruise ships and that very port was one of the reason

Kissed by Manatees

Kissed by Manatees in Florida's Crystal River As published in The Montauk Sun January 2021 issue Much like a few of our commercial Montauk fishermen, manatees seek out a warmer spot when it gets nippy and swim south. There’s only one place in the United States where it’s legal to swim with manatees in the wild and that’s in Florida where hundreds of these gentle giants winter in the warm waters of the Crystal River. Crystal River is a city in Citrus County, Florida with an

Mission Point

Mission Point on Mackinac Island, one of America’s most visited tourist attractions! First published in The Montauk Sun, September issue 2019 As much as Montauk is America’s most quintessential fishing and beach town, Mackinac Island is America’s most quintessential 19th century island town. Home of historic Fort Mackinac and famous ‘Arch Rock’, the island is also the location of the famous film ‘Somewhere in Time’. For almost forty years people come to Mackinac Island to


Israel…Fascinating, Educating, & Eye-opening! Israel was on my bucket list since the days I got hooked on travel in my late thirties, but it would take me twenty five years until I was finally allowed to step foot on these holy grounds. My husband and I were part of a Holland America cruise that took us all over the Mediterranean, from Morocco to Israel and many places in between. We had booked three days of excursions of Jerusalem, Nazareth, the Jordan River, Sea of Galile

Ark Encounter!

First featured in The Montauk Sun, August issue 2018 ......Our next destination, Noah’s Ark in Williamstown, Kentucky, halfway between Cincinnati and Lexington, right off I-75, and located an hour and 15 minutes north of The Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill. But, we took the scenic route through the most idyllic picture perfect countryside instead and made it in less then two hours. This alternate course is truly worthwhile! “We built the full-size Noah’s Ark to answer these q


First published in The Montauk Sun, July issue 2018. As some of my readers might remember, I am the widow of a Montauk fireman who passed away almost 8 years ago after a ferocious battle with cancer. Montauk grieved with me, and cradled me for a long time. But time goes on and time heals wounds—to make a long story short, I eventually met a handsome widower and 2 years ago we got married… While I love Montauk, and the ocean (I founded the “I LOVE MONTAUK” Facebook page y


First featured in The Montauk Sun, May issue 2018 Pinehurst – the Hamptons in the Hills of North Carolina! Celebrating Pinehurst's 125th Anniversary in 2020! While most think of Pinehurst as an upscale golf destination, for my husband Marcus and his late wife it was for years a place that they called home. On our recent travels back north from our winter domicile in Palm Coast, FL — my readers will forgive me for escaping, as I had my fare share of over 25 winters in Montauk


First published in The Montauk Sun, April issue 2018 Florida’s Forgotten Coast! Florida’s Panhandle is renowned for its white, sandy beaches and quaint little fishing towns that produce some of the best seafood in the state, and we were on our way to discover the most southern coastal part of it. It’s almost a contradiction, but having traveled through much of Florida, we felt that the farther north we came (6 hours north west from our winter domicile, Palm Coast) the more “

4 Nights in Rome

First published in The Montauk Sun, December issue 2019. From the Eternal City of Rome -- to boarding the Rotterdam Cruise-ship in Civitaveccia! Dear friends, this is most likely not one of my greatest writings but considering that I had to type the story in my I-phone while cruising ... Well, you decide Cruising makes it easy to visit several places without having to repack your bags because your hotel room (cabin) comes along with you, and even provides all the transporta

The Kentucky Castle

First published in The Montauk Sun September issue 2018 Escape from Paradise to The Kentucky Castle, Versaille and Midway, Kentucky Just recently we decided to travel to Kentucky and finally experience first hand what Noah’s Ark could possibly have looked like by visiting the most ‘authentic’ full-size biblical replica in the world. To be honest, breathtaking was an understatement – but so was The Kentucky Castle, in Versailles. Versailles, Kentucky that is, near

The Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill

First published in The Montauk Sun August issue 2018 Escape from Paradise with Ingrid Lemme-Chalut to The Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, in Kentucky I had no idea of what to expect from Kentucky other then awesome fried chicken and bourbon, but what we experienced was so interesting and beautiful that we have to share with you our latest encounters! The Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, named a top hidden travel destination by BBC News, is located within a half hour ride


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