Friday, January 6, 2012

They're Here...2012 Widda Giddaways!

When my husband died, back in 2007, I tried desperately to find things to look forward to.  I wanted to set myself up on a schedule and have at least one fun thing set up, once a quarter, so that I could say to myself, “If you can just make it to (here), you’ll be doing something fun and distracting.”

One of the major things I wanted to do was travel.  My husband never really liked to travel much because he was often out of town for work.  So during his down-time…the last thing he wanted to do was pack another bag.

So when he died, I decided that I would start.  But there was a small problem.

I didn’t want to travel alone.

I liked the idea of having alone time, but I wasn’t crazy about just completely striking out alone and not having anyone to meet for dinner.  The idea of walking around alone or just not having anyone to talk to during the trip honestly sounded pretty lonely to me.  And if there was anything I was trying to escape…it was “lonely.”

I have a feeling that I’m not the only one who feels that way.  SO…I have decided to partner with a wonderful woman named Susan at Endless Travel (her contact information is at the bottom) and coordinate a few trips this year for those people who are interested in traveling…but would also really like to meet up with people and connect.  And here is how they’re going to work.

  • ·         These trips do NOT involve any sort of seminars or sessions.  They are vacations.  I will be doing other retreats, but these trips are meant to be loose and solely for those who are looking to travel but don’t want to go alone.
  • ·         On the first night of each trip, we are setting up a group dinner, reserving tables for the people with theWiddahood group, so that you can get to know each other a little and find each other for the rest of the trip.  Connecting past that one night is entirely up to you.  So if you feel like you would like some alone time…you can.  If you want to hang with people, it’s up to you to make those connections and set up some stuff to do together during the trip.
  • ·         I will send an email to each of you, asking your permission to send out email addresses to the group before the trip begins.  If you are not comfortable with that, I will not include your contact information.  But some people may want to email back and forth before they go so that they truly feel like they know someone before they leave.
  • ·         Please note that I may not personally be on every trip.  As much as I would LOOOOVE to, I have kids and bills just like all of us!  I’m going to make as many as I can and for those that I can’t…I expect lots of pictures and a full report from those of you who are going!
  • ·         As a favor, I ask that you spread the word about these trips.  You never know who might be looking for them and I know that all of us network in different circles, both physically and virtually.  You might be telling someone who has been looking for something just like this to look forward to...just get through his/her day!  You do NOT have to join the website ( to be a part of these trips.  The details are also listed on our homepage under Upcoming Events.
And now…the part you’ve been waiting for….


The Family Trip:

The first trip we have scheduled right now is a Carribean cruise on Royal Carribean’s Freedom of the Seas.  This vacation is geared towards widows and widowers who would like to include their children.  You are more than welcome to come without kids, but keep in mind that many of the people going will have theirs.  

You and your family will explore the wonders of the Caribbean including the private island of CocoCay, Bahamas which is 140 acres of absolutely nothing but secluded surf, sun and sand. Enjoy ice skating, riding the flow rider, rock climbing and more.  Looking for something to occupy you and your kids over the Fourth of July (so that you have one less holiday to worry about)?  This cruise will start on July 1st and you will have a blast with your kids and new widda friends for 7 nights.


Sun 01 Jul

Mon 02 Jul

Tue 03 Jul

Wed 04 Jul

Thu 05 Jul

Fri 06 Jul

Sat 07 Jul

Sun 08 Jul


7 Night Eastern Caribbean Cruise starting from 1044.00 *per person
Ship Name: Freedom Of The Seas
Destination: Caribbean
2012 Sail Date(s): July 1, 2012
Interior:  $1044.00
Balcony:  $1334.00

(Taxes per person:  $85.71, port charges per person:  $175)

10-Day Trip to Northern Italy:

For this trip, we are actually piggy-backing on a women’s tour that Susan has already started to coordinate.  The nice thing about this is that if you would like to include a mom, daughter, sister, or just a friend…you are more than welcome to invite them along.   It starts on September 27th and goes for 10 glorious days until October 7th.

As with all of the trips, we will have the welcome dinner on the first night and will reserve a table (or tables) only for theWiddahood group so that you all can get to know each other. 

Sorry, to all of my widowers…this is a women only trip.

The price includes your accommodations (all 4 and 5 star hotels), tours/transportation, and the meals that are in parenthesis on each day.

So, here’s an idea of what you’ll be doing:

Day 1:   Arrive in Milan, Italy: Time to rest or start exploring Milan, vibrant hub of Italy’s economic miracle. At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions for a welcome dinner at the hotel. (Dinner)

Day 2:   Milan–Soragna–Parma: In the morning, enjoy a walking tour with a Local Guide and visit the magnificent gothic DUOMO and the glass-domed GALLERIA. Also see the famous La Scala Opera House. On your way to Parma, world famous for its ham and parmesan cheese, stop at Soragna for a PARMESAN CHEESE TASTING.  Later, for the food-lovers, an optional excursion to an original ham factory is available. (Breakfast)

Day 3:   Parma. Excursion to Modena and Maranello: This morning, your guided sightseeing will focus on the Romanesque cathedral, the bell tower, and the octagonal baptistry made of pink Verona marble. Next, enjoy a BALSAMIC VINEGAR TASTING near Modena, and learn all about this typical Italian product. Continue to nearby Maranello, birthplace of the Ferrari automobile, for an exciting visit to the FERRARI GALLERY. Afternoon and evening are at leisure. (Breakfast)

Day 4:   Parma–Lucca: Enjoy a walk through the medieval town of Lucca with its ramparts and spend time in its pretty center. This evening you may wish to join an optional dinner outing to a local agriturismo to try out local specialties.  (Breakfast)

Day 5:   Lucca–Boat Excursion to Cinque Terre–Santa Margherita Ligure: A scenic day! Drive to La Spezia on the Mediterranean coast and enjoy your excursion (including a BOAT RIDE, weather permitting) to CINQUE TERRE, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name dates back to the 15th century and is derived from five medieval little villages standing on stony spurs along five miles of the rocky coastline: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso. From here, enjoy a TRAIN RIDE to Rapallo, then continue by coach to Santa Margherita Ligure. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 6:  At Leisure in Santa Margherita Ligure: A full day to enjoy this beautiful seaside resort. You may wish to join an optional excursion to nearby Portofino, a small fishing village with brightly colored houses that became home to the “rich and famous.” (Breakfast)

Day 7: Santa Margherita Ligure–Asti–Turin: Enter the Langhe area and arrive in Asti, known for its spumante and Barbera wines. Here, enjoy a WINE TASTING. Time afterwards in town, then visit a local NOUGAT CONFECTIONER and savor a piece of hand-made torrone before continuing to Turin, capital of Piedmont and birthplace of the Fiat car. This evening you may wish to try out one of Turin’s restaurants. (Breakfast)

Day 8:   Turin: During your sightseeing with a Local Guide, admire the 548-feet-high Mole Antonelliana, symbol of Turin, and the Lingotto Fiera, the former Fiat factory that was transformed into an impressive multi-function center by architect Renzo Piano. Next, walk through the historic center and visit the CATHEDRAL that houses the Holy Shroud. (Breakfast)

Day 9:   Turin–Vercelli–Milan: This morning, visit a RICE FACTORY in Vercelli. Learn everything about its traditional products and enjoy a risotto lunch before returning to Milan. This evening, enjoy an included farewell dinner with wine at one of Milan’s fine restaurants to celebrate the success of your Italian vacation. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 10:   Milan: Your vacation ends. (Breakfast)
PRICES:(per person land only rates)
- $2399 double occupancy
- $2811 single occupancy
- $2355 triple occupancy
- Air available on request, please contact Endless Travel for pricing
DEPOSIT: $250 per person
FINAL PAYMENT: July 25, 2012


If you are interested in either one of these trips, please contact Susan Hammond:
Endless Travel
28265 Highway 74
Suite A
Evergreen, CO 80439
303-674-6616- office


  1. Great idea! I went on a trip with a company called Backroads earlier in the year. It was great fun but a little hard to be with couples. Coincidentally, another widow happened to be on the trip. She wanted to travel, just not alone. I totally understood that feeling.

  2. I can't make either of these trips -BUT - this is an awesome idea. My husband and I used to travel a TON. I really miss travelling but don't want to do it alone. Keep these giddaways coming - I will definitely try to find a way to join at least one of them!!

  3. I hope one day to be able to afford something like that.

  4. I wish i could go... A cruise sounds just what I need right now. Unfortunately I don't think it would be quite as much fun with a two-year old in tow... Not many toddler activities...

  5. Candace...we're still working on something that will be in US and hopefully more affordable. We just kept hitting snags and I wanted to get this info out. I'll keep you all posted!

    And Anonymous...I hear you with the toddler thing. But hopefully we'll come up with something at some point that will appeal to you! Toddlerhood is a challenge. I hear ya, sister.

  6. These sound wonderful. I think I'll wait to see what else you come up with, but I would love to go somewhere. Thank you for doing all this.

  7. Maybe I missed it in the posting but where does the cruise leave from?

    1. Ugh. Sometimes I wonder if I'm operating on all cylinders! Good question. I just posted the itinerary on the blog. It leaves out of Port Canaveral. :>)

  8. I would love to go, but not over the 4th of July. If there is another Cruuse let me know!!

  9. I think I'll wait to see if an Alaskan cruise comes up! :)

  10. What happened to the California Spa weekend?

    1. Shannon...the hotel we wanted was booked, but we're working on something for just a long weekend here in the US. I'll keep you guys posted...should be in the next couple of days. Now that I said that...I've probably jinxed myself!!!

  11. I look forward to the coming selections and itineraries.
    Travel for just me or me with my high school and college boys seems possible now. More fun.

  12. Just came to visit your blog and found this. Wish there was something like this when I was first widowed! This is a great idea!! When my first husband died it was traveling that helped me get through grief. I got through one day at a time by making plans for my next trip. I see you loved that too:)Come by and visit my blog I recently blogged about how I traveled in my denial! Cindy

  13. I just saw this about trips. I will not be able to do these but will look for others.
    Not having my husband to look forward to traveling any is one of the very hurtful things.
    Will you plan anything closer to Colorado or U.S. ?
    Thanks, Carole

  14. I am really looking forward to seeing more trips posted. Just found this blog today!

  15. Any trips planned for 2013?

    1. I was wondering the same thing. Looks like there on updates for 2013.

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