The Early Show Great American Vacation













The Early Show spent the summer traveling around America -- here's where we visited:

Key West, FL: Thursday, July 5, 2007. We gave away a fantastic trip to the exclusive Palm Island Resort on St. Vincent and The Grenadines to a most deserving public servant. For more information on the Florida Keys, visit www.fla-keys.com and to get some exceptional Key Lime pie, like we used in our pie eating contest, click here for a link to Kermit's Key West Key Lime Shop. Music provided by Howard Livingston and Mile Marker 24.


Outer Banks, NC: Thursday, July 12, 2007. We were at the Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo where we played with kites,, strolled the pristine beaches and searched for the best souvenirs. We gave away a trip to the Occidental Grand Aruba resortto a truly loving father. And we watched as Dave tried to hang-glide.


Savannah, GA: Thursday, July 19, 2007. We were down on River Street, over by Tubby's, where we had a visit from local restauranteurs Bobby and Jamie Deen, who made some savory French Toast for Dave's breakfast -- topped off with an ice cream concoction. Dave toured the beautiful cobblestoned streets, learned about pirates and ghosts and gave away a luxurious vacation in St. Kittsto a hard-working and loyal mother who is a member of the Savannah Federation of Teachers. Bon voyage, Alfreda!


Niagara Falls, NY : Thursday, July 26, 2007. We parked the Winnebago at Terrapin Point. Dave got a grand tour of the Niagara Falls State Park, where he got to stand on the "hurricane deck" next to the Bridal Falls and rode in a powerboatthat navigated the Class 5 rapids of the Niagara River. He blistered his mouth on some "suicidal"-strength hot wings from Buffalo's famous Anchor Bar, and tried his hand at sport fishing (meh). And he made one woman, Kris Woltz, speechless with delight when he gave her a luxurious vacation in St. Lucia at the Almond Beach Resort.


South Padre Island, Texas: Thursday, Aug. 2, 2007. Several weeks ago, Dave took an exploratory trip here and discovered that South Padre Island is a paradise for beach lovers. He rode a beach buggy and tried his best to do some kite-boarding (harder than it looks!) He visited the Old Point Isabel Lighthouse(and climbed the 74 steps)to take in the stunning view of South Padre's endless dunes.Did you know that San Padre is the sand castle capitol of the world? He even had time for a visit to Schlitterbahn, a high-tech water park on the Island. Unfortunately Dave couldn't return to personally award our Great American Vacation gift package to Linda Gale, who will be visiting St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. But local meterologist Bob Hale from KGBT-TV did the honors (thanks, Bob!). Linda's sister, Sherryl Fink, also got a vacation getaway, courtesy of KOA Kampgrounds, just for nominating her beloved sister.


Mount Rushmore, South Dakota -- Thursday, Aug. 9, 2007. Dave may look like a mild-mannered weatherman, but get him near a Harley and he turns into a Bad Boy. Maybe not so bad, but bad enough to hang with the leather-clad doctors, lawyers, teachers, vets and others assorted folks who rode their motorcycles over from the Sturgis Rally this morning. Also with us in front of the world-famous monument was Guy Di Benedetto, a local law enforcement officer. When Dave asked him to open the envelope holding the name of the Great American Vacation winner, he was suspicious -- and not for nothing: he was the recipient of a trip to the Bahamas, where he and his wife, Kim, will stay at the February Point resort. While in South Dakota, Dave visited many local landmarks, including the iconic Wall Drug Store (you've seen their signs everywhere) as well as the beautiful Badlands National Park. Dave's producers would like to thank Sturgis Harley-Davidson, Hot Leathers and the Sturgis Area Chamber of Commerce for Dave's Sturgis wardrobe. And they'd like to thank Dave for getting in touch with his inner Bad Boy.


Aspen, Colorado -- Thursday, Aug. 16, 2007. The hills were alive with the sound of ... Dave. He put his brief time in this Rocky Mountain town to good use, doing some horseback riding, sightseeing, hiking and rafting. He visited the Aspen Musical Festival and even met up with a local chef to do sample some apres ski beverages (Hey! it was early! and it was chilly!) Most excitingly, Dave got to rub elbows with a real star: Emily Proctor, who plays the fetching Calleigh Duquesne on "CSI: Miami." Emily was there to introduce us to some adorable dogs and promote Purina Pro Plan's Rally to Rescue program to encourage people to adopt from shelters. Emily was in on the ruse when Dave asked a man in the crowd to help read some messages using an official CSI black light. His message: you've won a trip to Belize! The recipients, Art and Val Harju, recently lost their young son, Phil, to leukemia. They were nominated for the trip by their friend, Deanna Janckila; Dave gave her the gift of a balloon ride for her kindness.


Mackinac Island, Mich. -- Thursday, Aug. 23, 2007 (near Cadillac and Traverse City). Dave enjoyed the charms of this beautiful island, at the tip of northern Michigan, where two Great Lakes meet. It's a place, he said, "where time stands still." Cars were banned on Mackinac Island before the turn of the century - the 19th-into-the-20th century, that is, because they - spooked the horses! So, to this day, folks get around by horse-drawn carriage, bikes, and foot. People travel to and from the island via Shepler's ferries. Dave rode one under the famous Mackinac Bridge, which spans five miles of water. Dave left the Winnebago on a ferry just offshore. He was greeted by a large crowd on the world's largest porch at the 121-year-old, majestic Grand Hotel. Mackinac Island is famous for its fudge - the locals refer to the fudge as "gold" and to tourists as "fudgies," because the first thing they usually do is seek out fudge! Dave was hardly one to do without, so he watched as Sean O'Dell and Les Parrish made some for Ryba's Fudge Shops. Dave enjoyed the charms of Main Street, loaded and shot a cannon at the Revolutionary War's Fort Mackinac, rode a tandem bike, and generally had a super time. Then, he gave away a vacation to the British Virgin Islands to Barbara Fisher, one of only a few hundred year-round Mackinac Island residents and the school secretary and all-around community organizer. She'll be heading to the Peter Island resort.


Bar Harbor, ME: Thursday, Aug. 30, 2007 -- At this, the last stop on the 2007 Great American Vacation tour, Dave was both exhausted and exhilarated, he said. The 14,000 miles he traveled hasn't yet quenched his thirst for seeing the most beautiful and fascinating nooks and crannies of the country. And the bracing ocean air and lush Maine scenery gave both Dave and his trusted crew -- he refers to them as "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" -- a jolt of energy. They visited and rode shotgun rides. Dave learned the secrets of making a perfect shore dinner at Stewman's Lobster Pound and he chatted with Brenda Hensley and her son Jessie, who nominated their friend, Pete Gould, for a Great American Vacation. Pete, who was paralyzed in a motorcycle accident eight years ago, has made many close friends since moving to Maine and has become like a big brother to the kids in his neighborhood. Pete will be traveling to Antigua and Barbuda soon, where he'll stay at the deluxe St. James Club.



Want an insider's look at the Great American Vacation tour? Jack Halsbond, who pilots the Winnebago from destination to destination (no, we don't make Dave drive himself!) wrote a trip diary and sent us photos from every stop. Check here to read his weekly updates.

















BP
HOLIDAY INN
KOA
AMERICAN AIRLINES
CARIBBEAN
WINNEBAGO
CHEAP TICKETS
ORBITZ

St. James Club, Antigua
Antigua & Barbuda





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