by Gail Carswell and Michael Foltz
Vacation 2005 FOLLOW the SIGNS
Check your travel horoscope to discover your 'destination destiny' for 2005
By GAIL CARSWELL
Special to the Star-Telegram
Was your last vacation a disaster? Maybe you should have heeded the call of the cosmos. Just as people have astrological birth charts, so do places. So to help world-wise travelers seek planetary alignment in 2005, we sought the advice of two people with "star power" -- Fort Worth astrologers Gail Carswell and Michael Foltz. They've forecast the best travel dates for each sign and suggested vacation spots that will resonate with the soul of each sign. Those passionate Scorpios? Pack some aspirin; you're headed for a "hurricane." Those compassionate, intuitive, but sometimes weak-willed and easily led Pisces? Please don't let the aliens talk you into touring their flying saucer -- no matter how friendly they seem.
The signs are pointing everywhere for 2005 travelers, from Arkansas to Antwerp, from Mississippi to Melbourne. Planning a vacation couldn't be any easier. All you have to do is follow the signs.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Inspiration and a better understanding of the world are just two of the possibilities from short-distance trips. Plan a trip sometime between Feb. 27 and March 15 or May 1 and June 11. Austin is one choice. Capricorns usually have to have a sense of authority, and you'll find the authority of our state there, whether you visit the Capitol building or check out the music scene. Watching the manatees and dolphins in Key West is another good choice. But New York and the Adirondacks, for their prestige, would likely be my first Capricorn pick. Capricorns demand quality in the places they go and the things they buy, and you'll love the quality of the crafts in the Adirondacks. Also, you'll be close enough to go to Herkimer to collect some Herkimer diamonds (which are actually quartz crystals).
Long-distance trips are favored July 23-Aug. 17. Mercury will be retrograde then, so have your papers in order and copies in case they're needed. You'll enjoy Saxony, the "cultural capital of Germany." Another destination to consider: Moscow. Red Square's St. Basil's Cathedral is breathtaking.
Tip for the travel companion: Organize the receipts, and keep the time schedule more flexible than usual, because Mercury retrograde could slow things down.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Mercury will be retrograde for your first favorable travel period, March 23-April 15, so allow extra time for getting anywhere or doing anything. Make copies of your travel documents. Other good dates are June 12-July 17. Short trips:Arizona is ruled by Aquarius -- from the saguaro cactus to the piney wood of Flagstaff, you'll find the independent spirit you crave. A closer city -- and close to my heart -- is Hot Springs, Ark., for quartz crystals -- you can discover them while digging or shopping. The diamond fields are also close by. The crystal energy here will keep you going, so get to the dig site early.
You have good travel aspects until mid-October. Plan your long-distance trip Aug. 21-Sept. 10. You have a strong urge to make a spiritual pilgrimage. Be sure your mate is included in the planning stages. One of the best places I've ever found to recharge my batteries is the island of Antigua: 365 beaches, and all beautiful. Being on the beach lets your mind ponder the universe. Another favorite is Tintagel, England. Merlin's Cave and the coastal walks will take you to a distant place that just could be from a past life. Do not miss St. Nectan's Glen. Your natural curiosity will keep you going to all the mystical sites in the area.
Tip for the travel companion: There is a spiritual drive going on with your Aquarius friend, so allow time to just go into float mode.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
Short TripsSome day, our government may tell us what really happened in Roswell, N.M., in July 1947. Until then, plan a trip to the UFO museum there and make your own decision. While in the area, visit Three Rivers to see more than 21,000 petroglyphs.
If you're brave, also go to Marfa and see the "lights." The Apaches call them "ghost lights." (Written reports of the sightings go back to the 1810s.) Stay in Alpine and enjoy the original Reata restaurant. All of these destinations will provide the sense of solitude you desire. Make your plans between April 16 and May 9, Aug. 21 and Sept. 25 or Dec. 15 and Dec. 23.
Long-distance vacations are most favored Sept. 12-25, though after Oct. 26, you'll have good planetary energy with just about any trip you desire. Nowhere to go? Try Tibet. It's important for each of us to find our own Shangri-La. Or have a look at Lady Elliot Island on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. A limited number of guests are allowed at one time, and there's true magic to be found. You can hear whale songs while you snorkel or dive and tap into your love of being one with the divine.
Tip for the travel companion: Pisces are having a once-in-a-lifetime awakening, courtesy of the planet Uranus. Support the changes, and hang on for what is to come.
ARIES (March 21-April 19)
You will seek an adventure in 2005, whether you head out to watch NASCAR races or ski the Italian/German alps. There is likely a difference in your thinking and actions this year. You will be focusing more on your partner being with you.
For a domestic vacation, look at May 10-June 3. Concord, N.C., plans the Nextel Cup All Star Race May 21. Nearby Charlotte, N.C., will also keep your interest and appeal to your desire to "just do it."
When planning long-distance trips, hit the Internet for last-minute deals. Today through Jan. 9 is great for travel, and there's still good planetary energy through Feb. 6.
Oct. 6-Nov. 5 could be another good time but will require some flexibility with plans, because of your ruling planet Mars being retrograde and the eclipse patterns lighting up your personal and relationship areas. Consider a ski trip to Camonica Valley in Italy; don't miss the city of Padua for a visit to the university where Galileo taught. Your desire for a fast-paced adventure will be fulfilled.
Tip for the travel companion: Be prepared to take your relationship to a higher level. This has a nice ring to it.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
Take your new health routine on the road. Bicycle around an area and look at architecture, or perhaps have a picnic. For your domestic vacation, look at June 11-28. Natchez, Miss., will take you back in time with its antebellum houses. The quality and history of these homes will amaze you -- just imagine the balls and garden parties held here in a bygone era. Another good choice is St. John, New Brunswick, Canada -- a superb base for touring the Bay of Fundy.
Dates that favor longer-distance trips are Jan. 10-31. And, if your work schedule will allow, Feb. 7-March 15. Later in the year, look at Nov. 5-Dec. 15 -- it's best to go before Nov. 14, when Mercury goes retrograde. Mars will be retrograde in Taurus Oct. 1-Dec. 9; be willing to revise plans as the need arises.
Taurus are most known for their superb senses, so use your energy to absorb the sights, sounds and flavors of an area. Simply put: Go to Portugal, and stay in the pousadas. What a jewel of history you'll find! The castle walls, decorated in fine tapestries, and the huge fireplaces will accent your wonderful evening meal. You'll enjoy all the earthly delights and attention to quality.
Tip for the travel companion: Keep a lookout for fine artisans and majestic trees.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
Have you been listening to Saturn? Have you budgeted to take that special vacation? Good. The best dates for shorter trips are June 29-July 18. San Francisco, Annapolis and Memphis are a few cities that a Gemini could find fascinating -- they'll give you the variety and spice that you crave.
Favorable farther-from-home vacation dates are Feb. 3-26 and March 26-May 30. It's perfect timing for a solar eclipse cruise (April 8) from Tahiti to Moorea, Pitcairn, Easter Island and Peru. Write up the spiritual aspect of this trip, and perhaps turn this information into a class or book. (Gemi-nis love communicating; many are writers or teachers.)
Mercury retrograde happens during this time, so remain flexible. Dec. 16-23 is a great time to go to Melbourne, Australia. One treat here is walk-through cages that let the lions get a good look at you. The city has that breezy feeling that delights you, and there's no chance of being bored.
Tip for the travel companion: Buy some Z-Coil shoes in an attempt to keep up with your Gemini travel mate.
CANCER (June 21-July 22)
Be prepared for unplanned diversions July 23-Aug. 16, when Mercury will be retrograde. Check your credit-card statements for errors that could occur during this time.
Shorter trips:Make reservations at Kartchner Caverns just outside of Tucson, Ariz. Check out the tours available at Colossal Cave -- such as a ladder tour, or a candlelight tour followed by dinner around a bonfire. This time spent in Mother Earth's womb will nurture you.
The first-choice dates for longer vacation plans are Feb. 27-March 15, followed by May 1-June 11. I used to think Scotland was the most beautiful place on Earth. Then I went to New Zealand. Pick either, and you'll feel right at home.
The west coast of Scotland is my favorite, as is the South Island of New Zealand. You won't find it on the Web, but just outside of Dunedin, New Zealand, there's a fishing cottage named "the Timeless Cottage." You'll want to return again and again. There's a great restaurant close by. Visit Te Anau, and take a flight so you can land on the water for a talk with the dolphins.
Tip for the travel companion: Pack your suitcase inside an empty suitcase to assist your Cancer in getting back all the things he or she buys and collects.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
Create your perfect short-distance trip Aug. 20-Sept. 10. The destination? Juneau, Alaska. Relax in the morning reading the local newspaper, The Empire. Then tour the A.J. Gold Mine. Another day, visit the waterfall at Mendenhall Glacier; enjoy the view from the totem poles. Ask if the dogs are running -- the local dog salmon. You'll be returning home to more responsibility, so enjoy your time in the sun.
Long distance: The planets are smiling on your travels until late October. You might have a few hiccups with Mercury retrograde, so try to go with the flow March 23-April 15. Check out the "Ring of Fire Expedition" in Panama to watch the solar eclipse. You won't even have to change currency.
Two other places for the best viewing are Papeete, Tahiti, and Baltra, Galapagos Islands. Between June 12 and July 17, enjoy a trip to Hong Kong, and don't miss Stanley Market -- it's a great place to see and be seen. Buy something made of jade. The written character for jade is a combination of beauty, nobility and purity. Consider a decorative item made of jade, because you could be redecorating your home later in the year.
Tip for the travel companion: Take pictures of your Leo companion. Keep the travel journal up to date.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
You've been working hard, so it's time to plan for your well-earned time off in 2005. Short trips:From Sept. 12 to 25, Fifteen Beacon Hotel in Boston would be a great place to relax; the attention to detail that you demand is provided here. Watch the tall ships in the harbor and stroll around Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Schedule a day to go to Salem, another Virgo-ruled city. Tour the House of the Seven Gables and other interesting museums. Taking the trolley or a horse-drawn carriage ride will provide you with the facts and information your discerning mind is always seeking.
Favored dates for long-distance trips are the same as the short-distance dates. Dec. 15-23 is also good. Whatever your destination, you might look at some education while on your trips. Paris offers some wonderful cooking classes; you can sign up for a full week or just one day and have the rest of your vacation to explore the city. For a break from big-city lights, take a country walk in Crecy-la-Chapelle, just 27 miles east. This trip can help you see the divine in the mundane. Lyons is another Virgo-ruled city.
Tip for the travel companion: Inspiration is welcome, passion a plus, but please don't leave a mess in the hotel bathroom.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
You'll be able to better manage and balance your goals if you take time off. Get to a computer ASAP, and find a great deal for travel sometime between today and Feb. 5 (before Jan. 8 is best)For short trips.. Branson, Mo., with its choice of shows and music, is one good option. Others are Oshkosh, Wis.; Montpelier, Vt.; Chicago; and Miami. Santa Cruz, Calif., also gets my vote. Libras like choices; they can't make a balanced decision without them.
Another good time period for travel is Oct. 8-Nov. 4, but Mars will be retrograde, and things might not go so smoothly.
Longer vacations are best planned May 11-June 3. Jupiter is in your sign, and the eclipse patterns are also here, so you likely will discover a brand-new you. Visit Mozart's birthplace in Vienna, Austria; the Vienna International Festival happens during this time. Other choices are Antwerp, Belgium, to see the beauty of medieval and art nouveau mansions, along with Fribourg, Switzerland, or Ottawa, Canada. These cities will complement your natural grace and social skills.
Tip for the travel companion: Make special plans to celebrate Oct. 22-23, no matter where you are. Jupiter and the sun will be together in Libra at this time. Can you spell B-I-G P-A-R-T-Y?
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Short-distance trips are best Jan. 10-31 and again Feb. 7-March 15. Check out the Lewis and Clark courthouse in Helena, Mont., and go skiing at the Great Divide. Another destination is New Orleans -- Mardi Gras ends on Feb. 8. For a Scorpio, there's no other city quite like New Orleans. For some astrological signs, this city would be sensory overload, but not for Scorpio.
You'll enjoy your long-distance trips the most if they're scheduled for June 11-July 17. The Gothic Quarter in Barcelona is just the place. The Gothic cathedral built between 1298 and 1450 will magnetically draw you in. The Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, and Tokyo are two other areas worthy of a visit. Scorpios will really resonate with the aliveness in each of these cities. Seek out the mystery and intrigue in these destinations as only a Scorpio can.
Tip for the travel companion: Help plan the trip to find the best possible prices. While on the trip, schedule some daily meditation time. Buy Scorpios a newspaper daily; they'll love it.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Short-distance trips are best Feb. 3-26, March 21-April 30 and Dec. 16-23. Mercury will be retrograde March 20-April 12, so some plans are subject to change. The best time to travel is after April 14.
Go deep-sea fishing down in Galveston, and plan your trip around the city's Mardi Gras, Jan. 28-Feb. 8. Also check out Rock Creek Trout Bums on the Internet. From Rock Creek, Mont., you'll be three hours from Glacier National Park, and Yellowstone is nearby to the south. Plan your vacation like a field trip. Learn something and laugh a lot.
Longer distance trips: Celebrate the personal recognition coming your way with a trip to Australia. Visit Alice Springs and Ulura/Ayers rock. Take a private flight to see her monolith sister rocks. Another incredibly beautiful place is Iguazu Falls, on the borders of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. The catwalks on the Argentina side are a great place to gallop around watching the birds fly right through the water to their nests. For a true jungle experience, take a cruise down the Amazon. Go anytime between June 28 and July 18. You'll love all these destinations for their feeling of freedom.
Tip for the travel companion: Be prepared for many side trips. Have information on hand to read on the hoof.
This article was written by Gail Carswell, with research assistance from Michael Foltz. Together, they opened Owl's Clover, a metaphysical shop and community gathering place, in Fort Worth in 1999. Both have astrology clients worldwide. They offer classes and meditation circles and host regular metaphysical fairs.