- Dale (59)
- Mark (59)
We love to take the road less traveled
We, Mark and Dale, love to travel. We are in our late 50s, fit and active, and our three adult children are now out of the roost.
We bought our Florida Keys house about 13 years ago as a summer home, but decided to move into it as our primary residence 5 years ago after enlarging and modernizing it. We previously lived in Miami and like being out of the hustle and bustle of that big city, but still near enough to it to go to a sporting event or concert every now and then (it's less than a 1.5 hour drive to downtown Miami or the Miami International Airport).
We enjoy all water sports: boating, kayaking, paddle-boarding, swimming, snorkeling, sailing, scuba diving, water skiing, fishing and wind surfing - all of which we do right from our island home (and you can too). We also like active traveling, rather than just sightseeing. A favorite past-time while traveling is hiking in the wild or exploring back alleys.
Mark speaks a little German and even less Spanish, but not fluently.
What a marvelous home! The house sits literally on the top of the mountain with 360
We just returned from 3 amazing weeks in the Florida Keys with Mark and Dale's lovely home as our home base. The photographs do not do this home justice - it is elegant and roomy and could not have been more perfect. We are an active couple with two children (5 and 8); two extended family members joined us for a week of our stay. There was plenty of room for all and many options for indoor and outdoor relaxing space. A nap on the outdoor bed is not to be missed! We did not use heat or air the entire stay and the palm trees on the breeze did, indeed, lull us to sleep each night. We love to cook and the well equipped kitchen and outdoor grill served us well. Everything about the house is well planned and efficient making it a very easy place to be. Being on the water was a special treat and we kayaked daily from the back step. Another perk was close proximity (3 miles) to the best Olympic swimming pool we had ever used, complete with Olympic swimmers training! Exploring the rest of the keys was very easy since there is only one main road and it was made even more easy because of Mark's detailed and organized blog guidebook. It is a great model that I hope to imitate for our own home and we used it daily. We visited beaches, parks, coral reefs and lovely Key West. The location was ideal. Our exchange guests took excellent care of our cat and our home and we recommend them and their home without reservation.
This home is very convenient to the fantastic mountain-biking and hiking trails in DuPont State Park and Pisgah National Forest; each are literally 10 minutes away. There is also nice hiking immediately around the house. The towns of Brevard and Hendersonville, North Carolina, are about 15 and 20 minutes by car and Asheville is about a 50-minute drive. The roads throughout the area and to these destinations are very scenic, as is the Blue Ridge Parkway, also nearby. If you are a chef, you'll love the kitchen in this house and the accommodations are very comfortable and warm. We stayed for the Christmas and New Year's holiday with our three 20-something children and there was plenty of room for all. If you visit in the winter, be sure to try out the wood-fired hot tub; it's a real experience! We enjoyed our stay here very much and would recommend it to anyone interested in a visit to North Carolina. Our exchange partners left our home even cleaner than it was before their visit.
Estuve en la casa de Mark y Dale Ulmer unas semanas atr
We spent a week in February 2013 in this charming house on the outskirts of Bariloche, Argentina. The home is very attractive, comfortable and well furnished. It is in a quiet neighborhood and convenient to town, but outside of the hustle and bustle of the city. Bariloche has an alpine feel to it with clear blue lakes surrounded by mountain peaks. Many of the buildings, including this home, have a Swiss style. We hiked nearby Cero Llao Llao, drove the Circuito Chico and took a boat tour around Lago Nahuel Huapi from nearby Puerto Panuelo. Because we had a rental car, we also did the Seven Lakes drive and drove to and hiked up to the waterfall at El Tronador. Our exchange host was very friendly, helpful and accommodating during our stay in Bariloche and he kept our house in Florida perfectly clean during his exchange stay with us. We highly recommend this exchange.
During February to April 2012 we exchanged our apartment on the South Coast of England with the home of Mark and Dale Ulmer in Tavernier Florida Keys. Their 2 storey house is large and beautiful throughout. It sits on a canal barely 100 metres from the Atlantic Ocean. Everything in the house works perfectly. It is their principal home and is decorated with splendid artifacts including some wonderful paintings by their talented daughter. As part of the exchange we let them use our new but modest manual drive car in return for driving their magnificent automatic VW Taureg which is fitted with many modern technologies but in particular a sterio system that allowed us to indulge in listening to 24 hour broadcasts of operas from the Metropolitan. The Ulmer's home is close to all the basic facilities including major shops, restaurants and a cinema complex. Like most of the Keys, Tavernier/Islamorada is famous for sailing, fishing and almost all types of water sports. We loved living on the water and could not begin to exhaust the number of first class sea food restaurants in the area. It suited us well that we were midway between Key West, one of our favourite cities, and the museums and art galleries in Miami and Fort Lauderdale - not to mention South Beach and its beautiful people. The Ulmers treated our home (and car) with great care and respect and were the perfect guests. We had the opportunity to meet them a few times during the exchange and recognised that their home and their respect for our property reflected their personalities - sensitive, intelligent and caring. We hope this is the beginning of a lasting friendship. Bob and Johnna Giles
We very much enjoyed our month-long exchange in April 2012 with Bob and Johnna. Their flat ("apartment" for those of you in the USA) is very comfortable and modern with a beautiful view of the English Channel. The apartment had all the conveniences we could have asked for (including high-speed internet) and everything was easy to manage. The building is located in a marina complex between the city of Eastbourne and the village of Pevensey Bay, within easy walking distance of several restaurants and shops, a grocery store and a multi-screen movie theater (where we could be found on a rainy day). The apartment was so comfortable that there were a couple days that we didn't even leave the flat, though that was the exception. Our exchange included an automobile swap, so we were able see most of southeast England: East & West Sussex, Surrey and Kent. We really enjoyed the country walks, castles, Roman ruins and many other nearby historical sites (Battle of Hastings and all that), not to mention the wonderful countryside. We also visited London by train from Eastbourne - for us an easy weekend excursion. Our exchange partners took excellent care of our home and car; Bob and Johnna are delightful people that we have enjoyed getting to know and look forward to seeing again.
We have exchanged homes with Mark and Dale in September 2011. And we are very happy we did. The house is even nicer and more comfortable than it looks in the pictures. Especially the shower in the en suite bathroom, which is t.h.e b.e.s.t you'll ever experience. Moreover, Islamorada is a good place if you like to explore the Keys. It is conveniently located in the middle between Miami and Key West. Mark and Dale left us plenty of information to find the best restaurants and attractions in the nearby area. In the meantime, they took excellent care of our home. When we returned, it was almost as if no one had been there. In short: great people, great house, great location.
For the month of March 2013 we had a second visit to the home of Mark and Dale Ulmer in Tavernier. They are spending a month in our Danish house later in the year. It was wonderful to come "home". The house is so lavish and beautiful in a stunning location overlooking a canal just off the Ocean. We had the joy of spending some time with this lovely couple who do so much to make our visits comfortable and rewarding. Our association with the Ulmers is a great demonstration of how the social and educational benefits of the Home Exchange system are much more important than saving on accommodation costs. We have acquired charming, knowledgeable friends who we hope to maintain contact with for more many years to come. Bob and Johnna Giles
Amazing ! We were at Mark and Dale's home in Feb 2013 for ten days. The exchange was more than perfect ! Gorgeous house in a wonderful spot, the sea everywhere, the right place to be in the Keys discovering the real Caribbean life, and above all having the pleasure to meet,by Skype and mails this fantastic couple ! Thanks a lot for sharing your addresses, good ideas, and taking good care of our terrace in Paris ! Fred and Virginie
We had the pleasure to exchange with Mark & Dale for 3 weeks in July 2013 and we think it's the best possible first time we could ever have. Mark & Dale's house is simply wonderful; perfectly functional, everything is just great (kitchen, hifi, internet access). There’s a big DVD collection so the kids had some relaxing time on the evenings. Mark & Dale were extremely caring and their indications (including a very detailed, very informative blog) were an amazing help to find the bests places around. It actually really made our trip; we probably would never have found some spots indicated by Mark & Dale by ourselves. The neighborhood is very quiet and it’s very relaxing to sit outside by the canal. There’s a supermarket very close by, lot (LOT) of very nice restaurants around (MM88 is a must go). We exchanged also our cars and enjoyed the brand new VW Touareg, it’s a very comfortable car to visit around. Mark & Dale were very respectful with literally everything: house, car but also all the aspects in our exchange, they were very flexible with dates and very responsive to all our questions and requests. We can’t be more enthusiastic about this exchange, and if Mark & Dale are coming in the region again, we’ll be honored and happy to host them again. More than a home exchange, we are lucky to meet Ulmer’s family, this was a wonderful experience and are happy to count them as new friends! ---------------------------------------------------------------- Nous avons eu le plaisir d’échanger nos maison avec Mark & Dale en Juillet 2013 et ne pouvions pas rêver de meilleures conditions. La maison de Mark & Dale est tout simplement magnifique, tout est parfaitement fonctionnel et de grande qualité (l’équipement de la cuisine, la hifi, la connectivité etc..). Il y a une grande quantité de DVD disponibles pour le plaisir des enfants (et des grands). Mark & Dale nous ont beaucoup aidé lors de la mise en place de l’échange. Leur expérience et leurs conseils ont certainement joué une grande part dans la qualité du séjour. Leur Blog notamment est une vrai mine d’or pour sélectionner les activité et meilleures places aux alentours. Nous n’aurions jamais trouvé certaines plages, certains restaurant sans leurs indications. L’environnement de la maison est très tranquille, très calme et la vue directe sur le canal particulièrement agréable le soir. Il y a un supermarché très proche ce qui est très pratique, ainsi qu’une grande quantité de restaurants de qualité (le MM88 est un must) . Nous avons aussi échangé nos voitures et là encore, l’échange s’est fait dans des conditions parfaites. Leur véhicule, un VW Touareg est très confortable et convient parfaitement à 4 personnes. Enfin Mark & Dale ont été particulièrement soigneux dans cet échange, les maisons ont été restituées dans un état impeccable, il était impossible de noter une visite, si ce n’est le très gentil présent laissé sur place, merci encore à eux ! On ne pourrait être plus enthousiaste concernant cet échange et si Mark & Dale pensent revenir dans notre région, nous serions ravis de les revoir. Plus qu’un échange nous avons le sentiment d’avoir de nouveaux amis en floride, et cela va bien au-delà d’un échange de maison. Merci encore à vous Mark & Dale !
We exchanged homes with Nico and Sandrine and their two children for three weeks in the Summer of 2013, including a car exchange (we loved their MG convertible). They were very accommodative of our needs and allowed us to stay several extra days at their beach house near Sulac-sur-Mer; plus, Nico volunteered to pick us up at the airport in Bordeaux and then drove us out to the beach, even helping us recover our lost luggage from AirFrance (a life-saver since we don't speak French). We stayed half our time in their 3-story villa in the heart of Bordeaux - an extremely comfortable, attractive and well-furnished and equipped home (with great internet, too). The house has a very private rear courtyard with pool and is located right next-door to a city-grocery with a bus-stop just around the corner, making it easy to get anywhere in Bordeaux. The other half of our time was spent at their beach house in Grayan which is just a 5-minute ride from the beach (at Le Gurp), which we loved. The beach house is also very comfortable and attractive and lovingly built by Nico and Sandrine. It was difficult for us to decide whether we enjoyed the home in Bordeaux or the beach house the most; both were fantastic! Bordeaux, the Gironde, the Medoc and all of Aquitaine are beautiful - so much to see. The wine country and chateaux are fantastic; the beaches are sandy and clean; and all of the coastline down to the Pyrenees is easily accessible, as is the interior of southwestern France. We could easily have spent more time in this part of the country. Nico and Sandrine took excellent care of our home and car during their stay at our home in the Florida Keys; we couldn't tell anyone had been in our house when we returned, it was so well cleaned and cared for. We were able to spend a little time with Nico and Sandrine upon our arrival in France, including dinner with Nico in Grayan. They are wonderful people: fun, helpful, responsible, clean and organized. We feel that we have made long-time friends and welcome them back to our home in the Florida Keys any time. We highly recommend this exchange.
Mark & Dale are wonderful hosts, thoughtful guests, and our new friends. Start your day on the upper balcony of their house so that you can watch the sky at sunrise. Then, when the sun is hitting the seating area up there, transfer your lazy bones and your cup of caffeine to the lower level. Tropical breezes. That’s what you’ll experience! (And a pounding thunderstorm, if you’re really lucky!) Planning our winter vacation was simple because Mark is a great correspondent. Also, he has a blog, which is very well written. In fact, we referred to the blog frequently during our visit. He gives tips about everything from places and sites to how to merge into traffic! We’ve been home a couple of weeks now, and we STILL feel relaxed. We look forward to spending more time with the Ulmers.
Had a wonderful stay, your house was perfect, it was so nice to wake up in the morning and enjoy our coffee overlooking the canal. We had a blast kayaking up the river to the Gulf of Mexico. We had 4 dolphins join us for a short time. There was really so much to do we should of stayed longer. Thank you for such a great exchange! Your house is set up perfect. Diana and Rob
We've recently returned from a fantastic six week holiday on Plantation Key. We only had to open the door from our bedroom or living-room and we were on the terrace overlooking the creek with the ocean around the corner. Atmosphere was quiet and laid-back, Mark & Dale's home had everything we could wish for and more. Complete and clear instructions for everything which made for a smooth transition into our new home. We decided to live like at home and not take advantage of all the tourist possibilities. Car rental only for planned excursions and bikes worked perfectly to go to the beach, supermarket and the gym. Thank you and welcome to Stockholm!
We had four wonderful weeks in the house of Mark and Dale. This place is brilliant! We have two little kids and its very important for us to be in some safe, warm and friendly area. The Keys are absolutely perfect for us. And when you can live in such a comfortable house, its really the best vacation, that you can have. You need just couple of minutes to get to a nice beaches and parks with pools and playgrounds, to grocery or some restaurants. Every day you can enjoy warm weather, nice beaches, sunny days, lovely sunsets.. And you have Mark and Dale, who are giving you all the information, you need, for a wonderful time there! We had a contact before, during and after our exchange. They are the best hosts and also the best guests. We are so thankful for this amazing opportunity and hope, we can meet in person some day!