When your family has been in the Americas since the 1600s, it seems unlikely that you would still turn out to be like 75% Scots-Irish…but here I am. As a tribute to my heritage, and because St. Patrick’s Day is coming soon…you get a whole week of Ireland. I’ll start with a no-brainer – Blarney Castle + Kissing the Blarney Stone. So, it was just over a decade ago that my husband and I went to visit my dad who was living in Dublin at the time. The first day we were there, we were so exhausted that we didn’t […]
When I was growing up, my aunt and uncle lived outside Pittsburgh in Coraopolis. (I don’t want crap from you Moon Township-ers.) I spent a ton of time there, and developed a deep and abiding love for the Pittsburgh Pirates. In fact, I’d say there are very few things I love more than Pittsburgh baseball – even though their last championship occurred when I was 3 years old. When I was 18, my aunt and uncle moved to Atlanta. This was fresh on the heels of the 92 NLCS (in which the Atlanta Braves beat the Pirates out for the […]
If you are from NW Ohio, there is a strong possibility that you’ve heard about The Spot. If you are late to the party, that’s okay, I’m going to hook you up. So the short version of the story is that this dude found a stand of red pine in a certain part of Oak Openings MetroPark. As you’ll note, the name of the park, Oak Openings, speaks to the reality that the majority of the trees in the park are, in fact, Oaks. So, this rare grouping of red pines are not native to the area, and basically, they […]
In the coming months, we’re taking the kids on a trip through southern Alabama, Mississippi and back-country Louisiana. With the exception of the city of New Orleans, this is new territory for us. We’ve got a max of four days, and one is dedicated to New Orleans, but other than that…we need some ideas. Bayou. Swamps. Gators. Plantations. We want to see the deep south. Drop your best recommendations in the comments. (We’re open to just about anything that is appropriate for kids under 16.) HELP!
We arrived in Kona on the first flight of the morning. We had no plans except an AirBnB we’d booked on the other side of the island, that we didn’t end up even using. You can read about that over here. I wanted to drive the Red Road in Puna. I wanted to see the Punalu’u Black Sand Beach. I really wanted to hike out to the lava… We left the airport, stopped to get a quick bite to eat, and took off towards Hilo. Not far down the road, we saw a Blue Hawaiian Helicopter tour. Neither my husband, […]
Rule #1. Always. Eat. Local. NO JOKE. With the exception of McD’s on the road for breakfast, and maybe a Taco Bell at lunch, we HATE eating at chain restaurants. Oh, wait – that’s not true. We have one HUGE free pass card for Zaxby’s – because let me tell you, that IS the best chicken in the world. So, except for that, we try to avoid chains at all cost. Even at home, it’s usually the last place we go. The reason for this is simple. No one who owns a chain is all that passionate about the food. […]
In the last twenty-four years, I’ve probably been to Chicago at least twenty times. I love Chicago. It’s a lovely city with amazing architecture, incredible museums, great sports fans and venues, and about a million things to do. Oh, and an excellent bus and train system. In all these years, and all the things we’ve done in Chicago – the one neighborhood we’d never visited was Chinatown. Our kids had never experienced a real Chinatown experience, so even though we were in town for a ballgame (Wrigley is my favorite ball field – even if I only go to see […]
I would not, by any means, claim that I’m a frequent flier. There are people who fly several times a week who probably are way more prepared than I’ve ever thought about being. And yet, I know that there are people who fly even less than I do, and they have no idea what to bring with them on the plane. This came to my attention when my friend had to fly for the first time in 20 years a few months ago – and he literally had no idea what he might need. Side note – I really hate […]
I’ll start by saying this is NOT a paid post. I don’t get any kickbacks. I didn’t get any sort of discount. I am just so in love with this place that I can’t shut up about it. Let me start by telling you how we found it. So, we flew from Oahu to the Big Island on the earliest possible flight to Kona. I believe we arrived around 6am. We had an AirBnB booked, on the completely other side of the island near Pāhoa. We took our time getting there. We couldn’t check in until 3pm anyway. On the […]
Everybody hikes Diamond Head and Manoa Falls. This one is less known…Lulumahu Falls. And this is what you’ll find if you google it: “If you try to hike into Lulumahu Falls, in Nuuanu Valley, you could be arrested, seriously injured (it’s within a bow and arrow hunting ground) or get lost. It’s very, very hard to find.” It was rainy. And muddy. And AMAZING.
I am well aware that there are people out there who travel on a more regular basis than I do. And they probably have a million and five tips that blow these out of the water, but these are great ones to get you started. If you travel infrequently, or it’s been awhile since your last trip, these might be things that haven’t crossed your mind – but I promise, they will make your life a little easier. 1. Pack Light & Do Not Check That Bag (at least not on the “going” end of the trip). I have taken […]
There is this little spot out in the actual middle of nowhere in Utah. It’s exactly what I imagine it’s like to be on Mars, except you know, with oxygen. It’s approximately 12 miles off of Utah-24 between Hanksville and Interstate-70 and it is SO worth the stop. The day we were there, it was around 108 degrees. It felt like 120. From the parking area, this is the view. A surreal hodge podge of boulders stacked atop one another covering the ENTIRE valley. But what is not readily visible…is that they are HUGE. These super cool formations are really […]