November 14, 2017

We’re headed to Louisiana – and we need your best recommendations!

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!
October 2, 2017

Our first helicopter ride HAD to be over a volcano

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, […]
September 21, 2017

Exactly How We Find the Best Restaurants

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. […]
September 18, 2017

We Accidentally Ate at Al Capone’s Favorite Restaurant

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 […]
September 13, 2017


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 […]
September 8, 2017

The BEST Place I’ve EVER Stayed.

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 […]
September 4, 2017

A Less Than Legal Hike on Oahu

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.              
August 29, 2017

5 Not-So Common Travel Tips That Will Make Any Trip Better

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 […]
August 28, 2017

Mars on Earth

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 […]
August 21, 2017

Pike Place Market + Seattle, WA

It was about one year ago that my husband and I went to Hawaii for our 19th anniversary. Because, I mean, why wait for the 20th, right? We arranged it so that we flew out of Chicago and had a day long layover in Seattle, because we hadn’t ever been there. It worked out quite well. We arrived in Seattle around 9am, and didn’t fly out till 7. Thankfully, the King County Metro made it super easy to hop from the airport to downtown. Off the train, we had a couple blocks walk and we arrived at the holy grail […]
August 14, 2017

Why We Camp

Fourteen years ago, my husband took me on my first real camping trip. We’d sold our house, and had no new house to move in to. We had a 6 month old. He wanted to go west. Why not? We packed up a tent and supplies and left for a few weeks. Colorado, Utah, Wyoming…we did it all. Rocky Mountain National Park to Mesa Verde to Yellowstone, and a few stops along the way. When we returned, I vowed I would never go camping in a tent again. That’s when we bought our first camper, a 1977 Travelmate Pop-Up. Two […]
August 13, 2017

I’d Rather You Not Know About This Place

Seriously. It pains me to write this post. I don’t want you or anyone else to realize that there is a tiny town in northern Michigan that just might be one of the most perfect spots ever created. Too many people know about it already – as evidenced by the mad scramble for campsites and crowds we encountered when we were up there last week. It sits atop a line of bluffs (really just giant sand dunes in disguise), has a large campground, two groceries, one gas stations, two bars/restaurants, a diner, and more AirBnB’s per capita than any other […]