Hood River Redux

This summer marks our third trip to visit friends in Hood River in the past 5 years. This town, resting between the foothills of Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge, is what we want America to be. Country roads are lined with blueberry patches, cherry orchards and fields of lavender, with signs inviting you … More Hood River Redux

Serenity in Yosemite

There isn’t much that can be said about Yosemite that hasn’t been said before. We’ve seen the crisp black and white photos of Ansel Adams and the vivid color of the Apple desktop background on Macbooks throughout the world. Yosemite needs no introduction. I grew up in Southern California. The only notion of family vacation … More Serenity in Yosemite

Zeroing in on Zion

We pondered. We debated. We Googled. We even mulled. We could not decided what to do with Utah. Arches? Canyonlands? Moab? Escalante? Zion? You can’t swing a cat without hitting a National Park in Utah. The one we were told NOT TO MISS was Zion. The problem was, it’s over 100 degrees in the daytime … More Zeroing in on Zion

We boldly leave Santa Fe…and only make it an hour down the road.

We left Santa Fe after four nights in the tight confines of a hotel. It bordered on a being a really nice hotel. The rooms were “okay,” the restaurant was really good, the pool area was pleasant. One section of the hotel (not ours) came with a butler! Monica learned that those who accidentally enter … More We boldly leave Santa Fe…and only make it an hour down the road.

We love Santa Fe, but are there cracks forming in the “adobe” of the family road trip?

After our great night in Oklahoma, we finished our three-day marathon drive to Santa Fe. This was a scenic drive that I remembered from a trip I took with some friends when I was a twenty year-old college student. Santa Fe is alone out in the desert. At 13 miles from our downtown hotel, there … More We love Santa Fe, but are there cracks forming in the “adobe” of the family road trip?

They don’t call them the “Great” Smokies for nothing

We spent four nights sleeping in a tent with two kids, in a campground with no showers. Our site had no water spigot – obviously no electricity. No cell service. It rained on the first day and everything was damp the entire time. Our mattress was wet. It was cold at night. And I didn’t … More They don’t call them the “Great” Smokies for nothing

In Charleston: Winning the first battle against the Rebels (children) at Ft. Sumter

Our first true destination of the trip (with apologies to my in-laws) was Charleston, South Carolina. In spite of  having lead tour-buses of silver-haired guests from Key West to Gatlinburg, Monica had never been to Charleston. My best friend Dan used to live in Charleston so I’ve visited a few times. But I confess that … More In Charleston: Winning the first battle against the Rebels (children) at Ft. Sumter