From a dream to a plan in just 7 days. Start planning your trip now! 


North America

Every Little Thing You Need to Know for the Perfect Kauai Vacation

Posted by on Feb 21, 2019 | 1 comment

Every Little Thing You Need to Know for the Perfect Kauai Vacation

Last Updated on

Inside: The best things to do in Kauai, where to stay on the island and which tasty treats to try! Note: This post contains affiliate links.

You promised me a vacation. Somewhere sunny and tropical.” I sulked to my husband, Dave.

I need a beach, a sunset, and an umbrella drink. Stat.”

And I had earned it, he agreed. Recently coming off a four-month work stretch without a single day off. But suddenly, there was a complication.

Two weeks before, we were happily planning our annual winter trip to Thailand, the Philippines or somewhere equally sun-splashed and fabulous. And then a job offer in Germany landed in Dave’s lap.

Jumping at what could be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to live abroad, we accepted. And now we were anxiously staring down the barrel of a Bavarian winter in T-minus two weeks.

Squeezing in that tropical vacation was a must, now more than ever. Even with only a few days to spare. Asia was clearly dead, but dreams of island paradise were still very much alive. Just a little closer to home.

Enter…the Hawaiian Islands. Specifically, the garden island of Kauai.

Read More

Learning to Sail in the Caribbean – From Landlubber to Sailor in 7 Days

Posted by on Mar 12, 2018 | 3 comments

Learning to Sail in the Caribbean – From Landlubber to Sailor in 7 Days

Last Updated on

If pressed, I could not offer a reasonable explanation as to why my husband, Dave, and I decided to learn how to sail.

It sounded fun? Well, sure. But so does a spa holiday.

Sailing holidays are glamorous? Obviously! (But, as it turns out, sailing courses are decidedly not.)

We plan to buy a power boat? Nope, that would be a good reason to take a power boat course.

Dave and I are indeed in the market for a boat, but we have already decided to buy a power boat we can moor in Seattle’s Puget Sound area (his home town) and use as a home base for our regular visits.

So, I suppose the main reason we decided to learn how to sail is that we wanted to be educated buyers when purchasing any type of boat. Is it possible that a sailboat might be a good option for us? How would we know unless we tried it?

Read More

Giving Saint Lucia a Second Chance

Posted by on Mar 4, 2018 | 2 comments

Giving Saint Lucia a Second Chance

Last Updated on

To be completely honest, I swore I would never visit Saint Lucia again.

My first visit (roughly 10 years ago) wasn’t exactly awe-inspiring. It was a 7-day Caribbean cruise with my girlfriends, visiting half a dozen islands.

Our afternoon in Castries, Saint Lucia was marred by the aggressive vendors at the souvenir stands lining the path back to the ship. Despite our polite “no, thank you’s” as we passed by, more than one yelled insults after us because we wouldn’t stop to look.

It was such a different experience from the vendors on the other islands we had visited. And sadly, that lasting impression of Saint Lucia has stuck with me for more than a decade.

Read More

Summer in the San Juan Islands: A Travel Guide

Posted by on Jun 14, 2016 | 4 comments

Summer in the San Juan Islands: A Travel Guide

Last Updated on

Made up of more than 400 islands and rocky outcrops, the San Juan Islands straddle the border between the US and Canada. Just 80 miles north of Seattle, the islands are part of the US state of Washington. Best known for their resident pods of orca whales, the San Juan Islands are also home to the greatest concentration of Bald Eagles in the continental United States.

The islands are a terrific spot for a family vacation or a romantic getaway. Full disclosure, San Juan Island was the site of my first vacation with my now husband and we consider it the place where we fell in love…so expect what follows to be a thorough San Juan Islands Travel Guide with perhaps a slight love-struck bias!

Read More

Bucket List…Waco? A Visit to the Magnolia Market Silos

Posted by on May 11, 2016 | 2 comments

Bucket List…Waco? A Visit to the Magnolia Market Silos

Last Updated on

I’m not usually one to geek-out over TV shows, after all, I spend a lot of my time out of the country without access to most US TV shows. But in the past year, during the process of selling my long-time “starter home” and buying a new house with my husband, I somehow developed a bit of an HGTV addiction. Of the many wonderful shows on HGTV, my favorite (and my husband’s too!) is Fixer Upper.

Set in Waco, Texas, the show stars talented married couple Chip and Joanna Gaines who help house-hunters find and renovate the home of their dreams. The show not only features Chip and Jo but also their adorable 4 children and many of the local artists and businesses they work with in the Waco area.

But the breakout star of the show has been Waco itself. Remarkably, during the past two seasons, this popular HGTV show has managed to put this sleepy central-Texas town on the map as a travel destination…and not just for Baylor football games. Of course, until recently, there wasn’t much of the show for Waco visitors to see, aside from Joanna’s small retail store.

Read More

Photo of the Day – Dunn’s River Falls, Jamaica

Posted by on Feb 1, 2016 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – Dunn’s River Falls, Jamaica

Spanning a length of nearly 600 feet, Dunn’s River Falls is one of the Caribbean’s top attractions and a must-see for any visitor to Jamaica. From its summit at 180 feet, tiers of cascading limestone meander down to the Caribbean Sea forming a natural staircase. The falls plunge in some places and plateau in others creating natural pools shaded by lush green vegetation on all sides. At its base, Dunn’s River Falls flows across a beautiful beach and straight into the sea. Climbing the falls is a popular activity for visitors to Jamaica. Guides instruct groups of climbers to hold hands for balance and several human chains at a time make the ascent from the beach all the way to the top. While proper footwear is essential on the often slippery rocks, the climb itself is easily manageable for most visitors and takes about 90 minutes assuming a few stops for photos. But for those not up to the task of scaling the waterfall, there are numerous paths alongside it that allow anyone to enjoy the view.

Read More

Photo of the Day – Stingray City, Grand Cayman

Posted by on Jan 29, 2016 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – Stingray City, Grand Cayman

Last Updated on

Located in the shallow waters off Grand Cayman’s North Sound, Stingray City is a string of sandbars that passes through a natural channel just inside the island’s barrier reef. As the story goes, the area became popular with the rays decades ago when local fisherman would stop in the calm, shallow waters to clean their day’s catch. When they tossed the fish guts and squid into the water it attracted the stingrays who eventually began to associate the sound of a boat engine with a free meal. Over the years, divers realized the stingrays could be fed by hand and today a variety of boats ferry visitors to the area to let them feed the stingrays and get a once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity. It’s the rare chance to interact one-on-one with the friendly rays that makes Stingray City Grand Cayman’s most popular attraction. If you’re staying a few days on Grand Cayman, definitely try to visit when there are no cruise ships in port. Of course, if you’re visiting the island on a cruise ship like I was, well, you’ll likely have to suffer the crowds. But even with the throng of fellow tourists, I still felt Stingray City was well worth a visit.

Read More

Photo of the Day – The Ernest Hemingway House – Key West, Florida

Posted by on Jan 27, 2016 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – The Ernest Hemingway House – Key West, Florida

Last Updated on

Built in 1851 in the Spanish colonial style, Ernest Hemingway wrote some of his greatest novels while living in this Key West home in the 1930’s and 40’s. Today, the Hemingway house is a Registered National Historic Landmark and still contains his study, furnishings and other items collected by Hemingway and his wife, Pauline, in their travels to Spain, Africa and Cuba. But the home is perhaps best known as the habitat to dozens of six-toed cats, the descendants of the author’s white six-toed cat given to him by a ship’s captain. More than 40 cats still roam the estate today and approximately half exhibit the six-toed trait, though all carry the gene in their DNA. Due to the estate’s large number of visitors, the cats are friendly and outgoing and likely to come right up and say hello when you arrive (as the one in this photo is doing to me!). A stop by the Hemingway home is a must for any visitor to Key West.

Read More

Photo of the Day – Key West, Florida

Posted by on Jan 25, 2016 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – Key West, Florida

Just 90 miles from Cuba, the island of Key West is the southernmost point of the continental United States and the most-populated island in the Florida Keys. Once a base of operations against pirates, Key West later rose to fame as an enclave for artists and writers including Robert Frost, Winslow Homer, Tennessee Williams and perhaps its most famous resident, Ernest Hemingway. The Keys became linked with the mainland in 1912 with the completion of the short-lived Henry Flagler’s railroad which was abandoned after a hurricane in 1935. The railroad was replaced a few years later with the 123-mile overseas highway that still stands today. The island’s small size makes it easy to explore on foot, especially for those just passing through for a day on a cruise ship (as I was recently). But the Conch Republic’s relaxed charm and fascinating history are likely to have you wishing you could stay much longer.

Read More

Photo of the Day – Crazy Horse Memorial, South Dakota

Posted by on Dec 11, 2014 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – Crazy Horse Memorial, South Dakota

Last Updated on

It was 1939 when Lakota (Sioux) Chief Henry Standing Bear sought out the talents of sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski to create a monument of Crazy Horse in the sacred Black Hills of South Dakota. The sculptor had first visited the area during work on nearby Mount Rushmore and in 1947 he accepted the challenge to create the world’s largest sculpture depicting a Native American icon. Blasting on the Crazy Horse Memorial began at a 1948 dedication ceremony and continues to this day with no end in sight. The first blast removed just 10 tons of rock from the mountain face. Following Korczak’s death in 1982, his wife Ruth and seven of their ten children took over the monumental project with the hopes of seeing his dream fulfilled. Today, you can see Standing Bear’s vision slowly becoming a reality. Crazy Horse’s face was finally unveiled with great fanfare in 1998 and in 2014, the crew is hoping to finish work on the hand and 219-ft high horse’s head. Korczak’s 1/300th scale model adorns the visitor center at the base of the mountain and a viewing platform offers visitors the chance to watch the painstaking work continue while gaining an appreciation for the project’s eventual spectacular result.   

Read More

Photo of the Day – Manitou Cliff Dwellings, Colorado

Posted by on Oct 20, 2014 | 2 comments

Photo of the Day – Manitou Cliff Dwellings, Colorado

Last Updated on

The Colorado Springs area offers a wide variety of incredible natural and historical attractions for visitors. On my visit, I headed straight for several of the region’s top sights including Garden of the Gods Park and Pikes Peak.

But a quick stop at the Manitou Cliff Dwellings proved to be one of the area’s most unique sights. A rare historical treasure from the American Indian culture that roamed the Four Corners area of the Southwest from 1200 B.C. to A.D. 1300, these authentic Anasazi cliff dwellings were carved into a protective red sandstone overhang.

Read More

Photo of the Day – West Bay Beach Roatan, Honduras

Posted by on Oct 14, 2014 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – West Bay Beach Roatan, Honduras

Last Updated on

Located just 30 miles off the coast of Honduras, the island of Roatan sits atop the world’s second-largest coral reef making it an ideal destination for divers. Often called the most perfect stretch of sand in Honduras, West Bay Beach Roatan rivals many of the Caribbean’s most phenomenal beaches. It’s also a great spot to try your hand at diving for the first time, like I did on my 30-day trip around Central America. Not only is Roatan one of the least expensive places in the world to become a certified diver, the reef is just a short swim from shore allowing rookie divers like myself to reach it comfortably while also providing easy access for snorkelers. West Bay Beach is lined with a relaxed blend of casual beach bars and high-end resorts but it’s the reef system and the crystal clear turquoise waters that will leave most visitors wanting more.  

Read More

Photo of the Day – Garden of the Gods, Colorado

Posted by on Oct 9, 2014 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – Garden of the Gods, Colorado

Last Updated on

The US state of Colorado is renowned for its wild, natural beauty and the Colorado Springs area (also known as Pikes Peak Country) is home to some of the state’s best natural wonders. Just outside Manitou Springs, the Garden of the Gods is a 1,350-acre city park featuring soaring red sandstone rock formations, many dating back more than 300 million years.

In 1879, Charles Elliott Perkins purchased the land that included a portion of where the park sits today. Upon his death in 1909, his family gave the land to the city of Colorado Springs with the provision that the park always remain free to the public.

Read More

Photo of the Day – Provo Utah

Posted by on Sep 22, 2014 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – Provo Utah

I’ve been working college football for ESPN for 13 years now and this past weekend I finally got to visit a college town I’ve always wanted to see…Provo, Utah. Home to the Brigham Young University Cougars, Provo Utah sits at 4,549 feet above sea level in the Utah Valley at the base of the spectacular Wasatch mountain range. Owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, BYU is the largest religious university in the United States and one of the country’s largest private universities. Provo was settled in 1849 by 33 Mormon families from Salt Lake City and originally called Fort Utah. Today, the city is home to the largest Missionary Training Center for the LDS Church and was recently rated by Forbes as one of the top U.S. cities to raise a family.

Read More

Photo of the Day – Whale Watching in Juneau, Alaska

Posted by on Aug 27, 2014 | 2 comments

Photo of the Day – Whale Watching in Juneau, Alaska

Last Updated on

On my quick trip to Juneau last week I had some time to take in one of my favorite outdoor activities, whale watching! I’ve been lucky enough to see whales in MauiCabo and even Antarctica on my travels but this was my first opportunity to see them in action in Alaskan waters. The prime months for whale watching in Juneau are May through September so the whale sightings on my 2-hour trip were plentiful. In fact, at times there were so many we hardly knew where to look! The stars of the show in the waters surrounding Juneau are definitely the humpback whales (like the one in this photo known as “Spot” by our Captain). Though playful orcas do occasionally make an appearance in the area, humpback whales are found in abundance through the summer months. While out on any whale watching trip in Juneau, you’re also likely to spot a myriad of Alaskan wildlife like bald eagles, sea lions, seals and even black bears on the shores nearby – not to mention a glacier or two. Juneau is a great town to visit on an Alaskan cruise but if you can spend a few days there’s so much more to see!

Read More