Island Travel Interviews, USA- Take 1

This week, we are privileged to hear from Anna of  travelgig. She will be filling us in on her home, Whidbey Island. Whidbey Island is located 30 miles from Seattle and is the largest island in Island County, Washington (4th largest in the contiguous USA). With approximately 55,000 residents, the island is about 55 miles long and anywhere from 1.5 to 12 miles wide. Thanks to Anna for more insider info! Continue reading Island Travel Interviews, USA- Take 1

What to do in New Orleans

New Orleans is known for Mardi Gras and Bourbon Street, but there is so much more to this charming southern city. From historic hotels, to trendy restaurants, and hole-in-the-wall bookstores, this city has much more to offer than red punch drinks and all-night parties. This was our second trip to New Orleans. We stayed in the downtown area, although we couldn’t help but revisit some of our favorites in the French Quarter. Continue reading What to do in New Orleans

Chasing Fall

While summer sun and lake time has my heart, there is something about fall that is simply magical. From the stillness to the brightly colored leaves to the sweater weather, fall takes a very close second (and only that due to the fact that I know what follows fall). Michigan autumns are simply the best- apple picking, pumpkin patches, rich colored trees… the list goes on and on…

Chasing Fall
Michigan in the Fall

We are always incredibly hesitant to miss out on Michigan falls. However, after looking at some of the Instagrams below, I may be more inclined to do so… Just look at this beautiful autumn foliage worldwide.

New York, USA: Kaaterskill Falls, Catskills Mountains

Colorado, USA

Quebec City, Canada

What's your favourite season? Summer is mine for sure, but fall is my second favourite! I love the fall colours. 🍁🍂🍃

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Kotor, Montenegro

Switzerland

Sigulda, Latvia

Gouda, South Holland

Brussels, Belgium

Ontario, Canada

Kyoto, Japan

Eikan-do Zen Temple | Kyoto, Japan⠀ ⠀ Many people head to Japan during the Cherry Blossom season as Spring arrives but I find the Autumn a much more beautiful time to visit. The viewing of Autumn leaves is called ‘momijigari’ in Japanese and the pop of colour that flows across the country from mid-September to early December is wonderful to see and a photographer’s delight. ⠀ ⠀ At most tourist offices you will see wall charts tracking the spread of the Autumn leaves as they make their way from the Hokkaido region in the north to Kyushu in the south. They also show the strength of its colour, making it easy to choose the best locations and days to visit. ⠀ ⠀ These Autumn colours in the Hojo Pond at the Eikan-do Zen Temple in Kyoto were captured in mid-November.⠀ ⠀ #Kyoto #Japan

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Iceland

Paris, France

Como, Italy

I love the feeling of autumn 🍂 #havesomecolor

A post shared by Mihaela • Travel Photography (@mihaela._.dragan) on

Gavarnie, (French Pyrenees)

New Zealand

I have been waiting to leave ever since I figured out there were roads willing to take me anywhere I wanted to go. It was a great day..Day full of the colors. Autumn is beautiful season. Do you like it or you prefer for example summer, spring or winter time? . . #Autumn leaf #color is a phenomenon that affects the normally green leaves of many deciduous #trees and shrubs by which they take on, during a few weeks in the autumn season, various shades of red, yellow, purple, black, orange, pink, magenta, blue and brown.The phenomenon is commonly called autumn colours, autumn foliage  and fall colors. #travelphoto #travel #traveller #travelling #instatravel #instatraveling #exploringtheglobe #traveltheworld #girlsborntotravel #travelphoto # #womenwhoexplore #worldtravelpics #travelworld #purenz #neverstopexploring #newzealand #travelawesome #warsawgirl #solotravel #ladiesgoneglobal #thetravelwomen #aroundtheworld #girlaroundtheworld #purenewzealand #southislandnz#worldpackers #travellingtheworld #polishgirl

A post shared by Anna & 54 countries🌎✈ (@zlosnicaa) on

Wachau Valley, Austria

Baden-Baden, Germany

Artists Bluff- New Hampshire, USA

Many thanks to the Travel Instagrammers who contributed their photos and experiences to this post. I’m 100% inspired to explore the world during autumn…next year 🙂 Until then…

Chasing Fall Around the World
Michigan Autumn on the Beach

What about you? Did any of these photos stir some wanderlust? Where will you explore next fall? If you found this helpful and would like to save it, here is a pin:

Places to visit in Autumn

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The Lazy Mom’s Guide to non-Pinterest Travel

Lazy Mom's Guide to non-Pinterest Travel
Photo Credit- Pixabay

While I love a good scroll through Pinterest, I have to admit that often times a big red FAIL could be plastered across my final projects (except this one). And, even when I do feel I’ve successfully copied a Pinterest suggestion, often times, my kids could care less (they are probably used to my FAILS;-). Just a quick example… for our Road Trip to Washington D.C. this past summer, I printed colored scavenger hunts and road games, bought all of our kids’ favorite snacks, made 100 trips to the $1 section at Target, created art packs complete with new crayons, put all of the activities into neatly organized boxes, etc. etc. And you know what the 4-year old did? He talked to us for the 10 1/2 hours, falling asleep only when we were crossing from Maryland into D.C. The clipboards were a hit for a hot minute as was the sheet with all of the fast food restaurant signs that they were supposed to find (I think there were clouds with Happy Meal heaven thoughts in their heads). But, other than that, the boxes quickly became drawing boards and the backseat floor an endless array of spilled crayons and granola bar wrappers. Continue reading The Lazy Mom’s Guide to non-Pinterest Travel

What to do in Monterey, California

Our recent trip to California led to much time in the car, admiring the stunning central coast, and a lot of humming of California songs…

What to do in Monterey, California
Street Art in Monterey

Reminiscent of a much earlier time, Monterey boasts beautiful homes, gorgeous views, and a significant history. Back in the early 1900’s, Monterey was less of a tourist stop and more of a fishing and canning town. In fact, at one time, it was considered to be the sardine capital of the world. Just walk up Cannery Row and you will see street art reminiscent of a time past. But it isn’t just the street art, Cannery Row itself seems to be of an earlier era, sprinkled with plaques and quotes from John Steinbeck’s well-known Cannery Row. It is certainly a place that a history and/or literary buff could lose herself. Continue reading What to do in Monterey, California

What to do in Petoskey, Michigan

What to do in Petoskey

Let’s talk Petoskey! Just when I think I have my Northern Michigan “spots” all figured out, we stumbled upon this little slice of heaven. Naturally, I made a list. Continue reading What to do in Petoskey, Michigan

Friday Finds, Take 4: Podcasts, Another Travel App, and Tipping Guidelines

Podcasts, Travel Apps, and Articles

Last weekend, we went to Chicago for a few days. I was expecting to have lots and lots of pictures and recommendations, but I just was having too much fun and was much too laid back to do so. Also, we didn’t plan ahead as we should have, so mostly ended up at our old favorites (read: LeColonial and The Kerryman). I did, however, take a few pictures on my 9am 90 degree run… mostly just as an excuse to take a break!

Another exciting part of the trip was that my husband connected my phone to the car’s bluetooth system, so we were able to listen all of my favorite podcasts. (It may have been disconnected after I made us listen to the second season of Serial on our way to O’Hare on Christmas Day a few years back… intriguing but not really holiday material.)

Speaking of… I have to admit that after Serial ended, I sort of gave up on podcasts. Some had fun information, but the people talking were just too giggly and giddy. Others just didn’t fit the bill. I tried to continue with Crime Writers On (which I LOVE and would highly recommend listening to concurrently with Serial) but since our cable plan didn’t cover the TV shows they were talking about at the time, I sort of lost interest there too. Of course, neither of those podcasts has anything to do with travel…

Podcasts, Travel Apps, and An Article

I recently happened upon Travelogue, which is by Conde Nest Traveler. Their most recent podcast contained all of my favorites… coffee, how to score cheap tickets to Broadway shows in NYC, and what to do in Chicago with kids (see how it compares to my list here). Anyway, as the title suggests, the hosts talk all about Where to Travel This Fall.

Having quite a few hours logged in the car this past week, I also turned to the classic This American Life. I don’t think that radio voices get much better than Sarah Koenig’s. And, I learned quite a bit about the aftermath of Japan’s devastating Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011… and about a phone booth that people who have lost loved ones visit to “speak” to their missing family members and friends… and the tragic but healing effect it has on them.

Podcasts, Travel Apps, and Articles

And another Travel App recommendation. My sister-in-law has such great travel suggestions! This app is called Hotel Tonight. Again, as the name suggests, this probably isn’t the best app for those who like to plan. However, if you are headed to a nearby city and are looking for a room, the prices do appear to be quite heavily discounted the night of. This is perfect if you are heading from a nearby suburb or state into Chicago for the day, for maybe a baseball game or quick trip to one of their extraordinary museums (just look at that view from Shedd Aquarium!), and decide that you are tired and would rather spend the night instead of driving back home. Done and done.

Podcasts, Travel Apps, and Articles

Yet another fabulous read (again, recommended by my sister-in-law… I’m so lucky to be part of a great traveling family!)…  Wondering about how much to tip? I typically go with the 20% rule for gratuity while in the USA when I get a bill… but what about for those extra services such as when the concierge makes a dinner reservation for you? Jettsetter has you covered. Check out their helpful guidelines here.

What podcasts have you been listening to lately? Any other useful travel apps that you don’t leave home without? And, what have been your experiences with gratuity?

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Traverse City Wineries

Michigan Wineries
Black Star Farms

“I’d like to do a flight of beer.” This was my husband’s “winery joke” and I have to say, it was a success every time. Humor aside, there are just under 60 wineries in the Traverse City area, so we are slowly adding one or two to our repertoire on each trip. Continue reading Traverse City Wineries

East Coast Cocktails

East Coast Cocktails Living Lark
Photo Credit- Bridging Her Story

I am so excited about this collaboration post! I have once again been fortunate enough to team with Kate Bolt from Living Lark – this time to share her latest summer drinks. We both recently took road trips with our families out east, so these East Coast Cocktails seemed like a fitting match. Continue reading East Coast Cocktails

What to do in Washington D.C.

If you follow me over on Instagram, you probably gathered that we recently traveled to Washington D.C.  If you missed it, below is a photo diary of just a few of the places we visited…

Continue reading What to do in Washington D.C.