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

Friday Finds, Take 3: Spotify, Books, and a Travel App

I hope that you had nice week! We got home this past Monday from our trip to Northern Michigan and headed out again on Thursday for another 3-day trip. It may be a sign that we need to slow down when our 4-year old writes at preschool that the thing that is special about his family is when we “stay home for a couple of whiles.” After this weekend, our travel will slow down and we will have more time at home to do all of the fun fall activities that Michigan offers (and maybe even write some travel blog posts). In the meantime, here are a few of the things that may be worth checking out …

open road

Continue reading Friday Finds, Take 3: Spotify, Books, and a Travel App

Travel-Inspired Shared Bedroom

Shared Kids' Room

Again, this may be a stretch… But I’m going to go ahead and write this post anyway. Just a little backstory… My kids are like puppies. They love to be wild and then snuggle, snuggle, snuggle. “Alone time” just really isn’t a thing with them, and my introverted self is amazed by and loves them for it. 

So, while they are young and think that sharing a room is fun and special, I’m more than happy to oblige. As I’m sure you have been able to gather from reading Mackinaw Road or following along on Instagram, most of our travels take us lake/oceanside. I tried to incorporate this “feel” without being to nautical or coastal.  Continue reading Travel-Inspired Shared Bedroom

Mackinaw Road: Goals and Updates

Well, summer is unofficially over. It’s disappointing for a lake girl like myself, but I love looking back at all of the fun memories that were created with family and friends.

Lake sunset

It’s also time to start thinking about goals for Mackinaw Road this year as the  1st anniversary is quickly approaching.  I have recently updated my Pinterest page to look more professional (and pretty) and I’d love for you to check it out. Am I missing a board? Any board that is of particular interest? Another goal I have is to increase Instagram followers to 2500 by the end of October; that’s just over 1000 followers to gain, so spread that word 😉  In relation to blog posts on Mackinaw Road, this is what I’m thinking, and I’d love your feedback…. Continue reading Mackinaw Road: Goals and Updates