Why using a timeshare is smart family travel

Among frequent travelers, and especially in the travel blog community there is a weird tension about “traveler vs tourist” and it’s really funny and irritating.  It’s typically approached in a condescending way and despite we not caring where we fall into the array we still make the effort to be sure to fall into “traveler”… […]

Visiting an archaeological dig site: the Terracotta Warriors of Xi’an, China

The very first thing that popped up when I started researching Xi’an, China was the terracotta warriors.  I had just found out that I was heading to China to explore Shaanxi province and just had to see what was in store.  I knew that it was the heart of ancient Imperial China, but I got […]

Fall traditions: travel and pumpkins

Since summer keeps us going going going we are always a tiny bit excited for fall.  Fall is the perfect time to chill for a bit (for at least three weeks straight), prep for the next big trip (usually a warm couple weeks in Mexico) and do our pumpkin thing.  Yes, most families have some […]

Family travel in Indonesia: our must-see plan

Since we’ve determined Indonesia as our #1 priority on our Asian destination bucket list, we’ve started digging into the country a whole lot more and are getting pretty excited about what we’re finding.  From nature to food, hiking to getting under the water, we’re going to have an amazing time doing family travel in Indonesia. […]

Why Indonesia is at the top of our Asian destinations bucket list

Now that we’re starting to explore Asia more, we’ve decided to make a list of the countries or sights to see all around Asia.  Chris travels to China for work from time to time and he always gets to add a little stop-over or weekend trip to a neighboring country, but as a family we […]

Finding Imperial China: Tang Paradise and Giant Wild Goose Pagoda

China was such a mystery before I started to actually explore it.  I had a bunch or perceptions of what I’d find and it wasn’t like that at all… until we went to the imperial garden in Xi’an.  The Tang Lotus Garden, aka Tang Paradise, is near the amazing Giant Wild Goose Pagoda and was […]

Local learning at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center

We’ll never get tired of sharing certain types of things with the world.  We have our favorite destinations and activities and we’ll share lots of different ways to experience them.  Port Townsend, Washington is one of those destinations and something we love there is Fort Worden.  And at Fort Worden we have discovered the Port […]

the Death planks of Huashan: more awesome than scary

You know we love our hiking, right?  We do it almost everywhere we go, and in all types of weather and environment.  This year has seen some really fun hikes from lighthouse hunting to trekking through the snow in the spring, and now I can add hiking Huashan in the Shaanxi province of China.  Huashan […]

Surprising China: a westerner’s misconceptions disproved

Growing up in America you don’t really learn about China.  You hear that it’s a Communist country far away, that the people live in desolate poverty and that the pollution is so bad that you must wear a smog mask at all times.  While aspects of these things are true, it’s totally not the case […]

Playa del Carmen: kind of a perfect destination

We know how to do a beach day.  I mean, we live at the beach, but what do you do when you’re in a beach destination without kids?  And what if it’s a beach destination that also has non-beach stuff that is pulling you away from the surf?  Well, here’s how to have an amazing […]

Travel vs Sending kids to school – the big debate

September means something different for every family.  Most parents (and kids) are totally in school mode, but not us.  We’re still in the days of enjoying the last weeks of summer and keeping busy with travel and house projects.  Come next year though, we’ll be sending kids to school for the first time… or will […]

The prettiest spots in Washington State

We recently put out an itinerary for doing a road trip loop around the Puget Sound here in Washington State.  With that, we got a few emails and questions about where to find the prettiest spots in Washington.  We thought “Um, that’s such an opinion piece and is going to vary for everyone,” but we’ll […]

A friendly reminder about hiking safety and family travel tips

We always are traveling with friends or family, internationally and locally.  Not everything we do is a group activity, but a lot of things are.  Hiking as a group is always fun and usually is uneventful, but every now and then something happens and that’s when you have to think about hiking safety. Hiking in […]

Destination Dining with the Pretty Fork: an Orcas Island food escape

Okay, new favorite thing to do on a Thursday afternoon:  destination dining.  Whaaaaa?  Yep, it’s the coolest and most unusual, but most Pacific Northwest thing you can possibly do.  The Pretty Fork, a local Seattle progressive dining tour operator, has got the concept of destination dining down.   I heard about destination dining with the […]

A day in Labadee, Haiti: adventure and relaxation

It’s totally not difficult to find a way to enjoy a day in the Caribbean.  Everywhere you look is beautiful, the water is warm, and there’s a lot of rum.  When I set sail on the Oasis of the Seas with Royal Caribbean, I got to visit some beautiful places.  One place I was particularly […]

Our Annual Family Reunion Trip – #HowWeFamily

Every year we get together with our family for a big family reunion trip.  Hold up, that’s a vague statement because our family is enormous.  We get together annually with our immediate family for a week at Lake Cushman on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State.  We love it there; it’s beautiful.  We love even […]

Lake Cushman on the Olympic Peninsula: Tahoe of the North

Until I moved to San Francisco in my early 20s I’d always heard of Tahoe and people going to Tahoe for the summer or staying in a lodge for skiing at Tahoe for the winter and I never got it.  It seemed so common and yet so exclusive.  Well, it turns out that we have […]

A family travel adventure: Puget Sound itinerary

We get a lot of questions about visiting the Pacific Northwest with kids.  People want to know the obvious like “what are the can’t-miss sights?” or “should we really pack for cold weather in July?”  We’ll answer that second question first:  yes, it rains.  For the other questions though, here is the first of 3 […]

How travel impacts kids: interview with a 4 year old

We travel a lot, right?  Do you ever wonder what actually sticks with kids and makes a lasting impression?  When you’re planning your own vacation, do you seriously talk to your kids to see what they want to do or where they want to go.  After interviewing our own 4 year old, it’s become a […]

Floating the White River in Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Something we can’t wait to mix into family travel is river rafting.  I’ve rafted plenty of rivers, from the Wenatchee in Leavenworth, Washington to Six Mile in Hope, Alaska, the Kenai and the Flathead:  all kinds of rivers.  And I’ve kayaked.  I love kayaking and the challenge it sometimes gives.  It’s rare though that we […]

Silver Falls, Mt Rainier Nat’l Park: not to be missed

We’re going to do a stereotypical and highly ridiculous thing.  A lot of writers will tell you about the “only sight you need to see in…” or the “absolute most perfect…” and we try not to do that.  Ever.  Tell you what though, we are going to tell you about the best most worthwhile hike […]

A not-so Northern Exposure weekend in Roslyn, Washington

It’s probably been a long while since you have sat down and watched Northern Exposure, right?  Yeah, I can’t say that I’ve seen an episode in the last 20 years, but we went a had an awesome family weekend in Roslyn, Washington where they filmed it and the town is just as rustic, quirky, and […]

Waterfall jumping at the Blue Hole, Ocho Rios, Jamaica

There are a few places that I’d love to experience with my family, meaning that I’ve gotten to see them and do incredible things on my own, but they haven’t been able to join me.  Among those places are the Alaskan tundra, the cenotes of the Yucatan and the jungles of Jamaica.  The waterfalls of […]

A beautiful day at Deception Pass, Whidbey Island

I’m sure we all have memories, either recent or from childhood, that are grossly inaccurate.  A great example is when you can recall a great hike and it’s been years and you think taking your kids on it will be a blast… and then you realize that it’s a hike along cliffs and above churning […]

A weekend at Washington Park in Anacortes

Apparently our new hangout is Anacortes.  We’ve now had several trips up, all for different reasons and love it.  We just returned from another awesome trip, this time specifically camping and spending the weekend at Washington Park in Anacortes.  We’d visiting the Park once before and it was fun, but this time we dedicated our […]

Family Friendly Wine Tasting AniChe Cellars

Family travel usually keeps us doing things like hiking and animal related activities, which we completely love, but what if we said that a new thing happening in Washington State adds a fun new aspect to family travel:  wine tasting.  That’s right, family friendly wine tasting is happening in the Pacific Northwest.   We travel […]

Swimming with sea turtles in Akumal, Mexico

There’s this small window in being a parent when it seems okay to do really cool things without your kids.  Examples include dinner in a Michelin star restaurant, getting a tattoo when you’re traveling for work, swimming with sea turtles in the Caribbean… So, I did two of these things on my last solo travel […]

A visit to Fort Casey: more beaches and bunkers

The Pacific Northwest has countless spots where you can look around and say “Wow, I love it here!”  Seriously, every view is different and beautiful.  It’s also a place where kids can run wild and play on the beach (almost year round).  Fort Casey on Whidbey Island is such a place.  From forest trails to […]

Internet trolling: Being strong for LGBT families everywhere

We’re always sharing the positive side of family travel and being two dads, right?  Every now and then we add a dose of reality by looping everyone in on what it’s like to be an LGBT family in unpleasant places or awkward situations, but did you know that even in a world as progressive as […]

An ideal PNW hotel: the Majestic Inn of Anacortes

So, if you read our article about Anacortes, you know that the town totally surprised us.  We always thought of it as a town that we just had to drive through to get to the ferry for the San Juan Islands, but we discovered it’s much more than that.  While there we stayed at the […]

West Coast Road Trip Itinerary: lighthouses and National Parks

Growing up in Washington with family in both northern and southern California, the West Coast road trip was guaranteed at least once per year… if not three times.  This meant though that we got to experience everything:  lighthouses and coastlines, hiking in the mountains or rides in Disneyland.  Such an array.  Now, being parents, we […]

West Coast National Park road trip: the mountains

So many ways to approach a West Coast road trip.  Seriously.  You can do the Pacific Coast Highway from the Olympic Peninsula of Washington all of the way to Tijuana, Mexico.  Or you can shoot down the i-5 corridor, making intentional stops within an hour or two off the freeway.  Or you can wing it […]

Hiking Hetch Hetchy: the unknown Yosemite National Park

Going off the beaten path is something so many travelers strive for.  You know that we’re usually traveling with kids, so we try to experience the less-crowded areas of the world when we can so they can see what the earth is actually like.  When you ask somebody if it’s quiet in Yosemite National Park […]

Wowed by nature in Cenotes dos Ojos

We’re a family travel blog through and through… except when one of us has to travel for work or something.  I had the amazing opportunity to tour the Caribbean aboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas and had an awesome time.  The trip was totally unplanned so only I could go, but I was welcomed and […]

Anacortes: a family travel surprise

Once upon a time we wrote this great article about why you shouldn’t write off a destination and basically said that you should always give a place a second chance or even just go experience it for the first time despite what others have said.  Anacortes, Washington is one of those places.  There are so […]

Exploring Oregon Caves National Monument w/ kids

Spelunking:  the act of exploring caves and wandering deep into the earth… with kids.  That’s what we got to do at Oregon Caves National Monument.  We had an the best experience, which we were a bit worried about before starting our tour.  We were welcomed by Oregon Caves National Monument for our ranger-led cave hike […]

Rustic heaven at the Chateau at the Oregon Caves

If you know me (Rob, Hi!) you know that I use the word “magical” in 50% of my sentences… and so does Oliver… because he’s my mini-me.  Blame it on working for Disney or just watching a bit too much Harry Potter, but I love the word.  I’m going to use it again:  The Oregon […]

Battery Point Lighthouse: worth getting your feet wet

I went to Crescent City, California once when I was a kid.  I just remember being told that in 1964 a tsunami (tidal wave) crashed into the town… and then I was terrified of visiting Crescent City or any place on the coast.  Well, I’m a grown up now and Chris and I have been […]

#HowWeFamily for Father’s Day… and any other time

Disclosure: I have received information about #HowWeFamily from the makers of TYLENOL. The opinions stated are my own. This is a sponsored post. Last year Father’s Day was a struggle to figure out.  We were both worn out from life, with Chris working bunch over in Seattle in the week before, and me being here at […]

the Southern Oregon Coast’s Pacific Reef Hotel

Sometimes family travel is so tiring that all you want to do is check into your hotel, take off your shoes and sit on a balcony.  With the door closed.  With no children needing you.  We found that.  After going non-stop for two weeks we finally arrived on the Oregon Coast and were welcomed by […]