The Olympic Peninsula of Washington: visiting the Pacific Northwest’s playground

The Olympic Peninsula is known around the world for its beautiful mountains, its beaches and the Twilight Saga.  Well, there’s more to it than that.  We’ve spent countless days exploring the OP and not just visiting our old favorite haunts we’ve known all our lives, but also exploring places that are new to all of us. […]

Our first Wisconsin family trip… and now let’s get back there!

Until a few months ago Wisconsin wasn’t on our radar as a family travel destination, but we were like “Sure, let’s go and see what we can see.” So we went; we saw; we had a blast!  We based our recent Wisconsin trip out of Madison, the capitol.  From getting out on the water to […]

Jekyll Island, Georgia: a weekend of family fun and relaxation

It’s been two years since we first fell in love with the Golden Isles of Georgia.  Our first experience was on St Simons Island when we visited the King and Prince Resort.  From the food to the Spanish moss, we were hooked. And now we’ve gotten to explore another of the Golden Isles:  Jekyll Island. […]

Five perfect destinations for LGBT travel (and everyone else too!)

It’s rare that we ask anybody else to share anything via our website, but we’ve made some new friends in the online travel community that we think are pretty awesome.  Jackie and Daryl are two adventurous ladies that we stumbled across on Instagram and we really wanted to share them and their unique perspectives with […]

Mobile, Alabama: top 5 ways to celebrate a surprising gem of a city

Most random place I’ve visited in a long while:  Mobile, Alabama.  When I first found out that I got to go I was neutral in my excitement.  And then I started researching; and then I got there; and then I fell in love.  Mobile, Alabama’s theme for the city is “Born to Celebrate” and really, […]

West Coast Weekend trips: exploring new cities one weekend at a time

It’s no secret that we love the weekends.  I mean, who doesn’t? With or without the kids we try to break away to a new city or visit one of our old favs whenever possible, and we’ve partnered with Hampton by Hilton to share some of what we think are the best destinations to be […]

Florida Gulf Coast Beaches: how to rock the sandy shores of the Sunshine State

We’ve shared all kinds of non-beach things to do in Florida because we just love how different Florida’s nature is from that of our local Pacific Northwest, but we certainly love the beaches too.  From the edge of the Everglades to the start of the Panhandle, the Florida Gulf Coast beaches are beautiful and each […]

Yosemite National Park family travel guide

Yosemite National Park is one of the most visited or dreamed about destinations in the United States.  Can you blame everyone for wanting to explore the valleys and peaks that are the subject of countless Ansel Adams photographs?  Who wouldn’t want to stare up at the incredible granite cliffs from the valley floor. And did […]

Yan’an and Hukou Falls National Park: exploring Northern Shaanxi province

China offers the beautiful, the delicious, the weird, the perfect.  China is awesome.  It’s easy to plan a trip around visiting the big sites or famous spots, or even seeking out off-the-beaten-path places, but what about just the lesser-known or totally out of the way spots?  Well, I’ve got tips to share with you for exploring […]

Xi’an City Guide: experiencing China’s history, nature and culture

Seriously, I could write about China all day every day.  Thinking about what areas of China to visit, people will probably research what spots are going to have the best tourist sites or most famous Chinese landmarks.  If that’s the approach you’re taking, then no doubt you’re going to be pointed towards the Terracotta Warriors […]

Baja California Sur Road Trip: #familytravel meets awesome

When you say Baja California, I think most people are instantly going to think “Off-roading and military car inspections…”  Well, yeah, that’s totally possible and I’m sure you’ll come across that, but we’ve had some pretty incredible Baja road trips.  Doing a road trip through Baja California is a really fun and interesting option for […]

A Portland Weekend Getaway Plan: cool or hip or just fun

Once upon a time, Chris and I took a trip to Portland, Oregon and hated it.  We left early even.  Everything was closed, the city was dirty and we were bored.  Well, my opinion has completely changed.  Every year my BFF Jon and I take a boys trip and head someplace fun for a weekend […]

Voting with your dollars… your travel dollars

Following the recent shocking election of Donald Trump in the United States, our minds are spinning out of control of what to do.  We cannot relocate our lives and run away from this.  We can’t secede from the Union (or can we?) and we can’t just sit at home moping about so many of our […]

Making travel plans for the USA: an expat’s view of visiting home in America

We’ve written several times about what we look for in a destination, from activities to cost to previous visits.  We’re pretty good at making travel decisions together to create the most fun vacations for our kids.  Following the recent election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States we were very curious how […]

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”… […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Hunting for gnomes in Redwood National Park

We grew up in a great period in film history, where there were movies like the Land Before Time, Ferngully and, from even before we were born, The Gnome-Mobile.  On our way to California’s North Coast and the Redwoods, the boys got to watch The Gnome Mobile in the car and they loved it!!  If […]

The Carter House Inn of Eureka, California

As we made our way through Northern California and explored the beaches and National Parks, we stayed in all kinds of hotels and lodges.  When we left the Bodega Bay Lodge and headed north along the coast, we landed in Eureka, CA and were welcomed by the Carter House Inn.  This was such a nifty […]

Finding the Trinidad Head Lighthouse

When you live on the coast you get accustomed to certain maritime things.  You know, like hearing fog horns, continually sweeping up sand in your house, having lighthouses in half of your family photos.  We love lighthouses, but then you probably already knew that.  While we were touring the Northern California coast we got to […]

The Bodega Bay Lodge

After spending so much time up in the mountains and loving Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks, we really needed to get to the ocean.  At home we live across the street from the beach and can look at water whenever we want, so we’re used to it.  Being land-locked doesn’t suit us.  A […]

St Louis: awesomeness in the Midwest

It’s been a long while since we’ve visited St Louis and we haven’t taken the kids before, but we’re always looking for new places to explore.  When we think of St Louis the two things that come to mind are the Gateway Arch (#FindYourPark) and the Cardinals (because baseball, you know?).  What else is awesome […]

The amazing Yosemite Valley tram tour

While we typically just do our own thing and plot out sights we want to see, every now and then we’ll do a tour.  National Parks are so easy to explore on your own, especially when you’re planning on hiking a bunch, but when we were in California, we opted to do the Yosemite Valley […]

The Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite National Park: amazing.

Such a variety of accommodations in this world.  We’ve seen them all and stayed in half of them.  On our epic road trip through the National Parks of Northern California, we got to experience some wonderful places.  The Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite National Park is so different from the other spots we stayed. We loved […]

Why you must stop at Tunnel View in Yosemite National Park

Everybody seems to have an opinion about overrated sights and places to visit.  Roadside attractions are totally cliched to stop at, but why not stop?  Viewpoints on highways that have pull-outs are usually there because the view is incredible.  Why wouldn’t you want to stop at a vista like that’s “like woah”?  Tunnel View in […]

The Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite National Park

It was so great to stay in lodges on our #2TDgoparks2016 roadtrip.  After several days of snow chains and foiled hiking plans it was nice to arrive at the Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite.  We’d stayed in some pretty small lodges within Sequoia and Kings Cayon National Parks for our nights prior to getting to the […]

Kings Canyon National Park in any Season

You know when you’re excited for sweeping views, spring flowers, newborn baby animals and getting your first tan of the year?  That’s where we were at prior to driving into Kings Canyon National Park.  As we drove up into the hills from Fresno, California we felt the temperature drop, but it was still sunny.  We […]

Family travel to John Muir Lodge in Kings Canyon National Park

After a few days of battling the fog and snow in Sequoia National Park we took the short drive to cross the border into Kings Canyon National Park.  Like with Sequoia, we had big plans for hiking in the beautiful, sunny valleys of Kings Canyon and exploring the granite cliffs and meadows.  We were booked […]