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 […]

Baoji and Taibai Mountain National Park: off the beaten path China

Hahaha. Baoji. Oh my, this place is hilarious. Don’t get me wrong, I loved walking around Baoji at night and I loved getting to experience the nature surrounding this cute little town but I do have countless chuckles. Baoji is definitely off the beaten path China. From the Hot Springs Resort to Taibai Mountain National […]

A complete guide to snorkeling in Cabo San Lucas

As heartbreaking as it is to realize that you’re kids are growing up it’s also amazing.  We are able to do so many more fun things and share even more new experiences with them.  One that is really exciting is snorkeling! Snorkeling in Cabo San Lucas is surprisingly great and if you’re in the right […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

A stop at the Golden Gate Bridge: an American icon

Ooh, we love a good tourist attraction.  Not a tourist trap, but a genuine attraction.  Of all of the classic American icons a few really stand out:  the Statue of Liberty, the White House, the Golden Gate Bridge.  In our house, being the family travel folk that we are, we’ve got a lot of maps, […]

Family hiking with the Piggyback Rider

Being a dad is the coolest thing ever.  You get to teach your kids about bugs and cooking and building things and art and hiking and so much more. While our youngest is still in the toddler stage and not about to voluntarily hike on his own, our oldest, Oliver, is quite the trailblazer… 80% […]

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 […]

Sequoia National Park with Kids

Traveling with kids is always fun…and a challenge.  We love to visit National Parks and typically do so in the summer when the hiking is good and the sun will be shining.   We were invited to California to experience Sequoia National Park with kids and jumped at the chance.  This was a great opportunity for […]

The Wuksachi Lodge

So, we always camp when we go to National Parks.  For our big #2TDgoparks2016 trip we’ve taken a totally different approach:  lodges.  Why lodges?  Two reasons:  we are doing the trip in the spring when the weather is totally unpredictable and we were kindly invited to explore the Parks and lodges.  The Wuksachi Lodge in […]

A day at Kennesaw Mountain: Georgia history and nature

We’ve been to Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield a few times now.  It’s one of those places that has both historical significance and modern day appeal.  What?  What sort of appeal is there to a battlefield, particularly with kids?  Well, we’ll tell you. There’s more the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield site than just what the name […]

Hiking in Mt Rainier National Park: easy & worth it

Even though we love going to Olympic National Park, Mount Rainier National Park is one of our favorite spots in the state of Washington. One of the things we love about Mount Rainier is that you can enjoy the North or the South Side and have very different experiences.  On the north side there are […]

Waterfalls of Mt Rainier National Park

There are few things that we’re just suckers for:  lighthouses, bathrobes, and waterfalls.  When you’re heading to the mountains to go hiking, you can only count on getting one of those boxes checked off, and it’s waterfalls.  Mt Rainier National Park is an easy day trip or multi-day camping destination for any type of traveler, […]

National Parks Swag: making family travel memorable

So, you know we love our National Parks. One of the most fun things we do when we go to a National Park, and this might sound kind of strange because it’s so small, is to get cancellation stamps in our National Parks Passports and learn a little extra here and there. Do you have […]

Where’d Fort Frederica go?

Historical sites rock for family travel.  Well, most of the time. No, all of the time.  Here’s why:  they’re a snapshot of a moment in time that we’ll never experience again.  Sometimes those sites are really well preserved and you can step back in time with little use of the imagination.  Heck, sometimes there are […]

Strolling Historic St Augustine:  a perfect family day

A town like St Augustine is great to explore with kids because there are so many sights and fun things to do around every corner.  We didn’t do half of what we could have, but we still did a ton.  Every town or city has its must-see sights.  In NYC you’ve got the Statue of […]

Fort Matanzas:  worth the drive, walk, boat ride and climb

You’ve been in St Augustine all day and are ready to end it on a high note.  The town is wonderful and it’s so calm and relaxed everywhere, but you’ve been walking so much because every narrow street is just taunting you to head that way.  You’re tired.  What can you do to make the […]

Castillo de San Marcos: the guardian of St Augustine

Before we got to Florida, we’d built it up a bit to our kids.  You know, it’s all pirates and alligators everywhere.  With that, we also told a few lies… like there are pirate forts and you can find treasure on the beach.  Well, that built up the excitement even though we lost a little […]

Hiking in Olympic National Park:  contrasting trails

Follow my blog with Bloglovin When we’re not lounging on a beach in the hot sun or gallivanting the globe, we love to hike locally.  Local, to us, is anything within a few hours’ drive of Seattle.  One of our favorite local activities is hiking in Olympic National Park.  It’s such an interesting place, with […]

The Basics of Visiting the United States

As Americans, we’re always thinking about venturing out to other countries and planning a week long trip here and two weeks there.  When we look at going back to France, we know that it’s not ridiculous to plan a week or two to catch a few big sights and have time to relax.  When we […]

Family Camping With Kids: 5 Dad Hacks

Dads have the stereotypical reputation of a few key things:  bad jokes, BBQing and convincing the family to rough it.  None of these are bad stereotypes, but also none are true for every dad.  I’ll be honest, these all are true for us…and doubly so as we’re a gay dad household.  Our sons are used to […]

Behind the Picture: Heading Into the Woods in Glacier National Park

Having already gone on an amazing hike to Bullhead Lake earlier in the day, we were all pretty tired after dinner.  We cleaned up camp and decided just to take one more jaunt, a short one.  We put the tiny man in a hiking pack and headed off into the woods in Glacier National Park.  […]

Behind the Picture: Watching the Lake in Glacier National Park

The story: One of the things that makes travel with kids more smooth than people would expect is sticking to the schedule.  We’re not talking about the itinerary, but the nap schedule.  If you don’t have kids, you might not be familiar but the concept is this: get and keep the kids on a nap […]

Behind the Picture: the Rainbow in Glacier National Park

The story:  It’s not everyday you get to see a rainbow in Glacier National Park.  After securing a campsite we had one beautiful day to enjoy the area.  Midway through day two though, the most ridiculous storm hit.  We rushed the kids into the play area we’d made under a canopy and then the four […]

Glacier National Park boat tours: 4 reasons to do one

We still haven’t visited Switzerland.  It’s been on our list for some time and somehow we haven’t gone.  We have been to the Rockies in the USA though, and I think that’s sated us.  True, the Rocky Mountains don’t have the quaint villages, but they do have the beautifully jagged mountains, the pristine lakes, the Swiss-style […]

Glacier National Park Part 3: hiking with kids

Previously, we told the story of being stuck in just one portion of Glacier National Park (blog post here).  The great thing about being “stranded” in Many Glacier was the ample opportunities to hike.  The Many Glacier Valley is very unique in that it’s the crossroads for several small rivers and streams, which just happen to […]

Glacier National Park: Many Glacier, many sights

We always make big plans.  BIG.  ALWAYS.  I mean, we plan out where we’ll hike, sights we’ll see, maybe where we’ll dine.  We will craft an itinerary and stick to it comfortably.  This keeps us low stress and with all of our resources in place.  If you recall from our post about the forest fires we […]