Seattle’s Volunteer Park: a perfect break within the city

When you’ve lived in Seattle for a long time, you stop trying to find new things to do or you forget the fun things you used to do.  When we were much younger, Chris and I lived very close to Volunteer Park in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.  The Hill is one of Seattle’s oldest neighborhoods […]

Chistmassy Holiday Activities in Atlanta, Georgia

Christmas is such a hoot.  We love getting to do Christmassy, holidayish things and especially love traveling during the holidays.  We just returned from Atlanta where we were visiting family and did a few fun, special holiday activities there.  In addition to visiting the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga, we also got to do some exploring […]

Chattanooga’s Tennessee Aquarium: the best family fish-perience

We often return to places that we have really enjoyed in the past, especially when it’s a place of learning and science that completely fascinates the kids. The Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga, Tennessee is just that: engaging, fun and perfect for family travel. Fyi, I just want to apologize in advance because this article is going to […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Family boating in the Pacific Northwest

You see us mostly heading to the mountains or the beach, but we like to do so many other things.  Something we enjoy and do with our whole family every summer is boating.  Boating in the Pacific Northwest is an amazing experience and there are so many ways to do it.  Discover Boating asked us […]

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 […]