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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Spring at the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island

From the first day we moved to Suquamish, Washington we had friends telling us about the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island.  Always being busy and never being bored, we’d never carved out time to visit.  Well, we finally did and it was amazing! We’re going to keep it brief because the best way to explain […]

Our Non Complete Guide to Lighthouses in the USA

Why in the world are we making a non complete guide to lighthouses in the USA??  Simple:  there are so many lighthouses that one could not possibly hope to visit them all… but we are trying to, so as we add more and more to our roster, we’ll share them too.  Having a non complete […]

Fort Worden: beaches, bunkers and beauty

Beaches and bunkers.  That’s what we did this weekend.  We loved every moment of it.  If you’ve not lived on a US coast, you might not have ever been to a pre-WWII fort.  Close to home for us is Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend, Washington.  Fort Worden rocks for a family travel day […]

The Westin Seattle: missing the mark

We pride ourselves on giving honest and positive reviews of the hotels we visit, the parks we go to, the restaurants we dine in… but now it’s time to share one that’s not so great. As we go to more and more destinations and stay in different types of accommodations, we’ve really learned what works […]

Snoqualmie: the best day trip with kids. Ever.

If you live in Seattle you know that you’ll never be bored and that there are 10,000 day trips you can take in and out of the city.  Well, do you know what the best day trip just outside of Seattle is?  It’s actually a trip to Snoqualmie, both the falls and the town.  Snoqualmie […]

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, […]

Waterfalls of the Columbia Gorge, a how-to guide

Two of our favorite things are hiking and waterfalls. Do you know what is really amazing? When you can actually put the two of them together. One of our favorite places to see waterfalls almost any time of year is the Columbia Gorge on the Oregon side of the river. The Columbia Gorge waterfall area […]

Leavenworth: more than a Bavarian façade

We live in the Seattle area of Washington State and we love it!  It’s got everything from the mountains to the Puget Sound.  Heck, even the ocean isn’t too far for a day trip.  We also have some really amazing small towns.  One of our favorites is Leavenworth, Washington.  It’s cute.  It’s quaint.  It’s manufactured. […]

A Sleigh Ride: not just for Christmas anymore

Let’s just be cheesy up front and quote some Johnny Mathis:  “Just hear those sleigh bells jingle-ing, ring-ting-tingle-ing too; Come on, it’s lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you.”  Well, it was lovely weather when we were recently in Leavenworth, Washington and we did go on a sleigh ride even though it wasn’t […]

7 Reasons to Love and Hate Cross Country Skiing (but really love it)

I’ve had a few interviews in the last couple of weeks and been asked what sort of family travel we love to do.  The answer is always so quick to come to my tongue:  hot, sunny beaches.  And it’s true.  We just aren’t snow people.  Snow is pretty but it’s never our first choice, even […]

Icicle Brewing Co: microbrew heaven

There are so many approaches you can take to writing about a brewery.  You can highlight the unusual brewing process or talk about the great food they pair with beers.  You could tell the story of each beer’s creation.  How about we do a little of all of that to share about Icicle Brewing Co […]

Kingfisher Restaurant: unusual, stellar dining

We are always up for an unusual dining experience.  We love sushi when there’s the chef’s choice or ordering “catch of the day”.  Um, what’s it gonna be?  We also love when the dining style is totally unexpected.  Example:  you’re seated for fine dining and discover that it’s a buffet style dining room with really […]

Sleeping Lady Resort: an artful mountain retreat

As we stay in more and more hotels it becomes clear what we like and don’t like, what is good for family travel vs couples travel, and what’s just awesome.  We snuck away without the kids again (really, it’s not our norm) and got to celebrate our anniversary weekend across the mountains at the Sleeping […]

…and then there was the Waterleaf Spa…

A dream vacation is this:  a nice hotel, hiking, beaches, great food, fancy drinks in non-fancy cups, well behaved kids, an art museum or two, sunshine and massages everyday.  An actual vacation is this:  a nice place to stay or camp, hiking or chill walks, a beach that you might put your feet in the […]

8 Reasons to Lose Your Shoes at the Hyatt Olive 8

Confession:  we went somewhere without the kids.  Yep.  And we didn’t feel bad about it.  Well, maybe a little bad.  But, we showed up at the Hyatt Olive 8 and they welcomed us swiftly.  We made it up to our room and quickly discovered that we’d made the right choice to spend the weekend chillin’ out […]