• Pin setter
    Amazing People,  Tough Questions

    I’m Certain Laverne Defazio Never Had to Wonder Like I Do.

    Last week we were in Milwaukee, visiting our younger son. Always on the hunt for fun activities to do with the boys when we are together, I was thrilled to find a place that offered mini bowling. Jim and Jason were up for it so we headed out. Mini bowling is played the same way as traditional bowling, but the pins are smaller and the lanes are more narrow and much shorter. The balls have no finger holes, are similar in size to small coconuts, and come in one weight (about three and a half pounds). Because of the type of balls used, it feels a lot like Skeeball when…

  • IMG 8933

    Using the Roadside America App With Intention

    I learned about the Roadside America app from my friend Vikki almost exactly a year ago. I’ve used it sporadically; sometimes I forget that I have it and don’t think to look up roadside attractions near me until it’s too late and I’m already at my destination. Also, I can’t really use it when I’m on a solo road trip because I usually think about it when I’m driving and unable to use my phone like that, rather than when I’m stopped at a gas station. This week, however, I used the app differently. I accompanied Jim on a work trip to Cleveland and not wanting to languish in the…

  • San Clemente palms

    Local Appreciation Society

    “The grass is always greener,” they say. I don’t know who “they” are, but “they” have truly made up dozens of extended quotes that start with that featured statement. Most of us know that the grass isn’t actually greener: it just looks that way depending on our situation and that of the person whose yard we’re coveting. Many of us know that if we took care of and appreciated our own grass, it would be just as green. Actually, that’s where I’ll be heading here. I have a fascination with palm trees. It’s so intense that anytime I’m in an area of the country where they grow, it becomes a…

  • airplane sunset
    Tough Questions,  Travels,  UGH.

    The Ugliness of Air Travel, or Travel is Fun!

    As of yesterday, I have had to run through four airports in order to catch a connecting flight, two times barefoot and all four times on the way home. The first time it happened was in London at Heathrow back in 2007. I had been away from my family for more than a week, and my first flight out of Frankfurt left late. I was alone, having left my friend and her family at the hotel because they were going on to Austria without me. I can’t remember how much time I had when my plane arrived at Heathrow, but I do remember how frustrating it was to have to…

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    The Spirit of Aloha

    Today Vikki and I are tag-teaming the 28th day of NaBloPoMo. Both of us turned fifty recently and both of us took incredible trips of a lifetime to celebrate that milestone. She traveled all the way across the Atlantic to the frozen tundra of Iceland and I went in the other direction entirely, both literally and figuratively, across the Pacific to Hawaii. We decided to pick one of our favorite scenery pictures from our trip and do a little show and tell. The picture I chose (above) was taken on Ka’anapali Beach, on the west side of Maui. Ka’anapali was the first planned resort area in Hawaii and has three…

  • Friends,  My Friends Have Mad Skillz,  Travels

    I Love L.A.

    I just returned from a visit to the site of the #BlogHer16 conference in Los Angeles. I love L.A. I. LOVE. IT. Of course, my rose-colored glasses were deeply tinted on this trip, what with the “late January getaway from Chicago winter” and the “spending three and a half days with the most awesome team ever” elements. Los Angeles was a dream, and I wish I could’ve “slept” a little longer. Literally and figuratively. On the way out, I got to walk through my favorite corridor at O’Hare airport. Of course, when I was sitting at the gate in the middle of a flight delay that would last nearly two…

  • Blessings,  Friends,  Jim Has Mad Skillz,  Travels

    Apparently My Word For 2014 Was “Travel”.

    This time last year I noticed many of my friends picking “a word for 2014”, something they would live by or strive for. I didn’t join in but it all worked out. As it turned out my word, “Travel”, found its way to me. While thinking about what kind of 2014 wrap-up post I wanted to write, what stuck out the most was how much travel I did this year. In fact, without even looking at my calendar to count days properly I figured out off the top of my head that I was away from my home for between six and eight weeks. That’s a lot of time living…

  • Family Fun,  Review,  Travels

    Lake Erie Shores And Islands: A Fun And Easy Trip For Chicago Families! (part 2)

    Welcome to Post #2 about our family trip to the Sandusky, Ohio area! I have tons of pictures to share with you from our second day of the trip (and third morning before we got back on the road to Chicago in the Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid that General Motors let us use: thanks again, GM!). But first, if you missed Day One you should probably catch up before reading this post. Click here to experience Day One. I’ll wait. We spent Friday and Saturday nights at the Maui Sands Hotel, which has just recently reopened. (The pool is open, but the waterpark doesn’t open until 2013!) We thought the rooms…

  • Best Thing Ever,  Travels

    Key West And Cozumel In January? Yes, Please!

    One of the main reasons a person picks a particular cruise is for the exotic port stops the ship makes. In our case, we knew we wanted to head towards warmer weather (January in Chicago? A little cold.). We’ve always wanted to visit Key West, and so for us it was a no-brainer. In fact, before Jim suggested that we go on a cruise, I had already checked on the cost of a trip to Key West, staying in a hotel for a few nights. It was extremely cost-prohibitive. The cruise was perfect, even though we just got a five-hour taste of Key West: better than nothing! Cozumel was never…

  • Pretty Pictures,  Travels

    Pictures For Sail

    In light of the recent news of a cruise ship (the Costa Concordia) hitting a reef just two hours after departure, I thought it would be a good idea to point out that, though so very tragic for all involved, the accident was a freak, rare occurrence in light of how many cruises there are on any given day. I would still cruise again. I also thought that I would bring cruising back to the positive today, by showing you more pictures from my trip. (This helps me too, since I’m in the middle of a very busy couple of days!) Tomorrow? Key West and Cozumel!