5 National Parks That Surprised Me

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Crater after dark

The U.S. National Park Service was created in an Act signed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916. This decision consolidated several smaller conservation and historic preservation movements under one agency dedicated to protecting America’s unique landscapes and cultural treasures. Thinking about that decision today–in 2015–it’s hard to imagine U.S. legislators coming together to agree on something so big–certainly not a plan to forgo commercial interests on millions […]

On Baseball In Japan


Here in the U.S., baseball season has begun. I’m not a big sports fan, but I do have fond memories of playing softball and going to games with my dad when I was a kid. Plus, I am married to one of the biggest fans of the 2014 (2010, and 2012!) World Champion San Francisco Giants. So I always enjoy catching a ballgame. It’s a […]

Mudbug Love: A Southern Louisiana Crawfish Boil Recipe

A Southern Louisiana Crawfish Boil Recipe

First rule of food in Louisiana: Crawfish are King, and a spicy hot “crawfish boil” is part of every spring celebration. When we visited Southern Louisiana last month for Kevin’s uncle’s 90th birthday party, we were lucky to land right within the first few weeks of of crawfish season. It was our first visit to that part of the state, and we spent a […]

A Dog-Friendly Guide To The Central Coast

Dog Friendly Central Coast

This past winter, my friend Cathy and I drove south down California Highway 1 through Big Sur, for a weekend trip to Cambria and the Central Coast. Rather than find someone to watch our two dogs, we decided to bring them along. While it’s definitely a bit more challenging to travel with pets in tow, we knew they would […]

Greetings From India!

Sunset on the backwaters of Kerala, India

When I hit “publish” on this post, you’ll know we’ve arrived safely on the other side of the world. If you follow me on Facebook, you might remember me sharing a big airfare sale I spotted last Christmas–deeply discounted round trip flights to Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. We jumped on that deal, and booked a spur-of-the-moment spring trip to India! For over a decade, India has […]

Hawaiian Craft Beer & Culture At The Kona Brewers Festival

Kona Brewers Festival 2015

A beer drinker’s paradise? Or, beer drinking in Paradise? Either one fits the Kona Brewers Festival, an annual craft beer celebration on the Big Island of Hawaii. Kevin and I got the chance to check out the event last weekend as we wrapped up our whirlwind tour of Hawaii Island. This year marked the BrewFest’s 20th anniversary. The event was started by one of the […]