• Central Coast
    US Travel

    Driving Up the 101: Central California Coast Road Trip

    Ready for a controversial opinion? I think that the Central Coast is the best part of California. I don't claim to know every square mile of my enormous state, but the Central California Coast always speaks to me. I suspect it's because it still feels like home, but just a lot less crowded, more relaxed. Much of the landscape looks familiar, but with some exciting differences (redwoods, Monterey pines, so much fuschia, and monkeyflower). The beaches I’ve visited along Hwy 1 are generally less commercialized and much emptier than our usual haunts in Oceanside or Encinitas. My initial intent was to spend a leisurely day driving up along the 101 and…

  • Seattle
    Travel,  US Travel

    Let’s Go Catch a Fish: Family Travel in Seattle

    Since I'm usually the person choosing and coordinating our expeditions, this time Dad chose where we were going. He's really enjoyed his other trips to the Pacific Northwest so Seattle was our obvious next destination. When compared to the other major cities in the Northwest (San Francisco and Portland), I'd say that Seattle ranks somewhere above Portland and below San Francisco (though I am a very biased Californian). In some respects, including the weather and the fresh food available in markets, I'd say Seattle ranks high above the other two. Here's a couple things that really stood out to me, good and bad. Lesson One The biggest hassle of our…

  • google mymaps
    Travel,  Travel Abroad,  US Travel

    How to Create a Mobile Itinerary with Google MyMaps

    In the past, travelers had to rely on guidebooks and travel notebooks to keep track of the places and activities they wanted to be sure to visit. The exponential growth of travel blogs and Pinterest has dramatically increased the resources available to travelers while planning their trips. All the information in the world can't help you if you can't find a way to organize it. I like to think that I'm an organized person (aspiring, maybe?) and it's really important for me to keep track of travel documents and ideas. In the past, I would write a master list of sights and then plot them out each day using a…

  • scotland
    Travel Abroad

    Sing Me a Song of a Family Who’s Gone: Family Travel in Scotland

    Coming from dry and usually sweltering Southern California, stepping into wet and wild Scotland is a welcome and drastic change of scenery. My husband and I decided to hop over to Scotland on something of a whim, about two weeks before we actually left. Luckily, a portion of our plane ticket cost was reserved on points and we made it work. Many people think that traveling with children is an insurmountable challenge, with stress dreams of toddlers screaming up and down the aisles, vomit in the air and blood on the streets. I'll admit, traveling with a toddler and a husband can be exhausting and trying on the nerves. Traveling…

  • new orleans
    US Travel

    Girls Trip: Mommy & Me in New Orleans

    Thanks to the Southwest Companion Pass, my daughter and I have been able to explore new cities. Pre-parenthood, I grew to love traveling but because of the hassle and expense of finding flights, hotels, etc I mostly stuck to traveling abroad to feel like I was getting my money's worth. About a year and half ago I started to learn more about credit card points and maximizing our benefits. It's pretty easy for me to get bogged down in the details of planning trips with points, especially since it takes so long to accumulate enough for a trip. Finding flights and lodging domestically is a little easier for me to…

  • garden

    Garden Chores for May

    May Gray, Go Away... May can be a tricky month in the garden here in Temecula. Fog rolls over the hills from the south and west and takes several hours to burn off in the morning. This year, May has been a rollercoaster with cold nights and variable days ranging anywhere from the mid-60s to the mid-80s. Short bursts of heat early in the month caused the last of the winter greens in my garden to bolt, along with the cilantro that I had planted on both the cool and warm sides of my garden. In mid-May, I decided to set out zucchini starts from Armstrong Nursery and I've been…

  • Temecula

    Temecula Wine Country with Kids

    It's no secret that Temecula is home to many young families, many of which like to take advantage of the charms of our Wine Country. With summer upon us, parents and caregivers need something new to entertain the kids. Luckily, there are several wineries in the area that can accommodate families, cater to you and a variety of resources you can use to figure out where to go. It's important to note that many of the wineries close fairly early (5 pm), even on the weekends. The Facebook Events section is one great resource to keep up on the latest events going on in Temecula Wine Country. Check out some…