Semester at Sea: Farewell to Family in Finland

The MV Explorer, Semester at Sea's ship, docked in Helsinki.

Docking in Finland in early August was bittersweet: Helsinki was where I said good-bye to my family after eight weeks of sailing around Europe with them on the Semester at Sea 2014 summer voyage. Eight weeks of nearly constant togetherness (when I wasn't working--which, admittedly, was a lot). Eight weeks of exploring eight different ports, sampling countless new foods, mastering unfamiliar transportation, and hiking new-to-us trails in the European countryside. My husband and kids needed to leave the ship two weeks before the end of the summer voyage, namely so my daughter could get home to start high school fall sports practice. So, in Finland, besides one family walk along the marina for some post-ship-dinner ice cream, I was largely on my own. And that ended up okay: TEDx Semester [Read more]

Latest Posts


Road Trip with Enterprise Rent-A-Car

It's that time of year when enough is enough. I'm talking about winter. Granted, this year my homestate of Minnesota hasn't seen nearly the low temperatures that last year brought. Nevertheless, I'm still already yearning for a [Read more]

BOA Steakhouse in Santa Monica (innovativedining.com)

Some Best Upscale Restaurants in Santa Monica

Santa Monica is a popular travel destination in Southern California, and for good reason.  In terms of dining, there’s a little of something for everyone here, from the lowest of greasy spoons and sports bars, to great burger [Read more]

Nature's infinity pool: Conundrum Hot Springs near Aspen.

The Most Romantic Places in Colorado

In the 2015 Expedia Romance Study, 1,000 surveyed Americans said beach vacations are the dreamiest romantic getaways. Indeed, I don't deny that swaying palm trees, salty air, crashing waves and a couple of frothy cocktails (or [Read more]


RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Kissimmee Florida (Robbie Freeman)

RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Kissimmee, Florida

Kissimmee, Florida, is well known mostly for its proximity to Orlando, and the plethora of oversized theme parks therein. Budget-conscious families typically come to Kissimmee to take advantage of the more affordable [Read more]

Feltman Brothers

Feltman Brothers Classic Baby Dresses

Now that I have another baby girl to dress up I'm always on the lookout for cute girly outfits and ensembles for her so when I was approached to review a dress from Feltman Brothers I couldn't resist. After all, nothing [Read more]


Best Hotels of 2015: US News & World Report Rankings

US News & World Report just announced its best hotels of 2015. The fifth annual rankings feature 2,558 hotels across the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean that offer high-quality amenities and [Read more]

map wallpaper

Maps International: Home Decorating

My family is currently contemplating a move to a new house. With the addition of a new baby last year it's no surprise the family dynamic, as well as our household needs, changed. With a new home and older kids also [Read more]


Munk Pack Fruit Squeezes for Natural Energy on the Go

I have snacks on hand all the time. I keep nuts in my car's glove compartment, and carry energy bars in my purse whether I'm doing errands around town or hopping on a plane. I don't like being caught empty handed if, [Read more]

Alpacas in Harmony - Alpaca farms in New York State (Annemarie Dooling)

Feeding Alpacas and Finding Connection for the New Year

New Yorkers often spend long weekends hiking and “antiquing” in Dutchess and Ulster Counties, but Sullivan County, to the east of them, is also a terrific getaway for beleaguered city folk.  Once the location of some of [Read more]


Favorite Posts

Berlin Bike Tour – Private Guided Bicycle Tour in East Berlin

East and West Berlin are, of course, unified. The Berlin Wall came down in 1989 and since then, the two formerly distinct cities have become absolutely easy to traverse — however, the two halves remain distinct and likely will remain so for the rest of our lifetimes. After all, West Berlin didn’t have a lot[Read more]

The Most Romantic Resort in Playa Del Carmen: Viceroy Riviera Maya

When I first walked through Viceroy Riviera Maya in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico I was absolutely stunned by the lush, green growth that covered the property. Sidewalks twist and turn through the grounds leading to unobtrusive private villas, a serene pool area and breathtaking ocean views. The jungle [Read more]

Girlfriend Getaway at the Four Seasons Hotel Denver

In the heart of Denver’s downtown — steps away from a plethora of restaurants and nightclubs, and kitty-corner from the famed Denver Center for the Performing Arts — the Four Seasons Hotel Denver makes an ideal upscale destination for a girlfriend getaway. Sure, I’d be thrilled to bring my family here (the Four Seasons brand[Read more]

Small Cruise Ships in Alaska for Great Inside Passage Travel

Small cruise ships in Alaska's Inside Passage are able to provide travelers with incredible, uniquely Alaskan vacations that the large cruise ship tours can only dream of. The southeast Alaska small cruise ship I experienced was, [Read more]

Renaissance Pittsburgh: A Family Friendly Hotel

I've always heard Pittsburgh was a "classic American town" with nice people, good food and the zeal for sports, especially football, is indescribable. If you read about my family's visit to Primanti Bros visit you already know [Read more]

How to Remove Cactus Needles from Skin

If you're heading to the desert any time soon, there is one question you may want to know the answer to: How do you remove cactus needles from skin? There is nothing quite like the glorious desert, especially Arizona's Sonoran [Read more]