We’ve Been Selected as Viator Ambassadors!
We’re pleased to announce that we’ve been selected as 2014 Viator Ambassadors!

What does this mean, you ask? It means that we, and six other lucky travel bloggers, get to share our Viator experiences from all over the globe!

The only problem? How will we ever choose where to go first?… CONTINUE READING >> 
Yin and Yang: Ancient Meets Modern in Shanghai

How does a city with a jaw-dropping skyline and  the fastest train in the world also embrace its roots?

Join us as we discover Shanghai — the old and the new — through her art, religion, architecture and food (soup dumplings!)… CONTINUE READING >>

Beautiful Ceremony at City God Temple, Shanghai

Music is an important part of Taoist ceremonies. Watch this group of monks don colorful robes and play a variety of intriguing instruments… See more about City God Temple >>

The Old College Pry

How do we know when we’ve become too involved in our offspring’s college education?

Is it okay to call a professor to dispute a test score? Should we proofread papers? Should we have access to grades if we are paying tuition? Should we storm the Dean’s office?

This recovering helicopter mom got the straight dope from college professors – and you won’t believe their stories… CONTINUE READING >>

The Ancient Mayan Ruins at Tulum, Mexico

Tulum is not the kind of place that even the most wandering GypsyNesting-type will stumble upon by accident. It’s not on the way to anywhere.

But since we found ourselves on the Caribbean coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, what’s known as the Riviera Maya, we hopped on a bus to the ancient Mayan site.

We wanted to enjoy both a … CONTINUE READING >>

Incredible, Imperial Vienna – it’s One Heavy Town!
Everything is so substantial!

So very unlike the disturbing mush-meat sausages we find when we pop the top on little cans marked “Vienna,” we found the city in Austria to be substantial, gorgeous, and tasty.

How could these two things ever have been connected?… CONTINUE READING >>

Empty Nest Egg

Where did you live when you were first starting out? I’ll bet it wasn’t quite the Taj Mahal.

Our first place was a one bedroom, former screened-in porch that had all the weather proofing of the average wiffle ball. It was a veritable private zoo of insect vermin — and we were glad to have it. We were proud and happy to be on our own.

Who are we to deny our offspring those same pleasures?CONTINUE READING >>

The Fiberglass Menagerie – the Mecca of Roadside Ginormous Stuff
Ever wonder where they came from? So did we! 

Nothing lifts the spirits while traveling through America quite like the sight of a fiberglass colossus looming in the distance. On a summertime roadtrip, through the shimmering heat from the highway, a form begins to take shape…

A sky-scraping Abe Lincoln, a Paul Bunyan the size of a small office building, a life-sized brontosaurus or a fish that could swallow an airliner — all have great power to inspire, or at least attract… CONTINUE READING >>

Delivering Supplies to a Little School in the Jungle
We will carry this in our hearts forever…

The Anita School was built specifically for the children of immigrant workers on one of the sprawling palm plantations in the Quepos area of Costa Rica.

Driving several miles down a dusty dirt road through the dense rows of palms, we reached a one-room schoolhouse… CONTINUE READING >>

Helicopter Mom – You Are Grounded!
“A mother is only as happy as her saddest child,” a close friend’s grandmother used to say.

When I first heard her say this, all three of my children were young and safely in the nest so I could totally relate. Somehow I thought once they were grown up this would change.

It didn’t.

Trouble finds its way into everyone‘s lives – and as much as we hate it – trouble finds our adult children. Whether it rears its ugly head in a… CONTINUE READING >>

Picture This: The Breathtaking Blue Mosque of Istanbul
One of the most stunning buildings we’ve ever seen!

Built in 1609 by Sultan Ahmed I, the Blue Mosque features a main dome, eight secondary domes, and six minarets, and is considered the pinnacle of two centuries of Ottoman mosque development.

Upon entering the mosque, Veronica was dumbstruck – unable to begin to take photos. She couldn’t figure out where to start.


Inside Istanbul’s Blue Mosque

It’s impossible to show the enormity of the mosque in photos – video helps!… See more about this beautiful place here!>>

Goin’ for the Gold (Coast) in Australia
We may be nuts, but we’re not crazy! Of course we jumped at the chance to spend a few days along Queensland’s Gold Coast.

This dazzling stretch along the Coral Sea has become Australia’s playground for food, fun, surf, and sun.

From our first look at the towering skyline and enticing water… CONTINUE READING >>

Picture This: Riding the Expedition Train to Machu Picchu
Our days of hiking four days over rough terrain are probably behind us, so attempting The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu was out. Luckily, there is another alternative.

Several trains a day run on the second highest railroad in the world, after the Qinghai–Tibet Railway…. CONTINUE READING >> 

Fear Conquering & Feeding Crocodiles

Is anyone really crazy enough to lure sixteen feet of teeth and muscle out of the water with a chicken leg?

Yes. We are.

Perhaps we’re not as crazy or brave (stupid?) as we are making ourselves out to be since we barely had time to think about it.

But is it any less insane because… CONTINUE READING >> 

Feeding Hungry Crocs in Australia!

There’s no rush in the world like being on the business end of a hungry croc’s mouth. Less than a second ticks by – from leaping reptile to the other-worldly SNAP! as enormous jaws slam shut… Read the whole, crazy adventure here!>>

A Quirky Slice of Pisa
We’re not sure if we have ever heard the word Pisa without “leaning tower” in front of it.

There is good reason for that, the gravity defying belfry is certainly the star of the show.

And we’re not even going to try to hide the fact that we took several obligatory “holding up the tower” photos.

Starting out with the classic two-handed (with the addition of Veronica bracing for the fall for extra style points)… CONTINUE READING >>

THE Talk
“I’m eighteen now, I can do what I want.”

The dreaded time when the spawn are technically adults but still in high school. At that age, it would seem that “adult” means the freedom to head out and start being stupid at top speed.

The standard “Not in my house” or “As long as you live under my roof, you’ll abide by my rules” replies didn’t seem to sink in with our young ‘uns. In fact, I could almost see the heels digging in to the floor.

One day while driving our oldest, The Piglet, to school, I got fed up and burst out with what became known in our family as “THE Talk.” No, not THAT “the talk”, this one:… CONTINUE READING >>

Paradise in the Middle of the Costa Rican Jungle
Costa Rica is widely recognized as a top destination for eco-tourism. If that conjures up visions of carrying a backpack through the jungle, sleeping in tents, and living off of nuts and wild papayas, we can relate.

But that was before The Parador Resort & Spa brought us to Central America to show us the greener side of luxury.

Arriving on a late flight into… CONTINUE READING >>

What if My Adult Child is Addicted to Online Gaming?

One of our readers sent me an email that really touched me:

I am not completely an empty nester unfortunately. My 20 year old son was not able to return to college this fall because of the lack of loans and grants available to him. So now he is doing nothing except for playing the computer game WoW (World of Warcraft) most of his waking hours. He did just purchase a small business that will make him a small living, but I pray he goes back to college. He is very bright and it would be such a waste if he didn’t. –Hannah

Hannah, my heart… CONTINUE READING >>

The World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Where in the world is the most fun in the shortest distance on St. Patrick’s Day?

In a clever ploy to get us to visit, Veronica’s dad dropped a little “have you ever heard of The World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade” on us early in in March.

How could we possibly resist an invitation like that? … CONTINUE READING >>

Bratislava for Beginners
Until we began our cruise down the Danube, we had not been very familiar with this part of the world.

In fact we knew nothing at all about the city of Bratislava, but it has played an important role in the history of central Europe for centuries, dating all the way back to Roman times.

Join us and discover Bratislava … CONTINUE READING >>

A Small Space in Your Suitcase Can Make a Big Impact in the World!
Did you know you can make a big impact on the lives of children around the world if you Pack for a Purpose?

How did we not know about this organization?

It’s such a simple way for us to use available space in our luggage to provide supplies to communities we visit – and we just had to share our good luck in finding out about it!… CONTINUE READING >>

Delve deeper: ,
Canned Hammin’ it up at The Spam Museum!

A whole museum dedicated to a canned meat? Our wondering eyes had to see, we never pass up a cheesy tourist diversion.

Passing by the bronze pigs being led to slaughter, through the front doors, we were greeted by three thousand Spam cans stacked in a stunning display in the lobby.

This museum is no… CONTINUE READING >> 

Beijing – Forbidden No More
To those of us who grew up in the “eat your vegetables, there are starving kids in China” era, visiting Beijing really seemed like a trip into a forbidden city.

Back then the city was known… CONTINUE READING >>

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