Category Archives: America

Kentucky basketball fans are dedicated!

If you have ever been to Lexington, Kentucky you know they are serious about their basketball. How serious?!

This video shows the appropriately named “tent city” that forms each September around the University where fans camp for at least three days before the release of tickets to the first University of Kentucky basketball open practice called midnight madness! Yes- you read that correctly – practice! Not game! It’s more of a show these days than an actual practice but none the less wildcat fans are dedicated!

Love letter to the world…A very cool Art/Tattoo project. #LLTTW

Travelers going to burning man or just interested in a very cool art project check out “Love Letter to The World” by artists Kurt and Kremena of Lexington, Kentucky. Following the huge success of the Lexington Tattoo Project, Love Letter to the world is a “video artwork that combines poetry, tattoos, music, photography, spoken word, storytelling, and global connections.”

Check it out or become part of it.
website-Derek Wingfield

#70 Visit Arches National Park, Utah: 100 Family Travel Experiences

#71 Visit Arches National Park, Utah

“It looks like were on the moon” That’s the first words my son said when he looked out to see the red rocks that surrounded us on our way to Arches National Park. You really can’t imagine how unique the landscape is from anywhere else in the USA until you see it. Arches National Park is home to over 2000 natural stone arches and and hundreds of stone pinnacles. It is breathtaking. Take lots of water, go for a drive and hike the trails. It’s a red rock wonderland.


#85 Vail Colorado: 100 days of family travel

#85 Vail Colorado:
After this last winter I’m not inclined to thinking about snow but I do love to ski. Family ski vacations are fabulous and Vail is the most family friendly ski area I know. With all levels of skiing available, great ski schools, wonderful instructors and plenty of family friendly activities off the slopes….vail pleases everyone! And one can argue it’s equally as exciting and beautiful in summer too!


#99 Raft the Grand Canyon: 100 Days of Family Activities

100 Days of Family Activities

#99 Raft The Grand Canyon

There are lots of ways to visit the Grand Canyon but to really experience it’s beauty and magnitude you need to get down into it and ride along it. We spent 7 days rafting it and camping along it’s shores and took a magnificent helicopter ride out. For the even more intrepid you can hike in and out and carry your gear!


American travel… add CHICAGO to your list of cities to visit with your teen.

Traveling in or to America?  Add CHICAGO to your List of Cities to visit with your teen.

A day in Chicago.

I love Chicago. It’s in my Top Five cities to visit in the USA.  It is a great city to spend a day with your older kids too. I just spent 24 hours in the city with my 15 year old while we had some extra time around her dive competition.

A quick L ride into the city from the outskirts (cheaper hotels) had us downtown in twenty minutes. Once on Michigan Ave. we had all of downtown Chicago at our fingertips. The kids wanted to go shopping. It’s not necessarily what I like to do with a day in the city – but sometimes you do what they want to do. Michigan Ave. does not disappoint shoppers.

The people of Chicago are friendly. It is a mid-western town and people are generally nice. They  actually help out in stores. There is service with a smile in restaurants and people smile and make eye contact on the streets. It’s a cool place.

Chicago also does not disappoint “foodies”. I had an amazing dinner at The Drawing Room with handcrafted cocktails and some winter squash crepes that I will never forget.  They even had great mocktails for the kids.  We all loved it!  It was one of several great meals over the weekend. The kids enjoyed cupcakes from a Cupcake ATM that literally delivers gourmet cupcakes from Sprinkles Bakery through an “ATM machine”.

The Chicago skyline is spectacular and you don’t have to go far to get an extraordinary pictures.  Just look up.  We snapped many, including one  that contained both the oldest building to survive the great fire and the majestic Willis Tower.  It’s the little things like these that make your kids think a city is grand!

With more time, a visitor should see the “Bean”, the murals, the museums, a football or baseball game, and tour the diverse neighborhoods, eat deep dish pizza and take full advantage of the thousands of opportunities Chicago has in store.  We have done those things on longer visits and are highly recommended. But on a single cold March day with my teen  – Chicago’s accessibility and hospitality didn’t disappoint.

If you read my article about the Long Term American Road Trip you know that most people rarely included Chicago.  The southern route is a lot of fun, especially if you are driving. But consider rerouting through Chicago or if you are touring the USA and plan to fly out west – make an extended connection in Chicago.  It is always worth a visit!!


Weekly photo challenge- threes

I decided to jump into the Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge with cool things from my home of Lexington, Ky. One of the coolest thing we have in Lexington in recent years is an abundance of amazing murals. Local and international artists have blessed this town with amazing art in all areas of town.

This mural is part of a bigger mural project called “The Giant Storybook Project” in which Lexington is home to two of the 13 murals that are around the world.




Sleeping with Roosters – Sleep deprivation at home and when traveling

I didn’t realize it until we were several months into our Round-the-World trip, but my whole family (my husband and two children, ages 14 and 10) were sleep deprived. We had been that way since before the kids were born because we live in a society that rewards sleep deprivation.

We were a typical American family – we were hard working, hyper-scheduled, and generally just plain busy. We tried to keep a balanced schedule, sit down for meals, eat healthy and put our kids to bed (after sports and homework) at a decent bedtime.  But typically the kids got about 8 hours of sleep (or less) and we got about 6.

A few months in to our schedule-free trip around the world and  I could see that on an average night my kids needed 10 hours of sleep and we needed at least 8.  Every night. This seems to be on track with actual research. (See the latest CDC article below)foghorn-blue-maran-rooster-crowing-in-fruit-orchard-81

Despite often being in remote places like Bali where the roosters crow all night long or Guatemala where there is a constant barrage of fireworks, we slept more and better. I do suggest you travel with ear plugs as the sounds of life (including traffic, roosters, fireworks, laughter, and occasional drunkenness) are part of the world.

After a year of moving and adapting to all kinds of sounds (and getting plenty of sleep) it was a rude awakening to return home to be delivered to a nasty note from a neighbor.  The anonymous neighbor  was angry because our children were playing outside on a summer night after dusk.

” Please bring your kids inside after dark, some of us have to get up early for work in the morning.”

Being hyper-scheduled and sleep deprived doesn’t make us more productive. It can, it seems, make us more grumpy.

We make getting a good night’s sleep part of our healthy home routine now. We are more aware of how sleep affects all of us.

The American Road Trip everyone but Americans take


While traveling around the world last year our family often met people who loved to travel, had been traveling or were about to travel. It was a common topic that bonded us to strangers in foreign lands while sitting in airports, restaurants, camper parks, and queues.

What often struck me was how many travelers from other countries, especially Australians, come to America and do a trip that most Americans have never done. We heard the itinerary over and over again. It was often the same and maybe varied in a stop or two, or by the amount of time they  took, but the flow of the trip was usually the same. Here is the sample itinerary:

Fly into New York (Always a destination.)

Drive, train or Bus down the Coast To Washington, DC (Always stop here.)

Drive, train or bus to Atlanta, Georgia (Always a destination! Token southern city.)

Drive, train or bus to Florida (Various locations from Disney to Miami.)

Drive,train or bus to New Orleans,Louisiana (Always a Destination, Token music and food city.)

Fly To Colorado (If ski season.)

Visit The Grand Canyon/Arches National Park, etc.

Drive to Las Vegas (Always a Destination. It wouldn’t be America if they didn’t go to Vegas!)

Drive, Train, bus to Los Angeles/Hollywood (Always a destination.)

Stop in Hawaii

Fly Home

(Sometimes this trip is in reverse order.)

Wow! We heard it from people over and over. Young students taking a summer trip before they start work, couples coming to explore America, and retirees taking a vacation.  The concept of a North American Tour was normal for people from other countries but being American, I had never thought of the “North American Tour” on such a grand scale.

Most Americans would be hard-pressed to drive their family to Florida for Spring Break and would never think to stop and look around on the way to get there.  Seeing the idea of the American Tour makes me think about the way I  live in the United States now that we are back.  I will try to appreciate our travels even if it is just out of the county – and not the country.

We tackled the 3 week drive across the country to start our year of traveling. We drove from Kentucky to Los Angeles and sold our car before hopping on a plane to start our Round-The-World adventure. We rafted the Grand Canyon, drove through Kansas, took in a baseball game in St Louis, MO. and saw Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas. It was epic and taught us a lot about traveling before we left our home soil.  I saw it as the start of our adventure. But I have plenty more to go!

I challenge my fellow Americans to try to hit the States on the above list if you haven’t already. Then try to hit all fifty!  Explore your home and surrounding areas! When we can’t travel abroad for whatever reason… travel closer to home.

Traveling is a way of life that can be enjoyed in foreign countries – or right here in the USA!