All about my next adventure: A position as Destinations Editor at Cruise Critic.
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As we sat on our ship’s outside veranda, passing the wooden homes and onion-domed churches of the Russian countryside along the Volga River, my husband let out a happy sigh. “I LIKE cruising,” he declared, taking another sip from his wine. Well, that’s a good thing.  Because I’m thrilled to announce that as of July […]


This month’s desktop calendar wallpaper was taken at Half Moon Caye, a natural monument located at the southern end of the Lighthouse Reef atoll, in Belize
March 2013 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper: Half Moon Caye, Belize

This is the March 2013 offering for our desktop calendar series – always free and available for iPad too! Get your March 2013 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper! I took this photo at Half Moon Caye, a natural monument located at the southern end of the  Lighthouse Reef atoll in Belize. You couldn’t ask for a better desert island than this: […]


2013 Travel Trends, from ETC ’13

by Chris on January 27, 2013

What is the state of the American traveler? A few trends that I heard at the annual ETC conference in Orlando.

I spent this weekend at the annual conference put on by the Educational Travel Community (ETC), a place where tour operators and destinations can connect with universities and other entities that offer learning vacations for their alumni. If you’re like me, you’ve probably seen trips like this advertised in the back of your alumni magazine. This conference […]


Our free desktop wallpaper series continues for 2013! Our January photo was taken at Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, on Canada’s Vancouver Island.
January 2013 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper: Pacific Rim National Park

Happy 2013! We’ve decided to continue our free desktop calendar series  for another year. It gives my husband Don a chance to show off the wonderful photography that he does in his spare time (and my shots aren’t so bad either). Get your January 2013 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper!  We took this photo, from the Rainforest hiking […]


My biggest surprise in 2012? Wishing that I could spend more time in Belgrade, Serbia – and that I’d love to return
Cafe on Knez Mihajlova, Belgrade, Serbia

In the age of instant info, it can be hard to be truly surprised when you visit a city for the first time. Chances are, someone has already blogged, tweeted or Facebooked their favorite spots – and that’s just within your social networks. Never mind all the tips and tricks and photos that appear on […]


2012 in Review: Worst Experience

by Chris on December 29, 2012

Worst travel experience in 2012? You know, things really weren’t so bad (save for TSA incompetence)
TSA at Dulles

Looking back on my 2012 travels, I feel fortunate. Very few problems cropped up on my 132 nights on the road, certainly nothing as bad as my husband getting pickpocketed in 2009, the Mexican projectile vomiting episode from 2010 or the New Zealand flight from hell last year. So now it’s down to nit-picking. I missed […]


2012 in Review: Travel Lessons Learned

by Chris on December 26, 2012

2012 in retrospect: Travel lessons learned after 132 (!!!) nights on the road.
Bear cubs in British Columbia

The week between Christmas and New Year’s always feels like one of reflection. It’s when I think about what went right and wrong during the year, and try to figure out what’s on tap for the future.While I’m not a huge resolution person – I’ve found that as soon as you write a plan, life has […]


This week’s Photo Friday is a picture of a Christmas tree inside Heidelberg Castle in Germany, one of the stops on my recent Viking cruise down the Rhine
Christmas Tree at Heidelberg Castle

This is the latest in a series of travel photos inspired by #FriFotos on Twitter. The theme of this week’s Photo Friday is FESTIVE. I’ve recently returned from a Christmas Market cruise on the Rhine, traveling on the Viking Aegir. I’ll be writing a review of the ship for the website Onboard – one of my […]


Free desktop wallpaper for December 2012: Walking on Franz Josef Glacier in New Zealand.
December 2012 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper: Franz Josef Glacier Walk

This is the December 2012 offering for our desktop calendar series – always free and available for iPad too! Get your December 2012 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper! This photo was taken in November 2011, during our RV trip around the South Island of New Zealand. I’m not a cold weather fan – too many winters in Minnesota burned the […]


It’s time for Passports with Purpose 2012, the annual travel blogger fundraiser for charity. This year, I’m giving away a half-day tour of Woodlinville wineries from EverGreen Escapes.

Frequent readers of this blog know that visiting wineries is one of my favorite Value Luxury activities. The types of wine that a region serves give insight into the topography and geology of an area, in a more enticing way than than lecture. Plus on site visits allow you to pick up a few bottles […]