Getting my kayak on in Misty Fjords National Monument, Alaska
Misty Fjords National Monument, Alaska

I had only kayaked once before my expedition cruise on the Wilderness Discoverer – and I hadn’t particularly cared for it. My husband and I had gone sea kayaking on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast – and I felt that we were going to be flipped into the water at every second. Not what I’d call […]


Ever seen a glacier up close? A first-hand view of glacier trekking after a muddy hike to Baird Glacier in Alaska.
Wilderness Discoverer, InnerSea Discoveries, Alaska small ship cruise

The day after we viewed Sawyer Glacier from a respectable distance, the expedition leaders on the Wilderness Discoverer told us that we’d get a chance to get up close and personal with our next glacier, called Baird, on a glacier trek. I signed up for the slow hike so I’d have time to take plenty […]


Want to get up close and personal with salmon in Alaska? Consider visiting a salmon hatchery, where you see how humans have intervened to protect the fish.
Salmon in Alaska

Salmon are almost synonymous with Alaska, thanks to all those nature documentaries. And while I’ve seen fish ladders here in Seattle, I didn’t quite understand the role that salmon hatcheries now play in ensuring a continual supply of wild salmon until we visited the Macaulay Salmon Hatchery just outside Juneau. There are 36 salmon hatcheries in […]


Portlandia: Powell’s City of Books

by Chris on June 21, 2011

A visit to Portland has to include a stop at Powell’s book store. Here’s why.
Powell Book Store Portland

Where: Powell’s City of Books, 1005 W. Burnside, Portland, OR. 503-228-4651 Claim to fame: A bibliophile’s wet dream, Powell’s City of Books is one of the country’s most celebrated bookstores, for good reason. It’s a block long. It has color coded room based on topics and interests. It allows new and gently used books to co-mingle, […]


The Local: Wabasha Caves, St. Paul

by Chris on June 20, 2011

A trip to the Wabasha Street Caves, part of St. Paul’s gangster history
Wabasha Caves, St. Paul

Ask a Minneapolis local about things to do in St. Paul and you’ll come up with a blank stare; vice versa on the other side of the Mississippi. The Twin Cities are more like distant relations than blood brothers, with very different histories and sensibilities. When I grew up in the 1970s and 1980s, people […]


Wondering how to join Mardi Gras krewe? It’s not hard to ride on a float, but be prepared to pay.
Mardi Gras krewes

A few people have asked me what people need to do to join a Mardi Gras krewe (and how much it costs). Most krewes, especially the older ones, have closed memberships that have, in some cases, been handed down through families for generations. New Orleans holds its traditions tight, so you have a better chance […]


Riding on Mardi Gras floats is about the most fun you can do with your clothes on. A look at how it all comes together, based on my Krewe of Muses ride.
Mardi Gras floats

Spectators may only grab a glimpse of Mardi Gras floats as they roll by, but for the riders, preparing for a New Orleans parade is an all-day affair. I rode in the Krewe of Muses this year for the fifth time since joining the Mardi Gras organization back in 2001. It proved to be the […]


Aloha, Lanai: Snuba Diving in Hawaii

by Chris on February 12, 2011

Snuba diving in Hawaii, on Lanai’s Hulopo’e Beach and Marine Reserve with Trilogy Excursions.
Snuda diving, Hawaii

One of my favorite activities during my time spent as a New Media Artist in Residence on Lana’i was the chance to go snuba diving in Hawaii’s calm, clear waters. What is snuba? Essentially, it’s a cross between snorkeling and SCUBA diving, designed to give people who aren’t quite ready to really swim with the […]


The Kardashian moment of my #VisitLanai trip: creating a signature scent at the Four Seasons Resort of Manele Bay in Lanai
Signature scent, Four Seasons at Manele Bay, Lanai, #VisitLanai

I’m not exactly a girly girl. My manicures chip, my makeup wears off  and now that I’m in Seattle, I wear too many hoodies. Yet my secret diva self is much like Kim Kardashian – and I love experiences that are custom built to my  tastes (I mean, really, who doesn’t?) So when I found […]

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Balloon Girl: My first hot air balloon ride involves an Ohio sunrise, a mad “chase van” ride through the Hocking Hills and close encounters with tree branches.
A Hot air balloon ride in Hocking Hills, Ohio

There’s many ways to soar above the  Hocking Hills’ hills, lakes and forests. You can zipline through the treetops on a canopy tour. Or take a scenic ride in a small airplane over Cedar Falls. But I couldn’t wait to finally partake in an adventure that had lured me since I read Around the World […]

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