January 23

Getting Around in Guatemala: Part One

Our family just returned from two weeks in Guatemala and getting from one place to another was sometimes a challenge. The girls loved some of our rides as if they were at a carnival while there were other parts that I dreaded and gritted my teeth through, and a few moments that we thought might require a barf bag. Continue reading

January 12

Visa Run Part 2: The Overnight Bus to Villahermosa

visa run

Let’s talk about overnight buses. They can be a great way to get somewhere while you sleep, but they can also be terrifying and uncomfortable insomnia inducers. For my family it seems to be a bit of both. Continue reading

May 15

Boston Strong

Boston

While I was in Boston this March I wandered around getting to know the city on foot, often not knowing where I was. On a chilly day I wandered down to the water after a tour of the Boston Tea Party Museum and walked along the inlet, coming to what seemed to be part of the harbor. I took pictures of the boats tied side by side in rows just beyond the high rises, and marveled at the contrasts of historic past and the modern future that is evident everywhere in Boston. Continue reading

November 25

What The Hell Happened to The Machine Shed?

My husband took us out to one of his favorite restaurants Saturday night, The Machine Shed. It’s located just outside of Living History Farms on the edge of Des Moines, and it’s always been a celebration of farm life and hearty cooking. Continue reading

November 20

Why I Haven’t Been Blogging

Where have I been?

You may have noticed that for the last month I’ve been MIA. I see other bloggers apologize for not posting, but I don’t feel like that’s necessary, because if I have nothing to post right then do you really want me to just throw some random crap up? No one wants to read that, and I sure don’t want to write it.

So it is without apology that I make my return to blogging, and with a new resolve. Continue reading

August 13

Happy Baggage for a Travel Geek-My New Camera Bag

You know you’re a travel geek when you get all worked up buying a new bag.

I’m not a purse girl. I carried a wallet in my back pocket well into my 20’s. I didn’t carry any kind of bag until I had children-then I discovered diaper bags. They were an excuse to carry all sorts of just-in-case items: books, snacks, first aid kit, phone, notebook, spare clothes, tablet/Kindle, sometimes even my laptop (it’s small.) Oh, and baby stuff fits in there, too. Continue reading

August 1

Learning to Sail, Day 4: The Final Day

Are you all caught up? No? Start with Sailing Lessons on Gray’s Lake.

DAY 4: the final day of the lesson.

It rained off and on and got really stormy during the day. I watched anxiously out the window at work as the wind blew sheets of water sideways and soaked our patients no matter how close they pulled to the door. The skies cleared late in the day and Jason met me at the lake with all three girls at 5:30. I overheard the marina attendant complaining on the phone about the weather, not wanting to be open: “And now there’s some woman here who wants to sail.” Carol showed up just after we did, and the rowing teams were not far behind, so he was stuck. Continue reading

August 1

Learning to Sail: Day 3

DAY 3: No wind at all.
I went to the library in search of books on sailing, hoping to find something basic like Sailing for Dummies.

On to day 4…

July 2

Sailing Lessons on Gray’s Lake, Iowa

For those unfamiliar with central Iowa, Gray’s Lake is not a large lake. It’s in the middle of Des Moines near downtown, and in previous incarnations it was part of the Raccoon River and a gravel quarry. After the epic floods of 1993 destroyed the fancy Holiday Inn that dominated its south shore it was kind of a nasty run down eyesore for years. In 2001 it was re-born; a 2 mile paved trail runs all the way around it including over a pedestrian bridge, a playground and a small marina were built, and the 167-acre park quickly became a favorite of Des Moines residents. It is haven for outdoor activity with kayaks, canoes and paddleboats as well as the trails and reclaimed prairie. The water is still dirty (it is Iowa after all) but the overall effect is pleasing and people flock to it year round, walking their dogs, riding their bikes and circling the shore rain or shine.

This is where our first sailing experience takes place. Continue reading

March 29

Starting Line

Writing is thirsty work!

Sometimes I think about my life as it would be written in a book:

“She frowned and slammed the computer keys down with more force than necessary as once again her blog setup took a turn for the worse. How was it that so many people had started blogs when it seemed to be so complicated to get started? Continue reading