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Monument Valley is just one of those places everyone should see at least once. The landscape is breathtaking, and when you’re at Monument Valley, it feels like you are in a completely different world. Located within the Navajo Nation in Utah, Monument Valley is a sacred place to the Navajo, or Dine, their name for “the people.” Jeff, Kristin, and I are so grateful to experience a moment in this special place. Our visit is one that we will never forget. It’s no wonder that so many great Westerns and other films were made here. The land, for the most part, looks the same as it has for centuries; it’s absolutely stunning. It’s also wonderful that the Navajo continue to welcome visitors to Monument Vally, and that there is a pretty unique place to stay with breathtaking views. The View Hotel is the perfect place to stay for a night…

When exploring Old Town Albuquerque, be sure to make a stop at the Rattlesnake Museum and Gift Shop. While visiting, you’ll see rescued rattlesnakes of all kinds, and you’ll get to see some fun displays honoring those in popular culture that have dealt with rattlesnakes in some way. We had a great time, and I think you will, too! Old Town Albuquerque Whether you visit the Rattlesnake Museum and Gift Shop or not, Old Town Albuquerque is a beautiful place to experience New Mexican culture. You’ll find plenty of dining options. And it’s worth checking out the shopping in the area. You’ll feel like you’re in another era. I guess that’s why it’s called Old Town. It was also cool to see the wares of local artists and craftspeople. We parallel-parked in front of this historic church in Old Town. The San Felipe de Neri Catholic Church is over 300 years…

Imagine my surprise when I discovered there were rainforests in the Pacific Northwest! Perhaps you already knew that rainforests exist in the United States. And, perhaps, United States geography is not my best subject, but I had no idea that a place like the Hoh Rain Forest existed in coastal Washington. To me, “rainforest” meant somewhere in South America or Asia or maybe even in the middle of Africa. After I made this discovery, I knew we had to spend some time in the Hoh Rain Forest. I continued researching. The vines, the lush greenery, the potential to see a banana slug? Sign me up! I was all in. And when I mentioned this adventure to my travel companions, they were all in, too. Planning Your Visit to Hoh Rain Forest Some Background Our visit to the Hoh Rainforest was part of an enormous road trip we took in 2021.…

If you’re driving along Route 66 in Oklahoma, be sure to put the historic Coleman Theater on your list of stops. We had the opportunity to tour this gorgeous theater last spring as part of a paranormal conference and ghost tour. The Coleman Theater still hosts shows and touring acts regularly, but if you’re in the area when nothing is scheduled, be sure to give them a call to see if you can arrange a tour. Or, if you’re lucky, if you stop by during typical business hours, you may just score a tour if someone is available. So don’t think you won’t be able to see the inside of this magnificent theater if you didn’t plan ahead. Check it out. And if you’re on the fence about whether you should stop during your Route 66 adventure. read on. You’ll discover why the Coleman Theater is a highlight of Route…

As we researched places to visit in Santa Fe, especially places for tasty treats, one place continued to pop up on my radar–Kakawa Chocolate House. When I discovered that you could taste rich chocolatey elixirs or devour a variety of truffles, I knew Kristin and I had to go and get our chocolate on. So, after an exciting morning at Santa Fe’s Meow Wolf attraction, it was lunchtime. And what could be better for lunch than all things chocolate? About Kakawa Chocolate House Okay, maybe we didn’t exactly have lunch there. But Kakawa Chocolate House was right along our route back to our hotel room at the Guadalupe Inn, an adorable little place (it only has 12 rooms!) that was near downtown and some pretty great places to eat. So, before we headed back to downtown and Santa Fe Plaza, we needed to satisfy our need for chocolate. There are…

One of the best things about driving along Route 66 is stopping at all the quirky, historic stops along the way, and Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo, Texas, fits this description perfectly. Who can resist the challenge of the place–finishing a 72-ounce steak and all the fixings in one hour and getting the meal for free? Turns out, we could resist, but that didn’t stop our family from stopping for lunch on a road trip out west. And let me tell you, the smaller steaks are delicious. Even if you’re not hungry, this place is worth a stop to check out the decor and roadside fun. The Big Texan Steak Ranch and Route 66 The original location of The Big Texan Steak Ranch opened in 1960 along Route 66. When I-40 opened, the location was moved, though it’s worth noting that I-40 mostly runs along Route 66, often parallel…

As we planned a trip to Yellowstone National Park, we quickly discovered that we needed to spend some time in Grand Teton National Park, as well.  I’d never heard much about this park, but when I saw others planning their trips, I realized that the parks were so close and it would be a mistake to miss this beautiful park. This is our experience. When I plan trips, I like to know what others have done. Hopefully, our experience can help you plan your trip! Planning Our Trip to Grand Teton National Park As we planned the trip a year out, we initially planned to spend two days in Yellowstone and one day in Grand Teton. We soon realized we wanted more time. In the end, we spent just the right amount of time in both parks with three days in each. To read about our Yellowstone adventure, click here.…

You may find this hard to believe, but the Lodge at Bryce Canyon is my favorite national park lodge. We’ve even stayed at Old Faithful Inn. On my birthday. While sleeping in Old Faithful Inn is one of my favorite travel experiences, there’s something special about the Lodge at Bryce Canyon. We didn’t stay in the main lodge; we had an adorable cabin a stroll away from the canyon’s edge. While we only stayed here one night, this experience will always hold a special place in my memories. One thing I’d like to mention early on in this post—make reservations early! When we booked Old Faithful Inn and Yosemite Valley Lodge, we made the reservation a year out. I know those are more popular, but don’t wait too long to book. It’s January as I write this post, and there are already dates in May and June without availability. Arriving…

One of the most “otherworldly” places in the United States is the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. We’d always wanted to see this area, and one summer, as we wrapped a road trip from Missouri to California, we had our chance. We’d just been to the Redwoods, and it was time to point the car east and head home, but not before we did some exploring along the way. We stayed in Wendover, Utah, the night before, right next to the casino city of West Wendover, Nevada. And when I say “right next,” I mean it. The state line cuts right through town. Casinos are legal on the Nevada side, but not the Utah side. We even saw a casino whose building was in Nevada, but the parking lot was in Utah. I mention this because there were several cars in our motel parking lot with the white salt of…

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