CabinZero Review: Functional & Stylish

In my fairy tale world of travel, I’d be like Samantha on , who would wrinkle her nose and transport from one place of another, or like Captain Kirk on , who had Scotty to beam him up. That’s no muss, no fuss travel! Since I’m a mere mortal living in a time that teleportation is not yet available, I have to pack and tote my stuff all over the world. Over the years I’ve become an efficient packer, maximizing every inch of my space, but I’m always looking for ways to improve the toting and lugging experience. My packing preference, when traveling for longer than a weekend, is to pack and check a 22-inch roller bag. I know that I can carry it on, and there are all sorts of good reasons why I should, but the reality is […]

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Weekend Guide: Getaway to Langley, Washington

This weekend guide for your getaway to Langley, Washington, will help you plan your getaway, complete with where to stay, what to eat and drink, and what to do. Located on the south end of Whidbey Island overlooking the Saratoga Passage, Langley’s community of just over 1,000 people entice visitors with small town hospitality. With charming inns and cottages, seven wineries in the area, and a stunning natural environment, Langley is a perfect getaway destination for wine tasting, great food, and outdoor activity. This weekend guide to a getaway to Langley was written with the assistance and sponsorship of Whidbey Camano Tourism (their website is here) and its members. This guide contains affiliate links; clicking through for more information or to make a purchase may result in a small fee coming my way to help support the site. Getting There […]

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UNESCO World Heritage Site: Historic District of Panama

Panama City has two sides – the modern, with its skyscraper banks and casinos, and the old town, the historic district, referred to as Historic District of Panama, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Founded in 1519, Panama City is the oldest continuously occupied European settlement on the Pacific coast of the Americas. The city was hit many hard times – slave rebellion, fire, and an earthquake, before being destroyed in a pirate attack in 1671. The original site was laid out in a slightly irregular, somewhat rudimentary grid of colonial planning. The city was moved in 1673, about four and a half miles southeast and is known as Casco Antiguo or the old town. A sea wall was erected for protection from its enemies, the city had a central plaza with smaller plazas on the fringe. The streets were organized, […]

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Cruising: Pure Panama with UnCruise Adventure

This morning we head off to Panama City, via Miami and Hurricane Irma, for some city time followed by a week on the 65-passenger Safari Voyager cruising Panama. This expedition vessel will take us through the canal as well as to many of the smaller islands in the country. This trip is the first time that I’ve left the country this year, a rather unusual occurrence for me, but a lot of family things have been going on and it just hasn’t been the right time for me to take a trip farther than across the country for a few days. With house and pet sitter in place, we’re off. And what a trip it’s going to be! The first challenge will be to avoid Hurricane Irma. She’s rumbling it up in the Caribbean right now, and as I write […]

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Try These Summer Vacation Reading Recommendations

With the Seattle summer weather set to reach 100 degrees this week, I’m enjoying some time lounging around with a good book or two. Whether you’re looking at hours on a plane, lounging by the pool,  sacked out in a hammock, or hiding away at a cabin, here are some summer vacation reading recommendations. I’ve based these recommendations on the PopSugar 2017 reading challenge. You can find the full list of challenges at the end of this post, and previous book recommendations here and here. There’s some pretty heavy stuff on the list, but for summer, I’ve tried to keep things a little more light and breezy. There’s plenty of time to tackle heavier tomes once this heat wave passes. I’ve included affiliate links in the list below. That means if you opt to click through and buy something, a […]

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Sixty Two

Sixty-two. A cardinal number (60 plus 2) and a composite number with divisors of 2 and 31, The sum of the number of faces, edges, and vertices of an icosahedron or dodecahedron. The atomic number of Samarium, a lanthanide. The code for international direct dial calls to Indonesia. The number of home runs it took to break Roger Maris’ long standing record. And, today, sixty-two is the age that I now call my own. It was just a couple of years ago that I struggled with turning 60, recognizing that while I’m active and vitally interested in the world around me, that I’m on the downhill side of life. Nonetheless, I’m enjoying – mightily so – this sixth decade of life. It’s my plan to pack every moment of living into my remaining years, and there will be many of […]

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Five Fun Facts for Friday: Mall of America, Minnesota

The Mall of America is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2017. About one billion people from around the world have visited the largest shopping and retail entertainment center in Bloomington, Minnesota since it opened. MOA features 520 stores featuring leading designer brands and no sales tax on clothing or shoes, the largest U.S. indoor theme park and many other leading family attractions, 50 restaurants, over 400 free annual events, two luxury on-site hotels and much more. MOA features 520 stores featuring leading designer brands and no sales tax on clothing or shoes, the largest U.S. indoor theme park and many other leading family attractions, 50 restaurants, over 400 free annual events, two luxury on-site hotels, miniature golf, indoor zip line, and much, much more. It’s no wonder MOA is a top tourist and vacation destination. With all of the amazing […]

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Enter to Win: Universal Orlando Resort Package

  UPDATE:  The contest has ended and Yulia (@thefoodiemiles) is the winner of this great Universal Orlando Resort vacation package. Congratulations Yulia!  You all know that I’m a big fan of Universal Orlando Resort. From the three theme parks (including the newly opened Volcano Bay water theme park) to the CityWalk entertainment area to the onsite hotels, I think they are aces when it comes to the guest experience. Today I’m excited to announce a contest that I’m running on my Instagram account – a giveaway for a package to Universal Orlando. Before you head on over there, here are the details: The Prize Two 3-Day tickets to Universal Orlando Resort parks, including Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal’s Volcano Bay! Plus, a 3-Night stay for two at one of at one of Universal Orlando Resort’s onsite […]

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Splish Splash: A Review of Volcano Bay at Universal Orlando Resort

Last month I attended the media preview as well as the Grand Opening of Universal Orlando Resort’s new water theme park – Volcano Bay. I was predisposed to love it, of course, as I’m a fan of most things UOR (that’s probably why they hired me to be part of the inaugural Blog Squad ambassador program). But, I was not expecting to find so many things to love about this third theme park in the UOR brand. This review is a result of my visit to the park on the media day (with only a few hundred people in attendance) as well as the more crowded opening day. TL/DR:  Just go, it’s amazing! For those who want to know more, here are the details. The story of Volcano Bay starts with the culture of the Waturi, a fictional tribe from […]

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5 Fun Facts for Friday: Irvine, California

Irvine, California, is located in the center of Orange County, just 45 miles south of Los Angeles and 90 miles north of San Diego. The center of the city is only seven miles from the . While its main activities were once missions, cattle grazing, and agriculture, today it’s the 8th largest city in the U.S. and is one of the nation’s largest planned urban communities. In 2017, Irvine has been named the 10th  “Best City to Live in America.” (Niche) and #3 on the list of  “10 Happiest Cities in the United States” (WalletHub). Yet, many travelers have still not heard of it directly, instead confusing it with neighboring Anaheim or lumping it together under the label of Orange County. John Wayne Airport (SNA) is located less than five minutes from the majority of Irvine’s hotels and is served by both […]

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