There’s Nothing Scary about the Petrified Forest

petrified forestAs a kid, I was fascinated by the concept of the Petrified Forest. After all, who can resist the idea of trees, seemingly magically turned into rocks? Of course, there’s nothing magical about it: The colorful fossilized trunks were formed millions of years ago when silica from volcanic ash formed quartz crystals in fallen redwood trees.

The science is intriguing, but the actual “forest”—a span of desert off Route 66 in Arizona—is even more so. Words really don’t do it justice, so instead I’ll give you want you really want: photos. Nicole and I spent a few hours walking and driving past the logs and taking in the sweeping views of the Painted Desert, but you could spend much longer here. I hope my three nephews will find the box of petrified wood I picked up for them just as fascinating as I did.

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We Slept in a Wigwam

wigwam motel #6Well, technically a tipi, as more than one friend has pointed out. More technically: the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona. So maybe it was more like concrete cone rather than an actual Native American dwelling. But our wigwam was still steeped in history.

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Time to Hit the Road

Our Southwest roadtrip adventure has arrived! After a 6 a.m. flight tomorrow morning (blargh), we’ll be exploring Route 66, Flagstaff, the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Mesa Verde, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and more for the next 9 days. If you don’t already, please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for exclusive photos and updates!

On the Road in Bavaria Day Nine: Mostly Good in Munich

MunichThis is the last post in a series about the first roadtrip Jess and I took together. We’ll be heading out for a Southwest roadtrip in just a few days, and will be chronicling our adventures from the road!

Our first order of business was to return the rental car in Munich. This sounds like a simple task, but no. It was hell. We spent at least an hour circling the train station, each of us running in to speak with various rental company agents, before being sent back out into the world to another location. Sigh. Jess and I never get snippy with each other, but the strain of returning the car had us on edge. Add in the fact that we got lost walking in circles trying to find our hotel, and Munich wasn’t off to a very good start. Continue reading

A Sidetrip to Watkins Glen, NY

To tide ourselves over while waiting for our SW roadtrip to commence (4 more days!!!), both Jess and I have spent the summer taking a bunch of smaller weekend and days trips – Vegas, Vermont, Rhode Island, Cape Cod, Hammond Castle, Calf Island… the list goes on and on. Our last “big” trip goes back almost 10 months – our 5-day weekend in Iceland – so we’ve needed to sate our wanderlust in smaller, more manageable ways. Enter my trip to the Finger Lakes in upstate New York last weekend. Continue reading