Falling for Flagstaff

Flagstaff Arizona in OctoberIf you’ve never been to Arizona, you probably have some preconceived notions about the so-called Copper State: It’s full of sweeping deserts, saguaro cacti, and red rock formations. And while that’s certainly true for some parts of the state—Tucson, for example, which I’ve visited previously—there’s so much more to Arizona. Continue reading

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On the Road in Bavaria Day Seven: Exploring the City of Salzburg

This is Part Seven in a multi-post series about the first roadtrip Jess and I took together. We’ll be heading out for a Southwest roadtrip in five weeks, and will be chronicling our adventures from the road!

Day seven of this trip was the day I had been waiting for – the Sound of Music tour! I’ve already recapped in detail our time on the tour (seriously folks, do it!), so I won’t rehash too much here, but needless to say, getting picked up at your B&B by a dude in lederhosen that looked straight out of the movie’s costume department most definitely set the tone for the tour. Continue reading

On the Road in Bavaria Day Six: Putting the Salt in Salzburg

Hallein salt mineThis is Part Six in a multi-post series about the first roadtrip Nicole and I took together. We’ll be heading out for a Southwest roadtrip in less than six weeks, and will be chronicling our adventures from the road!

After a near-perfect day in Innsbruck, it was going to be tough to beat our trip to the top of an Alp. Nevertheless, we picked up a quick breakfast at McDonald’s (I know, I know—but we had to sample the Austrian fast food offerings) and hit the road. The drive to Salzburg was manageable (about two hours) and uneventful, especially compared to our snowy travels days earlier.

We were headed to Salzburg for one big reason: Nicole’s love of the Sound of Music. (I remain ambivalent about the musical, although our visit certainly made me appreciate it a bit more.) With a day-long tour planned for the following day, we figured we would take today easy. In fact, we underestimated the drive and actually had nothing planned for the remainder of the day—a rarity with advance planners like us!

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On the Road in Bavaria Day Five: Adventures in Innsbruck

the alps after a snowfallThis is Part Five in a multi-post series about the first roadtrip Nicole and I took together. We’ll be heading out for a Southwest roadtrip this fall, and will be chronicling our adventures from the road!

When we last left you, Nic and I were stranded in Jungholz, Austria, by a freak blizzard, trapped in a deserted guesthouse occupied only by the innkeeper and his family. Despite the circumstances, our host (who eerily resembled Dexter) could not would not feed us, leaving us to subsist on leftovers from our day’s meager lunch and one Mars bar (for which he later charged us). Needless to say, we were ready to hit the road.

The next morning, Dexter kindly helped dig our car out of the 2+ feet of snow, and off we went, slowly coasting down the mountain and out of Jungholz, a place that, while undoubtedly lovely under the right conditions, I hope to never see again.

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On the Road in Bavaria Day Two: Where Chastity Belts Meet Christmas Trees

This is Part Two in a multi-post series about the first roadtrip Nicole and I took together. We can’t wait to share our upcoming adventures from our Southwest roadtrip this fall!

After a restful night’s sleep, we awoke to a gorgeous October morning in Rothenburg, Germany. Wait, scratch that: I awoke from a restful night’s sleep. Nicole’s insomnia had set in, a harbinger of what was to come for the rest of our trip. Nevertheless, we enjoyed our first German breakfast, a hearty selection of crusty rolls, local meats and cheeses, fresh berries, and yogurt. Love those German breakfasts! Continue reading

On the Road in Bavaria Day 1: Palaces and Pork Knuckle

Day One of Bavarian Road TripIn anticipation of our upcoming Southwestern US road trip adventure in October, we’ll be revisiting some of our most memorable travels. We love a good road trip, especially the ability to get behind the wheel, press the gas pedal, and just keep going—anywhere— as well as to stop when and where we like. Road trips aren’t always the most affordable travel option, but if you can land a great deal on a rental car (or save money elsewhere), they’re a wonderful way to experience places and things you might otherwise miss on a tour or public transportation. We’re firm believers that travel isn’t just about the destination, but about the journey, too!

In October 2010, Nicole and I kicked off our very first trip together: a 9-day drive through Germany and Austria. First stop: the medieval walled town of Rothenburg. Continue reading

5 Things to Do on Scotland’s Isle of Skye

When Nicole, my sister Lauren, and I were planning our UK trip last spring, I had one request: We absolutely had to visit Skye. A jaunt to this island off the west coast of Scotland has been a dream of mine ever since I discovered that the MacLeod clan—my maternal grandmother’s family—originated here. I’d read about Dunvegan Castle and the Fairy Flag` that, legend has it, protected generations of MacLeods in battle. Now it was time to see it all for myself. Continue reading