Gordon House Frank Lloyd Wright_Holga

The Home Frank Lloyd Wright Designed for Middle Class America

Gordon House Frank Lloyd Wright_Holga

West Coast Road Trip (continued) Our road trip from Los Angeles to Portland Oregon continues, and I planned a visit to a home that Frank Lloyd Wright designed: The Gordon House, just one hour south of Portland. Turns out, this home was built near Wilsonville Oregon, but in 2001 some well-off folks bought the property and intended to tear it down and build their dream home. The Frank Lloyd Wright Conservancy got a Read More

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The Jewel of Central Oregon – Crater Lake

Crater Lake Oregon_Road trip snow caps

West Coast Road Trip (continued)   On my road trip from Los Angeles to Portland Oregon, Crater Lake wasn't exactly on the way but I heard it was not to be missed. Never were truer words stated. Knowing nothing about Crater Lake before I got there, I truly didn't know what to expect. Traveling up 2000 feet on snowy mountains in the middle of July is the last thing I expected. I was like a giddy 6 year old seeing the Read More

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Oregon Cows are Happy Cows – West Coast Road Trip

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West Coast Road Trip (continued) Continuing in this series of a west coast road trip, we headed north and crossed the California / Oregon border, two things were completely evident:  Oregon cows are very happy cows, and  the sky is definitely different in Oregon. No question about it.  Check out the view these cows have, not to mention all the open space. So spoiled! The white of the clouds and the blue of the sky Read More

Lavender Fields at the Robert Sinskey Winery on the Silverado Trail in Napa, California.

West Coast Road Trip Begins: Napa Valley

Lavender Fields at the Robert Sinskey Winery on the Silverado Trail in Napa, California.

Lavender Fields at the Robert Sinskey Winery on the Silverado Trail in Napa, California. Recently we went on a road trip from Los Angeles to Portland, Oregon and I wanted to share some of the awesome and unexpected gems along the way. The agenda was to stick to the Highway 5 North until Portland, with a detour to Crater Lake, and come back down to LA along the Pacific Coast.  First Stop: Napa, California! For Read More

Scotland Highland cow

The Breathtaking Scottish Highlands

Scotland Highland cow

I went on a 3-day trip through the Scottish Highlands called Skye High Scotland with Haggis Tours and I will never forget it. Though I tend to avoid touristy activities, it seemed like the smartest way to see the Highlands which are some of the most beautifully majestic landscapes in the world. The tour company is geared toward active young people who want to make their cash stretch far as possible. Highlights Read More

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Countryside for Londoners – Hampstead Heath

Hamstead Heath_002

I had the pleasure of visiting a friend in London who lives in an area called Hampstead Heath, and it was something I never expected. It's an ancient park covering 790 acres and is one of the highest points in London. It has playgrounds, running tracks, duck ponds, three public swimming ponds and impressive views of the city. Some say it is the countryside for Londoners, and it's just five miles from Trafalgar Square. They Read More

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A New Breed of California Shopping Mall

TheOCmix_Portola

If you have any reason to be in Costa Mesa or passing through, I recommend a quick visit to this place. It's between Los Angeles and San Diego. What drew me in originally is an organic specialty coffee shop called Theorem by Portola Coffee Lab. I read that they give you an intimate experience at their six-seat "craft coffee lab" and use old bartending trends like adding barrel aged bitters to caffeinated drinks – pretty Read More

immersed in a rain forest

Immerse yourself in a North American Rain Forest

immersed in a rain forest

Located at the Northshore Rainforest in Vancouver is 27 acres of pure nature called the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park; it's a real treat for anyone who loves nature, fresh air and some adventure. It's only a 30-minute drive from Downtown Vancouver (there's a free shuttle too) and I recommend it for solo travelers, couples and families alike. The park has several reasons to visit: The Suspension Bridge is 250 feet above Read More

Clipper ship on Lake Michigan

Chicago River and Lake Michigan Tour

Clipper ship on Lake Michigan

The Chicago skyline, in my opinion, is the prettiest in the US.  Whether you've been to Chicago or not, seeing the city from Lake Michigan is the one thing you should definitely do.  Wendella is one of the only companies that do a combined tour of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. Don't get jipped and take a cruise that only takes you on the river! Wendella's tour lasts 90 minutes and I found it to be informative, Read More

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A Vintage Fashion Wonderland in Edinburgh, Scotland

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  I found myself in Edinburgh, Scotland with a few days to kill. I had no plans, I only knew I didn’t want to spend my days in the souvenir shops. As I strolled down a winding road I’m thinking, ‘this is more like it’, there is almost nobody around and I see these quirky, artsy store fronts, the kind that make you wonder what exactly they are selling. I didn't realize then that I was headed to the Grassmarket area, a Read More

Coastal Downtown Chicago

Chicago’s Priceless View from the Top

Coastal Downtown Chicago

One of the best ways to see Chicago is from 1,000 feet high at the John Hancock Observatory (aka Chicago 360), and yes, it's better than the view from the Sears Tower. There are interactive kiosks and historical murals throughout so you can learn exactly you’re looking at if you want to know. I personally just have fun checking out the 360 degree views and taking pictures. Did you know that Chicago has a beach? Like, a real Read More

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Santa Ynez Valley

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The Santa Ynez Valley is a collection of six distinctive communities encircled by the Santa Ynez and San Rafael mountains. It is a fantastic destination if you’re looking for a mellow-paced trip to California wine country. It is just 35 miles from the Santa Barbara Coast, 125 miles up the coast from Los Angeles and 300 miles south of San Francisco. I suggest it as a destination no matter where you are from, no matter the time Read More