Road Trips

Oregon Mini Vacation: Umpqua Lighthouse State Park

On a recent Monday, we headed to the Oregon coast to stay in a yurt at Umpqua Lighthouse State Park. We ventured through Florence, Oregon toward Reedsport and then to Winchester Bay for our one-night stay in a pet-friendly yurt so we could bring our family golden retriever, Maggie, on this summer adventure. Umpqua Lighthouse State Park is located overlooking the famous Salmon Harbor on Winchester Bay on the southern Oregon coast. The State Park is surrounded by towering sand dunes. Part of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, these dunes reach heights of 500 feet and are ideal...

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I’m sure many people who have never ventured to Pittsburgh picture the place as a city filled with factories, steel mills and warehouses based upon its industrial past. Looking to spend some time bonding and having fun with my nine-year-old son, we embarked on a weekend getaway to Pittsburgh where both of us were familiar with its pro sports teams but neither had ever visited there before. What we discovered during our father-son road trip wasn’t the stereotypical factory town image that had been envisioned but rather an upbeat, energetic city that is full of world-class museums and educational...

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Summer To-Do: Get Thee To Crater Lake National Park

Oregon has many, many landmarks. From its rocky, breathtaking coastline to the mountains to the high desert of Eastern Oregon; the state has it all it all. As far as national parks go, Oregon has one, and it’s amazing. Welcome to Crater Lake National Park. At Crater Lake, it’s easy to take the family on a lazy afternoon in the sun adventure to see this amazing and unforgettable national treasure. The park’s breathtaking beauty an hour and a half south of Bend, Oregon and for our family, has become yearly tradition. Through all four seasons, Crater Lake shows us...

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Taking the Kids Fishing. Worth It

A big part of modern parenting is “memory building.” We’re told in all of the magazines and self-help seminars that we should build memories with our kids. Back in the 70s and 80s, this was just doing stuff as a family. For fun. Now, it’s a job. In the name of memory building, my job recently was to take the kids fishing. Since my day job is driving other people’s brand new cars, you can hopefully see the sarcasm in my use of that word. The other people’s brand new car I had for this fishing trip is the...

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Charming, Historic Brownsville, Oregon Awaits

Oregon is full of charming small towns that tell a tale. However, my favorite is Brownsville, located just off I-5 20 miles north of Eugene. Brownsville is a town of 2,000 people and is Oregon’s third oldest city, after Astoria and Oregon City. Founded before Oregon was even a state, Brownsville is steeped with history, fun festivals and charming storefronts that are the perfect escape for a day. If, looking at pictures, Brownsville looks familiar; it’s likely because you’ve seen the 1986 Steven King movie Stand By Me. The movie was filmed in and around Brownsville and features the...

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Discovering the Art of the Carousel at Sandusky’s Merry-Go-Round Museum

One of the joys of travel is discovering new facets of yourself. It could be a delicious food you’ve never heard of, or maybe that zip-lining over the forest is not really as fun as it looks. On occasion, something catches you by surprise. On a recent visit to Sandusky, Ohio’s Merry-Go-Round Museum an unexpected appreciation for carousels surfaced within me. Now, I’ve never been a fan of carousels. Clambering onto an uncomfortable horse to slowly spin and bounce along to the loud oompa-oompa of the pipe organ. Even at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, my favorite place on Earth, I’m...

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Complete Guide to Disney’s Vero Beach Resort

Guide to Disney’s Vero Beach Resort We stayed at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, a Disney Vacation Club property, for Mother’s Day weekend. It worked out because not only did it give us something special to do for our family matriarch, but also an opportunity to learn more about Disney Vacation Club, something we’ve been on the fence about for the last several years. The trip helped shed light on the DVC, which is what the cool Disney members call it for short. Vero Beach, Getting There We visited Vero Beach in the past, a three hour drive from our home in Southwest Florida.  Vero...

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The Great LEGO Race Ride Opens in LEGOLAND Florida

Get your motor running! The newest attraction The Great Lego Race now open at LEGOLAND® Florida Resort, just outside of Orlando, combines roller coaster excitement with virtual reality (VR) technology, putting guests in the center of an out-of-this-world thrill. LEGOLAND Florida Resort features more than 50 rides, and it’s newest ride The Great LEGO® Race invites guests into a virtual world where they’re the star of an exhilirating race against several LEGO minifigure competitors — all while taking an roller coaster ride! A LEGO pirate, surfer, wizard, pharaoh are ready to outpace the competition at every turn. Virtual Reality Wearing the optional, but...

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What Is the Golden Spike National Historic Site, and So What?

Just another lawn-mowing day in the life of a Northern Utah teenager. One hot summer afternoon as a kid, I was mowing the front yard when a car pulled over in front of my house.  The passenger rolled his window down and motioned me over.  I stopped the mower and went to the car, which contained two elderly couples. The man driving the car said “hello” and I could tell from his accent he wasn’t a Utah native. In my teenage “you’re interrupting my lawn mowing but how can I help you” voice, I said “hi” back. He asked,...

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Ford Sheds Light on Why We Love and Hate Tech

A relationship thrives when there are strong reasons to be in one and I suppose my love-hate relationship with technology is so strong because the reasons to love and hate it are as boundless as they are compelling. And it seems I’m not alone. In a survey conducted for Ford, “47% of adults globally agree that there is a dark side to technology that’s making us dumber, while 63% claim it makes us less polite.” Perhaps, like me, you have a child who is smart but who has the capacity to be smarter. But as long as he has...

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