We have a tendency to neglect those people and places closest to us. I am embarrassed to admit I have long-neglected to get to know my nearest National Park, Cuyahoga Valley. I’ll in part blame growing up about as far away as you can get within the State of Ohio, Cincinnati to Cleveland, but the park also doesn’t receive the recognition or notoriety that many of the other 59 Parks receive. It doesn’t have the vibrant rock and vaulted walls of Zion or see the sunrise first like Acadia or have unique Joshua Trees as you’ll find in, well…Joshua Tree. Cuyahoga Valley National Park is also worthy of your visit! I promise. (more…)

Not so Bright and Early

Bright and early on a recent Saturday morning, my aunt and I boarded a plane for West Palm Beach, Florida. Ok, so maybe it wasn’t so bright but that’s only because it was so early! 4am to be specific. It’s tough extracting yourself from bed when the sun hasn’t even plucked itself over the horizon yet. The promise of waves crashing on the shore was a pretty darn good motivator, as was the knowledge I would soon get to see my other aunt, uncle, and cousins who call Florida home these days. (more…)

Pipiwai Trail

Maui offers a few hidden gems. One of my favorites is the Pipiwai Trail tucked away along the Hana Highway. Many visitors turn around in Hana, but I urge you to continue to the trail head about 10 miles farther down the road. Here you will find a large parking lot, restrooms, and a Ranger Station since this trail is part of Haleakalā National Park. (more…)

Olympic National Park

If you could visit only one National Park in your lifetime, I would go out on a limb to suggest that it should be Olympic National Park.  Located on the western peninsula of Washington State, the park encompasses nearly one million acres and a number of unique ecosystems.  For the geeks in the crowd, you have to pass over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge on your way to the park from Seattle. 🙂



Growing up in Southwestern Ohio, it seemed like a nearly weekly occurrence to venture into a neighboring State.  It blew my mind when I moved to the middle of the State and met people who hadn’t crossed the State border until much later in life or not at all in some cases.  I also finally understood why so many people said Ohio is flat and nothing but corn fields!   (more…)