Travel on the Side

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Napa County is home to over 400 wineries. The cities of St. Helena and Calistoga are great jumping off points. Calistoga has an old West feel and is home to a number of spas. St. Helena has upscale shops lining its main street. We made the El Bonita Motel in St. Helena our home base during our stay. It’s a cute little art deco place with comfortable rooms in an affordable price… Read More

Sebastopol, California, located in Sonoma County, is a funky, artsy town filled with good restaurants, delightful shops, and art galleries. Jerry Garcia used to live here. We made Sebastopol our stop for two nights to tour around Sonoma and Marin counties. Downtown Sebastopol is inviting and there are several free parking lots. So park your car and walk around. We had two great dinners. Our first night was at Peter Lowell’s. I… Read More

When you’re not able to travel “home,” then the next best thing is food. For me, that means the Tex-Mex dish known as migas. But wait, I grew up in Indiana. Ahh, but my mom’s side of the family is Mexican. My grandmother was from Texas and my grandfather was from the border region of Mexico. When they moved to Indiana, they were one of the first Mexican families in the county…. Read More

In Portland, Oregon for a work conference. Everyone here kept talking about how mild and sunny the winter was. It must have extended into spring because I was treated to three glorious days of sunshine and warm weather. This was my first trip to Portland. I can see why people love it here: a walkable downtown, easy to get around on mass transit like the MAX light rail and Portland Streetcar, great… Read More

Whoever said Las Vegas is Disneyland for adults is right. Equal parts spectacular and tacky, Sin City overstimulates your eyes. We visited in June. My first trip there. It was between 100-104F each day. Everyone says it’s a “dry heat.” They are right. It feels like an oven. I’m used to the humidity of Midwest summers, so I was OK with this. Plus you can dash into a casino to cool off… Read More

This was my first visit to Utah and I got to cross one thing off of my bucket list: Zion National Park. Flew into Las Vegas, rented a car, and drove the 2hr. and 45 min. to Springdale, Utah–gateway to the park. My home base for Zion was the Best Western Zion Park Inn. Great hotel! Had a nice room with cathedral ceilings, swimming pool on the grounds, two on-site restaurants, and… Read More