TBT: Oregon 2015

At this time last year Lisa and I flew to Portland hoping for a few days of fun away from the Florida summer heat, but we were in for a surprise. Portland was in the midst of a heat wave with temperatures ranging from 95°-104° throughout our stay.  Not exactly the usual 70°-75° temperatures typical during June.


Our first day was spent on the coast, walking on the beach.


Day 2: exploring the Columbia Gorge and the waterfalls.


The next day, the hottest by far, we hiked a portion of the Pacific Coast Trail near Timberline Lodge at Mt. Hood.


We’d seen pictures of Trillium Lake located in the shadow of Mt. Hood and decided it would be the perfect place to wade in the cool waters of the lake.


Of course, it was Saturday, and we weren’t the only ones hoping to spend the day at Trillium Lake. We circled at least thirty minutes trying to find a place to park and when we finally had success, we walked close to a mile to the lake, only to find wall to wall people, floats and kayaks in the water and chairs, grills and umbrellas crowded together on the shoreline.

We didn’t stay long. Instead, we decided this is a place to visit some Tuesday in May.

The heat didn’t spoil our vacation. After all, we’re used to temperatures in the 90°s, and at least we didn’t have any rain.

TBT: There’s No Place Like Home

What a wonderful time we had bicycling in the Netherlands and camping in Iceland, but this picture of Meghan wading in the lake is a great reminder of the piece of paradise waiting just outside our door.


The best things about spending the day at the lake:

  • No need to get in the car to drive anywhere.
  • No need to tough out bad weather…instead wait for the sunshine to return while reading or napping on the porch
  • No need to pack a suitcase; just grab a towel, sunscreen, sunglasses and hat.
  • No tickets to purchase or reservations to make.

Making memories while traveling is wonderful but so are the memories made at home.

TBT: Old Faithful

With eruptions coming seventeen times daily, Old Faithful is one of the most recognizable sights in any of our national parks. No more than we had pulled into the parking lot, than this world famous geyser began erupting more than 100 feet into the air. Of course, we all ran to get up close and snap a couple of pictures.

With eruptions occurring every hour to hour and a half, we grabbed an ice cream cone and waited for a repeat performance. This time we got an even closer view and enjoyed feeling the mist from Old Faithful’s spray.


It seems perfect to post this picture today since we will soon be in Iceland, the home of the world’s first “geysir” (to gush in Old Norse) documented in print. Soon the pictures of Old Faithful will be accompanied by those of Geysir, Strokkur and other features of the hot springs of Bjarnarfell.

TBT: Are we having fun yet?

I hope the expressions on the faces of our daughters reflect their exasperation with one too many pictures rather than boredom on vacation.

In 1994, we spent two very full weeks exploring as much of Colorado as possible. In a car rented in Denver, we visited the Garden of the Gods, Rocky Mountain National Park, Dinosaur National Park, Pike’s Peak, the Olympic Training Center and so much more.


We rode bikes, hiked on trails and climbed on the rocks…one of their favorite activities (although you’d never know from this photo). Maybe this site was a little too historical. Enough with the education.

TBT: Don’t Forget the Art Supplies

I guess I should have known that Emily would be drawn to creative pursuits as an adult when she insisted on taking a sketch pad on vacation so she could capture the beauty experienced in nature. While we have this picture of her with pencil and pad in hand, she found the task overwhelming. Rocks, mountains, trees, waterfalls. Where to begin? What should be the focus?

And with an impatient family ready to move on to the next hike or locate the next waterfall, sketching the scenes didn’t become a reality.


I wish we’d have encouraged her to sketch these scenes from the pictures we developed upon our return. With the subject narrowed and adequate time, this desire to create art from nature may have filled the pages of her sketch pad.

Of course, it’s not too late. But now, she’s the one with too little time.

TBT: Time to Tube

When only two months old, we loaded Meghan in the backseat of our station wagon and drove to North Carolina for her first camping trip. Five years later she was ready to not only camp but enjoy the icy cold water of Deep Creek.

This creek has always been one of our favorite places to tube, and it was time to introduce our oldest to the joy of playing in the river. She proved to share her parents’ enthusiasm for tubing as she successfully rode down the river snuggled in a tube with her Dad.


A couple of years ago, she introduced her husband to tubing fun on Deep Creek, extending our family’s relationship with tubing to more than forty years.

Five or fifty-five…still a great way to spend a summer day.

TBT: D.C. Field Trip

In early spring 2001, Emily joined classmates on an 8th grade field trip to New York City and Washington, D.C. Here, she and her friends pose in front of the White House, one of the few pictures that survived a camera melt down.


I’m not sure if this field trip was really about exploring two important U.S. cities or if it was about missing school to go on vacation WITH friends and WITHOUT parents. Whatever the reason, I’m glad Emily got to experience both cities before so much changed a few months later.

This week we planned another trip with Emily and Brian. This time to Boston, another iconic U.S. city…can hardly wait.

Any suggestions on what we must do in Boston, in June? Leave a comment and help us plan!


TBT: Up close and Personal

Preparing to travel requires packing the proper clothes as well as items like cameras, umbrellas, sunglasses, hats and other trip specific items. This is something Sarah learned at a young age.


What better way to identify the animal tracks found along the trails than to wear a sweatshirt covered with animal tracks? And of course, no well prepared traveler would go to Glacier National Park without a pair of binoculars. A park where she saw bears, moose and mountain goats.


TBT: Baseball Fever

In 1994 my parents took four of their grandchildren who lived in Ocala to the grand opening of the Ted Williams Hitters Hall of Fame in Citrus Springs. Due to a bad case of baseball fever, the four missed a day of school to rub elbows with some of the best players of our nation’s pastime.

They met and got autographs from Brooks Robinson, Bob Feller, Ennis Slaughter and the grandson of Ty Cobb.


Meghan, Emily, Steven and Brent had a fun day with their grandparents while celebrating our nation’s pastime. A great daycation  to the Hitters Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame is no longer located in Citrus Springs having moved to Tropicana Field several years ago. It’s open two hours before all Tampa Bay Rays home games through the sixth inning free to those with game tickets, a good reason for another daycation in St. Pete.