Destin & Fort Walton Beach Florida…

We loved exploring the Emerald Coast of 

FL☀️R🌴DA!πŸ’«The warm crystal clear water felt like we were in the Caribbean!🐚 

We spent 9 days in Florida in July 2021!

Here’s our itinerary…

•Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park🐬 

•Beasley Beach Park

•Gator Beach🐊

•Henderson Beach State Park

•Scenic Highway 30A 

•Rosemary Beach

•The Village of Baytowne Wharf πŸ’›

•Destin Commons

•Destiny Water Adventures

•Wibit WaterparkπŸ’¦


I spent the entire drive OOOHING and AAAHING over AMAZING architecture! 

30A is the Highway between Destin and Panama City Beach and consist of small beach towns on a two-lane road. The soft white beaches and turquoise water makes it a great vacation spot! 

We spent one day on 30A. Here’s our stops:


•Explored beautiful Cerulean Park. 


•Known for it’s pastel-colored homes.

•This is where the movie The Truman Show was filmed... You can drive by his home at 31 Natchez Street. 

•We had lunch at Seasides’s Airstream Row. 

•I think they might have our country’s smallest & cutest post office. 


•Loved the white Moorish-inspired architecture and perfectly placed palm trees. 


•It has a Bavarian vibe with its cobblestone streets and brick and stone buildings. 

•I enjoyed strolling through the downtown square. 

•We stopped at The Pearl Hotel πŸ˜

•Spent the afternoon at Rosemary Beach

Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park: 

The Gulfarium is in Fort Walton Beach. We loved the dolphin show and seeing the ocean in the distance was 

Amazing! We spent about 3 hours here. 

Gator Beach at Fudpucker Restaurant:

You can pay to Feed Gators, hold them and get a picture. We went to the 4:00 feeding. 

The Village of Baytowne Wharf:

The Village is in a gated community.  You’ll pass security and they’ll give you a parking pass. The Village has restaurants, shopping, live music and rides. Don’t miss the fireworkπŸ’₯show on Tuesday evenings in the summer. Go for dinner after it cools off. This was one of our families favorite activities! 

Destin Commons: Outside mall with food, shopping, splash pad, and play area. Cicily played while Charlotte shopped. 

Wibit Waterpark at Navarre Family Watersports: Every kids dream… my girls loved it. You can also rent wave runners, kayaks, etc. 

Pontoon Rental at Destiny Water Adventures:

This is a must when visiting the Emerald Coast! We beach docked on a few islands in the bay and watched dolphins follow our boat!🐬 

We stayed at an Airbnb on a bayou in Fort Walton Beach. We loved it. We were away from crowded beach traffic and enjoyed kayaking and fishing off our pier. πŸŽ£πŸ›Ά It was SO peaceful & SO different from our daily desert landscape... We didn’t want to leave!! 


Georgia & South Carolina Coastal Road Trip...

We had so much fun exploring Georgia and South Carolina over spring break. It’s such a beautiful part of our country! πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ We visited Covington, Jekyll Island, Savannah, Beaufort, Charleston, and Murrells Inlet. We flew into Atlanta and spent three nights in Savannah and four in Charleston. 


Christmas in New York City...

Visiting New York City during the Christmas season has been my dream since I was a kid. Now I don't want to spend another Christmas without visiting this winter wonderland!


Chicago Weekend Getaway!

I lived in Chicago 24 years ago and was excited to show the girls my favorite city in America!


Orlando & St. Pete Beach during Covid-19...

 We haven't been to Magic Kingdom since 2014.  We were so excited to return but things looked a little different during Covid-19.  Here's what you can expect if you visit during the pandemic:


Cruising the Mexican Riviera on Carnival Panorama...

We cruised the Mexican Riviera over spring break 2020, right before cruise ships discontinued service because of Coronavirus. We left Long Beach a day late since our ship was quarantined with a sick passenger from the previous cruise.  Little bit of a fiasco but they tested negative for Covid, so we were able to cruise. πŸ™Œ We were suppose to stop in Mazatlan, Cabo & Puerto Vallarta but skipped Mazatlan because of the delay.  


On a Rocky Mountain High in Colorado & Utah...

After a few months of isolation, we were ready for our summer vacation.  Visiting Colorado cured our Corona Blues!  πŸ˜ As a child, I lived in Colorado Springs for a few summers while my Dad worked on his cousin's ranch.  Summers were so dreamy... I remember finding snakeskin, playing on bales of hay, and a sister's obsession with a yellow polka dot bikini. 😏 I've never forgotten the majestic mountainsπŸ”in Rocky Mountain National Park and was excited to return!  


Tortuguero & Puerto Viejo... Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica

Puerto Viejo is the perfect place to soak up the laid back Caribbean vibes and experience Costa Rica's Pura Vida.  What makes it so special is the mix of African, Latin and Caribbean Cultures.  We saw vibrant painted buildings, people sporting dreadlocks, heard reggae music and saw more beach cruisers than cars.  We started our Costa Rican adventure in Puerto Viejo and ended in Tortuguero.


Alaskan Cruise with Kids...

I turned 50 this summer and knew I would be ok if I could travel somewhere fun! πŸ˜‚ I've been wanting to visit Alaska since college when I wrote a 40 page paper on it.  It did not disappoint.  We sailed from Seattle to Juneau, then onto Skagway, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan and Victoria. 


RV trippin... 7 States in the NorthWest

This summer we explored 7 States in our RV in 20 days.  This is our longest RV trip so far and we loved the relaxed life on the road.  


7 Days in Louisiana & Mississippi...

I've been itching to visit the South... I love Oak Trees, Spanish Moss, lanterns and I guess alligators. πŸ˜‚ So we decided to spend our spring break getting Southern fried in Louisiana and Mississippi.  Spring is a great time to visit... the weather's perfect and we didn't see any mosquitos!  

Here's our one week itinerary in the South:


Tips for Visiting Washington D.C. with Kids!

I first visited Washington D.C. as a Senior in High School.  My mom and I visited my sister who was an Intern for Senator McCain... American history suddenly came alive and I was hooked! ♥


Florida's Southwest Gulf Coast...

We spent one week exploring the gulf coast and didn't need to go to Orlando to find entertainment for our kids. :) We found beautiful beaches and lots of activities to keep them busy.  We've never visited this part of Florida so we were excited to finally check it out!  We visited the areas between Sarasota and Fort Myers.



California's Pacific Coast Highway 1...

 My family drove the PCH in our camper when we were kids.  We drove from Arizona so it made for a really long drive for all 7 of us.  When we weren't all fighting 😊 I remember my sisters and I checking out all the surfer boys from our cool ride.  Another memory was driving down Lombard Street in our camper... We were so cool!  


Ultimate Canadian Road Trip... Banff and Jasper National Parks

We were excited to take our girls on a road trip from Banff to Jasper National Parks.  The Icefields Parkway is one of the prettiest drives I've been on.  We saw glaciers, snow-capped mountains, glacier-fed lakes, lush meadows and a lot of wildlife.  


Park City, Utah- Summer Vacay...

We arrived in Utah on June 12 and this is what we found as we drove through the 
Uinta National Forest... 

We didn't mind having come from 100+ degrees in Arizona!  We drove through a blizzard and it was only 26 degrees.  When we arrived back to Arizona we were having a heat wave and my car said it was 125.  Guess we'll chalk that up to global warming?  The snow quickly melted and we had great weather during the rest of our stay in Park City.  Over the years we've spent a lot of time in Utah visiting family but tried to do some new things on this trip that we've never done... Like snowball fights in June.  That is a new one for us!

The Red Butte Gardens have beautiful flowers, trails and amazing views of Salt Lake City.  Our girls loved the Children's Garden and so did we... It's magical!


I was excited to take my girls to Lagoon Amusement Park in Farmington.  I haven't been since I was a kid and have such fun memories.  We had a blast!  The weather was perfect and we didn't have to wait in long lines.  My husband said he'll never go back to Disneyland again.  :(

Utah Olympic Park is our new family favorite!   We loved the zip lines, slides and rope courses.  We watched the skiers practice aerial tricks and land in the pool... You can also ride the bobsled.  We didn't but plan on doing this on our next trip.
The Homestead Crater in Midway is about a half hour drive from Park City.  Greg's parents watched our kids so we had the day to ourselves.  You can snorkel, scuba dive or just float (BTW this would be a great place to teach your kids to snorkel- It's warm and no sharks to worry about 😁).  The crater is a geothermal spring and the water stays 90-96 degrees (remember to make a reservation).  It was so relaxing to just float.  I could have stayed there all day!
From Midway we took Cummings Parkway Drive.  It's takes you the back-way into Sundance.  The dirt road eventually meets up with a paved road.    On the drive you'll see great views of Mt. Timpanaogos.  Cascades Springs Trail is great for families.  The last time we were here we saw a moose in the river.
Beautiful views above Sundance

Near Sundance is the 3.5 mile Stewart Falls Trail.  We did this hike towards the end of the day which was nice since the mountain kept us shaded from the sun most of the way.  We saw quite a few children doing this hike so don't be afraid to bring them along.
We stayed at the Westgate Park City Resort and Spa.  Our girls loved the indoor/outdoor pool and I loved the steam room!  On our last day we took the gondola up behind the resort and had lunch and did some hiking.  One of the trails was the Alpine Lake Trail it was a short easy hike.  It was a peaceful and relaxing way to end our Park City Vacay!


Oregon Coast...

Cape Sebastian State Park
This was our second time exploring the Oregon Coast but first with kids.   We added the Redwoods National and State Park at the end of the trip.  Here's our Itinerary: 


Chihuly at the Desert Botanical Garden...

 I'm so excited Chihuly's exhibit returned to the Desert Botanical Garden.  I'm a huge fan and even met him years ago at the Tacoma Museum of Glass at a book signing and watched him blow glass with other glass blowers from around the world.


Fall Day on Mount Nebo Scenic Byway...

We started the 35 mile Nebo Loop at the base of Payson Canyon.