Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado

Mesa Verde contains over 4,500 archaeological sites of the Ancestral Pueblo people; 600 are cliff dwellings.  I first visited this park about ten years ago when my children were younger, and I’m glad I went back.   I was happy to see there is a new visitor’s center right at the entrance now, so that you can set up your tours and put together a … Continue reading Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado

Taos, NM

Taos was the first place I’ve visited where I could see myself moving to. It’s a small town, but cultures blend here respectfully as if it were a big city. There’s art, there’s amazing food, there are interesting people, and there is an obvious appreciation of nature everywhere. The days start with the sun coming up from behind the mountains, pushing gorgeous colors along with … Continue reading Taos, NM

Bandelier National Monument, NM

Bandelier surprised me in a good way. It was bigger and more compelling than I expected, and incredibly peaceful in the early spring. The entire area of roughy 33,000 acres is located inside the Jemez Mountain region, where massive volcanic eruptions were very active about 13 million years ago. Bandelier is situated on what is basically the side of an ancient huge volcano, the Valle … Continue reading Bandelier National Monument, NM

Santa Fe, NM

I rolled into Santa Fe ready for art, culture and food, but then got derailed a bit by weather and altitude. Luckily, I understand the number one rule for positive experiences while traveling is to be flexible, so I was still able to enjoy my time there, just not in the way I was initially expecting. The altitude issue was the biggest surprise.  I wasn’t … Continue reading Santa Fe, NM

Roswell UFO Museum

This was my experience, you may have a very different impression, especially if you enjoy conspiracy theories (and I realize many do) . There are some places that I just have certain expectations about.  I’m trying to keep an open mind to accepting things as they come on this trip, but I realized I had a clear expectation for Roswell the minute I entered the … Continue reading Roswell UFO Museum

San Antonio Missions National Historic Park

The San Antonio Missions were established along the San Antonio river in the 1700s as a way to spread the Catholic Faith and establish a Spanish colonial society in this part of Texas.  Construction was financed by the Crown of Spain, and the Franciscans were charged with operating this arm of the church, and converting the indigenous people known as Coahuiltecans, to Catholicism.  There is … Continue reading San Antonio Missions National Historic Park

Dry Tortugas National Park

I have one of those Passport books issued by the National Park Service.  You know, the kind where you stamp the passport at each park you are lucky enough to see?  It’s a fun way to document your travels, and it’s even more fun when you get a stamp from one of the parks that is less visited.  Dry Tortugas is definitely one of those … Continue reading Dry Tortugas National Park

Key West, Florida

Key West is crazy big time fun.  I was surprised how much there was to do, since my impression before going there was just fish, party, sleep, repeat. It’s definitely a fishing paradise, and from the drive down the Overseas Highway, I assume that is true in most of the Keys.  Key West does seem to be filled with people living a life of days … Continue reading Key West, Florida

The Everglades: River of Grass

“There are no other Everglades in the world.” Those are the introductory words of the famous book, “The Everglades: River of Grass”, written in 1947 by Marjory Stoneman Douglas (April 7, 1890 – May 14, 1998).  They are considered to be the most famous words ever written about the Everglades, and the book itself is a delightful description of what once was, and was almost lost. … Continue reading The Everglades: River of Grass