Rich Family Odyssey: World Trip Log
Family Travel in the Internet Age

This is updated as of July 25.  We have finished our fourth segment, sixth continent, thirty-ninth state and thirtieth country of our Odyssey.  Check below to see the details of where we have been!  Check out the Summary Route Maps of the Odyssey.

Trip Log: Around the World
* LMA: Life Maintenance Activities (laundry, etc.)




July 25 DENVER Travel all day--back in the USA! The phone lines will be buzzing tonight.
July 20-24 London In a city this rich, we get tired, not done. Our two visits to the British Museum skimmed the surface. Kensington Palace was a dud EXCEPT for the clothes, but changing of the guard was a treat. Fame gets mixed reviews, but A Mouse Trap was a wonderful intro to stage plays for Steph. And we have many more ideas for our next visit, including still more day-trips. 
July 16-19 Lake District World-class hiking is what drives this area, plus ample beauty and friendly people. Our visit to  Hadrian's Wall was challenged by FMD, but we found a way. The opportunity to see archeology in action was priceless. And our walking shoes have never been more sterile! This is outdoor life at its very best. We'll come back here, we hope. 
July 12-15 Inverness, Glasgow and Edinburgh Beautiful tour of the Highlands, sampled some single malts (18 yrs old) and whatever we saw in the lake was probably NOT Nessie. But we can still imagine how the light can deceive... Scotland reminds us of NZ's older cousin, a clear look alike and every bit as green. Back to Edinburgh for the Castle tour on Sunday, a perfect cap to the North.
July 10-12 Edinburgh Holyroodhouse Palace and Britannia were very austere, but the Museum of Scotland highlighted both Pictou (Nova Scotia) and Otago (NZ) where we had many ties. The curator was pleased to hear of our reunion too! 
July 9 York Whirlwind tour of York included evensong at the Minster, Palaces on wheels at RR Museum, and wonderful Castle Museum with its lifestyle exhibits. Rambling the Shambles was a treat in this university town.
July 7-9 Northern Wales Ruthin's beautiful country was base. International Choir Competition at the Llangollen Eisteddffod (music festival) was won by Estonia...we had to look that up too! Welsh castles were built by King Edward II not William the Conqueror, so the architecture is very advanced...en suite, no less! Beautiful country and mountains in Snowdonia.
July 5-7 Dublin, Ireland Stephanie's birthday was fun! Viking reenactment, bookshops, bus tour and a movie too. Ceilidh here was MUCH different than PEI, but we left tired and happy. 
July 2-5 Galway, Ireland Swell bus trip through countryside enroute. Made the rain seem appropriate. Irish music was excellent and inspired us to take up folk dancing. Hiking around Aran was very atmospheric and mysterious. 
July 1-2 Cork, Ireland Another town on the come. J has a productive day researching how to research her ancestry at the county. All enjoy the gaol and bus tour. It appears the Irish like their beer...especially Guinness!!
June 30- July 1 Cardiff, Wales This is a happening place! Good weather and great energy in a town reinventing itself. Outstanding castle with awesome interiors, paint and imagination. Needs more time! But pubs are best left for drinking.
June 23-29 Cotswolds, England What a treat to have our friends the Carpenters. Steph, Emma and Nicholas had a ball being kids. We all enjoyed exploring Sudeley Castle's gardens. Daytripping in the green countryside visiting villages and sites was a pleasure. Warwick Castle was fabulous with reenactors everywhere (S&E loved the archer). Blenheim was our first visit to a palace that is lived in, and J still regrets not having an Oxford sweatshirt! 
June 17-23 Paris, France We had a wonderful time touring this fabulous city of eternal youth.  There is so much to see that a one week visit cannot cover it all.  Saw lot of museums and the weather has been great!
June 14-17

Haarlem and Amsterdam

Sad not to make it to Copenhagen, but had a delightful time visiting the Dutch masters, old Holland at the open air museum, and sampling canals outside our window in Haarlem. Anne Frank's family didn't use main "leg breaker stairs" because they were too steep...but ours were steeper and narrower!!! Memorable. 

June 11-13


For a quick visit to review WW2 and the end of the Cold War Berlin is very moving. But the legacy of the Russians is equally sobering. Huge sums being poured into the East. S is finishing Diary of Anne Frank. 

June 9-10 Rhine and Mosel Valleys A cruise to see the castles, a bike ride to slow down our pace -- like a weekend perhaps! Castles on the Rhine have great legends: warring brothers, Katz and Maus, and Pfaltz gives new meaning to the term Water Closet! We all love exploring St. Goer's castle tunnels. 
June 7-8 Romantic Road This beautiful bus trip from Munich to Wurzburg, ending in Frankfurt was highlighted by hilltop castles, unique "miracle" churches, and beautiful Rothenberg: great history, wonderfully creaky 650 year old hotel, great shopping and wonderful churches enroute. Woodcarving in Creightenburg's church was inspiring...made the Christmas shop seem rather crude! Criminal (nee Torture) Museum was sobering. Nice to be living in a different age. 
June 5-7 Munich, Germany Deutsches Museum had first car, first train, a locomotive's insides, and outstanding bridges and tunnels including several we'd traversed. Glockenspiel and tower climbs outdid the Hofbrau Haus, by some standards at least! Mad King Ludwig II was a heck of a hermit cum castle-builder but got a bad rap! Crazy like a fox. And the castles are wonderful. Disney's copy is a dud. Kudos to Munich's EurAid office.
June 2-4

Vienna, Austria

The Vienna Opera (with a little La Boheme) was a treat, but the Treasury's jewels, Schonbrunn Palace's mazes and Kunshistorisches Museum's Goyas and Breugels were better. J continues to love Beethoven the best especially in an exciting piano concert in great venue. Scrap the Danube/city tour.

May 31 - June 1

Salzburg, Austria

Hills were alive with the Sound of Music tour, but nothing on Switzerland, just a more stuff. Great Mozart concert with musicians in 18th Century costume inspired tour of Mozart's home and a new CD. This city is ear candy for music lovers and eye candy for everyone else. Steph probably found the nearby salt mine the best of all...especially the 43M miners' slide! We went twice.

May 29-30

Interlaken, Switzerland

A perfect day for the Jungfraujoch train adventure and fabulous views from the Alpine tower. We should come back for a couple weeks more hiking, and alpine lake exploration. There's just too little time!

May 26-28
Zermatt, Switzerland

3 days of mountains proved that the original "Swiss Mountain Village" is best. Matterhorn is spectacular from every angle. Gondolas and cable cars took us close to the Italian border  and within view of France and our next stops. 27 mountains over 4000 meters make CO seem modest and Vail pre-fab. Long-horned goats and sheep coming down the main street, climbers and skiers everywhere and great multicultural food! Narrow gauge railroads including famous Glacier Express are the almost only ground-based transport here.

May 24-25
Venice, Italy

WE LOVE VENICE. This functioning city in Medieval clothes is best explored by getting lost. Gondolas are romantic, but the ferry is more expedient. Doges Palace, Basilica and St. Mark's square are all best viewed at high tide for truly unique perspective...even better at night while the bands are dueling. 

May 23
Siena, Italy

A nice day hanging out and enjoying the square filled with tourists and a great busker. Views from the top of the tower of Tuscany are splendid, but J's acrophobia wasn't. Glad the bus driver managed to stay awake! Steph enjoys the mimic in his red beret. This church beats the heck out of Florence's Duomo.

May 21-22
Florence, Italy

HOME OF GELATO!!! And do we love it. In between gelato breaks, home of di Medici, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Ponte Vecchio and more kept us walking our shoe leather off. But tough to get a decent room.

May 20
Ruins of Pompeii

Hassles finding a tour didn't take too much from this fascinating place. Steph especially likes the ice-cream storefront (maybe). D liked the baths, J the exploring. But hot Pompei weather is tiring.

May 15-19 Rome

Quite a list of "must sees" seen: Forum, Coliseum,  Vatican and St. Paul's, Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain, but discovering gelato is the highlight!    

May 14 Cinque Terre

The day hiking the middle three towns in Cinque Terre was pleasantly cool and drippy with plenty of good company along the way. Drop dead gorgeous views and charming community customs at every stop. Just don't miss a step...that drop is steep and the guard rail slipped in the last storm!

May 13 Pisa After most of the day on the train, what a pleasant surprise is Pisa...the tower's protective bands came off the very next day, but the lean is still impressive. Not as impressive as the Duomo and its square; great food, too. Nice  town. 
May 12 Nice [is nice]; Monaco too.

Morning in the flower market buying lunch from vendors culminated in picnic on the retaining wall of the pebble beach. Then off to Monaco which was pretty deserted and set-up for the upcoming Grand Prix was well underway. Guess everyone went to Cannes....

May 11 Cannes [is chaos] WHAT could we have been thinking! Cannes was great last time we were here, but this time it is swollen with an extra 20,000 people for the film festival. People watching par excellence, and those boats!!!
May 8-10 Based in Avignon, touring Provence, the Vaucluse and Luberon mountain parks. En route, Avignon from Rodez had a lovely  trip through the Gorges of the Tarn River, enjoying the views, the cliff-hanging towns, the spring flowers and kayakers; then twisting our way through the national parks between these parallel mountain ranges. After a day of LMAs in the walled city and D down with a bad cold, we tour the beautiful Provence district with its medieval towns and castles, looking for the home in "My Year in Provence". Glass-blowing demo was fascinating and lavender fields are itching to bloom, but the 1700 year old monastery was closed for lunch (of course). Room was rather small here...had to walk on the bed to get to the suitcases!  
May 6-7 Visiting Black Perigord: Cave of Lascaux (II), Cavern of Pruymessac, Grottes du Roc de Cazelle, Les Eyzies and more. Stay in Sarlat, then Rodez.  For an area we'd barely heard of, we're finding it a wonderland of medieval sites and castles, Cro Magnan recreations and beautiful limestone caves. What a treat...could spend at least a week here. Perhaps we'll be used to stores and attractions being closed 12-2 someday, but so far it's a guaranteed way to miss at least one stop a day.
May 5 St. Emilion and Black Perigord:Tour underground St. Emilion, Dordogne Valley, Chateau Beyrac.  St. Emilion is charming even without its subterranean wonders. Eating in a cave is an adventure, but the size of the church carved from rock is astonishing. What a challenge France has to fund all this restoration in so very many worthy sites.
May 4 Bordeaux to St. Emilion; holiday park "camping" Missed the only English bookstore here by minutes! Drat! But driving in the wine country is enchanting. The holiday park takes us back to travels in Betty. She was bigger than this room, too.
May 3 In Bordeaux for wine tour to Medoc region.  Great wine tasting and touring. Couldn't pick a better wine district to tour, but surprised that it's by appointment only here. Informative guide answered many questions.
May 2 Early train and all day traveling to Bordeaux A long day, but at least we caught every train.
May 1 Barcelona's Sacred Family Church and Barcelona Cathedral; funicular to lookout. Gaudi's vision is inspiring and absorbing. We'll have to return in 2021 to see the building finished. Compared to Sagrada Familia, the cathedral is curious and merely opulent... But excellent survey of Gothic & Renaissance styles, nonetheless.
April 30 Stroll Las Ramblas and enjoy Barcelona's sights Bird markets next to flower markets next to buskers next to pickpockets. This place is HAPPENING!
April 29 Visit Madrid's Royal Palace, Cathedral, Overnight train (sleeper?) to Barcelona 2800 Rooms can't miss much, and we even found some of Nana's china! Sleeping top to tail on the train is not restful, but we're here and didn't waste a day.
April 28 Madrid by Metro, reconnoiter trains, parks NOT a fun day in the smoky stations,  but strolling in the huge park was a special treat for all. Haven't I seen those Peruvian floutists Denver, perhaps?
April 27 Drive to Madrid, LMAs Coming into Madrid without a map is even worse than coming into La Coruna without a map. But we made it.
April 26 Portugal to Spain, tour coast and  A Coruna Can't believe we didn't stop in Santiago de Compostela (now that we've been everywhere else the pilgrims stopped BUT this, their destination), but we did enjoy seeing the beautiful coastline and fishing villages cum retirement villas. 
April 25 Guimaraes and Ponte de Lima Sidetracked by the Guimaraes mall, but still visited the neat XXIc palace and castle. Norman simplicity is refreshing. Stayed with Philomena Reynolds (yes, another cousin) in her XVc home/B&B with incredible armament and book collection. Circus by the Roman bridge was a treat for all.
April 24 Evora to Mafra, Obidos and Bussaco Mafalda Reynolds is born! A new 5th cousin for S!!! We rever in beautiful Obidos and our second night in a bona fide castle at Bussaco, formerly a hunting lodge in middle of a national forest filled with hermits' rests and flowers.
April 23 Drive to Evora and Estremoz Our first medieval city and a night in a beautiful palace "pousada" in Estremoz where J's family cork farms were (a few decades ago). And yes we mailed the Estremoz marble's quite beautiful! Especially when combined in its varied colors as in the cathedral in Evora.
April 16-22 Lisbon: Unexpectedly low key when J gets sick. Still have opportunities to tour by car and limited sightseeing. Bummer getting sick but still salvaged a few days. Thoroughly enjoyed Sintra's palace and castle,  the Carriage Museum and Monastery of St. Jeronimos in Belem, but how many ways are there to get lost in the Lisbon streets? We surely can't count! Need to return when the Gulbenkian museum  is open...Perhaps 2006?
April 15 Easter Sunday with the Reynolds cousins, Easter Egg Hunt, Visit to Sintra Village Jennifer feeling poorly, but everyone enjoys meeting the Portuguese relatives, all of whom speak great English! We're expanding our Portuguese vocabulary, but slowly!
April 14 Spent PM relaxing at the pool with the Miguel Reynolds and Family Steph thoroughly enjoys her 5th cousins and we are too. Anxiously waiting for the newest baby.
April 13 Fly from Cairo to Madrid and drive to Lisbon, Dinner with Miguel Reynolds and Family It was difficult to order in Spanish. Great to have relatives help in Portuguese! 
April 12 Wadi Rum and back to Amman and then fly to Cairo Lawrence of Arabia had nothing on us, but might have missed the hoards of tourists...
April 11 On to Petra O my. This is everything imagined and more.
April 10 Mt. Nebo, Dead Sea and Karak Seeing the promised land, floating on TOP of the water and our first labyrinthine castle. VERY cool.
April 9 Amman tour and on to Jarash A complete and well explained Roman provincial town. Jordan is turning out to be a jewel.
April 8 Hanging out in Cairo and on to Amman Hanging in Cairo leaves much to be desired.
April 7 Fly to Abu Simbel and back to Cairo Saving the best for last. This was worth saving for sure.
April 6 Sailing to Aswan and Philae Temple Sailing is a pleasure. The temples are amazingly well preserved after so long under water.
April 5 Sailing on the Nile to Edfu Catch the merchandise is becoming a favorite game.
April 4 Valley of the queens and kings. Some of the tombs are exquisite. All are unique in their personalities and character.
April 3 Fly to Luxor.  Visit Karnak and Luxor Temples. Karnak is to die for. Magical at night.
April 2 Pyramids and a camel ride What a hoot! Camels are MUCH more comfortable than elephants. Sign me up.
April 1 Cairo and the Egyptian Museum Glad to have a guide here.
March 31 London to Cairo
March 29-30 An early glimpse of London sights Tower of London does not disappoint. Staying in South Ken is very easy and convenient. Arriving in time for a one-day strike of the tube is so very appropriate. Welcome to Europe!
March 28 Nairobi to London Out of Africa via overnight trip. Last day included shopping at Collectors' Den and Karen Blixen's house.
March 25-28 Maasai Mara, Kenya; staying at A&K's wonderful Olonana Camp This is luxury camping! Hippos sing us to sleep and lions, warthogs and impala. Visits to the Maasai village give insights into modern and traditional Kenya. 
March 23-24 Serengeti, Tanzania; staying at Sopa Serengeti Lions. So many lions. 16+ in one day. Steph almost sees a zebra kill. A split second hesitation foils the lioness. But some videotape we got is XXX rated.
March 21-22 Ngorongoro Crater; Oldupai Gorge A magical place and a paleontologists dream. Both are World Heritage Sites for good reason. Cheetahs, lions and rhino, oh my. A baby wildebeest lucks out.
March 19-20 Arusha to Tarangire and Lake Manyara in Tanzania Beautiful views in both, but only Manyara has much game in its lush forests. Big families of zebra, elephant. J's only bout with tummy problems resolve quickly.
March 17-18 Amboseli, Kenya 2000 elephant, giraffe, hyena and more sleep outside our room. Beautiful views of Mt. Kilimanjaro from the plains and swamp.  
March 16 Meet our trip-mates in Nairobi and head to the Giraffe Center to feed the animals. 5 kids and 4 adults are slobbered on thoroughly by the Rothschild Giraffes. Thanks to the US benefactors who saved the species.
March 15 Singapore to Hong Kong to Johannesburg to Nairobi Our second-longest flight: 22 hrs.
March 11-14 Singapore Great visit and dinner at the park with Carolyn Viens and family. Shopping and the Night Safari complete our stay. But where in Malaysia is the gunfire coming from? It will never be in the paper here.
March 2-11 Bangkok and Phuket Bangkok and Thailand deserved more time, but were we ever ready for the beach! Phang Nga Caves are fabulous.
February 26 - March 2 Hong Kong A city built on commerce has enormous inertia that even the Chinese government can't blunt. A true city of lights and action. Tho few craft still use sailpower  the personality of small boat businesses continues.
February 25 Hong Kong What a city to behold!!!
February 24 Margaret River to Perth Visiting Leeuwin Estate; meet Hobart of Kinetic fame; outstanding limestone caves...wish we could see more! More Simmos Ice Cream at Busselton Pier. We're sold.
February 23 Perth to Margaret River Visiting Cape Naturaliste gives great views of the Indian Ocean. Simmos Ice Cream is tops!
February 22 Rottnest Island J could spend a couples weeks here with snorkel gear and sunscreen. Dinner and city tour with Paul Gould was a special treat.
February 19-21 Ayers Rock Hiking around Uluru and the Olgas was great, and it's clear why the Aborigines hold this land sacred. But it's HOT. Wouldn't want to do without a pool and ice machine here. Very good food!
February 18 Cairns LMAs
February 17 Cairns Kuranda Railway is an amazing engineering feat. Skyrail gondola trip boggles the brain for a new perspective on rainforest. We get a new appreciation for Aboriginal culture and sad history at Tjabukai Cultural Park. Cairns and Kuranda are Opal-villes!
February 16 Cairns Great Barrier Reef trip with rainforest walk thrown in. It is as wonderful as can be.
February 15 Cairns Wild World zoo is great range of tropical animals. Cuddly koalas had 5 with joeys.
February 14 Sydney to Cairns From the city to the tropics. 
February 13 Surfers Paradise to (almost) Sydney New England Highway must be longer, but it's very fast and very different. SP to Sydney is a very, very looooooooooooooooong way!
February 12 Surfers Paradise Eeked out another day for LMAs and the pool.
February 11 Surfers Paradise Another beach for better body surfing. Incredible seafood buffet dinner.
February 10 Surfers Paradise Visiting James and Sherri Smith (of the NZ Smiths) is ultimate respite in a kind of beach haven. Beach in the AM, Dreamworld theme park in the is good.
February 9 Grafton to Surfer's Paradise Funky Byron Bay is huge contrast with the Gold Coast high rises! Weather clears.
February 8 Nambucca Heads to Grafton Rainforest stop at Dorrigo National Park: twisty roads but beautiful. Visit with (2nd Cousin) Philippa and John Hough and sons.
February 7 Travel Day Pacific Highway to Nambucca Heads
February 6 Hunter Valley Vineyard Tasting the mighty grape: think Shiraz
February 5 enroute to Hunter Valley Travel Day
February 4 Sydney Bondi Beach was windy and crowded
February 3 Sydney Ferry to Manley with new friends the Rosses; dinner in Chinatown
February 2 Sydney Sydney Harbor Tour: it really is as beautiful as you've heard
February 1 Sydney NSW Museum: fabulous crystals and mobile bones...unlike any others we've seen.
January 31 Christchurch Christchurch walking/trolley tour: gothic cathedral, way-cool arts center, eccentric city-paid wizard.. A charming city-center supporting large agricultural region
January 30 Christchurch International Antarctic Center tour via  Haagland: wished we had had the full day!  
January 29 Mt. Cook to Geraldine Hooker Glacier hike: terminal lake had very large icebergs; great weather. L. Tekapo stop very scenic except for the tourists!
January 28 Mt. Cook Awesome views overpower the tiny village, but drinking it in with dinner was special. Even Colorado can't match this spectacular kind of ruggedness...maybe nowhere can!
January 27 Catlins to Cromwell Slope Point was so windy we almost held S down! Interesting trip from station and sea through bush to farms and reservoirs.
January 26 Catlins farm stay Very informative and interesting experience on the deer/sheep/cattle station with great host couple. Hiked to scenic Maclaren Falls and Curio Bay to see petrified forest felled by the sea. 
January 25 Dunedin to Catlins Farmstay Late rainy start, but we still squeezed in two waterfalls...roaring with runoff.
January 24 Dunedin Otago Museum with Steph, Lily, Lucy and Alana...three third cousins! Loved the stuffed animals in the attic and kinetix.
January 23 Dunedin Albatross Colony with Buzzy and Dwayne Kurpius...unexpected fun! Dinner next door to Nana's family home at St. Clair beach watching the surfers at sunset. Cool. 
January 22 Dunedin Bye Marbles, Hi Kurpius's. A little shopping and S's sleepover at Lily's is a treat.
January 19-21 Dunedin Reunion of the Titan Passengers who arrived Dunedin in January 1851. Attended by 40-50 Reynolds's and lots more Macandrews, J and S had no idea they had so many cousins! Adding in the Schaumann clan (not reuning) it was a wonderment.
January 18 Dunedin Brother Mike and Deb arrive from US. Crack the bubbly for an historic Marble reunion in NZ. Stay tuned for next month!
January 17 Te Anau to Dunedin Grass lice everywhere on this route. Great to see Nana and meet some Schaumann cousins, relax at wonderful Glenfield guest house.
January 16 Lake Manapouri and Doubtful Sound A full, scenic and interesting day. The rain makes the waterfalls plentiful and a perfect complement to sunny Milford. Fun people, broke the boat.
January 15 Milford to Te Anau Hiking the Routeburn proves we can, but with conditioning it would be really fun! Beautiful beech forest, lunch on the lake, etc.
January 14 Te Anau to Milford Sound Spectacular drive, hairy tunnel, waterfalls, kayaks, food and fun. See our new Dutch friends from Hokatika.
January 13 Queenstown to Te Anau Cruise through the farm country arriving in time for the Te Anau Glow Worm Caves. So bright there's a shadow. Kepler's has best pavlova cake in town. Trekkers are a different class of tourist!
January 12 Queenstown Dart River by Jetboat gets far into the bush with vistas everywhere. Mt. Earnslaw is solid snowfield. Pluto is a shark's fin. Simon the guide traveled as a kid too and was encouraging to us all. 
January 11 Queenstown and Alexandra Shotover Jets are a thrill. So is the discovery of Schaumann family history in Alexandra. Great Great Grandma was a looker! And the house is so cool. 
January 10 Wanaka to Queenstown Cardrona Hotel is a cool stop in a twisty road. Uncle Dick was here first the book says, tho not always welcome! 
January 9 Fox Glacier to Wanaka It's still raining, but we can walk to the Fox terminus too. Haast Pass to Wanaka is a wondrous route. Haast is definitely remote, and the locals illustrate it well.
January 8 Hokitika to Franz Joseph Walk to the FJ Glacier terminus is fascinating but we'd rather fly over it: rain grounds the helicopter flights. This really is the greenstone coast. 
January 7 Nelson to Hokatika Buller Gorge gorgeous and flying by wire too. Lots of scenic stops break up the long day. Fresh game and kanga for dinner and lovely B&B.
January 6 Nelson Kayaking in the morning, relatives and beach in the PM
January 5 to Nelson World Class Swimming Hole at Pelorus River. Bob from Denver a-waits us at dinner. It's a small world. 
January 4 Kaikoura Coast Whale watching boats are cancelled, but the picnicking is great.
January 3 Wine touring in Marlborough MMMMMM Good! Get those Sauvignon Blancs while you can!
January 2 Wellington to Blenheim Picton Ferry at sunset HIGHLY recommended! Stopyourheart Gorgeous!
January 1, 2001 Wellington More Te Papa, walking, enjoying new year's sun
December 31 New Year's Eve on Wellington Harbor Te Papa national museum amazes, especially the geologic exhibits (earthquakes, volcanoes, etc.) Missing the new year's fireworks tho.
December 30 to Wellington Visit the parent Smiths at the beach enroute.
December 28-29 Tongariro National Park Glimpse Ruapehu briefly through the torrents, so we know it's still there. Wall climbing Steph shows up the French. No trekking in the downpour, but a book in front of the fire is nice.
December 27 Lake Taupo Visiting Noel and Jenny Smith and kids.
December 25-26 Ohiwa Beach Christmas dinner with Hugh, Heather, Ted and kids at the beach; sea kayaking, reading and great company. Who else knows about carpet bowls? You're on!
December 22-24 Rotorua NZ: Thermal areas and Maori Arts and Crafts Visiting Hugh and Heather Reynolds, Agrodome sheep farming and sheepdog trials, thermal areas and Maori Hangi (cultural exhibition of song, dance, costumes). Steph is an enthusiastic Zorbonaut! Much to do here. Christmas dinner is lamb rack with poppers. Midnight church and late to bed.
December 21 Northland to Hamilton, NZ Huge dunes on Hokianga coast; enormous kauri tree in the bush; beautiful farmland
December 20 Waitangi; Bay of Islands Waitangi National Trust was where original treaty between British crown and Maori was signed. Loved the glow worms at Kawiti cave, and our guide.
December 19 Auckland, NZ to Bay of Islands Visiting Justine Clarkson and Christmas shopping in AM, then on to the Northland through the bush.
December 16-18 Auckland means Acclimatisation There are much worse places to get over jet lag! We all loved Kelly Tarlton's Antarctic displays & penguins. Wonderful B&B and a bit of shopping too.
December 14-16 Enroute New Zealand via Twilight Zone (aka the International Date Line) and TAME, COPA, American and QANTAS Airlines. Seven segments and 44 hrs later, we've traveled through 5 countries, 4 airlines and 3 continents and  lost one day and one bag (since recovered). Once in 3 lifetimes is enough! Hug Nancy & Grandma in LAX.
December 13 Bid adieu to Galapagos and back to Quito Enjoy the artisan market on our own, but the ATM required translation assistance!
December 6-12 Sailing the Galapagos via Ambasador I Visit 9 islands and see virtually all the major species on land and several in the sea. A unique and fragile Eden; no better place to understand reproduction and evolution (key 5th grade subjects!). I love blue-footed boobies!
December 5 Hiking in Panama's Parc Nacional Metropolitano and then on to Quito, Ecuador Saw no monkeys, but lots of birds, leafcutter ants and beautiful views of Panama City from the largest urban rainforest in the world.
December 4 Tour Panama City's three sections: Panama Viejo, colonial Panama, and thriving downtown Even pirates have their moments of levity: Henry Morgan's was at the golden altar. PC is a thriving financial hub for many countries: 150 different banks!
December 3 Hanging out in PC; walking and enjoying the rainy day.
December 2 Panama City; Canal Zone Partial Transit of the Canal was a thrill. We're really here at last!!!!!!!
December 1 Flight Denver to Panama  For more info, click on our latest Itinerary
Nov 13-30 Home in Denver Stowing and Repacking; lovely to see friends and neighbors again. Well cared-for RV for sale!
November 12 Mesa Verde National Park What an accomplishment in only 90 years. '00 fires made it even more intriguing. Wonder what they'll find.
November 11 Hovenweep National Monument,  Monument Valley Serious ruins here, lining a canyon that is easy to hike. J found pottery shard and was instructed to take it back!
November 10 Canyon de Chelly National Monument A special treat complete with snow as we lurched through the canyon floor with Navaho guide, Dave. 
November 9 Meteor Impact Crater, Petrified Forest, Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site Lots of natural and human history here. Disappointed the Hubbell wouldn't extend their hours even a tiny bit.
November 8 Grand Canyon National Park Next time we spend the time and hike it! The new buses take getting used to, but it afforded opportunity to walk the rim.
November 7 Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon, Montezuma's Castle National Monument Sedona was tucked away hidden in high sandstone cliffs and snow waiting for us. A good intro the the Anasazi ruins here too. 
Nov 6-8 Flagstaff, AZ Steph is ecstatic to see friend & soccer-mate Michelle Schmoker and sis Megan. We adults caught up too!
Nov 4-5 Phoenix, AZ Heard Museum taught the story of the Indians in a new way. J surrendered to a cool [Winnebago] pot. 
 Nov 2-3 Viva Las Vegas After the initial shock of scale, all agreed there's more still to see in LV without ever touching a slot! We all loved the White Tigers...and lions! Hoover Dam and high Mohave were  impressive...not like the Bellagio fountains, tho.
October 27-31 Highland, CA: Dennis's family,  the Harmons Nothing makes one feel at "home" like family. A Halloween to remember: Uncle Don outdoes himself. 
October 26 Laguna Seca to Santa Barbara We all want to come back to this awesome track and see one of the roadraces. The Big Sur coast was spectacular after a storm...huge surf; thousands of sea lions and elephant seals
October 25 Monterey Bay Aquarium Plan to spend a's worth it. Laguna Seca is a racetrack to return to (as is this campsite)
October 24 San Francisco Wakened by surf pounding below the bluff next  to our site. View from the beach shows how campground real estate shrinks during storms! Cable cars; dinner with Tim and Pam.
October 23 More Redwoods and on to San Francisco; dinner with Tim Rich and Pam Brewster Avenue of the Giants is not to be missed. Son Tim nicely urbanized.
October 22 Oregon Cave National Monument; Redwoods National and State parks  Our first marble cave...way cool. The redwoods were awesome...way too big to do a group hug!
October 21 Crater Lake The lake reveals itself just in the nick of time.
October 15-21 Portland: visiting Jennifer's family Mike's Birthday/Collective Party for 5 fall birthdays in the Marble clan. Enjoyed family, friends, a little shopping, the ballet... Civilization.
October 14 Mt. St. Helens; Arrive Portland, OR The regeneration has begun, but it's clear it will happen again. Nice solid Visitor's Center!
October 13 Leavenworth, Mount Ranier, Mayfield Lake, WA L's one of the best tourist traps anywhere. Ranier mostly in clouds, but Mayfield Lake was fine compensation. And the Wenatchee fruit!!
October 12 Grand Coulee Dam That's a BIG dam! And Washington State Parks rule. Especially close to Wenatchee. 
October 11 Missoula, MT to Spokane, WA via Sandpoint, ID Following Lewis and Clark's trail through beautiful river valley along the Bitterroot range. Sandpoint charmed us all.
October 10 Yellowstone Museum; on to Missoula via Bitterroots and Ennis, MT Outstanding Indian artifacts and film on the '88 fires and '59 earthquake;  we viewed the giant landslide enroute to Missoula. 
October 9 Fishing the Firehole River; IMAX Yellowstone. Wonderful guide Chuck (Arick's Outfitters) taught D&S well: they caught 6 to J's 1. Fun!
October 8 North Loop Waterfalls today, but no bears or moose. Alas.
October 7 South Loop and Old Faithful The elk are in rut, and stags are chasing their girls all over the place bugling their hearts out. Recovery from the fires looks like a tree farm in need of thinning. Nothing matches nature's diversity at Yellowstone.
October 6 Bighorns, Powder River Pass, Tensleep and Cody  to W. Yellowstone Fresh snow added to the spectacular views. Sidetracked at the Cody outlet, road construction and no room to stay in the park campground made for another very late night.
October 5 Black Hills to Buffalo; Devil's Tower Steph wants to climb this one; but the real climbers look so tiny in those cracks...
October 4 Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park, Crazy Horse Monument Too long a day, but every bit worthwhile. The wildlife in the Black Hills is unbelievable.
October 3 through the Badlands from Norfolk to Rapid City via Wounded Knee Beautiful day along the river; sobering to reflect on the Native Americans' many tragic  tales. Hope we've learned...
October 2 J's Birthday and visit to Battle Creek State Bank S&J enjoyed the pleasant city park and smelling roses while D and Nancy worked. 
October 1 Twin Cities to Norfolk, NB Sidetrip to Spirit Lake and Lake Okiboji satisfied J's lifelong curiosity about these Iowa lakes. NE Iowa is FLAT.
September 28-30 Twin Cities Our laptop FINALLY arrives!!! After LMAs and Steph's American History test we take breaks for Mall of America, movie and Denny's aunt and cousins, Katherine, Larry and Wilma Rich.
September 27 Iron Mountain, MI to St. Paul, MN Morning at the Iron Mine learning hard rock mining and its economic impact. Then onward to MN.
September 26 Mackinac Island and Upper Peninsula of MI  Biked around the island and toured Fort Mackinac to learn about Astor, the fur trade and more War of 1812. Steph wants to stay...her new favorite place.
September 25 Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario to Mackinac Island Canadian Heritage Bush Aviation Museum took us into the wilderness to fire camps and through a unique niche of aviation. Then we hopped another ferry for a night (in a B&B!) on the island. No cars keeps the world very quiet.
September 24 Manitoulin Island, Ontario Hiked the Cup and Saucer trail to see God's Island, 50 mile views. Largest fresh-water island in the world provided a refreshing day of "do" rather than see.
September 23 Algonquin Provincial Preserve, Ontario Hundred of miles of canoe trails in thousands of square miles of wilderness. We'll be back. 
September 22 Ottawa, Ontario Learning about Canadian politics and seeing parliament is interesting, but Tom Thompson and the Group of Seven at the National Gallery were special. Clean, organized and lovely.
September 21 Montreal, Lake Champlain and Vermont Morning at the Biodome was missing the animals, but the 4 habitats and molting penguins were interesting. A side trip to Lake Champlain and Vermont gave J a mountain fix and great light. J could live here...
September 20 Montreal, Quebec This is a happening town! Much more urban and commercial, but still pretty exotic.
September 19 New Brunswick to Quebec City Dinner in the old town is like being in France. Steph loved her frog legs. Very memorable.
September 18 New Brunswick Tried to see the tidal bore in Moncton, but it was a no-show. Made up for it with a pretty road along the St. John River.
September 17 Visit Summerside and North Cape, PEI I swear I saw the seals in the rip where two tides came together. D&S were hiking in the hole in the wall. High Wind is studied here. Our French campground host greets us by kissing my hand!
September 16 Ferry to Prince Edward Island Morning ferry, afternoon with Anne of Green Gables and then a fabulous Ceilidh (house party) with pipers, fiddles and Celtic dance and song. A special treat!
September 15 Bay of Fundy Tide watch and Pictou Pictures show the awesome tides. The town of Pictou was celebrating the launch (on the 16th) of the Hector replica. The Bluenose II (built in Lunenburg) was in port to celebrate. Quite an accomplishment.
September 14 Peggy's Cove and Halifax Picturesque PC was overrun with busloads, but the pictures were worth it. Halifax Citadel provided a good overview of the varied fortunes of this strategic British outpost.
September 13 The Ovens and Lunenburg Lunenburg's boat works and Maritime Center an outstanding overview of commercial fishing complete with schooners, trawlers and lobster talks. 
September 12 Digby, Tiverton and the Ovens, NS Watched and studied humpback whales in the Bay of Fundy, then drove to south shore campsite in a scenic area filled with 7 cliff-side caves and "cannon thunder" at high tide.  
September 11 Ferry to Nova Scotia; Evangeline Trail High speed "Cat" ferry was great, but Java got seasick!! Drove thru the Acadian villages on the NW shore where towns speak French or English, not both. Every church was unique. 
September 10 Acadia National Park and Southwest Harbor Cadillac Mountain (yes, the chief preceded the car) was a breathtaking view. The afternoon canoeing on Long Pond was followed by super dinner in SW Harbor and visit with Otey and Penny Wolfe.
September 9 Bar Harbor ME Low key day as tourists in Bar Harbor and enjoying the rock beach and sunset.
September 8 Acadia National Park Biked the carriage roads with the Brestels. A  uniquely personal Acadian day with beautiful lakes and trails. 
September 7 to Mount Desert Island, ME Stops in Rockport and at the blueberry stands. Dinner from local lobster [by the] pound is a down east experience to remember.
September 6 Portland Returned to Portland to upgrade phones and update the Web. Now we're covered in Canada.
September 5 Boothbay and Freeport LL Bean-land is a charming Victorian village become a continuous outlet mall. Unique. Tourist Maine is lovely off season. Good food and friendly.
September 4 Portsmouth to Boothbay Harbor, ME We had to leave sometime!! But still got in a picnic on the rock beach watching the boats leave Portsmouth Harbor, and an overview of the Grand Banks fishery. 
September 3 Portsmouth, NH; Cape Ann, MA Too much to do, so we split up. D & Ron go flying, and J, S, & Martha tour Newburyport and Cape Ann. Rock hopping at Halibut Pt a pleasure, the new (dedicated today) Seamen's Memorial sobering (over 5300 lost), and too many tourists in Rockport.  
September 2 Portsmouth, NH Visiting friends Martha & Ron Brestel. See a bit of Portsmouth after our late nite at the car races.
September 1 Concord/Lexington and Lowell National Historic Sites. To Portsmouth, NH Enjoyed the Lowell Mill, easy to imagine early deafness, and understand Industrial Revolution. "Shot Heard Round the World" et al.
August 31 Boston Area LMAs, new phone; Concord NHS.
August 30 Boston Area Steph to the ER; (nothing serious, but 6 hrs to find that out!); and D returns.
August 29 Newburgh to Boston travel day  
August 28 NYC and the United Nations Pouring rain put a damper on transit, but the UN was especially colorful due to worldwide religious conference and demonstrations supporting the Dalai Lama (again!). Hundreds of costumes of every color and design.
Time Warp I HAVE NO IDEA HOW THE DATES GOT OFF, but we've made up an extra day somewhere. The starting date above is correct by my calendar.
August 28 Delaware Water Gap; transit to Newburgh  
August 27 PA Pocono Mts. Horseback Riding and hiking to 7 Bushkill Falls was a treat.
August 26 Transit to Poconos Crayola Factory  in Easton, PA is a real treat. Saw the drama of a buggy accident enroute.
August 25 Lancaster, Paradise and Intercourse, PA Learned about Amish and Mennonite culture in the county w/ highest concentration of them in the country. But EVERYONE shops WalMart!
August 24 Dulles, Transit to Lancaster D returns to Denver. Steph discovers antiquing. (NOT a huge fan.)
August 23 Gettysburg Loooooooooonnnnnng day, but worthwhile. Done with Battlefields, we think.
August 22 Shenandoah Parkway to Harpers Ferry, WV; Luray Caverns Very cool caves with enormous flowstone and columns. Loved the stalactite  organ. HP is a charming town and fascinating history, but the tubing on the Shenandoah looked as  inviting.
August 21 Charlottesville to Shenandoah Parkway Fine hikes; looked for Stamm's from Loft Mt area.
August 20 Charlottesville; UVa; Staunton TJ's UVa is being  refurbished beautifully, especially. the original dorms. Thoroughly enjoyed time at Frontier Culture Museum's four 17th-19th century farms.
August 19 Charlottesville wiith the Stamms. Monticello Beautiful gardens and ornamental  beans!
August 18 Charlottesville with the Stamms LMAs; Delightful dinner
August 17 Blue Ridge Parkway to Charlottesville Enough driving already! Lovely to be stationary with good friends.
August 16 BRP, to Roanoke The BRP is a national treasure.
August 15 BRP from Asheville   Folk Arts Center saw us coming!
August 14 Biltmore Estate and Gardens America's largest house does not disappoint
August 13 Cherokee to Asheviille Fabulous campground, but too low to tube there.
August 12 Great Smoky Mountains: Townsend to Cherokee Again we wish we had more time, but we're glad we're not in Knoxville!
August 11 Chattanooga/Chicamauga National Historic Site; Cades Cove in GSMNP Our first battlefield. Almost lost the driveshaft. Took Rich Mtn Road back to the campground.
August 10 Macon to Scottsboro, AL to Chattanooga Unclaimed  Baggage outlet was a delight, but not many things we need. HUGE thunderstorm.
August 9 Okefenokee Swamp Park Low water due to drought cut the boat tour short, but we got a glimpse of the ecosystem.
August 8 Cumberland Island NS It's turtle season, and the water's fabulous. Imagine those Carnegie heirs, the parties, the cars and their bourbon in the middle of nowhere...
August 7 Kingsley Plantation and Amelia Island We'll be baaack. Quite an adventure getting down the road to Kingsley Plantation. But we only hit one tree... no damage thank goodness...[we thought]
August 4-6 Space Camp These pix are non-digital. We'll scan some later so you can see the training devices and mission control. Highly recommended.

August 3

to Titusville, FL and Kennedy Space Center


August 2

Hang out at Ft. Wilderness and outlet mall

"Theme Park Thighs" rebel; bikes and swimming retune the muscles

August 1

Animal Kingdom and Epcot Center

Disney exhausts

July 31

Epcot Center

Disney delights. Wonderful parades and fireworks!

July 30

MGM/Disney Studios

Disney doesn’t disappoint

July 29

Alligator Farm and Castillo San Marco tours; to Orlando

Learned tons here…all 31 species represented. And we learned all about 16th Century artillery, and Seminole Wars. 

July 28

travel day and St. Augustine tour

Oldest house is the country was charming

July 27

travel day and Florida’s Cavern

Amazing how well cared for a cave can be when it’s never been commercial!

July 26

Navarre Beach

That beach…and dinner at the Original Crab Shack was to die for

July 25

Destin/Ft. Walton Beach

more hubbub here

July 24

Navarre Beach/Gulf Islands NS

glorious barrier islands again

July 23

to Navarre Beach

long drive day

July 22

Melrose/Silver Spring

Crystal clear water at this reknown site where the FL aquifer comes out

July 21


a free day for grown ups!

July 20

to Gainesville

visiting our friends the Kings at their lake

July 19

Charleston, SC

Charming;  new appreciation for sweetgrass baskets.

July 18

enroute to Charleston

Myrtle Beach is a little bit Vegas, Branson, a little bit Coney Island, a little bit of everything it seems…

July 17

NC Outer Banks; Ocracoke IS, Ferry to Emerald Island

Barrier island beaches are great…if intimidating in their remoteness

July 16

Kitty Hawk and Wright Bros Memorial to Frisco, NC


July 15

Norfolk Maritime Center and Chicken Run

Super meal in the mall! Go figure.

July 14

Virginia Beach Marine Science Center

Excellent interactive exhibits, but S is ready for fast-path now; loved the Stingrays.  Dolphins IMAX show is wonderful and continues the strong role modeling of Galapagos.

July 13

Virginia Beach; lazy day; LMAs

Fun at the pool and a tour of the town; found a lovely memorial garden at the 47th Street beach access.

July 12

Mt. Vernon; Emma leaves

Our tour was by an 85 yr old who had heard the stories from the slaves’ descendents. As a slaveowner, GW was "average." S sorry to see her friend leave.

July 11

Carters’ Grove; Abby Aldrich Rockerfeller Folk Art Museum; Jamestown Historical Site

Squeezing in everything we’d missed. Excellent slave and sharecropper perspectives at CG; enormous enthusiasm for the archeology in process at the Site, and I was stymied with far too little time at the Folk Art Museum. A whole church decorated in tinfoil got the prize for most unusual art. 

July 10

Busch Gardens

Great coasters!! Current contention: adults like Apollo’s Chariot, kids like Loch Ness! All like amusement parks and this one is very good. 

July 9

Beach time and Jamestown Settlement

Adults enjoyed it more than the kids, but everyone likes boats. I especially appreciated the actors' views

July 8

Colonial Williamsburg—in costume

Kids in costume with a mission added much richness to their experience, and they learned some lovely  "courtesies." Dinner at Shields Tavern was a delight.

July 7

Colonial Williamsburg

Unqualified HIT! We scratched the surface to find a long list of things to do next.

July 6

In Transit to Wiliamsburg; Geo Washington’s Birthplace

An unexpected treat; lovely picnic by the river and tales of pirates. George-the-Man-Washington had it OK from birth.

July 5

Steph’s Birthday: pool, National Zoo, White House West Wing Tour

A full and rewarding day. The zoo was great, but the White House was a real treat.

July 4

Pickup Emma; Celebrate the 4th on the National Mall

Everyone ought to see the fireworks on the mall once in their lives…and the party never stops. S gets ears pierced for her b’day.

July 3

National Gallery: Georgia O’Keefe on Paper; pick up Denny; Steph overnights with Kate

Excellent exhibit of little-seen O’Keefe ink and water colors, including some beautiful pastels. They outshine the oils on collection. Steph’s favorite artist. I snuck in a little baroque architecture and impressionism anyway…

July 2 

Great Falls of the Potomac and C&O Canal

Enjoyed the fresh air walk and the mule-towed canal boat ride with friends Lucy and Ed Hand.

July 1

Natural History Museum, IMAX Galapagos, American Cantata at the Lincoln Memorial

Spent all day in the Viking exhibits and family hands on crafts. S struck a coin, made a leather bag and wove a rope. Nice follow-on to the Iceland exhibit in the LoC. The Galapagos was excellent too. 2000 voices makes VOLUME even outdoors!

June 30

LMAs, new tires, etc. Kate and Denis come to dinner

Our first dinner guests, followed by a round of miniature golf.

June 29

American History Museum, Bureau of Engraving

A long day, but fun. The exhibits that have hands on are sure winners. The flag restoration was fascinating. …too hard to find the BoE, but we saw millions of $$$$

June 28

National Geographic Explorers Gallery

Fantastic exhibit on Australia; the photographs were stunning but the Aboriginal art was fascinating.

June 27

Baltimore: Ft. McHenry

Only saw two ships under sail, but the day, the tour and the company were fantastic. Nice day.

June 26

Library of Congress

After two hours in line at the Supreme Court we were unable to get into the chambers to hear the decisions; Miranda upheld without us. But the LoC was great and I got my card! Saw Wizard of Oz and Iceland saga exhibits and newly renovated Jefferson Hall.

June 25 

Washington Cathedral, Lincoln and Vietnam Memorials

Clinton dedicating the Korean War Memorial; we discover Thomas Sweet’s Ice Cream in Georgetown. Fabulous tour of the Cathedral.

June 24

Dulles: Dennis to Denver


June 23

Baltimore: OpSail 2000 Tall Ships arrive

Toured Esmeralda and two more; saw several arrive in the harbor; much partying going on.

June 22

Air and Space Museum

The front hall is still the best! All those originals…

June 21

Supreme Court and Capitol Tours

Wonderful tour; glad we had prepared with studies ahead.

June 20

Baltimore National Aquarium; dinner w/ Kate and Denis

Calvin’s a jolly giant; the aquarium is top notch

June 19

Scope out DC; Archives

Studied up on the Constitution in the AM and then saw the original

June 18

Father’s Day; pool and LMAs*

* LMA: Life Maintenance Activities (laundry, etc.)

Need more of these!

June 17

Rehoboth to Assateague Island NS; College Park

Steph under the weather, but we still saw a few wild horses at this wild and beautiful seashore

June 16

Ferry from Rehoboth Beach to Cape May

The world can’t have too many ferries, and Cape May is lovely

May 14 - June 15 From Denver to the east and Washington Didn't keep our log updated till now