September 2, 2019

CAJUN ANYONE? THE ZYDECO-CAJUN PRAIRIE SCENIC BYWAY, LOUISIANA

Updated September 2019 Find the heart of Cajun country deep in Louisiana.  The Cajun culture is so exotic and mystical! Take a backroads trip to Louisiana on Highway 90 and the Zydeco-Cajun Prairie Scenic Byway in Louisiana and explore one of America’s backroad jewels. Louisiana epitomizes one of the ultimate melting pots of early America.  Since neither Stu nor I have spent much time in Louisiana, the blend of the French, Cajun, and Creole influences with fishing, rice fields and music sort of slapped us in the face and said, “Gorge on the Richness.”   The 283-mile long Zydeco-Cajun Prairie Scenic Byway hides rural and cultural treasures.   One of our favorite stops…

February 14, 2019

THE BEST OF ARIZONA: THE PETRIFIED FOREST AND PAINTED DESERT

  If you want to experience other-worldly terrain, take a backroads trip to the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert!   The Petrified Forest National Park’s headquarters are located about 26 miles east of Holbrook, Az along Interstate 40, which parallels the BNSF Railway’s Southern Transcon, the Puerto River, and historic Route 66.   In fact, the Petrified Forest National Park is the only national park site that contains a segment of the Historic Route 66 alignment. The northern portion of the park extends into the Painted Desert.     Teddy Roosevelt created the Petrified Forest National Monument in 1906. It has over 50,000 acres of designated wilderness.     We drove…

June 11, 2018

TAKE A BACKROADS TRIP: THE BILLY THE KID SCENIC BYWAY

If you are like me, certain questions keep you up at night. This is one of them, “Do bears use restrooms?” Take a backroads trip on the Billy The Kid Scenic Byway in New Mexico,  one of America’s best backroads trips, and find out!   Lore from when the west was more wild with shoot-outs, posses and jail breaks are stories Stu and I truly love. Colorful people are our favorites and the old west had plenty!  We can’t get enough and had no idea that the Billy the Kid Scenic Byway and New Mexico is home to so many legendary sights and characters.   At the Billy the Kid Scenic Byway Visitors…

June 1, 2018

TAKE A BACKROADS TRIP: CAMINO REAL de los TEJAS NATIONAL HISTORIC TRAIL

Take a backroads trip through rolling grassy hills covered with bluebonnets and other wildflowers on The Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail. See nps.gov/elte/planyourvisit/maps.htm.     Once a year, my grandmother, in her 80s and 90’s would take a trip from Kansas City to Texas to see her son and the bluebonnets. Now I understand the bluebonnet part.  I don’t think Stu or I expected the beauty of the eastern Texas hill country since neither of us had ever been there. Waving grass, wildflowers, huge skies and curving backroads is the image that comes to mind when someone says, “a perfect spring/summer day.” THAT is the eastern Texas…

May 30, 2018

HOW TO EXPLORE PENSACOLA, FLORIDA

Explore Pensacola! White sugar sand beaches, emerald water and the architectural feel of a tiny New Orleans. Add them together (plus restaurants that would send foodies to heaven), and you have Pensacola, Florida! Who knew? Pensacola is one of those towns where people make you feel like family, the arts and deep sea fishing combine with sandy feet and a laid-back vibe. You have to visit!     Park your car downtown and walk! There isn’t heavy traffic but this city is made for strolling! The wrought iron details on the buildings and covered sidewalks beckon you past bakeries, restaurants and unique boutiques. Walk a couple of blocks and you…

May 29, 2018

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO PAGE, ARIZONA

updated 11/19   Only an hour and a half from both The Grand Canyon and Zion National Park is Page, Arizona. Yet, most people bypass Page and some of the most incredible national wonders in America!   As you enter Page, Az, you may feel you have arrived in a remote, dusty, small town with nothing of interest to see. You’d be so wrong!    Page has become one of our favorite places in America. We’ve all seen the iconic photos of the famous Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend-we had to go!         Travel Note: To access slot canyons on Navajo land, you must be with a…

May 29, 2018

WHERE TO STAY WHEN AT ZION NATIONAL PARK: SPRINGDALE, UTAH

Want to know where to stay when visiting Zion National Park? When visiting Zion National Park (nps.gov/zion) stay in Springdale!! What an adorable town! Springdale has no franchise restaurants, no street lights, and artists’ shops galore.      We loved staying at the Best Western in Springdale. Our room had a wonderful view and a small terrace with chairs for watching the stars. The hotel has two outdoor fire pits which capped off perfect days in the Park. There is a fitness room and a free hot breakfast to boot. All the shops and restaurants are within walking distance and the shuttle to the Park stops directly across the street…

May 29, 2018

HOW TO EXPLORE THE GRAND CANYON

  Explore the Grand Canyon with us. Our days at the Grand Canyon were more than magical-they were breathtaking!!     We’ve written about our first impressions upon seeing the glory of the Canyon and we’ve attempted to post photographs that are representative of the majesty of this place (which, by the way, is impossible to capture although Stu has produced incredible photos!).     But, there is SO much more to talk about! 1)  People visiting here are from all over the world. We’ve talked to visitors (in 2 days)  from China, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, Spain, New Zealand, France-we could go on. Those we spoke with were shocked…

May 29, 2018

THE PUEBLO LAGUNA, New Mexico

Stu and I talked a lot driving backroads through the southwest about how schools we attended completely left out Native American history, culture and religions.     Exploring one backroad in New Mexico close to old Route 66, we stopped for some Indian Fry Bread (if you’ve never tasted it, you are missing amazing food). Take a backroads trip to Pueblo Laguna in New Mexico and learn what we were never taught in school.       PUEBLO LAGUNA HISTORY     Pueblo Laguna is the largest of the Keresan pueblos, covering four large counties and six villages. The district was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1973….

May 29, 2018

EXPLORE THE GRAND CANYON: OUR FIRST VIEWS

Neither of us expected what we saw. We didn’t know you can’t see any of The Grand Canyon until you reach the rim.  Just like millions, we’d seen thousands of photographs, descriptions and documentaries about The Grand Canyon.   We actually both gasped when we saw it. NO photo, no description and no documentary prepared us for the utter magnificence and grandeur of The Grand Canyon.