Puffin Therapy in the Scottish Highlands

In June, I traveled with a group of five to Ireland and Scotland for two weeks. I’ve written all about my travels, including tips on what to do, where to stay, and how to get there, in a series of blog posts

Spending the Day with Puffins in Scotland

Puffins are delightful sea birds that live in the northern Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Part of our trip to Scotland included a day-long tour off the western coast to the remote Treshnish Isles. We book the “Puffin Therapy” tour with Turus Mara. Our ferry departed from the seaside town of Oban at 9 a.m. After an hour long ride, we landed on the Isle of Mull. Then when we took a rough van ride across the rural island (all one-lane roads and lots of sheep) to the next part of our journey: a converted fishing boat. Another hour on the sea brought us to the Treshnish Isles: a group of small islands that are part of the Inner Hebrides. Along the way we spotted seals and dolphins. Continue reading

California Road Trip: Marin County

Travel Tips for visiting Northern California

California is my happy place. For several months we were planning our Pacific Coast Highway roadtrip from San Francisco to Los Angeles. A large chunk of our trip was going to be in Big Sur–we booked a few nights at a lodge there (the cheapest we could find was still at $250/night) and we had all of our hikes planned for the state parks in the area. Sadly, the area was devastated by the Soberanes fire in late July that they are still battling two months later. Because of the wildfire and poor air quality, we decided to change our travel plans and go north instead. With just a few weeks to go, we had to find new places to stay and come up with a Northern California itinerary. It was part stressful and part creative problem solving! Continue reading

California Road Trip: Redwood Country

Where to go in California's Redwood Country

Our introduction to Redwood country was the Avenue of the Giants. We drove 101 north from Marin County, past suburbs and wineries as the highway narrowed and the trees closed in on us. By late afternoon, we took the exit off of 101 to drive the 31-mile Avenue of the Giants. The road is surrounded by Humboldt Redwoods State Park. The only place I had to compare the park to was Muir Woods, and for me it was like being able to drive through Muir Woods. Except the trees here were even taller. Along the avenue there are lots of stop-offs along the way where you can stretch your legs, touch the trees, and walk along the giants. Continue reading