Bula! (Fiji Time)

Last year, Fiji wasn’t on our travel radar. In fact, none of us knew anything about Fiji when friends offered up an extra bedroom in their hotel (and they were unfortunately unable to make the trip with us). But with free Alaska Air mileage tickets with partners Fiji and Korean Air, and the trip overlapping Thanksgiving and my birthday, we were still game to fly across the Pacific for a week of fun and sun. We were pleasantly surprised by the crystal clear waters, friendly Fijians, and reasonably-priced resorts.  Since Fiji is one of the NY Times 52 places to go in 2018, here is your head start on planning your Fijian getaway.

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Nashville – The Perfect Mileage Run (or Weekend)

Music, food, and a small and easy city makes Nashville a perfect 36 hour town.

I’m late to the Nashville bandwagon – both the show and the city – but I am 100% onboard. With everyone singing its praises (in the past year, each member of my immediate family has gone, all on separate trips), Nashville was a natural choice when I realized I’d be short for my Alaska Air MVP Gold status and would need to do a mileage run in December. So I grabbed some Nashville veterans (Gena & Jerry) to introduce me to music city.

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Safari: South Africa & Victoria Falls

It’s taken me a few months (OK, seven) to get this post written. I still haven’t really gone through my thousands of photos.  The problem I keep facing as I sit down to finalize this  – there is no way to do the trip justice. I’ve been fortunate to go many interesting places, but there is nothing comparable to seeing a parade of elephants, including infants, so close they could turn on you in seconds – or seeing a lioness devour her kill as her babies perch nearby waiting to get their turn. We saw the Big 5, the largest waterfall in the world, went rafting on some terrifying Class 5 rapids, and came face to face with great whites.

So I’ll keep this post factual and full of links to help you plan your African safari. (I’ve also posted my top photos here.)

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The big trip 2017: Stop 1, Dubai layover

With unfamiliar foreign travel, there is always a moment. Long past the exhaustion of endless airport walkways,  navigating through the invisible borders of a foreign nation’s immigration queue, the joy of a successful ATM, and you finally find your ride. You sit down, settle in, exhale, look outside and realize the travel is over, and smile as you know that you … have … arrived.

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Milwaukee?

Wisconsin, rightly or wrongly, has never been high on my bucket list. I’ve only been once, on a road trip where Jerry required a stop at his only religious site, Lambeau Field.
So a family wedding (and direct flight, thanks #iflyalaska) presented a great excuse to visit a city that apparently made this year’s NY Times top 100 places to visit.  Read more