Toyohashi, Here I Am! Thanksgiving, Here We Are!

“There are moments in life that are bigger than we know it at the time. When you look back, you say, that was one of those life-changing, fork-in-the-road moments and I didn’t even see it coming.”Jenny Han

Happy Thanksgiving, America! To my family, to old and new friends, and to the many people I’ve been privileged to meet and get to know around this world… thank you.
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Skalkaho Pass: What your map and GPS won’t tell you

“Over every mountain there is a path, although it may not be seen from the valley.”—Theodore Roethke

I’d been fortunate to embark on many quick weekend trips around in 2014. Now that it’s April of 2015, I’m itching to break out of this cold weather slump and embark on a few road trips. It’s easy to stick to the main highways and Interstates when your destinations are city-to-city in Montana, but last year I found myself visiting a number of small towns and rural areas that are further ‘off the beaten track’. Continue reading

Downtown Disney

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious, and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” -Walt Disney

If the trees weren’t still in leafless hibernation, I’d swear we’d skipped winter altogether and entered March early! The weather in Orlando certainly didn’t disappoint our January vacation, and after a brilliant kick-start in Magic Kingdom the day before, we headed straight to Downtown Disney bright and early in the morning. Continue reading

Magic Kingdom, Bender Family Style

“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” –Walt Disney

“I’m where I’m meant to go… All at once everything looks different, now that I see you.” –Rapunzel and Flynn Rider (Eugene Fitzherbert), Tangled

Spending our first family vacation at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida was certainly a dream come true.  Continue reading

Motion Sickness and Flying

“Home sickness is a bit like sea sickness. You don’t know how awful it is until you get it, and when you do, it hits you right in the top of the stomach and you want to die.” –Roald Dahl

If you’ve never had to travel while also dealing with motion sickness, count yourself lucky!

For me, it’s a constant reality that I’ve had to work though ever since I was a little girl, and I know I’m not the only one out there. It’s something you cannot control in the slightest. Continue reading

New Years Cheers and My Upcoming, First-ever Family Vacation!

“It is a chiché that most clichés are true, but then like most clichés, that cliché is untrue.” –Stephen Fry

Are you done with all the New Years clichés by now? Christmas was barely over and that’s all I was seeing: resolutions, goal setting goals, goodbyes to 2014 and hellos to 2015.

These are all fine and dandy, but this kind of approach doesn’t really suit me. (Clearly, since it’s already mid-January and I went above and beyond in missing the bandwagon for this one.)

I admire those of you who got down to business with goal setting before New Years Eve. I’m usually still reeling from the holiday festivities by then, and I rarely secure a moment of quiet during that post-Christmas time. Forget having the chance to even think about making good resolutions. Operating on my own time table, my style drifts more toward  Continue reading