Around the US

Day Tripping to Madera Canyon

Prior to last September, I had not heard of Madera Canyon, which is somehow less than an hour from Tucson and also the home base of Mt. Wrightson, the tallest mountain in Southern Arizona.  However, I went from not knowing a thing about this place to visiting in September, December, and January, and I can… Continue reading Day Tripping to Madera Canyon

Around the US, Hidden Gems, National Parks

Hidden Gems: Ocracoke Island

There's something appealing about a place you can't technically drive to.  Although you can have a car on Ocracoke Island, it necessitates loading your car onto a 60 minute ferry then driving about half an hour into the only town on the island.  The alternative is a new passenger ferry that is 70 minutes but… Continue reading Hidden Gems: Ocracoke Island

Around the US, Hidden Gems, National Parks, West Virginia

Hidden Gems: US Route 60

Besides  the well-known National Parks, the US Park Service also recognizes certain National Rivers such as the New River in West Virginia (As of 2021, this is the newest official National Park).  This "park" technically includes 70,000 acres of land along the river, and the best way to see it all, in my opinion is… Continue reading Hidden Gems: US Route 60

Around the US, Hidden Gems, National Parks

All About Tumacácori National Historical Park

One of the great things about being in Tucson is all the amazing places to visit nearby, including one of my favorite National Parks sites - Tumacácori. While it isn't as famous as the Grand Canyon, and while there's not as much to do here as at Carlsbad, Tumacácori captured my attention the first time… Continue reading All About Tumacácori National Historical Park

Around the US, National Parks

All About Saguaro National Park

One  of the most famous symbols of "the desert" is a cactus with its arms reaching out to the sky.  There's even an emoji for it! 🌵 But actually, this kind of cactus is a Saguaro  (pronounced sah-waar-o), and it is native only to the Sonoran Desert which  spans Arizona (US), Sonora (Mexcio), and Baja… Continue reading All About Saguaro National Park

Around the US, National Parks

All About Chiricahua National Monument

Before coming to Arizona, I had never heard of Chiricahua. With so many big famous landmarks and parks like the Grand Canyon, it's understandable that this out-of-the-way National Monument would be overlooked. But that's a huge mistake! If you are visiting Tucson or road-tripping through the Southwest, Chiricahua is an amazing place to visit and… Continue reading All About Chiricahua National Monument

Around the US

Tucson Botanical Gardens

Spring ha always been one of my favorite times of year (which is the same thing I say about summer...and fall...and even winter when I'm in a good mood). But flowers are beautiful and the colors in spring are unbeatable, even in the desert! There's nothing quite like seeing the desert in bloom, which is… Continue reading Tucson Botanical Gardens

Europe, France, Study Abroad

One Day in Avignon, France

Of all the places I wanted to visit in France, Avignon was near the top of the list. This little Provençal town (also mentioned in my post about day trips in Provence) is, of course, beautiful to walk though, but it's also home to the Palais des Papes (Papal Palace) and the famous Pont d'Avignon… Continue reading One Day in Avignon, France