learn something new every day:


I love love love the new Beauty and the Beast movie. One of the best parts, of course, is the Beast’s library, so I wrote “Belle Would Be Enchanted by These 10 Lovely Libraries in Hotels” for USA Today 10Best.

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the equine experience at miraval

Posted on January 16, 2014

Lois and Cherokee

We’ve always been taught to get our information straight from the horse’s mouth.

But, as I recently learned firsthand, the deepest truths just may come from the horse’s hoof. more »


Posted on January 1, 2014

Amsterdam sign

Let me start at the beginning.

We were on a tour bus in Amsterdam when the guide mentioned Hans Brinker.

“Who’s that?” my daughter asked me.

“You never heard of Hans Brinker? The boy who put his finger in the dyke?”

There was a pause as the kids looked at me in horror, then looked at each other and burst into the kind of obnoxiously loud, hysterical, can’t-catch-your-breath laughter that is absolutely inappropriate in public places – and impossible to control.

kids laughing

“Put his finger in the dyke?!” spurted my son, gasping for air.

“Oh, my God, you guys, you know what I’m talking about,” I said, rolling my eyes and trying to shush them while the other passengers gave us dirty looks and my husband pushed his Earbuds in deeper.

And so began another Mark family vacation. more »

my ski.com video

Posted on December 2, 2013

snow bunnies

Candace Derickx and I had a (snow)ball at the TMS Family Travel Conference!

I know winter doesn’t officially start for another three weeks but once December hits, it’s on, as far as I’m concerned. more »

my family travel stories: a guide through the forest

Posted on November 5, 2013


One of the biggest takeaways from the amazing TMS Family Travel Conference I recently attended in Niagara Falls was an impassioned quote from Keith Bellows, editor-in-chief of National Geographic Traveler, who stood up and declared, “Passports are the new diplomas.” more »

6 reasons to fall for niagara falls

Posted on October 22, 2013

The Maid of the Mist

My dad, my sister and me on The Maid of the Mist, 1971.

The last time I went to Niagara Falls was when I was 12 years old. I remember donning a raincoat to ride the legendary Maid of the Mist, and laughing out of pure joy and awe as we got totally soaked. more »

the meaning of family travel

Posted on September 20, 2013

The Spanish Steps

My family on the Spanish Steps in Rome.

By the time you read this, I will have shuffled off to Buffalo for the TMS Family Travel conference in Niagara Falls.

I’m so excited about this because, at this stage of my life, travel is the only extravagance I really indulge in. I don’t really care about “things” any more, but give me a chance to visit a different place, experience a different culture or activity, or try a different mode of transportation, and I’m packed.

Camel in Dubai

This conference is all about family travel, and you may wonder what that means to me since my husband and I are now empty nesters. Well, it literally means the world to me! more »

celebrating our 32nd anniversary at la costa

Posted on September 19, 2013

 La Costa Spa and Resort

Michael and I celebrated our 32nd anniversary a couple of weeks ago. How that can be possible when I feel like I’m still 30 myself is one of those mysteries of life – and a topic for a future blog post. more »

my oasis: healing with elephants in thailand by julie lemerond

Posted on August 18, 2013

Elephant Nature Park in Thailand

About a year ago, a friend of mine referred to us as “middle-aged” in a blog post. “What the heck is she talking about?” I thought. And then it dawned on me that we were turning 40 and, if an average female American life expectancy hovers somewhere around 80, then we are indeed “middle-aged.” Because I still get carded and people seem shocked when they find out how old I am, it’s hard to wrap my brain around the idea that I am halfway through life. more »

finding my oasis in africa

Posted on July 14, 2013

I’m re-posting this because our Generation Fabulous BlogHop this month is all about transformative travel, and my trip to Africa was absolutely that! Click here to read how my fellow GenFab bloggers have been transformed by their own trips. Would love to hear about yours, too!

I just came back from my looooooong-anticipated two-week bucket list trip to Africa, and am having a hard time getting back to “real life.” Michael and I spent a wondrous week glamping in Botswana and Zimbabwe, and then a night in Johannesburg before heading off to Martha Beck’s amazing African STAR Retreat at Londolozi. The whole experience was life-changing, and I pretty much felt like this all the time:

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welcome to the hotel la jolla

Posted on March 31, 2013


Hotel La Jolla

Every time I travel, I struggle with choosing a hotel. Should I go with a place that’s unique to that city or stick with a brand I know I can trust?

Whenever possible, I look for a Kimpton because they’ve found the ideal way to combine both of those features. Bill Kimpton opened the first boutique hotel ever – San Francisco’s Clarion Bedford in 1981– and his company has been revolutionizing the business ever since.

So, when HerHighway.com invited me for a tour of the Hotel La Jolla, the newest Kimpton in San Diego, plus lunch in the hotel’s ocean-view Cusp restaurant and a spin in the 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish, I cleared my calendar. more »

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