Welcome to Oz

Great Ocean Road 3

  I’m in love with Australia.  We’ve been here for a little over one month and yes, I feel very badly about being off the grid and failing to launch the promised travel blog.  But, as my friend Stacy pointed out: “Blog/Smog.  You’ve been busy DOING things.”  And that is true.  I’ve been eating, sweating, and seeking my brains out. 

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I have always been drawn to athletic endeavors, beautiful stretches of beach, and the feeling of flying.  So it isn’t surprising that kitesurfing has been high on my list of sports to try someday. Imagine my delight when I realized that the little place we rented on St. Kilda beach (Melbourne, Australia) is directly across

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Ironman Triathlon: The Call of the Mdot


  February 19th, 2014: We just arrived in Melbourne a few days ago and preparations for Ironman on March 23rd are obviously underway.  The gorgeous stretch of road that hugs the coastline from Frankston Pier (scene of the swim) to St Kilda beach (the finish line) is packed with athletes, many of them sporting Mdot tattos, compression socks, and most noticeably, that

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Small Wine Producers: The Best of Australia’s Hunter Valley

Tyrrells, one of the larger of the small wine producers in the Hunter Valley

  The Hunter Valley wine region is an easy drive from Sydney, so after a few days in the city, we headed out for our first visit to some “cellar doors” (the Australian term for a winery).  The Hunter is a beautiful area with gently rolling hills flanked by mountains to the North and West. 

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2014 Draft Itinerary


One of my new commitments in life is to stop creating endless lists and spreadsheets, so a key element to the master travel plan is to stay flexible. If we like a place, we’ll stay a bit longer. If we don’t, we’ll move on. The only hard and fast criteria for any potential location is weather: We

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The Back Story


Today (Christmas, 2013) our family of seven shared a Christmas meal around a small table in a rented vacation home.  I am grateful to be with all of our adult children before heading out to Australia (our first stop in 2014) and to be wearing shorts on Christmas day. Still, I feel a bit unsettled —

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My Must-Do List of Places to Cycle in 2014

Cycling in Western Sicily, 2007

As an endorphin junkie, I love to sweat and nothing makes me sweat like cycling.  In fact, cycling can hurt me like no other sport.  There is nothing quite like cresting a long uphill, the legs and the lungs screaming for relief, and then catching your breathe on clean, fresh air on a long, fast

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How To Become Un-Thinged


I read somewhere that people burn 55 minutes a day looking for stuff they own.  Even more shocking: 80% of our stuff never gets used.  This was at least partly true in my own life.  I couldn’t believe how many items I didn’t recognize (or remember purchasing) when we began cleaning out the closets, basement

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