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solar eclipse path

Soon, the United States will experience its first total solar eclipse in 99 years.

On August 21, 2017, the sky will go dark, the air will cool and stars will be visible as a shadow falls across a narrow sliver of land called the Path of Totality. From Oregon to South Carolina, eclipse enthusiasts will be celebrating this celestial wonder.

If you have yet to make plans for the big event, here are five ideas to consider:


 1. Snag a spot on the Path of Totality.

As the astro rarity gets underway on the Oregon Coast, guests at the  Salishan Spa & Golf Resort will be donning the special eclipse glasses included in their package and sharing the moment with fellow enthusiasts. (At this writing, there are a few rooms available). At the other end of the path, visitors and residents of Columbia, SC, the “Total Eclipse Capital of the East Coast,” will be choosing from more than 120 eclipse-related events planned for the weekend of wonder. From kayak trips with a well-timed stop on a sandbar for peaceful viewing to festivals, music, food and entertainment, surrounding the moment of eclipse, there will be plenty of family fun to enjoy. In between, Airbnb hosts are offering up tents, yurts, geodesic domes, cabins and bunk beds to enable sky watchers to join in the fun.

Contact: www.Salishan.com, 

2. Camp.

You’ll be competing for sites that can’t be reserved in advance, so gather your gear and prepare to exercise patience and flexibility.  Throwing up your tent on public land, meaning National Forests that do not have designated campgrounds, is an option.  Hipcamp, a start up designed to make it easier to discover and book campsites online, has been partnering with landowners in the eclipse path to expand the options. Contact:; 

 nashville  zoo

3. Migrate to a zoo or animal park.

Do animals change their behavior during a solar eclipse? If certain critters grunt, bellow or go silent during a thunderstorm, how will they react to this rare event? Zoos, animal parks and aquariums across the country are eager to collect information and you can help. In Nashville, zoo guests will be asked to look, listen and record animal activity before, during and after the event. Photos, video and written observation will add to the body of research.

Contact: www.NashvilleZoo.org

4. Dine and delight.

The shadow won’t last long so why not find a seat along the path that promises more than one way to savor the celestial event. The dining reservations pros at Open Table have provided a menu of restaurants that offer outdoor or rooftop seating in eclipse country. Others, like the Middleton Place Restaurant, outside Charleston, SC, will host a professional astronomer on their sprawling grounds as well as craft stations for the kids to enjoy.


5. Plan your own party.

Invite your friends and family and then rely on the experts at NASA to put on a show. NASA EDGE will join forces with the NASA Heliophysics Education Consortium, the University of Southern Illinois Carbondale, and Lunt Solar Systems to air a four-hour 30-minute live webcast. Leading subject matter experts will provide commentary as the eclipse gets underway in Oregon and makes its way across the country, ending in South Carolina. Follow the hash tag #Eclipse2017 on social media for other updates. Contact:


Note: Make sure your family is in the loop on this one. The next total solar eclipse to cross the United States will not occur until the year 2045.

madison river tubing

Trade the rapids, for a relaxing day on the river, floating under the warm, summer sun.

Here are five places where you could tube today:

tubing Pagosa Springs

San Juan River. Pagosa Springs, Co.

 Float the scenic San Juan River through this historic small town known for its rich geological and cultural history.  Surrounded by the San Juan Mountains, the Southwestern Ute originally called the town Pagosah which means ”healing waters.”  If you enjoy your first one-hour float, circle back for another turn. Shuttle and rental prices are good for the day. Later stop by for a soak in the hot springs.


salt river tubing

Salt River. Mesa, AZ.

Blue herons, soaring hawks, majestic saguaros and rust colored canyons serve as your scenic backdrop while floating through the Tonto National Forest on the lower Salt River. Located near Mesa and Scottsdale AZ, locals talk of enjoying a “floating picnic” on hot summer days. Two, three and five-hour floats are possible. Tube rentals are available on site. Children must be eight years old.  The desert sun is intense so be sure to hydrate and wear plenty of sunscreen.


madison river tubing

3. Madison River. Near Ennis, MT.

Widely known as a destination for fly fisherman, during the warmest months of summer a wide and relatively shallow stretch of the lower Madison River garners attention for its “bikini hatch”.  Families slather on the sunscreen, flop into a tube and enjoy a float under the big sky. Expect spectacular mountain scenery, puffy, white clouds and hawks, herons and eagles overhead.


boise river rafting

4. Boise River. Boise, ID.

 Visitors to Idaho’s capital can enjoy a scenic six-mile float through the city’s well-preserved river habitat. Cranes, hawks and deer are as plentiful as those who relax and cool off on the waterway during the summer season.  The Boise Parks & Recreation Department has established rest stops along the main floating route. River tubers can rent tubes, rafts and safety gear from Boise River Raft and Tube. Discounts on Salmon River rafting trips are also possible from the same outfitter.


 river tubing for families

 5. Plantation Float.  Kauai, HI.

Join Kauai Backcountry Adventures for a float through ditches and tunnels hand dug more than a century ago by plantation workers on the former Lihue sugar plantation. The water flow originates high in the mountains and enables adventurers five and older to relax and enjoy a unique experience while taking in views of the ocean, coastline, mountains and valleys of this picturesque tropical island. End the experience with a picnic next to a natural swimming hole.

Contact: tubing for families

Join locals on the Boise River. in Boise, ID.

Visitors to Idaho’s capital can enjoy a scenic six-mile float through the city’s well-preserved river habitat. Cranes, hawks and deer are as plentiful as those who relax and cool off on the waterway during the summer season.  

The Boise Parks & Recreation Department has established rest stops along the main floating route. River tubers can rent tubes, rafts and safety gear from Boise River Raft and Tube.

Discounts on Salmon River rafting trips are also possible from the same outfitter.


family travel hike Vail

“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods.

Wash your spirit clean.”

–John Muir


Is it time to unplug? Check out?


See more?

Here's a little inspiration to get you packing! 

“I am a passionate traveler, and from the time I was a child, travel formed me as much as my formal education.”

—David Rockefeller

“Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all of one’s lifetime.”

—Mark Twain  

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.”

 — Saint Augustine

“Love is the food of life. Travel, the dessert.”  - Unknown  

“Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.”


“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.”

—Aldous Huxley  

“To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.”

—Bill Bryson

“Just do it!”  - Nike    

“Not all those who wander are lost.”

—J.R.R. Tolkien  

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”

—Susan Sontag

“In matters of healing the body or the mind, vacation is a true genius!”

― Mehmet Murat ildan  

“Oh, the places you’ll go.”

—Dr. Seuss  

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”  


“There was nothing like a Saturday - unless it was the Saturday leading up to the last week of school and into summer vacation. That of course was all the Saturdays of your life rolled into one big shiny ball.”

― Nora Roberts, Rising Tides

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”

—Marcel Proust  

“Travel, and the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of the experience.”

—Francis Bacon  

“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not. “

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

“One of the great things about travel is that you find out how many good, kind people there are.”

—Edith Wharton 

“Certainly, traveling is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living. “

—Miriam Beard

“Every person needs to take one day away.  A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future.  Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence.  Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for.  Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.”

― Maya Angelou, Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now

“Travel far enough, you meet yourself.”

—Cloud Atlas

  “A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for”

—John A. Shedd  

“The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.”

—G.K. Chesterton   

“We must go beyond textbooks, go out into the bypaths and untrodden depths of the wilderness and travel and explore and tell the world the glories of our journey.”

—John Hope Franklin  

“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”

—Scott Cameron 

When all else fails, take a vacation!

Need more?

Check out these adventure travel quotes!


far and away

Are you a single parent looking for travel ideas?

Consider a rafting getaway.

Cast a line in the water in between rapids in on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. Warm up in hot springs along the way and check out Indian pictographs. Join other parents and kids in camp for a short hike, organic seasonal fare and conversation around the campfire. For a luxury-in-the-wilderness experience , parents can treat themselves to a riverside massage.

Contact: 832-755-7661;

You'll find more single parent travel ideas here!

rushmore ice cream

Who knew that Thomas Jefferson could be considered the father of cream!

Word is he was an early adopter and regularly served the sweet confection to his friends and family at Monticello and beyond.

If you want to follow in his culinary foot steps, you'll find the recipe below. 

Thomas Jefferson's Vanilla Ice Cream 


  • 2 bottles of good cream
  • 6 yolks of eggs
  • 1/2 lb. of sugar
  • Stick of vanilla  


  • Put the cream on a fire, first putting in a stick of vanilla
  • When near boiling, take off the fire and pour it gently into a mixture of eggs and sugar, stirring well
  • Put it on the fire again stirring thoroughly with a spoon to prevent it from sticking to the dish
  • When near boiling, take it off and strain through a towel
  • Put the mixture in a Sabottiere and set it in ice (sprinkled with a handful of salt) an hour before it is to be served
  • Put salt on the coverlid of the Sabottiere and cover the whole with ice for 7 minutes
  • Turn the Sabottiere in the ice 10 minutes, and when well taken, stir well with the spatula
  • Put the mixture in moulds, which will sit in the same bucket of ice until serving

Looking for sweet spots? Find more here.

 Little Man Ice Cream Denver

It is reported that nearly 90 percent of Americans love ice cream.

Whether in our hometown or on the road, a trip to the local sweet shop is often on the itinerary. If you and your family are in the majority, consider incorporating the cool confection into your next holiday. 

Here are five sweet spots to consider:

  mount rushmore ice cream

Mount Rushmore, SD.

Thomas Jefferson was a man of many talents. Among them? Ice cream making.  At South Dakota's Mount Rushmore, the memorial commemorates Thomas Jefferson's legacy by serving vanilla ice cream based on his original recipe from 1780. Instructions for his version of the cold concoction now reside in the Jefferson Papers at the Library of Congress. But you can taste for yourself at the park’s Memorial Ice Cream Shop. According to records, Jefferson helped popularize ice cream by serving the sweet treat at Monticello and the President’s House. Contact:;

 salt and straw

Salt & Straw, Portland, OR, Los Angeles and San Francisco, CA.

Billed as  “farm-to-cone ice cream”, the delectable and creative flavors regularly result in lines out the door as patrons debate their new favorite concoction. Launched by cousins Kim and Tyler Malek, the pair use local, sustainable and organic ingredients to deliver hand-made, small batches of Goat Cheese Marionberry Habanero (a fan favorite), Meyer Lemon Buttermilk with Blueberries, Strawberry Cilantro Lime Cheesecake, and Double Fold Singing Dog Vanilla. Contact:

 ice cream

Velvet Ice Cream, Utica, Ohio -- 

Located on 20 picturesque acres in Licking County, Ohio, the Velvet Ice Cream Center at Ye Olde Mill, hosts more than 150,000 visitors each year. A museum, musical entertainment, nature trails, an historic 1817 grist mill with a water wheel, a 19th century-style ice cream parlor and a children’s playground entice ice cream loving families to this Midwestern sweet spot.  This year’s favorite flavors include Lemon Cheesecake, Spicy Caramel and Sticky Pudding. Contact:


Little Man Ice Cream. Denver, Co.

Visit this Coney Island inspired creamery for hand made and locally sourced taste treats, crafted within a 28 ft. tall silver cream can. In addition to putting smiles on the faces of their local customers, Little Man has been committed to a Scoop for Scoop program.  Since 2008, for every scoop of ice cream purchased, the organization has provided a scoop of rice or beans to those less fortunate in developing parts of the world. Contact:

 ben and jerry

 Ben & Jerry's, Waterbury, Vt.

Two guys named Ben and Jerry turned their mail order, values-driven ice cream business into this state’s number one tourist attraction. The kids will have fun outside engaging in fun activities that include spin art, a tie-dye tent, temporary tattoos and a playground. Inside the “cow to cone” process will mesmerize them. And who doesn’t want to sample the goods? Don’t miss the ice cream graveyard where has-beens and wanna-be flavors are given their due with colorful grave markers. Word is that employee’s at Ben & Jerry’s can’t avoid the “Ben Ten”. Testing the latest flavor innovations is a hazard of the job.



Who doesn’t love sunny beach days in SoCal? 

And if you check in to the oceanfront Ritz Carlton, Laguna Niguel, halfway between San Diego and Los Angeles, you can expect the ultimate family beach vacation. It’s one where the kids are having fun, mom and dad are relaxed and you all connect while experiencing #bucketlist adventures.

Your clan can learn how to catch a wave, fly a kite on the beach, build sand castles or toast s’mores over an outside fireplace on your guestroom patio. Later, glimpse a Blue whale in its natural habitat, witness a pod of stampeding dolphins, or report a Garibaldi sighting while snorkeling in the Pacific.

Pampered Parents

Beach Butlers?


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