Never Lose Your Hard-Earned Points Again!

How to Prevent Your Frequent Flier Miles from Expiring (Without Setting Foot on a Plane)

One common complaint about frequent flier miles is that, if you do not fly enough, they can expire before you have the opportunity to redeem them. It is indeed frustrating to diligently credit flights to your account only to find that, after a certain period of inactivity, those miles have disappeared.

Here are easy ways to not only prevent miles from expiring, but also to earn a few extra in the process. If you protect your points, soon you could be sitting pretty here!

Maui beach seen from water
A Maui cove is a great spot for some snorkeling. What’s your dream destination?

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Death in the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon National Park is a place of immense beauty on an almost incomprehensible scale. For good reason, it is considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. People come from around the globe to see this divine abyss with their own eyes. Too many forget, however, that national parks are not Disney World. They feature Mother Nature, often at her cruelest.

Just this morning, a 70-year old visitor to the Grand Canyon fell to her death–the FOURTH such falling death in the Canyon in the past month.

Based on the foolish behavior we witnessed at the Grand Canyon last week, it is almost surprising that such tragic deaths are not even more frequent. You will not believe what we saw!

The Grand Canyon viewed from the Rim Trail
The majestic Grand Canyon, viewed from the South Rim. A place of both immense beauty and great danger.

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Penguin Palooza

Family-friendly Penguin Encounter

Penguin mania is about to hit the country with the Earth Day release of Disneynature’s new documentary, “Penguins”. However, penguin mania has been a constant state of affairs at our house for about 11 years now. My youngest son has always had a thing for penguins, so over the years we have sought out ways to have penguin encounters in the U.S. Here is one of our favorites that is sure to please kids of all ages.

Patting penguins at a penguin encounter
Using two fingers, the boys are allowed to gently touch the penguin.

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The fire at Notre Dame teaches me a lesson I must learn over and over

Ancestry DNA tells me that I am 100% of French descent. This matches everything I know about my family history. I have vivid memories of being home with the chicken pox in the fourth grade, trying to teach myself French from the books in our home (my father spoke French before English, and my mother went to school half the day in English and half in French). I eventually became fluent in French and spent one glorious year living in French Alps. I am not French, but France is a part of me.

Notre Dame Cathedral on Fire
A friend shared this image of the fire, taken from City Hall

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How to Get Your Kids Excited for Each Day of a Trip

In our neck of the woods, families are now heading off for spring break. Many of you may have fun family trips or activities planned as well.

Here’s my little parenting hack for getting the kids excited and engaged for each day of whatever your vacation holds.

Family trip to Churchill Downs, KY
Smiling faces: the goal of family travel!

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Ask a Pilot!

What Unexpected Things May Be Happening on Your Flight

This week we had the opportunity to interview Rene, an airline pilot for one of the U.S. legacy carriers. He shared so much great information that we can’t possibly fit it all into one post!

Today Rene tells us about what unexpected things may be happening on your flight while you are busy enjoying your pretzels.

Number three was a bit of a surprise!

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Washington, D.C.’s Cherry Blossoms Without the Crowds

Every March and April more than 1.5 million tourists descend upon Washington, D.C. to see the famous Cherry Blossoms. As we hit peak bloom, you might be asking yourself how you can visit the world-famous Tidal Basin without battling the crowds.

Years ago, I stumbled upon the secret.

Pink and white cherry blossom viewing in Washington, D.C.
Cherry Blossoms during Peak Bloom at the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C.

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Surprising St. Louis: A Second Top Attraction in the Gateway to the West

We continue our countdown of the top St. Louis attractions with a story of what happens when people think big.

The Saint Louis Art Museum and its collection of more than 34,000 pieces is tucked away in the heart of sprawling Forest Park, just a stone’s throw from other popular attractions like the Saint Louis Zoo. Its iconic main building is the only surviving permanent structure constructed for the 1904 World’s Fair. Remarkably, admission to this sprawling and largely uncrowded gem is free to the public.

The top-notch collection here is massive. It did however leave us scratching our heads.  My friend Kim and I couldn’t figure out how a city of just over 300,000 people ended up with not only a top-tier art museum, but one that is free to the public. So, I started digging to find out.

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