Tree Swallow Cruise–Connecticut

The tree swallows in the sky along the CT River. The tree swallows in the sky along the CT River.

Some friends and I went on a Tree Swallow Cruise with RiverQuest down the Connecticut River last week and if you can arrange it you have to go. It’s really reasonable ($40 per person) for the time (3-3.5 hours) and what you get to see (half a million to a million tree swallows flying around at dusk).

It was incredible, and if you live in Connecticut it is right here for us. So often when I want to see something naturally cool I feel like you have to travel to see it—Mexico for the butterflies, New Zealand for the glowworms, etc. But this is right here.

You bring your own drinks and snacks and board the boat by the Goodspeed Opera House. It takes about an hour to travel downriver to Old Saybrook while Mindy and Mark, your hosts, point out all different birds and information about the river along the way. Shortly before sunset the birds start to trickle in—a few at a time, then a few more, than hundreds, then they […]

Tree Swallow Cruise–Connecticut2017-10-25T14:24:29-04:00

Welcome to Jordan

“You are welcome to Jordan” was the phrase we heard from almost everyone we met on our recent whirlwind trip to the Middle East.  “Please, go home and tell your friends and family they are welcome to Jordan too.”  Jordan, like Turkey, is a predominately safe country with some very difficult neighbors.  It doesn’t have any state issued travel warnings.  Mexico does. (Just to provide a little perspective.)

The curbs were the most colorful part of Amman. The curbs were the most colorful part of Amman.


I was nervous about traveling to Jordan until I got there.  Even though the flights were long, it was worth the trip.  We had three days in country which gave us time to see Amman, the Dead Sea, Petra and spend the night in the Wadi Rum.

Amman had some good local food and dabbled in interesting graffiti, but in my short stay there I didn’t see much else worth discovering.  It’s a very beige city—the Earth and buildings are the same color.





  Floating in the Dead Sea Floating in the Dead Sea

The Dead Sea disappointed in its beauty […]

Welcome to Jordan2017-10-25T14:24:29-04:00

Fun Water Adventure: Brownstone Park, Portland, CT

For years I’ve been wanting to go to Brownstone Park in Portland.  I’m not entirely sure why.  I’ve heard it was all water adventures activities—wakeboarding, zip lining into the water, and waterslides into the water.    My problem is that I want to do all that stuff.  It sounds like so much fun, but I am deathly afraid of heights, zip lines and free falling.  Still I wanted to get there.
So last Friday Matt, and a good friend of mine (Amy from our dog sledding trip) went to Brownstone.  I had a wonderful time and this is a great family day trip during the summer if your kids like water and fun rides.  It’s a little pricey ($28 per person), so maybe you can find a discount on line.  It’s also packed with camps on Thursday and Fridays.  According to Brownstone staffers, Mondays and Tuesdays are the best days with the shortest lines. 

Basically I just swam around, which is fine with […]

Fun Water Adventure: Brownstone Park, Portland, CT2017-09-12T19:31:29-04:00

Italy: Make It Happen

Before a dip in the Blue Grotto while on Capri, we took a lengthy hike in the hot, hot sun. Towards the end of the hike we were supposed to be able to hike down (which means we’d have to hike up later) to the water and swim in the blue waters off the shores of Capri.

We agreed it was totally worth the extra hiking, and so we descended steps cut into the cliff face to get to the water. There were two beaches where you could swim, but each place required an 18 Euro fee per person to swim. That’s pretty steep, especially since we only had about 15 minutes to hang out before we needed to head back. We asked if they could give us a discount since we were only staying for a bit and the answer was no. Our answer was also no. We’d wished our guidebook had mentioned the fee. $25 per […]

Italy: Make It Happen2017-09-12T19:32:11-04:00

Monkey See Monkey Do

After Machu Picchu, my favorite part of my trip to Peru was feeding a wild monkey. She came right up out of the jungle and took a banana out of my hand. Then she climbed aboard our boat.

Her male counterpart was a bit more shy and would only accept tossed bananas that didn’t require him to come out of the jungle and down by the shore of the river. He always had some part of him, usually his tail, attached to a tree.

Remember, we can still move our tails (at the very bottom of our spine). We always talk about the mobility of our back, but only seem concerned about that from the neck to our low back. You can move your tailbone with your kegel. It’s not a big motion, but it does move. Try it.

Monkey See Monkey Do2017-09-12T19:32:27-04:00