Montserrat from St. Michael's cross

The visit to Montserrat certainly was one of the high points (literally) of the vacation in Barcelona. Montserrat is a beautiful location – with wonderful views of the surrounding area and impressive architecture. Montserrat, an hour train ride from Barcelona, is a moutain range that gains its name (serrated mountain) from the jagged mountain peaks. […]

Barcelona street

One of the many delights of visiting Barcelona was daily walking. In El Born, the old section of Barcelona where I was staying, the streets between the old stone buildings are more like alleyways, just wide enough for a car to pass through. The small streetcleaning truck did drive through the alleyways at night, and […]

Walking in woods

Opt Outside (#OptOutside – promoted by REI for the Friday after Thanksgiving) and National Take a Hike Day (held each year on Nov. 17) are reminders to get outside and enjoy nature. Being outside and in nature should not be a slogan or campaign for just a few select days. That’s a worthy goal for […]

Lyn Boyer painting on South Rim - photo by Julie Dodd

After my post about hiking in the Grand Canyon, several of my blog readers who haven’t visited the Grand Canyon asked me if a visit to the Grand Canyon would be so “grand” if they weren’t hikers. Yes! Grand Canyon National Park — as with other national parks – is designed to provide a wide […]

View at Cedar Ridge - photo by Julie Dodd

When you reach Ooh-Aah Point on the South Kaibab Trail in the Grand Canyon, you know why it got that name. What a view! As I looked out over the Grand Canyon, I felt like I was airborne but without a plane. Ooh-Aah Point is a 1.8-mile round-trip on the South Kaibab Trail, and hiking […]

New Balance running shoes

Running has been my primary fitness activity since I completed my undergraduate degree and started running to stay in shape for activities like hiking and softball. I love running not only the health benefits running offers but being able to enjoy being outdoors for most of my runs. I’ve even included running in my teaching, […]

I recently drove to Dunedin, Florida, to meet two of my friends from Kentucky who were vacationing in the Clearwater area. We were having lunch before I took them to explore Honeymoon Island State Park. As we ate our lunch in air conditioning, sipping iced drinks, one of them asked: “What is it that you […]