travel tips

Old Town Bandon


Location: Bandon, Oregon, right by the sea

Length: Several blocks and piers


Foot Traffic

Last weekend I took a solo road trip. Bandon was my first stop along the Southern Oregon Coast. Because I had several other stops to make throughout the afternoon, I couldn’t stay long, but was able to walk a few blocks. Lots of other people were enjoying the sunny, yet slightly windy Saturday. I visited a few stores, my favorite being Cranberry Sweets. This shop is filled with so many unique samples, and I definitely wasn’t the only person enjoying pb&j popcorn and cheddar cheese fudge. Lots of others were on the pier to look at the scenery. Even kids were out there, utilizing complementary life jacket rentals for their safety near the water.


Foot Feelings

During high school, I spent my summers working at Lake Bradley Christian Camp in Bandon. Besides volunteering there for one day during college break, I haven’t been back. Although was only able to drive by the front entrance of the retreat center, walking through Old Town Bandon was a walk down memory lane for me. Since this was just the start to one of the most enjoyable weekend getaways I’ve ever had, new memories were formed as well. I hope your visit to Bandon will form warm memories as well.



-Bring a jacket to protect yourself from the wind!

-Although you may have difficulty parking right in front of a particular store or restaurant, there are plenty of places for your car within Old Town, both on the sides of streets and in a parking lot.

-Be polite with your free sampling at Cranberry Sweets… it can be easy to go crazy.

-If you can manage to visit on a fog-free day, you can view a lighthouse and other great sites.

-Enjoy the sculptures near the water. I think they’re new since I don’t remember them when I lived there. (Well, fairly new; I was last there in 2009!)

travel tips, Walk

Britt Trails


Location: Jacksonville, Oregon


Distance: We walked the Ziglar trail and part of the Gold Gulch trail, which was about a mile and a half. One trail loop is four miles long, so choose your own adventure!


Foot Traffic

I went early this morning while doing childcare in hopes of tiring him out. (It didn’t work until very late in the afternoon, when I didn’t want him to take a nap of course!) He asked me if anyone else was on the trail, to which I replied. “I don’t think so. There weren’t many cars and I don’t think many people walk at 8:30 on a Friday morning.” I was quickly proven wrong as we were greeted by runners, hikers, and even dogs throughout our entire walk.


Foot Feelings

I enjoy Jacksonville as a whole. You’ve read about some of my adventures there, such as my Chinese New Year experiences. But I have yet to conquer the entire network of trails that lie just behind the renowned Britt Gardens. Since six-year-olds tire fairly quickly when you don’t have enough snacks to bribe them to go further, I didn’t accomplish this today, either. I have a feeling that you will hear more about the specific trails that are part of the Britt Woods as I make return trips until all of them have been trod by my own two feet!


Foot Notes

-At most of the trail entrances, there is an informational board featuring flowers and plants you might see along the way. This is a good time of year to try to find some of them.

-For optimal parking, go to the city parking lot next to the library. You only have to cross the street to get to the Britt Gardens and the trail heads. Most trail heads also have small dirt parking lots as well.

-Make sure to bring water. We found several drinking fountains, but none of them were working. (Hopefully they just forgot to turn them on after the winter!)

-Bring two quarters so that you can get a trail map or an interpretive trail brochure.


travel tips

The Ultimate Canadian Adventure Checklist

Lots of people visit Canada every single year. It’s one of the best countries on earth for those who like to have an adventure. The vast open and untouched landscapes are stunning and unlike anything else on the planet. You’ll found snowy mountainous regions and lots of prairies and plains. There is something for everyone, and you’re guaranteed to have an amazing experience. However, it’s possible to get things wrong, and so I wanted to offer a helping hand. One this page, you will find a checklist you need to use to ensure you haven’t forgotten anything important. If you take the advice from this page, nothing should ruin your trip.




Make sure all travel documents are in order


When traveling to Canada, ensure you have the correct travel documents. It says at that lots of people make mistakes. Firstly, you need to search Google to discover if you need a Visa. That will depend on the country from which you plan to travel. Getting a Visa for Canada is easy, and so you just need to apply online. However, lots of people don’t realize they need that document. That causes trouble when they land, and the government won’t let them enter the country. So, sort it out in advance! Also, make sure you check your passport. It needs to be valid for at least another six months from the date you fly.


Ensure you pack a range of different clothing


As I mentioned a moment ago, the climate in Canada can alter drastically depending on your location. For that reason, you’ll want to pack lots of different clothing. Take waterproofs in case you decide to check out Niagara Falls. You’ll also need thick coats if you want to spend time in the Rocky Mountains. Of course, there are plenty of areas of the country that get a lot of sunshine during the summer. So, you might also pack some shorts and t-shirts. Just make sure you have clothing for every eventuality, and you’ll be okay.


Create a plan before you leave home


Canada is so vast that it’s impossible to see everything in a single trip. For that reason, it makes sense to create a list of the most popular sights. That way, you can plan a route and make all the arrangements in advance. Failure to do that could mean you struggle to find ways of seeing your favorite locations. In most instances, the best course of action involves hiring a car for the duration of your stay. Experts at say that’s essential. There are lots of companies that offer that service, and you can contact them online. With a bit of luck, they would have the vehicle waiting at the airport for you when you land.


Whenever you decide to visit Canada, I hope you have a fantastic time. I went there a few years ago, and I can’t wait to return. If you need some tips about the best cities, Calgary in Alberta is beautiful. It’s also only a couple of hours drive away from the Rockies. So, there’s plenty of beautiful sights to keep your eyes busy.

travel tips, Walk

First Friday Art Walk


Location: Ashland, Oregon… only available on the first Friday of the month!


Length: Galleries are available all around Ashland. However, most are located close to each other on the main street of downtown, which is what I chose to stick to.


Foot Traffic

I doubled up on walks last Friday. After dropping off the kid I explored Hawthorne Park with, I headed south to Ashland. Although I started this stroll solo, I soon found myself among a sea of humanity. Many other participants had come from all over the place to explore the unique art of Ashland. Although some of the art was from faraway artists, many galleries allowed several artists to come stand next to their work and answer questions. Musicians lined the streets and occasionally inside galleries to provide a variety of eclectic music. It was a fun mix of people.


Foot Feelings

Downtown Ashland bustles with art galleries and restaurants. When I arrived around 5:30, I figured I’d browse a few of the galleries, then choose a restaurant to dine at before exploring more art. After a few galleries, I realized that restaurants would be unnecessary tonight! Most of the galleries served cheese, fruit, chocolate, cookies, or other snacks, as well as beverages (both wine and kid-friendly).

Despite living close to Ashland for the majority of my life, I’ve only been to the First Friday Art Walk one other time. During my freshman year of college, my humanities teacher made it a requirement that we all attend one night. I’ve wanted to go back since, but either forget or get too busy by the time the first Friday of the month rolls around. I’m glad I made it a priority for April!


Foot Notes

-Ashland hosts an art walk the first Friday of every month from 5-8pm. Each month is a little different in which galleries are open and what art is displayed (and what refreshments are served!), so your experience is guaranteed to be unique!

-Can’t make it to the art walk? Ashland still has lots of public art displayed 24/7, and numerous galleries that are open every day.

-You can enjoy other shops and services between galleries. Maybe even enjoy performing arts in the form of a Shakespeare play (I at least went to the gift shop). I also took a quick walk at dusk through Lithia Park, since that’s where I parked my car.

-I realized that my favorite type of art is functional art. While there is value to a piece that only serves the purpose of decorating a wall, I would rather have art that can tell time, help me in the kitchen, or serve as furniture. Last week I discovered a piece of art that I’ve found extremely functional, and I got it before I even went to Ashland! Strawesome is an artistic company that makes decorative glass straws. I got one that I’ve used just to dress up my drinking glass, as well as protect my teeth. (Acid and sugar in beverages can cause tooth decay. Because I often drink ACV water, using this straw is promoting my holistic health while also promoting my enamel health!) Because Strawesome straws are reusable and not made of plastic, they help the environment’s health, too! An especially great idea since Earth Day is coming up. Carry one of these awesome straws around as you sip and stroll through eccentric Ashland’s art galleries, and you’re sure to get some compliments!


Strawesome provided me with a glass straw so that I could review it. No other compensation was made. Thanks!

travel tips

Hawthorne Park


Location: Downtown Medford, Oregon

Distance: The 20-acre park has a walking path around the perimeter. You can do the math if you’re motivated.


Foot Traffic

Hawthorne Park seems to always have people there, especially on weekends and sunny days. I stopped by on Sunday for a picnic, bit ended up going elsewhere because the park was overpopulated. Because today was Friday and windy, there were fewer people. It was still a mixed hat though, from the kids and moms on the playground to the homeless hippies who happily accepted some of the cookies my six-year-old walking buddy and I were noshing along the way.


Foot Feelings

The urban oasis known as Hawthorne Park has been around for a long time. In college I would sometimes seek refuge there after class. But in the past couple of years, Hawthorne Park has undergone a major renovation. Basically the only things that have stayed the same are the name and land. We started and ended our walk at the playground. It’s the best of both worlds: half of it has the latest fun equipment, and the other half is a nature-inspires play area. We walked past a few different sports courts, fenced-in dog parks, and a skate area. Part of the path goes under the I-5, which is also shared with the Bear Creek bike path. That trail runs through five different cities, definitely a feat I should write about if I ever accomplish the whole path. I also love the murals painted on the underpass.


Trail Tips

-There are two parking lots at either end of the park. The one closest to downtown has a time limit on weekdays, but the one next to the playground (on Hawthorne Road) is free to park for as long as you want.

-Go in the daylight. While I’ve never encountered an issue, downtown can get sketchy after dark. I think the park is officially closed at sunset, anyway.

-The Pear Blossom Festival happens once a year in April. (In this case, it’s tomorrow.) That will probably be the only time parking will be an issuehere, since most other nearby parking lots are closed off for the run and parade. My secret is to park across the street in the expansive movie theater parking lot.