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The Great Escape: Months 36 and 37 Roundup

This roundup rounds out my summertime stateside… or what I caught of it, anyway! I’ve typed it before and here I am typing it again — it’s a good thing the East Coast isn’t as beautiful as it is in the summer all year round, or I might never leave. As usual, much of what I’m up to when I’m “home” doesn’t turn into big blog posts, making these... read more

Independence Day on the Vineyard

Cambodia, The Cayman Islands, Spain, England, Indonesia. Those are the countries in which I spent the last five July 4ths. As you might imagine, none of them celebrated with the fireworks, BBQs, and red white and blue fanfare of my childhood. So when my summer started to shape up, I was determined to make sure I spent the Fourth of July stateside. For the first time in six years, this patriotic girl was... read more

A Family Time Farewell to Martha’s Vineyard

My time in the US was quickly coming to a close. After four and a half months stateside, it was time time hit the road once again. But first, I needed one last hit of family time to tide me over for the long stretch of travel ahead. So for my final week in the country, I made my way back to Martha’s Vineyard for some quality bonding with a star studded cast — my mom and her man, my sis and her... read more

The 2014 Coney Island Mermaid Parade

One of the highlights of last summer for me was finally attending the Coney Island Mermaid Parade, an event that had eluded and intrigued me for years. As my 2014 summer started to shape up, there was one thing I knew for sure: I’d be in Brooklyn on June 21st. After my hastily thrown together costume my inaugural year, I vowed to come back with a bang this time around. Unfortunately that was a... read more

Swinging Through America’s Oldest Zoo

Our Father’s Day reunion weekend in Philly ended with a trip to a classic family activity — a trip to the zoo. And this zoo in particular is a historic destination as well. The Philadelphia Zoo is America‚Äôs first, having received a charter from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1859 and opening its gates fifteen years later in 1874 with over 600 animals. Today, the conservation and... read more

Father’s Day, Philadelphia Style

Growing up, The Olympics referred not to an international gathering of athletes from around the world, but a gathering of Baackeses from around the East Coast. Once a year, we gathered for the Father’s Day Olympics, an elaborate weekend event involving custom t-shirts, scoreboards and prizes, and games like a egg-in-spoon relays and marshmallow eating contests. Somewhere along the road, life got in... read more

A Girlfriend Getaway to Martha’s Vineyard

If I was missing the island life after leaving Maui, the sensation didn’t last long. A week after landing back on the East Coast, I was on my way to the new family retreat on Martha’s Vineyard. This was a super exciting weekend for me — I was hosting my two childhood besties Michelle and Kristin there for the first time ever! I couldn’t wait to show them this place that had such a... read more

Getting More out of Maui: Volunteering and Giving Back

It doesn’t take long to realize there is something special about Hawaii. I was trying to explain it to a friend recently, to put in to words why my love for these islands runs so deep. Yes, Hawaii has beautiful beaches and lush mountains and fabulous opportunities for adventure, but it has something more. The people haven’t let their islands be converted into glorified cruise ship terminals.... read more

A Different Kind of Dive: Going Under in the Atlantis Submarine

I heard a light hum and squinted at what appeared to be a large white whale surfacing in the distance. My eyes widened. This was no sea mammal — it was a submarine, and I was about to board. I’m always surprised when non-divers tell me, “I could never do it, I’m too claustrophobic!” To be diving in the vast open ocean is the opposite of constricting, and I should know —... read more

Inside my Bag: Hawaii

Packing is probably my least favorite part of travel, and even pulling together a suitcase for something as blissful as ten days in Hawaii usually leaves me writing in agony on the floor of my closet. Still, I admit that this being my second time to the Aloha State, I had a much better idea of what to bring and what to leave behind. High heels? Hell no! Copious sunscreen and an automobile iPhone charger... read more

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