Charming Adventures

VA: Shenandoah Shenanigans

Shenandoah National Park Our bucket list has always included our country’s national parks, but it’s getting serious now: this is #43 of 51 in the lower 48 states. Hard to believe it’s been 11 years since we lost our national park virginity to Zion. Shenandoah is long and skinny, like Pete Davidson, or Abraham Lincoln during the worst days of the...

New River Gorge Bridge, WV: Over, Under, and Through

New River Gorge in West Virginia is this nation’s newest National Park, #63 to be exact, and preserved in order to protect the rugged New River below, as well as 70,000 acres of natural beauty and recreation. When built in 1997, it was the longest single-span arch bridge in the world at 3,030 feet long, but China has since built 4 bridges longer than this, so...

Damascus, VA: Trail Town USA

Our summer ’24 trail has brought us to “Trail Town USA,” also known as Damascus, Virginia, where seven — count ’em — renowned hiking trails intersect. Appalachian Trail Days Like the Pacific Crest Trail in the West, the Appalachian Trail (the “AT” to the cool kids) in the East runs north-South across the entire U.S...

Louisville/Lexington, KY: “B” Is For ….

We left Bardstown and all that bourbon, heading to Louisville and even more bourbon. Seriously, these people are bourbon batshit. But we were here for other things that start with B …. starting with a Beautiful Skyline! That’s the Belle of Louisville paddlewheeler in the front — you can cruise the Ohio River and go through the locks. What’s...

Bardstown, KY: Bourbon Capital of the World

There’s no liquor with such a strong American identity as bourbon, and so here we are, doing our patriotic duty. Kentucky produces over 95% of the world’s bourbon, and the tiny town of Bardstown is the self-proclaimed Bourbon Capital of the World, with the highest concentration of distilleries in the state of Kentucky — 11 of ’em within 16...

Nashville, TN: Music City, USA

Everyone knows that Nashville is the long-time capital of country music. It also seems to be the home of 90% of the bachelorette parties in the USA. Every three minutes, an open deck party bus or a pedal-powered mobile bar slides by, with drunk girls in shredded short-shorts and knee-high cowboys boots hootin’ and hollerin’ to the music, which is...

Morrilton, AR: Petit Jean State Park

We left the tornado devastation of Sulphur, OK and drove as fast and far away as we could, meaning 325 miles to Petit Jean State Park in Arkansas. Soooo glad to be here, for sooooo many reasons. Its funny name has a romantic origin. Local legend has it that during the 18th century, the lovely Adrienne DuMont was refused the opportunity to travel with her French...

Sulphur, OK: We Survived A Tornado

We cruised east on Route 66 from New Mexico to Oklahoma, where interesting things were followed by scary things. Terrifying things. Heart-wrenchingly bad things. “Can’t fight Mother Nature” things. But more on that later…. We’ll start with cheery and cheeky things we saw and did along the road to Sulphur. Erick, Oklahoma is the home of...

Pie Town, NM: As American As Apple Pie

Because it’s impossible to be sad with pie in your mouth, the first stop of our 2024 Summer Trip was in Pie Town, New Mexico. That’s right, I said Pie Town! Obviously, any great American Road Trip is all about the local food you find along the way. This tiny town of 200 people has a big following, having been featured in Smithsonian Magazine, on CBS...

Enjoying America’s National Parks: The Gift of A Lifetime

Hey hey, National Parks Week is coming! #NationalParkWeek starts April 20, the day on which entrance fees will be waived at all parks to get the par-tay going and encourage everyone to enjoy their national parks in person. Most people are familiar with the most popular parks – Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Great Smoky Mountains — but did you know there are 63...