Jun 022011
Five Favorite State and National Parks for Family Vacations with Teens and Tweens

     With school getting out and summer coming in, many families with teens and tweens will be thinking about hiking, camping and getting into the great outdoors.  State and National Parks offer access to a wide array of natural wonders and family adventures.   If you are looking for ideas consider some of our favorites from across the country including: Custer State Park in South Dakota      Stay at one of the park’s lodges, drive the wildlife loop to see the buffalo herd, big horn sheep, antelope, begging burros and more.  Don’t forget to visit Sylvan Lake.  Take a mile long stroll around the lake or follow the trail for a thrilling day hike to 7,244 ft. Harney Peak.  Its a great hike for teens and tweens.  Side trips to Jewel Cave [...]

Sep 202010
Hawaii's Big Island Volcanic Landscape: A Study in Contrasts

     When we visited Hawaii’s Big Island we spent a lot of time outdoors (see our Top 10 must do list of Hawaii Big Island activities here).  Hawaii is truly a land still being created and we were constantly amazed at the abilityof stunning plants to thrive in what appeared to be barren volcanic soil.  We thought you’d enjoy a look back at the colors and contrasts of life in the volcano zone.      The active volcanic areas such as the Halema`uma`u crater at the Kīlauea summit and the ocean entry, where new lava pours into the sea, feature large smoking plumes of sulfur-laden gas that create a pretty hostile area for any kind of flora or fauna.      Amazingly however, plant life quickly establishes itself and works to transform the [...]

Dec 262009
Petroglyph Hike for Teens and Tweens

       This is another in our Top 10 Activities on the Big Island of Hawaii discussions.  Please click the link for more info on the rest.    Petroglyphs – a look into the past      Although there are several locations where you can see petroglyphs on the Big Island the largest is the Puakõ Petroglyph Archaeological Preserve, located just north of the Fairmont Orchid Hotel.   There are about 1,200 petroglyphs in the main area which is accessed via the 1.5 mile roundtrip Malama Trail.  The first part of the trail winds through a scrubby Keawe tree  forest, past a lava cave, and then up a hill and out across an open lava field.       Although there are some individual petroglyphs along the way the actual petroglyph field at the end of the trail is [...]