Monthly Archives: December 2015

Have you ever been to North Dakota?

I now have! I volunteered for the work trip as it is one of the few states I still need. 

My trip brought me to Grand Forks, ND which is right on the Minnesota border. 

Grand Forks is home to the University of North Dakota. Given the extremely cold winters they have, the university has lots of above and below ground heated tunnels to help people get around. Fortunately it wasn’t quite below zero temperatures when I visited. 
 I had a chance to check out downtown area that featured a lot of cool sculptures. It was definitely a small area as expected but there were some interesting shops and cool eateries. I was hoping to find a sports bar to watch a specific game and I looked up and found the game I wanted in a second floor space. After locating the entrance I made my way into the Loft sports bar. There were some game tables and a big open area. It seemed like the place to be on football weekend. 

For lunch one day I drove to the Minnesota side of the city, officially called East Grand Forks, and went to the Blue Moose Bar & Grill. It has great character and I can imagine it as the place to be in the summer with a big outdoor deck. 


 The airport only has two gates but is quite modern and “comfortable” if you will. No need to worry about the security lines here.




Cerritos Library

A friend told me I HAD to see the Cerritos Library (in Cerritos, CA) and wouldn’t tell me why. It was easy to see why as soon as we pulled up. 

Walking in the front door, patrons are greeted by an aquarium wall which is part of the Children’s section. Inside this area is a T-Rex model, a lighthouse, enormous books, a green screen display, and of course lots of books!

A special section of the library had a collection of First Lady items. 

The space provided lots of nooks and crannies to get lost in books, along with some art pieces. 

If you are in the area, I recommend stopping by to see this unique space. 



Built in 1966 and designed by A. Quincy Jones at the request of Walter and Leonore Annenberg, Sunnylands is a historic midcentury modern estate in Rancho Mirage, CA. The grounds include a 9-hole golf course and lots of beautiful desert gardens. 

A small museum on the estate provides context for the the place the estate has played in history, hosting seven sitting presidents and heads of state from many nations. Gifts offered are also on display. 

Mr. Annenberg served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom under Richard Nixon. Mrs. Annenberg served as Chief of Protocol of the Unites States under Ronald Reagan. To sum it up – they had a lot of connections in Washington, D.C.  and were happy to provide a retreat in the desert for their friends for both official and unofficial business. 

It’s free to access the museum and the gardens of Sunnylands. A fee is charged to view the house. 


Palm Springs Desert Museum

I highly encourage you to check out the Palm Springs Desert Museum. It is free the few hours before the Thursday night market and therefore offers a free cultural experience. For another week or so you can check out their exhibit on Killer Heels. It’s quite the spectacle! 

The museum has some other unique pieces, including life-like tourists resting on a bench upstairs, a nude, and an impressive Chihuly glass piece.   

Attention World Travelers!

Do you have enough extra pages in your passport to get through your next trip abroad? Or until your passport expires? 

If yes, well you need to schedule more trips!

If no, you need to send your passport in TODAY to be able to add in extra pages while this benefit is still available to avid travelers. As of December 31st, 2015, it will no longer be possible to add pages to your passport. Instead one must order a completely new passport.

It had been on my list to do this since I got back from Thailand. SE Asia took up more visa pages than I was expecting. Living in Europe hardly took up any pages due to the European Union so it never occurred to me to order a bigger passport initially. 

Seeing this announcement spurred me to action and my passport has already been received at the passport processing office. 

Now on to planning my next adventures!