And if you are a teacher, this means you are probably doing so during the summer. Here are some of our favorite places.
This historical town on the mighty Mississippi River was once known for gamblers, riverboats, and houses of ill repute. It's also the home of some of my ancestors. I spent the day with my youngest and a college friend chasing ghosts in beautiful old homes and cemeteries. (August 2014)
Rural Simpson County, MS
Okay, so you probably will never, ever venture here. Not that you can---this adventure takes place on a small, private farm on a dirt road off a gravel road off a country road in the middle of nowhere. My cousins and kids tried---and succeeded---to find our 100+ year old family plot hidden on a farm. And we dodged killer cows in the process. (August 2015)
Yucatan Peninsula Most of our passport stamps are from Mexico, the country we love to visit more than any. Hopefully one day I can include pictures and stories about other trips. Summer of 2015 we visited the Yucatan, including Chitzen Itza and Playa del Carmen, and played lots of slug bug along the way. (July 2015)
This beautiful town on the Danube with a UNESCO Old Town Center shouldn't be missed. This was also the first time we brave the Autobahn (and lived to tell the tale). (July 2016).
One of the most unusual places I've ever been---the government has built new buildings to look old, but underneath it all is a pride in place and people you won't find anywhere else. And that feta cheese!!! (July 2016)
This UNESCO lake and village is a beautiful, relaxing place to spend a day or a week. You can hike all around the village on a cliff over a lake and be in constant awe of the views. And with the reasonable prices of everything in Macedonia, you can afford to eat and sleep like a king (or queen). (July 2016)
"Köln is a place I'd love to visit again because I think it's whatever city you want it to be. It can be a days-long party with a group of friends, a romantic getaway, a family-friendly get away. I think the Dom is always somewhere in that mix, no matter your motivation or reason to visit. It's a city of ever-changing faces, and I can't wait to see which one I will encounter next time I visit." (July 2016)
We visited a beautiful little village that was my husband's home in the mid-1970s. This small town no longer has ties to the US military, but it has a beautiful church in the center and a great restaurant (the Goldenen Stern) for ice cream eating and people watching. (July 2016)
St. Stephen Cathedral, markets, patisseries, and a chance for me to show my fluency in grunting and pointing, all while sweltering in the heat---that's our day in France. Churchapalooza 2016 ended but we got to experience yet another country, some incredible art, and a reminder of why anything can be explained with a Grateful dead song (as long as you can sing with conviction). (July 2016)
Františkovy Làznė, Czech Republic
This beautiful little spa town is a great place to relax, find a good meal, drink or soak in healing waters, and experience a full service space for a fraction of what you would pay in the United States. From the buttery-yellow buildings, to the beautiful park in the center of town, to the friendly locals, this is a great experience for someone looking for a slow-paced and relaxing vacation spot. (July 2016)