Archive for the ‘Wanderlust’ Category

Santa Monica 

I had a half day free in LA yesterday, so I took a car up to Santa Monica and walked a few miles south along the shore. I can’t say LA is my favorite spot, but I’ll take the ocean any day. 

Anytime you approach Kansas City from the southwest, you fly right over Lawrence–it’s my favorite sight from the air. I love to come home to this cute little Midwestern town. 

Texas love 

The girls and I spent a few days in San Antonio earlier this month. It was my first time in the city, and their first time in Texas. They were great travel companions (even if they did insist on visiting a wax museum…). 

Oregon coast 

A few more shots from a trip that now seems way too short.

Way out west 

Last Saturday morning, we boarded a flight west–Owen’s first to remember, most likely. 

We connected through Vegas, promptly lost $40, then landed in Portland. 

By the time we hit the Pacific Coast Highway, we’d been at it for 12 hours already. The kids were troopers (and even Bryan hung in there). 

Another four hours on the road landed us at Seal Rock–straight west of Corvallis, right on the ocean. 

It was clear but cold our first night. In the week we were there, we didn’t have a better sunset!

Oregon coast

Rebecca: “Kids, when we get to Oregon, it’s going to be too cold to swim.”

Kids: “Ok.”

Rebecca: “No, for real – you might be able to dip your toes in the surf, but it is truly too cold to be in the water.”


A little bit of Minnesota love 

New Orleans

Thanks to the generosity of Bryan’s sweet parents, I was able to join him in New Orleans for a couple of days following his most recent conference. The weather was warm but wonderful, and we spent the time touring various districts and eating truly amazing food. We even ran into a a famous bartender and dipped our toes in the Mississippi.

St. Louis Cemetery No. 2

These broiled oysters were among the best things I’ve ever eaten, and I even found a pearl in one.

This is Chris McMillan behind the bar at his new cafe, Revel. He poured us too many rounds of truly remarkable drinks.

I’ve been to a few new places this year–this is one to which I definitely want to return.


Me: “What’s the number one thing you’d like to do on vacation this summer?”

Ava: “Swimming.”

Olivia: “I want to  swim with DOLPHINS. I want to go skiing! And snowboarding. And shark diving, of course. Canoeing! Mountain climbing. Surfing. Walk on the beach…SCUBA DIVING. Colorado. Honolulu! ALASKA.”

Nashville roundup 

I have a few more photos to share from the trip I took with my mom and the girls over spring break. Truly can’t wait to plan a return!

Olivia’s favorite stop (perhaps second only to Tennesee’s state museum) was Antique Archelogy, which is featured on her dad’s top show, American Pickers. 

We also stopped by Vanderbilt (class of 2029, perhaps…?). 

And, is any Smith family girls trip complete without a stop to see were Taylor lives? No. Definitely not. 

We spent a lot of time touring around town on the trolley – it was a fun way to see Music Row and a lot of other stops as well. 

Our second night in town, we visited Rippy’s on Broadway. The young guy manning the stage that night brought around the tip bucket and asked for requests. Of course, the girls requested T. Swift, so I tossed in a $10, knowing it was probably a bit outside of his standard playbook. Not only did he deliver, he asked the girls to come on stage and sing with him.

Ava was willing but reserved; Olivia completely let loose on a cover of Blank Space. This was easily my favorite moment of the trip, and I bet my mom doesn’t disagree. 

The next day, I took the girls on a tour of a distillery, like all good mothers are known to do. They did abstain from the whiskey tasting though, because it wasn’t even noon. 

I really enjoyed traveling with the girls, and especially my mom. Can’t wait for fall break!


My mom and I took the girls down south (and a bit to the east) for spring break. It was the first time in Nashville for all of us. I, for one, am definitely going back. 


Our first stop was the Country Music Hall of Fame. Ava was disappointed to learn the mission of the “Taylor Swift Education Center” was not to educate museum-goers on the finer points of one T.S., but rather on country music as a whole. 


Ava passed up the opportunity to complete a museum-wide scavenger hunt, only to be shocked to find her studious sister was rewarded with a selection of Taylor trinkets and tour books. 

She did discover a few treasures, though: I found her kneeling in complete silence in front of Taylor’s guitar.  


If you look into the center of this giant guitar, you’ll see Livie Lou. 

We made our way to a little hole in the wall on Printer’s Alley to have dinner and see our first live act. The girls came away with an autographed CD. 

Our primary goal for the day was to see a show at the Bluebird Cafe–this was Ava’s top spot because it was where Taylor was discovered. A long line foiled our attempt, but we did get in for a quick photo and $800 in t-shirts. 


We headed back downtown to Broadway and took advantage of lax age restrictions, checking out the evening act at the Legends Corner (where, I think, Keith Urban was discovered?). I would have stayed all night, but the girls were exhausted because SOMEONE booked a 6 am flight that morning…). 

Day one: Done. More soon!