A Family Adventure in Moab




If I had to sum up our trip to Moab, Utah in one word it would be exhilarating! The sense of adventure infused in every activity, the striking natural beauty and the wild west genuineness, make Moab an adventure-seeker’s dream-come-true. It’s also extraordinarily family-friendly.

With the wind as her brush and water as her paint, Mother Nature has created a masterpiece. Delicate yet rigid, intricate yet massive formations abound from the rubicund earth. It’s the type of natural beauty that lifts your heart and your mind into perfect alignment, if even for a moment. When your consciousness sinks back down, it takes a moment for your television-ridden psyche to accept the scenery as real, not just a digitally-enhanced setting. Although, if you’ve ever watched West World, then know that it’s even more breathtaking in person.

This trip was a first for us. And, I have to admit, we were a little bit like City Slickers (if you’ve never seen that movie, it’s a good one). My sister, Gabrielle, picked Moab for us to meet and celebrate her 30th birthday, she wanted us all to do something that we’ve never done before.





Our headquarters for the weekend was the Sorrel River Ranch Resort and Spa. The hotel is perched on the Colorado River. With individual cabins and small groupings of rooms, the hotel has a distinctly wild-west vibe amid plenty of luxury. Swings on the porch of each room. Beautiful views. The property has horses, pigs, chickens and more as well as a small working farm. Rumors of a coyote on property or a recently sighted bear, often rumbled through the morning breakfast creating small waves of excitement.

Truth be told, we didn’t spend much time at the Sorrel River Ranch. Our trip was just a long weekend and we wanted to cram as much adventure in as possible. The hotel was about 40 minutes outside of Moab, but one of the most scenic drives in the country.



In the two full days that we had in Moab, we crammed in four amazing adventures.

Arches National Park




With more than 2,000 natural arches, this national park is incredibly beautiful. There’s breathtaking vista after breathtaking vista, but what’s so amazing about this park is that you are witnessing nature at work. The landscape is in a constant state of change with arches forming and collapsing. The elements are unrelenting and this national park is a true testament to the force of nature.

We packed lots of water and a few snacks, then drove through the park stopping at different hikes. There are plenty of family-friendly hikes that can accommodate even the littlest hikers.

Sunset UTV Ride with Cowboy Country





This was one of the most fun (and possibly scariest) things I’ve ever done. We started the tour on Hell’s Revenge (the video above is just the trail head in). And, well, we ended the tour of Hell’s Revenge there… some in our group didn’t enjoy the extreme heights and close proximity to cliff edges. Sooooo, we ended up heading to Fins and Things trail, which was also super fun. It felt like a rollercoaster that you drive yourself. There were lots of times we felt like our UTV was going to roll or flip, but they push ahead like the beasts that they are.

An unexpected highlight of the UTV tour, was a quick stop at some dinosaur tracks. We were able to see a Theropod, a carnivorous dinosaur similar to a T-Rex, track that was around 200 million years old.



Driving the UTV’s was really fun, and we quickly learned just how amazing and sturdy these vehicles are. This was fun for the whole family!


Canyoneering with Red River Adventures




We went on the Morning Glory canyoneering trip with Red River Adventures. It was a little more than a 3-mile hike, two rappels (95′ and 120′) and a bit of scrambling. The minimum age for this adventure is 8, so Zac and Ellie couldn’t go.

Our guides, Patrick and Mikaela, were awesome. They made the trip fun, but also kept everyone safe (particularly Jake). Before the first rappel, Jake started crying. One peak over the edge of a 95′ cliff and he wanted to turn around, especially when he learned that he would be controlling his decent. However, the guides attach a secondary rope to everyone just in case someone was to freak out and drop their ropes or completely freeze.

With Jake in tears, Patrick was able to convince him that he would be fine. Jake and I watched a few people go, then we went. Sitting back over the edge of a cliff is freeing. Trusting the ropes and your guides, requires you to let go of everything else. This truly forces you into the moment and opens you to the beauty around.

After the first rappel, Jake was a pro and he loved it. At 9 years old, he got a taste of adrenaline and he got to learn how much fun it is to overcome your fears.

Moab Jet Boat Tour of the Colorado River




The Colorado River can be treacherous. Boulders sit just below the surface, there’s areas of rapids and drastic changes in depth. But it’s also beautiful. If you go to Moab, I highly recommend a trip on the Colorado river. We opted for the jet boat tour, because it could accommodate children two and older so we were all able to go. It was also, really fun. Everyone on our boat loved doing doughnuts,  last-minute close turns and running the rapids.

What really made this adventure so amazing was our driver and guide, Jason. Reading and accommodating a group of 11 with wildly different likes is not an easy task, Jason was an expert at this. He was able to deliver a ride that pleased everyone. He had a welcoming and entertaining personality. If you have him as a guide, ask him to tell you about the Hispanic Panic. This was an awesome way to see the Colorado River!


Overcoming something that scares you is an amazing feeling. Moab was filled with moments like this and it was so wonderful for our entire family. Pushing through fear as a family was exhilarating!




The Perfect European Winter Road Trip – That even the kids will love!

Lake Luzern Evening

We love road trips but do not like spending long hours in the car, that’s why this trip from Paris, France to Lucerne, Switzerland may just be PERFECT! We never spent more than two-hours in the car and saw some truly breathtaking scenery! Thanks to the expert planning of the Princess and Pauper Adventures.

Paris Opera House
The Paris Opera House

We took a red eye flight from JFK to Paris and rented our car there. Rental cars at the Charles de Gaulle Airport are conveniently set up so if you tend to overpack, there are no shuttles to lug bags, kids and strollers onto. We also opted for navigation and wifi in our car, which came in VERY useful. We drove into Paris for breakfast, we toured the Paris Opera House and then headed to the lovely, walled town of Beaune in the heart of the Burgundy region. This was the longest drive of the trip at about 3 hours, but with a quick lunch stop it flew by.

In Beaune we had a traditional Burgundy dinner of escargot, Boeuf Bourguignon and creme brûlée, which Jake and Zac loved! On our way out of town the following day, we stopped by the famed Beaune town market and picked up some freshly made truffle salt (we even met the truffle dog), handmade soap and Dijon mustard from the nearby town of Dijon.

From Beaune, we headed to Lausanne, Switzerland. This drive took 2 1/2 hours and was easy. We made it to Lausanne by the early afternoon. We stayed at a beautiful hotel on Lake Geneva with the Alps in the distance, Angleterre & Residence Hotel.

The room included bus passes, so we hoped on a bus to the old town section of Lausanne. We took in some beautiful architecture, worked our way through winding, hilly cobblestone streets and shopped. Jake and Zac picked out an authentic Victorinox Swiss Army knife to bring home to dad. Then we had a traditional fondue dinner at Cafe du Grutli.

We only stayed in Lausanne for one night, then headed to Grindelwald stopping in Bern, Interlake and Lauterbrunnen along the way. The drive was full of breathtaking scenery and our first stop, Bern, was only an hour away from Lausanne. In Bern we walked around the Old Town, a UNESCO world heritage site, grabbed a coffee and snack then hopped back in the car. A quick, but stunning 45-minute drive brought us to Interlaken. Nestled between two alpine lakes and the gateway to the Jungfrau Mountain area, Interlaken is gorgeous. We stopped here for a traditional raclette lunch at the The Grand Cafe Restaurant, made a quick stop in Lauterbrunnen (a 20 minute drive) and finished in Grindelwald.

The first night in Grindelwald we stayed in the heart of town at the Hotel Belvedere, a  family-run hotel at the base of the majestic Bernese Alps. We had dinner at Barry’s Restaurant, which was the perfect opportunity for Jake and Zac to learn about the incredible history of St. Bernard dogs. Barry’s was named after the most famous St. Bernard, Barry – credited with saving between 40 and 100 lives. The restaurant’s charming mountain decor and delicious food completed the experience.

The next morning we headed out early to move to our next hotel, still in Grindelwald but on the mountain. The Berghaus Bort is not reachable by car so we had to take the gondola. 2 kids + 12 bags divided by 4 adults multiplied by a 6-person gondola that doesn’t stop = 1 stress-inducing, out-of-breath trek… but SO WORTH IT!

Located just off the first stop of the First Bahn Gondola, the Bort Station, The Berghaus Bort may be my favorite hotel ever! It’s simple, but full of Swiss Mountain charm and boasts some truly incredible views. We quickly checked in, threw on our ski clothes and took the gondola up to the top. We were able to rent high-quality skis and snowboards at the Intersport location at the First station, almost at the top of the Schwarzhorn Mountain.

While skiing and snowboarding are huge winter attractions for Grindelwald, it’s by no means the only option. In addition to traditional downhill trails, the entire Jungfrau region is brimming with winter hiking and snowshoeing trails and sledging (sledding) runs. The following morning, we headed back up to the same Intersport, but this time we rented sledges. Jake, Zac, Gigi, Aunt Gabrielle, Uncle Drew and me all agree that this is one of the most fun things we have ever done!

The next day, sadly, we checked out of the Berghaus Bort, but before we left Grindelwald we took the Jungfraujoch up to Europe’s highest train station – The Top of Europe. Here we walked through the Eispalast, the highest altitude ice palace and caves hewn from Europe’s longest glacier.

On the way down, we stopped for lunch at the Kleine Scheidegg train station and wondered into one of Travel & Leisure’s most remote hotels, Hotel Bellevue des Alpes.

Most Remote Hotel

With a slight headache and a bit of exhaustion, from the thin air at The Top of Europe, we drove an hour and 15 minutes to Lucerne, our last stop on the trip.

We stayed at the Palace Luzern Hotel, a beautiful property. Sitting on the banks of Lake Lucerne, the view is magnificent. The glassy lake is dotted with noble swans and framed by the grand peaks of alpine mountains. While in Lucerne, you won’t want to miss the Lucerne Lion Monument. I also recommend the 1-hour lake cruise tour on the Panorama Yacht. The well-preserved architecture throughout Lucerne is beautiful, so wear your walking shoes and cross the covered bridge.

Our week-long trip to Switzerland (and France) flew by and there is so much more that I want to explore there. Switzerland’s architecture, history, culture and natural beauty are inspiring.

In seeing such beauty, my natural reaction was to inhale. Yet when my lungs were completely full, my chest continued to expand, not with breath but with wonder, to the point I felt truly connected to all that was around me. It is in moments like this that I realize how small I really am, but what an important job we all have in protecting this wonderful world with its many beautiful cultures and rich histories. This for me, is my wanderlust.