Hiking Arizona’s Highest Mountain

  We Are “Highpointers” G.Hammer is on a mission to see the top of, or “high point” of every state before he turns 50. 50 in 50 kind of thing. That’s the definition of a “highpointer”- someone who hikes or climbs high points. I say G.Hammer is on a mission because I don’t, as this […]

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Backpacking Grand Canyon National Park

  After Greg and I took 10 and 13 year breaks, respectively, from the grandest canyon on the planet, we went to bask in her presence again, “before it gets too hot”. Joke’s on us, it started snowing outside of Flagstaff and by the time we got to the South Rim it was 30°. The […]

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Hiking Maunakea

  We had real trouble finding information on hiking Hawaii’s tallest mountain- Maunakea (it’s all one word now) 13,796 ft- both online and in person once we were on the Big Island. We heard/read a lot of things – you can’t hike it in winter, there’s camping at the base, there’s a hut available to […]

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Big Island on a Budget

  Hawai’i is notoriously expensive but there are lots of ways to keep your trip reasonable, not limited to sleeping in your rental car, eating nothing but pb&js, and showering at public beach parks. PSYCH! Okay, we dabbled in those things. Greg and I just spent an awesome, like ready to move there, 8 days/8 […]

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Isle Royale National Park

  Far, far away, in the northwest corner of Lake Superior, lies a little-known paradise known as Isle Royale National Park. Isle Royale is the largest island in the largest lake in the world and one of our most favorite places. It’s home to birch and maple, warblers and loons, and moose and wolves, which […]

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2016 World Series

  Unless you don’t have a pulse, you probably heard the Chicago Cubs won the World Series last week.   Greg and I got to go to games 4, and 6, and were incredibly, undeniably, unbelievably (I won’t say lucky because it wasn’t luck) fortunate to have seen the Cubs’ 108 year drought come to an end […]

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A Favorite Warcken Pastime

  Those of you who know my husband know I married a diehard Cubs fan. Baseball has always been my favorite sport to watch, but I never had a favorite team, just favorite players. Jim Abbott, Frank Thomas, Ken Griffey Jr., Kenny Lofton (I told people he was my uncle, though our last names obviously […]

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New York City for (mostly) Free!

I wrote all about Southwest’s Companion Pass back in 2014, and I earned mine February 2016, allowing G.Hammer to fly with me for $5.60 each way any time I fly Southwest through the end of 2017. In a nutshell, I had to earn 110,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points in one year to qualify which I […]

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Cincinnati, Chicago Cubs, and Cheap Travel

  People tell us all the time “I wish I could just travel” or “You guys are living the dream”. #1 We’ve made it our priority, and #2 That’s true. While it isn’t always dolphin rides and face painting, we are living our dream. I can’t help but feel that a lot of people out […]

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Chicago: A Tale of Two Munchkins, part three

  Be sure to check out parts one and two first! The kids provided us a great day, but the weather was questionable for our third day in the city so we gave them the choice of the Museum of Science and Industry, the Field Museum of Natural History, or the Shedd Aquarium. They chose […]

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