“Nancy is hands-down the best agent I’ve ever worked with —and I’ve worked with over a dozen!”
- Bonnie Gemmell, Woodside, CA.
Take 5: Outdoor Maintenance
The long days of summer are gradually shortening, making now a perfect time to do some end-of-season checks and maintenance in your yard before what we all hope and hope and hope will be a wet winter. Wondering where to start? Here are 5 ideas that can get you started!
1. Downspouts: First check that they are clear of obstructions. Use some recycled water next time you wash dishes to test water flow through the drains. Check that downspouts direct water 5 feet away from your house and that the water does not pool up.
2. Mosquito Control: Visually inspect that sprinklers are not creating pools of standing water where mosquitos can breed. Change the water in birdbaths often. Inspect window screen for small holes and make any needed repairs.
3. Outdoor Lights: They provide ambiance and assist with security around your house. Take a few minutes to inspect for burned-out bulbs and clean glass surfaces to keep them bright.
4. Outdoor Mats: If they have served their purpose well, then you can expect you’ll need to clean them off from time to time. Use some dish soap and a soft-bristled brush before gently spraying with a garden hose. Allow it to dry fully in a sunny spot before returning it to its home.
5. House Numbers: When was the last time you glanced at your house numbers, either on the front of the house or the curb? A little TLC can help visitors and delivery folk. And by the way, do you love your numbers or was they just there when you bought the house? Replacing them is a fun and easy mini-makeover!
And here’s my last piece of advice - if you are looking for some help with landscaping or outdoor maintenance, I have many terrific resources I can share with you!



Image courtesy of Lynn Greyling / publicdomainpictures.net.

Take 5: Outdoor Maintenance

The long days of summer are gradually shortening, making now a perfect time to do some end-of-season checks and maintenance in your yard before what we all hope and hope and hope will be a wet winter. Wondering where to start? Here are 5 ideas that can get you started!

1. Downspouts: First check that they are clear of obstructions. Use some recycled water next time you wash dishes to test water flow through the drains. Check that downspouts direct water 5 feet away from your house and that the water does not pool up.

2. Mosquito Control: Visually inspect that sprinklers are not creating pools of standing water where mosquitos can breed. Change the water in birdbaths often. Inspect window screen for small holes and make any needed repairs.

3. Outdoor Lights: They provide ambiance and assist with security around your house. Take a few minutes to inspect for burned-out bulbs and clean glass surfaces to keep them bright.

4. Outdoor Mats: If they have served their purpose well, then you can expect you’ll need to clean them off from time to time. Use some dish soap and a soft-bristled brush before gently spraying with a garden hose. Allow it to dry fully in a sunny spot before returning it to its home.

5. House Numbers: When was the last time you glanced at your house numbers, either on the front of the house or the curb? A little TLC can help visitors and delivery folk. And by the way, do you love your numbers or was they just there when you bought the house? Replacing them is a fun and easy mini-makeover!

And here’s my last piece of advice - if you are looking for some help with landscaping or outdoor maintenance, I have many terrific resources I can share with you!

Image courtesy of Lynn Greyling / publicdomainpictures.net.

Dreams For Sale
One thing I love about being a real estate agent along the SF Peninsula is the amazing variety of houses, from cottages to mega mansions, that I get to view every week. I’ve seen my share of “Greek Revivals” and “Italianate” mansions, all beautifully replicating an old-world style from a past era. So, it was interesting to see the real estate website Curbed.com report on a genuine 18th-century chateau for sale in France (not pictured - but not all that different!).  Je n’en crois pas mes yeux!
So if you have a cool $6.7 million, here are some of the features you could acquire, with a few of my own interpretations.
* A romantically long, tree-lined, dirt and pebble drive leading up to the classic facade. Perfect for a horse and carriage, although they are not included.
* A breathtaking entry with two dramatic stairs loaded with marble details. The listing does not specify, but I’m certain these stairs are best descended in a long dress that can dramatically cascade behind you.
* A dining room with gilded ceiling and walls that scream for vast tapestries to be hung on them. However, in my opinion, the chandelier will need to be replaced with something much larger and I don’t see any sign of the large serving platters covered with domed silver lids that I’m sure all meals must be presented in (even leftovers warmed in the microwave).
* A ballroom with coffered ceilings and dense, elegant drapes. You will need to supply your own Marquis and Duke as well as glass slippers, if so desired.
* Acreage - almost 100! - but sadly as far as I can tell there is no name for this chateau.  Oh, and there is no moat. Chateau’s with moats in France can be found in the $25-30 million range and likely come with some suits of armor.
Ready to search out a chateau (mini or mega) along the SF Peninsula? Let’s talk!




Image courtesy of Monika S. / publicdomainpictures.net.

Dreams For Sale

One thing I love about being a real estate agent along the SF Peninsula is the amazing variety of houses, from cottages to mega mansions, that I get to view every week. I’ve seen my share of “Greek Revivals” and “Italianate” mansions, all beautifully replicating an old-world style from a past era. So, it was interesting to see the real estate website Curbed.com report on a genuine 18th-century chateau for sale in France (not pictured - but not all that different!).  Je n’en crois pas mes yeux!

So if you have a cool $6.7 million, here are some of the features you could acquire, with a few of my own interpretations.

* A romantically long, tree-lined, dirt and pebble drive leading up to the classic facade. Perfect for a horse and carriage, although they are not included.

* A breathtaking entry with two dramatic stairs loaded with marble details. The listing does not specify, but I’m certain these stairs are best descended in a long dress that can dramatically cascade behind you.

* A dining room with gilded ceiling and walls that scream for vast tapestries to be hung on them. However, in my opinion, the chandelier will need to be replaced with something much larger and I don’t see any sign of the large serving platters covered with domed silver lids that I’m sure all meals must be presented in (even leftovers warmed in the microwave).

* A ballroom with coffered ceilings and dense, elegant drapes. You will need to supply your own Marquis and Duke as well as glass slippers, if so desired.

* Acreage - almost 100! - but sadly as far as I can tell there is no name for this chateau.  Oh, and there is no moat. Chateau’s with moats in France can be found in the $25-30 million range and likely come with some suits of armor.

Ready to search out a chateau (mini or mega) along the SF Peninsula? Let’s talk!

Image courtesy of Monika S. / publicdomainpictures.net.

Five Fresh Ideas for August
Once a month I try and inspire with some easy to-do’s that will amuse and delight. This month I want to remind everyone that back-to-school shopping does not belong exclusively to the kids. Anyone can enjoy some new pens and a fancy folder, so here are 5 ideas to get your own back-to-school shopping started.
1. Restock Pens - Speaking of pens, what about giving your supply of random pens picked up at hotels and conferences an overhaul? Donate the lot of them and then replace them with a good supply of your favorite ball point or gel writer (in multiple colors, of course) (and by multiple colors, I don’t just mean the standard blue, red, and black - get creative!).
2. Invest in Label Machine - You have no idea how brilliantly organized you will feel once everything is newly labeled. And once you are done labeling your office, you can move on to the kitchen, the hall closet, the garage….
3. Upgrade Your Notepads - Whether it’s a matched set of Moleskine notebooks in a variety of sizes, or a “Field Notes” pocket-sized notebook for on-the-go memos, it’s probably time to refresh and possibly upgrade your supply of paper products. Make note-taking fun again.
4. Paint Your Office Wall - You’ve seen it on Pinterest: crafty Martha Stewart types who paint a wall with chalkboard paint. Well now take it one step further with dry erase paint (such as IdeaPaint) and turn your wall into a life-size representation of all your creativity while demonstrating to all who pass by just how organized you really are.
5. New Lunch Pail - Now if you still reminisce about your favorite Holly Hobby lunch pail from elementary school, then a trip to eBay should be in order. But for an updated and equally fun alternative, check out some of the many bento box lunch systems available today that make packing an office lunch cool again. Just what will you put in each of the little compartments? Who knows! Could be anything! That’s what makes it so much fun!


Image courtesy of Piotr Siedlecki / publicdomainpictures.net.

Five Fresh Ideas for August

Once a month I try and inspire with some easy to-do’s that will amuse and delight. This month I want to remind everyone that back-to-school shopping does not belong exclusively to the kids. Anyone can enjoy some new pens and a fancy folder, so here are 5 ideas to get your own back-to-school shopping started.

1. Restock Pens - Speaking of pens, what about giving your supply of random pens picked up at hotels and conferences an overhaul? Donate the lot of them and then replace them with a good supply of your favorite ball point or gel writer (in multiple colors, of course) (and by multiple colors, I don’t just mean the standard blue, red, and black - get creative!).

2. Invest in Label Machine - You have no idea how brilliantly organized you will feel once everything is newly labeled. And once you are done labeling your office, you can move on to the kitchen, the hall closet, the garage….

3. Upgrade Your Notepads - Whether it’s a matched set of Moleskine notebooks in a variety of sizes, or a “Field Notes” pocket-sized notebook for on-the-go memos, it’s probably time to refresh and possibly upgrade your supply of paper products. Make note-taking fun again.

4. Paint Your Office Wall - You’ve seen it on Pinterest: crafty Martha Stewart types who paint a wall with chalkboard paint. Well now take it one step further with dry erase paint (such as IdeaPaint) and turn your wall into a life-size representation of all your creativity while demonstrating to all who pass by just how organized you really are.

5. New Lunch Pail - Now if you still reminisce about your favorite Holly Hobby lunch pail from elementary school, then a trip to eBay should be in order. But for an updated and equally fun alternative, check out some of the many bento box lunch systems available today that make packing an office lunch cool again. Just what will you put in each of the little compartments? Who knows! Could be anything! That’s what makes it so much fun!

Image courtesy of Piotr Siedlecki / publicdomainpictures.net.

Welcome To Levi’s Stadium!
A new era begins this month when the San Francisco Forty Niners move to their new stadium in Santa Clara. The Faithful have waited patiently for this upgraded venue (and it didn’t take much to make it nicer than Candlestick!).  I visited recently and the stadium is awesome! There is not a bad seat in the stadium and you can hear everything. And did I mention all the food options? Truly an amazing stadium.  
So in anticipation of the new season to be played there, here are a few stadium facts to go with the Peninsula real estate stats for July below.
* Stadium square footage is 1,850,000
* Stadium capacity is 68,500
* More than 180 different food items will be offered, with a much more international flair
* Stadium WiFi will be available to all fans - very convenient for placing food orders from you seat to be delivered during the game
* The stadium features a 27,000 square foot “Green Roof” on the top of the stadium’s suite tower
* Levi’s Stadium will host Super Bowl 50 in 2016

July Sales
*  Atherton - sales, 99% to list price, 30 average DOM
*  Belmont - sales, 107% to list price, 14 average DOM
*  Burlingame - sales, 107% to list price, 22 average DOM
*  Foster City - sales, 110% to list price, 18 average DOM
*  Hillsborough - sales, 98% to list price, 41 average DOM
*  Menlo Park - sales, 106% to list price, 22 average DOM
*  Palo Alto - sales, 114% to list price, 17 average DOM
*  Redwood City - sales, 109% to list price, 22 average DOM
*  San Carlos - sales, 111% to list price, 22 average DOM
*  San Mateo - sales, 109% to list price, 22 average DOM
*  Woodside - sales, 99% to list price, 88 average DOM

IMHO*:   I’ve learned in the past 25 plus years of selling houses to take each bit of news as it comes.  July brought signs that it is still a strong seller’s market along the SF Peninsula.  Give me a call and let me help you with a strategy that is right for you.  (*In My Humble Opinion – which I’m always happy to share.)

Image courtesy of Paul Brennan / publicdomainpictures.net.

Welcome To Levi’s Stadium!

A new era begins this month when the San Francisco Forty Niners move to their new stadium in Santa Clara. The Faithful have waited patiently for this upgraded venue (and it didn’t take much to make it nicer than Candlestick!).  I visited recently and the stadium is awesome! There is not a bad seat in the stadium and you can hear everything. And did I mention all the food options? Truly an amazing stadium.  

So in anticipation of the new season to be played there, here are a few stadium facts to go with the Peninsula real estate stats for July below.

* Stadium square footage is 1,850,000

* Stadium capacity is 68,500

* More than 180 different food items will be offered, with a much more international flair

* Stadium WiFi will be available to all fans - very convenient for placing food orders from you seat to be delivered during the game

* The stadium features a 27,000 square foot “Green Roof” on the top of the stadium’s suite tower

* Levi’s Stadium will host Super Bowl 50 in 2016

July Sales

*  Atherton - sales, 99% to list price, 30 average DOM

*  Belmont - sales, 107% to list price, 14 average DOM

*  Burlingame - sales, 107% to list price, 22 average DOM

*  Foster City - sales, 110% to list price, 18 average DOM

*  Hillsborough - sales, 98% to list price, 41 average DOM

*  Menlo Park - sales, 106% to list price, 22 average DOM

*  Palo Alto - sales, 114% to list price, 17 average DOM

*  Redwood City - sales, 109% to list price, 22 average DOM

*  San Carlos - sales, 111% to list price, 22 average DOM

*  San Mateo - sales, 109% to list price, 22 average DOM

*  Woodside - sales, 99% to list price, 88 average DOM

IMHO*:   I’ve learned in the past 25 plus years of selling houses to take each bit of news as it comes.  July brought signs that it is still a strong seller’s market along the SF Peninsula.  Give me a call and let me help you with a strategy that is right for you.  (*In My Humble Opinion – which I’m always happy to share.)

Image courtesy of Paul Brennan / publicdomainpictures.net.

What I Love This Week: saltbox
I love to learn about new restaurants in San Carlos, and am happy to report on one that did not disappoint. In fact, it has been generating a lot of buzz amongst Peninsula foodies this summer.
Open since April, johnston’s saltbox in San Carlos is my new favorite place to eat. They feature modern cuisine created from scratch with artisan products and seasonal ingrediants. Their outdoor dining patio is a relaxing place to enjoy their great food while taking in the neighborhood. My recommendation is easy: the best BLT I ever had, using tomato coulis instead of tomatoes. And yes, they serve homemade lemonade with mint in a mason jar.
Delicious, casual and great for lunch or dinner - or brunch on the weekend! You will find them on Laurel Street just a couple blocks south of Trader Joe’s. Enjoy!

johnston’s saltbox
1696 Laurel St, San Carlos, CA 94070
(650) 592-7258

What I Love This Week: saltbox

I love to learn about new restaurants in San Carlos, and am happy to report on one that did not disappoint. In fact, it has been generating a lot of buzz amongst Peninsula foodies this summer.

Open since April, johnston’s saltbox in San Carlos is my new favorite place to eat. They feature modern cuisine created from scratch with artisan products and seasonal ingrediants. Their outdoor dining patio is a relaxing place to enjoy their great food while taking in the neighborhood. My recommendation is easy: the best BLT I ever had, using tomato coulis instead of tomatoes. And yes, they serve homemade lemonade with mint in a mason jar.

Delicious, casual and great for lunch or dinner - or brunch on the weekend! You will find them on Laurel Street just a couple blocks south of Trader Joe’s. Enjoy!

johnston’s saltbox

1696 Laurel St, San Carlos, CA 94070

(650) 592-7258

Do You Know? New Water Rules
Last month, the CA State Water Resources Control Board officially prohibited certain water uses in an effort to make sure all Californians are conserving. As a result, residents are prohibited from
* Applying water to outdoor landscapes that causes runoff onto adjacent property, non-irrigated areas, walkways, roadways, parking lots, or structures
* Using a hose to wash vehicles, except where the hose has a shut-off nozzle
* Applying water to any hard surface (driveways, sidewalks, asphalt)
* Using potable water in a fountain or other decorative water feature, unless the water is part of a recirculating system
These are good changes towards better water habits, and enforced locally with potential fines. Most people I know along the SF Peninsula are already conscious of how they prevent the waste of water. Here are a few more tips (not regulations) that can also help:
* Water your garden early in the morning or later in the evening and save water form quickly evaporating before it reaches your plants’ roots.
* Water deeply but less frequently, using mulch to help reduce evaporation.
* Use a broom to sweep outdoor areas, and when water is necessary try a water broom that attaches to your hose and helps clean surfaces with less water.


Image courtesy of George Hodan / publicdomainpictures.net.

Do You Know? New Water Rules

Last month, the CA State Water Resources Control Board officially prohibited certain water uses in an effort to make sure all Californians are conserving. As a result, residents are prohibited from

* Applying water to outdoor landscapes that causes runoff onto adjacent property, non-irrigated areas, walkways, roadways, parking lots, or structures

* Using a hose to wash vehicles, except where the hose has a shut-off nozzle

* Applying water to any hard surface (driveways, sidewalks, asphalt)

* Using potable water in a fountain or other decorative water feature, unless the water is part of a recirculating system

These are good changes towards better water habits, and enforced locally with potential fines. Most people I know along the SF Peninsula are already conscious of how they prevent the waste of water. Here are a few more tips (not regulations) that can also help:

* Water your garden early in the morning or later in the evening and save water form quickly evaporating before it reaches your plants’ roots.

* Water deeply but less frequently, using mulch to help reduce evaporation.

* Use a broom to sweep outdoor areas, and when water is necessary try a water broom that attaches to your hose and helps clean surfaces with less water.

Image courtesy of George Hodan / publicdomainpictures.net.

Love Your Mortgage

Whether you just bought your first house or you’ve been settled into your house for years, you’ll probably agree that one of the largest checks you write each month is your mortgage. In Sunday’s SF Examiner, columnist Jonathan Clements discussed nine reasons why homeowners should love their mortgage. Let me share 3 of the key points he made. 

1. A mortgage is a cheap way to borrow money with special benefits such as tax-deductible interest. 

2. A mortgage is inflation friendly, especially if you have a fixed rate mortgage. If interest goes up your mortgage stays the same, and if interest goes down you can take advantage of lower mortgage rates by refinancing.

3. A mortgage helps you build wealth. Each payment reduces your principal and increases your equity, on an investment that over time is most likely to gain value.

Want to hear more? Give me a call and I can share the entire article. Or even better yet, let me share some of the wealth of knowledge I’ve gained through my 25+ years as a real estate agent along the SF Peninsula.

Love Your Mortgage

Whether you just bought your first house or you’ve been settled into your house for years, you’ll probably agree that one of the largest checks you write each month is your mortgage. In Sunday’s SF Examiner, columnist Jonathan Clements discussed nine reasons why homeowners should love their mortgage. Let me share 3 of the key points he made. 

1. A mortgage is a cheap way to borrow money with special benefits such as tax-deductible interest. 

2. A mortgage is inflation friendly, especially if you have a fixed rate mortgage. If interest goes up your mortgage stays the same, and if interest goes down you can take advantage of lower mortgage rates by refinancing.

3. A mortgage helps you build wealth. Each payment reduces your principal and increases your equity, on an investment that over time is most likely to gain value.

Want to hear more? Give me a call and I can share the entire article. Or even better yet, let me share some of the wealth of knowledge I’ve gained through my 25+ years as a real estate agent along the SF Peninsula.

After the Move: When to Buy What 
If you just moved into your new house, with either not enough stuff from your old house or a desire to start fresh with new items, you might be wondering to yourself when should I start looking? It’s not completely a secret that different goods have different seasons, and wouldn’t it be great to figure out when to purchase linens and when to shop for a new bed frame?
With a little planning, and perhaps some patience, you too can time your purchases perfectly for the best savings possible. Here are a few general guidelines to get your planning started.
* Linens and carpeting are traditionally best priced in January.
* Look for furniture in February as new styles prepare to debut in the spring.
* In April shop for cookware in preparation for graduation and wedding seasons, as well as home-improvement supplies and lawn mowers.
* In May, you can find a great deal on a mattress as stores clear out inventory and prepare for the new.
* Wait for September to buy outdoor furniture, when the big retailers put everything that is remaining on clearance.
* In November look for major appliances at great prices, as old models are moved off the floor and holiday shopping sales start to kick off.
And it’s always the right time to find a new house - I can show you some of the many terrific houses for sale today along the SF Peninsula!
Image courtesy of Vectorportal Site / publicdomainpictures.net.

After the Move: When to Buy What

If you just moved into your new house, with either not enough stuff from your old house or a desire to start fresh with new items, you might be wondering to yourself when should I start looking? It’s not completely a secret that different goods have different seasons, and wouldn’t it be great to figure out when to purchase linens and when to shop for a new bed frame?

With a little planning, and perhaps some patience, you too can time your purchases perfectly for the best savings possible. Here are a few general guidelines to get your planning started.

* Linens and carpeting are traditionally best priced in January.

* Look for furniture in February as new styles prepare to debut in the spring.

* In April shop for cookware in preparation for graduation and wedding seasons, as well as home-improvement supplies and lawn mowers.

* In May, you can find a great deal on a mattress as stores clear out inventory and prepare for the new.

* Wait for September to buy outdoor furniture, when the big retailers put everything that is remaining on clearance.

* In November look for major appliances at great prices, as old models are moved off the floor and holiday shopping sales start to kick off.

And it’s always the right time to find a new house - I can show you some of the many terrific houses for sale today along the SF Peninsula!

Image courtesy of Vectorportal Site / publicdomainpictures.net.

Red Flag Days 


Perhaps you’ve heard this famous quote, wrongly attributed to Mark Twain: The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco. Well, no matter who first came up with that saying, it sure can feel true at times. So like many along the SF Peninsula, I’ve enjoyed the recent warmer weather.


In California, along with the summer heat comes summer fire season. I’ve counseled many home buyers and sellers during my 25 plus years as a real estate agent in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties on fire-prevention techniques to improve the value and protection of their home. Here are a few things you might want to look into updating while the days are long.


Top Prevention Tips


* Keep gutters cleared of debris.


* Maintain a 3-5 foot “fuel free” zone around your house and structures.


* Remove dead vegetation from under decks and porches.


* Keep trees pruned with the lowest branches 6-10 feet from the ground.


* Keep lawn and vegetation hydrated (add mulch to trap more moiisture).


* Consider fire-resistant plants (your local nursery should have some lovely suggestions).


For comprehensive CA fire prevention information, here is a terrific resource:www.ReadyForWildfire.org.


The Heat is On


The SF Bay Area real estate market is also hot! Sellers right now are enjoying shorter time on the market and often multiple offers over the list price. Buyers right now are finding terrific homes but are more likely to encounter multiple offer situations. I am ready right now to guide you through current conditions and reach your goal as a seller or buyer. Give me a call and we can enjoy a cool iced tea while working on a strategy that’s right for you.


Image courtesy of Karen Arnold / publicdomainpictures.net.

Red Flag Days 



Perhaps you’ve heard this famous quote, wrongly attributed to Mark Twain: The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco. Well, no matter who first came up with that saying, it sure can feel true at times. So like many along the SF Peninsula, I’ve enjoyed the recent warmer weather.



In California, along with the summer heat comes summer fire season. I’ve counseled many home buyers and sellers during my 25 plus years as a real estate agent in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties on fire-prevention techniques to improve the value and protection of their home. Here are a few things you might want to look into updating while the days are long.



Top Prevention Tips



* Keep gutters cleared of debris.



* Maintain a 3-5 foot “fuel free” zone around your house and structures.



* Remove dead vegetation from under decks and porches.



* Keep trees pruned with the lowest branches 6-10 feet from the ground.



* Keep lawn and vegetation hydrated (add mulch to trap more moiisture).



* Consider fire-resistant plants (your local nursery should have some lovely suggestions).



For comprehensive CA fire prevention information, here is a terrific resource:www.ReadyForWildfire.org.



The Heat is On



The SF Bay Area real estate market is also hot! Sellers right now are enjoying shorter time on the market and often multiple offers over the list price. Buyers right now are finding terrific homes but are more likely to encounter multiple offer situations. I am ready right now to guide you through current conditions and reach your goal as a seller or buyer. Give me a call and we can enjoy a cool iced tea while working on a strategy that’s right for you.

Image courtesy of Karen Arnold / publicdomainpictures.net.

Road Trip Road Map 
Summertime means road trip time for many - a time to disconnect and explore. It’s a classic American carefree vacation that works best with a little bit of careful planning. If you are going to hit the open road this summer, here are a few tips to get you started.
Clean Start - Get your car washed before you start. Sure, your windshield and hood will get dirty and the inside is likely to get messy, but it is much more tolerable when you start off squeaky clean.
Wander - Plan some time to be unplanned. Drifting off the freeway and exploring unknown towns and scenic drives can lead to wonderful discoveries and take away the stress of “making good time.”
Snacks - Forget the bags of chips and cookies. These days, you can pack easy and healthy road trip snacks. A bag of trail mix with some little cups to carefully serve with. Some crackers and Nutella or humus for no-drip spreadables. A bag of washed and cut veggies (which also dip nicely in humus). And plenty of bottled water.
Shake a Leg - Make a game out of getting a little exercise each time you stop. Park a distance from your stop and walk or run. Ask locals for advice on good hiking trails. If you are traveling with kids, challenge them to a family dance contest each stop.
Go Retro - Bring a real map (not an app!) and markers to note where you’ve been and add some comments about what you found. Seek out any “worlds largest” landmarks along the way for great photo opps. And create a playlist for each traveler - everyone gets a chance to hear their own favorite music and hear some new ones.
Bon Voyage and happy trails!


Image courtesy of Larisa Koshkina / publicdomainpictures.net.

Road Trip Road Map

Summertime means road trip time for many - a time to disconnect and explore. It’s a classic American carefree vacation that works best with a little bit of careful planning. If you are going to hit the open road this summer, here are a few tips to get you started.

Clean Start - Get your car washed before you start. Sure, your windshield and hood will get dirty and the inside is likely to get messy, but it is much more tolerable when you start off squeaky clean.

Wander - Plan some time to be unplanned. Drifting off the freeway and exploring unknown towns and scenic drives can lead to wonderful discoveries and take away the stress of “making good time.”

Snacks - Forget the bags of chips and cookies. These days, you can pack easy and healthy road trip snacks. A bag of trail mix with some little cups to carefully serve with. Some crackers and Nutella or humus for no-drip spreadables. A bag of washed and cut veggies (which also dip nicely in humus). And plenty of bottled water.

Shake a Leg - Make a game out of getting a little exercise each time you stop. Park a distance from your stop and walk or run. Ask locals for advice on good hiking trails. If you are traveling with kids, challenge them to a family dance contest each stop.

Go Retro - Bring a real map (not an app!) and markers to note where you’ve been and add some comments about what you found. Seek out any “worlds largest” landmarks along the way for great photo opps. And create a playlist for each traveler - everyone gets a chance to hear their own favorite music and hear some new ones.

Bon Voyage and happy trails!

Image courtesy of Larisa Koshkina / publicdomainpictures.net.