Bandelier National Monument - Val in Real Life

New Mexico’s Bandelier National Monument

When it comes to our National Park system, national monuments tend to be sorely overlooked compared to the marquis parks that visitors flock to in their travels. Bandelier is not […]

Meteor Crater in Arizona - Val in Real LIfe

Roadschooling at Arizona’s Meteor Crater

As you know, we here at Val in Real Life like to learn when we’re traveling. Fred and George don’t travel with me as often these days but when they […]

val in real life - try the world

Try the World Brings the Flavors of the Globe to Your Door

As an experiential education family, we’re always on the hunt for cool ways to expand our learning opportunities. And like a lot of families, we have the desire to explore […]

outdoor families magazine

Your New Adventure Hub: Outdoor Families Magazine

For the better part of 2014, there has been a fabulous project brewing… and the rubber hits the road this Thursday. On January 15th, Outdoor Families Magazine goes live. Powerhouse […]


2014: Real Adventure. Real Life.

Seems it’s that time again… to review one year before beginning another. With the 2015 calendar staring at us and inspiring introspection, I marvel at what 2014 held for me […]


Florida’s Fort Clinch State Park

As some of you know, I’m originally from the Sunshine State. Which means I have lots of extended family strewn about the peninsula. So this year I met my parents […]


Virginia City: Historic Nevada Delight

Where do you go after you’ve been to hell and back? Last month at the end of my epic Hell Hike and Raft adventure, my crew mates headed back home […]


The Pacific Northwest Tour: Sunset Crater and Wupatki

As a largely indy traveler, I always revel in finding groovy little destinations that aren’t overrun by crowds. I love iconic places as much as the next person but hoards […]


Overland Expo to TBEX: Post-mortem

Back at the end of the Overland Expo to TBEX expedition, I gave a break-down of the journey in numbers and a couple of the larger take-away points. After chronicling […]


Postcards from Real Life: Sanctuary

Today I’m nestled in one of my favorite places in the world. It’s spring photography workshop time again at The Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont and I’ll be immersed […]


Overland Expo to TBEX: Last stop… North Carolina

After nearly six weeks on the road in the Overland Expo to TBEX expedition, we decided to cut the trip short by a week to accommodate our weary teen traveler. […]


Overland Expo to TBEX: Maryland, West Virginia, & Washington D.C.

By the time we exited Philadelphia, we’d been on the road for 37 days in the Overland Expo to TBEX expedition. As we slowly moved southward back towards home we […]


Around Atlanta: LEGOLand Discovery Center

A few weeks ago, the Camp Granola crew was invited to visit the LEGOLand Discovery Center in Atlanta. While my preference is obviously for parks and museums, there is obviously […]


Overland Expo to TBEX: Philadelphia Blitz

Although you may have noticed this already, let me set the record straight before I share the next few adventures on the Overland Expo to TBEX expedition. I’m an outdoor […]


Musings on Roadschooling…

Today I’m moonlighting over at Mommy Hiker with my thoughts on roadschooling with Fred and George. I hope you’ll go check it out and show Jen some love. She is […]


Overland Expo to TBEX: Rhode Island Adventures

Somehow on our Overland Expo to TBEX expedition, we managed to fritter away six days in Massachusetts, some of them actually successful. It was time to move on, though. Originally […]


Adventures in Leave No Trace Training

Last week I set out to add another piece to my outdoor-chick toolbox. Having secured my Southern Appalachian Naturalist Certification last year and renewed my Wilderness First Aid certification in […]


Overland Expo to TBEX: Roadschooling in Concord, Mass.

If you’re keeping up with the tales of our Overland Expo to TBEX expedition, you know that we struggled greatly with a string of travel woes during our six-week journey. […]


George L. Smith State Park: A Photo Essay

Last weekend, the Camp Granola crew set off for a camping adventure in George L. Smith State Park in central Georgia. It was one of many trips we’ve taken around […]


Overland Expo to TBEX: 24 hours in Boston – Part 2

So you’ve got 24 hours in Boston. The first night was spent indulging your little nerds at Car Talk Plaza and the Museum of Science. With one morning left to […]

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