About Me

Hi, I'm Valerie.

In the last decade I have lived in 5 states.  I was born and raised in Utah, but all always had the feeling I'd live somewhere else.

In 2012 my husband joined the Army and our family moved to Fort Hood, Texas in the Texas Hill Country. In 2015 we were stationed at Fort Rucker, Alabama in the Wiregrass Region. My husband's time in the Army ended in 2016, but our wanderlust didn't stop there. We spent six months in Utah followed by the summer in Yellowstone - yes Yellowstone. In the fall of 2017 we moved to Pocatello, Idaho where my husband is currently going to school.  Soon we'll be moving somewhere else. I'm always interested in opportunities to see more of this beautiful country.

 My husband and I have always tried to celebrate our wedding anniversary with a road trip to a different place.  We like road trips because we are in charge of the route, the itinerary, and the schedule, so we are free to stop and see interesting things along the way.

I enjoy planning our vacations as much as I love going on them.  I start pouring over travel guides months before the actual trip.  I'm always on the lookout for an interesting place to have our next adventure.

We've never had a lot of money, which helps us really prioritize what we will do and see.  We usually camp to save money on where we stay.  Instead of eating at restaurants we bring our own snacks.  We try to do as many free things as possible.  When we do spend money it's usually on things that are really worth it.

Aside from entrance fees, lodging, and gas money we usually only spend about 51 cents on our trips.  Two quarters and a penny is all we need to get the best souvenirs ever - pressed pennies.

We've added four children to our family (in less than 3 years), but the kids haven't stopped us from exploring new places.  We just go a little slower.

This blog is a catalog of all the interesting places I have visited.  Some are famous like Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming or the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.  Others are hidden treasures like Providence Canyon in Georgia or the Florissant Fossil Beds in Colorado.  All of them hold special memories for me.

Read along as I tell you about each of these places.  Hopefully you'll want to visit them too.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Hello, Valerie and fam. I just finished looking over your list. I (as much as an Army brat can say) grew up in "LA" on Rucker and the panhandle, then remained in the area until I left for the Army myself at 24. I never really appreciated the Wiregrass area and remember always yearning for what I thought must surely be bigger, better, and more exciting. I have now travelled across the globe and been stationed in many wonderful places (e.g., San Antonio, TX; Monterey Bay, CA) which I will always treasure. But, I have also begun to realize that the wiregrass has always had everything truly important, such as: family and family history (i.e., generations of us stationed at Rucker), wonderful lifelong friends, and a truly simpler and more relaxed lifestyle while also providing relatively easy access to a variety of other adventures (as you so wonderfully point out). Thank you so much for this submission, which has helped to solidify a decision that my wife and I have been coming to for a little while. We will be moving back to E'prise within the next year+, and we look forward to using this list to reacquaint with the many area gems, several of which even I was unaware.

    As a possibly interesting side note for you, the world's smallest St. Pat's parade in E'prise that you mention in your list was begun by a very unique character and transplant to the area--an Army veteran of proud Irish decent, via Minnesota, who retired out of Rucker--my grandfather, MSG Patrick J.M. Donahue.

    Thank you once again. We look forward to following more of your blog for possible future road-tripping adventures of our own.

    Slainte to you and yours.

    D. Allen Donahue

    1. Thank you Allen for your kind words. It's always nice to know that my work is appreciated.

      Good luck with your decision to move back to Enterprise. I'm a little jealous. My family will be leaving Fort Rucker in the next few months, I'm sad about this because I've come to love this area so much.

      And yes, keep reading. There will be many more road trip ideas coming your way.

  3. Hi Valerie,
    Happy New Year to you and yours! I stumbled upon your blog while trolling Pinterest looking for information about Utah's national parks. I just wanted to say thank you for the amount of effort and detail you put into writing about your trips. This one in particular has been a tremendous help as a reference for planning our own trip there. Your advice and experiences are fun to read and you sound like someone I would have a lot in common with. I look forward to reading about your other road trips as my husband and I are always looking for new and exciting things to see and do. This beautiful country we are blessed to call home has so much to offer.


    Lisa and Mike in Vermont

    1. Thank you so much for your comment Lisa. This was such a great surprise when I opened my e-mail today. I hope you enjoy your trip to Utah. My family has recently moved back to Utah, and so I'll be adding more posts about fun things to see and do in this amazing state.


I would love to hear what you think. Did I get it right, or was I dead wrong? What was your experience like?


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