S3E6: Little House on the Prairie and Laura Ingalls Wilder Tourism with Wendy McClure, Author of the Wilder Life

Wendy McClure has visited nearly every Laura Ingalls Wilder-related site in the US as part of her research for her book, The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie. From Pepin, Wisconsin (the Big Woods) to Walnut Grove (the setting of the Little House TV series) to Burr Oak, Iowa (a lost chapter in Ingalls family history), Wendy has seen it all. She’s visited dugouts and lean-tos and even Almanzo Wilder’s boyhood home in upstate New York. Kathy also discusses her recent literary tourism pilgrimage to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home and Museum in Mansfield, Missouri, the home of Laura, Almanzo and Rose and the place where the books were written. Kathy and Ines were thrilled to expound upon their love of the Little House books with a kindred spirit. They also discuss their love for the Little House on the Prairie TV show, including the more over-the-top episodes (anyone else remember the mime rapist?). Listen as Wendy busts some myths and shares some laughs and helps you decide once and for all: are you an Almanzonian or a non-Almanzonian?

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Meet Wendy McClure, Writer and Laura Ingalls Wilder Tourism Expert

Wendy McClure

This week’s guest is Wendy McClure, author of The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie. As part of her research, Wendy traced the pioneer journey of the Ingalls family and learned a lot of important things along the way, including how to churn butter like a champion. Wendy stopped by to chat with us about Laura Ingalls Wilder landmarks across the country and to compare notes with Kathy, who recently returned from her own Laura-centric adventure to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home and Museum in Mansfield, Missouri.

Learn more about Wendy after the jump.

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S3E5: How to Plan a Trip from Scratch: Dealing with the Post-Vacation Blues and Other Travel Anxieties with Kristen Brendel of Per La Vita Wellness


just breathe

Sometimes the worst part of planning a trip happens after the trip. Coming back to reality can be tough, but we have a few good ways to cope. In our final installment of our How to Plan a Trip from Scratch series, we sit down with mindfulness expert Kristen Brendel of Per la Vita Wellness. We discuss what we can do before a trip to make our return easier, how to relax in a new setting, what to do if we fear flying, how to deal with a stressful travel partner, and more.

Listen to the episode here.

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Meet Kristen Brendel, Mindfulness Expert and Founder of Per La Vita Wellness

Kristen Brendel Per La Vita Welness

This week’s guest is Kristen Brendel, a licensed clinical social worker and mindfulness expert. She received her PhD in Social Work from Loyola University Chicago and works as an assistant professor of social work at Aurora University. She also owns and operates Per La Vita Wellness, LLC, a company dedicated to mindfulness-based clinical interventions for holistic health and wellness. At Per La Vita Wellness, Kristen takes groups abroad on mindfulness retreats to Thailand and Costa Rica, facilitates mindfulness-based stress reduction classes to small groups, and organizes and facilitates workshops for schools, corporations, non-profit agencies, and hospitals. Kristen’s favorite pastime is traveling with her husband and teenaged daughter and going on hikes to local forest preserves.

She was the perfect guest to talk about post-vacation blues and travel stress for our last installment of our How to Plan a Trip Series. To learn more about Kristen, check out our Q&A with her after the jump.

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All the Dumb, Petty Reasons I Booked a Trip to Belize

belize beach-xlarge

Sometimes you book a trip because you’ve always dreamed of walking along a specific city’s streets. Sometimes you book a trip because all you want to do is relax by the sea. Sometimes you book a trip because you’re ready to party the night away.

And sometimes you book a trip because you’re petty AF. This is why I’m going to Belize come January. For a country that I’ve never set foot in, I have a surprisingly tumultuous history with the Central American nation. It’s time to set that right and I do believe I will do so with my 10-day getaway. I’m sure Belize is worth visiting for its own specific reasons, but this is why this trip will feel like the most immature of vindications.

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Meet Jennifer Kramer of Baja Test Kitchen & Moon Travel Guides


Jen Kramer of Baja Test Kitchen

This week’s guest is Jennifer Kramer, one of the founders of Baja Test Kitchen  and the author of the Moon Baja Travel Guide. Jen has been traveling throughout Baja California since she was six months old. She was born and raised just over the border in San Diego, California where her parents started Discover Baja in 1991. Growing up, family time was spent exploring the Baja peninsula in a VW camper.

Listen to the episode to learn more about the wonders of Baja, California on Podbean and Apple Podcasts.

To learn more about Jen, check out our Q&A with her after the jump.

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S2E4: Traveling in Baja California, Mexico with Jen Kramer of Baja Test Kitchen

Jennifer Kramer is one of the founders of Baja Test Kitchen, as well the author of the Moon Baja Travel Guide. In this episode, Jen shares her favorite spots to eat, drink and soak up the Mexican culture, with a special emphasis on Valle de Guadalupe. Over the last several years, Valle de Guadalupe has exploded in terms of amazing wines and creative culinary offerings. Jen also gives us the scoop on the women winemakers who are taking Valle de Guadalupe by storm. Also discussed: how to pick the food and wine tour that’s right for you, winetasting etiquette 101, and the truth about all those state department issued travel warnings for Mexico. Mexico’s Baja California region is an easy day trip from San Diego, but you’ll definitely need more than one day to eat and drink your way through all the deliciousness.

Listen and subscribe on Podbean and Apple Podcasts.

Show notes (including winery and restaurant recs for Valle de Guadalupe) after the jump.

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