Author Archives: Amanda Cleary Eastep

Scouting out Asheville, North Carolina

Between (formerly) working a full-time job, building my freelance writing business, and writing a book, sharing my travels has obviously been low on the priority list. Actually, so has traveling. So much for the freelancer’s dream of being mobile. But dreams live on… In the fall we ventured for the second time to the Asheville, NC […]

asheville nc by amanda cleary eastep

balloon bouquet and superhero on scooter

Catching random moments like this makes me love photography almost as much as I love writing. What is the woman celebrating? Will the superhero arrive in time by scooter? I shot this from the top of a double-decker bus coffeehouse called Double D’s in Asheville, NC. Thanks to Spend Your Days for sharing the pic in […]

Travel photography tip #36–don’t do this

By Amanda Cleary Eastep I love my parents. They aren’t incredibly tech-savvy, but they try. They also don’t mind being inspiration for my blogs. So thanks Mom and Dad for helping me with this post on the importance of framing a “selfie,” (or self-portrait for you fellow not-so-tech-savvy travelers). Here’s Mom and Dad’s first-ever travel […]

Tattooed Moose

A tattooed moose, a trolley, and a view of the ocean in Charleston, South Carolina

By Amanda Cleary Eastep Read about our adventure, too, in Asheville, North Carolina, as part of this scouting expedition. Cha-ahl-ston, South Carolina (or Charleston for those of you who don’t like pretending you have an accent) I’m very tempted to skip writing about this part of our expedition. Not because it was bad necessarily, but […]

North Carolina travel

Success! Scouting expedition to the Carolinas reveals there IS a North and South

By Amanda Cleary Eastep Read about our adventure in Charleston, South Carolina, as part of this scouting expedition. I like to think there is a little bit of a “scout” in me, even though I never made it past Brownies and never earned my camping badge. (My best friend had ALL the badges…the little bitch.) […]

North Carolina mountains

“Scouting Expedition” in the Carolinas

By Amanda Cleary Eastep We’re not calling our upcoming trip a vacation. I’ve deemed it, rather, a scouting expedition. This is because we plan at some point to get the hell out of Illinois. Planning a trip to a new location is fun but takes time and research. Since we’re focused on very prelim looks around […]

The Grand in Grand Rapids, Michigan

By Amanda Cleary Eastep Grand Rapids Farmers Market Touted as the “most vibrant downtown between Chicago and Cleveland”, Grand Rapids is… Hm…not  the most enticing description from that official travel site. But then I haven’t been to Cleveland. In fact, over the years, I’ve only scratched the surface of Grand Rapids. The highlights on our recent trip […]

Shout HUZZAH! and toss back some ale–The Renaissance Faire

Each summer for the past 20+ years, we have packed our car with pirates, peasants, gypsies, and elves and head north to Kenosha, Wisconsin, for the Bristol Renaissance Faire. If you’re a purist (i.e. re-enactor, history professor, uptight prig), you may be agitated by the presence of elves, fairies, and even the occasional Star Trek […]

The Diner of Green Gables

No matter our ultimate destination, my travel goals involve finding the treasures along the path… …the way my father dropped a quarter on the sidewalk ahead of me as a child, and I, triumphant, snatched it up–the 25 cents being all the more special than the same amount of milk money, because  it was DISCOVERED. […]

The Japanese Wisconsin town better known as Sheboygan

On our last trip to the U.P., Meg traced a finger down the map along I-43, which follows the western shore of Lake Michigan. Shee-boy-GAN, she read. I could see that our family’s obsession with anime (Japanese animation) had crept into her pronunciation of towns in Wisconsin. ShahBOYgan, Sweetie, I corrected. (It is okay that […]