Tag Archives: travel

Mom’s Favorite Reads – New March Issue of Our Magazine Available!

The March issue of our Amazon #1 magazine!


In this issue…


• An exclusive interview with Terry Deary, bestselling author of the ‘Horrible Histories’

• Our new series of travel features, Off the Beaten Track

• How to start your own small business

• How to learn a new language

• The difference between psychology and

psychiatry, and so much more…


Read FREE here https://issuu.com/momsfavoritereads/docs/vol-2_iss-3_march2019_momsfavoriter?e=0

What in the World is Kate Doing?

Oh, yeah, I’ve been off the grid quite a lot lately.  I have my reasons, and I think they are pretty valid.

I’m a Baby Boomer and my husband and I have toyed with the idea of retiring somewhere different. Our 165-year-old home requires a lot of care and maintenance. As we get older, we won’t be able to give it the justice it deserves.  So, we started researching, traveling and sometimes making lists of the pros and cons of living in different places. We considered spots in the Midwest, living on an island, moving to Ireland and several other possible destinations.

We had a list of what we wanted in our final home and commuIMG_1953nity.  We wanted a newer home to reduce maintenance. A small town with plenty of safe areas for walking, easy access to a grocer, pharmacy, a few restaurants and a golf course that was close to our home. We wanted that small town feel that we love in our tiny village along the Mississippi River with small-town festivals and friendly neighbors.  But we decided after this past winter, we also needed warmth.

We’d lived along the Gulf Coast (Texas and Florida) as well as in Sicily, Italy.  Two years before my hubs retired from the military, we started looking at where we wanted to raise our sons. Growing up in the Midwest, we determined we wanted to return. Now, after twenty-three years in Wisconsin, we think it would be nice to be back in a warmer climate, so we headed to Arizona.

We found a community that meets all of the requirements we determined were important to us.  We are building a new home where I can walk the miles I need for my health and creativity.  We can play golf anytime.  It’s close to a larger community so we don’t have to drive hours for certain services like an airport, for example.

We are fortunate to have this opportunity, and one of the things that I like about the town where we are moving is that they offer a variety of housing options in several different pricing levels.  We will be in a community that values diversity with different age groups, socio-economic levels, cultures, religions, and backgrounds. Isn’t that what America is all about?  We believe so.

Stay tuned as we begin our new adventure.


Country and Camping

Over the past few years, my family and friends have been traveling to a 4 day-long Country Music Festival called “TreeTown” in Iowa.  It’s great fun with the IMG_7717best in Country music (new and classic artists) as well as a night of Classic Rock.

Listening to music outdoors under the summer sun and the starry skies with good food, drink and company is a wonderful experience.  I take my trusty laptop with me in the hopes of getting some writing done each year.  This year wasn’t an exception.

Wifi was spotty even with my dedicated hotspot and I found it difficult to work as quickly as usual on projects that required data to download. It didn’t stop me from attempting to get some work done.  In between the music and socializing, that is.

Back to the party…IMG_7703

Vacation Planning: Party or Panic?

A big vacay looms shortly, and I’ve noticed different people face it in a plethora of ways.  My sister and her crew have planning parties in the weeks before that are as much fun as the vacation will be.  But here’s the caveat–my sis and her friends are crazy, party animals who have a party if it’s National Doughnut Day.  Enuf said, right?

Then, there appears to be a segment of the traveling population which I will dub the Terrorized Tourists.  They are scanning the newspapers for any international news which may affect their vacation, getting ready for warfare with bedbugs and practicing their defensive moves.  You’d think they were Liam Neeson planning a weekend getaway.

I’m a different sort of vacationer.  I look through travel books for background on the country and its people.  I gaze at photos of places I’ll be visiting in awe.  Yes, I look at US Customs and State Department websites.  I ‘m aware of the issues journeying to other countries can bring to the traveling public, but I’m unwilling to allow fear to dull my enjoyment of the trip.

My biggest concern is packing–over or under packing, that is.  I’m a woman, albeit I believe myself to be low maintenance, I still want to look put together even if I hiking around in the rain in Ireland.  I wouldn’t worry about taking a checked bag, but I’m thinking about lugging around a big bag for two weeks, and I groan in dismay.

I purchased lovely suitcases last year for a trip and was very pleased with only waltzing through security with my purse after I checked my bag.  My trips last year I had one destination and didn’t have to deal with the bag each day.  So, I bought two small carry-on bags–one for my hubs and one for myself–hoping I could downsize my packing, still have room for my electronics and look good each day.

Four days later,  I have packed, repacked, removed clothing, added clothing, and removed clothing again.  Can’t forget my trench coat or my hiking boots.   I think I have gotten it down to the basics.  Now, I just have to remember my boarding passes and passport!

Discovering Our Ancestral Past

Most everyone has heard about geneology research sites such as Ancestry.com which help us to search records for snippets of information about our families.  Many families pass down stories about their ancestors to younger generations, but my family didn’t.

I was always interested, but when I asked questions of my parents, they had very few answers.  My grandparents had difficult lives, and I doubt it left much time for passing on stories of their youth.  Most of what I’ve been able to find out has been through a couple of stories one of my uncles told me and the web.

Kate McGinn is my alter ego.  When I decided on my pen name, I chose a combination of my own name and my grandmother’s maiden name.  If I was to be known as someone else, I wanted it to be connected to me in some way.  It was important to have a name with meaning.  When I started writing and creating social media sites for promotions, several of my relatives asked my mother “Who in the world is Kate McGinn?”

My husband and I are planning a trip to Ireland in the near future.  It will be my first time traveling to the homeland of my ancestors. I really wanted to travel to the town where my grandmother grew up — Carrickmacross in County Monaghan.  In preparation, I contacted some of my family members to see if anyone still had contacts in Ireland.  I was pleased to find out several of my father’s cousins still lived near my grandmother’s hometown.

When my aunt told them how I was using their mothers’ and my grandmother’s family name, they were very pleased.   It was such a special feeling to know I would see the place that my McGinn ancestors called home.

My curiosity has peaked thinking about walking the streets my grandmother traveled as a young girl and woman.  I look forward to seeing if any of our Irish family bear a resemblance to their American cousins.

The story of my family and their past awaits, and Kate McGinn can’t wait to see it unfold.