Join us — Author Chris Oler, Illustrator Amy Oler, and our children Molly and Michael — on our travels and adventures.

Panama, 2018

We visited Panama in the spring of 2018. We saw as much of the country as we could in the 9 days we were there. In Panama City we visited Casco Viejo, the historic district, with buildings dating from the 1600s, and some great restaurants and ice cream shops. We also saw the Miraflores locks of the Panama Canal; Michael loved watching the huge cargo ships pass through.

A highlight of our trip was a day spent in El Valle de Anton, a gorgeous mountain village nestled in the valley of an extinct volcano. In addition to the natural beauty of lush tropical flowers, waterfalls, and mountain views, there were several great attractions: an authentic outdoor market, a butterfly and orchid house, a serpentarium, horseback riding, and a small zoo with native and non-native species.

There is no leaving out Panama’s beautiful beaches. We visited the black sand beaches of Mechi on the Caribbean Sea; Portobelo on the Caribbean Sea, a city steeped in pirate history; Panama City’s pacific beaches; and the San Blas Islands, also known as Guna Yala, the beautiful white sand islands of the indigenous Guna tribe.

Look for Molly Goes to Panama late in 2018 to share this amazing country with your children!

Puerto Rico, 2017

We traveled to Puerto Rico in summer of 2017. Puerto Rico is a beautiful island complete with adventures of every kind. We stayed in San Juan for the first half of the trip where we enjoyed the beautiful beaches, the history and tourism in Old San Juan, and amazing restaurants where we ate our fill of mofongo, a delicious dish that Puerto Rico is famous for.

We also visited El Yunque, Puerto Rico’s lush tropical rainforest. We hiked through the trails and refreshed ourselves by swimming in an ice-cold waterfall.

For the last part of our trip we stayed in Luquillo, a small beach town on the northeast side of the island. The highlight of our Luquillo stay was a snorkeling cruise – the kids loved the day-long boat trip and we marveled at the white sand beaches, crystal clear turquoise waters, and the colorful tropical fish (even manta rays!).

Puerto Rico is a wonderful destination for a family vacation. To learn more about the island’s culture and what is has to offer for families, check out Molly Goes to Puerto Rico.

Destin, Florida 2017

We traveled to Destin in April of 2017. Destin is a great destination for families, with so many different things to do. We spent a lot of time at the beach, where they kids enjoyed swimming, boogie boarding, playing in the sand, and hunting for seashells. The water was cool, and a few days it was rough, so we stayed knee-high or lower in the water.

We ate several meals out, and LuLu’s scored a perfect 10 from us for the food and the atmosphere. LuLu’s is a family restaurant right on the beach with a fantastic play area for kids. And unlike the restaurants along the main strip, it wasn’t crowded when we went. We got to watch a small 2-person sea plane coming and going, offering rides to customers while we were there.

On a rainy day we took a drive down scenic highway 30a to Grayton Beach, a cute little town with shops, art galleries, and restaurants. We ate a fantastic meal at the Hurricane Oyster Bar & Grill and enjoyed the small beach town vibe once the rain stopped.

The Destin Harbor Boardwalk is another place you can’t miss while visiting the area. Stretching a quarter of a mile, the boardwalk is great just for walking and seeing sights. In addition there’s tons of shopping, bars and restaurants, and great activities you can book, like dolphin cruises, parasailing, a pirate cruise, and spa activities.

Our Destin trip was a lot of fun for all of us, with family-friendly activities everywhere we looked.