Our Road Trip Meals in Alice

There is excitement in the air as we plan for an Alice (Sprinter Van) trip.  We look forward to exploring the country and making up our agenda one day at a time. One of the critical steps is planning our road trip meals. When we travel, Gail is our meal planner and Head Cook.  She […]

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100 Things We’ve Learned After 30-Years of Marriage

We have had the pleasure of being married for 30 years. In that time, we have learned many lessons about life and about each other. We put together a list that reflects what we have done to stay committed and to grow deeper in love over the past three decades. Our Top 100 List 1. […]

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Alum Cave Bluff in The Great Smoky Mountains

Hiking to Alum Cave Bluff in the Smoky Mountains was an adventure, just like many of our hikes.  The beginning of this trail is flat and goes through and old hardwood forest. Following the Alum Cave Creek for about a mile, we bragged about how easy the trail was and how fast we were going […]

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Fitness Life By Design

When we started our Van Life By Design website and blog, our mission was to write about and photograph our travels in our Sprinter van Alice and other travel related topics. This is still true. Gail is also interested in writing about exercise and fitness, healthy eating and other lifestyle topics so we have launched […]

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Take a Detour

“The really happy person is the one who can enjoy the scenery, even when they have to take a detour.” ~ Sir James Jeans

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Convert or Buy a Van?

The Van Life culture is a growing movement that lures in people of all ages and income levels. The free spirit mindset that this lifestyle embraces is an indicator that people want freedom and simplicity in their lives. The inevitable question everyone asks is, “how can we do this”? There are many things to consider […]

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A Daily Dose of Hiking

Gail and I generally hike somewhere every day. Granted, if we are going through the neighborhood on our 3-mile route, we will call it a walk. Some might say it’s an Urban Hike. I call it putting one foot in front of the other. Getting outside and trekking makes me feel happy. It’s good for […]

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Our Bicycle Upgrade

Gail and I have been bicyclists throughout our marriage. We have always liked riding together but we don’t always agree on what constitutes an excellent riding experience. For the past 15-years we have each owned 2 bikes (total of 4). We both have road bikes for tooling around the streets of Kansas City and cruising […]

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Running for Scones

As I have mentioned before, I LOVE to run. I also love to eat scones. When we lived in McFarland, Wisconsin, I would run many days with my amazing friend and runner Anne. (Anne is a wonderful running coach, you can find her at Pace Perfect). On the weekends when Anne and her family would […]

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The Lake of the Clouds Photograph

Last summer, we visited the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and spent a couple days in the Porcupine Mountains. This rustic forested area is located on the shores of Lake Superior and offers many scenic hikes and vista overlooks. No matter where we are, one of our favorite things to do when we travel is get […]

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Underground Storage for Alice

Where do we store Alice when we are not using her? Alice is big and tiny at the same time. She is about 7 feet wide which is about the width of a large pickup truck. She is 24 feet long so she is too long for many normal parking spaces and about 11 feet […]

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The Christmas Music Antidote

With the exception of Christmas season I’m generally a 70’s rock-n-roll listener. I also like some singer songwriter, folk and soul music mixed into my routine when I want to change life’s tempo. The interesting thing is Christmas season is the only time of the year when I prefer to listen to classical music. The […]

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The Wine Confession

I’m not really a wine guy. I like wine, but I don’t understand all the blends or subtle variances from bottle to bottle. For example, I can’t taste the difference between a Merlot, Shiraz or Pinot Nino. The Challenge  Occasionally when out for dinner, my wife and I will decide to buy a bottle of […]

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