Author Archives for Dave Z

Don’t Be A Jailbird

On June 20, 1782 Federal lawmakers approve the Seal of the United States, depicting the bald eagle. It’s well known that not all of those involved in the process were happy: Benjamin Franklin is noted as having a preference that the seal portray a more naturally American bird such as the wild turkey saying it was a “bird of courage…would not hesitate to attack a grenadier of the British guards who should presume to invade his farm yard with a red coat on.” Which, I guess, what else can you ask from a bird?

Distracted Driving

We all know texting and driving is bad. Study after study has shown that it impairs driver attention and performance, making operators less aware of both hazardous and routine road conditions. And it’s not just texting. Some sources say that upwards of 500,000 people _at any given moment_ are using their smartphone hands-on in some way while driving.

Bushels of Fun

With fall comes not only the changing of leaves but the bearing of fruit. Crisp and fresh, apples form the cornerstone of any afternoon fruit picking adventure. It’s an activity suitable for the entire family, with a whole slew of fall dinners, desserts and beverages that can be crafted from the All-American fruit. Fresh pressed apple cider is perhaps the most staple fall drink—just pair it with some donuts and you’re good to go.


Halloween isn’t normally a holiday people consider traveling for. Probably because the majority of folks don’t get extra time of work. Or they just enjoy staying home and enjoying the one time of year it’s not totally creepy to hide in the bushes and jump out at their neighbors.

Canadian Colors

As we meander out of the last months of summer towards autumn, we are greeted by the familiar sights of bonfires, apple picking and the changing of the leaves. Slowing making the transition from lively greens to vibrant yellows, oranges and reds, there is nothing quite as spectacular about fall as this annual metamorphosis.

Summer at the Lake

Summertime is meant to be spent on the water, and whether your version of that means tying up to the party barge, or finding a relaxing out of the way fishing hole, we’ve got you covered at Mr. Meaner. It’s worth noting that none of us have ever been on a party barge, but people look like they are having fun. So there’s that.

Cave Trolling

If you’ve never been caving, or spelunking, as those in the know call it, you’re missing out. Hidden just below the surface is a awe inspiring network of caverns, crawlspaces, waterfalls and eons-old rock formations. And if you don’t mind getting a little dirty, there are a plenty of these natural wonders you can explore for yourself—particularly in the Midwestern United States.

Great Trees of California

If you like forests and have always wanted to take a trip to out west, you’re in luck. Those two activities line up with virtual perfection. With eight (nine if you count the part of Death Valley), National Parks to choose from, California is a nature lover’s paradise. And most of those National parks have some impressive arboreal features (read: trees). Not that we would recommend claiming them, you understand. Not only is it illegal, but falling out of a 350-foot tall Redwood is bound to ruin your weekend. Unless you like emergency rooms, that is.

Rest From Your Labors

It takes a lot of work to get ready for vacation, and we here at Mr. Meaner are looking to make your last big summer getaway of the year as painless as possible. This week, we’re featuring some of our top spots for last minute Labor Day weekend getaways. Tip: if you can push your trip back a week, you may get even bigger savings.

Alaska – The Last Frontier

No, that’s not some weird Star Trek reference. It’s actually the nickname of the the largest state in the U.S.. And it’s aptly named—Alaska is so remote that even the capital city of Juneau isn’t accessible via road. That’s right, if you want to visit the capital (and third most populous city in the state), you’ve got to take a boat or a plane.

1 2

Travel in the Know

Sign up and we'll send you our guide to the National Parks plus a weekly email with new stories, free.

Don’t worry, we won’t spam you, ever