Our Staff

Jeff and Ginny Orenstein abaord a private car at Tampa Union Station.

Jeff and Ginny Orenstein aboard a private car at Tampa Union Station.

About Us

Who We Are

Yes, we walk our talk. We’re both over 50 and love to travel. When we are not on one of our major trips, we’re usually driving the highways and byways of Florida, looking for great attractions slightly off the beaten path…and sometimes looking for fresh takes on attractions on the beaten path. We usually write about our travels and we try to feature our trips and what we’ve learned along the way in Simply Smart Travel, our syndicated monthly travel column.

We’ve love to travel by train and have ridden everything from narrow gauge steam excursions in the Colorado Rockies to high speed trains in Europe. We’ve traveled on Amtrak across the United States and love trains so much that we’ll travel a long way just to photograph trains as well as to ride them. To us, the journey is even more essential than the destination.

We’re avid readers and we enjoy learning as much as we can about a place before we visit via books, online research and talking to travel experts. If we can find a novel set in a place we’re about to visit, so much the better.

We’re also avid amateur photographers.

Virginia (Ginny) Orenstein spent most of her working life as a CFO in The United States and in Europe for large corporations in stainless steel production, tire manufacturing and distribution. She is a CPA and currently enjoys working with small and medium sized companies and non-profits as a financial systems consultant as well as traveling the Simply Smart Way.

A mother of two and a grandmother of seven, she and her husband Jeff reside in the beautiful West Florida planned community of Lakewood Ranch, situated between Sarasota and Bradenton and quite close to the Gulf beaches. She graduated from Kent State University and has studied international business in Geneva .

Jeffrey R. (Jeff) Orenstein spent his first career as a political science professor. He taught at a major Midwestern university for two and a half decades, before transitioning into a new career as an author, journalist and publisher.

He has written several books and many articles on political thought, public policy, railroads. Currently, he writes the Simply Smart Travel column and is writing three books simultaneously, one on American Democracy, another on High Speed Rail in America and a third on (what else?) Simply Smart Travel.

He has a B.A. from Ohio State and an M.A. and Ph.D. from The University of Wisconsin-Madison, all in political science. He and Ginny operate SimplySmartTravel.com from their home on a lake in Lakewood Ranch.