• travel avery's beverages

    Travel: Avery’s Beverages

    “You’re not from New England, are you?” Well, there went my attempt to blend in. What gave me away? My accent? No. My style of dress? No. My mannerisms? No. The slogan “not from here” on my t-shirt? No. I outed myself as a visitor to New England (specifically, Connecticut) because I didn’t know what birch beer tasted like. I thought this was an innocuous question since we were touring a beloved Connecticut institution, Avery’s Beverages, which sells a birch beer soda. Apparently, if you’re from New England (and possibly not living under a rock like me) you’ll know what birch beer tastes like. Spoiler alert! It tastes like a…

  • gettysburg national military park

    Travel: Gettysburg National Military Park

    Gettysburg National Military Park is the site of a pivotal 1863 battle during the American Civil War. It is also where President Abraham Lincoln famously gave his Gettysburg Address at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery. We often travel to learn and our trip to Gettysburg National Military Park over the Christmas break was the perfect example of that. Here’s what we learned that might help you plan a trip there because (spoiler alert!) everyone should check it out at least once. WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT If you’re like me, history class was a long time ago. However, there are some topics that we all have a broad understanding of…

  • fall colors in new jersey october 24 2019

    Fall Colors in New Jersey

    I take a walk down a country road almost every day after lunch. Even back in the summer I knew it would be glorious stretch of roadway to experience the fall colors in New Jersey firsthand. The New England states have a reputation for having glorious leaf displays every autumn, but New Jersey can hold its own. And that seemed like a very Jersey thing to say. Hmm. No. That wasn’t aggressive enough. I’ll have to work on it! Clearly, I’m not a New Jersey native. I’m just a girl who appreciates the fall colors in New Jersey. There are days when I don’t see one car while on my…

  • Travel: Silverball Museum Arcade

    Travel: Silverball Museum Arcade

    I’ve lost count of the number of museums we have visited as a family. We aren’t gluttons for punishment. If these had been terrible, torturous experiences we wouldn’t keep going back for more. So that’s why it continually confounds me that our museum experiences starts like this every single time. My Kids: What are we doing today? Me: (in my best Oprah voice) YOU get to go to a MUSEUM! And YOU get to go to a MUSEUM! My Kids: But why? Do we have to? I want to stay home. *Insert other unintelligible whining here.* Only one time have I short-circuited that whining by saying… “We are going to a…

  • Travel Opus 40

    Travel: Opus 40

    Do you still experience wonderment as an adult? I wouldn’t say it is routine for me, but every once in awhile that feeling of wonderment, awe and admiration all bundled together, hits me and it is like all my senses light up! That’s what I experienced when I visited Opus 40 near Saugerties, New York. What is Opus 40? Opus 40 is an 6.5-acre earthwork sculpture park. Visitors can walk up, down, and all over this man-made sculpture. Its highest point is a monolith that rises 16-feet above ground and its lowest point is 3-stories below ground. Opus 40 was created by ONE PERSON, actor and sculptor, Harvey Fite, who…

  • gnome houses on a bike trail

    I Spy Gnome Houses on a Bike Trail

    Of all the gloriously random things in the world to discuss, today I want to talk about gnome houses on a bike trail. Why? Because it’s pretty much the most amazing thing ever. Okay. Not EVER ever, but it is pretty fantastic. Hear me out. Imagine a beautiful summer day. The temperature is warm, but not too hot. It is the perfect day for going on a bike ride (or walk) on a path through a lush forest and being able to play an epic game of I Spy. And, no. You’re not too old to play I Spy. Perish the thought! Why are there gnome houses on a bike…

  • travel,  learning

    You Should Tour a Mine at Least Once

    Everyone should tour a mine at least once in their lifetime. It is a tangible and interesting way to understand the effort, danger and environmental impact that goes into extracting natural resources from the ground that are used in everyday items we find indispensable. Your cell phone alone contains many natural resources that come out of the ground such as copper, gold, silver, palladium, crude oil, and lithium. Now, I’m not encouraging you to tour an active mine or to get lost in an abandoned mine. No, no, no. There are plenty of tourism opportunities all around the country and world to take a guided tour of an inactive mine.…

  • Franklin D Roosevelt Presidential Library

    Travel: Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library

    History is fun to learn about! Especially if it involves a bit of travel, so let’s get you prepped in case you are planning to travel to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library. If you’ve never been to a presidential library, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library is a good place to start because it holds a special place in history. Prior to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency (1933 – 1945), a president’s documents and items procured from his time in office were considered personal property. As such, at the end of a presidency or at the end of a president’s life, these items might be sold or dispersed. Many were…

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    10 Must See Places in Ireland if You Like Castles and Nature

    I routinely receive emails from people asking what they should do when visiting Ireland. It’s an impossible question! Especially if you are only visiting for a week. For a small country, Ireland has a lot to see, experience and savor. I should know – I lived there for two years and didn’t see or do everything on my list. Oh, the regrets! With St. Patrick’s Day only a few days away, I thought it would be fitting to round up my favorite, must-see places in the Republic of Ireland especially if you like castles and nature. I’m leaving Northern Ireland off the list (this time!) only because I’m trying to help you…

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    Travel: Washington’s Headquarters and Ford Mansion

    When I used to think of New Jersey, I thought of Jersey Shore (the reality tv show, not the actual shore). As it turns out, an over-the-top reality show does not do New Jersey any justice – at least not in the historical sense. New Jersey actually played a very important role in the founding of the United States during the Revolutionary War. Think about where New Jersey is located between New York and Pennsylvania and you’ll have an ‘ah-ha!’ moment like I did. New Jersey was centrally located among the American colonies. It had a decent transportation and provisioning system. It had also developed defense systems that would play an…