• 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
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    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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    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…

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    Travel: Niagara Falls in Winter

    Niagara Falls has been on our Travel Bucket List for awhile now. Have you been? There are pros and cons to visiting Niagara Falls during the off-peak season or, as I affectionately refer to it, the cold, frozen winter. The pros include lower prices on lodging and fewer tourists to contend with. The cons involve possibly bad weather and not all tourist attractions will be open. Can you guess which option is more appealing to our family? Let me grab my coat and scarf because I really loathe long lines and I’m a big fan of saving a buck! The only caveat that would make this a dealbreaker for us…

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    Travel: Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania

    I hope you know by now I wouldn’t recommend taking a trip to visit a small town in the middle of nowhere without good reason. When I say small, I’m not exaggerating. (Not this time!) And when I say good reason, I have more than one! Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, is a historic Victorian town (population 4,633) in the Pocono Mountains. It is situated approximately 1.5 hours from Philadelphia and 2 hours from New York City. (Unless you are leaving on a Friday night at 5 p.m. Then it might take half a lifetime a little longer.) If you don’t like 19th century architecture, great restaurants, quirky shops, eye-opening museums, outdoor recreation…

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    Travel: Hershey, Pennsylvania

    Are you a chocolate fan? Would it be blasphemy to say if you offered me a piece of chocolate or a gummy bear I’d probably take the gummy bear? Yes? Then I won’t say that. I’ll just tell you we visited Hershey, Pennsylvania. Do you know what’s located in Hershey, Pennsylvania? You do?!?! Was the clue in the name? Did I give it away? I did. I knew it. That’s right. Hershey is the home to The Hershey Company, which is known for its chocolate treats like Hershey Bars and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. It is also home to several tourist attractions and since they all have the name “Hershey”…

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    Travel: Valley Forge National Historical Park

    We travel for pleasure and entertainment, sure. But we also travel to learn. I grew up in a rural area of the West Coast and didn’t travel much as a kid. I learned about history from school textbooks. It was a good foundation, but there is nothing, short of being there for the event itself, like seeing a historical site in person. Last month we visited Valley Forge National Historic Park in Pennsylvania. It’s not far from our house and made a great day trip. If you decide to go, here are some tips I picked up to help you plan your trip. WHAT IS VALLEY FORGE AND WHY IS…

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    Travel: West Point Military Academy

    Yes, a military college is a tourist attraction. Judging by the number of tour buses in the parking lot, West Point Military Academy is a VERY popular attraction! Who knew? FIRST, A BIT OF HISTORY Before West Point was a military academy, its location played a pivotal role in America’s Revolutionary War. George Washington considered this area along New York’s Hudson River to be the most important strategic position in the fight against the British. In 1778, soldiers built fortifications to defend the area and also ran a 150-ton iron chain across the Hudson River to control river traffic. Their plan worked. After the war ended, the country’s founders became…

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    Travel: Paterson Great Falls National Historic Park

    I love travel. I love exploring. I love finding FREE things to do while out and about on our adventures. Oh, yes I do! If you are on the East Coast and want to see the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution, then I recommend a stop in an unlikely spot – Paterson, New Jersey. Paterson is considered America’s first planned industrial city and the idea for it came from Alexander Hamilton. Yes, THE Alexander Hamilton. Paterson has a pretty important feature for an industrial city – particularly one back in the 1800s – water. The Passaic River runs through Paterson and the energy from the 77-foot high Great Falls…

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    Travel: One Day in London with Kids

    One of the best things about living in Ireland is being able to get relatively cheap flights from Dublin to other cities in Europe via Ryan Air. Awhile back we took advantage of one of those airfare deals to make a quick weekend trip to London. I do mean quick. While we were there for 2 nights, we really only had one full day to see the London sights. Here’s how to make the most of one day in London with kids. Getting Around There’s no other way to get around London than with public transportation. If you want to know which travel pass is the best one to buy…