• 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…

  • 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…

  • learning,  travel

    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…

  • travel

    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…

  • travel

    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…

  • travel

    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…

  • travel

    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”…