• 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”…

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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…

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    Travel: One Day in Berlin with Kids

    One day in any city is never enough, but sometimes a quirk in your travel plans presents an opportunity. For us, it was one day in Berlin or zero days in Berlin. Of course we’ll take the one day! Especially since it meant being able to see friends. The biggest thing I learned? We need to go back! Getting Into Berlin from the Airport Getting from the Berlin Airport into the city involves either taking a taxi or a bus. We took the bus. And then the train. And then walked to our hotel. Figuring out the bus and train situation was not impossible – we did it after all,…

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    Travel: Paris with Kids

    When I told a family member we’d be visiting Paris, she said, “That sounds so romantic!” To which I replied, “Did I forget to mention we’re visiting Paris WITH our kids?” So, no romance this trip, but lots of family fun. It’s a good trade-off. Right?!?! While I would love to see Paris in the spring, it was pretty special to be able to ring in the New Year (from our hotel room, of course) in this beautiful city. Here are my impressions of Paris, things we did and my tips for visiting with kids. (Our kids were 7 and 10 at the time of our visit.) GETTING AROUND The…

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    Travel: Eiffel Tower with Kids

    We spent 4 days in Paris over New Year’s, so I have a lot to tell you about. I’m going to start with our visit to the Eiffel Tower with our kids, ages 7 and 10. Is there a more iconic symbol of a city than the Eiffel Tower? We visited the Eiffel Tower on Saturday, December 31, which is somewhat of an unusual day to visit because the tower closes a few hours early on that particular day for the New Year’s Eve celebrations. Here’s what we learned about visiting the Eiffel Tower with kids. If you are one of the lucky ducks who gets to visit Paris sans…

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    Travel: Luxembourg With Kids

    Our quest while living in Ireland is to visit as many places in Europe as possible. If only those pesky things like budgets, school and work didn’t always get in the way. Am I right? Over the holidays, while the kids were off from school, we had the opportunity to visit Barcelona, Luxembourg and Paris. I wrote about our experience in Barcelona here. I’ll write about Paris soon. Luxembourg came about because we had a gap in our itinerary and we could easily reach it via train from Paris. Luxembourg is a country, but also a city. To distinguish between the two, Luxembourg City seems to be referenced when speaking…

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    Travel: Barcelona With Kids

    When you’re living though a cold, damp winter in Dublin, a quick getaway to Barcelona, Spain, in December is a real treat! Actually, in my mind, a trip to Barcelona no matter the time is AMAZING. This was our first time visiting Barcelona and we only had two days to explore the city. Before we left I did a little online research so I had an idea of what was available to do in the city and of interest to our family (our kids are 7 and 10). When we landed in Barcelona on December 26, it felt like an Irish summer. I kid you not. The locals were bundled…