• travel

    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…

  • travel

    Travel: Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument

    We have traveled to a lot of places in the past couple of years, but it was a visit a to my childhood home that prompted a recent excursion to Mt. St. Helens with my kids, ages 8 and 11. I have been to Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument a couple of times, but this was my children’s first visit. And, boy, did they have a lot of questions, starting with this one… “What was it like when Mt. St. Helens erupted, Mom?” I indignantly replied, “How old do you think I am, kids? Huh?” Actually, they were right. I was alive during the volcano’s last big eruption, but I was…

  • Ireland,  travel

    Visiting Ireland: The Book of Kells

    It’s hard to prioritize what to do and see in Dublin if you are visiting for a short period of time. You’d think this process would be easier if you are living in Dublin, but NOPE! It took us two years before we got around to seeing the Book of Kells. I’m not sure why we waited so long. No one else does! Close to a million visitors a year view the Book of Kells making it the 5th most popular tourist attraction in Ireland. If you’re a history buff, a book lover, a believer in the gospels and/or a Star Wars fan, this is the tour for you! WHAT IS…

  • travel

    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…

  • travel

    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,…

  • Ireland,  travel

    Visiting Ireland: Kilmainham Gaol Museum

    When we arrived at Kilmainham Gaol Museum on the west side of Dublin, we were greeted at a big imposing door by a stout-looking Irish man with grey hair. He looked at me and with all seriousness said, “Ah! I see you’ve brought us some long-term guests!” My kids stared at the man and then slowly looked at me like, “He’s joking, right mom? RIGHT?!?!” Have I mentioned that Kilmainham Gaol is a prison? Technically, it WAS a prison. Kilmainham Gaol opened in 1796 on a site known as Gallows Hill. If that doesn’t set the stage for an 18th century prison, I don’t know what does. WHY YOU SHOULD…

  • travel

    Travel: The Weird Thing I Always Pack

    Let’s face it, there’s probably more than ONE weird thing I pack when I travel. Although, compared to what airport security sees on the regular, I’m guessing my stuff is pretty bland. For instance, I have never tried to pack 240 live fish in my suitcases. Have you? So what is the weird thing I pack when I travel? A tennis ball. Why do I pack it? Do I have a love for tennis? For playing catch? Nope. I pack it because I’m not a spring chicken. I pack it because traveling with Handy Husband means oodles of miles on my feet. He’s not a fan of taxis. I pack…

  • travel

    Travel: The Louvre With Kids

    My kids (ages 7 and 10) had two things and really only two things they wanted to do while in Paris. Climb the Eiffel Tower. (I wrote about that experience here.) See the Mona Lisa at The Louvre. I understand the Eiffel Tower, but I wanted to know how they knew about the Mona Lisa and where she lived. I could have made an educated guess where she’s hanging these days, but that’s not knowledge I store in my head. “Mooom! We learned that in school!” Thank goodness. There are days when I wonder if anything I say is sticking in their heads. WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL? The Louvre has seen…

  • travel

    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…

  • travel

    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…