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If you’re heading to the Cleveland area, why not put the A Christmas Story House on your must-do list? Full disclosure: A Christmas Story is not my favorite Christmas movie. I first saw it at a Christmas party at church in middle school. Over the years, the movie found its way to my parents’ TV, especially if my sister was around. She loves this movie, and she made the trek to see the house long before we did. Still, I like the movie enough and it’s found its way into popular culture. When we had the chance, we made the stop. And I’m glad we did. You don’t have to be a super fan to enjoy the nostalgia of Christmas past that is oozing from this place. If you love Christmas like I do, you’ll have a good time. If you’re into cinema history, that’s also a good reason to…

What do you think of when you think of Plymouth Rock? Like everyone else, as a child, I’d heard stories about the Mayflower and the Pilgrims, and I’d imagined this huge rock marking the historic event of when the Pilgrims landed. Over the years, I’d heard that the rock wasn’t all that large. And I’d heard that the site of the rock wasn’t all that amazing. Did that detour us from checking it out? Nope! In July of 2023, we embarked on a huge road trip that started in Missouri, went up to Niagara Falls, then crossed over to Maine. From there, we made our way down the coast to Washington, D.C. This amazing trip took us past many historic sites that shaped the creation of our country. How could we resist Plymouth Rock? The answer is, we couldn’t. When I discovered that you could also visit Plimoth Patuxet, a…

When I realized our summer road trip in 2022 would take us right by the Winchester Mystery House, I knew what we had to do. That’s right. We had to stop. The History of the Winchester Mystery House The Winchester Mystery House is a historic mansion located in San Jose, California. Its construction began in 1884 and continued for almost 38 years until Sarah Winchester, the widow of firearm magnate William Wirt Winchester, passed away in 1922. The house is renowned for its unique architectural features and its intriguing history. Legend has it that after the death of her husband and infant daughter, Sarah Winchester sought solace in the belief that she was haunted by the spirits of those killed by Winchester rifles. To escape their vengeful spirits, she began an extensive and continuous construction project on her family’s unfinished farmhouse. Over the years, the mansion underwent constant renovations, resulting…

The Ritchey Mansion in Newtonia, Missouri, is a treasure! This Civil War-era home is a great artifact in the area. And its paranormal happenings make it all the better. One of our favorite things to do when traveling is to take a ghost tour. You’ll get a dose of history with some spooky on the side. It’s also a great thing to do in the evenings when most historic sites have long been closed for the day. We’ve also discovered the joy of seeking out ghost tours in our area.  We’ve been following Paranormal Science Lab and Dark Ozarks, and they coordinate tours and paranormal investigations of local (to us) historic sites. The proceeds of these tours go to the maintenance and restoration of these sites, so it’s a no-brainer for us. We get to contribute to preserving history while visiting a cool site, known for paranormal activity, as an…

We’d like to thank Historic Tours of Boston for sponsoring our visit to the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum. As always, all opinions are honest and our own. If you’ve followed our blog for any time at all, you’d know that we love learning more about history as we travel the United States. Our trip to Boston was no different. Every corner of the city seems to be a location of historic significance. When we discovered there was an interactive museum that focused on the Boston Tea Party, we couldn’t wait to go! We didn’t know what to expect, but it turns out, the whole experience was a lot of fun. Everyone who visits the museum becomes part of the story, and the museum turned out to be a highlight of our family’s visit to Boston. Arriving at the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum Our stop in Boston…

If you’re in the Nashville area, be sure to make a stop at Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage. This home of the seventh president of the United States is a great way to get a glimpse of life in the early 1800s. While Andrew Jackson’s legacy is complicated, I always want to learn more and teach my kids about American history. Make no mistake, Jackson’s views on Black people and American Indians are absolutely abhorrent. My heart breaks when we visit plantations where enslaved people worked and lived. I’m sick to my stomach when learning more about the atrocities committed against American Indians, including Jackson’s removal policies and the Trail of Tears.  But somehow, avoiding the history of what happened doesn’t seem right. We have to learn from the past to move forward. Pretending it didn’t happen or “wasn’t that bad” is not an option. So, we visit historical sites and learn…

If you’re driving Route 66 and find yourself in Miami, Oklahoma, be sure to stop at Waylan’s Ku-Ku Burger. This iconic drive-in hamburger joint opened in 1965, and it wasn’t long before more restaurants sprang up across the Midwest. Today, only one restaurant remains. The current owner purchased the restaurant in 1973, and he continues to make sure that his customers can come by for a hamburger or a sweet treat. One cloudy day during spring break, Kristin and I decided to make a drive over to Miami to give it a shot. Joplin is only about a half hour away from Miami, but we’d never been.  Incidentally. we only live about two blocks off Route 66 in Joplin. It was time to check out some local history and taste some yummy treats. Initially, I was bummed that our Ku-Ku day was a tad dreary, but really, it made the…

When we plan our long road trips, Kristin is always hoping for a chance to see some animals. She was super excited to learn that we’d be visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, California, during one of our road trips out west. We love a good aquarium, and Monterey Bay is one of the best in the country. This aquarium is right on the water, which makes a visit there all the better. It’s also on a road in town known as Cannery Row, an old sardine packing district. These details make Monterey Bay Aquarium a unique place to visit. Arriving at Monterey Bay Aquarium At the time of our visit, the aquarium was still operating on a reservation system due to reopening restrictions after Covid-19. We scheduled ahead of time to be sure to get an opening reservation so that we could explore some other attractions later in…

Yosemite Valley Lodge turned out to be the perfect place to relax on our trip. When planning our trip to Yosemite National Park, one of the first things we narrowed down was lodging. Since national park lodging can fill up early, it’s best to plan your trip a year out or more. And though I would’ve loved to stay at the flagship lodge, The Awahnee, it’s a little pricy. Since we were on a three-week road trip, we chose a more economical choice this time–Yosemite Valley Lodge. On this road trip, we’d already had several adventures that included four national parks–Grand Canyon, Sequoia, Kings Canyon, and Death Valley. We’d also been to some great cities (and towns) in California–Lone Pine, Monterey, and San Francisco. Even after all those experiences, we still were awed by the sheer beauty of Yosemite. It’s like no other place we’ve seen. Arriving at Yosemite Valley…

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