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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…

This may seem crazy, but on one of our longer road trips, we decided to drive the entire Oregon coast, all in one day. On this road trip, we arrived at the northern tip of the Oregon coast in Astoria the previous afternoon. We had a great time exploring The Goonies sites from the film that afternoon before calling it a night at a Hampton Inn on the water. To read about that adventure, click here. The next morning, we checked out of the hotel and hit the road. Our goal was to drive the coastline of Oregon and spend the night in a camping cabin at a KOA in Crescent City, California. By that evening, we were able to say, “Mission accomplished.” The Adventure Begins… After we checked out of our Hampton Inn in Astoria, we hit the road. We had one more Goonies destination to see to round…

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…

Before we began planning a road trip that included a few days in Seattle, I’d never heard of San Juan Island. When I discussed our travel plans at work, a coworker suggested we add San Juan Island to our trip because her sister loved it so much. Well, my coworker’s sister was right! San Juan Island is an adorable place to visit with historic sites, whale-watching opportunities, and beautiful overlooks of the sea. Getting to San Juan Island From Seattle Since we didn’t initially plan to visit San Juan Island, we could only set aside one day for the side trip. To get to the island, you have to take a ferry or a plane.  We opted to go with the more popular and cost-effective option–taking the ferry from Anacortes. Since we’d never driven our car onto a ferry, this turned out to be an adventure unto itself. Anacortes, Washington,…

Monument Valley is just one of those places everyone should see at least once. The landscape is breathtaking, and when you’re at Monument Valley, it feels like you are in a completely different world. Located within the Navajo Nation in Utah, Monument Valley is a sacred place to the Navajo, or Dine, their name for “the people.” Jeff, Kristin, and I are so grateful to experience a moment in this special place. Our visit is one that we will never forget. It’s no wonder that so many great Westerns and other films were made here. The land, for the most part, looks the same as it has for centuries; it’s absolutely stunning. It’s also wonderful that the Navajo continue to welcome visitors to Monument Vally, and that there is a pretty unique place to stay with breathtaking views. The View Hotel is the perfect place to stay for a night…

When exploring Old Town Albuquerque, be sure to make a stop at the Rattlesnake Museum and Gift Shop. While visiting, you’ll see rescued rattlesnakes of all kinds, and you’ll get to see some fun displays honoring those in popular culture that have dealt with rattlesnakes in some way. We had a great time, and I think you will, too! Old Town Albuquerque Whether you visit the Rattlesnake Museum and Gift Shop or not, Old Town Albuquerque is a beautiful place to experience New Mexican culture. You’ll find plenty of dining options. And it’s worth checking out the shopping in the area. You’ll feel like you’re in another era. I guess that’s why it’s called Old Town. It was also cool to see the wares of local artists and craftspeople. We parallel-parked in front of this historic church in Old Town. The San Felipe de Neri Catholic Church is over 300 years…

Imagine my surprise when I discovered there were rainforests in the Pacific Northwest! Perhaps you already knew that rainforests exist in the United States. And, perhaps, United States geography is not my best subject, but I had no idea that a place like the Hoh Rain Forest existed in coastal Washington. To me, “rainforest” meant somewhere in South America or Asia or maybe even in the middle of Africa. After I made this discovery, I knew we had to spend some time in the Hoh Rain Forest. I continued researching. The vines, the lush greenery, the potential to see a banana slug? Sign me up! I was all in. And when I mentioned this adventure to my travel companions, they were all in, too. Planning Your Visit to Hoh Rain Forest Some Background Our visit to the Hoh Rainforest was part of an enormous road trip we took in 2021.…

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