Cincinnati & Dayton, OHio- Fall 2021

Across the Ohio River The occasion for my visit to the Cincinnati area was the wedding of a hometown friend and a long overdue reunion with my family and childhood friends. The wedding venue was actually in Covington, Kentucky, conveniently located across from the city and next to a pedestrian bridge that connected us to downtown with less than a 15-minute walk. Where I stayed:Embassy … Continue reading Cincinnati & Dayton, OHio- Fall 2021

Roanoke Island, North Carolina

North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island North Carolina Aquariums have three campuses; Roanoke Island, Pine Knoll Shores, and Fort Fisher. The Roanoke Island museum features indoor exhibits and a large outdoor nature trail. The museum hosts the Sea Turtle Assistance and Rehabilitation Center, with each rescued turtle’s information displayed. In the next space, children learn about sea turtle conservation through a series of interactive exhibits. … Continue reading Roanoke Island, North Carolina

1750 Miles, 14 Days, FROM Virginia to Maine- Summer 2021

, Day 1- Norfolk, VA TO Philadelphia, PA via EAstern Shore Day 2- Philadelphia, PA TO Waterbury, CT via Winterthur Museum & Gardens, Philadelphia Botanical Garden & Cold Springs, NY Day 3- Waterbury, CT TO Harpswell, ME via Freeport, ME Day 4- Harpswell, ME Day 5- Harpswell, ME TO North Conway, NH Day 6- North Conway, NH TO Mount Washington area, via StoryLand Day 7- … Continue reading 1750 Miles, 14 Days, FROM Virginia to Maine- Summer 2021

El Yunque Rainforest, Puerto RIco, July 2021

The El Yunque Rainforest is the only tropical rainforest on US lands, and being there was like being in another world.  Coqui frogs were the most vocal animals that we heard (males are the only ones that call and they are even more active at night.) The tree snails’ shells were the size of our palms. We were most struck by how deeply we were able … Continue reading El Yunque Rainforest, Puerto RIco, July 2021

Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico, July 2021

The Hyatt Grand Regency is on the western side of a peninsula on the coast of Rio Grande. Because it’s right at the end, we could see the sunset and sunrise from opposite ends of the beach. The mountains of the El Yunque rainforest make up the southern backdrop. The large property is spread out with smaller two-story buildings, and we had a ground level … Continue reading Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico, July 2021

Vieques, Puerto Rico, July 2021

It can be hard to get to Vieques, but so very worth the trouble. We knew that the journey might be difficult in advance, and expected delays and stress at the ferry terminal at Ceiba. (We could have opted for a flight from San Juan, or a puddle jumper from Ceiba, but we chose the much more affordable $7 each way option.) The transportation authority just … Continue reading Vieques, Puerto Rico, July 2021

Old San Juan, Puerto RIco, July 2021

Old San Juan dates back to the 16th Century and some of the buildings that remain are over 500 years old, and the two original Forts, the Castillo San Felipe del Morro and the fortified walls still surround this section of the city. Old San Juan would be roughly a 15-minute drive from the airport, but we arrived on an extremely busy Saturday night, and … Continue reading Old San Juan, Puerto RIco, July 2021

Historic Jamestown, Virginia

I have an extremely long history of visiting the Historic Triangle of Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown, dating back to a “field trip” from Ohio in 1992. (I remember I was reading Silence of the Lambs at the time, as every “normal” sixth grader was at the time.) My second trip was as a high school sophomore for my history class. My third was in 2006, … Continue reading Historic Jamestown, Virginia

Volcano Bay- Universal Orlando, May 2021

We were a bit disoriented on our first visit to Volcano Bay, so two long afternoons in the park ended up being perfect for feeling like we had really experienced all the park has to offer. Getting acquainted with the TapuTapu system was our first step, and we quickly caught on to choosing a ride, tapping in with our complimentary wristbands, and then returning when … Continue reading Volcano Bay- Universal Orlando, May 2021

The Virginia Living Museum, May 2021

Indoor Animal Exhibits The bulk of The Living Museum’s collection is made of of live animals (hence the name), highlighting the animals that live in Virginia (and its coast and waterways). Galleries are divided into ocean, nocturnal, western piedmont, and underground habitats. The exhibits all connect to atriums that each have a canopy walkaway and aquarium path underneath. The highlight of every visit for our … Continue reading The Virginia Living Museum, May 2021

OBX, May 2021

Salt Box Cafe & Dessert Salt Box Cafe, hidden in the Colington section of Kill Devil Hills has been our take-out option for the last year. This trip we dined in person. The restaurant is small, so reservations fill quickly, but the screened in patio takes walk-ins. We followed our serene upscale dining experience with a stop at the tourist trap, Sugar Kingdom. At the … Continue reading OBX, May 2021

The Chrysler Museum of Art, May 2021

The Chrysler Museum of Art offers free admission with timed tickets. I’ve always considered the collection at the museum to be disproportionally large for a city the size of Norfolk. It wouldn’t do it much justice to cover in just one post. The glass collection is the most prominent, so we will start there with our May visit. Disclaimer; I have no expertise in art. … Continue reading The Chrysler Museum of Art, May 2021

Norfolk Botanical Garden- The Azaleas & Roses Edition

To be fair, I’m fairly biased about this venue. I was married at Norfolk Botanical Garden in 2009 and I’ve worked in the Youth Education department there for over fifteen years. This is one of what will be many look-backs at the gardens through all the seasons. Azaleas If you lurk by the front desk in early spring, you’ll frequently hear the NBG staff giving … Continue reading Norfolk Botanical Garden- The Azaleas & Roses Edition

From Bath to Boothbay Harbor, Maine

Bath To Popham Beach Picking up where we left off in Harpswell, your Portland to Acadia trip takes you back to Brunswick to start your journey north on Route 1. Stop in historic Bath for local shops. As you continue on Route 1, look for a giant lobster on top of a roof and you’ve found Taste of Maine. The restaurant combines some intensely Maine-themed … Continue reading From Bath to Boothbay Harbor, Maine

Walking OBX, April 2021

Hatteras Village- Frisco Our jumping off point for Hatteras has always been Hatteras Landing by Kees Vacations. The small “resort” is a series of small condos, each individually owned and decorated. Our most recent accommodation was completely updated. The resort is a quick walk across the road to a public access beach. If you have a more sandworthy vehicle than our Subaru Forester, you can … Continue reading Walking OBX, April 2021

Portsmouth Island, North Carolina

Portsmouth Village Portsmouth Village has been abandoned since 1971, and the remaining buildings are managed by the National Park Service. There were no volunteers or staff during our visit, but many of the the structures have been turned into museums and were open to tour. The Theodore and Annie Salter House and Visitor Center features exhibits that provide a cultural history of the people of … Continue reading Portsmouth Island, North Carolina

Appalachian Foothills, Virginia- March, 2021

airbnb Prior to 2020, we stayed almost exclusively in hotels and at resorts. With social distancing we began using AirBNB. This weekend, severe storms thwarted our trip to OBX, so we decided to look elsewhere. Phenix, Virginia, in the Blue Ridge foothills, would never have been on our travel list if it weren’t for AirBNB. Our rental was confirmed at 8:30am and two hours later … Continue reading Appalachian Foothills, Virginia- March, 2021

Occoquan, Virginia February 2021

We have somehow passed Occoquan countless times on our way to Washington, D.C. without knowing it existed. Alex was scheduled to travel to D.C. for a meeting (the first trip in almost a year of what was a regular occurrence prior to COVID). We used the short trip as an opportunity for Alice and I to tag along. (One of the few virtues of virtual … Continue reading Occoquan, Virginia February 2021

Okracoke Island for the Holidays

November & December, 2020 Ocracoke Island is at the southern tip of the Outer Banks of North Carolina and can only accessed by ferry. A Beach (Mostly) to Yourself In 2020, I set the lofty goal of walking 20.20 miles in one day by the end of the year. I accomplished my goal on Ocracoke Island, with a series of walks up the entire coast … Continue reading Okracoke Island for the Holidays

Epcot at Walt Disney World- Festivals

International Festival of the Arts International Festival of the Arts is held in the late winter months. They brought Broadway stars to the stage to perform songs from the stage productions.We spent a large portion of our time searching for Figment, cleverly hidden in famous works of art in each country. (There is a photo of him crossing the Delaware River in the slideshow.)Photopass was … Continue reading Epcot at Walt Disney World- Festivals

New Orleans, Louisiana USA

The French Quarter Don’t let Bourbon Street’s reputation (while well-earned after sunset) deter you from thinking the French Quarter can’t be a destination when you are traveling with kids.Family-friendly options abound. Because many of the tourists are awake until the late hours, getting up early gave us a nearly empty French Quarter. Alice loved shopping for masks, tipping her favorite street performers, and burning off … Continue reading New Orleans, Louisiana USA