Botanical Gardens & Zoos, Disney Cruise Line, Most Recent Travel, Museums, Overseas Travel, top post

Disney Wonder Departure Port: Vancouver, Canada, Day 1

day 1: Botanical gardens & granville island June 2023 botanical gardensgranville islandGastown Gardens of Vancouver VanDusen Botanical Garden VanDusen Botanical Garden, Vancouver, Canada, June 2023 The draw for us to visit VanDusen Botanical Garden was to see a collection unique to the Pacific Northwest and other temperate rainforests. We also enjoyed seeing how the climate… Continue reading Disney Wonder Departure Port: Vancouver, Canada, Day 1

Botanical Gardens & Zoos, Disney Cruise Line, Most Recent Travel, Museums, Overseas Travel, top post

Disney Wonder Departure Port: Vancouver, Canada Day 2

day 2: seawall & stanley park June 2023 seawallstanley parkvancouver aquariumdowntown Visiting Stanley Park could easily have been a full day affair if we weren’t jet lagged. We walked one mile from the Hilton Vancouver Downtown along the Harbor front, pausing often to look into the water for starfish and other aquatic creatures. We also… Continue reading Disney Wonder Departure Port: Vancouver, Canada Day 2

Family Travel, Major US Cities, Most Recent Travel, Museums, Western US

Seattle to Chicago: 48 Hours on the Amtrak Empire Builder

  We were late in planning our Spring Break 2023 trip. With just two of us traveling, an Amtrak trip across the country was an easy choice. We had enjoyed our winter 2021 trip from Denver to San Francisco, and a few other journeys were on our list. Seattle and Chicago aren’t beach destinations, so… Continue reading Seattle to Chicago: 48 Hours on the Amtrak Empire Builder

Family Travel, Major US Cities, Most Recent Travel, Museums, Western US

Space Needle- Seattle Spring Break 2023

Seattle’s iconic Space Needle turned out to be one of our favorite activities, even on a rainy and cloudy day. Tickets were included with our pre-purchased Seattle Pass. Walking into the lobby immediately felt like we were entering an episode of the Jestsons. This made sense, because the Space Needle was built during the 1962… Continue reading Space Needle- Seattle Spring Break 2023

Family Travel, Major US Cities, Most Recent Travel, Museums, Western US

Exploring Seattle by Light Rail & Monorail- Spring Break 2023

Seattle Center, WA 2023 Public transportation is always intimidating in a new city, and it’s nearly always easier (and far more expensive) to get a ride share with a few taps on my phone. But there’s a special satisfaction that comes with successfully navigating a city by bus or train, and Seattle made it relatively… Continue reading Exploring Seattle by Light Rail & Monorail- Spring Break 2023

Art Museums, Botanical Gardens & Zoos, Family Travel, Major US Cities, Most Recent Travel, Museums, Western US

Chihuly Garden and Glass- Seattle Spring Break 2023

I have seen Dale Chihuly’s works at many exhibitions throughout the country, including the Franklin Park Conservatory, where many of his works are part of the private collection. But none compared to the Chihuly Garden and Glass. The artist graduated from the University of Washington and the collection in Seattle Center is considered a long-term… Continue reading Chihuly Garden and Glass- Seattle Spring Break 2023

Botanical Gardens & Zoos, Family Travel, Major US Cities, Most Recent Travel, Museums, Western US

The Seattle Aquarium- Spring Break 2023

Primarily Pacific Puget Sound Sea Life The Seattle Aquarium is located on the waterfront downhill from the Pikes Place Market. In just over an hour we were able to experience all of the museum exhibits, but families with younger children would likely spend more time enjoying the shows and play spaces. I could have also… Continue reading The Seattle Aquarium- Spring Break 2023

Family Travel, Major US Cities, Most Recent Travel, Museums, Western US

The Museum of Pop Culture- Seattle Spring Break 2023

Museum of Pop Culture, Seattle, WA 2023 Staying in downtown Seattle was the perfect jumping off point for most of the major family-oriented attractions. Reliable and affordable public transportation made car travel unnecessary also. We used the monorail system for less than $5/each round trip to get to Seattle Park. The Chihuly Garden and Museum,… Continue reading The Museum of Pop Culture- Seattle Spring Break 2023

Family Travel, Major US Cities, Most Recent Travel, Museums, Western US

The Pacific Science Center- Seattle Spring Break 2023

Pacific Science Center, Seattle, WA 2023 Staying in downtown Seattle was the perfect jumping off point for most of the major family-oriented sites. Reliable and affordable public transportation made car travel unnecessary also. We used the monorail system for less than $5/each round trip to get to Seattle Park. The Chihuly Garden and Museum, the… Continue reading The Pacific Science Center- Seattle Spring Break 2023

East Coast, USA, Family Travel, Major US Cities, Most Recent Travel, Museums, nyc, Orlando Theme Parks

American Museum of Natural History, NYC

The American Museum of Natural History was scheduled for Sunday morning on our long weekend itinerary, and we used our New York Pass by GoCity for admission. We arrived at 9:45am for the 10am opening, and the entry line had started to wrap around the museum along Central Park. For an hour we were able… Continue reading American Museum of Natural History, NYC

Family Travel, Major US Cities, Most Recent Travel, Museums, National Parks, Western US

Kid-friendly Las Vegas, Nevada

Where We Stayed Hilton Lake Las Vegas Resort Because we arrived at the New Year, we chose to stay outside of the strip, at the Hilton Lake Las Vegas Resort. The resort is adjacent to a shopping and dining center which was largely deserted, outside of the fireworks show on NYE. We did have a… Continue reading Kid-friendly Las Vegas, Nevada

Botanical Gardens & Zoos, Family Travel, Most Recent Travel, Museums, Western US

Family Fun in & around Phoenix, Arizona- The Great Outdoors

Desert Botanic Garden Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix, AZ 2022 The Desert Botanical Garden and Phoenix Zoo are both located in Papago park. When we arrived at the garden (entry was free for two adults through the American Horticultural Society Reciprocal benefit provided by our Norfolk Botanical Garden Membership). Even with the pollinator garden walk closed… Continue reading Family Fun in & around Phoenix, Arizona- The Great Outdoors

Caribbean, Disney Cruise Line, Family Travel, Most Recent Travel, Museums, Orlando Theme Parks, Overseas Travel

24 hours in Bermuda

Cruising to Bermuda We sailed to Bermuda from NYC on the Disney Magic, docking at 10am and boarding to leave at 4pm the following day. Much of our planning revolved around considerations for weather and the fact that we arrived on a Sunday. Bermuda was sunny with a high in the mid-80s during our first… Continue reading 24 hours in Bermuda

Botanical Gardens & Zoos, East Coast, USA, Family Travel, Most Recent Travel, Museums

Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania, 2022

Longwood Gardens is essentially a spectacular amusement park for garden people. Even with a significant portion of the conservatory under construction until 2024, we easily spent six hours on the campus. We enjoyed a late lunch in The Terrace café, then started our tour with an overview of the history of the property in the… Continue reading Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania, 2022

Art Museums, Botanical Gardens & Zoos, East Coast, USA, Family Travel, Major US Cities, Most Recent Travel, Washington DC

Washington DC with Kids: What’s New in ’22

July 2022 We have visited the museums DC countless times, but have not been there as a family since the fall of 2019. For this three-day trip, we concentrated on seeing new installations and temporary exhibitions at the Smithsonian Museums. It was also our first trip during the summer, so it was fun to see… Continue reading Washington DC with Kids: What’s New in ’22

Art Museums, Botanical Gardens & Zoos, East Coast, USA, Family Travel, Forida, Major US Cities, Most Recent Travel

Miami, Florida

June 2022 InterContinental Miami, an IHG Hotel, Florida, June 2022 Staying in Downtown Miami The evening temperatures were far more manageable than I expected in southern Florida in the summer, with low humidity and a cool breeze as long as we were on the water. From our downtown hotel, the Intercontinental by IGH, we had… Continue reading Miami, Florida

Art Museums, Botanical Gardens & Zoos, East Coast, USA, Family Travel, Forida, Major US Cities, Most Recent Travel

Miami Beach, Florida

June 2022 Kimpton Angler's Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida, June 2022 Staying in South Beach The Kimpton Angler’s Hotel was a perfect location for a family with young children. Despite Miami Beach's rightfully earned reputation as a party destination, we were able to escape into our quiet room and enjoy the lush and shady gardens.… Continue reading Miami Beach, Florida

Art Museums, Botanical Gardens & Zoos, East Coast, USA, Forida, Major US Cities, Most Recent Travel, Museums, Uncategorized

Spring Break 2022- East Coast from Tampa, Florida to NYC

Spring Break 2022- Day 2 Savannah, GA 2022 Savannah, Georgia to Fernandina Beach, Florida Juliette Gordon Low Historic DistrictForsyth Park Spring Break 2022- Day 3 The Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, 2022 St. Petersburg to Treasure Island, Florida Imagine MuseumDali MuseumFort Desoto Park https://videopress.com/v/dmM0aGpT?resizeToParent=true&cover=true&preloadContent=metadata&useAverageColor=true Spring Break 2022- Day 4 Sand Key Beach, Clearwater Clearwater,… Continue reading Spring Break 2022- East Coast from Tampa, Florida to NYC

Art Museums, Botanical Gardens & Zoos, East Coast, USA, Family Travel, Major US Cities, Most Recent Travel, Museums, nyc, Uncategorized

Spring Break 2022: Central Park in NYC

Central Park CarouselBelvedere CastleBethesda TerraceCentral Park ZooThe Metropolitan Museum of Art Central Park, NYC, 2022 Sites Around Central Park We knocked out a few of the major sites on our first visit to Central Park in August of 2021, including the Central Park Lake. In spring of 2022 our hotel, the Hilton Club West, was… Continue reading Spring Break 2022: Central Park in NYC

Art Museums, Family Travel, Most Recent Travel, Museums

Spring Break 2022- St. Petersburg & Treasure Island, Florida

Day 3 of our 10-night spring break VA-FL-NYC adventure took us to St. Petersburg, a city we knew very little about. However, I knew it must be “cool” because the area was heavily advertised on our local NPR station. The city center with the art museums is situated on the Tampa Bay side, with Gulf… Continue reading Spring Break 2022- St. Petersburg & Treasure Island, Florida

Botanical Gardens & Zoos, East Coast, USA, Family Travel, Forida, Most Recent Travel, Museums

Spring Break 2022- Tampa, Florida

Tampa Zoo at Lowry Park, Florida, 2022 ZooTampa at Lowry Park Our animal-filled Tampa day started at the 9:30am opening of the Tampa Zoo in Lowry Park. We had watched season one of The Secrets of the Zoo Tampa, so we were familiar with many of the animals. The zoo has a strong breeding program… Continue reading Spring Break 2022- Tampa, Florida

Botanical Gardens & Zoos, Family Travel, Major US Cities, Most Recent Travel, Museums

Chicago with Kids: Shedd Aquarium & Lincoln Park Zoo

Shedd Aquarium Shedd Aquarium is directly across from the Field Museum, on the Museum Campus near Chicago South Loop. There’s easy access from the L, and it’s a 20-30 minute walk from the canal. Because we are Members of the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk, we were able to receive ½ off Admission through the AZA… Continue reading Chicago with Kids: Shedd Aquarium & Lincoln Park Zoo

Art Museums, Family Travel, Major US Cities, Most Recent Travel, Museums

Chicago with Kids: Art & Architecture

Art Institute of Chicago This was my second visit to the American Art Institute in Chicago; my first was on a 40th birthday trip with my high school friends. We were disappointed that the cafes had yet to reopen after covid (I’m always more introspective about art post-wine), and the museum was very crowded. We… Continue reading Chicago with Kids: Art & Architecture

Family Travel, Major US Cities, Most Recent Travel, Museums

Chicago with Kids: Science & Natural History Museums

The Field Museum I was beyond excited to see the Field Museum, considered one of the most historic but also innovative natural history museums in the world. It was massive, and we could have spent the entire day easily, but were limited by our timed afternoon tickets for the Shedd Aquarium. Our American Science Museum… Continue reading Chicago with Kids: Science & Natural History Museums

Art Museums, Europe, Family Travel, Museums, Overseas Travel

Girls’ Trip to Europe- Part 1- 2003

This is the "will they or won't they get together" story of a woman and her missing luggage. In 2003, I embarked on a two-week European vacation with two of my fellow Muskingum Alum/sorority sisters/Virginia transplants. Thankfully I documented the entire adventure during and after the trip, so I’m able to share an over-detailed account… Continue reading Girls’ Trip to Europe- Part 1- 2003

Family Travel, Major US Cities, Most Recent Travel, Museums, National Parks

Winter Vacation 2021- Denver & Reno on The Amtrak Zephyr & The California Coast

Our 2-week winter holiday started in the Colorado Rockies and ended in sunny San Diego. Learn more about each destination by clicking on the links in the timeline. The Amtrak California Zephyr took us from Denver to San Francisco. A series of road trips allowed us to see the California Coast and to Joshua Tree… Continue reading Winter Vacation 2021- Denver & Reno on The Amtrak Zephyr & The California Coast

Family Travel, Major US Cities, Most Recent Travel, Museums, National Parks

San Diego, California Christmas 2021

San Diego Museum of Nature & Science Our last full day in California included brunch with friends, followed by a visit to Balboa Park. With more time, we would have spent a day at the San Diego Zoo. But on a busy Saturday on a holiday weekend, we opted for the Natural History Museum instead.… Continue reading San Diego, California Christmas 2021

Botanical Gardens & Zoos, Family Travel, Major US Cities, Most Recent Travel, Museums

Palm Desert to San Diego, California Christmas 2021

The Living Desert Zoo & Botanical Garden Before heading to San Diego, we stopped at The Living Desert Zoo and Botanical Garden. The zoo’s central theme is a collection of plants animals from desert and savanna biomes around the world. The backdrop of the California desert made an excellent habitat for the giraffes and other… Continue reading Palm Desert to San Diego, California Christmas 2021

Art Museums, Family Travel, Most Recent Travel, Museums

Reno, Nevada to San Francisco, California

Winter Holidays 2021Days 4-6: Reno-San Franciso Reno is nestled in a valley just west of the California Border. Our initial plan for Alex to ski near Lake Tahoe was thwarted by a blizzard, so we hopped off the train in Reno for two days in the city. Reno, Nevada Our Reno hosts were my High School… Continue reading Reno, Nevada to San Francisco, California

Family Travel, Most Recent Travel, Museums, Uncategorized

One December Day in Denver, 2021

Our 2021 two-week Winter Holiday Break started with one day to explore Denver. With just one day in the city (and a starting point of the Hilton Embassy Suites Convention Center), we decided to focus on the Denver Museum of Nature & Science (we receive free admission through our Membership with Virginia Living Museum and… Continue reading One December Day in Denver, 2021

Family Travel, Museums, Uncategorized

Children’s Gardens Of the US- The Midwest

Between personal travel and work, I've been lucky to visit more than 30 Botanical Gardens around the world. The popularity of Children's Gardens soared in the 2000s and I was a relative newbie at Norfolk Botanical Garden when the World of Wonders Children's Garden opened in 2006. After years of trying to remember "in which… Continue reading Children’s Gardens Of the US- The Midwest

Family Travel, Museums, Uncategorized

Children’s Gardens of the US- The South

Between personal travel and work, I've been lucky to visit more than 30 Botanical Gardens around the world. The popularity of Children's Gardens soared in the 2000s and I was a relative newbie at Norfolk Botanical Garden when the World of Wonders Children's Garden opened in 2006. After years of trying to remember "where I… Continue reading Children’s Gardens of the US- The South

Family Travel, Museums, Uncategorized

CHILDREN’S GARDEN OF THE US- The West

Between personal travel and work, I've been lucky to visit more than 30 Botanical Gardens around the world. The popularity of Children's Gardens soared in the 2000s, and I was a relative newbie at Norfolk Botanical Garden when the World of Wonders Children's Garden opened in 2006. In a series of four blogs, I've collected… Continue reading CHILDREN’S GARDEN OF THE US- The West

Art Museums, Family Travel, Most Recent Travel

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… Continue reading Cincinnati & Dayton, Ohio- Fall 2021

Art Museums, Family Travel, Jen Stays Home, Museums, Norfolk, Virginia

Barry Art Museum, May, 2021

The Barry Art Museum is on the campus of Old Dominion University in Norfolk. Admittedly, despite living within walking distance, this was our first visit as a family. With just an hour we only had time to dive into three of the four galleries. Orchids: Attraction & Deception ODU and Norfolk Botanical Garden partner to… Continue reading Barry Art Museum, May, 2021