Posted in Places We Visit

Places to Visit- Boston

This is in Minute Man Park, which is absolutely lovely.

After visiting NYC and Philadelphia, we visited Boston. I loved Boston! Actually, our first stop was Minute Man National Historic Park which is situated a little outside of Boston, in Lexington, Lincoln and Concord.

My allergies started up the first day there! It must’ve been the blossoms.
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Inside the Minute Man Trail visitor center. Make sure you see the Road to Revolution show.


This is a replica of Old North Bridge, where “the shot heard round the world” happened.

After spending the morning in Minute Man Park, we headed to Boston where we started on The Freedom Trail. This was a fabulous end to our history trip.

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Bunker Hill Monument


The Freedom Trail runs through the heart of Boston and there are 16 historic sites to see along the way.

The USS Constitution

We walked right on board the USS Constitution, which was dry-docked. We even toured the lower deck. There was a security check before boarding. Adults had to show some I.D. such as a driver’s license, and all bags were inspected.

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Copp’s Hill Burying Ground


Old North Church where two lanterns gave a signal from the steeple in one of the American Revolution’s famous moments.

Old North Church is the oldest standing church in Boston and is an Episcopal church today. Visitors are strongly encouraged to give a donation.

Inside Old North Church there are traditional pew boxes, such as this one.


Monument of Paul Revere on his horse.
Paul Revere’s house

There was a small fee to enter Paul Revere’s house and no photography is allowed inside. Definitely worth the tour!

The Freedom Trail is marked the entire way by this red-brick path.
Old State House is now a charming children’s museum with gift shop.

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In 1776, the people of Boston heard The Declaration of Independence read from this balcony.

We did not get to finish The Freedom Trail, but what we did see was wonderful and I hope someday to return. ♥ Have you ever walked The Freedom Trail? If so, what was your favorite part? Marcus’ favorite was the USS Constitution. I think my favorite was Paul Revere’s house. ♥

Posted in Places We Visit

Places to Visit- Philadelphia

After our three day visit to New York City, our group took a bus to Philadelphia where we spent the morning at The Franklin Institute and the rest of the day at/near Independence National Historic Park.

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The Franklin Institute is an interactive science museum. This was our first visit and we enjoyed it on a group ticket. There were attractions our ticket did not include, such as the mirror maze. There was also a whole section that was closed off to all visitors that day.

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This display of Thomas Edison’s phonograph is apparently a rare showing.

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Our favorite exhibit was Amazing Machine. This was a whole area of machine inventions. Some were only to look at, but many were interactive. For example, there was a crane kids could operate by moving and stacking blocks and a domino table to demonstrate a chain reaction.

We ate lunch at the Foodworks café inside the museum, which offered the typical choices of hamburgers, chicken fingers, pizza, hot dogs, salads, soups, and baked goodies. The food was pretty tasty and about the price you’d expect for the convenience of eating there.

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Independence Hall
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The signing room was very special to see.
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I think this room was in Congress Hall.

From there we visited Independence Square, which is really Independence National Historic Park. My advice to anyone visiting the birthplace of the U.S. is to plan ahead, especially if you only have one day or less to spend here. There is so much to see and a lot is free, but some things require a timed-ticket (such as Independence Hall). Also, many of the buildings close early (around 5pm). Our group missed seeing the Liberty Bell because we planned to see it right after our 4:30pm Independence Hall tour, but by 5pm when we got out, it had just closed.

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A couple blocks from Independence Hall, located at 3rd and Chestnut streets, is a wonderful museum we decided to tour for most of our allotted time because we’d heard great things about it. This is the Museum of the American Revolution and I highly recommend a visit if you’re in the neighborhood. This is an interactive museum with exceptional exhibits featuring works of art, manuscripts and collected objects. It’s pretty impressive!

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Representation of Boston’s Liberty Tree
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Replica of a privateer ship

Something that was not allowed to be photographed was George Washington’s headquarter tent. (It’s behind a highly sensitive protective screen.) This was part of one of the theater experiences. Very cool!

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Replica of George Washington’s Rising Sun chair.

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This museum was my favorite part of my visit to Philadelphia. I’m so glad I experienced this history with my two sons. It was the perfect fieldtrip experience to add to our early state history unit, which we are finishing up this week. I’ll be writing more about that in an upcoming post. ♥ Have you been to any of these places? ♥

Posted in Places We Visit

Places to Visit- New York City

Last week, my two sons and I enjoyed a history trip to NYC, Philadelphia and Boston. Today I’m sharing what we saw and did in New York City. We started our trip there, spending three days altogether. This was a group trip, through the fabulous Liahona Preparatory Academy (the private school which my son takes online classes through, as part of our homeschooling). We each made new friends, saw history come to life, and made memories to last a lifetime.

On our first day in NYC, we were on our own to explore Times Square and anything else we desired. It was a rainy Memorial Day and we were exhausted from our red-eye flight, but had to wait until evening for our room to be available. Times Square is not my favorite because of the throngs of people, the pushy street hustlers (avoid eye contact and keep walking!) and the gross naked women (the naked cowboy isn’t so bad). We visited the Disney, M&M and Hershey stores. Later we bought warm cashew nuts from a vendor. Yum!


In Times Square we came across these cool orange top chairs.

From Times Square, we made our way to Bryant Park. This is one of the green spaces in NYC. It’s a place to enjoy free entertainment, grab a bite to eat and people-watch.

This monument is of William Cullen Bryant, who was a poet and newspaper editor. He was also the campaign chairperson for Central Park. He lived from 1794-1879.

And then to Grand Central Station, er Terminal. You can read about its history here. There is a small museum inside which we toured, and we grabbed a drink at one of the little shops. Mostly we people-watched. We watched one guy scrimmage through a garbage can and eat left-over scraps of food.


Grand Central Terminal is the largest train station in the world.
The dome ceiling has some cool detail.

The next morning we took a bus tour called, The Ride. It was really fun and I highly recommend it. We had a great guide, the bus “talks” and has some cool effects, and we were given a history of NYC as we rode through the streets. We were dropped off (as prearranged) at “our” Manhattan temple.

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My view from the bus.
LDS Manhattan Temple (photo courtesy of

From the temple we walked to Central Park. I love Central Park!


Belvedere Castle and Turtle Pond
View of Turtle Pond and beyond from Belvedere Castle’s balcony.

That night we saw the Broadway show, Anastasia, which we really liked. It is based off the animated film, but the villain is not Rasputin. After the show, we went back to our hotel for some yummy cheesecake from Junior’s. (This was when I discovered that my extremely picky-eater actually likes chocolate cheesecake! I tell you, this is a miracle!)


On our last day in NYC, we visited the 9/11 Memorial.



After that, we walked to Battery Park where we hopped on a ferry to Liberty Island,

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and Ellis Island.

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Ellis Island was my favorite. I only wish we’d been given more time there. We had to leave early to get to another Broadway show.




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The last Broadway show we saw was, On Your Feet. Both Anastasia and On Your Feet (which is the story of Gloria and Emilio Estefan) were wonderful performances. My least favorite part of our NYC experience was taking the subway.

♥ Stay tuned for highlights from Philadelphia. Have you visited New York City? Are you a city or a country person? I’m definitely a country gal! But I’ve lived in some major cities with my family, due to my husband’s job. My favorite cities are Seattle, Toronto, and I have to admit, I fell in love with Boston. Do you have a favorite city? ♥

Posted in Places We Visit

History Trip Highlights

I spent all of last week with my two sons, in NYC, Philadelphia and Boston, at some historic sites, as well as other experiences. I’ll cover each city more in-depth in upcoming posts, but here are some highlights from our whirlwind trip…

New York City-

Times Square
Our hotel was right on Times Square.
Grand Central Station is featured in several movies, such as Avengers. Here we are in the terminal lobby.
These doors lead to the 42nd Street Library, adjacent to Bryant Park.
View from Bryant Park
Belvedere Castle and Turtle Pond in Central Park
We saw the Broadway shows, Anastasia and On Your Feet.
9/11 Memorial
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Liberty Island
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Ellis Island was my favorite NYC site.


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The Franklin Institute was a lot of fun.
This replica of George Washington’s chair, which Benjamin Franklin commented on, is at the Museum of The American Revolution.
Independence Hall where the signing room for the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution is located.


Minute Man Park, where “the shot heard ’round the world” happened.
Boston guard cat
The USS Constitution was Marcus’ favorite attraction. We walked on deck and below. Very cool!
Walking The Freedom Trail was so much fun!

♥ Have you visited any of these historic sites? Seen any Broadway shows? Have any fun trips coming up? I’d love to hear about it! ♥