Posted in Places We Visit

Our September Visit to Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park spans parts of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, and is the first of fifty-eight national parks here in the United States. We visited Yellowstone for a few days last September.
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There are several waterfalls and cascades within Yellowstone.

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There are all kinds of wildlife in Yellowstone, including elk, buffalo, moose, bears and wolves. We did not see any moose, bears or wolves, although we did visit the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center. But, we did spot an elk in the forest and it was fun to watch the herds of buffalo. Always stay a safe distance from all wildlife, and if you hike in Yellowstone, carry bear spray and know how to use it.

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Yellowstone is full of amazing sights! Geysers, mudpots, steam vents…

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Old Faithful

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We discovered that visiting Yellowstone in September was just as busy as summertime. If you go at a busy time, be patient because driving through Yellowstone gets slow-going and the most popular attractions stay packed with tourists. It wasn’t too crazy, though. We stayed at Stage Coach Inn, in West Yellowstone, and found it to be a nice hotel.

♥ Thanks for re-visiting Yellowstone with me! Have you visited Yellowstone? What is your favorite national park? ♥

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Posted in Places We Visit

Places to Visit- Boston

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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.

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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.

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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

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

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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

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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.

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

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Monument of Paul Revere on his horse.
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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!

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The Freedom Trail is marked the entire way by this red-brick path.
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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 on Oahu- Waimea Valley

Another place we visited on Oahu was Waimea Valley. Here you can walk through some lovely botanical gardens as you make your way to a waterfall. The main path is wide and paved.

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There is an admission price to enter the gardens and walk to the falls, but it is well worth it. You’ll enjoy the casual stroll and lush green scenery.

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This was an area showing off traditional Hawaiian houses. You might miss this section if you don’t go off one of the side detours.

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It is not one of the more impressive waterfalls, but it is fun because you can swim and enjoy the water (as long as you wear one of their lifejackets). The water is 30 feet deep.

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The word waimea translates to “reddish brown water” in Hawaiian.

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I waited twenty minutes for this stunning guy to flaunt his lovely tail feathers. He was in the free part of the park. There is also a restaurant called The Proud Peacock (which we didn’t try out) and a concession stand.

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Stay tuned for my final post on this series and if you’ve missed any of my previous posts, make sure you check them out. You can start here with my visit to Pearl Harbor. ♥ Thanks for stopping by!

Posted in Places We Visit

Places to Visit on Oahu- Dole Plantation

Visiting the lovely Hawaiian island of Oahu? So far, I’ve highlighted Pearl Harbor and the Polynesian Cultural Center as two great tourist destinations on Oahu. Today I want to add the Dole Plantation to my list. Plan to spend 2-3 hours here, possibly longer depending on how many experiences you choose.

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One of the views of the plantation from the train ride

First you’ll enter their specialty store (not pictured), where you’ll be tempted by all kinds of fun merchandise, including pineapple specialty treats. There are also pineapple cutting demonstrations and a grille. Don’t miss out on a tasty Dole Whip. Yum!

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This train just unloaded its passengers and was on its way to pick up more.

From the store, venture out back where you can purchase tickets to ride the Pineapple Express train. This is how you tour the plantation fields. And who doesn’t enjoy a train ride?

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After the train ride, why not take a stroll through the plantation gardens? We purchased combination tickets that included both the train and the gardens. The gardens are a self-guided tour. There is a free app you download for an audio tour if you’d like. (There is free WiFi at the plantation.)

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There is also a giant garden maze to explore, but I can’t tell you anything about it because we only took the train ride and walked through the lovely gardens. But it sounds fun!

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So, if you find yourself in Oahu (lucky you!) than I recommend a visit to the lovely Dole Plantation.

Posted in Places We Visit

Places to Visit on Oahu- Polynesian Cultural Center

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Another place we visited (or I should say re-visited) while in Oahu earlier this month, was the Polynesian Cultural Center. Best to arrive as soon as it opens and spend the whole day as there is much to see and experience. This is a cultural delight your entire family will enjoy.

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One of the lovely views within the center, seen from a canoe ride or walking across the bridge.

There are six cultures represented here: Aotearoa, Fiji, Hawaii, Tahiti, Tonga and Samoa. Each one has its own village, offering unique performances and interactive demonstrations. You might learn a new game with sticks, prepare a local food native style, or make your own woven headband.

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Moai statues, representing Rapa Nui (Easter Island).

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Guests may freely tour the villages themselves or participate in a tour, as we did. This was our sweet tour guide, Brooklyn. We spent most of the day with her, visiting each village as she explained traditions and history. We caught at least one attraction in each village, took the canoe ride, and here she was explaining how the taro plant becomes poi (a traditional Hawaiian food).

One of the highlights of the day is the canoe pageant. Each culture demonstrates their particular style of song and dance. My favorite was Tahiti. (Please excuse my amateur video, haha.)

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After a full day of village hopping, enjoy a luau, which is what I recommend for first visits. As we had experienced the luau before, we thought we’d try the prime rib buffet. The main difference is that the luau has Hawaiian entertainment as you dine on traditional luau food (quite yummy and served buffet style), while the delicious prime rib (and crab legs) buffet forgoes the show (although we were serenaded with the song, You Are My Sunshine, in honor of our anniversary).

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Aren’t these doors beautiful? They lead into the dining hall where the prime rib buffet is served.

Whatever you do, don’t miss the evening show, Breath of Life. It’s  simply spectacular! I have no pictures of it since photography is not allowed. Just trust me, this is will be the perfect end to your day here. ♥ Thanks for stopping by!