Trip #17: Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and West Virginia

So much of this trip was a sobering reality check that left us understanding the bitter divide between North and South and the everyday souls who endured so much for their cause. Often times words could not describe our feelings looking at the battlefields and learning the personal stories of brave Americans, from decorated generals to those barely old enough to enlist. But not everything on this trip revolved around … [Read more...]

Take It To The Limit Without Rushing Through—A lesson learned!

My kids and I have now planned and taken 16 road trips and while I think I've fine tuned the process it seems I still have more to learn. On our last trip to NY, NJ and PA, in my zeal to cover a lot of ground in a limited amount of time we rushed through and missed a lot of stuff I wished we'd taken the time to see. Of course there were other factors involved like bad weather, losing my wallet and a rush to get back … [Read more...]

Teens and Travel: A Revelation

Here we are in the midst of spring break and I am busy planning our final road trip in which we will set foot in our 50th state. Wow...I can hardly believe it.  It's only taken us 12 years and 17 trips but our journey is nearly complete. When we embarked on this epic adventure my kids were 4, 6 and 7, today they are 16, 18 and 20. People often say "Where has the time gone" when they find their children have grown, … [Read more...]

Fairs, Festivals and Fun—Plan Ahead To Include Regional Events

There's a lot that goes into choosing travel dates-everyone's schedules, costs, weather and more. Another thing to consider as you choose your dates and even route is the calendar of regional events that are happening in the place you are planning to visit. One of the best ways to soak up local color and experience the area you are visiting is to attend a regional event, festival or fair and if you plan it right it … [Read more...]

Gadsby’s Tavern (Alexandria)

It's not every day that you get to have dinner at a place that has been in business since 1770. The chance to go back in time and dine just like former prominent customers John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, James Madison, and the Marquis de Lafayette to name just a few was simply irresistible to me and my crew. We were a little skeptical going to a place that trades on it's historic significance so our … [Read more...]

Appomattox Courthouse National Historical Park (Appomattox)

It never ceases to amaze me how awestruck my kids are when we visit places where historical events that shaped our nation have taken place. Its surreal for them and I must confess it is equally so for me as well. Appomattox Courthouse National Historical Park was one of those places where our minds were truly blown. It's a bit off the beaten track, but if you are headed to Monticello it's well worth the trek to … [Read more...]

Selfie Sticks: Love ’em or Hate ’em?

Right before my last road trip back in June, I relented and shelled out $24.95 on Amazon.com for a selfie stick . What an awesome way to take pictures of me and my kids in front of the sites on our trip to New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania I thought. As soon as it arrived my kids laughed and then groaned letting it be made abundantly clear that none of them would be seen within 50 ft. of that thing. I … [Read more...]

Arlington House (Arlington)

If you are planning to visit Arlington, you are most likely going to follow the signs from Arlington National Cemetery that lead up to the house on the hill with the extraordinary view. If you visit during the summer like we did, your are likely to experience some extreme heat and humidity, so the chance to get into some shade indoors will feel like a welcome break. Arlington House is the former home of General … [Read more...]

Why You Should ALWAYS Review Your Hotel Bill When You Check Out

These days check out is super simple right?. Hotels simply slip your hotel bill under your door in the middle of the night or email it to you or both. In your haste to pack you'll probably throw the bill in your bag forgetting to check it out later if ever. If the bill goes to your email it'll likely end up in your spam folder never to see the light of day ever again. Either way there is a pretty good chance your … [Read more...]

Got A Little Time Off? Try A Quick Trip To Knock Another State Off Your List

Not every trip has to be an epic adventure that has you hauling your crew through 6 states over a couple of weeks. If you are on a quest to knock off all 50 states you might want to consider a couple of mini trips to tick a few more off your list and reach your goal sooner. Thanksgiving, Spring break, or even long weekends like President's day or 4th of July can be great times to explore somewhere that isn't too … [Read more...]