Boott Cotton Mills-Lowell National Historical Park (Lowell)

Boott Cotton Mills-Lowell National Historical Park

Visiting Boott Cotton Mill is an important lesson in the industrial revolution of this country.  Rising like a cathedral, this huge building complex reminded me of fortress.  Built in the 1830's and opened for 100 years, this factory used the raw cotton shipped from plantations in the south and turned into cotton fabric.  Head upstairs to the mill room, and you experience what it was like for that factory workers … [Read more...]

Adams National Historical Park (Quincy)

Adams National Historical Park

So this is a little confusing, when you Google the address it takes you to an office building. Don't make the same mistake we did and pass it by, do go in as the visitor center is there where you can purchase tickets for the tours for the birthplace and the home which are all part of the National Park Service. We didn’t do the tour (which takes about 1½ hours)because we didn't arrive at the right time. I am sorry … [Read more...]

The Grand Canyon National Park

Nevada, Utah and Arizona

The Grand Canyon is the grand daddy of National Parks! So much to see and do here, and so little time-it's enormous and overwhelming. We drove around the South Rim not quite sure how to tackle it but taking in the enormity of the canyon below.. What really blew me away is that up until the Grand Canyon the land is completely flat open space and then all of a sudden there is this huge hole in the ground as far as your … [Read more...]

Bryce Canyon National Park

Nevada, Utah and Arizona

Not far from Zion is Bryce Canyon National Park, one of the most interesting and unique landscapes my kids and I have ever seen. As we hiked into the park, for a moment it seemed like staring out at another planet with a million rock spires right out of a science fiction movie. The unique shapes at Bryce are caused by natural erosion, so over time, the water and wind have washed and blown away layers of rock … [Read more...]

Zion National Park

Nevada, Utah and Arizona

Zion National Park is so awe inspiring.  This was the first National Park I'd ever been to in my whole life so I wasn't sure what to expect. Thankfully it was super visitor-friendly, with a shuttle bus that picks you up at the visitor’s center and does a big loop stopping at the major focal points in the park. You can hop on and hop off at any of the stops which is what we did and the bus driver gives a kind of … [Read more...]

Badlands National Park (Interior)

Destination #5: North and South Dakota

The Badlands National Park is incredibly beautiful. I have never seen rock formations with so many gorgeous colors. The striations of greens and blues, reds and golds were just breathtaking.  What is so strange is that the surrounding landscape is totally flat prairie and then all of a sudden there is this incredible rock canyon that looks like it was carved out  by millions of years of rushing water.  How did it … [Read more...]

Mount Rushmore National Memorial (Keystone)

Destination #5: North and South Dakota

Driving up the hill to Mt. Rushmore, the anticipation was killing me.  I just could not wait to see those iconic faces carved into the stone face in the Black Hills.  Walking up to the viewing area between the flags of all 50 states I glanced up my first reaction was ...oh, they're a lot smaller than I thought.   We stood there for a few moments taking it all in and after recalibrating after my initial reaction, … [Read more...]

Crater Lake

Washington and Oregon

Crater Lake is a natural wonder and one of the most interesting and beautiful places I have ever seen.  Formed by a volcanic eruption , Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the US and the 7 th deepest lake in the world.  Standing out on the viewing area on the rim it's pretty crazy to know you are on the top of a dormant volcano.  The lake itself  is the most incredible sapphire blue because of its depth and the … [Read more...]

Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument (Amboy)

Washington and Oregon

Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument is A little off the beaten path, but definitely worth the drive. Take Highway 504 East off the 5 Freeway directly into the park and start at the visitors center. Mt. St. Helens blasted onto the global scene when she erupted unexpectedly May 18, 1980.  There are several visitor centers so I am not sure which one we hit, but I assume it was the main one because there was … [Read more...]

Wright Brothers National Monument at Kitty Hawk (Kill Devil Hills)

Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina

After learning all about the Wright Brothers in Dayton, Ohio, we were very excited to see where the first flight actually took place at Kitty Hawk in Kill Devil Hills which is now known as The Wright Brothers National Monument at Kitty Hawk. The Wright Brothers chose this spot because of the perfect wind conditions and abundant landing areas. The first thing we did was explore the visitor center and seeing a … [Read more...]