VIP Camp – Awesome Park Cleanup Crew

Thank to the awesome helpers who came out to participate in the Park Clean Up Fundraiser. Not only were we able to raise enough money for one field trip with busing next year but Konely and James both walked away with free backpacks supplied by the Lincoln Park Police Department who hosts a Cops Care benefit each year. Once again we had the privileged of participating in their fun event after our clean up! Nothing like free food and backpacks after a little bit of work! (more…)

Edited: August 19th, 2018

Pocono Speed Way 2018

After Dads class in New York, we all began the long trek home from our weekend excursion but little did we know we were to walk into a big surprise. About 3 miles of I80 is the Pocono Speedway and we thought we would stop in and check out the souvenirs. What a big surprise we got when asked if we wanted a tour of the raceway. When asked how much the tour cost we were told it was free. We went on the tour which took about an hour and boy was it ever great. The tour guide even gave us a ride around the track which we videotaped, and showed us everything about the race track including its self contained power source using a gigantic array of solar cells which powers everything at the race track. The Pocono Speedway is the last privately owned race track in the Nascar circuit which is why the tour was free, the owners want people to be happy and come back…and we will! (more…)

Edited: August 14th, 2018

Liberty Island 2018

What a thrill it always is to see the Statue of Liberty on a beautiful day in August. While it was a bit hot, it made the cool breeze coming across the Hudson river that much better as we walked around the giant colossus and trying to get the perfect selfie with a structure so big (many of those selfies are in the gallery of this post). After our walk around the statue we took a break in a nice shady area of the park and James bought us all water which made for a perfect family moment. After relaxing in the park drinking our water we made our way to the souvenir stand where James got a hat, Mom got a T shirt, and Dad got a sweatshirt all featuring the statue of liberty! (more…)

Edited: August 12th, 2018

Liberty Park 2018

Our journey to the Statue of Liberty both begins and ends at Liberty Park where an old train station is used for tickets to the boats that take you to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. We had a long walk to get here as the place was very busy and we figure we parked about a mile away. We caught the 3:30 ferry from here (after going through security) and returned around 6pm. On exiting we visited the 911 memorial which has two parallel walls with the names of all those souls lost that horrible day. When looking directly at the memorial it creates an illusion of hose the NY skyline must have looked from that location before 911. At the front are twisted metal from the fallen towers on display which really brings the reality of the tragedy home. (more…)

Edited: August 12th, 2018

Jefferson Memorial Washington DC 2018

There were many places we did not get to see as we only had a finite amount of time in Washington before we had to drive to New York. One place we saw at a distance everytime we took a cab was the Jefferson Memorial which was located on the other side of the Potomac. This was as close as we got to the monument, although we did try driving there later, only to make a wrong turn and end up heading back toward the hotel (and NY so we kept on driving). The driving is not easy in Washington DC and we did not take the car out of the parking garage until we left for NY. Our apologies to Thomas Jefferson but we tried. (more…)

Edited: August 12th, 2018

Washington DC 2018

While the monuments and three branches of Government were all impressive, one of the funnest and most interesting things to do was just walk the streets of Washington DC. Almost every building is “something” such as a dept of agriculture, FBI building, Library of Congress, Hubert Humphrey building, FEMA, etc. Mary even found a Marshall store (which is one of her favorites) in one of these buildings. We tried to keep these pics in order as we saw them, so we started with a picture of where our adventure began, in the park, and our day ended with James taking a much needed dip in the pool. (more…)

Edited: August 11th, 2018

Capitol Washington DC 2018

Probably the prettiest architecture in Washington, the Capitol was the final leg of our walk through the park, although behind it were the National Archives and Supreme Court. The Capitol was very close to our hotel room so we took a couple pictures from the roof of the hotel of the Capitol building at night (the roof of our hotel also hosted the swimming pool, which made it a real fun place to visit). Part of the Capitol was under construction while we were there, making for some interesting pictures of a work in progress. Like many of the other huge structures in Washington the closer we got to the structure, the worse the pictures looked because the buildings and monuments are so big. (more…)

Edited: August 10th, 2018

World War Two Memorial Washington DC 2018

As we made our way from the Vietnam Memorial to the Washington monuments, there were two beautiful monuments flanking each side of the monument. Both were World War 2 Memorials, one for the Pacific and one for the Atlantic. In between the two memorials there is a beautiful fountain. The pillars of the memorial contain the names of the states and territories of the United States in 1945, James was quick to find Michigan as you would expect. This monument is relatively recent, opening in 2004 during the Bush administration. Supposedly the words Kilroy Was Here are inscribed in two places on the memorial, although we did not notice them. (more…)

Edited: August 10th, 2018

White House Washington DC 2018

Between the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument (a little closer to the Washington Monument) is the White House to the North. From the park it is very small but we walked as close as we could get to the front. The next day we had a cab take us to the rear, which allowed us to get much close. As usual, some people were protesting but only a handful and not enough to bother anyone. Across from the rear of the White House are monuments to Andrew Jackson and LaFayette in a park which I believe is called LaFayette park. After visiting we went to the White House gift shop and bought souvenirs including the first six pictures which were taken at a studio. If you buy something in the store you get one free picture, any others you have to buy. (more…)

Edited: August 10th, 2018

Vietnam Memorial Washington DC 2018

The Vietnam Memorial was incredible with all the names of those brave souls who lost their lives in that war. The monument starts off small then continually gets bigger and bigger as you walk through it. It really shows how terrible war really is as there were so many names, over 58 thousand, written on the wall. The wall is very close the Lincoln Memorial and blends in to the natural surroundings so well that it would be easy to miss on a casual stroll through park. The granite is so polished that it is reflective and in some of the pictures you can see our images reflected on the wall. (more…)

Edited: August 10th, 2018