Showing posts with label family vacations. Show all posts

Boston Public Library

We have been looking for a place that would appeal to adults and the kids. The weather forecast was hot and humid so we would prefer to be indoors. Since we are staying in the Back Bay area, we need something close. The Prudential Mall is out of the question. The Boston Public Library in Copley Square checks all that requirement.

Built in 1895, the library design is based on the Renaissance style similar to Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris. It includes a large reading room and an open air central courtyard. It was the first urban library building in the nation.

MIT Museum and around Cambridge

There were so many museums to visit in Boston but we only can visit one for this trip. I don't want to cram all activities with kids in tow on a hot summer season. It is a recipe for meltdowns. I like to take my time looking at exhibits and read some facts or details on display.

We chose the MIT Museum in Cambridge. It would be a good reason to walk around the area beyond Boston. Another reason was to open up possibilities of learning science and technology for our kids.

Memorial Day Weekend in New York

We decided to stay in New York City for the weekend. One of our favorite places in NYC was the park, particularly Bryant Park. We love that it is centrally located and well maintained. There is always something to do in Bryant Park like Juggling Lessons. The kids love that they leave the equipment on the lawn for everyone to use.

Newport in May

It is always too difficult to book a room in Newport, Rhode Island. It is just way too popular even on off season. While we are now looking forward to warm weather in the East Coast, it takes a while till it gets warm in the New England States. Places like Newport that is close to the water takes way more longer because of the wind chill factor.

What we ate at Seoul

We had so many food options in Seoul. We didn't even got to try the street foods. Often times, we save our appetite for the main meal where we sat down and eat. We walked around so much that we want to rest our feet for a while we enjoy our food.

Below are the foods we tried. Some of them we really like too much that we ate it almost everyday.

  • Plane food
Okay, we are not in Seoul yet but en route. We took Korean Air so we can have a direct flight to Seoul and try to see their service and food options. And oh boy, they didn't disappoint.

Throughout the 13 hour flight, I had the selection of Bibimbap (seen below), congee and meat/potatoes combo.

Beomeosa Temple

Beomeosa Temple means the temple of heavenly fish. It is said that a gold fish came from the sky and settled on the well on top of Mount Geumjeongsan.

The original temple was built 1,300 years ago until it was lost during the Japanese invasion in 1592. It was renovated in 1713 and became one of the most delicate architectures in the Joseon era.

Franciscan Monastery, Washington DC

Tucked in a quiet neighborhood in Washington DC is a Romanesque monastery. Completed in 1899, the Mount St. Sepulchre has 15 chapels and has grounds that were replicas of the Lourdes Grotto and various shrines of the Holy Land.

Random Photo: Colonial Williamsburg Christmas

There is a subtle elegance on how Colonial Williamsburg is decorated during the holidays. It is spare and always items that where you find nature. It teaches you to be festive without overdoing it.

Random Photo: Byodo-In Temple

Every time we were in Oahu, we make sure to stop by the Byodo-In temple. We walked around, rang the bell and fed the fish on the koi pond. Next time, I have to note that we need to bring an insect repellant. The mosquitos here are borderline aggressive.

Random Photo: Birthday Cupcakes

It so happens that our little girl is having her birthday in Honolulu. I looked up a couple of cake places but decided on getting a simple Hello Kitty cupcakes. It was a great idea and we ended eating all these yummy cupcakes in the next couple of days.

KCC Farmer's Market - Oahu, Hawaii

Another wish crossed off on our list. Farmer's Market is usually set up on a weekend morning. And since we are on limited time in Oahu, we ended skipping this adventure. I am glad we were finally able to visit one.

The KCC (Kapiolani Community College) Farmer's Market is organized by the Hawaii Farm Bureau which was originally started by a group of local farmers to promote and advocate the locally grown commodities.

We started our day early and was able to get a close parking spot. Then it started to rain.

Off to Ocean City, Maryland

We have been planning to go to Ocean City in Maryland for years. I heard that is it a fun place to be --in the summer. I could see that this tourist town is bustling with activity in spring and summer where the specialty is called Maryland crab. Our timeshare doesn't seem to have any availability in peak season but when we finally found an opening  and it is the dead of winter. It is a ghost town but the upside was that we have the place to ourselves, no lines and tons of parking next to the beach.

National Constitution Center

Philadelphia, PA

This was one of the stops we had on our weekend trip to Philly. And since, Philadelphia is an old old town, you would never ran out of historical places to visit. For the National Constitution Center is historic but not old. It is an interactive museum devoted to the U.S. Constitution.

The Poconos Weekend

It was a surprise when hubby told me that he wants to do a weekend getaway. I was exhausted these past few weeks and I don't feel like going on a long drive. And since we have always been driving south on most getaways, this time I suggested going north. The Poconos Mountains sounds a good idea. It is close, an hour and a half drive and we never been there. So, we grabbed the water cooler, the van and the in-laws and off we went.

The Poconos Mountain is a popular (and cheap) options for family vacations. It is great to visit on both extremes of the season. On winter, it is a popular ski destination. On the summer, it is known for hiking and white water rafting. We are in a shoulder season (too cold for the pool, too warm to ski) so I am not sure what other options we could do for the weekend. It turns out that its a good thing not to do much on a weekend. My in-laws (both retired) made sure we ate good and got enough sleep. I told hubby that we should do this more often.

Pure bliss

I know. I know. It has been more than a week since we got back from our long drive. It was a great respite from what seems to be a long cold winter in New Jersey. It was still cold and rainy in Myrtle Beach but by the time we got to Florida, the sky opened and we finally basked on a humid 91 degree weather and all sunshine.

Off to Myrtle Beach

Our Colonial Williamsburg tickets are still valid the following day so we decided to make another day out of it before heading to another 8 hour drive to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. We visited the museum area and had a quick lunch before heading on the road.

We stopped by a popular local BBQ joint. It had a fast food feel where you order the food on the counter and they call your number for your tray. The selection was a predictable meats and sides. While deciding on the sides there was one with an item called hushpuppies. What's that? It turned out that it is a southern specialty of deep fried breaded cornmeal that when you bite unto, it had that outside crunch but soft inside. It is not my favorite but it was a surprise that I haven't heard of it, till now.


Off to Williamsburg

Long drives are not my favorite task in the world. The idea of sitting down for long periods of time on a car is not my idea of fun. Although, I am not usually the one on the wheel makes it worse since I am idle sitting down and bored to death. My husband on the other hand is so used to this kind of travel. He grew up travelling the country on wheels. It is not unusual for them to pack and drive from New Jersey to California about a couple times a year. To give you a time frame how far is California from where we live is it usually takes about a week to get to California assuming you are driving on an average of 8-10 hours per day non stop.

Yes, it does sound like a lifetime.

So last summer, the only way hubby convinced me to pack up the car and drive south was the promise that we will take our time on the road. It meant that we can stop as often as we like and detour to the nearest town if we (mostly I) felt like it. He gave the plan for the rest of the week as driving 8 hours to Williamsburg, Virginia and after a couple of days head further south about another 8 hours to North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Since there was a promise of staying within the vicinity of the beach, he knew he had me at hello.

The drive to Virginia was a breeze. We stayed on a one bedroom timeshare resort located about 10 minutes away from Colonial Williamsburg. Our room was decorated with faux colonial furniture with a small kitchen sink, safe to say that it has nothing to write home about. At least the outside facilities is adequate enough that it is designed with kids in mind.

We were at the first floor. 

The Morris Museum

One of the largest museum in New Jersey, the Georgian inspired mansion houses an eclectic collection from North American artifacts to assortment of art and musical instruments. It has a children's activity area where you can learn and watch about trains and musical instruments. It also has an add on performing arts theatre next door.

The Grounds for Sculpture

The Grounds for Sculpture used to be the New Jersey State Fairgrounds that was transformed by its patron J. Seward Johnson (of the Johnson & Johnson family) into a 35-acre park filled with sculptures from contemporary artists.

It has been a while since I heard of this park in Hamilton, New Jersey. The park also hosts an upscale gourmet restaurant that has an odd name: Rat's. I find that odd too but I heard it has a story behind it.

The weather had mellow down a bit so we decided to stop by a couple of hours. We weren't able to see the entire park, you need to devote at least a full day for the grounds to walk around. It didn't help either that Madison suddenly decided to throw a tantrum. She is more interested in the ducks on the pond.

The Village Inn - Englishtown, NJ

We visited a historic house in Englishtown Boro that was originally built in 1726 as a tailor shop. Then by mid 1700's it was converted as a tavern. It used to have a reputation of serving one of the best fare in the area. It was a popular carriage stop that it became a major rest area when travelling from New York to Philadelphia.

A major historic event happened here where records show that General George Washington drafted the court martial papers for General Charles Lee in the Village Inn during the Battle of Monmouth.

Taken in the back area. The second floor was added early 1800's.