Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Indiana

Ok, I'll be the first to say it, there ain't much in Indiana. But there are a few things that are definitely worth checking out if you are in the area.

Santa Claus, Indiana
Y'all this is the cutest little town I've ever been too. And let's remember The North Pole incident, where I was so disappointed with life but I did not have this issue with Santa Claus!


So first (I've just recently been told firstly is not an actual word, which bothers me because I use it ALL the time) Holiday World & Splashin' Safari - an amusement and water park! Only open from May to September, this will cure some of your summer Christmas blues! Ticket prices range from 21-50 dollars per person depending on what day you go (cheaper during the week) and if you buy online.

Next up is just the town itself. Complete with a Christmas shop and a post office where some of Santa's letters come. It is an adorable little town and I highly recommend making it a stop!






Indiana Dunes National Seashore
I thoroughly enjoy the national parks, well most of them anyway. This one I thought was amazing and wish that I would have spent more time there, but I had other things to see that day!
Make sure you stop and put your toes in Lake Michigan! There are a couple points where you can have beach access, however, I recommend West Beach because there is a bathhouse there and you can swim. There are also several trails in this area that you can hike up the dunes.
PSA
Please make sure that you do not hike up the dunes that aren't designated trails, it destroys the natural beauty of the dunes!

At the Seashore

West Beach

Some of the Dunes 



Indianapolis
The capital city of Indiana. Home to the Colts and the Indianapolis 500. Most people do not believe that there is much here, and well honestly they may be a little right :)
But if your travels take you here, there are a few things you should do!!

The Canal 
There is a beautiful canal right in the middle of the city. So obviously there is a walkway that you can do and most importantly you can take a gondola ride just like you were in Florence, Italy! I'm not sure if they sing or not, but I'm sure with enough money they will, just maybe not well.

Benjamin Harrison's House 
Do you remember this name? He was our 23rd President! When he was campaigning he would give speeches from his front porch and would eventually die in the master bedroom here. It is worth at least a drive-by if not a tour if you have the time!
His House and Front Porch

Part of the Front Porch



Indiana War Memorial
I left this for last, but it is probably the main thing I would make sure I visit while in this city. This monument was originally supposed to be to honor the WW1 soldiers and was enlarged later and had a name change. It's a 5 block plaza and definitely number 1 on my list for anyone!
WW1 Memorial

Well, that is all I have for Indiana! 
Any questions, email me! 

graceparsons2023@gmail.com



Tuesday, May 1, 2018

NYC

New York City, the city that is ever changing, ever growing and never sleeps. I have been here a few times and it always leaves me wanting a little more, but it also makes me never want to go out in public again. The last time I went there was for a weekend trip with my now Fiance to complete his dream of staying at the Waldorf. We lucked out because a good friend of mine lives there and became our tour guide or rather food guide to the city. And boy was she the best food guide ever.

Now there are so so many things to see and to do here, I'm really just going to hit the high points.

Statue of Liberty - There is one thing that I do think every single person should see is the Statue of Liberty. It astounds me that so many people who came here for a better life, that our Lady Liberty was the first thing they saw. How miraculous that would have been.
Make sure you book your tickets early especially if you want to go up in the crown or the flame.


Ellis Island - Again, to me this is one of the most important landmarks in not only NYC but all of U.S.A. It is even cooler if you can trace back an ancestor that walked through those halls.
Outside of Ellis Island

The Hall where they stood in line

The Record Book

How the process works. 


Central Park - Over 1 mile of open space is this gem of the city. Not only are there duck ponds, ice skating rinks, running trails and a zoo. You can take a horse and buggy ride for a not so small fee through the park. I've not done that yet, but I think it would be a great way to see the park and save your poor feet. One of my favorite places is the Alice in Wonderland Statue.



9/11 Memorial - I feel like this is just as important as the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. People should see exactly what happened to all those people in the Towers. The entire memorial is very well done.
The Memorial

The Memorial

There is also a Museum that examines the implications of 9/11 and memorializes the victims of the attack as well. It costs $24 to get in for an adult. I thought it was a great tribute to the victims. 



Empire State Building - Once the World's tallest building, it is now just office buildings and a tourist attraction. The 86th Floor is the highest open-air observation deck and the 102nd Floor is a glass observation deck with stunning views as well. Just to the 86th floor is $37 for an adult. For both 86th and 102nd Floors is $57 for an adult. Buying tickets in advance is recommended.
Empire State Building

Empire State Building

View From the Top


Times Square - Where the Ball drops every year on New Year's Eve. Right in the midtown of Manhatten is this beautiful square filled with billboards of various Broadway shows and movies. There are numerous places to eat and shop in this square too!


Broadway - Believe it or not, Broadway is an actual place in Manhattan! Most people just refer to "going to Broadway" as making it into one of the many shows! I am a musical girl and actually got to see my first actual show in NYC in Feb. 2017. I saw the Lion King, which was absolutely perfect! This is a must do and there are multiple shows that you can check out!


I've now seen Wicked, Mean Girls and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway as well and HIGHLY recommend all of them!!
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Wicked


Grand Central Station - The main transportation hub of NYC! This beautiful building that was opened in 1913 and by the 1950's more than half of the U.S.'s population had traveled through it!

Brooklyn Bridge - The beautiful iconic bridge that links Manhattan and Brooklyn. Completed in 1883, you can walk across it! :)




Rockefeller Center - A huge tourist attraction in midtown Manhattan. This is where the Ice rink and the huge Christmas tree is during the winter season. There are shopping and dining as well as the Top of the Rock which is a similar experience to the Empire State Building.


Chelsea Market - First time I've been here was this last trip to NYC and I loved it. I spent almost 3 hours roaming around this place. So many places to eat and shop! I can personally recommend Doughnuttery - because that place was fantastic!!




Coney Island - Where the rest of NYC comes to relax from the city life (well other than the Hamptons, obviously). This place was so amazing. I didn't get to experience it fully due to time constraints (Harry Potter on Broadway started at 2, didn't get to Coney Island til 12). But the beach is beautiful and the boardwalk is everything you need in a beach boardwalk. There is an amusement park called Luna Park. My friends rode the Ferris Wheel and totally recommend it!
Make sure you eat a Nathan's hotdog while there! They are world famous and host the hotdog eating contest every year!





The Strand Bookstore - if you are a huge book nerd like myself then this is your mecca. 18 miles of books, 3 stories tall and amazing.




FOOD


You have your choice of food in this huge city. Literally, there is everything available to you. But here are a few places I have enjoyed!

Do: (pronounced like dough) - it was one of the "new big things" that everyone found out about. It is edible cookie dough and let me tell you. Totally worth the 2-3 hour wait that you will probably have to endure.

Edi and the Wolf - the wiener schnitzel is absolutely fabulous! 

El Centro - by far my favorite place to brunch. The chilaquiles are TO DIE FOR! 

Max Brenner's - prepare for chocolate overload!! And it is worth every penny and calorie. Because calories don't count in NYC! 
The fondue sharing experience 




Any specific questions I'll try to answer as best I can! I am definitely not an expert but I will always try to help fellow travelers!! :)

graceparsons2023@gmail.com

Monday, April 23, 2018

Delaware

Welcome to THE FIRST STATE! The first couple times I've been to this state was just to pass through on my way to NYC or Boston. But this past summer, we made a stop in New Castle and I just recently ran a half marathon in Rehoboth Beach!

Wilmington
Situated right on the Delaware River, this town boasts probably the most to do. It's right in the middle of Philadelphia and Baltimore and well I feel like this poor town gets over-looked. A drive-by city.
But there is quite a bit to see and do in this town!

Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library. 
Founded by the Du Pont family (DuPont) it now boasts one of the largest Americana collection. Even if you don't take a museum tour, you can walk through the extensive gardens!

Brandywine Zoo 
150 animals on 22 acres! The cost for an adult is $7 and $5 for kids.

Delaware's Children Museum 
On the riverfront and perfect for toddlers through teens! Climbing, learning and exploring galore. $8.75 per person and parking is free! Closed on Mondays and most holidays!

Riverwalk
This runs right in front of the Children's Museum and runs along the river. There are several places to eat here. Joe's Crabshack, Iron Hill Brewery, Big Fish Grill on the Riverfront to name a few.


New Castle
I have to say that I fell in love with the old historical part of town when I visited last summer. It was cute and historical, basically the two things I love in a town. And it had an ice cream shop, which just gave it more points to its already high score.

New Castle Courthouse Museum 
This is part of the First State Historic National Park and in a perfect part of town. All of the houses/businesses around it are historic, most built in/around the 1600's. And this is where the ice cream was found! My fiance found it in a tavern where the people were dressed up as pirates. Jessop's Tavern is the place and I highly recommend it.
New Castle Courthouse Museum

Some of the shops around New Castle Courthouse

More Shops


Fort Delaware 
A Civil War fort that is on an island and only accessible by ferry in either Delaware City or Fort Mott State Park in New Jersey. The fort has historic reenactments and interpretations.


Rehoboth Beach
I know what you are thinking. A beach? In Delaware? But real life there is! It has been named "The Best Family Beach on the East Coast!"


The Boardwalk is the main entertainment in this area beside the beach obviously. A mile-long with lots of shops and restaurants. It has been named "One of the Nations Top 10 Coastal Boardwalks" as well as America's Best Boardwalk! There is a little amusement park on the boardwalk called Funland. It is priced by tickets which are 40 cents per ticket and with the bigger rides costing up to 6 tickets to ride.
The shops along one of the streets

The Boardwalk

More Shops 

Candy Kitchen

The Boardwalk


And that is all I have for our First State!
Any questions let me know!!

graceparsons2023@gmail.com