Vacation Layouts

Do you know what is frustrtating? Thinking that you are done with a series of pictures to scap and finding ONE more. I thought as I concluded with these last pages I was done, but nope. There is another photo that needs to be scrapped. It is an epic photo too! So, as much as I want to say I am done I can’t just yet. Regardless, here are three vacation layouts I want to share with you.

Very little journaling is needed on all my pages for vacation, so I keep it pretty simple!

To create more interest on this page I ran the stars I had die cut through with an embossing folder and ran an ink pad in the same color darker shade over the top. Gems were randomly placed to finish off the page.

This banner was so fun to make! I may have taken these pictures just so I could create this ice cream themed page.

Until next time ~ Happy Crafting!

The Smithsonian Natural History Museum and Castle

Before we traveled to Washington DC, I had everyone write down their top three places they wanted to visit. My oldest’s picked The Natural History Museum.

Smithsonian Natural History Museum

Dinosaurs!

We all thoroughly enjoyed it. The dinosaur section was excellent with two huge dinosaur exhibits featuring the skeletons of each.

Visitors were able to view the lab from the museum floor. . It was great to see paleontologists working!

Butterfly Exhibit

We went into the butterfly exhibit and enjoyed watching four different types.

The Origins of Man

The Neanderthal on display was fascinating. He provides the first scientific evidence of murder. The origins of man exhibit was of great interest to us all.

The line to get into the museum can be quite long. However, the grounds are fun to look at. We could not resist a picture with this guy:

Pavilion Cafe

It took us half the day to get through the museum. We decided to take a break and grab lunch at the Pavilion Cafe. It had a great selection of food. The cafe was located in the Gardens at the Smithsonian Art Gallery. Fantastic views and food about a 5 minute walk from the Natural History Museum.

Smithsonian Castle and Garden

The Smithsonian Castle and Gardens were just a short walk from the History Museum. I thought I would be most impressed with the castle. It was impressive, but the gardens were the shining star at this stop!

The inside of the castle was spectacular as well! It is important to always look up because ceilings on historical buildings are gorgeous.

This day was my boys’ favorite day spent in Washington DC. They enjoyed it so much that later in the week they returned to the Natural History Museum to take in the exhibits they did not spend much time in previously.

Until next time ~ Happy Travels!

The Holocaust Museum, Old Ebbitt Grill, and The White House

In the summer of 2018 we went on a family vacation to Washington DC. This was one of those things I had on my parenting bucket list. It is so important to me that my kids know about their country and have a grasp on what it means to be an American as well as the history of our great nation. I waited until they were all teenagers to do this trip because I don’t think they could have gained as much from it at a younger age. It ended up being the best vacation of my life.

Here is our vacation and my diary of the trip.

Day 1

Holocaust Museum

This was probably not the best first activity for us to do. It was heavy and left an impact on each of us. Though it was a not the ideal start to our trip it was amazing! Things I learned: Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany, known for his hate of the Jews. The leader did not like him, but the officials reassured him that Hitler could be reined in and controlled. I wonder how those that openly supported him could live with themselves after he was brought down. Did they ever come to realize they were wrong and cruel? We will either learn from history or repeat it. The art in the museum was impacting. It did a wonderful job of telling the story and putting emotion behind it. 
This hall was two stories tall with photographs of individuals who died in the Holocaust.

These gates were there!

 The most moving art piece that was both beautiful and heartbreaking. An all white exhibit that went through the process of the gas chamber.

 This is when I lost it. I could not control the tears. These are the shows of the people who died in concentration camps. The smell was still there.

 All that was left behind the cremated bodies were their shoes. Shoes had more value than the soul that used to walk in them to the Nazis.

 Memorial for the victims….

 The museum had a section for children to visit that explained it in a way they would understand. My son was so moved by this experience that he left a note. He just wrote “Why?’

 My oldest son was deep in thought the rest of the day. We will never forget.

Old Ebbitt Grill:

This was the first restaurant we ate at and our favorite! We went back several times. Not only was the food delicious it also has a rich history. It is the oldest saloon in the area. Teddy Roosevelt is rumored to have bagged the walrus over the bar. To this day politicians, celebrities and journalist dine here. 

The White House

This was not my first time to DC. I visited in 1989 and was able to go into the White House with my little brother and Mom. It is far more protected now than it was back in the 80’s. There were barricades in front of the gate and snipers in 4 spots that we could see on the roof. I expected lots of protesting, however the crowds were peaceful advocating for love and understanding. It was refreshing to say the least! 

Walking:

 I just have to take a moment to state how awesome DC is to walk in. My very favorite part of the trip was walking from place to place with a locally crafted iced coffee in my hand. These are some of the awesome buildings we saw today!

 This is the national church that always has a pew reserved for the president. Presidents have been known to worship here!

 Even our condo building was cool! I loved walking home to it every night.

Until next time ~ Happy travels! 

A Day in Prescott Arizona

One of my favorite places to go that is within an hour, but far enough away from the city is Prescott Arizona. I have been traveling to Prescott for over 20 years and today I want to share with you why this town has captured my heart. It really is a special place to most that call Arizona their home. It is not a typical Arizona town. In fact, places like Prescott are probably nothing like anyone would imagine could exist in this relatively dry and hot state. However, not all parts of Arizona are desert.

I like to start my day out at the capitol. it is surrounded by lush green grass and a statue on each side honoring the history of the town.

 Whiskey Row is iconic. It started off as a block of bars and night life and has evolved into additions of restaurants, ice cream parlors, vintage shops, art galleries, and antiques. It is directly across from the capitol.

 After walking around I stumbled upon the best antique store ever! It is at the end of the street and from the outside it does not look very impressive.

 Once I walked through the front door I was blown away!

 Not only is it an antique store it is a trading post. A lot of the antiques have been re-purposed and painted.

 The last weekend of every month there is an Arts and Craft Fair on the lawns of the capitol. It supports and showcases local artists as well as authentic street food. Before venturing through the craft fair I decided to eat and grab a coffee. The tamales were delicious!

 The majority of artists that participate in this fair do not have social media accounts, e-mail addresses or even a business card. I asked one gentleman if I could contact him to make me a piece and he said what he has on hand it all that is available. I then requested a business card and he told me he did not do any of that because this is just fun for him and not a business. I admire and respect that these artists are committed solely to their art, but disappointed I can not include any information on any of the artists in the park. This is just another reason you have got to spend a weekend here!

I am already planning my next visit to this little town!
Until next time ~ Happy Traveling!