“Travel teaches toleration”-Benjamin Disraeli
I am featuring guest blogger Kendra Thornton for this special story. She contacted me regarding our favorite places to travel. Although we have listed some of our top picks, trust me it wasn’t easy, at least not for me. I could have listed twenty more but I did not want to appear selfish on the page. Hopefully this will give you an idea for the upcoming spring and summer vacations.
Lots of Family Fun in Las Vegas
Words cannot describe how much I love to travel. One of the best places to visit in the United States is Las Vegas. Here are some fantastic places that my family and I enjoy.
1. Mini Golf that Matters
My children are thrilled to play mini golf, and my husband and I like it as well. All of us love unique courses, and there is a great one that features the theme of the band KISS. There are 18 holes on the course. We enjoy various memorabilia and symbols featuring KISS. There is something very special about putting the golf ball into the head of a 12-foot Gene Simmons. Needless to say, this event is truly memorable.
2. Memorable Museums
People usually do not think of Las Vegas when they think of culture, but Las Vegas has some terrific museums that feature culture and the arts. My children like going to the Discovery Children’s Museum. There are plenty of exhibits as well as activities that our children like. My husband and I like the Neon Museum, which features a junkyard, paths and ramps. The National Atomic Testing Museum absolutely thrills my husband. After all, it is only 65 miles from a nuclear testing site.
3. Dolphin Fun
My husband and children wanted to do something unique for me, and took me to the Mirage. In that facility, they signed me up for the “Trainer for a Day” program. This program enabled me to spend some time learning how to become a dolphin trainer, courtesy of Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. As I worked with experienced dolphin experts, I learned about behaviors, eating habits and other unique things. I felt like a marine biologist.
4. Food Wonderful Food
Everyone in my family has a healthy appetite, and that is great, since there are terrific places to dine within Las Vegas. In the Monte Carlo, my husband and son like to try the 8-pound Burger Challenge. It provides them with a fun challenge. Another restaurant in the Monte Carlo is the BRAND Steakhouse that offers the “Ultimate Steak,” which is 120 ounces of beef with two sauces and one side. It is a memorable experience with a price of $250.
Las Vegas is a fun place for the entire family with unique attractions and even hotels. Sites like Gogobot make it easy to read user reviews and help plan your trip. I truly like visiting this place each year. I am already looking forward to going back soon.
“He travels the fastest who travels alone.”- Rudyard Kipling
My taste in adventure is as varied and wide as the world at large. Listed below are a few of my favorite places (so far) that make me smile.
City Museum, St. Louis, MO
What do you do with an old shoe manufacturing building when it’s no longer needed? Turn the 600,000 square foot area into a giant playground, fun house and architectural delight. Located at 701 N. 15th, young and old alike can climb aboard a school bus that looks as if it careening off the top of the building or flip and tumble-down an outdoor slide. It’s a visual wonder and a chance to explore your inner child. There are construction cranes, ball pits, inside slides, a mini circus, arts and crafts and two abandoned airplanes and that’s just to start!
I took two children, one five and the other eleven, and hung out for eight hours without tiring. From the roof to the basement, you can’t go wrong with the City Museum.
When the need to reflect arises, I head to Savannah, GA. There is a quiet beauty and long-standing history in Savannah that makes you want to swoon like Scarlett O’Hara. The Factors Walk gives an insight into commerce on the river with cobblestone streets and brick buildings full of restaurants, gift shops and areas to receive information.
View Spanish-moss trees, the famous ‘squares’ that are home to architectural style of the 18 and 19th centuries. Founded in 1733 by James Oglethorpe as the first settlement of the British colony of Georgia, you can’t go wrong with the sweet offerings of the area. Don’t forget to venture on the outskirts to Tybee and St. Simmons Island and their lighthouses. Jekyll Island will give you a taste of high-end living.
For a taste of island life, the lovely land of Maui is a delight to the eyes and awakens the taste buds of the tongue. The weather blessed my free spirit and allowed it to fly high and wide. There are so many foods to try, hikes to take, flights to other islands, beaches to stretch out on and the long winding roads of Hana. While exploring west Maui, check out the Gazebo Restaurant in Napili Shores. Have a stack of pineapple pancakes, they are wonderful. Two of my favorite restaurants on the island are Kihei Caffe for breakfast and Café O’Lei for dinner.
I spent nine months on the island of Maui and could have stayed another nine and never tire of its endless sights, sounds and treasures.
The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, MD
This Museum turned into a love affair that I could not forget. I have visited many museums in my life and each has piqued my interest for one reason or another but not like the Walters. There is an intimate relationship that comes from this jewel at 600 N. Charles St. (thewalters.org)
The treasures here are vast and eclectic; Mummies, armor, Medieval, Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Byzantine art . I spent many hours on various floors of this building while drafting many of my writings. The beauty and richness of the paintings and the power of many of the depictions of emperors like Marcus Aurelius draw you in and make you want to learn more.
There are so many places that I could continue to list but this will give you an idea of some of the warm and wonderful things to sample in a lifetime that is still too short. Along the way I also interact with people in and around the listed areas. You never know when they may point out a secret place known only to the ‘locals’ that they may let you in on.
Enjoy, travel safe and most of all, have fun.