Vermont

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Vermont. State line sign #24 out of 50 for this crazy family.  This was taken on Highway 7 coming from Saratoga and heading to Bennington for the evening. We actually pulled into someone’s driveway, parked the car and took our picture, so it was a really safe stop for us. I also don’t think anyone drove by the whole 5 minutes we were there so even more safe.

While in Vermont we visited the only National Park Service site in the state:

Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park

No trip through Vermont would be complete without a stop for ice cream at Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory!!  Check it out. We had so much fun getting the scoop here that it was in”cone”ceivable! Gunnar even bought a “sweet” shirt. LOL

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To “top” off that stop we headed north to Stowe, Vermont and stayed at the most beautiful hotel. The Trapp Family Lodge is a gorgeous Swiss chalet in the mountains of Vermont. When the family from The Sound of Music immigrated to the U.S. this is where they settled and the hotel is still run by one of the grandchildren.  I wish we had stayed here a couple more nights there is so much to do here, glad we got to experience what we did though, it was a fabulous stay.

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Thanks for stopping by and checking out our drive through Vermont. Up next, New Hampshire, check back soon for those blogs.  Have you been to Vermont? It is another scenic state we have been blessed to check off of our list 🙂

 

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Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park

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Visited: August 2018

Duration: 1-2 hours. Could have been longer but it was raining.

Accommodations: Trapp Family Lodge, Stowe, Vermont (highly recommend)

It was a rainy day in Vermont. We traveled up the beautiful highway 100 stopping at The Vermont Country store for some lunch and shopping.  We ventured up to Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park to visit Vermont’s only National Park Service Site.

We stopped in at the Visitor Center grabbing umbrellas and Junior Ranger books. The JR here is a hike with a scavenger hunt involved at each site. Truly fun and kept everyone’s attention.  We were off and on our own here to enjoy this park. Nobody for miles.

First Stop was the Mansion.

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We sat on the porch and enjoyed the outdoors awhile here. There were outstanding views all around so we couldn’t help ourselves.

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We set off on a rainy hike around the property that didn’t take too long and was gorgeous. We walked through a Tree Plantation and learned why it is important, past a compost pile and learn all the things that can be composted and what can’t. We went for a walk in the woods, past a wood barn in through the Forest center. We had to find things to do (at home) to become more environmentally friendly.  We decided we would invest in a windmill.

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Junior Ranger books done, back to the Visitor Center to earn our badge. These badges were made out of trees that came from this park.  This is a cool addition to this place.

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Great stop on our way through Vermont!  Up next is Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream and our fabulous stay at the Trapp Family Lodge.  Check out our Vermont blog on those exciting stops.

New York

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New York!!!  State line sign #23 of 50.  This was taken while on National Park Trip Season 3 in the summer of 2018.  Right off of Interstate 90 coming from Pennsylvania into New York. Plenty of room to pull off and get a great picture.

National Park Service sites we visited while in New York

Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historical Site

Women’s Rights National Historical Park

Fort Stanwix National Monument

Saratoga National Historical Park

No trip through New York would be complete without visiting one of the best state parks in the U.S. found in Watkins Glen, New York.  We stayed at Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel and went on a “gorge”gous hike through Watkins Glen State Park.  The hike was a great hike to get our heart rates going with amazing views the whole way.  I don’t think you could take a bad photo here.  The views are awesome!! Check it out!

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Great little town to stop off at on our way across New York. Great dining, hotel and outdoor activities here.

Check back for Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and more!!

Saratoga National Historical Park

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Visited: July 2018

Duration: 2 hours

Accommodations: Bennington, Vermont

One of the most decisive victories in American and world history was won here at Saratoga. The Battles of Saratoga began in September of 1777, with British Gen. John Burgoyne leading his troops down the Hudson River.  After many weeks of battle Burgoyne’s troops took refuge in a fortified camp in Saratoga.  American forces, that had grown to 17,000 men surrounded the British Army. Burgoyne surrendered in October of 1777.

Here we also learned about Benedict Arnold and his part in the war. This battle was instrumental in bringing in France as an American Ally which later led to Spain joining France in the war against Britain.

We got here later in the afternoon and had about 30 minutes to look through the museum and walk around outside. Great displays in the museum, you could even dress up as soldiers. The Visitor Center is up on the hill with beautiful overlooks of the valley.

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We hopped in the car at Visitor Center closing time and headed out for our very own auto tour of the park.  We grabbed the information packet for each stop at the VC.  You can do an audio tour at Http://sara.toursphere.com but we just drove while I read what was in the brochure.

Here is stop 1: The Freeman Farm Overlook

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Here is stop #2: The Neilson Farm. This is a restored home that looks much like it did in 1777.

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The Monument for the Unknown American Dead

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We breezed by the other 8 stops and got out and looked around. It is a beautiful well kept park, but we are getting hungry. Off to Bennington, Vermont for the night.  The nice Park Rangers knew that we wouldn’t make it back in time to earn our Junior Ranger badge so he entrusted it to me to make sure the kids completed the books. One of them did it 😉

 

Little did any of us know that we would be back in the morning to Saratoga because Gunnar left his passport book in the museum.  Luckily the cleaning lady found it and because we had written our phone # inside of it, they called us before we left Bennington and we made the trip back to retrieve it.

NOTE TO YOURSELF:  Write your phone # in the front of your national park passport book, it is a life saver!!!!

I hope you enjoyed our trip through New York and the Battles of Saratoga.  Have you been here?  It is a beautiful place.

Fort Stanwix National Monument

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Visited: July 2018

Duration: 2-3 hours

Traveling across New York took us right in to Rome, New York for this fabulous National Monument. Right in the middle of town is a step back in history to interpret the events of the siege of 1777. In 1776 the Continental Congress ordered General George Washington to have Fort Stanwix rebuilt to protect the emerging nation’s northwest border and to secure a foothold for future expansion.

In 1777, the siege of Fort Stanwix begins on August 3rd by British forces. Col. Peter Gansevoort vowed to hold the fort “to the last extremity”. After 21 days of siege British forces abandon Fort Stanwix after American reinforcements approach, under the control of Major General Benedict Arnold. This victory, coupled with the defeat of the British attack and surrender of Saratoga, led to alliances between the United States, France and the Netherlands.

Our first stop here was the the Willett Center, we stopped in for an orientation to Fort Stanwix and the American Revolution.  Great museum with fun displays. You can even build your own fort.

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We headed out to the Fort on the paved trail and headed in over the drawbridge.

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We stopped off at the West Barracks (Visitor Contact Station) to watch a short film. We then wandered the Fort (some was under construction so we couldn’t go in some of the buildings.

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Here are some pictures of the East Barracks you can see the difference in the officer’s and soldier’s barracks.

We walked around the fort and talked with volunteers that were all really informative and more than happy to answer any questions you have.

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We headed back to the Willett Center to find a few more answers we were looking for in our books. This Junior Ranger was hard, parents had to help with a few of these, but in the end we “conquered” it.

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Earned our Badges and got our cancellations! Off to Part 2 of the battle, Saratoga!

Fort Stanwix was a good time in a beautiful city. Have you been here? What did you think? History can be so much fun to learn.

Women’s Rights National Historical Park

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Visited: July 2018

Duration: 1-2 hours

Accommodations: Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel

We are trekking across New York after spending a few days at Niagara Falls on our way to Maine. This was a fantastic little stop!  There are several historic houses to stop at but we chose the visitor center to spend our time at.

First things first we grabbed our Junior Ranger books and headed to watch the film, “Dreams of Equality”. I would have to say of all of the National Historic Sites we have visited this film was the best we have seen.  It is a little dated but full of so much information and presented in a way that you don’t feel overloaded and shut your mind off.  Even my kids enjoyed it.  The Junior Ranger book was really fun as well, great activities for the kids to do.

The kids hung out mostly in the Junior Rangers room (which was a really cool and fun place), you could even dress up as Park Rangers, I think they are the most handsome Rangers I have ever seen. ❤ ❤

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We walked around upstairs and viewed the displays while the boys finished their books. There are lots of displays and it is all very interesting.

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Wesleyan Chapel sits just to the east of the visitor center and was the location that heard the first formal demands for women’s rights on July 19th and 20th in 1848.

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Other sites to see are the M’Clintock House and The Hunt House in Waterloo, New York. Besides the Visitor Center in Seneca Falls there is the People’s Park and Elizabeth Cady Stanton House.

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If you are in the area come check this place out and learn all about the amazing women that moved women’s rights forward in this country! This truly is an great place to savor history. Our National Park Service in this country is fascinating and a great place to learn hands on history.

Kids earned their Junior Rangers and we are off to Fort Stanwix.  Another Great Stop on National Park Trip Season 3.

Lots of cancellations here for your passport!

We loved this place, have you been here??  We would love to know how you felt about it.

Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historical Site

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Visited: July 2018

Duration: 1-2 hours

Accommodations: Niagara Falls, Canada (this was a stop off on the way)

Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site was a quick stop off on our way to Niagara falls.  We got off to a late start and didn’t want to deal with the crowds at Niagara so we took our time to get there and made a pit stop off here. We arrived about 10 minutes before opening, so we walked around and got some photos of the outside, it was a gorgeous house.

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The house belonged to Ansley Wilcox and is now one of the oldest homes in Buffalo, New York.  President Theodore Roosevelt was sworn in as the 26th President of the United States in the Library of the Wilcox House after President William McKinley was shot twice and died eight days later of an infection from one of the bullets that was not able to be found.

We wandered in when it opened and stood in line for tour tickets (you can buy these in advance, so if you know when you will be there do this), we were 1 over the limit but the AWESOME ranger giving the tour let us go with the group. Thank you Thank you!  The tour was of the inside of the Ansley house and is the only way you get to see it, otherwise without tour tickets you only see the museum which is really small and not really worth the stop.

The tour and our tour guide was AMAZING!!!  There were several room visits but our absolute favorite was The Issues Theater, it is crazy to think that we are dealing with some of the same issues today.

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Our second favorite room was the recreation of Roosevelt’s office at the White House. You can sit at the presidential desk where there is a touch screen computer that you can interact with and see how similar you are to TR and how he voted on certain topics. However, the hit was when you could take your picture at the desk and it emails you a picture of you as the president on the front page of the paper with a news story. See below for ours.  How fun is that!!

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When the tour ended you had all the time you needed to wander the second floor. We took our time, played checkers and finished up our Junior Rangers. When done we headed down the stairs to be sworn in (just like TR) as Junior Rangers.  We LOVED this ranger (tour guide) she was one of the best we have ever encountered and she made this stop better than what it is by being so generous and informative. You could really tell she loves this job and is very good at it.

Junior Rangers earned, passports stamped and we are off to Niagara Falls, we have heard it is not to be “mist”.

Here they are the newly sworn in Junior Rangers of Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site!! Aren’t they handsome??

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Have you been to this Historic Site? Did you enjoy it as much as us? We would love to know your favorite room.

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