West Virginia, A Family Adventure Worth Taking

Yes, there was a bit of a cold spell while we were in the state of West Virginia, but we still had a great time.

Often when visiting an area we have a few plans for what we will see and do while we are there, but other than a tour of the capitol building, we had no idea where life would take us in West Virginia. It is nice to not really plan too much sometimes because it leaves us open to do what the locals recommend.

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The Smallest Capital in America

Montpelier Vermont may be the smallest capital city in the US, but it is a great place to visit

The Vermont State House in Montpelier is made from granite quarried in the state because they really like to keep things local. Walking up to the building you will notice how well they keep the grounds. It is very pretty with a beautiful display of flowers leading up to the front steps. It made for some great pictures. Our tour guide did a great job of showing us the building and giving us some interesting facts. At the start of the tour she informed us that they will soon be redoing the gold dome and she brought out a “bar of gold” that would be equal in weight to what they put on the dome. The kids were thrilled to hold a “bar of gold.”

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The Maine Event

We finally made it to Maine! Our travels have been taking us up the East coast since spring and we have reached the northeastern most state at last. The New England states are beautiful and having this opportunity to see them is amazing. The people in the state have been so friendly. Our neighbors were so generous, they gave us a large amount of firewood and offered us free use of their kayaks. We were not able to take advantage of the kayaks due to my wrist still being injured, but the free wood sure kept us warm. Our first stay in Maine was near Augusta because of course we had to go tour the capitol building. We found a nice place to stay right on a lake. The Augusta West Kampground had a small beach where the kids loved catching some craw-fish. They also enjoyed participating in the Saturday night sing along! Maine is a wonderful place to enjoy the outdoors.

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Ships and Shores

After a wonderful time in Connecticut and Rhode Island, we were really looking forward to Massachusetts. Our first stop in the state was Cape Cod. Like all the National Seashores, Cape Cod was beautiful and we loved spending time at the beach. Traffic was kinda crazy because of a large rotary plus the primary road switches from two lanes in each direction down to a single lane in each direction.  So every time we drove anywhere there was lots of traffic and it took longer than we expected. After visiting the cape, I quickly realized why so many people brave the traffic to find a parking spot near the beach.  We loved building sandcastles, watching the seals swim by, and seeing the sailboats. The kids were also able to earn another Junior Ranger Badge and we all learned about the local wildlife at a ranger program about the areas birds.

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The Most Dangerous Trail in the White Mountains

Yes we took the Ridge Hike, which is the most dangerous hike in the White Mountains. No one was injured and we got to see some amazing waterfalls on our hike. We are going to be posting more videos, so please let us know what you think of this one.

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Double Feature

Giving our children an education that they could never receive sitting in a classroom at a desk has been what our adventure is all about.  There are so many amazing places to see and things to experience in this country that it makes homeschooling so easy.  The best part about it is that we are learning all this great stuff together.  We have now taken them to half of the state capitols in the country and to countless museums both large and small.  The learning never stops and what I love is that my children are so excited about learning and tell me how much they like to learn new things; something I think every parent wants to hear.  Our travels have recently brought us into the first of our New England states and we experienced another first which was visiting back to back state capitols.  Most of these northern states are pretty small which made it easy for us to visit both Hartford and Providence from the same camp.  We made our home in Connecticut for a week and explored the area.

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Mountains to Mansions

Seeing New York from the mountains to the history.

We have gotten to see some wonderful things on our adventure like National Parks and magnificent capitol buildings. Each place has its own history and natural features, none of these places are the best.  Each one is just different from the other.

The first place we visited in the state was New York City and it was impressive to say the least. The rest of our New York experience was great though and we enjoyed seeing some of the rural areas.

After leaving New Jersey we decided to head into the forest and visit Catskill Mountain, where we thought we could camp for free. Well we towed up into the mountains and down a dead end, where we had to do some tricky maneuvering to get out! So the camp wasn’t free and apparently only backpackers can camp for free. The North/South Lake Campground was lovely and we enjoyed hiking around and visiting the lakes.

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You Win Some, You Lose Some

Trouble Right From The Start

I was so excited to see New Jersey the garden state and had high expectations for our visit. It probably didn’t help to have the governor shut down all the state parks right when we arrived at our camp in Jersey city, but like always we just tried to make the best of it. So some of our Jersey experiences were not so good and others were great. It is just like we always tell the kids, ‘life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react’. So we took the bad in stride and tried to make the best of our Jersey experiences.

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