Beautiful Places

If you visit Maine there are two places that you will definitely not want to miss. We had already planned on staying in both of them, but especially after being told by many of the locals that they are the must see places in the state we really had to see for ourselves. These two places are Acadia National Park and Baxter State Park. Both of them were beautiful and we are so glad we had the opportunity to experience them. Not only were the places themselves beautiful, but we found some great campgrounds to stay in and made some new friends too. I feel fortunate to have had the chance to visit Maine, it is such a beautiful and natural place.

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Exploring Maine: Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park has a lot to offer and we enjoyed exploring it! Visiting Jordan Pond, Hiking Precipice Trail, and visiting the beach were fun, but the real challenge was taking the kids to the top of Mount Champlain. Watch us climb Bar Island, go on a scavenger hunt at the Wild Gardens, and then … Read more Exploring Maine: Acadia National Park

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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Celebrating Our One Year Anniversary

After visiting more than half the state capitols in America, we still felt a sense of awe when we walked into the Pennsylvania state house in Harrisburg. It is a large majestic government building and the dome is green. That alone made everyone in our family pause as we admired the architecture.  Inside the building is just as spectacular and grand, with stained glass, gold, and paintings. The female artists who painted all the murals did a great job and we just gawked at all the unique works of art. Miles was happy that the senate was in session and we were able to sit in the gallery while watching the inner workings of the state government. He quickly realized that sometimes things take forever in government and all we actually saw was the senate recognizing guests, commercial speeches promoting businesses, and a few senators putting up motions to make awareness months for various issues. Then they broke for lunch and although he has a lot of interest and patience, we didn’t want to sit in the empty chamber for a few hours till the senators reconvened. Of course by we  I mean our five year old who finds the inner workings of government to be boring like most young kids. It was great to visit a lovely capitol building with a welcome center for the kids to learn at, but the best part was what we found outside the capitol building. We usually try to walk around the state capitols we visit so we can see all the statues and get lots of good pictures and often we find some great shots at different angles. Well outside the capitol building in Harrisburg they have a fountain that shoots water in a pattern and our kids sat transfixed by the show. It was a great end to a wonderful capitol visit and the capitol at Harrisburg became ours kids favorite, until we find another cool one of course.

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6 Tips to Save Money While Traveling America with Kids

We want to help others save money while traveling America with kids, so here are some tips.

People have asked us how much it costs to travel to every state in America and it is a hard question to answer. We definitely try to save money while traveling America with kids. For us it costs almost the exact same that living in a 2300 square foot house cost. It might seem like we are living a really expensive lifestyle because we see so many great places, like museums,zoos, and historical sites. In reality we spend very little on our family fun. Playgrounds and capitol building tours are always free, which is why we visit them where ever we go.

Packing a lunch costs the same in a large house or in Washington DC. Yes, we have found the cost of goods is close to uniform across the country. So if something is a little more expensive in one place, then something else is probably a little cheaper. If you are the type to try to save a dime anytime it is possible, then it will be cheaper than for someone who spends without a worry. Since we are frugal travelers, who like to save money, we thought we would share some tips to save money while traveling America with kids

The reason it is almost impossible to answer the question how much does it costs to travel to every state in America is because it largely depends on the traveler.

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An Urban Oasis

Visiting state capital’s and national parks has become a huge part of our lives in the last year.  So what could be better for us than combining these two things into one great experience? While visiting the capital city of Maryland we stayed in Greenbelt National Park, which has an awesome location.  It is also a great place to camp right near the city.  We are still amazed at how many cool places there are to go and see in this country, no matter where we go there seems to be an endless amount of places we want to check out.  State capitol buildings provide opportunities to learn about history while national parks provide us with experiences in nature.  What I like about these places is that they are free or very inexpensive to visit.  So read on and I will tell you about our family’s adventure to the wonderful capital city of Maryland.

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A Hidden Spot To Camp for Free!!!

As you might have guessed by now we really like going to the seashore. The National Seashores are beautiful places and are worth visiting just for the pristine beaches. They also have educational ranger programs, visitor centers, and the kids can do the Junior Ranger programs. The beach is a great place to spend some school time and each National Seashore has something unique to the area. When my parents suggested we visit Assateague Island I wasn’t sure if we would get to or not. Often times the places we visit are a combination of timing and what route we have to take to see the capitals. After staying in Virginia for longer than we had originally planned, we knew we needed to start heading towards Dover, DE. Unfortunately for us the state parks in Delaware seem to be perpetually full on the weekends at this time of year and we were having some trouble finding a spot to stay. That was when Sarah found a free primitive campsite that was about half way between Newport News and Dover that was located in Maryland.

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The Historic Triangle

The state of Virginia contains much in the way of history, especially when it comes to the early beginnings of this country. They refer to three of the historic sites as the Historic Triangle. This triangle includes Jamestown, Colonial Williamsburg, and Yorktown. Both Jamestowne and Yorktown have two sites, one being the national park site, the other being a historical recreation. Of the two we only visited the national park sites for both. There is always so much to see and we only have so much time and money to go around. We really wanted to see Colonial Williamsburg though so we decided to buy the tickets and see the sites (you can walk around the town, shops, and eat in the restaurants without buying tickets). They were not cheap to buy, but we had a great time and felt it was definitely worth it at the end of the day.

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Let’s Go Fly A Kite

Sometimes we make camp and something unexpected happens. Well at Oregon Inlet Campground we ran into some strong winds. Now we have had strong winds before, like in New Mexico when the wind damaged our wheel skirting, but this was some really powerful wind. One night it blew so hard it damaged our window! Luckily we are pretty handy at this point and we were able to fix it ourselves in the morning. I have heard of the saying when life hands you lemons make lemon-aid, so when we were faced with strong winds we decided to go fly a kite. We brought a kite along with us from Nevada and had carried it to twenty-five states without using it. This was the opportunity we had been looking for, strong winds and sandy beaches for the kids to crash it into because let’s face it you gotta crash a few times to really learn how to fly. That’s what the Wright Brothers did and it worked out pretty well for them, but I digress and will get to those guys in a minute. The look of joy on the kids face as the kite took flight and they were the ones controlling it was priceless. Yes even though it was windy we had a great time visiting the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

Here is a close up of his face as he flew it for the first time on his own!

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A Unique Beginning for South Carolina

We traveled the state from a single camp.

It is unusual for us to stay in only a single campsite when visiting a state, but in South Carolina one stop was perfect. We saw all we had hoped to see.  We stayed at an RV park called Barnyard RV.  It was not great, but we made due for a week.  The only good thing about it was its location.  It was a quick drive into Columbia and less than two hours for us to get to the beach.  Other than that it was noisy, the Wi-Fi was virtually non-existent, and the roads were littered with pot holes, just to name a few of the down sides.   Despite the site being sub-standard we still managed to have a great time while visiting Columbia, South Carolina.

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