If you know us, you know we like to vacation. Well, that’s not entirely accurate. We like to take trips. To me, a vacation is relaxing, restive, and doesn’t involve cooking or cleaning. Our trips are not laid back, but they sure are fun, and our kids have seen more of the US than I had until, well, often until I went with the kids!
I saw an article linked on Pinterest to CafeMom for an article on 25 Places in the US you should take your kids before they graduate. I contend there is no one list that works for every family, but I thought I would see how we scored on their list:
Twice, actually. I love South Dakota.
2. Smithsonian – check
But not nearly as much as you would think, living so close to DC
3. Grand Canyon National Park – check!
And we’re going back this year
4. Appomattox, VA – nope
Of course they are just 8 and 5, but this is right down the road from us and Keith is kind of a Civil War buff, so you would think we would have.
5. Empire State Building – noooo
We took the girls to NYC for the day when Anja was here, but the cold winter winds cut our already tight schedule and this was a miss.
6. Niagara Falls State Park – half credit
We went to Niagara Falls with Keith’s parents and sister the summer after Kaitlyn was born. So, we have pictures of her at Niagara Falls, but you can’t say Kourey has been at all (And I don’t think this is a memorable trip for Kaitlyn). We were going to go back last year, but then we switched the trip to Disney.
7. The Freedom Trail – nope
Boston was on the original pre-Disney itenerary last year, but all in all, I’m ok with the way things turned out. That being said, this goes on our list!
8. Metropolitan Museum of Art – no
Not only have the kids not gone, I haven’t either. I need a New York fix!
9. Statue of Liberty – well, we’ve seen it
But only from Battery Park, on that super cold and windy day that I mentioned before. And I think Kourey’s eyes had iced closed at that point.
10. Golden Gate Bridge – no!
We haven’t even been to California! (Until this summer, but SanFran isn’t on the itenerary)
11. Four Corners – nope
But we’re going this summer!
12. Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve – no
At first I thought I could say yes, but then I saw the “Bay” part. Glacier National Park, yes; Glacier BAY National Park – as in, in Alaska – no
13. Liberty Bell – yes!
We went to Philadelphia with the Senior Dohls and Auntie Kris and Uncle Kevin a few summers ago. Nana told them the bell was cracked when they visited the bell almost 30 years ago, by none other than their dear old dad at age 6. Kaitlyn discovered in the museum that Nana was having a joke.
14. Gettysburg – yes
I can’t say the kids could distinguish it from a lot of other battlefields and mini-hikes we’ve done, but they’ve been.
We stopped by on our way to Vegas from the Grand Canyon on our first westward trek. We took the dam tour and all the dam pictures we wanted. We also got a sunburn walking to and from the car.
16. Kennedy Space Center – no
We talked about going this past summer when we went to Disney, but couldn’t justify the price versus the kids’ (non)interest level in all the tickets covered. In related news, did you know your Congressman can sometimes get you complimentary passes to Kennedy Space Center? We talked with the office, but they were already out for the period we were going. We will check again (earlier) next time.
17. World Trade Center Site – no
We discussed going when we went to NYC with Anja, but I we really made it to less places than we anticipated. I can’t say I’ve even talked about 9/11 with the kids. I’m not sure I’m ready to.
18. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum – no
At 8 and 5, this is not something they are ready for; at the very least it is not something I am ready for with them. But one day we will.
19. Newport Mansions – no
When I saw this on the list, I had to look up the Newport Mansions. It was not even on my radar. We have been to Biltmore Estate, though (although, it was back in 2006, before Kourey was born).
We went to Salt Lake City, but didn’t go to Great Salt Lake.
21. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park – no
22. Hollywood – no
But we’re going this summer! Stay tuned for pictures of the Dohls in front of the iconic Hollywood sign!
23. Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site – no
Again, it was not even on my radar. We had considered going to Atlanta, but were mainly looking at Stone Mountain at the time…
We loved Yellowstone so much we went two years in a row (2009 and 2010). Well, we overall loved it, but Kourey still recalls with horror “the STINKY!” of the geothermal features.
25. The Great Lakes – not with the kids
And I really should; my aunt lives practically on one of them, and I love Mackinac Island.
We’ve got a lot of America left to see, and I love going to see it with my family! I look forward to many more years of travel with my kids – maybe see a few more of these places while we’re at it.