Because of my great-great grandmother, because of her bravery, I am an American. My face could be on that flag. – unknown descendant
Ellis Island holds significant meaning for many Americans and their families. From 1892 to 1954, this beautiful building, on an island nestled between New York City, Jersey City and the Statue of Liberty, was the inspection station for all immigrants entering the United States. It is now a museum of the millions of immigrant families who came through its doors and the expansion of America during that time.
For our family, Ellis Island is where my grandparents, among other ancestors, first stepped foot in America. We have talked about their journey with my daughter. She’s heard about it with my grandmother – her great-grandmother – in their conversations, we’ve mentioned it as we ourselves traveled my grandmother’s reverse route to Germany, and she has started to grasp the concept of a blended culture – or a world full of different cultures – when she experiences and learns about the traditions of many nations.
History is powerful. Cultures are powerful. Each person’s story can be powerful. These are things we want to continue exposing our daughter to, in a variety of ways.
But the day we went to Ellis Island, we had not actually planned to go there at all. We had different plans entirely.
Before having kids, we spent a lot of time in Vermont. Several of our friends have lived there over the past decade, which has made for some great road trips and ski trips and your run of the mill, early 20-something debauchery. I feel old even just thinking back and smiling about it all.
Now that we – and our dear, Vermont friends – have kids, things have tamed down a bit. A lot. So now we’re giddy about giggly sleepovers, going for walks at a toddler’s pace and daring to have a dinner out. It’s a joy to do this anywhere, but especially in a funky, outdoorsy place like Burlington. We love sharing it with them.
Our friends recently moved to the Seacoast of New Hampshire. As hard as it is to have friends living away from you, it’s wonderful to have extended visits to the great places they call home. Hence our roadtrip to New Hampshire.
We had planned to travel throughout New England earlier this summer, but were excited to finally get here now. The area is rooted in colonial history with the towns, buildings and streets full of early American charm. I have this thing for cobblestones and clapboard siding, so I was giddy. Plus, the fall is a beautiful time of year to visit New England, with the leaves changing color. Just lovely. (more…)
Okay, New Jersey. Garden State. Here’s looking at you. With approximately 130 miles of coastline, I’ve been searching for beaches that are more naturally preserved and less focused on the boardwalk experience. We’ve found them in the past, and are happy to have family living in the Sea Girt and Manasquan area so we could explore those as well. (more…)
This fall, my family took our first big trip since having kids. My husband and I traveled quite a lot when it was just us. We knew we always wanted to travel with our kids, but had been putting it off. It felt like a lot of work to take our 2- and 4-year olds anywhere requiring plane travel, and we were admittedly nervous about how it would go. (more…)