Travel from sea to shining sea; by car or by plane, there's plenty to see in the good ole US of A.
Best City Parks in the US
Many tourists looking to experience nature in America make their way to open spaces far from the city, but US city parks offer some gorgeous alternatives right in the heart of metropolitan areas. These are ten of the best city parks in the US to add to your must-see list.
Dave’s Place Elevates All with Down to Earth NYC Townies
I went to college in Plattsburgh, New York – the North Country. Every weekend the downtown bars were mobbed with college students drinking one dollar beers and doing what they do. Scattered along side, "townies" tried to pass themselves off as us. It was always an uneasy piece, as it probably is in many places across the country. But if you really wanted to get a taste and put aside this youthful air of undeserved superiority that we haughtily wore among our community hosts – "The Royal" was the place to go. That said, we from our pretentious suburban, urban and middle class perches have all given these places a go. And while we hope our arrogance is forgiven, we are all the better for rising to the level of the down to earth people that are always encountered. I recently found a bar such as this in the unlikeliest place – West 42nd and 9th avenue in Manhattan.
The Thrills of Skydiving
The airplane starts to whirl its engines and ascend slowly up into the atmosphere. I’m as calm as a Hindu cow trying to remain unaware of what I’m about to do. My instructor who is tied at the hip straps me in as tightly as possible as a necessary safety precaution. I am still in denial about what is about to happen to me but it’s too late now. There is simply no way to turn back now.
Day-cationing in the Finger Lakes
I went to school in upstate New York (Cornell University, to be exact--GO RED). Even though a good portion of it involved slaving away for hours on papers and walking up icy slopes just to get to class and discuss whale mating sounds (sit in on Oceanography 101, I dare you), I miss it endlessly.
From Skidoo to Aguereberry
So after visiting Cerro Gordo we headed into Death Valley. Our first stop was at Father Crowley Point. The attraction here is the beautiful geological formations, their colors and the fact that the military practices in the canyon there. So much so that the canyon has been nicknamed the Star Wars Canyon. Unfortunately that day, because of the cloud cover, they weren't flying.
Fire on the Mountain: The Appalachian Culture
By 1966 in the mountains of North Georgia, much of the old folk knowledge was disappearing. The culture of Appalachia was being replaced with fast food and discount stores. This was a culture of oral tradition rather than the written word. The older people of the region had pursued a way of life learned from their parents and not too changed in over a century. Young people had discovered Wal-Mart and McDonald. The times had changed and there was no longer a need for weavers, blacksmiths, carters and ham curers.
The Infamous Teakettle Junction and Lost Burro Mine
If you have ever driven the road from Scotty's Castle in Death Valley to The Racetrack, you will know what I mean when I say LONG DRIVE .........VERY LONG DRIVE! Because of the washboard we couldn't go over 10 mph. Of course, the shorter wheel based Jeeps were hauling ass and passing us. So do the math. It's 19 miles (give or take) from where the dirt starts to Teakettle Junction and then another 6 miles from there to the start of The Racetrack. It took hours and hours to get to Teakettle Junction. I'm not exaggerating..... Anyhow, Teakettle Junction is actually a landmark out in the desert, a waypoint for the lost, a beacon of hope........Okay, it's just a sign, and yes, teakettles hanging off said sign. I was impressed as to how many there were. I am thinking that they take them down every year because they were all from 2016. Nothing older than that.
Free and Cheap in The Big Easy
Back in the fifties when Gordon MacRae and Sheree North sang their hearts out in The Best Things in Life are Free, you could see the movie for one quarter. At that time I was living in New Orleans and too young to appreciate the truth in that song.
Traveling Across the Countryside
Last year, my four children and I went on a trip to Southern Indiana and Louisville, Kentucky. We're from Mississippi, so it was a pretty long trip for us especially since we are not that accustomed to traveling. I was going there to take a test for a job.