The City of Brotherly Love gets much of the attention when it comes to the history of the United States’ founding. True, Philly did serve as the capital and the location of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. And today, you can get up close to the Liberty Bell or visit the Museum of the American Revolution. But the surrounding suburbs of Philadelphia played an important role, too. Crucial battles were fought in some of these areas. But it was the battle of a different kind that makes Valley Forge Park worth visiting.
In many respects, Washington, DC is a traveler’s paradise. The city is full of world-class museums, many of which are free to visit. There’s a large park full of notable monuments to explore. And the architecture and history in the city are difficult to fathom. But traveling to Washington, DC with a dog offers lots of possibilities! Traveling can be difficult but it shouldn’t be because your best friend can’t come along. My husband and I recently took a day trip to DC with George, our mini schnauzer. And all members of the pack had a lot of fun. Here are some ideas for a Washington, DC dog-friendly day trip!
For me, no visit to Munich would be complete without a visit to Nymphenburg Palace, or as they say in German: Schloss Nymphenburg. It’s a little different than the nearby royal buildings. At Munich’s Residenz you can spend days touring the riches of the Wittelsbachs. Neuschwanstein is a fan favorite that is world famous as a massive fairy tale castle. But Nymphenburg is a little different. It’s almost as if it’s a suburban park that just happens to have a spectacular palace.
Maybe you’re your interests lie with the royal connection. Maybe you just want to experience life like a local. Nymphenburg Palace and Park is a great way to spend a day.
Spending a day in Washington, D.C. is a great idea. Spending a day in Washington, D.C. in August (the first day, actually) can cause a traveler to have a second thought. But there I was with a day in Washington, D.C. The nation’s capital is full of fantastic options of things to see and do. There’s no shortage of great restaurants and shops. And while the city does have plenty of public transit options — from the subway to buses doing circuits of the most popular tourist attractions — the relatively flat landscape makes for fantastic walking. Yeah, a day in Washington, D.C. is full of fun.
I feel like taking photographs of monuments, busts and sculptures in parks has become my thing. They seem like such underrated works of art that we all take for granted. During our recent trip to the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, I loved turning every corner and not knowing what would be next. Often, it was a statue. Who would it memorialize? So often it seemed somewhat random. English great Shakespeare holds court in the sunny park with German greats Goethe and Schiller. The three rubbed bronzed elbows with United States presidents, Beethoven (although as a bust he was elbow-less), Francis “oh say can you see” Scott Key and Czech philosopher and politician Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, who is also lacking in the below-the-chin area. And these are merely the statues that we stumbled upon. It’s simply lovely!
Originally, we were not going to venture too far from the Fisherman’s Wharf area during our recent whirlwind trip to San Francisco. Then I discovered the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park and my friend recommended Uber. It seemed too good to pass up. Needless to say, we made a special trip to the park to visit the garden. Not only do I not regret making the special trip but it might have been one of my favorite things we did during our visit.
It’s not any secret that my favorite things to do when I travel are those that are the least touristy. So Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Nags Head, North Carolina, is right up my alley. Nature? Fresh air? Beautiful scenery? No entry fee? Sign me up! I’ve been visiting the tallest active sand dune system in the eastern United States for many, many years now and even though it’s “just” sand, it’s a living ecosystem and organism. The dunes are never the same, the trees and plants are never the same.
The main road that cuts through Valley Forge Park is one I travel very frequently. And I knew there was a monument just off to the one side but I’d never taken a close look. When I pulled into the parking lot during my recent trip to the park, I noticed the statue overlooking the valley. As I got closer, I fell in love with the details on the monument: the spurs, the leather work, the facial expression. The statue in question is that of Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben. And needless to say, I was shocked when I found that the information plaque in front of him had a button to hear audio that was both in English and in German. I took some (terrible) video.
Sometimes it’s the things in your own backyard, so to speak, that you don’t pay attention to. I hadn’t been to Valley Forge National Historic Park since…I couldn’t even tell you when but it’s been a long time. While the park has a pretty busy road running straight through the middle, it’s part park and part historic site. That’s what I love about it. On one side of the road it’s mini vans with license plates from far away. Meanwhile while I was strolling around by the National Memorial Arch I saw a few people who hadn’t taken their work badges off during their lunch break. And after all, who can blame them as it was a beautiful day.