Photo Friday: Happy Summer 2013 from the Jersey Shore!

 Posted by on July 31, 2013  Comments Off
Jul 312013

Looking back over the photos from our most recent family vacation visit to the Jersey Shore, we continue to be thrilled at how well the area is doing as it recovers from Super Storm Sandy.  For Photo Friday we wanted to share a few of our favorite Jersey Shore boardwalk and beach images from summer 2013.

Riding the Tilt-a-Whirl at Jenkinson's Boardwalk in Pt. Pleasant, NJ

Riding the Tilt-a-Whirl at Jenkinson’s Boardwalk in Pt. Pleasant, NJ

Walking the beachfront in Belmar, NJ

Walking Belmar Beach 2013

Walking Belmar Beach 2013

Enjoying classic boardwalk food – fries, ice cream and candy.. did we miss anything?

Grab a bite to eat on the boardwalk

Grab a bite to eat on the boardwalk

Playing all those classic arcade games – skee-bowl is a favorite!

Skee-Bowl at Jenkinsons

Skee-Bowl at Jenkinsons

A visit to the recently re-opened Jenkinson’s aquarium – love those penguins.

Feeding time at the recently re-opened Jenkinson's aquarium

Feeding time at the recently re-opened Jenkinson’s aquarium

And any excuse for fireworks!

Long Branch Fireworks 2013

Long Branch Fireworks 2013

Hope to see you all at the Jersey Shore real soon!  In the meantime, you can find links to lots of great family travel photos from around the world at the Delicious Baby Photo Friday round up.

Photo Friday: Teen’s View of the Port of Seattle

 Posted by on September 16, 2011  Comments Off
Sep 162011

As usual, on our quick sunny Sunday tour of Seattle, we armed the teens with cameras so they could capture their own images of the day.  Even though he was almost 18, the #1 Son was drawn to all things mechanical.  In particular, the working Port of Seattle was an attraction.  The Port covers much of the waterfront land and nearby properties including container terminals, general purpose/cargo terminals, foreign trade zone,  break-bulk cargo and refrigerated cargo areas, repair facilities and storage warehouses.  It is also home to cruise ship docks, marinas for pleasure boats and a day cruise terminal – all in all it is a busy place.

View of Seattle Harbor from Space Needle

View of Seattle Harbor from Space Needle

We first glimpsed the harbor from high atop the Seattle Space Needle in the morning.  Both the sky and the water were a deep blue.  To get an up close view of the Port we joined a couple of hundred other tourists on the deck of the Argosy Cruise Line’s 1-hour Harbor Cruise (which we paid for ourselves).   As we reported earlier it was very crowded on the outside decks but that didn’t stop us from taking in the views.

Seattle skyline seen from the deck of the Argosy Cruise

Seattle skyline seen from the deck of the Argosy Cruise

The first part of the cruise provided a view of the skyline and the cruise ship docks, but, as we looped around the harbor it was Mt. Rainier that dominated the scene.   This 14,000 foot mountain is located 54 miles from Seattle, but it sure felt a whole lot closer.  Our tour narrator told us that if the volcanic Mt. Rainier explodes, the mountain’s vast glacial ice deposits would instantly vaporize and the resulting red hot mudflows, known as lahars, could reach all the way to Seattle!

Mt Rainier looms over Port of Seattle

Mt Rainier looms over Port of Seattle

A sizable section of the Harbor is dedicatedto  commerical matters such as boat repair and container ship loading cranes.  It was a fairly busy the day we were there.  We were a little surprised to see a 150 foot Coast Guide icebreaker in for repair.

The Coast Guard icebreak Healy in for repairs at the Port of Seattle

The Coast Guard icebreak Healy in for repairs at the Port of Seattle

The cranes were pretty impressive too.  There were several different types located across four different piers.  We got to see the gantry cranes in action unloading a container ship.

Container ship being unloaded at the Port of Seattle

Container ship being unloaded at the Port of Seattle

The boat actually came up right alongside the container ship for a birds eye view of the cranes and the containers.  They were stacked high enough that we wondered how they stayed on board during rough seas.

Unloading a container ship at the Port of Seattle

Unloading a container ship at the Port of Seattle

Having spent time on the downtown waterfronts of cities like Boston, where the focus is mostly on tourism and pleasure boats, we were surprised to see how close this large working waterfront is to downtown Seattle.   If you or your kids (no matter what age) are interested in how the waterfront operates this tour is a good choice.

A ship comes into dock at the end of a Port of Seattle cruise

A ship comes into dock at the end of a Port of Seattle cruise

We included a link to this photo essay in the Delicious Baby Photo Friday roundup where you can find connections to lots of other great family travel photos.

Sep 082011

In our neighborhood, autumn came early this year when Hurricane Irene washed out the last weekend of summer and school started before Labor Day.  Just a few days before the hurricane barrelled across New Jersey, New York and Vermont we enjoyed one last summer sunset in Long Branch, NJ.  #1 Son caught this image which pretty much sums it all up for us.

The last summer sunset of 2011
The lifeguards are all off duty and the bathing suits and suntan lotion have been put away.   The backpacks are full of newly purchased school supplies and a new season of  Travel with Teens and Tweens adventures awaits.  Happy Fall!
Note: we shared this post with the Delicious Baby photo friday roundup which is a great place to discover lots of fun family travel bloggers.
Sep 022011

The summer growing season in Alaska is short, but the longer days and warmer weather provide perfect conditions for wildflowers in late June and early July.  #1 Son kept an eye on the flora and fauna during our visit to Alaska.  This photo essay showcases some of his favorites starting with wildflowers seen on his hike to the summit of Flattop Mountain.

Wildflowers at Flattop Mountain

 Bike riding along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail provided many opportunities to stop and smell the roses.

Wild rose along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail

At the top of the Mt. Alyeska tram ride we found flowers growing next to snow fields.

Flowers growing near snow field atop Mt Alyeska


We were surprised to find such delicate blooms in such rugged terrain.

Close up of flowers on Mt Alyeska

The lower elevations of the Kenai near Soldotna bloomed as well.

Wildflowers near Soldotna, AK

Next time you travel with your teens and tweens be sure they have a camera in hand.  You never know what they will see!  Leave a link to photos on your blog!  In the meantime, you can also check out lots of other fun family travel photos at the Delicious Baby Photo Friday site where we included a link to this article.

Teens Go Fishing Alaska Style!

 Posted by on August 5, 2011  Comments Off
Aug 052011

One of the best activities we did as a family during our recent trip to Alaska was a full day flightseeing/bear viewing/fishing day at Big Twin Lake and Wolverine Creek.  We hit the lake on a beautiful blue sky day when the salmon were running and the bears were feeding.  See our article, Alaska: Where the Bears Are, for photos of the black and brown bears we saw.  Today we thought you might be interested in taking a peek at salmon fishing Alaska style.

Our day started out with a floatplane trip over the Cook Inlet to a landing on isolated Big Twin Lake where we transferred to an 18 foot fishing boat and headed toward Wolverine Creek.

Alaska's Big Twin Lake

We soon joined about 10 other boats also looking for salmon and bears.  We were surprised to see so many other folks on such a remote lake, but as we learned, when the salmon are running many Alaskans make it a priority to get out on the water.

Fishing with the masses at Wolverine Creek

We had brought our lunch so the next six hours were spent fishing, bear watching and touring the Lake.  Each person is limited to 3 fish daily.  With the help of our guide Ben from High Adventure Air, the teens both caught their limit and Mary T got one as well.

Our guide Ben, with High Adventure Air, was terriffic!

Of course, once you catch 30 pounds of salmon the question is what do you do with it.  Many of the lodges on the Kenai Peninsula have on site facilities if you want to fillet and freeze your own fish.  We opted to take it to a commercial processor where it was filleted overnight and returned to us in the morning.  We shared about half of it with the Alaska cousins and traded the rest for canned smoked salmon that came home with us as a reminder of our fun Alaskan fishing day!

We linked this article to the Delicious Baby Photo Friday Page with is a great place to find links to lots of other fun family travel photos.



May 132011

     The best way to experience New York City is to walk it.  One of more recent additions to the city’s walking scene is the lower West Side’s High Line park, located on a former elevated rail spur that runs through the  Meatpacking District.  

Take a walk along New York City's High Line

     Opened in 1934 to replace the West Side’s street level rail line, aka Death Alley, the High Line was unique in that it traveled down the center of the blocks, right through factories and warehouses where freight could be loaded and unloaded easily and securely.  Today the walking park runs right through the Chelsea Market building.

Hardy urban native plants keep the High Line green

     The line was dismantled and abandoned in pieces through the 1960s and 1970s with the last train carrying 3 cars of frozen turkeys in 1980.  The remaining 1.45 length of track was gradually taken over by tough urban grasses, plants and trees during the 1990s.  In the late 1990s a group of local advocates for open spaces raised awareness and built support for the city to turn it into a public park.  

A view of the Hudson River from the High Line

     The first third of the restored park opened for use in 2009.   The next section is scheduled to open in June 2011.   From the first day the park has been a hit with city dwellers and visitors alike.  

Enjoy the shade on the High Line

     The concrete path winds along the elevated walkway leaving lots of room for the plants as well as places to sit and enjoy the views down side streets.   There is even an urban outdoor theater carved out of what was a trestle over 10th Avenue.

Urban theater on the High Line

      #1 Son took these pictures while he and his classmates explored the  the High Line as part of their field trip to New York City.   We are pretty sure it looked and smelled a lot better than it did back in the industrial era they studied in school! Visit here if you want to see more of his New York City photos.

     Looking for other great places to walk in New York City?  Check out past posts on walks through Central Park, over the Brooklyn Bridge and down Broadway.

    And finally, we’d like you to know we shared these photos with the Delicious Baby Photo Friday page – stop over there to see lots more fun family travel images.

New York City Things To Do on raveable

May 102011

     As part of his American Studies trip to New York City, #1 Son and his classmates explored Manhattan’s Lower East Side to get a sense for what things might have been like before immigrants were displaced by trendy condos and art galleries.  The highlights of the day included a walk on the Brooklyn Bridge and a visit to the restored 1863 era ethnic apartments of the Tenement Museum, complete with sheet metal ceilings and turn of the century plumbing.   Along the way he took some awesome photos we just had to share. 

The Brooklyn Bridge is a New York City icon

     The Brooklyn Bridge is an iconic symbol of the industrial era in New York City.  Completed in 1883, the 1,595 foot main span links lower Manhattan and Brooklyn.  It is the oldest suspension bridge in the country.  It took 13 years to build and was an engineering marvel in its day.  More than two dozen construction workers lost their lives in the process.  Many passed away due to complications of  “the bends” which resulted from working in deep water caissons.

Car traffic seen from the pedestrian walkway above

     In the early days the bridge carried pedestrians and horse drawn traffic on the same deck, but today it supports six lanes of automobile traffic on the main deck with a heavily used pedestrian and bike path located on a raised center walkway. 

     The bridge recently passed its 125th birthday and thanks to almost constant maintenance it is in decent shape for such a heavily used structure.  It carries 135,00 or more cars most days. 

The Bridge requires constant maintenance

     One thing that has not changed in more than a century is the view of the Statue of Liberty which opened in 1886.  Even as the docks have kept up with the times, Lady Liberty holds her ground.

View of the Statue of Liberty from the Brooklyn Bridge

        Walking back you get a great view of the Manhattan skyline.   For a view of the Bridge at night check out A Teen’s View of New York City by Day and by Night.

View of Manhattan from the Brooklyn Bridge

     #1 Son’s school group walked across the bridge, which is the way many people got across the river in the 1880s.   If  you go, there are other options as well. 

Bike and Ferry Options Available Too

     If you want to spend a day exploring lower Manhattan and seeing the sights from land and water, check out a new offering from New York Water Taxi and Bike and Roll NYC.  They have teamed up to offer 1-day self-guided tour that takes you bike riding through the Hudson River Park, past City Hall and across the Brooklyn Bridge.  For the return trip, hop on the New York City Water Taxi at Brooklyn’s Fulton Ferry Landing for a cruise back to Manhattan, passing the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  All rentals include an 8-hour bike rental, the water taxi ride, a 4-color route map detailing sights along the suggested route,  a helmet and a bike lock.  In celebration of National Bike Month,  Bike the Brooklyn Bridge/Water Taxi Back is offering a promotional package price of $49 for adults and teens and $29 for kids and tweens under 12 during the month of May2011.

New York City Things To Do on raveable