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March 2, 2014

Shenandoah Caverns

Filed under: Cool Places,Main Blog — alena @ 4:53 pm

Shenandoah Caverns

Will and I had seen brochures for Shenandoah Caverns in Virginia for years and had always wanted to visit. When we found ourselves in Baltimore recently, we decided to make the 2 1/2 drive to check it out.

Shenandoah Caverns Cave Bacon

It’s the only cave in Virginia with an elevator and it’s famous for it’s huge pieces of cave “bacon”, flowstone formed by mineral deposits that bears a strong resemblance to the breakfast staple. It’s 56 degrees year round, so you have to dress warmly, but it’s a great 1 hour tour with no stairs that’s easy for everyone.

Parade Floats in American Celebration

Shenandoah Caverns is privately owned by Earl Hargrove Jr, a famous parade float designer that worked on many presidential inaugural parades. The property around the caverns holds several additional attractions: Main Street of Yesterday, a collection of antique department store window displays, The Yellow Barn, which holds a country store and antique farm equipment and American Celebration, a giant warehouse full of Hargrove’s amazing parade floats, many of which you can actually climb on.

Will at Shenandoah Post Office

You can also send a post card to a friend from the tiny, onsite post office!

Alena in Shenandoah National Park

On the way back, we took a drive through Shenandoah National Park for some spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Shenandoah Caverns
Shenandoah National Park

November 20, 2013

Upcoming Adventure!!

Filed under: From Alena,Main Blog — alena @ 8:24 pm

This month Will and I are going back to Asia to visit Japan!!

November 17, 2013

British School of Falconry

Filed under: Cool Places,Main Blog — alena @ 7:56 pm

Alena with Hawk

It’s no secret to our friends that Will and I love birds. Although we are partial to parrots, we decided to meet some birds of prey at the British School of Falconry during a stay at the Equinox Resort in Manchester, Vermont. Lessons last between 30-60 minutes and can be purchased through the hotel. Although you can fly the hawks outside, we visited during the winter and had to do an indoor session. When we first entered the housing enclosure, Rob, our instructor, introduced us to some of the birds and talked to us about how falconry works.

Will with Hawk

Finally, he brought out a huge Harris Hawk and let us take turns holding her, flying her across the room and feeding her. It was both exciting and intimidating being so close to such a magnificent, wild animal. She was heavy and there was no doubt in my mind that she was stronger and more powerful than us but, luckily, she was completely focused on eating! While I do have mixed emotions about wild animals in captivity, these birds seemed quite content relaxing on a warm perch most of the day and having their meals served to them. They are let loose and allowed to fly free during the warmer months and they always return because life is much easier and nicer for them at the school. Interacting with the birds was a really special experience and I’d love to return and do the outdoor walk one day!

British School of Falconry

November 16, 2013

The Neon Museum in Las Vegas

Filed under: Cool Places,Main Blog — alena @ 5:09 pm

Neon Museum Sign

On our last trip to Las Vegas, Will and I decided to check out the new Neon Museum which opened its doors in October 2012. It’s run by a not-for-profit group that collects, restores and displays old neon signs from around the city. The signs are not only a huge part of Las Vegas history, but they are also incredible pieces of art and architecture.

Neon Museum Reception

The visitor’s center is a restored reception desk from the La Concha hotel.

Alena in Boneyard

The signs are shown outdoors on a lot called “The Boneyard”.

Sahara Sign

Among the pieces displayed are signs from the Stardust, the Sahara and the Tropicana.

Will in Boneyard

There are also some non-neon items like this man that used to be displayed over a pool hall.

La Concha Sign

While most of the signs are no longer in working order, the chicken and the old La Concha Hotel sign, at the front of the park, still light up!

Tropicana Sign

Although it’s open to the public, because of the fragility of the collection and the danger the widespread broken glass poses, visitors must join one of the guided, hour long tours offered several times daily. The Neon Museum is a great museum and so uniquely Las Vegas! It should be on everyone’s to do list when they visit Sin City.

Neon Museum

October 20, 2013

Trip to Macau, China Posted in My Adventures!!

Filed under: From Alena,Main Blog — alena @ 7:31 pm


Visit My Adventures to read about our trip to Macau, China and check out pictures on my Photos page or by clicking into the album through one of the images posted.

September 14, 2013

Upcoming Adventures!!!

Filed under: Main Blog,Upcoming Adventures — alena @ 6:21 pm

Last month Will and I had a great time visiting Budapest, Hungary where we visited thermal baths and ate next to the Danube River. Pictures and details of the trip coming in the future!

Next month we are heading to Cape Cod to watch the cranberry bogs complete their harvests!

Coming up next on my website: Macau, China

September 8, 2013

Beijing Trip Posted in My Adventures!!

Filed under: From Alena,Main Blog — alena @ 3:06 pm

Alena and Will on Mutianyu Great Wall

Visit My Adventures to read about our trip to Beijing, China and check out pictures on my Photos page or by clicking into the album through one of the images posted.

July 4, 2013

Trip to Hong Kong Posted in My Adventures!!

Filed under: From Alena,Main Blog — alena @ 6:05 pm

Victoria Harbor

Visit My Adventures to read about our trip to Hong Kong, China and check out pictures on my Photos page or by clicking into the album through one of the images posted.

June 30, 2013

Upcoming Adventure!!

Filed under: From Alena,Main Blog,Upcoming Adventures — alena @ 5:38 pm

This month we returned to Italy to visit Milan and ride through the canals in Venice! It was beautiful and I’ll be posting pictures soon, but I’m currently working on my China stuff and I should have Hong Kong posted in the next couple of days!

May 19, 2013

Island Beach, Greenwich, Connecticut

Filed under: Cool Places,Main Blog — alena @ 6:33 pm

Alena on Ferry

Island Beach

Last summer, Will and I visited Island Beach, a little island park in Greenwich, CT inside Long Island Sound. The beach is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day and can only be reached by private boat or ferry. If you’re a resident of Greenwich, your beach pass will get you there. Non-residents can buy a day pass and ferry ticket. The ride over to the island takes about 20 minutes and runs every half hour on the weekends from 10am-7pm. The beach has plenty of shade, picnic tables and 1,000 feet of sand with areas for swimming and boating. It will be opening for the season next week and it’s a perfect place to spend a hot summer day!

Island Beach

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