St Patricks Day Celebrations

According tot the National Geographic book Four Seasons of Travel these top 10 places are the spot to be on St Patricks day!

Where will you be? 

New York City, New York

www.nycstpatricksparade.org/

The six-hour long parade attracts nearly 2million people annually. Led by a military unit, a foot-power only procession (no cars or floats allowed) starts at 44th Street and ends at Fifth Ave.

2013 NYC Saint Patrick's Day Parade
2013 NYC Saint Patrick’s Day Parade

 

Boston, Massachusetts

www.southbostonparade.org

South Boston is St. Patrick’s Day central! Since 1901, “Southie” has hosted the parade, which is held on the Sunday closest to March 17th.

Bostons St Patricks Day Parade
Bostons St Patricks Day Parade

Chicago, Illinois

www.chicagostpatsparade.com

 

Chicago has a tradition of turning the Chicago River Green with 18kg of EPA-approved dye; the perfect kelly green. the St. Patrick’s parade begins at noon (always on a Saturday) full of bagpipers, horses and high-stepping colleens leading the way.

http://www.getawayhostel.com/tag/st-patricks-day-parade-chicago
http://www.getawayhostel.com/tag/st-patricks-day-parade-chicago

Savannah, Georgia

www.savannahsaintpatricksday.com

 

The first city in Georgia has been hosting St Patrick’s Day festivities since 1813. This 3 hour rolling street party is held on March 17, unless the 17th falls on a Sunday, then it is held on Saturday.

Budweiser Wagon
Budweiser Wagon

Montserrat, West Indies

www.visitmontserrat.com/St_Patricks_Festival

The first Irish on this “Emerald Isle of the Caribbean” were former indentured servants fleeing religious persecution from neighboring islands in the 1600s.

http://www.visitmontserrat.com/St_Patricks_Festival
http://www.visitmontserrat.com/St_Patricks_Festival

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

www.montrealirishparade.com

Neither rain nor snow has ever canceled the Montreal St. Patrick’s Parade. Run consecutively since 1824, the three-hour processional of floats, bands, and costumed characters is traditionally held on the Sunday closest to March 17.

 Photo by John Zimmerman
Photo by John Zimmerman

Dublin, Ireland

www.stpatricksfestival.ie

Half a million spectators line the 1.6 mile route of Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Festival. This  is a four-day celebration of Irish culture and craic (good fun). The signature March 17 parade kicks off at noon from Parnell Square, continuing past Trinity College to the end point near St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

http://www.stpatricksfestival.ie/gallery
http://www.stpatricksfestival.ie/gallery

Birmingham, England

stpatricksbirmingham.com

On the Sunday closest to St. Patrick’s Day, the UK’s largest St. Patrick’s parade roars through Digbeth, Birmingham’s postindustrial Irish Quarter. Packed pubs line the route and the dress code trends emerald green, but the passing floats, dancers, and drum corps increasingly reflect the city’s cultural diversity.

http://stpatricksbirmingham.com/the-parade
http://stpatricksbirmingham.com/the-parade

Cabo Roig, Spain

www.spain-holiday.com/Cabo-Roig

Spain’s biggest St. Patrick’s Day parade is hosted at Cabo Roig. The parade is filled with marching bands, motorbikes, and irish dignitaries.

Auckland, New Zealand

www.stpatrick.co.nz

The worlds first St. Patrick’s Day celebrations each year is hosted by New Zealands largest city. The cities heritage is Irish and the celebration includes a parade, afleadh (dance and music fest), and lighting the 1,076 foot Sky Tower Kelly Green.

www.stpatrick.co.nz
www.stpatrick.co.nz

 

Where are you going for St. Patricks Day? Any big plans?

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Virginia Creeper, Damascus VA

In November we had the opportunity to knock out a few miles on the incredible Virginia Creeper trail in the western part of Virginia.  The Creeper trail is a two-track gravel path built on an old railway (rail to trail) and is fast becoming one of the more popular trails in the United States.  Our short trip on the trail helped us quickly realize why.

We chose to bike the trail in the autumn timeframe in order to take advantage of the falling leaves and changing colors of the surrounding forest.  I don’t mind biking up hill, however when I’m offered the opportunity I would prefer to bike down hill (who doesn’t).

With the Creeper trail, this is not only an option, but is the  “normal” method.  So on our first night in the town of Damascus VA, we stopped in at The Bike Station to secure our ticket up the hill the next morning.  The great people at The Bike Station locked us in a spot on the morning shuttle and also allowed us to park the Urban Adventure Van (UAV) in their parking lot for an overnight stay.

With both a shuttle for the morning trip secured and a place to park our home on wheels, we started searching for other intriguing places to check out.  It did not take us long to stumble into (and out of) the Damascus Brewery.  We ran through a full tasting of the beers they had on tap and additionally sampled the cider they had recently whipped up.  All incredible beers, making it difficult to choose just one, so I chose multiple.  The Damascus Brewery is yet another cool story of someone putting their mind to coming up with a dream and going for it!  We will be going back for future samplings.

 

 

In the morning we loaded the wife’s Salsa Vaya, my Surly Crosscheck and our daughter’s Thule Chariot stroller on a trailer pulled behind a van by The Bike Station team for a 30-minute drive up the hill to the White Top Station drop point.  The weather was great and the trip up the mountain was beautiful.  When we arrived, it took about 5 minutes to unload the bikes and we were off!  We bombed down the trail with our daughter behind in her Chariot stroller singing and laughing all the way.  Our bikes performed incredibly and the miles zipped by.  We stopped multiple times for pictures and to take in the scenery, however the 17 mile downhill trip back to Damascus only took about an hour an a half total.

The Creeper trail continues on past Damascus for another 17 or so miles, however during this trip we just didn’t have the time to bike the remaining miles, not to mention it was a little cold during this time of year.  The fall trip was nice to see the changing colors, but the trip could also be done during the spring or summer months providing a little warmth and less chance of rain and snow.  The Bike Station can rent you all the equipment you need for this family friendly bike adventure and Damascus Brewery can help assure you have a solid frosty adult beverage to enjoy after your ride.

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National Geographic’s 21 Best Travel Destinations for 2014

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVELER MAGAZINE BEST OF THE WORLD DESTINATIONS LOGONational Geographic Traveler has announced its 2014 Best of the World Destinations list. Photo credit: PRNewsFoto/National Geographic Traveler magazine.

National Geographic Traveler magazine has released its annual Best of the World list, which features 21 top travel destinations to visit in 2014. The magazine says the list reflects what’s “authentic, culturally rich, sustainable and superlative” in travel worldwide now.

“The Best of the World list reflects the expertise and experience of National Geographic Travel’s huge network of global travel experts. If you want to explore places worth visiting now, this is a great place to start,” says Keith Bellows, editor in chief of National Geographic Traveler magazine.

Here are the 21 Best destinations in the 2014, according to the Best of the World list (in alphabetical order):

See the National Geographic Traveler photos and destination stories at travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/best-trips-2014/.

 

Kidical Camping with the Hansen Family – Guest Post!

Our first guest blog post is from Sami Fournier: WhimsicalCycleTours WhimsicalCycles@gmail.com 

 

Last March we made it our family mission to escape endless winter in our home town of Bend, Oregon and emerge into warmer climates. Of course, our goal was to bike with our tiny toddler, while she’s still willing and has no choice. Bonus to baby Iris for still being in diapers. At not-quite 2, our barely 20 lb. offspring was an intrepid traveler by Chariot trailer, with her custom green-with-pink-grips-and-saddle Strider strapped on the back.

 

Kidical Camping with the Hansen Family
Kidical Camping with the Hansen Family

 

We had been riding around Bend with her for a good year on short trips when we decided to take our show on the road. Our first overnight bike-with-baby adventure was to be a guided tour by a mom, blogger and twitter socialite named Elle. That’s pretty much all we knew about the trip when we took off for Sacramento from Bend, a good 8 – 10 hours driving. We knew we were going to be loaded with tents, sleeping bags and other camping gear, but we didn’t know how it would shake down, since we had really never done this before. We knew the sun would shine, and it would be warm and we would make new friends. And that’s really all we needed to know.

 

The route was a well-worn one for Elle and her own 2 boys at 2 and 4, and her parents and hubs Jose. Sacramento has a brilliant bike path that connects two towns. The American River Trail is long and flat, and winds along the sub-urban edge of California’s Capital, providing a hum of activity and a route for every flavor of cyclist. We visited Practical Cycles to buy Iris a new helmet for the trip. We spent the night in a hotel in Folsom, had breakfast at Karens Bakery  and drove to our departure point to park our Honda Element at a park marked by urban blight, some unsettling features such as sleeping drunks and graffiti bathrooms all locked up. We worried about whether we’d ride away from our car and never see it again, and we wondered where everyone was.

 

And then we had a yard sale. Everything needed unloading and re-loading to balance, squeeze and rationalize our load to make lunch, diapers and such necessities accessible, and to bury all the unmentionables. I thought we’d never be packed, or each of us would surely have at least one conniption each before it all became mobile. My husband had it more under control than I suspected, though, pulling the baby’s rig behind a well-loaded ExtraCycle, complete with cooler, while I towed only my loaded panniers. When we did start to see people rolling in, they were in a huge flock, kids and bikes and flags and bells. The party had arrived! We said hi, met about 6 families, and Elle got her first look at the crazy family she had invited via Twitter, and did not expect to ever seriously join. Soon we set off in a parade of 20+ souls, winding along the trail and regrouping occasionally. Dads had kids on platforms, moms had Mundos, some kind of dog-trailer contained a pet, and we had Iris, who passed out before mile 2 was underway.

Kidical Camping – Whimsical Warm Weather Adventuring with the Hansen Family
Kidical Camping – Whimsical Warm Weather Adventuring with the Hansen Family

 

A playground picnic, a potty break, a group broke up and I broke away, for a solo mom spin at about mile 20. It was shaping up to be a longer ride than expected, since stopping and chatting and running around happened about every 7 miles. 30 miles was easily going to turn into a 3 hour tour. Miles of smiles, though, as weather was breezy and mild, sun was abundant, and all was right with our band of merry pedalers.

 

Kidical Camping with the Hansen Family
Kidical Camping with the Hansen Family

 

As we broke into small groups at the end, our destination came into in sight at the trail’s end. The river winds to a narrow channel at Negro Bar, and that’s where we crossed over on a bridge at Folsom, and wound down steeply to a sweet little campsite. We were the first group to arrive, and our reserved campsite had been taken over by a large boyscout troop, who had spread a dozen scouts into our space! We had to tussle with them for our rightfully reserved spot, but they eventually retreated and our site became free. It was shady and well-appointed with tables and a firepit, and we cozied in to a nice flat spot to pitch our tent. Everything was right there, dry and handy. No hiking to and from the car, we just unrolled. As we spread a tarp and made our home for the night, Iris made herself popular with Elle’s kids by sharing her new Strider, which she had not started to truly glide on yet. The kids ran and screamed and whooped at the freedom of arriving by bike. The adults unwound and chatted, and we mused about how we vanquished the boyscouts. We have so much in common and many great stories about our travels and challenges as biking families.

 

Then Elle’s friends showed up with a pizza and some PBR, and we readied the firepit for s’mores. An early evening, a great night’s sleep, a walk to the camp facilities and we snuggled together with the baby for a bit of a chilly evening. We love sleeping outdoors, waking to camp-coffee and our oatmeal, rolling out just a bit after sunrise with the ‘early’ crew.

 

Kidical Camping with the Hansen Family
Kidical Camping with the Hansen Family

 

Our roll home was another easy flat 30 miles, and we pushed the pace a bit to be the first ones back again. We like to ‘win’ the bike tour. ☺ Low and behold, the car was safe and sound, right where we’d parked her. We rewarded our accomplishment with a walk around downtown and some gelato, and then we hit the road for home.

 

The first outing was so great, and so successfully executed, that we tried another bike camping trip a few months later in Eugene, OR. Less miles, more people, and a huge potluck feast, with live music and wading in the water as well as a nature scavenger hunt, dozens of kids to meet and play with. Did I mention the really nice welcoming people? Shane MacRhodes does an amazing job organizing ‘Kidical Mass’ group excursions in Eugene. Jon and I even won the grand prize donated by REI for the raffle, and ended up with a pop-up canopy, which will surely be handy for this year’s adventures. We are giving some thought to inviting all our new friends to ride right here from home to a nearby site in Tumalo or Sisters, OR. Now that we know how to do it right, we welcome and invite anyone to come along.

 

Biking to camp with our kid has been the best low-cost vacation option as has these added benefits:

  • We ‘unplug’ for the weekend, letting our kiddo have our full attention
  • Nice fresh air, great exercise and yummy food
  • We see people and things we’ve never seen before, such as families just like us, who practically live on our bikes
  • We show our child a quiet, relaxing mode of transportation that she can actually enjoy, with other kids and families doing the same. We give her that gift of a healthy lifestyle habit.
  •  We see strange birds, animals, people and have remarkable new experiences together, solve problems together, and make decisions together about when to go or stay, when to stop and take a break, to eat and drink and how and where to ride, as a group and a family, teaching coping and social skills that kids need to work together with others all their lives.

If you need tools or ideas on how to organize your first community bike camping trip, get in touch!

Just a little more about Sami: A former League of America Bicyclists Director of Education, and a current League of American Bicyclists Certified Cycling Instructor as well as a former Safe Routes to Schools Coordinator, currently a full-time mom in Bend, OR.

https://twitter.com/Sami_Hansen

 

Rating a Blog on Google

Since we have started this blog and our forum we have found that in order to be “rated” on Google as a worthy blog, you need to been seen. Once you are seen you get “rated”. Your rating is determined by how many people read your blog or forum. One way to get your ratings up is by clicking on certain google approved rating pages that we have linked up with.

 

This sounds confusing, I know, but all you need to do is click on each of the flowing buttons. Each click is a “vote” to improve our ratings. The higher the ratings the high up on google our blog or forum will pop-up when people search for “Adventure Family” stuff.

 

So periodically, if you would click on 1, 2 or all 3 buttons when you have a few seconds to spare, we would greatly appreciate it!

Please click! A visit a day boosts my blog ranking at Top Mommy Blogs - The Best Mommy Blog Directory Ever!

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Fort Frederica, St Simons Island, GA

Recently we took a short trip to St Simons Island, GA explored Fort Frederica. According to the historical marker, Fort Frederica was founded in 1736 under the General James Edwards Oglethorpe. It was the strongest fortification built by Great Britain on American soil.

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Adventure Family In Motion  021

The little lady and I explored the Fort for about 2 hours. When we got there we were already teetering on a late nap so we spent the $3 admission (16 and under are free and your ticket is good for 7 days).

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I had packed my big camera but completely forgot to bring it inside until we were a good ways in. I also brought the umbrella stroller. This was one of those weird decisions…do you let her run and leave the stroller, do you push her in the stroller part of the way or do you bring the Kelty Kid Carrier and let her just hang out. It’s always a coin toss for me. The umbrella stroller won and I pushed her for a little while then unleashed her to burn off some energy.

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Adventure Family In Motion  018

The Fort is laid out like the town used to be with road markers and streets but the only reminiscence of buildings were a few foundations willed with seashells.

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Adventure Family In Motion  015

We walked the outskirts of the town and took a right on Street St., which was a wide patch of grass cut shorter then the rest.

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We walked to the end and sat for a brief picnic near the waters edge.  Then took a trail that lead into the woods away from the water. We took our time looking at leafs, picking up pine needles, and gazing at rocks. At one point a still-attached tree root was the most interesting thing we had seen all day!

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Adventure Family In Motion  006

By the time we had spent a little over an hour and a half at the fort our little girl was pooped. I loaded her into the umbrella stroller and handed her a sippy cup. It was all she could do to keep her eyes open until we got to the van.

 Fort Frederica

Fort Frederica was a great outing for an active toddler. We could have spent the better portion of the day there just running and exploring. If we had been in town longer we would have gone back many time on our 7-day ticket.

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Adventure Family In Motion  011

For a toddler this was a great place to run. For a grade school child it was have been a good learning experience. The visitor centers offers a movie, a kids corner with period clothing to try on, and many historical markers.  The Fort itself had a lot more to offer then the area that we explored.

 

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Toddler CrossFit

We are avid CrossFitters and bring our little girl with us most days. She sits in her stroller and watches a kids show while we attend the WOD.

Today she picked up the door stopper for our sliding back door and started to do Snatches. Without being coached she just jumped right in! Seems like someone has been paying attention during the WODs.

The take away from this video is not that we are encouraging our 22 month old to learn olympic lifting, We are amazed at what children learn from their parents and people around them. We hope to teach our child to have an active lifestyle by embracing the world around her.