- February 14th 2013
It’s President’s Day in the next couple of days and what better way to commemorate President George Washington‘s birthday, Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, and all the rest of our presidents than to give some facts about Mount Rushmore. This American monument is carved on Mount Rushmore, which was named after a New York lawyer. He was sent to the Black Hills who was investigating mining titles in the area. When asked what the name of this mountain was, the lawyer’s guide supposedly said “Rushmore.”
Located in the Black Hills of South Dakota, the carving was started in 1927 and completed in 1941. Doane Robinson was trying to energize tourism to the Black Hills, and after visiting Georgia and viewing the Confederate Monument that was carved into Stone Mountain. Gutzon Borglum was selected as the sculptor for the monument, and he had also worked on the Stone Mountain project. Borglum suggested Mount Rushmore’s south facing slope so his sculpture would be in the sunlight most of the day.
Each of the four Presidents were very specifically selected. George Washington was selected to represent democracy in the United States. Thomas Jefferson was selected to represent for his authorship of the Declaration of Independence. Abraham Lincoln brought an end to slavery. And, the most controversial choice was Theodore Roosevelt. And, he was picked for his efforts of the Panama Canal and his conservationism.
The monument took 14 years to complete. About 90 percent of the carving was done with strategically placed dynamite. This was done until there was only a three to 6 inch layer of granite left on the mountain. The 400 workers who worked on the mountain used air-hammers, wedges, nails, jackhammers, chisels, etc., to carve the Presidents’ likenesses into the granite. Through a process known as “honeycombing,” the final layer of granite was removed and the stone was polished to leave the faces smooth and refined. About 450,000 tons of granite was removed from the mountain.
The original concept was to have the Presidents depicted from head to waist, however, funding was depleted and quality granite was no longer available on the mountain. Even with the heavy use of dynamite, no one was killed or seriously hurt during this project. Unfortunately, Borglum died unexpectedly before the project was done. His son, Lincoln, took over the reigns and in October 1941 declared the project completed.
The monument is open free to the public, however, there is a fee to park your vehicle on the grounds. It draws over two million visitors annually.
Whether you plan on visiting this breath-taking monument over Spring Break or later this summer, it is one vacation that will last in your kids’ minds for a lifetime.
For your next flight, check out ParkRideFlyUSA.com for the greatest parking rates at any of our off-airport vendors. They provide guaranteed reservations, transportation to and from the airport terminal, and luggage assistance. They provide secure parking and you won’t have to worry about the safety of your car. You make your airline reservations, your hotel reservations? Why not your airport parking reservations?
- February 8th 2013
Spring break is almost here, and you are traveling with the kids. We have 10 must do tips to make everyone’s life bearable while you are out on the road. There’s no reason why everyone can’t have a great time on the next vacation.
- If your travel plans include long plane rides, you may just want to dress your kids on some comfy one piece pajamas. They can wear their tennis shoes over the footies of the jammies, and they feel nice and comfy on the plane. Plus, if they do have an accident, it’s much easier to change a single item of clothing rather than a whole outfit.
- Feed your kids before they get on the plane. Fed children tend to behave a bit more, and may actually sleep if they have a meal before they board the plane.
- Split some time with the kids between Mom and Dad. Going to the pool with Dad can leave Mom some time to relax and feel like she’s on a vacation. Alternatively, Mom can take the kids to a museum and Dad can catch up on his book at the beach.
- If you are going to be laden down with a lot of luggage and you cannot scale down further, consider sending some to your destination ahead of schedule. Your bags can be waiting on you when you arrive. Alternatively, I have shipped home things from a trip that I didn’t want to tote through and airport and plane.
- Small wrapped gifts to present to the children in case they start to unravel on the plane or car trip. A few inexpensive surprises may just be the lifesaver on a flight. Small trucks, plastic animals, finger puppets may be the best diversion.
- Try to keep to the same schedule as you have at home. This will make to happier kids, and in turn, a happier you. If you completely disrupt their sleep pattern day after day, it will just make everyone cranky.
- Go off the beaten path. Sometimes it pays to take a side trip. I’ve often take a few side trips and found that it was the best part of the entire vacation. We all love to view the world’s biggest ketchup bottle, right?
- Ask your kids what they may like to do on your vacation. Not only does it give them a sense of being included in decision making, but they may bring up a good idea that you never even considered.
- Be prepared to be spontaneous. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but sometimes just going with the flow will make your trip easier and your family happier. Isn’t that what the vacation was supposed to be for? Relaxation?
- Bring a sense of humor. No matter how irritating, aggravating, and/or annoying your kids can be, there are times they make you laugh. To find humor in the smallest things will lighten the mood, and save your trip.
One way to keep your stress down before and after your trip, make a reservation at ParkRideFlyUSA.com. Our network of vendors service all the major airports in the United States. With guaranteed parking spaces, great rates, transportation to and from the airport and luggage assistance, you will save time and money. Your best place to reserve off-airport parking.
- January 3rd 2013
New Year – New Year Resolutions. Every year, I go through this. Then, I say “bah.” So, this year, I thought that possibly my resolutions are just too boring. So, I did some research on what were some of the more popular resolutions. They are:
- Eat Healthy Food
- More Education
- Get A Better Job
- Lose Weight/Get Fit/Drink Less Alcohol
- Quit Smoking
- Save Money/Pay Off Debt
To be honest, those all are great ideas. I mean, who doesn’t want to be thinner, happier, have a job that pays you great wages (with less stress) as you get a higher degree. However, my favorite resolution is MORE TRAVEL!
I was a lucky kid. Our parents would take us on road trips throughout the United States. Even as an adult, I have been fortunate enough to travel on my own to several states, as well as Canada, Mexico, and a three week stint in India. So, I decided for my New Year’s Resolution, I will travel more. I’ve complied a list of the top five spots on my list to see in the United States.
- Chicago, Illinois – The Windy City. From the Chicago Art Institute, to the Museum of Science and Industry, to the John Hancock Observatory, Chicago offers a whole “lotta” stuff. I’ve been to Chicago several times and one of the “must do” things on your list should be an architecture tour via tour boat. Known for several boat tours, motoring along the Chicago River past Wrigley Field and other landmark buildings, Chicago shows one of its best features. With some of the best pizzerias and other excellent restaurants, you’ll not want for food. Be sure to take a walk down the Magnificent Mile and go out and ride the Ferris Wheel at the Navy Pier.
- New Orleans, LA – Home of the 2013 Super Bowl XLVII. If you have never been to a Super Bowl, or even just visit the entertainment that accompanies the Super Bowl you should give it a try. Hosting its 10th Super Bowl, all the stops are out to trump Indy’s triumphant Super Bowl Village debut last year. This year, New Orleans will have a Super Bowl Boulevard which will have four days of music, food, interactive fan events and national television broadcasts. Add all this to the natural draw of Mardis Gras, Bourbon Street and the French Quarter and New Orleans will be one of the hottest places to go in 2013
- Washington D.C. – One of the very best times to go to Washington D.C. is during the Cherry Blossom Festival. This year it will span from March 20 – April 14. Tokyo Japan gifted 3,000 cherry trees to Washington D.C. in 1912 as a gesture of friendship. The Cherry Blossom Festival is filled with exhibits, Japanese artwork, food and drink, parade and a ton of family activities.
- Maui, Hawaii – If you want to go to paradise, take a trip to Hawaii. The minute you land in Hawaii the stress seems to just stay on the plane. If you choose to land on Maui, you can watch the sunrise from Haleakala National Park, grab a nice meal at Mama’s Fish House, but mostly relax on the beaches! One of the high points of your trip should be a submarine cruise to explore the life a few feet under the ocean. Artists will never be able to replicate the colors that nature paints on Maui.
- Times Square, NYC – Just the energy that courses through this area alone should get you through the rest of your vacation. Whether you go during the summer, fall, or even New Year’s Eve, Times Square is the destination you should try to fit in during your travel. Most likely one of the most visually stimulating man-made areas of the world, you are in the heart of the City. Food and drink readily available and many photo-ops just feet from each other, Broadway Street between 42nd and 47th Streets is just invigorating.
No matter where you travel, be sure to check out ParkRideFlyUSA for your airport parking. We have vendors at every major U.S. airport. By reserving your parking space ahead of time, you will have the peace of mind knowing you have a guaranteed parking space at a great price. You’ll receive transportation to and from the airport terminal, assistance with your luggage. So, make your New Year Resolution with me. Let’s all travel more!
- December 23rd 2011
The holiday season is in full swing, especially in those towns that look like they were built for Christmas (some of them were!). Here are the top five picks for the best Christmas towns in America based on their look, feel, and, most of all, festive holiday spirit.
1. Solvang, CA
Located less than an hour away from Santa Barbara, the city of Solvang is not your typical California coastal town. The architecture is modeled after traditional Danish buildings, giving tourists the feeling of Old World charm and quaintness. During December, Solvang hosts a number of holiday traditions including the Olsen’s Gingerbread House, Danish Silver Gift-Giving, and caroling in Solvang Park.
All the winter festivities come after Julfest, the beginning of the holiday season. Visitors from across the nation travel to Solvang to celebrate the holidays surrounded by Dutch-inspired architecture like half-timber buildings and windmills.
2. Leavenworth, WA
Modeled after a Bavarian village, Leavenworth’s city center is composed of Germanic half-timbers that house everything from quaint shops to modern Starbucks. As snow starts to fall in central Washington State east of the Cascades, Leavenworth becomes a winter wonderland. The city looks like something out of an Old World snow globe: horse-drawn carriages, sleigh rides, carolers, and lighting festivals are just some of the local highlights that visitors can enjoy. Every part of Leavenworth is infused with holiday spirit: from the hotel accommodations to the restaurants in the town, guests can enjoy a thoroughly festive Christmas town.
3. North Pole, AK
Ever heard of Davis, Alaska? Unless you lived in the Last Frontier State before 1953, your answer is probably no. That’s because, nearly 60 years ago, Davis changed its name to North Pole, becoming a national sensation and holiday pilgrimage site. The most iconic landmark in town is the 42-foot tall Santa statue that stands outside the town’s gift shop, Santa Claus House. The store lies just minutes away from the Post Office; out of towners send their Christmas cards there to receive the local postmark so that their letters come from The North Pole.
4. Woodstock, VT
Modeled after the Oxfordshire, UK village of the same name, Woodstock has been lauded numerous times for its quaintness and picturesque design. The village loves to kick off the holiday season in style with the Wassail Weekend, a festival steeped in the winter traditions of old England and the Norse countries. Today’s festivities are somewhat more up to date, with a parade that features 19th Century period costume as well as Victorian holiday decor on display at local museums. Plays, musicals, and poetry recitals round out the evening entertainment between late night shopping and enjoying the general splendor of the whole holiday affair.
5. Branson, MO
In a cozy corner of southern Missouri, the town of Branson stands ready to entertain and delight all comers. From country music spectaculars to family-style jubilees, the city offers so much in the way of Midwest charm and spirit. The highlight of Branson’s holiday season is their theme park, Silver Dollar City, all decked out for winter. Lights and snow (sometimes real) edge every building; after picking up a roll filled with molasses, visitors can enjoy a staged shootout between the Hatfields and the McCoys. Included with the cost of admission is a ticket to view the Marvel Cave, a cavernous subterranean expanse that digs 300 feet down into the limestone beneath the park. (Image: Kathy McGraw)
Analise Marcus loves seeing how cities and towns across the country celebrate Christmas, whether the festivities last just the season or all year around. She enjoys using a promo code for Travelocity to save on all her holiday travels.
- December 19th 2011
This year, why not try something different for the Christmas season? Whether you have kids or you’re just a big kid yourself a visit to Disney World can add something special to the holiday season. It’s no secret that I’m a big Disney fan – not so much the company itself but the vacation experience they provide ‑ so for me it wouldn’t be a hard sell to spend part of the holidays there.
Okay, so it won’t be warm but on the other hand it may be far less crowded. Although you can’t completely count on that now that many people have woken up to the magic of the Magic Kingdom at Christmas you can still experience much of the joy by going just before or just after the peak Christmas Eve the New Year’s Eve period when you will still get to experience much the festivities. There’s definitely something special about Disney at this time of year.
An extra ticket will get you entrance to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party with the Once Upon a Christmastime Parade where Santa himself appears. Everywhere you look there are fabulous Christmas decorations. Being Disney, this is done on a large scale. There are thousands of lights on the huge Christmas tree on Main Street and Cinderella’s Castle has 200,000 white lights. The Small World ride has special decorations for Christmas as well as a seasonal version of the well-known song. There’s also a Haunted Mansion with seasonal replacements for the usual attractions. The parade which takes place several times daily is transformed into a Christmas Fantasy Parade and there’s a huge firework show just for this holiday season.
Check out this Christmas lights at Disney World video to see what it’s like.
With snow, hot chocolate cookies as well as the standard Disney magic there’s no better place to be for the holiday season.