Tag Archives: Parks

When you are a nature-lover, and of color, in America

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Recently, I decided to take my boys out for a day of hiking. There are some short hikes around the reservation near our home here in  New Jersey, but I wanted something a bit more challenging, so we headed an hour away to Pennsylvania to explore the trails along the Delaware Water Gap.

It was a gorgeous day, a nice break from the humidity and intense heat we have felt so regularly this summer. The kids and I were in high spirits and we were excited to explore nature. The radio kept playing all our favorite songs and we cracked jokes. There was no traffic and the drive was easy.

Then I spotted it. A pick-up truck had merged in front of me and across its back cabin window was a large sticker that took up almost the entire glass. It was the confederate flag. I felt my body get tense. I honestly don’t know if we had crossed the border into PA yet, it really didn’t matter. I was heading into rural America, alone, with my kids.

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Losing My Breath at the Grand Canyon, AZ

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The immensity and spectacle of colors seen at the Grand Canyon is something most of us have heard about, but few of us can really explain in a way that would do justice to what it is like to actually being there.

During the Whiskey Sister HERstory Tour, we got to stop here. We had planned to only stay long enough to take some photos and have lunch, but it was clear that a quick first visit to the canyon isn’t really something one does.

There are plenty of camping areas, as well as a resorts and restaurants, both in the South and North Rim of the canyon. Even in high noon the views were breathtaking, I can’t even imagine how glorious a sunset there would be.

Sadly, we didn’t stay long enough to enjoy one, though we did manage to get some fun photos.

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Making Visits to National Parks A Part of Our Culture

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Every park I have visited has something different about it, a different effect, a different appeal. It’s not just trees and plants and bugs and stuff. I mean, it can be if you don’t make the effort to connect with your surroundings. I walk away with a unique experience each time and I love the challenge of self-reflection and solitude.

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Olympic National Park Expedition with the American Latino Heritage

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While I was in the West Coast, and exactly after I had left Seattle and driven past the signs to Olympic National Park due to lack of time, I received the news that myself and fellow travel bloggers, Chelle and Crystal (of BrownGirlsFly) and Ana (of TravelingLatina) had been selected as after we submitted an application to join the American Latino Heritage Fund and the National Park Service in raising awareness of the cultural heritage in many of the parks and help increase diversity in the visitor population.

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A Sunny Day in Portland, OR

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Of all the cities we had planned during our road trip, Portland, OR was one that I was most excited about. I had never been, but envisioned cool, hip city surrounded by the lush, green environment of Oregon state. I have to confess, some of my excitement was further enhanced by one of my favorite TV shows, Portlandia, and I hoped that it would be all the quirky awesome of the show.

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A Walk Through History at Duke Farms, NJ

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Oh, New Jersey. You never cease to amaze me. We’ve enjoyed finding more and more ways to spend time outdoors, in nature. But most of all, we’ve been able to enjoy it all at minimal cost, if not free. We’ve such enjoyed these awesome finds that when we aren’t traveling or running around doing errands, we delight in the opportunity to discover something new.

This past weekend was no exception and our newest discovery led us to Duke Farms in Hillsborough, NJ. Duke Farms is 2,740 acres of diverse, protected, and beautifully preserved habitats, and is one of largest privately owned parcels of undeveloped land in the state, owned and managed by The Duke Farms Foundation.

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Searching for Waterfalls in New Jersey

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One of things that I have enjoyed the most about blogging since I started was sharing what I discovered in my everyday life with my kids. Somehow, I lost a little bit of this – the joy of the everyday discoveries. Granted, it has been because we’ve traveled to places further away, but there is something so nice still for me in the adventures closer to home because these are the ones we can do over and over without too much demand on our time or budget.

Today was such a day, with the kids home from school I needed to get them outside. Lucky for us we live less than 5 minutes from the beautiful South Mountain Reservation and often go there for walks. But till now, we’ve discovered but a small tidbit of this over 2,000 acre wooded area. Today, I decided we would find Hemlock Falls, the often talked about waterfall of the reservation.

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National Wildlife Federation Announces 2012 Hike & Seek Program

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Our family loves hiking. Though there are some outdoor activities that don’t always make the top of my list, such skiing or horseback riding, hiking, swimming, snowshoeing, bike riding – just to name a few – makes being outdoors fun for me and I am happy that it is something my family loves as well because it makes it easy for us to just pick up and go outside, have a great time, and not have to spend tons of cash in the process.

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Opening My Heart to New Jersey, One Nature Reserve at A Time

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I’ve been living in New Jersey now for exactly a year. I can’t really tell you who my neighbors are, or what they do for a living. When I am home, I have mostly kept to myself, holding on to every ounce of anonymity I can muster. But, I also admit I need to get out more and check out this new town I am living in. New Jersey, for New Yorkers, has always had such a bad reputation. Shows like Jersey Shore and The Sopranos don’t help, and the views along the expressway from Manhattan do even less to convince people that this state has a lot of beauty.

I have seen it in the more calm beaches of Cape May, and when walking along Newport in Jersey City, a short ride from the city on the PATH.

And recently, I have been venturing into some of the many nature reserves near our house. Natural preservation sights that would’ve required hours of commute from the city to find such gems, but are now no more than a few minutes away.

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Summerstage Kids: Free Family Festival in NYC 2012

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City Parks Foundation has announced the 2012 launch of SummerStage Kids, New York City’s unique, interactive family festival presenting more than 95 free performing arts events at 36 locations citywide. This free festival will run from June 10 to August 22, exposing New York City youth to the world of arts and culture through a vast and diverse collection of engaging entertainment unparalleled by any other festival of its kind in NYC.

The festival will feature artists specializing in dance and include a wide range of music such as classical, rock, Latin, jazz, and soul. The event will also encompass storytellers, theatre, contemporary circus, juggling, poetry and puppetry. With a focus on international culture, the performances will introduce the city’s youth to the diversity of New York City. The series is made possible through the support of Disney.

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