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Chicago’s Biggest Book Fair Is Back July 23-26

Jul 9, 2015
The Newberry Book Fair on July 23-26, Chicago’s biggest annual used book binge, has something for every reader.

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Travel Diary

Read Eileen’s travel diary and keep up with her travels. You might just pick up some ideas for your next family vacation!

A safe harbor after the storm in the Poconos


New Jersey kids splashing at Great Wolf Lodge in Poconos last week
Ten-year-old Charlie Baker writes: When Hurricane Sandy hit, we didn’t have any power in my New Jersey town. A lot of the families left and went to grandma’s house, but my grandma lives in Manhattan and we couldn’t get there because there was a lot of traffic and a giant crane was hanging nearby. So we had to figure out where else to go. My mom ended up surprising us with a trip to the Great Wolf Lodge. more
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Bittersweet — our last child’s last college Parents Weekend


With Mel at Garden of the Gods
Milestones occur with frequency in the raising of children. For Eileen and me, this past weekend was one of the sweetest -- our last PARENTS WEEKEND for our last child in college. more
Destinations, Families & Groups, Getting There, Lodging, Travel Diary, Volunteer & Service | 1 Comment


Spy and crime museums — a hit with the high school boys


Westport ABC boys at the sculpture of Albert Einstein on the National Mall
Certainly you could spend all of your time in Washington, DC without paying to enter a museum—there are plenty of free ones to choose from. But two on our list are private and, the boys said, were worth the cost of admission. more
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Touring the museums in Washington with the ABC boys


Remember the Children exhibit at the US Holocaust Museum in Washington DC
One of the best things about Washington, DC is that so many museums are free. We aim to hit as many as we can.This time, instead of trying to see all that the Holocaust Museum or the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History has to offer, I tried to pinpoint certain exhibits I thought would most interest the boys from the Westport ABC House more
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Three days in Washington DC with the high school boys


Westport ABC boys at the Capitol
I was chaperoning six city high school boys who attend our suburban school under the auspices of A Better Chance, a national organization that identifies kids with academic potential in middle school and sends them to communities like ours (Westport, CT) to live and attend high school. Several of the boys had visited Washington, DC on middle school trip more
Backyard Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Getting There, Lodging, Travel Diary | comments


Riding a bike in the Sonoran Desert — at night!


Biking in the Sonoran Desert
Our Guide Kerry Echer is leading us on one of several unique adventures offered by the Golden Door Spa here. Earlier in the day, we’d noticed Echer teaching rock climbing on the giant boulders; there are also guided hikes and mountain biking. more
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In Phoenix, an amazing museum of musical instruments


At the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix AZ
There are other museums of musical instruments, but none with such an expansive collection from around the world—harps, zithers flutes and trumpets from the Middle East, African drums, a 17th century spinet and 20th century electric guitars…an Appalachian dulcimer, a ukulele, bagpipes and cymbals. more
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A day at the Camelback Spa in Scottsdale AZ


A place to cool off at Camelback Resort in Scottsdale AZ
We amble inside out of the sun for lunch at Sprouts which serves healthy eats (complete with calorie counts) but indulgences too like chocolate fondue. We love the chicken curry lettuce wraps, tuna tartare and salads. We skip the chocolate fondue! more
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On a mom’s getaway in Scottsdale AZ


Exhition of weaving at the Heard Museum in Scottsdale AZ
I figured what could be better for a mom’s getaway than a resort complete with 125 acres of desert landscape (love all the cacti!) at the base of Mummy Mountain and Overlooking Camelback Mountain. more
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Re-living slavery and the Underground Railroad at Conner Prairie


Mrs. Ward explaining the slave history at Conner Prairie
Here at the only Living History museum in the Midwest, kids can explore Prairie Town of 1836 where they take on the role of gardener or criminal or deputy and interact with the townspeople, running errands, sweeping floors, doing laundry, helping in the garden, cooking . more
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