Field Trip: Notre Dame Stadium

There are times in our lives that we often dream about what our kids will be when they grow up.  Our son Tyler, is out on his own and currently owns a business in Brandenton, FL.  Amber is working on finishing high school a year early.  College visits are something that are quite common among high school students.  We don’t know where to start since being on the road.  However, we think we found the beginning of a college visit tour.

The University of Notre Dame is widely known.  We have watched movies on that use the school as a focus, remember Rudy.  While we were in Elkhart, IN, we found a unique but fun adventure.  We took our first college tour.  Albeit it was just the stadium, it was enough to inspire Amber to visit other campus tours throughout our journey.

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Field Trip – Gateway Arch

On February 22, 2018, The Gateway Arch in St Louis became the 60th National Park.  The Arch took just over 2 years to build and was a representation of the westward expansion from the time of Thomas Jefferson – hence called the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial.  The Arch is 630 feet tall and taller than the Space Needle in Seattle, Washington.  The Arch can sway up to 18 inches and was built to withstand earthquakes and extreme high winds.

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State Capital Tour: Columbus, Ohio

There are 51 capitals to visit within the US.  Nope that is not a trick, there are 50 state capitals and 1 US Capital.  We plan on visiting on each one as we journey throughout the states.  We discovered this field trip idea when we were in Salt Lake City and since then we try to get to every state we visit.

We visited our 7th state capital in Ohio.  Located almost in the center of the state in Columbus, the statehouse is the 2nd largest capital building in the US.  The statehouse is the original.  Many of the other state capitals we have visited, the buildings are often the 2nd or 3rd building.  The Ohio Statehouse has had 2 other locations throughout the state.  The 3rd and final location in Columbus.  It’s location is close to the railroad, river and all major roads flow through it.

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National Park: Cuyahoga Valley

There are 60 National Parks throughout the United States.  All parks have a unique story on how they became part of the National Park Service and Cuyahoga Valley in Northeast Ohio is no different.  Cuyahoga means “crooked” to the Indians.  The Cuyahoga River runs through the park.   Throughout the park there are many examples of the early inhabitants.  Some of the homes that are still remaining have a New England style design.  In order to preserve the land the National Park Service designated the land as a recreation area in 1974.  In 2000, the park was given the designation of a National Park. 

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Field Trip: Chicago, Illinois

Known as the Windy City, we spent the late afternoon in Chicago.  The bustling city on a Sunday afternoon was quite a surprise.  Many big cities that we visit on weekends are often desolate and easy to find parking spaces.  However, on this day, the Bears just lost to the NE Patriots on their home field and there was plenty of traffic and upset fans throughout the city.  We eventually found a parking spot that did not cost a arm and a leg ($21 an 1/2 hour is not in our budget) and we were able to visit a few landmarks within the city.

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State Capital Tour – Indianapolis, Indiana

A great way to learn the history of the state you are visiting; is to visit the state capital.  About 2-3 hours you can learn how the state government works, and the similarities of other states. 

We have visited 5 US State Capitals and 1 Canada Providence Capital.  All tours have been free and some we have to go through metal detectors to enter.  Most tours are available several times during the day and have a tour guide.  We often have the opportunity to have a self-guided tour around the building.

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National Historic Site – President Grant

Along with National Parks, there is also Historic Sites, Rivers, Beaches, Trails, Memorials and others.  Having the America the Beautiful pass allows us access to different venues where there is a fee.

While we were in St. Louis we found a Historic Site of Former President Ulysses S Grant.  White Haven, the historical site of Ulysses S Grants which commemorates his life as a general and president.  This is also the childhood home of his wife, Julia Dent Grant. 

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National Park – Yellowstone

One of the 60 National Park from the National Park Service.  We were able to visit the first National Park – Yellowstone.  It does not measure up to what a picture can capture.  It seems so surreal that you really have to see this park in person.  We were advised not to try to do everything in one day. They were right.  We still have not finished seeing the whole park.  This is one stop that we will be back to see more of its awe inspiring greatness.

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Field Trip – Presidential Library – Harry Truman

In 1955, the Presidential Libraries Act was formed.  This act encouraged future Presidents to “donate their historical materials to the government and ensured the preservation of Presidential papers and their availability to the American people.”  There are 13 Presidential Libraries across the US and we have just stated visiting them while on our journey.  Barack Obama’s Library will be finished in 2020 in Chicago, IL.

The first library under the Act that was built was the Harry Truman Library in Independence, MO.  Just outside Kansas City, we were able to visit this library and learn more about Mr. Truman.

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