Hilton Garden Inn Staten Island: a Family-Friendly Budget NYC Hotel
Family-Friendly Hotels

Hilton Garden Inn Staten Island: a Family-Friendly Budget NYC Hotel

The best-kept secret to finding a budget NYC hotel is that there’s more to the Big Apple than Midtown Manhattan. New York City is composed of five boroughs: Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx, and the often-forgotten Staten Island.  Because it’s frequently overlooked, Staten Island lodging is significantly cheaper than other parts of the city. But…

Biltmore Photo Tour
Art Education

Biltmore Photo Tour

Touring Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park, New York, I was surprised to hear that it was built by one of the more frugal of William Vanderbilt’s eight sons. That assertion becomes a lot more clear if you happen to visit the house his youngest son built in Asheville, North Carolina–Biltmore, the largest home in the…

Storming the Castle on the Bannerman Island Tour
Art Education | Outdoor Education

Storming the Castle on the Bannerman Island Tour

Starting this week, it will be a little easier to visit the mysterious castle ruins seen from train windows on the Hudson lines. On May 4th, Bannerman Castle Trust will officially debut the new-to-them RV Estuary Steward, a 40′ by 12.5′ boat donated by the Esopus Meadows Lighthouse. I had a chance to check out…

High Falls Gorge, Stunning Adirondacks Waterfall
Outdoor Education

High Falls Gorge, Stunning Adirondacks Waterfall

Mud season comes late in the Adirondacks, and lingers past the advent of spring blossoms in New York’s milder zones. From April to about mid-June, hikers are warned to avoid the wet and muddy high elevation trails. But with the temporary loss of trail access comes another seasonal boon–spectacular New York waterfalls. On a mild April…

Lessons Learned at Mesa Verde National Park
Outdoor Education | Travel Essays

Lessons Learned at Mesa Verde National Park

A glass of wine, dusk on a serpentine road, and no barrier between said road and annihilation don’t mix. That’s one of those lessons learned when exploring America’s grand national park system. The year was 2009, and I was a mom on a mission, traveling with two tweens–barely 13-year-old Kayla and 9-year-old Alex–on a journey…