There are a lot of things to say about THE United States of America visit. At some point in both this traveling family’s parents life, The USA is The World. Well, for the dad, it was literally his world because he was in it. For the mom, that’s metaphorical. There was a time in her life that “living the American dream” is the best dream.
Delaying this country’s visit for several reasons, mainly enjoying the closest continent closest to our homebase, Qatar – Europe. Thirty-one countries after, off we went to USA!
It’s was Fall 2017 when we visited The New World and since we didn’t blog about our travel goals. We are ready to go back again and now reminiscing our first visit. Our “Some Day, we’ll visit America” is now “It’s been a long time since we’ve been there; feels like ages ago.
For what it’s worth, our family travel stats for our first time visit to our 32nd country, The USA :
Travel days: 30
Days Full of Laughter: 30/30
Days Full of Siblings Fight:
Intercity Train Rides:
Delayed Intercity Train Rides:
Local Plane Rides:
Number of Mega Enormous, Gigantic Delicious, All-American Burgers Eaten:
Hotdogs From Hotdog Stands:
Pumpkin Spice Latte:
Breakfast In A Bar:
Fall Leaves Collected:
Snowballs Thrown At Each Other at Bullseye:
Number of Days It Took To Get Over the Vacation HangOver:
Number of Days It Took Us to Blog About our USA Experience:
So, did we or did we enjoy United States of America?
“Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way! “ – Dr. Seuss
Ohhh my! Time flies when we our family is on our goal realization/ exploring mode. It seems ages ago when we left Omaha, Nebraska on an overnight train to Denver, Colorado.
In Denver, we have walked the nostalgia lane with the Turknoy Dad as he reminisced his good old days as a working bachelor in the city. Has it been eleven years already since he left US just to meet the Turknoy Mom? Gosh, are we on some time warp speed loop?! ❤️
After two days in Denver, meeting old friends and enjoying Denver Children Museum, off we went for a road trip around Colorful Colorado! And indeed, it was a colorful road trippin’.
First road trip in the USA and off we passed by State Highway 5, the highest paved road in Road America. What a scenic route it is towards Mr. Evans with an altitude 14,264 feet (4,347 m)!
We head on to Aspen, Colorado hoping for fall foliage. We got that and way more, four seasons! We arrived in Aspen in a very gorgeous fall weather, and woke up to several inches of snow in the morning, summer-y mid-morning, spring in the afternoon and fall again in the afternoon.
The snow didn’t stop us from hiking the Maroon Bells. The most photographed peaks in North America, so we’ve read.
We also experienced our first family snowy hike, up to the Maroon Crater Lake. It took us more than two hours to hike up the Crater Lake, barely few minutes before the sunset. We were the last one on the Crater Lake, it feels extravagantly majestic and terrifying at the same time. The kids needed to answer nature’s call, figuratively and literally. After the pee-pp and the family selfie almost every corner of the lake, we had to rush to go back down. We made it in the dark, using our mobile phone as flashlights, of course, not without scary stories and grateful fun ramblings from all of us.
We have blisters in our feet, and the fantastic traveling dad carried our youngest traveller/ hiker up his shoulder almost all the way! Such strength. We didn’t tell anyone that adventure with young kids is easy, right? It’s worth it, but nothing worth it comes easy, right?
The hiking we’ve done, the weather conditions, the challenges we’ve overcome will always be fondly and profoundly remebered. After all, this is what Turknoy Travels 100 is all about. It’s about realizing milestones we never even considered yet together because we are still part of the matrix of society’s rules.
Of course, after the adventure, we explored the very fancy city of Aspen, Colorado and off we went to two places we almost always go in any city we explore – bookstore and playground. If any city or town doesn’t have any of these, it’s really an indication of the village, isn’t it?
Basalt , Colorado
Although we explored Aspen and Snowmass Billage quite extensively, we stayed the nights in a nearby city, almost one hour drive away from Aspen, Basalt. Basalt turned out to be a like Aspen, and better. Roaring Fork Valley is a river paradise for us. Basalt sits at the confluence of two Gold Medal rivers, the Frying Pan River and the Roaring Fork River, which is Paradise!!!
Known as “Little Aspen,” Vail, Colorado is another fancy, skiing and snowboarding, gorgeous, beautiful little town tucked away at the base of Vail Mountain within the White River National Forest.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
From West to South, we drove almost three hours to enjoy the magnificent landscapes of the Rocky Mountains to visit the Garden of Gods in Colorado Springs. A drive worth every minute.
Road trip with kids in Colorado? We’ll do it again in a heartbeat!
“A teddy bear will give you love. A grizzly bear will give you a mauling. Some bears aren’t just the same.” – Anthony T.Hincks
Do you know how a teddy bear is made and born? Well, these three traveling Turknoys definitely does now.
Once kids made the big leap of choosing to own a best friend teddy, like life, they’ll be face with more decisions to make, not just for themselves, be for their Teddy Bears.
After making their own personal Teddy Bear BFFs, the Turknoys made a Factory Tour at the Vermont Teddy Bear to check if all the teddies are made in accordance to the quality assurance of all BFFs. Spoiler alert – it does!
We are definitely going home with more luggages than we want. Better yet, from family of five to traveling family of eight, 2 adults, 3 kids and 3 Vermont teddies. Luckily, the kids didn’t choose that big, gigantic bear.
“By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this may come. ” – William Shakespeare, Macbeth
Okay, the traveling parents caved in with the kids with regards to participating in a Halloween party while in USA. It’s not that we don’t celebrate Halloween. It’s not that we agree that it’s anti- religion nor anti-God. It may be a country tradition but how we see it is more like a commercial manipulation while waiting for Thanksgiving and Christmas season. Bring on the pumpkins, the season spices, costumes and gazillion candies and the retailers had October and November sales covered.
Boy, did we see how customers shopped and crammed getting the costumes. It’s part of what made us want to be part of it – better to experience it once, rather than be nagging on the edge of being bitter about it every year. So, off we celebrate Halloween, kids costumes, party and sweets!
Having said that, we choose a free Halloween event and oh boy, did we enjoy.. and the kids, too! It’s a family event in a great weather with friendly awesome people by Lake Champlain. It’s a fabulous event. We are very glad to joined.
Halloween Howl in Burlington, Vermont is a spooktakular good time on a hay ride and wandering through the haunted walk with costume contest, music and games!
Feels like superheroes walking around in the park, the forest, by the lake and in bouncy castle, that’s one awesome afternoon spent in Burlington, Vermont.
Our family members in character while one in nature is a perfect way to celebrate an awesome Halloween Howl in Burlington, Vermont.
What’s your Halloween plan? Do share Halloween traditions you do with your family.
“I love it. You know, I was born almost a mile away from here, and I’ve never have a bad experience in Omaha. Omaha and Nebraska are home to me. It’s a pace. It’s relationships. There’s a lot of continuity. There’s a lot of community. There’s a lot of friendship. It’s a very solid place, a friendly place in which to grow up and in which to conduct a business. ” – Warren Buffet, Becoming Warren Buffet, on why he chooses to live in Omaha.
We tried to find where Warren Buffet, the world’s richest multibillionaire, lives. We managed to get to his mailing address and we tried to get all the billionaire vibes in the area. Omaha has lots of gorgeous houses, it’s easy to imagine Warren Buffet’s home in the city.
To be able to get around Omaha, Nebraska, we needed to rent a car and realized that fact later on after walking from the train station wee hours in the morning, coming straight from our Chicago, Illinois family travel and waking up way too early walking around the very quiet, almost deserted city, with not even a single cab is available.
Off we went to the city’s airport and rented a car to roam the city. At the airport, we realized the the city has lady Mayor! Yay, raising global girls needed a discussion of a little bit of governance of the world and what part do ladies of power play.
We then hang out at the Old Market after realizing that we won’t be able to find Warren Buffet’s house.
After driving around the city and the nearby cities in Nebraska, we went to do exactly an “American” fall/ autumn tradition… Visit a farm, explore a corn maze and pumpkin patch. We picked our pumpkin but of course, didn’t buy any.
Going back to Omaha, we got tempted yet again to visit local bookstore and had another share of our family book haul.
We didn’t want to leave the Bookstore, but dinner called and we enjoyed a very scrumptious local dinner at Upstream Brewing Company.
If Omaha is a glimpse of Mid West USA, then we definitely need to be back soon to explore the region.
What cities in the Midwest USA would you recommend?
“Eventually, I think Chicago will be the most beautiful great city left in the world.” – Frank Lloyd Wright
We were welcomed by a 100% probability of rain on our first hour in the city! Actually, strong rain welcomed our train from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania we were scared to get out the Station Union.
Rain. Chilly and windy rain. Okay, that surprised us. A lot. Well, it’s Chicago is not called “The Windy City” for fun or pun. Windy the city really is.
Nothing can stop our family from enjoying the beauty and architecture of Chicago. Not even 100% certainty of bad weather.
Our first stop, to get equipped. We don’t like to shopping (window shopping specially nor shopping for fun — any kind if shopping for that matter. On the side note, this is actually obvious in all our family photos, we are always wearing the same clothes over and over and over and over….), but for necessity, we do what we need to. Off we went to get our traveling feet warm while we explore. Although we make sure we know the weather for days and weeks of the place we will explore, we were caught off guard by the winds of Chicago!
Armed with a lot of umbrellas and water proof shoes, we went to visit Cloud Gate Park and checked out “The Bean.” Oh boy, was it still crowded, amidst the rain.
We had a blast taking photos in this architectural wonder. Oh yeah, it seems that the phrase “architectural wonder” goes together with Chicago! The skyscrapers are extraodinaire when it comes to architecture design. Or it our visual description – fabulous and looks functional.
In addition to the Chicago skyscrapers, we visited the Chicago Cultural Center and checked out their extraordinaire biennial exhibition on Architecture! Arxhitects, designers and students everywhere socializing with our three traveling kids talking about design, construction and mine crafts. Minecrafts mainly from our Turknoys, of course. That counts.
Then comes the bronze cow in The Windy City.
The next day, we didn’t want to be overwhelmed with all the “must-sees” in Chicago, so we decided to visit the Chicago Children’s Museum. We didn’t realize we will be there for hours and hours of adult and kids fun!
There are also lots of things to see and enjoy at the Navy Pier!
Top of our list, Chicago’s famous deep dish pizza! A pizza which takes more than an hour wait to bake. Our verdic -calorific!
If you think that’s loaded, try the glazed and infused donuts, another Chicago born and raised idea of culinary speciality!
We went to Grant Park and enjoyed a nice sunny and cloudy (and windy!) stroll along the Buckingham Fountain, one of the largest in the world and one that resembles Versailles Fountain. That sounds familiar, yes, the one in France.
We spent our last day in the Water Tower Place – Dr. Seuss and Lego. Two things that these kids would want not to leave any place.
We’ve seen a little of the city but the kids did a whole lot of Chicago loving their way!
Someday, we’ll return and for sure we’ll enjoy this city more, especially the must-sees.
Have you been to Chicago? What did you love most? Do tell.
“Washington DC is a city filled with people who believe they are important.” – David Brinkley
Our traveling family enjoyed a long stroll of memorial, in the country’s Capital District, of very important people who are foundation of The New World’s freedom.
We started with paying a visit to the White House. The kids had a blast playing with squirrels at the La Fayette Garden.
The next day, we started our stroll at the Lincoln Memorial.
We continued our walk down the other memorial and talked a lot about the Korean War Memorial and why freedom is never free.
Add in the weather and it was a fantastic walk to Martin Luther King Memorial.
It’s amazing to see a lot of familiar quotes in Franklin Roosevelt Memorial and of course Eleanor Roosevelt and his dog are there.
And, opposite Lincoln Memorial is the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.
We ended our stroll for the day with kids playing their hearts out by the Washington Monument where we have a good view of both sides of the Capitol Hill and the Lincoln Memorial.
The highlight of walk would be the feee museums right after the Washington Monument. We chose to visit the National Museum of Air and Space. The kids had a blast with a lot of jaw-dropping moments looking up st airplanes and rockets.
The day after, we started from Union State to the Capitol Hill and spending the rest of the day in the American Indian National Museum.
There are other museums to enjoy in the area. We chose to learn a little bit of Native American history and the kids enjoyed with the handson activities and videos in the museum.
As a home educating family, living in the city would be fabulous with all the available museums. At the moment, we can only dream.
Do you live in Washington DC? Is it as fabulous as we think it is? Talk about family satisfaction. 🤗