Home Educator’s Day at Jefferson’s Monticello!


Home Educator’s Day at Jefferson’s Monticello

Home Educator’s Day at Jefferson’s Monticello is September 24, 2014! If you are a homeschooling family then you don’t want to miss this field trip opportunity. Admission is reasonable and you can buy tickets online here or at the door, pre-registration is not required. If you do buy tickets ahead of time you will be able to get a better pick of times for your tour of Monticello.  Adults are $15, children 5-12 are only $6 and children 4 and under are free. Special activities are offered form 10AM-3PM but you can explore the grounds from 8:30A – to 6P.

Activities at Monticello Include:

  • explore the Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center
  • watch the film Thomas Jefferson’s World
  • numerous hands-on activities in the Griffin Discovery Room
  • special guided tour of Monticello
  • visit Mulberry Row to learn about slave life
  • indoor and outdoor activity stations including a historic chocolate presentation complete with chocolate tasting
  • talk with costumed interpreters to learn about period crafts, cooking, and games

Before you go check out some of the resources avaiable to help you and your children learn more about Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello home.

Educator Resources for Monticello:

Additional Activities Near Monticello

Top 5 Kid Friendly US Destinations

Although there are a multitude of destinations considered kid-friendly, here are the Top 5 Kid Friendly US Destinations you may want to consider on your next family vacation.

Kid Friendly US Destinations

1. Disney World.

This ultimate family vacation has been the source of great joy for adults and kids alike. Whether you stay several miles from the theme park or enjoy the onsite amenities, this vacation affords you an endless array of activities designed for the entire family. From Epcot Center to Sea World; from Disney Village to Universal Studios; Water parks to Wildlife parks; no time is wasted at this world-famous resort.

Moreover, many online travel sites are offering special packages to Disney World as well as Southwest Airlines and others. In addition, you can save quite a bit of money by selecting hotels that offer free stays for children, as well as free meals for the little ones. This is one destination where you can easily book a trip based on your budget and stick to it.

2. Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch.

From Alaska to Wyoming, there are a multitude of dude ranches perfect for a family vacation. But, one of the most notable is the Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch in Colorado, approximately 20 miles from Rock Mountain National Park. Here, your family can engage in an array of activities including: horseback riding, hayrides, nature walks, and a host of amenities provided by the ranch.

This dude ranch is perfect for families who love the outdoors as well as enjoy visiting such historic sites as Fort Collins, Old West Museums, and Cheyenne (where you can buy tickets to the world’s largest rodeo held from July 17 to the 26th).

3. Hawaii.

While Oahu has always been a popular destination, it is Maui that attracts family vacationers more than any of its islands. The reason is that it offers a wide variety of activities such as whale watching (seasonal); Lahaina, a famous whaling village; and Maui Ocean Center, home to the largest aquarium in Hawaii.

Your family can also take a ride on the Sugar Cane Train, circa 1890; visit Oheo Gulch to marvel at the spectacular waterfalls; spend a day at Iao Valley and view the Iao Needle; or visit the black-sand beaches at Waianapanapa in East Maui.

For fabulous weather, magnificent sunsets, and beautiful beaches; Maui is the perfect spot to unwind and enjoy spending quality family time.

4. New York.

Probably the most exciting vacation spot for families is New York. The “Big Apple” has something for everyone; from Broadway to Rockefeller Center, you will never run out of things to do here. Among the many sites to visit is Radio City Music Hall where you can take in a show; Madison Square Garden; the Empire State Building; the Village; 42nd Street, the Theatre District; museums; shopping, fabulous cuisine; the list is endless.

Spend a day walking along Fifth Avenue and stop at St. Patrick’s Cathedral; take a tour of NBC Studios; spend an afternoon in Central Park and visit the zoo there; go to the South Street Seaport or take in a matinee performance on a Wednesday afternoon.

Whether you stay uptown or downtown, you will always be in close proximity to the many historic sites and sounds that comprise Manhattan. Moreover, your kids will enjoy all this city has to offer.

5. Las Vegas.

The city that never sleeps offers a wide range of attractions for kids. This is why it is among the top family destinations in the US today. Moreover, it is an affordable vacation because the hotel packages and meals will fit any budget.

Among the many attractions offered for families include: M&M’s World, the Lion Habitat at MGM, Adventure Canyon, Game Works (a video game-playing wonderland), Sports Park, Circus Circus rides; Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage hotel; Shark Reef; New York, New York’s roller coaster; Madame Tussaud’s; Lake Mead; Children’s Museum (the largest of its kind); and Adventuresdome, the largest theme park in the U.S.

Many of these attractions are free and are well worth visiting. Don’t forget the Flamingo Habitat at the Flamingo hotel or the spectacular water fountain show across the way at Caesars Palace.

For great fun and awesome rides and venues, Las Vegas is a wonderful choice for your next family vacation.

What locations would you add to our list of  the Top 5 Kid Friendly US Destination?

Crystal - Cinnamon Hollow - Social-125Crystal Martin


Airline Baggage Policies

united baggage policyWhen I book a flight for my family to travel, one of the deciding factors when choosing an airline, is baggage policies. I find that sometimes you can get an amazing price on your tickets, but then the airline baggage prices end up costing more than the discount and you end up paying more. I put together this list of 10 major airlines baggage policies to help make choosing the right airline a bit easier for you. (All information comes directly from the airlines website. Click through to each site for more information.)


1. Jet Blue - www.jetblue.com

All checked bags cannot exceed 62″ (157.48 cm) in overall dimensions (length + width + height) and cannot exceed 50 pounds (22.73 kg). If you’ll be carrying additional bags, there is a $50 fee for checking a second bag and a $100 fee for a third bag. A Value Added Tax (VAT) of up to 18% is also payable on baggage fees for certain international flights. Each customer may bring onboard one personal item (purse, briefcase, laptop, etc.) plus one carry-on bag. If the carry-on bag does not fit in the overhead bin or space is limited, the bag will be gate checked.

2. American Airlines - www.americanairlines.com

For flights within and between the U.S., U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Canada on tickets purchased on or after April 8, 2014 the fees are $25 for the first checked bag, $35 for the second checked bag, $150 for the third checked bag and $200 for any additional bags. For tickets purchased before April 8, 2014 the fees are $25 for the first checked bag, $35 for the second checked bag and $150 for any additional bags.

You can bring one small carry-on bag plus one personal item per passenger as long as the carry-on bag fits comfortably in the sizer without being forced and does not exceed overall dimensions of 45 inches (length + width + height).The maximum dimensions cannot exceed any of the following measurements: 22″ long x 14″ wide x 9″ tall or 115cm (56 x 36 x 23 cm). All carry-on items should be stowed in an overhead bin.Personal items include: purse, briefcase, laptop bag OR a similar item such as a tote. The personal item must be smaller than your carry-on bag and must fit under the seat in front of you.


3. Virgin America - www.virginamerica.com

All checked bags may have a maximum size of 62 inches, which is calculated by adding the length plus the width plus the height. Oversized bags and overweight bags will incur additional fees. Please note checked baggage cannot exceed 80 linear inches and any bag weighing more than 100 pounds will not be accepted for check in at the airport. Each checked bag is $25 each. Oversized bags from 51-70 lbs. will be an additional $50 each. Oversized bags from 71 to 100 lbs. are an additional $100 each and oversized bags over 62 inches are an additional $75 each.

All guests are welcome to bring onboard one carry-on item up to 30 pounds and one personal item.


4. United Airlines - www.united.com

Fees may apply for the first two pieces of checked baggage with a maximum weight of 50 pounds per bag and a maximum exterior linear dimension of 62 inches (158 cm) per bag. Additional checked bags or any bags that exceed these allowable weights and dimensions are subject to applicable excess, oversized and/or overweight baggage service charges. Charges vary based on your itinerary.


Each traveler can bring on board one carry-on bag plus one personal item free of charge. Make sure that these items will fit into the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you.


5. Southwest Airlines - www.southwest.com

Maximum weight is 50 pounds and maximum size is 62 inches (length + width + height) per checked piece of luggage. Effective for tickets purchased on or after December 15, 2012, for travel on or after February 13, 2013, overweight items from 51 to 100 pounds and oversized items in excess of 62 inches but not more than 80 inches will be accepted for an overweight and oversize baggage fee of $75 per item. For tickets for travel before February 13, 2013, or for tickets purchased prior to December 15, 2012, overweight and oversize baggage fee is $50 per item.

Carryon items are limited to one bag plus one smaller, personal-type item. Southwest Airlines limits carryon bag dimensions to 10x16x24 inches.


6. Delta Airlines - www.delta.com

Fees for checked bags vary based on your destination.

You’re allowed one carry-on bag and one personal item at no extra charge. Just make sure they fit into the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you. Personal items include 1 purse, briefcase, camera bag or diaper bag, 1 laptop computer or item of similar size. These allowed  items are freebies and do not count as a personal item:  jacket, umbrella, stroller, wheelchair, crutches, food and drinks and duty free items.


7. US Airways - www.usairways.com

For Domestic flights the first checked bag is $25, the second is $35, the third is $150, and additional bags are $200 each.

You’re allowed 1 carry-on bag and 1 personal item. Your carry-on bag can be up to 45 inches (22 x 14 x 9 in) or 115 centimeters (23 x 36 x 56 cm) Your personal item needs to be smaller than your carry-on item and must fit under the seat in front of you.Instead of a carry-on bag, you can bring on a soft-sided garment bag up to 51 inches.


8. Air Canada - www.aircanada.com

Checked baggage fees vary based on your departure city and destination.

You are allowed one carry on bag and one personal item such as a laptop, camera bag, backpack or briefcase.If you are travelling with an infant on your lap, you may bring 1 additional carry on bag for their belongings.


9. Spirit Airlines - www.spirit.com

Buy bags early and online for the best price. All prices are per bag, each way and vary between $21 and $100 each, depending on when you pay.

You can carry on one personal item free of charge. This is something like a small backpack or purse that fits entirely in the smaller sizer box (16”x14”x12”).


10. Frontier Airlines - www.flyfrontier.com

Frontier offers two Fare Options that give you the ability to purchase travel that includes the amenities you want. The prices range from Free to $75 per bag.

Everyone, regardless of your Fare Option, is allowed to carry on one personal item for free.To take a larger carry-on bag, you always pay our lowest fees at the time of purchase on FlyFrontier.com!


Looking for an apple picking place in VA?

applesIt’s fall y’all and if you live in Virginia that means it’s time to visit one of the many  pick your own apple orchards. We are fortunate in Central Virginia to have several family friendly apple orchards. So where can you go to enjoy the satisfaction that comes from gathering your own harvest? Which apple picking place in VA is right for you? Check out the list below including some insider info based on our own experiences at these locations.


Fruit Hill Apple Orchard

Fruit Hill Orchard is hands down my favorite apple picking place in VA. This orchard is located in Fluvanna County, a bit of a  drive from Chalottesville, Louisa, or Goochland but well worth it. This is a laid back relaxing experience that allows the whole family to really get into the action, the trees are lower to the ground allowing children to be able to pick apples with their hands, no long pickers needed. They also have unusual varieties of pumpkins and gourds which make for fabulous fall displays. This is my kids’ favorite place too. If you go soon, you will be able to pick Jonagolds and Honey Crisp, two delicious apple varieties. This is a no frills just good old fashioned fun kind of place.

apple bucket Carter Mountain Apple Orchard

If you want to Charlottesville experience then this is the apple picking place in VA for you. Carter’s Mountain is located at 1435 Carters Mountain Trail, Charlottesville, VA 22901 to the          south not far from Charlottesville proper. Not only will you find pick your own apples, but they also have pumpkins, a hay ride, famous apple cider donuts, and for you wine lovers they          even have their own tasting room. This is a great place to jump feet first into fall.

Chiles Peach Orchard

Don’t let the name fool you, Chiles Peach Orchard is an excellent apple picking place in VA.  Also not far from Charlottesville, the orchard is located at 1351 Greenwood Road, Crozet, VA         22932. If you are looking for a less commercial experience then this is a good option for you. Chiles Peach Orchard also has pumpkins! If you are going, take your sweet tooth and enjoy         some homemade ice cream, peach ice cream is their specialty of course.

Graves Mountain

This is the apple picking place in VA for you if you want an all day adventure. 2 hours from Washington DC or Richmond, and only an hour from Charlottesville, Fredericksburg, or                    Harrisonburg Graves Mountain is a beautiful choice for a day trip. I would suggest waiting until a weekend in October to make the trek to this apple picking place in VA. In October, you          will be able to pick the Mutsu or Crispin apple a delicious combination of a golden delicious and Indo apple variety. Also in October, they throw a apple harvest celebration that is fun              and educational since you can see how apple butter is made. This is where we are headed again this year.

Travel Tips and Tricks Tuesday


Travel Tips and Tricks

Travel Tips and Tricks

Travel Tips and Tricks!

Every week at vacationmaybe.com we will share our tried and true travel tips and tricks. Say that 5 times fast, ha! This week we bring you suction cup hooks! Inevitably no matter where you travel with children or what activities you have planned the bathroom will NOT have enough hooks or towel bars for drying all your wet stuff, be it towels, swimsuits, or clothes. So pack suction cup hooks to hang in the shower. You can buy them at any dollar store…an inexpensive way to avoid bringing home wet stuff or to be able to reuse your towels. Now I know neither of these things happens to you but admittedly from my own experience I can tell you these are also great when your little ones have a potty accident or jump in a mud puddle (Gasp!). The hooks are perfect for hanging up underwear and socks that you have hand washed after such incidents.