(Note: Don’t trust a google search for open times. Check the Castle’s Website or call them! See phone number at the end of this article. This place is a must see! ~ Christiane)
On April 1, an amazing place deep within Marietta, Ohio, will open to the public for the season. This place — the magnificent Victorian Castle of Marietta — has such a huge, rich history. The land was originally an orchard; Melvin C. Clarke purchased the land in 1855 for a sum of $2,000 and began construction of the castle. Shortly after completion, the castle was sold and used for various owners’ business functions and entertainment purposes.
On National Register of Historic Places
The castle was inherited by interested families and passed down, and sold. In 1992, the castle was deeded to the Betsey Mills Corporation as a “historical asset for the City of Marietta with such asset to be used for educational and public purposes.” The castle opened in 1994 to the public and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The castle now offers amazing activities and fun programs to the residents of Marietta, many who come to take in the gorgeous Gothic Revival style architecture of the castle, one of the best in Ohio. With stone-topped spires and an octagonal tower, the castle embodies all things Victorian in games, art, guided tours, the gardens, music and more.
Walking tours through the gardens and grounds are always popular, wrapping together exhibits, styled gardens, cemeteries, castle history, war stories and Marietta information.
A new series, Historic Trades Workshops, offers the chance to learn about past trades or crafts from long-past
generations such as Introduction to Quilting. The castle also focuses on the history of Victorian food. A new series titled Food History will utilize local recipes from restaurants and cookbooks. Teas and Tastes of the Pioneers begins on June 13 with teas and history from Marietta’s pioneers, plus a “Downton Abbey” Tea.
Live Concerts at The Castle
Music is always highlighted at the castle, and starting this season The Castle’s Concert Series will feature the Trillium Piano Trio and Michael Tobar and Friends. Tobar’s jazz concerts will be on April 16 and May 14. Trillium is scheduled for the following Sundays: May 22, June 26 and October 30. The castle also features specialty lectures, titled the Third Thursday Talks: artists, war history, collections, traditions and art.
Plus, the castle features specialty summer camps with focus on history in the ’30s and ’40s, archeology, museum info and other local fun. And become a member — membership includes lots of perks such as advance notice of exclusive events, discounts and reminders.
So don’t miss Opening Day on April 1, and visit the Castle Historic House Museum for a look back at Marietta’s Victorian history.
Special Thanks to Kyle Yoho, MA, Education Director
The Castle Historic House Museum
418 Fourth Street, Marietta, Oh 45750
“The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status, or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we all believe that we are above-average drivers.” Dave Barry, Dave Barry Turns Fifty
I bet you don’t read statistics about car accidents! If you do, it either scares you to death or comforts you.
Keep in mind that statistics lump us all into one category. There are subcategories of drivers, but you do have some control over the category you fall into! More about that in a future article!
For now, I want to share my own observations about safe driving that I’ve gleaned through a lifetime of driving. Today I’ll discuss driving in snow and ice since there’s a lot of that out my window and yours today!
Snow Driving Tips From Canadians
I was born in Quebec. My family emigrated to the U.S. in 1963 when I was 7 years old. But I learned snow safety from my parents. Rarely does snow stop a Canadian. I remember one trip to my grandmother’s house on rural back roads when my two siblings and I were around 5 and under.
It was snowing and the depth of the snow kept rising, yet my father kept driving. I remember the car stopping so that he could put chains on the tires. Then he just kept on until the snow was so deep, the car got stuck. We waited in the car until my father returned with horses and a cart.
He lifted us up onto it, covered us with a blanket and we went across the long covered bridge, listening to the sound of horses clomping along, echoing across the river until we reached my grandmother’s house.
So, that explains the first tip in this list for driving in the snow:
- Don’t drive through deep snow unless there are horses available.
- If there’s ice, just don’t drive!
- Stay home if at all possible! Playing in the snow is safer than snow driving!
- Before heading onto the freeway, fill your tank. If you get stuck, you’ll be able to stay warm longer.
- Always travel with at least one blanket. Small fleece throws work well or those thin aluminum blankets.
- The most dangerous time for snow driving is when it has just started snowing. So don’t rush out. That thin film of snow is slippery and the trucks haven’t been out to treat the roads yet. So wait it out. A little bit of depth actually gives you a little traction.
- Never drive in snow without snow tires. Make acquiring them a routine part of your seasonal preparation for winter.
- If you live on a hill and can afford it, make your next car a four-wheel (all-wheel) drive.
- Check with your sheriff’s office to see if there are level two or level three warnings. You’ll know whether snow driving today is considered safe.
- Drive slowly, and don’t stop suddenly. Slow the car down gently if necessary. Sudden braking will send you into a spin. Add an extra minute for every mile you drive. Ignore this advice and you may find out what it’s like to fly off a bridge, or slam into a guardrail, or flip a few times in your car, ending up upside down. I have seen this happen and ever since I have wondered what it’s like to be upside down in my car.
- Never stop on a hill. You will end up having to back down the hill. No fun. Been there. Done that.
- If you do go into a spin, don’t forget what you learned in driver’s ed. Turn the steering wheel into the direction of the spin. And don’t forget to breathe. Trust me. It works. Same thing if you hydroplane in a puddle of water.
- Never assume there is no ice under the snow. Assume the opposite.
- If you have a rear-wheel-drive vehicle, add a couple bags of cat litter or sand to your trunk for weight. It’s also good to use for traction if you should get stuck in the snow/ice. (This isn’t helpful if your car is front- or 4-wheel drive.)
- Before you leave, make sure your wipers are in good shape (they should be changed every six months), top off your windshield wiper fluid and fully charge your cell phone (and bring a charger).
Survive Snow Driving in a Snow Squall
I just got stuck in a snow squall and realized I didn’t mention those at all! These create probably the most dangerous snow conditions for driving!
The worst snow squall I remember getting caught in was about 17 years ago in Connecticut. I was driving to Rhode Island to an airport when I found myself in a severe snow squall. I used all of the tools in my safety tool belt, but I did not feel safe. I also did not see my exit and missed my flight. The worst part was that semis didn’t seem to think slowing down was a good idea, so every time I was able to orient myself to know where the road was so I could stay on it, a semi would zoom by, forcing an extra layer of snow onto my windshield.
So, here are all the tools in my tool belt:
- Don’t panic.
- Slow down… slowly. Don’t slam on your brakes. Squalls create that thin film of snow very quickly. The difference is you can’t choose to stay home!
- Turn on your headlights and flashers so other cars can see you. Do not use brights.
- Very important — you must orient yourself to where the road is. During a squall, wind is blowing and snow blocks your view. In a way your headlights emphasize the snowflakes, so look to the side of the road for signs, traffic lights, shoulder lines. The shoulder line is extremely helpful until the snow covers it. Your eyes must constantly be checking the rear view and ahead of you. It pays to be hyper-vigilant during these brief blizzards. These little mini blizzards usually last 30 minutes or less, but that’s still enough time to cover the line. And if you’re traveling with the storm, it will last much longer. During my trip to the airport, the snow covered signs too, which is why I missed my exit.
- If possible, avoid pulling over. A car or semi could run into you. If you must pull over, make sure you really are on the side of the road and all of your lights are flashing!
- The articles I linked to also have some suggestions. Please add yours!
Check snow levels at Sheriff’s offices. I haven’t been able to find announcements on the sites, but I called to get snow levels:
Washington County Sheriff (740) 376-7070
Note: Great tips here! If you want individual help with your homeschool, be sure to read the last line to find out how to reach Donna for a free one-on-one get acquainted call! ~ Christiane Marshall
Whether you’re traveling for fun or business it’s going to take a little extra planning and packing when you add children to the mix. If Dad and Mom are working parents, entrepreneurs or employees, you’ve got to travel like a pro. By focusing in on important items and being well organized as well as prepared, your trip will be fully enjoyed. Here are a few tips on how to bring it all together and travel smart so there’s plenty of time for fun and exploration.
- Have all your travel plans and schedules well prepared. Prior to traveling be sure you’re signed up for frequent flyer programs to maximize all your travel. Do this ahead of time so you don’t have to do it in the busy airport. Also have your travel days calendared. Note what days are for traveling and if there are any days you have to be at meetings when combining work and pleasure. Then you can plan the rest of the time for fun and recreation.
If you’re traveling for vacation only, be sure you have done as much work ahead of time or have it covered so you don’t have to work while on family vacation. Use technology wherever possible to get the work done for you while you’re at the beach playing with the kids. Contact anyone who’d you would like to meet while in the area and plan a lunch or even shared family-to-family time.
- Pack it all, pack it light. It’s easy to pile on the stuff when it comes to children so take into consideration what you will really need. So many times I have over-packed only to carry it home again unused. If you’re anywhere that has access to a washer and dryer you will be able to pack lighter. For the little ones, you’ll have to pack extra changes of clothing in case anything gets soiled.
Work with your children well before the trip and make lists of what to take. Have each child prepare his own list, then moms or dads go over the list and talk about what might be missing. Depending on your child’s age, have them pull everything from their list and make a stack then have you review it to be sure nothing is forgotten. Pack it together or do a quick check once it’s in the bag.
Pack one bag of toiletries that can be shared. Personal items can be placed in each child’s personal bathroom bag such as toothbrush or hairbrush. Each family member can be responsible for their own book bag of goodies they want to bring such as books, puzzles, games, decks of cards, paper for drawing, snacks and a water bottle. Remember to include in your suitcase your cell phone charger, laptop wires and other device chargers.
- Lighten your load and go paperless. There are travel management sites like TripIt.com you can use to access all of your travel information for your flight, car, hotel, etc. You can also use a program such as Evernote.com to store any additional information you may need while away. This way you can access it from your smartphone, laptop, tablet or just about anything you have that can access the internet. If you’re bringing your work with you Evernote.com is a fabulous tool that allows you to put all those files online so you can access them from anywhere, anytime.
Now you don’t have to carry so much in your bags. If you like to read a lot consider bringing an e-reader along rather than a stack of books. I love my Kindle and look forward to loading stacks of books on it for plenty of beachside reading and tanning. Remember, packing light will help you have more energy by not wearing you down.
- Explore educational options. Take plenty of time before your trip to gather information about your destination. Contact the chamber of commerce or the state departments of tourism. Are there any historical sites, museums, zoos, national parks, factory tours, performing arts, music and visual arts, education centers or local attractions?
Check out books from your local library or do research online about the history of where you’re going. Can you learn a foreign language or even popular words if it’s a shorter trip? Be sure you take along addresses and stamps to mail postcards. Even though we are using GPS or smartphones to navigate, we will get a map and show the children the route and talk about geography along the way. Take along nature journals, cameras, video cameras and journals to document the trip.
- Set up home away from home. Is there anything light you can bring from home to help you feel more at home, especially if you’re taking a long trip? Examples: your personal pillow, a small blanket or a candle. Be sure to include in your packing any medications, remedies and a first aid kit.
Choose a hotel, suite or even rental condo or house where you have room for everyone including a small refrigerator and even a way to cook simple meals. This will help keep the children happy and healthy, having a few meals cooked at “home away from home” rather than eating out the whole time. Be sure to bring favorite foods and snacks or locate a local store as you travel that carries these items.
Remember to make it fun and take time to relax. If that means just lying around and not being on the run the whole time, then enjoy it. That is what vacations are for, taking it easy. Enjoy the simplified living and know you will return refreshed and rejuvenated.
“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” –Lao Tzu
Parents Inspired to Action:
Review the list above and create your own personal travel checklists.
Get a map and chart your course early so you can gather information ahead of time and plan educational activities to do together as a family.
Make your list of items to buy before the trip and get them well in advance so packing and trip preparation can all go smoothly.
Children Inspired to Action:
Plan a trip with your children. If it’s for fun, choose a destination together. It’s a good idea to include them in all the research before you commit to a particular location.
Help your children create their own checklists for packing. Let them include a couple of their own personal items.
What can you have your children do to help you prepare for the trip? Older children can concentrate on more involved tasks or take responsibility in helping younger siblings.
Wondering how you can incorporate the guidance of a mentor to get the results you’re looking for in your own homeschool and life?
What do you need specifically to get the results you want? What can you let go of and what do you need to keep in your homeschool and everyday living? I know it’s important to you to be sure all your bases are covered.
If you would like a more systematic approach with the details to help you produce real change fast, I recommend setting up a “Get Acquainted Call with Donna.” Send an email with “Get Acquainted Call with Donna” in the subject line and you’ll be scheduled for a free one-on-one with me. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Think peace, live love.
When is the most ideal time to visit the Caribbean? Anytime.
And there is always a reason to visit the U.S. oasis, Puerto Rico. Always.
Next time, you’ll want to stay at the San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino. No more than 15 minutes from the San Juan Airport, the San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino is nestled in the definitive Puerto Rico location, the Condado beach area. Located at 309 Ashford Avenue in San Juan, the hotel serves as ground zero for all things Puerto Rico.
Fall in love all over again with Puerto Rico with help from resort staff who “get it.” If your hotel package comes with breakfast, expect to be greeted by a staff member dedicated to making your mornings exceptional. He or she will present breakfast with a smile and suggestions on where to spend the upcoming day. Should you choose to stay on the property, there’s always the in-pool bar, equipped with barstools in the water. If you’re lucky enough to stay through week’s end, enjoy the salsa band playing at the bar!
Check in and head straight to the ocean via a corridor of sorts. The hotel has a pool entrance fit enough for any movie script. If pool chairs and cabanas could talk, they would say “come on in, the water’s perfect!” They would also have the perfect rum-infused cocktail on deck, but you’ll have to settle for a bartender preparing one for you in real time. Poor you.
I appreciated being able to go outside the front doors and walk to restaurants; it’s just a short walk, too. You can also walk a few feet to catch the local bus to Old San Juan, where authentic cooking and historic monuments await. If you need anything while staying here, the hotel staff and management are very friendly and efficient.
Got kiddos? Send them to camp to keep them busy while you give yourself permission have a little fun of your own, regardless of what that would entail: tanning, swimming or food and drink-hopping.
For those like me who must be near a Walgreens at all times, there is a store located within walking distance. Same goes for Starbucks. But eat at the hotel as there is a buffet that will fill your belly for the entire day.
- 525 newly upgraded guest rooms and suites.
- Rated best hotel location in San Juan on Tripadvisor.com.
- Impressive ocean views with an oceanfront pool.
- Choose from a variety of gaming options at the onsite Stellaris Casino.
- Spa and restaurants (including a night club!) included, so there is no need to leave the resort.
- Something for anyone can be found here; seniors and young bridal party members alike.
If your only back-to-school plans consist of buying as many pairs of khakis as possible, preparing lunches with healthier snacks and making it to the bus stop on time, you need to find out how to score a quick getaway to Puerto Rico. Rates at the San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino begin at $175 a night.
Good to know: The San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino accepts Marriott Rewards points to redeem. You can earn points here, too.
If you’re looking for a state that has some fantastic fossils in the eastern side of the country, one of the best choices is the Keystone State, Pennsylvania. Drive down just about any highway or state road in the area and chances are you’ll find a road cut that has some fossils from the Devonian Era for you to find. Just be sure that you aren’t trespassing, and that you’re keeping your safety, and the safety of others, in mind.
Unlike many states, Pennsylvania does allow for fossil collection in designated parks and areas. While I haven’t been to these locations in quite a few years, I remember them being some of the best places to find some great fossils. However, since things change over time, be sure to check with the authorities to make sure that fossil collection is still allowed.
Located just northeast of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, off of Interstate 81, Swatara Gap is home to the Fossil Pit, a place where people of all ages can come and collect various marine fossils from the Devonian Era. Originally located as a road cut near Interstate 81, the original site became so popular that avid fossil collectors actually started to undercut the road making it unsafe! So instead of allowing that to happen, excavators moved the road expansion excavation material, fossils and all, to the new location.
Another great place to hunt for fossils in Pennsylvania is the man-made lake that was created in a fossil bed! Located in the central region of the state, this park is centered around Beltzville Lake, which was originally the site of a quarry. Fossils can be abundant here if you know where to look. Often simply wading out into the water and looking around is enough to find a treasure!
Located in the valley of the infamous and very fun Youghiogheny River (commonly referred to as the “Yawk” by people who enjoy whitewater rafting), this park is a fantastic place to not only do plenty of outdoor activities but also do some serious fossil collection. While the fossils may be small, if you take the time to look for them, the number of marine fossils is substantial. Just keep your eyes open as you visit the park!
What are some of your favorite places to hunt fossils in Pennsylvania?
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