Melissa Moore's Passport
 

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Member since:
11 June 2013

Icon_superoo_orangeSuperoo '14, '16

Icon_pictureBeen to 1245 Attractions
Icon_star1092 Reviews
Icon_star1634 First to Review
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About Me & My Family

I am a Coast Guard wife who has spent the last year exploring the Washington DC metro area with my young kids. Before moving to DC, we enjoyed checking out every museum, park, zoo and play area in the San Francisco Bay Area while my husband was stationed in Alameda.
Our Family's Travel Personality
adventurous, curious, energetic
We Just Got Back From
A 4 week Road Trip Through Eastern Canada
Our Favorite Vacation Spot
"Grandma's Beach" (Carpinteria City Beach) just down the road from Grandma's House in Carpinteria, CA
Favorite Vacation Memory
Walking to Yosemite Falls with my then two year old boy immediately after breakfast on a very cold morning in January. I love the cold, the snow, Yosemite without the crowds, and, of course, my kids.
Worst Travel Moment With My Kids:
When my 3 year old son dropped a bowling ball on his right index finger in Ventura, CA. It's not fun visiting an emergency room (or two in this particular case) while away from home.

Reviews & Photos

1092 Reviews


December 07 2016
1 family found this helpful
American Civil War Museum- Historic Tredegar | kids travel, kids activities
American Civil War Museum- Historic Tredegar
500 Tredegar Street,
Richmond,
Virginia 23219
"Why was There a Civil War?"
On a rainy day in December, I took a bit of a scouting trip to Richmond to check out some of it's historic sites so that I could determine which would be fun to return to with my children in upcoming years.

Museum Layout
The museum walks visitors through the build up to the Civil War and the war itself. It is a text-heavy museum; there are some artifacts, but that is not what this museum is about. The museum relies on videos to draw in visitors to get them thinking about the implications of the Civil War on American History.

A Note on Bias
I studied Civil War history in college, writing and reading about historians' views on the causes of the Civil War. While I cannot claim to remember much detail from the class, I do hope that it has given me a fuller perspective. And, yes, I'm aware that every perspective has a bias; my own personal bias is stuck in the North (and the West) -- so I found this museum challenging with clear Southern bias.

This is not the same museum that you'd find in Gettysburg -- and it shouldn't be.

Kid-Friendliness
When I walked into the museum, I asked about any special exhibits that would be of more interest to elementary school children. The guide told me a bit about the program for the 4th grade students who come to visit the museum on field trips. Everything in the museum needs to be read, and there just is very little for kids under 4th grade level.

Honestly, I recommend that if your kids are younger than 10, that you visit the free museum run by the National Park Service next door. (That being said, there is nothing I saw that was inappropriate for younger children - though I did not watch the entirety of each video.)

Teens
For teens this is a timely museum that will hopefully get them mulling over historic bias and our country's current political situation in 2016. Maybe it will even spark a conversation...

The museum prompts its visitors to consider the causes of the Civil War - with a slight bias towards the South (in my more Northern educated opinion.) Most importantly, the museum clearly shows the path to the Civil War, the costliness of a country divided.

Regardless of the bias, it is good for kids to start thinking about their own biases and how a country like the United States could become so divided -- or possibly come to the realization that this has always been the case.

Bottom Line
If you choose to visit this museum, come prepared to think about the Civil War, investigate its causes and apply those thoughts to our nation's current political climate. Otherwise, just go next door -- it's a quality museum in its own right run by the national park service.

Disclosure: I received complimentary admission to the Shirley Plantation for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.
 
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December 07 2016
0 families found this helpful
Stroops Heroic Dogs | kids travel, kids activities
Stroops Heroic Dogs
2709 East Marshall Street,
Richmond,
Virginia 23223
"Never Thought that I Would Give Hot Dogs Five Stars"
I order plenty of hot dogs while we are on the road traveling, for my children that is, not for myself. However, the combinations at Stroops Heroic Dogs in Richmond sounded quite enticing -- so I thought why not?

I ordered the Oaxacan Mole Dog - it was amazing! Maybe I should have ordered two? It was topped with queso fresco, pepitas, and cilantro -- so flavorful. The fries (ordered separately) were also fresh, crisp and yummy.

I especially enjoyed the soda grapefruit, elderberry and basil -- which had "Stroops" printed on it and appeared to be unique to the store.

My kids weren't with me on this visit - but I noticed that they also have corn dogs. My kids could live off of corn dogs.

Bottom Line
I can't believe that I'm saying this, but I'll be back -- probably on my next trip to Richmond.

Disclosure: My meal at Stroops was provided by Visit Richmond. All opinions are my own.
 
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kids travel, kids activities
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December 07 2016
1 family found this helpful
Edgar Allan Poe Museum | kids travel, kids activities
Edgar Allan Poe Museum
Poe Museum ,
1914-16 East Main Street,
Richmond,
Virginia 23223
"Read Some Poe Before You Go"
On a rainy day in December, I took a bit of a scouting trip to Richmond to check out some of it's historic sites so that I could determine which would be fun to return to with my children in upcoming years.

Museum Layout
I thought that this would be the perfect place to go on a rainy day - not so, there are several small buildings only accessible from the outdoors. Each building highlights a specific part of Poe's life - beginning with his early life. There are desks that Poe might have used, first edition copies of his work, a trunk with some of his clothes, and lots of information on his early life. There in a small exhibit building featuring some art and media based on Poe's stories. Don't miss the large scale model of Richmond in the early 19th Century before the Civil War and Poe's socks!

Kid-Friendliness
If you're going to take the time to stop at the Poe Museum in Richmond. Be sure to brush up on your knowledge of the author before you go. Read a few of his most famous writings to get in the mood. This would have significantly enhanced my visit.

Local middle schoolers visit the Poe Museum as part of their studies. I think this is typical the age that students are introduced to his writings. So, the museum is obviously best for those familiar with some of his poetry and stories.

However, there is nothing particularly inappropriate for younger children; the house is set-up like many historic city properties from the early 19th century that I've visited in Baltimore and Philly. There is a courtyard and some cats at the museum that could entertain little ones while interested older siblings and parents check out a few of the exhibits. (Of course, you wouldn't want younger kids unsupervised and running around - but they could explore the small garden with a parent or older sibling.)

Bottom Line
It only takes about 30 minutes to go through the entire museum so it is definitely worth a visit for the teens in the family.


Disclosure: I received complimentary admission to the Shirley Plantation for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.
 
kids travel, kids activities
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December 07 2016
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Berkeley Plantation | kids travel, kids activities
Berkeley Plantation
12602 Harrison Landing Road,
Charles City,
Virginia 23030
"Another Virginian Presidential Home"
On a rainy day in December, I took a bit of a scouting trip to Richmond to check out some of it's historic sites so that I could determine which would be fun to return to with my children in upcoming years.

History
Around Virginia, I've followed the footsteps of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson visiting Mount Vernon and Monticello. I've also read about the homes of James Monroe and James Madison. However, before touring Berkeley Plantation, I hadn't really learned much about William Henry Harrison. There is good reason for this as our ninth president, he only served for a matter of weeks before becoming ill and dying.

Despite his relative obscurity, it is interesting to hear the story of his family and the fate of his family's ancestral home during the Civil War era. Like nearby Shirley Plantation, the land was settled early in colonial history, around 1624. The location on the river led it to be a profitable shipping center prior to the American Revolution. Unlike nearby Shirley Plantation, which has remained occupied by the same family for centuries, Berkeley Plantation was sold prior to the Civil War, and it was used by Union General McClellan at one point for his headquarters.

Grounds
The grounds of the plantation have terraced gardens and looked like they would be fun to explore - but it was raining heavily on the day of my visit so I didn't get the opportunity to check them out.

Christmas Decorations
This plantation goes all out to decorate for the holidays - more so than nearby Shirley Plantation. Also, part of the tour discusses colonial and early European American holiday traditions.

House Tour
Similar to nearby Shirley Plantation, the house at Berkeley Plantation is still privately owned. While Berkeley Plantation isn't occupied full-time like Shirley Plantation is, the house tour does only show the ground floor of the house.

The tour begins in the basement of the house with a video then goes upstairs through the rooms. My tour was every bit of one hour (longer than the tour at Shirley.) The tour does go into great detail about the Harrison family - which I found interesting because I knew nothing of them prior to the tour.

Kid-Friendliness
There was nothing special for the kids here. I imagine that in warmer moths children enjoy exploring the gardens. This tour focused a bit more on American/Southern/Virginian history as a whole rather than the family's history when compared to the tour at nearby Shirley Plantation.

Disclosure: I received complimentary admission to the Shirley Plantation for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.
 
kids travel, kids activities
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kids travel, kids activities
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December 07 2016
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Shirley Plantation | kids travel, kids activities
Shirley Plantation
501 Shirley Plantation Road,
Charles City,
Virginia 23030
"The History of an American Family"
On a rainy day in December, I took a bit of a scouting trip to Richmond to check out some of it's historic sites so that I could determine which would be fun to return to with my children in upcoming years.

History
Books have been written on the history of the Shirley Plantation - but I'll give an abbreviated history. First, it's important to know that the same family has occupied this house since it was built in 1738 - and they still live there full time with their young children. (Thus, the tours are at specific times and limited to the ground floor of the house only.) Cotton, corn, wheat and soybean are still grown on the plantation today.

This is the home of the Carter Family, one of the wealthiest families in colonial Virginia. The land was first settled by the English in 1614; it was acquired by the Hill family in 1638. Early in the 18th Century, the Elizabeth Hill married John Carter. Generations later, one of the Carters married into the Lee family -- thus Robert E Lee, Confederate General, likely spent a significant of time in this ancestral home.

Home Tour
The tour only covers the ground floor and focuses on the lives of the Carter family throughout American history. It is interesting to hear about the progression of the nation's history through the lives of one prominent family.

Each room in the house has portraits and such dating from a certain time period. The entry way has an especially impressive staircase.

Kid-Friendliness
While I wasn't with my children on this particular visit, I did ask what there was for kids at the Shirley Plantation and was given a copy of a scavenger hunt for the grounds. If it hadn't been raining and if I wasn't short on time, I would have followed it myself to see what it was all about. However, it turns out that I didn't need to as there was a classroom of kids running around the property with various clues. I love that this is available - and it looks like a lot of fun.

Bottom Line
This is one of many excellent historic home tours in the the region. It is unique in that the family still lives in the house. There is a fun scavenger hunt for kids available.

Disclosure: I received complimentary admission to the Shirley Plantation for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.
 
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
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