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Did You Feel a Chill?: Favorite Haunted Places around the World

Did You Feel a Chill?: Favorite Haunted Places around the World. | CosmosMariners.com

On vacation, most kids collect postcards or sweatshirts. I collected (and still do!) books on local haunted spots. At seven, I visited my grandma in Myrtle Beach and found a copy of Nancy Rhyne's Coastal Ghosts--and an obsession was born.  My bookshelf now struggles under the weight of all of my ghost story books, but I'm still on the lookout for more!

Despite the fact that I may be the biggest chicken alive, I love the thrill of reading a ghost story or going on a ghost tour. There's so much history, intrigue, and underbelly-of-the-city activity wrapped up in all of them that keeps me going back for more.

Since Halloween is right around the corner, I thought it would be fun to round up a few of my favorite haunted spots and share them alongside some other bloggers' favorites.

Location: St. Francis Inn, St. Augustine, Florida


Did You Feel a Chill?: Favorite Haunted Places around the World. | CosmosMariners.com


As I was carrying my bags up to my room earlier this year, another guest greeted me in the hallway and said, "You know this place is haunted, right?" He then proceeded to tell me that during his last stay, he and his wife had listened to the sound of little girls laughing in the hallway outside their room all night.

Goodbye, good night's sleep!

I later found out that the St. Francis Inn is a hotbed of activity. One of the desk managers told us that she often sees things moving out of the corner of her eye, that televisions turn on without anyone being in the room, and something keeps opening and closing the doors of the washer and dryer.

Given that the inn has been in existence since 1791, it's no wonder that a few residents might have wanted to stick around the property. I may or may not have slept fitfully during my entire three night stay! It's tough to try and rest while you're simultaneously keeping an ear out for spirits.

Location: Old Sheldon Church, Yemassee, South Carolina

Did You Feel a Chill?: Favorite Haunted Places around the World. | CosmosMariners.com


This gorgeous shell of a church is hidden away off of Highway 17 between Charleston and Hilton Head, but it is well worth a quick detour. During the day, it's awe inspiring to walk between the large columns and imagine what the place looked like before it was burned.

At night, however, you might just run into one of the spirits that prowl this area. There's supposedly a woman who's looking for her baby: she's buried on the property in the small graveyard.

One of my sister's former co-workers, a normally unshakeable police officer, had a hobby of going out on paranormal investigations around Charleston. When he visited the Old Sheldon Church, he and his team distinctly heard a female voice wailing in the dark. The ruins aren't close to any other houses or buildings, so they weren't sure what they were hearing!

(For an easy day trip to this and two other spooky ruins in the South Carolina Lowcountry, check out this post.)

Location: Portland Underground, Oregon
Contributed by: Angie Golish, My So Called Chaos


Did You Feel a Chill?: Favorite Haunted Places around the World. | CosmosMariners.com
{photo via}



In it's heyday, the Portland Underground was a hotbed of horrors and illegal activity.  It was home to prostitutes, the homeless, and criminals-both on the run and in current crime. These catacombs became known as the Shanghai Tunnels due to the amount of shanghaiing that occurred at that time, which the law tried to combat by hanging signs encouraging sailors and individuals to call home.  The vast majority of sailors, ranch hands, hard-workers-and even children-were kidnapped, dragged through the tunnels, and sold to sea-captains to work on boats or be sold along the voyage.


These days, the tunnels are shut down, but you can purchase a tour and learn the history for yourself as you're led through the various abandoned rooms and vaults hiding beneath a very active city.  The host will tell you about the various ghosts that are said to haunt the tombs, which are still partially furnished and still contain some items that were left behind by prostitutes, thieves, and children that passed through. They even offer a reward for anyone who is able to capture a spirit on camera.  

Unfortunately we didn't see one first hand, but this tour was definitely worth it because the history is rich and the atmosphere is very eerie!


Location: Port Arthur, Tasmania, Australia
Contributed by: Shandos Cleaver, Travelnuity

Did You Feel a Chill?: Favorite Haunted Places around the World. | CosmosMariners.com
{photo via Thomas Huxley on Flickr | Creative Commons License}

When I was in high school, I visited Port Arthur in Tasmania, Australia with my parents. Port Arthur is an old convict prison, where the worst-of-the-worst prisoners in Australia were sent. Now, I’ve never believed in ghosts (and am these days happy to take my dog to the local park at night, situated in an old cemetery), but it was different that bright summer day at Port Arthur…

I entered a room in one of the old, still-intact buildings and started to read the information plaque on the wall. But then I sensed something… I felt chilled, and was certain there was someone else in the room. I looked around the room, but there was no one there. And then I started to read about the supposed hauntings that had taken place in that very room over the years. I quickly hurried away to find my family, and quickly head back out into the bright sunshine outside.

Is it worth visiting? Yes, it’s a fascinating place, with beautiful old buildings, many just ruined shells. But I would advise you to stay away from the nighttime ghost tours!

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Location: Crescent Hotel, Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Contributed by: Kayla Miller, The Felicity Jar

Did You Feel a Chill?: Favorite Haunted Places around the World. | CosmosMariners.com
{photo via}


The Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, is said to be the most haunted hotel in America. It got this way due to several deaths there over the course of its 100+ year existence, including the deaths of many cancer patients hoping to be healed when it served as Dr. Baker’s hoax hospital. 

The Crescent is nothing short of creepy, and the best part is that there are nightly tours of both the hotel and the extra disturbing morgue. We took the tour for the first time in 2014, and while it was full of interesting tales of the ghostly residents, it was also very history-heavy, which was great for my lovely companion, who is much less ghost story inclined than I am. 

Because the hotel is still in operation, you can do one better than the tour and stay in the hotel overnight. We were not brave enough to do this, but you can choose to stay in the rooms said to be most haunted if you’re up for it!  


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And just for kicks and giggles, you can also check out the scariest destinations in the world, as suggested by Travel Observers blog. 

Are you ready to visit all of these places? What haunted spots have you visited? Do you have any ghost tour recommendations?
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The Best of Bavaria and Beyond: 11 Day Itinerary through Germany + Luxembourg

The Best of Bavaria and Beyond: 11 Day Itinerary through Germany + Luxembourg | CosmosMariners.com

Two weeks ago, I set off to Germany with my mom, dad, sister and daughter for an incredible road trip that wound through Germany and Luxembourg.

I've been home for four days now, and I'm still exhausted! I don't know if it's because we packed so much into our trip or because I'm not as young as I think I am, but I'm struggling to get back into our regular schedule.

Even with the tiredness, I wouldn't change anything about our road trip through Munich, Bavaria, the Romantic Road, the Lorelay Valley, and Luxembourg for anything. If you haven't been to this area of the world, you absolutely must put it on your travel list immediately. This itinerary is great for getting samples of the different regions: you'll be able to figure out what you'd like to go back and see for longer on a later trip.

I'm happy to report that this itinerary is extremely kid-friendly, as my toddler loved seeing the castles, walking through the cobblestoned streets, tasting the new foods, and hearing the church bells in the small towns. Two of her new parlor tricks are saying, "Ding, dong! It's 2 o'clock!" (regardless of the actual time) and "Guten Tag, Mama!"

The Best of Bavaria and Beyond: 11 Day Itinerary through Germany + Luxembourg | CosmosMariners.com


Day 1: Travel to Munich
Wednesday, October 14

The Best of Bavaria and Beyond: 11 Day Itinerary through Germany + Luxembourg | CosmosMariners.com
Britton getting ready for her first ever plane ride. Go big or go home!
We flew from Charleston to Atlanta, and then changed planes for our final leg between Atlanta to Munich. Munich is quite a large airport, so it's a great spot to start your Bavaria and Beyond road trip.

Day 2: Munich
Thursday, October 15

After a very long flight wherein my toddler decided that she wasn't going to sleep, we arrived in at Flughafen München, which is easily one of the cleanest, nicest airports I've ever seen. The airport has an S-bahn station underneath it, so getting into central Munich is incredibly easy.

We hopped aboard the S-bahn and rode it to the Hauptbahnhof (the main train station). The journey took about 30 minutes. We then walked to our hotel, the Citadines Arnulfpark, where we unloaded our luggage with the desk clerk.

The Best of Bavaria and Beyond: 11 Day Itinerary through Germany + Luxembourg | CosmosMariners.com


We were all pretty tired at this point (as none of us had slept in more than 24 hours), but our hotel room wasn't ready. We decided to keep pushing on until our room was ready around 2 PM and did a little sightseeing in the city center. I had my first taste of wurst, brezel, and kraut at a little stand in the Vikualienmarkt, and we heard the Glockenspiel chime in the New Town Hall in the Marienplatz.

The tiredness took over soon afterwards, so we spent the evening back at the hotel.

Overnight: Munich

Day 3: Munich
Friday, October 16

This was our big sightseeing day in Munich since we'd given up the day before. I'd highly recommend taking a walking tour when in Munich to help you learn more about the history, architecture, and layout of the historic city center.

There are some great guided tours, but you can easily get by with a self-guided one, too. (We opted for a self-guided one from our Rick Steves book, so we could stop and start as necessary with my toddler.)

The Best of Bavaria and Beyond: 11 Day Itinerary through Germany + Luxembourg | CosmosMariners.com
Me (with my handy dandy guide book), my dad, my mom, and my daughter at the Sendlinger Tor, one of the remaining medieval gates in the city


Your Munich stops absolutely should include: the Glockenspiel at Marienplatz, the Sendlinger Tor the Viktualienmarkt, St. Peter's Church, St. Michael's Church, and the Residenz.

Overnight: Munich

Day 4: German Alps
Saturday, October 17

We sadly said goodbye to Munich on Saturday morning and got our rental car from the Hauptbahnhof. The Ford C-Max we rented easily held all four adults, a child seat, and our luggage.

With my dad at the wheel (he's the only one who knows how to drive a manual), we headed into the German Alps. When we first spotted the mountains, we were all hanging out in the windows with our mouths hanging open. (A pretty picture, I know.)

We stopped at the incredible Ettal Abbey in Ettal: there, you can admire the gorgeous Rococo decorations on the interior, and then head over to the brewery to see how the Ettal monks have been producing their own beer for centuries.

The Best of Bavaria and Beyond: 11 Day Itinerary through Germany + Luxembourg | CosmosMariners.com
Linderhof Palace: small, but gorgeous!


Our second stop of the day was just down the road at Linderhof Palace. This was the smallest of King Ludwig II's homes, but it was the one that he loved the most.

We had dinner in Fussen and checked into the Hotel Sonne for the first of two nights.

Overnight: Fussen

Day 5: Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau
Sunday, October 18

Just a five minutes' drive from downtown Fussen are these two stunning castles. Hohenschwangau was Ludwig II's childhood home, while Neuschwanstein was his unfulfilled dream in later life (he died/killed himself/was murdered before he could finish it).  They're perched on the sides of two facing mountains, and are everything that you'd want from a German castle experience.

The Best of Bavaria and Beyond: 11 Day Itinerary through Germany + Luxembourg | CosmosMariners.com
Hohenschwangau


Allot an entire day to visit the two castles. When you purchase your tickets, you'll be given specific entry times for each. If you miss the entry times, you can't get in the castles, so make sure to be at each entrance early! Make sure to consider the transportation time to each castle as well: you cannot drive up to either palace, so be prepared to walk, take a bus, or hop on the horse and buggy carriages.

Overnight: Fussen

Day 6: Romantic Road and Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Monday, October 19

We wanted to go on the Tegelberg cable car this morning, but (like much of the trip) the weather was cold, rainy, and very foggy. I was really looking forward to going, and this absolutely will be on my next trip!

Instead, we hopped back in our rental car and headed towards Rothenburg ob der Tauber via the Romantic Road. The Romantic Road (or Romantische Straße) winds its way through some beautiful towns, including Fussen, the walled Landsburg am Leche, and the tiny Hohenfurch. We weren't able to travel the entire length of the Road due to time constraints, but a road trip just through this area would be so much fun! We did make a stop at the Pilgrimage Church of Wies to learn more about the controversial (and supposedly bleeding) statute of Jesus.

The Best of Bavaria and Beyond: 11 Day Itinerary through Germany + Luxembourg | CosmosMariners.com
Pilgrimage Church of Weis, Steingaden


We ended up in Rothenburg ob der Tauber late that afternoon, where we ate and window shopped. I had my first sample of a schneeballen, which is a gigantic lump of shortbread and filling that's then dipped in chocolate, coconut, or some other sugary substance.

Overnight: Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Day 7: Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Bacharach
Tuesday, October 20

Since we hadn't gotten to experience much of Rothenburg, we headed back into the gorgeous walled city to explore more. We again did a self-guided tour from our Rick Steves book since my two-year-old loves to stop and touch things more than a regular guided tour would allow.

The Best of Bavaria and Beyond: 11 Day Itinerary through Germany + Luxembourg | CosmosMariners.com
Charming Rothenburg ob der Tauber
If you visit Rothenburg, give yourself plenty of time to just wander the town. It's been nearly unchanged since the 1300s (besides allowing cars in, of course), and you can easily forget that you live in the 21st century! Take pictures, get a little lost, and soak up the atmosphere.

We made a stop at the Kriminalmuseum, which focuses on the laws and punishments in this area of Germany in the Middle Ages. As someone who's deeply enthralled with both the medieval period and gruesome laws, I thought that the museum was well worth a few hours of my time.

After lunch, we bid Rothenburg Auf Weidersehen and headed towards the Loreley Valley along the Rhine. We spent the evening exploring the charming and tiny town of Bacharach before resting our heads at the Hotel am Markt.

The Best of Bavaria and Beyond: 11 Day Itinerary through Germany + Luxembourg | CosmosMariners.com
Exploring Bacharach at dusk
Overnight: Bacharach

Day 8: Loreley Valley and Trier

Wednesday, October 21

In the second upset of the trip, we attempted to leave Bacharach and go to Marksburg Castle, which would've been about a 45 minute ride to the other side of the Rhine. However, life had other plans, and the one road up to Koblenz and over to Marksburg Castle was completely closed. Instead of taking hours to backtrack, we decided to push onward to Trier and do some sightseeing.

The Best of Bavaria and Beyond: 11 Day Itinerary through Germany + Luxembourg | CosmosMariners.com
The awe-inspiring (and gigantic) Trier Cathedral (on the left) and the Liebfrauenkirche (on the right)


Trier ended up being a bustling town filled with some incredible historic ruins. Make sure to visit the Porta Nigra, the Throne Room, and the Trier Cathedral during your visit! All three date back to the 300s when Trier was a major Roman outpost.

We stayed just outside of Trier at the hillside Burghotel Kockelsberg.

Overnight: Trier

Day 9: Luxembourg City
Thursday, October 22

We woke up early, packed the car, and started our last major leg of the road trip into Luxembourg City. We found our hotel (we stayed at the Ibis near the airport since our flight was leaving so early on Saturday morning), dumped our luggage, and then headed back to the city center.

The Best of Bavaria and Beyond: 11 Day Itinerary through Germany + Luxembourg | CosmosMariners.com
Britton and I in the Place Guillaume II
We grabbed a guidebook and led ourselves around the easily walkable center. All of the major points of interest, including the Grand Ducal Palace, Place Guillaume II, and the Notre Dame Cathedral are within a 5 minute walk. The casements under the city were closed during our visit, but I really want to go back and see them!

For dinner, we grabbed some pizza on the Place d'Arms before heading back to the hotel.

Overnight: Luxembourg City

Day 10: American Cemetery and Vianden
Friday, October 23

Our last day on this trip was incredible.

In the morning, we visited the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial where over 5,000 soldiers were buried after they fell during the Battle of the Bulge. One of those people is my great-uncle Ernest, who died in March 1945. My great-grandfather didn't want to bring his body home, so my great-uncle was buried here. My mom, dad, sister, daughter, and I were the first family members to ever visit his grave, and our experience there was incredibly touching.

The Best of Bavaria and Beyond: 11 Day Itinerary through Germany + Luxembourg | CosmosMariners.com


We had the afternoon free, so we voted on whether to visit the Battle of the Bulge Memorial in Bastogne, Belgium, or see the Vianden Castle in Vianden, Luxembourg. The castle won out, as I think we were all disappointed that we hadn't been able to make it to Marksburg Castle earlier in the trip.

The Best of Bavaria and Beyond: 11 Day Itinerary through Germany + Luxembourg | CosmosMariners.com
Vianden Castle

Vianden Castle was stunning! It's only a 45-minute trip outside of Luxembourg City, and the very detailed tour is well worth the €6 entrance fee. 

Overnight: Luxembourg City

Day 11: Travel home
Saturday, October 24

Time to head back to Charleston! We got up at 3:00 AM in order to be at the airport by 4:30. We then embarked on a very, very, very long trip home that took more than 16 hours and three plane rides.


WHEW! I still can't believe that we covered so much ground on the trip. The weather wasn't the greatest, as it rained most days and we very rarely saw sunlight. Regardless, it was still one of the best trips that I've experienced. I can't wait to go back and see even more of Germany!

Have you been to Germany? Which of these stops would you be the most interested in visiting?
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8 Must-Do Things to Do in Jamaica

8 Must-Do Things to Do in Jamaica | CosmosMariners.com

Sun, sand, and palm trees: beach holidays are one of my favorite ways to relax! When we decided to go on a cruise for our fifth anniversary, we wanted to go somewhere that had stunning natural surroundings. We ended up selecting a cruise through the Western Caribbean that stopped in Jamaica. 

Odds + (Week) Ends: A Weekly Travel Round-up | Vol. 6

Odds + (Week) Ends: A Weekly Travel Round-up, Vol. 6 | CosmosMariners.com

I'M BACK! Our trip to Germany was absolutely incredible, and I cannot wait to share it all with you. The weather didn't want to cooperate--it hovered around 40˚ F during the entire trip and was horribly foggy--but we still saw some amazing sights. I'm also happy to report that my 2-year-old made it through 5 different flights with only one (very short lived) melt down. Go me!

I hope you enjoyed my guest posters while I was gone. I thought they did an amazing job sharing everything from hidden spots in Italy to how to save money at Disney World. :)

Since it's Monday, it's time for another Odds + Weekends round-up!

Odds + (Week) Ends: A Weekly Travel Round-up, Vol. 6 | CosmosMariners.com
{photo via Europe Diaries}

We'll kick off with a Germany-related post because I just can't give up my trip just yet. (I mean, my watch is still set to Munich time!) One thing that fascinated me about Germany was how much recent history has occurred from major battles of World War II to the Cold War. This great post over by Europe Diaries helps you imagine what it was like living in a divided Berlin during the Cold War.

Odds + (Week) Ends: A Weekly Travel Round-up, Vol. 6 | CosmosMariners.com
{photo via Viator Travel Blog}

When I came across this post, I didn't know whether to laugh or immediately sign up for one of these tours. The submarine scooter is an inventive (if slightly strange!) way to see the wonders of the ocean. It definitely beats swimming! Would you try this out?

Odds + (Week) Ends: A Weekly Travel Round-up, Vol. 6 | CosmosMariners.com
{photo via werner22brigitte | creative commons}

While scuba diving, kayaking, boating, and snorkeling, I've come across some incredible wildlife from nurse sharks to eels to dolphins. One animal I've never seen in the wild is a whale, and I think whale watching would be an incredible experience! Local Adventurer has an awesome guide to whale watching in U.S. that's a must-read for anyone trying to catch a glimpse of these amazing creatures.

Odds + (Week) Ends: A Weekly Travel Round-up, Vol. 6 | CosmosMariners.com
{photo via What Boundaries Travel}

This is so strange (and perfect for Halloween week). This church in Prague is decorated with nothing but human bones. I'd like to visit just because I like weird places, but seeing all of those skeletons would be unnerving.

How was your weekend? Share what you've been up to with me!
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5 Secret Must-See Italian Locations {Guest Post by Old World New}

5 Secret Must-See Italian Locations {Guest Post by Old World New} | CosmosMariners.com

To close out my amazing roster of guest bloggers, I'm featuring one of my favorite fellow bloggers today! Addie and her blog Old World New have been an inspiration to me as I've grown as a blogger over the last year and half. 

Old World New focuses on sustainable living and is anchored by Addie's incredible style! Today, she's sharing her favorite hidden places in Italy. Who doesn't love learning more about Italy!?!

Enjoy!




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So you've managed to make your way across the globe and you're finally in Roma!  Rome, Italy - architectural capital of the world, the Pope has his own city here, and the Colosseum.  Need I say more?  

My 2011 study abroad stint in Rome led me to explore a myriad of the well-known sites, as I majored in architecture and interior design. It also allowed me to learn about a lot of places that the tourist guides don't tell you about and places where the double decker buses won't take you.  

So, after you visit the Vatican, snap pictures in the Colosseum and drool over seeing the Pantheon, make your way to these amazing Italian sights.

Calcata

5 Secret Must-See Italian Locations {Guest Post by Old World New} | CosmosMariners.com


This is a city away from the hustle and bustle of Rome - all you have to do is catch a bus, to catch a train, to catch a bus, and either walk or catch a ride a few minutes down the road in order to enter the city.  

It sounds like a lot (I nearly spazzed out because we were running late), but once you get there, all of your worries go away.  You can go hiking on a hill across from the city and end up at an overlook that frames the city perfectly, and you can explore the shops of the city while you are there.  

This trip is perfect for a full day getaway from Rome--just make sure you don’t miss that last bus back!  


Booking.com



Gallese

5 Secret Must-See Italian Locations {Guest Post by Old World New} | CosmosMariners.com

A walled city on a hill, Gallese is quite the charmer.  I was lucky to meet and dine with the mayor on a class trip there, as well as learn about the history of the city from local historians and my professors.  Depending on how you travel there, it could take anywhere from 1 hour (by car) to 4 hours (by train and bus) to get there.  


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Villa d’Este

5 Secret Must-See Italian Locations {Guest Post by Old World New} | CosmosMariners.com

If you want to experience an extravagant palace away from the city, visit Villa d’Este.  Renaissance architecture, renaissance garden, and my favorite aspect, a water feature that runs throughout the sloped garden.  Here (link: http://www.roninrome.com/sites-and-attractions/tivoli-villa-deste) is a detailed listing of how to get to Villa d’Este on your own. 


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Ostia Antica

5 Secret Must-See Italian Locations {Guest Post by Old World New} | CosmosMariners.com

Once a port city with stations for trading from all over the known world, Ostia Antica is a well-preserved site that hasn’t been used since the 9th century.  It was most active during the first through third centuries A.D.  Visiting today, you can see the names of shops created in tile at the market, the amphitheater and stage, walk through covered areas that housed food shops and apartments, and still see statues that stood at the entrances of homes.  For transportation, you can catch a commuter train from Rome to be transported into the ancient Roman world of Ostia Antica.  


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Monteriggioni

5 Secret Must-See Italian Locations {Guest Post by Old World New} | CosmosMariners.com

The last place on the list is not in near Rome, but if you visit Tuscany, you must make your way to the walled city of Monteriggioni.  It is a quiet walled city that seems to be locked in time away from the rest of the world.  You scale stairs to enter the city, and once you’ve entered, you can explore the few streets that it has, and walk around the perimeter of the wall to see the view of the rolling country side.  

I purchased hand-spun wool yarn from the artisans there and I still cherish it to this day, in the form of ear warmers.  Tourism is a major source of income for many of the people in Italy, so I am glad that my purchase went toward the local economy.


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Cities on hills, a million bus rides away, ancient Roman ruins and a unique experience of Italy unlike the one you experience while in the big city.  Take a walk on the wild side, step away from the city for a day or more, and experience the “secret” treasures that Italy has to offer.  You can see more of my Italian travel posts at my blog here.  

Thank you to Natalie for allowing me to share my Italian secrets with you here today!

xoxo, dolls and dudes,
Addie - Old World New

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Get even more of Addie's travel tips, thrifty fashion, and sustainable lifestyle ideas here:


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12-Day Grand Tour of Italy: Rome - Sorrento - Venice - Florence - Tuscany

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How to Visit New York City with Kids {Guest Post by Peaches and Pickles}

How to Visit New York City with Kids {Guest Post by Peaches and Pickles} | CosmosMariners.com

I've never been to New York City. I saw it once from Ellis Island when we had a layover, but I've nver been to any of the Five Boroughs. Carisa from Peaches and Pickles has inspired me to bump New York City to the top of my U.S. travel list with the phenomenal time that she had with her daughter recently. 

Enjoy! 

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I have a confession...

I have not always loved New York.

When I was a kid, I really did. I spent my summers with relatives in Harlem. There are fond memories of having Mr. Swirly cones with my uncle while sitting on the stoop in front of his building, and going to the park...good times.

But then somehow, and I don't know when, I just stopped loving the city. I was disinterested in it. Crazy, right?

Well, I have recently had an opportunity to fall in love all over again, this time through the eyes of my boon companion, Miss Pickles.

NYC with kids can be a daunting task. It's big, loud, and busy. Or as Miss Pickles put it, "There's so much of....EVERYTHING!"

Fear not, travelers! Peaches &Pickles will help you navigate the Big Apple.

A few tips:
  • Plan out your day.
  • Get a New York City Pass and have pre-paid, quick entry into many sites, museums, etc. 
  • Plan for only a few hours of activities with kids- they get bored, tired and cranky and then no one is having a good time.
  • Be flexible!
  • Use Tripomatic. I must recommend this travel app, Tripomatic. With this app, you can plan your trip itinerary, change it on the fly, and estimate travel times between venues.

Our trip...
Day 1: We landed and travelled to Times Square. The M&Ms World! Today was just taking it all in... I introduced Miss Pickles to NYC pizza at Famous Original Ray's Pizza.... Yummy!!! Miss Pickles' first ride on the subway, and the Brooklyn Museum.


How to Visit New York City with Kids {Guest Post by Peaches and Pickles} | CosmosMariners.com
Times Square
Day 2: Saint Patrick's Cathedral, walking Fifth Avenue where the window shopping is almost as good as the real thing...almost! The plaza in front of Rockefeller Center had amazing Easter eggs that were on display. 
How to Visit New York City with Kids {Guest Post by Peaches and Pickles} | CosmosMariners.com

The rest of the afternoon was spent at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA for short). That evening we took on Broadway, and saw the phenomenal production of The Lion King.

Day 3: Brunch at Alice's Teacup, which is just the cutest place for scones and tea. Miss Pickles had her first try at having tea, and now loves Earl Grey, just like her momma. 

Next, we walked to Central Park, went to the Central Park Zoo, and later found our way to the Alice in Wonderland statue. We had dinner at The Loeb Boathouse followed by a walk through the park to my favorite bridge, the Bow Bridge.

Day 4: We spent the afternoon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and took a handsome cab ( a horse-drawn carriage) through Central Park. Lunch at the halal stand- the best hot dogs in the world! Then, we were onto the American Museum of Natural History, where I'd hoped to see my nerd crush, Neil deGrasse Tyson, but it turns out he was somewhere else being brilliant that day...

Day 5: We walked across the Brooklyn Bridge (www.nyc.org), spent some time DUMBO, and concluded our day at the NY Aquarium. The aquarium was still in recovery from Hurricane Sandy, but once repairs and renovations are completed, it's gonna be fantastic. After the aquarium, we sat and took in Coney Island. It was too early in the season, and therefore it was closed, but it was nice to breathe the salt air and feel the crisp early April breeze on the boardwalk.


How to Visit New York City with Kids {Guest Post by Peaches and Pickles} | CosmosMariners.com
Miss Pickles and the Brooklyn Bridge
Day 6: Top of the Rock, the observation deck on top of Rockefeller Center. They should call it the top of the world! The 360 degree views of, well, everything, are just breathtaking! The Statue of Liberty in the harbor, the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, and Central Park. A-MAZING!


How to Visit New York City with Kids {Guest Post by Peaches and Pickles} | CosmosMariners.com
Miss Pickles visiting the Alice statue in Central Park
Day 7: No visit to NYC is complete without visiting the great lady, the Statue of Liberty, and nearby Ellis Island. We once again took on Broadway, this time seeing the fantastical (yes, that's a word) production of Aladdin.

Day 8: The. World's. Greatest. Toy. Store. EVER!!!!! Of course, I'm talking about FAO Schwarz. The Hello Kitty and Barbie collections alone had me making a wish list for Mr. Claus! Sadly, FAO Schwarz closed it's doors in Manhattan in July 2015.) Lastly, we visited the Mothership, aka Macy's in Herald Square. Miss Pickles and I had many an ear splitting squeal at all the wonderful wares. And topped it all off with dinner at Stella 34 Trattoria. I thought they would have to roll us outta there!

Day 9: Sadly, we had to bring our whirlwind romance with NYC to a close. But even our cabbie was a tour guide, driving us past the United Nations.

À bientot, NYC! We love you!!

Have you been to New York City with kids (or as a kid)? What are your favorite family friendly spots in the Big Apple?
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Head on over and show Carisa some love!

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Ways to Save Money at Walt Disney World {Guest Post by Talk of the Trains}

Ways to Save Money at Walt Disney World {Guest Post by Talk of the Trains} | CosmosMariners.com


Hi, again, Mariners! Today, you're in the capable hands of Lauren from Talk of the Trains.

Lauren's been blogging since 2008 and shares everything from her amazing DIY projects to her family's travels. Below, she's sharing her best tips on how to save money on a Walt Disney World vacation. While I love Disney as much as the next person, I'm all for saving money while I'm there--after all, the more I save, the more I can travel!
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If you have ever been to Disney, you know it can be pricey. My family of five just got home from our first trip to see the Mouse and had a blast. Between the trip itself, preparations needed for the trip and then your week actually on property, it can all add up. While most Disney travelers think and plan for the extras, there are ways to save a little along the way and I wanted to share those with you today!

Ways to Save Money at Walt Disney World {Guest Post by Talk of the Trains} | CosmosMariners.com
Lauren and her family on their recent trip to Disney World
For us, shopping smart before our trip and a bit of planning paid off while we were there. Here are five ways that you can save as you plan, travel and play at Disney World.

ONE: Coordinating Clothes and Packing
Lets be honest. Everyone matches at Disney. Whether its for a family reunion, a newlywed couple or just the kids, its kind of like Disney law that you at least coordinate for a day. We saw people who had shirts made for everyday - including the drive to and the day they were leaving - and people who had attire all day and then PJ's at night! 

Ways to Save Money at Walt Disney World {Guest Post by Talk of the Trains} | CosmosMariners.comPersonalizing clothes (and purchasing them for night and day) can be cute but pricey. While I wanted my kids to match a day or two, I knew I couldn't afford to have monogrammed, embroidered, fancy outfits for every day of the week. 

The Target online clearance had a HUGE section of Disney clothes and then Walmart always has a decent selection for less. We got matching shirts for our family and I snagged the kids a few extra outfits that were on clearance...we're talking $3.50 for an Elsa shirt - which in five-year-old girl world is like winning the lottery. I put the boys in Frozen shirts too (one was $4.50 and the other $3) so for $11 they matched. They were thrilled with their new stuff and it fit the budget.



TWO: Dollar Store and Traveling
The Dollar Store always has Mickey and Minnie trinkets and we stocked the kids car to-do bags with goodies from here. 

They consisted of Mickey stickers, little Disney pencil boxes filled with crayons and pencils, coloring books and more. Totally got us in the Disney mood and my kids were happy to have new things to play with as we drove....Mommy and Daddy were happy that they had things to do and weren't asking over and over,  "if we were there yet!?" 

Also, some friends said that they have purchased toys from the Dollar Store, traveled down with them and when the kids ask to buy stuff in the park, they give them a selection of these to choose from instead. You do have to carry, hide and keep up with that, but it is a thrifty option! 
Ways to Save Money at Walt Disney World {Guest Post by Talk of the Trains} | CosmosMariners.com


THREE: Shopping In the Park? Instead Press Pennies and Trade Pins
All over Disney World are little booths that you can press pennies. They have a variety of designs in each one and my kids loved searching all over the parks for the penny pressers. We took a sleeve of quarters since each machine is around $0.50 and all the way up to $1.25 and my kids loved looking for them, choosing which one they would make and then cranking them. This saved us from going in and out of stores and having the gimmies as we made the penny pressing a game and they were so into that they didn't think anything of shopping. I think we came home with over 20 pressed pennies! 

At Disney World, all of the cast members wear a ribbon around their neck full of Disney pins. You can trade pins with them and this is lots of fun too. Since my kids were into the penny pressing, we saved this for a future trip down. They sell starter kits at Disney for around $20, but one of my Disney loving friends recommended picking up some at the Outlets and said it was cheaper there. I have not tried it, but am filing that one in the back of my brain!  


FOUR: Event Plan with Glow Sticks!
Ways to Save Money at Walt Disney World {Guest Post by Talk of the Trains} | CosmosMariners.comLots of Disney's evening events have lights, fireworks, flashing lights and more. They sell all of the glow stick paraphernalia you could ever want, but its pricey. We snagged a few from the dollar rack at Target and took them with us. The second that my kids asked for one, I pulled our cheap ones out. 

I threw a glowing necklace and bracelet on them and they had wands in each hand and were happy campers. 

FIVE: Dining - Take Food and Drink In
We were on a meal plan so we had two meals covered, but my littles always seem to be hungry or thirsty. You can carry into Disney World soft sided coolers and food and drink and so we did that to save a few bucks on all of the overpriced in park snacks. I didn't want to carry a ton, so we skipped the cooler and just threw snacks in our backpack. 

Great snack ideas include fruit pouches, individual chips, individual cereal packs, Capri Suns, granola bars, oranges, bananas, apples and gummies. I have heard that people take suckers for their kids while they are in line, so if you have antsy waiters, you may want to have a few of those on hand too! 

We also took in bottled water and then just refilled the bottles throughout the day. If you are on the dining plan and have snacks, you can use your free snack at STARBUCKS. WHAAAATTTT!?? Guess who had Starbucks for free while we were there, yup, this girl!! Thanks to the free Starbucks, taking in snacks and the bottled water trick, we spent very little on extra food and drink!

Ways to Save Money at Walt Disney World {Guest Post by Talk of the Trains} | CosmosMariners.com

I hope that helps as you plan your trip and think about ways to save and where to splurge! I am happy to answer any questions you have and I would love for you to come visit me and follow along over at Talk of the Trains! 

xoxo, 
Lauren

What's your favorite way to save money at Walt Disney World?
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Make sure to head over to Talk of the Train and show Lauren some love!

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