The Statue of Liberty - What I learned with the Audio Tour

The Statue of Liberty! The iconic symbol for America. 

Before I get to the good facts you should know the ferry ride over there was packed! People everywhere and so many people taking some good selfies. I took pictures of them because it was seriously entertaining. 

One of my goals for this trip to New England was to continue learning and The Statue of Liberty provided the perfect opportunity. I had visited before but I didn't take the time to learn the history. This time our ticket purchase included an optional audio tour. I decided to take that audio tour and I'm so glad I did. The tour was about 30 minutes with an additional 15 minutes of history if you wanted more information. 

The tour started at the back of the statue and walked you all the way around. Each little stop around the statue was 2 to 3 minutes of history. Like I mentioned before I feel like I learned a lot so I'm going to share some fun facts that I had no idea about. Maybe this is common knowledge to people but maybe it's not. Either way, I'm sharing it. 

You can't see it but around Lady Liberty's feet are broken chains. It is symbolizing that she is breaking away from oppression and walking toward freedom

France! I think most people know France gave us the Statue of Liberty but what I didn't know is that France wasn't a free country when they gave us the Statue. They admired our freedom and hoped to one day have that for themselves. 

The Statue of Liberty is facing Eastward, toward France, to symbolize hope that someday they might be free too. 

The statue symbolizes freedom but when they dedicated the statue women weren't allowed to attend. How did the women react? Well they got in boats and protested around the statue during the dedication. I can't say I blame them because what an oxymoron! 

The same man who designed the statue designed the Eiffel Tower. 

France created the statue but America designed the pedestal.

The crown has 7 pieces and each one represents the 7 continents. By pieces, I mean the pokey things on the crown...what are those called? Someone help me out. =)

Last fact: I took entirely way too many pictures. I couldn't help myself but then when I went to edit them it was not fun. Lesson learned. 

Did you know you can purchase tickets to go on the pedestal and tickets to go up into the crown? I think the crown would have been really neat. Tickets to visit Liberty Island can be purchased the day of but if you want to visit the pedestal or crown they must be booked in advance. All tickets for the ferry as well as pedestal and crown access can be purchased through State Cruises

Along with seeing Lady Liberty you get some stunning views of New York City.

Did you learn anything new from the facts I shared? 
If you have visited the Statue of Liberty what did you learn there? 


Over on my Facebook page I'm sharing some more pictures of NYC. If you click on the picture below it will take you to my page. 

PS - A big congrats to Joy Chambers for winning the Chemex Coffee Giveaway. Check your e-mail =)


New England through Polaroids

New England through Fujifilm Instax Polaroid pictures

I'm not naturally an artsy person but sometimes I like to pretend to be one. I also have a not so secret love for my Polaroid camera that I purchased in Korea. This camera is great because I can capture some great moments and beautiful places and have an instant memory and souvenir from our travels. I used it at our wedding to take pictures of everyone for our guest book, I've taken it to Hawaii, I took it to New England and you better believe it's coming with me to Thailand and Burma. I even bought some colorful rainbow film to take over to Asia with me.  

Today I'm sharing some pictures that I took with this little camera. I had a lot of fun putting this little post together. Hope you enjoy. 

New England through Fujifilm Instax Polaroid picturesNew England through Fujifilm Instax Polaroid pictures

Statue of Liberty  |  I hope to share more about our visit to the Statue of Liberty soon. Not only is it beautiful but I decided to embrace history by taking an audio tour of this area. I learned so much about how the statue was built and about what the statue meant for so many people. It made me really appreciate what people went through to move to America. Freedom is something I know I take for granted and this was a great reminder for me. 

Statue of Liberty through Fujiflim Instax Polaroid
Statue of Liberty through Fujiflim Instax Polaroid
Statue of Liberty through Fujiflim Instax Polaroid
Statue of Liberty through Fujiflim Instax Polaroid

Firehouse Visit  |  In Virginia I went with my family and friends to tour a Firehouse. I thought this picture of my nephew and little friend Morgan was pretty cute. <3 I had no idea the sheer delight that a firetruck would bring to little kids. 

Independence Hall  |  Where the Declaration of Independence and US Constitution were signed. The inside has just a few original pieces but they have rebuilt it to look like it did during the 1700's. 

Independence Hall via Fujifilm Instax Polaroid

Acadia National Park in Maine  |  One of the prettiest spots in New England with lots of fun hiking and sightseeing was definitely Acadia. My favorite hike of the entire trip was here. The trail was rather short but it was really steep. You had to climb over boulders, climb ladders and lean into rocks to get to the top. It wasn't as scary as it sounded and because you have to climb boulders and ladders you go at a nice slow pace until you arrived at to the top. The top had lookout views of the ocean with all the mini islands.

Ohio  |  Where we stopped to stretch our legs and look at a really pretty waterfall.

Maine and Ohio via Instax Fujifilm Polaroid

USS Constitution  |   - This is an active ship that the Navy runs. I believe it is the only ship of this kind that is still running today. We got to take a tour of it and see the canons, hammocks and how life aboard a ship would be way back when. Let's just say I'm thankful for airplanes.

USS Constitution via Fujfilm Instax Polaroid

New Hampshire  |  While Dave and Ryan went on a strenuous four hour hike I opted out and decided to roam around and take pictures of the pretty fall leaves. I had a lot of fun enjoying the fall weather and taking pictures. These super pretty trees where I took pictures was actually a small rest stop for drivers. There was a lake, some picnic tables and a lot of trees that were at peak season for fall colors. 

New England, New Hampshire through Instax Fujifilm Polaroid Pictures
New England, New Hampshire through Instax Fujifilm Polaroid Pictures

50 States in 30 Years  |  Here is Dave! He got to visit all 50 sates before he was 30 years old. North Dakota was his last state. I'm really glad he got to accomplish his bucket list of doing that. I made him this awesome sign and *ahem* made him hold it for the picture. #GoMe. 

Don't own a Polaroid camera? No Problem! Did you know there are companies like Polaroid Fotobar and Prinstagram that will turn your pictures into polaroids for you? Want a Polaroid Camera? Walmart sells them for around $58! 

What's your favorite way to capture memories on trips? 
Do you take lots of pictures? Buy souvenirs? Journal?
Do you like polaroid cameras? 


Want to read more about our trip? Here are a few posts in case you missed them:

By the Numbers  - Week 1 of our trip in numbers of naps, miles, cities and states


Missionary Mondays on a Thankful Thursday

Hello Dear Family and Friends! I can hardly believe in 11 days Dave and I will be on a flight to Asia. It’s surreal.

There is no way possible that we would have made it to where we are if it weren’t for the love of Christ and the love that so many of you have poured out for us. From praying for us, to helping us move, for commenting on my blog letting me know you support us, for the cards, words of encouragement and much much more. There is no way we can count the abundance of blessings God has poured out on us but we are humbled and grateful.

Today I have two things for you! The first is a giveaway. I’ve teamed up with some really great women who have supported and encouraged me on my journey. We are giving away a Chemex coffee maker with filters, half of a pound of fresh roasted coffee from The Spice Merchant (a local joint in my hometown) and two hand painted cards from Burma. I’m super excited for whoever wins this prize!

If you haven’t heard of a Chemex coffee maker you can go to their website to learn more about why this coffee maker is so great. Basically their brewing method takes out the bitter coffee tastes and makes a great cup of java. Plus, I always feel like I’m creating some amazing scientific lab experiment when I make coffee with my Chemex.

The second thing I have for you is some snail mail! I love receiving snail mail and I love sending it. If you e-mail me your name and address I will send you a card from either Thailand or Burma. Due to postal regulations it might take me a few weeks to send you some snail mail but I give you my word if you ask for some snail mail I’ll do my best to send you some!

Thanks again friends for all your love and support! Here are the lovely ladies that are teaming up with me today. I hope you will take a few minutes to check out their blogs and see what they are all about.

            Rachel                                 Sarah                                 Amanda                                Beka
        Topaz N Pearls               Sometimes Photojenik         The Lady Okie                           SS2SI

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Giveaway Rules:
1. The giveaway will run from Wednesday, October 22nd - Tuesday, October 28th. 
2. This winner of the giveway must have a US address. It is not open internationally.
3. All entries will be verified. 
4. The winner will have 24 hours to respond. If no response is received a new winner will be picked. 

For some of my other favorite coffee recipes click on the pictures below:


Runners Tell All - Running on Pensacola Beach

Hello and welcome to October's RTA!  Can you believe we only have two months left of our linkup? Runners Tell All is a monthly linkup hosted by Sunshine to the Square Inch and The Lady Okie that occurs on the 21st of every month. Our goal is to build a community where we can encourage and inspire each other on our running journeys. October's prompt is your favorite running memory! I'm excited to read your stories. 

Sponsorship Update:
We are still offering two co-host options each month. This allows for us to connect with you, advertise your blog and it also helps fund the monthly giveaways. Each co-host spot comes with entries into the giveaway as well as a month of advertising on each of our blogs. Because I am moving to Asia Amanda will now be taking care of all sponsorships. If you are interested in sponsoring Runners Tell All please e-mail Amanda at theladyokie{at}gmail{dot}com.  We currently have two spots available for November! 

What comes to mind when you think of your most memorable race? A marathon? Your first 5K? A PR? You think a most memorable run would be the one where a big accomplishment was achieved but for me it was quiet the opposite. 

It's interesting to me because lately I have had a few people ask me where my favorite place to travel to has been. I honestly don't know how to pick one favorite place but the first place that comes to my mind is Pensacola. I lived there for two years, have had family vacations there and I had my wedding there. It's also where I had my most memorable run. There's something about those white sandy beaches and hearing the crashing waves that I absolutely love. 

Something I always wanted to do there was run up the bay bridge that links Pensacola beach to the main land. The bridge has a high incline but the views of the beach are stunning. So, in August of 2011, two months after my full marathon when running was a piece of cake, I took off for a run towards the bay bridge. I thought it would be a short 2-3 mile run but it ended up being around 6 miles and it was just the perfect run.  The breeze in the air, the warm humid weather that made me sweat extra, the pretty scenery, the sunshine and just being outside near the beach made this my most memorable run. 

It was simple and perfect. What about you? What's your most memorable run? 

Pensacola Beach, Fort Pickens
Pensacola Beach, Florida
 Pensacola Beach, Florida
Pensacola Beach, Florida
Pensacola, Florida I heart pensacola

Today we are giving away an UnderArmour Storm hat as well as a Nike scarf, both great for running. I can for sure tell you the hat is a-maaazing because I own one in gray and just hauled it all over New England. It's warm, stays on your head and is water resistant. The scarf! Let's be real now, scarfs are awesome all the way around and I think a scarf is great after a long run or post race once you start to get cold. 

What was your most memorable run? 
Do you have a most memorable training run? Race run? 

Hey! We only have two months left for Runners Tell All! We have really enjoyed this linkup and are looking forward to the last two months. Here are the last two topics: 

November: Your biggest running fan or running hero! 
December: Running reflections from 2014 and your running and race goals for 2015. What do you hope to accomplish? 


Niagara Falls

Sometimes in life you visit a place that no amount of words or pictures can fully describe the grandiose of. Niagara Falls is one of those places. I'm excited to share about it but if I could tell you one thing it would be that if you get the chance to go there - go!

I honestly didn’t know what to expect at Niagara Falls. I knew it was pretty but I also lived in Brazil and went to the Iguacu Waterfalls, which are larger than Niagara. I went to Niagara with little to no expectations and I was blown away! I loved everything about Niagara Falls. It was beautiful and spectacular. Dave and I both agree this was one of our favorite spots on our New England trip. 

The park itself is really well maintained. They have plenty of parking, many walking trails and plenty of lookout spots. There is no fee to enter the park but some excursions do cost. If you are visiting this are I’d give yourself 3-5 hours to see everything.

The park has a lookout area where you can view the falls. It's a nice place to get some great pictures and just enjoy the pretty scenery. 

Right across from the river is Canada so if you take your passport you can walk across a bridge from America to Canada and see the falls from the Canadian side. Plus, you can visit Canada! Dave and I didn’t get to do this because our passports were at the Myanmar embassy for our visas.

You should also know the Canadian side has an amazing Ferris Wheel! The gondolas are heated so you could even go in winter. I really love Ferris Wheels and wished I could have gone to this one. 

There are plenty of lookout spots to see the falls on the American side but I will tell you the American side is the top of the falls meaning, you can’t see an entire view of the waterfalls. However, there are ways to see the falls and the best one is Maid of the Mist. You purchase a ticket ($17) and a large boat takes you super close to the waterfalls! The ‘mist’ really should be called a down pouring rain effect because there is water everywhere! Thankfully they give you rain coats and they work just fine to keep you from getting soaked. This boat ride was by far my favorite part of the falls! It was so much fun and I don’t know why but I couldn’t quit laughing! People were so excited. They'd run from one side of the boat to the other and would "oooooooh!" and "aaaaaaah!" really loud. There was mist everywhere with the load roar of the falls. It was great!

The American boats are blue and the Canadian boats are red. I thought that was kind of fun. 

I didn't take many pictures in the falls because I wanted to just enjoy it and also hello, water everywhere! I did manage to snap just a couple of pictures and one of them was of the Canadian flag. I took this for my two good friends Brenda and Jennifer, who are both Canadian. 

The ticket for the boat will also allow you to climb up a stairwell right next to the falls. The views there are really fun too.

And here are some more pictures of the falls because I just love them. <3

For those of you who know Dave you should know this is one sign that he actually obeyed. =)

This is looking up the river. 

Down the river

Who else has been to Niagara Falls? If anyone is thinking about going I'd be happy to answer questions.

Question: Do you all like seeing a lot of pictures? I couldn't help myself with this post but I just want a general idea?