Posts Tagged ‘washington’

Arlington National Cemetery: A Visit Worth Making

Wednesday May 21, 2014 at 8:08 PM | 0 Comments

Changing of the Guard and a new wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Changing of the Guard and a new wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

When I took my son to Washington D.C. when he was 10 years -old, the age I was when I first visited D.C., we headed to Arlington National Cemetery for our last stop of our three-day vacation. I had images of my own Arlington experience etched in my memories that I wanted to share– in particular the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and John F. Kennedy’s grave.

There is a feeling of solemnity at both spots–a feeling of longing and loss. At age 10, I felt the weight of both of these places as significant markers in American history. I was also mesmerized by the constancy of each. At Kennedy’s grave, the Eternal Flame never goes out. At the Tomb of the Unknown Solider, military guards stand watch each day. Sharing these landmarks with my son before the threat of adolescent angst set in seemed like a perfect way to spend a sunny Sunday morning.

Changing of the Guard at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Changing of the Guard at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

We arrived at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as people were gathering to watch the Changing of the Guard, a meticulously executed, white glove ceremony that happens every hour on the hour Oct. 1 to March 31, and every half hour April 1 through Sept. 30.

The sound of the soldiers’ shoes clicking across the concrete as they marched, and the precision of their movements as they changed the positions of their weapons are things not forgotten. The careful attention to these graves of four soldiers–one for each war: WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam, whose identities are not known, holds a certain comfort that these sons of mothers and fathers are being cared for day in and day out without fail. Along with the Changing of the Guard, we also witnessed a Public Wreath Laying ceremony where four high school students, along with soldiers assigned to this duty, placed a fresh wreath at the tomb.

The wall around JFK's grave

The wall around JFK’s grave

John F. Kennedy’s grave is another must see in this vast acreage where white tomb stones follow the dips and rises of the various sections in seemingly endless ribbons.

Kennedy’s words that called out to Americans to take part in their country are forever etched in stone here. Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy and two of the Kennedy’s children–Patrick Bouvier who was an infant when he died and a stillborn daughter are also buried at this site. Senators Robert and Edward Kennedy are close by.

Because we only had an hour and a half to spend wandering Arlington National Cemetery’s grounds, we missed other sites that I hoped to get to, particularly the Women in Military Service to America Memorial.   We did start our visit at the Welcome Center, something I recommend. Here you’ll find maps, a gift shop, an overview of the cemetery and special exhibits.

Ribbons of graves

Ribbons of graves

We hoofed it from the parking lot near the Welcome Center to each of the sites which was a bit of a hike.

If I had planned ahead, I’d have purchased a guided tour. Tram type bus tours depart from the Welcome Center. This is where you can buy tickets for the tour. You can also purchase tram tickets online.

Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington, VA 22211

Hours:  7 Days a week: 365 days
8am – 7pm (April – September)
8am – 5pm (October – March)

Parking garage closes 1 hour after cemetery

Post and photos courtesy of Jamie Rhein, member of Midwest Travel Writers Association

Passports with Purpose: Alderbrook Resort helps Africa

Monday November 25, 2013 at 9:09 PM | 4 Comments

Alderbrook Resort

Alderbrook Resort & Spa

Imagine sitting on the deck, a glass of wine in hand, while watching and eagle catch thermals above the canal.

With your $10 donation, you could be kayaking on Washington’s Hood Canal, enjoying dinner at The Alderbrook Restaurant or relaxing at the Alderbrook Resort & Spa. This is just one of  the travel prizes up for grabs at this year’s Passports with Purpose.

Passports with Purpose is celebrating their sixth year of fund-raising for a cause. I’m pleased to say that this travel blogger has supported Passports with Purpose from the start and I continue to be involved in 2013.

Last year we raised $100,000 for to fund five water wells in Haiti.

This year, close to 150 travel bloggers from around the world will participate in Passports with Purpose 2013.

Together with your support, the money will fund buildOn to help construct three primary schools and fund three Adult Literary Programs in the Sikasso Region of Mali, Africa.


Building schools in Africa with buildOn

Passports with Purpose Prizes

To see a list of prizes on the Passports With Purpose website check here. Each donated prize will link back to a full description of the prizes on the blogger’s website.

Your purchase of a $10 raffle ticket will help support Passports with Purpose and ultimately build three primary schools and several Adult Literacy Programs in Mali, Africa. For each $10 in donations that you make to Passports with Purpose, you will be entered to win a prize (or prizes) of your choice. The fundraiser begins on November 26th and closes at midnight on December 9, 2013. On Monday, December 16, 2013 Passports with Purpose volunteers will notify prize winners. All proceeds go directly to buildOn.

Alderbrook Resort & Spa, located a convenient two hours from Seattle on Washington’s Hood Canal,  is donating a one night stay in a Canal View guestroom, a $50 dining credit at The Restaurant at Alderbrook and $50 spa credit at The Spa at Alderbrook.  The suggested retail value of this Alderbrook Resort & Spa package is $385. Thank you Alderbrook Resort & Spa  for your generous donation.

Certificate is based on availability
Valid Sunday through Friday
Not valid on holiday weekends
Certificate includes resort fee and applicable room tax
Promotional Certificates are not replaceable if lost or stolen

Article written by Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip

Related Posts:

Passports with Purpose Funds Clean Drinking Water

Build a Library, Win Travel, Passports with Purpose 2011

Passports with Purpose 2010

Passports with Purpose 2009

Expedia Hosts Travel Blogger Day in Seattle, WA

Saturday December 17, 2011 at 11:11 AM | 16 Comments

"Expedia Blogger Day"

Expedia Executives Host Blogger Day 2011

Expedia Blogger Day

While I’m not comparing Expedia President Scott Durchslag to Jerry Maguire, the sports agent in the 1996 film played by Tom Cruise, the phrase “help me, help you,” did come to mind during our Monday afternoon meeting at Expedia corporate headquarters this December.  Expedia executives brought together travel bloggers from the US and Canada, as well as Korea and Japan, to discuss Expedia initiatives and open the doors to joint ventures.

“There is an opportunity for the travel industry to be more innovative, really embracing technology,” said Durchslag during a recent PhoCusWright conference moderated by USA Today panelists. Continuing on that theme, Durchslag put his money where his mouth is by flying in bloggers who specialize in travel, social media and technology to open the lines of communication between bloggers and Expedia.

Durchslag, a world traveler and mountain climber, believes that, “travel is transformational. I’m a traveler first,” noted Expedia’s president. During our meeting, Durchslag outlined a five point plan:

*building a new booking engine

*providing a mobile experience

*adding a social element for travelers to share reviews

*creating a “place market”

*introducing a program that rewards loyalty

The future of travel is web 3.0 and web 3.0 is all about the power of place,” noted Durchslag.

"Expedia Scott Durchslag"

Expedia President Scott Durchslag shares his five point plan with travel bloggers

Adding the social element to travel

Travel blogger Spencer Spellman recently partnered with Expedia to launch a weekly Thursday Twitter chat called #Expchat to engage with the travel consumer. This is one way Expedia is branching out to the travel blogger world. Kim Mance appeared in a video for Expedia on the company’s Facebook page announcing their offers with Groupon. As I offer “Insider Tips” on this “What a Trip” blog,   I hope to partner with Expedia to promote their activities offered online. In fact, it wasn’t until I booked my airfare and hotel to Seattle, via Expedia, that I became aware that the world’s largest online travel agency even offered activities.

Kim Mance – A Message For Expedia’s Facebook Fans!


Travel writers and bloggers visit Expedia headquarters in Bellevue, Washington

Travel companies slow to embrace bloggers

I am excited to see Expedia’s enthusiasm toward travel bloggers, but I’m not naive in thinking that the travel blogger path is laden with gold. In a Tnooz guest post, Travel Blogger Gary Arndt noted that travel advertisers continue to avoid bloggers. “There are enormous economic potential waiting to be claimed by advertisers, but no one is picking up the ball,” said Arndt. ” I’d like to think that somewhere in a conference room there is a meeting being held where someone is deciding between advertising on blogs vs magazines and newspapers. The reality is, however, blogs aren’t even part of the conversation at this point.”

What’s your take on travel bloggers working with large companies? Will 2012 be the year of the travel blogger?

Expedia Blogger Day 2011 Participants

Justin Bachman, Bloomberg Business Week

Harriet Baskas, Stuck at the Airport

Dave Bouskill & Debra Corbeil, The Planet D

Nancy D. Brown, What a Trip & Writing Horseback – Your Guide to Horseback Riding Vacations

Julia Dimon, Travel Junkie Julia

Johnny Jet, Johnny Jet

Chris Gray Faust, Chris Around the World

George Hobica, Airfare Watchdog

Hitomi Kumasaka, Social Media Labs

Kim Mance, Galavating

Sherry Ott, Otts World

Spencer Spellman, The Traveling Philosopher

Rich Whitaker,

Article and photos courtesy of Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown.

Related Post:

How to work with travel bloggers

Travel Tips on raveable