Getting ready for our 2019 August trip

The family and I are getting ready for a huge, fantastical 2 week trip in August to Northern Europe. The wife and I decided to take an awesome Disney cruise for our 20th wedding anniversary this year.  We still haven’t finalized all of the details for our trip yet, but there’s a lots of planes, and trains to our trip including taking 2 different trains to Disneyland Paris.

I am so excited to go on this trip but I have to say it’s a little nerve wracking. We  are taking our 2 kids and flying into Copenhagen and staying there only 24 hours before leaving from the Port and getting on the Disney Magic and cruising around northern Europe with stops in Helsinki, Estonia, St. Petersburg, Stockholm, Frederika, Denmark and finally Dover, England where we finish out the cruise.  Afterwards we are jumping on the Eurostar  to Disneyland Paris where we will be staying for 3 days.  On the third day we are going into Paris but still haven’t finalized what exactly we are doing in Paris.  There’s obviously too much to see for 1 day.

I’ve been to Paris twice before and the wife has been there once, but we’ve never taken the kids there.  My daughter is ecstatic about the Paris part of the trip and quite frankly it’s my favorite city I’ve ever been to.

We feel very blessed to be taking this trip.  My 12 year old daughter has been dreaming of going to Paris for years.  As I mentioned before it’ll be a short trip to Paris and we won’t get to see much but it’ll will give our kids a taste for now.

There’s lots of other places I want to take my kids, things I want them to see, and cultures they need to experience.  One of the things I love about traveling is that it teaches you tolerance toward others by seeing through other people’s eyes.  In a world where we are becoming xenophobic and closed off, I know that traveling is a like a therapy for the soul.

What are your opinions on traveling abroad and tolerance toward others?

A Middle-American living in New Jersey

early morning lake photo
Millville, NJ

I moved to New Jersey, where my wife is originally from, after the World Trade Center bombings in 2001.  We  visited the area twice before we decided to move here from our Florida apartment where we knew absolutely no one.  There was nothing to keep us in Florida, so we packed our bags and headed north.  On a side note and since this is a travel blog,  so I should mention we stopped overnight in St. Augustine, Florida.  I had never been there but my wife and been there several times.  I absolutely loved it.  It has an old-world European charm to it -which I love. 

I’d be willing to bet you’ve never realized the rest of New Jersey is as diverse and beautiful as any other state

When I visited Jersey, I was impressed with the people how friendly they were and the cleanliness of the area.  Let me first say most people when they think of New Jersey is the smokestacks, the urban blight, and the refineries in North Jersey.  We live in Ocean County in the Southern part of New Jersey along the ‘Jersey Shore’.  But I’d be willing to bet you’ve never realized the rest of New Jersey is as diverse and beautiful as any other state.  We live on the Shore about a mile from the bay and 30 minutes by car to the barrier island, Long Beach Island or Seaside Heights if you prefer.  The rest of Jersey is mostly farmlands and believe it or not horse farms in some central counties. 

I originally grew up in Northwest Missouri in a medium sized town an only child to two parents who had typical middle-western values and traditions.  My family was far from normal however, but I won’t go into the details in this post.  I will save it for my therapist.  If you really want to know more about my story click on the link below.

Missouri man living in New Jersey and likes it… at 11

I’ve always been highly adaptable to my surroundings:  I lived in Denver metro area in the 90’s and loved it.  I met my wife in Denver, and we moved to Clearwater, Florida.  I liked it okay except for the people, but my wife hated the heat and hated the people.  The area where we lived was highly transient and no one spoke to you.  The locals were fine but most everyone else was from somewhere else- mostly the Northeast (cue ironic laughing).   We left and never looked back.

Since 2001 I set roots down in New Jersey and am so happy for it


As long as I can remember I’ve had the wanderlust bug and it manifests itself these days in my love for traveling.  However, the older I get the more I get set in my ways and traveling becomes more of a challenge- which I never expected when I was younger.  Since 2001 I set roots down in New Jersey and am so happy for it.  The schools are exceptional, if we want to feel like we’re on vacation we can go to the beach and if we want a change of scenery, we have Philadelphia 1.5 hours away, D.C. 3 hours away and New York is 1.5 to 2 hours away depending on traffic. 

As with any place Jersey has its drawbacks.  First and foremost, the cost of living is very expensive.  Having said that we live in the cheapest area of New Jersey which is in Ocean County.  We have a nuclear power plant in our town (gasp!) and it keeps our taxes low compared to the rest of the county and state.  New Jersey is the most congested state in the nation, sooooo traffic sucks.  Jersey’s weather is not the greatest, although since we’re so close to the ocean we don’t get that brutal cold weather. 

This will sound corny but most of all I feel very blessed to have met such a wonderful person in my wife and to have found a place I can call home. 

Where do you live and what are the pros and cons of your area?