I finally have a passport! It’s not going to get me out of the country, but it has inspired me to visit some of the national parks and other historical monuments that are in the United States. My passport is The Passport to Your National Parks, a 104-page spiral notebook that gives information on the parks including maps, photographs and other illustrations.
Last weekend, my family and I went to the home of president Franklin Delano Roosevelt in Hyde Park, New York. After moving to the area 16 years ago — I literally only live about 5 miles away — I finally visited on my 50th birthday! Isn’t it amazing how we don’t always visit what’s practically right in our own backyard and other people travel miles to see it?
When you visit a park on the list, go into the gift shop (or a designated place on the property) and get your passport stamped with a cancellation (similar to an international passport) with the date/time of your visit. I got my first cancellation!
Plan to visit the parks by you and then visit the parks around the country (by the way my biggest tip is to wear comfortable shoes!). Collect your cancellation stamps along the way. I love this idea, and kids will probably love it too.
I have to tell you, I never used to be the type of person who a) wanted to visit anything historic, mainly because I used to think of it as a boring old history class and b) wanted to visit a park, but I had an absolutely wonderful time at the FDR Estate and have already begun to think about the other parks I want to visit. For example, I know I absolutely want to visit the Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls, New York. Never even knew this existed until I got this passport, but I have to get there. If I don’t get there, my two very feminist daughter better!
There are free entrance days to the park several times a year. The remaining days in 2015 are:
- August 25
National Park Service Birthday
- September 26
National Public Lands Day
- November 11
More on my FDR visit in an upcoming blog post. In the meantime, the passport is very interesting and in some weird way I almost feel obligated to get around and visit the parks too. Hopefully I’ll be creating some great memories along the way! Can you imagine the headline, “The Virgin Traveler visits ALL 407 national parks!”
Maybe one day! Get yours by going here.
Until next time…