Who doesn't love a little English etiquette and drama, right? Two words: Downton Abbey. The new fifth season of Downton doesn't hit the U.S.A until the new year, but you can enjoy a spot of tea anytime by going to a tea room. Even small towns with old world charm are likely to have a tea room type restaurant.
Tea time was started by the Brits when elaborate dinners started later and later, and the ladies needed a little 'pick me up' in the afternoon. And we are all the better for it. There is afternoon tea, which consists of what you might typically think: finger sandwiches, scones, and biscuits (or cookies for us Americans), and tea, of course. High tea actually includes heavier foods served with tea. There's also cream tea, Victorian tea, and royal tea, just to name a few, but they all have the same basics and little variations.
Tea time might totally scare those of the male persuasion off with visions of pinkies out and lace doilies, and have them running to Buffalo Wild Wings for some football and beer. But stick with me, guys, because there are some things you might like. British food is pretty 'stick to your ribs' fare. Shepherd's Pie and meat pies are sure to fill you up. By having lunch at a tea room, you can totally fulfill your wife/girlfriend's Mr. Darcy fantasy on a full stomach; bonus for you.
On the other hand, sometimes girls just need a girly afternoon together and what better way to be girly than a tea party! Little girls or "grown ups", there's just something special about dainty cups and dainty treats. My favorite part is probably the scones with clotted cream and lemon curd. Yum-O!
It's become a birthday tradition of mine to go to the English Rose Tea Room in Chattanooga, TN. My sister and my mom go with me for a girls' afternoon, which is always a treat being a mom of boys. The shop and restaurant are quaintly situated in a corner store downtown, and I am always pleased with the scrumptious foods and delicious tea. The sticky toffee pudding is delish!
Here are some links to some great tea rooms:
*The English Rose Tea Room Chattanooga, TN
*The Windsor Rose Tea Room Mount Dora, FL (this is the tea room in my home town)
*Top Tea Houses in the World
*Exceptional Tea Rooms in America (I like this list because it provides tea rooms in many states.)
*UK's Top 10 Tea Rooms
So go out and enjoy a good pot of tea with some friends and maybe it might inspire your inner wanderer. Let us help you find the perfect Tea-rip for you.
Are you a bookworm or more of magazine page flipper?
I love to read, and I go in spurts of reading. The whole kids, homeschooling, after school tutoring, and household managing thing might have something to do with my reading dry spells, but if I haven't read anything in a while I get a hankering for a good book.
I have always loved historical fiction, but as I was thinking about this blog topic I noticed that many of my favorite novels have dynamic settings that have inspired my travel.
This next part might give away my nerdy historical book secret away, but hang with me. One of my favorite authors is Edward Rutherford. He writes epic novels which focus on a specific place. His stories carry the reader through tens of thousands of year of history and I love them. He sets the stage by introducing the reader to a handful of character families that live in the chosen area of his book (Ireland, New York, Russia, Paris), and then each chapter follows the lives of these families through generations of history and how the families' lives intertwine. What attracts me to Rutherford's writing, and keeps me going back, is the way he builds the city of the setting up over each chapter, making history come alive for me. This was especially true when I read The Princes of Ireland and then the continuing story: The Rebels of Ireland. So much so, that it helped inspire my 10 year wedding anniversary to Ireland.
When my husband and I got off the plane in Dublin and started exploring that amazing city, I felt like I already knew it. Visiting Trinity College and strolling along the River Liffy brought back characters and events and totally enriched my experience.
So what about you? Do you have an inspirational book that lead to a great adventure? Here are some links to get you started.
17 TRAVEL BOOKS FOR EXPLORERS, DRIFTERS, AND PEOPLE WHO DON'T MIND GETTING LOST
20 Books That Will Inspire You to Travel
And what about the kids? This infographic makes me so happy because it allows children to see that even fantasy and fairy tale comes from the beauty of real places. Click on the picture to see the full graphic with many kid's stories.
Kids Are a Trip is a blog that has book picks for Ireland, Spain, France, and Italy for kids and parents alike.
Tell me about your inspirational books and let us help you plan your next adventure!
Happy roving (and reading!),
“Pardon me boys, is that the Chattanooga Choo Choo?” It’s a great nostalgic tune that describes well what Chattanooga has to offer for little boys and families.
The Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel and model train museum in downtown Chattanooga is on the National Registry of Historic Places and allows families to step back in time. There is a replica of the first train, a wood burning locomotive, that came into the station in 1880. Children can climb up into the engineer box and explore the knobs and gears of the big steam engine.
My boys love seeing the bright and colorful train and I try to sneak in a walk around the manicured gardens next to it. There is also a trolley parked next to the train. For $3 per person you can hop aboard and learn about the trolley industry of the 1800s in Chattanooga.
But my favorite part of the Choo Choo complex is the model train museum. After riding up the elevator and through the lobby, you enter a long room and a miniature world. The model exhibit shows Chattanooga and the Cumberland mountain community, and becomes my little boys’ wonderland. Now, they have been to the museum several times and have established their favorite spots to watch the trains go around the mountains and towns. But the first time A went he was about two years old and he stayed on the raised platforms, awestruck, for 10, 15 minutes on end. (if you have any experience with two year old boys, you will know that that just doesn’t happen, ever.)
The museum has over 3,000 feet of track, and plenty of little curiosities that put a smile on your face. The Model Train Museum is open seven days a week with admission only $5 for adults and $3 for children. This makes it one of the cheapest activities for families with young children in Chattanooga! Of course, the Chattanooga Choo Choo has lots of other perks and attractions, like sleeping in an actual train car or being entertained by your waiter or waitress as you eat at the Station House restaurant. You can check out all their information at http://www.choochoo.com, and let us help plan your choo choo experience.
Traveling with little ones can seem like an intimidating task. You want them to enjoy themselves and you want to get the most out of your trip. When planning a visit to a family attraction with young children, it's important to remember that it's the little things that the littles like. Think Christmas as a good parallel: big fancy new toy, and what do they play with all day? The box. Big attractions, like Disney World, are the same way. Just take this picture for example:
I adore this picture of my son on the carousel with his Papaw. His unbridled joy and enthusiasm make me smile every time I see it. He rode that carousel four times. He just couldn't get enough of it. Little ones like repetition. At your average mall or park carousel, you might expect to pay a few bucks to ride on the colorfully decorated steeds, but we rode this particular carousel at the Magic Kingdom in Disney World. And at the end of an action packed, fun filled day when we asked, "What was your favorite? The jungle boat ride? Buzz Lightyear? Peter Pan?", it ended up being the carousel that made his eyes sparkle and his face light up.
As you plan your travel with little ones, don't forget to budget in some time to slow down and hit the simple stuff. Between museum visits, city tours, and flashy amusement parks, schedule a stop to run in a grassy park or a splash in the fountain. You'll see your littles come alive as they relax, release some energy, and relish in the simplicity of their world.
Here's one more, just for giggles. Head thrown back, couldn't be happier. We all need to bring that childlike joy to our attitudes when we travel (or when we're just at home too, right?).
I'm starting out the launch of the Faith and Family Travel blog by letting you get to know me a little bit and peek into the travel side of my life!
I'm Kyleen! Mommy, wife, teacher, and daughter to the boss. I love travel and have been doing it for a while now. This blog allows me to have a crazy, cyclical travel rationale: write about travel -> need to travel -> so I can write about travel -> so I can travel some more! You get the idea.
"Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living."
I love this quote by Mary Ritter Beard. Whether a long term relocation or a weekend jaunt, traveling changes how we view the world and ourselves. Its one thing to watch elephants in their herds on television while a fantastic British voice narrates facts and trivia, but to experience these glorious beasts from a Land Rover rooftop a hundred feet away will change the way you see yourself in the world forever.
My husband and I did the long term relocation when we were first married. We moved to Togo, West Africa to work with a missionary team there. During that time we immersed ourselves in the Ewe culture, experienced the beauty (and some ugly) of the land, and went on two safaris, one of which included a lion. That was 10 years ago, but sometimes I will feel a hot, dry wind or catch a tribal beat from a song and I'm carried back to the bush villages.
But back to reality of life now. Travel is full of Children's Museums and swimming pools, Disney and go carts. I love it! The adaptability of travel is what makes it so fun. My family of four travels every day my husband is off work (and sometimes we have to make our own fun without him. Sorry, honey, its a tough life, but someone's got to make some money!). We may not go far. Usually its a nature hike in a nearby state park or the aquarium. But we get out and see our little corner of the world.
We also travel extensively with my extended family. The Rogers clan includes my parents, my family, and my sister's family. We've done Yellowstone with a four month old, and a cruise to Mexico with a one and four year old. Our most recent multigenerational trip to Charleston, SC included a visit to the Patriot's Point aircraft carrier. The awe of the my six year old son balanced with the honored respect from my sixty year old father was a joy to witness. The travel experience at any age can enrich the traveler.
The the next adventure is just around the bend. Whether it's across town or across the country, come join my roving romp and maybe we can help you experience your own wandering experience!
Hello there! We are the travelers of the Rogers Clan. Pat, Kyleen and Kara welcome you to follow us on our travel adventures, experiences with family, and good times with friends. The next adventure is just around the bend. Come join our roving romp and let us help you experience your own unique wandering!
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