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Vatican & St. Peter’s Basilica | Beautiful and Inspiring

Vatican & St. Peter’s Basilica | Beautiful and Inspiring

Rome is a must-see city. There is so much history and culture packed in this Italian city that I guarantee everyone will find something they love about it. Whether its touring the Colosseum, the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain, taking in a museum, or just enjoying the amazing Italian food and indulging yourself in gelato, Rome has a lot to offer. One place you need to see when you visit Rome is the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica. This small city-state is located in the middle of Rome and is one of the most beautiful and inspiring places I’ve ever experienced. St. Peter’s Basilica is the church located within Vatican City. It is one of the world’s largest churches and is an amazing piece of Renaissance architecture. The details are spectacular. It took more than 100 years for the church to be completed after its groundbreaking in 1506. Just standing outside of the church is enough to make a trip to Italy worth it. You almost feel like you are in the center of the world. Then you...

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Hedmark Museum in Hamar, Norway

Hedmark Museum in Hamar, Norway

Hedmark Museum in Hamar, Norway is a great place to visit for a Norwegian cultural experience. The museum has several different attractions and is located right on the shores of Lake Mjøsa, Norway’s largest lake. There is a lot of open, grassy parts of the museum grounds, so it definitely has a park-vibe going on. It’s a great place to have a picnic, take in the sights and enjoy the day. There’s one thing that makes Hedmark Museum really unique: it’s an active archaeological site. The Norwegians are still excavating the grounds (actually, most of the area is still not yet excavated). Part of the experience of visiting the museum is seeing the dig site and the progress the archaeologists are making while you’re there. One of the main attractions at Hedmark Museum is the Cathedral Ruins. The Hamar Cathedral was built-in Romanesque architecture in 1200 A.D. The roof was set on fire in the 1500s and it pretty much just sat that for three hundred years before the Norwegians started to excavate...

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African Safari | The Big Five in Tanzania

African Safari | The Big Five in Tanzania

If you travel to Tanzania and go on a safari in the Serengeti, you will likely hear a lot about the Big Five in Africa.  The Big Five originated from hunters, and it refers to the top five most difficult and dangerous animals to hunt on foot in Africa. The Big Five include the African elephant, black rhinoceros, cape buffalo, lion and leopard.  Today, tourists from around the world travel to Africa for a chance to see the Big Five in their natural habitat. The first leg of my trip to Tanzania was spent in the Serengeti, looking for the Big Five. The African elephant was the first Big Five animal I spotted on my safari. Our tour group actually came across a huge herd of elephants (including a few newborn elephants) just a few minutes after we entered the Serengeti. Even though elephants are such large animals, they are still very graceful. Elephants were all over the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, so we ended up seeing them all over the place. The Cape buffalo...

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Mask that Inspired the Seahawks Logo

Mask that Inspired the Seahawks Logo

In Seattle, the Seahawks are king. That means the Seahawks logo is everywhere you turn– on shirts, hats, flags, cars, and even on the side of buildings. The list goes on and on. That’s why Tim and I headed over to the Burke Museum when we found out the Native American mask that inspired the Seahawks logo is on display. But be warned, it’s only here for a limited time. In the lead-up to the 2014 Super Bowl, the awesome folks at the University of Washington’s Burke Museum started researching the story behind the Seahawks logo. It wasn’t long before they found a black and white picture of a mask that looked nearly identical to the logo.  The Burke Museum published a blog post about their search for the mask that inspired the Seahawks logo, which included the picture they found, writing: “The sweep of the bold painted line around the front of the eyesocket and back of the mouth, the open-ended eyelid lines, and the line of the mouth and beak...

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Crystal Mountain Resort |Summer Fun Near Mount Rainier

Crystal Mountain Resort |Summer Fun Near Mount Rainier

Crystal Mountain Resort is known for its winter activities. Skiers and snowboarders flock the mountain each year to enjoy the slopes. While it’s a great spot to visit during the winter, summer at Crystal Mountain Resort can be just as fun. With plenty of outdoor activities and a close proximity to Mount Rainier, it’s a great weekend getaway from Seattle. If you’re not great with your geography (like me!), Crystal Mount Resort is located southeast of Seattle and  it’s  about a two-hour drive from the city. The resort is also right next door to Mount Rainier National Park. It’s less than a 15 minute drive from the park entrance, making it the perfect location for people looking to spend a few days exploring the park. Tim and I stayed for a long, four-day weekend at Crystal Mountain Resort. We loved how easy it was to visit both Paradise and Sunrise visitor centers. The star attraction at Crystal Mountain Resort is the Mount Rainier Gondola. The roughly 10 minute ride takes you about 2,500 feet up...

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