Browsing Category "travel"
3 Mar
2014
Posted in: travel
By    Comments Off on Souvenirs for Children: Elongated Pennies

Souvenirs for Children: Elongated Pennies

Elongated Penny Souvenir - Craters of the Moon

I’m not a fan of souvenirs when we travel. I don’t require t-shirts, stuffed animals or shot glasses from each spot we visit to remember our travels. My children, however, do like to bring something home from our adventures. Most times they’re happy enough to collect maps, brochures and junior ranger badges from various national parks, but we do have a favorite souvenir.

Souvenir Penny Collecting Book

Three years ago we were traveling in Washington state and staying on San Juan Island. We were wandering the aisles in a gift shop and came upon an elongated penny collector book and elongated penny machine. Squishing a penny was a quick solution to our need for souvenirs. For 51 cents, the kids could each not only have their own souvenir, but could each take part in making their souvenir. Each child picks the design he/she wants for their elongated penny, puts the two quarters and penny in the machine, pushes in the money and turns the crank to squish the penny. We purchased a collector book at the shop, not realizing how much we would actually add to our small collection.

When we returned from Washington, I discovered pennycollector.com, a website dedicated to elongated coin collecting. I had no idea squished pennies were like stamps. There are themed coins to purchase, traders and even limited edition coins. My favorite feature of the website is being able to find locations for elongated penny machines based on where we’re traveling. It’s a scavenger hunt for the kiddos to find the machines in gift shops, visitor centers and museums. They’re always excited to find the machine tucked into a corner or near an entrance/exit. Most of the machines we’ve found are manual and have a hand-crank to squish the pennies but some are push-button automatic.

Souvenir Penny Machine - M&M's World, Las Vegas

We always have a stash of quarters and pennies in our vehicle for traveling and have almost 90 unique designs in the collection now. The collector books take up hardly any room for storage, while still being a memento the kids cherish. We travel by SUV when we vacation, with limited space since there are six of us. Elongated pennies easily fit in a wallet or in the glove compartment.

Opened Souvenir Penny Collecting Book

Our favorite vacation spot for penny collecting is Disneyland.  A map is available at Disneyland City Hall on Main Street, U.S.A. to make finding the machines easier. There are several locations throughout both parks along with a couple of machines that squish quarters, not pennies. The souvenir penny machines at Disneyland have the added bonus of being themed for whichever land they’re located in. Disney-themed elongated pennies and character autographs quenched my kiddos’ need for souvenirs without spending lots of money while we were there.


 
No Fear: Do Something I Wouldn’t Do
By     |    Feb 21, 2014
Posted in: parenting, travel     |    Comments Off on No Fear: Do Something I Wouldn’t Do

No Fear: Do Something I Wouldn’t Do

I stood in my kitchen and told my 11-year-old to do something I wouldn’t do. He had just finished telling me about advice a friend’s mother had given, “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.” While I understand the thinking behind the statement, I’ve never said that to my children. I want them to do just the opposite. Do something I wouldn’t do. Of course, I want them to think about the legality, ethics and safety of situations before deciding to... [Read More]

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Disneyland Character Autograph Book
By     |    Jan 20, 2014
Posted in: photography, projects, travel     |    9 Comments

Disneyland Character Autograph Book

One of my favorite photography projects is the Disneyland autograph book I made after our second trip to Disneyland in March of 2012. The first time we went to Disneyland in 2008, our boys weren’t interested in getting close enough to the characters. If they did get close enough for a photograph, they weren’t interested in sticking around long enough to get autographs. On the second trip, our children were 9, 7, 4, and 2. In addition to the main... [Read More]

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Take a Trip: San Juan Island
By     |    Dec 5, 2013
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Take a Trip: San Juan Island

The weather in Wyoming this week is down-right frightful and has me daydreaming of summer vacation. San Juan Island, off the coast of Washington state, is my favorite vacation spot. If I could plan a vacation for my friends, I would send them there. We went in early June three years ago. The island was quiet with hardly any tourists. Public school was still in session in Washington which worked in our favor. We drove the 19 hours to Friday... [Read More]

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Take a Trip — Disneyland
By     |    Nov 21, 2013
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Take a Trip — Disneyland

The idea of going to the same vacation spot more than once doesn’t appeal to me, unless that spot is Disneyland. I realize that Disneyland isn’t for every family, but I could be the Disneyland Vacation Club president. We’ve been twice, July 2008 and March 2012, both times with little kids. Every time I hear friends planning their trip I get giddy all over again. In 2012, Disney’s tag line was “Let the Memories Begin.” That sums up my take... [Read More]

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More Than You Ever Want to Know
By     |    Nov 15, 2013
Posted in: parenting, photography, travel     |    Comments Off on More Than You Ever Want to Know

More Than You Ever Want to Know

Possibly you’re about to read more than you ever want to know about me or even need to know.  I bet you’ve seen the lists of items you might not know about friends on Facebook. I find them incredibly interesting. I’m a details person, so I’m going to join the crowd and share 20 things about me. I’ve only lived in Wyoming and have deep family roots here, but we have no family in our town. I don’t eat red... [Read More]

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Take a Trip — Everything IS Bigger in Texas
By     |    Nov 14, 2013
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Take a Trip — Everything IS Bigger in Texas

All it took was my husband watching a Man vs. Food episode to prove that everything really is bigger in Texas, starting with donuts and pizza. We were in the San Antonio area visiting friends in June of 2012. Instead of just doing the stereotypical tourist stops, SeaWorld, Schlitterbahn and the Alamo, we hit Round Rock Donuts (north of Austin), and Big Lou’s Pizza (eastside San Antonio). Best. Choices. Ever. I assumed the Round Rock Donuts were going to be a... [Read More]

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Photos from the Passenger Side
By     |    Nov 13, 2013
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Photos from the Passenger Side

You’ll find me taking photos from the passenger side of the vehicle when we travel. We take quite a few trips, and all are road trips. We have yet to take the family on a flight. My husband is the driver which is fine by me. I prefer to sit on the passenger side and take in the view or sometimes, lack of a view. These photos are all from my passenger side vantage point. We’ve driven to Chicago, San... [Read More]

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Take a Trip: Yellowstone National Park
By     |    Nov 7, 2013
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Take a Trip: Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park sits near the top of my list of favorite United States national parks. I’m blessed to live near enough to it that I’ve visited our nation’s first national park several times. I had someone ask me once if all the hype surrounding the park as a must-see destination was deserved? Unequivocally yes. The majority of the WORLD’s geysers are located in the 2.2 million acres which make up Yellowstone National Park. Most of the park is located in... [Read More]

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