Travel United States

Alaska and Hawaii

Alaska and Hawaii have some similarities and differences. The two states are the only two states not part of the forty-eight contiguous states and were also the last two states admitted into the United States both in 1959, Alaska the forty-ninth, and Hawaii being number fifty. The two states also have differences from each other, mainly in weather. Alaska is the coldest U.S. state and is either experiencing sunlight or darkness for almost the entire day. Hawaii always has hot weather and has just about the same amount of sunlight all year round. Alaska is the biggest U.S. state while Hawaii is one of the smaller ones, being the eighth smallest in the country. Each are unique and special in their own ways, and there are many places to go to in these areas that you should check out. 

In Alaska, USA, some destinations are listed here:

  • Aurora Ice Museum
  • Mendenhall Ice Caves
  • Dr. Seuss House
  • Glacier Bay National Park
  • Juneau
  • Homer
  • Anchorage
  • Fairbanks
  • Kodiak Island
  • Seward

In Hawaii, USA, some destinations are listed here:

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Wide Open Spaces

A lot of people think that places like Western Kansas or Eastern Colorado before you get to the Rocky Mountains is just mostly flat with wide open spaces. It is true that you can see a long way since, after all, the place is wide open, but it’s not necessarily true that the land is just flat. In fact, when you go from Eastern Kansas to Western Kansas, the elevation rises by around 3,000 feet. Precisely, the lowest point, at 679 feet above sea level is by the Oklahoma border in Montgomery County. The highest point, at 4,039 feet above sea level, is on the Colorado border in Wallace County, also known as Mount Sunflower.

There are also many places to visit in Western Kansas. For example, you can check out tracks from the Santa Fe Trail, Castle Rock, some Bison ranges, Parrot Cove Water Park, and so much more. The Cimarron National Grassland in Southwest Kansas is also a good place to visit. So what are you waiting for?

Click here for info on Little Jerusalem Badlands Kansas

Little Jerusalem Badlands
Little Jerusalem Badlands Kansas USA

St Lucia Christmas Little Sweden USA

St Lucia Christmas Bethany Lutheran Lindsborg USA
St Lucia Christmas Bethany Lutheran Lindsborg USA

Christmas in Lindsborg comes alive with Swedish traditions. St. Lucia Christmas is celebrated all day mid December. Young girls dressed up in white march in procession into the Bethany Lutheran Church. The procession is a community event with singing and beautiful music.
The procession is led by a young girl dressed as St. Lucia with candles on her head.

St Lucia Christmas Bethany Lutheran Lindsborg USA
St Lucia Christmas Bethany Lutheran Lindsborg USA

There are also beautiful Swedish folk dances performed by both young and old during the day in Lindsborg, Kansas, USA.

Please click to watch.


Christmas in Little Sweden USA

Lindsborg Kansas USA (also known as Little Sweden) is a cute little town to visit anytime of the year. You can find all things Swedish here from liggonberry jams to beautifully painted wooden Dala horses.

In Spring, you should get tickets for Handel’s Messiah Easter Performance at Bethany College. It is worth it.

If you come visit in the Summer, enjoy the MidSummer’s Festival. You will see real folks dressed in real Swedish national costumes performing beautiful dances.

The town offers several stores to purchase good gifts and souvenirs. Enjoy some good Swedish food at the Swedish Crown and pasteries while you are in Lindsborg. I love the Swedish Meatballs (Svensk Köttbullar) with the dill potatoes. Finish it off with some Swedish Almond Cake or some Ostkaka (creamy custard).

Christmas in Lindsborg is fun as you get to celebrate the European Swedish heritage right in Kansas. The traditions are kept alive in fun ways. You will see young girls dressed up in white carrying candles for the St. Lucia Festival. The are plenty of fun activities all day for the St. Lucia Festival.
I think Christmas time is extra special in Lindsborg as many festive events lead up to Christmas.

Click to watch Swedish Dances.

St Lucia Christmas Bethany Lutheran Lindsborg USA
St Lucia Christmas Bethany Lutheran Lindsborg USA


Everything from Christmas (Jultide) Concerts to traditional Christmas Services (Julotta Christmas Morning Service and Annandag Jul Day After Christmas Service) at the Bethany Lutheran Church. Enjoy a little bit of Sweden right here in the USA!

Bethany Lutheran Church Lindsborg Kansas USA
Bethany Lutheran Church Lindsborg Kansas USA

Third party resources used to create this article. You may click the hyperlinks in the article for more information.

Little Jerusalem Badlands Kansas

Little Jerusalem Badlands
Little Jerusalem Badlands Kansas USA

The newest State Park in Kansas, USA is truly unique. The Niobara Chalk formation is a hidden treasure in a valley not far from the Smoky Hill River. It is located between Oakley (Logan County) and Scott City (Scott County), Kansas. Go South on US Highway 83 from I-70 at the Oakley exit. Drive South until you pass the Smoky Hill River. Then turn West on to a gravel road to Fairleigh Ranch. You will see signs that will direct you to Little Jerusalem.
The hiking trails will take you around the park. Most of the trails have been improved with gravel. The final trail is a regular natural trail that leads you to the best view of the park and the valley from the top. You will need a guided tour to get down into the valley.
Little Jerusalem Badlands Kansas USA
Little Jerusalem Hiking Trails with grasses and wildflowers

It is a peaceful walk through this park while enjoying the spectacular views. There are rock formations, canyons, grasslands, wild flowers and birds to enjoy. You will see beautiful grasses such wild buckwheat and bluestem blowing in the Kansas wind. If you come at the right time of the year, you can see Kansas wildflowers such as Sunflowers growing right along the gravel path. The photos were taken in the Fall just after the Park opened in October 2019. The flowers were done blooming and turned into seeds which is a source of food for the birds.
The rocks and canyons are spectacular. You are staring at what used to be an inland sea. The colors vary with the seasons and light at different times of the day.

Little Jerusalem Badlands
Little Jerusalem Badlands Kansas
Little Jerusalem Badlands Kansas USA
Little Jerusalem Badlands Kansas USA

Flowers for your English Cottage Gardens

The neat thing about travelling is you get to see, explore and learn more than one way of doing things, for an example gardening. I love the English way of gardening and their romantic herbaceous gardens. So here are some flower ideas you can add to your garden here in North America. Start with the Spring Flowers like Tulips, Crocus and Daffodils. It will sure cheer your mood from the Winter blahs and welcome Spring! Plant flowers like Iris, Roses, Peonies so they will bloom after your Spring flowers are done. So there is always some beautiful flower blooming throughout the year. Add Yarrow, Daisies, Cone Flowers, Echinacea, Sunflowers, Foxglove, Columbines, Hardy Geraniums, Hollyhocks and Rambling Roses to the mix. Heirloom Roses produce the most heavenly fragrance. Plant herbs like Lavender, Thyme, Oregano, Mint, Sage and Rosemary along the curvy paths you create with gravel or stepping stones. Consider adding flowers like Asters, Oxeye Sunflowers (blooming late Summer) that will flower till the last Frost. These flowers will attract hummingbirds, butterflies and other pollinators to your garden. Don’t forge the Evergreens! This will give structure to your garden so it will look pretty when in snows in Winter. Bring a little bit of English Cottage Garden feel to your back yard!

  • Allium
  • Kansas Peony
  • Iris
  • Miniature Roses

Third party resources used to create this article. You may click the hyperlinks in the article for more information.

English Cottage Gardens for Americans

West Yorkshire England
West Yorkshire England

It is amazing how many of our New World American flowers made it into the English Cottage Gardens. Everything from the Yarrow to the Echinacea grace English Cottage Gardens.

Flowers of the United Kingdom
Flowers of the United Kingdom

It is always nice to bring home some of the ideas you pickup while you travel. The English Cottage Garden concept can be applied right here at home in the USA. Instead of just manicured green lawns you can create “garden rooms” with the English Cottage Garden theme, quite romantic really. It can bring the Old World charm right into your backyard. Curvy herbaceous pathways leading you to keep exploring, trying to find what is around the corner. You may not be in the Cotswolds or West Yorkshire, United Kingdom, but it may sure bring back the sweet memories.

Here are a few flowers that would look good in a English Cottage Garden. More flower ideas for English Cottage Gardens.

Foxglove
Foxglove flowers for English Cottage Gardens

Third party resources used to create this article. You may click the hyperlinks in the article for more information.

US Wildflowers

It is amazing that when you visit a place, certain things in nature will grab your attention. Beautiful waterfalls like the ones in Yellowstone National Park will definitely be on the top of the list. But sometimes just a simple delicate flower growing above the tree line (Tundra in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado) or by the side of the road (Pacific Coast Highway California) or wildflowers (in the foreground of the Grand Tetons, Wyoming) will mesmerize you. You just have to stop and take photos and post it on Instagram or Facebook. You just cannot help yourself! It is truly something worth sharing with your friends.

Pacific Coast
Wildflowers Pacific Coast Highway California

Wildflowers Grand Tetons
Wildflowers Grand Tetons

Rocky Mountain National Park Tundra
Tundra Wildflowers Rocky Mountain National Park

Pawnee Indian Museum State Historic Site

Before researching the Pawnee Indians, I had not realized that they and some other Plains Indians lived part of the year in permanent dwellings. This is the site of one of those towns, and the museum is built around one of the actual dwellings.

This is a very interesting historical site, located near Republic, Kansas. The guide was very knowledgeable and interesting to listen to. We went as part of a school group, and the elementary children also found everything to be interesting. Most of what you see is inside, but you can also see some points of interest outside.

It’s a little off the beaten path, but the signage is good and it is worth the drive.


Georges French Bistro Wichita Kansas USA

You can get some of the tastiest French food right here in the heartland.

Georges French Cuisine Wichita Kansas USA
Georges French Cuisine Wichita Kansas USA

The ambience of the restaurant can bring back memories of your trip to Paris, France without leaving home.

Georges French Cuisine Wichita Kansas USA
Georges French Cuisine Wichita Kansas USA

You cannot leave the restaurant without trying out their fabulous desserts.

Georges French Bistro Wichita Kansas
Georges French Bistro Wichita Kansas
Georges French Bistro Wichita Kansas
Georges French Bistro Wichita Kansas