Posts Tagged ‘travel’


Family Traveling for the Holidays? Bring Along an Audiobook!

by Anne Wilmoth on November 8th, 2017

Each year, while traveling literally over the river and through the woods to southeastern Michigan for Thanksgiving, I’m determined that the family unity and togetherness will start the moment we back out of the driveway. Translation: no screens, kids. Instead, I cue up an audiobook I’ve carefully selected for family listening pleasure. It can be a challenge to find something that everyone is engaged by – but when I do, it makes the miles zip by. Some we’ve enjoyed recently:

Thumbnail The Crossover by Kwame Alexander, 2014

This was a hit with everyone in the car – my 55-year-old mother-in-law, my husband, my “tween” daughter and my 6-year-old. It moves fast, and it’s written in verse – who doesn’t enjoy listening to poetry read aloud? Those who are into sports will enjoy it, as it’s about a pair of basketball-star twins and their exploits on the court, but it has plenty for the non-sports-fan as well – it’s just as much about family relationships, loyalty, and coming-of-age.

 

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Wonder by R.J. Palacio, 2012

This book about a fifth-grader with a facial abnormality is an excellent bridge to a family discussion about inclusion and kindness. The life of the protagonist has been shaped by the reactions of others to his striking physical differences, despite being a totally “regular kid” on the inside, and now he’s about to start at a new middle school. Different actors narrate the sections of this book, which are told from the perspective of a variety of characters. The dialogue and situations feel very authentic, and the message hits home without being heavy-handed or precious. You’ll be ready to see the screen adaptation that comes out this month!

 

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When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, 2009

A one-of-a-kind historical sci-fi/mystery so suspenseful that you won’t want to press pause at a rest stop! Miranda tries to unravel who – or what – is behind the prophetic notes that keep appearing in her personal items. Other mysterious characters and unexplained events pop up, and there seems to be no earthly way all these intriguing but disparate elements could possibly be tied together by the end – but they are. Also, time travel, if you’re into that.

 

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Ghost by Jason Reynolds, 2016

Ghost is a gifted sprinter, and when he impulsively tries out for a local track team, a tough-love coach sees potential in him. But Ghost has to learn to control his anger to become a team player and succeed on the track. The audiobook is engagingly narrated by the author, who brings laugh-out-loud personality to the coach’s dialogue. This book was recently named the 2018 All Iowa Kids Read selection, so listening to it would be a great way for all your kids to participate at once.

 

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Full of Beans by Jennifer L. Holm, 2016

10-year-old Beans Curry cooks up schemes and gets into scrapes during one summer in Depression-era Key West. Adults will be fascinated by the historical details of how Key West was deliberately remade from an isolated and impoverished island community into a hot tourist attraction – this novel is based on true events – while kids will thrill to Beans’ wacky adventures and wonder what he’ll do next. Narrated by the author, fans of Holm’s popular Babymouse series will not be disappointed in this listening experience.

 

These audiobooks are available on CD at the library, or in digital, downloadable format via OverDrive. Happy listening, and happy, harmonious traveling this season!

 

A Day with Frank Lloyd Wright

by Kara Logsden on July 23rd, 2015
A Day with Frank Lloyd Wright Cover Image
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Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio

Recently I celebrated a birthday that ended in a ZERO and my husband gave me a “day away.” I chose a day in Oak Park, Illinois touring the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio followed by a walking tour of his neighborhood.

I really enjoy historical fiction novels based on the lives of real people. A few years ago the book Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland inspired a Spring Break trip to New York City to see Tiffany Glass. After reading Nancy Horan’s Loving Frank and T.C. Boyle’s The Women, I’ve wanted to visit the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio in Oak Park as well as Taliesin in Spring Green, WI.

The tour in Oak Park was wonderful. The volunteer guide was very knowledgeable and I learned a lot about Wright’s architecture, style and philosophy. The tour was light on personal details but that was OK. Books can fill in the details there. It was amazing to see Wright’s experimentation through the many homes we walked by in the neighborhood and the evolution of his style.

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If you are looking for a getaway, I’d recommend reading the two historical fiction novels about Frank Lloyd Wright and then heading to Oak Park for a day.

If you are looking for more adventures in Oak Park, the Ernest Hemingway Birthplace Home and Museum is just a couple blocks from the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio. We didn’t get a chance to tour the Hemingway Museum, but if you are interested, you might consider reading The Paris Wife by Paula McLain before you go. Enjoy 🙂

 

 

My post-vacation reading list

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on June 29th, 2015

A week ago at this time, I was … I’m not quite sure where I was. I know was somewhere on the East Coast, but after two weeks on the road, the days and states start to blend together.schulz

Vermont played the biggest role in my summer vacation. My family and I spent six days in White River Junction so our two teens could attend a week-long Create Comics summer workshop at the Center for Cartoon Studies.

(It was strange to wave goodbye to the kids as they left the hotel for class every morning while my husband and I got to explore. We tried to make up for it by bringing them back trinkets from our day trips, but our daughter has yet to forgive us going on the Ben & Jerry’s Factory Tour without her.)

We used travel guides when planning our trip, but the quest for knowledge doesn’t end simply because the suitcases are unpacked. Now I’m browsing the Library’s collection for books to supplement the vacation experience, beginning with our graphic novel collection.

schulz2The Center for Cartoon Studies is home to the Schulz Library. Named after Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz, the library is home to more than 9,000 zines, graphic novels, cartoon collections, etc. My kids visited the library to make lists of graphic novels they want to read, many of which can be found at ICPL. We also have several books in our collection by CCS alums, including Adventures in Cartooning by James Strum, Andrew Arnold, and Alexis Frederick-Frost; Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller by Joseph Lambert; and French Milk by Lucy Knisley.

The tour of the Ben & Jerry’s factory in Waterbury left me with new-found appreciation for the company that started with a home study ice cream course. Ben & Jerry’s Double-Dip: Lead with Your Values and Make Money, Too by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield is now on my reading list. As you might expect, we bought a lot of maple syrup, so The Maple Syrup Book by Janet Eagleson and Rosemary Hasner will come in handy, too.

What books have you picked up after traveling?

Storytime Recap: Take a Trip

by Morgan Reeves on May 31st, 2015

As I did storytime on both Wednesday and Saturday this past week, this is a combined recap of both storytimes. With summer vacation just around the corner, both days were all about travel and taking trips. As usual storytime began with our welcome song “Clap Everybody and Say Hello.”  I talked about taking trips and how I take a short trip every day by biking to work. Then I read our first book Bear on a Bike by Stella Blackstone. I asked everyone to join me in reading by responding every time I read “Where are you going bear?” with “Please wait for me!” By running my finger under their response, I encouraged print awareness, or knowing that the words we say correspond to words on the page.

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Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod

by Kara Logsden on February 18th, 2015
Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod Cover Image

I dream of Paris. I’ve only traveled to Southern France, so my ongoing travel to Paris is vicarious through books. Author Janice MacLeod also dreamed of Paris and made her dream a reality through planning, checklists, and determination.

Janice MacLeod was “living the dream” working as a copywriter in Southern California. Unfortunately her life was more of a nightmare as she faced 12-hour work days, burnout and exhaustion. One day she doodled on a notepad, “How much money does it take to quit your job?”

Soon she was writing lists and making plans in her journal. Her first step was to save $100 per day, her estimated cost for what an escape to Paris would cost. To meet this goal she changed social plans (instead of dinner, let’s go on a hike and have a picnic), weeded her wardrobe (goal: all clothes fit in one suitcase) and downsized everything that tied her to California.

Soon the journey to transform her life became an adventure as she sets out for Paris. Along the way, and through continued journaling, she created a new life through words, art and friends … oh and a cute Polish dude she met while sitting in a cafe writing.

Paris Letters was a fun book to read … determination and serendipity along with some great letters.

10 FREE Travel Apps for Summer Adventurers

by Jennifer Eilers on June 19th, 2014
photo by Fiddlerjan downloaded from www.morguefile.com

by Fiddlerjan downloaded from www.morguefile.com

Whether you are staying close to home or traveling to far off places, apps for your Smartphone or tablet can make traveling a little more relaxing. Downloading one or a few of these apps before disembarking is as essential as packing sunscreen. There are many travel apps to choose from some help you find the best restaurant while another finds the exchange rate to calculate a purchase.  Below is a list of ten apps that will help you with your future travels, each of the apps listed below are free and work on Android and Apple devices.

 

City Maps 2 Go

City Maps 2 Go offers street maps of over 7,500 cities internationally to download and use offline. Travelers can find where they are located on the map while being offline and without racking up roaming charges. They can also get detailed travel content, insider tips, popular attractions and user reviews all offline.

GasBuddy

GasBuddy helps you locate gas stations near you and see the station’s current prices. Prices and station locations are plotted and updated by other app users though the app’s interface. Users that plot stations or update prices receive points for a prize giveaway. The app currently plots stations and prices in the United States and Canada.

GateGuru

GateGuru sends you updates to your flight itinerary on your day-of-travel listing security wait times, flights delays, gate changes or layover time adjustments. It also provides you with information about the airports listed in your itinerary such as amenity information, maps, weather forecasts, and many other airport tips. View user ratings for all of the services offered at a particular airport or limit ratings using terminals listed on your itinerary.

Postagram

Postagram creates postcards from photos you’ve taken or shared through Instagram, Facebook or your mobile device. You can write a 140 character message to send along with your photo. After composing your postcard, you can opt to send it for 99 cents to anywhere in the U.S. or $1.99 to send it internationally.

TravelSmart

TravelSmart provides emergency numbers for the police, fire department, and ambulance by destination throughout the world. It contains a drug dictionary with international translations in multiple languages if you forgot your medication or need to purchase some. It has translated first aid terms into multiple languages and has a comprehensive list of reputable hospitals by country in the Allianz healthcare network.

TripIt

TripIt organizes your travel plans into one itinerary that has all of your trip details in one place. TripIt captures your itinerary data from online confirmation emails or you can build it by hand. Everything from your air, car, and hotel reservations to dining and activity plans can be accessed whenever you are online. Your master itinerary can also be shared with friends, family, and coworkers to help them connect with you while you are away.

UrbanSpoon

UrbanSpoon gives you ratings and pricing for over a million restaurants. Reviews for restaurants are a mixture of consumers and food critics. You can find restaurants based on your locality and filter your results by cuisine type and price. Phone numbers, addresses, menus and reservations information are easily accessible through the app.

Waze

Waze is a community-based traffic and navigation app. Other drivers in the area you are traveling provide real-time traffic and road information alerting you to police, accidents, road hazards and traffic jams. Updates to road closures and construction are provided with new routes suggestions.

Wifi Finder

Wifi Finder finds the nearest free or pay-for Wi-Fi connection when you travel. Locations can be downloaded to use offline when you do not have an internet connection. Filter locations by hot-spot provider (Comcast/Mediacom) or by location type (restaurant, café, hotel). The phone number and directions to the WiFi connection are also provided.

XE Currency

XE Currency accesses live exchange rates to help you calculate prices on your mobile device. The app also stores the last updated rate so you can still get a relatively reliable calculation for how far your money can go. You can view historical exchange charts and track up to ten currencies at once.

And what vacation is complete without a little reading? Download the Zinio and Overdrive apps to your device to access the library’s collection of e-books, e-audiobooks, and e-magazines for free! They are another travel staple you should not leave home without.