If you are a frequent reader of the Murray Huberfeld Travel Blog, you undoubtedly know that the holidays are my favorite time of year. One thing I just love doing is driving around in the neighborhoods that we are in around the holidays and looking at some of the displays that residents put together. I am not talking about a city or community event where a public government has put together a holiday scene – although I’ve seen some great ones (perhaps in another post!). I’m talking about private people putting a lot of time and effort in to bringing the holiday spirit in to their neighborhood. It has become a Huberfeld family tradition at this point to go check out these unique displays, and we go with friends on a yearly basis whenever we are home for the holidays. A few places come to mind when I think of the best and brightest displays I have come across from all corners of the United States. There is a part of Brooklyn, New York that comes to mind where an entire neighborhood really goes all out for the holidays and I remember us just driving up and down the blocks with one house after the next completely decked out for the holidays. If you think of any others, or you think your neighborhood is worth a visit around the holidays, please let me know in the comments.
Whenever I visit the great state of Michigan – which I did recently, I am reminded of a trip we took to Traverse City a while back. It is not that often that a city that I come across has some of the Murray Huberfeld favorites – and all in close proximity. When the Huberfelds visited Traverse City, we were delighted to learn that we were going to be able to visit both the City Opera House and the State Theatre within our first day of arriving there. So much did I enjoy these two wonderful attractions, that the visit to both of these places made the trip to Traverse City worth it for me. However, although I would have made the trip just for these two stops, the rest of the Huberfeld family wasn’t so pleased with our vacation. The redeeming factor was that there are plenty of places in Traverse City that are great for kids and that the kids were interested in visiting. We spend an entire morning in our hotel researching the best places for kids, and we spent the next two days on the Traverse Area Recreation and Transportation Trails, at the Great Lakes Children’s Museum and at Jacob’s Corn Maze.
At the start of every winter, I get tens of emails from readers of the Murray Huberfeld Travel Blog. Everyone wants to know the same thing – where do I recommend they take the family skiing this winter. Truth be told, I am kind of flattered and as many of my readers know, skiing is one of my favorite winter activities. That being said, I should tell you upfront that I have not visited every ski resort in the United States (but golf courses – maybe!). If you want the best recommendations, you should probably consult with the industry leaders or publications. That disclosure aside, I have been to many ski resorts and mountains and I would be very happy to share my favorites with the Murray Huberfeld Travel Blog readers. I actually came across a really great list that encompassed some of my favorites and you can find that here. I’ve been to Telluride, Colorodo, Vail, Colorodo and Park City, Utah – which are all on this list. Not on the list, and places I would recommend are Lake Tahoe, Nevada and Killington, Vermont. In any event, the most important thing to realize is that there is no one best place for everyone. A lot of your “perfect place” will depend on the amount of money you are looking to spend and the amount of time you want to travel.
While attending a Halloween event this week with our friends and family, I was reminded of a trip Murray Huberfeld and family took to Sedona, Arizona not too long ago. If you love nature as much as I do, Sedona is a wonderful place that you really cannot afford to miss. We had gone to Sedona for a few days around Halloween time and we were there for enough time to take in a lot of the sights and sounds. There is a lot to do in Sedona for lovers of both nature and of music. There are a few music festivals that we have come across that are pretty famous around the area including the Sedona Jazz on the Rocks Festival and the Sedona Bluegrass Festival. If you cannot make it to those, Sedona is still worth a visit. Places you cannot miss are Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock and Devil’s Bridge Trail. These views of and from these places are unbelievable. The distinctive and amazing views of the rocks once the sun begins to set is unparalleled, and I cannot think of anything to compare it to. In short, if you can get to Sedona – it is not to be missed.
A few years ago, we were invited by friends of ours to their summer home in the Hamptons in Long Island, New York. I’ll never forget that trip because of a few very interesting events that transpired. We flew into JFK Airport and went to Manhattan. Although we we already kind of in Long Island, we took a cab to New York City. We stayed in Manhattan for a few days and then took the Long Island Rail Road to our friends in the Hamptons. It was the weekend of their anniversary, and they had planned a very exciting series of events for the guests. Our first day there, we went to see a monster truck show that was playing nearby. The gigantic trucks were just going at it one after the next. We were sitting pretty high up in the crowd and the trucks were just about eye level with us. It was absolutely amazing. Over the next few days, we spent plenty of time visiting the beautiful beaches and wonderful restaurants, but the real takeaway from that trip – and the only thing that I remember until today was the size of those trucks. Sometimes when we are sitting in traffic I tell Jennifer that if Murray Huberfeld bought one of those trucks we saw in Long Island, traffic wouldn’t really be an issue…
As many of you know from my previous post Murray Huberfeld at the Salt Lake City, Utah Games, the Huberfelds were in Utah for the 2002 Winter Olympics. It was at the games when I first got a chance to visit Provo, Utah. The ice skating events during the Utah games were in what is now the Peaks Ice Arena. Since we were in Provo anyway, we decided to visit around Provo and travel around a bit. Since I’m a pretty big natural history buff, we made an almost obligatory stop at the BYU Museum of Paleontology. There is also a wonderful place called the Crandall Historical Printing Museum where you can see a printing press from the 1400s. For all those who are as into visiting natural parks and as Murray Huberfeld, you can visit Rock Canyon and Bridal Veil Falls. We stopped off at both of these places and spent a few days hiking and within the relaxing scenery. I’ll be totally honest – it was good we did. It was absolute pandemonium at the games in Provo. Once we finished our days of relaxing and we headed to Provo, things got a little crazy. In Provo, there were hundreds of people just packing into the Peaks Ice Arena. I was almost ready to turn around and head back to Salt Lake City. At the end of the day, we decided to stay in Provo and I’m happy we did. The ice skating turned out to be one of my favorite parts of the entire games.
Time and time again, I have been disappointed when visiting aquariums by the lack of exhibits and species of marine wildlife on display. As a matter of fact, through all the Murray Huberfeld travels we’ve been on, I can’t even name five aquariums that I have been to that I would designate as up-to-par with regard to my expectations prior to visiting. Having said that, there are a few (that are few and far in between) that I have visited that really did meet my expectations – and one or two that actually exceeded my expectations. One aquarium where I particularly enjoyed myself was the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi, Texas. We visited Corpus Christi, Texas while it was winter on the East Coast. As a matter of fact, we flew from New York City to Corpus Christi, Texas and it took us a day or two just to adjust to the abrupt change in weather. Anyhow, the Texas State Aquarium is quite an nice place. It also seemed to be relatively new when we visited. They have many different exhibits which include wildlife such as frogs, dolphins, alligators, sharks, crab, stingrays and many other beautiful creatures. If you’re even in Corpus Christi, Texas and/or you love aquariums as much as I do – this aquarium is a great place to visit.
If sports is something you are interested in (although I understand that many of my readers are not), there are very few cities in the United States of America that I can recommend you visit other than Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. If you have never been to Pittsburgh, and you’re a dedicated sports fan – you are really missing out. Far from the white-washed big city feel, Pittsburgh is one of the cities you can visit and practically feel the history of the city. Pittsburgh is a city of immigrants that built itself into a bustling metropolis that is famous for its quality of life, production of quality goods and friendly people. Pittsburgh is also known for its people’s dedication to the sports teams of Pittsburgh. We had not even got off the plane in Pittsburgh International Airport before I got my first question of our trip. Before even introducing himself, some gentleman sitting the row behind me on the plane wanted to know my name and if I was a Pirate fan. I answered that my name was Murray Huberfeld and I wasn’t a baseball fan – or really a fan of any particular team. That answer got me a lecture that included the Pirate’s history and the batting averages of all the great players in Pirate history. It was only when another woman sitting next to him joined in that I realized what we were in for during the rest of our trip to Pittburgh.
I have always looked for a hobby to take up that wouldn’t require the kind of budget (both in terms of time and of money) that travel does. There was a point in time that Murray Huberfeld actually took up Taekwondo after a trip to Little Rock, Arkansas. I’ll explain… We had gone to Little Rock for what was supposed to have been a three day vacation. We had a few attractions that Jennifer planned for our itinerary, and that was supposed to be the end of the trip. However, as unexpected things happen routinely on Huberfeld family trips, the concierge at our hotel told us that we had arrived just in time for the American Taekwondo Association’s World Taekwondo Championships and the hotel was full of Taekwondo fans that were in Little Rock specifically for the World Taekwondo Championships. We quickly changed our plans and made sure we could get in the the championships being held that weekend. I’ll admit – a few hours of watching the competition, and I was hooked. I figured I would sign up for lessons as soon as I got home -and I did. I even told Jennifer that maybe we’d come back to Little Rock when I could compete in the World Taekwondo Championships!