Catherine Parker, National Parks TravelingMom

Catherine Parker, National Parks TravelingMom

Catherine Parker has a passion for travel with only two states left in her quest of seeing all 50. As a former flight attendant with one of the largest airlines, there isn't a major North American airport that she hasn't landed in at least once. Since clipping her professional wings after 9/11, she combines her love of the open road with visiting national parks, historic sites and cultural icons. She is based out of Central Texas, dividing her time between writing and restoring a 95-year-old house. She shares her life with her three kids, her husband, two cats, a dog and six backyard chickens.


Road Trip 101: Tween Snacks

Summer is right around the corner. My kids are antsy, ready to pack up their lockers and shove it all under their beds. We want to hit the highway and live like September will never come. But before we do, I have to pack up the Ford Explorer. So of course, I need some road trip snacks. The Great American Road Trip. It’s part of our culture. We yearn to discover our country much like the first explorers did. It has an allure of its own. For myself and my three kids, we pack up the Ford Explorer and...

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Why Would You Stay There? Tips for Picking the Right Resort for Your Family

Planning a trip to Walt Disney World is an investment of your time and your money. So which level of resort should you reserve? I stayed at a value, moderate and luxury resort during my last visit and I have all the details to help you decide.   This TravelingMom procrastinated and the value-priced rooms disappeared before I could snag one for the Saturday night of our five-day, four-night trip to Walt Disney World. To make it work, I ended up with reservations at three different resorts. No biggie, I just transferred resorts. I made it work. As a...

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Be There First: the Newest National Monument on Capitol Hill

President Obama declared a new national monument for the women’s equality movement on April 12, 2016, or Equal Pay Day. The Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument is located steps away from the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Using the Antiquities Act, President Barack Obama designated a new monument on April 12, 2016, Equal Pay Day, to recognize the women’s equality movement. The Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument is the ninth National Park Service unit dedicated to women’s history. The Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument is located at 144 Constitution Ave. NW, on Capitol Hill steps away from the U.S....

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Free Fun! Celebrate National Park Week in April

Have you heard? The National Park Service is having a party, a birthday party. Since the NPS turns 100 years old, visitors can find special events all year. Need another reason? National Park Week is April 16-24. The National Park Service will give visitors a present – free admission all week. Kids have their own celebration on April 16 at Junior Ranger Day. I even have a list of eight national Junior Ranger badges you can earn at home. The National Park Service celebrates its centennial this year. When they throw a party, they give us a present – free...

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6 Quick Hikes in Albuquerque Guaranteed to Please

Looking for a quick outing in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for your active family? Try Petroglyph National Monument, a National Park Service urban site. With one of the largest concentrations of petroglyphs, or rock carvings, your kids will be scrambling over volcanic boulders discovering drawings from over 700 years ago. Explore Petroglyph National Monument to discover rock carvings that date back over 700 years. The Pueblo Indians and then the Spanish explorers used the chocolate-brown volcanic rock to carve cultural images in stone. With its convenient location in Albuquerque, New Mexico, it’s a quick park to explore in a few...

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Glacier National Park – Ultimate Guide for Families

Glacier National Park, or the Crown of the Continent, is a glorious place to reconnect as a family in Northwestern Montana. Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, visitors can relax in mountain chalets or grand park lodges after hiking through the back country rich in wildlife. Take a vintage red bus or a restored wooden boat to tour a park known for its ecological diversity. For the horse-lover, saddle up at one of three corrals in Glacier National Park. Glacier National Park, located in a quiet corner of northwest Montana, is one of the Top 10 most visited national parks...

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Barrier Free Utah: Book Review

Utah’s Mighty Five are perfect for a week long road trip winding through national parks brimming with crimson-colored canyons, windswept arches and haunting hoodoos. The rugged landscapes of Utah’s national parks are a playground for outdoor enthusiasts of every size, every age and every ability with the help from a new book by Candy B. Harrington. The new book Barrier-Free Travel; Utah’s National Parks for Wheelers and Slow Walkers provides the detailed information that’s necessary to plan a memorable trip through Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands or Arches national parks. Candy B. Harrington, an accessible travel expert, has...

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Add Petrified Forest to Your Arizona Road Trip this Year

Petrified Forest National Park, conveniently located next to Interstate 40 in Northern Arizona, can be explored in a couple of hours. It offers a scenic drive including a section of historic Route 66, the Painted Desert Inn and family-friendly hiking trails. Kids that love dinosaurs will love petrified wood. For those yearning for a landscape from an old western, the colorful mesas that dot the horizon as wide as the sky itself are a panoramic delight. Petrified Forest National Park resides in a quiet corner of northern Arizona. Far away from the crushing crowds of Grand Canyon, I find...

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Mojave Desert: World’s Largest Protected Desert is Free

Hidden along Intestates 15 and 40, east of Barstow, California, resides the largest protected desert in the world. President Obama recently designated three national monuments to preserve an additional 1.8 million acres of the Mojave Desert. The three new national monuments connect the Mojave National Preserve with the Joshua Tree National Park; offering protection for migrating desert animals. From pinyon-pine speckled mountain peaks to valleys teeming with creosote bush, the Mojave National Preserve challenges my perception of the desert. As I drive through,the Mojave Desert is greener than its neighbor, Death Valley National Park in California. To the delight...

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Try These 10 Best National Parks to Get a Kid in Every Park

It’s the year of the National Park and there’s lots to see across the country. With parks from Washington state to Maine, the 10 Best National Parks List is a great place to start. The National Park Service report that a record number of people visited parks across the United States in 2015. With NPS Centennial programming and the Every Kid in a Park initiative, 2016 is the year to find your park. Best National Parks It’s the National Park Service Centennial Celebration. If your family has ever wanted to visit a national park, 2016 is the year to do...

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