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France, Paris: Notre-Dame Cathedral

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Notre-Dame Cathedral is a architectural masterpiece and you really need to walk around the outside of it to appreciate it all. It was begun in 1160 and completed by 1260. Just think about how long ago that was and here it still stands so magnificently; What are we building today that will last that long? This medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité in Paris is still widely considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture with its innovative use of the rib vault and flying buttress, the gargoyles and the enormous and colorful rose windows.

France, Paris: Hotel des Invalides

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Les Invalides or Hôtel des Invalides is a vast complex of buildings in Paris including museums and monuments relating to the military history of France. As per its name it was originally built by Louis XIV as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans. Pictured here is the Dôme des Invalides, a large church, the tallest in Paris which contains the tombs of some of France’s war heroes, most notably Napoleon.

The complex had 15 courtyards for military parades. At the church, attendance was mandatory. Louis XIV also commissioned his architect Mansart to construct a separate royal chapel referred to as the Église du Dôme from its most striking feature (pictured). By combining a royal chapel with a veterans’ chapel, the King and his soldiers could attend mass at the same time while entering the place of worship though different entrances, as prescribed by court etiquette at that time.

I’d like to think the gentleman sitting there (in the wheelchair and on the bench) are two of our veteran heros..

France, Paris: Louvre Palace

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You might not have known that the world’s largest art museum, the Louvre was a palace. Before that it was originally built in the late 12th to 13th century as the Louvre castle under Philip II. Francis I chose it as the residence for French kings where it remained until good old King Louis XIV decided to move to Versailles and this building was then used to store his pretty things.

 

Great Britain, London: Flower Wall at the Shard

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Who would expect flowers to be growing on the wall of the 72nd floor of a building? Great photo op at the Top of the Shard in London.

US: Daytona Beach, FL- The Latest LED Technology and Digital Animations at Magic of Lights® Holiday Display

During this year’s holiday season, families will be able to enjoy a festive drive through experience at Daytona International Speedway. The “World Center of Racing” will be transformed with hundreds of light displays into a holiday spectacle, a 1.5 mile long Magic of Lights, using the latest in LED and digital animation technologies specifically designed for this iconic venue.Magic of Lights Car81

Experience the holiday spirit drive-through from the comfort of your own car. At every turn, and in every direction, the magical route is overflowing with spectacular light displays and animations. Be transfixed when Santa’s team of reindeer cross in flight above your vehicle, see the sweetest 200-foot long Candy Cane Lane, a delightful Snowflake Forest and even more festivities.

Magic of Lights is a fun and memorable family entertainment. To commemorate the season of giving a portion of every ticket to Magic of Lights benefits the Florida Hospital Foundation.Magic of Lights Reindeer1

Location: Daytona International Speedway, 1801 West International Speedway Blvd, Daytona Beach, FL 32114
Dates: until Dec 31st, 2018
Hours: every night from dusk – 10 pm
Tel: 330-441-4255
magicoflights.com/daytona
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: daytonabeach.com

US: Fredericksburg, VA – Tiny Houses – Dream Big about Tiny Living Expo

Tiny houses have become a huge thing, checkout the Mid-Atlantic Tiny House Expo and see why. It’s all about simpler living in a smaller, more efficient space.Woolywagons-Mid-Atlantic-Tiny-House-Expo-e1517886648842

Tiny house living is a social movement in which people decide to downsize the space they live in. It’s all about simpler living in a smaller, more efficient space. A typical tiny house is about 100 – 400 square feet, and come in all shapes and constructions. Building a tiny house costs significantly less than purchasing a traditional house, and are generally eco-friendly; reducing your impact on the environment and lowering energy costs.

cropped-tiny-house-exhibits_home_thow-interiorWhether your curious or serious, attendees will be able to see the latest trends in tiny living.  Two action packed days, learning from builders, project experts and lifestyle authors at the educational conferences or panel discussions and meet other tiny house enthusiasts. See the latest in finished THOWS and shells, trailer frames, building materials, plans, products, furnishings and  appliances, and anything else you could possibly need or want to know about tiny houses. Parking FREE.Unforgettable-3
To buy tickets: tinyhouseexpos.com/tickets/#va-show-ticket-sales

If you can’t make this exhibition, there will be another one at: Howard County Fairgrounds, West Friendship, MD on October 6-7, 2018

Location: Fredericksburg Expo and Conference Center, 2371 Carl D. Silver Parkway
Fredericksburg, Virginia 22401Beautiful-Interiors
Date: May 12 – 13, 2018
Time: 10am – 5pm
Tel: 301-775-1363
tinyhouseexpos.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitfred.com

US: Alexandria, VA – Dance into the Night at a Silent Disco

Start the year off right with Torpedo Factory Art Center’s The Late Shift: Brand New Day, a spirited celebration of art, music, and dance.

Warm up with an indoor art market, live performances, and pop-up activities throughout the building. The evening will also feature artist demonstrations in the Grand Hall, DIY art making, a welcome reception for the winter Post-Graduate Resident, Lyric Prince, and a Brand New Day selfie station.

Silent Disco 2017-12-20_11-56-57The main attraction is the Silent Disco. Dance into the night during the silent disco with the City of Alexandria’s Mobile Art Lab.  All of the music is played through headphones, rather than a sound system. Dancers can swap back and forth between three DJs to choose which music they want to dance to. Their headphones change color based on which music they’re listening to.  Join in the friendly competition and see how many people’s headsets are set to the same color.

Location: Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 N. Union St., Alexandria, VA 22314
Date: Fri, Jan 19, 2018
Time: 7pm – 10pm
Tel: 703-746-4570
torpedofactory.org/event/the-late-shift-brand-new-day
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitalexandriava.com

US: Daytona Beach, FL – New 1.5-mile Digital Animation Magic of Lights at Daytona International Speedway

During this year’s holiday season, families will be able to enjoy a festive drive through experience at Daytona International Speedway. The “World Center of Racing” will be transformed with hundreds of light displays into a holiday spectacle, an all new 1.5 mile long Magic of Lights, using the latest in LED and digital animation technologies specifically designed for this iconic venue.Magic of Lights Car81

Experience the holiday spirit at The Magic of Lights™ running every day through the holidays from dusk to 10 p.m. The experience will include a drive behind the Ticket and Tours Building, through the world’s only motor sports stadium and conclude in the Midway display area outside the facility.

For a fun and memorable family entertainment, head to the Daytona International Speedway. To commemorate the season of giving a portion of every ticket to Magic of Lights benefits the Florida Hospital Foundation.Magic of Lights Reindeer1

Location: Daytona International Speedway, 1801 West International Speedway Blvd, Daytona Beach, FL 32114
Dates: until Dec 31st, 2017
Hours: every night from 5 – 10 pm
Tel: 330-441-4255
magicoflights.com/daytona
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: daytonabeach.com

US: Baltimore, MD – Urban Adventure Quest – Baltimore is your Game Board…Anytime!

Turn Baltimore’s Inner Harbor into a giant game board with this fun scavenger hunt adventure. What a fabulous, unique and entertaining way for the whole family to see the city.  This amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure combines the excitement of the Amazing Race with a three-hour city tour.AAmazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure - Fun3

Guided from any smart phone, teams make their way among well known and overlooked gems of the city, solving clues and completing challenges while learning local history. The adventure begins in the Historic Inner Harbor and will take you on a journey along the water front, among museums and other historic buildings. You’ll explore interesting parts of Little Italy and see the location where the Star-Spangled Banner Flag was created.

This is an interactive tour, where your Smart Phone leads you on a fun and engaging walking tour of the city to complete challenges,  solve clues all while working together to unravel secrets of the city. Optional hints make sure that all teams can find a location or solve a challenge to move forward and earn points for correct answers.  See famous sights and hidden gems of the city while learning interesting facts and discovering unique history.

Mention promo code – Drivei95Blog to receive a 20% off discount.

Start: Outside the Maryland Science Center (Harbor side)
End: Star-Spangled Banner Flag House
Distance: 1.5 miles
Time: 2.5 – 3 hours
Challenges: 20
Bonuses: 4
Points of Interest: Inner Harbor, Maryland Science Center, USS Constellation , Baltimore WTC, Power Plant and Little Italy

Available 365 days a year, sunrise to sunset. Start when you want and play at your pace.

Start Location: Outside the Maryland Science Center (Harbor side), 601 Light Street, Baltimore, MD 21230
Date and Time: Daily, 10am – 7pm
Tel: 805-603-5620
urbanadventurequest.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: baltimore.org

US: Hampton Beach, NH – Fantastic Family Fun for the Young and the Young-at-Heart

There is no better place to be a kid than at Hampton Beach. That’s especially true during one week from August 14th to 18th when the Hampton Beach Children’s Festival returns to delight the young and young at heart again.Hampton Beach Children's Festival Girl2017-07-20_10-28-16

The family fun event kicks off on Monday, August 14th with a magic show by BJ Hickman on the famous Hampton Beach Seashell Stage at 10 a.m., and building up to a huge Costume Parade that marches almost the length of Hampton Beach on Friday, August 18th. Every child gets a prize just for being a part of it.

Hampton Beach Children's Festival2017-07-20_10-28-16Enjoy five days filled with free non-stop activities and entertainment for children and their families, including sand castle contests, costume parades, Ronald McDonald Magic Show, children’s entertainment on the Sea Shell Stage.

There will be also be mini-golf, dancing, storytelling, balloons, Monday Movies on the beach and a kids’ bumper sticker contest where the winner gets a free bike.

Free ice cream, Coca-Cola and…every child wins a prize! All Children’s Festival activities are free and open to the public.Hampton Beach Childrens fest StageIMG_7282

Download the 2017 Schedule

Location: Hampton Beach, Hampton, NH, 03862
Date: Mon, Aug 14 – Fri,  Aug 18,2017
Time: 5:30pm
Tel: 603-926-8717
hamptonbeach.org/events/childrens-events/
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: portsmouthnh.com