Blogs > Millennial Traveler

New and traditional ways of exploring the globe, and your own backyard.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Free Cruise Shuttle from Yankee Trails

Just got this from our friends at Yankee Trails today. I know I keep hearing the Bermuda cruise is awesome so I'm planning to check it out soon. I'm not sure if it will be with Yankee Trails, but they're a great option and this offer adds to their appeal.

From the press release:
With less than a week left in June, Yankee Trails World Travel is offering a great deal to their customers.  Yankee Trails World Travel has combined with Celebrity Cruises to offer round trip Cruise Express shuttle transportation for free, an $80 value, to customers booking a 7-Night Bermuda cruise for the months of July and August. 
“As our customers are booking their last minute summer vacations, we wanted to give them a thank you for choosing to travel with Yankee Trails World Travel,” said Stephen Tobin, President of Yankee Trails World Travel.  “Our no-hassle shuttle service, Cruise Express, allows travelers to park at our Rensselaer office and relax as we transport them to and from their port of departure in Bayonne, NJ.”
In order to be eligible for the free Cruise Express shuttle, customers must book a veranda or higher stateroom during the month of June, for travel during July and August.
Call a Yankee Trails World Travel agent today at (518) 286-2400 for a quote.  Additional information is available on the Yankee Trails World Travel website,

Fire Tower in Grafton

If you  haven't been there yet, I highly recommend a visit to the fire tower off Babcock Lake Road in Grafton.
I've been there at all seasons and it's always a great view of the surrounding forests, including Grafton Lakes State Park.
You get to it by taking a left onto Babcock Lake Road (when coming from the west) - the road is  after the old Grafton Elementary School. Then, follow that for a couple miles until you come to a road on the left called Fire Tower Road.
You'll pass a lot of cool and sometimes rustic houses (and wonder how they survive the winters there), and you'll see a dirt road going up a steep-ish looking hill on the left. Park at the bottom and walk up (it's just a quick hike) then you can climb the fire tower.
Obviously, if you get to the end of the road you've gone too far but you can - if you want - take a hike into the state park from there. One of these years I want to snowshoe from the park up to the fire tower.
My colleague just wrote about the tower in today's paper:

Also of interest in Grafton: The Berkshire Bird Paradise Sanctuary and Grafton Peace Pagoda
(surprisingly, or maybe not so surprisingly, there's actually a lot to do out there - but watch out for the ongoing road work!)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Free Museum Passes at Your Local Library

I love going to museums. I love looking at artifacts, at paintings, at old architecture, at sculptures.
Sometimes I don't even mind the rare typo in the descriptions of items at museums. I take that back. Those typos always annoy me.
But the museum pieces are always cool.
The price for entry, however, is usually not so cool, even if it does go towards supporting the facility (likely a not-for-profit).
I really miss the free museums in London - going into the British Museum, for free, is awesome.
But, we have a great local tool where you can still take advantage of our historic area while saving money. Get ready to be amazed. This great tool is called the library.
And at this wondrous place (kinda like a museum itself) they have passes to a lot of attractions. You can borrow these passes (usually coming with two adult and two children's tickets) for three days at a time - perfect for a summer day trip.
These passes, however, are also one of the more expensive items to return late - $5/day. And you can only take out one museum pass at a time. But sounds worth it to me.
I just took out the pass at the Troy library for the Normal Rockwell Museum. I'm thinking I might head out to Massachusetts tomorrow and want to keep my options open for things to do. I had wanted to take out the Clark Museum pass but that was already taken (at Troy and Cohoes). I guess that is the one downfall to the system,  you have to plan a little ahead of time.
My friend Chinasa, a local librarian in Albany, made this list for me and I thought I'd share. It shows all of the passes available, where they can be picked up, and the passes that can only be picked up using certain library memberships.
Stay cool in the air conditioned museum and enjoy summer :)

Hancock Shaker Village Museum
Norman Rockwell Museum
The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute Museum
Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art Museum
Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
Historic Cherry Hill Museum (Bethlehem, Cohoes, East Greenbush, RCSC)
Crailo State Historic Site Museum Pass (East Greenbush card only)
Iroquois Indian Museum Arkell Museum(Bethlehem, Colonie, East Greenbush, Guilderland, Voorheesville)
Old Stone Fort Museum (Bethlehem, Guilderland, Cheney Library (Hoosick Falls), Rensslaerville)
Berkshire Museum (Bethlehem, Brunswick, East Greenbush, Guilderland, Stephentown)
Schenectady Museum
Adirondack Museum (Guilderland)
Bennington Museum (Bethlehem, East Greenbush, Guilderland)
Cheserwood Museum
THe Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery (Colonie, Guilderland, Nassau)
The Hyde Collection Museum
The Museum at Bethel Woods (Guilderland)
Destroyer Escort Historical Museum
The Children's Museum at Saratoga (Bethlehem, East Greenbush)
Berkshire Botanical Garden (East Greenbush card only, RCS Community Library)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Camp Little Notch near Lake George

It's summer. A time for swimming, ice cream trucks, and summer camps.
And, yes, summer camps are mainly for kids but sometimes adults can have a little fun in the sun again too.
I went this past weekend to an open house at Camp Little Notch, located about 1.5 hours north-east of the Albany area. And for such a quick drive, you get a lot of reward in a sanctuary that feels like it's out in the middle of nowhere - in part because it basically is.
On the approximately 300 acres of land, there is a dining hall, dozens of platform tents with wooden foundations, lean-tos, cabins, bathrooms with running water for the sinks, showers, an Imagination Station for arts and crafts, a ropes course, rock wall, lots of buildings where kids can play games or hang out if the weather isn't cooperating (many complete with fire places), canoes, kayaks, sailboats, a beach, a log cabin dating back to the 1930s and a private body of water called Lake Pond.
Not to mention a historic furnace that helped build the first iron-clad boats back in the day is less than an hour hike away.
Long story short - it's a really cool facility.
Sure, they mainly cater to kids with a summer camp throughout July but I and a couple friends became a member of the Friends of Camp Little Notch so we could also have easy access of the camp.
There are member dates, dates when everyone is welcome, and even weekends for solo campers, only women campers, and deaf campers.
The plan is for it to eventually be a three-season camp for the spring, summer, and fall.
If you have kids, check it out. And, if you don't have kids, check it out too.

You don't have to be a member to enjoy the camp. All Friends camping, as they call it, means it is basically open to everyone:
Dates: August 3-13
Arrival: 9:00 am
Departure: 3:00 pm (on Aug. 13)
Cost-Sliding Scale: $20-35 per day for adults, $10-25 per day for children. Children 5 and under are free.
Food: Food is provided and included in the cost per day.
Description: All Friends Camping is the perfect opportunity to take the whole family or just yourself on a getaway to Camp Little Notch. Come for the day,stay for a few days, or stay for the whole time. We will have organized activities such as swimming, boating, hiking, campfires, crafts and cookouts—lifeguards are provided. Campers are also welcome to relax and create their own fun. Food is provided and included in the cost per day.

But, if you do become a member ($25/year) here are some times you can come by:
Dates for Day Use Only: May 27, May 28, September 3, September 16
Arrival: 9:00 am
Departure: 6:00 pm (each day)
Dates for Day and Overnight Use: August 1-2, August 17-19, October 12-14
Arrival: 9:00 am
Departure: 6:00 pm (on the last day)
Note: If you are spending the night on August 1st and plan to stay for All Friends Camping, you may also stay over the night of August 2nd.
Cost-Day Use: Day use is free for all members and up to 5 guests using guest passes. Once you have used your guest passes, additional day passes are $5 per person. Children 5 and under are free.
Cost-Overnight Camping: $5 per person. Children 5 and under are free.
Food: Bring your own food. Cooler/refrigeration space is not provided.
Description: Being a member of Friends of Camp Little Notch is wonderful for many reasons. On several days and nights throughout the year, you are able to come to CLN for the day for free or camp overnight for just $5 a person. We would love to have you come take a hike, visit your favorite spot in camp, or show a new friend around. No food will be provided, but members are welcome to bring your own food to picnic and cookout.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Faroe Islands - Have you heard of them?

So, I'd like to consider myself to be atleast a little well-versed in countries in the world - I think I owe that to growing up with "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" on WMHT. Sure, I don't always know where a country is or how to spell it. (Ie Djibouti)
But, I have never, ever, even heard of the Faroe Islands before. And it actually looks kinda cool.
When I first saw a photo of it (on Google + actually - yes, people use that), I thought it reminded me of Iceland with a tad of Ireland and the Scandinavian countries.
Well, it turns out it's actually in the middle of all those places. I still don't know much about it, just what I've googled.
But it's very visually appeasing. It looks like there's fjords and green mountainous areas and volcanically-spawned natural beauty.
I have a feeling the European tourists are trying to keep this secret for themselves. I don't blame them. But I'll probably visit anyway....

Just thought I'd share.

Greece May Not Use Euro Currency Much Longer

I may have a new currency to add to my "no longer being used" collection. The Greek Euro.
You may think that since the Euro is used across Europe that all of the coins and colorful paper money would be exactly the same. Well, they are and they aren't. Each country actually has slightly different pictures on their coins - kinda like our various state quarters.
For example, in Ireland, some of their Euro coins have harps (the symbol of the country). In Greece, if I remember, they have owls - a sign of wisdom and small tribute to the country being where Democracy originally and great philosophers were born.
These owl coins (along with the other coins pictures with the Greek alphabet) would be added to my old Deutschmarks from my 1990s visit to Germany.
But it sounds like the fate of the Euro currency in Greece depends a lot on an upcoming election.
More here.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I'm the worst travel blogger ever...

...but I don't care.

It was soo nice being able to enjoy a trip and not worry about writing about it. I didn't bring my laptop. Heck, I didn't even check my email or Facebook for the 10 days I was gone. It was AWESOME. (and I don't use all caps words too often so you know I really mean it)

But, if you are interested in at least seeing some of the places I visited, check these highlights out:
Rocky Mountain National Park -

Delicate Arch Hike -

Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde -

Great Sand Dunes National Park -

I do want to share some of the stuff I did so I'll do that too....eventually.