6 Things to do in Mobile

Sweet Home Alabama is easily one of my favorite Reese Witherspoon movies. I’m not typically down with RomComs, I find them nauseating. However, I love Reese Witherspoon and that southern twang warms my heart. My grandparents are from Mississippi, so whenever I hear it I think of my Papa. Here are the top six things I’d like to see on a Catholic millennial’s road trip across the country.

  1. The Fort of Colonial Mobile: This is a 4/5 scale model of the original Fort Conde, a French fort from the 1700s. It houses a shooting gallery, interactive exhibits, and has canon firing. I’d love to see canons fire. 
  2. Mobile Botanical Garden: If you have been following this series, you know I live for these botanic gardens. This garden is 35 acres and has a longleaf pine forest. The coolest thing is that they do controlled  burns to help reduce the risk of wildfires. According to all that I have read about controlled fires is that they can do wonderful things environmental preservation and protection for homes and businesses in surrounding areas. 
  3. Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception: If I’m honest, I don’t think Catholics when I think the SEC, my first thought is Evangelicals and Southern Baptists. But this Basilica can change my preconceived notions. Its cornerstone was laid in 1835 and the parish was dedicated on December 8, 1850 (the Feast of the Immaculate Conception) by Bishop Portier. It is built in a beautiful Greek Revival style complete with two spires and pillars. I can’t wait to worship our Lord here!
  4. Mobile Museum of Art: First of all, I love the modern architectural style of the museum. But you know, you go to an art museum for the exhibits. This place is home to beautiful glass mosaics, and pieces from American artists since 1945. The thing I might be most excited to see is the Native American art. 
  5. Historic Oakleigh: This is a historic house museum from cotton broker James W. Roper. It was built in 1833 in Greek revival style and hosts tours to share about the home and the family. 
  6. History Museum of Mobile: The museum houses a variety of permanent and temporary exhibits. If you have the opportunity to get to Mobile now, you can check out the Titanic exhibit highlighting the most infamous cruise in history. It will be there until mid April. As for the permanent exhibit, they have a miniature house gallery. When I was a nugget (normal people call them children) my mother used to display a little town on the piano in the living room. It is one of my fondest childhood memories, watching my mom set up the little snow town. 

If you have any recommendations on things to see in Mobile, please write them in the comments below. If you’ve missed any of the other Dream City Trip posts, click here. And subscribe to see more, we have a lot of cities left to cover, and hopefully travel diaries of these amazing places some day. If you enjoyed this post, consider sharing it on social media and becoming a supporter of TheGenFem, here.

Thank you, and have a sparkly day!

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6 Things to do in Nashville

I was just speaking with a friend on Monday who is contemplating moving to Tennessee. I asked why, because I don’t know much about the great state of Tennessee. The extent of my knowledge is that Leigh Anne Tuohy will not wear that gaudy orange. So I thought I’d do some research and see what Nashville, Tennessee has to offer a traveler.

  1. Cathedral of the Incarnation: This beautiful cathedral is designed in an Italianate style. It is modeled after a Roman basilica where Constantine legalized Christianity in 312 AD. 
  2. Parthenon: This place looks so fun! It is an exact replica of the Parthenon in Athens and has a 42 foot statue Athena. The art museum houses work from American artists throughout the 19th and 20th century. 
  3. Country Music Hall of Fame: To be honest, country music isn’t my favorite genre of  music (Disney songs are my fav), but the Country Music Hall of Fame houses artifacts from America’s most famous artists. They include a Dolly Parton Gown, Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award, Jason Aldean’s denim jacked, and Margo Price’s 1996 Gibson acoustic guitar. 
  4. Johnny Cash Museum: Johnny Cash is one of the most famous musicians in the 20th century. Although his music style was country, rock ‘n’ roll, and bluegrass, all genres I don’t listen to, even I know who he is. This museum is dedicated to his life and legacy. 
  5. Grand Ole Opry: The first time I saw the Grand Ole Opry was on an episode of 19 Kids and Counting. It is said to be the most famous stage in country music. It looks like a beautiful theatre that has attracted tons of American musicians. 
  6. Cheekwood Estate and Gardens: This is the home of the Cheek family from 1896. The Cheeks earned their fortune from owning the largest grocery chain in the southeast. The estate now has an art museum, Sigourney cheek literary garden, and a sculpture trail. This looks like a brilliant place to waste an afternoon with a good book and some sunshine. 

If you have any recommendations on things to see in Nashville, please write them in the comments below. If you’ve missed any of the other Dream City Trip posts, click here. And subscribe to see more, we have a lot of cities left to cover, and hopefully travel diaries of these amazing places some day. If you enjoyed this post, consider sharing it on social media and becoming a supporter of TheGenFem, here.

Thank you, and have a sparkly day!

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6 Things to do in D.C.

Obviously the United States capitol has a lot more than 6 things to see. The Dream City Trip series is about sharing my top six things. If you would like a more detailed list of all the wonderful things some of these great cities have to offer, check out details here. There are so many things to learn in Washington, but the one thing I want to know more than anything else is this: did the founding fathers design D.C. with freemason imagery?

  1. U.S. Botanic Garden: If you’ve been following this series, you’ll know I love the botanic gardens. This is our national botanic garden and it is home to a variety of species including rare and endangered species. Visiting this site may offer us the only opportunity to see some of God’s most beautiful plants.
  2. Capitol: Going to the capitol would be awesome because it has photos of historically significant laws, galleries of congressional artifacts, and a timeline of our congress. I’d also love the opportunity to meet my representatives.
  3. Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle: Matthew is the patron saint of civil servants so I think it would be very important to visit this cathedral to pray for our country’s leaders. It’s built in a beautiful renaissance Romanesque revival style and the Kennedy’s worshipped our Lord there. How cool is that?
  4. White House: I wonder what I would say if I was able to meet the President of the United States? The White House is called the people’s house, I’m one of the people and would like a chance to walk around, see the art and absorb the history.
  5. Smithsonian Institute: Is the Smithsonian Institute federally funded? It has so many cool things to see like African and Native American artifacts. Plus it has a natural history museum.
  6. National Mall: The National Mall is home to the FDR, Lincoln, MLK, and Washington Memorials. Which one of these doesn’t belong? It also has memorials for WWI, WWII, and Vietnam wars highlighting the courage and the sacrifice of heroes.

If you have any recommendations on things to see in D.C., please write them in the comments below. If you’ve missed any of the other Dream City Trip posts, click here. And subscribe to see more, we have a lot of cities left to cover, and hopefully travel diaries of these amazing places some day. If you enjoyed this post, consider sharing it on social media and becoming a supporter of TheGenFem, here.

Thank you, and have a sparkly day!

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6 Things to do in Seattle

One day I was talking to my parents about veganism and yoga, my father said something very funny, “Your’e such a hippie. But not like a San Francisco hippie, more than that, you’re more like Seattle or Portland.” Well thank you Daddy, how would you like me to make you a green quinoa bowl when I get back from Bikram. He actually hates the whole concept of hot yoga, he thinks it should all be like a yin flow. So I am really excited to see the amazing city of Seattle, home to Amazon and the Space Needle.

Here are my top 6 things I’d love to see on my Catholic millennial road trip:

  1. Space Needle: Since I’ve already mentioned it, I might as well do it first. This place is 520 feet in the air and has 360 views of the city. It has a restaurant called Sky City for those who aren’t afraid of heights.
  2. Museum of Pop Culture: This is possibly the place I would be most excited to see. It has a Fantasy World exhibit which has things from The Wizard of Oz, Game of Thrones, and the Chronicles of Narnia.
  3. St. James Cathedral: This spectacular parish is built in a Renaissance architectural style and has a shrine devoted to the Blessed Mother. But I think one of the coolest things is that it houses the relics of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini who actually worshipped our Lord there.
  4. Chihuly Garden and Glass: This beautiful glass house is 40 feet tall and houses 8 galleries with three drawing walls. The gardens have four huge structures great for photos.
  5. Seattle Great Wheel: This is a giant ferris wheel that reminds me of the London Eye. It’s 175 feet tall! I don’t really like heights but Seattle seems like the place that I’ll have to get over that fear.
  6. Kubota Garden: If you’ve been following this series, you know I love the nature preserves, gardens, and the like. This is a 20 acre Japanese style garden fit with streams, waterfalls, and ponds. The designer, Fujitaro Kubota, was a self taught gardener!

If you have any recommendations on things to see in Seattle, please write them in the comments below. If you’ve missed any of the other Dream City Trip posts, click here. And subscribe to see more, we have a lot of cities left to cover, and hopefully travel diaries of these amazing places some day. If you enjoyed this post, consider sharing it on social media and becoming a supporter of TheGenFem, here.

Thank you, and have a sparkly day!

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6 Things to do in Honolulu

It’s snowing right now, like really bad. So you can imagine the inspiration I have for this post. I’m totally over winter, I have been since December 26, yet we’re getting several inches right now. Not that I’m complaining right now, but I’d LOVE to spend some time in sunny Hawaii. One of my favorite YouTubers is Ellen Fisher, she and her family live in Hawaii and it usually looks so spectacularly gorgeous. I say usually because every once in awhile she’ll show these wicked spiders she says are harmless, but the small bugs is the greatest thing about living in the midwest.

Anyway, the point of this post is not to compare Hawaii and Illinois, it’s to share the top six things I would like to see on my Catholic millennial road trip. So here we go!

  1. USS Arizona MemorialObviously I have to start with the Pearl Harbor Memorial. I don’t think I could ever make a trip to Hawaii without paying special respect for the men and women who died on the day that will in infamy. It was a moment that altered the course of history and all visitors should take a moment to reflect on it.
  2. Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of PeaceA visit to the memorial must be followed by a trip to the Basilica to pray for the 2,403 people who died and the loved ones they left behind. It’ll be a lovely visit with its delightful Romanesque style. 
  3. Diamond HeadThis is a volcano you hike around on. It has a military lookout and 475 acres. Apparently, the cool people who complete the hike can get a certificate of completion. It must be difficult.
  4. Iolani PalaceThe youngest state in our union had a thriving culture before Americans went in and changed things. They had a royal family and this is the palace of the last Hawaiian monarch. The name of the last king was Kalakaua and this was his official residence. 
  5. Bishop MuseumSpeaking of Hawaiian culture, this place looks so fun! It shows the gods and legends of the islands before contact with continental Americans. It honors he beauty of the natural landscape that Hawaiians work to preserve. It has a garden, planetarium, and history museum.
  6. Manoa FallsThis place just looks like a picture, it is so pretty. It has a 150 foot waterfall that I bet is breathtaking. It has a 1.6 mile hiking trail and arboretum. One note, visitors are not allowed to go swimming. There is a lot of bacteria in Hawaii, and this sounds like it is an infectious soup. But it looks pretty.

The thing about finding the top six things to see in Honolulu, is that I would just want to go to the beach all day everyday or hike the mountains. The beach and mountains don’t need websites.

If you have any recommendations on things to see in Honolulu, please write them in the comments below. If you’ve missed any of the other Dream City Trip posts, click here. And subscribe to see more, we have a lot of cities left to cover, and hopefully vlogs of these amazing places some day. If you enjoyed this post, consider sharing it on social media and becoming a supporter of TheGenFem, here.

Thank you, and have a sparkly day!

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San Francisco Dream City Trip

I’m the only person in my family who has not been to the great city of San Francisco, California. Mommy and Daddy went to San Francisco for their honeymoon, and Mom still talks about it to this day. She has said more than once she would love to go back but for all of us to go together. Keith had an Odyssey to San Francisco…well Oakland. He went on a school trip where they stayed in Oakland but the event was in San Fransisco. He came back sharing all sorts of stories about the very “progressive” city.

I’m down for new experiences and speaking to new people with differing views. Therefore, here are the top six things I would like to see in my epic cross country road trip fit only for a Catholic millennial to San Fransisco.

Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption: Well this cathedral is interesting looking. After some reading, it looks like its architectural style is structural expressionist modern, which sounds like mumbo jumbo. However, after looking at the pictures, it looks like a Smurf hat with cool glass shafts. 

Golden Gate Bridge: Obviously, one is unable to go to San Fransisco and not take a photo with the Golden Gate Bridge. This spectacular piece of architecture has 746 foot towers. It gets 10 million visitors per year. How happy I would be if I could be one of those 10 million in 2018. 

Alcatraz: Alcatraz was one of Keith’s favorite parts of his trip to San Fran. Being Chicago people, we are proud to say our most famous gangster, Al Capone, has a cell preserved in Alcatraz. Sure, he coordinated the Valentine’s Day Massacre, but you can visit this place and do tours, even at night. I wouldn’t do that. 

Redwood Forest: To me, this is the only reason to go to California. I want to see the Redwoods and sing and dance like I’m a Disney Princess all through the forest. Unfortunately no pets or emotional service dogs are allowed in the park for the protection of the natural balance and all the lovely little critters that call the Redwoods home. 

Ghirardelli Square: This fun looking place went from a chocolate factory to a mall…with chocolate. I love chocolate, and I’ll eat it all. It also has fun things like boutiques, jewelry, nic nacs, wine, and bakeries. Chocolate plus baked treats equals a happy Lexie.

Alamo Square: Oh this is the fun place with a beautiful view of the Painted ladies, the lovely colored townhouses that is famous in movies and TV like Full House. The beautiful park has an off leash dog area, trails, and is the perfect place to have an afternoon picnic.

San Fransisco is another one of those cities that I had a very hard time choosing only six things to do here. Hopefully I’ll have to opportunity to see this world famous city.

If you have any recommendations on things to see in San Fransisco, please write them in the comments below. If you’ve missed any of the other Dream City Trip posts, click here. And subscribe to see more, we have a lot of cities left to cover, and hopefully vlogs of these amazing places some day. If you enjoyed this post, consider sharing it on social media and becoming a supporter of TheGenFem, here.

Thank you, and have a sparkly day!

6 Things to do in Los Angeles

The city of Angels is the second largest city in the country and has a million things to offer. This place is full of entertainment adventures, starving artists, and actors waiting for their big break. On the one hand this sounds sad, but I’m a glass is half full kinda girl and the potentiality found in L.A. is very intriguing. There are so many people from so many backgrounds I’d love to meet. Here are the top six things I’d like to see on a trip to Los Angeles.

  1. Hollywood Walk of Fame: Of course this is on the list! Can someone visit L.A. without seeing the Walk of Fame? There are so many celebrities across media platforms and history with stars on the Walk. Although I’d love to see all of the stars a few I would specifically look for are Julie Andrews (because I’m definitely Mary Poppins), Morgan Freeman (because he’s always the God figure in film), and Audrey Hepburn (because she’s iconic).
  2. Hollywood Sign: Again, can’t make a trip without this stop. There are three hiking trails of various skill levels and lengths. I’m no pro hiker, especially considering I live in the flattest part of the county. But I love a challenge, plus dogs are welcome!
  3. TCL Chinese Theatre: I’ve seen this place in movies like Iron Man 3 and Rush Hour and it looks like fun. The theatre is real movie theater, not just a set for filming. It opened in 1927, and the coolest thing is a 30 foot dragon carved in stone. How crazy is that!
  4. Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels: The architectural style of this cathedral is postmodern. I think it looks cold with peculiar light fixtures, and I don’t see the tabernacle which makes me a very unhappy Catholic millennial. Regardless, one of the beautiful things about being Catholic is that we can all partake of the same Bread but have different preferences on where we worship. I know a couple of my brothers and sisters who would love this style of architecture and find my favorite style, Gothic revival, just creepy.
  5. Santa Monica Pier: This giant pier is world famous and has so many things to offer it would need a whole day dedicated to it. There is a trapeze school which sounds fun but also like something I’d chicken out of doing, so I’ll need an alpha type to challenge (not push) me to do it. There’s also a huge ferris wheel and double decker bus tours of famous L.A. landmarks.
  6. Griffith Observatory: The observatory is home to a planetarium, museum, and public telescope. They host star parties where the astronomically curious can meet and stargaze during dusk into the night.

Los Angeles is another one of those cities that I had a very hard time choosing only six things to do here. Hopefully I’ll have to opportunity to see the entertainment capital of the world and see a lot more than just these six things.

If you have any recommendations on things to see in Los Angeles, please write them in the comments below. If you’ve missed any of the other Dream City Trip posts, click here. And subscribe to see more, we have a lot of cities left to cover, and hopefully vlogs of these amazing places some day. If you enjoyed this post, consider sharing it on social media and becoming a supporter of TheGenFem, here.

Thank you, and have a sparkly day!

6 Things to do in Jackson

Well ya’ll we’re heading back to the SEC in today’s post in the Dream City Trip series. Along with being great at sports, Jackson, Mississippi has a rich history and surprisingly diverse natural landscape. Here are the top six things I’d like to see in my epic road trip:

  1. Jackson Volcano: An extinct volcano sits right below the Mississippi Coliseum. It hasn’t erupted since the Cretaceous period. If you’re like me and your prehistoric timeline isn’t so good, its from 145 million years ago to 66 million years ago. So I think it would be safe to walk around the Mississippi State Fair Grounds hosted at the Mississippi Colosseum.
  2. The Oaks: This beautiful house museum is a Greek revival cottage built in 1853. It is one of the oldest homes in Jackson and was, thankfully, unharmed when Union forces burned the city during the Civil War. The home sits on four beautifully manicured acres.
  3. Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame: This museum commemorates some of the biggest names in sports like Steve Knight, Bobby Collins, Leslie Frazier, and Archie Manning. I’m not gonna lie to you folks, I love all those Mannings. Even though Peyton Manning beat my Chicago Bears in Superbowl XLI denying my favorite fellas like Urlacher, Briggs, Tillman, and Hester the accolades they deserve. But I digress.
  4. St. Peter the Apostle Cathedral: This gorgeous cathedral is the heart of the Diocese of Jackson and is built in a spectacular Neo-Gothic style, my favorite. There is a beautiful image of our Lord right above the front door welcoming us to dine at his table in the Eucharist.
  5. Mississippi Civil Rights Museum: Mississippi, like the rest of the south, has a long history with black Americans. The Civil Rights Museum has eight galleries highlighting the years of 1945-1976. There are interactive exhibits and amazing artifacts to teach the struggle of black people in America, fighting for the freedoms we enjoy today.
  6. Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum: This place just sounded so interesting and a bit peculiar. Agriculture has always been the lifeblood of the Mississippi economy and this museum highlights this significance. In 1969, Jim Buck Ross began to preserve and teach the history of agricultural industries across the state.

I’ve never thought about Mississippi much, other than Ole Miss football. But there seems to be a lot this state has to offer. I think it would be a great place to learn more about American history, economics, and environmental preservation.

If you have any recommendations on things to see in Jackson, please write them in the comments below. If you’ve missed any of the other Dream City Trip posts, click here. And subscribe to see more, we have a lot of cities left to cover, and hopefully vlogs of these amazing places some day. If you enjoyed this post, consider sharing it on social media and becoming a supporter of TheGenFem, here.

Thank you, and have a sparkly day!

Illuminating Suicide with Logan Paul

I woke up this morning to a very heartbreaking story. When I logged into Twitter, I found a tweet from Chris Stuckman about Logan Paul. He is a very popular YouTube star that made a vile video. As I understand it, while on vacation in Japan, Logan Paul and his friends decided to visit a forest where many people commit suicide. He wanted to see if it was haunted. While there, he and his friends came across the body of person who had committed suicide earlier that day. Apparently, he called out to the person, cracked jokes, and showed a purple hand. This whole thing breaks my heart.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death in young people; once every 15 minutes someone takes their own life. His primary demographic is our youth, those who are at their most impressionable. I am baffled by the idea of such disrespect for the sanctity of life, the dignity of that person, and empathy for the loved ones that person left behind. How could a person film, edit, and post such a video? Who are the friends with him that encouraged this? Who are the family members that raised a person who thinks this okay?

hotline

Logan Paul is very popular, he has a platform. If he wants to advocate for better mental health and prevent suicide, illuminating the issue with a victim is not helpful or productive. This makes those of us who have first and second hand experience with mental illness angry and concerned. I am concerned about the children and teens who watch his channel, listen to his music, and watch his movies.

Although the video had the suicide prevention hotline phone number in the description box and YouTube has taken it down since the large outcry on social media. But this isn’t enough. YouTube needs to demonetize, people need to unsubscribe, parents need to control access to his content, and companies need to pull him from their payroll. He should spend some time with people with those who are suicidal. He needs to spend time with the families and friends of the people left behind after suicide. Logan Paul needs to spend some time reflecting on the choice has has made and the emotional consequences of those choices. I do believe this punishment should be temporary and not indefinite. Once he’s grown on this issue, we should all find forgiveness in our hearts and encourage his creativity.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide or engaging in self harm, please call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

 

6 Things to do in Baltimore

The city of Baltimore is one I’ve seen before but have never truly experienced. I have family that lives in this area of the country and when there, we were there for family events only. I haven’t been back since joining the Church and next time I go, it’ll be an American Catholic millennial’s dream. You’ll see why in the sixth thing on this list.

  1. Cathedral of Mary our Queen: An English Gothic architecture makes me think of the Tudors. It has gorgeous high ceilings to help me imagine the voices of the faithful rising to heaven. There is also a spectacular carving of the Risen Lord.
  2. The Star Spangled Banner Flag House: The flag house was bulletin in 1793 and was once the home and business site for Mary Pickergill. She was the woman who sewed the flag that flew over Fort McHenry which inspired Francis Scott Key to write our national anthem.
  3. U.S. Holocaust Museum: This museum shows the entire history of the Holocaust with different galleries holding a variety of artifacts. It starts with the rise of the Nazi party and Hitler’s power. It shows how the laws and culture in Germany became increasingly anti-Semitic. Galleries showing the war breaking out and Germany’s invasion of neighboring countries is next. Possibly the most powerful area of the museum highlights the Nazi’s “final solution,” in which six million Jews were systematically murdered. The visit ends with the liberation of prisoners an the conclusion of the war.
  4. 7 Foot Knoll Lighthouse: This lighthouse was built in 1855 at the mouth of the Patapsco River. I tis the oldest screw-pile lighthouse in Maryland, meaning it stands on piles screwed into sand and mud at the bottom of the river
  5. Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall: This theatre is home to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. It hosts events of different types of performances including orchestra, dance, and opera.
  6. Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Yay, number six! This is our national cathedral, the first Catholic cathedral built in our beautiful country. It’s huge, it’s gorgeous, it’s magnificent, and it has the perfect name since our Lady is the patron of America. I can’t want to see this church!

The fantastic city of Baltimore has such a rich history. Our country was born in this area so it has played and instrumental role her foundation. It is also a hub for cultural experiences like museums and stage performances. Plus, to add to all that glory, it has our national cathedral!

If you have any recommendations on things to see in Baltimore, please write them in the comments below. If you’ve missed any of the other Dream City Trip posts, click here. And subscribe to see more, we have a lot of cities left to cover, and hopefully vlogs of these amazing places some day. If you enjoyed this post, consider sharing it on social media and becoming a supporter of TheGenFem, here.

Thank you, and have a sparkly day!