Franklin D. Roosevelt NHS and Cumberland Gap NHP

As always, we spent the Christmas season traveling. We spend Christmas Eve in Asheville with Anthony’s family, and then take a flight Christmas Day up to Connecticut to see my side of the family. It’s exhausting for us, but at least we get to spend some time with everyone throughout the holidays. This year was rough though, because I had a bad cold right before Christmas and then while up north, Anthony came down with the flu, which he then gave to me and my parents! How rude.
In between illnesses and family time though, we were able to get to one National Park Site and eat at a couple of great restaurants. One was It’s Only Natural, where I have been eating in Connecticut since I was in high school. It’s the first restaurant where I tried vegan food, and helped lead me to vegetarianism at age 14, then later to veganism a few years later. So there is some nostalgia for that, as well as the fact that we always meet our friends Kate and Bowen, and now their baby Wes, there for lunch the day after Christmas. We also tried a new place in New Haven, Da Legna. Near Yale University, it caters to vegans with a separate pizza menu. The pizza was really tasty, thin crust, piled high with vegan bacon and pepperoni. Yum!

Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site
Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site

We spent a day with my parents at the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site. Since there are several National Park Sites in the area, we had planned to go to at least two of them in one day, but we enjoyed this one so much that we ended up spending the entire day there. We toured the home and learned all kinds of interesting facts about FDR and his home life. Then we were lost for hours in the comprehensive museum on the property. So many exhibits, films, and relics – it was truly amazing. We wandered and wandered, eventually left to grab some lunch, and then went back for more! There is also a piece of the Berlin Wall on the property, which was really cool to see.

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park

After returning from our winter vacation, and spending New Years in bed ill, we managed to squeeze in one more park site in honor of my birthday before Anthony departed for what is proving to be an incredibly busy spring with work. We drove to Cumberland Gap National Historical Park on a Sunday. It was chilly, but not too cold, so we were able to walk around a little at the site. There are some extensive hiking trails as well. Cumberland Gap commemorates the early European settlers who first traveled through this gap in the Appalachian Mountains in order to settle the west. There are beautiful views from Pinnacle Overlook, though Daniel Boone did not look into any civilization like we did – he saw pure, undeveloped wilderness. We also were able to check out some earthworks, from the strategic forts built during the Civil War. Cumberland Gap changed hands many times during the war, but no battles were fought here.


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