Archive for October, 2009

Gnome Travels – London, England

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

Your Gnome stands guard in your garden, faithfully protecting your flower beds and landscaping day and night, rain or shine. Let’s face it – he’s due for a break. There is no better reward for your faithful servant than a glimpse at how the other side lives. So pack your bags and head to London for a look at the home of the Royal family.

Buckingham Palace is a vacation hotspot for tourists, and a tour of this 7775-room mansion is a must for any London visitor. Choose a walk through the palace’s exquisite State Rooms, which house an impressive collection of famous artwork and ornate furniture, or peruse the current exhibit displayed in The Queen’s Gallery.

Next, take your foot-tall travel buddy for a neck-craning look at Big Ben. The giant bell, housed in a 316-foot-tall clock tower, may be enjoyed most after nightfall, when the clock’s face is illuminated. Be advised that only United Kingdom residents are invited to climb the clock tower for a close-up look at the eight-foot bell. Big Ben is part of London’s Houses of Parliament, where you and your Gnome can take a guided tour and see the rooms used by England’s key leaders.

Trafalgar Square is another prime attraction, and the open space, used for performing arts events, is the perfect place for your Gnome to burn off some energy. Before you arrive, check the Square’s schedule of events. If you’re planning to visit during the holiday season, you’ll enjoy views of Trafalgar Square’s giant Christmas tree. and the songs of nearby carolers.

Of course, no trip to London would be complete without a stop at Westminster Abbey. Attend one of the 700-year-old church’s daily services, or jump aboard a guided tour to explore the abbey’s gardens, museum and chapels.

Before your trip draws to a close, treat your Gnome to a cup of English tea and a scone or two. With his littlest finger in the air as he sips his beverage, there’s no question he’ll feel like a native Londoner. He may need a gentle reminder of his humble roots upon his return home. Or consider humoring the little guy and buy him a souvenir robe and crown, so he can bring a bit of Britain to his own turf.

Gnome Travels – New York, New York

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

For a lesson in America’s history and a sampling of culture, there’s no better destination than New York.

You and your Gnome can start your vacation with a visit to the Statue of Liberty. Be patient as you wait for your Gnome to hop up 354 steps to reach Lady Liberty’s crown, from which you will share an inspiring view. A symbol of our country’s freedom, this giant statue may well motivate your Gnome to fight for his own rights – perhaps petitioning for better living conditions, at least during inclement weather. Just make sure his flaming torch doesn’t start a fire in your shrubbery as he campaigns.

After leaving Liberty Island, catch the ferry to Ellis Island, where you can visit the American Family History Immigration Center to learn about immigration history and investigate your own ancestry.

One of New York’s biggest attractions is Rockefeller Center, a 19-building complex that is home to one of the world’s largest performance stages and the renowned Rockette dancers. Stay for a show or take the Stage Door Tour, which includes photo opportunities and a chance to meet one of the dancers.

Next, make a stop at the Empire State Building and view the Big Apple from the skyscraper’s observation decks on the 86th and 102nd floors. Give your Gnome a boost so he can peer through high-powered binoculars that provide a bird’s-eye view of the city.

New York, however, isn’t all tall buildings and stage shows. Manhattan’s 843-acre Central Park offers an expanse of trees in addition to parks, fountains and restful retreats such as the peaceful Strawberry Fields. Take a leisurely walk with your Gnome, or let him scamper among the sculptures of this famous park.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is another must-see for any New York tourist. The Met contains more than three million pieces, including famous works of art, musical instruments and costumes. After you’ve had your fill, accompany your Gnome to one of the museum’s many family-friendly programs.

If you’re planning to celebrate Thanksgiving in New York, you won’t want to miss the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. You and your Gnome will sing and dance from the sidelines and stare up at the oversized balloons in the images of your favorite cartoon characters. Keep close tabs on your Gnome when Santa makes his appearance, taking care that your elf-like companion doesn’t hitch a ride in the sleigh, intent on joining the North Pole’s army of helpers.

Whether you want adventure, a dose of culture or just some rest and relaxation, New York has something to offer. So pack your bags and get your little friend ready for his first visit to the Big Apple. It will be an experience you will both treasure forever.