PLUG INTO THE POCONOS By: Manny Velasquez-Paredes
Originally published in Connextions Magazine Issue 19: Travel Lite
Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to simply unplug - unplug from the everyday, from work, from technology, from - dare I mention it - Facebook! But as a working parent, it is extremely important to disconnect from the world and simply enjoy your family.
For the past three years, my husband and I have taken our kids on mini-vacations to the Poconos at least twice per year. It is just under five hours drive for us, so we leave the house early so we can beat traffic and (hint) the kids are usually still sleepy, which means they’ll probably fall asleep after 45 minutes into the trip for at least another hour or so, which makes for a calmer ride.
As a same-sex couple with kids, we have stayed at different hotels in the area, some more expensive than others, and have never encountered any issues because of our sexual identity. There are some budget hotels/motels where you can stay, just remember that the quality of place is directly proportional to the cost of the rooms. We stayed at this place once where we asked the front desk to change our room because the original room was simply unacceptable - stains, dirty walls, and a toilet seat that didn’t fit properly. Eventually, we settled on another room. Just remember if you are not satisfied with the room or any of the amenities at the hotel - speak up and let them know right away, most places will try to help you. Mentioning things like “are you on Facebook, TripAdvisor or Yelp?” might help you with your request. The first thing I do after checking-in to our hotel, is to turn off my cell phone - which trust me it is probably the hardest thing for me to do - but it is a conscious decision I made so I could enjoy my time with the family.
The Niagara Falls of Pennsylvania
The best way to unplug is to plug into nature and if you don’t mind hiking and climbing, then Bushkill Falls, which is known as the Niagara Falls of Pennsylvania, is really the place to visit! Opened to the public since 1904, Bushkill Falls is located on about 300 acres of land in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
The falls are 1200 feet above sea level, and include 8 waterfalls and over 2 miles of hiking trails, bridges and walkways. The drop from the top of the Main Falls to the bottom of the Lower Gorge is about 300 feet and it’s an absolutely breathtaking view and cell phone signal is extremely spotty - so leave them in the car or your room’s safe. But, please bring a camera - preferably a waterproof one so you don’t need to worry about it getting wet.
To read the entire article, please visit Connextions Magazine Issue 19: Travel Lite