Monday, July 30, 2018

Hartford Tennessee: After our White Water Rafting Adventure

One of the many highlights of our summer vacay this year is white water rafting.  We booked our  itinerary online so it was scheduled before we went on our road trip.  We did it on the  third day  of our Tennessee adventure.
Our sense of direction is not great even with  GPS, we always get lost lol.  But it is part of the fun  for us.  Both hubby and I don't have the best when it comes to  direction so we rely on  the GPS to  guide us but sometimes the GPS have delayed reaction for some reason and we  missed an exit or something like that and my husband ain't always happy but as long as we get to our destination safely, small bumps along the way  doesn't really matter.  It is part of learning and fun.
When we booked  our trip online, we were advised  not to use  a GPS in getting there  and use the map that they are going to send us via email but we never got their email so yes, we used  our GPS.  I guess a lot of people get lost in going there  so that's why they don't advise the use of the  GPS navigation, in our case, we didn't have a choice.
Anyway, we passed by our destination since our GPS pointed us to a car garage with a bunch of  men working on cars lol.  We continued driving but turned around as we knew we were lost and the signal of the GPS was  going off and on.
We left very  early that day even though our scheduled  time for the rafting was in the afternoon.  We always allot some extra time for situations like getting lost and other  unexpected  stuff so I am so glad we did that because  someone cancelled for an early  schedule so we got to go earlier than scheduled.
It's funny, we  couldn't find the right place so we called someone from that place but  she sounded like she didn't know what she was doing and  what to tell us so we just figured it out ourselves.  It was actually where we were at the first time, we just did not see the  sign.
The check in process is very easy! We were given some  waivers and filled them out then they took our car key after  we secured everything in the car as we are not allowed to bring anything. They will give  your car keys when you came back.
About 15 minutes prior to our trip, all rafters were called over for some basic rules, to get assigned a guide and to be given the  equipment needed. The rafting  equipment includes  helmet, floating jacket,  and paddle.  Our guide, Bill was awesome, he  made our first experience a blast.  We all rode a bus to our drop in location where the guides kept us entertained with funny stories as well as some information about our environment. We were briefed what to do just in case we  fall out from the raft.  The first and most important thing is not to panic, we have life jacket on so we will sure float no matter what.
Once we got off the bus, we headed to our guide's assigned raft before we put into the water. Our guide, once again  explained to us  everything that we need to know before we get into our raft.  He showed us where to put our feet, things that we should avoid  with the paddle, and my kids were given a specific instruction as they weren't paddling.  They have a rope in front of them to hold on to for rough rapids.
One of the biggest advantages of using Rafting in the Smokies is that you complete the adventure where  you checked in. 
We get to  take some photos after we changed to our dry clothes.
See the small sign right there?  We missed that because it wasn't really visible from the road.  They should  make a big sign so that  people  won't miss  where to  go.  But anyway, it was a fun trip and we would love to do it again if we ever go to Tennessee.  We will probably do the upper  part of Pigeon river when the kids are  older.
After we left, we decided to  have a little  short trip to North Carolina since it was near Hartford anyway.  The kids were tired and  overheated so we didn't really do anything there.  We just ate at one of their DQ and we came back to Pigeon Forge.  

Six Ways To Remodel Your Bathroom On A Budget

If you’re ready to redecorate your bathroom, but don’t feel prepared to drop thousands on your renovation project, fret not: there are plenty of budget-friendly ways to get the job done. Of course, one of the first things you’ll want to do is make sure your plumbing and maintenance is in order: after all, you wouldn’t want to remodel your space with broken elements. Blocked drains are one of the most common issues in bathrooms.
According to Fix It Right Plumbing, a team of plumbers in Frankston, “When looking for a plumber to clear your blocked drain, insist they use a high pressure water jet machine and that they are trained in the right drain clearing techniques. Clearing drains is an art as well as a science.”
Once you’ve fixed existing issues (or prevented potential future issues), you can start to focus on your remodeling project. The trick is to start thinking about creative ways to utilize your space, rather than expensive things you can purchase to add to your space. With that in mind, here are six ways you can remodel your bathroom on a budget:
Paint The Walls
Painting the walls is one of the most cost-effective ways to spruce up your bathroom. Choose a color that compliments your countertops, accessories, and overall theme. However, come armed with a lengthy amount of painter’s tape. While painting is certainly a great way to change the entire aesthetic of your bathroom without spending an arm and a leg, it is a tedious process. Although this is the smallest room in the house, you do have to consider that you’re working around plenty of corners and obstructions.

Update Your Fixtures
Updating your bathroom fixtures doesn’t cost as much as you’d think, but can make the world of a difference. To better position you, take a look at some ideas on design blogs and Pinterest. Gather a couple of photos for inspiration—don’t worry about price at this point. Once you’ve curated enough material, you can begin your hunt for a cost-effective alternative. Some bathroom fixtures to pay attention to include light fixtures, towel racks, and drawer pulls.
Fix Caulk & Grout
You’d be surprised at how updated your bathroom can look if you clean up your caulk and grout. Caulk is the material that seals water around your shower, sink, and tub. Although caulk is very strong, most homes are fairly old, and you don’t realize just how much time has passed. After a while, the caulk begins to peel, crack, and discolor. When this happens, it can lead to mildew and water damage. Fixing your caulk is a great way to give your bathroom a clean appearance, at the same time as upkeeping the maintenance.

Grout, on the other hand, is the material that holds your tile together. If this starts to get stained or begins to crumble, it can give your bathroom a nasty appearance, and it might be time to regrout the area. Sometimes, this can happen early if the installer didn’t install the grout properly. Like caulk, a thorough redo won’t set you back with the bank, but will make all the difference once finalized.

Reline or Refinish Your Tub & Shower
Instead of replacing your tub and shower entirely, a safe, and cost-effective bet is to reline or refinish it. When you line your bathtub, a professional comes in and measures the area, and will fit a new liner on top of it. This way, you don’t have to get rid of the existing tub, but can benefit from a finished product that looks just as brand new.

With refinishing, a professional company will come in and clean, sand, spray paint, and patch the area. Think of this as more of a restoration service. This is a better choose if you have a unique or older tub and want to retain some of its original elements.

Add Some Accessories & Decoration
Accessories and decoration add ambiance to the bathroom, and help create a scene. For example, a statement mirror creates a focal point and draws attention towards it. It can also add dimension, making the room appear bigger. Additionally, you can add shelving and decorate it with plants, artwork, and candles. Even a chair or leaning towel rack can make a difference.
Renovate Your Floor

Adding new wooden floors will completely alter the aesthetic of your new bathroom. You can find inexpensive flooring in plenty of hardware store or online, and because the bathroom occupies such a small space, you won’t be spending too much. There’s so much you can do with your bathroom floors to jazz it up. Porcelain, ceramic, vinyl, stone, wood, and laminate flooring all some of the versatile options to choose from. Check out these bathroom floor ideas for inspiration. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Moundsville, West Virginia Adventure

 We went to  Moundsville, West Virginia, the day after my birthday.  My husband helped other parents to   disassemble the palyset that  St. Francis Xavier Parish  gave to St. Joseph School.

We have driven through Moundsville before when we went  downstate   but we never really saw what's out there.  We did not  go there till my husband got off from work so it was  late in the afternoon.  I feel bad because usually he is already super tired  after work since we  wake up at 4:30 everyday but we went because  the school needed some volunteers.  
Moundsville is a city in Marshall County, West Virginia, along the Ohio River. It is part of the Wheeling, West Virginia metropolitan area.  
This is the playset that was donated to our school.  When we first   went to St. Joseph, I asked my husband why the school does not have  a playground.  His theory was it could either be that the school does not want to deal with legal issue if someone got hurt or it could be  the fact that  itywould cost money and the school doesn't have the fund for it.  
Now that the school has new administration, there are so many exciting and positive things happening.  The school finally has  HVAC system which was a huge thing as it is so cold during the winter and so hot during summer months.  The kids and teachers can finally be  comfortable  during cold and hot season.  With that said,  tuition also increases but it's necessary.  
I think the school need to pay the teacher more  so that  they're not leaving  for better  opportunities elsewhere.  Private school teachers doesn't get paid very much and they don't have benefits that  public school teachers has.  For that reason, they  do leave when they find  a better position in public school.
Anyway, while the   men were disassembling the  playset, the  lady that was  managing the  daycare  services offered  us to  go see the school and  also offered the kids to do arts which was really nice
She even gave us bottles of water.  My daughter immediately  went to a defensive mode.  She was apprehensive in drinking the water because she didn't know the lady.  Part of me was happy that she is cautious  but I told them that they should always see the good in people.  With all the bad  things  happening everywhere, I can't blame my kids for not trusting people.  I know deep inside that the lady was really nice that's why I wanted the kids to appreciate what she's done for us.   
Both of them  made something for me and my husband.
I was encouraging  the kids for us to  walk around the place and see what's out there but they got into the art project that  it was late when we got out.
We later learned that the building near the church is the West Virginia State Penitentiary, the gothic-style prison . I would have love to take my kids for a tour there but they said it's kind of creepy.  Some say that it is haunted.
The pastor's name of this parish is Reverend That Son Ngoc Nguyen, I am not sure if he is Vietnamese or Thai but he is definitely Asian which explained why I saw some Asian veggies in his garden.  The lady told me that he love gardening.
I am glad we always have the tennis rackets and ball in the car.  They entertained themselves after we got done with the art project.  It  took a long time for the men to finish disassembling it and  load it in the truck.
It said that the city was named for this  ancient Grave Creek Mound that was constructed 250 to 100 BC by indigenous people of the Adena culture. 
These two interesting  facts were so close to the church where were at.  We  stopped before  going home to take some quick photos.
We also  dropped by at their Dairy Queen and  grabbed a quick bite since it was late and we won't have time to  cook when we  get home.  

It was almost 10 pm when we arrived home.  We were tired but  we had fun.  We were  able to  help  putting the  play set together but glad that it is now completed in school.  All  is lacking is the  mulch or  sand to complete the project.  

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Birthday Roadtrip

On my 45th birthday, we went for a short  road trip to another  Amish Community in Ohio.  All of these photos are taken while our vehicle is  on the road so they are not the best.  I am not great in taking drive by shots but that's alright.  These are enough to remember our journey getting to our destination.
What I love  about  going on a road trip in Ohio is the view.  The farming and the  lakes  are just so relaxing to see.  My kids always love seeing farm animals like horses, sheep,  cows, and goats along the  farms we pass by.  

I was telling my husband that if I have a property near a lake, I would definitely invest in a boat and put like a docking  place so I could come and go anytime I  want.  Must be nice during summertime when your family come to visit, you can take them for a boat ride and swim and fish.

Hartford Tennessee: After our White Water Rafting Adventure

One of the many highlights of our summer vacay this year is  white water rafting .  We booked our  itinerary online so it was scheduled ...

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A work-at-home-mom (WAHM) with  two  lovely kids and a loving husband.  Passionate in writing about  family, product reviews, and  other related articles.  A Mom, a Wife,  a Blogger/Writer, rolled into one.


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