Thursday, September 20, 2018

Things to Do in Florence, Kentucky

Our second destination for our summer road trip this year was Kentucky.  We were going to spend the whole time in Tennessee but we had to  meet our family friends who were  vacationing as well in Cincinnati.  Since  Cinci is  close to Florence, Kentucky, that's where we stayed at so we could easily meet and do things together for a couple of days.
I find Florence a very neat  city.  It doesn't look like there's so much  things to do there but as I have mentioned, it is close to Cinci so you can just cross the bridge and voila, there's plenty of things to see and do.  We didn't get to do much in Kentucky due to lack of time but this music loving state filled with incredible countryside has so many fun and diverse things to do with kids, that the biggest problem will be working out how long to stay fo (which we did not have).  I did not know this but did you know that this great state has the longest cave system in the world? It sure does, with Mammoth Cave, too bad we didn't get to see but there is always next time.
Here are some fun family things to do in Florence:
  • Kids can go back in time to the Old West at Guntown Mountain;
  • Enjoy the outdoors with 52 state parks like the 10,000 acre Green River Lake State Park;
  • The Bluegrass State is a great place to learn about the incredible history of the state, such as Kentucky Museum and Louisville Slugger Museum
  • Horse Farm Tours and Kentucky Horsepark.
 We've planned on joining our friends  to go to the Ark Encounter but we did not get there in time so we just scraped the idea and had plenty of rest after we arrived in Florence.  We went to a  nearby park in Cinci thought later that day.  Here's a sneak peak of a high rise and busy Cincinnati.  The big stadium and tall buildings  pretty much greet you as you crossed the bridge from Kentucky to Ohio side.

I always find it great when you can visit a city where it borders another state.  We were able to  visit  4 states on our road trip this year.  We drove around a small city in North Carolina when we were in Tennessee and then explored Ohio and Kentucky as well before we finally hit the road to home.  

Wonderful Florida Beaches That Only Locals Know

Whenever thinking about Florida beaches we automatically get flashbacks of spring break, with Panama City Beach being the number one destination for people from all over the country. Those that want to play go to South Beach and Key West has always been recommended by influencers from all around the world.
Everyone knows about the beaches and the beautiful holiday villas in Florida but do you know that there are actually 663 miles of wonderful beaches you can experience in the state of Florida? Travelers that want to go off-the-beaten track and experience something that is more unique can always find some incredible destinations that will make their desires come through. This does include the following stunning Florida beaches that locals would like you do not know about.

Crandon Park
The tourists often go to South Beach, a truly majestic destination that is surely wonderful. However, locals normally go to Crandon Park, which is located in Key Biscayne. This is a 2 mile long beach that is family friendly. The Atlantic waves are gentle and there is an outdoor rink for rollerskating that is a huge hit among visitors.

Bahia Honda State Park
While Key West always gets the full glory in the region, we should know that this is not the only island tourists can visit in Lower Florida Keys. You actually want to visit many that are better than expected. If you are a traveler that is looking for a romantic or family-friendly destination, with really good vies of the ocean, right as you travel through Overseas Highway, just consider Bahia Honda State Park. Snorkeling is wonderful here and is preferred right before an excursion to watch the sunset.

Caladesi Island State Park
In the year 2008, Stephen Leatherman (also known as Doctor Beach), declared that Caladesi is the best beach in the US. Even so, it is not crowded. This is due to the fact that you would need to start in Dunedin and take a ferry to reach the park. However, the trip is surely worth it. This is a getaway in the Gulf of Mexico that features white, soft sand put together with wildlife. We can say that nature meets modern amenities, including gift shops and snack bars.

Don Pedro Island State Park
This wonderful Florida destination for tourists and locals is around 1 hour away from Sarasota, towards south by car. Don Pedro Island features a 7 mile long beach in the Gulf of Mexico. You can only access it through public ferry or a private boat. The car can be brought with you, although the golf cart is normally the preferred transportation method on the island.

Amelia Island
Amelia Island is definitely not a secret. It is well-known by many but it is a barrier island that is often ignored, usually because of the fact that Jacksonville Beach is close. What you may want to do is take a kayak or go paddle boarding along the lovely Atlantic coastline of Amelia Island, which covers 13 miles. What is interesting is that you might even see dolphins and wild horses around you. The sunset cruise is preferred from Cumberland Island, Georgia, but you can also visit alone.

Delray Beach
If locals want to visit a vibrant beach town that is not overrun, they consider Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Delray Beach can be accessed from the East Atlantic Avenue. You will really like the ice cream parlors, sidewalk cafes and boutiques there. They perfectly complement the Atlantic Ocean’s natural lure.

St. George Island
St. George Island can be visited in the panhandle of Florida. It is a barrier island that is surrounded by Apalachicola Bay and the stunning Gulf of Mexico. During the day visitors normally climb to the 72 foot high lighthouse top. This offers the panoramic view that makes you want to take your camera out of the pocket to show people at home what they missed. During the night you will enjoy the vibrant restaurant scene. It features live music and tasty seafood.

Tips For When Visiting Unknown Parts Of Florida
The fact that you would be visiting some parts of Florida that are not well-known means that your internet research might not give you what you are looking for. The information that is available for the locations mentioned above and many others that are wonderful will be limited. Because of this, what you want to do is to consider some alternative information sources.

It is always a great idea to give yourself freedom as you travel. If this is possible in Florida, simply make friends with the locals. They are going to tell you about many different beaches and other travel destinations that are basically fantastic. Also, you can talk about hidden gems with the staff at the resort you stay at. There are many destinations they know about and that are often not included in travel packages.

Another thing you should be aware of is that you do want to be safe. Traveling alone to a remote destination is dangerous everywhere. This is why it is always good to let people know where you are going and traveling alone to the hidden parts of Florida, especially when you come from another country is not recommended.

Try to plan as much as possible and continue planning once you reached Florida. You will find many great destinations by simply keeping an open mind.

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.

5 Simple Interior Design Upgrades To Create A New Home

Need to spruce up your home's design, but not sure how to go about it? Upgrading your home's interior can provide a much-needed change in scenery and energy. After getting your home in order, homeowners can take a few easy steps to incorporate updates into their home. Whether you decide to do it yourself or hire a professional, you have many options to upgrade your home. Here are some interior design tips and tricks to get you started on creating the house you always wanted. 

Let Light In

One of the most coveted interior design secrets involves lighting. Bright spaces tend to feel open and airy, immediately shifting the energy in the house. Large windows and sunrooms are popular nowadays. If you can't afford to remodel your home, try rearranging. Move furniture so that it doesn't block windows or install new curtains that enhance natural lighting. If your house is lacking wide windows, artificial lighting can create a similar effect. Chandeliers, tables and standing lamps are good natural lighting alternatives. Lighting is a homeowner's best friend. It works with every other interior design aspect to create a spectacular space.   
Play With Color

Like lighting, color can shift the feeling of a room. It's smart to hire a professional painter if you are tackling a big job. As noted by Tea Berry, “Anyone can paint, but few achieve the same quality that a painting company can.” If you decide to hire a professional, they can take care of the details to deliver a fresh look. However, choosing a color can be tricky; using complimentary colors (like green and red) is suggested. Neutral colors are safe, but experimenting is fun. Shades of red and yellow are energetic and strong, but muted greens and blues can be calming. The key to playing with color is to determine what feel you want the room to have before picking up a paintbrush. 
Renovate Your Bathroom Functionality

The bathroom is one of the most-used rooms in your house, so it deserves some special attention in remodeling. An easy and functional way to re-design is to add extra storage cabinets. You can also simply replace the towels or faucets to design a new color scheme. Homeowners often install a shower door instead of a basic curtain to change the look of their bathroom. If you've got the resources, tiling the walls or adding a shower bench takes your bathroom to the next (spa-like) level. Your family and your guests will thank you for updating this space.

Put Your Best Bowl Forward

Yes, you read that right. Bowls are a major interior design upgrade. When realtors show houses, they often place a crystal bowl with oranges or lemons in it on the counter. The idea is that the fruit provides a pop of color, and makes the home seem more inviting. You can easily do this (candy works too!) on an empty end table or counter. This is one of the simple ways to spice up your living space. The trick is to get a stylish, funky bowl, so the table doesn't just appear cluttered. This purposeful move makes your house look and feel sharp. 

Incorporate Your Unique Personality

The best part about your home: it's yours to design. When designing, it's important to pay attention to what grabs your attention and what you turn away from. Try to stay away from the words "I'm not sure if it's my style". If you like a piece of art or type of wallpaper, try it out even if it's not conventional or something you usually go for. Try putting outdoor pillows inside or buying an abstract piece of kitchen art. Whatever speaks to you, make it work in your home. Not only will it add a unique element, it will become a conversation piece for guests who come over. Ultimately, your interior design upgrades should be representative of your unique tastes. 
Making changes to your home's design can make it more inviting and comfortable. Whether you decide to add a lamp or paint a wall, every change can change the feeling of your home. Furthermore, you can tile your bathroom or adorn the kitchen with candy dishes. Or, you can add a unique piece that speaks to who you are. Whatever simple changes you decide to do, make sure your upgrades reflect what you want your home to feel like. Creating your dream house is simple with these interior design upgrades.

Monday, September 10, 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.  

Sugarcreek Roadtrips

It's been a while since we last visited Sugarcreek.  We used to go there almost every weekend just so we can drive around and see other ...

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