Saturday, November 1, 2014

More Kid Friendly Trips In Central Kentucky. (Part 2)

A few days ago, I told you guys about a couple of kid-friendly day trips in and around the Central Kentucky area. If you didn't get a chance to check out that post, you can see it here.

Well, after looking around researching destinations for that post, I realized that there were tons of places that we have never been, and tons of places that I was leaving out! I just had to follow up with another post with more kid friendly trips in Central Kentucky. 

Our family has been to a few of these places, but not in the last few years. We really just haven't had the extra money to do much fun stuff. Hopefully soon we will be back on track and be able to take the boys to a few of these places! 
I have come up with a few little "mini trips" that I would like to take this year, and I will share them with you guys! 

 My first little "mini trip" would be in Louisville. It's not too far away to drive with two screaming kids, and there is enough to do to be able to stay the night there in a hotel, maybe even two nights. 

The Louisville Zoo is probably my favorite place in the whole world! I love this place! The Louisville Zoo is not as big as the Cincinatti Zoo, but I really like it much better. The layout is just much more sensible and easier to navigate, and the habitats of the animals are cleaner and more spacious. The newest exhibit at The Louisville Zoo is Glacier Run, opening this Spring! 

"Glacier Run will be a truly unique experience where one can visit the animals, talk to the keepers about conservation and become temporarily immersed in life on the tundra. The exhibit will recreate the natural habitat for some of the Zoo’s most popular residents including polar bears, seals and sea lions. The addition of sea otters and bird species like the Steller’s sea eagles and magpies will add to the feeling of being surrounded by wildlife. The town of Glacier Run will include a schoolhouse, climatology lab and general store. A spacious amphitheatre will make viewing the seal and sea lion enrichment demonstrations more enjoyable."
I can't wait to see Glacier Run, it looks awesome! 
The next place on my list is the Louisville Science Center. This is where I went on my 8th grade trip, and I really enjoyed it! The Science Center is a hands-on museum-type place where kids and learn and have fun at the same time! They have an awesome Imax theater, and even a KidZone especially for children 7 and under! 
 We would have dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory in downtown Louisville, and then the next day we would be raring to go visit the Louisville Slugger Museum, and mommy's personal favorite place, Churchill Downs. Ahh, it sounds lovely, in my mind, anyways.. 
My next "mini vacation" that I would like to take the boys on is a little further away for us, it requires a trip to Cave City, Kentucky.Here's what it would include: 

Dinosaur World is an outdoor museum that features life sized dinosaur models. Kids can get up close and personal with them, and even dig for "fossils" and "bones"! This sounds like something that would be right up Tater's alley! 

Kentucky Down Under:  a unique experience for kids to explore and visit with Kangaroos and other animals from down under, as well as explore the amazing Kentucky Caverns cave system. This sounds like a lot of fun and I really think Tater would like this one too! 

Beech Bend Park: This one would probably take a whole day itself! It's outside of Cave City, in Bowling Green, but Beech Bend Park looks like a great place! Beech Bend is an amusement park, water park, drag strip and campground all in one! The best part? FREE soft drinks, FREE sunscreen, FREE parking, and FREE tubes! I think this one would probably be the highlight of our trip!

I am sure I will have more trip ideas in the next few days, but this should keep me busy for awhile! 

disclosure: I was in no way compensated for any of these posts. These are just great places that I would genuinely like for my family to visit! 

(while you're saving money for your staycation, check out these coupons and deals!)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Kid Friendly Day Trips In Central Kentucky. (Part 1)

This is so sad to admit, but we have never been on a family vacation. EVER.

We took Tater camping for ONE night when he was two.

That was almost three years ago!

We never have any extra money, and we work separate shifts in order to keep the boys out of daycare, so we are hardly ever home at the same time as it is.

But I feel so guilty that we have never even stayed the night in a hotel.

So, I have been trying to think of things nearby that we could do as a family, kind of like a "staycation", or a day trip at the very least.

So, I have been researching, and I found a few kid friendly things in the Central Kentucky area that we might try to do soon:

Day Trips:

Explorium of Lexington- This is an awesome children's museum in Lexington. We have been a few times when Tater was younger, but I think we need to go back!There are tons of interactive exhibits for kids, and it is a really fun place!

Salato Wildlife Education Center in Frankfort- This is one of my favorite places ever. I remember it from when I was a child. It is sponsored by the Dept of Fish and Wildlife, and is kind of like a "zoo", all with animals that are native to Kentucky. There are bears, buffalo, snakes, deer, etc. Tons and tons of great educational stuff about fish and wildlife in Kentucky, including a giant fishing area! And the best part of all, it's FREE!

Kentucky Horse Park- We go here every year at Christmas for Southern Lights, but we have never been any other time. I really want to take the boys here, there is so much great stuff! They have so much educational stuff about horses, and even a campground. This would be an awesome staycation just a few minutes from our house!

Wolf Run Wildlife Refuge
in Nicholasville- I am ashamed to say that we have never been here, and it is literally less than five minutes away from our house. It's a fabulous no-kill animal sanctuary that houses tons of animals that have been neglected, abused, abandoned, etc. These people have some of the biggest hearts in the world. And, my boys can get to see some awesome animals like this one: 

Old Fort Harrod State Park
- One of the fondest memories of my childhood. My parents brought me here when I was a kid, and we went on TONS of field trips there when I was in school. I really think Tater would enjoy this, since it is kind of "cowboyish".
Fort Boonesborough State Park- Kentucky's second settlement, settled by Daniel Boone in 1775.  I really liked this one when I was a kid because it has a sand beach. I thought I was at the ocean LOL! This is probably one of my favorite things about living in Kentucky, is the fact that we have all of these wonderful state parks and things to do that are free or cheap!

These things will at least be a start, and we won't even have to stay in a hotel for them! We can just leave in the morning, and visit them, and then come back home.

I have a few more places that I would like to go, but they will all require at least a one night hotel stay, so I am going to save those for another post!

Anybody in the Lexington, Kentucky area, can you think of any place I forgot?

Anybody have tips for a great staycation? Leave them for us in the comments! 

(If you are bored, check out some Stupid Criminals!)

#TBT ThrowBack Post: The Best Day Ever: Dollywood- Pigeon Forge, TN!

*With this never ending winter we've been having, our thoughts have been drifting to vacation, and our most favorite place on earth- The Smoky Mountains of Tennessee! I thought this would be a perfect time to revisit one of our favorite old posts- our review of Dollywood! Enjoy!*

One of our favorite things that we have gotten to do on this trip, has been our visit to Dollywood, hands down! We are a theme park family by nature, and would spend just about every summer weekend at a different theme or water park if we had the choice, but we don't get to theme park it up nearly as often as we would like! So, when our chance came to visit Dollywood, we were thrilled! It turned out to be, hands down, our favorite theme park we've ever visited, and that says a lot! 

We arrived at Dollywood as soon as they opened for the day, and when it was time for them to close up, we still weren't done for the day! We could definitely have spent two days there! The entire place has a "country fair" type theme, and I love that the whole place sort of just "goes together"! It is very homey, and has a very welcoming atmosphere! What more could you ask for than a HUGE theme park that feels like a down home country fair? It's perfect! 

Okay, one thing you're going to have to know... When you're at Dollywood, you're not just there for the rides! You're there for the shopping and you're there for the food too! It's like a package deal! Aunt Granny's All You Care To Eat Buffet is a MUST STOP, but be warned, you'll be stuffed to the brim when you leave! We also ate a bite at the Red's Drive In, which is an adorable 50's style diner, and the boys loved it there! Make sure to stop by Miss Lillian's Chicken House, even if you don't eat there, for a chance to meet Miss Lillian, one of Dollywood's most famous faces! 

The rides are great, we had so much fun! My oldest son and my hubby are the "thrill seekers" in the group, and they like to ride the big coasters and the scary thrill rides. My little Bean and me, however, we are a little more laid back, and we like small, easy going rides, walking around, and snacking! Well, this was no problem, because Dollywood had something for everyone, and plenty of things that we could all ride together and have a great time! We really made some amazing family memories here, and I can't wait to come back every year from now on to build on those wonderful memories that we made! 

My boys didn't get a chance to ride Wild Eagle, and they were very disappointed, but there was some sort of issue with bees (!?!?), so I don't think they would have wanted to ride it like that anyway! They did however, get the first seat on the wooden roller coaster, Thunderhead, and my big guy was absolutely petrified! After he got out of there though, he said it was the most awesome thing ever! He was also thrilled that he got to ride the Mystery Mine.. He had been watching YouTube videos of that coaster for MONTHS before our trip, and it was his one "MUST DO" on our visit! 

I have to say that I think the Dollywood Express was the highlight of our trip! My boys had never been on a real train before, so a steam locomotive was a real treat! They were completely in awe, and I was too! We really had a great time on our trip, everything was so homey there and we felt so comfortable, never rushed, and never bothered. Every staff member that we came into contact with were so professional and so genuinely kind, it was so nice to see! We will, without a doubt, be heading back to Dollywood next year, so that we can check out the things that we missed and make some more family memories! 

Things To Know Before You Go: 
  • If you have any food allergies, just let the staff know, and they will accommodate you, no problems at all! 
  • Near the Market Square area on Showstreet, there is a Centralized Measuring Area where your kiddos can get measured and receive a wristband, so they will know what they are tall enough to ride without standing in line- this is great and saves LOTS of tears! 
  • Parent Swap is awesome! If you have a big kid, and smaller kids (or kid!), one parent can ride, and the other can wait with the little ones. Then the other parent can ride with the bigger kid again, without waiting in line! A GREAT option to make sure that both parents get quality time with their kids on the rides! This saved us SO much time, and everyone was SO helpful! 
  • If you think you'll be heading to Dollywood in the afternoon, here's a GREAT deal for you!! If you enter Dollywood after 3pm, you get in the next day for FREE!!! That's right, FREE!!! Nothing better than that, and a great way to get extra fun hours without paying big money!! 
  • If you buy something at the shops, you don't have to lug it around all day! The Package Pickup service allows you to buy whatever you want throughout the park, and then have all of your packages delivered to the Dollywood Emporium for pickup at the end of the day. A great way to keep from carrying a bunch of stuff around all day! 
Bottom line, if you are heading to the Smokies, you need to take an extra day and hang out at Dollywood! Don't miss it for anything, or you will be very sorry! If you want to find out more info about Dollywood and plan your trip, check out their website HERE

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

What No One Tells You About Having A Baby. For Real.

In Honor of my BFF, a list of things you should know. 

In no particular order. 

And not for the faint of heart. 

So, faint of heart, please click off of this page now. 

But, Some weird shit happens. 

Nobody shared it with me.

But I am breaking the cycle. 

If you are pregnant, don't be scared. 

But read on. LOL.

1. There Will Be Blood. Nobody talks about this part. I mean really. You know it's coming, but I feel like there should be a more in depth explanation of this scary shit. So here's the deal: there are clots. Big ones. Umm. Fruit Size. No Joke. Lemon, Lime, Kiwi, perhaps? Yes. And it looks like your guts are completely falling out of your body. But, alas, they are not. So when this happens, do not freak. You have been warned. 

2. Uncontrollable Body Shit. As in, puking. Teeth Chattering. Freezing. Burning Up. All normal. All happen. You can't control it. I was a little freaked out when the very second that Bean was born, I was so overwhelmingly nauseous that I barely got out "I'm going to puke!" before I was, well, puking. Into a bedpan. How nice. Welcome to the world little baby, you make me puke. Oh yes, one more thing. Weird ass contraction type things. After the baby is born. Also normal. These actually hurt me worse than the contractions I had before Bean was born. Don't ask me. I just work here. 

3.The Hospital Stay Pretty Much Sucks Ass.  There is no resting. Don't believe that BS. From the moment you pop that baby out, you will be poked, prodded, visited, photographed, bothered, woke up, etc for the next probably 48 hours. As soon as you shut your eyes to rest, a nurse will come in to do some painful thing to your body. Or a lovely visitor will come and want to bother you. It doesn't end there. Fill out this paper. Sign this. What do you want to eat? Sigh.I was really lucky that my hospital had a "quiet time" from 2-4 where no one was allowed to bother new mommies. This was great and I was guaranteed two hours of rest each day. Other than that, I couldn't sleep. It's just too much. Even after they were born and I was exhausted, it was just too much of a shock for me to sleep. I just sat there and stared at them for hours. So no, you probably won't rest. 

4. Nurses Will Be Weird. They are going to push on your belly. Hard. It's going to hurt bad. They will check your stitches if you have them, and change your pad. You will chat about passing gas. They will ask you a million times if you have pooped yet. (Pooping is a very big deal! Everyone gets very excited after the first poop!) All of this is normal, and both times my nurses were wonderful and made my hospital stay so much nicer! Also, don't be afraid to ask the nurses if you need/want something. My nurses heard me talking about being so hungry, and brought me a giant folder full of take out menus from restaurants that would deliver to the hospital. I thought that was super sweet! 

5.Sometimes It Gets Scary. I had to be hooked up to an oxygen mask at one point, and have 3 different monitors placed on Bean when he was still in my tummy. No one really explained this to me and I was afraid we were dying or something. Turns out, all normal. So, for the record, things that would normally be scary are all fair game in the labor and delivery ward. 

6.But It's Pretty Fucking Awesome. So try to enjoy it. It really is an amazing experience. I was so scared with Tater that I just sat there and did whatever they told me. But I was much more present with Bean. I was actually the one that cut the cord! I don't know why but I felt so good after I had him, I was up, showering, getting dressed, even putting on makeup. It was totally weird. It is such an odd feeling to experience your body doing something totally beyond your control, something that it was "made" to do. My best advice is to try to soak it all in and enjoy it if you possibly can, because yeah it hurts and sucks and all that, but April 24, 2006, and May 30, 2010 are BY FAR the two best days of my life, and always will be! 

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