Archive for the 'Personal' Category

Not On Vacation

With no posts last week it may have looked like I was on vacation. The truth is that I was just a little busy with St. Patrick’s Day (parade and beer events), March Madness bracket failures, and life in general. Though it would have been nice to have a week off around my birthday, I’m saving my time off for some good trips later this year. I’ll have more on that later and more regular posting too.

Royal Hanneford Circus

Over the weekend my family and I headed down to the Cincinnati Gardens for the Royal Hanneford Circus. This traveling circus is often called the oldest in the world. Included in the two set performance were tigers, high wire acrobats, dancing camels, elephants, trapeze, and my personal favorite the performing bears.

Castle’s Bears

Castle’s Bears

The bears can walk on a large ball, ride bicycles, and even a motorcycle. It is the only act of its type in the show world today.

Bear Riding A Motorcycle

Bear Riding A Motorcycle

During intermission various animals were available for rides and photos, including elephants and camels. My almost two-year-old daughter loved her ride on a camel. The rides were not cheap though, $10 per person.

Camel Ride

Camel Ride

We were able to get excellent seats in the first five rows for just $17 a ticket. This is a steal compared to what seats you would get at Ringling Brothers, something in the upper sections for sure. Plus the acts were just as good as what you see at Ringling Brothers for at least half the price. The Royal Hanneford’s have already left town, but something to keep in mind for next year.

Blue Ash Summit Park

The latest mega playground to open in the Cincinnati area is inside Blue Ash’s Summit Park. My kids are big fans of this playground after my mom had taken them a few times, and I recently had the chance to check it out with them over the weekend.

Ropes Course

Ropes Course

On our way there our four-year-old made sure to grab an extra cardboard box to slide down the mound next to the slides. Once we arrived I realized that this is definitely the thing to do at the park. Even if you forget a cardboard box, there were plenty around and truthfully you can pretty easily slide down the hill without the help of cardboard. I may actually know from experience.

Play Mound

Play Mound

The other thing that my son enjoyed the most was the four person seesaw. You just don’t see these at playgrounds as much as you used to. This one is really awesome and is plenty big enough for adults to ride, provided you have enough weight on the other side to balance out.

Seesaw

Seesaw

Summit Park has recently earned awards and I can agree that the playground is really awesome. I can’t wait to see what else is in store for the former airport site.

Season’s Greetings

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas and break from the daily grind. I know that my family truly is. Trey couldn’t have been more excited for Christmas this year and Paige is quickly catching on. In fact we found her a couple of times opening miscellaneous gifts that we had sitting under the tree in the days leading up to Christmas.

Christmas Card 2014

Christmas Card 2014

I am off work until Jan 2nd so posting will probably be very light to nonexistent over the next week or so. I’m looking forward to spending so much extra time with my family and friends. Happy New Year!

Williamstown Party Cove

A few weeks ago some neighbors of ours across part of Williamstown Lake put in a giant slip ‘n slide. Since then they have added a sand volleyball court and tether-ball turning our little part of the lake into party cove.

Slip 'N Slide

Slip ‘N Slide

A few years back we created our own giant slip ‘n slide, but it was much rougher than this new and improved version. I took a few rides on it with my youngest brother-in-law and even shot some video with the GoPro.

FYI, the noisy one is my brother-in-law.

Rouster’s Apple House

Looking for a fun activity for your family on a nice Saturday afternoon? We recently went blueberry picking at Rouster’s Apple House in Milford.

Berry Barn

Berry Barn

Blueberry Field

Blueberry Field

I’ve never picked blueberries before, but it was really simple and kind of addicting. Many times the blueberries would just fall off the stem and into the provided buckets.

Fun For Three-Year-Olds

Fun For Three-Year-Olds

Ready For Picking

Ready For Picking

The blueberries cost $2.75 per pound. They also offer frozen apple cider in containers as well as in Popsicle form. Only cash and checks are accepted.

Getting Her Fill

Getting Her Fill

Full Bucket

Full Bucket

Due to large crowds picking is not offered everyday, though they will be picking this coming Saturday, August 9, from 8 AM until noon. Watch this page for other dates and times.

Ten Pounds Ready To Go

Ten Pounds Ready To Go

We had a great time, but now I’m trying to come up with ways to use ten pounds of blueberries.

African Safari Wildlife Park

After our stay in Maumee Bay State Park, we made the 45 minute drive east to the African Safari Wildlife Park in Port Clinton, Ohio. My wife bought tickets for this attraction through Groupon after hearing some of her family talk about it for years after their last visit.

The big attraction here is the drive-thru safari where you get the chance to see and feed deer, bison, alpaca, bongo, zebra, and even giraffes! Some of the animals are behind fences, but others are able to walk right up to your car and beg for food. The bison are just a little intimidating when doing this!

There is also a walk-thru safari similar to other zoos, with gibbons, hogs, various antelope, birds, and even a white alligator. There are also pig races, camel rides, and education animal shows included in the price.

We had a great time and would definitely go back again, especially at a discounted price. I’ve never experienced anything quite like the drive-thru safari.

BB Riverboats Pirates Of The Ohio Cruise

A few weeks back I took my family on BB RiverboatsPirates of the Ohio Cruise on board the Belle of Cincinnati. The cruise on the Ohio River departs from Newport, Kentucky and lasts for one and a half hours.

Belle of Cincinnati

Belle of Cincinnati

All kids pick up their free pirate hat, eye patch, and treasure map before boarding.

Pirate Selfie

Pirate Selfie

The treasure map is filled out during the cruise using clues from the sightseeing tour. My kids are a little too young for this, but that didn’t stop me from participating in the fun.

Downtown View

Downtown View

During the cruise there are a variety of pirate games for the kids to participate in. There is a limbo, sword fighting, water pistol fight (followed by swabbing the deck), and then everyone gets to walk the plank to find treasure at the end.

Swab The Deck

Swab The Deck

This was our first time cruising with BB Riverboats but it will certainly not be the last.

Walk The Plank

Walk The Plank

The Pirates of the Ohio Cruise is offered Fridays (Memorial Day through Labor Day) from 3:00 – 4:30 PM. We had so much fun on this pirate cruise, we may end up doing it again before the summer is over.

Ripley’s Aquarium Of The Smokies

During our vacation a couple of weeks ago my wife and I made sure to balance things that we wanted to do with things that we knew the kids would enjoy. Fortunately we found something that all of us could easily enjoy, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg.

Trey

Trey

The aquarium has numerous exhibits from tropical rain forests, to ocean reefs, a massive shark lagoon, and an interactive penguin playhouse. The underwater tunnel for the shark lagoon features a 340-foot long glidepath, that allows you to move through the exhibit without moving your feet. Our three-year-old liked this so much we had to do it twice!

Paige

Paige

The kids also really enjoyed the discovery center with puzzles, touch tanks, and other interactive displays. We spent the better part of three hours here and we even rushed through some of the exhibits. For those with longer attention spans, you could easily spend the better part of a day at the aquarium, and you will likely want to as tickets can be a little on the high side, $27 for adults. Also the crowd seemed to build as our visit went on, so arrive early to avoid the rush.


Gatlinburg on Dwellable
Summer Time Is Lake Time

We’ve been spending a lot of time at the lake over the last couple of months. This winters very frigid temperatures left us with some busted pipes that needed to be replaced. Fortunately that work is mostly complete and we were able to actually enjoy the lake on our last visit a couple of weekends ago.

Jr. Lifeguard On Duty

Jr. Lifeguard On Duty

Paige's First Lake Swim

Paige’s First Lake Swim

Mother Son Kayak Trip

Mother Son Kayak Trip