Boone County Adventures

Boone County Adventures

Boone county is full of adventures. It was my most recent “explore Indiana” adventure. Most people (including me) automatically think of Zionsville when they hear Boone county. I’m sure I’ll get back to Zionsville soon as it’s a wonderful town and a really fun place to visit, but for this trip, I wanted to see what else Boone county had to offer. Aside from Zionsville, Lebanon is the largest city in Boone County. With a population of around 16,000, it’s a large enough city to have a traditional downtown square with a gorgeous courthouse. On a beautiful sunny day, the best place to spend at least part of your visit is at Memorial Park. This well-maintained park is home to a cool little waterpark called Seashore Waterpark. Not only are there several slides, but it houses one of my all-time favorite waterpark attractions – a wave pool. So.much.fun! Outside the pool area, you’ll find playgrounds, shelters and a lovingly restored cabin called Herr Cabin. Herr Cabin was built in 1839 and was given to the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1937 as a memorial to Abigail Herr. After a fun few hours in the sun, a food break is in order and although the downtown doesn’t have a lot in the way of shopping, there are several delicious dining choices. I suspect that based upon the amount of construction I saw going on that the downtown is in the midst of a revival – I hope so as I love shopping and dining in quaint downtowns! I enjoyed a yummy lunch at Greek’s pizza. Greek’s is an Indiana...
Why We Bought Disney Annual Passes

Why We Bought Disney Annual Passes

We bought annual passes to Walt Disney World this year. And we live in Indiana. Are we crazy? Maybe a little bit, but at the beginning of the year, we sat down and thought about how we wanted to vacation this year and realized we already had two trips to Disney planned. Plus, this is the year that Galaxy’s Edge opens and my daughter is a huge Star Wars fan. Years ago, we used to spend three or four weeks in Florida every June. With a husband who’s a teacher, and my ability to work from anywhere, it was a great way to kick off summer. Sadly, those days are long gone, but as a family, Orlando and Disney hold so many wonderful memories that we make a point to visit at least once a year. Back in the day, we could purchase ten-day tickets with no expiration and just use a few days each year. It was lovely. Knowing that we had a few trips planned, I started investigating annual passes. We’ve always kicked around the idea but just couldn’t justify it. Until this year Thanks to our DVC membership (which we love!!!), we were able to buy some nicely discounted annual passes that did have a few blackout periods. Luckily for us, those dates did not interfere with trips already planned. We also added a third Disney trip to the summer to get full advantage – and I just booked a long weekend next month with just my daughter. It was a big cost upfront, but it’s been worth every penny. The big advantages are: Not feeling...
A Hunt for Covered Bridges

A Hunt for Covered Bridges

Covered bridges in Indiana? If you are from the state, I bet the first place you think of is Parke County. I know I do. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that less than an hour from Indianapolis, Rush County has a long history of covered bridges. Originally there were 23 covered bridges, but today only six remain. As part of my Explore Indiana project, Rush County was on my list of places to visit. With a free afternoon, my 12-year-old son and I took off to see if we could find those remaining six bridges. We found four and had a delightful time looking for them and enjoying Rushville, IN. The first bridge we found is called the Moscow Bridge. It’s located in Moscow, Indiana and was one of two we were able to get out and walk around. It is very nicely preserved and at 334 feet the third longest one in Indiana. It was originally built in 1886 but destroyed by a tornado in 2008. Luckily it was rebuilt in 2010 using as much of the original materials as possible. Our next covered bridge was a bust. Although we followed the directions on Google Maps when we “arrived” there was no bridge to be found. Feeling like a snack was in order, we headed over to the largest city in Rush County, appropriately named Rushville and decided to check out a local favorite, Stagg’s Dairy Treats & Restaurant. This restaurant is exactly the kind of place I enjoy finding in small Midwestern towns. With an affordable and fun menu and delicious ice cream treats, it was...
Las Vegas with Teens?

Las Vegas with Teens?

Thinking of taking your teens to Las Vegas? When I think of Las Vegas, I think of an adult vacation. We’ve been going to Vegas every summer for our annual “grown-up” trip without fail and have always promised the kids we would take them when they turn 21. So why on earth did we take them with us this summer? Would I do it again? What in the world did we do to entertain them? Why we chose to take our kids Last year around Christmas time, we discovered that my daughter’s all-time favorite band (Aerosmith) was going to be playing in Las Vegas. She immediately began a campaign to see them live. Her arguments were reasonable (it’s all I want for Christmas and my birthday; Steven Tyler is 71, who knows how much longer they are touring, it’s a super small venue so it’ll be a great show, etc.). As we also love Aerosmith, we decided to give in and booked a trip. I will say I had a lot of trepidation on this one – I’ve never thought of Las Vegas as a family-friendly location, although I do know many families who love it. We picked a summer date for the concert and then built the trip around it. Luckily for us, the new ParkMGM (old Monte Carlo) was doing some really amazing room deals, and that is the location of the theater, so we were able to snag a great rate on an excellent room. We were on our way … What to do with teens in Las Vegas Our normal Las Vegas trip consists of...
Beat the Heat at Disney

Beat the Heat at Disney

Want to thrive on your summer Disney trip? Not just survive it? Visiting Walt Disney World in the summer can be hot. REALLY HOT! As in, you can’t spend five minutes outside without sweat dripping down your back hot. Yet you can still have a wonderful time – with a little planning and a little swizzle in your schedule. Read on to learn our tips and tricks! Tip #1: Take a break during the hottest part of the day. This may seem obvious, but it amazes me how many people don’t follow it. When we come back to park refreshed, cooled off and ready to enjoy the evening, I see those people yelling at their kids, mopping the sweat off their faces and looking rundown. Seriously, you’ll have a MUCH better time if you just take a few hours out of the park from about 1:00 – 4:00. If you have little ones, take a nap, older kids may enjoy splashing around in a pool or even just going out for a nice long lunch in an air-conditioned restaurant. On our recent summer trip, we spent a few hours bowling at Splitsville – it was a blast AND we had a great chance to cool off before heading back to the Magic Kingdom. Tip #2: Drink lots of water. Another obvious tip, but easy to forget. Especially when you are in Epcot and the fun drinks around the world are tempting you. Go ahead and try a few, just be sure to drink plenty of water in-between. Often when we start to get cranky, I force everyone to drink...
Disney – Stay Onsite or Offsite?

Disney – Stay Onsite or Offsite?

Which is better? Staying onsite at Disney or offsite? Many years ago, we would spend two to four weeks each June in Orlando and we rarely stayed at the Disney properties. Instead, we would hop around from timeshare to timeshare. Now that the kids are older and super busy, a week at a time is about all we can get away for. Due to that, the last few years we’ve stayed almost exclusively at Disney resorts. However this last trip, we had some points we had to use up so we stayed at a nearby resort. This got me thinking about which is better … and I still don’t have a definitive answer. I think it depends upon what amenities are important to you, and what the purpose of your trip is. That being said, here are some pros and cons for both staying onsite and offsite. Pros for Staying at a Disney Property There are some really great reasons for staying onsite, but my all-time favorite reason is that the resorts are amazing. They are so well themed, that you get that “Disney” feel 24/7. If you love Disney, this will be a big plus for you! You’ll also discover little Disney touches throughout your stay. Things like icy-cold fruit infused water in the lobby, Disney pin trading with cast members, hidden Mickey’s galore. If you visit the DVC properties you’ll also find a whole schedule of engaging activities ranging from pool parties to trivia. It can be a lot of fun to spend a resort day just enjoying all these activities. Insider tip: if you enjoy looking...

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