Cincinnati, Ohio

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Travel Quotes

Own only what you can carry with you; know language, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.
                  Alexander Solzhenitsyn

In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.


Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living. Miriam Beard

Before he sets out, the traveler must possess fixed interests and facilities to be served by travel.

George Santayana

Where the bee sucks, there suck I:
In a cowslip's bell I lie;
There I couch when owls do cry.
On the bat's back I do fly
After summer merrily.
Merrily, merrily shall I live now
Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.

William Shakespeare
He who would travel happily must travel light.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery
When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable.

It is designed to make its own people comfortable.

Clifton Fadiman

Mountains inspire awe in any human person who has a soul. They remind us of our frailty, our unimportance, of the briefness of our span upon this earth. They touch the heavens, and sail serenely at an altitude beyond even the imaginings of a mere mortal.

Elizabeth Aston

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
Joyce Kilmer

You will find something more in woods than in books.

Trees and stones will teach you that which you can never learn from masters.

Saint Bernard

Monday, August 29, 2011

Borderline Creamy Whip On HWY 50 - Greendale, IN

On Highway 50, just barely inside Indiana, sits the Borderline Creamy Whip. It's almost on the border of Indiana and Ohio. It's a small ice cream shop. It is kind-of like an ice cream truck without the truck. It's a trailer with a walk-up window. They are a great family stop in summer! Their prices are very reasonable! They have picnic tables set up in the shade for you to sit and enjoy your frozen treat. The girls who work here are a joy.
We had a child's size cone (In the photo) which was huge! My oldest tried a sundae. She said it was very good. They just do the basics but they do them well! They are near many other family fun places! They have a good sized gravel lot that you can easily turn around in. This is nice because they are off of such a busy road. There is a small gift shop next door to them if you are interested. We all got ice cream and it cost me less then $5! By now I'm sure you all know I love a well priced outing and this one takes the cake...cake-cone that is!


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Chuck E Cheese - Colerain Ave. Cincinnati, Ohio

We recently visited the Chuck E Cheese located at 8801 Colerain Ave. in Cincinnati, Ohio. I hadn't been to this particular branch in many years. We went here to celebrate a friend's child's birthday. My husband unfortunately had to work on that day so I was on my own. I get lost easily so I was pleased with the fact that it was easy to locate from the interstate. There is a wrap around parking lot. We managed to find a spot on the front side. There is plenty of parking in the back but it means you would have a little walk to get inside. Once inside I was happy with what must have been a very serious remodel since the last time I had visited. The place is large with flashing lights and children everywhere.

Chuck E Cheese is a restaurant and arcade in one. You buy tokens upon entering and place a pizza order. They give you your tokens and a number for your table so they know where to deliver your food. They also now have a rather large salad bar. Your older children almost immediately raid you for the purchased tokens and run off into the games. They stamp the children's hands and the hands of their adult upon entry with a black light stamp. When you exit you give your hands to an attendant who checks to see if you match before allowing you to leave. This sounds good in theory but I don't know how much I trust this system. I can honestly say the huge downfall is the fact that people feel they no longer have to watch their children. Ivy is 10. I allow her to play by herself with me checking in on her frequently. I understand the need for a little independence at this age but I do not trust the rest of the world enough to completely leave her on her own for an hour or two.

We were happy with the selection of games. Ivy thoroughly enjoyed the tunnels that hang from the ceiling. There is a small toddler area roped off with a few games and a play area for them. It was small and felt crowded when only a few children were playing there with their parents in tow. Ivy collected tons of tickets but decided to save them when she saw the prize case. She said that she would rather come back later and try for a larger item because the small to medium prizes were junk. I tend to agree. They now sell "prizes" like balls instead of allowing them to be exchanged for tickets. Their prize selection area is much smaller and does not have many medium selections that would appeal to a 10 year old girl.

The food is kid friendly but not completely mom friendly. Their pizza is incredibly greasy. It did come to the table hot which is a plus. The salad bar was acceptable. It was decently well stocked for the weekend. They have unlimited refills on their drinks that you refill yourself fast food style. They have a fairly good variety of drinks.

They have a stage where large mechanical puppets put on a show. There are large tables by this that they use for birthday parties. The concept of the birthday parties is neat. They sing to the kids. A hip-hop style version of Happy Birthday. Someone in a giant mouse costume(Chuck E Cheese) comes out for this. He then crowns each birthday child with a special inflatable birthday crown. Sadly the girls working the parties were not exactly enthusiastic. Ours appeared to wish she was anywhere but here. When dealing with small children's birthday parties I feel they would be better served with happier employees. The best highlight of having a birthday party there instead of just a normal visit is the fact that the birthday child gets to go into the "ticket blaster." This is a wind machine of sorts that whirls tickets around while the child tries to catch as many as they can. This is not open to the regular public so it is a perk retained just for the birthday child which gives it a special air. It is a great marketing gimmick because every child including my own wanted to have their birthday party there at that moment because they were only allowed to watch. Children do not like to be left out of anything so I'm sure this has landed them many birthday parties. My friends daughter is still fairly small so they did allow her Dad to join her in it which I thought was nice. She seemed to enjoy it once she was in there. As a birthday party option I thought it was nice because they take care of the food, dishes, drinks, entertainment and the clean-up. They also give a balloon to each child and they have options where you can add additional tokens to your package at a lower rate so the teenagers would also have tokens to play the games. My friend also told me they gave her additional tokens for booking online. Not a bad deal for a birthday party.

Overall, I would say this is a fun family outing. I personally would take my children here to play again but perhaps skip the pizza. The tokens can get pricey. You can find coupons online for token deals and you also receive a much better price on them if you buy a large amount all at once. They really get you by your children bugging you for more and more tokens. You have to set a limit upon entry such as I'm buying X amount of tokens for each of you. When you run out of tokens you can play in the tunnels until everyone is done and then we are leaving. No questions asked. Be warned however that mom and dad will want tokens as well because this place is fun for all ages. Their bathrooms are pretty clean and they have a diaper changing station for the babies. It is in the main area of the bathroom instead of in a stall. I like them in a stall better because you are not in the flow of traffic. Oh, and don't forget your headache medicine! After an hour in here you will need it, lol.

The Details:
Cost: You can spend $10 on tokens for one kid & a short trip or $50+ for the day(Set a budget. This place can eat you alive!)
Location:  8801 Colerain Ave. in Cincinnati, Ohio
Hours -Sunday-Thursday 9am to 9pm Friday and Saturday 9am to 10pm
Phone number: 513-385-1438

Friday, August 26, 2011

Oreo Stacking Contest - Florence, KY

Took the girls to an Oreo Stacking Contest at Walmart in Florence, KY today. You got 30 seconds to stack as many oreos as you could without them falling over. The only rules were at the end of the 30 seconds they had to stand without you touching them and it had to be a straight stack one on top of another. They had groups based on age, 10 and under, 10 to 15, and 16 and up.  Cassie, my sister, went with us she got 22. She was in the lead on the lists for a while but a boy got 23. My stack fell over at 29 seconds and 24 oreos! Ivy's crashed too. A friend of hers went with us. She did well. She did 19. She was in the lead for a bit too but someone beat her out. They were also giving out fresh, unplayed with Oreos to eat. Bella enjoyed that part. No big surprise that she gladly ate the oreo the girl gave her. It was a fun little outing.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Boone Woods - Burlington, KY

Ivy playing at the main playground.
We have visited this wooded park in Burlington off of HWY 18 a few times. There is a nice playground, a pouch style swing to sit and watch your kids from, a large picnic shelter with lots of tables, tennis courts, tons of trees, trails, a large grassy area, and another playground area in the very back that is almost hidden. On the weekend when the park is really busy parking at the playground can be hard to find. There is other parking but you will have to walk a little to the playground.

The restrooms at this park are really hard to find. I went to this place three times before I found out they even had them! I got to the point that this was a place we stopped by to play for a little bit because staying for a long time was not an option. Somebody would have to use the bathroom after an hour or two. I was shocked when I heard they have a bathroom! They are listed on the map found on the website listed below.

Pushing her sister.

You can see the large shelter behind them. It's the perfect picnic spot!

The Detail:
Cost: Free

Monday, August 22, 2011

McDonald's Play Area - Crescent Springs, KY

Somebody close to our family recently took us to this McDonald's because they said it had a great play area. I thought,  "OK, a play area in McDonald's. Alright what the heck." I was actually pretty impressed by this place. We got a couple of Diet Cokes and watched the kids play. The big kids area is huge! There is also a basketball free throw game. There is a big screen T.V. on the wall playing kids music videos. There are a few video games. They even have a small toddler area! I have not been to many of these but this one was pretty nice.

The Details:
Location: 2513 Hazelwood St Crescent Springs KY, 41017
Cost: Under $2 per Drink

Friday, August 19, 2011

World's Longest Yard Sale - HWY 127

Found this in front of New Haven School when we stopped at their outdoor booths.
The kids and I went down the world's longest yard sale with my mom this year. The sale follows HWY 127 from Hudson, MI to Gadsden, AL. It covers 675 miles! We did not make it any where near that far, lol. We did have a great time and found some goodies at great prices! The sale next year is August 2-5. Hope to see you there!

The Details:
Cost: Gas and whatever you buy.
2012 Dates: August 2nd to the 5th

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Coney Island

Flood Stick

Fountain at Coney Island
These are some of our photographs from a recent trip we took to Coney Island. We had a great time!! This was not our first trip to this family style amusement park and it will not be our last! It is fun, affordable and family friendly. This place has a lot of things to do! Consider making it a two day event. Get a sunlite pool pass for one day and a classic ride pass for the second day. This way you can take your time. Be careful of the sun. This place can be exhausting!
Kiddy Ride

Fun House Mirrors
Bumper Cars

Bella was excited about this ride even before it began.


Stationary Fire Truck
This large playground is free to play at. You do have to pay for parking still but there are many fun free things to do.
When we were there Q102 was there having a party for Coney Islands' anniversary. People were dancing in the rain.
Little Houses

The Details:
Location: 6201 Kellogg Ave. Cincinnati, OH 45230
Prices: Ticket for Sunlite Pool & Classic rides $21.95 for ages 5 and up
Tickets for Ages 2-4 $9.95
After 4 pm $11.95
Tickets for Sunlite pool only: $11.95 for ages 5 and up and $3.95 for 2-4 year olds
Tickets for Classic Rides only: $11.95 for 5 & up and $6.95 for 2-4 year olds
Parking $7.00
You can buy tickets on-line at a discount!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Miami Whitewater Forest - Harrison, Ohio

View of the meadow as you emerge from the woods.

We walked down the Tallgrass Prairie Trail. It was very pretty! It is about a mile. It was slightly hilly but still manageable with the jogging stroller. When we got to the Prairie we tried to locate all of the plants that were on the sign. It was fun. We found quite a few of them and other things, like blackberries. After the trail we played Frisbee in the clearing by the parking area for the trail. It is fairly large and grassy. This was Bella's first time playing Frisbee. She loved to throw it but could only get it a foot or two. She would clap and yell "Good Job!" Anytime she or anyone threw it. We played for about a half an hour before moving on.
Ivy looking at bugs.

Mud pit

There is a wooden bridge on the way to the meadow if you go left when the path splits.
There is something about walking in the woods that makes us all feel small.

I had never seen this plant before and it was not on the sign so we still do not know what it was.

The Meadow

The next stop was the lake. We parked in the little bit of shade we could find in the lot. We walked along the paved trail by the lake stopping to admire the view, a couple ducks and a willow tree. There is a very large playground and the visitor center by the parking lot and lake. We took the kids to play at the playground and realized there is a water park here as well. It was super hot so the kids were practically drooling at the sight of the water! We had to walk around the corner to the snack bar to purchase a bracelet. We only had to get Ivy one because Bella is under two. We did not even have suits with us, lol. That did not stop them from having a blast!The water park has a pirate theme complete with a ship!

The path that runs by the lake

By the Lake

A pretty lake

Near the visitor center
The Waterpark

The Details:
Location: 9001 Mt. Hope Rd. Harrison, OH 45030
Features: Wetlands, trails, Frisbee golf, golf course, equestrian trail, snack bar, campground, picnic and shelter areas, lake, fishing, boat rentals, wet playground, playground, and visitor center.
Cost: Free with pass. $3 for day pass or $10 for year pass
Cost of Water Playground: $2 each or 3 for $5

Monday, August 15, 2011

Corbin, Kentucky

We stopped off in Corbin to see the KFC museum but discovered this adorable little nature/park area right down the road. It was so super cute that we picked up dinner and ate there in the gazebo!

Neat Moth

The Details:
Cost:  FREE!
Location: Near the corner of HWY 25W/18th Street and South Main Street. 1/4 of a mile or so from the KFC museum.