Tag Archives: travel

Haunted Road Trip for Spooktober

 If you are looking something a bit spooky to do this Spooktober, Car Rentals has invented a spook meter to rank seven of America’s most haunted roads. Who wouldn’t love a good old-fashioned scary road trip? When my boyfriend finds out about the haunted road trip, he will have the car packed in record time.

There is a unique story along with a podcast or book to discover even more of the legends on each road. The roads are conveniently laid out in a bone-chilling route that takes around six hours to complete.

If you are brave enough, follow the spooky link to uncover the detailed stories of Amerca’s most haunted roads.

Link Up Party: https://fresh.inlinkz.com/party/42996f230af74bd79aebe46678819d4b

Bucket List Goal Completed: Visit a Haunted Location

On September 14, we finally made it to the Ohio State Reformatory. The word is that it is a haunted location. So I can officially cross visiting a haunted location off of the bucket list.

I didn’t see anything but I did smell chicken noodle soup. There was no chicken noodle soup anywhere. In the room used for entertaining guests of the prison – not the prisoners- I felt really cold in the area by the stage.

There are ghost tours of the prison. We’ll have to do this some other time. If you want to see what other activities there are at the Ohio State Reformatory, visit their website- The Ohio State Reformatory

Eva kept pointing at something in the chapel. I could not hear what she was saying at all. I think she saw a bird or something like a bird.
Eva thought she saw something move when she got a little further down the way.
I felt really cold while taking this picture. This room was used for entertaining special guests.

Bucket List Goal Completed: Renaissance Fair

Everybody, this was the year! We finally made it to the Ohio Renaissance Festival!!

For at least 20 years, I’ve been trying to go to the Ohio Renaissance Festival. During the last 3 years, the chances to go were so close but somehow kept slipping through our fingers. We had the gas money and tickets but no free time at the same time.

I had a dream about this dress shop. I’ve never seen this place before except in a dream. Deja vu. My kid dragged me away before I was transported to a different time.

There were contortionists.

We saw a joust. Kind of . . .

People played Red Rover.

Other shenanigans

We saw a pirate eat fire.

We found crystal dragon eggs a.k.a. geodes. My kid is into rocks and crystals. This was one of her favorite things at the festival.

Although, we missed seeing Queen Elizabeth I and didn’t dress up, we had a great time at the Renaissance Festival. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait 3 years to go again.

Ohio Renaissance Festival

Save 25% off adult and child tickets at the 30th Annual Ohio Renaissance Festival August 31 – October 27, 2019 when you use PROMO CODE usfamily19 Queen Elizabeth and over 100 costumed characters welcome you to step back in time to the days of chivalry and royalty. Celebrating Thirty Years of Magic in 2019, the Ohio Renaissance Festival offers a time traveling experience for all ages.

  • I received tickets from the US Family Guide in exchange for doing a review. All opinions are my own. Obviously.

Bucket List Goal Completed: Visit Caverns. Whispering Cave, Hocking Hills

The last time that we went on vacation was in 2014. We’ve taken day trips occasionally but not too many overnights far from home. It’s not because we didn’t want to but the bank account was saying “No way dude. Stay home.”

So this year, we went to Hocking Hills State Park to see the caves. There are about 8 caves or waterfalls to see. We made it to two: Whispering Cave and Old Man’s Cave.

If you go, wear comfortable and sensible shoes. We climbed up and down stairs and slippery rocks, plus mud. Between the two caves, we walked about 2.5 miles and none of it was in a flat area. Save the flip flops for the beach. Next time, I’m wearing hiking boots for sure.

Beginning of the trail

Whispering Cave

I guess he’s the captain.

Back to the trail

Jane Austen, A to Z: eXperience

http://By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26199514

So if you wanted to have a vacation that would be considered the ultimate Jane Austen eXperience, where should you go? First of all, you’ll have to get a passport and head to England.

There are some places that Jane Austen herself was associated with personally. Other places are museums devoted to Austen. A few locations were where some of the movies based on her novels were filmed.

If I were going on a Jane Austen based vacation, I would visit:

  1. Jane Austen’s House, Chawton, Hampshire
  2. The Jane Austen Centre, Bath
  3. The Jane Austen Festival, Bath
  4. Bath Assembly Rooms
  5. Chatsworth House
  6. Winchester Cathedral
  7. Learning how to dance at Mrs. Bennet ‘s Ballroom

Where would you go on your Jane Austen eXperience? If you need some ideas, visit the following links:

11 Jane Austen Locations

22 Places in the UK that are a must see for Jane Austen Fans

6 Ways to Experience the Jane Austen Lifestyle in England

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter

The Fashion Traveler: City of Melbourne

Ladies and Gentleman,

I would like to present a guest post by my new BFF . . . The Fashion Traveler, Peter Minkoff. I’m not sure what a freelance fashion traveler is exactly but it sounds pretty fabulous. Enjoy!


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As a stylist and a travel aficionado, I like to think that every city has its own personality and thus, its own fashion style. There is some magic in traveling from town to town and discovering the differences between them. Even Brisbane and Melbourne are nothing alike, and though I adore my home town, I often travel to Melbourne for some inspiration and fashion excitement. Melbourne is a city famous for its street art, but that art doesn’t reflect only in the drawings on the wall, but in what the locals are wearing. It’s also a paradise for shopping, from the malls to markets, Melbourne has it all. I traveled there just recently  and I’d like to share my impressions.

What’s IN on the Streets?

What’s IN on the Streets

It’s known amongst stylists that Melbourne has that special fashion flare that I like to call – urban chic. The locals have distinct sense of style, combining sporty wear with elegant and vintage pieces. The style diversity ranges from sneakers, oversized bomber jackets, overalls to simple little black dresses, white crochet shirts, pleated skirts and ankle boots. What separates Melbourne from the rest of the Australia is the specific Euro chic of its architecture and its fashion combined with the modern and urban Aussie’s fashion bravery.

Where to Shop?

Where to Shop

As mentioned, Melbourne is a paradise for passionate clothing shoppers and I enjoyed finding its best places. There is a whole culture of shopping there. It’s not just – go in, buy and go out. You have restaurants, coffee shops where you can rest and continue, because it is a whole day experience. It’s possible to find both major international brands and local designers. Some of the shopping hotspots in Melbourne are Chadstone shopping complex, Bourke Street Mall, Block Arcade, Chapel Street, Melbourne Central, Flinders Line, Direct Factory Outlets, etc.

How to Shop?

How to Shop

For me, fashion is art and shopping is a trade. You need to have certain skills and knowledge to be successful in it. Experience is helpful too. It’s important to know what to look for and where.  For instance, if you want  to shop for cutting-edge fashion, Block Arcade is the spot for you. For designer clothes and accessories quest, you should visit Bridge Road. If you fancy discovering local designers and crafts, Flinders Lane is the place where you’ll go. There are many ways to save money while buying clothes (and affordable clothes can be fashionable too), such as Melbourne warehouse sales, where you can find great bargains.

What to Visit?

What to Visit

When I finish my daily shopping tour in Melbourne, I like to dedicate some time to visit the city’s most famous attractions. Melbourne is a romantic-looking city, with its wide streets and parks. It is also a city of contrast, which reflects in places like Royal Botanical Garden and urban art scene. Most of the times I like to visit urban parts, with small art galleries and crafts shops. I sincerely recommend visiting Blender Studios and the Dark Horse Experiment Gallery. Eating at Supernormal or Patuso and drinking coffee at De Clieu or Cibo Espresso is a must for me. Before leaving this lovely city, I love visiting some of the theatres.

When you decide to visit this town, take all sides of it (the European, the urban, the fashionable) and combine them into a lovely puzzle Melbourne is.

Peter Minkoff is a freelance traveler and fashion stylist. He can be found on Facebook Peter Minkoff  and Twitter  https://twitter.com/MinkoffPeter .

Trippin’ : #NaBloPoMo

What do you do to get ready before a trip?

This is what I do in order to take a trip


  • I have a minor panic attack when I realize that I have so much to prepare. Then I get over it and start working on plans.
  • I research the place that we are going. So I can pack for the weather.
  • In my head, I have a count of the number of days and nights that we’ll be gone. When I pack suitcases, I always have that number of outfits plus at least one extra – just in case, I spill something or some other catastrophe that only happens in movies or to me. I have to work on not over-packing. It’s so hard not to pack all of my shoes. It really is. However, I do not want to carry all of my shoes all over the planet. My boyfriend is nice but we have an understanding that we have to carry our own bags. Fair enough.
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  • Pack stuff to do while traveling. Books, journals. Activities if the kids are going too. I check out Pinterest. There are tons of traveling bloggers that know all there is to know about traveling with kids. Here are two examples. There are so many more. There’s not enough room in one post for all of them.
  • Check out Groupon and other coupon sites to see what discounts that are out there. I have a AAA discount card and I use it whenever possible.
  • We also try to always, always get a hotel with a pool. We like to swim and relax after a long day of being tourists and bucket list goal achievers. It’s exhausting trying to accomplish so much in a trip. Relaxing is important.
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  • Let’s see. Buy tickets and make reservations- plane tickets, event tickets, car reservations, hotel reservations, etc. It’s so much easier if you buy tickets and/or make reservations before you get there. For example, the Stanley Hotel in Colorado is so busy in the summer that you should make an appointment for a tour. Hotel reservations should also be made months, if not a year or more, in advance. No joke.
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  • On the last vacation, I had an itinerary, as well as a bucket list. I used TripAdvisor quite a bit before and during the trip. It was really helpful because we weren’t sitting in the hotel room staring at each other saying, “What do you want to do?” It could have been a vicious cycle.


Flip-Flop Traveler: #ShareYourWorld

What type of pets do you have or want?  Or do you not want pets?

We have a goldfish. I would not mind having a cat but I’m okay with not having pets. Then I see a cute puppy like this and I’m confused all over again.


When you’re alone at home, do you wear shoes, socks, slippers, or go barefoot?

Barefoot. I also wear flip-flops a lot. In fact, I’m wearing flip-flops right now.


Are you a traveler or a homebody? 

Both. I like to go places. Some days, I don’t want to leave the house.


Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful that I’m going to be working 1st shift again. Of course, I need to get a second alarm clock again. Today. I need to buy one today. Guess who has crazy morning hair? Guess who had to go to work like that for several reasons? Oh yes, I sure did wear crazy morning hair to work.


Road Trip to Comic Con: Three Fangirls and One Guy

The one guy is not a fanboy. We love him anyway. He is irreplaceable. (He drives and doesn’t panic.)

The road trip to Indiana was pretty successful. The kids only had one elbowing altercation. There was plenty of bickering but it was awesome because they were talking to each other. I didn’t bring the car charger on purpose. I knew that the devices would all lose their charge. The kids would have to acknowledge each other at some point.

Of course, this plan backfired when my phone went dead just as I needed the GPS. However, it made for a good adventure. My boyfriend didn’t think so at the time. He really did not see the beauty in the moment.

It was foggy. It was late. It had been a five hour drive with three tired kids without WiFi or a charger. My teenager thought she would literally die without WiFi. We assured her that she would not literally die and that it was more of an inconvenience rather than a life or death situation.

Yes. I did take a picture of them in the backseat. I think they were braiding each others hair. Kind of awesome, right?