Family, Fun, and the Fair-OhioSummer2018

DISCLAIMER: LONG POST ALERT

Normally we try to take a big summer trip.  In 2015, we took a trip across the country (#48statesover48dates).  In 2016, we went west to Galveston and Houston through New Orleans, and then to cooler weather in the Upper Peninsula to Mackinac Island in Michigan.  In 2017, we went back up to Michigan and Ohio to escape the heat.

But, this year, we have a teenager, who started working a “real job” at Chick-fil-A, so now we are grounded more than we like.  However, we were able to sneak away for a two-week vacation to Ohio at the end of the summer break.

We kicked off the trip with a hike in Cuyahoga Valley National Park (last blog post-https://thomas6travels.wordpress.com/2018/07/24/our-8th-national-park-cuyahoga-valley-np/) and headed down to Massillon, Ohio for William’s grandfather’s family reunion.

It was a good time, between the food, kickball game, fellowship, and meeting some family and seeing some that William had not seen in 20 yrs.

 

 

Though it was supposed to rain, we were glad it didn’t.

From there, we headed to Westerville, Ohio for the duration of our vacation.

As usual, we had to make a trip to Easton Mall for Red Robin and See’s Candies. Plus, the kids like to walk around and ask for things that they know they’re not gonna get.

 

 

While we always have fun on our vacations, we like to make sure our kids are learning something.  And, if you can add free ice cream along with that learning, we are certainly down for it. We took a tour at Velvet Ice Cream Factory in Utica, Ohio. We learned the history of the company, which once was a stop on the Underground Railroad.

 

 

The town of Westerville had their 4th Friday celebration with vendors, food, sweets, and some of everything else, so we spent an evening enjoying the activities.

 

 

Of all times we have been to the city of Columbus, we’ve never visited downtown, so we made sure to this time.  Our first stop was to the Harley where Dad bought his bike and picked up another poker chip to add to our collection.

 

 

Then we walked around, enjoyed the German Village, the sights, sounds, food, and architecture of downtown.

 

 

Before heading back home to get ready for school to start, we spent the day at the Ohio State Fair. Grandma Shonen spoiled the kids with unlimited rides and money to buy whatever they wanted! They took full advantage of it and loaded up on cotton candy, candy apples, slushies, lemonade, and funnel cakes.

 

 

This was our 2nd year going to the Ohio State Fair and we look forward to going back again next year! Until next time…

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Our 8th National Park: Cuyahoga Valley NP

Two of our long time loves (our children and traveling) and two of our new loves (hiking and visiting National Parks) combined make for a fun and educational trip.

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Started off the day, hoping the rain would hold off…

 

 

…which it did so we were able to hike Brandywine Falls Trail…

 

 

…and what a reward for our efforts!

 

 

It is exciting to see our children discovering what they love to do, like Mackenzie becoming quite to the photographer!

 

 

We even got to learn a bit about how the canal system worked, how it brought ships from one large waterway, through land, and to another large body of water.  Pretty neat stuff!!

 

 

Although we have been to many national monuments, national historic sites, national seashores, etc…, we have only been to 8 that have been upgraded to National Parks (9 if you include Gateway Arch that was just upgraded to National Park Status this month). There are 60 total National Parks in the U.S.  and we intend on visiting and exploring all of them!!!

#FloridaForty We’ve Made It Home

2 parents…4 children…40 cities…40 days…27 Harley Davidson dealerships stopped at…14 RV parks…4,152.6 miles driven…71 hours and 2 minutes driving…418.1 gallons of gas…35 new Christmas ornaments for our travel tree…way too many Walmart stops…

=1 grand trip!

Thanks again for joining us on our 40 day journey through the state of Florida.

(and to think that it rained for that many days straight while Noah was on the ark and Jesus fasted for that long while in the wilderness)

Thank you for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers.

Along the way, we made some great memories, had a lot of fun, tasted new food, talked with some fantastic people, and grew closer together as a family.  It is these times that we hope have the greatest impact on our children.

So that we can keep a record of our trip, as well as to share with those who are wanting to know, we decided to share our itinerary as well as the names of the RV/Campgrounds/State Parks/National Parks we camped in.

Feature City                            RV Park

Day 1           Jacksonville                           Little Talbot State Park Jacksonville, FL

Day 2           Ponte Vedra Beach               Faver-Dykes State Park St. Augustine, FL

Day 3           St. Augustine                         Faver-Dykes State Park

Day 4           Mt. Dora                                 Bee’s RV Resort Clermont, FL

Day 5           Howey-in-the-Hills              Bee’s RV Resort

Day 6           Eatonville                              Bee’s RV Resort

Day 7           Lady Lake                              Bee’s RV Resort

Day 8           Clermont                                Bee’s RV Resort

Day 9           Groveland                              Bee’s RV Resort

Day 10         Frostproof                              Kissimmee Prairie Preserve S.P. Okeechobee, FL

Day 11         Okeechobee                           Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park

Day 12         Taylor Creek                          Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park

Day 13         Dania Beach                          Fiesta Key Rv and Marina Layton, FL

Day 14         Key West                                Fiesta Key Rv and Marina

Day 15          Marathon                              Fiesta Key Rv and Marina

Day 16         Islamorada                             C.B. Smith Park Pembroke Pines, FL

Day 17         Miami Beach                          C.B. Smith Park

Day 18         Pembroke Pines                    C.B. Smith Park

Day 19         Davie                                       C.B. Smith Park

Day 20         Miramar                                 C.B. Smith Park

Day 21         Everglades City                     Collier Seminole State Park Naples, FL

Day 22          Naples                                    Collier Seminole State Park

Day 23          Fort Myers Beach                 Little Manatee River State Park Wimauma, FL

Day 24          Winter Haven                       Little Manatee River State Park

Day 25         Clearwater                              Mary’s Fish Camp Weeki Wachee, FL

Day 26          Weeki Wachee                      Mary’s Fish Camp

Day 27          Alachua                                   Suwanee River State Park Live Oak, FL

Day 28          Live Oak                                  Suwanee River State Park

Day 29          Madison                                  Suwanee River State Park

Day 30          Lee                                           Suwanee River State Park

Day 31          Carrabelle                              St. George Island State Park, St. George Island, FL

Day 32          St. George Island                  St. Andrews State Rec Area Panama City Beach, FL

Day 33          Panama City Beach              St. Andrews State Recreation Area

Day 34         Niceville                                  Fred Gannon State Park Niceville, FL

Day 35          Destin                                     Fred Gannon State Park

Day 36          Valparaiso                             Fred Gannon State Park

Day 37          Gulf Breeze                           Fort Pickens Recreation Area-  Gulf Islands National Seashore Pensacola, FL

Day 38          Pensacola Beach                  Fort Pickens Recreation Area

Day 39          Molino                                   Fort Pickens Recreation Area

Day 40          Century                                   N/A Home

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